Friday, July 29, 2011

Sam Penaso’s sentimental homecoming in Bohol

Sam Penaso’s sentimental homecoming in Bohol

: Some of the biggest and hottest Kapuso celebrities like Katrina Halili, Moymoy Palaboy, Daniel Matsunaga, Paolo Contis, Benjie Paras and Jillian Ward will grace the Bohol Sandugo street-dancing on July 31 (Sunday). Boholanos will see more of the Kapuso stars after the street-dancing competition at the CPG Sports Complex.

: Only eight (8) contingents will join the street-dancing competition. The Sandugo organizers see few out-of-town contingents joining this month’s grand parade, but they won’t let it dampen the festive mood and ongoing preparations. The event should be repackaged after the noted drop in contingents from out of town.

: Hordes of people were definitely erupted in unison in Tanduay Power of 5 last July 16. The event featured Parokya Ni Edgar, Chicosci, Kamikazee, Sandwich and Wolfgang. Iya Villania became the center of the event when she entertained the Boholano youngsters.

: Half of the Bohol Cultural Center was occupied during the Miss Bohol Sandugo pageant on July 16.

: Bohol’s seasoned host Raul Gatal was wearing black jeans during the opening of the Miss Bohol Sandugo; his slacks didn’t arrive on time. He was seen taking nebulizer in between break during the pageant. Also, Raul’s pretty co-hosts Johanna Feliz Pilayre and Felisse Marie Gonzales were not smiling on stage and hosting in the most monotone voice. Again, Raul saved the pageant night.

: The members of the Association of Young Boholanos in Metro Manila, Inc. (AYBM) were enjoying the Dagan Para sa Pamilacan, a trail run for a cause. The participants treasured the singlet.

: Some of the performers didn’t impress the judges during the audition of TV 5’s Talentadong Pinoy last July 29 at the Island City Mall.

“The power of the greatest art,” says art historian Simon Schama, “is the power to shake us into revelation and rip us from our default mode of seeing.” In the case of our Boholano artists like Yoyoy Villame, Cesar Montano, Clovis Nazareno, Napoleon Abueva, Nene Lungay, Ric Ramasola, et al, their love of art have inspired them to break out of the mold by initiating an activity that allows art to demonstrate its power and influence not just on a metaphysical plane but on a more pragmatic scale.

And then there's
Samuel “Sam” Penaso.

The success story of Sam is something for the books, a saga that started in the sea of Guindulman where he tried to help augment the family income by being a fisherman and ended in the spotlight of imperial Manila.

I knew Sam years ago when he had his 7th solo exhibit “Boholandia” at SM Megamall. A certified Boholano, he is a visual and performance artist from Guindulman.

He has held 15 solo exhibitions, five of which were held abroad.
He has also participated in numerous group exhibits and performance art festivals locally and abroad.

He represented the Philippines in the Nippon International Performance Art Festival in Japan in 2005 and 2011, Asia Performance Art in Seoul Korea, Asian International Art Exhibition in Indonesia, Philippines-Thailand Artists Exchange Residency in Bangkok, The Korea-Manila Fine Art Biennale, ArTriangle in Malaysia, Young Art Philippine in Luxembourg, Essen-Berlin, Germany, London and Austria.
He has won in some of the most prestigious art competitions in the country, namely Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), Metrobank Foundation’s National Young Painters Annual, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Painting Competition\ and Philipp Morris Art Awards.

Last month, I saw Sam on TV for the Rizal + 150 reverse cosplay parade, the backward March held in Intramuros, Manila. His famous “stripewalker project” makes him popular. “This is guy’s Einstein, Wolverine and Picasso,” I told myself.

After his exhibitions abroad, Sam Penaso and his works have finally returned home.

The paintings in Sam Penaso: The Homecoming, Sam Penaso’s first art exhibit which opened at the Island City Mall’s Prawn Farm on July 22, also Bohol’s Day and run until July 24, are abstract and conceptual, all right, but they touch the heart because most of the paintings are experimentations in lines and colors.

“The increasing tantalization of the world has become the very matter imprinted on his artworks,” art critique JPaul Manzailla of UP Manila pointed out, “Sam does not want to be a prophet who, unfailingly, is not recognized in his own land. He does not prophesize but challenges young Boholano artists to offer what they have in Bohol and to universalize their individual, particular experiences.”

Sam’s homecoming was made possible through the effort of the Association of Young Boholanos in Metro Manila, Inc. (AYBM) headed by Atty. Julius Gregory Batusa Delgado. The exhibit was one of the activities organized by AYBM during the Sandugo festival.

Others who were at the opening were Guindulman Mayor Ma. Fe Añanas-Piezas , Vice Mayor Maria Edineth Hohmann, Atty. Doi Nunag of Amarella Resort, artist Ric Ramasola, architect and violinist Nigeli Cabreara Abarquez, Raymund Delgado, Glenn Lumantao, Atty. Menedio and Mrs. Vanessa Mae Bernido, Atty. Ted Lagang, Gen. Leo Olegario, Doris Dinorog-Obena, Vilma Yorong, Edward Guyano aka Inday Charity, Sandugo festival-goers, and the photographer-artist friends.

Sam Penaso (extreme left) with Atty. Doi Nunag, Ric Ramasola, Guindulman Mayor Ma. Fe Añanas-Piezas, Vice Mayor Maria Edineth Hohmann and family friends during his homecoming in Bohol.

When some of the patrons asked Sam to sign the paintings they bought and won in the raffle, Sam happily obliged.

Among the most admired paintings were those faces old people
Aling Basyang, Mando and Worker which JPaul said could be our kin and neighbors and acquaintances. “They are individual yet general.” People also felt a sense of wonder and excitement seeing generation x, neonlights, eye candy and time machines.
“Sam Penaso hopes to challenge the young and upcoming artists of Bohol to hone their craft,” said Mary Catherine Biliran, AYBM’s board of trustee. “Sam also hopes to contribute in making Bohol art scene active and aggressive,” said Ethel Mae Manlupig in her opening remarks.

Mayor Piezas of Guindulman was all praises for Sam’s achievement, “We are proud of Sam. He deserves all the accolades that he’s getting. This just proves that Sam Penaso is the next Fernando Amorsolo.
Makita nato nga ang mga Picasso, van Gough tagpila na..dili na nato makab-ot. Usa ko sa mingpalit sa iyang paintings kay ming-admire ko. Gusto ko isip Mayor, inahan sa lungsod sa imong ginikanan, ako mupalit sa usa sa imong mga paintings.”

Mayor Piezas recalled one incident in 1967 when she saw the paintings of Filipino master Fernando Amorsolo sold in low prices. Amorsolo was not yet popular at that time. “Now his paintings are millions and we can’t afford it.
Nagmahay ko wala mupalit.”

At the cocktails, Inday Charity was telling Sam he could be a future National Artist, which the artist brushed aside with modesty, saying, “
Malayo pa yan..Hahahaha Hayo pa ta ana..Marami pa na more deserving of that honor.” But Inday Charity disagreed, saying he meets all the qualifications required of a National Artist.

I asked Sam if “What's the best lesson that you want to impart to the youth and people who are in the same situation as you were before?”

“They should believe in themselves so they can pursue their dreams and take the lead in making a difference. They should finish their studies. Kung sa art, pag-igihan ang pagpinta at maniwala sa ginagawang obra then at ang art na ang bahala sa kanila. Basta ibuhos ang galling. Be an artist with your whole substance; give everything you have. If you are fully engaged in your life, you will fully engage others,” said Sam. It pays to remember the Filipino saying, Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.

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