“The Lord does not really plan for us, but the Lord blesses our plans”

Part of the success of the multi-awarded abstractionist and contemporary artist, Raul Isidro is his wife, Annabelle Visenio who is also an artise.

Belle (as she is fondly called by family, relatives and friends) relates fond memories about the love affair with Raul Isidro that started in the 60’s. She was a third year college student major in Advertising Arts, while he was a fourth year student at the University of Santo Tomas.

Raul saw Belle’s picture at a college magazine together with other aspiring models featured by the University’s camera club. Without owning a camera, he managed to make himself a member of the club to be able to get to know about her more..

During the election of club officers, Raul convinced his friends who were members of the club to vote for Belle as a public relations officer. Later, Belle got to know who the mystery man was behind her election as PRO. Soon their love story commenced.

Belle, started a career at Ayala Corporation, and later put up a business where she designed clothes exclusively for the customers of her shop. It was called Two point Five (2.5) tailoring. She managed a frame shop called Isidro’s Cuadros which at the same time provided the support for paintings Raul made. Adjacent to the frame shop was a food business called “Paper Cup” all situated next to each other at the Philippine Women’s University where Raul was the director of the school of fine Arts.

While in the United States, Belle was employed with Sakura Color Products of America and Mckesson Office products.
She would cap her career by working for the government as Head executive Assistant of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) under cabinet secretaries in the likes of Bobby Barbers, Joseph Estrada, Ronaldo Puno, Alfredo Lim, Joey Lina, and Angelo Reyes. Belle, could not really separate herself in the realm of world artists, after all she is the daughter of renowned movie director Armando Garces who was famous for his direction in action movies for the likes of Vic Vargas, Jess Lapid and Joseph Estrada.
She starts to highlight her husband's already multi-faceted career by saying “Raul is the only artist who dabbled and has been recognized in the three fields of visual arts”. These are printmaking, sculpture and painting.” Raul is one of the few polychromatic abstract expressionists in the Philippines.

“The creative stirrings that move an artist can be an all-consuming passion that pushes the demands of everyday life aside. Whoever contemplates of making a life with an artist has to accept this reality,” Belle would say about being married to Raul.

Raul and Belle are blessed with only daughter Tricia now residing in the United States, and three grandchildren: Dr Stefi, Rober & Luke Barbers.(CJ/CIO)

(The author of this article, Cali Isidro Obong is a nephew of Raul. He is book author and a college professor).

-, February 29, 2024

The Calbayog Journal (also known as CJ)
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