Poverty Is a Gift

By: Ancel Marie B. Mondia

AREL ZAMBARRANO, 31, of Banate, Iloilo, is a celebrated artist known for his group and solo art exhibits in different parts of the country.

Zambarrano describes his art in two words – satirical and ambiguous – which he believes also define his personality.

He sticks with the dictum of Auguste Rodin that “Really, there is no beautiful style, no beautiful design, and no beautiful color; there is just one beauty in art, the truth that is being revealed.”

Zambarrano considers a lot of things in his life as crucial, most especially his experiences during his college days which molded him to become an independent person. During those times, he met mentors and friends who contributed to his personal progress.

As someone who grew up in a poor family, he found sending himself to college difficult and being a breadwinner tough.

He had been through adversities but because of faith, enthusiasm, and conviction, he persisted with his next steps.

He took up Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology major in Drafting. After a couple of years, he proceeded to Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

In 2012, he passed the licensure examination for architects. Four years after, he mounted his solo art exhibits “Arel Zambarrano Is Unhindered” and “Timbu-ok”, both held in Iloilo City.

Though he was chosen as one of the top finalists in various art contests, he considers his family and friends as his greatest achievements.

“The true meaning of success is attached not to my physical self. It can’t be found in my bank accounts or inside of my rugged vehicles, but my influences to my circle, especially to aspirants. My true success is being a person of value to others,” he said.

Zambarrano, who is now a full-time visual artist and a part-time architect, believes that poverty is not a disgrace but a gift where one has to find his way in converting weakness into strength.

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