Tuesday, August 25, 2009



RosaNegra is intended to be a visual commentary on the state of the nation’s art. It is open to visual artists who would like to contribute to the reinstatement of values and improvement of ethics in contemporary Philippine visual arts. This project seeks not only to surface concerns within the world that the Filipino visual artist moves about, but also to propose measures toward their improvement. RosaNegra can be reactive, but it can surely be proactive.

May I invite you to join this endeavor? There is only one invitation for both the artist and the audience. It is somehow a totally related process.

For ease in handling, may I suggest 18 inches x 24 inches, portrait, as the standard format of the works. Some artists may decide on bigger formats though. That would also reflect the intensity of the artist’s involvement. In this case, only the size of the gallery will remain to be the limiting factor.

Interested visual artists are requested to confirm their participation by texting me via 0920-9537426, on or before Saturday 29 August 2009.

Submission of entries is scheduled on Saturday 12 September 2009. Opening of the exhibition is scheduled on Monday 21 September 2009. May I count on you?

Enrico J. L. Manlapaz
Artis Corpus Gallery
303 Haig Street Bagong Silang Mandaluyong City
Landline 02.7174619 or


Lisa Lecrec, Leah Sanchez, Reina Sanchez, Carlos Tito Santos, Rachelle Wenger and Thomas Wenger
August 27, Thursday, 6-9pm

L-to-R, curated by photographer Johann Espiritu, presents photographs from his six-week workshop, "The Idea of Creativity in Photography". L-to-R stands for "left to right", the order in which the class would often critique images. On a superficial level, these works do not appear to have any relationship to each other. It is common practice for the viewer of a group show to look for connections between images. Are the subjects similar? Are they made or presented using like materials? What do Liza Lecrec's color photos of a life-size doll attending a meeting with men in suits; Leah Sanchez's boxes housing photos of home; Carlos Tito Santos'Rachelle Wenger’s studies on curiosity; Thomas Wenger's sometimes studied, sometimes spontaneous photographs; and Reina Sanchez's ink-jet prints on recycled paper have in common? They are made by people who discovered what they care about and what photography can be.

Image: Reina Sanchez, Color TV, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Subtle Indiscretion

We cordially invite you to view Subtle Indiscretion which opens on Saturday 22 August 2009 at 6:00 pm at the ARTIS CORPUS GALLERY, 303 Haig Street, Bagong Silang, Mandaluyong City. This show of paintings runs till 14 September 2009.

Subtle Indiscretion is an invitational group exhibition led by the following visual artists: Aileen Lanuza, Camille De La Rosa, Thomas Daquioag, Vincent De Pio, and Welbart.

Joining them are Abi Dionisio, Averil Paras, Don Artificio, Kris Jan Gavino, Martin De Mesa, Rafael Louis Gonzalez, Raphael Daniel David, Rinne Abrugena, and Robert Shook.

Subtle Indiscretion is within its own context a contradiction not only in semantics but in personal attitude and behavior. Subtlety is synonymous with discretion. But when delicate skill and cleverness is mated with absence of careful study and good judgment, the offspring is a terrible mutant. Fine distinction crossed with wanton abandon results in that which we refer to as guilt, that which we call sin.

This exhibition was initially entitled Forbidden Love, conceived by a group of visual artists in March 2009. This rather strange group show stemmed from an initial concept floating around prohibition. Nothing more than senseless taboos imposed by a society characterized by self-righteousness and hypocrisy are legislations which themselves are violations of Universal Law. Yet we all know that Nature must always reign supreme.

Countless trysts triggered by passion and elopements due to betrayals of integrity have been romanticized in the affairs of star-crossed lovers and clichéd during the time of gods and goddesses. Though fictionalized, they are so real even in present days. Amor interdictus is the seat of insatiable desire and incessant wanting of something that may never be gotten, of something that needs strong will and daring to attain.

In love unfulfilled resides a personal peace enjoyed only in the privacy of one’s mind: a timeless satisfaction, a blissful contentment, a silent ecstasy, a quiet orgasm. Though seemingly sensual, Buddhists chant the union of compassion and wisdom, elements that rival the affinity of oil and water. The concept of completion, with sexuality joining with spirituality, is the essence of creation. Everything is One.

For further details and previews, you may contact 02.7174619 or 0920.9537426, or email or

Monday, August 17, 2009


By: Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano

Contemporary Filipino Art is so diverse, so complicated that it is beyond definition and description. Too much outside influence has made our aesthetic taste appreciate an amalgam of philosophies resulting into a melting pot that made us easily embrace the concept of globalization. When artists from different regions meet the gathering becomes an avenue to show what each individual is currently doing. Variety and commonality becomes evident. The current and contemporary will be tackled in the exhibition “Himamat” by artists from Cebu and Manila. The two groups will try to share differences and find similarities in art making with a hope that a meeting of minds will occur. Cebu will be represented by Bambi Beltran, Gary Carabio, Sio Montera, Palmy Tudtud, Javy Villacin, Evan Bejec, Roniel Compra and Ritchie Quijano while the group from Manila will be composed of Aaron Bautista, Joey Cobcobo, Jes Evangelista, Josef Laureano, Amanda Legasto, Derrick Macutay, JCrisanto Martinez, and Marga Rodriguez. Borders will be bridged and the great divide will be crossed. “Himamat” is an introduction to the current state of art of two regions. The exhibition opens on August 19, 2009 and will last until September 1, 2009 at the Art Center of SM City Cebu. This event is brought to you by Pusod, the Open Organization of Cebu Visual Artists Inc., SM City Cebu, and Artepinas.

Friday, August 14, 2009


In his recent show "Quarantine" after touring Europe, particularly London, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Belgium, Berlin and Luxembourg for a series of exhibition.

A fresh take on his european experience, Armed with his signature texture stripes, lines & circles, He deviates into jumbled letters & numbers signifying order and chaos with his communication in countries with varying languages (Dutch, German, French), yet unified with his same numbers and letters. Like art, though executed in different cultures yet unified and appreciated in one global language, a universal appreciation of beauty. True to his mastery and fluidity of form.

"Quarantine" show opens on Aug17 to 26, 2009 at Big and Small Gallery, 4th level SM Megamall

Thursday, August 13, 2009



The path of academically trained painter Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera initially led him through a Realist-inspired phase of creating from nature before the artist found his own pictorial language while in graduate school from 2001-2004. The following year he came back to Cebu City armed with a Masters degree in painting and mounted two important and succeeding solo exhibitions on abstract art at the Art Center of SM City Cebu and at the Bluewater Gallery of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort. The two shows were not only well received by critics and collectors but brought to the community a fresh take on serious visual art. The artist together with only a very few Cebuano painters have taken a road less travelled by other artists in exploring the non-objective realm in mainstream art practice. The artist takes inspiration from numerous painters the like of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, Jean Michel Basquiat, Antoni Tapies from the west and Nestor Vinluan, Lao Lianben, and Jose Joya from the Philippines. The artistic style of these painters thrills the artist and leads him to undertake his own experiments with materials, tools, and effects.

Sio Montera began to mix industrial materials with the conventional artist’s paints where he was successful in integrating his diverse resources into a convincing overall composition. His canvasses are condensed into massive, encrusted color-filled paintings of either gestural lines or scratched surfaces. The lines created in his gestural works often resemble coagulated ink blots that glide from one corner to the other with total abandon and freedom. The scratched/scraped picture plane is the most recent reinvention of the artist’s style and the indentations on the surface of the paintings function like individual graffiti, the artist set of personal coded references inscribed on the work’s ground like hardened symbols or signs.

In this latest exhibition, the artist metaphorically combines artistic production with immediate experiences of his human existence. Each of the works creates an overall effect that is based from the language of the artist’s soul and is considered by him as emblems and symbolic indications of his presence in this short life. These new installment of Sio Montera’s work has also taken distance from the linear logic of adults to arrive at the impulsive logic of children. The created visual field reassures flatness that is both direct and embracing typical of the spontaneity inherent in the spur-of-the-moment, scribble drawings. They represent for him an extraordinary mirror for multiplying or shattering imagery to reinvent or exorcize life.


Most of us are familiar with the story of the prodigal son or perhaps of the story of the mustard seed or even the wise and foolish builder. These are some of the stories that Jesus Christ uses to reveal truth about God's kingdom to his disciples. But are the parables that Christ used still relevant to our society today? Twelve artists tackle that question in the upcoming exhibit "The Parables of Christ". Their aim is to find the truth behind each of Christ's parables and reinterpret them for today's generation. Among the artists that are taking part in this exhibits includes Recci Bacolor, Martin Honasan, Dan Labor, Niño Hernandez, Julliane Tarroja, Jehan Manansala, Rodel Buban, Marie Bonifacio, Nestor Calma, Yvette Co, Tanya Escaler and Xander Calceta.

The exhibit will open at 630pm at the My Little Art Place Gallery (222 Wilson St., Greenhills, San Juan) on August 15, 2009. It will last till August 31. For more details, call or write us at 09272114646 / 02-5831053-Xander or xandercalceta@ Or visit our website at: http://www.parabulo.multiply. com


Kulay, Kultura, Kalawili

The Kulay, Kultura, Kalawili (Color, Culture and Harmony) exhibition is the first major exhibition of the Haraya Visual and Media Arts Society in Hong Kong, a group of Hong Kong-based Filipino artists and creative professionals.

The exhibition will be on show at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Main Gallery from 13th to the 30th of August 2009.
There will be a soft opening reception at 4pm on the August 13. The general public opening will be held on Sunday 16 August 2009.

The event is sponsored by the Leisure and Culture Services Committee in collaboration with the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Philippine Consulate Genral Hong Kong, Philippine Arts and Culture Society and the Haraya Visual and Media Arts Society.



An exhibition of my recent artworks, both sculptures and paintings at ARTASIA in SM Megamall Artwalk..Here is a preview of some of the sculptures included in this exhibit...Join us at the opening on August 5, 2009 at 6pm.

Art is my passion, and just as science has duely distinguished a creative side of the human brain, I believe there’s a side to me that knows I can create meaning through this love for it. My 3rd solo exhibition conveys this side of me, and much more underneath the surface of what the world sees. It is entitled “Hemispheres” reffering not merely to the distinction of the logical and creative sides of the mind, but rather to a peculiar set of meanings I often associate with when doing either my sculptures or paintings. I believe in the abstraction of reality, but the fact is, abstractions take on many forms. I have said before that what true beauty is, can only be defined by the ability of interpretation, and thus I conjure my styles to seemingly contradict each other through a structure of the hard and the coruscant versus the bold and the vivid. My hemispheres see eye to eye, even with differences, because I know they manifest the same creativity by the interpretations thrown upon them


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It’s that time of the year again when contemporary art makes its way to the mall!

From Friday, August 7 to Monday August 17, 2009, the works of artists short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards will be exhibited at the Grand Atrium of the Shangri-la Plaza, Shaw Boulevard corner Edsa. Given to artists below the age for 36 who have, through a solo or group exhibition in the past year made a significant contribution to the development and definition of contemporary Philippine art, the Ateneo Art Awards has become a barometer of the Philippine art scene. The awards night is tomorrow, Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 6pm. The exhibit this year features the works of Martha Atienza, Allan Balisi, Ringo Bunoan, Joey Cobcobo, Kiri Dalena, Kidlat de Guia, Christina Dy, Patricia Eustaquio, Jan Leeroy New, Goldie Poblador, Pam Yan Santos and Michelline Syjuco. The exhibit will be at the Ateneo Art Gallery from
August 24 to September 19, 2009.

The Ateneo Art Awards are presented by the Ateneo Art Gallery, UnionBank, Metro Society, Ystyle of the Philippine Star, the New York Art Project Grant made possible by Marcel Crespo, and sponsored by Smart and Lifestyle Network, MTV. Residencies are supported by Art Omi, Artesan Gallery, La Trobe University Museum, and Common Room Networks Foundation.

The short-listed artists are:
Martha Atienza for Man in Suit, 1 - 22 April 2009, Green Papaya Art Projects
Allan Balisi for Spacing Out, 8 - 29 September 2008, Blanc Compound
Ringo Bunoan for Archiving Roberto Chabet, 3 March - 4 April 2009, Vargas Museum

Joey Cobcobo for 8 Printmakers, 8 - 30 September 2008, Avellana Art Gallery
Kiri Dalena for Keeping the Faith, 13 November 2008 - 4 April 2009, Lopez Memorial Museum
Kidlat De Guia for Sleeping White Elephants, 7 - 30 June 2008,Galleria Duemila
Christina Dy for Soaplands, 25 July - 30 August 2008, CCP
Patricia Eustaquio for Death to the Major Viva Minor, 16 October -22 November 2008, Slab
Jan Leeroy New
for Terratoma II (War of the Worlds) in Singapore Biennale 2008, 11 September – 16 November 2008, Singapore City Hall
Goldie Poblador for The Perfume Bar: Collected Memories and Ephemeral Representations in Thesis Exhibition, 24 March - April 2009, Corredor Gallery, UP Diliiman
Pam Yan Santos for Like, 3 - 24 November 2008, Blanc Compound
Michelline Syjuco for Armadillon, 8 August - 8 October 2008, Mag:net Gallery

For more information, please contact Ian Carlo Jaucian at 4260088/09178878956 or email

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.”
(William Shakespeare from King Richard II)

“The longer I live as an artist, the more paintings I paint and the more drawings I draw, the wiser I become in understanding the whys and the wherefroms of my creations. Because that is what they are, the creations: idiosyncratic daubs and scratches bursting out of an engorged brain, the effluence of a thick soup composed of memory, observation and emotion. The artist-creator’s hand is merely the conduit out of which flows the river of her life’s passions and affections, hates and afflictions, joys and heartbreaks.” Phyllis description of her coming exhibit at Ricco Renzo Galleries.

Each exhibit carries fragments of these emotions in the paintings which are shown. The artist leave it to the viewer to parse the language and decipher the icons. But that is hardly a chore since the pictures have become so increasingly descriptive as Phyllis age that inevitably the delicious mystery and cool reticence of abstraction are now things of the past.

The title is “Spirit of Place”. It is a simple title, plain and unaffected. The places the artist paint are locations which are laden with meaning for her; landscapes which are unforgettable for their natural beauty and houses whose timbers are so impregnated by the spirit of their inhabitants as to have acquired like personalities. They bear silent witness to the very existence of a Filipino people.

Before long , heritage houses and bucolic landscapes will be history, “gone too soon”, fallen prey to greedy developers, impoverished owners and government neglect. They will be preserved only in our finite memories, or snapped digitally with cold precision. But also perhaps they will be lovingly caressed by the old-fashioned brush of a sentimental artist. Tragically, some facades in old Manila were demolished even as the was painting them in her studio. It was Art doubling as the obituary of a vanishing era.

Another “Spirit of Place “ hovering over this show comes from Cannes , a resort town by the sea in the South of France. There, in 1957, Pablo Picasso lived in a villa called La Californie. His large studio window overlooked the blue waters of the Mediterranean and on its ledges and balconies he tended up to forty of his pet “Pichones”, both rare and ordinary breeds of pigeons and doves, among which were the two white fluffy Chinese birds given to him by his beloved rival,Henri Matisse ,who lived nearby. For a short period of a few months in September and October he took a break from working on his monumental series, “Las Meninas”, with which he reinterpreted Diego Velasquez’s 1656 portrait of the Spanish royal family. By December of 1957 he had finished 58 of these interactions.

Picasso changed gears and focused on his personal world to ease the tension of revolutionary creation. He turned from doing battle with a masterpiece which had been revered for three centuries,to spontaneously describe the lively domestic scene framed by his window. You can tell that he was having fun. He christened the resulting 20-plus small oils on canvas “Los Pichones”.

“For more years than I can recall, in pilgrimage I have visited nine of these charming paintings in Barcelona’s Picasso Museum. This year I finally dared to dialogue with my idol in a parallel series of nine, employing an evolvingtechnique which painstakingly marries emulsion transfers to acrylic paint, topped by flourishes of gestural drawing. In cheeky homage to the Master, I have called them “Pichones, Pablo y Yo”, says Phyllis. “I can only pray that he does not mind. They were done, after all, with sincere admiration, in a true Spirit of Place.

Phyllis Zaballero exhibits at Ricco Renzo Galleries on 13 August 2009, Thursday 6:00pm. Exhibit runs till September 6, 2009. For information please call Kaye Nuguid at 0927-3244013 or 898-2545 or visit Ricco Renzo is at 2nd Floor LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia Street, Formerly Reposo, Bel Air II, Makati City.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Julius Clar
Some Of The Things You Don't Already Have
August 12 - August 29
20 Square, Slab

SLab proudly presents the Some Of The Things You Don’t Already Have by Julius Clar, the second installation of his previous show of shadow box assemblages at 20 Square, SLab. Clar methodically puts together curious pieces collected from thrift shops, flea markets and found objects assembled in shadow boxes made of balsa wood and some in narra. “I found things on the way to the office, on the way to the grocery store, I found discarded leaflets and I found my old postcards lying somewhere in my stockroom. But I am an active finder. I don’t wait for the object to find me, I find them.” Says Clar.

Clar’s pieces evoke a sense of nostalgia, of things once owned and prized. “I want them to assemble in their minds their own esoteric pleasurable experience. My art will try to do that, I hope. I try to present things that they don’t already have in the present time but had them somewhere in their past.”

Some Of The Things You Don’t Already Have by Julius Clar opens at 6 pm in 20 Square, SLab, on August 12 and runs until the August 29, 2009. It opens simultaneously with Satellite: Eye In The Sky by Gus Albor at SLab.

Some Of The Things You Don’t Already Have will be shown alongside Satellite: Eye In The Sky by Gus Albor at SLab and Kaleidoscope by Ina Ayala, Mintio and MM Yu at Silverlens Gallery.

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, 816-0044, 0905-2650873, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am–7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm.


Gus Albor
Satellite: Eye In The Sky
August 12 - September 12
SLab, Silverlens Gallery

SLab proudly presents Satellite: Eye In The Sky by Gus Albor. The show is inspired by the omniscience of the satellite, its relentless scrutinizing and participation in our lives. “Are things of magnitude really being monitored by certain individuals through this devise round-the-clock?” Asks Albor. He introduces geometric forms, metal, computers and laser lights, conveying the austere technological aspect of the satellite, against intimate earth tones that link it back to the human.

Albor, a seasoned abstract expressionist, first emerged from the 70’s art scene with his now signature abstract and minimalist approach. He sustains this contemplative nature in his show, signifying our collective and constant meditation on the simplicity and complexity of life, in comparison to the ceaseless watchfulness of the satellite. This visual dialogue is resounded in the make and imagery of the paintings and sculptures and even more in the restless laser light installation.

Satellite: Eye In The Sky by Gus Albor opens at 6 pm in SLab, Silverlens Gallery on August 12 and runs until the September 12, 2009. It opens simultaneously with Some Of The Things You Don’t Already Have by Julius Clar at 20Square Gallery.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Constructing Deconstruction devotes each panel to an exploration of two contrasting art styles—the traditional and the modern. In this solo exhibition, Jigger Cruz surveys traditional realism works by dismantling elements only to distill these parts into artworks producing his own juxtaposed form of art. The artist’s personal approach on the divergent art forms alters the perception, which in effect invokes entirely different moods that utterly feels raw and genuine.

Opening celebration for Constructing Deconstruction is on Sunday, August 9, 2009, 7 p.m. at Tala Gallery 100 Scout De Guia Street, Quezon City. Exhibit remains open until August 30, 2009 within gallery operating hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays through Fridays.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


You are cordially invited to
Recent paintings by Jose Guillermo Naval

A visual exploration using the game elements of Tic-Tac Toe. The intention is to downgrade these symbols and lines to the level of unmediated impulses of varied interest.

OXO-moron opens on 8 August 2009 and runs until 22 August 2009 at Whitewall Gallery located at 7467 Bagtikan Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.

For inquiries call 710 7439 or log on to whitewallartgallery .com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Messenger of the Gods:
A Duddley Diaz Retrospective
8 August to 30 October 2009
GF, The Lobby and The Edge Galleries

Opening Event on 8 August (Saturday) 2009, 4pm
UP Vargas Museum

The UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum in cooperation with Galleria Duemila invite you to the exhibit entitled, Messenger of the Gods: A Duddley Diaz Retrospective which opens on 8 August 2009, Saturday, 4:00 PM at the Lobby and Edge Galleries (G/F of the UP Vargas Museum).

The exhibition aims to represent significant themes and periods in the development of sculptor Duddley Diaz as an artist and as a Filipino working within an Italian setting. The exhibition will include his early works, to his student days at the UP College of Fine Arts and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. It will also highlight on Duddley’s technical prowess in working with different sculptural mediums--wood, cast bronze, marble, silver, and ox bone.

The exhibit will run until 30 October 2009. The Museum is open on Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 am to 4 pm. For more information, please contact the UPVM at numbers 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), 928-1927 (direct line), 928-1925 (fax), or send an e-mail to The Museum’s official website may be viewed at


Requiescat In Pace

1972 – 2009


2pm – 5pm
Lamay: CCP Front Ramp
Prusisyon: Plaza Roma hanggang NCCA
Libing: NCCA

(P R O G R A M)

Kung saan magtitipon ang mga nagluluksang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining, mga artista, pangkulturang manggagawa at ang mga nakikiramay sa CCP Ramp

Ng nga Kababaihang Nakaitim Na May Lulang Korona ng Bulaklak

Pangungunahan ni Bituin Escalante ang pag-awit ng “Lupang Hinirang”

Pagpapahalaga ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Salvador Bernal sa layunin ng pagtitipon

Pagpapahalaga ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining BenCab tungkol sa birtud ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining

Pag-alay ng bulaklak ng mga dumalong Pambansang Alagad ng Sining habang tumutugtog ang musikerong si Renato Lucas sa cello

Balagtasan ng mga makata ukol sa usaping “Paano Kumatay ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining”

Ihahayag ni Juana Change ang kanyang panig na pinamagatang “National Artist na Ako! - Have Mercy on Us!”

Ipagdadasal ng lahat ang Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining at mananalangin na iadya sa mga budhing masasama.
Pamumunuan ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Virgilio Almario habang sumasagot ang Lahat ng sabay sabay.

Babasahin ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Bienvenido Lumbera ang Panawagan at Paninindigan ng mga Artista, Pangkulturang Manggagawa at ng Nakikiramay na Bayan.

Isasakay ang Korona ng Bulaklak sa auto-punebre at hahanay ang mga sasakyan para sa motorcade patungong Intramuros

Magtitipon ang lahat sa Plaza Roma at magpuprisyon patungo sa Tanggapan ng National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Ililibing ang Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining sa paanan ng Tanggapan, iiwan ang Korona ng Bulaklak at magtitirik ng mga kandila.

Pinapayuhan ang lahat na magsisidalo na:
Magsuot ng panluksa
Magdala ng itim na payong
Magdala ng kandila
Ipaalam kung maaring magsama ng mga kabayan sa sasakyan papuntang Intramuros (car pool)

Ito ay nagsisilbing imbitasyon at maaring ipalaganap sa lahat ng mga nagmamahal sa Sining, Kultura at Katotohanan.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


"a post-traumatic stress disorder"

August 4, 2009
Mag:Net Ayala Ave.
Ground Floor, The Columns
Ayala Ave. cor Gil Puyat Ave., Makati

With performances by the
Exhibit will run until August 31, 2009

Gallery Hours:
Weekdays 10am-7pm
Saturdays 10am-5pm

Monday, August 3, 2009


'Massacre' of National Artist Awards rued
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:19:00 08/01/2009
Filed Under: Awards and Prizes, Lifestyle & Leisure, Arts (general), Culture (general)
Most Read

(Thumbs down)WHILE controversy always follows the proclamation of National Artists, last Wednesday’s announcement that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has included “massacre” movie director and komiks fictionist Carlo Caparas and her own adviser for culture and the arts, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, in the Order of the National Artists has so stirred the hornet’s nest that many artists are proclaiming the death of the awards institution itself.

“Saddened to inform you of the death of the National Artist Awards,” went an SMS message that circulated among artists, writers and culture lovers last Friday.

Some artists and writers, ever on the lookout for irony and paradox, said the awards were “massacred” – in sly allusion to Caparas, who achieved notoriety in the late ’80s and early ’90s for his “massacre” movies, cinematic portrayals of true stories of heinous crimes that featured gratuitous violence.

Others made rhyming fun out of Alvarez, whose one claim to fame is having founded the Philippine Educational Theater Association, or Peta: “Founder ng Peta hindi marunong mag-dyeta, (she doesn’t know how to diet),” perhaps referring to Alvarez’s alleged lobby to be proclaimed National Artist at the risk of conflict of interest. “She should have removed herself from the race and not taken advantage of her Cabinet position,” one writer said.

Artists and culture workers said they feel a sense of betrayal by Alvarez for not advising the President against dropping composer Ramon Santos from the list in favor of Caparas and Alvarez. Santos had been endorsed for the award by the joint board of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, which elect the National Artists after a rigorous screening by the arts and culture sectors. Alvarez herself is executive director of NCCA.

Except for Santos, those elected by the NCCA-CCP were proclaimed by the President: Federico Aguilar Alcuaz for the visual arts, the late Lazaro Francisco for literature and the late Manuel Conde for film.

But artists said that Conde may now be turning in his grave because of Caparas. Conde’s movie, “Genghis Khan,” was the first Filipino feature film to be shown in a major international film festival (in Venice in 1952). His “Juan Tamad” series were political satires that became the pop-culture phenomenon of their time. How could Caparas’ “massacre” movies measure to Conde’s oeuvre – and to those of the other National Artists for film, such as Gerry de Leon and Lino Brocka?

Caparas seems to have put one over the other National Artists because he is National Artist for both film and visual arts. And he’s not even a respected komiks illustrator! Would Alcuaz want to sit beside Caparas during the proclamation ceremonies? Would Bencab want to shake his hands?

Although they were nominated, Caparas and Alvarez did not pass muster during the rigorous selection process. But Malacañang seemed not to care. And Alvarez, who was supposed to uphold the selection process because she is, after all, an NCCA official, seemed to share the Palace’s smugness.

“The issue is not the President’s exercise of her executive powers, nor the qualifications of those concerned, conferred the honors not by their peers,” said Ramon Villegas. “The issue is lack of delicadeza, the brazen misuse of position for selfish gain.”

If Malacañang feels the controversy will blow over, it could be wrong. The CCP will hold a board meeting tomorrow to define its position. And artist-groups are planning protest activities in the run-up to the proclamation ceremonies. Expect the protests to be creative and worthy of a National Artist award.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Nat’l Artist picks Arroyo’s prerogative
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:53:00 08/01/2009
Filed Under: Awards and Prizes, Arts (general), Politics

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Saturday defended President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s choice of seven National Artists—four of whom were added to the three recommended by the selection committee—from criticisms of political accommodation.

Secretary Gabriel Claudio, who is officer in charge of the Executive Secretary’s office in the absence of executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, said the final choices were a “product” of thorough consultation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“We stand by the list, and we say that it was a product of a thorough process, and we stand by the qualifications, qualities, track record and the reputation of those who were named as special artists,” he told state radio dzRB.

Claudio said the track record and qualifications of theater artist Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, filmmakers Manuel Urbano (aka Manuel Conde) and Carlo Magno Jose J. Caparas, painter Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, novelist Lazaro Francisco, architect Francisco Mañosa, and fashion designer Jose Moreno would stand up to scrutiny.

“We can defend their track record and qualifications and the reasons for which they were named National Artists,” he said.

Malacañang announced this year’s batch of National Artists on Wednesday shortly before President Arroyo left for a working visit to the United States.

According to some concerned artists, Conde, Alcuaz and Francisco were shortlisted in May by the selection committee composed of members of the NCCA and the CCP.

They said the other four were named by Ms Arroyo, exercising her presidential prerogative.

Leo Martinez, chair of the Film Academy of the Philippines, said that Guidote-Alvarez, who is the NCCA executive director, and Caparas were not included in the shortlist and were not among those considered during the deliberations of the selection committee.

The awarding was based on politics and not on the nominee’s body of work, Martinez said.

According to National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, the composer Ramon Santos was dropped from the list to accommodate Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Mañosa and Moreno.

TJ Burgonio

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Transit Story
Irma Lacorte
1 - 30 August 2009

Transit Story, Irma Lacorte's 13th solo exhibition of new paintings in acrylic on canvas, will be on view at Galleria Duemila starting August 1 (Saturday) until 30 August 2009.

This series of Lacorte's symbolic and expressionist works are ruminations on the cyclical and transitional: various stages of beings and objects, their contexts within cultures and economies. A continuing series of paintings, the works are images of various transitory states, spanning the stages of creation to consumption, distribution and destruction.

Merging symbolic figuration and abstraction in her free-flowing diagrams and scapes, Lacorte's works tackle the slippery nature of transits: from “raw materials to packaged materials”, from “waste material into art materials”; the transit of “actual objects back and forth across the Third World and the First Worlds, the northern and southern hemispheres”; the transit of “material value in the context of the commercial market and the art market”, as the artist herself writes. Given the array of commercialized and stereotypical images in today's visual culture, Lacorte chooses to paint not what is readily evident as objects within a consumerist economy; preferring instead to denote these figurative contexts through the symbolic and the abstracted.

Lacorte reflects on the complex relationships between objects created within this world, not only in a philosophical way, but in consideration of the socio-economic, contextual, and personal aspects to images. In the process, she creates a complex array of images and processes: entire scapes and ecosystems denoting the very real complexities in the modern world.

Entering the Philippine visual arts scene in 1998, Irma Lacorte has produced 12 solo exhibitions to date and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in between. Her body of art works tackle the parallel trajectories of gender, identity, and memory.

Lacorte serves as the curator for the Luzon leg of the Sungdu-an 2009 project. She has been the recipient of grants from the Freeman Fellowship, the Asian Cultural Council, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and an art residency from the Vermont Studio Center in the United States in 2003. Lacorte is a member of several artist groups, including Kasibulan, Grupo Otso, Lesbianarama, Womyn Supporting Womyn Center, and Anting-Anting (Cavite Art Group).

An art educator, Lacorte has taught at the UP Los Banos Department of Humanities and the De La Salle University Department of Behavioral Science in Dasmarinas. She is currently taking up a Master's degree in Fine Arts (majoring in Studio Arts) at the University of the Philippines (UP).

Lacorte also collaborates with other artists on independent film and video art projects, such as the Video Art project in Madrid, Spain (January 2007) and Balikbayan (September 2004) in New York, the latter of which won the Best Short Film award from the Cinemanila International Film Festival in 2004.

“Transit Story” will have an opening on August 1 at 4:00 PM and will run until 30 August 2009.


Published on August 1, 2009 AT 4:37 PM

By the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP)

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines joins much of the Filipino arts and cultural community in expressing indignation over the unprecedented brazen use by the Arroyo regime of the National Artists awards for its moribund, decadent politics.

We are outraged that Arroyo has transformed the National Artists awards as her own largesse for doling out political favors. More than half of the seven new National Artists awardees were Arroyo’s direct recommendees that were not on the list given by the both the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the sole agencies tasked by law to recommend National Artists awardees.

We particularly detest the designation of Presidential Adviser on Culture Cecille Guidote-Alvarez as National Artist as reeking of the worst kind of patronage politics the Filipino people would have long been far better off without. Alvarez’s designation speaks of the worst conflict of interest possible in this situation, given that she is currently NCCA executive director and heads the secretariat for the National Artists awards! How is it possible that such an award can be seen in any good light, and that the awardee would accept it in all good faith and honesty?

We cannot but see Alvarez’s being named National Artist as Arroyo’s way of returning political favors after Alvarez’s consistent whitewashing of her regime’s corruption and repression. As well, we see this as a spectacular condonation of various reported anomalies at the NCCA committed by Alvarez all these past years.

It gets worse. Malacañang is vainly covering up for its wanton presidential abuse by contending that it just dispatched its “purely ministerial” duties in naming this year’s National Artist awardees. This is a brazen lie that is easily shown by a simple inquiry into the entire process, and by those from both the NCCA and CCP who were affronted by the grave presidential indiscretion after they went through a rigorous selection process!

We find this action by Arroyo as being consistent with her longstanding deceit of the Filipino people, capped recently by her last State of the Nation Address (SONA), the worst farewell SONA in our country’s history. It is consistent with her overall disdain for all public accountability throughout her rule, as she engaged in massive cheating, corruption, brutal and bloody suppression of consistent critics to her criminal reign, puppetry to corrupt foreign interests, wholesale subversion of the constitution she vowed to uphold and protect, and sabotage of fully urgent and legitimate impeachment moves against her all these years.

Arroyo’s virtual subversion of the National Artists awards process highlights as well her regime’s deliberate exacerbation of the longstanding severe crisis in Philippine culture and the arts. Her regime will long be infamous for worsening colonial, feudal, fascist and commercial culture, shown by (1) its unabashed promotion of English as official language of instruction, commerce and government; (2) unprecedented opening up of the economy to foreign cultural goods and services, leading to the virtual decimation of the local cultural economy; (3) annihilation of native and minority cultures brought by unrivaled disruption of the agriculture- based livelihoods of Filipino cultural minorities and native communities; (4) the brazen bastardization and commercialization of Filipino native cultures and customs through promotion of tourism attuned to neoliberal globalization; and (5) its brazen suppression of the constitutionally- guaranteed freedom of expression by censoring numerous films with social commentary that have in fact been recipients of many international and local awards, and its world-class annihilation of journalism and journalists.

CAP will be alongside Filipino cultural workers, professionals and advocates in taking immediate direct actions to justly detest this latest outrageous act of the Arroyo regime. We enjoin all other freedom-loving Filipinos to do likewise. Philippine arts and culture deserve no less.

Sobra Na! Tama Na! Patalsikin si Gloria!

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