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Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 1 comments

By Dexter R. Matilla

IN CELEBRATION of the National Women’s Month, works by female visual artists from Mindanao are highlighted at the Philippine Senate.

Works of women about women of Mindanao can currently be seen until March 24 at the second floor Philippine Senate lobby where Mindanaoan art has consistently been given its own space since 2009 when Kublai Millan held an exhibit there.

While most of the artworks in the exhibit are evidently Mindanaoan in terms of the colorful traditional clothing worn by the women depicted in the pieces, some cared to show the women undefined by region and religion—that is, purely motherly and equally empowered.

One such is Salima Saway’s soil painting--a personal favorite if I may add--“Mother and Child” showing a breastfeeding mother. A young mom herself, Saway belongs to the Talaandig Tribe of Bukidnon and learned soil painting from the tribe’s Cultural Master Waway Saway.

Karen Gamalinda’s “Minda” on the other hand gives tribute to the true beauty of the Mindanaoan women. The simplicity of the hijab worn by Gamalinda’s subject only accentuates further this fact as the viewer can easily be drawn into the woman’s large eyes, small nose, and full lips in this portrait.

Other artists in the exhibit include mother and daughter Tita Lacambra Ayala and Cynthia Alexander of Davao, Dipolog’s Dessa Laput, Emma Prima and Lea Prima, Zamboanga’s Lorna Fernandez, Amihan Jumalon and Jana Jumalon, Lanao del Norte’s Michelle Lua, Iligan City’s Lea Padilla, Maila Secuban, Tzaddi Esguerra.

According to organizer Mabel Acosta, the exhibit is a way to open doors for women artists of Mindanao, which has seen a steady increase in number. It also takes cue from the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals of gender equality and women empowerment.

Bae Mindanao is organized with the help of Joel Geolamen of Gallery of Davao and Dir. Raquel Palma Gil of the Kalinawa Art Foundation.

For inquiries, you may get in touch with Mabel Guia Acosta at 0918-9230090 or

Simply Red by Lea Abigail Prima 

"Highland Beauty" by Tita Lacambra Ayala 

"Ms. Fortune" by Michelle Lua 

"Minda" by Karen Gamalinda 

"Mother and Child" by Salima Saway

One Response so far.

  1. kay says:

    darn! can't see it ... wasn't able to see it ... sigh

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