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List of Articles by Dong Secuya


 

NONITO'S CHANCE MEETING WITH A MASTER

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
23 Oct 2007



CEBU CITY -- "I need to pursue seriously my art," Nonito Donaire, Jr., the current IBF and IBO world flyweight champion, quipped after a chance meeting with the world's top realist artist, Romulo Galicano, at the Parklane Hotel lobby yesterday.

Donaire and his father-trainer Nonito Sr. had just arrived at the Parklane Hotel in Cebu from the U.S. for a month-long training at the famed ALA Gym in preparation for Donaire's first title defense at Foxwood Hotel & Casino in Connecticut on Dec. 1 and were at the lobby together with PhilBoxing.com's Salven Lagumbay and this writer when legendary artist Romulo Galicano, popularly known as 'Mulong', walked into the hotel counter to check out.

Mulong has long been considered as the country's top living artist and among his many accolades and recognitions, he won the grand prize of the highly prestigious Portrait Society of America painting competition in 2005 which had been participated by more than a thousand top artists from around the globe. Mulong's feat was the first major global award by a Filipino artist since Juan Luna won a gold medal for his 'Spolarium' at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Spain in 1884.

Mulong is the most recognized name of an array of highly successful realist-painters inspired and taught by the late Martino Abellana, who taught fine arts at the University of the Philippines in Cebu for many years. Abellana himself was under the tutelage of the great Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino.

Having had an acquaintance with Mulong when I was very active in the Cebu art scene many years back, I approached Mulong and later introduced him to Nonito, who later revealed that he himself had dabbled in drawing in his younger days. The two hit it off quite a bit and Nonito was seemingly amazed when Mulong showed some photos of his work via his cellphone.

A young man at 24, a boxing champion, highly articulate and having the looks of a matinee idol, Nonito surely has the world in front of him to conquer -- and if by some quirk you'll hear that our hero has metamorphosed into an painter, blame it on a chance meeting with the master.

Top photo: World flyweight champ Nonito Donaire, Jr. (R) poses with the master, Romulo Galicano at the lobby of the Parklane Hotel in Cebu.


Galicano poses with his award winning portrait of friend Eddie Chua during an exhibit in Cebu.


One of Galicano's landscape paintings exhibited at the Ayala Museum in Makati.


Galicano (R) shows Nonito photos of some of his works over the cellphone.


From left, the author, Galicano, Nonito and Nonito's father-trainer, Nonito Sr.


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