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My Mother, the Artist

My Mother, the Artist

I know my mother as the woman who gave birth to me. She was the one who taught me how to memorize and study. She showed me how to cook, how to save money, and how to sew. My mother let me find out the things that I like and don’t like. She told me to follow my dreams and do what makes me happy. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do for life, I learned how to draw because of her. At that time, I didn’t only get to know this woman as my mother. I learned that she was an artist. 


Born in Makati City and raised in Taguig City, Maria Conception C. Talinao or Connie is the second out of four siblings. Life was not easy for her and her family then. It made it difficult for her to have a normal and happy childhood. Still, she strived to finish her studies while helping her family. She finished her primary and secondary education at Sta. Ana Parochial School. 

She wanted to take Dentistry for college but was told not to because of family and financial problems. What happened was that she ended up studying Business Administration, Majoring in Computer Management. She was also a working student so that she could help provide for herself and her family. 

When life is hard, we tend to look for things that could provide relief. We search for an escape from all the disappointments and troubles. For Connie, it was art. It didn’t matter what she used, where she created, or what she came up with. She just wanted to draw and draw because she had the most control over it. That was where she began her escape. 

The Stroke of an Artist

Connie graduated college, continued her work at church, and started a family. Unfortunately, at the age of 23, she was hospitalized. She had a stroke that paralyzed half of her body. She left her job and was advised to stay at home. Art was no solace throughout that time. Connie had to go through physical therapy to regain her strength back, her control in half of her body. For her, it felt like her struggles from her childhood up to her adulthood never stopped. 

When she finally did recover, it took a while before she turned to art once again. Because she couldn’t work anymore due to her health, she had to stay home for most of the time with her two children. When she picked up drawing again, she didn’t think too much of it. It wasn’t until her husband noticed the art she was creating and encouraged her to delve further into it. 

What was once an escape became a discovery of her passion for art. Then, she took her first stroke with a paintbrush. 

Dream Within A Dream by Connie Cabalar | Facebook

Newfound Passion

Connie has experimented with pencil, charcoal, and pastel but the one that she loved the most was oil paint. She painted portraits, landscapes, waterscapes, and divine beings. She tried her hand at still life and nature. Creating art cleared her mind. It eased her worries.

The Last Supper by Connie Cabalar | Facebook

She drew and painted until she had created enough artworks to display for an exhibit. It was not an easy feat but in 2014, she launched her first solo exhibit named PassionArtility. 

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Since then, she has joined other group exhibits and communities. She continued to develop her love for art by practicing and joining competitions. She had been a finalist twice in the on-the-spot sketching sessions of the Art Association of the Philippines. 

Recently, Connie has taken to trying out new mediums such as tea bags, stones, and miniature canvases. It’s a challenge for her and helps her find out what more she could love about creating art.

Art on Tea Bags by Connie Cabalar | Facebook

Life has been admittedly difficult for her. Even now, she continues to face struggles but she has learned to fight through them with her passion. 

Part of Water Series by Connie Cabalar | Facebook

My Mother, the Artist

When I look at my mother now, I also see a woman who has been through a lot and never gave up despite it. As a child, you never really see your parents as more than just your parents. But as you grow up, you look back on your memories and process the present. You start to see them differently as more than just your mother or your father. 

My mother has shown and taught me a lot of things and through those, I got to know her better. I know her as more than just my mother now. I also know her as an artist. 

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