The Philippine Star

CEL­E­BRAT­ING THE LIFE AND WORK OF GUILLERMO TO­LENTINO AT SM CITY BALIWAG

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His mas­ter­piece mon­u­ments like the Boni­fa­cio Mon­u­ment and the UP Obla­tion are not only great sculp­tures, but iconic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the Filipino soul. A work of his sym­bol­iz­ing peace sits on the fire­place man­tle of the bed­room of a US Pres­i­dent’s House in Wash­ing­ton, DC. As an in­struc­tor, and later di­rec­tor and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus at the UP School of Fine Arts, he in­spired and trained gen­er­a­tions of Filipino artists.

The re­cent stop of My City, My SM, My Art at SM City Baliwag paid tribute to Na­tional Artist Guillermo To­lentino, show­cas­ing his life and works in an ex­hibit at the mall’s atrium. The event also gave mall­go­ers a glimpse of the vi­brant arts scene in Bu­la­can.

Bu­la­can’s artis­tic tra­di­tion has its roots in Span­ish colo­nial times, and the rise of the ilustra­dos or the en­light­ened and ed­u­cated ones in the 19th cen­tury. This came about with the open­ing of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the de­vel­op­ment of the agri­cul­tural ex­port econ­omy, through which na­tive Filipinos ac­quired eco­nomic wealth and be­came known as ilustra­dos.

Ilustra­dos sent their chil­dren to uni­ver­si­ties in Europe like the fam­i­lies of Bu­lakeños Marcelo H. del Pi­lar and Mar­i­ano Ponce. With that, Euro­pean-based ilustra­dos like Juan Luna and Felix Res­ur­rec­ción Hi­dalgo be­came world-class artists, while oth­ers be­came pa­trons of the arts.

The open­ing of the Suez Canal also made paints avail­able in the Philip­pines, lead­ing to the pop­u­lar­ity of the art of por­trai­ture. Other pop­u­lar sub­jects dur­ing that time in­cluded land­scapes or paisajes and bode­gones or still life.

While the ilustrado pe­riod has long come to an end, the spirit of the times lives on in Bu­lakeños who con­tinue to value ed­u­ca­tion, as well as in­tel­lec­tual and artis­tic pur­suits.

A joint project of SM, the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Manila, Shell Philip­pines, the Philip­pine STAR, with sup­port from the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Cul­ture and the Arts and Cen­ter­stage Pro­duc­tions, My City, My SM, My Art is a cel­e­bra­tion of Philip­pine visual arts – paint­ing, sculp­ture, print­mak­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy and film­mak­ing.

The cam­paign brings art and peo­ple to­gether by show­cas­ing the works of masters, modernists and mil­len­ni­als in a road show around the SM Su­permalls. Ad­vo­cat­ing art for all, the team works with com­mu­ni­ties to mount ex­hibits, work­shops, and con­tests in key cities around the Philip­pines.

Daisy To­lentino-Men­dez, daugh­ter of Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture Guillermo To­lentino, as well as Baliwag Mayor Ferdie Estrella at­tended the event. Also, seen talk­ing art were Baliwag of­fi­cials such as Vice Mayor Christo­pher Cle­mente, mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tor En­rique Ta­gle, Coun­cilors Gen­eroso Ligon, Madette Quimpo, and Joel Pas­cual, as well as Bu­la­can Pro­vin­cial His­tory, Arts Cul­ture and Tourism head Gracey Vil­la­corta and cul­tural ad­vo­cate Bong En­riquez.

Project part­ners Jayson Vicedo of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Manila and Grace Lau­rel and Dod­die Gu­tier­rez of the Philip­pine STAR also at­tended the event. They were wel­comed by SM of­fi­cials led by SM se­nior vice pres­i­dent for mar­ket­ing Mil­lie Di­zon and SM Su­permalls re­gional op­er­a­tions man­ager for north 5 Ana Datu.

Guests en­joyed the pro­gram, which in­cluded an AVP hosted by Bong En­riquez fea­tur­ing the amaz­ing works of Bu­lakeño artists. Th­ese works were ex­hib­ited in and around the My Art Gallery, which was in­spired by the ba­hay na bato of Lu­zon. Th­ese in­cluded the works of Fil Delacruz, Na­tional Artist nom­i­nee, visual artist, and mas­ter print­maker who spe­cial­izes in mez­zotint prints. This is a print­mak­ing process that is achieved by pro­duc­ing half tones with­out the use of line or dot-based tech­niques such as hatch­ing, stip­pling and pointil­lism.

His works, like the “Di­wata” se­ries are known to be rich in eth­nic im­ageries and in­dige­nous sym­bols. Born in Hagonoy, Bu­la­can, he was trained at the Univer­sity of Santo To­mas, the cra­dle of mod­ernism in the Philip­pines, as well as in New York and Paris. A former pres­i­dent of the Philip­pine As­so­ci­a­tion of Print­mak­ers, his works have been ex­hib­ited in Europe, the US, Asia and in the Philip­pines.

My City, My SM, My Art also fea­tured the works of visual artist Danny Pan­gan, the “ex­po­nent of tri-di­men­sional paint­ing,” de­pict­ing his­tory and nos­tal­gia in this in­no­va­tive art form; as well as Malo­los-born Sal­vador “Buddy” J. Ching, whose im­ages are a home in tra­di­tion and moder­nity, in the con­stancy of ge­og­ra­phy and in the flux of his­tory.

The works of young Bu­lakeño artists were also show­cased dur­ing the event. Th­ese in­cluded those of Jayson Cortez, who ap­proaches mo­tifs in a hy­per-re­al­ist man­ner; Froilan Calayag, the “Prince of Dark Fairy Tales,” who is known for his sur­re­al­ist cartoon-like fig­ures and crea­tures; and young cou­ple Kiko and Ynah Marquez who are pas­sion­ate about love, life and art.

The high­light of the event was a tribute to Na­tional Artist Guillermo To­lentino, who was born in Malo­los, Bu­la­can on July 24, 1890. Be­fore his for­mal school­ing, he used to mold horses and dogs in clay, out of the ma­te­ri­als from the banks of the fish­ponds in the town.

To­lentino’s love for art brought him to Manila where he at­tended the School of Fine Arts at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines un­der Vi­cente Rivera for paint­ing and later for sculp­ture un­der Vi­cente Fran­cisco. In 1915, he grad­u­ated in Paint­ing and Sculp­tures in the School of Fine Arts with prizes in all sub­jects taken.

This would later take him to Amer­ica in 1919, where, in­spired by Pres­i­dent Woodrow Wil­son’s work for peace, he cre­ated a statue sym­bol­iz­ing “peace” hop­ing he would be able to present it to the Pres­i­dent. He did, and to­day the statue show­ing a young woman lead­ing a small child per­son­i­fy­ing the US and the Philip­pines, with the in­scrip­tion PAX on its pedestal, sits on the fire­place man­tle in Wil­son’s bed­room in the Woodrow Wil­son House in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

This can be con­sid­ered a turn­ing point in his ca­reer, as mil­lion­aire Bernard Baruch saw the statue and of­fered him a schol­ar­ship at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, where he en­rolled in ad­vanced cour­ses in sculp­ture. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing with hon­ors at the Ecole, he trav­eled to Europe and stud­ied at the Regge In­sti­tuto Su­pe­ri­ore di belle Arti di Roma in Rome.

To­lentino re­turned home in 1923 and opened his own stu­dio in Manila. He also had a dis­tin­guished ca­reer in the academe. He was ap­pointed as an in­struc­tor for sculp­ture at the UP School of Fine Arts in 1926; and later was named di­rec­tor of the School of Fine Arts and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus.

To­lentino re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards and ci­ta­tions dur­ing his life­time in­clud­ing the UNESCO Cul­tural Award for Sculp­ture in 1959, the Araw ng Maynila Award for Sculp­ture in 1963, the Repub­lic Cul­tural Her­itage Award in 1967, the Diwa ng Lahi Award in 1972, and the Pres­i­dent’s Medal of Merit in 1973. He was named Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture in 1973.

To­lentino’s other mon­u­men­tal works in­clude bronze fig­ures of Pres­i­dent Que­zon at Que­zon Me­mo­rial, life-sized busts of Jose Rizal at UE and UP, and the mar­ble statue of Ra­mon Magsaysay at the GSIS build­ing. He also de­signed the bronze medals of the Ra­mon Magsaysay Award and the Seal of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines.

With its aim of bring­ing art and peo­ple to­gether, My City, My SM, My Art also held a print­mak­ing work­shop con­ducted by Sal­vador “Buddy” Ching. Justin Calac­dac won the grand prize and brought home P5,000 worth of SM gift cer­tifi­cates.

My City, My SM, My Art is a take-off from the pre­vi­ous My City, My SM cam­paign which pro­motes tourism; My City, My SM, My Cui­sine, which high­lights re­gional culi­nary spe­cial­ties; and My City, My SM, My Crafts, a cel­e­bra­tion of tra­di­tional art and mod­ern Philip­pine de­sign in cities where SM has malls. My City, My SM, My Art’s next stop will be in SM City North EDSA.

 ??  ?? SM SVP for mar­ket­ing Mil­lie Di­zon with Philip­pine STAR ad­ver­tis­ing man­ager Grace Lau­rel (left) and ac­count ex­ec­u­tive Dod­die Gu­tier­rez (seated)
SM SVP for mar­ket­ing Mil­lie Di­zon with Philip­pine STAR ad­ver­tis­ing man­ager Grace Lau­rel (left) and ac­count ex­ec­u­tive Dod­die Gu­tier­rez (seated)
 ??  ?? Jayson Cortez’s paint­ing “Day Dream­ing” Hy­per re­al­ist artist Jayson Cortez with his wife Pa­trice Belle with his “Red Rider” paint­ing
Jayson Cortez’s paint­ing “Day Dream­ing” Hy­per re­al­ist artist Jayson Cortez with his wife Pa­trice Belle with his “Red Rider” paint­ing
 ??  ?? Gracey Vil­la­corta of the Pro­vin­cial The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Baliwag Vice Baliwag mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tor En­rique Ta­gle with His­tory, Arts, Cul- Mu­seum of Baliwag Mayor Mayor Christo- Coun­cilors Gen­eroso Ligon, Madette Quimpo and ture and Tourism Manila’s...
Gracey Vil­la­corta of the Pro­vin­cial The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Baliwag Vice Baliwag mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tor En­rique Ta­gle with His­tory, Arts, Cul- Mu­seum of Baliwag Mayor Mayor Christo- Coun­cilors Gen­eroso Ligon, Madette Quimpo and ture and Tourism Manila’s...
 ??  ?? Na­tional Artist nom­i­nee Fil Delacruz with his son Jamos be­side his art­work “Di­wata: Ami­han.” His works like the ”Di­wata” se­ries are known to be rich in eth­nic im­ageries and in­dige­nous sym­bols. Fil Delacruz’s paint­ing “Di­wata: Maskara”
Na­tional Artist nom­i­nee Fil Delacruz with his son Jamos be­side his art­work “Di­wata: Ami­han.” His works like the ”Di­wata” se­ries are known to be rich in eth­nic im­ageries and in­dige­nous sym­bols. Fil Delacruz’s paint­ing “Di­wata: Maskara”
 ??  ?? Daisy To­lentino Men­dez, daugh­ter of Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture Guillermo To­lentino, be­side her fa­ther’s “Babae” sculp­ture with SM SVP for mar­ket­ing Mil­lie Di­zon
Daisy To­lentino Men­dez, daugh­ter of Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture Guillermo To­lentino, be­side her fa­ther’s “Babae” sculp­ture with SM SVP for mar­ket­ing Mil­lie Di­zon
 ??  ?? Visual artist Froilan Calayag and his “God Fish.” He is known as “The Prince of Dark Fairy Tales,” for his sur­re­al­ist, cartoon-like fig­ures and crea­tures. Froilan Calayag’s “Black For­est”
Visual artist Froilan Calayag and his “God Fish.” He is known as “The Prince of Dark Fairy Tales,” for his sur­re­al­ist, cartoon-like fig­ures and crea­tures. Froilan Calayag’s “Black For­est”
 ??  ?? Sal­vador “Buddy” J. Ching, visual, in­stal­la­tion, and per­for­mance artist with his paint­ing “Next Flight II”
Sal­vador “Buddy” J. Ching, visual, in­stal­la­tion, and per­for­mance artist with his paint­ing “Next Flight II”
 ??  ?? Artists Kiko and Ynah Marquez, a young cou­ple who cel­e­brate life, art, and life, with son Lux Zues.
Artists Kiko and Ynah Marquez, a young cou­ple who cel­e­brate life, art, and life, with son Lux Zues.
 ??  ?? Danny Pan­gan, whose unique style merges art and Danny Pan­gan’s tech­nol­ogy, with his “Malate Church” and “Museo mas­ter­piece “Silya ni Rizal” works na Hag­dan Pa”
Danny Pan­gan, whose unique style merges art and Danny Pan­gan’s tech­nol­ogy, with his “Malate Church” and “Museo mas­ter­piece “Silya ni Rizal” works na Hag­dan Pa”
 ??  ?? The Flumav­i­ron group ser­e­nades the au­di­ence with their clas­sic ren­di­tions.
The Flumav­i­ron group ser­e­nades the au­di­ence with their clas­sic ren­di­tions.
 ??  ?? Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture Guillermo To­lentino’s sculp­ture of a woman (1975) and horse (1935) made with poly­chrome plas­ter of Paris Sculp­tures To­lentino. His mas­ter­pieces are not only great sculp­tures, but iconic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the Filipino soul.
Na­tional Artist for Sculp­ture Guillermo To­lentino’s sculp­ture of a woman (1975) and horse (1935) made with poly­chrome plas­ter of Paris Sculp­tures To­lentino. His mas­ter­pieces are not only great sculp­tures, but iconic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the Filipino soul.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Sal­vador “Buddy” J. Ching’s “The Purist” (Datu Se­ries)
Sal­vador “Buddy” J. Ching’s “The Purist” (Datu Se­ries)
 ??  ?? Print­mak­ing work­shop win­ner Justin Calac­dac
Print­mak­ing work­shop win­ner Justin Calac­dac
 ??  ??

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