If history has the power to repeat itself, it also has its sway to revise its story and make it more fascinating, beguiling...and yet even more Romantic!
It was April of 2000 when I spent my summer break in Sindangan, a town about 2 hours drive south of Dipolog. That summer has no difference from the previous years that I've visited the small family land. . . too small to dig for artifacts!.
Bird watching, trekking or swimming in the river was one of the main interest the place has to offer; not to mention those tropical fruits and coconut juice all waiting to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite... the place is purely organically agricultural!...truly exotic and marvelous, until I've took part of planting corn seeds and fighting the scorching heat of the sun. . . Indeed, I was really a son of a proud farmer!
Traditionally, planting corn is a meticulous task. Digging the soil is almost a rythm. By accident, we uncovered broken pieces of blue and white porcelain while digging, until we found out that the whole place was almost littered by those indigo to cerulean blue color against the alabaster white glazed pieces.... my jaw cannot move of what i saw!...
I made a study...
Originally, the place was inhabited by the "Subanens" a tribe of the entire Zamboanga peninsula. Known a the "river people", historically, they traded with the Chinese long before the presence of the Spanish Conquistadores. . . probably around the Ming dynasty period wherein China almost ruled the entire continent in terms of importing porcelain jars including the Philippines. Its a vow of two great cultures!
Based on the accounts of the locals, the place was a settlement area of the tribe, a burial grounds or it could be a ceremonial site, a place for tribal council or whatever that is.... history was unveiled out there!...
I decided to incorporate the artifacts into one of my paintings ( the picture shown aboved) copied the motiffs, characters and prints (of poor caligraphic brushstrokes) in the foreground and the colors of the tribal dress and stitching of the Subanens in the background to form into an Abstract painting. . .
At present, after 8 years I've met a friend in Singapore who happens to be an artist and at the same time a lover for all Chinese antiquities, and she explained of what she saw at the upper left corner of the broken porcelain was a Chinese character for a man and a woman - a character for Marriage.
The Painting is in itself a product of study, a product of passion for history, a product of two great cultures. The painting unveils the story of affection, of love, of romance. . . the painting is History itself!
The Painting was renamed 8 years after it was made. It is now in its private collection of the Artist.