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Tabula Rasa | Tatay Rene Lumawag, Artist Photographer

One of Davao’s most noted and traveled photojournalists, the much-loved Rene “TATAY” Lumawag has gone to the great darkroom above.

He was only 74 yet it seemed that Tatay was always around, covering the top political and cultural events in our city. He was Digong’s faithful and favored photographer. His pictures of PRRD as he rose from the fiscal to mayor and finally PRESIDENT were featured at Abreeza.

A lot of his friends in the art community know that Tatay Rene whom we fondly nicknamed “The Legend” for his works and achievements as a photographer was also a visual artist himself. As a young man in Zamboanga City, he painted large movie billboards displayed all over the city where he developed his skill in drawing and painting murals.

He was a fervent supporter of the Davao artists and attended art events and exhibits when he’s able. He would join our on-the-spot portrait sketching activities where he would display his talent and abilities as an artist.

He and Tabula Rasa artist Daryl Descallar met for time together and planned to have a painting session that didn’t transpire due to Tatay Rene’s busy schedule as President Digong’s main photographer.

The last time I saw Tatay was at JoJo Jimenez’s solo exhibit opening. JoJo gave him a watercolor portrait then and is now displayed at his wake.

Tatay, the whole art community grieves as we bid goodbye to a good friend. Thank you Tatay Rene. We will miss you and the ideas you freely share during our art talks. You will always be remembered and loved.

Dinky Munda, Jr.

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