Monday, October 6, 2008

Pono Ko Balleng? (When Are You Coming Home?)

After witnessing Kadayawan and having seen real Bagobos for the first time, I couldn't help but be proud of being one. The intricacy and colors of the patterns in our costume and jewelries are very eye-catching, even the dialect's a treat to the ears. A lanky Bagobo, probably in his 70's, emerged from their hut and reminded me of my grandfather. Seeing him made me want to run away.

I could only fancy how brave my Appu Ole, a full-blooded Bagobo, was during his days. My late grandmother claimed that he had driven witches out of their neighborhood with his bolo. My mom said that he drove my grandmother out of their house using a shotgun. So every time we visit our ancestral home, I enter through the lanai where his portrait wearing a bagobo costume awaits in the living room. His stare alone can make someone's hair stand on end. I admire him for exuding that aura even without having his ears pierced. By the way, he was also an excellent photographer.

Though we are becoming less nowadays due to intermarriage and migration, I'm still hopeful that our culture will be preserved. I hope my uncle and my father who are the last bagobo-speaking members of the family live long enough to teach me the tongue-twisting dialect.

These drawings are my way of tracing my roots. Sent these along with three other artworks to Japan as my entry to the 16th Noma Concours. I couldn't have done that without my dear friends. Thank you and enjoy!



  1. Ganda! Pang children's books na to a. (tiklop)

  2. NAKS!!! Idol KITA!!!! :D i'll pray for you, dapat manalo ka! talagang bagay na bagay yung style mo para sa noma concours! pag manalo ka, libre mo ako! :D ISAW tayo!

  3. @ Rowper: Salamat pre, malaki impluwensya ng caricatures mo sa pag-iillustrate ko ngayon.:)
    @ MALL: Mas idol kita! Maraming salamat, kung manalo man ako libre kita buong manok at baboy.:P