By Mariel Abanes
He’s as animated on paper as he is in person. For those who haven’t met Lance Reblando, you can tell with just a scroll through his artworks he posts online that he’s someone you’ll instantly get along with—relatable and witty, but with depth. Staying relevant with a purpose, his sketches and paintings speak of this generation’s affairs, from LGBT-related issues to mental health themes. “Ang obra ni Lance Reblando ay sensual, disturbing, relevant, at genderless,” the Fine Arts graduate from the University of the Philippines says as he describes his style.
His works are empowering and inspiring, and he continues to seek for projects that expresses his individuality. Lance plans to further grow as an artist and brave the norm to send a clear message of his goal. “Kung magpapadala at sasang-ayon ka lang sa sinasabi ng karamihan at ng lipunan, hindi ka maggo-grow. Kailangang matuto kang panindigan 'yung mga bagay na pinaniniwalaan mo. Kailangang matuto kang ipaglaban ang mga ito,” he says.
Lance majored in painting, but many would know that he isn’t just boxed in visual arts. He’s also dabbled in performing, a passion he’s had since he was a kid. While he majorly looks up to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, he also cites Eugene Domingo as his heroine.
The 20-year-old recalls being a bibo kid at age 3, then enrolling in dance workshops later on, and dipping his toes into the world of theater. At 8 years old, people were surprised that he nailed the role of Gabriel for his first play by Anton Juan entitled “Shadows of The Reef/Mga Anak ng Dagat.” This opportunity sparked something from within, and witnessing his journey unfold on the stage revealed a life he knew he had to take.
“Isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ko tinahak, tinatahak, at tatahakin ang teatro ay dahil gusto ko pang makilala pa ang sarili ko,” Lance shares. After wearing one mask for every role he portrays, he discovers more about him as he unmasks himself post-performance. For one, his portrayal as Arjuna in “Ang Nawalang Kapatid” (his favorite role) is what he labels as his coming-of-age act—where the “other side of Lance Reblando” was revealed.
His talent brought him to the international stage, too. Lance played the role of the Young Simba in Disney’s Singapore Production of “The Lion King” in 2011. From then, he continued in theater locally but dreams to step on the Broadway stage in the future. “Dream big na, sis, ‘di ba?” he says.
Now that the thespian and artist is done with school (with flying colors, at that,) he plans to take a masters program in Art Studies while doing theater productions and exhibits on the side. In a decade, he still sees himself in this field, and hopefully paying it forward by teaching LGBT kids about the stage and visual arts.
“Gusto ko isang araw, may batang lalapit sa akin at sasabihing, ‘When I grow up, I want be just like you,'" Lance concludes. "‘Pag nangyari ‘yun, alam mo nang you’re doing a great in your craft and in life." At the rate he's going with following his passions, we don't doubt that it would happen along the way.
Watch Lance star in our 18th anniversary campaign #ChalkGen18 as part of this year's Chalk Bright Young Manila:
ALSO READ: #ChalkGen18: Meet The 18 Individuals Of This Year's Chalk Bright Young Manila
Photographed by Stephen Capuchino
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Madel Asuncion
Makeup by Andi Sapina of Makeup Design Academy
Hair by Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon
Clothes by Forever 21