PLDT, Smart help Bantayan artist bring impact to the youth


Fulfilling – this is how 33-year-old Niel Abuyabor described his experience as one of the participants of the Municipality of Bantayan’s Mural Painting Contest where he had the opportunity to help improve the beauty of his hometown island and, at the same time, impart his skills and influence younger Bantayanon artists.

Niel is not new to joining mural painting contests as he used to participate in art competitions during his elementary and high school years in Bantayan. He continued pursuing his passion for arts after graduating from high school and became a freelance visual artist who is now residing in Naga City, Cebu together with his own family.

Upon learning about the contest, he did not hesitate to join and even looked forward to collaborating with younger artists who reminded him of how his journey as an artist started over a decade ago.

“Although I am no longer living in my hometown, I believe that I still have a role to play in the growth of Bantayan Island. And I know that my love for arts will help fulfill this role,” Niel said.

As part of the municipality’s annual fiesta celebration, the mural painting contest celebrated the artistry of the people of Bantayan and aimed to add color and life to the town’s public wet market. Niel was grateful for the chance to work with his teammates in painting a message of hope amid this pandemic for all Bantayanons. Opportunities like this inspire him to do better with his craft and continue leaving a positive mark on the lives of many people, especially the youth.

“I also appreciate the support that private institutions, such as PLDT and Smart, have extended to our municipality to boost our tourism initiatives and provide an avenue to Bantayanons to showcase and develop our talents,” he said.

After five years, Niel is once again the head visual artist for Bantayan’s participation in the upcoming Pasigarbo sa Sugbo 2022 of Cebu Province where they will showcase their very own Palawod Festival.

Supporting activities such as Bantayan’s mural painting contest aligns with PLDT and Smart’s efforts to boost the country’s tourism industry and help local government units recover from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.