Cebu is buzzing with excitement, what with the Feast of the Sto. Niño a week away and the Sinulog parade expected to brightly cover once again the long streets of city’s downtown area. I even found myself commenting a couple of times that more and more activities, non-profit and otherwise, are opened in support of the Sinulog festivities compared to last year, although, truth be told, I have no factual basis to use upon. One thing is for sure: the streets in Cebu City is brighter and more colorful than what I saw during the long holiday, which goes to show that between Christmas, New Year, and Feast of Sto. Niño, we sure know how to save the best for last! <wink!>
Art is no exception in the long string of activities celebrated in honor of Sto. Niño. Wawart Contemporary Art Group opened “Tahas” exhibit at Persimmon Plus last Jan. 11. Tahas is Cebuano word for task, but Radel Paredes, a talented artist and writer and part of the group, explained, “This strong sense of personal errand that one has to make in life as the ultimate measure of one’s worth is implied in the Cebuano word, ‘tahas’, which can mean task, duty, or mission at the same time. The native faith is seen as some kind of a pledge or promise to God that we make or impose upon ourselves... In the spirit of the Sinulog, when once again Cebuanos renew their pledges to the God-Child, the group Wawart interrogates through contemporary art the many ways by which we interpret this deep down urge to do something that would justify ourselves.”
|Photo by Radel Paredes, Wawart Contemporary Art Group|
If I’m not mistaken, the recently opened exhibit is Wawart’s second show; the first, entitled “Sawum”, was mounted in Maribago Bluewater Gallery sometime last last year, around the time when the group was formed.
I’m no expert in visual arts, but I do enjoy exploring the emotions evoked and the relationships built between the viewer and the art and imagine the stories behind each masterpiece. On a personal level, I dabble with my sign pens, charcoal pencils, and acrylic paint. Why, just the other week, with insomnia making most of my night time, I grabbed a box of colored pens and, inspired by the ever rich resources on Pinterest, I made these (enarse is another way of saying my initials, NRC, which stands for Nancy R. Cudis):
|Inspired from Pinterest|
|Inspired from: A Blog Named Hero|
Right after the exhibit opening on the same night, Bathalad, a Cebu-based literary group, and InnoPub Media, a journalism start-up founded by former colleagues Max Limpag and his wife Marlen, launched “Skina Balak”, an e-book anthology of Bisaya poetry written by Bathalad members. The e-book can now be downloaded on iPhone and iPad, and Aldiko, Stanza and other e-book readers for Android and other devices, as well as on Kindle. It can also be downloaded through phone scanning of quick response codes printed on posters, desktop standees, and other materials. I downloaded mine on Kindle and I have been enjoying some poetry pieces, such as the one below made by talented artist and cartoonist Joshua Cabrera:
Ang Modelo Ug Ang Akong Brotsa
Ni Joshua Cabrera
Imong dughan mikurba
Nagpanilap ang akong brotsa
Nitulo ang pintal subay
sa imong hubo nga hulagway
nga natanggong sa akong canvass
Pagtabon sa imong pilo
sa imong mata, mitidlom
akong kaugalingon sa kantil
sa akong gininhawa, gilumsan
sa imong kaanyag, nga gibistihan
sa kangitngit ug kahayag.
Gikuptan ko’g hugot akong brotsa,
Kay dungan pag-ugdo sa imong sampot
Akong kabuhi miulbo nikurog akong kamot.
Sa dihang nibuhagay ang imong talidhay
Nahulog ang akong brotsa sa salog.
Nayabo ang pintal sa akong paa.
Ug hinay nga nibuhi ang akong kumagko
Sa bangag sa paleta.
I can’t translate everything. Some Cebuano words are quite old (and foreign) to me, like kantil. As a whole, this poem tells how an artist with his brush is distracted, if not stimulated, by a (nude) model before him whom he has to portray on canvas. I enjoy poetry and the truth behind poems written in our own native tongue almost always hit close to home.
|Photo by Max Limpag|
There are many more wonderful pieces found in the e-book by Adonis Durado, Anthony Kintanar, Cindy Velasquez, Delora Sales-Simbajon, Ernesto Lariosa, Gerard Pareja, Greg Fernandez, Ioannes Arong, January Yap, Jeremiah Bondoc, John Biton, Jona Bering, Josua Cabrera, Karla Quimsing, Michael Obenieta, Nancy Garcia Noel-Nacua, Noel Rama, Noel Villaflore, Panteleon Auman, Radel Paredes, Rolando Morallo, Romeo Nicolas Bonsocan, Temistokles Adlawan, Vicente Bandillo, and Vince Cinches.
Let me take a pause to congratulate Bathalad and InnoPub for a successful collaboration!
Every Sunday, like today, at the Biliran Park, a garden square in front of Ayala Center Cebu, Qube Gallery with the support of Cebu Holdings Inc. set up “Art at the Park” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., gathering artists to display their own artworks for sale. This beautiful set up is inspired by the 63-year-running Art in the Park by the Allied Arts Association in Howard Amon Park, Columbia River, Richland in Washington DC. I have yet to visit our own version of Art at the Park, but I’m sure it’s fantastic. Kudos to Qube Gallery!
Until Jan. 22 - "Sto. Niño Exhibit" at Ayala Center Cebu, Exhibit Area 2 during mall hours
Until Jan. 31 - "Cebu! Cebu!" exhibit showcases unique couture creations of fashion designers Carlos Arnaiz, Dan Ong, Dennis Bersales, Erwin T. Lim, Cary Santiago, Gladys Young, Hive, and the Rodriguez Sisters.
Jan. 16-Feb. 28 - "Dinhi ug Didto" exhibit presented by Art at the Park features Raul Arambulo's photographs and Raymund L. Fernandez' sculptures at the Linear Park (across Marriott Hotel) in Cebu Business Park.
Until Feb. 2 - Qube Gallery also presents an exhibition of the works of popular Cebuano artists Anthony Fermin in celebration of the Feast of Sto. Niño at the CAP Art Center along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.
Come February, which was declared National Arts Month, I expect more art exhibits or literary works to be launched. These are really something to look forward to. Seeing art alive in my hometown around me at a time when I’m “fully” aware of and appreciate their presence, who am I not to get excited?
Support local artists!
- Nancy -