Elito Circa
Elita. "Amangpintor" Circa
Elito Villaflor Circa

(1970-01-28) January 28, 1970 (age 51)
EducationNo formal education in painting
Known forPainting
Notable work
Manny Pacquiao Hearted Fist, Pantabangan History, A Thousand and One Lives, Duterte in the Center of the Triangle
AwardsFolk Artist of the Philippines, Folk Artist of Pantabangen
Patron(s)World Vision

Elito Villaflor Circa (born January 28, 1970), better known as "Amangpintor",[1] is a famous Filipino painter and internationally known folk artist,[2][3] who paints using indigenous human hair and blood fluids[4] with mythologism and mythicalism subject matters. He was the "First Hair and Blood Painter" of his generation and his signature subject is Legend of Minggan.[1] A father of Indigenouism Art, upholding and advocating Contemporary Indigenous Philippine Art and also popularized Hand Painting performances done within 5 to 10 minutes in a canvas of 432 square inches using the three primary colors.[5][6][7][8][9]

Early life and education

Amangpintor was born to Juan Llagas Circa and Josefina Salazar Villaflor in the old town of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on January 28, 1970. He was the youngest of seven children. His education was funded through a scholarship from World Vision Foundation[10][8] under foster parents Cynthia and Leigh Brown from Perth, Australia who supported his studies through secondary school (awarded Artist of the Year) until he graduated at the Central Luzon State University with a degree in Elementary Education.[11][12][13]

Amangpintor has no formal training in painting. He started drawing, using charcoals from the stove in their kitchen, on the walls of their house in Pantabangan town when he was eight years old. He completed an 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.[1]


2nd time since 2007 - Arts and Culture Category: Folk Painter
2nd time since 2007 - Arts and Culture Category: Folk Painter

In 1978 Amangpintor received his first award, winning a Children’s Art Competition sponsored by DZRH radio station using Zimatar [14] and Tagani, popular fantasy Filipino folk heroes being aired on air as an adventure series, as a subject.

Amangpintor joined CLSU-Artist Club while studying and in 1992 he was recognized by the Central Luzon State University through the College of Arts and Sciences as their first Student Artist. He was given a special Cultural Award upon his graduation in 1993.

He co-founded the Samahang Makasining (Artist Club), Inc. and served as Board Chairman in National Level for seven years. He is also a tourism Adviser of Pantabangan local Government Unit and the Visual Arts Chairman of Association of Nueva Ecija Artist group project of Provincial Governor's Office. He recently founded Makasining Pinas (a subsidiary group of the Samakang Makasining (Artist Club), Inc) in the different Municipalities and Provinces in the Philippines.[15]

In 2001, during his reign as a chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Samahang Makasining(Artist Club), Inc., he compiled and popularized all probably never-heard-before traditional games or as he calls it Indigenous Games (Laro ng Lahi in Filipino).[16] In 2007 Amangpintor was recognized by his home town as Pantabangan Folk Painter.[17]

And in 2008, he started actual hand/finger painting performances with music or band accompaniment, which he termed PintaOke or PintAwit.[18]

Amangpintor was recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as first Filipino hair and blood painter in 2009 and was featured on NBN TV4 national TV channel with episode called Sining Gising. Amangpintor received the Art and Culture "Gintong Butil" award from CLSU Alumni Association, Inc. in 2010 during the celebration of annual alumni homecoming.[17]

He has exhibited his works and performed Actual hand painting throughout the Philippines and the other part of the world like Singapore and the United States of America. His works are featured in several art books, High School and University Thesis, International TV, Radio and newspapers not only in the Philippine but also in the whole world.

As an artist

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 or are based on his philosophical articles written before the paintings.

Medium and Philosophy

Paintbrush Making from strands of hair of the Painter
Paintbrush Making from strands of hair of the Painter
1978 First Indigenous Painting, mixed media with soy sauce, water and Tinting Color and enamel paint on plywood
1978 First Indigenous Painting, mixed media with soy sauce, water and Tinting Color and enamel paint on plywood

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 indigenous materials and natural raw materials such as soy sauce, charcoal from fireplace, smoke from candle, extract from tomato, onion, black palm, Banana and from fruits.

In 1982, 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".

as a child, because I devoted and so much in love in everything. So when I injured, I would not dispose my blood because I regretted every single drop of it, so I just using it on my canvas instead. No matter what people say, my work of art is not meant to become famous. What matters most is to leave mark and prove the reincarnation

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 canvas 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[19] and mix it with paint to have an effect on canvas, the artist who painted with blood. 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.

The folk painter believes that painting his blood on canvas creates pieces that symbolize life, love, and sacrifice. Most of his masterpieces also depict rural life in his town in Nueva Ecija.

His works were featured by TV stations in the Philippines and earlier at Ripley's Believe It or Not.[20]

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.[21][22]

In 2016, A montage of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's familiar poses along with the official seal of the president and other symbolic materials were created using Amangpintor's blood as he believes that using his blood to create works of art signifies life.[23][24][25][19][26][27] His "Duterte in the Center of the Triangle" painting have become viral online after posted it on the internet.[28][29][30][31]

Art of Healing

Amangpintor conducts hand painting performance of nature views. Using four colors (Red, Yellow, Blue and white) on a 24 X 26 inches canvas, he will be finished the painting within 5 to 10 minutes. He has been invited to perform in different events and occasions like provincial, town, school, university and agency foundations and in wedding and birthday.[7][8][9]

In 2015, Amangpintor started a new indigenous painting titled A Thousand and One Lives[32] as a gesture of dedicating of life in this noble profession of educating the youth. The 1001 teachers and DepEd employees participated and literally donated parts of their body, their hair and blood incorporated in the mural.[33]


In his childhood Amangpintor created and personalized 5.5 X 4.25 inches comics normally 8 to 12 pages that he shared with his friends. In early 80s, he wrote the Legend of Minggan, or "Sulat babala ng panahon sa bayan" in Filipino. He related 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 was adopted by the Mayor of Pantabangan in 2007 to promote Pantabangan as a tourist destination.[34]


Amangpintor produces music based on his spiritual beliefs, nature attachment and community based development advocacy. These include (Filipino Term): Hinihilom ng Pasko,[35] Pag-ibig ni Minggan and Langkay na Signal ng Pag-ibig. In 2017, Zambala Music Studio launched the first various artists album entitled "Unang Yugto" (Filipino term) where the song Langkay na Signal ng Pag-ibig was included[36] and interpreted by singer Nelson Buisel together with James Malasaga and Edgar Testa where both member of Amangpintor Band.


Amangpintor was video editor of the indie film ″Tik-Tak-Bo"[37] and ″Makukulnay″,[38]

Art Educator

Amangpintor uses comics, stories, poems, musics and articles for teaching arts to rural children. He also introduced indigenous materials for painting including making of brush out of strands of their hair.[7][39] As a way of giving back to the community for the success he attained over the years, Amangpintor conducts free art workshops and distributes arts materials to children in underprivileged remote areas in the Philippines. He is joined in this advocacy by his fellow Rotarians from the Rotary Club of San Jose Golden Harvest. “I consider my artworks as tools for the development of humanity".


Amangpintor influenced many other Filipino painters[40] 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.[41][42][43] Many artists have been inspired and from then on, artists have started to use indigenous materials in their works. Human blood as medium has also influenced the American artist Vincent Castiglia .The finger and hand painting performance also influenced other young visual artists especially students.[44] The Filipino identity can be preserved through the use of indigenous materials and native way of arts.


Amangpintor's paintings of 1978–1993 reflected his interest in indigenous materials. He conducted intense studies on the effects of strands of hair as texture, human blood preservation and the technical means that painters used to represent these effects. Amangpintor's group of artists movement want to protect the environment against global warming by continuously supporting the advocacy of using indigenous materials for painting and introduce it to other pupils/ students to address the issue of lack of materials for painting due to financial problem. His awareness about global warming started at an early age of 12 when he joined a drawing contest sponsored by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in 1982. He won third place with the theme of the contest was the “Depletion of the Ozone Layer”.

The term Indigenouism[16] was coined by Elito Circa who led the movement of using indigenous materials for paintings and introduced it to other artists since 1993. It was during the heat of the campaign against global warming in 1993.[45] By the Indigenouism movement, most of the local artists in the town and province in the Philippines adopted prominent and primary agricultural products as medium for their paintings.[42] The Indigenouism movement also advise other town to use local product as one of their town's identities.[41]

His most significant contributions to the history of art[41][42] were in collaboration with Indigenouism in 2007, and the role he played in the development of Indigenouism. Therefore, the term was derived from Indigenous Materials which are naturally and locally found in a specific place or area used by the native or indigenous people.

Paintings and Drawings

Amangpintor is always depicting the life of Pantabangan from the 70s (time where the town of Pantabangan was submerged by the water)[46][47] to the present with the style of creating image of Minggan on every painting that he made. Pantabangan has sacrificed its land as it was drowned and made into a dam for the benefit of other towns[48] by providing ample water supply for their crops.

Awards and Citations

* Selected only

Art Exhibitions and Hand Painting Show

* Selected only

Published Collections of Works

for more information see references


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  5. ^ "Hand Painting Show". World Wide Chat. worldwide.chat. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
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  36. ^ "Langkay na Signal ng Pag-ibig". Zambala Music Studio. Zambala Music Studio. 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
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  38. ^ "Makukulnay - Second winning Indie Film". Esihas. Esihas Film Festival. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
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  50. ^ "Amangpintor visit philippine embassy in athens greece". Philippine Embassy Athens. DFA. 2019.
  51. ^ "PH Embassy in Athens Celebrates Philippine Independence". Philippine Embassy Athens. DFA. 2019.