Art Gallery: Khristina Reed Manansala |

Filipina Artist Khristina Manansala quit her corporate job to follow her grandfather’s footsteps. Her paintings are mostly centered on religious subjects.

Source: Art Gallery: Khristina Reed Manansala |

Written by Me – Jennifer Bichara

Lorenzo E. Gabutina: The Late Blooming Filipino Visual Artist

I recently made contact with Lorenzo E. Gabutina (pseudonym: Legabutina), a digital artist, based in Caloocan, Philippines for a feature article in my blog.   His out-of-the-box artistic style of abstract images that is beautifully surreal and magically pleasing to the eyes.  I was immediately drawn to his work.

Lorenzo E. Gabutina has more than 30 years of professional experience in advertising and marketing management. He learned and sharpened his marketing skills in a multinational company environment with a 15-year stint in Kodak Philippines, as the company’s marketing communications manager. Lorenz’s first and most passionate love is advertising where he had been a copywriter and account executive for many years before assuming senior management positions. He has been involved in all key aspects of the advertising business, from creative to media, production, research and marketing planning.

According to Legabutina, he sees teaching as the culmination of his advertising career where he could share with advertising students the many insights and learning’s he had gained from his long years of working in the ad industry. He is currently, an advertising lecturer at St. Scholastica’s College. 

#LorenzoGabutina: The Late Blooming Accidental #FilipinoArtist #VisualArtist #Art #PopArt #SurrealArt #DigitalArt #Abstract #ArtPH

Photos by (Via Katipunan Weekend Market FB Page)

Legabutina is a regular artist-seller of the monthly Future Market @ Escolta an event organized by 98b in its effort to help revitalized old Manila. He was also invited at the Katipunan Weekend Market last weekend of October. They feature a tightly curated selection of jewelry, handmade items, clothes, arts & crafts, vintage finds, delicious food & live music. If you are in the Escolta area on November 14, go checkout the Future Market. There are no specific dates scheduled for the November and December Katipunan Weekend Market but from time to time, please do check their Facebook page for exact dates.

His first artist solo art show, “The Accidental Artist” was held earlier this year at the Sigwada Art Gallery in San Andres Bukid.

Take a moment to read his artist insight, and take a peek into the mind of this late bloomer.

On his art journey:

My art journey began 5 years ago when I retired from advertising work at age of 60. I didn’t know then that I could make a good art. With so much time on my hands, I started doodling on the computer and posted my works on Facebook. My friends liked it! And that is what started this art journey…..I’m a late bloomer.

Early this year my eyes got so bad that I had an operation. “Wala akong makita sa computer,” I could not see the computer screen. So I started making hand drawn sketches. “Aba, pwede pala akong mag drawing with my hands!” (He said: Wow,  I could draw with my hands). When I started posting them on Facebook, my friends liked it. It was a big revelation for me, to learn that I could really draw with my hands. I have always been used to doing things through the computer. I had my eye operation last April this year and my eyes now are as good as brand new. But I continue to sketch with my hands till today, aside from my digital work.

On his art:

There is nothing profound or philosophical about my art. At least, that’s what I think so. Others will disagree, of course. The thing is, the narrative in my art comes after the work is finished, not before – which art critics will scoff at. There has to be a clear intent or purpose behind what you do, they will say.

My focus is on design, not the story. I want my art to be visually provocative, nothing more. If it touches your five senses and if it resonates with you; then, I am happy. I don’t want my art to be ‘understood’ nor ‘rationalized.’ It’s the least of my intentions. The purpose of my art is to entertain. “Mababaw ba?” (Am I shallow?)

On his art style and influences:

Artists that have had the most impact in me are Dali, Picasso, Boticelli, Miro, Klee, O-keefe, and may others whose names I can’t remember now. I don’t know if their style has influenced my art, maybe subconsciously, yes. I am drawn towards art that have geometric, pop, grotesque, surreal elements.

My art is a mélange of styles. I sometimes wonder if I have a unique style but it’s not a big thing for me. I don’t want to be boxed into a certain style anyway. I want it spontaneous, impromptu and sincere which reflects who I am as a person. What you see is what you get, “kun baga.” (rather)

On being a self-taught artist:

Being a self-taught artist, I pretty much do what I want to do. Not bound by any norm or convention other than good basic aesthetic sense. I don’t put on my thinking that when I work. It’s purely instinctive. I just let things flow. I trust my creative instincts.

On validation:

Every artist needs validation. The feeling that he is doing something right; I get a high when I fellow artist like my work. “Gawa na araw ko pag may isang mabigat na artist na nag like sa work ko,” my day is fulfilled when a big time artist admires his artworks.

The future of his art:

Where do I go from here? I will keep on marking art as long as my five senses are intact. I am happy that art came last in my checkered life. To me, it’s a gift, a blessing from God. I am not a super religious person but much of who I am today and the kind of art I make, I attribute to God. “Nag- iba ang pananaw ko sa buhay,” my life’s vision changed when I rediscovered God.

***A Selection of Legabutina’s Art Masterpieces***

(Please click image to enlarge)


Digital Collage Abstract Art

Images used with permission.

Featured Artist: Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar

Meet Sr. Venus Marie Pegar, the nun who paints on the side. She started drawing at an early age and continued her artistic pursuit even when she made the VOW to be God’s servant. She said she is grateful that her congregation, Sisters of St. Francis Xavier, supports her artistry but her community outreach will always come first.

Sister of St. Francis Xavier was portrayed by actress Jessy Mendiola in the August 30, 2014 episode of TV drama show “Maalaala Mo Kaya” on ABS-CBN Channel 2, for her incredible story of life, love, devotion, and vocation. (Please check a short clip of Jessy Mendiola below – Yeah that’s her) 😉

Every artist has an art journey to tell.  I as a blogger intend to showcase these stories. Sr. Venus hopes one day she will exhibit her work and that would be her first exposure to the art world including this feature article.

Nuns do paint too. Read her art journey and get inspired.  Enjoy!

You’re a nun. At what point in your life did you realize the artist side of yourself? When did you develop it and what influenced you to pursue it as one of your passions, second to serving the Lord?

Actually, artist runs in the family.  I started drawing at an early age of eight (Grade 3, at that time). My dad was also an artist but only known to some. He encouraged me to draw and supplied me with the materials. It is not really a second option together with serving the Lord. My siblings: my brother is a professional artist based in Cebu and my other brother is into graphics.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar was inspired to paint the Pope to commemorate Pope Francis Philippine visit on Jan 15.

How many years have you been a nun? Under what order or congregation? Do they support your artistry or did you struggle with that aspect?

I’ve been in the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis Xavier for eight years and a professed sister only for four years since I entered the convent in my later years after working outside.

My congregation and community supports me with my artistry. I’m so at peace in reawakening my passion even our superior general approves it with love. And most especially, the support of my brother who provides me with the materials.

How old are now? Where are you from? Your life story was featured on TV’s ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ (in the episode “Sulat,” last August 2014). How did they learn about you? Did you write to them and sent your story?

Last December 11, I turned 38. I was born in Leyte but studied college and worked in Manila. I hid my identity in my MMK story to protect everyone. I just made it known to some close friends and family. At the end of the episode, my pic appeared so some recognized me.

How many suitors and how many boyfriends did you have before you decided to pursue Holy Orders? Your last boyfriend must have been crushed with your decision to become a nun. Did he or did any of those men who came into your life inspire you to paint?

I had a lot of suitors during my younger years but I only had one boyfriend until the time when I decided to enter… My dad inspired me to paint since it was our bonding moment together before he died.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

The subject of the painting was based on a pink flower she saw at Tagaytay Picnic Grove. It is a meaningful remembrance of her first community outing.

What is your first masterpiece? Tell us about it.

My first drawing was when I was eight years old. My dad encouraged me to draw so I came out with the portrait of Ms. Gloria Romero in pencil. The portrait ended up as a birthday gift to my grandmother.

You are also an educator now? Where? What do you teach? How long have you been teaching? What do you always tell your students?

I am currently assigned as a formator to aspirant, and postulant of our congregation. My position helps them spiritually on how to be a Religious Sister of our congregation. I always impart in them the reality that we are created by our loving Creator so we need to be creative and express our great appreciation of all things around us by means of art like painting. Every Tuesday and Thursday night is their artworks and painting time with myself.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Sr. Venus Marie S. Pegar, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Filipina Artist, Reflections, Nun Artist, Nun Paintings

The subject of painting is Estes Park in the U.S. where her best friend lives that she hopes to visit in Gods time.

As a nun, you also get to serve at masses. What is your role? Are you part of the choir, lector, communion minister, or donation collector?

Besides being a formator and vocation directress of our congregation, I’m also help in our mission in taking care of the elderly in our institution, the Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and Abandoned. We serve and cater to 20 abandoned senior citizens. We have our own Sunday Mass wherein we ourselves are the choir, commentator, and lector. I also teach our candidates about music, singing, and playing guitar; flute and keyboard, a bit.

Who are the artists you look up to?

I look up to all the artists with their artistic masterpieces but recently, I have been admiring the works of United Women Artists Association of the Philippines (UWAAP)most especially, the obras (paintings) of Ms. Menchu Arandilla (Please check my featured post on Menchu here). So amazing!

How do you juggle your roles? What is your weekly schedule? What is your best art work? Tell us about it. Do you sell your paintings?

I just do my paintings on my free time. I don’t let it intervene with my mission work in the congregation. I paint during our evening recreation and sometimes Sunday afternoon.

The best painting I have is my second try with the oil painting, the sunflower. I took a picture of that sunflower somewhere in Tagaytay as we had our first community outing. I like sunflowers so I’m planning to paint more of it.

Before, I never thought of selling my art as I used to just give my charcoal paintings to some friends. But now I realized that I could contribute to the financial needs of our Formation and Mission Program of our Congregation. Wishing, I get to sell my art works and with the help of UWAAP (Check my UWAAP post here: Filipinas all over gather for love of art at the 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit) I will fulfill my wish.

I would like to experience an art exhibit showcasing my works. This will be my first exposure to the art world and thanks to this article; she hopes to get more exposure.

What is the latest about you? Where can people view your work? Any upcoming exhibits or events you would like people to know about?   

I only started painting seriously. I just simply post it on my Facebook account. People can also just view the page of UWAAP as I also update my ongoing paintings there.

UWAAP, United Women Artists Association of the Philippines, Empowered Filipina Artists, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA), 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit, Ang Bagong Pinay, Pinay, Filipina, Filipina Artist, Art Summit, Women Empowerment, Art Exhibit, Interaction Painting, Philippines

UWAAP Member Artist. United Women Artists Association of the Philippines is an association of empowered Filipina artists in the Philippines and abroad.

All images courtesy of the artist.


Featured Artist: Marilyn Santos-De Lima

Marylyn like me started joining artist groups. In the beginning, she would just like all the art works until she started painting. A self-taught artist, guided by her Master artist friends from 4S Group Style Stroke Sketches Society made her more confident to pursue arts.

I came across Marilyn Santos-De Lima @ AFKN Filipino Art Community and viewed her albums and said to myself, she can be an inspiration to all Pinays here and abroad. So I asked her if I can feature her art journey in my blog, and she happily obliged.

Now this feature is in Tagalog and English (The same as my Featured Artist: Lord Ahzrin Bacalla post.). I try to keep the artist insights as original as possible with accompanying English translation for non-Tagalog readers. I’d like to be fair on the featured artist part, as he or she took the time out to answer their artist insights from the bottom of their hearts art journey.

A Bulaquena and a former overseas worker, who found solace in the arts, shared her art journey to me and to my blog. Enjoy!

When did you decide that you wanted to become an artist? At what age did you start? Who influenced you? What inspired you?

Ako ay isang batang laki sa iskwater at hirap sa buhay na nahihilig sa Art. Bata pa lang po ako ay mahilig na po akong magdrowing basta nakakakita ako ng lapis at papel. Mahilig din ako mag ekperimento sa larangan ng mga kraft. May kapit bahay kaming. Artist magaling siyang artist. Nauubos ang  oras ko at hindi naibebenta ang nilalako ko na paninda sa kapapanood sa kanya.

(I grew up in the slums yet I like art. I always drew when I got hold of paper and pencil. I like to experiment in crafts. We had a neighbor who was an artist back then and I would get distracted me from making sales as a street vendor when I see him paints.)

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s art studies.

What do you specialize in when it comes to painting? Are there other art forms that you do?

Lahat ng klase ng midyum pinag-aaralan ko. Sa ngayon ay nasa oil painting na ako at sumusubok na rin sa canvas.

Pero nang napasok ako ng 4S at kinausap ng head admin, sinabihan ako na magpokus muna sa isang midyum at karamihan ng nagawa ko sa ngayon ay gawa sa pastel at colored pencil.

Sa mga gawa ko ring ‘yon ay nanalo ako bilang 1st runner-up at finalist. Nakapag-eksibit na rin sa Japan, nakapag-komisyon na rin.

Portrait ang nakakahiligan ko sa ngayon pero ang balak ko ngayong 2015 ay harapin ko na ang takot ko sa malalaking canvas at sa pintura at uumpisahan ko nang gumawa ng landscape at still-life oil man o acrylic.

(I study different kind of art mediums. I’m trying oil paintings on canvas now. Since I joined 4s, I was advised by the head admin to focus on one medium first. Prior to oil, I would use paste and colored pencil. I’ve won 1st Runner-Up and became finalist for it. I’ve also gone on exhibit in Japan and was commissioned. I like doing portraits but this 2015, I plan to face my fear of big canvases. I will start painting landscapes and still-life, in oil or acrylic.)

You worked as an OFW and then you became a businesswoman. Where did art come into the picture? How did it make it to your plans?

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s very first Oil on Canvas 18×20.

Nag-aabrod ako at ‘pag umuuwi ako ng Pinas, hindi nawawala sa akin pagiging crafty. Madalas ako mag-sketch, (I go abroad and when I go home to the Philippines, I don’t lose being crafty. I often sketch) mostly charcoal, at ipa-freym kong mga iyon (and I have those framed).

Mahilig din ako sa (I also like) cross-stitch.

May mga gawa ako na (I have creations of) cross-stitch, 1997-1999.

Mahilig din akong mag-ayos ng bahay, simula sa kurtina (I also like to do interior design, from the curtains), center table, flower arrangement at ‘pag may handaan ay mahilig ako mag-ayos ng mga buffet settings (at parties, I also like to set the tables), simula sa (from the) table arrangement flowers, balloons, etc.

Hanggang sa nagtayo rin ako ng (Until I put up a) flower, gift shop & catering service dahil mahilig din ako sa food arts (because I’m also fond of culinary arts), hindi nga lang pinalad dahil salat sa kaalaman (it failed though because I lacked the knowledge).

Nag-aral din akong gumawa ng kandila sa (I also studied candle making at) Negoskwela at ang mentor ko ay si (where I was mentored by) Merlin Gepte anak ni (son of) Merlito Gepte, a sculpture artist.

Nagpokus naman ako sa paggawa ng kandila as sculpture at paggawa ng mga molde (I also focused on doing wax work).

Naging hanapbuhay ko rin siya sa loob ng tatlong taon pero nabuntis ako at natigil ko iyon dahil masama sa buntis ang amoy ng wax ‘pag niluluto pero patuloy pa rin ako sa pag-ukit ng wax at paggawa ng mga molde para sa mga design.

(It became my job for three years until I got pregnant and had to quit because the fumes were bad for the baby but I did it again after giving birth).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s portrait rendition by Filipino Master Artist Rafael Maniago.

2013, nakita ko sa (I saw here on) Facebook si Maestro Merlito Gepte. Naging friends kami (We became friends).

Sumunod naman si (Next were) Maestro Fernando Sena at (and) Julius Legaspi, mga artist sa pagpipinta (all artists who paint).

Taga-like lang ako ng mga gawa nila at simula noon (I was simply a liker of the works they posted then and from then on), unti-unti na rumami ang mga friends ko na artist painter, mga kinikilala sa larangan ng sining biswal (slowly, my painter friends multiplied until even those prominent names in the visual arts too made my friends list).

Taong ito, nakapasok na rin ako sa mga art group pero tagahanga lang nila ako at taga-like. (This year, I joined art groups but only as a fun and avid liker).

Early this year, nagdro ako at inaplowd ko sa (I drew and uploaded it on) Facebook. May mga nag-like at nag-comment (There were people who liked and commented).

Sabi ng isang artist, “Sabi ko na nga, marunong ka rin  eh.” (One of the artists said, “I knew it that you had it in you.”)

Doon ako nag-umpisang ma-encourage at magpatuloy sa paggagawa hanggang sa dumami ang mga friend kong artist at naaya akong pumasok sa isang (It was then that I got encouraged, my artist friends grew in numbers and I was persuaded to join an) Artist Group, 4S.

Napasubo akong gumawa.

Sobra pa akong takot noon sa mga kulay dahil (I was pressured. I was scared of colors because) pencil at (and) charcoal palang mga nagagawa ko (was what I only knew) pero sa tuloy-tuloy kong paggawa ay nakagawa ako ng isang obra na nagpanalo sa akin bilang (but I just went on creating until I made a masterpiece that won for me) 1st runner-up sa  (at the) tournament ng (of) 4S.

Doon na nagsimula ang lahat hanggang sa weekly na iinterbyu na ako at nirerepresent ko na ang mga artist sa grupo ko hanggang sa nagulat na lang ako at ginawa nila akong admin ng (It all started from there until I got a weekly interview {on AM radio} representing the) 4S group ni (of) Pops Noel David na (the) founder ng (of) 4S Style Stroke Sketches Society.

Nasorpresa ako nang gawin nila akong admin ng (I was surprised when they hired me as admin of) 4S.

Is there anyone else besides you in your family who is into art?

Gumuguhit din ang tatay ng nanay ko, kaya lang sa hirap ng buhay at kailangan niyang maghanap buhay nasaisang tabi niya ang (My mother’s father also drew but because he had to support the family, he had less time for the) arts.

Ang mga tiyo at tiya ko ay mahilig din. Maging tatay ko at mga kapatid ko. (My uncles, aunts, my father and my siblings are into art too).

May pamangkin din ako na nakakasabayan ko na rin sa pagguhit at pagpinta (The child of my sibling was also into drawing and painting).

Ipinasok ko siya sa (I entered the child as member of) 4S para lalo pa niyang mapagbuti (for further talent development).

Ang mga anak, ko ay mga musikero naman (My children on the other hand are into music).

They like playing instruments and vocals sa banda (in a band).

Ang pinakabata kong anak na lalake ay (My youngest son is a) dancer. Ang bunso ko na nag-iisang babae na (My youngest child and only daughter who is) six years old ay nagiging (is growing up to be a) singer, dancer, at pintor (and painter).

Artistik talaga ang pamilya namin. Iba-iba lang (Everyone in my family is an artist, only in different ways).  <Tumatawa – laughs>

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

This is a piece of art work she won 1st Runner Up on 3rd Anniversary Painting Contest called “Pinay in Japan.”

Are there any regrets in your life in the path you chose now?

Wala naman akong (I don’t have any) regrets kasi lahat naman ng nangyayari sa buhay natin ay may rason, may kanya-kanyang (because everything happens for a reason and a) purpose.

Pero kung mayroon man, hayun siguro ay ang maaga akong nagkaanak dahil hindi ko na-enjoy ang kabataan ko dahil sa hirap. Lahat ng puwede kong gawing source of income ko para makaahon ang pamilya ko, ginawa ko.

(If there was, that would be my becoming a mother at an early age. I didn’t enjoy my childhood because I needed to work extra hard to address my family’s needs and lift us all from poverty).

Kaya ‘di ko naipagpatuloy pag-aaral ko (That’s why I wasn’t able to finish school). Panganay kasi ako (I am the eldest child of my parents).

Although may trabaho si Tatay (my Dad had work), malaki ang pamilya namin, hindi sumasapat (but we have a big family and what he earned wasn’t enough).

Masalimuot ang kabataan ko subalit kailangan nating mag-(I had a rough childhood but we all must) move on to live in this world na makabuluhan (with meaning).

How does art make you feel?

Malaking bagay ang art sa akin (Art means a lot to me).

Nagiging masaya ako nakakalimutan ko ang mga problema ko ‘pag nakakatapos ako ng Obra ko at na uplowd ko na siya sa (It makes me happy and forget my problems especially when I finish a Masterpiece of mine and I upload it on) Facebook.

Nakikita ko ang mga (When I see the likes at (and) comments, sobrang saya ko na (that gives me much joy already).

Kapag may nagtitiwala sa akin at nagpapagawa ng (When someone trusts me to do their) portrait nila, sobrang saya ko (that gives me so much joy).

What is your best work? Favorite work? Most acclaimed/awarded work? You’re best achievement?

Sa ngayon po, baguhan pa lang po kasi ako. Ang masasabi ko lang na (I’m just new to all this that’s why I can say that my) best para sa akin ay ’yong pagkapanalo ko bilang (is when I won) 1st runner-up, ‘yong mga (my) exhibits ko sa (in) Japan at ‘yong (and my) portrait ng (of the) first family na gawa ko (that I did).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Her first exhibit held in Shinjuku Tokyo Japan at Mama Aki’s Ihawanshinjuku Kabukicho.

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Marilyn Santos-De Lima’s first commission work.

You do PR work now. How is it so far?

Nakakatuwa (I feel happy).

Naging (I became) PR  Admin ako agad sa (in a short time to our) group namin sa 4S.

Eto kasi si (All because) Pops natuwa sa akin kasi daw (believes I am the group’s) lucky charm ako. <laughs>

Hindi ko inisip ‘yon kasi para sa akin kung ano man ang tagumpay na mayroon ako ngayon ay tinatanaw kong malaking utang na loob kay (I don’t let it get to my head because whatever success I enjoy now, I owe it all to) Pops Noel David at sa mga (and to the) members ng (of) 4S, lalo na kay (especially to) Sir Norberto Villez, Tani Santos, Maryrose Soriano, Armar Ramirez, Marko Bello, Fher Mission, kasi sila ang nag-ga-(because they) guide sa akin (me) ‘pag may mga (when I have a) question ako.

Sa totoo lang, wala talaga akong kaalam-alam.

Basta guhit lang ako ng guhit (In truth, I don’t know anything. I just draw and draw). ‘Yong mga (All those) terms na (such as) medium grid, freehand, etc. <laughs>

Sa labas naman ng grupo namin, lubos akong (Outside the group, I’m also very) thankful kasi napasok din ako ng (because I also got to be a member of) ArtPhil.

Kina (To) Buhay Mendoza, Budz Convocar, Arturo Cruz, Joel Ferraris, Fidel Sarmiento, Matthius Garcia, na sinabihan akong ituloy ko lang ang paggawa ko kasi walang mali sa art, lahat tama basta galing sa puso (who advised me to continue my craft because there is no wrong or right in art, as long as it comes from the heart).

Sa (To) foreign artist na si Jesse Quintanilla na (who) step-by-step tinuruan din ako (taught me too), si (to) Sir Lito Ballaran na nagtiyagang mag-crop ng work ko (who had the patience to crop my work), kay (to) Mestro Rafael Maniago na napaka-(who’s very) down to earth sa kabila ng kasikatan niya (even if he’s famous) managed to guide and teach me, kay (to) Aubrey Pabuhat Yano, para sa mga (for her) artist na connections niya sa (in) Japan sa (for the) commercial ng mga gawa naming (of our art works), kay (to) Ma’am Nitz Cea na (a fellow) art enthusiast  na nag-(who did) encourage me na mag-(to do a) weekly DJ job on Radio Net Japan Tokyo Raydio Filipino, that got me appointed by Pops Noel David as Public Relations officer  kasi madaldal daw ako at mahilig daw makipag(because they say I am talkative and love to) communicate <laughs>.

Mahirap ang PR work (is hard) sa grupo namin na (in our group) 4S kasi may mga baguhang papasok (because there are newbies who join).

Need mo silang i-(to) guide (them), Minsan personal works ko nabibitin gawin kasi need kong gawin ang task ko as PR pero masaya kasi marami akong nakikilalang bagong kaibigan (Sometimes I sacrifice my time to finish my paintings just to attend to the needs of my PR job but it’s fun because I get to meet many new friends).

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

SEMI Finalist out of 28 entry’s on a Precious Child Tournament.

Do you get to travel? As an OFW, have your experiences in foreign soil influenced your art? What countries have you been to? Did you do any painting while there?

Sa pag-aabrod (When I was) in 90s, naikot namin ang (was able to travel around) Asia like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong as group at mahilig akong bumili ng mga (and I loved to buy) art works.

From 1999 to 2002, I was as an Overseas Performing Artist or OPA in Japan.

Mahilig pa rin akong mag-(I still loved to) sketch at mag-(and to) design doon (there).

I did Design ‘pag may (at every) event ang (of our) company.

Minsan may isang (Once there was a) Japanese na natuwa sa akin dahil sa (who liked my) sketch ko sa (on) table napkin.

My works were requested and then I was invited to an exhibit where I saw works of D’ Vinci Monet Picasso etc.

Nagulat talaga ako at sobrang tuwa ko (I was really surprised and overjoyed).

The Japanese offered if I wanted to pursue further studies on painting but it was not on my itinerary and so I forgot about it.

What are your future plans for the next five years? Any upcoming significant event to you that you would like to promote?

Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Confessions, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Confessions, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Marilyn Santos-De Lima, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections

Please support our own and watch her radio show, Raydio Filipino Tokyo.

Gusto ko makagawa ng isang Obra na kikilalanin talaga at makakatulong sa mga kapwa ko (Filipino Artist) para sa Bansa natin (I want to create something that will really be big internationally and will benefit our fellow Filipino Artists and the Philippines).

Sa (On) January 10,zd may (we have an) exhibit, 4S Group Artists entitled Abbygale in Style Stroke Sketches Society” at Four Seasons, Tokyo, Japan.

Panoorin ninyo rin po sana kami tuwing Sabado (Please also tune in to watch us every Saturday), 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Raydio Filipino Tokyo Radio net where I am co-DJ, sa paghahangad na maipakilala ang sining nating mga Filipino sa buong mundo (who aims to promote our Filipino art worldwide).


All images are courtesy of Marilyn Santos-De Lima unless noted otherwise.

Feel free to contact Marilyn (Apple D Apps) via Facebook.


Featured Artist: Marivel Mari-Galang

HER ART is her way to experience the pleasure and fulfilment that comes with the positive creation concept of colors, textures, techniques and evolution of form from its start to end. This dedicated homemaker of a banker found peace of mind and her heart rooted in art while keeping a watchful eye on her children who constantly dote on her. She is presently the founding member and treasurer of UWAAP (United Women’s Art Association of the Philippines).

Her challenging health that she suffered while she was a student and the sacrifices of her art career and being a mother to two kids may have been a cross that she had to bear all these years but she stands firm and is happy with her footing.

She is a veteran of painting circles, and has joined many art exhibits. She also sits as a judge and mentor to different workshops and painting competitions. She has showcased her works in numerous venues and sold pieces that made it internationally.

Jenny’s Serendipity’s featured artist’s is Marivel Mari-Galang. Get to know her art journey and how she was inspired by the divine:

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

“BEAUTIFUL” – Experimental Series #1 May2012… Beauty is how you perceive ART around us. Challenges in life will make and break us. At the end of the day, stand tall and move on gracefully with Heaven’s boundless Love & Blessings to share along. Simplicity is indeed a Beauty with depth… — at ArtAsia Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong Philippines.. MAY 17 – 31, 2012…

You are a veteran already in the visual arts circle. You sound like a lucky lady surviving all those years with art alone. How has it been for you? Describe your saga and triumphs in the pursuit of this passion you have carved as a sideline career, being a full-time mother and wife.

Oh, seems like a veteran to be there by just doing and loving what I created, creating, allowing the viewers, and time to tell na lang.

Lucky? Blessed enough with what I’ve been through had no shortcuts; then, I turned my mindset creatively and enjoyed my early days in FINE ARTS that I majored in Painting at PWU, which challenged me to do better each day just to prove to my late beloved father my choice has made me happier and there’s really life in Art.

At first, it wasn’t easy. Our professors then will just gave us lectures and the rest you have do it yourself. You show your work, and will only guide you once and your next artworks outcome will be your grade na.sobrang (too much) freedom ibibigay sa’yo (they will give to you), kaya dapat ‘wag kang makuntento (you get a lot of slack from the professor but you shouldn’t be contented). You must ask and ask until the deadline is not near yet; or else, you’ll enjoy your grades from 1, 2, 3, and 5. You get a failing grade or better yet, repeat the plates and stay like an owl finishing your plates to get excellent or favorable grades than failed…WE used to have sleepless nights just to pass…

Later part, our school then allowed students to join several art competitions, on the spot, interschool, local, and international, representing our respective schools. You can be lucky to bag grand prizes even honorables etc, wow na wow talaga, you’ll get flat uno, exemptions to all subjects and Dean’s Lister’s. Then, dito lang ako nag-enjoy ng sobra-sobra noong kabataang estudyante ako. (Only here, I enjoyed my studies)

But my health suffered sa kapupuyat (for staying up late). Got sick due to kung sa sipag at tiyaga (patience and hard work) with my artworks since I never say no to it. That is only when I slowed down because of my health.

I learned a lot in the school of art, with schoolmates who turned buddies, professors, different people, from the vendors, janitors – kasi (because) we need them for our plate subjects. Reaching out to the masa, kasama ‘yan sa sining or else kulang ang pagiging isang tunay na pagiging artist (working with art aren’t complete if you don’t deal with the masses). ‘Yan, I learned (that), and deeper pa.

When I won the grand prize at the Folk Arts experience in 1980 and others, I felt the beauty of victory, na para bang mag-(that even if I) hybernated man ako, mayroon akong babalikan, itutuloy at iiwanang mabuting legacy sa kids ko, naging students, sa young generations, mapulutan man lang ng inspirasyon sa simpleng buhay sining aking nakayanan. (I will have something to return to and leave a legacy for my children and to all my students).

I was still single and a student when everything then was so easy at home even with the absence of my mother, my late father’s heroic supportiveness to me made me enjoy my art journey further.

Married life made me understand fully my stand to my commitment at home as a wife, and as a mom. I asked myself: What if I can’t find a trustworthy house helper anymore to assist me with house chores, etc.? Will I quit being married or go on with life, but then again I told myself NO to selfishness momentarily. My decision to be a hands-on-mom and ever supportive wife-partner to my one and only hubby will go on with God’s grace.

I made diskarte then that ART won’t leave my system. I do summer art workshops at different schools, home studios, galleries, at church and for our community. There’s decent life with art. Whatever happened then, I survived with realistic adjustment in life and willingness to stand up for every failure. The creativity turned out to be very productive in my life.

You mentioned that you offered an entire exhibit to the Lord. Are you a pastor’s wife? How old are your kids now? Are they also into art? How does your husband support your craft?

Thou ART in Me” was titled that way, not because I’m a pastor’s daughter or wife, DAHIL (because) it’s my way of gratefulness, THANKSGIVING to our GOD; The Giver, Blessor of everything. It’s my way of paying forward for the gifts and talent entrusted to us, so it’s fine with me having it sold, reserved or no sale at all. It’s alright with me.

I’m blessed with two children: my eldest is 25 – Hannah, who is a registered Interior Designer and part-time faculty at CSB. While David, my youngest is 21, is still in school finishing Multi-Media Arts. He doesn’t have many classes though because of his health condition but he’s into MMA- Multi Media Arts here in Southville. Both my children have art interest too. Both in a more techy way but they do freehand works as well.

My husband is in corporate banking and officer to one of our country’s top 5 although by profession, he is a Licensed Civil-Structural Engineer. God hath been so good enough to us, even we started as family from little, and my faith in having a talent and proper education made us live simple beginnings. Yes, my hubby supports me by driving, bringing me to my workshops, exhibits, and buys me art materials when I lack budget for my art stuff. It’s optional, not by force though. He’s my number one critic too. He is very good at reading people and their actions.

You teach art to poor children. You studied at PWU (Philippine Women’s University). Was there a point in time that you considered to join the academe full-time as art teacher to elementary students?

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

Joyful Moment with these beautiful kids ages 2yo to 6yo this Artsy at Le Louis Learning Center Inc…

There are too many talented but under-privileged kids, special, or disabled kids that I teach part time as per my doctor friends requests, and part of their art therapy and advocacies. It’s more on volunteerism projects.

Yes, there was a time I was a sub-art teacher at Brent School, Pasig. They hired me for full-time but I cannot sacrifice time looking after my kids and just leaving them with their nannies or house helpers. I could not leave my son because he had seizures with seasonal asthma every time the weather changes.

My daughter always had sad moments when I left them after a 10 hour day. She had flu due to tonsillitis from feasting on all the sweets in the kitchen when I was gone. And she was crying the whole time while she was devouring all the candies, ice cream, chocolates and cookies that she could find. I felt so bad for my kids being home alone without me.

I couldn’t afford to be working full-time teaching other kids while my own at home were having problems. I cannot trust nannies because my kids got bruised and bumps sometimes that the pediatrician advised that an adult must stay home to watch over the children.

Those were the times I received many jobs invitations, even to Singapore as a children art teacher to their in progress museum and part-time visual artist way back 1995 to 2000. But family and my kids matter most over career, fame, and money. After all, it’s all worth it. No amount of money will equate my kids’ progress and quality in character. I didn’t compromise my kids and family’s welfare.

I do business with Rustan’s as part-time designer and supplier. Plus, I manage a transportation business to school service where my kids then had their primary to middle, and high schools. Somehow I can watch and take care of my family with little business to help. Plus, as part-time art teacher to selected schools as my way to stay in the arts and help our family breadwinner as well. Teaching is ongoing, all year round for me.

What was your first masterpiece and when did you create it?

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

“Playtime with Greens”..18×24..Acrylic on Canvass..1980..5th of March..,30 yrs old painting..This is her gift to her late beloved Father.. Framed simply, box typed black paint by the late sir IBARRA dela Rosa, one of her mentor and professor at PWU-CMFA…Her Father and Prof/mentor has gone but this painting is still with her hanging in her workplace that serves as her inspiration to go on..

Wow, this is so sentimental. I really had an artwork titled “Masterpiece.”  It’s a heavenly image, the style was so tedious but ended like a 3d effect on canvas, we had it exhibited our three-woman show – “TROIKA,” sometime 1981-1982. After our exhibit, we brought it home and somebody bought it flew with it to Canada! I’m still trying to find some saved photos of my artworks way back, hoping to find them around soon. I called, titled my serious artworks my “MASTERPIECE.” The playful ones are my plates with a heart in it too.

What is your most cherished work and why?

That is my daughter Hannah’s unfinished portrait when she was four to five years old, in oil and acrylic, 1995. It was my first portrait of her anticipating how she will look like when aged 18 and above. It’s still with us and she treasured it much.

Marivel Mari-Galang, Art, Art for Sale, Art Profile, Artist, Artist Insights, Artist Journey, Artist Profile, Artist Reflections, Featured Artist, Filipina Artist, Philippines, Pinay Artist, Reflections, Artist Confessions

Marivel Mari-Galang 1994 Unfinished Oil Painting on canvas. Her daughter Hannah was only 5 years old. She pictured here how she’ll be as grown up. She found this hidden with her other treasured art pieces.

Your paintings make it to homes in four countries. How so? Describe this entrepreneurial achievement.

My early days in college were really a bigtime for me. I was lucky due to my late father’s friends’ friends, relatives who used to visit us at home. They would see my artworks all over the garage, the backyard loan, and all over the walls of our home. They will just pick and ask me when I reach home from school. They will reserve it as gifts for their homes and some flew with them to Canada, California, Vegas, Australia, and Hawaii; even around the Philippines, including Visayas and Mindanao.

When I was a student artist, I only sold two pieces at a group exhibits and the prices then were low. Chamba ang benta (You sell with luck). Sometimes people will request me and order and then there are times I will just give my works away as gifts. Entrepreneurial achievement is most likely doable and workable. I survive via commission for a portrait. For my HG Interiors package, it’s like more on half mural and mural sizes selectively. I don’t paint thinking of money.

I paint and create because I love it then when prospective owners buyers come, they will come even when you’re sleeping. You’ll find their messages on their requests and orders. One must learn how to save and reproduce for the next journey. When you have the right attitude, timing and vibes, even without a handler, it is possible to have decent entrepreneurial achievement by being with the right people and at the right places.

What is your expertise when painting? What are your favorite subjects?

I’m into Abstraction, non-rep. My favorite subject then was leaves. Using my playfulness in tech colors, I spread them around my canvas into different forms, reinventing mixtures of colors and textures, that’s how I create.

Who are your influences, local and foreign when you thought of going the route of an artist, which you realized in your high school days?

Influences here were my father’s nun cousin. I saw one of her oil painting – still life of a San Francisco plant. She visited us after her workshop from Amorsolo, and then I told myself, someday, I will be painting too.

My father smiled at me and said – “Pang-hobby lang ‘yan anak.. Magpaturo ka sa auntie mo or mag-CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) ka.” (That’s only good as a hobby. Ask your aunt to teach you or enroll at CCP).

I remembered what my father said from the start of my art journey till my dream came true. An artist will always be an artist. Agelessly, local masters, almost all of them: Van Gogh, Matisse, Joan Miro, and Glee inspire me.

What is a regular day like for you?

Mondays to Fridays are my regular days. Being a hands-on-mom, homemaker, little business errands, family matters, always a supportive partner to my hubby, kids, and friends like family in the art and outside. Saturdays are meant for workshops and art activities. Sunday is our Lord’s Day with family and bonding.

As a part of UWAAP, an active judge and mentor at art competitions and coaching poor kids in the arts, are there any events you might want to plug? 

2015 will be a fully loaded year.  UWAAP will be turning ONE Year this 11th of JANUARY. There are some scheduled celebration and this to be announced soon. (Check my UWAAP post here: Filipinas all over gather for love of art at the 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit).

FEBRUARY  18 –  I was asked to head judging the annual PDA, poster making contest nationwide for elementary levels, venue to be announced since this will be an on the spot competitions.

MARCH – I am getting ready for a women’s month long invitational group exhibit by another friend.

MAY – Mother & Son exhibit for Mother’s Day and followed by my 2nd SOLO Woman Art Exhibit, venue update will follow soon.

Upcoming outside the country group exhibit too, almost after every two months my two art groups have exhibits scheduled. Still need to double check for the times.

UWAAP, United Women Artists Association of the Philippines, Empowered Filipina Artists, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA), 1st SBMA ‘Bagong Pinay’ Arts Summit, Ang Bagong Pinay, Pinay, Filipina, Filipina Artist, Art Summit, Women Empowerment, Art Exhibit, Interaction Painting, Philippines

UWAAP Member Artist. United Women Artists Association of the Philippines is an association of empowered Filipina artists in the Philippines and abroad.

All images are courtesy of Marivel Mari-Galang.

To contact the artist, please feel free to like her Facebook page. 

Featured Artist: Lord Ahzrin Bacalla

SHEER GRIT and TALENT in painting is what got one kid visual artist, Lord Azhrin D. Bacalla, closer to his dreams after being discovered and sponsored to his schooling now at Navotas Science High School.

It is his dream to inspire all Filipino kids to dream big and never give up.

According to our Facebook chat, he mentioned that with hard work and determination, he knows one day he will succeed in life as a painter.

It is in the Philippine Horticultural Society Inc (PHSI) ART COMPETITION 2013 where he got the chance to learn art from Master Artist Fernando Serna. He asked if he could use his 2 art workshop stubs to be able to attend his art classes.  He said, no problem, you are an art scholar for life.

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This article is the longest article I have done and this is the most personal.  I have never met such a kid like Ahzrin with so much grit for the love of his art.  I am practically close to 3,000 words and I could not edit it down.  All I want is for this kid to succeed and I know he will. I sent him a couple interview questions for his artist insights and this is what he said:

You’re so young. Only 13 years old. Grade 8 in High School. At what age did you start painting? Who or what influenced you to pursue it?

Bata pa lang po ako mahilig na akong mag-drawing.  (I love drawing since I was a child.) (I was) Nine-years-old po ako nang una akong sumali sa isang (when I first joined an) on the spot poster making contest. Luckily, nanalo po ako ng (I won) second place.  Simula po noon, nagustuhan ko ng sumali sa mga (Since then, I liked joining) drawing and poster making competitions sa (with the) guidance ng papa ko na si (of my father) Dario Bacalla.  Marami po akong sinalihan na mga (I joined many) drawing competitions, simula sa (from) school napunta sa mga (to) district competitions, division level, NCR, regional at (and) international.  Kadalasan masuwerte naman po ako na nananalo. (I’m lucky to win, most of the time.)

His first time to join a drawing competion at 9 yrs. old.

His first time to join a drawing competion at 9 yrs. old.

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Gusto ko pong magkaroon ng isang  (I want to have) formal art lesson or makaranas ng mga (experience) art workshop, pero  hindi naming kaya na mag-(but we can’t afford to) enroll sa mga ganoon (to it) dahil sapat lang po ang kinikita ni (because) Papa para sa mga (only earns enough for our) needs naminAkala ko noon hanggang pangarap na lang pero isang araw dumating ang (I thought that I could only dream about this until it arrived, the) opportunity.  Nakita ni Papa ang isang (saw an) announcement online na magkakaroon ng (that a) drawing contest bukod sa (was going to take place and the) cash prize at (and) art materials, magkakaroon ng (there will also be) free summer art workshop ang mananalo (for the winners) sponsored by Rotary Club of Makati-Pasong Tamo at (and the) Art Discovery and Learning Foundation, Inc. ni (of) Sir Fernando Sena ang (the) Father of the Philippine Art Workshop. Naging (I was) first place po ako out of more than a hundred participants. Masayang-masaya po ako. (I was very happy). Nagsimula ang (My) Free Summer Art Workshop ko (started) April 2012.  Sa (At the) summer art workshop, isa po ako sa naging (I was one of those who became) outstanding student ni (of) Sir Sena, at dahil sa nakita niya daw po sa akin ang tiyaga at determinasyon kinuha na niya akong scholar niya sa pagpipinta. (and because he saw the patience and determination in me, he took me in as scholar in painting.) Isa po ako sa maraming (I am one of the many) under-priviledged children na binigyan niya ng (he gave) opportunity na maipagpatuloy at ma-(to continue and) develop ang talent sa pagpipinta (in painting).  Kaya ngayon po ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin akong nagsasanay sa kanya. (That is why I continue my training with him.)

You’ve won two international competitions and was awarded by the NCAA    because of it. Tell us about these experiences. Who urged you to join internationally? What were the themes of your winning works?

 **UNGEI Drawing Contest 2012-2013.  Ang UNGEI (United Nations Global Education Initiative) ay isang (is a) branch ng UNESCO.

The theme was:   “What can a teacher do to ensure girls and boys benefit equally from quality  education?”

*Isa po ako sa mga nanalo (I was one of the winners) in over 800 entries in the Asia Pacific Region.

**The 2013 International Drawing Competition by YUNGA (Youth United Nations and Global Alliance) had the theme: “Protecting our Fisheries Inheriting a Healthier World.”

*I finished at Second Place in the Under 11-15 years old category. I won in over 1000 entries from 50 different  countries.

Dahil po sa pag-encourage sa akin ni Papa, nagpadala po ako ng entry outside the country at hindi po ako natatakot ipakita ang kakayahan ko dahil palagi nasa tabi ko si Papa. (Because of Papa’s encouragement, I sent an entry internationally and I am not scared to compete because he is very supportive of me.) Dahil po dito, (Because of this, on) February 2, 2014 ay naging (I became an) awardee po ako sa (at the) 6th ANI NG DANGAL ng (of the) NCCA for achieving the highest level of excellence in the field of visual arts. At para po sa akin, isa po iyon malaking karangal at  (And for me, that is one big honor and) inspiration para lalo kong pagbutihin ang aking ginagawa (to keep improving what I am doing).

You are a student of Navotas Science High School and yet, you are inclined towards the arts. How does that work for you?

 As a student of Navotas Science High School, I balance my time in studying and painting.  But I give more priority to my studies, since I’m in a special science class and I have a certain grade to maintain. I must see to it that I get excellent grades.

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Is your inclination towards painting a prelude that you will be taking up Fine Arts in college? 

Yes. Gusto ko po talagang kumuha ng kursong (I really want to take up the course) Fine Arts at sana po matupad ‘yon (and I hope it comes true). Sana maging (I hope to become an) academic scholar ako.

What was your first masterpiece when you started as a painter? And what was your first winning piece?

Hindi pa po ako talagang nagpipinta noon eh. (I wasn’t really painting before.) (I was in) Grade 3 po ako, (at) nine years old noong unang manalo (when I first won). Iyong unang (My first) winning piece ko po may (had the) theme na: “Pangangalaga sa Wika at Kalikasan, Wagas na Pagmamahal  Talagang Kailangan” (True Love Is Really Needed to Preserve Language and Nature).

What is your most important work? Most awarded?

Bukod po sa dalawang napanalunan ko sa (Aside from my two wins from) UNGEI (UNESCO) at (and) YUNGA, maituturing ko po na ‘yong ginawa ko sa (I consider what I did at the) on the spot painting competition ng (of) Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) last December 13, 2014 na napasama (that made it) as finalist  ay (as my) most awarded. Ito po ‘yong obra na (It’s my masterpiece with the) title ko po ay “Don’t Look at Me.”  Kasi po nakasama ko po ‘yong maraming magagaling na artist. Ang iba pa po sa kanila mga hinahangaan ko po.  Kaya po nang mapasama po ako as finalist kahit hindi po nanalo ay isang malaking karangalan na po sa akin at ako po ‘yong pinakabatang sumali doon at napabilang sa finalist. (I didn’t win but I was a finalist and I felt honored being the youngest and meeting professionals and my idols there was a privilege for me already.)

Lord Ahzrin Bacalla and Sir Fernando Serna

Lord Ahzrin Bacalla and Sir Fernando Serna, Master Teacher

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Acrylic, Oil, Soft Pastel, Oil Pastel; Hyperrealism, Portrait, Still-life, Surrealism. What drew you to do these and choose these forms of art?

Noong hindi pa po ako (When I wasn’t a) scholar sa (yet in the) painting class ni (of) Sir Fernando Sena, madalas ko pong gamitin ay  (I often used) oil pastel dahil pamilyar na po ako sa (because I was already familiar with that) medium na ‘yon.  At sa mga (And at) on the spot contest(s) po na sinasalihan ko, kadalasan (that I joined, often) oil pastel po ang (is the) medium na ipinagagamit nila (that they make us use). Sa pagtuturo po ni (In the teachings of) Sir Sena at ng kanyang (and his) staff, unti-unti kong natutunan ang iba’t-ibang (I learn piece by piece various) painting medium(s), na sinasabayan ko rin po ng pagbabasa, ‘pag re-(that I reinforce with reading when I do) research at panonood (and viewing) online kung paano gamitin ang iba’t-ibang klase ng (how to use the different) painting medium(s). Saka nagtatanong-tanong din po ako sa ibang (I also ask my) FB friends ko na (who are also) artist(s).

Pinag-aaralan ko ang iba’t-ibang (I study various) painting style(s) para matuto po ako at i-(so I will learn and) challenge ko po ang sarili ko sa kung ano ‘yong mga kaya kong gawin (to know myself and what else I can do).  Saka po sabi po ni Sir Sena (told me) bago lumipat ng ibang (before you jump to a different) style dapat po alam mo na or na-(you should have learned and) perfect mo na ang ibang (the prior) style of painting na gusto  mong malaman (that you wanted to learn).

“3 of his favorite paintings”

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What is your most cherished work? Your favorite and why?

Sa mga nagawa ko na po, tatlo ang (Among my works, I have three) favorite(s) ko. Sa (From my) series ko po ng “I Am Beautiful” ang (my) favorite ko po ay ‘yong (is) Classic Red Lip, ito kasi ang kauna-unang gamit ko ng (because it’s my first) oil paint at kauna-unahan kong paggawa ng (and my first try at) hyperrealism. Isa po siyang (It’s a) photo shot na nakita ko at ipininta (that I saw and painted).  Isa pa po ay ‘yong (Another is) “Me and my Teddy.”  Natutuwa po kasi ako sa kapatid kong lalaki sa hilig niya sa teddy bear. Kapag natatakot siya, natutuwa  at sa pagtulog lagi niya, yakap ang teddy niya. Kaya lang ‘yong painting ko po na iyon ay ginawa kong girl version. (I was inspired by my kid brother’s fondness for his teddy bear. I painted it but a female version of him.) At ang isa ko pa pong (My other) favorite ay ‘yong katatapos ko lang na (is my recently done work) “Holding My Time”.  Kasi po (Because) part of me was represented in the painting – ‘yon pong kapag may (when) opportunity, ‘wag pong palampasin, hawakan mo po ang mga oras na nabibigyan ka ng pagkakataon ipakita at pagbutihin ‘yong mga ginagawa mo (comes to you, grab it and do your best to make it worth it).

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Preparing for his
poster making contest.

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Aside from you, is there any artist in your family? How has your parents nurtured or supported the artist in you?

Wala pong ibang (There’s no other) artist sa pamilya namin maliban sa akin (in our family, but me).  Pero si (But) Papa ko ay marunong din mag-(knows some) drawing. Dati pangarap niya rin kumuha ng kursong Fine Arts (was also once his dream) at magpinta pero hindi niya nakuha ang suporta ng magulang niya (and painting, but he didn’t get the support of his parents).  Kaya po ngayon, sila ni (That’s why he and) Mama ay ibinibigay nila ang (now give me their) full support nila sa akin.  Kahit na po minsan (Even sometimes it’s) out of budget na pinipilit nilang i-(they find a way to) provide ang mga pangangailangan ko sa pagpipinta lalo na noong nagsisimula pa lang po ako (my needs in painting, especially when I was still starting).Hindi ko naman din po sinasayang ang suporta na ibinibigay ng (I don’t waste the support of my) parents ko. Mahal ko po at pinagbubuti  ang ginagawa ko. Nakikita ko kung paano nila pinaghihirapan at nagsasakripisyo  para lang po maibili ako ng mga gamit ko sa pagpipinta.  Kaya po kahit may ilang nagsabi sa akin na pangmayaman lang daw ang pagpipinta, hindi ko po ‘yon pinapasin.  (I love what I do so I don’t waste the sacrifces of my folks just to buy the materials that I need in painting. Even if others discourage us because they say painting is only for the rich.) Sabi ng iba, kung wala daw po kaming pera para makapag-exhibit, hindi rin makikilala ang mga gawa ko kaya balewala daw po. (They say that if we cannot afford an exhibit, it is useless because my works will not be known). Mas pinaniniwalaan ko po si (I believe more in my) Papa. Magiging (I will be) successful ako. Sabi kasi niya, ang success daw wala sa nakukuha mo agad ang gusto mo, kundi nandoon po sa kung ano ang mga paghihirap na dinaanan mo para makamit  mo yung goal mo (My father said that it’s not about getting to your goal the easy way, but the climb).  Kaya pagdating ng panahon ‘pag nakatapos na po ako sa pag-aaral at nakilala na ang mga gawa ko, ako naman ang magbibigay ng mga kailangan ng parents ko saka ng mga kapatid ko. (When I finish school and become successful, I will be the one to help my family.)

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Any major event you want to plug? Do you sell your paintings?

Five years from now po, malamang po “kontisero” pa rin ako (I’ll still be a contestant in painting competitions. <laughs>Tuloy -uloy po akong  sasali sa mga (I will continue to join) contest(s) hanggat puwede ako at may pagkakataon, manalo man or matalo, (win or lose, I will join if I can) kasi sa bawat (because for every) contest  na sinasalihan ko ay natututo ako at nakakakilala ng mga bagong kaibigan (I learn something new and I meet new friends).  Siyempre po, nasa tabi ko pa rin ‘yong mga kaibigan na tumulong at nagmalasakit sa akin. Hindi ko sila iiwan.  (Of course, I will still be there for my friends who stayed with me on the way. I won’t leave them behind.) At higit sa lahat, isa na po ako sa mga (I have high hopes that I will be an) assistant ni (of) Sir Sena. Kasi pipilitin ko siya. (Because I will insist.) <laughs> Ise-(I will)share ko ‘yong (my) talent ko dahil sabi nga po ni (because) Sir Sena binigay ng Diyos ‘yon at hindi dapat sinasarili kundi ibinabahagi (said it’s God-given and meant to be shared), lalo na’po sa mga bata na may talento pero walang kakayahan na magbayad sa (especially for poor kids who win the chance to be in) painting class or art workshops.  Tuloy-tuloy po akong mag-aaral para mapalawak ang kaalaman ko. gusto ko kasing mag-inspire ng mga bata. Gusto ko po na hindi nila iisipin ang isang bagay na mahirap gawin. Basta enjoy lang po nila at isang araw makakatulong din sila sa pamilya nila. (I will continue my studies to better myself and I aim to inspire other poor kids to rise from poverty by doing what they love. Just enjoy and give their best and they can give back to their families later and help others too.)

Opo. ‘Yong mga (Yes, I sell my) paintings ko po ay binebenta ko, kasi po ‘yong napagbentahan ko po part of it ay ibinibili ko rin ng gamit ko sa pagpipinta (because I use the money for my studies and painting materials).  Mahal po kasi mga gamit sa painting. Ang iba po ay isine-save ko para sa amin ng mga kapatid ko. Mahal na mahal ko po kasi sila eh kahit makukulit. (Painting materials can be expensive. I also share my savings with my beloved siblings. They can be naughty at times but I love them very much.) <laughs> ‘Yong iba po minsan itinutulong ko sa mga gastusin sa bahay, kusang-loob ko po ‘yon binibigay sa magulang ko. (I also try to help with the monetary needs at home so I volunteer to shelf out money when my parents are short of cash).

All images are courtesy of Lord Ahzrin Bacalla.

To contact the artist, please send a friend request @ Facebook, or call him at 09335318224 / 09224716128 or via his emails:

Lets all support this kid fulfill his dream.