What happens when the ideas of a songwriter and visual artist collide? Given the impetus of no-miss hit composer Jonathan Manalo and prolific Artist on a Mission Kristine Lim's collaborative passion project, titled "Kuwento Ng Alon," it should be nothing short of inspiring.

Award-winning composer Jonathan Manalo and ‘Artist on a Mission’ Kristine Lim
Award-winning composer Jonathan Manalo and ‘Artist on a Mission’ Kristine Lim
Guided by faith in reviving her art following a 10-year repression in creativity, Lim had no hesitation committing to the uncommon idea of interpreting Manalo's body of work on canvas.

Manalo, of course, is the celebrated composer of such anthemic OPMs like "Pinoy Tayo," "Sikat ang Pinoy" and "Kabataang Pinoy," among many others.

Meeting and forging a strong connection over the pandemic, Manalo comfortably blurted out one day, "Alam mo, Kristine, dream ko for one of my songs to turn into a painting para ilalagay ko siya sa bahay ko."

Thinking himself silly, the composer retreated saying, "Pero joke lang yon. Alam ko naman hindi usual yun gawin."

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To his surprise, however, Lim took Manolo's dream to heart and ran away with it, envisioning a collaborative exhibit in time for Manolo's 20th anniversary in the music industry this year.

At that very moment, the wheels to Kuwento Ng Alon began spinning with its final destination and unveiling set for September 27 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Main Lobby.

At the project's announcement, guests had a feel for what the melding of music and the visual arts could become. As "The Voice Teens" finalist Jeremy G sang Manalo's "Tara Tena" (the 2001 JAM: Himig Handog sa Makabagong Kabataan Song Writing Contest winner) against a black backdrop bearing a single artwork by Lim (delicate rows and layers of fine golden strokes that emerge as a dynamic wave), who knew the combination of art forms could be so moving.

"It's difficult to put into words or describe the pieces that Jonathan's music has moved me to create," Lim said of her in-progress collection for Kuwento ng Alon. "What I hope to present at the exhibit are the very relatable stories of his songs. So, in essence, they will be our stories--your stories--too that inspire and uplift just like his music.

With both artists clearly and deeply passionate about their craft, neither one basks in their remarkable talents.

As Manolo said, "In celebrating my 20th year as a songwriter, I am filled with gratitude knowing that God is behind all the success that has come my way."

Lim, on the other hand, whose brief two years back in the art scene has already resulted in three major exhibits, two big and breathtaking art installations on top of multiple commissioned portraits in line and special projects like this, can only say, "I know I'm not deserving of any of these things. Yet, God is grateful. Whatever happens, whatever I do, I make sure it is not about me, but something to glorify our Father."

Two weeks after the "Kwento ng Alon" art exhibit debuts at the CCP beginning September 27, Lim's artistic interpretations of Manalo's compositions will move on to Art Lounge Manila in Molito, Alabang.