Color-blind Cebuano visual artist unveils historical painting on precolonial Cebu
Color-blind Cebuano visual painter, Celso Pepito unveiled “Pagbinayloay”, a painting on the golden past of Cebu as a center of trade in Southeast Asia in 1521 during “Ani sa Diyandi: October Harvest of Arts” on October 29, 2019 at Palm Grass, The Cebu Heritage Hotel.
Despite having an inability to make out certain colors, Pepito continues to use his talent as an instrument to show positivity and hope as his artworks’ themes revolve on love of family, God and country.
Palm Grass commissioned Pepito to create an artwork with the theme on precolonial Cebu for Cebuanos to reconnect to their prehispanic past.
“I admire Palm Grass for its advocacy in promoting Cebu heritage. There are many hotels in Cebu but this is the only hotel that promotes being a Cebuano. And this fits my theme and my own advocacy,” Pepito said.
As “Pagbinayloay” is his first historical painting, Pepito said he struggled in creating it as it required a lot of research and study. “I had to do a lot of changes to make it look authentic. I researched and studied even the smallest details such as fruits used during that time. As challenging as it is, I’m happy I was able to produce this kind of artwork in my lifetime.”
Palm Grass, together with Architect Melva Java from Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission of Cebu (CHAC) unveiled Pepito’s “Pagbinayloay”. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity because I was able to learn about Cebu’s history. Hopefully, I could create more historical paintings since it is in sync with my advocacy as a painter with themes on love of family, God, and country,” Pepito said during the unveiling.
Cebu Artist Inc. President Sonia Yrastorza introduced Pepito’s Pagbinayloay. “We hope that Celso’s painting will help us become more aware of our history and culture, and we would have a platform for more binayloay (trading) of ideas and most especially in the arts,” she said.
A short video on Pepito by Hong Kong-based Cebuano marketing communications specialist and content creator, Prospero Laput, was also screened during the unveiling.
The “Pagbinayloay” artwork can be viewed at Ikapitong Andana (7th floor) Lapu-Lapu, Palm Grass Hotel.
During the event “Ani sa Diyandi”, Museo Sugbo curator Cecilia Cabañes also discussed the historical development of Cebu museums and how museums help in increasing awareness of people’s identity.
Cebu tour guides who previously did not include museums in their tour itinerary for foreign guests are now considering museum visit in their future tours.
Palm Grass, as a heritage hotel and hotel-museum, continues its commitment in promoting Cebu cultural heritage by featuring more activities in the coming months such as celebrating the birthday of Katipunan General Arcadio Maxilom, performances of Bag-ong Junquera youth and Junquera St. Children’s Choir, featuring a precolonial Sinulog dance in 2020 and launching of a children’s storybook on Cebu hero Leon Kilat.
Mary Claire Fernandez
Marketing and Events Associate
Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel
68 Gen. Junquera St., Brgy. Kalubihan, Cebu City