The man behind the name is Teodorico “Ric” Ramasola. He was born on October 23, 1936 in Maribojoc, Bohol to parents Ponciano Ramasola and Presentacion Martinez Ramasola.
Ponciano, an artist himself, had worked in a sculpture and photography shop in Manila in the 1920s and later established his own photography studio in Maribojoc.
Ric Ramasola spent his elementary and high school years in Maribojoc. At an early age, he already exhibited his inclination to art, winning art competitions as a student. As a teenager, he was introduced to portraiture as he helped in his father’s studio, airbrushing photos. He also painted portraits of clients based on their photographs.
In college, he took up Fine Arts major in Painting at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). There, he had the privilege of studying under some of the leaders in Philippine Contemporary Art such as Victorio Edades, Galo Ocampo, Carlos Botong Francisco, and Vicente Manansala, among others.
Edades, Ocampo, Manansala, and Francisco were part of a group of artists which art historians refer to as the Thirteen Moderns, a group of early to mid-20th century Filipino artists who pioneered modernist art in the Philippines.
Mr. Ramasola could have easily followed in their footsteps and create a name for himself in the country’s capital. He won 1st place in the National Shell Students Art Competition in 1960 with his piece, “Dama”. However, after turning down a scholarship in Rome which would have required him to teach at UST after his studies, he went back to Bohol after his graduation in 1961.
He returned to photography and portraiture and in 1963, opened his own photography studio in Tagbilaran. Since opening the shop, generations of Boholano students have had their graduation photos taken at his studio. Before the advent of camera phones and the onset of the age of selfies, families, groups of friends or just individuals would go to his studio to have their photos taken and executed professionally.
In 1964, he married the late Nila Bongcac and they were blessed with four children. He lost his wife in a tragic car accident in 1993 while he and his family were on their way to a pilgrimage site in Loboc.
After this painful episode, the artist devoted his life to the service of the church and the community, sharing his artistic skills through mentoring young artists who are willing and determined to learn from him.
Even in his advanced age, he actively participates as a member of the Parish Technical Working Group in the reconstruction and restoration of Maribojoc Church led by the National Museum of the Philippines. The Holy Cross Parish church in Maribojoc was one of two Spanish colonial churches that were totally destroyed by the 2013 Bohol Earthquake.
Ramasola had found his second chance in love. He now lives with his wife, Janette, in Tagbilaran. (@natmuseumbohol)