My dad could have been 85 years old today!
My Dad’s name is Ysidro Katigbak Castillo Jr. He is fondly called “Sidring” by friends. At home, we call him “Tatay.” That’s how we say “Dad” in Pilipino. Tatay was born on March 11, 1929 in the town of Tiaong, Tayabas (now the province of Quezon).
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1954 from the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
The artwork of his mother, Enriqueta Reyes Katigbak, and the interest in the arts of his sisters, may have influenced him to take up fine arts in college.
He took formal training at the UST”s College of Architecture and Fine Arts under the tutorship of prominent artist like, Victorio Edades, Carlos Francisco, Galo B. Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Antonio Garcia Llamas, Diosdado Lorenzo. Benjamin P. Alano and Alfredo D. Rojales were among his peers in the university.
During his senior year, he was advised by his modeling professor Francisco Monti to major in sculpture instead. Afraid of losing units and having to start all over again, Dad continued to major in painting.
As a scholar
In April 1955, he earned a Japanese Government Scholarship (Monbusho). He belonged to the second batch of Monbusho scholars. He studied Nippongo at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and took a ceramics course at the Kyoto Kogei Sen-i in Kyoto (Faculty of Industrial Arts, Kyoto Technical University) from 1955 to 1958. Commissioned to supervise the installation in Tokyo while studying in Japan, he was of the same mosaic art designed by Galo B. Ocampo for the National Press Club at the Plaza Lawton Building.
My Dad love to compete in art contest. In fact, he won the third and second prizes in the annual Shell National Students Art Competition of 1953 and 1954, respectively. Here are eight Filipino art masters who started as student art winners. My dad is not in this list but he was competing with these master artist during that time.
In 1952, his entry Still Life won first prize at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer – Art Association of the Philippines student art competition. He has also taken prize-winning photographs, one of which bagged the first prize at the First Southeast Asian Student Photo Contest held in Tokyo, Japan.
My father used to tell stories on how they etched their initials when they worked with Galo B. Ocampo in 1954 on the stained glass design for the Manila Cathedral.
Like Galo Ocampo, my father loves to design corporate seals and logos. Among his works were the official seal of the San Pablo City Development Bank, the Rural Bank of Tiaong, the Rural Bank of Sto.Tomas, Batangas, the Don Ysidro Memorial School, the Philippine Japanese Ministry of Scholars Education (PHILAJAMES) and the San Pablo City Banker’s Association.
He served as President and General Manager of the San Pablo City Development Bank for many years.
My Dad died in August 2001. He was a Special Minister of the Eucharist in San Pablo City. After one of the regular masses, he was cleaning the altar and he suddenly collapsed. He had a stroke. He stayed in the ICU for a week and finally passed away. Many envy him because he died serving the Lord. Slain by the Holy Spirit!