Paintings of Old Filipinas

I discovered recently that there are contemporary artists painting scenes from the filipino hispano era. I’m not sure what they call this particular theme (Old Manila?). I sure like what I saw.

Usually depicted are the rustic beauty of grand old churches and towns where a neighborhood of  bahay na bato are prominently portrayed.  I have to admit that I want to own some of what I saw if it were not for the price tag!

The shop owners in Treasure Trove Festival Mall carries some of the widely known Filipino painters today. One of them is this guy Anton Mahilom. They give away postcards like this to visitors. They take time talking with customers and visitors alike.

I particularly like the works of Ed Sarmiento and Anton Mahilum. Their work’s colors, mood and texture appeals to me. I’m not technical with this art form so I really don’t know much about the techniques and medium involved. I’m ignorant when it comes to these things. But I think that even with sophisticated art forms like this you should go for those that resonates well with you. There’s no sense if you buy something you won’t enjoy.

Any painting aficionado will tell you that they make good investments. That is if you know it well. Without a doubt some of those paintings I saw the other day will one day be worth more than what they sell for today.

Am I going to be an art collector?

Probably not – but maybe, just maybe it could happen one day. My heart melts whenever I see photographs and paintings of old towns and districts, the gentle life of farmers and fisher folks from the days of old Filipinas. These artworks represents a time when life was more simple, more gracious, less hurried. Perhaps the most artful, most romantic period in our history.


7 responses to “Paintings of Old Filipinas

  • The Pinoy Byahero

    Anton Mahilum is the youngest son of the late Antonio “Tony” Mahilum. I love his works too.

  • Franz J

    I’m a pinoy here in the states who collect vintage filipiniana paintings. I exclusively collect paintings of filipino artist of the 1970’s and earlier because their paintings are now very hard to come by in the Philippines. Most of the paintings in my collection I acquire them from flea markets and estate sales here in the US.

  • Bogs

    Is Anton Mahilum the same person as the painter Tony Mahilum? I Tony’s work. How I wish I could collect paintings. This is one investment that you can enjoy and show off too.

  • Elizabeth Medina

    Have you seen the paintings (that look like collages) of Santiago Bose? I like those much better because they are ugly-beautiful, they shock you, and they go straight to the symbols, the objects that for a Filipino are drenched with soul and deep emotions, probably not even acknowledged. He’s like the Filipino Freud, in other words. Check him out, he’s mind blowing. For example, he puts together snippets of photos from the transition from Spanish to American rule, of peasant or rural folk, young girls in traditional rural dress (not elegant, just white blouses with butterfly sleeves and plain dark skirts, barefoot).

    These paintings are undoubtedly pretty, lovely. But I don’t find them particularly compelling — though I like them much better than the 1970s style painting that was exaggeratedly indigenistic in an almost abstract way. Like imitating the Mexican muralists but it didn’t strike a chord, at least, not in me.

    As you said, it’s what you like that matters.

    Isabel de Ilocos

    • De AnDA

      @Tia-I think I saw them in your site. Very interesting. He’s a rarity. I’m sure Mr. Bose is aware of that painful transition – where we lost much of our inheritance, our culture.

      I see this interest of our hispano filipino past from a heightened awareness of our artist for what was lost and took for granted. The realization that it can never be brought back, their artistic soul rush to save that beauty, at least in memory and claim.

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