I started drawing cartoons for the College of Arts and Sciences paper while I was studying Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. After a while, I also began contributing to other university periodicals, including the Diliman Review and The Philippine Collegian, and eventually, to the national broadsheet Philippine Daily Express. I didn’t get paid for them, but I continued just to see my work in the papers.
I got pure satisfaction from having my works published and appreciated by the readers and the editors, some of whom I would work with when I started my career in the newspapers.
Although I was studying painting, I decided to take visual communication subjects. I was very interested in animation, a path that I eventually pursued under the guidance of Mr. Nonoy Marcelo, the renowned creator of the Tisoy and Ikabod Bubwit comic characters. As his assistant, I got to work on those very popular comic strips.
As a member of the UP Artists Circle Fraternity, I participated in a number of group exhibitions that they held at the university. Every year I also made an effort to remain visible by joining art exhibitions. After I built my portfolio, I did my first solo exhibition, ‘Philippine Barokue’, at Kaida Contemporary Gallery in Metro Manila.
I'm quite a late bloomer; I started quite late in showing my paintings, but that also gave me an opportunity to observe and understand the context for my paintings, how they would fit in with what the other artists were doing. That form of maturity was essential for me. When I finally embarked on my solo show, I was confident that I would be able to pull it off because of that.
The principal message of my art is a nature of possibilities. If I could imagine the themes and subjects of my art, then I could articulate them on the canvas. The materiality of all these invisible concepts, like anger, lust, greed and longing, has to somehow be distilled on my canvases. That’s what I’m trying to do in a style and manner that is my own, just as my predecessors did on their own.