ART AND SOUL: The narrative of beauty and hope

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Why the arts stories on page 1?

This question is a valuable guide to the resurgence of the arts community in Iloilo.

Don’t get me wrong, Iloilo is laden with talent when it comes to visual, musical, and other art forms.

As Iloilo City and province were undergoing an economic renaissance between the late 90s and the 2000s, the arts community was also experiencing its own rejuvenation.

One of the persons behind this reawakening would be Ilonggo artist Rock Drilon, brother of topnotch business executive Rex Drilon II who was also partly responsible for stirring Iloilo’s version of an economic miracle.

Regular gatherings of artists in art shows, forums, skits, and other forms of engagements nurtured the growth of the community.

I can still remember the words of Mr. Rex Drilon II: “As Iloilo grows economically, it must also nurture its soul through arts.”

It inspired Daily Guardian to give premium space to arts-related events such as exhibitions, concerts, and even profile features of our artists.

The growth in the infrastructure sector bodes well for the arts community as museums, galleries, and theater houses mushroomed.

The UPV Museum of Art and Culture Heritage, the National Museum Western Visayas, Museo Iloilo, Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Philippine Economic History, University of San Agustin Archives and Museum, NHCP Museum of Philippine Maritime History, Metro Iloilo Modern Arts Park-Museè d’Arsie, MAMUSA Gallery, Cinematheque Center Gallery, and the Iloilo City Hall Gallery are just among the arts destination that are teeming in Iloilo City.

Contributions from Prof. Martin Genodepa tackling the growth and development of visual arts in Iloilo brought the spotlight to Ilonggo talents.

John Anthony Estolloso also breathed life into art journalism through his reviews of significant arts events in the city and province.

Street arts also blossomed with bridges, walls, and structures becoming canvasses on which our artistic energies and synergies are realized.

The Iloilo Megabook Fair is also an important aspect of literary arts, sparking once more our interest in reading and writing.

I am elated with how the colors of the city became more brilliant and defined because of our blossoming arts community. Indeed, Iloilo’s soul is more passionate and compassionate thanks to our artists and their advocates who remind us of the beauty of life.

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