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Lucban isn’t only a mystical land it is art and nature hub as well

Somewhere along the rivers in the edges of the valleys and the trunks of the trees etc. lie not only the mystiques and mysteries of Lucban town in Quezon Province, but its divine art and infinite nature as well.

Mystery and art is a couple to express the oneness of Lucban.

Parapsychologist, spiritualist and healer Jaime Licauco has already affirmed the mysticism of Lucban mainly through the magic mountain of Banahaw and other enchanting idylls in the country. He said that Banahaw Lucban part is replete with wonders like the balls of fire that falls from the canopy on such hollow nights or the crystalline waters in the brooks which stream healing powers to the sick and the weary. 

Mountains and plains all verdant, local customs and traditions wealthy of nuances and meanings, social and otherwise are worthy of artistic interpretations.

The sunflowers growing abundantly, cultured or naturally blooming in the grassland among the shrubs smell of sweetness and joy. Sunflower symbolizes brightness of life, fullness of activity, bigness of heart etc. among Lucbanins (people especially natives of Lucban) no wonder it is an embellishment no matter the wooden or the ceramic design ornately arranged with other local motifs on the walls of Buddy’s Restaurant all over town.

Oh! Yes, the leap of faith Lucbanins commit to the annual celebration of the feast of St. Isidore of Labrador or to the Filipino religious annals San Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers during the mid-month of May. It takes history to delineate the significance of the event when Lucbanins had to offer various farm harvests in thanksgiving to San Isidro that the church was overloaded with offerings of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural produce so that the Spanish friars had ordered the parishioners just to place them outside for consecration.

The mystery of faith has since then swelled in the consciousness of the Lucbanins. 

Consequently, the San Isidro’s colorful and festive day drew vivid imagery and palpable reappearance as years went by. It became more imaginative and creative from its church as well as civic proponents as it went along in decades. Inevitably, it was adapted into a bigger spiritual if not aesthetic or trade fair by Lucbanins themselves as they turned it into Pahiyas festival which is already nationally famous its artistry has been a springboard of many multimedia artistic creations traditional or post-modern.

Pahiyas, as we all know it, is a merrymaking activity complete with colorful decors decked in walls or hovered in the streets. Multi-colored kiping (an indigenous rice kropek or cracker marked out from leaves), ornaments as veggies and fruits and other adornments of synthetic origin like busts or effigies of peasants at work, rubber frogs or carabaos (water buffalos) are perched or hang in house facades and other outdoor show windows.    

Religious dissent also fermented in Lucban, naturally, when the donado (lay brother) Apolinario de la Cruz was rejected by the Spanish religious orders to enter priesthood by virtue of his being an indio (a native Filipino). Since his wish was thwarted Apolinario instead applied as a helper at the San Juan de Dios Hospital and there he met, oriented and became member of Cofradia de San Juan de Dios, a fellowship connected with the hospital which was lax to indios. Later, when he went back to Lucban he was already armed with more religious education. He was also more confident about himself. He organized his fellow Lucbanins and other residents of neighboring towns and formed Cofradia de San Jose which was a defiance of restrictive Catholic practices. He was later proclaimed filibuster by the Spanish government and church.

Hermano Pule as de la Cruz was famous for became an inspiration to a lot of Lucbanins who valued freedom and independence, the same vision artists want to pull off in their creations.                     

Lucban’s spring of natural gifts and men’s pursuits of freedom is a testament as well of the rich resources the town has to offer to its pastoral whole and to others which bank on its bounty and wisdom. They are also sources of artistic muses.

That is why the establishment of a new art and culture group Daloy-Likha (Daluyan ng Kalikasan at Paglikha) was initiated in Lucban aside of course from the origin of its president Noel P. Bueza.

What else would be more meaningful and timely to celebrate the formation of a new art and culture association than launching an online art exhibit of all its members and officers?

“We thought that the best way to kick-start the group is to organize an online exhibit, for our kababayans to enjoy,” said Bueza. He added that parts of the proceeds of the exhibit will be used on advancing the group’s cause and for the registration of the organization as non-stock, non-profit cultural and environmental organization. 

An art show, billed “Linang: Kalikasan at Paglikha (Linang: Nature and Creation)” which honours Mother Nature and the creativity of Filipino artists is on-going until September 30, 2020 are joined in by fifty artists.

Being a Quezonian myself—who is from Lopez, Quezon—the word “linang” has varied meanings—literal, denotative as well as connotative. While we are familiar that countryside is the English translation of “bukid” or “kabukiran,” “linang” generally as a unique language in Quezon is a noun which means farm, but it also is a verb which means to cultivate or to nurture. On the other hand, “linang,” connotatively, would also mean—in the “ka-an” nominalization—heritage and culture as in “kalinangan.”

Therefore, most of the art works in the show bear the essence of countrified life.

Aside from Noel, the other forty nine artists from different parts of the country and even in the U.S. are participating in the exhibit, namely Celso Pepito, ANeil Res Folloso PM, Raymundo Reyes Gozon, Lex Gozon, Pauline Juliet Blazo Racelis, Mark Milcky Lagdameo Almadin, Hilario Barrozo, Irvyn Roxas, Jake Catah, Jerson A Jus, Mario Madridejos, Joel Masaya, Manuel Sinquenco, Emmanuel Nim, Lito Brion Ballaran, Melo Valencia, Louinuel C. Babia, Roy Babia, Jonathan Jalac, Wilfredo L. Rufon, Ayelah Deveza, Farah De Ontiveros, Tristan Bamba, Mary Yari Roces, Jet Rai, Avie Abadilla Lafuente, Vicson Apostol, Joseph Albao, Eric Madrigal Masangkay, Darwin Japat Guevarra, Melchor Rosales Sabariza, Henri Cainglet, Jezir Nalam Lascuña, Harold Gomez, Cris Fragata Gomez, Nante Carandang, Eman Santos, Ysa Gernale, Marlene Ayen Galit, Ronwaldo Dasal, Yel Cast, Chressa Yee Rufon, Elisa Rufon, Gary Miclat Cabling, Herminigildo Pineda, Carlos Alferez Castro, Ramon Cajipe, Edward De Castro, Bernardo Oronos, Janet Arboleda-Ballece and Aanne Renales.

The works of these artists are available in the group’s Facebook and blog pages (@daloylikhanaturehub and https://daloylikhahub.wordpress.com).

Obviously, the participating artists are proud of their heritage of natural beauty. 

“Even amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, there are still things that we can be thankful for, and that is the gift of life, of hope, and of beauty, which comes from nature—the fountain of all inspiration,” explained Bueza, owner of the farm—located Sitio Kalantibang, in Barangay Malupak, Lucban—which will later be converted into Daloy-Likha Art & Nature Hub, a haven for artists, cultural workers and nature lovers.

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