Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Videotaping “Bayan Muna”, Gary Granada’s new song of public interest

Note: This photo-essay was featured in a slightly different version in the 20-26 March 2015 issue of FilAm Star, 'the newspaper for Filipinos in mainstream America' published in San Francisco, CA. This author/blogger is the Manila-based Special News/Photo Correspondent of the weekly paper.

The volunteers who heeded the call of singer-composer Gary Granada to sing his 
public interest song “Bayan Muna.” Photo from LAPIS/Karl Ramirez.

On 14 March 2015, Filipino musical artists and composers came together at the University of the Philippines Amphitheater, hemmed between the iconic Oblation and the statue depicting the making of the Philippine flag, and joined their voices for the music video of “Bayan Muna”, a song of public interest composed by popular singer-composer Gary Granada.

Granada calls his new composition “awiting mala-harana sa bayan”, a serenade calling for solidarity in promoting nationalism and genuine change.  It’s a song, he said, “tungkol sa pagkupkop sa bayan, at pagmamahal sa sariling kultura.”

“Kahit ang hangin ay lumamig / At ang damdamin di maantig / Ang kalinga at pag-ibig / Taimtim na pananalig / Sa tuwina sisigasig sa dibdib”  (first part of the song)

L to R: Cookie Chua, Chickoy Pura of The Jerks band, 
Gary Granada, Lolita Carbon & Bayang Barrios.
The League of Authors of Public Interest Songs (LAPIS, an apt acronym that recalls ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’) initiated this musical event.  LAPIS is an “open group of unsigned musicians including Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua and Lolita Carbon of Tres Marias; Chikoy Pura of The Jerks and Gary Granada,” according to their artisteconnect LAPIS webpage.

Their public interest musical agenda can be gleaned from their description of their LAPIS 2015 project, a collaborative Pilipino music album:  “an experiment in mixing social subjects (such as gender justice or the plight of teachers and overseas workers) with crowd friendly musical idioms (rock and roll, reggae, blues, even dance). “

“Ako ay lahing kayumanggi / Ang lagi’t lagging minimithi / Ay bansa na masagana / Mapayapa, maligaya / Na kasama ang kasama kong sinta” (second part)

The polyphony of about 140 voices came from members of student organizations (The UP Repertory Company, STAND-UP, etc.), cultural groups (Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Sining Bugkos, etc.), choirs (People’s Chorale, Sing Philippines Youth Chorale), bands (Talahib Peoples Project, Plagpul, Datu’s Tribe, Tukar Sinati, Plethora, etc.), and music enthusiasts of various professions (academicians, doctors, etc.), young and old,  who heeded the call of Granada for volunteers through the social media and a YouTube post weeks before the event.  A blind quartet responded too, and music artists from the provinces!

Chickoy Pura of The Jerks, the Tres Marias (Cooky, Bayang and Lolita), and Granada were the lead singers in the music video

Top row, l to r: Children volunteers; Doods S. Conejos and his daughter Kaye Anne rehearse with
Ramil Pelle. 
Middle row, l to r: Congressman Neri Colmenares (with the guitar), his son and volunteers
from different chapters of the  Bayanmuna Partylist; and group of Letranites: Cheska Jaramillo (back
to camera), Yvette Soriano, Jin Jin Tiangha, Paul S. Galutera & Raul R. Alvarez. 
Bottom row, l to r: Committed  blind musicians; and Sakuri, in the middle, came all the way from Gen. Santos City

The technical side of the music video production had musician Monet Silvestre, sportscaster Manolo Chino Trinidad, activist singer-composer Karl Ramirez, Loujaye Sonido and the indie video outfit Munting Media, in the pool of 40 volunteers.

 “Bayan muna and dapat pakikinggan/ Bayan muna ang dapat paglingkuran / Bayan muna, di ang dikta ng dayuhan / Bayan muna / di luho ng iilan / Bayan muna (3x).” 

“Coming together you can say are common folks bound together by three things they all deeply value,” Granada told the Inquirer days before the shoot. “First is the welfare of the majority of Filipinos. Second is national sovereignty. And last of course is hitting the note. I am very sure about the first two. The third is the thrilling part.”

Left picture:  Pol Torrente, composer-musician Neil Gatacelo Legaspi, Boogs 
Villareal, Karl Ramirez & Peter Panelo of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines. 
Right picture:  Cabring Cabrera & Cindy Cruz-Cabrera of Datu’s Tribe, 
Rica L. Nepomuceno, Boogs Villareal and Neil Garacelo Legaspi.

They came, they ate together, and  sang and sang again: “Bayan ang lilikha / Bayan ang gagawa / Bayan ang magpapalaya”

Chino Trinidad with the Tres Marias: Cookie Chua, Bayang 
Barrios & Lolita Carbon. Photo from Chino’s Facebook page.
Followers of Granada surely expect to see the “Bayan Muna” uploaded in his webpage for the free download.  This will be another addition to their free downloads of the Cebuano and Tagalog chapel songs, the Lean Alejandro and Jose Rizal full musicals, Basurero ng Luneta (one of his 50th anniversary albums), and MAPA 1 (Mga Awit na Magagamit sa Pagtalakay ng Panlipunang Aralin Para sa Paksang Kasaysayan, Sibika, Literatura at Musika), among others.

The Gary Granada website administrator informs that they will post “Bayan Muna” hopefully before 12 June, Independence Day, “pag ready na”.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP): symbolic icon for the nuclear power option in the Philippines

Note: This photo-essay appeared in the 13-19 March 2015 edition of FilAm Star, 'the newspaper for Filipinos in mainstream America' published in San Francisco, CA. The author/blogger is the Manila-based Special News/Photo Correspondent of the said weekly.

The mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant.
After 26 years, I walked down the Bataan nuclear facility last week. A walk down was a regular routine as a health physicist there until 1988 when I decided to join the risk management department at the National Power Corporation home office in Quezon City.

A fellow ex-nuke worker from Canada was here for a visit, and we both took the chance to renew acquaintance with the BNPP, and nothing could beat walking down the well-preserved spick-and-span reactor, steam generator, and auxiliary buildings.  We tarried for sometime inside the main control room, which has remained as it was many years ago. Deja vu! We felt the excitement of visitors when they cross the double hatchway to get a view of the reactor, among other things, at the reactor pool. This is an experience they would not get in an operating nuclear facility.

Throwback:  it was Philippine Nuclear Power Plant (PNPP) until August 1992 when President Fidel V. Ramos issued Executive Order No. 13 renaming it the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

We recalled getting systems and procedures ready to implement the radiation exposure management program once the fuel assemblies got loaded to the core. Actually, that program went in place as soon as the nuclear fuel arrived in 1984 at the international airport, transported by land, and deposited at the plant in Napot Point, Morong town in Bataan province.  

Scale model of BNPP.
Radiation monitoring continued even if the plant did not operate until the unused nuclear fuel was sold to Siemens and shipped out on 15 December 1997. After that date, the facility was nuclear in name only; it became a non-nuclear facility.

BNPP, located at the tip of a 389-hectare government reservation at Napot Point, was a 620MW Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant built by Westinghouse.   It was designed to withstand a postulated earthquake of intensity 8 in the Richter Scale (or ground acceleration value of 0.4G).  Since it is 18 meters above sea level ground elevation, the site is well-protected against tidal waves and tsunamis. 

Construction started in March 1976. It was almost complete in 1984 and all the equipment and systems had passed the hot functional tests.  Core loading was eagerly anticipated. But EDSA 1 changed all that. In November 1986, the Cory administration decided to mothball the plant and designated NPC as caretaker.

Through the years, there had been discourses on the “the conversion of BNPP into alternative utilization” both for energy and non-energy purposes.

 In May 1993, for example, President Ramos directed the secretary of energy “to consider only non-nuclear options for the operation of the BNPP” considering the results of a study on the “repair, upgrade and operation of BNPP as a nuclear power plant as proposed by Westinghouse.”  He reiterated this position in 1997 when other conversion proposals were studied.

In 2008, upon the request of the Philippine government, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deployed a team of experts “to counsel ... on the practicalities of revitalizing the plant.” Akira Omoto, Director of the IAEA´s Division of Nuclear Power and leader of that mission, explained that the Philippine “has to assess what the new licensing requirements should be, how to modernize the two-decades old technology to current standards, and how to confirm that all aspects of the plant will function properly and safely. It is not the IAEA´s role to state whether the plant is usable or not, or how much it will cost to rehabilitate."
The hatchway door to the nuclear reactor (left); a view of moderating rods at the nuclear pool (right).

The other issue is if there is a discussion on the nuclear option in the power development program in the country.  Apparently, there is.  Mauro L. Marcelo, Jr., NPC’s asset preservation manager, informed that a multi-agency nuclear energy group headed by the secretary of energy has been created to study the nuclear option but so far this has not issued any official pronouncements.   Marcelo, who was also with BNPP before, thinks that nuclear power may come around 2030 just like in our ASEAN neighbors: Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

In 2008, BNPP was opened to the public as part of the government’s information, education and communication program on nuclear power.  It is almost a tourist site except that the visitors are largely students who come by the busloads for an educational tour of the facility.

Marcelo said that former Congressman Mark Cojuangco, a strong advocate of nuclear power, brings students and other groups to the site and he himself conducts the thorough briefings on the BNPP story vis-a-vis the nuclear option.
The preserved control room (left); the turbine, which is turned regularly (right).

This reminds that the Nuclear Power Steering Committee (NPSC), in its final report to President Fidel Ramos in 1998, emphasized the prominence of public education and information in building the climate of public acceptance of the nuclear option. The committee, composed of Cabinet secretaries and the head of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), was created to “provide policies, direction, monitoring, evaluation, and other functions necessary ...  to attain “the objectives of the overall Nuclear Power Program of the country.”

Aside from public information and information, recommendations of the NPSC came from various studies like nuclear manpower development and siting, among others.  These remain relevant until today. New studies will takeoff from these.

Regarding nuclear manpower, the NPSC reported, “Assuming that the first nuclear plant will come on line in 2021 with a lead time of 15 years for the planning, pre-construction and construction phases (meaning, the project will start in 2006), there is a need for slow but calculated build-up of the manpower base using young engineers and technologists.”  This means that a timetable for manpower training has to be mapped in any proposed nuclear power program.

From the siting study, ten candidate sites of a new nuclear power plant were submitted to President Ramos  in January 1996: five in Luzon, three in the Visayas and two in Mindanao. There was a preliminary assessment of candidate sites in Cagayan, Negros and Palawan.  The presentation did not immediately evoke the expected outroar. The delayed reaction came later through resolutions espousing nuclear-free sentiments from concerned groups in Central Visayas, Negros Oriental and Palawan.

Siting parameters considered were safety and non-safety aspects.  Geology, population,  meteorogical, climatological and environmental aspects were safety considerations. Some non-safety aspects studied were socio-cultural, military and security, economics of transmission, site development and transportation access, and political factors. Others that were studied included average population density, water supply, land use, siltation/erosion, and security against volcanic events.

The cove west of BNPP has been converted into a resort facility aptly called West Nuk Beach.
 For sure, the future Philippine Nuclear Power Plant will be giant issue to hurdle considering the long campaign for public acceptance especially by the population in the host town or province.  Eventually, the siting consideration boils down to nuclear security, safety and safeguards.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bernardo Bernardo returns to the entablado Filipino

Note: This photo-essay appeared in a slightly different version in the 06-12 March 2015 issue of FilAm Star, 'the newspaper for Filipinos in mainstream America,' published in San Francisco, CA.  The author/blogger is the Manila-based Special News/Photo Correspondent of the weekly paper.

We first sighted him in Manila during the first anniversary of the Million People March to Stop Pork Barrel: the Stand Up, Sign Up at the Rizal Park on 25 August 2014. He was on stage for some time as one of the emcees during the program held there.  We followed his expressions of support for this advocacy in the social media, but we did not know he would come home in time for this mass action.

It looks like Bernardo Bernardo is back for good after 12 years in the United States as an “artist of extraordinary talents.” He arrived in San Francisco in 2002, settled in Los Angeles in 2009, and in between those years, according to his online biographies, he plied his artistic ‘trades’ in the East Coast, West Coast and the Midwest as host, singer, stand-up comedian and stage actor.

As stage actor, he was in the musical “The Long Season” as a Pinoy cannery foreman in Alaska, and in “Voyage,” a play based on the lives of four generations of Pinoy immigrants in Alaska. He was most involved in the play “The Romance of Magno Rubio” by Lonnie Carter based on a short story of Carlos Bulosan.  We saw him play the role of Prudencio, one of the five Pinoy laborers in “Magno Rubio”, when it was mounted in New York in 2007. We learned he translated this play to Filipino, and directed its staging in Los Angeles for which he won the L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Direction 2012. 

During his American sojourn, he received several awards, the latest being the LAFACE 2012 Filipino-American Heritage Achievement Award for Entertainment, along with Certificates of Recognition from the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles for "outstanding contributions to the Filipino-American community through Music and Entertainment."

Now back in the country’s entablado, he is the president and artistic director of Studio Connections International, a new player in the Philippine scene, whose vision is “to help form alliances among performing arts companies in order to raise professional and artistic benchmarks in educational Philippine Theatre.”   From its company profile, we gather that the company aims to “Create [a larger audience for Filipino theater using the national language], Educate [through training programs in acting, directing, playwriting and production management], and Connect [with other production outfits with a similar sense of responsibility to our art and responsive mindset to the challenges of our evolving contemporary society]”.

Its first venture is a partnership with the De La Salle College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts (SDA) in presenting Philippine Educational Theater Association’s Haring Lear, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, directed by Nonon Padilla.

Bernardo turned 70 early this year.  It may be the ripe age to perform Haring Lear, the aged ruler (“the foolish king,” says director Padilla) who decided to give up his power and divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia.   He did not like his favorite daughter Cordelia’s simple declaration of affection for him though, so he disowns her and gives her away to the King of France. Thus, two older sisters ended up equally splitting the kingdom between them.

This Filipino King Lear is set in a futuristic world. The actors are all male, which was how Shakespeare’s plays were staged during his time, with the female roles played by men. Everyone is bald in this case.  The actors are all from the PETA Kalinangan Ensemble: Gary Lim (Gloster), Buddy Caramat (Goneril), George de Jesus (Regan), Abner Delina Jr (Cordelia, Lakayo), Nico Dans (Edgardo), Rhenwyn Gabalonzo (Edmundo), Lambert de Jesus (Kent), Roy Calilong (Oswaldo), Renan Bustamante( Duke ng Albanya), Jeff Hernandez (Duke ng Cornualles, Ikalawang Kapitan), Jason Barcial (Duke ng Burgonia, Utusan, Sundalo), Jess Evardone (Tagapaglingkod,Matandang Lalaki, Duktor ni Cordelia, Eraldo) and McDonnel Bolanos (Hari ng Francia, Maginoo, Utusan, Sundalo, Kapitan).

The costumes appear to be Japanese kimono inspired. This reminds that the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa also adapted King Lear for his award-winning movie, Ran, where the emperor divided his kingdom among three sons, not daughters. 

Bernardo’s costume change to modern comfort clothes tells us that Lear is timeless. This is when he realizes the deceit of his two daughters, and when begins to slip into insanity. His tale happens today. Snatches of it sometimes jar the familiar run of news programs, or serve as motif of a TV series or a Filipino movie.

The power struggle after the division of the kingdom is a web of hatred, intrigue and betrayal involving two families: the king’s and that of Gloster (Gloucester) with his two sons Edmundo and Edgardo. The mad Haring Lear briefly regains his sanity when he reconciles with his daughter Cordelia where a glimmer of love flickers. Everyone dies though except Edgardo who will become the ruler of Britain.

Bernardo Bernardo held us captive throughout the play especially when he was raging in the storm, and during the final dying moments with Cordelia.  He had an excellent support from the ensemble of PETA actors.

He is back. Those who grew up watching the long-running sitcom “Home Along the Riles” would certainly remember his Steve Carpio character who gave Dolphy contravida moments in every episode.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

SiningSaysay: time travel into Philippine history through art

Note: This photo-essay appeared in a slightly different version in the 27 Feb -05 Mar 2015 issue of the FilAm Star, 'the newspaper for Filipinos in mainstream America' published in San Francisco,CA. The author/blogger is the Manila-based Special News/Photo Correspondent of the said paper.

"Martial Law in the Philippines" by Adi Baen-Santos

It’s the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution. According to reports, the EDSA People Power Commission decided to keep the celebration very simple this year in preparation for an ‘all-out’ 30th commemoration next year.

President Benigno Aquino III and his family though are expected to attend the mass at the People Power Monument along EDSA today (25 February), which Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle celebrates.  Last year, Aquino skipped EDSA and went to Cebu for the commemorative program.

Macario Sakay from Norman Dreo's mural. 

Yesterday, former President Fidel V. Ramos led the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani to honor past heroes including the military personnel who joined the EDSA revolution.  Cory Aquino, the president’s mother, Ramos and Senator Juan Enrile were among the key figures of that historic peaceful revolution.

 The opening to the public on 19 February of the SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art was very appropriate for the low-key People Power anniversary celebration. This is a collaborative art and history project of the University of the Philippines, the UP Alumni Association and the Araneta Center, Inc.

“SiningSaysay combines Sining (art) and Kasaysayan (history),” explained Prof. Grace Javier-Alfonso, in the “grand manner” painting or history art tradition of the UP College of Fine Arts.

The exhibit comprises 30 murals created by top Filipino artists from UP, each canvas measuring 6 feet x 12 feet. These are visual images of historical events and personalities from the pre-Hispanic times to the present.  The collection is mounted at the Gateway Gallery at the 5th floor of the Gateway Tower Mall in Cubao, Quezon City. 
SiningSaysay will be on view for the next two years with the aim of “engag[ing] the public [and the artists] in a continuous discourse in Philippine history” in order “to build a sense of nationhood and contribute to the people’s pride.”

To those who joined the EDSA People Power Revolution in February 1986, Angel Cacnio’s “Filipinos Unite to End Martial Law” mural evokes the promise of change for the better with the restoration of democracy. Whether that came about is a continuing subject of public discourse.

"Filipinos Unite to End Martial Law" by Angel Cacnio

The canvas of Adi Baen-Santos on “Martial Law in the Philippines” would recall to the First Quarter Storm generation one of the nation’s darkest moments: when Ferdinand Marcos placed the country under Martial Law on 21 September 1972. The mural depicts what Marcos deemed threats to the nation: communism, the Muslim secessionist movement, restive labor sector, student activism, and the oligarchs. The political dynamics of the time are represented by the images of Ninoy Aquino, Jose Maria Sison, Nur Misuari, and Imelda Marcos fluttering with ‘the true, the good and the beautiful’ blue ribbon.

"Restoration of Democracy Continues" by Grandier Bella

Cacnio and Baen-Santos are in the last four of the 30 murals. The next two are recent historical memories:  Michael Velasco’s “Ramos/Estrada Administration” and Grandier Bella’s “Restoration of Democracy Continues”.

Velasco portrays the watch of presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, the central image has them riding a jeepney with the iconic symbol of the centennial of the declaration of Philippine Independence on 12 June 1898.

This canvas invites public discourse esp. with regard to the pending Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The Ramos administration negotiated with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and appointed Nur Misuari chairman of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. Estrada recently opined about an ‘all-out war’ following the Mamapasano event that resulted in the death of 44 SAF troopers.

Bella has former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and President Aquino occupying the left and right sides, respectively, of the canvas. There is no telling though of the rift between the two with the pursuit of Aquino’s “matuwid na daan” promise to do away with graft and corruption in government. In the whole, it’s a cheerful canvas which is shared by Manny Pacquiao, Efren Penaranda and a beauty queen. There’s a reminder though that Senator Trillanes once led a military uprising during the Arroyo watch.

Depending on one’s leisure, the viewer can browse through the texts after viewing each canvas for full appreciation of the visual images.

Petroglyphs detail from Junyee's "Pre-historic Philippines" canvas
We. started with two canvases on “Pre-historic Philippines”.  Junyee tells us that there’s an evidence of   a writing system, the petrogylphs found in the Angono caves, still undeciphered today, consisting of line and geometric incisions, and drawings of human figures.   Benjie Cabangis shows us the spiritual beliefs of pre-historic peoples, and the representation of the representation of their anitos.

The next two are about “Peopling the Philippines” (Simkin de Pio and Gig de Pio). One learns that the Filipinos belong to the Austronesian Race.  We’ve always thought we are of the Malay race.

“Pre-Hispanic Philippines” ( Randy Solon) shows the various ethno-linguistic groups that peopled the archipelago which had their own socio-political, economic and cultural institutions: the Ilongots, Gaddangs, Igorots in the North and the Manobos, Bilaan, Bagobo, Tiboli, Yakan, Palawanon and the Tausug in the South.  The canvas is embellished with colorful images of pre-Hispanic Filipinos from the Boxer Codex.

National Artist Abdulmari Asia Imao painted “Muslims in the Philippines” which shows how they faced Christianity (represented by the images of retablo altars) during the Spanish and American regimes.
"Chinese in the Philippines" by Janice Young

Janice Young’s “Chinese in the Philippines” is peopled by many prominent Filipinos with Chinese blood: Jose Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo, Sergio Osmena, Pedro Paterno, Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, Cardinal Sin and Cory Aquino.  The old generation is depicted by gray images of coolies and workers, which reminds that sometime in the 1600s, there was a great debate even among the religious whether the Chinese should be expelled from the country or not. Today’s young Tsinoys are represented in the canvas as well.

"Women Empowerment in the Philippines" by Grace Alfonso

Another interesting people canvas is Grace Alfonso’s “Women Empowerment in the Philippines.” She depicts the Filipina’s active role in society from pre-Hispanic times to the present, from the babaylan to the contemporary women who continue to fight for women’s rights. In between are the likes of Gabriela Silang, Tandang Sora, the suffragettes, and the women activists of the Martial Law years.

"History of Labor in the Philippines" by Neil Doloricon

Neil Doloricon shows us the “History of Labor in the Philippines” through the faces of Isabelo de los Reyes who established the first labor union in 1901, and other labor leaders like Jacinto Manahan, Pedro Abad Santos and Crisanto Evangelista atop the dynamic portrayals of laborers at work or on the march.

The History Art tour took us to “The West Discovers the Philippines” (Bim Bacaltos and Ding Hidalgo) which narrate the expedition of Magellan, the battle of Mactan and his death at the hands of Lapu-Lapu.

Detail from Salvosa's "Galleon Trade" mural. 
Jonah Salvosa’s “Galleon Trade” is a colorful narrative of the galleons plying between Manila and Mexico. Details also show the building of the Walled City (Intramuros) and the coming of the various religious orders that would figure prominently in the establishment of pueblos and churches all over the country.

We went through the colonial periods the nation’s proud and brave history:  the Spanish colonial period, how we responded to it via the early revolts, the reform movement, and eventually, the Philippine Revolution (murals by Vincent de Pio, Aileen Lanuza and Romy Mananquil); and the Filipino experiences during American colonial regime, how we re-asserted our independence, how we felt betrayed (Don Artificio, Norman Dreo and National Artist BenCab).

The Commonwealth Period is represented by canvases from Cris Cruz (“The Philippines under the Stars and Stripes”) and Romy Carlos and Norman Dreo (“Quezon/Osmena Administration”).  One sees here the transfer of the University of the Philippines to Diliman from its Manila campus, and the creation of Quezon City.

The peaceful narrative is interrupted by “Occupied Philippines” by Julius Samson showing the atrocities of war at the bottom part and the return of MacArthur as focal point.

The post-WW2 era is depicted by canvases showing the governance of Manuel Roxas (“Building from the Ashes” by Norly Meimban), of Elpidio Quirino (“Quirino Presidency” by Romy Carlos and Michael Velasco), of Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal  (“Post-War Philippines” by Ben Infante). These canvases highlight major events or achievements during their presidencies.

"Muslims in the Philippines" by Nationalist Artist Abdulmari Asia Imao

Our SiningSaysay tour was capped with light moments on two canvases: “Philippine Festivals” by Romy Carlos to remind us of fiesta times in our hometowns or popular tourist sites; and “Philippine Icons and Symbols” by Denes Dasco to recall for us our badges or icons of identity like JP Rizal, Andy Bonifacio, mango, bahay kubo, and the Philippine Eagle.

That was one enjoyable educational artistic tour of our history!