ARLE O. MACAPAGAL
Arle Olpindo Macapagal known as Onion Painter reinvented himself as Art Payapa in 2010. This pseudonym will forever depict the artist that he is.
Reinventing Art Payapa was a long process of inspiration and perseverance. In childhood, the training and inspiration from his mother, Lenie, ingrained in his young curiosity the passion for art. From simple lines and curves, young Arle’s fingers were trained, little by little, to draw the characters in his favourite animated TV programs. Little did he know that this talent will become his shield in facing life’s challenges.
Born to parents who were less fortunate in life, Arle, in his young age, learned to confront life’s challenges with perseverance. As a young boy, he occasionally made colourful sketches of anime characters and sold them to his classmates to have baon for school. In high school, he worked part-time in art shops, drawing and painting anything the customers would request, to get commission from the shop owner. One day, after a tiring day of work in the art shop, Arle went home disheartened for receiving his lowest pay ever - a ten-peso commission. It was a learning experience that made him promise to reinvent himself into a successful artist someday. At last, his journey as Art Payapa had begun. After graduation in high school, he was able to collect 36 gold, 20 silver and 2 bronze medals from different art contests.
Arle went to college as a working student, expectedly. In two difficult years, he had no choice but to work for two jobs at a time. He worked as student assistant from 7 AM to 3 PM, then attended his classes from 3 PM to 10 PM, and then resumed printing work from 10 PM onwards. Hardships paid off when, in 2009, he graduated from Araullo University in Cabanatuan City with the degree of BS Criminology. More than his joy, however, his heart could not contain the gratitude to classmates, friends and professors, who have shown generosity, in both financial and moral ways, in order to earn a diploma.
His dream of reinventing himself as Art Payapa has not waned while in college. He joined the Artists Club of the Philippines (AC) in 2005 and there he had the opportunity to meet great artists like Elito Circa, a.k.a. Amang Pintor, who later became his mentor. His talent improved so well that he was able to produce artworks in oil and acrylic paintings. Among his artworks are: Depress, Kamada, Band of Circle, The Cathedral of San Jose City, Behind, Paslit and Post Harvest 2008. Paslit was his entry to the LRT Art 2009 national competition while Post Harvest 2008 was his entry to the BPHRE national art competition. His entry was among the ten special awards given by BPHRE. In 2010, after a long process of inspiration and perseverance in honing his talent, Arle finally reinvented himself as Art Payapa. The pseudonym depicts the stillness in his personality that was developed through long years of inspiration in art, despite struggles.
As a native of San Jose City, Art Payapa is developing an art statement that distinctly describes his hometown. He is now using onion, San Jose City’s major crop, as medium in his paintings. He is also finding ways to care for less fortunate children by allotting a portion of his income from art exhibits during San Jose’s special holidays and fiestas. He is gracious, as well, in sharing his talents. He designed logos that are being used by Araullo University Student Supreme Organization and Jail Basic Recruit Course. He is also the designer and pioneer of San Jose City t-shirt.
As a family man, Arle supports the financial needs of Cherry and Aimee, through his job as a Jail Officer in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. But as the passion for art continuous to run in his veins, he operates a printing shop with the trade name Still Art located along Cardenas Street in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija. Art will always be his life.