Inspiring Pinoys

Ralph Cifra, Telling Stories Through Art

Metro Manila

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Aug 07, 2013

“Filipinos are known to be hardworking individuals so I think it’s safe to say that by putting an intense amount of concentration, effort, patience and commitment into all of my works automatically brands it as something that’s truly Filipino made.” Cifra said. “No matter what image I paint or draw and whatever medium I use, I see to it that its quality is excellent and highly reflective of our diligence and dedication.”

A graduate of the University of Philippines Diliman majoring in Fine Arts with a diploma in Visual Communication, Cifra discovered his talent when he was 6 years old. “I basically grew up experimenting with my ability to illustrate things and people. It wasn't until I am 6 years old that I considered my skills to be a talent and that’s when I eventually gained realization over the fact that I can do many things with it.” he said.

Being Filipino is a great influence on this young artist that even in this modern times he still lists acclaimed Filipino painters Juan Luna, Felix Hidalgo and Fernando Amorsolo as artists he look up to, “the kind of commitment they put in can be seen in their work. It takes that much patience and passion to be able to convey your message through artworks that will forever be remembered not only through the Philippines but throughout the entire world as well.” Cifra added.

And he never runs out of inspiration for his work saying, “I’m quite grateful that finding inspiration was never really difficult for me. Inspiration is everywhere” he said. “I look from the smallest of details that we sometimes tend to overlook, to the greatest things that can surely capture everyone’s attention.”.

But what inspires him the most? Cifra answered, “It has to be the people whose stories of triumph are truly remarkable. They may be the high profile ones like Manny Pacquiao or even the ones we encounter from our day to day lives like. Their unique stories are the reasons why I am passionate about painting portraits.”

People as a subject seem to bring out the best in Cifra as an artist. His illustrations and portraits of different people, from the famous to the ordinary, capture the feeling of the subject at the moment he or she was captured. “As with anything in this world, nothing is permanent, so these people will come and go; and I try as much as I can to capture their essence in my works for the coming generations to see. The intention to create mementos of a certain person is what makes a portrait special and truly worth the dedication. It’s basically like being able to re-tell their story without having to say a word.” Cifra ended.

Photos of Ralph Cifra’s works from

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