Post 391

A museum-goer stares at variations of the iconic “Garapata”, a graffiti character created by artist Dex Fernandez.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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Post 385

Ferdinand Cacnio’s Uplift (2017) is a figure of a maiden suspended in the air, supported only through her voluminous hair. Some say the figure resembles the sculpture Oblation – closed eyes, serene countenance, outstretched arms, and bare – thus calling it the “female Oblation”.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 379

Nearly a year ago, Dulaang UP staged the premiere of Angry Christ premiered at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre in UP Diliman. It was an exploration of how Alfonso Ossorio, a Filipino painter of cosmopolitan background, conceived arguably his most ambitious mural in a chapel located in a sugarcane hacienda owned by his family. Playwright Floy Quintos delved into the mind of the artist, speculating much about his identity, homosexuality, and artistry. Actor Nel Gomez starred as Ossorio.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 362

Young and old: these boys peruse the works of Jose Maceda, National Artist for Music, that involve a wide-ranging research on Philippine and Southeast Asian ethnomusicology. Indigenous instruments become prominent in mainstream music because of Maceda, who is celebrated this year for his 100th birth anniversary.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 351a

One of the best plays I’ve seen this year (half of it) is Floy Quintos’s Angry Christ (directed by Dexter Santos). It is about the American painter, rather of Filipino descent, Alfonso Ossorio’s period of artistic metamorphosis while doing a mural in their family’s chapel in Negros island. The play’s book is rich in real and imaginative details of the struggles for identity and expression (both artistic and gender).

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 331a

This is a scene from Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, staged by Tanghalang Pilipino. Here, Orpheus (Marco Viaña) returns to the underworld, clueless of the second death of his wife Eurydice (Lhorvie Nuevo). As memories are impermissible in the underworld, they can no longer recognise their bond in the living world nor feel the warmth of their short-lived love.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 328a

The Philippines – long inhabited by the Austronesian people and had interacted with its Asian neighbours for thousands of years – got its name from a foreign royalty, Felipe II of Spain. Ever since its colonisation, its culturally scattered people have tried to determine their collective identity which is now muddled with the prevailing globalised culture.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 322a

Roxane (KL Dizon) and Christian (Edward Benosa) meet at a war encampment, while Cyrano (Boo Gabunada), who secretly loves Roxane, looks from afar. Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is translated and adapted into Filipino as the musical Mula sa Buwan. Unrequited love seems a universal motif in stories that proves to quell the pangs of heartbreak, as one learns that others endure the feeling, too.

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Photo by I.R. Arenas