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Young artists paint for women empowerment and friendship

In Photo: This undated photo, courtesy of the United Women Artists Association of the Philippines (UWAAP), shows founder and President Menchu VB. Arandilla (standing, left) with Meagan Ranjo (seated, left), Dianne Impas (third from left), Patricia Simbahan (fifth from left) and other UWAAP junior members.

By Oliver Samson / Correspondent

THE rich colors of the world spring abundantly from the hearts of these young individuals, recreating what could be said as God’s perfect works in human strokes.

As young as 6, their dormant passion for the art began to unfold. They have sketched cartoon characters, human figures, elements of nature and other images, on grade-school notebooks. The doodles, they said, broke the monotony of a classroom lecture. The drawings also unite them with their illustrator’s soul.


FIFTEEN-year-old Patricia Simbahan, who uses hearing aid to converse, paints to empower women, young and old alike.

She underwent basic training in Aikido after occasions of getting bullied in school for her condition. Her parents, who fondly call her Patty, had to transfer her to another school for a number of times.

In 2015 she joined the United Women Artists Association of the Philippines (Uwaap), finding people who are passionate about the same art.

Uwaap Founder and President Menchu VB Arandilla inspired her to harness her talent and expand her world as an artist.

“I am happy and will continue to paint,” said Simbahan, who looks up to Arandilla. “My artworks will touch on women.”

Arandilla sees the young artist, whose art strides between impressionism and realism, will become a staunch advocate of women empowerment through art.

Simbahan will study Fine Arts when she sets foot in college. Her father, Ruben, will train her to ride in the jeep and other public transports on her own and become street-smart.

Due to her hearing condition and age, she had not been to school and other public places distant from home without a companion. Her mother Maida has been a travel companion since birth.

Simbahan, which translates to “church” in English, will be one of the artists featuring works in an exhibition at The Podium from May 9 to 22, Arandilla said.

According to her, the exhibit would usher Simbahan into the big league. Out of over 200 organizations, Uwaap was chosen for this art exhibit.


EACH artist seeks to communicate a message through artwork, said Arandilla, who sold a treasure trove of artworks in the last three decades.

“What the artist paints speaks her heart,” she said.

This is true to Dianne Impas, 15, who wishes to foster the value of solidarity among people through art.

Asked what she loves most to paint, she said “my friends together in one painting.”

“I wish to communicate my message through art to friends who undergo challenges in life,” Impas told the BusinessMirror.

While Impas, an expressionist, clutches with reality her sense of solidarity, she also applies colors across her medium to provide her imaginations with form.

The world expands and becomes richer with the godly creation of the nonexistent by the likes of her. Things that are not real do exist in their consciousness, assuming form in their artworks.

She dreams of becoming a lawyer someday. At present, she sees herself making a living as a lawyer and enjoying life as an artist.

For Impas, painting will be a highly potent antistress dose after a day’s work of a lawyer.


MEAGAN Ranjo, one of Uwaap’s youngest junior members, wishes to prompt change among the young.

Through her paintings, she seeks to communicate to everyone to be fair to another.

She observes unfair acts by fellow young students. She disclosed she was forced by some classmates to have her exam copied, which she found unfair.

Meagan, who is an impressionist, recalled she was only 6 years of age when she began to paint.

There was not an artist among her forebears, she said. But art itself drew her interest in painting.

Today, she has a gallery of her own artworks in their house. Thanks to daddy and mommy.

Her works have touched on Halloween, Valentines, plants, fruits, butterflies and other things.

Her parents dream of her becoming a lawyer someday, Meagan said. But what she wishes for is to become a journalist.

“I love to write,” she said.

Meagan said she is more fluent than her dad, Jesus, in the English tongue. She sees the possibility of her becoming a journalist and artist someday.


ART is part of the everyday life, Arandilla said. A person’s life is full of it.

The clothes that one wears daily draw style from art. Another’s hair does the same. The way everyone talks involves art.

“Artwork is a gift to life,” Arandilla said. “It appreciates its value as time goes by.”

She advised her junior members to take painting as though they are just playing, otherwise they may get bored, and eventually give it up.

“Just enjoy it,” she said. “Don’t think of getting popular and making money too soon. Both will come in due time.”

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