CARVED PORTRAIT. Cagayan de Oro City-based artist, Nicolas Aca, polishes the carved wooden canvas depicting the image of Vice President Sara Duterte. The woodwork art was commissioned by Misamis Oriental's 2nd District Rep. Yevgeny Vincente Emano and presented to the office of Duterte during his courtesy visit to Manila on Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Emano's Facebook Page)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – As a performing and visual artist for over 20 years, Nicolas Aca has made several artworks for the community that include carved portraits of famous personalities.

His most recent wood artwork, a portrait of Vice President Sara Duterte, was recently handed over to the second-highest official in the land.

In an interview Thursday, Aca said his standard size for such woodwork would be around 2x24x16 inches and usually costs PHP20,000 in a two-week commissioned work.

"Its materials are from 'tugas' (molave wood); there are a lot of suppliers here in CDO (Cagayan de Oro)," he said.

However, in the latest commissioned work, Misamis Oriental 2nd District Representative Yevgeny Vincente Emano provided wooden material measuring around four feet.

Aca said such dimension typically costs around PHP40,000 to PHP50,000 worth of labor.

After graduating from college in 1995, the local artist furthered his career in arts and crafts making and started doing performance street art in the early 2000s.

Most notable of his performances include the commemoration for the victims of tropical storm "Sendong" in 2011, who died in the city's flash flood.

He also engaged the public during the election season with a call not to sell their votes.

During last month's "Higalaay" Festival here, Aca also created the heads and tails of the mythical Oro fish "Kugtong" for the dragon boat race event.

In 2021, Aca was appointed as the chairperson of the City Historical and Cultural Commission and trained his sight on rehabilitating the "Museo de Oro" and promote local history and culture in schools.

Courtesy visit

Early this month, Emano presented the woodwork art at the office of Duterte during a courtesy visit, together with Misamis Oriental 1st District Rep. Christian Unabia, and the City's 1st District Rep. Lordan Suan.

Emano hopes that the woodwork art would foster good relations between Misamisnons and the office of the Vice President.

"Portraits are the most intimate, endearing, and enduring photographs. Because the image will survive the subject," Emano said in a recent statement. (PNA)