Philippine Artists Group has a new president

Community Round Up Aug 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Justino Magalona, new PAG president

Justino Magalona, new PAG president

The Philippine Artists Group of Canada has a new president by a sudden twist of faith.

Justino Magalona, a fairly new member but already a fast rising star in the group and its erstwhile vice president took over when its president, Antonio Luna aka Dunluna, for unexplained reasons, suddenly resigned right after canceling the PAG’s scheduled July 2009 art show which could have been the group’s second 20th anniversary exhibition and its main art presentation in Canada.

Justino Magalona, Jr. or ‘Dong’ to his colleagues and friends, was born and grew up in Cebu, Philippines and started showing interest in drawing at the age of 4. His grandmother Juliana recognized his talent and encouraged him to develop his potential by giving him a new set of art materials.

He took formal art lessons at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. In 1990, he worked as an artist for the UNHCR-funded Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan where he first exhibited his works to an international audience and buyers.

After briefly working for Asiaweek International Magazine as graphic artist, he left for Saudi Arabia in 1994 where he worked as a graphic designer for BBDO Worldwide Ad agency up to 2001.

In 2001, he migrated to Canada with his family and now lives in Milton, Ontario. He soon discovered the PAG thru its website which paved the way to his eventual membership in Canada’s premier society of artists of Philippine origin. New as he was in the group, he was readily elected its vice president in 2006 in recognition of his talent and passion for his art. Aside from the usual traditional art media of paint and brushes, he uses his own unique invention, the Acrylic Paint Pens to create his artworks.

Magalona, in his first official meeting as president, challenged the members to revitalize the PAG and reassess their roles as active members to achieve the group’s objectives. He also laid out his plans for the rest of the year which included the revival of the canceled anniversary exhibition before the year ends and the continuance of the well-received PAG calendar for 2009. For more on Magalona and his art, please visit

In April of this year, the Philippine Artists Group launched its first and much vaunted 20th anniversary art exhibition in the Philippines called “Kulay Balikbayan” at the prestigious Ayala Museum in Makati City. Ten members of the PAG participated namely: Dunluna, Romi C. MananQuil, Dong Magalona, Frank and Nelia Tonido, Omel Masalunga, Calixto ‘Toots’ Quiachon, Antonio ‘Jun’ Afable, Cobie Cruz and Nellie Bautista, who was mainly credited for the success of the opening. A big crowd highlighted the show’s formal inaugural on April 29 with the presence of distinguished special guests like the Canadian ambassador to the Philippines Robert Dejardins, former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and art patroness Eimee Graigun. This is the group’s second show in Manila in four years.

In 2004, the PAG had its first Philippine art show called “Convergence Internationale” at the Art Space Glorietta. For more on the Philippine Artists Group of Canada, please. visit: (PRESS RELEASE)