Pinoy animator showcases Panay, Western Visayas mythology

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There are many ways to tell a story. For artist Liby Limoso, mythology is best illustrated through animation. In his mission to promote Philippine indigenous culture, Limoso chose animation to be his creative medium.

Liby Limoso (back row, fifth from right) with the members of the Panay, Bukidnun indigenous community. Their ancestors were the last living chanters of the Panay Sugidanun epics

?We need to tell our own stories,? says Limoso, whose study on Sugidanun served as the basis for the Panay Sugidanun HD campaign that aims to preserve this ancient tradition through art forms.

Sugidanun is a set of epic myths that originated from Panay and the neighboring islands of Western Visayas.

?Nothing else captures the magic and fantasy of Sugidanun than animation,? he says.

The Panay Sugidanun HD campaign is an initiative led by Limoso, which aims to document and promote the 10 major narratives and three minor sub-stories of Sugidanun through the use of new media and innovative narration while preserving the essence of the epic.

?Animation is a powerful medium. I want this to be an instrument of change that would bring us better understanding of our language, places, identities and memories,? asserts Limoso.

Limoso?s first attempt at animation was during his first year as a Fine Arts major in the University of the Philippines-Diliman, where he showed a simple motion of Boticelli?s ?Birth of Venus.?

Although time consuming, he believes that animation shouldn?t be costly. One type of animation, Mixed Media, can be done with simple materials and a video camera. ?Everyone has to start somewhere,? declares Limoso.

Growing up in a farming village, Limoso prides himself as a product of the country?s public school program. He first appreciated animation as an artform when he was a child.

He was inspired by watching cartoons on TV and movies, and learned to make movies with computer graphic images. These sparked his interest in animation and visual arts and led him to pursue a career in this field.

?With proper planning, program and education, the Philippines can make a great impact as a leading outsourcing destination for animation services. But more importantly, the Philippines can also be known as a producer of original content with universal appeal,? says Limoso.

Limoso emphasizes the importance of education and training for Filipino talent. Collaborative programs with countries that are known for their animated content such as Canada, Japan, and Korea are necessary to update the country?s educational curriculum and training programs.

According to Limoso, artists should have innate characteristics that will help them with their craft although there are external factors that can contribute to the success of the Philippine industry.

He says that an artist should have keen attention to details and should know how to tell a good story. One should also have good work habits when working alone while one should be at his or her best when the job calls for teamwork.

?Filipinos have great patience so we work a lot more on outsourced projects. We should learn from it but we must not forget to spend time on producing original works. Only then can we see where we are going in the near future,? stresses Limoso.

Limoso will be one of the resource speakers for ?Animahenasyon 2013: 7th Philippine Animation Festival? on November 19 to 22 in West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.

Organized by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), the event will gather industry players and stakeholders with shared interests, needs and aspirations as they exchange ideas, lessons and plans for the animation industry.

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