No he’s not one of the Motorheads. And definitely not the lead of ZZ Top. Because he’s not that much into rock n’ roll, but he can give you a cool shock of Lovesick Blues any time you’re ready.
Alfonso “Al” Oliva is..dig this.. a painter, sketcher, sculptor, carver, landscape artist, builder and a free-spirited maven from Iriga City. That’s a walking swiss knife of fine arts for you. He dons a bushy white hairdo and a load of snowy moustache for trademark and goes around clad in denim jeans , leather boots and vest topped with a buri cowboy hat you’ll mistake him for an unretired rock star or a ranchero. A big fan of boxing, UFC and History Channel, the maestro has an ear for Eric Clapton or Kenny Rogers and holds a huge appetite for Grande as Nick Joaquin is to SMB Pale. On loose skeds, he spends half the day tending a grandchild in nursery school then afterwards ride around the town in his vintage Willy’s.
Also known as “Papu” to the family circle, Al Oliva’s interest in the arts started in his younger years courtesy of the works of Iriga’s early artisans. He started out as a schoolteacher, which he gave up shortly, and moved to commercial arts. Thereafter, exposed himself to other disciplines and eventually to the three-dimensional world of sculpture using just about any material he could lay his hands on. His mastery made a name for himself in and out of Bicol region and even as far as Tagaytay and Puerto Galera. A number of his artworks were exhibited in Legazpi City, Naga City and Ayala Museum and Dusit Hotel in Makati City.
Some of Al Oliva’s tour de force includes the Sculpture Garden (Children’s Playground) at the Albay Park and Wildlife in Bogtong, Legazpi City and the precast cabanas of Tinagba Park in Iriga City.
2007 – Commissioned by Father “Awe” of St. Therese Church, San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur on the 16 ft. image of the Rising Christ Ascension
2006 – Commissioned by Sis. Felicitas B. De Lima of the Fatima Center Chapel, San Agustin, Iriga City on the 12 ft. altar image of Jesus Christ
2002 – Commissioned by Dr. Angelita Ago in the creation of 6 life-size religious sculpture
2001 – Commissioned by former Congressman Rolando Andaya on a Madonna and Child relief sculpture
2000 – Commissioned by ex-Gov. Francis Bichara in the sculptures of the Children’s Playground and Park at the Albay Wildlife and park
1996 – Organized the “SIG-ANGAN”, the Iriga City Artist’s Association
1994 – Exhibited glass paintings at the Nayong Pilipino Aviary, the Philippine Museum of Ethnology and at the NACIDA Building
1993 – Commissioned by the Hon. Jose Bulaong in the stone sculpture of the Lady of Peñafrancia
1990 – Commissioned by ex-Cong. Luis Villafuerte on the relief sculptures at the Consocep Resort, Ocampo, Camarines Sur.
Some of Al Oliva’s patrons include ex-Cong. Luis Villafuerte, ex-Gov. Jose Bulaong, Photographer-Lawyer Manuel Gaite, ex-Sen. Eddie Ilarde, Poet-Educator Leonor R. Dyllaco, Art Collector Melo Almeda, Actress Michelle Aldana, and the late Sen. Raul Roco.