Francisco Tejada Nacion Jr. was born in Kalibo, Aklan in 1981. He is the youngest of eight;
and has been drawing since the age of four. Despite majoring in Computer Engineering at the
University of Baguio, Francis nonetheless pursued art studies while in college.
In 2006 he started to apprentice with Mr. Fernando Sena and joined his workshops. Francis had his
own style by the time he met Mr. Sena, but he developed it further and was influenced by his
tutor’s use of vibrant colours.
In early 2007 he joined the Saturday Group of Artist, which includes Mauro Malang Santos, whom
he greatly admires.
The themes of his works show his love and pride for his country and its culture. When you look
closely at the characters in his paintings; you will see a bright side and a dark side on the faces.
These signify both the positive and negative outlook of a person. Upon deeper contemplation the
dominant attraction is the light or bright side. This reflects the good Filipino traits of patience,
kindness and being loving. Whenever the sun and the moon are represented, the sun is gold and
the moon is silver. These great celestial bodies symbolize TIME...time is valuable and should not be
wasted. Francis believes that time must be used to do positive actions to make one’s dreams come
true. “With the good traits of a Filipino with hard work and good use of time, We Filipinos can look
forward to a brighter and happier life. I want to show the world that the Filipino artist can be at
par with the best in the world” he says.
To this day, this young artist continues to develop his own unique style, characterized by etching
and scraping to produce special textural effects. The artist prepares well for his works, carefully
researching Filipino art designs which he incorporates in his paintings. An example of this is the
colourful materials woven by ethnic groups in Zambonga, which he has represented in his
paintings, showing strong visual appeal because of its brilliant hues. He continues to research
ethnic art from different regions in the country, focusing on the happy mix of vivid colours. He
inspired by the rich culture of the Philippines and paints traditional subjects like mother and child,
father and son, market vendors, Lovers, Christmas carollers- picturing common sights in the
Philippines folk life. With a positive outlook on life, he makes sure this view points is infused in his
So far, things have been working well for Francis. Art enthusiasts hail him as one of the most
promising young artist to watch. He actively joins selected group art exhibits here and abroad.
“My art is a mirror of my emotions. I paint what I feel, see and dream. Before my artworks exude
anger, anxiety and society’s problem, now, I realized that it is always best to look at the brighter
side….thinking positive, thinking about my blessings despite of all the challenges life brings. I owe my
ideas, my works to God.” – Gerrico
It all began when Gerrico reached the age of 3. He discovered his talent as he drew super heroes,
robots, cars and space ships on pieces of pad papers - a proof that his fondness for figures was
already seen even at an early stage. More so, his love for art rooted from the influence of his
parents, Violeta and Arturo Blanco, both works as a garment designer and designer of guns and
bullets, respectively. When he reached his adolescence, he decided to pursue his dream and
cultivate his talent. He took up Fine Arts major in Painting in the University of Santo Tomas for 4
years where he learned about art history, significant art theories and mastered basic painting skills
and techniques. It was also during his college days when he first joined the highly-regarded Shell
Student National Art Competition where he first showcased his artwork to the public. Right after
college, he found himself working for Magoo Valencia’s (his uncle; a visual artist who specializes in
watercolor; a Saturday Group member) advertising agency. And because of the emerging digital art
scene in the 90’s, he opted to go through graphic design training under Franklin “Caña” Valencia (his
uncle; a visual artist who specializes in cubism; a Saturday Group member).
He built his career in the corporate world as a Graphic Designer from 1997 – 2010. However, he
never disregarded his love for painting. In fact, he joined the most prestigious art group in the
Philippines, the Saturday Group of Artists in 2001. During that time, he was still finding ways of
developing his style and concept. He started out by drawing landscapes, barong-barongs, still life
and some human figures featured social issues. Meeting and working with the great maestros of the
Philippine art scene has continued to inspire him to do great in his artworks.
Year 2005 is a breakthrough period for Gerrico. Inspired by his first born child, he showcased
positivism in his works - love for God and family, conquering dreams, hope, how simple things can
give happiness. Most of his paintings were stimulated by kid’s imagination and dream. Kids are often
used as models to inject a lighter, happy and hopeful mood to the artwork. As the time passes by
and his concepts mature, his style evolved, and focused theme unfolds. His latest artworks depict
the contrasting display of sepia and full colored images in one art piece. These two divisions of his
paintings represent the former as past, struggles and problems while the latter represents
happiness, love and hope, respectively. In 2010, he decided to give up his day job and get more
serious with his first love, painting.
Gerrico has always been into realism style since he started to paint. His style of doing each piece
passes through a process from developing a concept to sketching to photography to actual painting.
“It is a thorough yet rewarding process because I can see my imagination come to life and able to
communicate the message to my audience” says Gjiec, as friends often call him. He usually uses oil
on canvass to achieve a more realistic finish. He also makes use of watercolor and pastel mediums.
Currently, Gerrico is a fulltime Visual Artist, part-time Graphic Artist. He’s been a member of
Saturday Group of Artists and Quinta. You may see some of his current masterpieces at Village Art
Gallery in Alabang Town Center, Artes Orientes in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City and Gallery
Big in LRI Design Plaza.
Mario “ RAM “ Mallari Jr., 47, did not finish his architecture
course, as he married early and worked as a draftsman in the middle east to be able to raise
his growing family then. It never occurred to him that he had talent for sculpture. He said he
was too scared to try, especially experimenting with dirty metal discards. But every time he
saw such discards, he said, he felt he needed to turn them into something good.
Finally, one day in May 2011, he picked up a piece of scrap metal and began to turn it into a
work of art. Then he tried another piece. And then some more. Before he knew it, he said, it
had become “wildfire.” He was amazed that he completed 150 sculptures in just a short
time. With such an output, he was ready to exhibit.
He mounted series of exhibits, including a one- man show at the lobby of the HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES , where most of his artworks were sold to some Congressmen and
members of the House. Prominent collectors are Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Leyte
representative and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Laguna Congressmen Justin Chipeco
and Dan Fernandez, Cong. Seth Jalosjos, Cong. Carlo Lopez, Cong. Trisha David Bonoan,
Cong. Hussein Pangandaman and many more. His 2012 exhibit “ METAL REDEMPTION” in
Congress was a huge success and his story was chosen by THOMPSON REUTERS to be
featured in some local and international MEDIA and TV networks such as Yahoo News,
Washington Post, NBC News TV in New York and BBC News Channel.
His biggest break came when Ayala Museum commissioned him a Public art Installation in
Nuvali, Laguna. Together with other renowned Filipino sculptors; Ed Castrillo and Michael
Cacnio. His piece entitled “THE LAST TREE” is a unique assemblage made of scrap metal
and found objects welded together to form a kneeling human figure holding a simulated
tree . The piece conveys a powerful message about humanity: its true nature, strengths and
weaknesses and relationship with Mother Earth. It also depicts humanity’s renewed
perspective on the preservation of life. The impressive giant piece is now permanently
installed in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa,Laguna.