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September 13, 2019 - Friday 4:09 AM by Eva Aranas Angel

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This is my 50th article since I was invited by my editor-in-chief to write a column for this paper under the new management. The Mirror, as it’s popularly called, has been been reformatted, has a more visible online presence and, despite wearing many hats that sometimes warranted juggling my time and somersaulting my schedule, I have not missed a single column. Such is my commitment to writing an opinion column, which, in the words of my editor in chief ‘Anything under the sun. But I’d rather that you wrote something outside of medicine.’
It was a relief to know that I have carte blanche as to which topic to write about but my husband has an imprimatur over which topics were off limits. I remember him vividly admonishing me about my propensity to use long sentences, my misplacing of punctuations, my split infinitives, and my irreverent humor that borders on sarcasm. The last one he said could be off putting and could hurt other people’s feelings and reputation. Isn’t he a peach? I mean isn’t he an angel? (That’s his last name by the way and that’s a last name so difficult to live up to).

Milestones are always worth celebrating, that is why I am dedicating this column to share with you another reason to celebrate.

As a form of therapy for coping with my father’s demise, I have been collecting art with more passion and with more art works. This year alone (and the year isn’t over yet and there are even more Art Fairs happening), even if I have been collecting bits and pieces since 2000, I have accumulated more art works than the last 19 years combined. So subsumed and immersed I am in the art world that I have known of artists worth considering and collecting from Baguio, Laoag, Iloilo, Cebu, Silay, Zamboanga, to Sarangani. 

At some point, I have considered putting the brakes on collecting, continue supporting young artists and start creating. With no background in the process, I started doing mosaic pieces. I must have done something right that I was emboldened to prepare a spot in the property as my work place ( it’s in progress as it’s so difficult to find a hand man these days).

A few days ago, I bought the ‘weapons’ of the trade, for functional art – various colors of grouting cement, a tub for mixing, a huge sponge, thick working gloves, eye protector and my precious tiny power tool, a sanding machine with dozens of various grit of sandpaper. While watching over Mama certain evenings, I would cut into smaller sizes the low grit sand paper to clip onto my sanding machine. My pliers, screwdrivers and mosaic cutters, diamond tipped stylus for cutting glass and glass nippers are all in place. All I need now is time.

It is through my mosaic art too that I was invited to join an all women art group called Bai Hinang. Now on its second year, the Bai Hinang already has a track record for having held several notable, well received exhibits in certain venues. 

With the permission of Bai Hinang’s high priestess (take this compliment Boots), Elenita Dumlao, let me introduce you and share with you the aspirations of the group.

Bai is an indigenous word for woman. Hinang is a Dabawenyo word meaning to do, to make, to work, to create.

“Women are relational beings. We thrive in the complexities of human emotion and interaction. It is this desire for relationships and a sense of belonging that led to the birthing of the women artist group, Bai Hinang. It is an artist group that seeks to provide an avenue for women artists to exhibit their works and to have a creative community that create and grows together as artists.” (Amanda Echevarria)    

Bai is an indigenous word that means woman while Hinang is also an indigenous Dabawenyo verb nuanced with “creating,“ “making,” or “doing.”  Hinang may also mean “work” and/or “build." Bai Hinang may simply mean “made by women.”

The group’s collective sentiment consistently lives up to its name:  Women who create, women who work together for a common aspiration, women who connect bonds of friendship, build bridges that transcend the gaps which may lead to opportunities for them to grow individually and as a group. 

Bai Hinang  wants to be where Art is and where the artists thrive, where art works are valued and treasured. Bai Hinang wants to be where Art is considered not only an undertaking that focuses and fixates on the aesthetics ,fills the mind with values and creativity, and  feeds the soul with positive energies, but also a means for artists raising revenues either for a cause or for daily wherewithal.

“The artists use different media and styles. Each  represents different potential and possibilities. Bai Hinang artists come from different walks of life and age groups. There are some who are already established in the art world while there are those who are still beginning their artistic journey. Despite these differences, these women come together to find community and support in each other.” (Amanda Echevarria)

Now on its second year of existence, 27 of its members  are preparing for its 11th group exhibition at the Waterfront Insular Hotel. This coincides with the celebration of “Pink October." Bai Hinang is privileged to collaborate with the hotel’s  advocacy against Breast Cancer. 

Bai Hinang envisions to work not only with women in visual arts, but also with those in music, performing arts, literature, film and media arts, installation and performance arts.

Bai Hinang has had almost a dozen group exhibits in almost two years. The members are Amanda Echevarria, Anne Worsley, Charlmaila M. Macadawan, Cherli Wen Ben G. Iba?ez, Dadai Joaquin, Elenita C. Dumlao, Eva Estrada Aranas- Angel, Fides Baddongon
Jane Ramos, Jearvy R. Remollo-La?ohan, Jessica  Cordova, Jimme Olbinar, Jing Rabat
Krishna Mie Ceniza Zabate, Ma. Aimee  Suarez, Madoline A. Dela Rosa, Maria Amor Delos Santos, Maru Aihara (Maru), Mean Tan Guinoo, Melds Pangan, Miyen Lim, Nina Custodio
Ritzel Polinar, Rizza Arales, Tanya Gaisano Lee, Trixie B. Borbon.