We highlight the artists of Bukidnon and beyond, for the pleasure of all.

April – June 2017: Erlow Talatala Exhibition.

July – October 2017: Soil Painting & Sculpture Exhibition.

Soil paintings,

The souls painted

 Nine artists of Bukidnon honor Eiffel Kubo with their paintings & sculptures. Inspired by Waway Saway, the founder of soil painting, these highly talented young men – and a woman – are mostly of the Talaandig tribe.

In spite of the hardships of colonial History and tropical climate, the constant threats on their ancestral rights and way of life, their daily struggle to protect and promote their land and values, these artists and their tribes stand firm.

Moreover, they play for us an hymn to harmony and peace. Their communion for men of all origins, of all conditions, together with nature is a lasting alternative to the excesses and violence of our time.  

May we follow their example hey are the soul of the Philippines.

 

William Kopp

Raul BENDIT

Soil Painter – 40 years old – Higaonon and Talaandig Tribes

  • What is an artist?

Raul believes that an artist is someone who gives peace to the world.   An artist creates a thing of beauty, and anyone who sees it, even a rebel bearing arms or a terrorist holding a bomb, will stop and appreciate it.  To him, an artist brings back to life things that have already been forgotten by this generation, so that they will not be ignorant about what once was.  He feels that these days, some of the young lumads are ashamed of their culture or find it useless.  He wants to use his art to teach them to take pride in the legacy that is theirs. Raul makes art because he wants artists to flourish in Bukidnon.  It is his mission to encourage them to pursue their art, so that they can help revive the stories long- forgotten by the young members of the tribe.  He feels that artists cannot always speak in front of other people.  They let their work speak for them.  Thus, he wants to increase their visibility, so that others will discover them and appreciate what they have to say.

  • How did you come to art?

When he was in Grade 3, Raul’s notebooks were filled with drawings of people, animals, trees.  He would not take note of what the teacher was saying, being so preoccupied with his art, so much so that the teacher threw the blackboard eraser at him.  When he was in high school, he met Waway Saway. He wanted to take up Fine Arts, until Waway told him that there was no need to do so as “the art is within you”. He travelled to various places in the Philippines: Davao, Boracay, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, meeting other artists, discovering his art.  He had his first exhibit with Waway at UP- Mindanao in 1997.  In 1999, he put up his solo exhibit in Lim Ket Kai, Cagayan de Oro.  In 2013, he joined an art exhibit in Singapore. He won the Mindanao Arts Award in 2016.

 

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

Raul is proud of his culture, his heritage (“ang pagka-tribu o pagka-lumad’).  He remembers the times when Indigenous people were looked down upon and laughed at. He feels this is because of a lack of understanding of the lumad culture. Some tribal people do not acknowledge their indigenous roots because they do not understand it. He was encouraged to create art to make others understand tribal culture, to promote it, and to enhance confidence among the tribal people in their culture.  He hopes to awaken the lumads to be proud of who they are.

“TAGPANGATYAPI SI NANAY” (MOTHER IS PLAYING THE KATYAPI) – Raul BENDIT

Mother is playing the traditional 2-string guitar.  The sound that comes from the “katyapi” mimics the sound coming from nature, the sound made by the spirits of nature.  When the “katyapi” is played for the guests, it gives good energy and strength. Price: P 40,000.00

“ANLAW” (THE SUN) – Raul BENDIT

The sun reflects the character of a true leader.  As the sun rises to shed light to the world, to guide us in our work, to show us what we need to do in this world, so the Datu of the tribe guides the community, enlightening them about their roles in the world.  As the sun shines on everyone, without favoring anyone, so the Datu should be the leader of all, leading the community fairly and justly.  This ensures that there is peace in the world. Price: P 8,000.00

”TAGPANGUBING SI DATU” (DATU IS PLAYING THE KUBING) – Raul BENDIT

The datu is playing the bamboo instrument “kubing” which produces a sound imitating  the “tikling” bird.  The “kubing” is played for courtship.  The man stands outside the lady’s house, playing the ”kubing”.  The lady, if she likes him will go out of the house and dance to the beatand melody of the “kubing”.  Otherwise, if the courtship is unwelcome, she stays inside the house. Price: P 40,000.00

“DESCENDANCE OF THE LEADERS OF THE TRIBES” – Raul BENDIT

The crowns of Datus and Bais, the Jar of Peace, the Savior-lezard and the symbols of the Tribal leaders ensure the safe way in life to their people. Price: P 10,000.00

Nino Dave “Chong” TECSON

Soil painter – 24 years old – Talaandig Tribe

Born in Kawayan, Lantapan

  • What is an artist?

For Chong, an artist creates beautiful, amazing things that help people who do not understand what is happening in the world (in the environment, the government, among others). He creates paintings about nature, serving as a warning to people who do not take care of the Earth.  He depicts tribal culture so that it is not forgotten. He believes that the artist preserves culture since his art will never be destroyed.  Even when the artist dies, his work lives on.

  • How did you come to art?

When Chong was in Grade 4, he would observe his cousin, who was an artist.  The latter eventually gave him his own canvas and brush and encouraged him to paint.  For Chong, he was just playing, but his cousin saw something in what he was painting.  He saw a tiny figure resembling a monster.  Thus was born Chong’s first creation, a painting entitled “Little Monster”. Chong joined his first exhibit at the Asian Hills Bank where he won 2nd place in the competition for his work “Buhay ng Puno at Lupa”.  This painting was acquired by the renowned artist Kublai.

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

Chong is proud that he does meaningful and beautiful art that can help others, promote culture and help save the environment.

“HUMAN RIGHTS INJUSTICE” – Nino Dave “Chong” TECSON

Every night, in the news, one hears of many people being killed in the war against drugs.  Too many people are being killed.  This is wrong.  There is another way to address this problem.  Many people are asking for justice – the families of the people killed, their spirits.  Many of them are innocent, judged only by one or two people.  We cannot judge a person’s guilt without due process, because it is a life we are taking.  One cannot decide a person’s death based on hearsay. Price: P 5,000.00

 

 

Aljade ROA

Painter – 27 years old – Higaonon Tribe

  • What is an artist?

For Aljade, an artist gives light to the world and shares beauty to other people. He sees the artist as a model for others, enabling them to see what is essential.  Through art, people will see what was there before but is now gone, destroyed because of man’s lack of discipline, unbridled construction of factories in the name of progress and the abuse and misuse of nature.

  • How did you come to art?

Aljade started drawing and creating clay figures when he was in elementary school.  His first works were of miniature helicopters which he shaped using red clay soil.  He would make them, play with them, then put them on display, happy and contented to see his creations.  He discovered soil painting through Raul Bendit. Aljade sees art as a means of expressing himself and as a means of imparting lessons (“pagtulun-an sa uban”), inspiring them to quit their bad vices and habits.  He believes there are lessons to be learned from looking at art and appreciating it.

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

Aljade is proud when he finishes an art work and others are able to see it and learn from it.  He feels a satisfaction in finishing what he has started.

When Chong was in Grade 4, he would observe his cousin, who was an artist.  The latter eventually gave him his own canvas and brush and encouraged him to paint.  For Chong, he was just playing, but his cousin saw something in what he was painting.  He saw a tiny figure resembling a monster.  Thus was born Chong’s first creation, a painting entitled “Little Monster”. Chong joined his first exhibit at the Asian Hills Bank where he won 2nd place in the competition for his work “Buhay ng Puno at Lupa”.  This painting was acquired by the renowned artist Kublai.

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

Chong is proud that he does meaningful and beautiful art that can help others, promote culture and help save the environment.

“STOP ILLEGAL LOGGING” – Aljade ROA

the current issue of the destruction of our forests.  Trees are cut to pave the way for the planting of pineapples, bananas, and other produce.

Price: P 7,000.00

 

“MUKHA AT BUHAY NG KALIKASAN” (THE FACE AND LIFE OF NATURE) – Aljade ROA

…made of driftwood, discovered by the artist as he was walking through the foreast, this piece of art was formed by nature…the shape was there already, needing the artist only to give it life. Price: P 5,000.00

 

“RAFFLESIA” – Aljade ROA

…the biggest flower in the world can be found in the mountains of Kitanglad.  Like the lumad, it is endemic to Bukidnon. Price: P7,000.00

 

“CULTURAL BEAUTY OF ART” – Aljade ROA

taking designs from the 7 different tribes of Bukidnon to portray the flow of life (“ang dagan sa kinabuhi”).  The designs show the ups and downs of life (“usahay malipayon, usahay masulob-on’).  The designs of tribal art comes from nature itself. RESERVED

Price: P 10,000.00

 

“TANGING YAMAN” – Aljade ROA

…for the next generations to know that they must take care of nature…how beautiful nature is, and how important it is for us to preserve it.

Price: P12,000.00

 

“SYMBOLS OF THE TRIBES” – Aljade ROA

Set together, here are the main symbols of each of the seven Tribes of Bukidnon. Price: P 10,000.00

 

John Paul BINAYAO

Sculptor – 28 years old – Higaonon Tribe

  • What is an artist?

For John Paul, an artist is someone who creates from inside and outside of himself.  He draws from all his emotions (happiness, anger, frustrations, etc.) to create a thing of beauty.  He uses his hands to make something good rather than to cause pain or harm. Personally, he tries to make himself a model for other young people.  He would like to encourage other “bugoys” like him to do art as a means of helping the community (“para makatabang sa katilingban”).  John Paul uses his art to express himself; in this way he is able to discover his own identity (“ang akong pagka-ako”).

  • How did you come to art?

John Paul came to art quite young.  In grade school, he was drawing on his notebooks, taking images from his imagination, depicting what he wanted to happen in his life.  As he reached adulthood, he began to paint, learning from other soil artists of the tribe.  He shifted to sculpture this year, discovering it as a means of producing his art. The theme of his works is REALITY and TRUTH.

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

John Paul is proud of his patient and understanding nature.  He takes pride in not getting angry easily.  He believes in seeking to understand and accept a problematic situation rather than reacting negatively to it.  He sees everything, including negative things, as opportunities to strive hard.  “ Diha sa problema masukod kung unsa ka kalig-on sa imong gitindogan.” When asked why he does not like to act out of anger, he said that God has gifted us with LOVE, and we should show the same to everything and everyone, and try not to cause harm and pain.

 

 “GAPOS” – John Paul BINAYAO

 …it depicts a person bound by fear because of abuses committed by those in power. With the declaration of martial law, he sees, through social media, abusive acts committed by individuals which “imprisons” others and renders them unable to act freely because of fear. Price: P 10,000.00

 

 

 

 

“THE BOAT OF PRINCIPLES” – John Paul BINAYAO

Dragged down of their Barangay, deprived of their lands and rights, the Natives fight for their survival in the midst of self-centered interests. Price: P 10,000.00

 

 

 

“HUBAD NA KAGANDAHAN” – John Paul BINAYAO

the boldness of nature…the beauty of nature in its nakedness

He felt compelled to focus his creativity on nature and felt he had to exhaust this desire to depict it. Price: P 10,000.00

 

“SEED OF LIFE” – John Paul BINAYAO

“naa’y paglaum sa paglambo”, a bridge to the future. The hands pushing upwards represent William promoting their art.  The smiling faces are looking up with hope for the future of the tribes.  They also represent “Inang Kalikasan” or Mother Nature pushing life upwards. RESERVED

Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

Sculptor – 29 years old – Bukidnon Tribe

  • What is an artist?

Juan sees an artist as someone who gives light to the world through his creations (“Naghatag ug kahayag sa kalibutan pinaagi sa iyang ginama”).  He believes that an artist shares beauty and goodness (“ang kanindot ug kamaayo”) to everyone, young and old alike, especially in a world that is losing hope.

  • How did you come to art?

Juan, who was born and grew up in the mountains of San Fernando, started drawing while he was in Grade 2, depicting nature: carabaos, mountains, trees, his family, his home.  Being the youngest, with his father and older siblings going off to work, Juan was often alone with no playmates.  He discovered drawing as a means of entertaining himself.  Having a quiet nature, he expressed himself through his drawings.  By the time he was in high school, he discovered arts and crafts, using everything he could find in the forest (driftwood, seeds, stones) to create wood carvings, necklaces, decorations, and sculptures.

  • What are you especially proud of about yourself?

Juan is proud of the love he has for his art. His artistry starts from within himself, from his thoughts flowing through his heart and on to his hands, producing art.

 

 

“DAGWAY SA SUNFLOWER” (FACE OF THE SUNFLOWER) – Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

nagkatawa, nagpahiyom…naghatag ug kanindot ug kahayag sa kalibutan (…laughing, smiling…giving beauty and light to the world)

Price: P5,000.00

 

 

“DILIG NG INANG KALIKASAN’ (SHOWERING BY MOTHER NATURE) – Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

…everything that has life is nurtured by Mother Nature. Price: P10,000.00

“THE MUSICIANS” – Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

A joyful band performs with tribal instruments, highlighting their vibrant culture. Price: P 10,000.00

 

“DIWATA NG KALIKASAN” (SPIRITS OF NATURE) – Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

…everything in nature, the moon, flowers, mountains, trees, everything is created by God and He has given each one its own spirit

Price: P10,000.00

 

“GASA UG HALAD” (GIFT AND OFFERING) – Felecio “Juan” CABALUNA

…everything in this world are gifts from God…but now we see that nature has not been nurtured…trees are disappearing, mountains are being destroyed. Nature needs our help.  We must guard it… plant trees, care for them, and help nature regain its essence.  This is our prayer and offering to our Creator. Price: P10,000.00

 

 

 “DIWATA SA KINAIYAHAN” (SPIRIT OF NATURE) – Sahara Mae SAWAY

Price: P 5,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig tribe

Raul was born in Impasug-Ong in 1976. He has three sisters, two brothers who are farmers and three children. Raul studied in BNHS – while constantly drawing at school – until 17. Raul started soil painting with Waway SAWAY and had his first exhibit in 1996, aiming at promoting the tribe. By means of selling his crafted objects and musical instruments, Raul travelled and met many other artists in Davao, Boracay, Bacolod and Manila. A hard life indeed, with one only meal a day most of the time. A self-made painter – and also an excellent musician – Raul has created his own unique style that reflects the beauty of the world and inspires peace. He respects all artists, children artists included and founded ANLAG, an Association of native artists of Bukidnon.

“I am happy if I paint”

 

TAGDAYUDAY SI NAYNAY

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

A mother plays the traditional violin “ dayuday” which chanting sound is inspired from the flying bees. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig Tribe

TAGKATYAPI SI NANAY

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

A mother plays the traditional 2-strings guitar “katyapi”.  Its sound mimics the one made by the spirits of nature.  When the “katyapi” is played for the guests, it gives good energy and strength. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig Trib

TAGPULALA

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

A flutist invites the sun to shine for peace. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig tribe

TAGPANGUBING SI DATU

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

The Datu (Tribal chieftain) plays the “kubing”, a bamboo instrument which produces a sound imitating  the “tikling” bird.  The “kubing” is played for courtship.  The man plays outside the lady’s house. If she likes him, she will go out of the house and dance to the beat and melody.  Otherwise, she stays inside the house. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig Tribe

DATU

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

A Datu in full regalia stands as a warrior for peace, peace being his foremost duty as tribal chieftain. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig tribe

PANGAPUG

Clay on wood – 81 x 122

A Baylan (traditional priest) makes an offering to the spirits, keepers of life, nature and the land. P 40,000.00

Raul BENDIT, Talaandig Tribe

Aljade was born in Malaybalay in 1990. He has a sister and a brother, both students. Aljade started to carve flutes and create objects with clay, with his friends, in his childhood. He did automotive vocational studies, yet opted for a life in art and made ends meet by selling crops at the market. Aljade, a Higaonon, was “adopted” by the Talaandig tribe of Sungko, Lantapan, where he learned to craft objects, create musical instruments and paint with clay. He has a special respect for Waway SAWAY and all tribal artists.

 

“Art is my life of beauty”

 

KINABUHI

Soil on wood – 90 x 90

In life (kinabuhi), each person has the freedom and the responsibility to choose what he/she wants to be. P 25,000.00

Aljade ROA, Higaonon Tribe

Nino “Chong” TECSON, Talaandig tribe

Chong was born in Lantapan in 1994. He has five brothers, three who are farmers and two who are students, and a child. He started to paint and craft objects at school, which he left at 17. In Sungko, he was initiated to flute making and playing by Sultan, his mentor. Chong was able to travel to Pagadian, CDO and Davao, selling jewels and terracotta objects he kept on creating. He learnt by observing other artists and found his own way as a self-made artist, committed to depict his views on culture as well as social and political issues. Chong wishes to paint more and have his own gallery one day while emphasizing the importance of a belonging to a group of artists.

“Making art is awesome and amazing”

 

THE CULTURAL BEARERS

Oil on canvas – 92 X 122

Parents are the most prominent bearers of a culture to be shared to their children. P 35,000.00

Nino “Chong” TECSON, Talaandig tribe

 

BAE TAGKUMBO

Oil on canvas – 61 x 92

A Bae (elderly woman) plays the tagkumbo, a traditional instrument made out of bamboo, to entertain her visitors. P 15,000.00

Nino “Chong” TECSON, Talaandig tribe

KATUTUBONG MAG SASARA

Oil on canvas – 92 X 122

The resources provided by nature are wisely used by a woman farmer to feed the tribe. P 25,000.00

Nino “Chong” TECSON, Talaandig tribe

Juan CABALUNA, Bukidnon tribe

Juan was born in San Fernando in 1987. He has a sister, four brothers also artists and a daughter. Juan started to sketch very young and enjoyed to collect drip wood in rivers, as natural pieces to carve. He left school at 16 and fully embraced a life in art. As a solo artist, he went on crafting objects and creating sculptures he would sell in Malaybalay, Valencia and CDO. Silent and passionate, Juan nurtures his own world of ideas and is glad it inspires others.

“I share the light of art”

GINGHARIAN NG MGA DWENDE

Screened cement, wood and epoxy, seeds

The paradise of dwarfs.

Juan CABALUNA, Bukidnon Tribe

 

PINOLALA (TRIBAL FLUTE)

Juan CABALUNA, Bukidnon Tribe

Price per item: P 500.00