Ponciano L. Zapanta took up Architecture at the National University. His not being able to finish the course led him into a career in the graphic arts and later into serious painting. Zapanta's first job was in graphic arts in Jeddah and China. It was in Jeddah that he rediscovered his love for painting when he joined and garnered third place in the first Saudi open art competition for heritage and culture in 1992. He was a finalist in the second edition of the contest in 1994. In 2015, He joined the GSIS painting competition, where he was again a finalist. But it seemed that his talent wasn't limited to the visual arts. He was also an Architectural draftsman. A native of Taytay, Rizal is very active in the art scene there.
He is a long-time member of the Group Artists of Taytay (GAT), serving as its president in 1996 and director from 1997 to the present. He was also a member of the Pinta Pilipino Artists Group and, subsequently, of the Kulay Pinoy in Jeddah. His influences are varied. He likes the art nouveau painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha, the classical realist Godofredo Zapanta, Sr., and the cubist Vicente Manansala—three artists who espoused three very different art styles. Although Godofredo Zapanta, a cousin, was his mentor once, it was to Manansala's transparent cubism style that he eventually gravitated.
His paintings show what he'd learned and absorbed from Manansala, but with dissimilarity. While Manansala segmented his figures into transparent planes of contrasting gradations, Zapanta's prisms were juxtaposed all over the picture plane of his works. Prism is the key word here because light, when allowed to pass through a prism, refracts into rays of different colors—the very colors of the rainbow that Zapanta utilized liberally and harmoniously in his works.