International Women’s Day: Pinay artist Ovvian Castrillo-Hill

Updated: March 10, 2023, 8 A.M.


Fort. St. John, B.C.

Pinay sculptor continues family legacy in Canada


Charmaine Y. Rodriguez and Teodoro Alcuitas

The daughter of a well-known Philippine artist continues her family’s legacy as an artist and sculptor. Ovvian Castrillo-Hill,a mother of one who works and lives in the City of Fort St. John ( 757 miles north of Vancouver along the Alaska Hwy.) has been doing her art since settling in this northern city in 2011.

“It is my belief that it would be a disservice to the creator to not use and nurture ones gifts, talents and abilities,” she told Philippine Canadian News.Com.

Her father, Eduardo Castrillo, is a well-known Philippine artist whose works are found all over the world. His most known is the EDSA Revolution Monument in the Philippines,commemorating the 1986 People Power Revolution which toppled the 14-year reign of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. Marcos’ son, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Jr. is currently the president of the country. He was commissioned by all administrations including President Cory Aquino.

The late Eduardo Castrillo who died in 2016 at 73 was an Avant-Garde artist who chronicled Philippine history in his days. (Image: Arte Orientes)

The 51-year old is not only an accomplished artist in her own right but also a  committed community advocate in the Peace Region where she heads the NP Filcan Bayanihan Fort St. John organization,

She is also an emerging filmmaker having just finished her documentary series, titled Ex-Situ: Thriving in Our New Bayan, which has been selected for the Telus Storyhive 2021 Voices program. The film explores the challenges and successes of members of the Filipino diaspora in B.C.’s Peace region. She is now working on a second episode of the film.

Brothers Mierro and Nixxio  with their mother, Rosa Anna Luarca Castrillo at the “Artistic Legacies” exhibition at the Museo Orlina in Tagaytay City, Cavite. (Image: ABS-CBN)

Her body of works in sculpture were featured in the solo exhibit “1 Woman here & there,” which ran from February 18 to March 4, 2023 at the Imahica Art Gallery in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. Castrillo-Hill’s work can be found in Manila, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada.

“Each work gives a peek into the artist’s personal experiences that have made her strong and resilient as a daughter, a mother, a wife and a woman”, states the gallery.

Her creativity is her genes with not only her father Eduardo, but two brothers as well – Mierro and Nixxio, all in the arts.The family’s works were recently exhibited at the Museo Orlina in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

Trained as a designer

Graduating from the University of the Philippines, Dillimna as a designer, she honed her talents as a design/art writer and consultant.  She began sculpting in 2003 under the tutelage of her dad, Eduardo. Since her third show in 2009, she took a break  to become a wife and mother, while expressing her art through a multitude of commissioned work. resuming her studio work in 2016.

In 2016, she resumed her studio work preparing for shows and projects, lined up to 2019.

“Employing familiar materials, she repurposes metals and alters finishes —making for her a distinct Ovvian Castrillo proficiency in her art, while undeniably rooted in her sensei’s influence. Each sculpture is personal to her, with a story prodded by emotions culled from her continues evolution as a daughter, a mother, a wife and a woman.”

Her clients and collectors include Ayala Land, Shangri-La Properties, Enterprise Center, One Lagaspi Place, Serendra, Philippine Airlines, Globe Telecoms, St. Scholastica’s College, L’Oreal Philippines, Rock Ed Philippines, CocoLife, The Philippine Open, The Philippine Stock Exchange, The Shang Salcedo Place, as well a multitude of private homes and offices.

“I like the idea of celebrating who I am, and I am a Filipino in Canada. Time is finite… and so I make time. I am grateful for my family’s understanding and support. I just hope to leave this place better that I found it”, she told us when asked how she balances her art, family life and community.
And on this International Women’s Day, she leaves us with this message:
“My message for Women on Woman’s Day is: we are all entitled to be here. Revel in the knowledge that you have the privilege of being your true self.”
Castrillo-Hill studied at Maryknoll College Grade School in Quezon City from 1978-1983, Freese Elementary School and Bell Jr. High School in San Diego California until 1985. High school was spent in Traweek Jr. High in Covina California, and Assumption High School San Lorenzo Makati City. She has a degree in Interior Design from the University of the Philippines, which she received in 1993.

She came to  Canada  in 2009 and went back to the Philippines with her husband Bryan and lived there until 2011 when they came back to Canada in 2011 and settled in Fort. St. John with thir only son Brendan.

Castrillo-Hill’s book published in 2018. (Facebook)



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