Dream To Fly by wuyunyi

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									A    MAY 12-18, 2011 • LAS VEGAS ASIAN JOURNAL                                                      Dateline USa                                                             http://www.asianjournal.com • (702) 792-6678



    Darwin “Japat” Guevarra, Multi-Awarded International Artist
                                          Dream To Fly                                                                                              by Cynthia de   Castro / AJPress


   BEFORE international award-winning Filipino art-
 ist Darwin “Japat” Guevarra hit it big, he hit rock
 bottom. Not just once, but many times.
    But his darkest moments ultimately made his wildest dreams                “I live with my
 come true.                                                                dreams and grew
    In Dubai’s critical arts circle, Darwin, or “Japat” (as he is more     up living a simple
 commonly known), has finally made a name for himself and his              life. I have this
 masterpieces have been esteemed and highly-prized -- even among           thought which
 the royal family.                                                         is that I have a
    He is the first Pinoy to have a one-man show in Dubai’s renowed        gift that the Lord
 art gallery, Tashkeel, owned by Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum, the         has given me. I
 daughter of the ruler of Dubai.                                           cultivated it and
    Japat’s skills in the arts are mostly self-taught. He is into paint-   slowly I gained
 ing, sculpture, photography, graphic design, visual arts, and per-        courage,” shared
 forming arts.                                                             Japat.
    The ice dragon sculpture in the famous UAE tourist spot, Ski              Then,      Japat
 Dubai, and one of the horse statues in Dubai’s main highway,              had to face more
 Sheikh Zayed Road, are just some of his impressive works. His             odds. First, the
 paintings and photographs have earned him top prizes in some of           mall where he
 the most prestigious competitions in Europe.                              worked got burned, so he lost his job. They struggled financially,             the Grand Prize in Fine Arts Cat-
    Japat’s amazing story shows how one who overcomes and de-              reaching a point where power was cut off from their home because               egory.
 fies the odds can have a breakthrough, if he perseveres and never         they could not pay the bills.                                                     That was the breakthrough that
 gives up.                                                                    But those days with no electricity turned out to be a blessing in           he dreamed of.
    He shares his story in his website: “I was born in Taytay, prov-       disguise. Japat painted scenes in his mind as he looked at the electric           His work caught the eye of Sheikha Lateefa, daughter of the rul-
 ince of Rizal, a self-taught artist.” He also revealed that he started    post from their dark house. His painting won him an award from the             er of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Lateefa
 sketching as a young boy.                                                 Annual Art Association of the Philippines.                                     helped him set up a solo exhibit in Tashkeel, the art center she
    His parents, a carpenter and a seamstress, struggled to get him           Another time, Japat was inspired with the silhouette caused by the          founded.
 through high school. But he used his skills in art to help classmates     lantern in their dark room. His painting using water color drew raves             The exhibit, “Time of Humanity,” opened in May 2010 and art
 and teachers finish school projects which afforded him free tuition,      in the local art circle.                                                       lovers in the United Arab Emirates were captivated by his cre-
 and occasionally, free food.                                                 As Japat seriously pursued his passion for art, he learned to mix           ations.
    After finishing high school in 1996, Japat was introduced to an        colors and carve using wood, styrofoam and fiberglass.                            “When first confronting a Guevarra piece, it can be overwhelm-
 award-winning and passionate artist -- Godofredo Zapanta.                    Soon, he joined various exhibits in the Philippines and other               ing in the best sense of the word; the work is overpowering, with
    “Tatay Godo is my mentor. He is the founder of Group Artists of        countries. He also started to become an active member of many art              many ingredients to sift through in order to decode the stirs of
 Taytay. He is also a local and international awardee, and has joined      groups such as the Group Artists of Taytay and Art Association of the          Darwin Guevarra’s life,” said Lateefa.
 several exhibits competitions and a very good leader.”                    Philippines.                                                                      “Guevarra’s exceptional ability to communicate his innermost
    While painting on the side and joining art competitions and ex-           Then came a chance to work in the UAE. He didn’t want to go                 emotions, coupled with his unique use of traditional and unortho-
 hibits, Japat had to earn a living to help support his family. He         because he was slated to join 13 other artists for an exhibit in New           dox materials, makes his work intriguing. He jumps in headfirst,
 worked as a wood carver, and as a trek guide to mountaineers.             York. But, problems at home pushed him to try his luck in Dubai, as            giving all that he has for art. His technique could almost be de-
 He also did some figurine-making, t-shirt printing, and backdrops         their house had been demolished and his parents had to move to the             scribed as ‘scavenging’ — finding small ordinary everyday objects
 for festivals. He moonlighted as a daily paper cartoonist and a TV-       province.                                                                      and literally embedding them within the artwork, giving them a
 series dubber. He got a job as a salesman at Uniwide Mall along              So, Japat became an OFW and worked as a company photographer                ‘Darwin Guevarra’ signature touch.”
 Marcos Highway and was moved to the Art Department, when his              in Artxtra in Dubai.                                                              Filipinos working in Dubai who saw the exhibit expressed their
 co-workers found the beautiful sketch he did for the shop’s cus-             The artist in Japat, however, refused to be stilled. While working          admiration for Japat Guevarra’s work.
 tomer.                                                                    in visual advertising production, he tried to penetrate the Dubai art             One was Neil Generoso, a Dubai-based Filipino photographer,
                                                                           scene.                                                                         who found Guevarra’s work compelling and reported in a news-
                                                                              However, there were many obstacles to gaining recognition for               paper interview: “Each masterpiece comes out sincere with every
                                                                           his work as an artist in Dubai. He remembered many times when                  material that he carves into the whole artwork, giving it a deeper
                                                                           he used to inquire at art galleries on how to hold an exhibit, and he          meaning.”
                                                                           usually got the reply: “Ah, no, no, no. Asian is not allowed. Especially          In the same article, another OFW,Chari Basilan, said, “Having
                                                                           Filipinos.”                                                                    seen his exhibit, I am more than proud to be a Filipino.”
                                                                              Aside from the blunt discrimination, Japat was also frustrated                 In his blogs, Japat said that “Nobody can help you, only your-
                                                                           about the restrictions.                                                        self.” He also shares his own proverb: “Dream to fly, no matter
                                                                              “In our country, I can paint, sculpt and photograph nude women              what directions may require. For in my heart, I am willing to give
                                                                           and men. Here, it is not possible. I found no room for my style here           my last gasp of air for love and the arts. And as long as there re-
                                                                           since the culture is different from that of my homeland,” Japat said.          mains a glint of color available, how wonderful it is to be alive.
                                                                              Fortunately, Japat never gave up on his dream. He found inspira-            But even if a speck of light does not exist, the will continues to
                                                                           tion from wife Melissa (who is also an artist); 16-year-old son Mico;          survive.”
                                                                           and two-year-old son Mac James.                                                   He overcame and defied all odds and came out a winner. As an
                                                                              He kept joining competitions and gradually acquainted himself               advice to his kababayans, Japat Guevarra has this to say, “Just do
                                                                           with the local art scene.                                                      what interests you. Don’t expect that you will be rewarded. Re-
                                                                              In 2006, Japat joined the Red Bull Art of Can Contest where he won          member that your struggle and all that comes with it have a reason.
                                                                           2nd prize. Then, he participated at the 2008 Dubai Ladies Club Shai-           Just focus on your goal. Be like a soldier who doesn’t stop just
                                                                           kha Manal New Signatures Young Artists Award where he gained                   because his ammunition has run out.”



Obama plan for health care quality dealt a setback DMV technician arrested...
   WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama’s           group representing premier organizations            been seen as the vanguard for accountable            PAGE A3
main idea for getting quality health care at     such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the adminis-          care.                                                and was booked into the Henderson jail. She faces federal charges
less cost was in jeopardy Wednesday after key    tration Wednesday saying that more than 90             The medical groups say they are worried           of Fraud and Theft or Bribery. Brown worked at the DMV branch on
medical providers called his administration’s    percent of its members would not participate,       they will be left holding the bag for losses, that   Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas and has been with the department since
initial blueprint so complex it’s unworkable.    because the rules as written are so onerous         the government has designed things so there          2007.
   Just over a month ago, the administration     it would be nearly impossible for them to           is no easy way to tell which patients are part          Investigators with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles’ Com-
released long-awaited draft regulations for      succeed.                                            of the program, and that there’s no reliable         pliance Enforcement Division, US Attorney’s Office and Homeland
“accountable care organizations,” networks          “It’s not just a simple tweak, it’s a signifi-   way to adjust for patients who are sicker and        Security Investigations say Brown worked with a series of middlemen
of doctors and hospitals that would collabo-     cant change that needs to be made,” said Don-       require closer follow-up and more expensive          outside the DMV to recruit immigrants and accept payments. Infor-
rate to keep Medicare patients healthier and     ald Fisher, president of the American Medical       treatments.                                          mation gathered from the department’s Facial Recognition and Fraud
share in the savings with taxpayers. Obama’s     Group Association, which represents nearly             The deadline for public comments on the           Monitoring System initiated the investigation which is ongoing.
health care overhaul law envisioned quickly      400 large medical groups around the country         proposed regulations is still weeks away, but           The fraudulent driver’s licenses are being cancelled. The DMV
setting up hundreds of such networks around      providing care for roughly 1 in 3 Americans.        Fisher said “we needed to get their attention        will send certified letters to the license holders and is alerting other
the county to lead a bottom-up reform of         Its members, including the Cleveland Clinic,        early on, so (the administration) could be           licensing agencies through the national Problem Driver Pointer
America’s bloated health care system.            Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Geis-         thinking about how major changes are needed          System.
   But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella         inger Health System in Pennsylvania, had            to make these regulations viable.” (AP)




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