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‘Sirak’ art exhibit features Eastern Samar’s culture, way of life

BORONGAN CITY (PIA) -- The provincial government of Eastern Samar has officially launched the celebration of National Arts Month by staging the ‘Sirak,’ an art exhibit featuring the visual arts of Estehanon artisans, on February 5.

Visual artists from all over Eastern Samar, namely  Ruth Abunda, Edmund Balan, Mel Amasa, Melcho Colongon, Rolando Cada, Janelle Yu, Balmik, Samuel Goden, Vebien Pajanustan, Jhuna Casillano, and Xoxie Allane Ty, showcased their artworks in the exhibit while dressed in traditional Filipino clothing.

Gov. Ben Evardone led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Vice Gov. Maricar Sison-Goteesan, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and the local artists.

Gov. Ben Evardone led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Vice Gov. Maricar Sison-Goteesan, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and the local artists. (Photo courtesy of Rj Ablay)

In his message, Evardone proudly enumerated the innate talents and creativity of Estehanons, particularly in arts.

Riko an aton probinsya hiton istorya, arts, ngan tradisyon kay aada an aton innate nga creativity through, for example, our songs and dances such as chacha and kuratsa,” Evardone said.

(Translation: Our province is rich in stories, arts, and tradition because we are innately creative, for example, in our songs such as chacha and kuratsa.)

Gov. Ben Evardone took a picture of his portrait made by Mark Biong, one of the contestants during the Mr. Silangang Samar 2023. Biong painted the artwork in just a span of 5 minutes during the time-pressured talent portion of the pageant. (Photo courtesy of Rj Ablay)

He emphasized that the exhibit serves as a platform to support local artists and to promote arts in general, as it is the foundation of the province and the community.

Yan ang kaluluwa ng isang lugar, ng isang bansa walang character ang isang komunidad kung walang arts, kultura at history,” he said.

(Translation: It is the soul of a community and country. A community without arts, culture, and history lacks character.) 

He added that art is always present in our daily lives without consciously knowing it. Such an example is how people communicate and deal with one another. 

Neil Alejandro Pinarok, the provincial tourism officer of Eastern Samar, shared that despite the late notice, the artists quickly responded to be part of the exhibit to support the province’s arts month activity. They are grateful for the platform provided to showcase their artwork through the exhibit.

This activity is designed to celebrate the artistic excellence of our local artists and to proliferate, discover, and develop the unique and diverse art forms of the Estehanon, particularly the Estehanon heritage and culture,” he added.

Pinarok also shared that the province has scheduled a month-long celebration in line with Arts Month, featuring various art forms such as dances and songs every Monday throughout February to showcase the Estehanon culture.

Eastern Samar National Comprehensive High School (ESNCHS) Dance Troupe with rondalla accompaniment performed during the art exhibit's opening. (Photo courtesy of Rj Ablay)

Ruth Abunda, one of the exhibitors and the manager of Radyo Pilipinas Borongan, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the Sirak members to the provincial government for providing them with the best venue for the first-ever provincial art exhibit in the newly constructed capitol building.

Ruth Abunda (middle, in green) beside her artworks with Gov. Ben Evardone, Vice Gov. Marical Sison-Goteesan, and the Eastern Samar sangguniang panlalawigan members. (Photo courtesy of Rj Ablay)

When asked about the inspiration behind her artwork, Abunda shared that the Estehanon way of life influenced most of her pieces, which she drew from the images captured by photographers in the province.

Abunda was grateful for the support of Grace Evardone, the governor’s wife, and some officials who purchased their ‘obras,’ finding a new home for the art pieces in their offices and personal places.

“Such a wonderful part of our journey as artists. I hope our experience and collective efforts will encourage young, budding artists in our province,” she said.

Evardone hoped this activity would constantly remind the youth and all of us that art is a way of life and the ultimate foundation of our community.(AAC/VTG/PIA Eastern Samar)

Ruth Abunda with her paintings depicting a surfer riding the waves of Eastern Samar and a small boat in Ando Island, Borongan. Photo: PIA Eastern Samar)
Mel Colongon, an artist and educator, beside his beautiful paintings of the scenic parks in Borongan City. (Photo: PIA Eastern Samar)
The national costume worn by Airissh Ramos that secured the Best in National Costume during the Miss Universe 2023 is also on display at the lobby of the capitol building. (Photo: PIA Eastern Samar)

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Samuel Candido


Region 8

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