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Cesar T. Gueta, a Portrait of a Bicolano Artist. Who would have thought that Cesar T.

Gueta, born and raised in the islands of Masbate, would emerge as one of the top local artists of the country? Cesar, a fine arts instructor at Aquinas University of Legaspi City and currently pursuing his masters degree in fine arts at the University of the Philippines (UP), is one of the recipients of the Ten Outstanding Bikolano Artists in the visual arts category for this years Search for Outstanding Bikolano Artists (SOBA). Conducted every ten (10) years, the Search for Outstanding Bikolano Artists, SOBA recognizes Bikolano artists who made significant contributions to the cultural heritage of Region V and the Philippines at large, and Bikolano artists who have contributed to the development of our cultural identity. Growing up in the island Cesar was born in 1971 in the humble town of Monreal, Masbate, a fourth class municipality in the Ticao Island, where fishing is the main source of living for most of the people who live there. Growing up in the island was quite difficult during that time because back then, there was no electricity in Monreal. Like most of the children in their town, he would spend his afternoons playing with his siblings in the shores of Monreal, catching small fishes, running after the waves. Also, he would often read comics and play with toy cars made of tin cans. As a young boy, he would be seen at his neighbors house, whose business was wood carving. Almost every day, after school, he would sit beside his neighbor while the latter was carving and young Cesar would keenly observe the details made in the carvings. Moving in to the city Cesar took his college degree of BS Architecture in Aquinas University in Legaspi City, where currently he is a faculty member of the Fine Arts Department. While studying, he started joining contests, where in 1991 and in 1992, he became a finalist in MetroBank and Shell National Student Art Competition in said respective year. His success as an artist culminated when he participated in the National Art Competition sponsored by Instituto Cervantes, a non-profit organization instituted by the Spanish government where his water color piece Ibon Man May Layang Lumipad won as the 1993 Grand Winner. After graduating, he worked in Manila for a while. He worked in an architectural firm in Ortigas as an architectural draftsman, where he prepared working drawings for construction. Adjusting in the busy atmosphere of the metro, his talent in painting took a time off. His officemates did not even know that they had an award-winning artist as a co-worker. Back in Bicol After his brief stay in Manila, he went back to Legaspi City to settle down. There he went back to his alma mater and became a faculty member of the fine arts department of Aquinas University. As a teacher, he passionately shares his skills to his students and in his spare time, he can be seen teaching out of school youths and grade school pupils, making art closer to youth. Recently, the Aquinas University granted Cesar a scholarship under the Faculty Development program, which enabled him to pursue a masters degree in Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. As a fine arts instructor and a budding career as a local artist, he still lived a humble life. Instead of planes or air-conditioned buses, he rode ordinary buses on his way to UP, enduring, yet enjoying the twelve (12) hour trip from Bicol to Manila. For him, we can find art in the bits and pieces of our everyday life.