‘HUBLAS: 3 Filipinas showcase artistry at Philippine Consulate General in Dubai’s virtual art exhibit

Three Filipinas from the Hiligaynon region have showcased their mastery of art as well as their vision amid the crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the recently concluded Hublas—a virtual art exhibit held by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

Launched on December 11 at Rizal Hall, the virtual art exhibit featured the works of Lou Olvido Parroco, Robbie Gonzales, and Odessa Marie Badilla—three UAE-based Filipino women exploring the idea of Christmas amid the pandemic.

Robbie Gonzales, Odessa Marie Badilla, and Lou Olvido Parroco


According to Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, the exhibit aims to feature the talents of Filipino Hiligaynon artists to provide a fresh perspective of Dubai-based Filipinos hailing from the region, including how the pandemic changed their manner of thinking and vision of the world.

He added that as we approach the Christmas season, the exhibit hopes to provide a little bit of hope and talent to the world—which he said is something we sorely need today.

“We are all faced in a world that appears bleak, hopeless and uncertain. We are trying to make the current circumstance much better for people. Until now, it’s still very unclear but ‘Hublas’ tries to force you to rethink what you feel is the naked truth about the reality of a pandemic in the midst of a Christmas season, in the midst of a world that is so weary from being separated from each other,” he said.

Lou Olvida Parroco, a professional life coach, said that her acrylic works aim to honor women, particularly the frontliners who have sacrificed their safety to save lives amid this current situation.

“My work aims to highlight the delicateness and strength of women. Women have the tendency to worry, be anxious, but also to hope celebrate, and most importantly to fight and fight hard,” she said.

One of her notable paintings is ‘Teray’, based on her friend of the same name who is a frontliner in New York. She said Teray contracted the virus as she went in line with her duty, and had to fight it alone.

Teray by Lou Olvido Parroco

“Teray represents all doctors and nurses who relentless served COVID-19 patients,” Parroco added.

Badilla, a designer from Bacolod, noted that her masterpieces in the exhibit are inspired by her hometown’s Maskarra Festival.

Badilla’s tribute to frontliners, who she said are our today’s angels

“I’m from Bacolod City, known for Maskarra Festival. In late 1970s, our island was struck by a calamity and whole island was very down and sad but we were able to get up and rise above all those tragedies, and we commemorate it through our festival. That’s my inspiration,” she said.

Odessa Marie Badilla’s Kabulakan

Her most notable work is a black and red dress called Kabulakan, a tribute to her late father and mother, who taught her all she knows about art and fashion design.

HR expert Gonzales, meanwhile, showcased her paintings that aim to show the beauty of every individual’s persona and the importance of being naked enough to be true to yourself in front of everyone.

“All of these paintings are inspired by my 19 years of HR practice, so when you are in HR, you do organizational development, and most of words you use are piecing it together, strategy, focus, and courage. Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, you piece each together to get a meaningful story. As a person, you feel so naked doing all these things. But being you is something you have to do in front of everyone,” she said.

‘Now you see me’ series by Robbie Gonzales

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan gathers stories on a wide array of topics, particularly on the Philippines, UAE, Saudi, and Bahrain—which are published on The Filipino Times Newspaper, The Filipino Times Website, and The Filipino Times Newsletter. She also presents the news on cam in the pre-recorded daily broadcast of The Filipino Times Newsbreak—a run-through of the most important events of the day, reaching 5,000 to 20,000 views—to deliver stories to audiences inclined to audio-visual content online. For recommendations and story pitches, you can reach her at [email protected]

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