Galicano grew up as the personal student of his uncle, the Cebuano Master Martino Abellana. At age 13, he became part of his uncle’s household. The close relationship of maestro and apprentice made Galicano the direct and immediate heir to Abellana’s artistic heritage. The mastery of color and tone, composition, techniques and materials came from lessons he learned from his early youth.
His arcadian images provide nostalgic preserves of a pre-industrial world where human intrusion is seen in just tiny details that the viewers choose to overlook.
A May 1974 article says about Galicano’s art:
“To say that a painter is influenced by, say, Monet (Romulo’s apparent favorite), whom he knows only through color plates, is an error that is only too common.”
“…The ‘influence’ of the French Impressionists is so obvious in Romulo that it hardly needs pointing out. What could easily escape notice is that Romulo has never seen the works of these painters except in book reproductions.”
Galicano is a painter of tonalist landscapes who is renowned especially for his small, intimate views of nature. This sweetly melancholy painting seems to occupy a borderline between everyday observation and a visionary world all Galicano’s own. A sense of liveliness is conveyed by the various tones of green, ocher and white modulating in various intensities and with effects of transparency. The sentiment of nature is an essential ingredient in Galicano’s work and the one which sets him from painters of nature before him and the artists who followed him. In his finished pictures he constantly reproduced the detailed foliage effect that the public liked. Yet, amid all the lushness there is an earthy feeling.