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The exhibitions follows this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin’s theme “Beloved Bisaya” which pays tribute to the 17th-century Spanish missionary Padre Francisco Alcina who lived in the Visayas for 37 years and wrote intensively on the lifeways and culture of the Visayan People. In his writings, he refers to the Visayans as his ‘beloved’ people highlighting the beauty and intricacy of their culture. Marking the 350th year of his death, this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin pays homage to his scholarly contribution which became a major resource in the writing of Filipino pre colonial history.

Mamugna-ong Bisaya showcases artworks from various Cebuano artists and art groups exploring various facets of Bisaya visual cultures. Engaging with folk and vernacular expressions to modern and contemporary image making, the works highlights the the creative mind of Cebuano artists and artisans as they make sense of the world around them, as they craft a vision of the future that remembers the past and value its lessons for future generations to uphold and live by.

SA HUYOHOY GIANOD-ANOD, DRIFTING IN THE BREEZE: Artistic vision and aspirations of the women quilters of Caohagan Island | University of the Philippines Cebu Museum of Art and Culture

The name Caogahan is popular among local and foreign tourists as a pitstop in many island-hopping adventures in Olango Mactan. Besides its pristine white sandbar, the island is recognized for its eco-friendly tourism programs which have created sustainable development for all of the island’s residents. 

The story of the Caohagan Quilt is a story of empowerment:  of women, wives, and mothers taking up an active place in a modernising islandic society. As part of the effort to alleviate the island’s economic conditions, the women under the shade of trees or in the comfort of their homes pay great attention to the tedious yet fulfilling work of making quilted tapestries, blankets, bags, and other handcrafted items that they sell in trade shows abroad.

For the quilters everything starts with the hunahuna, the design in mind. The women begin the process of designing by imagining in their heads the story they want to tell and how this could be expressed through dynamic lines, playful shapes and vibrant colors without drawing them in a piece of paper. Unlike the typical quilts where shapes and patterns are well planned out, and drawn on paper to form a well-balanced design, the Caohagan Quilt is distinguished by its spontaneous and straightforward process. The women would not do complicated drawings and pattern making. There is no predetermined design and the entire process works well with improvisation.

Drifting in the sea breeze, the creative impulse of the Caohagan women schemes a carefree world replete with colors, full of hope, full of life.  The quilts mirror the aspirations of a people for a tender world  as much as the quilts themselves embody an ingenious way towards fulfilling such aspirations.

LARAW SA PAG-USBAW: An exhibition featuring the Tubô Cebu Art Fair’s Image of the Fair 2019-2023 | University of the Philippines Cebu Museum of Art and Culture

Since 2018, Cebuano artists have gathered together in an annual showcase of works in what is now the Tubo Cebu Art Fair. This initiative by the Arts Council of Cebu aims at providing the much needed platform for Cebuano visual artists to promote their works to a wider public and to develop among the Cebuanos a greater appreciation for locally produced art. In the absence of  established art institutions supporting the circulation of art outside the national capital, art fairs have become not just a commercial endeavour but more so as an attempt to bring together the community of artists, linking them with one another and allowing them to engage in collaborative work. The Tubo Cebu Art Fair has seen a steady growth in participation not just from artists and art groups in Cebu more so from other provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

To capture this collaborative spirit of Tubo, the Image of the Fair was created bringing together senior artists and emerging ones blending their artistic language and creative expressions in one canvas. Each work responds to the theme of the year’s art fair and serves as the centrepiece among all exhibited art works.

In the past five years, the Image of the Fair has been crafted by leading figures of Cebuano art like Kimsoy Yap and Javy Villacin. Likewise, it paid close attention to talented young and emerging artists like Ronyel Compra, Mark Copino, Ivy Apa, Nicole Azares, among others. It is hoped that the Image of the Fair continues to be a platform of artistic collaboration putting forth a compelling image of what the Bisaya talent and creative mind can do.

DAMLAG: A Time Yet to Come

An exhibition of different art groups and collectives in Cebu | The Joya Gallery

The exhibition teases the inordinate indeterminacy of Cebuano art as a product of history and therefore can be periodized with a set of styles, subjects, and motifs. The preoccupation towards defining what Cebuano art is and its historical development rally behind an essentialist tendency for a pure and distinct ethos of Bisaya creativity. The attempts to scheme out what Bisaya art is have produced quite vague and elusive results.  And while history is often seen as a linear progression of events, Art especially coming from the regions seemingly presents fluid forms, deviating narratives and expressions that necessitate a different framework of valuation. Cebuano art, in this sense, finds difficulty in assuming pre-ordained notions of what Filipino art is, capturing the depth of local history often tossed between the romanticization of tradition and the inordinate appeal for innovation. 

Much of Cebuano art in the context of culture and heritage appeals to universalist concern for beauty and aesthetic pleasure. In this sense, art is supposed to be autonomous of context and enjoyed by its sheer beauty and harmony with nature. The Abellana School has prescribed a tendency towards a romantic look at art which in many ways has been so associated with paintings made from Cebu. This of course would be put to question as art discourse and theory explored the conceptual and non-representational tenets of modern art which favours minimalism and abstraction. The strong Bisaya realism and an active practice of modernism in Cebu afford Cebuano art its supposed distinguishing features – a reliance on form and technique. 

The present exhibition wanders to and fro tradition and innovation exploring concerns that may lead Cebuano art a new vigour. Beyond the sublime and the beautiful, beyond abstraction and conceptualism, the exhibition gears towards an artistic practice that may revolutionise the social conditions of the self-generation of art. This move towards relational aspects of art may be fostered by the rise of many art groups and collectives in Cebu born out of the necessity to bind a stronger community of artists that could assert a presence and a voice amidst a general lack of public support towards artists.  

Damlag artists presents  explorations in the Question of Identity (pagka-bisaya, bisdak and pamaaging binisaya), Placemaking (taga-dakbayan, lungsod, patag, bukid, etc), Cultural Heritage and Social Practices (heritage structures, fiesta, tabo, hikay, sayaw, musika, etc), Local History and Memory (bayani, karaang mga kaagi, pagbalik-lantaw, kagahapon ug karon, personal/family history, etc) Human Condition and Experiences (kadasig, kaayo, kasakit, gugma, gender, social and environmental issues, etc).

Damlag acknowledges the limitations of the present and is therefore propelled to envision (laraw) what may happen next, the anticipation of change, so full of hopeful longing for a better time yet to come.


MINDWORKS 38: Boang-boangon ang Boang 

Featuring the Mural Works from the Fine Art Students of UP Cebu | University of the Philippines Cebu | The Walkway Murals

In celebration of the National Arts Month of February and the UP Cebu Arts and Culture Festival, the Fine Arts Student Organization led by the 4th Year Studio Arts Majors of UP Cebu’s Fine Art Program presents MINDWORKS. The annual performance and experimental art show of the UP Cebu Fine Arts Program. For almost 40 years Mindworks has served as an avenue for innovative expression and experimentation through different forms and methods of art-making with the aim to highlight the social dimension of art by raising awareness about pressing social issues relevant to the country.

Marking its 38th year last February, Mindworks returned with the theme “Boang Boangon Ang Boang”. The phrase, seemingly nonsensical at first glance, is a call to introspect and unpack the concept of the boang. Here, the word boang does not denote a figure. Instead, it points to the absurd—a senseless experience or situation beyond rationality. But because our present world is seemingly oversaturated with so much absurdity, we have created a bizarre culture that evades truth, glorifies violence, and amplifies discord. We have become so accustomed to the ridiculous that we mistake it for normalcy. The theme, then, urges people to interrogate this deceptive facade, unveil the boang for what it is, and break free from it.

In response to this year’s call, student art groups and collectives from UP Cebu and neighbouring universities banded together to create the mural series now adorning the covered walk leading to UP Cebu’s Fine Arts Building. Exhibiting varying painting styles and techniques, each wall is unique and reflective of the experiences addressed by their makers.

Boang Boangon Ang Boang compels young artists to reflect on the nation’s social reality. These are not ordinary times; thus, we cannot react ordinarily. Mindworks 38 encourages artists to explore, rethink, and reimagine the craziness—to provoke, frustrate, or even allude to a sense of hysteria in these dire times.



Office of the Chancellor

Atty. Leo Malagar

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration

Assoc. Prof. Hazel A. Trapero, DIT

UP Cebu Office for the Initiatives in Culture and the Arts 

Coordinator: Asst. Prof. Jay Nathan Jore

University of the Philippines Cebu Museum of Art and Culture

Curator: Asst. Prof. Jay Nathan Jore

Associate Curator: Riva Ingente

 The Joya Gallery

Curator: Ms. Greys Compuesto

Associate Gallerist: Victoria Tanquerido

Campus Maintenance Office

Engr. Albert Bascon

Jho Alcantara

Safety and Security Unit

 Graphic Design: Diane Diana