Artist Don Maralit Salubayba dies at age 35

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The artist known for his visual art and fondness for shadowplay died due to an aneurysm

SHADOW PLAY. In a talk at UP Diliman, Don Maralit Salubayba talked about shadow play – why they matter and how they can trigger imagination. Screenshot from the  "Shadows Matter", UP Diliman TEDx Talk

MANILA, Philippines – Visual artist Don Maralit Salubayba died on Wednesday, March 12. He was 35.

GMA News Online reports the cause of death was due to an aneurysm that resulted in a stroke and a coma. 

The report added that Salubayba is a graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) and the University of the Philippines Diliman where he majored in Fine Arts.

He was also one of the recipients of the 13 Artists Award given by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2009. In 2006, Salubayba won the Special Jury Prize and Voice Award at the Singapore Short Film Festival for his animation piece, A Not So Giant Story.

He became a member of the PHSA faculty and has had exhibitions, and done residencies in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and the US. He later on got involved in the art of shadow play and was a member of the Anino Shadowplay Collective and TuTok artists collective.

In December 2013, he did an exhibit at the Jorge Vargas Museum in UP Diliman where he talked about his work in the exhibit Sala sa Init, Sala sa Lamig, where he explored the dualities of Filipino culture and tradition in contrast to modern society.

PHSA Director Vim Nadera says he was one of the last to talk to Salubayba in the school, where they talked about looking forward to upcoming projects.

Nadera adds that the exhibit in their school titled Blanc is set to be brought to the Liongoren gallery in Cubao this April.

On March 28, there will be a tribute to Salubayba at PHSA’s graduation ceremony.

In the past two months, 4 of PHSA’s alumni have died, including David Sicam and Gerard Baja, who were both on board the ill-fated Florida bus that fell of a ravine in Bontoc, Kim Nepomuceno, who was hit by a vehicle in Quezon City, and now, Salubayba.

GMA News Online adds Salubayba is survived by his wife and two children. His remains are at the Acts Room of St. Peter’s Chapel in Quezon Avenue. –

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