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Kabigting exhibit kicks off at Marapara

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BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Fernando Kabigting (seated), Mike Bantug, Robert Harland, Boboy Corona, Lanie Ferrer, Baby Infante, Trixie Villavicencio, John Michael Ng, Menchu Kabigting, Rodney Martinez, April Kitagawa, Ging Lewis, Remy Montemayor, Eric Malo-oy and Lander Leonillo (l-r, standing)*

The Rotary Club of Bacolod-Marapara opened an exhibition of 29 recent paintings by highly-acclaimed Filipino artist Fernando Kabigting at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (NOGCC) in Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City yesterday.

The artworks will go on display at the NOGCC from October 10 to 16 during the MassKara Mayor’s Cup golf tournament. The exhibition will then move to the Acacia Hotel at the Reclamation Area from October 17 to 22.

Kabigting, a self-taught artist, is well known for his paintings on antique wooden batya, featuring daily life and scenery from the Philippines. His paintings are much in demand, especially in the US where he has held countless one-man shows including major sell-out exhibitions at the New York Philippine Center and the United Nations.

John Michael Ng and Lani Ferrer, Rotary Club of Bacolod-Marapa District Governor and President, respectively, with Ma. Carmen and Fernando Kabigting (l-r) at the opening of the latter’s solo art exhibition titled “Kabigting at Prime” at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club in Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City yesterday.*

Now 83 years old, he paints every day in his home-studio in Iloilo City despite suffering a severe stroke in 1999 in New York which forced him to begin painting with his left hand. But every piece he creates now carries more depth and with more emotions that conveys life and love. In 2015 he was presented with Iloilo City’s Achievement Award.

All 29 paintings will be for sale with part of the proceeds going to help fund Marapara Rotary’s community outreach projects.

“Fernando Kabigting is one of the country’s most celebrated artists and we’re honored to be able to stage this exhibition. This will be the second show of his works we’ve presented and they have all been a huge success. We extend a warm welcome to all art lovers to come and see his new paintings,” past Marapara Rotary president Remy Montemayor said.

Lani Ferrer, Rotary Club Bacolod-Marapara president, said part of the proceeds of the show will fund the club’s numerous projects in the future such as feeding program for children and giving of Christmas presents to children and their families.

“Lotus in Bloom”; right, “Simbang Gabi sa Bacolod”*
From left, “Kalachuchi”, “The Old Spanish House”, “Gumamelas”, and “Brown Beauty”*

Kabigting’s wife, Ma. Carmen, said that although her husband was born and raised in Manila he happily establishes his identity as an Ilonggo artist. After all, he chose to return to the Visayas.

In 2019, the Philippine consulate general of New York together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts sponsored his farewell exhibit at the Philippine Center in Fifth Avenue. His works from 1998 to the present filled up the walls of the center. Since then, this is his first exhibit, after three years that the country has been hit by the pandemic, she said.

The Rotary Club Bacolod- Marapara is the only civic organization in Bacolod City that opened its heart and hands to make this show possible. And it has been heartwarming that is happened in NOGCC which her late father once managed, Ma. Carmen added.*

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