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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #701
Miguel
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As what I have pointed out on my earlier post that out of the 64 National Artists only 6 (as corrected) have hailed from the South. These are Napoleon Abueva-Bohol, Leandro Locsin-Bacolod, Ang Kiukok-Davao, Abdulmaria Asia Imao-Sulu, Eddie Romero and Edith Tiempo-Dumaguete. Majority of these National Artists have come from Luzon and mostly are associated with the highly respected universities in Manila. Of those 6 Southern artists, the first 4 were being schooled in Manila universities which makes the last 2 as were the only locally educated. Romero made his impact on cinema in Manila which makes Tiempo as the only provincial based artist.

Again, I am not alluding that these artists are not deserving as they really are but what I want to highlight is the selection process. Much disparity on the geographical area and is not because of the lack of talent but because less effort had been made to search those deserving Southern artists. The pool has been limited to who's who in making impacts at the Greater Manila Area, such close knit connections.

The committee in-charge for the selection of National Artists has been howling vehement protests against the addition of less deserving others due to a Presidential decree but has not given itself a personal check. For decades, it has been searching for "National" Artists but has not look enough beyond its realms. By the word itself, "National" should include the whole Philippines.

As part of their guidelines:

Quote:
Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through:

- prestigious national and/or international recognition, such as the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, CCP Thirteen Artists Award and NCCA Alab ng Haraya;
- critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works;
- respect and esteem from peers.
This is what I presume to be the flaw in the guidelines as it has become a circle of critics/friends. Outside of the circle and you have less chance. Makes me wonder if Dolphy is within that circle.

The Forgotten Ones

I am sure there are lots of deserving artists out there, these are some of provincial based artists I could think of.

1. Ben Zubiri (1911-1969) - Cebuano composer, actor, and media personality. He had a role in the movie Bertoldo-Balodoy, which was the first Cebuano film that was ever released and also was a comedian in radio dramas as well as offering advice on the program Purico Amateur Hour. His greatest contribution though is being a composer for Bisaya/Cebuano songs which are timeless classics that even now are still being enthusiastically sang by younger generations. Songs such as Matud Nila, Ikaduhang Bathala, Katulog Na Inday, Nganong Mipakita Ka, Tuhoi, Mitu-o Ako, Ang Gugmang Gibati Ko, and the ever jolly Pasayawa ko Day. Matud Nila has said to be the cultural anthem for Cebuanos (search in YouTube to hear these songs).

2. Gilopez Kabayao (1929 - ) - World class violinist. Hailed from Fabrica, Negros Occidental. As a child prodigy, he studied at the Silliman University School of Music and later honed his skills at the finest music schools in New York such as the New York College of Music. He was able to make waves in Europe such as Paris and Vienna with highly acclaimed performances like in Musikvereinssaal (Grand Hall) which he received eight curtain calls. He was also invited to play in different Asian countries but his greatest legacy is sharing classical music to Filipinos. First to the expats in Guam and Hawaii and then to the people in the barrios which allowed him to be awarded as one of the Ten Oustanding Young Men of the Philippines in 1961 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1972. BIOGRAPHY

3. Ramon Muzones - Hiligaynon writer. Born in Ilo-ilo. From 1938 to 1973, he wrote a total of 51 novels mostly in Hiligaynon. A very prolific writer whose output is more than the other National Artists can produced. His novels reflect the socioeconomic and political changes of Ilo-ilo's society at his time. Adjudged as the Most Oustanding Hiligaynon Writer of the Century by the NCCA in 1998. NOVELS
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Old August 30th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel View Post
i'm not going to belabour on this as this is not the right forum. this would be my last take on the language issue no matter what will the replies be as it will be veering away from the main topic. all i can point is one has to immerse on a locality to fully understand its language and culture.

whoever started to coin that the language "cebuano" is a term that is politically correct, i would raise my questions into it as to what makes it correct and the others incorrect. my take, if generations of dumaguetenos call it "binisaya" would it make these generations wrong in naming it as it is?

language is a complex invention and sometimes one could get lost in its translation. those from other regions are apprehensive in calling it "bisaya" as they belong also to the same group geographically but others are apprehensive also in calling it "cebuano" as they are not associated to that island. if what has been the tradition of calling it then let it be afterall it could be just the same dog on a different collar.
like what i have said binisaya or bisaya is a general term encompassing all visayan dialects.they are grouped accordingly and under those groups are variations...like for example in region 8, the waray dialects has so many variations but still as a group termed as Waray.just like cebuano has variations not only in the visayas but in mindanao also...some using cebuano who are not from cebu are apprehensive in calling it as such for fear of loosing their indentiy...anyway my only point is to take things in their proper perspectives...you may try reading books about languages or i think there is a thread for that...and yes its just the same dog on a different collar...there there.
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Last edited by mao rong; August 30th, 2009 at 02:14 PM.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 05:15 AM   #703
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visaya is not synonymous with cebuano

cebuano belongs to the language group known as visaya
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Old August 31st, 2009, 01:39 PM   #704
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This is OT...

Quote:
Originally Posted by habagatcentral1 View Post

The issues on the use of the word ‘Bisaya’

BRIDGING THE GAP
Henry Funtecha, Ph.D.

When the Spaniards arrived in the Visayas in the 1520s (Magellan expedition) and the 1560s (Legaspi expedition), they widely used the term “Pintados” to refer to the inhabitants. Pintados means the “painted ones” due to the fact that the Bisayans were fond of decorating their bodies with tattoos, both men and women. Not fully understanding what tattoos were, the Spaniards thought the Bisayans indeed painted their bodies with artistic designs. The women had fine and intricate tattoos in their arms and their legs while the men, depending upon their exploits and contributions to the community, had tattoos all over their bodies. In some cases, especially for the brave and courageous ones who had proven their valor in battle, tattoos even covered their faces. The tattoo designs of men were generally of bold geometric patterns or representations of animals. It must be pointed out though that tattooing was not the monopoly of the Bisayans.

Early Spanish writers reported that natives of Albay, Camarines, Catanduanes, and the mountainous sections of northern Luzon also practiced it.

The question now is, at what point of time did the Spaniards begin to refer to the people of the Visayas as “Vizaya” or “Bisaya”? This is still a gray area with regards to the history of the Visayas but, looking at Spanish documents written by the late 1500s and early 1600s, the Spaniards had already shifted to the name “Vizaya” and were already referring to the central islands as “Las Islas de Visayas”. All indications point to the possibility that the name “Bisaya” was already in use prior to the coming of the Spaniards. What probably happened was that the early Spaniards were not yet familiar with the people and the places when they were just new in the country. So, for a while, they used the term “Pintados” but eventually shifted to the word “Vizaya” or “Bisaya” after they had already settled down in the area.

Another important consideration in trying to establish the usage of Bisaya in referring to the people is the fact that the Atis or Negritos of Panay have always been calling the lowlanders as “mga Bisaya”. In addition, there are lots of things in Panay referred to by the people as “bisaya”, like “bisaya nga manok, bisaya nga luy-a, bisaya nga kamatis, bisaya nga ahos, bisaya nga talong, bisaya nga pantat, and many more. The use of the term “Bisaya” is not just confined to local flora and fauna but is also used to refer to traditional processes like “bisaya nga pagpamulong” (use of herbal medicine) and “binisaya nga pamaagi”. Even using Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a in speaking is called “binisaya nga panghambal”. Is it possible also that “Bisaya” means native or local?

The other major issue pertains to the usage of the term “Bisaya” by the Cebuanos. They have expropriated the term as a designation exclusively for the Cebuanos and their language, with the exclusion of the other groups of Bisaya. To the Cebuanos, the other inhabitants of the Visayas are not Bisaya but as Ilonggos in Panay and Negros, Bol-anon in Bohol, and Waray in Samar and Northern Leyte. It is time for scholars and academicians to correct this misconception. The inhabitants of the Visayas are all Bisaya for this has been established as a fact by history.

The Spaniards recognized majority of the inhabitants of the Visayas as one race, except the Atis or Negritos. They generally described the Bisaya as of medium stature, having black hair and dark skin or kayumanggi. Some individual Spanish friars differed from these general characterization and referred to natives in a particular island as being taller, lighter in complexion, brave and more muscular than others, but these were subjective comments which reflected their value judgments and the fact that the Spaniards themselves varied greatly in stature and complexion, as well as physical traits.

The descriptions of the skin pigmentation of the Bisaya by the Spaniards in the 16th century were often contradictory (Scott 1995). The first natives the Spaniards observed were those from Homonhon, Limasawa, and Butuan, and were described by the colonizers as being of medium height and dark-skinned (Ibid).

Fr. Francisco Alcina, on the other hand, said that he did not think that the Bisayans were really that dark, though almost, and that the natives of Leyte and Samar were lighter than those in Davao (Alcina 1668). Alonso Mentrida, however, described the Bisaya “mailum” as a color a bit darker than kayumanggi, though not black like the Ati. From Cebu, Juan de la Isla reported that the natives were darker than the Indios of Mexico (Mentrida 1841).

Of course, it must be borne in mind that, as it is today, the Bisaya and the rest of the Filipinos are not at all of the same shade nor were they all necessarily darker than the Spaniards. In any case, before the development of a colonial mentality, the Bisaya themselves were not impressed by the pale color of the colonizers. In other words, they did not attach a premium on white skin and other features associated with the Caucasian race. The Spaniards were not even perceived as maputi or white, but as “mapuraw”, natural or undyed - meaning, untattooed. And to the Bisaya, because the Spaniards were not into the practice of chewing betel nut, the most distinctive character of these foreigners was their white teeth, a feature shared with animals like dogs, monkeys and pigs.

Source: The News Today
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Old August 31st, 2009, 01:40 PM   #705
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amendercabal2 View Post
visaya is not synonymous with cebuano

cebuano belongs to the language group known as visaya
exactly...sorry for the OT guys...last na ito
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:20 AM   #706
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3 senators back Pitoy Moreno as nat’l artist

By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:54:00 08/31/2009

Filed Under: Fashion, Awards and Prizes

MANILA, Philippines — Three senators got together to express their support for National Artist awardee, fashion designer Pitoy Moreno.

In a joint statement, Senators Joker Arroyo, Richard Gordon and Francis Pangilinan said Moreno ``richly deserve(d)'' the recognition.

“His body of work in fashion design and artistic execution is exquisitely married to the promotion of the Filipino culture that is astonishingly rich. Thus, he has won national and international acclaim even as his trademark designs meet standards that transcend a particular class and culture.

“Indeed, by Pitoy’s compleat mastery of artistic design and execution, his work is a celebration of the richness of our common culture and by his pioneering effort in promoting Philippine fashion, he made us a proud and grateful nation,'' the statement said.

The statement was issued days after the Supreme Court ordered the postponement of the conferment rites for the seven National Artist awardees after a group of artists and civil sector organizations questioned the choices of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

But even if the conferment rites were postponed, officials of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts said that the seven awardees could lay claim to the title of National Artist because President Arroyo had already signed the proclamation order.

Proclaimed as National Artists were theater stalwart Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, filmmakers Manuel Urbano and Carlo Magno Jose J. Caparas, visual artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, novelist Lazaro Francisco, architect Francisco “Bobby'' Manosa and Moreno.

Alvarez, Caparas, Manosa and Moreno were not on the original shortlist and were added as a prerogative of the President.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:24 AM   #707
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Pitoy Moreno deserved to be a national artist, he has done a lot for our country in terms of promoting the Phillippines through his creations.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:56 PM   #708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel View Post
i'm not going to belabour on this as this is not the right forum. this would be my last take on the language issue no matter what will the replies be as it will be veering away from the main topic. all i can point is one has to immerse on a locality to fully understand its language and culture.

whoever started to coin that the language "cebuano" is a term that is politically correct, i would raise my questions into it as to what makes it correct and the others incorrect. my take, if generations of dumaguetenos call it "binisaya" would it make these generations wrong in naming it as it is?

language is a complex invention and sometimes one could get lost in its translation. those from other regions are apprehensive in calling it "bisaya" as they belong also to the same group geographically but others are apprehensive also in calling it "cebuano" as they are not associated to that island. if what has been the tradition of calling it then let it be afterall it could be just the same dog on a different collar.
hay.. naku.. you are just making things complicated.. Its just like saying "Filipino" na whether we like it or not is actually "Tagalog" and we have to accept that......hehehe


And also, my take on the National Artist issue.. i dont actually know the others.. but i know Carlo Caparas..... IMO, is a second or third rate artist whose works are dubious of quality and even "allegedly" originality is a National Artist.. is a National Disgrace...

Now, ang pakapalan ng mukha which is popularized by the Arroyos, had trickled down to the National Arts... Ewan ko lang..
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:09 PM   #709
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Napanood ko yung PROfiles ni Cheche Lazaro tungkol kay Carlo Caparas, ang linaw ng pagkakalahad kung bakit hindi siya dapat kasali sa listahan. Ipinakita pa yung mga sketches niya, aba, malakas ang laban ni Tita Cory as National Artist for Visual Arts kung ikukumpara sa gawa ni Caparas. Huwag na nating isama ang Film, dahil mas masarap pang panoorin ang mga gawa ni Joey Gosengfiao.

Deserving talaga sina Pitoy at Manosa. Sana isunod na nila si Mang Ben sa fashion at Gabby Formoso sa architecture.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:24 AM   #710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mao rong View Post
like what i have said binisaya or bisaya is a general term encompassing all visayan dialects.they are grouped accordingly and under those groups are variations...like for example in region 8, the waray dialects has so many variations but still as a group termed as Waray.just like cebuano has variations not only in the visayas but in mindanao also...some using cebuano who are not from cebu are apprehensive in calling it as such for fear of loosing their indentiy...anyway my only point is to take things in their proper perspectives...you may try reading books about languages or i think there is a thread for that...and yes its just the same dog on a different collar...there there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henz View Post
hay.. naku.. you are just making things complicated.. Its just like saying "Filipino" na whether we like it or not is actually "Tagalog" and we have to accept that......hehehe


And also, my take on the National Artist issue.. i dont actually know the others.. but i know Carlo Caparas..... IMO, is a second or third rate artist whose works are dubious of quality and even "allegedly" originality is a National Artist.. is a National Disgrace...

Now, ang pakapalan ng mukha which is popularized by the Arroyos, had trickled down to the National Arts... Ewan ko lang..
Again, I would no longer tackle language issue as it would be veering away from the main topic. I have copied your quote and posted it at the Language thread or kindly check this REPLY.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #711
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carlo caparas is prolific... but...
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Old September 17th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #712
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National Artist award is final – SolGen
By REY G. PANALIGAN
September 16, 2009, 4:57pm
MB

The Office of the President (OP) declared Wednesday that the conferment of the rank and title of the Order of National Artist on seven persons is final and can no longer be overturned by the courts, not even the Supreme Court (SC).

In a comment filed by Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, the SC was told that the award of the Order of National Artist is an exclusive prerogative of the President and with the issuance of seven proclamations on national artists, there is no other action necessary to consummate the
awards.

Thus, Devanadera said, the subsequent presentation of the gold medallion and citation to the awardees is a mere formality which has no bearing at all on the conferred status. She asked the SC to dismiss the petition challenging the conferment of the awards to four persons.

The solicitor general pointed out that on July 6, 2009, President Arroyo issued Proclamation Nos. 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826, 1827, 1828, and 1829 declaring Manuel Conde (posthumus, Film and Broadcast), Lazaro Francisco (posthumus, Literature), Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (Visual Arts), Cecilia Guidote-Alvarez (Theater), Carlo J. Caparas (Visual Arts and Film), Francisco Manosa (Architecture), and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno (Fashion Design) as national artists, respectively.

Devanadera cited the case of the late action star Fernando Poe Jr., whose proclamation as a national artist by the President was not followed by a ceremonial presentation of gold medallion and citation because his family had refused to accept the same.

But, she said, Poe remains in the official roster of national artists.

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines had earlier challenged the legality of the President’s proclamation of Caparas, Moreno, Manosa, and Alvarez as national artists.

Among those who filed the petition were National Artists Virgilio Almario (literature), Bienvenido Lumbera (literature) Benedicto Cabrera (visual arts, Painting) Napoleon Abueva (Visual Arts, Sculpture), and Arturo Luz (Painting and Sculpture).

Joined by university deans, professors, and private individuals, the petition stated that President Arroyo committed a grave abuse of discretion when she disregarded the results of the rigorous selection process and inserted the names of Alvarez, Moreno, Caparas, and Manosa in the shortlist submitted by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) boards for proclamation as 2009 Order of National Artists.

The petitioners said the President violated the constitutional provision on equal protection when she included Alvarez’s name in the shortlist although the latter was not nominated and subjected to screening process by the National Artist Award Experts Panel.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 03:55 AM   #713
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The selection for the National Artists of the Philippines has been Manilacentric. An issue that has been less talked about or might not have been talked at all. It has been off the radar screen for so many years now. An error graver than the Carlo Caparas controversy as scores of artists from the South could be forgotten by future generations and might just end up as mere specks in history. There are a lot of geniuses in the South whose works and contributions have inspired countless humanities but whose persona has not hugged much limelight compared to its Northern counterparts. What I am just advocating here is an equal opportunity to be recognized on which the selection committee should not limit its scope within its realms but to extend througout the archipelago. A thorough research would surely reveal viable candidates. Among the FORGOTTENS here are two geniuses in the field of music.

The Forgotten Ones



GILOPEZ KABAYAO
(click image to read his BIOGRAPHY)

Hailed from Fabrica, Negros Occidental. As a child prodigy, he studied at the Silliman University School of Music and later honed his skills at the finest music schools in New York such as the New York College of Music.

He was able to make waves in Europe such as Paris and Vienna with highly acclaimed performances like in Musikvereinssaal (Grand Hall) which he received eight curtain calls. He was also invited to play in different Asian countries but his greatest legacy is sharing classical music to Filipinos.

First to the expats in Guam and Hawaii and then to the people in the barrios which allowed him to be awarded as one of the Ten Oustanding Young Men of the Philippines in 1961 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1972. The only missing feather on his cap is the National Artist.

His children have now shared his legacy as they too have travelled all over the country and abroad to share classical music to Filipinos all over the world and showcasing true Filipino talents to foreigners.


Kabayao Family Story


Performing Bayan Ko


Powerful Classical Performance


Gilopez Kabayao




***************


Ben "Karpo" Zubiri
(1911-1969)
Cebuano composer, actor, and media personality

For many Cebuanos, Iyo Karpo is a household name. A stage, movie and radio personality, his real name is Ben Zubiri . He had a role in the movie Bertoldo-Balodoy, which was the first Cebuano film that was ever released and also was a comedian in radio dramas as well as offering advice on the program Purico Amateur Hour.

His greatest contribution though is being a composer for Bisaya songs which are timeless classics that even now are still being enthusiastically sang by younger generations. Songs such as Matud Nila, Ikaduhang Bathala, Katulog Na Inday, Nganong Mipakita Ka, Tuhoi, Mitu-o Ako, Ang Gugmang Gibati Ko, and the ever jolly Pasayawa ko Day. Matud Nila has said to be the cultural anthem for Cebuanos.

As a child, he displayed musical abilities, delighting family and friends with dances and songs, and performing at school programs at the San Nicholas Elementary School where he studied. He soon joined singing contests and became so enamored with the stage that he forsook going to college.

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, he was already making a name for himself, appearing on stage and on screen. He starred in the first Cebuano “talkie”, Bertoldo-Balodoy. After the war, he continued to appear in the movies but also cultivated a large following as a radio personality. He worked at KZRC as a comedian for radio plays and offered counsel on matters of the heart and home on the program Purico Amateur Hour.

Iyo Karpo composed and wrote songs. It was in 1941 that he recorded his famous composition, Matud Nila (They Say). The song became popular until after the war.

With its haunting melody and romantic idealism. Matud Nila achieved the status of an “immortal Cebuano song.” The opening lines of the song are typical of the traditional harana (serenade), the plaint of a humble lover, conscious of social censure, who offers the gift of a love “more precious than gold.”


Matud nila ako dili angay
Nga magmanggad sa imong gugma,
Matud nila ikaw dili malipay
Kay wa akoy bahandi nga kanimo igasa;
Gugmang putli mao day pasalig,
Maoy bahanding labaw sa bulawan…

(They say I am not worthy
To yearn for your love,
They say you will not be happy
For I have no wealth to offer you;
A pure love is my only troth,
A wealth more precious then gold….)



Matud Nila sang by Pilita Corales


Pasayawa Ko Day
(also as popular as Matud Nila)


Ang Gugmang Gibati Ko
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #714
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no doubt Ben "Bones" Banez will be a National Artist, kilalang kilala ito ni @Paulkrps


Mindanaoan Artist in Lexicon of Surrealism



Published on 15 October 2009 by Blogie in Global Mindanaoans • Visited 61 times, 25 today •

At a time when Manila is rocked by controversies surrounding the questionable declaration of some personalities as National Artists, a Davao-born art talent quietly carved a niche among history’s greatest surrealists. His stuttering childlike speech, incompatible with his towering 6-foot height, sometimes amuses people. But today, Bienvenido Banez, Jr., towers all the more for achievements uncommon among Filipino artists.


Diagnosed with mild learning disability during childhood, Ben’s focus of attention has always been his art. Rightly so. In 2002, he won first place in the Asian Fellowship Painting Competition of the prestigious Vermont Studio Center launched from Vermont, USA. Last year, in New York City, where he based himself after his Vermont fellowship, he was the only Filipino among the more than seventy international, surreal visual artists featured in the grandest-ever birth anniversary celebration of John Milton and what is considered as the greatest English poem, his Paradise Lost (see photo).
666 Screaming by Ben Banez

666 Screaming by Ben Banez

Earlier, in 2004, the president and executive director of Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in Brooklyn, NYC, while viewing Ben’s painting, commented to a fashion photographer that Banez is the “greatest living surrealist from the Philippines.” This comment from contemporary Surrealism’s prime mover, Terrance Lindall, himself the organizer of Milton’s biggest birthday bash, may have been trivially said. But today it is qualified by another achievement in Banez’s career: his name, profile, and sample work recently are published in a German edition of “The International Encyclopedia of Fantastic, Surrealist, Symbolist, & Visionary Artists” or Lexikon Surreal for short. Thus, Bienvenido Bones Banez, again the only Filipino in the inventory, now appears along with Surrealism greats such as Salvador Dali, Ernst Fuchs, Keith Wigdor, and Jon Beinart to name a few, in the same book.

In page 35 of Lexikon Surreal, Banez’s work, “666 Screaming,” appears in full color (photo); while in page 44 his profile is printed in German. Translated into English, it reads:

BANEZ JR. BIENVENIDO BONES

(Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines, 1962- ) Filipino visionary, male, lives and works in the USA. Studied in the Ford Academy of the Arts in Davao City, Island of Mindanao; associate professor in the Philippine Women’s College-Davao. 2002 winner in the Asian Fellowship Painting Competition of the Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA., and has lived since in the USA.

If greatness also means winning an international art fellowship, the admiration of a globally-distinguished artist organizer, and being genus among a roster of historical figures and international achievers, then, this Mindanaoan artist has at least cut himself a slice of the surreal pie.

Banez’s art is expression of belief in Evil gaining dominion over the Earth. Injustice, inequity, conflicts, wars, environmental destruction, and human suffering—all these, manifestations of the rule of Evil—a perception old as Judaeo-Christian doomsday prophets and feasted upon by the human mind ancient to modern.

What makes Banez a paradox among surrealists is his depiction of hellish conditions not as murky depths, but psychedelic sceneries where spectra of colors enthrall viewers. Figures—human, geometric or biomorphic curiosities—lose tactility and become translucent images and luminosities swirling, shimmering, or disintegrating in a world bereft of gravity.

Marvelous colors, resembling jewelry and precious stones, at closer look turn out to be viral, cellular infections, acid-chemical concentrates, or spreading volcanic lava, eating up human figures, corrupting techno systems, and contaminating the cosmos—the artist’s vision of bio-chemical warfare, pandemics, and natural catastrophe combined to destroy the Establishment. Neonlike brushstrokes snake through his canvases—flowing traffic that entangle on physical perversions and gets jammed on a plexus of human agony nestled on infernal flame.

Esthetically mesmerizing the colors are in a Banez canvas, the portrayed perversion and misery of humankind are as morbid and offensive to good taste. Apparently, the artist captures the viewer with chromatic wonder; then, in succeeding moments, pounces on his cognitive faculties with horrors of the wages of sin. This visual irony fits well with Surrealism as originally defined by spokesperson Andre Breton: Beauty must be convulsive, or nothing! This context, Banez earned his ticket to the theater of the absurd where Hieronymus Bosch and company once sat and dreamed.

It is notable that Banez, despite his psychedelic colors, is no drug abuser. His recent works indicate he evolved from common representational surrealism into surreal abstraction, his figures and images losing physical and material volume, reduced to astral constituency, something only the very rare eye of contemplation could see.

Achieving surrealism by abstraction is not common turf of surrealists down history. This is what Banez should look forward to and discover the other half of man’s nature created not to languish in murky infernal depths. It does not set him apart from his fellow Filipinos but pulls them up as artists universal as any other race.
* * *

Lexikon Surreal is authored by Gerhard Habarta. Measuring 9 x 6.75 inches, it is printed hardcover, with ribbon. It contains 1,122 artist biographies from 69 countries in 464 pages, with 950 black and white and 458 color reproductions.
For more information visit www.lexikon-surreal.com.



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Old October 25th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #715
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No way, Jose: NHI on bid to exhume Rizal skull

A group of doctors wants to exhume the skull of the national hero, Jose Rizal, so that they can “study and find out why he’s so smart.”

But Ambeth Ocampo, chairman of the National Historical Institute, will have none of it.

“They can wait for my replacement [at the NHI] in 2010,” said Ocampo, the historian and authority on Rizal who is also a columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He did not identify the doctors’ group which petitioned the NHI, the agency tasked with conserving and preserving the country’s historical legacy, to exhume Rizal’s remains.

“They came to see me, requesting permission to exhume Rizal’s skull from his monument at the Luneta. I asked them, what are you going to do with it? They said they wanted to study it, supposedly for science purposes. I told them to make do with the picture of his skull,” Ocampo recalled.

He said the doctors planned to drill a hole on top of the skull and fill it with mongo beans.

Measure volume of beans

“When full, they plan to transfer the mongo beans to a beaker and measure its volume,” he said.

“That will supposedly tell us the size of Rizal’s cranial wall. Then we will know why he was so smart,” said Ocampo in a lecture on best teaching practices at the University of Makati sponsored by the Metrobank Foundation’s Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (Noted).

Not the first time

Noted groups the 286 awardees of the Metrobank Foundation’s Search for Outstanding Teachers of the past 25 years. Ocampo, who teaches a Rizal course at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines-Diliman, was one of the 10 awardees in 2006.

That was not the first time that people have tried to exhume Rizal’s remains.

In a November 1987 essay in the Daily Globe newspaper, “Leave Rizal’s Pieces in Peace,” Ocampo wrote about a “move to pressure the NHI into exhuming the remains of Rizal to have them treated.”

“The NHI answered, ‘What for?’ and argued that since Rizal’s remains are not on display as relics, they don’t need treatment. To be candid about it, why don’t we just leave the pieces in peace?” the historian wrote.

The essay, reprinted in Ocampo’s bestselling book, “Rizal Without the Overcoat,” won him a National Book Award for Essay from the Manila Critics Circle.

It’s a grave

Most visitors to the Rizal Park at the Luneta probably do not know that the national hero’s remains are “interred permanently” under his monument.

“When you have your picture taken at the monument, remember it is not a monument, it’s a grave,” Ocampo told his audience of mostly public schoolteachers.

According to Ocampo, in 1898, three years after Rizal’s execution at Bagumbayan (now the Luneta), his family was finally allowed to take the hero’s remains from the Paco Cemetery where they had been interred to their home in Binondo.

Mother’s love

He said there was even a picture of Rizal’s mother, Teodora Alonso, kissing the skull of her son.

“It may sound very strange to us today, but that’s how much she loved her son,” he said.

The only part of Rizal’s body that is not buried under the Luneta monument is his backbone, said Ocampo.

Supposedly a piece of Rizal’s bone where the bullet hit him at his execution on Dec. 30, 1896, it is on display at the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago.

The historian noted that unlike other dead people who only get visits on November 1, Rizal’s monument at the Luneta and the piece of bone from his vertebra can be viewed anytime.

Most visited grave

Staff members of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), which oversees Rizal Park operations, agree.

With more than 5.5 million park visitors a year, the Rizal monument is “undoubtedly the most visited grave in the country,” said NPDC chief Salome Habal and Federico Edos, who heads the arts and culture division.

The 14-meter-tall memorial, designed by Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling, was completed in 1913, 17 years after Rizal’s death.

According to Edos, the 53-hectare park “has always been in the itinerary of foreign tourists in their Manila city tour. The number of visitors increases by 2 to 4 percent annually.”

Aside from the monument and its honor guards, park attractions include the light and sound presentation of the “Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal,” staged on the exact spot where Rizal was shot by an eight-man squad of Filipino riflemen from the 70th Infantry Regiment of the Spanish colonial army. The site is about 100 meters north of the monument.

Eternal flame

“If only we had more funds, we could re-install the eternal flame that used to occupy a small space behind the monument,” said an NPDC employee.

The flame was installed for a brief period in 1990 during the incumbency of tourism undersecretary and NPDC executive director Narzalina Lim.

The NPDC, which also maintains the Paco Park and the Pook ni Maria Makiling in Laguna, has a budget of P172.7 million this year, P103.4 million and P49.3 million of which go to salaries and park maintenance, respectively.

Parks budget cut

Next year, the NPDC will get only P124.06 million, a decrease of P48.6 million.

Despite the flame’s 19-year absence, however, Rizal will always be remembered for his martyrdom that inspired Filipinos in their epic fight for freedom.

“Rizal taught us what it’s like to be a Filipino. There was no Filipino until Rizal designed it for us. That is why he is the father of the nation,” said Ocampo.

But the historian laments that Filipinos study Rizal as a hero when he should be studied as a man.

Filipinos should “see him as a human person because it is only in Rizal’s humanity that you can see the secret of his greatness. If you see what he is like, you’ll see a human person inside the hero and you’ll see the Filipino capacity for greatness,” Ocampo said.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #716
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I ain't no medical expert so here goes my query... Does the skull per se have anything to do with intelligence??!
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Old October 25th, 2009, 09:51 AM   #717
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I don't think skull size has any correlation with one's level of intelligence.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #718
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I don't see any reason why these doctors would need to study Rizal's intelligence. That's simply preposterous because we already know that he is intelligent and that he's been dead a century ago.

Why don't they study how to help make present-day Filipinos more intelligent i.e. more discerning and tactful instead.. so that our people would be more discerning on who to vote next elections and be more tactful in everyday life. Poor Filipinos, for example, would just vote for any candidate who could give them the fast buck and don't really think about the outcome of their action. They also blame fate (or even God) for their poverty and low station in life when most of the time, they could have opted to use their brains and brawn to uplift themselves. Hay, what mentality!
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Old October 26th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #719
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It is funny how they want to drill and then fill up Rizal's skull with mongo seeds just to determine the volume of his brain. That in itself is already void of any form of intelligence. And they call themselves scientists?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 06:30 AM   #720
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Andres Bonifacio and bad imaging

Andres Bonifacio has been a victim of bad Public Relations from the time Filipinos argued as to who would make the better national hero between him and Rizal. Andres Bonifacio has been unfairly labeled as the “de facto national hero of the Philippines”. Bonifacio’s “de facto” heroism loosely translates to “hero in practice but not necessarily obtained by law” (just like PGMA’s first term from Erap’s point of view).

It’s understandable that Filipinos would gravitate towards Dr. Jose Rizal who is more accomplished, multi talented, cultured, well-mannered, fashionable and can woo women in several languages (despite his 4’11 to 5’1 frame). Rizal is media savvy and endowed with diplomatic finesse. Bonifacio on the other hand was always unfairly portrayed as the impulsive revolutionary who wants the systematic hacking of Spaniards and the nationwide bloodshed to commence A.S.A.P. Such savage hot-headedness with the rudimentary qualities of the masa to match made Bonifacio the war freak, cedula-tearing “jologs” he is portrayed to be.

But it is not to say that Bonifacio was not presentable himself. In fact, the only known photo of Andres Bonifacio is one where he dons a coat, decent enough to wear to a prom. Those monuments and drawings of him waving a bolo and clad in an open-chested camisa chino (underwear in modern fashion really) and rolled up pants are quite demeaning and inaccurate as these are lazy ways to establish contrast between Bonifacio and the “hipper” and well bred revolutionaries Rizal, Aguinaldo, Mabini et al.

It may be because many historians fixated on Bonifacio’s humble beginnings as an ambulant vendor from Tondo who sold fans and canes to support 5 siblings orphaned at very young ages. Little did old Filipinos know that just a century later, having “Tondo” and “market vendor” on one’s resume are election essentials that modern day politicians desperately try to establish connections with shanty central if only to rub elbows with the great unwashed.

I think many historians also failed to highlight the fact that Bonifacio was self-educated and could speak and write in Spanish despite completing only four basic education years. Emilio Aguinaldo with his seven school years was barely able to speak Spanish. Bonifacio was a fast learner.

During his spare time Bonifacio read the very same reading list that Rizal fumbled on such as the French revolution, The Presidents of the United States, The Penal Code and Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’ (highly recommended best seller by Rizal himself, a must-read for aspiring national heroes). Bonifacio’s local reading list of course included great literary works “El Filibusterismo” and “Noli Me Tangere” by Jose Rizal whom he really idolized. Bonifacio never thought Rizal was lame. In fact he had concurred with the great doctor for him to launch his armed revolt against Spain only to be advised to do so using less barbaric methods.

Also by writing about Andres Bonifacio in the context of Rizal’s monumental, global and romantic achievements historians have unintentionally made Bonifacio pale in comparison as a leader and reduced him to a mere maker of bad judgment calls.

History books implied that Bonifacio established his Katipunan movement due to his growing impatience over the “slow boil” reform strategy pushed by his more restrained, pen wielding “kaberks” who relied on diaries to hurt Spain. It was this same stubborn quality of Bonifacio that irked ex-friend and first Philippine President-elect Emilio Aguindaldo whose win Bonifacio contested as courtesy of rigged ballots.

Election history really repeats itself and as early as a century ago, the Philippines was destined to have hotly contested presidencies and election-related violence such as salvaging. If all historical accounts are to be believed, Bonifacio is the first widely publicized summary “executionee” by a powerful political force who didn’t want to be accused of cheating in the polls.

Unlike our other heroes who were really reformists who just wanted Spaniards to treat Filipinos “a little nicer” Bonifacio was ready to wage a revolution whose goal is to intall a new, independent nation. This is perhaps why this radical, non compromising man is endeared to militant groups, left leaning individuals and other contemporary angst-driven propagandists such as coup plotters. All these add (unfortunately) to our rouge hero’s “bad press”.

And one more thing—- Andres Bonifacio seldom took a bolo to war. He had his own pistol which he preferred using because he really knew better.
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