“Philippine Indigo”
24 x 48 in (61 x 122 cm)
Hand-mixed oil paint on wood

Artist statement:

A few months ago, I found a locally produced pigment from Abra called Philippine Indigo that’s the same hue as my favorite gentle giant, the whale shark. Since it’s not a fine powdery pigment and traditionally mixed by hand, the paint came out quite interesting and so did this painting; it has similar texture as an actual whale shark!

Having mentioned this, I may have turned this into a long rant about the butanding (whaleshark).

I know this since they scratched against me in Oslob. I got scathed but I felt worse for the beautiful creatures. Their behavior has been modified to approach boats for food that isn’t giving them proper nutrition because of the lack of migration and they swim irregularly. This strains their growth, physiology and it gets them injured. During our visit, some of the fishermen smite them with paddles when they accidentally hit their boats. It’s heartbreaking. This is why I cannot stress enough that people should see them in Donsol wherein the ecotourism is better. Perhaps that’s also why I keep painting them wherein they’re free as they could ever be.