The University of San Carlos Press formally launched the “Kamingaw: An Impressionist Portrait of the Bisaya Painter Martino Abellana” last January 10, 2017 at the Capiz Ballroom of the Cebu Country Club. Written by Raymund L. Fernandez, Kamingaw describes in words, the life and times, the art and influence of Martino Abellana (1914–1988). Professor Raymund L. Fernandez, as skilled with the pen as he is with the brush, describes in Kamingaw the indispensable Abellana.
The book is a portrait of an artist dotingly called “Noy Tinong,” a Carcar native, whose initial artistry would be honed by imaginative teamwork with members of his talented family, and whose evolving artistry would take shape under the mentoring of masters like Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino.
Abellana won national awards in the ’50’s. The figurative impressionist would practice his craft until the late ’80s, creating an impressive body of work that includes portraits, landscapes, and still life rendered in oil, charcoal, and pastels.
Kamingaw is both a complete exposition of Abellana’s works and a fitting honor to the legend who paved the way for the development of Cebuano art. Together with his friend Professor Julian Jumalon, he helped found the Fine Arts program at the University of the Philippines College Cebu; there, the likes of Raymund Fernandez, Celso Pepito, and Mar Vidal – along with an entire generation of Cebuano painters – fervently learned from the “Amorsolo of the South.”
The book launch was attended by descendants and relatives of the late Martino Abellana, officials from the University of San Carlos, members of the academe, and other invited guests. The Kamingaw book is available in major bookstores in Cebu.