Love is Forever-A A +A
Saturday, February 9, 2013
INSPIRING each one is our unique love story of all times.
Let me share with you, dear readers, the following work of love by Nina Tomen.
A Celebration of Love and Art
By Nina L.B. Tomen
She imagines him standing behind her, smiling as he watches every brushstroke that transforms an empty canvas into a beautiful work of art.
The lyrics of their theme song, “You’re My Everything,” ring in her ears, reminding her of the romance that began on February 14, 1956 in the rustic town of San Pablo, Laguna. Beautiful music and thoughts of him watching from a distance inspires her to pursue painting, her newfound passion.
Miguela Ticzon-Santiago, an eye-ear-nose-throat specialist and acupuncturist, has found her way out of the tunnel of grief that threatened to engulf her after the death, in 2005, of husband Manuel Pecson Santiago, the well-loved former Mayor of Guagua (1986 to 1998) from colon cancer. Long before good governance became a byword in the field of politics, Mayor Manoling had been earning raves for his excellent performance as an honest and hardworking civil servant. To many, he was ‘the Governor that Pampanga never had’.
Doc Leleng, as the 73-year old, charming doctor-artist is more popularly known, refused to plunge into the depths of depression that usually sets in after bereavement. She busied herself with community service that benefitted not just the town of Guagua, but the whole province of Pampanga. For this, she was named one of the recipients of the 2012 Most
Outstanding Kapampangan Awards (as Outstanding Honorary Kapampangan).
In June 2011, she found herself taking painting lessons from professional artists including Nestor Villanueva of Manila, Lelee Adriano, Aurelio Lobo of Angeles City and visiting maestro, Rafael Maniago. Doc Leleng’s love affair with painting began by chance. It started as an exchange deal with bosom friends whom she promised to accompany to a session on painting at Villa Conchita Resort if they accompanied her to the doctor for check-up. Thus, began her romance with a newfound love.
Doc Leleng sees painting as a therapy that can cure loneliness. She remembers how much Mayor Manoling appreciated artworks. Among her first paintings was an oil-on-canvas rendition of the Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega, Batangas that she and Mayor Manoling frequented. There, they felt close to heaven and close to God.
“I want to show others who have lost loved ones that there are productive ways of coping with unfathomable loss. Learn new skills, discover your potentials, and make yourselves useful.” Such is the message that she wants to impart through this exhibit. She wants lasting love and arts to be her legacies to family, friends and to the community. She has been donating all earnings from the sale of her paintings to the church and to charity.
“I know Manoling is still with us,” she says matter-of-factly. Their union that produced four offsprings (Cecilia, Mariano, Luis and Christina +), was a decade shy of the golden mark; yet, he continues to inspire her from the afterlife. Through painting, Doc Leleng has discovered a way of connecting with her beloved long after he had gone. Theirs is a love story that knows no boundaries. Like many great loves, theirs is a love destined to last FOREVER.
Barely a year and a half after she discovered the joys of painting, Doc Leleng is mounting her first solo painting exhibition at SM Pampanga Annex 3. Billed “Forever: A Celebration of Love and Art,” the exhibition is slated to run from February 14 to 19, 2013. It celebrates not just the coming out of a late bloomer in the field of arts; it is also a celebration of enduring love and the healing power of art. February is widely-celebrated as Love Month and Philippine National Arts Month. It promises to thrill hopeless romantics and arts enthusiasts alike.
This project is for the benefit of St. James the Apostle Parish Church (also known as Betis Church). To live up to its name as a National Cultural Treasure, Betis Church is set to be fitted with a bamboo organ similar to that found in St. Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas City. This move is seen to spice up liturgical rites, rituals and sacred music in the centuries-old church that is located in Betis, one of the oldest Augustinian settlements in Pampanga.
For those who are interested in buying any of Doc Leleng’s paintings, St. James the Apostle Heritage Foundation, Inc. and Mirabilia Dei Children’s Choir will accept reservations at the registration counter throughout the 6-day exhibit that will open on February 14, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Abp. Paciano B. Aniceto and Aux. Bp. Pablo Virgilio S. David of the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga); Fr. Emil Dizon, Parish Priest of St. James the Apostle Parish; Mrs. Myrna C. Bituin, multi-awarded entrepreneur and leading furniture manufacturer from Betis are among those expected to grace the exhibit’s opening.
For more information, please contact Joan Dizon-Santiago at telephone no: 045-900-2188; cellphone no: 09209030030 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 10, 2013.