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Bigas (translation: Rice) is a series of paintings in acrylic on canvas by Nestor Leynes that art historians say contributes to the Filipino’s sense of identity. It is also known as Pitong Gatang. Painted in 1974, the canvasses measure 67.31 x 79.34 cm.[1]


Bigas is one of the first Filipino paintings done in a realistic style. It shows the influence of Andrew Wyeth, an American realist but is created in the painter's personal style.

The painting depicts a bilao (a round, flat basket) that is filled with rice grains. It is resting on the wooden floor as the main figure.

There are two female hands that are removing palay or unhusked grains and hard granules from the rice grains. A small gatang or measuring can is shown on one side.

Artist’s background

Nestor Leynes is known for his eye for detail and mastery of capturing how light affects objects, making his paintings almost photographically real. A humanities teacher is said to have accused him of pasting real grains onto the canvas because his Bigas paintings look real.[2]


  1. Guillermo, A. G. "Altar." In CCP Enclyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 226-227. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.
  2. The Magic Realist: Nestor Leynes. Art Circle Gallery Blog, 2015. Accessed on 5 May 2021.



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