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Harold Banario: Igorot MMA Fighter and Painter Reimagines Beauty and the Beast

Harold Banario, the Igorot MMA fighter, transcends boundaries, showcasing his artistic brilliance in a self-portrait inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

Explore the dual talents of Igorot MMA fighter, Harold Banario, a formidable warrior in the cage and a gifted painter inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

The Confluence of Strength and Artistry

Harold Banario, a name synonymous with prowess in the MMA arena, is a revelation beyond the cage. Hailing from the vibrant Igorot community, Banario has not only made a mark as an accomplished mixed martial artist but has also unveiled a lesser-known facet of his identity - that of a gifted painter.

Harold Banario

Inspiration Drawn from Cinematic Magic

At the heart of this revelation lies Banario's admiration for the timeless tale, "Beauty and the Beast." His artistic journey took an intriguing turn as he translated his fascination with the movie into a captivating painting. What sets his artwork apart is the substitution of the traditional "Beast" character with a self-portrait, adding a personal touch that goes beyond the realms of ordinary creativity.

Emma Watson's Influence: A Symbol of Humility and Strength

The choice to feature Hollywood actress Emma Watson in his masterpiece is deliberate. Banario, beyond being an MMA fighter, is drawn to Watson's humility and her impactful role as a UN advocate. This admiration not only influenced his choice of subject but also injected a deeper narrative into the artwork, portraying not just beauty and beastliness, but also strength, humility, and cultural pride.

A Symbolic Tapestry: War, Culture, and Identity

Banario's self-portrait serves as a symbolic tapestry, weaving together threads of war, culture, and personal identity. As an Igorot, known for their warrior spirit, Banario's artistic expression becomes a medium to honor his roots and showcase the multifaceted nature of his identity. The canvas becomes a battleground of emotions, echoing the warrior ethos of his people.

The Journey Through MMA and Family Legacy

In the MMA world, Banario is not a stranger to success, boasting a record of 4-1. As a proud member of Team Lakay, his journey intertwines with a rich family legacy, being the younger brother of former ONE featherweight champion Honorio Banario. With another brother, Dario, also pursuing a professional fighting career, the Banario name echoes in the arenas of martial arts.

A Brushstroke Through Memory Lane: Banario's Artistic Roots

Banario's artistic journey didn't begin with fame and accolades; it traces back to his childhood. Even in his early years, he exhibited a remarkable talent for painting, with themes rooted in the landscapes of Mankayan, Benguet, his hometown. This connection between art and heritage adds layers of depth to Banario's paintings, making them a visual chronicle of his personal evolution.

Embracing Duality: Fighter and Artist

"Iyun kasi yung other side ko, fighter," Banario's words resonate as a declaration of the duality within him. Beyond the ring, beyond the canvas, Banario exists as both a fighter and an artist, seamlessly merging strength and creativity. His journey is an ode to embracing the diverse facets of one's identity.


Harold Banario, the Igorot MMA fighter, has not only conquered opponents in the ring but has also conquered the realms of artistic expression. His "Beauty and the Beast" masterpiece stands not just as a painting but as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of strength, humility, and cultural pride. Banario's narrative transcends the boundaries of sports and arts, leaving an indelible mark on the canvas of inspiration.

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