The tough ones will always outlast even the toughest of times. World-class artists like Filipino sculptor Michael Cacnio know this all too well.
The award-winning social realist in particular, takes it a step further, using the present challenges as fuel to his artistic creativity. Encouraged rather than extinguished, Michael transmutes even adverse emotions into pieces of art inspiring hope and healing.
“The idea of working from home, wearing face masks and face shields, the frontliners—they all enabled and inspired me to create sculptures that I haven’t done before,” he admits.
Besides carving a new path in his artistic journey even while at home, Michael has found more ways to find fulfillment in every day. Equipped with the right internet provider in PLDT Home Fibr, Michael and his family continue to enjoy more learning moments—together or apart.
For this, Michael easily embodies PLDT Home’s #DoItBetter campaign, inviting every Filipino family to find and realize all these life-bettering opportunities even when faced with a crisis.
Living the pandemic life
At 9 a.m., Michael is already tinkering inside his studio. He heads home by 5 p.m.—on foot. He then cools down by taking a swim—his main form of exercise. He then sanitizes himself before he gets to see his kids.
Tucked safely at home, the Cacnios turn to entertainment for their regular family bonding. From eating at home to watching movies and playing games, Michael, his wife, and his three sons love to do things together.
“Instead of eating out in the restaurant, we literally just eat outside the house, in our lanai garden and we always have fun. We especially enjoy it when my wife prepares us food she doesn’t usually cook for us, with recipes she found on YouTube, like home-made pasta, pizzas, and even cakes. And our kids see how their mom cooks them. The food tastes better than those we order online, the kids say!" Michael muses.
“So, I told my wife we should do it more often. Aside from saving on money, we really get to bond together better as a family.”
A better mindset
Michael, ever looking at the bright side, uses the extra time at home to fully connect with his family. By bonding more with them even in the littlest moments, the artist fills up his dose of creative energy—always ready for the next project.
Michael credits the family's reinforced relationship with God in helping drive the anxieties away.
“Being also a pastor, I make sure to read verses to them every Sunday.”
It's kept himself inspired and creative, he says, perhaps much more than ever. “Everything is a blessing from God so for me, I always keep a positive mindset. My arts convey ‘joy’ because that’s my world. If you’re sad, you look at my art to be happy.”
The joys of connecting with family
Michael shares the experience many parents have, watching over the children at home this pandemic. His parental skills were surely put to the test, he says, but it’s become one too easy to ace with a strong PLDT Home Fibr connection. Memories of his childhood, back when research meant poring through his readings in the library for long hours, he realizes all of a sudden, are now history that will see no repeat! These days, Michael is amazed at how his kids can thoroughly explore a subject matter just within minutes or interview people halfway around the world while they’re comfortable at home.
Will Michael’s kids follow in his sculpting footsteps, some may ask? While he prefers they do things as a family, he says he’s not one to force his own wants into his children. Instead, he encourages them to pursue their own interests and passions.
Yet, one of his sons is already an artist, while another has grown a liking in the field of law. Meantime, his youngest son, still in self-discovery, is currently very fond of online video streaming.
Michael recounts, “They used to go out with friends before, but now they have to stay home for safety reasons. As a father, protecting them from the virus has also come to mean providing them with a strong internet connection. One thing I’ve noticed, aside from becoming productive while at home, my kids also learned patience, like in the Bible story where the farmer spends long periods of time cultivating the field. I think being patient has helped them develop their personality.”
Creating with the strongest, fastest connection
How could a sculptor—who used to rely on physical exhibits to showcase and sell to clients—have managed to thrive in a lockdown? That alone is an interesting story, and Michael has his own to tell.
Thanks to the internet, Michael was still able to mount exhibits in the safety of cyberspace. He also used the online space to remain in touch with his audience. He narrates, “Thank God I can still explain my art even if not face-to-face, and a strong internet connection plays that important role. That’s one more reason why I appreciate my PLDT Home Fibr so much.”
Having a strong internet connection also helped him broaden his horizons as an artist much faster, Michael says. Where before, he had to buy books and magazines to keep tabs on artistic trends and ideas, today all he needs to do is tap on a search box.
“Now, I only have to Google my queries or ideas and I get my answers very fast. I get acquainted with new techniques, expand my creativity, or learn how to mold sculptures a certain way. This saves me a lot of time and money, as everything is now on the internet. It really is the window to the world,” he says.
A tito always willing to adapt, Michael now even promotes his work on Instagram or Pinterest to reach audiences not just in the Philippines but also abroad.
All said, next to Michael’s passion for learning and commitment in giving his family a better life, it’s his strong internet connection helping him conquer the demands of his career. And that’s why he can confidently say that with the many things around stagnant and on a standstill, he’s only gotten better.
Just like the Cacnio family, Filipino families can now do things together safely, remain connected and learn alongside each other, even earn better while staying at home with the powerful connection of PLDT Home.
Be inspired to do things better at home by watching the latest PLDT Home video in this link.