By Bryan Edulzura
The year 2017 was a year of artistic re-charging and pursuits for Butuan-based artists and cultural workers as they traverse the artistic landscape.
This is the year-end reading of Ramon Jorge Sarabosing, creative writer, art reviewer and veteran artist-cultural worker. He considers himself the number one believer and promoter of local artists and artistry.
Musician Titing Trinquite whom Sarabosing considers the most active and advance musician-artist, said that Sarabosing’s belief and encouraging words to him and other artists make a positive difference and affirmation.
“He inspires us and make us feel we did something right,” Trinquite says.
Sarabosing is constantly invited to art openings, concerts and performances, exhibits and he himself organizes interactions and study sessions.
“I am proud of artists who come up with original works. The whole world should see or hear them,” he says with conviction.
Having visited and exposed to other countries in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia, Sarabosing believes our artists are at par with others abroad.
That is why I’m proud of say, Titing Trinquite and his band, Sinag because their music reflect our neo-ethnic identity.
While in Bali, Indonesia and Australia, Sarabosing interacted with Balinese and Aborigine artists making him all the more proud of the authentic works of Butuanon artists Anoy Catague, Gualberto Licong, Kit Gresos, Ronnie Rudinas, Cris Tamis, Leonor Navarro Calo, Jonathan Honculada, Bada Torralba, Ernesto Binolirao and Jon and Eva Honculada.
He says he dreams of putting their works on his wall. Himself a visual artist doing exclusive hand-paint t-shirts once exhibited at the Butuan National Museum and some galleries.
In the performing arts, Sarabosing salutes Movement (dance) artist and choreographer Sai Collado for his trailblazing works not only in Butuan but Mindanao.
Other choreographers works worthy to watch are Lorjean Enriquez and OJ Fajardo, both school-based. Also in music worthy to mention, he says, is the Budyong choir of Caraga State University with its versatility and range.
In photography, Sarabosing considers the works of Erwin Mascarinas and Robert Andaya for their powerful and creative images with journalistic bent.
Sadly in theater, he says, “is anemic” though the comeback project of director Richard Belar mounting a big musical produced by the city government was a huge artistic event. The musical was a collaborative piece of Belar and Sarabosing himself.
“Theater artists in the city are a vanishing breed and its sad,” Sarabosing declares.
He wish young theater artists like Mae Oclarit, Owen Jaen and Jims Abanero of Artists’ Quarter (AQ), a theater company will be active again.
Independent-film-making saw a birthing the last two years but fizzled out last year. “I hope its temporary because there’s so much potentials and many stories to tell,” Sarabosing says.
“We had a region-wide Indie short film festivals before and it was dynamic for everyone especially the student film-makers,” he informs.
“We should have it again this year,” Sarabosing says, having did some Indie films before and acted as festival juror.
But the biggest development and most welcome is the inclusion of the arts as official creative sector recognized and supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Regional Development Council (RDC) pushed by Balik-Kultura, a convergence of artists and cultural workers organized by Andaya and Trinquite.
Balik-Kultura’s recent project, ‘Medun Amoyag’ Caraga Arts Festival was a success and well-appreciated. With the strengthened presence of BK, Sarabosing believes the arts scene in Butuan and even Caraga Region will be vibrant and most-felt this year and more.
Hail the local artists!