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  • Philippine Arts Council

Si Malakas at Si Maganda / The Strong & the Beautiful

The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage

Entry by Harvey Nichol. Calgary, Alberta


Si Malakas at Si Maganda / The Strong & The Beautiful

24" x 38" (acrylic & aerosol on canvas, resin)

When the world first began there was no land; there was only the Aman Sinaya (goddess of the

sea) and Bathala (The Creator, Sky), and between them flew a huge, beautiful bird deity named

Amihan. One day, Amihan, which had nowhere to land and rest, grew tired of flying about, and in

frustration stirred up the Sky in a quarrel against the Sea. Bathala threw rain, thunder, and

lightning that reached Aman Sinaya, who in turn rose up and hurled waves and hurricanes that

reached the Sky.

In order to restrain its fury, Bathala showered a multitude of massive boulders down upon the

Sea, which became the islands that formed the Philippines. These islands prevented the waters

from rising any more - instead causing them to flow back and forth, and thereby creating the

tides. Afterwards, Bathala then ordered Amihan to light on one of the newly-formed islands to

build her nest, and to leave Aman Sinaya and him in peace.

Where the islands were formed sprouts a tree. A tree so tall and so green. One day, while the

tree was floating against the sea, it struck the feet of the bird. Shocked, hurt, and angered, the

bird furiously pecked at the tree until it split in half. Out of one section came a golden-bronze

colored man, named Malakas (Strong One) and from the other half came a similarly hued

woman, named Maganda (Beautiful One). Malakas and Maganda had many children, and from

them eventually came all the different races of people.

This painting was inspired by the legendary comic book illustrator Nestor Redondo.

About the Artist

Harvey Nichol is a first-generation immigrant and multidisciplinary artist who is currently pursuing a BFA at Alberta University of the Arts, majoring in Sculpture and minoring in printmaking.

His work embodies elements of various art movements such as neo-expressionism, social realism (in the Philippines), street and folk art which he married to create his version, which he coined as “Street Folk Expressionist Art.”

Harvey moves between different art-making practices such as painting, sculptures, clothing design & storytelling. Inspired by his life experiences as an immigrant, becoming homeless as a youth, and living through the foster system, he channels all of this through visual auto ethnography (self-reflection exploring personal experience and connecting it to a wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.) along with elements of folklore and mythologies and socio-political commentary on today's world.

For more info on Harvey -


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