Women in Cebu who make a difference
By: Gina Atienza

Reprinted from Chat Room, Life/Sunday, Sun-Star Daily, Cebu, November 12, 2000

So much has been said and written about Paulina Constancia that it almost seems superfluous to write about her. Her works, featured so many times over in various magazines here and abroad, have been given glowing accolades. Her style, which is generally known as "naïf" or "primitif" is distinct, brilliant and full of color.
Leticia Suarez, in an article for Sun Star Cebu, says: "Her paintings are like a breath of green air in he local art scene. It’s like going from a dusty street into a woody hideaway that’s full of magical secrets."

The Sunday Inquirer Magazine adds: "Her colors are so vivid and her subjects so alive that you half-expect them to jump out of the frame to drag you into a tropical bacchanalia".

Dr. Amor S. Hernando commented in the St. Theresa’s Alumnae Association (STAA) Chronicler: "Her colors dance and crackle with brilliant optimism. There is immediacy of appreciation on the viewers’ part. In some pieces, one sees her fantasies seep into fragments of reality."

Vibrant. Full of life. Colorful. The very words which many use to describe Paulina’s works can be used to describe her life as well.

This youthful Cebuana who has gained recognition as a Filipino artist began her journey in painting a mere decade ago. "I believe that there is a reason for everything that has happened in my life," she says. A life changing experience happened the day she stepped into Celso Pepito’s atelier when was she 19 years old. It was the beginning of her spiritual and artistic journey into painting. She studied and joined local exhibitions of Cebuano artists groups in the early 1900’s and by 1995 went on to her first solo exhibition at The Gallery of the Montebello Villa Hotel.

There was no looking back thereafter.

Paulina Constancia has had two solo exhibitions in Manila: one at the Ayala Museum and the other at the Shangri-la Edsa Plaza Hotel. Abroad she was featured at the Red Mill Gallery at Vermont Studio Center, USA, at the La Galeria Teatro Angela Peralta in Guanajuato Mexico. In December 1997, one of her paintings was used as back cover art for the prestigious Readers Digest Magazine. Her latest exhibition which was held last September 2000 at the Centrum voor Kunst en Cultur De Meerse in The Netherlands featured her painting on quilted cloth.

Paulina likes to describe her life as an artist as an exciting evolution and a journey of exploration. She paints on a wide variety of surfaces from canvass, to ceramic, to wood, even kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles. She also experiments in various art forms from sculpture to painting to poetry, to dance and music. She was one of the first flutists in the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Aren’t you over extending yourself?, we ask. "Creativity is something that needs to be expressed in whatever form it takes and I like being true to my nature," she explains. She explored every avenue to pour out her creativity and seeks every language to express her sentiments.

Paulina Constancia’s meteoric rise in the arts is phenomenal in Cebu. She has achieved that enviable balance of gaining commercial success without sacrificing her artistic integrity.

Paulina dares where others may hesitate. She is true to herself and confident enough to pursue and promote her art without fearing ridicule and intrigues. She makes a difference because she dares to be brave and to reach out for new ways of expressing her creativity.

She has succeeded tremendously, both commercially and artistically. She brings us great honor by bringing Cebu to the world through her art. For someone who is so young and who has yet so much room to evolve, Paulina Constancia has certainly already made a difference in Cebu!