Monday, April 15, 2024


Can Filipino animation reach digital heights?

SINCE the release of the first full-computer animated film, Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story in 1995, audiences have clamored fore more. A Bug’s Life, Antz, Finding Nemo, Shrek, and the upcoming Surf’s Up and Ratatouille have sought to satisfy that call.

“Compared to the hand-drawn, digital animation is more realistic and more attractive to moviegoers since it has better rendering and fluidity”, College of Fine Arts and Design professor Raymond Son told the Varsitarian. Son also did some freelance work for Fil cartoons, which is a subsidiary of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons and also produced, Meena, a Unicef animated series about gender inequality in South Asia.

Thomasian trademark

Thomasians are no strangers to the lucrative but challenging field of animation. Advertising graduates Virginia Cruz Santos and Joe Mateo belong to the few who made it big in the world of digital animation.

Fresh Thomasian graduates shine in debut exhibit

FRESH out of College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD), four Thomasians held their first major group exhibit, Urban Kaleidoscope, at the Fashion Art Gallery in Kamuning, Quezon City, from May 25 to June 15.

“Every one of us comes across things that we may not get,” CFAD alumna Lesley Lim told the Varsitarian. “And that’s what our pieces wanted to point out—each of us must be prepared for things that may happen.”

Lim’s “Cuckoo Clock” speaks of the artist’s attitude about the significance of time. Each of the bird’s call is equal to a human heartbeat, the painting seems to say.

In the watercolor “Undersea,” Lim presents life’s unexpected encounters through the image of a woman amid the haze of the intricate objects beneath the water. “Life is a wonderful gift, we must always remember,” Lim said. “That’s why every minute, every hour, and every day should be important for us, too.”

Mixing melodies with prayers

EVERYTHING happens for a reason, and for talented baritone Jesus Emmanuel “Nonon” Baang, entering in the Conservatory of Music after botching his enrollment at the College of Commerce was, in hindsight, a wonderful accident.

Having graduated from the Conservatory after 10 years as a student, Baang could not help but feel fortunate.

“When I entered the Conservatory of Music, I learned how to love music more and though it’s difficult, I found it more exciting and took it as a challenge,” Nonon said.

Baang started singing at the age of six when he formed the parish choir in Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur, which should have paved the way for a career in music. But he had other things in mind.

“I wanted to follow the footsteps of my father who is a certified public accountant,” Baang told the Varsitarian. “I also wanted to take up law because we also have judges and lawyers in the family.”

Symphony of Carols Christmas concertUST stages yuletide musical feast

A FLOCK of Thomasian nightingales accompanied by UST’s finest instrumentalists serenaded audiences with a repertoire of classical and modern Christmas carols during UST’s fifth Christmas concert, Symphony of Carols, at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church last Dec. 7.

Besides celebrating Christ’s birth, the concert served as a channel to display the incomparable performing artists of the University.

“It is a way by which the University showcases the Thomasian talents and shares them with friends and other stakeholders,” said Giovanna Fontanilla, director of the Public Affairs Office.

Monsignor Joseph Edward Adams, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, led the diplomatic corps who were invited to the concert. Others in the audience were Wellington Wei, director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and Vic Vianzon, ABC 5’s vice-president for programming.

The life and art of Arturo Rafanan-Rabara

LEAVING a conspicuous mark in the colorful yet competitive world of the arts is a daunting challenge. But Thomasian painter Arturo Rafanan Rabara had made an indelible dent not only in Philippine art but in the United States as well. Ironically though, he was given more recognition on foreign soil and it took his death for Filipinos to accord him the recognition he deserved as a major Filipino artist.

Born on May 13, 1938, Rabara hailed from Ilocandia, which has produced world-renowned visual artists such as Juan Luna, Esteban Villanueva, Macario Vitali, and Venancio Igarta.

As a young kid, Rabara showed creativity in little ways. As a shoe-shine boy, he crafted his own shoe box. In high school, he would do letterings for barangay fiestas. He also reaped honors in provincial and regional school art competitions.

Industrial Design students tackle board games

INDUSTRIAL Design juniors have come up with 74 ways to keep the handicapped agile and the old quick-witted.

Marveleux (a French word which stands for “physical,” “quickly,” and “fantastic”), an exhibit at the Beato Angelico Main Gallery last September 25 to 29, featured 74 clever and creative board games made out of synthetic, organic, industrial, and recycled materials. The games are playful but therapeutic creations to engage the old and the disabled.

“We want to show how Industrial Design touches the lives of many people through the practicality and usefulness of its products,” said Myna Suñico, professor and department head of Industrial Design.

Toy power

Well-conceived exhibit on the Rosary

OCTOBER is considered the month of the Holy Rosary, but despite the prominence of the devotion, only a few truly understand the purpose of the chain which supposedly binds Christian families together.

Cognizant of the need to emphasize the relevance of the Holy Rosary amid the changing times, the UST Museum of Art and Sciences merged aesthetics and faith in an exhibit sought to glorify and clarify the rosary, titled The Rosary: Into the Garden of Paradise, last October.

Aside from commemorating the month of the Holy Rosary, the exhibit coincided with the centennial celebration of the connonical coronation of the La Naval de Manila.

“The exhibit is a small step for Philippine Christianity to gain a better understanding of the rosary through art,” said Regalado Trota Jose, the curator of the exhibit.

Of flora and fauna, of fantasy and faith

ONE ELEMENT that unifies art works together is expression so that young and promising art aficionados called Kulay Malaya have banded together to cultivate their art and individual styles.

“We may not be able to send our message by words, but we could convey it through our paintings.” said Eleazar Orobia, a College of Fine Arts and Design professor. “While our group is still focused on personal topics, we would also like to paint about socially relevant issues.”

In the last three months, Kulay Malaya has successfully executed their infant steps toward the pursuit of their vision, largely through exhibits.

Dream catchers

Awakening the sleeping emotions and interest of its spectators through striking paintings, Kulay Malaya’s art exhibit, Tulog, evoked the significance of sleep and dreams.

A traveller’s account of suffering

“WHY ARE lives in the West seem shallower than those in the Middle East where the stakes for success are lower?”

Trying to find an answer to this question, writer-director David Hare left Europe for a journey to Israel.

Via Dolorosa, a monologue performed by Bart Guingona for Actor’s Actors Incorporated, was the account of Hare’s travels and remarkable conversations with politicians, artists, historians, and settlers in Israel. Its Philippine premiere was held last July 5 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.