Elito Circa

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Elito "Amangpintor" Circa
Amangpintor Photo Profile.jpg
Elito "Amangpintor" Circa
Born Elito Villaflor Circa
(1970-01-28) January 28, 1970 (age 46)
Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Nationality Template:Country data PH Filipino
Education No formal education in painting
Known for Hair and Blood Folk Painter
Notable work Blood painting of Manny Pacquio Hearted fist, Pantabangan History Mural, A Thousand and One Lives Mural
Awards Folk Artist of Pantabangan

Elito Villaflor Circa (born January 28, 1970), better known as "Amangpintor",[1] is a famous Filipino painter and internationally recognized folk artist,[2] acclaimed for his indigenous human hair and blood medium for paintings[3] with mythologism and mythicalism subject matters. He is noted as the "First Hair and Blood Painter" of his generation and known for his signature subject of Legend of Minggan.[1] A father of Contemporary Indigenous Philippine Art and also popularized Hand Painting performances done within five (5) to ten (10) minutes in a canvas of 432 square inches using the three (3) primary colors.

Early life and education[edit]

Amangpintor was born to Juan Circa and Josefina Villaflor in the old town of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on January 28, 1970. He was the youngest of seven children. His education was ensured through a scholarship from World Vision Foundation Inc.[4][5] under poster parents Cynthia and Leigh Brown from Perth, Australia who supported his studies all the way through secondary school (awarded Artist of the Year) until he graduated at the Central Luzon State University with a degree in Elementary Education.

Amangpintor has no formal training in painting.[2] He started drawing, using charcoals from the stove in their kitchen, on the walls of their house in Pantabangan town while he was six years old. Estimated 600 works of arts since 1980, which he gave to some of his teachers, friends and neighbors during that time. He also painted a series of 15 paintings for the "Legend of Minggan" which depicted the courtship of the giant "Minggan" to "Mariang Sinukuan" who was supposed to be dwelling in Mount Arayat. Amangpintor also made a series of paintings about the place of his birth, depicted about the evacuation of the residents of Pantabangan when their town was about to be submerged by Pantabangan Dam.


  • In 1978, Amangpintor won a children’s contest sponsored by DZRH radio for his depiction of Zimatar and Tagani, widely popular fantasy folk heroes whose adventures were serialized on air at that time.
  • In 1992, Amangpintor recognized by Central Luzon State University (CLSU) through College of Arts and Sciences as first student artist and received Cultural Award during graduation in 1993.
  • In 1998, aside from a chapter founder of Artist Club in the Philippines, Amangpintor is one of the founders of Samakang Makasining (Artist Club), Inc. and has been seven years Board Chairman of it in National Level, a tourism Adviser of Pantabangan local Government Unit, Visual Arts Chairman of Association of Nueva Ecija Artist group project of Provincial Governor's Office. Recently Amangpintor founded Makasining Pinas (a subsidiary group of the Samakang Makasining (Artist Club), Inc) in the different Municipalities and Provinces in the Philippines.
  • In 2001, Amangpintor also rediscover, compiled, popularized and preserved all probably never heard of traditional games or he called it Indigenous Games' (Laro ng Lahi' in Filipino) through the Samahang Makasining(Artist Club), Inc. during his chairmanship.[6]
  • In 2007, Amangpintor awarded and recognized by his home town as Pantabangan Folk Painter.
  • In 2008, Amangpintor also popularized actual hand/finger painting performances and he called it PintaOke or PintAwit (Filipino term).
  • In 2009, Amangpintor recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as first Filipino hair and blood painter and feature him on NBN TV4 episode title "Sining Gising".
  • In 2010, Amangpintor also received Art and Culture "Gintong Butil" award from CLSU Alumni Association, Inc. in celebration of annual alumni homecoming.

As an artist[edit]

Amangpintor's artistic inclination was encouraged by his father, a carpenter who brought him his first painting materials. Most of his paintings have a story behind. He loves to paint based on the story, history and based on his philosophical articles written before the paintings.

Medium and Philosophy

In 1978, Amangpintor started to use his own hair to make his paintbrushes with the help of his father, a carpenter during that time and started bringing home small pieces of plywood and some paints. He is a unique Filipino folk artist who uses his own hair for his paintbrushes. At the age of 15, Amangpintor continue to paint with large canvases using water color and enamel paint as medium. From his brush, some strands of his hairs left on paintings unknowingly that maybe someday it will be his style. As time goes by, he adopted this as style, incorporates some strands of his hairs in his painting which he thought the effect would be more real.

In 1985, as the beginning, Amangpintor also started signing his drawing using his own blood to authenticate the artworks and later explore and experiment it as a medium in paintings especially for flowers and related heart love feeling subjects. He calls it "Blood is life and love, love with sacrifice".

In 1992 Amangpintor continue to paint "Lukso ng Dugo" (Filipino term) he uses his blood as medium for some of his painting and incorporates his hair in capturing on the canvass images of human persons or nature’s view, one who possesses the characteristics of truth in himself and he who refrains from colonialism in thoughts and materials. Combined with the philosophy of the painter who molded his thoughts and well-being, he is able to build self-confidence and self-esteem since his childhood.

First Filipino artist uses own blood as paint and hairs as brushes and mix it with paint to have an effect on canvas. He believed in reincarnation, which he will be reborn and recognize his paintings. But even if blood is not used in painting his subject, he always signs his name in his work of art with his own blood. The significance of his works connects arts and sciences principles through DNA (the Hair and Blood) as authenticity and also his unique spiritual beliefs especially in God.

"Lukso ng Dugo"—when a loved one left a family and have not seen each other for a long time, and an unexplainable feeling of happiness when they see each other again. This is a basis that the blood connects the family and the mutual feelings in this situation.

His works were feature in the different TV station in the Philippines and earlier at Ripley's Believe It or Not.[7]

In 2015 "Fight of the Century", Amangpintor also created Manny Pacquiao's large painting using his own blood. This painting of Pacquiao title "Manny Pacquiao Hearted Fist" depicts the different aspects of the boxer's life, including his stint as a singer, face charisma and his role as a congressman. He also emphasized Pacquiao's religiosity in this painting.[8][9]

Art of Healing

He is also known for actual hand painting performance of nature view. Using four colors (Red, Yellow, Blue and white) on a 24 X 26 inches canvas, he will be finished the painting for almost 5 to 10 minutes. Amangpintor is always invited to perform in different events and occasions like provincial, town, school, university and agency foundations even in wedding and birthday.

Most of his acrylic and oil paintings depict the cycle of life, spiritual belief and incorporates healing colors, lines gestures and symbolic shapes that he belief these will be a key for future.

In 2015, Amangpintor also started to new indigenous painting innovation title "A Thousand and One Lives"[10] as a gesture of dedicating of life in this noble profession of educating the youth. The 1001 teachers and DepEd employees was participated and literally donated parts of their body, their hair and blood incorporated in the mural. This masterpiece is not only a great work of art but also the first of its kind in the whole world.[11]

A Writer

Amangpintor as a writer: One of the popular written articles of Amangpintor that gives significance to the history of his town is the Legend of Minggan noted as "Sulat babala ng panahon sa bayan" in Filipino. He relates the story of Minggan to the actual history relocation of submerged old town in 1973. Based on his article, giant Minggan returned in 1973 to finish his promises of love to Mariang Sinukuan, a goddess of nature who lives in Mount Arayat Pampanga. His articles gives big impact and encouragement and inspired the people of Pantabangan and the Mayor during year 2007 and adopted this legend as landmark that can be seen now in town arch and he used this article to promote the Pantabangan as Tourism destination.[12]


Amangpntor influenced many other Filipino painters for using indigenous materials or natural raw materials as paint such as extract from onion, tomato, tuba, coffee, rust, molasses and other materials available anywhere. Human blood as medium has also influenced the American artist Vincent Castiglia .The finger and hand painting performance also influence other young visual artists especially students. The Filipino identity can be preserved through the use of indigenous materials and native way of arts.

Paintings and Drawings[edit]

Married and Family[edit]

On December 29, 1998, Amangpintor married Teresita Calara Martin, a teacher and theater art director from Rizal, Nueva Ecija and have two children. The eldest, Elika, was born in 1999 and she is a good feature writer and guitar play artist. Their youngest, Meiggan was born in 2000 and currently lives and works with amangpintor at their private museum in San Jose City.

Published Collections of Works[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Pantabangan Folk Painter: Elito V. Circa". The National Committee for Culture and the Arts Website. National Committee for Culture and the Arts. 2004. Retrieved 2004-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Folk Arts: Elito V. Circa". Ebay Inc. Ebay Inc. 2002. Retrieved 2002-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Artist uses own blood, hair in paintings". The Philippine Star. Philippine Star. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Sponsoring a child over the years and seeing them through the completion of their education is a testament to a donor's commitment". World Vision Philippines. World Vision Philippines. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  5. ^ "World Vision celebrates 'Pasko para sa Lahat'". World Vision Philippines. GMA 7 News online. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  6. ^ "Pilipino Indigenous Games". The National Committee for Culture and the Arts Website. Larong Pilipinas. 2001. Retrieved 2001-10-18. 
  7. ^ "Ripley's Believe It or Not". Ripley's Believe It or Not. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  8. ^ "LOOK: Artist paints Pacquiao using blood". ABS-CBN News TV. 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  9. ^ "Ecija folk artist paints Pacquiao using his own blood". Manila Bulletin Newspaper. 2015. p. 15. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  10. ^ "A Thousand and One Lives TV 5 feature". TV 5. TV 5 Website. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  11. ^ "Teachers paint mural with own blood, hair". Punto. Punto Website. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  12. ^ "Pantabangan Arch". Municipality of Pantabangan. Pantabangan Website. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.