From the 1960s to the 1980s my parents were avid collectors of Filipino art. They enjoyed the works of HR Ocampo, Joya and Amorsolo to name a few.
Among their collection my Dad had a favorite painting entitled “Musikero Bung Bung”, by Tam Austria. It was a large painting with Filipino musicians in a parade like setting. I wanted to show a picture of it, but unfortunately I left my copy in the Philippines. I have included a sample below of Tam’s detailed and gorgeous style of painting.
While my father was sick in the hospital a burglary occurred and his painting was taken. Although my Dad was sadden by the missing painting he had other pressing matters on his mind like his health.
While he was in the hospital a visitor came. Coincidentally it was his friend, artist Tam Austria. My father asked Tam, “How did you know I was in the hospital? We did not release the information yet.”
It turns out that Tam was visiting someone else and during the visit he heard that my Dad was also in the hospital.
While catching up with an old friend Tam started to do a sketch of my father. Dad was so happy because he was not only able to see an old friend, but he was also able to get back a little bit of something that was lost.
Even if Dad’s original musician painting by Tam Austria was taken, it is amazing how life works. In a round about way it came back to him in another form. To our family this was a little miracle in our life. Shortly after the sketch was made my Dad died.
Another little miracle was that while we were packing away Dad’s belongings, after his death, we came across 2 more Tam Austria sketches. These were portraits of my Mom made in the 1970s.
It was amazing to us that my Dad kept the image of my Mom near him through the years. They were separated for a long time until my father got sick. A few months before he died my parents reunited. I speak about it a little in an earlier blog entry.
Sometimes what we believe is lost is not really lost. I really believe that if you are meant to have something, whether it is something material or emotional, it will come back to you in some way.