By Mike Baños
Multi-dimensional artist Nicolas P. Aca, Jr. has opened his first solo exhibit at Capitol University’s Museum of 3 Cultu res with a gallery featuring portraits of Cagayan de Oro’s past and present city schools division superintendents.
Dubbed “HULAGWAY"(or Picture in Bisaya), the exhibit was officially opened last 16 February 2018 with friends and luminaries in the academic, arts and culture fields in attendance. It will run until the end of the month.
According to the gallery notes written by Kristian Ian Sulmayor, the exhibit is “a tribute for the people behind the efforts and success of our city’s educational evolution.”
“Nic” Aca is a visual and performance artist who is concurrently the resident artist and gallery curator of Capitol University’s Museum of 3 Cultures. A BS Architecture graduate of Cagayan de Oro College, he is also vice president of the CDO Art Guild, Inc., a commissioner of the Cagayan de Oro City Historical and Cultural Commission (Hiscom), and a member of the Solidarity in Performance Art Philippines (SIPAP).
Nic uses his genre to mainly convey social commentaries on contemporary society to the public. His performances and craftsmanship deal with issues and advocacies on environmental protection, politics, poverty and matters of social consequence.
The artist is also renowned in the exclusive circles of the art world and has performed in a number of national and international events, among them: DJAMOE International Performance Art Festival in Bandung, Indonesia (2017); Silingan Sine International Art Festival at Zamboanga City (2017); 7th Salaya International Documentary Film at Salaya, Thailand (February, 2017); Latent Action Performance Art Village Project at Xi’an, China (October 2016, the only artist representing the Philippines); Glimpse of Mindanao Peace for the Land of Promise at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2013) and Singapore Biennale, Singapore National Museum (2013).
As a Commissioner of the Hiscom, Aca sought to apply his talent and skills in this tribute to the leaders who contributed to the achievements and milestones in the city’s basic education.
“In recognizing the historical development of our city, the academic workers who helped lay down the intellectual, cultural and moral thrust of the society should never be forgotten. Their inclusion into the complex fiber of development is crucial, necessary, relevant and noteworthy," Sulmayor wrote. “Hence, the artist initiated an exhibit to showcase a memorial of the history of Cagayan de Oro’s Schools Divisions Superintendents.”
In his brief talk, Aca acknowledged the partners and friends who made the exhibit possible: Capitol University, Capitol University-Museum of Three Cultures, Department of Education-Region 10, Cagayan de Oro City Historical and Cultural Commission, and Department of Education-Division of Cagayan de Oro.
His contributions to the local art and heritage were also cited by CU President Casimiro Juarez, Jr., DepEd-10 Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo, and fellow artist Pennessencio "Nonoy" Estarte.
"This exhibit is significant not only because it is Nic Aca's first solo exhibit, but also because it acknowledges the people who contributed to the education of the youth of Cagayan de Oro City" Juarez remarked.
“I was humbled but so privileged too on Nic’s choice of subjects for his first solo exhibit,” Farnazo noted. “I realized that behind the leadership of these Superintendents were numerous schools opened, treacherous rivers navigated, and difficult journeys braved. Hence, the choice of the subjects is a testament to their leadership and acknowledgment of their contribution to the community.”
As an intermission, Aca’s grade 12 daughter, Bulawan O. Aca, serenaded her father with her take on Kenny Roger's "Through the Years".
“The wood relief portraits are made from hard wood engraved and carved with chisel and router. With the help of fire, the shades and lining of the portraits were stressed and exposed. The carvings were crafted to ensure each depth was balanced and even, and details intricately shaped to near perfection,” Aca explained. “As a finishing touch, the portraits were brushed with antique wax.”
Among the school district superintendents (SDS) featured in the exhibit are the following (with the dates of their respective tenures): Benito Gatal (June 1, 1953 – June 30, 1954); Liceria B. Soriano (July 1, 1954 – December 31, 1954); Crisogono Z. Abejo (June 27, 1966 – August 2, 1970);Raymundo V. Aldana (September 1, 1970 – September 22, 1972); Cesario A. Balintag (September 23, 1972 – July 31, 1975); Teodoro P. Dano (Aug. 1, 1975 – 1977/Jan. 3, 1978-Apr. 6, 1986); Atty. Domingo L. Martinez, Ph.D., CESO V (1977 – 1978); Eden G. Afdal (1978-1980) Thelma R. Rocha, Ph.D.; Esteban C. Sarmiento (May 1, 1983-June 26, 1986);Sol F. Matugas, Ed.D. (July 1, 1986 – August 17, 1993); OIC Manuela G. Magtajas, Ph.D. (August 18, 1993 – February 7, 1994); Antonio L. Intong (February 8, 1994 – February 14, 1995); OIC Lourdes C. Pabayo(February 15, 1985 – January 17, 1996); Rosemary P. Gellor, Ph.D., CESO V (January 18, 1996 – October 1, 2001); Sinforosa A. Guiñares, Ph.D., CESO V (October 2, 2001 – September 10, 2003); Elenita T. Martinez,Ed.D., CESO V (September 11, 2003 – July 18, 2004); Isabelita M. Borres, Ph.D., CESO V (July 19, 2004 – November 27, 2006); Lourdes G. Tolod, Ph.D., CESO V(July 9, 2007 – February 18, 2008); OIC Fely T. Yu(Feb, 18, 2008-June 8, 2008); Myrna S. Motoomull, Ed.D., CESO V (June 10, 2004-Mar.31, 2012); Elena M. Borcillo, CESO V (Sept. 1, 2012-Jan. 2, 2018); Jonathan S. Dela Peña, Ph.D., CESO V (January 3, 2018-present).
The gallery also features portraits of Dr. Allan G. Farnazo, Ph.D., DepEd-10 Director and the Capitol University Founders Engr. Sesenio S. Rosales and Mdm. Gloria Laureana S. Rosales.
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