PHOTO CREDIT: Rogel Cabisidan

A Filipino wood carver who hails from Paete, Laguna – the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines – emerged with the top prizes in an international ice carving competition in France, earning him the moniker, King of Ice Sculptors.

Now a sculptor and kitchen artist in France, Rogel Cabisidan bagged the jury’s prize in the 28th International Ice Carving Competition held in southeastern city of Valloire Savoie from January 15 to 18.

Cabisidan who also won the public prize, bested 19 other ice sculptors from different countries with his winning masterpiece called “Sitting” depicting an eye-catching abstract image of a woman with transparent ice spike hair.

In a video interview with media, the 46-year-old award-winning sculptor hailed as “King of Ice Carving” talked about winning the 2 major prizes of Valloire Savoie.

“Nagustuhan ng judges kasi transparent ang yelo at walang crack kasi maganda ang temperature lalo sa gabi -12, -8 kaya na-maintain namin ang ganda ng yelo. Nag-stay kami hanggang 1 o’clock para kasi doon ang maganda ang yelo. Maganda magtrabaho kasi matigas tapos pwede kang magdikit ng yelo. Hindi siya matutumba kasi malamig,” (The judges liked it because the ice was transparent and there were no cracks. That’s because the temperature was favorable especially at night with -12, -8 so we were able to maintain the quality of the ice. We stayed until 1 o’clock when the ice was strong and the best quality to work on. You can attach a piece on it and the figure wouldn’t break and or fall because of the freezing temperature).”

The Pinoy sculptor who is a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management and works for a shipping company in France has been participating in competitions since 2012. This is his first time to win the first prize.

Living in France for almost 8 years now, Cabisidan has expanded his knowledge in the art of carving from wood, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, polystyrene, and now with ice.

Cabisidan’s work has also been featured in 5-star hotels and big events in Europe.

“Message ko sa mga kababayan ko, sa kapwa ko artist, ipagpatuloy ang pag-uukit kahit anong material pwede. Tuluy-tuloy lang ang pag-ukit para magkaroon ng maraming kaalaman (My message to my fellow Filipinos and artists to continue your practicing in carvings in any materials to hone your skills and acquire more techniques),” he said.

Rogel Cabisidan dedicated his accomplishment to Filipinos and to the Philippines, “(Of course, I’m very) proud, 100% proud Filipino.”

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