Romeo Tabuena with his ethereal carabaos and distinct barrio scenes created groundbreaking works that contributed to the evolution of Philippine art.
Self-confessed to be highly influenced by Cubism and Chinese vertical paintings, the majority of his works were acrylics, oils, and watercolors that
featured a combination of Filipino and Mexican cultural themes, such as traditional housing, working people, and native plants. He is often classified as belonging to the postwar neorealist movement, with his then fresh approach to form sometimes compared to Chinese calligraphic brushstrokes.
As an artist, Tabuena always drew upon his Filipino roots. This is evident in his pervasive inclusion of local traditions and landscapes. In this majestic piece, Tabuena seemingly weaves in poetic and literary beauty into everyday rural life, thus elevating the mundane into a transcendental sublime. Tabuena’s works arguably enter the mystical realm that dominates the pastoral consciousness of Filipino rural life.