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Sari, the Sarimanok: A Mascot Design Competition

Posted on: Monday, July 04, 2011
Posted by: CIT-ISD

To All MSU Constituents! Students, Faculty, Staff, Organizations, Art and Culture Enthusiasts!

Be part of history in the making! Grab the chance to have the prestige of designing the first ever Mascot of the University! Get the opportunity to welcome home the Sarimanok who has flown far and wide to assume another transformation to become the University’s Mascot! Let it come home to MSU as Sari, the Mascot to unify, inspire and encourage us to even greater heights. Let Sari lift our spirits as we prepare for the University’s Golden Anniversary! Join the contest! Fly high with Sari!

Chair, Mascot Committee



  1. The contest is open to all MSU employees, students, staff, faculty, groups/associations and colleges.
  2. The mascot design shall be based on the Sarimanok.
  3. There shall be two categories for the design.
    1. 3D design, at least two feet tall (this may be done by a person, or a group or a college)
    2. Digital Design (individual submission only)

Criteria for judging are as follows:

  1. Color- the design should include the original colors of the Sarimanok and the Mindanao State University System (25%)
  2. Creativity (25%)
  3. Functionality- the design should be wearable, bearing in mind that the ultimate function is to be used as a mascot (25%).
  4. Design- entries must reflect the OKIR (25%)
  5. The artists are free to use any kind of medium in the first criterion.

Prizes for the two categories are as follows:

  1. 3D Design
    1. First Prize - Php 8,000.00
    2. 2nd Prize - Php 5,000.00
    3. 3rd Prize - Php 2,000.00
  2. Digital Design (Open to any MSUan anywhere in the world).
    1. First Prize - Php 3,000.00
    2. 2nd Prize - Php 2,000.00
    3. 3rd Prize - Php 1,000.00

All entries will receive certificates of participation and MSU Golden Jubilee ephemera.

  1. The official Mascot of the University will be based on the winning entries.
  2. All entries become the property of the University and may only be used after the written and explicit permission of the University or its authorized committee/office.
  3. Submission of entries will be on July 27, 2011 5:00 pm for the 3D Design at the University Cafeteria and11:59 pm for the Digital Design submitted at these addresses: [email protected]/[email protected]
  4. Entries will also be mounted at a place to be designated later.

What is the Sarimanok?

It is the legendary bird or "artificial cock" that has become a ubiquitous symbol of Meranao art. It is depicted as a fowl with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish in its beak or talons. The head is profusely decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs. It is said to be a symbol of good fortune.

According to tradition, the sarimanok is never displayed by itself. It must be displayed with a set of flags, standards and vexilloids. At present, this is not totally true; sarimanok may be placed on the top of the umbrella of a Sultan or dignitary, and also, the Mindanao State University has adopted it for the graduation exercises following a non-traditional use.

What is a school mascot?

Mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. A school mascot is usually an animal, mythic or historical figure that represents a special feature of the school's community.

American Universities and businesses are not the only ones who use mascots. For instance, Bastet is the Official Mascot of the 11th Pan Arab Games held in Egypt. Even Meranaos use men costumed as monkeys to entertain people during celebrations.

Anyone who steps onto a sporting field in costume as any mascot is joining a large club with a very long history dating back to almost the start of civilization itself. It is not a job to be taken lightly. It is something to be proud of, when you say... I am a MASCOT!

Why the need to have a mascot? Why the Sarimanok?

Mascots represent the school spirit. They serve as a unifying symbol and inspiration to the school. They also bring fun to celebrations! Most universities have mascots. All schools’ mascots are rooted in school tradition and directly linked to school spirit.

The Sarimanok, while it is popularly identified with the Meranaos have been used by individuals, businesses such as ABS-CBN, offices, beauty pageants, the UAAP and Philippine embassies abroad. Its beauty, color and symbolism has captivated many and inspired them.

To quote UAAP:

“An enchanted mythical creature joins this year’s UAAP season. But unlike the rest of the university icons, the legendary Sarimanok is not here to enter into battle. This beautiful bird sets out from its celestial habitat to inspire the UAAP member universities to come together. Far Eastern University (FEU) hosts this year’s UAAP Season 72 with the theme, “One color. One goal.” The Sarimanok, which is featured in FEU’s coat of arms, has multi-colored wings representing the different universities in the UAAP.”

The Sarimanok is proudly displayed by MSU since its establishment during graduation rites and other celebrations. However, it has never fully and grandly made use of this powerful symbolism that should be most appropriately used by her. The image of the Sarimanok is more identified with ABS CBN now rather than the people, the place and the University where it rightfully belongs.

Using the Sarimanok as the school’s mascot will serve as a unifying image for MSUans;

  • It will promote and preserve Meranao culture which can be more appropriately done by no other than the University;
  • The mascot will give a sense of pride to the MSUans, and put cultural value on the symbol of the Meranaos;
  • The Sarimanok is a culture bearer;
  • The powerful symbolism of the Sarimanok—unity, diversity and beauty is hoped to rally behind all MSUans to rekindle the spirit to which the University was established for.
  • Although, Sarimanok is closely identified with the Meranaos, it has been originally (and perhaps first) used by Mindanao State University, then adopted by other entities because of its symbolism of unity in diversity.
  • After the Sarimanok has flown and its beauty and grandeur captivated and conquered the world, MSU shall welcome the Sarimanok back again as it comes home to where it belongs, bringing laurels with it and together they shall fly higher and navigate the world as the University approaches its golden anniversary. Fly high Sari! Fly high MSU

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