“SunStar Cebu: 40 Under 40” is a campaign by SunStar Publishing Inc. in celebration of SunStar Cebu’s 40th anniversary. The campaign identifies and recognizes 40 Cebuano individuals no older than 40 years old who have greatly influenced and contributed to their respective fields of expertise.
On the days leading up to the anniversary on Nov. 25, these individuals will be featured in separate lifestyle articles that cover each category—from Tech & Innovation all the way down to Business. A special publication release will be scheduled on Nov. 23 covering all categories and honorees.
Today, Oct. 24, meet the four candidates whose crafts helped weave colors to Cebu’s proudly distinct arts and design realm: Kenneth Dagatan, Chady Pantaleon, Basti Penayes III (Bastinuod) and Kathrynn Dawn Sy.
All these candidates represent different facets of art, with each of their respective works turning into colorful strokes that when put together paints one picturesque message: A colorful and beautiful Cebu.
Sebastian “Basti” Penayes lll, 30 | Visual Artist – BASTINUOD
“The ‘impact’ comes after the work, whether intentional or not. But luckily, even though people see my work as ‘impactful,’ it is the role of illuminating the margins to impact societal changes that actually drives me to not only express but also exercise and experiment my creative works in our local space.”
Starting his professional career in 2017, Sebastian, or more popularly known as “Bastinuod,” is a Cebuano visual artist that works with traditional and digital medium. This is done by blending freehand characters and comic book color tones while incorporating traditional imagery into pop culture. His ever-evolving works portray social and personal issues in satiric form, with each delivering a powerful and clear message to anyone who sees them.
“Though uniqueness is given, times have changed. Cebuano culture changed, too, though strongly rooted in its histories. It’s essential to also ride the times, experiment freely, connect and know what social discussions affect Cebuanos. Authenticity comes from within, but along with it comes exercising how you personally connect to the ones who see your work.”
Chady Pantaleon, 35 | Makeup Artist | Multimedia Artist
“I immerse myself constantly with everything Cebu. The ins and outs. The splashy and the gritty. All of these are actual ingredients in becoming an authentic figure. There should be a balance of the highs and lows and the middle ground which you have to invent to stay afloat.”
From editorial to high-fashion runways to commercial and bridal clientele, Chady has done it all. The Cebu-based makeup artist has been slaying the arena for as long as 15 years and the choreography everyone’s trying to master has become nothing but a routine for this seasoned artist.
When he first started out as a makeup artist, Chady believed that the industry was very exclusive and connections-based. According to him, it all changed when the industry diversified.
“I am very thankful that I was one of the lucky few who was in the forefront of this beauty revolution that also occurred all over the world. This way, I have served as a map for other local creatives starting up to pave their own road and make something for themselves. Makeup gave me plenty of opportunities to grow as an artist. I was the only makeup artist that was sent to India to represent the Philippines for their first AR Hackathon. I believe that should count for something; that passion can get you somewhere.”
Kenneth Lim Dagatan, 28 | Filmmaker, “Sanctissima” (2015)
Kenneth is a Cebuano filmmaker based in Manila and has been one since he was in college. The young artist has been carrying the Cebu flag in the film industry and has won the Audience Choice Award for his horror short film, “Sanctissima” (2015), at the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
“I think being able to inspire the next generation, the young Cebuano storytellers/filmmakers, to pursue their dreams is already an achievement for me. And bringing the Cebuano banner is something I’m proud of.”
The art of filmmaking has always been personal to Kenneth. He believes that there are no “ingredients” to balance culture and branding. According to him it comes subconsciously and naturally that culture blends with the personal tastes and voices of the maker.
“But it also depends, some artists give a blatant way of showing their culture, which I sometimes envy, to be honest, but now I have personal issues that I think I need to address and am interested in. But the thing with culture, wherever you come from, you’ll always be bringing your home with you, whether you are conscious about it. And in every work you do, It will always be there because that is ‘you.’ The way you are now is because of the culture you used to see growing up, which will never disappear.”
Kathrynn Dawn Sy, 32 | Founder & Principal Architect, Atelier de Aurora | DS Marketing and Creative Director, Blind Clothing
From furniture design, architectural interiors, styling, interior branding, set and production design, she’s done it all.
Kathrynn Dawn Sy is an architect, entrepreneur and content creator. She is the founder of Atelier Aurora, a multidisciplinary design studio and has been in the architecture practice for nine years.
She has built her practice around a strong belief that architecture is a key tool in uplifting lives and elevating experiences. By going the extra mile to try and make sure the Cebuanos get to live and work better, regardless of budget. Their end-goal has always been to improve quality of life; be it in the form of a stimulating environment, or ease of maintenance, a sense of security or a functional space layout.
“We hope to contribute to keeping Cebu at the forefront of the country in terms of design. We are after all a Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) creative city. As a team, we constantly do trend- spotting and push the envelope as much as we can in terms of design innovation through construction methodology and techniques, material exploration and manipulation. It is easy to lose sight of these in the day to day hustle bustle of design and construction. Safekeeping this vision is my personal job.”
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