A New Art Hub in the East

One of the perks of being a writer and a cultural worker is meeting lots of interesting people, and becoming friends with them. The two of which are Rico Aunzo, known for his moniker Pedrong Masipag because of the character he developed for his painting, and Daniel Dumaguit, known at first as an abstractionist, and later, became a contemporary figurative painter, whose paintings are actually part of his memoir as a child, growing up with a loving mother. It was his mother who served as an inspiration for Daniel to create the series whose main character is Ligaya.

Now, these two fast-rising contemporary artists are up to something special. Only this year, the two through an unnamed partner, have leased a place in one of the exclusive subdvisions in Antipolo City and transformed it not only in an art studio but a place where artists, cultural workers, and other creative can hang out, create together, and talk about the most important issues and trends in the local and international art scene.

Calling it Pedrong Masipag x Ligaya Art Studio, Rico and Daniel are still developing the place to make it more conducive for creative work. I have had a chance to visit the place on August 10th, and fell in love with the studio. Working with them that day was another brilliant artist, who happens to have worked as a “kitchen artist” in different hotels abroad, reaping accolades for his work — Nelson Basa. Nelson is now transitioning from being a “kitchen artist,” to a fine artist, sculpting and painting.

A Center for Honing Young and Up-and-coming Artists

Aside from creating a place for artists to work, Rico and Daniel shared to me that they have plans to transform the studio into a center where they can help young and up-and-coming artists to further hone their craft.

The Philippines is home for lots of talented young and up-and-coming visual artists, and perhaps, the Pedrong Masipag x Ligaya Art Studio can be instrumental in discovering the next visual art superstars. However, in order to do so, Rico and Daniel will need some extra hands, and to invite brilliant minds who will help them achieve their goal of helping — and nurturing — these talented young people.

I know that some people will definitely raise their eyebrows to this unusual, and maybe, ambitious project. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that if you have a true and noble cause, the Universe will conspire — as they say it — and will make it work.

Pedrong Masipag x Ligaya Art Studio: The Continuing Vision

As I have said, Pedrong Masipag x Ligaya Art Studio is not only a place for work, but also represents the noble vision of these young artists in the persons of Rico Aunzo and Daniel Dumaguit.

I firmly believe that little by little, this art studio will become a true artistic hub, where visions and dreams can come true.



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Noel Sales Barcelona

Noel Sales Barcelona


A former freelance journalist, art and cultural critic, and an intuitive from the Philippines. I am the new species of weirdness.