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A young Filipino artist’s death rekindles memories of his love for Oman


His friends and the artist circle in Oman will always remember him to be a sweet soul. To their recollection, he is a kind of person who is passionate about his work and gave out several mesmerising works.

The fact is, Aryel Llanzana loved Oman — its people, its culture, its history and was very fond of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. It’s possible that he saw a shared connection between Oman and the Philippines, his home country, from the warmth to the hospitality and for a deep appreciation for the nostalgic past.

At one point in his career, while in Oman, he was part of the 46th National Day art special called “A Tribute to Oman: Places, People & Passion” where he showcased different works that symbolised Oman to him. Held in City Seasons Hotel in Muscat between November 2 and December 5, the artwork he displayed was only a very curated few of the many other works he did — all showcasing Oman in a very good light, all showcasing his mastery of light and techniques.

Aryel’s untimely passing was said to be due to Pneumonia and an outpouring of appreciation on social media speaks to the impact he has made not only on people he met but people who have seen his art especially through his Youtube channel where he did timelapse of his artwork.

Amongst the many comments, one fellow artist commended his detailed artwork describing his drawings as ‘perfect.’ Another commented on his potential as an artist and one lamented that his death is a great loss to the art world.

In a video interview shared by fellow artist Gailani Ibrahim, Aryel showed the creative and pained artist who took inspiration from a sad experience — the passing of his mother. This experience would resonate with many of his art — the nostalgia and the longing, the soft side and appreciation for old people.

Aryel, while in Oman, and wherever he went after, had been an avid supporter of other artists and had constantly been sharing techniques with fellow artists. Even while in Muscat, he was teaching art classes to children passing what he knew to the younger generation.

Gone at a young age, Aryel’s contribution to Oman are some of his unique artworks detailing his love for the country. From beautifully drawn Arabian horses to laboured faces of old Omani men and women to the kind face of HM Sultan Qaboos — Aryel left the kind of legacy that is now sung with appreciation by his peers.


By Yeru Ebuen

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