Tacloban artist paints Duterte's portrait using coconut wine
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – Yolanda survivor and renowned mixed media artist Dante Enage painted a portrait of President Rodrigo Duterte using "tuba" or coconut wine.
Enage, a supporter of Duterte from the very beginning of the election campaign period, expressed his support to the president through his artwork.
“He was the last hope of our country,” he said.
Enage added: “It was a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for his good intentions for our country. Being a supporter, it’s like a gift; a tribute.”
Tuba as medium
Enage uses the natural pigment derived from the tanbark of the Barok, a mangrove that is used to give color and flavor to tuba or coconut wine, as medium.
“Tuba is monochromatic. It’s more difficult to use than watercolor (because) it needs a lot of patience,” he said.
He also added that using tuba as a medium entails a step-by-step process which involves the need to wait until the first layer dries up before proceeding to the finest details.
According to him, using “tuba” or cocount wine is his way to relive the arts and culture of the Visayas region.
Enage believes that through his craft, he can unite the Visayan people, art enthusiasts and even inspire the younger generation. He said that using tuba became a legacy of the late Leyte tuba artist Leo Villaflor that Enage wishes to continue.
Painting is therapeutic
When Super Typhoon Yolanda hit his home in San Jose, Tacloban, Enage lost the materials he needed for crafting his visual arts, but that did not stop him from painting again.
Instead, he used his talent as therapy. (READ: Exhibit shows beauty, resiliency of Visayans after Yolanda)
“I treated art as my therapy. I needed to heal from the trauma. During those times, I only had a ballpen. No art materials,” Enage added.
Recently, he launched his painting exhibit entitled “Balaraw," a Waray-Waray term for circle or round.
Showcasing Enage's new series of artworks, "balaraw" aims to convey his message that life must go on and that one must not get stuck in the same struggle, to always look forward to what is ahead.
“Among all the forms, the circle is the strongest one because it’s the symbol of infinity,” he added.
He also believes that art is like penmanship – it is different and unique for every individual.
“The pieces I create are meant to educate and raise awareness. It is meant to be a thought-provoking work of art,” Enage said in a statement.
Another painting entitled, “Don’t kill the innocent," a mixed media assemblage, is also displayed in his recent painting exhibit. This aims to raise concern and a call for help on the rampant killings related to drugs in the Philippines, as well as those around the world. – with a report from Chris Billes/ Rappler.com