PRIO Gives Love Year 3 features Talaandig Soil Painter

One of the highlights of this year’s Arts Month celebration was the Public Relations and Information Offices PRIO Gives Love Year 3 activity featuring one of the Talaandig tribe’s soil painters held at the University Convention Center on February 28.

In her rationale, PRIO Director Prof. Mayflor D. Prantilla-Arambala stated that “PRIO Gives Love,” aims to provide educational support and inspiration to the young people of the university’s partner communities. Specifically, this year’s activity aims to inform the CMU community about Bukidnon arts and hopefully let the participants appreciate the culture of Bukidnon and Mindanao in celebration of Arts Month.

“Appreciating arts and culture provides us with strength.  It gives us identity and purpose…They are everywhere to open our eyes, see the realities of life, and hopefully awaken and enable us to take action to address the societal problem,” Dir. Prantilla Arambala emphasized.

This year, PRIO invited one of the best soil painters in the province, Ms. Salima Saway, to share her perspective on arts through her talk titled “The Promise of Soil: Soil Painting for the Land of Promise.”  She discussed the rich history of soil painting, its techniques, and the method of making a masterpiece out of the soil.

“Soil Painting is an indigenous contemporary expression and method where the soil is its main medium. This unique art form uses no other paint, just water, and glue,” Salima stated.

Salima also showcased their many collections of soil and the different hues of colors they have discovered. She also highlighted the versatile characteristics of the soil. She mentioned that soil is indigenous, economical, and, most importantly, a symbolic material.  Salima also preferred this medium as it is safer for the artist and the environment.

“Soil Painting can be a potential anchor in the promotion of Culture and Identity in the Philippine Art Industry,” Salima positively professed.

Moreover, Salima also likened understanding soil to understanding the interconnectedness of all things.

 “It will teach us humility, patience, respect, grounding, and grace,” she said.

She shared how painting through soil also connects to the mother of all creations which she believed was the master of creativity.

“Since it is the mother, we cannot create while killing the source of the knowledge. Thus, [it] means that we have to do something for nature and culture, especially in this field– Art,” she asserted.

Meanwhile, Talaandig Soil Paintings has been instrumental in making Bukidnon known to other countries. Salima and other Talaandig artists have been invited to different countries to exhibit their artworks. Some of her artworks have been curated and exhibited in Germany, Guam, Singapore, and the United States of America, among others.

Salima has no doubt promoted her tribe’s rich culture and tradition through her paintings and gained several recognitions from it. She had positively inspired and encouraged the young people in her tribe to continue honoring their ancestors through painting to keep them alive for generations to come.

Salima ended her talk with a workshop where a group of Artizans eagerly participated. The culmination program gathered 189 students face-to-face participants and another more in the FB live stream with 1.8K views as of this writing. [Iyren Dalipe Neri]

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