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Tabula Rasa | Five in 2020

It was March 2015, Ms. Amy Cabusao, the Editor-in-Chief of Mindanao Times, invited Tabula Rasa Art Group Unlimited to start writing about art for Mindanao Times weekly. Then, Tabula Rasa founding member Dinky Munda. Jr., the most senior member of the group said an emphatic yes.

Fellow founding members Bai Manginsay and Daryl Descallar looked at each other with shock and felt a bitter pressure in their creative juice glands. This means committing to submit every week a full page, full color layout with photos and/or graphics and copy with at least 800 words. We have never done this before and presently, nobody is doing it in Davao City.
Immediately, Bai and Daryl, embarked on creative brainstorm sessions with Dinky and Brando as to the concept of our weekly article- the parameters of the content, layout design and others.

Weeks before this, Ms. Amy Cabusao was inviting us to have a weekly Tabula Rasa article. We were excited with the idea but we knew that it was challenging, considering that we will have to produce one full page article per week. We were thinking of producing three to four ready layed out articles first before launching the first one so that we were three articles advanced per week. But due to Dinky’s nod to Amy to submit the first article in less than a week, we had no choice. Dinky was the big brother and everybody follows what he says (sometimes). So, we raced for time to submit our first article to Mindanao Times on March of 2015.

The weekly Tabula Rasa article of the Lifestyle Section of Mindanao Times is a labor of love by the members of Tabula Rasa Art Group Unlimited. Bai Manginsay was in-charge of the content while Ging Descallar edited the articles and also contributed to the write ups. Daryl Descallar did the graphic design layout ready for submission to Mindanao Times. Dinky Munda, Jr. with Queenie Munda’s assistance and Brando Cedeño and wife Cecile Cedeño contribute articles. With Bai and Ging gone, the remaining members continue to submit Tabula Rasa articles. By God’s grace, in the past five years, we only missed one or two issues.

This year 2020, we celebrate the fifth year of our Mindanao Times Lifestyle issue. Along this issue is our May 30, 2015 article. A view of Tabula Rasa, a short background of the group and the first steps we took in helping raise the art scene in Davao.

Tabula Rasa, in its five years of existence in the print broadcast, is the longest running lifestyle article in the art industry in Davao City and in Mindanao as a whole.

In the past five years we featured guest artists and art groups, their travels around the world, their art styles and how these ideas can help shape Davao’s own art stance. Hopefully in the next five years, we will continue to contribute to the industry through this channel and enhance our services through Tabula Rasa articles in Mindanao Times for the artists, art lovers, collectors and art dealers. Due to the effect of the covid-19, we have to find creative ways to promote and advance Davao made art. We look forward to how DAFI (Dabawenyo Artists Federation, Inc.) can activate innovative ways to do this.

We would like to thank Ms. Amy Cabusao, Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Jesus G. Dureza, Publisher and Mr. Willie Torres, owner, for giving artists in Davao a space, in their daily, the longest running community newspaper in Mindanao- Mindanao Times. For five years, we have shown the different sides of the art scene in Davao its artists, their works, ideas, the developments and many ideas that has educated the people of Davao about art.

Also, we would like to thank you all for supporting us and the artists of Davao. We enjoy what we do and we hope that we will bring you more happiness through our works in the coming years. We thank the malls, cafes and restos the city government for the spaces you have shared for art activities and countless partnerships.

There is still a lot of work to be done to raise the art industry in Davao and Mindanao as a whole. Tabula Rasa will continue to serve this specific industry as much as it can in part through the print broadcast media in partnership with Mindanao Times, the talented artists of Davao and other partners everywhere who will contributed to Davao’s emerging art scene.


(Concept Statement)
All Art pieces start with a “Blank Slate” before becoming works of art. The unseen elements being poured onto its surface are tons of creative juices and truckloads of frustrations that are, by popular belief, considered as the “Key Ingredients” in making art pieces more precious than Gold. Other valuable factors such as time and opinions from the viewers or from the creator of the art, will also add new dimension to its aesthetic value. A blank slate with a high price tag is most often molded by multifarious ideas of esoteric and frivolous visions interpreted in different strokes. These will also help create a visual gymnastics of twisted truthfulness or a representation of the untouched reality of time that most often give the “Blank Slate” a soul with gargantuan amount. In compassing, Art will only be born after painful process, overdue conception and hard labor reflected on a “TABULA RASA.”

TABULA RASA is a group of senior artists coming from different fields in the business sector from education, advertising, graphic design, photography, art production, business management, furniture design, branding, product design and development and others with one vision. They gather together to create a small art community to help develop and enhance the potential talent of the young artists in Davao through occasional art events, workshops and demos. Art education will be part of the creative menu being offered to the art community by the group.

TABULA RASA ART WORKSHOP gives the participants the opportunity to unravel their hidden artistic capabilities and explore more through different techniques and proper guidance from the professional artists. It also tackles some topics that would help broaden the creative horizon of the participants. Moreover, the events, workshops will also showcase the “step-by-step” method from preparation to finished execution. Tabula Rasa is a fun way to learn art.

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