PANAG-ABUT 2017: LuzViMin Art Residency

Photos by Jun Cayas

“You have so much here. You just have to come together.”

 -  Charlie Co

Who would have thought what three days with multiple artists coming from the different parts of the country could bring?

It all started when Kublai Millan, a full time artist from Mindanao was invited as one of the speakers in the VIVA (Visayas Islands Visual Arts) Excon, a biennial art exhibit and conference in the Visayas.  This experience inspired Kublai to envision a similar art festival in Mindanao.

PANAG-ABUT 2017

PANAG-ABUT 2017

It was providential when Kublai Millan, Manny Garibay and Charlie Co met, discussed and came up with an experimental approach for an artists’ platform. With their collective efforts and initiative, September 25-27, 2017 was made possible. The event was known as the “Panag-abut” where full time artists, art practitioners and art students came together. Panag-abut was a Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao art residency program that took place in Davao City.

                The Panag-Abut paved the way for artists to consolidate despite of each other’s background in the field of arts. From the full time artists down to the art students, everyone developed a genuine bond of camaraderie as they shared and imparted skills, talents, crafts and even life lessons with each other. Unity was really present even with the various dialect and regions that artists were representing. Art became their language to be united. In fact, one of the activities that proved this to be true is the 8 x 20 ft. paintings made by the artists representing their island group which is the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The three groups dealt with the same theme on peace. It was a multi perspective approach on an issue. Victor Augustus Dumaguing, one of the artist from the island group of Mindanao said, “The concept is really about our culture. It’s our way to fight conflicts in our homeland.” Each painting presented what each  region has to say about peace.

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PANAG-ABUT 2017 would not have been possible without the commitment of the artists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the support from local artists’ group.

                It’s difficult to fathom how exciting and stimulating the activities were all put together in just a span of three days. One of the highlights was the Panag-Abut LuzViMin Art Talk that took place at the Matina campus of the University of Mindanao on September 26, 2017. It was an Art talk led by some of the well-known artists from the country namely, Manny Garibay from Luzon, Charlie Co from Visayas and Kublai Millan from Mindanao. Each speaker gave their fair share of advices to the listeners about their journey with art. Charlie Co said, “I kept all my paint brushes from day one to remind me to do more.” Manny Garibay added, “Be generous as an artist. Be driven by a sense of need to share and that can only happen if the artist care.”  It was an inspiring and a very eye-opening kind of talk.

AT THE ART Talk held at the University of Mindanao with students from different schools in the city.

AT THE ART Talk held at the University of Mindanao with students from different schools in the city.

                 The event was concluded with socials at Kublai Millan’s residence on September 27.  It was a well-deserved feast and celebration for everyone. It was very entertaining and heart-warming at the same time, to have a sneak peak of a dream that is about to come true. The dream to have an Art Festival in Mindanao was gradually unveiling. Manny Garibay assured that it’s not an impossible thing as the culture of the Philippines is alive in Mindanao. As Charlie Co once stated, “You have so much here. You just have to come together.” The Panag-Abut LuzViMin Art Residency paved the way for potentials and possibilities and gave birth to an exciting plan to have an Art Festival in Mindanao in two years’ time. Everyone went home with a hopeful heart and a united spirit as an artist and as a Filipino.

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