‘Pangasinan ed Pusok’

(Pangasinan in my Heart)

April 5 to May 2, 2016, Bengson House, Lingayen, Pangasinan



The honey-coloured yellow walls brightened the living interiors, spotlights beaming at his paintings. Like a mini art gallery, his works of art formed a cultural mosaic that made its way through each room, from the moment you walk in. “Maestro” Romeo Mananquil, also known as Romi, invited us to his Mississauga residence, his home radiating familiar warmth, as each painting imbued a sense of nostalgia, drawing back to his roots of Philippine subjects and landscapes, recounting his life experiences as a young boy in his homeland.

Click here for more details: http://www.kubomagazine.ca/meet-the-maestro-romi-mananquil/

In Tanghalian is the Filipino enjoying God’s blessings and provisions under a quonset that intimates verve and vitality by reason of the simple dwelling receiving a most selective sunlight in a pollution-free environment. Rugged be the barangay road, yet ubiquitous is the peoples’ testament of their ingenuity for mobility – the tricycle. Personal identities are not for the people to showcase, for they represent the Filipinos in the large.

The culture of temporariness, depicted in Talipapa, has its positive virtue: a social leveler regardless of claims to the contrary. Plain folks and household helps – some carrying cellphones for quick contact with their amo, or for whom they serve as maids – negotiate distances either on foot or aboard the Filipino contraption. The two women at the left typify Filipino women who take life as a shared responsibility.

Inhibition is lost in Morning Bath where at least two things are in progress: a washerwoman feeding a child, while another child is taking a bath au naturel. This sight on specific sites may be alien to citified folks and today’s netizens, but not to the consciousness of MananQuil. He clearly argues in paint that some streams, devoid of domestic clutter and refuse, are a haven for hygiene and washing.

Simple may a repast be – from the viewpoint of the so-called metropolites and cosmopolites – but a breakfast to simple folks comes as a manna from heaven, and therefore must be enjoyed as God’s blessing. The couple in Breakfast by the Beach did not pose for MananQuil, for theirs is unity depicted five times: the plastic basket and the aluminum pot are diagonally arranged to repeat the diagonality of the couple eating…

Unique Pinoy Roots in a “Neticized” World

MananQuil’s present works delineate unique Pinoy roots that continue to transcend the dictates of a “neticized” world gone berserk with the internet and other insensate products of technology.

GEOGRAPHIC distance can affect the operations of the head, heart and hands either way. Alienation from one’s old environment can lead to another kind of alienation in a new environment. Identity loss impends. A new persona bids entry into one’s old self. Inner conflict results. Resolute must the person be: to cling on to the past, or shake of the previous identity and put on a mask of a person reborn.

Romeo C. MananQuil met an unpaintable culture shock when he decided to relocate his family to Canada in 1985. Everything was alien to him. And he was an alien to everybody. He landed a job as a visual artist – his passport to that subcontinent covering 9,922.33 sq. km. However, he had to grapple with nostalgia. All that he could do to connect with the old country was to reminisce his happy and successful life and career in the third world country of his birth.

Cultural dichotomy identified the old and the new, the third and first worlds. He had to find a connection somewhere. Somehow. And he found it.

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MananQuil’s present works delineate unique Pinoy roots that continue to transcend the dictates of a “neticized” world gone berserk with the internet and other insensate products of technology.


Paul Blanco Zafaralla

(BFA ’63; MA ’73; Ph.D. ’90) won the 2004 National Book Award (Art Studies, a new category), given by the prestigious Manila Critics Circle for the book Rice in the Seven Arts which he edited; and the 2005 UP Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award in Arts and Letters (Art Criticism). He is a retired Professor 10 of Humanities in the Department of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Los Banos where he is presently a Professorial Lecturer 1. He has written 2 books as sole author; 1 book as sole editor; 1 book as coeditor and chapter writer; 2 books as coauthor (together with National Artist Nick Joaquin and National Artist Cesar Legaspi); and 8 books as chapter writer. He is presently doing 2 books. His brochures total 22; his critiques on the visual arts, dance, music, architecture, literature, and play total 596. He is a former Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Council 5377, College Laguna; Formation Steward (with his wife Charity) of the Bukas-Loob sa Diyos Covenant Community, San Pablo District; and present president of the Parish Pastoral Council, St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, College, Laguna.