By Tiny Diapana
Photos: Ernest Diño
CEBU’S reggae-rocking sigbin has returned to his roots. After nine long years of quiet, Junior Kilat vocalist Errol “Budoy” Marabiles has returned to the visual arts scene, this time bringing with him a new exhibit, “Tantric Sigbin.”
Described as a synergetic marriage between Oriental art and Philippine Mythos, “Tantric Sigbin” plays around with psychedelic waves, atmospheric colors, and local mysticism. Grounded in the local legend of the Sigbin, Budoy’s art blends well together with the curving lines and
gentle waves prominently seen in East Asian art styles.
Like the Sigbin, Budoy explains that he’d like his art to shape-shift the same way the mythical creature does in the mountains of Visayas and Mindanao.
“Ganahan ko sa concept sa sigbin kay maglahi-lahi siya ug shape. Shape-shifter man siya,” the artist explained in an interview with SunStar Weekend, highlighting the eclecticism of his work.
“Di ko ganahan ma-trap ug usa ka style,” Budoy went on. “Bisan naa ko theme, dili ko mu-care na dapat ko mu-stick para mu-fit akong art sa usa ka theme.”
Over the years that he’s worked as a musician and as an artist, Budoy has come to value fluidity. In fact, many of the pivotal moments in the artist’s life ended up being fluid crossroads that lead him to music and art.
Born and raised in Samar, Budoy found himself enrolling in UP Cebu’s Fine Arts program because of a turning tide – Marabiles hadn’t been able to take the enrolment exams in any other college, and he had passed UP Cebu’s Fine Arts examination. Winning multiple awards during his years in the university, Budoy stayed in the course when he realized that he had so much potential as an artist.
However, his time with the Fine Arts program and its Mind Works gatherings eventually led him to music’s shores, and the tide began shifting again, this time turning him towards a path that would eventually lead to the formation of the popular Cebu-based reggae/ska band Junior Kilat.
For years, Budoy spent his creative juices on his work as a musician and as a TV Personality.
It wasn’t until he was chosen to work on a furniture exhibition for the Sungduan 5 exhibit of the NCCA back in 2010 that Marabiles found himself being nudged back to visual art. That same year, Budoy was also given the opportunity to represent the country as an “urban music performer” at the World Expo in Shanghai China, and while he wasn’t able to work on visual art, the various exhibits that he visited during the event made such an impact on his work.
“Kalit-kalit toh na event,” the artist said. “Ang concept sa Philippine Pavillion sa expo kay focused sa mga performances. Kami sa urban music sa event, kami ni James akong kabanda karon sa Junior Kilat ang nakarepresent ato. Pasalamat jud ko na nakaapil mi ato na event kay bisan gamay siya ug hatag, daghan ko nakat-on bahin sa art. Expo man siya sa lain-lain na nasod, nya gidala nila ilang best na work. Wala ko kadahum na makakita ko didto ug Van Gogh ug uban pa.”
Now, “Tantric Sigbin” guests can see the traces of the Oriental impact of the World Expo in all the different art pieces displayed in Budoy’s solo art exhibit. It isn’t hard to miss the East Asian influence in Marabile’s paintings and sculptures.
However, while Budoy explores Oriental influences, the artist doesn’t forget to keep “Tantric Sigbin” rooted. Featuring everyday objects that were often seen in Cebu back in the 90s and early 2000s, the exhibit gives off the atmosphere of eclectic pop art that only locals will notice with paintings of striped plastic bags and NFA rice sacks filled with black charcoal all set to the backdrop of Oriental waves and colors.
“Dili makasabot ang mga foreign guests sa exhibit,” Budoy told Weekend, “Pero para nako, malipay ko naa naay part sa Cebu sa akong mga art work.”
Speaking with Marabiles, it is clear that while the artist enjoys openness to change, he also understands the value of returning to his roots and grounding himself in the reality of his community.
Budoy’s next project involves impressionist paintings (a clear jump from his current style of art) that he plans to sell for the benefit of marginalized children who don’t have the means to go to school.
“Naa ko gitabang na grupo na nagtabang ug mga streetkids,” Marabiles detailed. “Ang grupo naa mga maestra, mga architect na mutabang ug tudlo sa mga bata. Sa una, ako ang mutudlo nila ug drawing, painting ug photographs. Nya akong amigo si Jethro, katong namatay na si Jethro Estimo, siya pud nagtudlo ug photography. Karon, ang mga bata na akong natudloan kay nahimo nang professional, ug gatabang sa mga uban pud na bata sa San Roque ug sa Basak.”
This new project which is set for release this summer will be made available to the public for viewing on Budoy’s social media account. The proceeds of whatever he sells from his work will go to these children in need.
“Tantric Sigbin” is available for viewing until January 31, 2019 at Qube Gallery in Crossroads, Banilad.