The Spectrum of Rameer Tawasil’s World

Wandering around Zamboanga City, popularly known as the “Asia’s Latin City,” is like peeking into a kaleidoscope world. From street arts to modes of transportation, to weaves, to festivals, and to its people, every piece of the city just bursts with colors. One of the living proofs to justify that is Rameer Tawasil, a multi-awarded Tausug-Zamboangueno painter, sculptor, architectural designer, and product and graphic designer who have been making waves not only in the country, but also across the globe because of his works especially his paintings.

Rameer poses in front of his work-in-progress historical painting

Rameer uses ‘ukkil’ or carving as his basic form of art with subjects that focus mostly on cultural and social issues in Mindanao, and on his life and peace advocacies that resonate with his mantra, “There are inescapable reasons for Mindanao culture, history, and even social issues not to paint.”

Yung basic form ng art ko is yung tinatawag na ukkil. When you say ‘ukkil,’ that is carving,” he begins. “”Ukkil” in TauSug or “Okir” in Maranaw of Marawi City. It is the basic indigenous art form of the Sulu Archipelago. Carving or to carve but in my case, I’m using my brush and paint instead of chisel, mallet and wood,”

“That ‘cloud thing’ is my identity and some would say is my unique style (fluid). I called it ‘UKKILISM’ (tawasil) and ‘FLUIDISM'(tawasil), like the ‘ism’ in art thought,”

“During my college years, dito ako nag-aaral [Zamboanga]. Nagta-travel ako sa Sulu by sea, and because Sulu is an island, nakikita ko palagi yung dagat. Kasi di mo namamalayan yang influence eh, even if it’s not intentional, you just go with the flow,” he adds.

By 9 PM to 5 AM, Rameer’s life is being completely absorbed by the spectrum world, and the painting begins. The painter says he gets more focused at this time of the day as no form of distraction can invade his space.

“Meditation only acts once. Minsan lang yan eh,” he says. “Kaya yung isang painting, hindi mo pwedeng gayahin, because yung meditation, magkaiba na yun pag ginaya mo. Yung oras, yung color, pag ginamit mo magkaiba na yun. As much as possible, sa painting ko, kung pwede kong gawing part siya ng documentation, ginagawa ko,”

Here, let us take you on the spectral world of Rammer Tawasil via a virtual exhibit of some of his works below.

“Urban Scarecrow,” approx. 21 X 28 inches, mixed media on silicon paper


“The Tau Sug Pangalay,” approx. 24 X 32 inches, mixed media with hologram board


“The Badjao Mother and Child” (series), approx. 36 X 48 inches, acrylic oil on canvas


“The Badjao Houses on Stilts with Sea Butterflies” (series), aprrox. 36 X 48 inches, mixed on canvas


“Immortalizing KABANG, the Dog Hero”


“Dance of Peace, The IPs of Zamboanga,” aprrox. 24 X 28 inches, mixed media on silicon paper


CD album cover of JULFEKAR, one of Malaysia’s multi-awarded celebrity, songwriter, producer, singer, composer and musician


“Peace.” The doves on the painting translates to “Salam,” meaning peace


“The BRA Art,” agiant bra public installation art, advocacy on breast cancer. He says that “The artwork is composed of almost 2,000 bras, painted and decorated. The artwork won the social corporate responsibility category in the recent international competition among international hospitals in Asia and also won the anvil award.”


“The Burning of Jolo,” approx. 4 X 5 feet, oil on canvas. One of Rameer’s most published paintings


“MORAliza of MOROlandia,” approx. 23 X 32 inches, oil on canvas as seen in Zamboanga International Airport


“Switch of Life,” the first public installation art in Zamboanga City for Earth Hour Advocacy, saving energy by switching off lights. He says that “It is 25-feet tall made of recycled materials like electric conduit pipes, used wine bottles, drift plywood and used bamboo poles. It is a teepee-like design colorfully painted to represent different races or tribes around the globe. 7 bottles symbolizes 7 continents of the world and the bottles also serve as chimes to remind or give us warning addressing global warming.”


“JOLOCAUST,” pencil on paper. The Burning of Jolo is now in the collection of the Office of the ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman


“Poetry of the Vinta Sails,” approx. 20 X 30 inches, watercolor on paper

Rameer has held more than 50 art exhibitions both locally and internationally in venues such as The Cultural Center of the Philippines, The National Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, UP Vargas Museum, and in countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Sweden, and Italy.

Some of his works are in the collection and/or property of Queen Sophia of Spain, Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shiniwatra, Malaysia Deputy Minister Maglin D’Cruz, U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas, Congressman Manny Pacquiao, The Ayala Foundation, Sulu Provincial Government, and former Italian Senator Luciano Benetton of the United Colors of Benetton, among others.

Currently, Rameer is hopeful to finish a historical painting by March 2017. He spent years of research and meditation to do and develop ideas for it. Also, he is doing an art project with Imao by February 2017. Stay tuned for more of his work.


Our journey began with an idea to discover what it means to travel the Philippines, beyond the alluring images of sparkling blue waters and powder white sand. We seek to share travel stories to inspire the wide-eyed traveler, moving them deeper into the destination with stunning images and narratives about its sights, tastes, textures, smells, and local life.

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