MAESTRO Rafael "Paeng" Maniago is set to receive the Outstanding Fernandino award for culture and arts on February 4 at the Heroes Hall in the City of San Fernando.
Maniago, who is past 60 years old, is a painter who became a teacher to Victor Ramos, the painter of the Betis Ceiling during the 1970s. This same ceiling painting is one of the many art attractions inside the Betis Church in Guagua.
Victor Ramos was 20 years older than Maniago at that time.
Maniago was also the painter of the 15 portrait paintings of the past governors of Pampanga, which can be seen at the Provincial Capitol and is the painter of majority of the portraits of most number of presidents of the Holy Angel University.
Maniago has been drawing since childhood. He attended the University of the East in Manila where he studied Fine Arts and Commercial Advertisement. For 20 years, he operated his own gallery in the Philippines and in 1989 he decided to come to the United States. His passion for learning continued as he studied at the Pasadena Art Center.
He has painted over 1,000 portraits, many of which were of the Philippine leaders of commerce, industry and politics.
Aside from conducting workshops throughout Southern California for years, he is also a member of the Portrait Society of America, American Society of Portrait Artists, California Art Club, and Laguna Plain Air Painter Association and a winner of different art contests in the United States.
Maniago is also an abstract and classical master painter. He draws inspiration from both Fernando Amorsolo and Botong Francisco. This is evident in colors of his abstracts and fine old master style paintings that are done in the style that is unique to him.
His plays are surrealism, hyperrealism and abstract depending on his whim but every artwork would surely turn up as a masterpiece.
Maniago is a member of a group of local poets in Pampanga and a staunch advocate of art events. He never fails to attend art exhibits of other artists and support similar events organized by art groups.