In Paete, Laguna, there is no shortage of exposure to Philippine folk themes. Highly regarded for it's woodcarving industry, which goes decades back, the town is a cradle for art talent. And among them, starting his career as a wood-carving apprentice, is Jerry Morada. Like his fellow Paete artist Dominic Rubio, Morada's depiction of genteel colonialism can be traced to his town's folk sensibilities. He counts as among his accomplishment the ceiling mural paintings at the centuries old Church of Paete as well as prize winnings in major Philippine art competitions, the most recent of which is his First Prize at the GSIS National Art competition. He is also an accomplished portraitist.
It was through Morada's family (his father was a wood carver) that the artist discovered and nurtured his burgeoning talent. His carvings of the human figure helped shape a later affinity for anatomical accuracy and the techniques gained also enabled him to enter the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.
Morada eventually developed and refined his skill in painting and this was coupled with an already existing interest in history. It is not surprising therefore that his pieces are nostalgic paintings of a bygone era. His early fascination with old photographs empowered him with a vision that was to be his guiding style.
His depiction of the Filipina is true to the classic image of Maria Clara, traditional and beautiful. Usually decked out in turn-of-the-century attire, Morada presents his women as pictures of character and strength while maintaining that delicate femininity that is altogether folksy and Filipino. His compositions indicate gestural fluidity and movement using masterly techniques, Morada succeeding in liberating his subjects.
His dexterity and flexibility as an artist is shown in his subjects immersed as they are in the events and activities of rural life, the nostalgic past or clothed in contemporary attire of plastic or foil. His works can often reach the realm of metaphysics with his preoccupation with dreams and dreaming.
In this regard, Jerry Morada himself remains the penultimate dreamer and his paintings invite one to follow him into the depths and brilliance of the historical as well as the romantic.