Is This My Bedroom?!
As soon as the 4' x 4' oil painting of Jun Alfon, a well-known advocate of Philippine tribal groups, was up on my (and my husband's) bedroom wall, I blinked not just once, but a hundred times.
Is this my bedroom? With that colorful work of art occupying all of the only wall this room has, I thought I was in some unknown place elsewhere.
Jun surprised me with this painting when I went over to his place to personally deliver and discuss with him the first draft of his art book, which he asked me to write. I was speechless. His walls, from ceiling to floor, were covered with paintings, but he chose this particular painting, took it down and give it to me. I’d have chosen it myself.
I should have told him what we usually say when we receive a gift, “You should have not bothered.” But I was so overwhelmed I could only gasp.
From the beginning I made clear to Jun, a noted impressionist who has had 28 solo art exhibits to date, I will not accept payment for all the little things he had requested me to write—brochures, press releases, leaflets, invitations, and titles for his past art exhibits. "First off, anything about art gives me adrenalin rush. And between friends there are no peso values."
So Jun turns around and gives me no cash; just a beautiful canvas that has his soul in it.
Jun’s painting, which captures the essence of our forgotten brothers up in the mountains, speaks more about friendship than I can ever paint with words.
(I have other artist friends whose paintings adorn the other walls of our small home—those are gifts of grace I have written in my heart long ago and will post here someday soon.)