October 2019 musings: Groundbreaking & earth-shaking

MeAn Tan Guino-o’s “Pink Flowers” at Pink October exhibit at Insular Hotel (Photo MeAn Tan)
MeAn Tan Guino-o’s “Pink Flowers” at Pink October exhibit at Insular Hotel (Photo MeAn Tan)

OCTOBER left me a lot to ponder on: the value of art, the value of life.


MindanaoArt is a groundbreaker. It was an art fair and exhibit that gathered artists from across the island to showcase the South’s contribution to the country’s art scene.

The three-day affair was the biggest locally-organized art gathering to date, and to mount an event of this size is not an easy feat. I missed this grand affair but based on the photos the result of the first serving was quite well received and impressive.

It wasn’t just an art fair and exhibit. Beyond the main exhibition area in Gaisano Mall and satellite exhibits across the city was also an art conference. Professionals from different fields shared their ideas about art.

On exhibit were works of artists I admire. It was a good time to hunt for works to add to a collection.

But who buys artwork from Davao?

Yes, there is a market. There are buyers who buy because they are drawn to the subject or into the genre—abstract, realism, impressionism. There are speculative buyers, too, who hope the artist become well-know some day. And there are those who buy because its sparks joy. There are budding collectors are all around us. They start with one to put in their homes, and like every collection it starts with one piece.

And which artist sells most? I believe those with most friends—supportive friends. I can speak from experience. I dabble in the creative arts as well and those who patronize my jewelry are mostly friends. Their friends see the products and would want one for themselves. That’s how to get the business rolling.

As to pricing, the bigger, the pricier. That applies to both size and the status of the artist.


In a catastrophe, basic instinct drives you to keep yourself safe first. I was put to the test on one of the recent high-intensity tremors that shook the city. Of the three above Intensity 6 earthquakes, two were experienced on ground level and one while I was at home—on the 17th floor of a tower. Up there, the shaking is intensified.

As the intense shaking started, I jumped out of bed, picked up the key and left the room—no mobile phone, no change of clothes, no money, nothing. My concern is to put myself to safety and forget everything else.

Away from danger I got to think that whatever I have acquired means nothing—that jewelry, painting or gadget that I worked so hard to pay—when personal safety is at risk. What is costly will be worthless.

I thought I had gone through all the pros and cons of loving in a high-rise or subdivision. Apparently I missed one—earthquakes. The recent incidents question your decisions if it’s really wise to live in a high-rise residence?

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Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com


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