Journey from the Priesthood to the Art World
By Ivy Liza F. Mendoza, Manila Bulletin
Adam & Eve, 2003, oil on canvas by Danny Castillones Sillada
A GIFTED AND multi-talented artist, Danny Castillones Sillada is a poet, painter, performance artist, critic, musician, and philosopher. Like the poignant imagery of his art, his life is as complex as his forms and colors on canvas. His works, although autobiographical, are deeply rooted in his socio-cultural environment and his belligerent but verdant land of Mindanao.
Hounded by the tragic deaths of his two siblings by suicide and the haunting images of war in Mindanao, Sillada has transformed his internal struggle into a passionate quest for highly sensitive aesthetics.
The resultant images are inherently sensual, sensitive, and teeming with vibrant colors. But much unlike his poetry, his art has no trace of rancor or sorrow, albeit at time, they can be enigmatic and haunting. His paintings and drawings reveal the intense character of a mystique artist while his written verses unveil the looming shadows in his soul. The artist's existential struggle, however, is balanced between the sad evocation of his poetry and the intricate and colorful detail of his art.
At 17, he entered the seminary to become a priest at the Queen of Apostles College Seminary in Davao Del Norte, Philippines. After his philosophical studies in 1986, he went on further for his theological studies at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, where he obtained his Bachelor in Sacred Theology and postgraduate study in Pastoral Theology in 1990 and 1991 respectively.
D.C. Sillada came late in his career as a full-time artist. At 30, he painted his first major work, a 10 x 10 feet mural commemorating the 25th Episcopal anniversary of Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, D.D. in 1992 permanently installed at the San Carlos Seminary, Makati.
It was also the same year, 1991-1992, when he was assigned by Cardinal Sin as one of the Formators in the seminary assuming the role as Assistant Prefect of Discipline and a faculty member at the San Carlos Seminary (College Department).
While in the seminary, anticipating his impending ordination to the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Sillada underwent a terrible crisis in his life that affected his vocation. His crisis was precipitated by a series of tragedy that besieged among his family members. By the last quarter of 1992, Sillada reluctantly left the seminary with a heavy heart in order to find himself in the real world.
After taking his MBA at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Makati, he worked for more than four years in the corporate world before he embraced his artistic career.
How to cite this article:
Mendoza, Ivy Liza F. (Section Editor). “Journey from the Priesthood to the Art World." Manila Bulletin (Manila) 8 September 2003: C-7. Print.
Online link to Asia Art Archive: http://www.aaa.org.hk/Collection/Details/20168