Weekly Writing Challenge: Shift Your Perspective / Self or the Masses?

December 5, 2012

She loved Domenikos Theotocopoulus or El Greco, Robert Delaunay, Willem De Kooning, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Pablo Picasso. Some influenced her painting style in her early attempts to paint…


Above are some of her works that were spared from the fire that burned down their house in 1998; they luckily happened to be in her sibling’s residences.


Portrait Sketch of Mother before she Died in 1999

But for whatever reason only God knows, she was led to the less trodden path — of documenting in film, materials and subjects untouched for years, either because of lack of interest in them, or her subjects are marginalized. She stopped painting altogether as the passion for advocacy film making grows.

TIga and Alyana

[L] A historical docu film on the socio-cultural life of the island inhabitants before World War II; the last island held on by the Americans before surrendering to the Japanese in 1942. It concludes with an anti-war sentiment; [R] The first local feature-length digital film on autism in the Philippines that advocates for inclusion and mainstreaming of persons with autism.

“Any regrets for the detour?” I asked myself.
And so many times in between asked God: “What do You really want me to do?”

And I always end up with a smile you know.

Ptg in Nova As I come to think that paintings are appreciated only by the few who happened to collect or own your work; at the most by the owner’s visitors who drop by at their house. I have witnessed the BIG difference. Documentary films reach out to hundreds, at times to thousands of people in one screening day because of digital technology. Comparatively, I never saw anyone shed a tear looking at my paintings; they get puzzled in fact. They ask a lot of questions. They find it difficult to see what I saw. Racking their brain, in a way training them to see beyond mere forms I think is quite challenging for them. Often than not though, communication fails. And when that happens, there is no give and take between me and the viewer, between you and me. It becomes a one-on-one activity. It serves only the Self. The viewer does not matter. You cease to exist. It is simply art as self-expression; it is self-serving.

But I saw lots whose hearts were touched by the truth my film for example on autism presents. As such, docu film making has since then become my most fulfilling activity in life. When we hop around towns and cities to spread autism and deafness awareness to our citizens who still believe in cultural myths that outcast persons with disability in our society, and the outcome is clearly paradigm shifting of attitude towards them by some, not necessarily all the viewers, there is the sense of triumph not only for myself but for my subjects. Sharing what I have learned is a two-way process with rippling effect at times. I learned from my subjects; others have learned from what I have learned.

SO and Rizal

Docus that advocate for the respect and recognition of Deaf Filipinos’ Linguistic Human Rights and the right to choose the language that would give them their cultural identity.

There’s that unexplainable joy of being able to attain my goal, in easily getting my message across to the target viewer. The experience is quite rewarding. In both modes – painting and docu film making – I have something to say. But in the latter, many people benefit. From Self to Society, that’s quite a leap. No regrets whatsoever!

Pitz & Fort

Drawing practice last week

Nevertheless, whatever I do now, there is still that remote dream of again dabbling oil colors on canvas. I therefore struggle to get back to basic drawing –a skill that needs to be practiced if at all confidence to paint has to be regained.




  1. A wonderful project to document autism in the Philippines. Either way, painting or filmmaking, you are making a difference.

  2. Thanks Kozo! I actually have another dream project in mind, one that is going to focus on artists and performers who are High Function Autistics and those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in our country. I hope it materializes. It’s kind’a difficult as an independent advocacy filmmaker to make one because of lack of support…Besides, it may take time as I have yet to continue the work that I have started on the Cerebral Palsied. We’ll see where God is finally going to lead me — to finish the work on the CP’s, or start anew centering on the Aspies!!

  3. The artist video sounds incredible. There is an art studio in San Francisco, California called Creativity Explored. It features art from disabled. I think they also have autistic artists featured.
    Also, check into crowd funding like kickstarter.com for support.
    I’m sure you will find a way, especially with God on your side.

  4. Am very happy to know about that art studio. Just waiting for the Arts Commission’s decision re my proposal on the HFA and Aspie music artists. If they approve it, my funding problem will be partly solved. Will check on the crowd funding you mentioned…
    You’re right God is on my side. And as per experience, when I start a project, He makes sure I finish it — but in His time. Oftentimes they take years: my film on autism [two-and-a-half years to finish]; on deafness [one-and-a-half]…primarily because i have not done them initially for any institution though I have intended benefiaries. Thanks for your encouragement, the info you gave, and your time to drop by here…

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