Bukidnon’s bid for ‘Soil Painting Capital of the World’ shelved

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 July) – International artist and musician from the Talaandig tribe Rogelio “Waway” Saway said they are hoping to put Bukidnon in the world map through arts, particularly through soil painting, and music.

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 will give 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 noted is a driver for development.

Local artists have been girding to make the province the “Soil Painting Capital of the World” this year but deferred the bid due to lack of funds, he said.

“As of now we cannot implement it. The dream to make Bukidnon as “Soil Painting Capital of the World” is still there but we are not yet ready. We will wait for the right time,” he added.

Saway said that only a few were able to take part in workshops to make the province the global soil painting capital because preparations for the bid were not included in the local governments’ budget this year.

At least 5,000 soil paintings depicting Bukidnon’s 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 a prelude to a “Soil Painting Festival” this year as part of the Bukidnon Centennial celebration in September 2014.

Saway, one of the pioneers of soil painting in the province, said earlier they envisioned soil paintings to be showcased not only in museums and art exhibits but “also in government and non-governmental offices, business establishments and even in every home in the province.”

He told the Piniyalan radio program that for soil painting to become “inclusive,” the different sectors must be involved and must contribute paintings.

But Saway, who was included as member of the Centennial’s cultural arts committee, admitted they failed to give massive awareness about soil painting, another reason they deferred the bid.

Soil painting, he said, 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 farmers mabuhi (so farmers will survive), mga magtanom ug gabi ug kape mabuhi (so that taro and coffee farmers will survive),” Saway said in an earlier interview.

It was in 1993 when Saway together with fellow artists Tatting Soliva and Egay Dy, while doing clay painting, thought of using soil instead.

Soil, one of our most important natural resources, comes in different colors, said Talaandig visual and music artist Marcelino ‘Balugto’ Necosia. He added that soil may be colored brown, black, grey, red, maroon, orange, yellow, sky blue-like, or green – depending on the depth of the source. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)