Painting nostalgia

Magallanes Street by Bryan dela Rosa
Magallanes Street by Bryan dela Rosa

WHAT is it like to be transported to the past, getting a glimpse of how living was back then? Since a “time machine” is an invention that has yet to materialize, people are left with having to read history books or visiting what remains of old and historical buildings in cities and towns.

As the month of May is celebrated as National Heritage Month, such activities sound like the perfect plan. Although, an upcoming exhibit organized by Cebuano architects could be another great option for those who want to see the vibrant “old” Cebu in watercolor paintings, and not just in black and white or sepia snapshots.

Dubbed “Sugbu Kaniadto, Young Cebu in Nostalgic Hue,” the exhibit showcases works from Arkisketchers— a group of architects who are also watercolor enthusiasts. These architects organized themselves just a few years ago during a conference of their professional organization, the United Architects of the Philippines, and went to different cities and towns in Cebu to bond over their shared interest in painting.

The group is composed of architects Anthony Abelgas, Augusto Lee, Loloy Castro, Fatima Jayme-Castro, Ray Racho, Clint Ponsica, Ryan Cabanlit, Bryan dela Rosa, Ferdinand Tiro, Ezra Rama, Richard Romeo, Kit Madula, Jenny Miala and Pocholo Estremos.

The realistic watercolor renditions of vintage images of Cebu were inspired by a collection of photographs from the University of San Carlos Cebuano Studies Center and the book entitled “Glimpses of Old Cebu” by Lucy Miller.

“This is our fourth exhibit and the biggest so far,” said Castro. He added that the exhibit will again benefit the Cancer Warriors Foundation.

“These architects are taking on a battle that only a few choose to fight,” he said. “In fact, one of our exhibitors recently lost a young family member to cancer.”

Architects are the prime professionals in the design and construction field, making sure that every building they design meets the needs of their users as well as satisfies various aspects such as site features, climate, environment and even history and social concerns. This time, these architects went out of the customary design tasks and unleashed their creativity in bringing life to the good old Cebu from several years back, all for a worthy cause. In this age of advanced computer-rendering software that seem to diminish the value of manually done artistic works, it would be great to rediscover the raw talents of true-blue Cebuano artists. As a bonus, one could actually help children, who are in dire need of assistance.

“Sugbu Kaniadto, Young Cebu in Nostalgic Hue” will run from May 20 until June 9 at the upper ground floor bridgeway, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu.


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