Monday, October 26, 2009

The Oldest Beethoven Stamp

The oldest Beethoven stamp in my collection is a local stamp from Altona, Germany issued in 1889. Its initial value on issue was 20 pfennic (penny). Present value is around US$ 30.

Altona is the westernmost urban borough of the German city state of Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937. In 2006 the population was 243,972.

It was founded in 1535 as a village of fishermen. In 1664 it received city rights from Danish King Frederik III. Until 1864 Altona was one of the Danish monarchy's most important harbour towns. The railroad from Altona to Kiel, the Christian VIII Baltic Sea Rail Line, was opened in 1844.

Because of the severe restrictions on the number of Jews allowed to live in Hamburg , a major Jewish community developed in Altona. Members did business both in Hamburg and in Altona itself. All that remains is the Jewish cemetery, but in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries it was a major center of Jewish life and scholarship.

During the Weimar era following World War I, the city of Altona was disturbed by major worker strikes and street disorders. Inflation in Germany was a major problem. In 1923 Max Brauer the mayor of Altona, directed that city personnel be paid in part with gas meter tokens, as these coins were did not lose value with inflation. The most notable event at this time is the bloody Sunday of Altona on July 7, 1932 when several persons were shot by the police force during a demonstration of Nazi groups. After police raids and a special court, on August 1, 1933 among others Bruno Tesch was found guilty and beheaded. The convictions of Tesch and the other men who were executed were reversed by the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1990s.

The Greater Hamburg Act removed Altona from the Free State of Prussia in 1937 and merged it (and several surrounding cities) with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in 1938.

On 1 February 2007 the Ortsämter (Precincts) in Hamburg were dissolved. In Altona were the precincts Blankenese, Lurup and Osdorf with local offices. On 1 March 2008 the Schanzenviertel neighborhood, which had spanned across parts of the boroughs of Altona, Eimsbüttel and Hamburg-Mitte, became the Sternschanze quarter, the entirely of which is now in the Altona borough.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conquering Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano is a complex volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas. It consists of an island in Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier, very powerful eruption. It is located about 50 km (31 Miles) from the capital, Manila. It is one of the active volcanos in the Philippines, all part of the Pacific ring of fire.

To get to the Taal Volcano Lake, one has a 20 minute banca ride from Talisay, Batangas to the shores of Taal Volcano. One may the opt to walk or run the trail or ride a horse for around 20 minutes to reach the crater. The view around the crater is breath taking. The serenity is soul-quenching. Eccentrically located near the middle of the lake, is a lonely islet, small enough to host 5-10 people. Whats exotic living organisms lurk in this terrain? This is truly a unique geographical wonder- an islet in a lake in a volcano in a lake in an island! Bravehearts my opt to go down the lake but I think this is prohibited due to the recent increased seismic activity in the area. The trail is as diverse as it gets- sand, rainwater, mud, volcanic rock, grass, gravel- and the odor ranges from horse manuric, muddy to floral. I think this is one of the most challenging off road courses in the Philippines- a trail runner's dream or nightmare. Hope that North Face will sponsor a train run here- will definitely join if it ever happens.

The volcano has erupted violently several times, causing loss of life in the populated areas surrounding the lake, the current death toll standing at around 5,0006,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and eruptive history, the volcano has been designated a Decade Volcano worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. It was thought to be named as "a volcano inside a volcano" because many believed that the lake that circles the volcano was once a crater or mouth of a volcano.

The Decade Volcanoes refer to the 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. The Decade Volcanoes project encourages studies and public-awareness activities at these volcanoes, with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they present, and thus being able to reduce the severity of natural disasters. They are named Decade Volcanoes because the project was initiated as part of the United Nations-sponsored International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

The following volcanoes were selected as the 16 current Decade Volcanoes:

* Avachinsky-Koryaksky, Kamchatka, Russia
* Colima, Jalisco and Colima, Mexico
* Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
* Galeras, Nariño, Colombia
* Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA
* Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia
* Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
* Mount Rainier, Washington, USA
* Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
* Santamaria/Santiaguito, Guatemala
* Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
* Taal Volcano, Luzon, Philippines
* Teide, Canary Islands, Spain
* Ulawun, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
* Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
* Vesuvius, Naples, Italy

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Jose "Kimsoy" Yap Jr.

Jose "Kimsoy" Yap Jr. was born on March 7, 1944 in Bindoy, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Graduated from the Cebu Institute of Technology with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Architecture, he then continued and studied painting at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts in New York. He also currently teaches at the University of San Carlos and Cebu Academy of Arts.

Having studied at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts in New York, Kimsoy's painting style depicts traces of western influence, yet an intrinsic Filipino character remains in his art pieces. What is striking in most of his works is the conscious use of line and space; making the most of each minute stroke, for example, to bring about the best effect with the color, size and texture of the paper considered. The phrase "less is more" could be applied to some of his works lending a deeper drama to each of his paintings.

Shown are some of his works: "Bliss"- a sketch of Vincent and Yanna, my 2 children, Match maker and Lost Childhood.

Some of his awards include:
1970 - 3rd Prize- South East Asian Art Competition (Singapore)
2003 - 2nd Prize, On-the Spot Painting Competition, Sibonga,
2004 - 2nd Prize Painting Competition , Liloan, Cebu
1973-1987 - Numerous Awards from National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts
1974 - James Suydam Bronze Medal 1976-Louis La Beaume Prize
1978 - Mary Hinman Carter Prize 1979- Alice G. Melrose Prize
1981 - Julius Halgarten Prize 1982- Elliot Silver Medal for Drawing
1987 - Leon Neckhamen Prize Member Organizations: Kolor Sugbo

Monday, October 12, 2009

My L.V. Beethoven Stamps from the Americas

These are the Beethoven stamps from the Americas that are in my collection. Included are stamps from Suriname (8), Dominica (10), Grenada (9), Paraguay (1), Mexico (3), Guyana (3) , Cuba (1), Grenadines (1), Grenada (1), Columbia (1) and Uruguay (1)- a total of 39 stamps. Lacking in my Americas collection are stamps from El Salvador (1), Grenadines 1996 (1), and Chile (1) - a total of 3 stamps. The North American countries like the United States and Canada never honored Beethoven with a stamp.

My L.V. Beethoven Stamps from Asia

These are the Beethoven stamps from Asia that are in my collection. Included are stamps from Maldives (9), Japan (1), India (1), North Korea (1), Mongolia (1), Kyrgyzstan (1) and Iran (2)- a total of 16 stamps. Lacking in my Asian collection are stamps from North Korea (1), and Maldives 2000 stamps (1).

The Tres de Abril Stamp: A Painting by Jose Kimsoy Yap Jr.

As its commitment to further promote Cebu’s historical past and Cebuano philately, the Cebu Stamp Club, Incorporated (CSCI) with the cooperation of the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) decided to pursue a historical philatelic presentation on the Battle of Tres de Abril. This project was hatched during the early week of May 1997.

To give more weight for our request to the Stamp Advisory Committee, CSCI’s Richard Allan Uy informed Ms. Patricia “Noeng” Perez of CHAC that a City Council resolution is needed.

Immediately thereafter, a formal letter was sent to the City Government of Cebu by CSCI President Richard Allan Uy. The Cebu City Council wasted no time in acting for our request and unanimously passed Resolution No. 3258 during the regular session held at the Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Cebu on June 02, 1997. The mayor at that time, Alvin Garcia, affixed his signature on June 13, 1997.

The Cebu City Government sent a copy of the resolution to the Stamp Advisory Committee of the Philippine Postal Corporation in Manila. On the other hand, CSCI also sent a letter on June 15, 1997 to the Postmaster General Ireneo V. Intia Jr. informing him of our proposal and praying for a favorable action on the part of the Stamp Advisory Committee. A copy of Resolution 3258 was also attached while copies were furnished to Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak, the SAC Chairman; Mayor Alvin Garcia; and Mrs. Fabiolita Ferraris, Philpost 7 Regional Manager.

Earlier, it was already agreed that the visual artist who would make the interpretation of the famous historic battle scene would be prominent Cebuano artist Jose “Kimsoy” Yap Jr.

Finally by August, Kimsoy delivered his beautiful and colorful interpretation. He donated this important masterpiece as his contribution to Philippine philately in general and Cebuano philately in particular.

After ironing out a few details, the artwork was sent to the chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee, Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak. A few weeks later, the SAC chairman wrote to this writer revealing some information on our stamp proposal. I quote him as follows..

‘.. I showed the painting to the members of the Stamp Advisory Committee during our regular monthly meeting… We are considering using it as one of the four stamps in the final souvenir sheet (#6) in the Centenary of Phil. Independence series. With regards to Pantaleon Villegas (Leon Kilat) he is already featured on s/s #5… It was scheduled for June 12, and the first day cancel will still bear this date.

The representative from the National Historical Institute did not attend the last meeting, but I believe that we had taken up the “Tres de Abril” topic before and he is agreeable to issuing a stamps as it has historical significance."

The Tres de Abril uprising was really one for the books. Mr. Dionisio Sy, a noted Cebuano historian even wrote a recent book on this historical event. The battle took place on April 03, 1898 which incidentally was a Palm Sunday along Calle Valeriano Weyler. A group of around 80 Cebuano revolutionaries wearing the vistidor, a chalico marked with a prayer and a headband with a triangular Katipunan emblem engaged the Spanish Guardia Civil in battle. Capitan Mamfor and Sergeant Royo led the Spanish soldiers.

In this incident, four Spanish soldiers were killed while two Katipuneros also perished. The victorious army of Pantaleon Villegas locally known as Leon Kilat drove the Guardia Civil to Fort San Pedro. The Cebuanos took virtual control of the city from April 04 to 06 until Spanish reinforcements came.

The Tres de Abril uprising marked the beginning of a greater struggle that would eventually lead to Philippine independence. The Cebuano revolutionary movement’s leaders that supported Leon Kilat included Luis Flores, Eugenio Genes, Alejo Miñosa, Atilano Lopez, Candido Padilla, Francisco Llamas, and Jacinto Pacaña.

(reprinted from Richard Allan B. Uy’s column stamplines in the Freeman newspaper).

Cebu: People, Places and Faces, A Group Exhibit

CEBU is going to Malaysia through the colors of the rainbow. Twelve Cebuano artists, under the auspices of Artistscebuex, is bringing the festival city of Cebu to Malaysia through an exhibit dubbed “Cebu: People, Places and Faces.”

Hosted by ArtMalaysia in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, the exhibit aims to strengthen the cultural and artistic linkages between the two countries through visual arts. The project was launched early in July with an art exhibit at the second level of Banilod Town Centre. Here are the 12 participating artists.

Celso Duazo Pepito, one of Cebu’s leading artists and the proponent of Artistscebuex, believes that visual artists have the capacity to help promote tourism by depicting scenes that would entice people to visit. “The exhibit will not just promote art but also Cebu,” he said. “It is a merger between art and tourism.”

A philosopher by heart, he is known to inject his ideals on human values and integrity in his works. His dramatic depiction of mother and child in different scenes cutting through the big divide among the different sector of Philippine society has earned him the respect of many art collectors in the region.

Jose “Kimsoy” Yap Jr. had his education at the National Academy of Design-School of Fine Arts in New York, and this exposure deeply influenced his works. A master with pastel and the watercolor, his still life and portraits project a sense of serenity giving his works an aura of mystery. So do his landscapes and seascapes.

Realist Audie Estrellada continues to experiment on different media including sculpture with works on religious icons. His most common media of choice include oil on canvas, watercolor on paper, and acrylic and oil on wood.

Billy Pomida, who hails from Samar, discovered his talent at a very young age. He took up Fine Arts at the University of the East in Manila and in 1986 worked as a graphic designer for a government agency. He committed to painting fulltime in 2001 and since then has participated in different exhibits both in the Philippines and abroad, including a series of Three-Man shows in the United States in 2002. His paintings on children at play capture the beauty of children magnified by their innocence.

Benji Goyha is a native of Samboan, Cebu. He is an undergraduate in Architecture at the University of the Visayas. His love for painting is fueled by his membership with Cebu Artists Inc. who encouraged him to pursue his passion. His works are characterized by his use of broad brush strokes and subdued colors. His subjects include different landscapes of Samboan and reflect his concern for nature and the environment.

Cesar Castillo is a mechanical engineer by profession, but he has given that up to pursue his love for the art. He started joining exhibits and began to earn the respect of his fellow artists and art patrons alike. He is now a full-time painter. Castillo’s eye for detail and his love for colors can be seen in his works.

Jobril Villaver completed his Certificate of Fine Arts in 1980 at the University of the Philippines Visayas College Cebu Campus. He then engaged in product and interior designing, but found no satisfaction. In 2005 he decided to go fulltime with painting. His works reflects the different aspects of Filipino rural life.

Fe Madrid Pepito is a self-taught painter, but her marriage to art icon Celso Duazo Pepito has helped her hone her craft. She is an optometrist turned full-time painter. She has exposed herself to various media like watercolor, acrylic, pastel and oil. Fe’s strength is in her flowers, which somehow conveys a sense of spirituality. She has also done several figure and landscape paintings.

Maxcel Migallos is a realist painter specializing in landscapes, seascapes and heritage structures. This is just ideal for him as he is an architect by profession, teaching both architecture and fine arts at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. Before becoming an architect, he finished his studies in Fine Arts at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila where he was named Most Outstanding Art Student. As an artist, he has mounted several exhibits and has been featured in several art books including Manuel Duldulao’s Century of Philippine Realism (1997) and Philippine Art Now (2008).

Gabriel Abellana’s uncle was one of the Philippines most respected artists and his father was a respected sculptor, musician and dentist. He comes from the town of Carcar, which was once Cebu’s center for culture and the arts. Abellana specializes in landscape painting. He upgrades his style by experimenting on new and innovative techniques and ventures to abstraction, using the beautiful landscape as inspiration.

Aida Sze is a scientific communications manager at a biotech company in Malaysia. A pharmacist by profession, she uses painting as an outlet of her artistic nature. Aida uses wet-on-wet technique taking advantage of the versatility of oil.

She uses heavy and bold brushstrokes and loves doing abstracts because by de-constructing her subjects, she creates a sense of intimacy and delivers a new perspective on what may otherwise be common and mundane.

Another Cebuana artist who is now based in Malaysia is Lillian Tan.

With ample time to hone her artistic gifts, she decided to study under Fernando Modesto, a Filipino painter who is now lives in Jakarta. Though she paints any kind of subject, she finds herself more at ease with flowers and human figures.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2009.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Fe Madrid Pepito

Fe Madrid Pepito had her love affair with art when she was in elementary school. In college, she took up Commerce for two years and shifted to another course, with a Degree of Doctor of Optometry. this seemingly non-related course did not, however, alienate her artistic bent since it offered scientific knowledge about light and vision, or optical illusions which play a large part of our visual nature. Her skill was also enhanced by the drawing requirements concerning physiological optics, not to mention that she was also married to an artist, Celso Duazo Pepito.

With several shows to her credit, Madrid is in constant touch with local artist and, aside from keeping up the domestic chores, she somehow manages to paint. A CAI member, she also served as secretary to a number of art-related activities.

Madrid's art is in the formative stage. Her favorite subjects usually revolve within the household, though she often joined in workshops and painting excursions with the CAI group. A doting mother of three, her works reflected to 'mother & child' themes, still-lifes and nude figures. The life of motherhood and family as an intimate source of inspiration probably draws her more to painting and drawing. Basically a self-taught artist, she chooses oil and pastel as her favorite medium. A glimpse of her works may lead on to feel its surface's crudities, but pastime or passion, it testifies a personal warmth of it own.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Cesar Castillo

Cesar Castillo was born and raised in Cebu City. Though he had shown interest in arts, he ended up taking Mechanical Engineering course in the University of the Visayas in 1986 just to fulfill the request of his parents.

After graduation, he worked as a quality controller in the glass plant department of San Miguel Corporation, Cebu branch. Though busy with his works, he always found time to develop his artistic skills, turning his free time into opportunities for learning. As his artistic quest evolved, he started to find self-confidence in every painting he created thus giving him the privilege to slowly expose his art to Cebu's art patron and enthusiast.

Giving in to the clamor for artistic expression, Castillo decided to go full time in painting. His works are showcase of his concern for details and reflection of his innate love for colors.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Maxcel Migallos

Maxcel Puentenegra Migallos is a realist painter who was born and grew up in Davao City. His is a of Fine Arts Major in advertising at the Philippine Women's University in Manila in 1980 where he was named Most Outstanding Art Student. In 1981, he was featured in the "Ten Young Artists" art exhibit at Greenhills Art Center. In 1983 he move to Cebu. However, a year later he pursued another discipline and took up Architecture and finished the course in 1987. He practiced architecture and taught at the University of San Carlos both in architecture and fine arts program of the University.

He has participated in numerous group shows in and around Cebu as a member of the group first in Cebu Art Association nd later Kolor Sugbu where he is currently its president. In 1997, he was featured as one of the five Visayan artists in the third part of Manuel Duldulao's art book "Century of Philippine Realism". Prior to this, he was also featured in a coffee table book published in Cebu, "Cebuano Art Heritage". In 2008, he was also one of the Cebuanos featured in Duldulao's "Philippine Art Show".

Running for Something Bigger than Yourself- the Pink Run

At the fragile age of 4 months, our youngest child, Vianna, was stricken with leukemia. The news hit us hard and it forever changed our lives. The prognosis was bad- Infantile leukemia, had far worse outcome than childhood leukemia. A very grim picture was painted by the 2 of the 3 pediatric hematologists we consulted and her chances of survival beyond infancy was slim. One doctor from St. Lukes Hospital, however was optimistic; assuring us that 60% of his patient survived- he only had 3.

With our friends and relatives fervent prayers and with God's magnificent grace, our dear Yanna, is now in remission and is celebrating her one year on Earth. It is for this reason that my wife and I decided to run in her honor in the Pink Run- a race for people with cancer, a celebration of the gift we call Life. We dedicate this run to her; even wore a special-made metallic pin with her picture on it. We love you Yanna dearest. We thank you for giving us an opportunity to take care of you. We thank God for entrusting you to us, and choosing us the to be stewards of one of His most precious possessions- YOU. A million kisses and hugs!!

P.S.Daddy run 10 km, Mommy is not a runner, so she attempted to run but ended up walking 3 kilometers.

Run to the Max II 10 mile Race

This is my longest road race so far, 10 miles or 16 kilometers, which i finished in 1 hour and 45 minutes. I felt awesome during the run although I felt my thighs were beginning to harden during the last 3km. During my previous races, I noticed this lady (which I later knew was named Twinkle), dressed in a flashy attire, who I thought was older but definitely faster than me. I tried to run near her until the 10 kilometer mark, after which I sprinted, leaving her behind. I maintained my pace at around 6- 6:20 per kilometer.

My wife who was waiting for me at the finish line was worried that I might not finish the race because the heat was burning (we started late) and she knew I hated the blazing heat. Luckily, I anticipated this, and wore my Nike Dri-fit cap and hydration belt with an electrolyte drink. I followed the running rule to drink at regular intervals and not wait until your thirsty to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. I arrived at the finish line smiling again and giving high fives to my friend Larry, a veteran marathon, who said I did a good time.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Benji Goyha

Benji Goyha was born in Samboan, Cebu on October 30, 1957. Though he loved to express himself in painting, he ended up enrolling in architecture at the University of the Visayas, Cebu, Philippines.

In 1981-89, he worked as an artist in one of Cebu's leading department store where he organized art related activities. His association with the Cebuano artists had been his turning point, going back to painting where he found freedom and satisfaction for his artistic expression.

Goyha, later established his own business in the field of silkscreen printing, but his membership with the Cebu Artists' Incorporated had encouraged him to pursue his love for painting. His works showcase his love and concern for nature and the invironment. He paints with broad brush strokes and plays with soft somber colors. His utmost objective is to bring prominence and recognition to his hometown, Samboan.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Audie Estrellada

Audie Estrellada is a naturally gifted visual artist. He showed his talent at a very early age. Not fully contented with what he was capable of, he looked for ways to enhance his craft by enrolling in the International Arts School (IAS) in the 1980's.

His artworks are wide-ranged and multifarious: still life, landscapes, seascapes, figures, human interest, cultural and values-oriented themes and landmarks.

His media are oil on canvas, watercolor on paper, acrylic and oil antiquated wood and driftwood. He also experimented on sculpturing, doing images of religious saints. Most of his artworks dwell on realism.

His major awards were: First Place- Open Art Competition by the Art Association of the Philippines; Grand Prize, Filipino Inc.: Outstanding Siquijodnon in the Field of Visual Arts.

The artist is also involved in social activities. He is a Rotarian and a member of the LGU Committe on the culture and arts. He also conducts Summer Art Workshops.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Jose Brillo Villaver

Jose Brillo Villaver was born in Cebu City on March 13, 1959. His early interest in painting has brought him to the hall of the University of the Philippines Cebu College where he completed his certificate of Fine Arts in 1980.

Before embarking on a full time mission as a painter, he first engaged himself into product and interior designing. Altough he was financially rewarded during this stint, he slowly realized spending much time in this area never gave him satisfaction. Thus, in the year 2005, he decided to go full time on painting.

Villaver's paintings are reflective of his concern and appreciation for the Filipino's tenacity in dealing with life, appreciating not only the positive but also the negative aspect of living. He employs heavy textures, applies radiating warm and cool colors, and uses strict heavy lines to emphasize his chosen subjects.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Billy Pomida

Born in the island of Samar in the Philippines on July 11, 1963, Billy Pomida started the rudiments of drawing at a young age which inspired him to take up Fine Arts in college at the University of the East in Manila. In 1986, he worked as a graphic designer for a government research institution before devoting to full-time painting in 2001. Since then, he has participated in numerous group exhibitions in different places in the Philippines and a series of Three-Man Shows in the United States in 2002.

He has won numerous awards, among of which are the following: One of the Top Five Watercolorists for 2001 and 2007 and the runner-up for the 2008 in the Kulay sa Tubig Annual Invitational Watercolor Competition and Exhibition in Manila, Grand Prize, Cebu Arts Association 70th Anniversary Painting Competition in 2007, Grand Prize, President Ramon Magsaysay Death Anniversary Painting Contest, Grand Prize, Dona Modesta Gaisano Foundation Painting Contest in Cebu 2002, and First Prize, Civil Service Commission On-the--Spot Painting Contest in Tacloban City in 1991.

Above is Billy Pomida's watercolor painting of the Liloan lighthouse in Northern Cebu, now the centerpiece of Ayala Land's project Amara- a high-end seaside community.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Gabriel Abellana

Gabriel Abellana comes from a family of artists. His father is a sculptor, musician and a dentist. His uncle is considered as one of the most influential artist in Cebu. He is a graduate of Fine Arts at the University of the Phillipines Cebu College.

Abellana is a plein air landscape artist but never ceases to artistically evolve by experimenting in abstraction using nature as inspiration. He mounted several group exhibits locally and internationally. He is presently a member of the faculty in the University of San Carlos Fine Arts Department. He also administers the Cebu Academy of Arts which regularly conducts Summer Art Workshops for children and adults.

Abellana organizes the yearly Doña Modesta Gaisano Foundation Annual Painting Competition. He is also an active member of the Association of Museums and Carcar Heritage Conservation Society.

Cebuano Artists Painting Collection- Celso Duazo Pepito

When we look and appraise a painting by Celso Duazo Pepito, one will immediately come face to face with a brilliantly made work of art. He was born 51 years ago on November 22 in Daan Bantayan, Cebu. He plunged into the world of art as a young man who showed special skills in lettering. He was surprise when he steps into the halls of the University of the Philippines that the fine arts course was after all about painting. His painting career took off soon after college.

There were years of facing struggles hurdling one trial after another. Like college education, experience is considered as the best teacher. His paintings are known to contain imagery that is brought to life by crisp and clear lines, bold strokes and his usual usage of bright color scheming. But deep within his subjects are personal motives and intentions that come from his heart.

The man is with a mission he believes not impossible. Apart from the physical manipulations of the hand that holds the brush, the works carry messages that Pepito infuses to visually communicate. The paintings aren’t just made of the medium but it can be said that the messages he wants to convey and the meaning the artwork may possess is what completes the painting. Even with the seemingly straight-forwardness of Pepito’s paintings it is unwise to take them at face value because there is more to it than meets the eye. Because there are several symbolisms in the composition though these symbols are not hidden or coded. Pepito do not hide them, the symbols actually doubles as aesthetic elements and embellishments. These symbols have become a common feature and fixture.

His paintings are usually made up of three planar divisions used as backdrops to his modern figural subjects. What isn’t known to many is that they carry personal meanings. Pepito has three different explanations for the three geometrical partitions. One has to do with strengthening family ties; the second is about the spirit of nationalism while the third embraces religious spirituality. These three concerns sum up the totality of his art and person. The first symbolize the family and the number takes significance because he’s got three young-adult children who are all boys.

Pepito is an unwavering believer that positive change in society will start in the family. This is why his works always and never-fails to show and depict family values and tradition. Second is that of nation-building and nationhood. They represent the concept of Luzviminda, the three geographical parts of the country. Pepito’s paintings are nationalistic in the sense that it gives a positive picture of what the Filipino life style is. And notice his choice of colors the preference are our national flag colors. Lastly the third stands for the Holy Trinity. This is Pepito’s commitment to a continuing apostolate.

Pepito's painting style is in the modernist vein that verges towards cubism hence they are heavy on polygons. But what is the most readily discernable is the octagon shape rising high above his canvas. To him the bright octagon symbolize hope, a virtue Pepito never seems to run out with.