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Gumabao, Raquel


mixed media painting (watercolor and colored pencils)

Current is a painting about how life is determined by what we do in the present, and how it is similar to the flow of a river which leads to the sea. This river, with it’s calm, deep, ravaging, and even destructive areas. The rocks and torrents of the river are the Filipino’s collective struggles in the past, to note the Spanish colonization and the Diliman Commune are those challenges we faced. With the Spanish colonization, we continually fought against the invaders, despite their technological advantage–culminating with their exit from the Philippines in 1898. On the other hand, the Diliman Commune was representative of how some Filipinos chose not to fall prey to a dictator’s disregard of human rights and freedom, which eventually led to the latters overthrow in 1986. Just like the current in the river, both these events show that no matter the abusive and brutal challenges with Filipinos face, life moves on towards the future and what we do in the present determines the outcome. Like the rays of light, after a heavy storm, the fruits of freedom will always appear for those who fight for it.

The artist is Raquel “Kelly” Gumabao. Born and raised in Zamboanga city, she grew up close to nature with her family owning a farm. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from Mapua Institute of Technology, and is now taking her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines. Her art works are centered around nature, with a focus on the serenity and peacefulness it radiates to human emotion. For her, everything relates to nature. We all came from it, and we are all part of it.