STUDYING art is one thing, but practicing it is another. Many times have I questioned myself if I made the right choice in taking up advertising arts. There are many other programs that may be more financially rewarding and of more immediate utility. I get lost and discouraged because of the pressures of society and the criticisms that the artists get. Should I give up my passion for security and stability?

I needed answers and what better way than to look for them through my undergraduate thesis.

For almost nine months, I explored the Philippine art scene. From meeting with big-name artists whose works fetch high prizes to struggling ones like me, from attending renowned high-end art fairs to affordable-art markets in Escolta, I did it all.

After talking to artists, I have realized that they are just like the people we encounter every day—only that they tell their stories through their art.

One artist came from a rich family that refuses to support his passion so he has to pursue it on his own, while another cannot even afford to eat three meals a day. The former portrays his art with no boundaries, while the latter’s work is dark and gloomy.

The artists I met have struggled in one way or another, some even to the point of questioning themselves, too, if they should continue, but eventually deciding that giving up is not an option.

The struggles are a part of the thorny road toward success. Among all the artists that I have come across, one thing is common: they find fulfilment in their passion and that is what really counts.

UST Singers reigns in Florence

In the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the protagonist says, “Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”

I have always been searching for the path that I will tread for the rest of my life. Now is not the time to stop. This is a new chapter, a new venture that I share with the almost 500 graduates from the College of Fine Arts and Design and thousands more from all over the country taking up fine arts. I am aware that security and stability should be the top priorities, but the greatest feeling of fulfilment for me is doing what you really love.

The artist Geloy Concepcion shared with me the words that he lives by: “Mata sa langit, paa sa lupa,” his father had told him.

Those words astounded me. Never forget your roots but dream high. Stay humble but reach for the stars.

At this point, I would like to thank the people who were crucial to my current success. First is my family who gave me so much love and support. Second are my friends that have made my college life so colorful. Third is God who keeps me safe and steady through all my hardships.

Lastly, I thank the Varsitarian, one of the most important factors that have shaped who I am now. After two years of serving the 87-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, I have acquired the skills, knowledge, and connections that are crucial to the fulfilment of my dreams. Also, I have found in the “V” a home away from home and a family in the truest sense of the term. I owe the ”V” all my accomplishments and accolades. Without it I would not be where I am now, even if I am just literally beginning.

Literature must pass through the body


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