Post 456

Darnay Demetillo’s relief Atang features the iconic Oblation pose and the Cordilleran symbols, namely, the likeness of a rice deity bulul and the g-string garment. Behind the main figure is a traditional hut or balé. Atang means a ritual of offering to the spirits, the same meaning of oblation. This work adorns the administration building of the University of the Philippines – Baguio.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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Post 449

Raja Sulayman, one of the local chieftains who resisted the Spanish conquest of Manila in the 16th century, is commemorated with a monument in a plaza facing the Manila Bay. Sculptor Eduardo Castrillo envisioned an indignant figure wielding a kris and a shield (not in photo). The monument was installed in 1976.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 426

Andres Bonifacio, without doubt, was a hero of the masses, one who had come to understand his people not with an elitist perspective of a colonially educated leader or cacique. While he championed freedom through an armed struggle, he fell not to colonial hands but to politics and betrayal of his own men he considered brothers.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 425

Buildings, like this one, used to be grand structures of a business district in old-time Manila. Now they are dilapidated and neglected, almost condemned. The ground area is teeming with roadside vendors; above, hints of artistry remain as silent witnesses of the change of the times. The figure is probably Hermes (Mercury) holding a caduceus but curiously not on his left arm.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 422

This detail from sculptor Eduardo Castrillo’s Katuparan ng Pangarap ng Lahi (literally “Attainment of the aspiration of the people”) shows the child – the offspring – as an equally important figure in society. The young are protected and nurtured; they are the recipient of the fruits of all the hard work of the present.

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 292a

The Philippines celebrates every 30 December the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, considered to have inspired the revolution of other nationalists. Rizal is a man of capabilities, including being a sculptor. Here is the terracotta figure La venganza de la madre (The Mother’s Revenge, 1894) which he made while in exile in Dapitan town.

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Photo by I.R. Arenas