‘Inclusivity’ needed in Bukidnon’s ‘world’s soil painting capital’ bid

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News.Net/19 July) International artist and musician from the Talaandig tribe Rodelio “Waway” Saway cited they need to use inclusive means so that arts and music can be a way to put Bukidnon on the world map.
Saway told Piniyalan (Steward) 2014 radio program on DXDB-AM Saturday that if given enough attention arts and music will be the flag carrier of the province.
“This gives honor to a province especially if artists and musicians perform abroad. It will put Bukidnon on the world map, “he added.
Saway said inclusive and convergent efforts will make it possible for the province to ride on arts and music to attract tourists, which he said is a driver for development.
He admitted, however, that they have to defer their dream project to make Bukidnon the “Soil painting capital of the World” for this year.
“As of now we cannot implement it. The dream to make Bukidnon as Soil painting capital of the word is still there but we are not yet ready. We will wait for the right time,” he added.
Saway said all towns and cities were set for the preparations for the Bukidnon centennial in September 2014.
“Only a few were able to take part in preparations like workshops to make the province the soil painting capital,” he said.
Saway noted that the preparations for the bid were not included in the local governments’ budget this year.
“We cannot force time and the world to pursue it now (maybe in the next Kaamulan), he added.

More than five thousand soil paintings of Bukidnon culture are aimed to be created for the bid. To achieve such feat, workshops promoting soil as a medium has been started since April 2013. The series of soil painting workshops were set as prelude to a Soil Painting Festival this year as part of the Bukidnon Centennial celebration in September 2014.
Saway, one of pioneers of soil painting in the province, said earlier they envisioned soil paintings showcased not only in museums and art exhibits but also in government, non-governmental offices, establishments and even in every home in the province.
He told the Piniyalan radio program to be inclusive; the different sectors must be involved and must contribute paintings.
One way to achieve it is to give soil painting workshops for different sectors like churches, politicians, police, and prisoners, among others. He cited that performers from upland areas and even prisoners, among other sectors, must be included as art can help build self confidence.
“That’s one reason why it will not happen this year. We fell short in awareness,” he added.
Saway said he was included in the cultural arts committee of the centennial but was unable to attend. He added that the funds made available for cultural activities “was not fit for what we envisioned.”
He lamented the lack of budget, citing allegedly only P20, 000 was allotted for the cultural bands’ performances.
“Sometimes we have negative thoughts. How come when Manila artists come, they will be afforded in millions? For us indigenous artists they only allot small amount and do it via payroll,” he added.
He clarified, however, that they are not blaming the provincial government and added that “they have to be forgiven.”
“Maybe this is a challenge. Such consciousness must be opened. The next time around there must be attention afforded to local indigenous (artists) and musicians,” he added.
Saway said it does not also look good if Manila show business will highlight the Kaamulan.
He said authentic performers, who will attract international tourists, should be fielded.
“If we showcase Manila-based talents (not the indigenous authentic ones), we only attract the local tourists,” he added.
Soil painting, he added, does away with expensive art materials.
“Let us make soil painting as flag-bearer of Bukidnon culture, so that everything else will follow, para ang ang farmers mabuhi (so farmers will survive), mga magtanom ug gabi ug kape mabuhi,” Saway said in an earlier interview.
It was in 1993 when Waway together with fellow artists Tatting Soliva and Egay Dy, while doing clay painting, thought of using soil instead.
Waway said in an earlier interview that a friend and fellow visual artist Kublai Millan of Davao further enhanced the soil art by introducing acrylic emulsion as finishing coat. Also important during the development of soil painting were visual artist Errol Balcos of Cagayan de Oro City and Atty. Tanya Lat from Metro Manila as partners of Talaandig artists in promoting soil art overseas, added Saway in an interview with Bukidnon News.Net last year.
Another Talaandig visual and music artist Marcelino ‘Balugto’ Necosia said last year that soil, one of the most important natural resources, comes in different colors. Soil can be in brown, black, grey, red, maroon, orange, yellow, sky blue-like, or green – depending on depth of source. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)