Arts in the En­chant­ing Par­adise of Palawan

Palawan Daily News - - Entertainment -

Known as the Philip­pines’ last eco­log­i­cal fron­tier, the prov­ince of Palawan is a nat­u­ral won­der with its vast tracts of trop­i­cal rain­forests and a huge ex­panse of ma­rine wilder­ness. Palawan’s beauty and rich cul­ture have un­de­ni­ably served as an in­spi­ra­tion for many lo­cal artists in their pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment and for their crafts.

Fea­tur­ing Palawan’s dy­namic arts movers who are mak­ing their mark in the lo­cal and global arts scenes, the My City, My SM, My Art con­tin­ues its ex­cit­ing cul­tural jour­ney around the SM Su­permalls as it maps the quest of Palawan vis­ual artists, who are con­tin­u­ally search­ing for cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion from Palawan’s nat­u­ral won­ders and col­or­ful cul­ture.

On Oc­to­ber 25, 2018, SM City Puerto Princesa for­mally launched the My City, My SM, My Art – a cam­paign spear­headed by SM’s pub­lic­ity depart­ment un­der the lead­er­ship of SM’s Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ms. Mil­lie Di­zon, with the sup­port of the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Manila, NCCA, Shell Philip­pines, Cen­ter Stage Pro­duc­tions, and the Philip­pine Star.

The My City, My SM, My Art is a project aimed at show­cas­ing Philip­pine vis­ual arts where SM Malls are lo­cated. This cam­paign truly brings art and peo­ple to­gether through the works of masters, mod­ernists, and mil­len­ni­als in a road­show around SM Su­permalls.

Ad­vo­cat­ing art for all, SM has worked with com­mu­ni­ties to mount ex­hibits, work­shops, and con­tests in key cities around the Philip­pines. This time around, the spot­light is on Palawan’s vi­brant vis­ual arts scene.

Since the 1980s, Palawan has been grow­ing as an in­cu­ba­tor for a group of artists who share a pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment, as well as their craft. Palawan’s beauty and bounty has un­de­ni­ably served as an in­spi­ra­tion for many artists. This in­cludes a Palawanon film­maker, who has brought much honor to our coun­try with his in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed works.

Solito: Palawan’s Mas­ter Artist

The won­ders of na­ture in Palawan and its rich cul­ture are what in­spires its vis­ual artists in their master­pieces. Just like the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed di­rec­tor who comes from a lineage of the an­cient Palawanon shamans, Di­rec­tor Au­raeus Solito.

Au­raeus, who also goes with his Palaw’an name Kanakan Bal­in­ta­gos, which means hunter of truth, is a Palawán-Filipino film­maker and in­dige­nous peo­ples rights ad­vo­cate whose films re­flect the di­verse as­pects of his be­ing and en­vi­ron­ment.

He is con­sid­ered a true pride of the Philip­pines and Palawan for bring­ing much honor to our coun­try with his works proudly de­pict­ing the beauty and cul­ture of his home­town.

Fea­tured Artists

The launch high­lights Palawan’s beauty and rich cul­ture, which in­spire lo­cal artists in their pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment and for their crafts as well as hon­ors Palawan artists and their place in his­tory—and how they con­tinue to keep the fire of the arts burn­ing.

There is Jonathan Ben­itez, one of the lead­ing artists who pass on this cul­tural pride to many aspir­ing artists of today.

Rep­re­sent­ing the young and en­er­getic mil­len­nial artists of Palawan who take pride in the prov­ince’s nat­u­ral won­ders and col­or­ful cul­ture is John Chris­tian Yayen.

Ad­mi­ra­tions are for artists who be­lieve in pay­ing it for­ward by men­tor­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of artists through pas­sion­ate learn­ing like Nil Sen­cillo, who whole­heart­edly shares his tal­ent to keep art alive among the youth.

Palawan’s mes­mer­iz­ing nat­u­ral mar­vels have def­i­nitely cap­tured many hearts and cre­ated ide­ally ther­a­peu­tic set­tings for artists who long for cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion. Mario Lubrico, al­beit born in Bacolod, al­ready con­sid­ers Palawan his artis­tic haven.

Palaweños are in­deed re­source­ful and very tal­ented. Nuno Finez is a per­fect ex­am­ple for that. He be­lieves in the power of art to breathe life in many things most peo­ple con­sider life­less.

Palawan also has vis­ual artists who suc­cess­fully show­cased the is­land’s beauty and cul­ture in Europe’s ma­jor cities through his works. One of them is Mike Gar­cia.

Cleng Su­ma­gaysay is an­other artist who has shown that Palawan in­deed has many sto­ries to tell through its vis­ual arts.

With hopes of pre­serv­ing the Tag­banua cul­ture, Elordie Me­sac uses his craft, which re­volves around his in­dige­nous ways and Palawan life to send mes­sages of cul­tural pride and en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness:.

Com­plet­ing the ros­ter is Frances Mendoza, a Cuyunon vis­ual artist who draws strength and hap­pi­ness from her art as a sin­gle mother.

Parts of an emerg­ing arts scene in th­ese western Philip­pine is­lands, th­ese artists are striv­ing to both cap­ture and pre­serve the beauty of their trop­i­cal is­land home.

Work­shop, Con­test, Ex­hibit Last Oc­to­ber 20, se­lected stu­dents from San Miguel Na­tional High School and Puerto Princesa City Science High School (PPCSHS) at­tended an art work­shop con­ducted by Elordie Me­sac and other men­tors from Art on the Move.

Each par­tic­i­pant cre­ated their own Rub­ber­cut pieces that re­flect their Palawan and how they see it as their own. Each art­work be­came a part of the My City, My SM, My Art con­test, where Sh­elo­mae K. Zu­mar­raga from PPCSHS emerged as win­ner.

The launch of My City, My SM, My Art in SM City Puerto Princesa also opened the ex­hibit of the fea­tured artists’ works that are mounted around the Art Gallery with a cen­ter­piece that is a house in­spired by a Visayan house in Panay.

The ex­hi­bi­tion ran un­til Oc­to­ber 31 Wed­nes­day in the Event Cen­ter of SM City Puerto Princesa.

Catch the next My City My SM My Art cam­paign launch as it goes back to Iloilo. (PR)

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