Songs as paintings

Imagine hit songs interpreted as paintings.

Visual artist Kristine Lim. | Photographs Courtesy of FB/Jonathan Manalo fb/Kwento ng Alon

That’s what visual artist Kristine Lim did to the tunes of prolific, award-winning composer Jonathan Manalo — which the public will see in the exhibit Kuwento ng Alon on 27 September at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Award-winning composer Jonathan Manalo.

The event marks Manalo’s 20th anniversary as a songwriter. Currently the creative director of ABS-CBN Music, Manalo has produced over 200 albums — 75 of which have gone multiplatinum and 100 gold, as certified by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI).

In 2001, Manalo entered his song “Tara, Tena” in JAM: Himig Handog sa Makabagong Kabataan and won the grand prize.

Among his other songs are “Pinoy Ako” (Pinoy Big Brother theme), “Ililigtas Ka Niya” (recorded by Gary Valanciano), “Para Lang Sa ’Yo” (Aiza Seguerra), “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” (Piolo Pascual and Sarah Geronimo), and “Patuloy Ang Pangarap” (Angeline Quinto).

Some of the albums he has produced are those of Erik Santos, Kyla, the former Charice Pempengco, Piolo Pascual, Juris, Toni Gonzaga, Jed Madela, KZ Tandingan, Iñigo Pascual, Yeng Constantino and Moira de la Torre.

Kristine Lim’s (right) artistic interpretation of Jonathan Manalo’s (left) songs will be featured at the ‘Kuwento ng Alon’ exhibit.


The paintings will likewise honor the artists who sang Manalo’s songs.

The plan to translate Manalo’s songs into artworks was hatched when he and Lim first met in 2010. It was Lim who broached the idea and Manalo agreed.

Lim, who graduated cum laude in Visual Communication at the University of the Philippines, has been painting for more than 10 years.

She’s been through various challenges including alcohol abuse, mental health (clinically diagnosed with Paranoid Personality Disorder) and the death of her son.

She became a volunteer in community projects on art education for children, environment protection and spiritual renewal.

In 2020 she picked up the brush again and returned this year with a solo show, Edenic Archipelago, at Art Lounge Manila.

“Artist on a mission” is how she calls herself.

A number of her works are seen at the lobbies of the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Public Works and Highways.

Aside from the art exhibit, Kuwento ng Alon has been documented as a coffee table book to be launched internationally from October 2022 to September 2023.

Kuwento ng Alon’s exhibit, which will feature a performance by Gary V, is for the benefit of ABS-CBN Foundation, OPM and SustainablePh.

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