Raquel “Ake” Pagulayan, 51, of Antipolo City — an entrepreneur, mother of three, and artist— demonstrates her flair for the visual arts as she explores the use of everyday household materials.
Employing iron nails and sewing threads, she illustrates abstract images and eyecatching sceneries via an innovative and pioneering medium.
As a child, Ake did not have the financial resource to pursue a profession in the arts. Working in the garment industry instead, she fought as a “breadwinner” for her family during her early years.
“Bata pa lang ako, hindi naging hadlang ang kahirapan para mangarap ako … ang tanging dasal ko lamang: God, bigyan niyo po ako ng talent na hindi pwedeng makuha ng iba.” (As a child, poverty did not stop me from having dreams … the only thing that I did pray for was: God, please grant me talent that is unique to me.)
And she was granted. With persistence, Ake was able to develop her handicraft to be what it is now. From, cross-stitching, making colorful beaded necklaces, and sculpting artificial copper bonsai trees, she’s now able to integrate all of these past creative pursuits, into what she does: Painting beautiful sceneries using iron nails and sewing threads.
If there’s one celebrity she wants to share her works with, it’s actress Solenn Heussaff.
“Gusto kong bigyan ng mga visual arts ko si Solenn Heussaff. I am impressed with her paintings related to children,” Pagulayan said.
Be it an abstract or impressionistic concept, you can expect a remarkable sight of colors in play. Quarantine in the COVID-19 pandemic provided her time and space to explore what her next artistic exploration would look like.
All of these things she did while doing tasks typical of a Filipina Mother—cooking, cleaning, overseeing the growth of her children.
And as an entrepreneur, she makes an effort to find the right people to collaborate with. At present, her house is open for visitors and patrons who would want to make a trip to view her handicraft.