Monday, March 5, 2012

Art in the Philippines

Growing up in a family of painters, Dorby Alcoseba saw firsthand the struggling life of an artist.

Though his heart is on art, Alcoseba pursued a college degree in computer engineering hoping to have a more stable life. After two years of working in an office job, his love for the art haunted him back.

"The life of an artist is a struggling one. But it's what I really want. What's important is to go where your heart is," Alcoseba, a fulltime painter, said in Cebuano.

The artist is one of the guests in the February 11 episode of Pagtuki, the official radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), which is aired at DYLA, every Saturday from 10-11 a.m.

The February 11 episode talks about the "life of an artist", as a celebration for the National Arts month in February.

Having a father and an uncle who are painters, Alcoseba is no stranger to canvass and watercolors. He knew then that painting was his calling, just like his father.

For July Carmel, a degree holder in mass communication, she chose to work as a fulltime dancer in a dance group rather than pursue a career in communication.

Though the pay is not as high as a regular job, she said that what is important is she is happy with what she is doing. Carmel was a scholar for being a member of the university's dance and theater group.

"Performing, dancing...these are my passions," she said.

Dennis "Sio" Montera, vice president for visual arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, said that a stable income is one of the greatest challenges of an artist.

"Being an artist is a lifetime commitment. It has no boundaries, no limits, and no bosses. But it is not a regular job. Financially, it's a challenge. Artists need to learn how to be flexible touching people, shaping the future because we all have bills to pay. Despite that challenge, you might wonder why artists are happy... because we are happy with our time and in what we do," Montera said in Cebuano.

He advised starting artists across different fields to not give up and to pursue their passion for the arts, despite the struggles.

Montera expressed his hopes that the government will initiate programs to further develop and preserve Philippine arts.

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