By Pauline Evora
Boracay Island is a picturesque place to live and settle. The sunsets are like no other and the community is a mix of easy-going, free-spirited people from all over the country and the world. The old stories of Boracay tell you of drumming circles to welcome the sunset, bracelets made of beads under the shade of coconut trees and artists finding inspiration during long talks in the dark nights.
Boracay has changed tremendously since the days of old, but after getting to know some of the vanguards of local art, we learn that artists never fail to find inspiration in the beauty of the island.
Let me introduce you to a few of them.
Agatha Henry is a discrete and soft-spoken artist from the beautiful city of Pines, Baguio. When you don’t find her painting, she is surely deep underwater, freediving.
A free spirit, Agatha received a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts (visual arts) in UP Baguio before moving to Boracay in 2013. She was always fascinated with the endless possibilities of creation. “Kids are fond of creating because kids have a very strong imagination and when they get older, they tend to get busy or forget about it. But for me, that wonder and imagination still remains,” Agatha reminisces.
Her inspiration comes as her life unfolds, at the rhythm of her location, cultural environment, mood and the flow of nature around her. She works a lot on biomorphical shapes inspired by the elements surrounding her. Versatile, Agatha loves exploring different techniques and mediums, “because art is a good space to experiment, it’s nice to recreate to show new ideas, and to express with it,” she reflects. It is her way of communicating the ideas, emotions and opinions she may not be able to express on a daily basis. Agatha reveals that she often gathers her ideas and inspirations while underwater as she teaches freediving, and makes them come to life as projects come along.
Follow her on Instagram: @arts.aga or @narwhander.
Nonet Pillora recalls that he came to Boracay at a time when he could still count the tourists walking along White Beach on one hand. A musician, he later became fascinated with the works of Perry Argel, an artist from his hometown of Bacolod.
Nonet has the soul and talent of a true artist. If you are lucky enough to know him, you will cherish forever the evenings spent with him holding a guitar and singing American folk songs. Autodidact, he went from painting on tee-shirts and making bracelets to creating furniture and wood sculptures. His inspiration comes as he sees a piece of material or a certain space. Nonet’s favorite medium is bamboo, “because of the grace, strength and the versatility of the material and the functionality of the forms,” he explains.
His life is a wild day-to-day adventure between exciting projects, amazements and times of deep doubts about his life choices. At times, he says, good deals find him, “or I end up broke in a corner still waiting for some sort of deal to find me. I have what I think are fantastic ideas in marketing my work ,but I end up doing only what opportunities and circumstances allow me to do,” he adds with a smile.
You can admire his works at BomBom Bar, Aria Cucina Italiana, True Food, Casa Pilar, Club Summer Place, Diniview Villa Resort, and at many private residences around the island. He also created the roof structures at Exit Bar, Real Coffee & Tea Café and most recently the Viajeros Hostel rooftop bar.