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Powered by passion, freelance artist creates portraits for a cause


Illustrations by ANGELICA REGALA


After studying drawing, painting, and art history in Florence, Angelica Regala committed herself to her passion by becoming a full-time painter and illustrator.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic happened, I was going through a transitional ‘figuring out’ period,” she said. “Freelancing prompted me to build my own work structure; a considerable change I had to adjust to from my past experience in a company. There was a lot of unfamiliar territory I had to learn, and now an entirely new kind of unfamiliar had taken its place.”

As a home-based freelancer, Regala would report every day to her unconventional work environment: materials lying around, paint stains that could never be removed, and blank canvases waiting to be transformed. When the enhanced community quarantine came into effect, she had already adjusted to the home-based work schedule, remembering to take breaks from work to stare at the skies and find beauty in how unrepeatable each cloud formation is each day.

As weeks passed, however, Regala recounts that a “sense of dread” slowly crept in. She sensed that there was frustration, a feeling shared by many others who knew they were not doing all they could to support fellow Filipinos. How could we use our talents, our passions, to do good? Suddenly, taking a break from the dread and taking a moment for introspection, there was an epiphany. While the quarantine has been a hindrance for many people, Regala realized she could continue her work as an artist and use her skills and talents to raise funds for those who sorely needed them.

“I realized that instead of feeling helpless and strained by the rabble-rousing on social media, I should be converting these emotions into something that could help,” Regala proudly added. With a newfound purpose, she took to social media, which she once saw as simply the bearer of bad news, to announce an initiative that would bring a spark of creativity and hope to Filipino netizens. “The very next day I launched ‘Portraits for a Cause’ on Instagram.”

Through the Portraits for a Cause initiative, Regala creates high resolution digital portraits in exchange for a minimum donation of P1,000. While she suggests donations be given to the Kaya Natin! Movement, which supports frontline healthcare workers, the initiative accepts proof of donations to any donation drive. Since it launched on April 3, Regala has been able to raise over P60,000 for various donation drives. Although the plan was only to have the campaign up for a week, or two at most, nearly a month has passed and there are still many inquiries and clients.

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[ 𝘜𝘗𝘋𝘈𝘛𝘌: 𝘈𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘭 23, 2020 – 𝘚𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝙥𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘥. 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵! ] Hello everyone, it’s been a messy several days now, hasn’t it? To support our fellow Filipinos who are most affected by COVID-19, I would like to properly take this moment to open portrait commissions for a cause.🌹 . Please remember to email me first at so I can send detailed instructions on how to secure a slot for your portrait commission. Once reservation is set, you can then send the screenshot of your deposit slip/proof of payment. Keep in mind only donations made 𝘧𝘰𝘳 this fundraiser will be accepted. Past donations are no longer eligible for the free portrait. . For a comprehensive list of donation drives, you may refer to . On a sidenote: You can be maarte with your reference photo⁺˳✧༚ Maybe a moody selfie you took while stuck in quarantine? (Like I did haha) Anything goes.✨ . [Limited slots are available. Orders will be on a first come, first served basis via email only.] • 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘴𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘐 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘺 𝘢 𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦. 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴! #ArtforMedPH

A post shared by Angelica Regala (@artofangelica) on

“It is a bit ironic, but the enhanced community quarantine gave me the opportunity to work more than ever, supporting our Filipino frontliners and displaced sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic even in quiet ways. I am very grateful. I have created about 30 portraits so far, with a handful waiting in line,” Regala said. “I didn’t expect the initiative to get the attention it’s currently receiving, and the responses have been wonderful. Some have messaged me that the portrait gives them a piece of positivity to keep in these hard times. And perhaps it is a testament to how art can be a comfort for people’s hearts when we truly need it.”

Regala and her Portraits for a Cause are part of a larger movement of Filipino artists providing art commissions in exchange for donations to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. They use the hashtag #ArtforMedPH on Instagram.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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