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For this balikbayan doctor, painting a day takes pandemic stress away

The Birchwood | July 3, 2022

Dr. Cu shows off some of the paintings he completed during the lockdowns.

Dr. Robert Cu, a balikbayan from the United States, was on vacation with his wife in the Philippines when the country was placed on pandemic lockdown in March 2020.

Good thing, he and his wife were then staying at their 3-bedroom unit at The Birchwood, one of DMCI Homes’ mid-rise condominium communities at Acacia Estates, Taguig City, which they use as a “vacation home” when they are in the Philippines.

“Tamang-tama itong lugar na ito kapag nag-isolate. Saka walang tao (sa labas),” said Dr. Cu as he lauded the Property Management Office’s constant safety reminders to residents.

Most of Dr. Cu’s paintings are about trees and flowers.

Rediscovering an old hobby

Except for experiencing boredom like everyone else during the lockdowns, Dr. Cu had no problem isolating in their vacation home.

“Walang problema, ‘yong boredom lang talaga,” Dr. Cu chuckled.

His solution? Go back to his old hobby—painting.

Dr. Cu said it was a hobby that dates back to his high school days. He pursued his painting hobby even when he migrated and worked as a registered nurse in the U.S.

“Lumabas na lang ito noong nasa high school ako. Pencil drawing muna, tapos may mga nakilala ako na into painting talaga,” said the soft-spoken father of one who hails from Naga, Camarines Sur.

His love for painting grew even more when he was in the U.S. as he found painting materials there to be more affordable.

“Pang-alis lang ng stress. Ang fulfillment ‘pag natapos mo na ang isang painting nakakagaan ng loob. When my friends appreciate my works,” he answered when asked what satisfaction he gets from the hobby since he does not sell his artworks.

“I don’t sell my paintings. I just give them to my friends as gifts,” he said, smiling.

Another one of Dr. Cu’s masterpieces.


Dr. Cu is proud to say that he was self-taught as a painter but he watches Bob Ross on YouTube to get some tips.

“Most of my paintings are about flowers. I just want to convey the beauty of nature. Some painters want to paint depressed areas. Ayaw ko ng gan’un. Gusto ko ‘yong lively, buhay na buhay,” he enthused.

“Ako, the easier the better. Like flowers, isang stroke lang tapos na. Ang bilis. ‘Pag mga building façade, magru-ruler ka pa, etc. I’m just an amateur painter. For pastime lang,” Dr. Cu remarked.

Staying productive

Dr. Cu is hopeful that the pandemic will finally end soon but he is also grateful that he was able to cope with its challenges by doing what he loves most.

In fact, he was able to finish eight paintings while staying in their vacation home.

“Boring if you’re in isolation. Kain, tv, tulog. Dapat may ibang outlet. Kung wala nakakabuwang. So ‘yon lang buti na lang, I was able to bring my tools with me,” Dr. Cu said laughing.

Spending the lockdowns in their unit at The Birchwood likewise made him realize that they did the right decision in choosing their vacation home in the Philippines.

“I like the peace, tranquility, saka mahangin. Tapos ‘yong convenience, very convenient kasi malapit lang sa Savemore (grocery). Safe ‘yong lugar kasi may roving guard,” he shared.

“I don’t regret investing here in The Birchwood. Nakatipid pa kami kasi we got our unit when it was still preselling,” he beamed.

Since he loves to showcase the beauty of nature in his paintings, Dr. Cu says The Birchwood’s scenic spots helped him a lot in getting his creative juices flowing while in isolation.

The Birchwood is one of the developments of DMCI Homes, the country’s first Quadruple A real estate developer known for building quality resort-inspired communities in Mega Manila, Baguio City, Boracay, and Davao City. Each of its properties is built with world-standard craftsmanship borne from D.M. Consunji Inc.’s over 60 years of expertise in the construction and development industry.

To learn more about The Birchwood and other DMCI Homes’ pre-selling and ready-for-occupancy projects, units for lease, and special promos, call (632) 5324-8888. You can also visit to know more about opportunities in leasing and rent-to-own programs of DMCI Homes. News and other updates are also posted on the company’s official website and its social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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