Dennis Battad was born on June 17, 1975 at Balintawak, Caloocan City.
He is currently working at NYK-FIL as a seafarer. He is married to Segundina Fabreag and has a cute little daughter who is turning 8 this month (September).
His passion for art was developed early – he was just a kid when his uncle showed him a sketch of “Robin in a Bike” – yes, Batman’s sidekick Robin! He was so impressed by the sketch and inspiration hit him – he wanted to learn the stuff himself so he embarked on a mission to sketch and that’s just what he did. He sketched and sketched and sketched. He enjoyed looking and gazing at his drawings.
At grade school, he drew on his notebooks at every opportunity. His mother often reprimanded him about the drawings on his notes but he did not stop. He loved sketching and wanted to learn more.
Once, their teacher asked the class if there’s anyone who could draw for her on the board. Of course, Dennis’ classmates volunteered him. His teacher was impressed and encouraged him to join the ‘school journal’ where he was assigned to do the editorial cartooning. He was then sent to represent the school in competitions and one of the most memorable was when he competed in the 1988 DepEd Science and Technology Art Competition. He did not win but the experience was incomparable as it was his first exposure to competitions – and he did a lot of them.
He joined the Primary School Journalism Competition held at Tala Elementary School where he bagged the 2nd place for editorial cartooning. He was so proud of himself then and he followed the same path in high school where he also became part of the school journal group. His last competition was the NSSPC (National Secondary School Press Conference) held at Malabon High School when he won 3rd place for English Category Editorial Cartooning. He was pitted against all division level schools at the NCR Region. Winners were sent to Bicol for the Regional competition. Though he did not win, he was content to think that he did his best and just to be part of the competition was all worth it. He felt fortunate to be there – the last one standing among all the members of his journal group who joined the challenge.
In 1992, he graduated from high school, and prepared for college. He would have loved to take up Fine Arts but he enrolled in BSMT instead – for his parents. He graduated in 1995 and landed a job that took him away not only from his family and friends but also from his art. He resigned to the fact that “it’s over for him as an artist.”
But as fate would have it, his art came crawling back to him. In 2007, A colleague at work was ‘making some paintings’ to be displayed at the crew lodge so Dennis asked if he could help. Little did he know that it was the bridge he needed to reconnect with his art.
Five years later, in 2011, that same guy who became his Senior Officer asked if he could make another painting for the ship’s crew lodge – then it spread like wild fire that he could do painting and everybody started asking him for one.
He likened his hand to a “rusted joint” which needed practice but “once an artist, always an artist” – it did not take him long to get pumped up and get his old rhythm back. Now he can honestly say that he’s a better artist than he was before.
Since he’d been painting more to combat his boredom, he decided to show his works to his wife and kids by posting them on FaceBook. Without even meaning to impress, his artwork got the attention of many of his friends who gave positive comments.
One of those who spotted his work was his wife’s cousin JP Faderagao, an established artist who gave his works nice comments. They became friends. In Faderagao’s profile, Dennis saw his artworks and the artworks of JP’s friends as well. That is how he came to know about an upcoming exhibit. Long story short, he was invited to join the exhibit which was in perfect timing because his job contract was about to expire. He came home and worked on his piece.
The exhibit entitled “Glimpses” was held at PWU, Manila. It was through his friend Mr. Jess Santos, one of the best artists he knew, that Dennis had his first exhibit experience. Through that exhibit, he met artists who became his friends from whom he learned more about the art business. Since he is new at the scene, he also met up with other artists online.
Where is Dennis now as an artist?
“I am now a member of MUNTING GUHIT ART ORGANIZATION with Giovani Acero (where I do portrait job most of the times) and sometimes we make co-project with PAGSIBOLI ART ORGANIZATION (who teaches art to kids). I am very grateful for those who have been part of my rebirth as an artist. I owe it to them and I want to give back the favor by teaching the younger generation of artists reach their potentials. I believe talent is God’s gift and nobody could take it away from you, should you use it? It is totally up to you….”