CHRISTMASEUM YEAR 3: "Harmonia Superna: Let Heaven Rejoice!"
CHRISTMASEUM YEAR 3: “Laetitia Juventutis: Let the Youth Be Joyful in the Lord!”
On November 28, 2019, the voices of the youth were lifted in jubilation in a Christmas concert entitled “Laetitia Juventutis: Let the Youth Be Joyful in the Lord!” at the UST Museum.
Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. says, “Christmas is not Christmas without music.” As in the story of the first Christmas in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests,” the UST Museum gives glory to God through its annual CHRISTMASEUM exhibit, with a concert added to evoke the wonder and joy of Christmas through music.
This year’s concert featured the youthful and crystalline voices of the UST Junior High School (JHS) Glee Club under the direction of Ms. Maria Lulu Orlina and Mr. Nicanor Infante, with the permission of UST JHS Principal, Assoc. Prof. Marishirl P. Tropicales, PhD.
The UST JHS Glee Club is the school’s official chorale ambassadors composed of a select group of students. Choir members have since gone on to become some of the nation’s popular chorale conductors, musicians, and singers.
Special guest performers were the Kolisko Waldorf School Haraya Ensemble who serenaded guests with classical, contemporary and folk music through indigenous, string, and wind instruments. Making their performance unique was their use of select indigenous instruments from the UST Museum’s Ethnographic collection such as the agong, kulintang, and dabakan. The surprisingly talented young students of Haraya Ensemble were conducted by Mr. Ford Pundamiera and guided in their love for Philippine culture by their Indigenous Music teacher Ms. Geraldine Hidalgo.
Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. gave his welcome remarks and opening remarks were given by UST JHS PEHM Coordinator Ms. Jane Macaraeg during the 3:00 p.m. show and by the Regent and UST JHS Glee Club Adviser Rev. Fr. Orlando C. Aceron, O.P. during the 6:30 p.m. show.
A live play was also performed by the UST JHS Drama Guild, and the concerts closed with the community joining together to sing the classic Christmas carols “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.”
New Religious Images on Display
A new display of religious images can be seen at the UST Museum’s Hall of Philippine Religious Images. The beautifully-carved ivory santos include two images of the Madonna and Child, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
UST Museum joins 75th Anniversary of Leyte Landings in Tacloban, Leyte
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) played a pivotal role in the events of World War II in the Philippines, when it was used as an internment camp for thousands of American civilians, along with other citizens of Allied nations during the Japanese Occupation. Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC) was a safe haven during the war, and was the first site in Manila to be liberated by American forces in 1945. It became the jumping-off point and staging area for the Battle of Manila, which raged for a month and resulted in the near-complete devastation of the city.
As the nation commemorates the 75th anniversary of World War II, events are being held to pay tribute to the valor and sacrifice of the Filipinos and Americans who fought for and liberated the Philippines.
The 75th Anniversary of the Leyte Landings, which recalled the return of Gen. Douglas MacArthur to the Philippines, fulfilling his “I shall return!” vow, was celebrated in Leyte, with ceremonies held at MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte.
Representing the University at the ceremonies was UST Museum Collection Management and Documentation Assistant Maita Buensuceso-Oebanda, who is also the person in charge of tours in connection with Santo Tomas Internment Camp.
Pio et Maria exhibit
Thomasian physician and artist Dan Lerma, MD paid tribute to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, popularly known as “Padre Pio,” and the Blessed Mother in “Pio et Maria,” an exhibit that opened on Oct. 18 at the UST Museum.
Dr. Dan Lerma, who finished medicine in 1983 and is a family medicine practitioner at the UST Health Service, depicted Padre Pio in a manner of introspection through portraiture. “Padre Pio is a very strong intercessor, as far as my experiences are concerned. He’s a healer and a miracle worker,” Lerma said.
“Pio et Maria,” Lerma’s second solo exhibit, featured 22 oil pastel on sandpaper artworks, the artist’s trademark medium. The centerpiece “Totus Tuus,” an acrylic on canvas work, portrays Padre Pio offering his stigmata to the Virgin with assistance from the angel St. Raphael, while the Virgin dips her fingers into the stigmata to console him.
Lerma made use of a classical realism approach in his artworks, drawing inspiration from a 1600s baroque painting by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. “It’s a narrative like his angel is helping him present his stigmata, his sufferings, and the Virgin trying to console him,” he said.
“Just like life, we will have so many trials and tribulations, but these are the things that will smoothen our rough edges and turn us into better and beautiful human beings,” he added.
Dan Lerma’s “Pio et Maria” ran at the UST Museum from Oct. 18 to Nov. 15, 2019.
Clara Schumann Tribute Concert held at UST Museum
The Goethe Institut, in collaboration with the University of Santo Tomas through the UST Office of Public Affairs and UST Conservatory of Music, celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of musician Clara Schumann through a concert, held on October 16, 2019 at the UST Museum Main Gallery.
Gracing the event were the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Philippines Her Excellency Anke Reiffenstuel and Goethe Institut Philippinen Director Dr. Ulrich Nowak. The visitors were welcomed by UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Jesús M. Miranda, Jr., O.P., assisted by the Office of Public Affairs Director Assoc. Prof. Giovanna V. Fontanilla, Ph.D.
The concert, aside from featuring Schumann’s works, included German poetry and theatrical performances of important events in her life. German musicians Boris Schönleber (piano), Katharina Padrok (Mezzo-soprano), and Filipino performers Peter L. Porticos (actor) and Mary Patrice Pacis (actress), both from the UST Conservatory of Music, starred in the production.
Clara Schumann was a German musician and composer, considered as one of the most distinguished composers and pianists of the Romantic era.
“Nuestra Señora de Salvacion” Book Launch and “Lumen Tenebras Vincit!” Exhibit
UST College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) Regent Rev. Fr. Edgardo D. Alaurin, O.P., SThD, launched his book entitled “Nuestra Señora de Salvacion: History, Theology, Piety”, and also opened his pipe sculpture exhibit entitled “Lumen Tenebras Vincit!” (Light Conquers Darkness) on October 15, 2019 at the UST Museum Main Gallery.
“Nuestra Señora de Salvacion: History, Theology, Piety,” published by the UST Publishing House, was a product of Fr. Alaurin’s research of a relatively unknown Marian image venerated in a village in Albay, Bicol, and was later on dubbed as the Patroness of Albay.
Meanwhile, his exhibit entitled “Lumen Tenebras Vincit” (“Light conquers darkness”) was an homage of the Dominicans’ devotion to the power of the light, and Mary’s significant role as Stella Maris and Stella Matutina. It is an execution of devotion, an assemblage of art works which unfolds supernatural, spiritual, humane, and animative collective interpretation. The pieces were made of steel, to foreground the settled and subdued devotion of the Dominicans toward the image. The use of the steel was softened by the “gentle entrance of light into each sculpture is an embodiment of the luminary life of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion in the eyes of the children of Mary in general – the Pueblo Amante de Maria.”
Talking about the artworks, Fr. Alaurin said, “I enjoyed doing it because in a way, I felt like a creator in a relative sense. I fashioned my own creatures according to my own creative imagination and liking, and afterwards, I saw something good in them.”
Painted Eggs Take Center Stage in UST Museum Exhibit
Acrylic eggs were the star of “HATCH,” a collaborative exhibit between UST Museum and Manila Bulletin, which opened on Sept. 12, 2019.
Using an unconventional canvas in the form of an egg, the exhibit sought to encourage people to be more creative and inspired to make non-traditional art. A total of 100 eggs were put on display.
“The use of an unconventional medium by itself generated a new genre of art which is egg as a medium of visual arts,” said Manila Bulletin Executive Vice-President Herminio Coloma. “We are always looking out for new avenues of creative expression. Instead of being a flat surface, it is round, so it’s a 360-degree canvas, so the artist would be given many ways of imagining new interpretations,” he added.
Various Thomasian artists displayed concepts with various artistic approaches. Janos Dela Cruz, who graduated with a degree in fine arts in 2006, portrayed printmaking as a form of artwork in his black and white wood block painting “Lifeline.” “The reason I got interested with [the theme] is the unique tradition of UST being the first and oldest printing press in the country,” Dela Cruz said.
Known for his style of using Philippine churches as his subjects, 1968 advertising graduate Al Perez illustrated Ilocos Sur’s Bantay Church and St. Therese in “Bantay Church Bell Tower Ilocos and St. Therese.” Fine arts alumnus Thomas Daquioag, who graduated with a degree in painting in 1994, depicted a smiling baby and an egg with a crown of thorns above him in “Ang Tao.” Other artists like 1970 painting graduate Nemi Miranda and 2001 College of Fine Arts and Design alumnus CJ Tañedo also joined the exhibit which ran until Oct. 12, 2019.
The Master of the Order at the UST Museum
The UST Communications Bureau interviewed Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P. at the UST Museum's Hall of Philippine Religious Images last August 19, 2020 for its feature video series, "Zoomed In" which spotlights prominent Thomasian personalities, experts, or guests. The Museum was honored by the presence of Fray Timoner, who was recently elected to the position of Master of the Order of Preachers, making him the 87th successor to St. Dominic, and the first Asian to serve in the role. In his “Zoomed In” episode, Fray Timoner reflected on the coin as a representation of multiple perspectives and why leaders should be open to such before making a big and crucial decision.
UST Museum Joins ICOM Kyoto
The UST Museum was represented by its Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. and Assistant Director Ar. Carlo Sayco at the 25th International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Conference and the University Museums and Collections (UMAC) Annual Conference held in Kyoto, Japan from September 1-7, 2019. The Conference theme was “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition?”
They were joined by previous UST Museum Assistant Director Assoc. Prof. Anna Marie Bautista, who presented a poster exhibit entitled “Wrapping It Up! The Role of UST Museum through Design Education in the Preservation of the Pabalat, a Vanishing Traditional Filipino Art.”
According to Fr. Abaño, “When I attended ICOM in 2001, and became one of the first members of the UMAC Sub-Committee in Barcelona, there were always new ideas that I garnered from the conferences and experiences about museums. In ICOM Kyoto, I could say that there were two important things that struck me most.”
“First, there are many acceptable standards and criteria for museums, but consequently we realize that each and every museum is unique as regards its collection, management, culture and mind-set of the people. Secondly, while for quite some time the preservation of cultural heritage underpins its causes of destruction, today the emphasis should be more on the importance to broadcast its immeasurable value and beauty that will be lost if not taken care of by the world community. It’s no longer a museum of a particular establishment, but a museum of the world and the entire humanity.”
For Ar. Carlo Sayco, “One idea that the conference instilled in me is that museums are starting to have advocacies. Advocacies are ideas that help support a particular cause. In this case, museums, however varying they are, can come up with advocacies that promote not just their collections but the overall culture they try to instill in their constituents.”
He continues, “I have also learned about the efforts of various museums and was struck by unfortunate events such as fire, accidents and how they strive to recover from it. Notable talks were about the recent fires in the Amazon Forest and how these fires affect life not only in the said rainforest but to the rest of the world as well. I was also informed about the importance of collection safekeeping, especially on fires as recently, the National Museum of Brazil was ravaged by fire, destroying a considerable part of its collection. Right now, the National Museum of Brazil has developed methods to recover data lost from the fire using documentation on an area per area sweep in the structure.”
“The learnings would not be complete without having first-hand experience on the culture of Japan, with them being the hosts to a grand week-long event that was the ICOM conference. It was indeed an enriching experience, and I can say, has contributed to my knowledge about various museum practices with museum professionals from all across the globe sharing their expertise,” Ar. Sayco concluded.
Former UST Museum Assistant Director Assoc. Prof. Anna Bautista adds, “ICOM and UMAC 2019 were successful in presenting various aspects of museums, how it can serve as a venue to engage different sectors of the society, encouraging new ways to sustain the future through museums, and how scientific and intellectual collaborations enhance museum practices.”
She goes on to say, “Museums as cultural hubs serve as a vehicle to ensure that the future of tradition can be sustained, protected and preserved. Knowing. Doing. Being. When we know, we do. When we do, then we come to be. These are what we want the next generations to encounter.”
The next ICOM General Conference will be held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2022 and the next UMAC Annual Conference will be held in Sydney, Australia in 2020.
Princess of Thailand, Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy Cadets Visit UST
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand visited the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on June 4, 2019. With 57 cadets from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (CRMA) accompanying Her Royal Highness, the visit was part of the educational and cultural tour of the CRMA where Her Royal Highness is head of its History department.
UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro C. Abano, O.P., provided a tour of the Museum, explained its collection, and showed an exhibition specifically mounted for this delegation. The exhibition included artifacts from Thailand, and photographs of Her Royal Highness when she first visited UST in 1991.
UST Museum joins 11th Biennial National Convention of Church Cultural Heritage Workers
UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. and Collection Management and Documentation Assistant Maita Oebanda represented the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Museum at the 11th Biennial National Convention of Church Cultural Heritage Workers, held in Cebu City, from May 6 to 9, 2019.
The Conference’s theme was “The Importance of the Church’s Cultural Heritage at the Dawn of the 5th Centenary of the Arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.” The Convention opened with a mid-afternoon prayer presided over by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (ECCHC) member, the Most Reverend Nereo P. Odchimar, Bishop Emeritus of Tandag.
The Conference featured talks and presentations by Church cultural heritage workers from all over the Philippines, as well as a guest speaker from Nepal, namely Ahmedabad University Centre for Heritage Management Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neel Kamal Chapagain who spoke about “The Conservation of Sacred Structures in Nepal and India.”
The Biennial covered topics such as cultural heritage mapping, documentation, conservation of built heritage, conservation management plan development, and restoration; delegates also found talks on wood species biodiversity and chemistry as applied to conservation fascinating.
Holy Mass was concelebrated at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, with His Excellency the Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, D.D. Archbishop of Cebu as the main celebrant. Delegates also visited heritage churches in and around Cebu, with short talks about each structure at every location.
It has been proposed that the 12th Biennial, coinciding with the 500th year of Philippine Christianization, be held in Manila on 2021. UST will serve as venue and co-host, in light of its pivotal role in the Conferences since their inception.
Museum Team-Building Activity 2019
The administrators and staff of the UST Museum conducted their annual team-building activity at Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club in Lipa, Batangas, last April 26-27, 2019.
"Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green Under An Eternal Sun" Book Launch at the UST Museum
Author Gianni Orsini launched his book, "Romualdo Locatelli, Eternal Green Under An Eternal Sun," which features the painting, "Portrait of a Young Balinese Girl" from the collection of the UST Museum, at the Main Gallery last April 24, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Gianni Orsini, Msc. (Amsterdam, 1970) studied at Delft University of Technology. In 2005, Orsini started to write about these artists, after meeting Eveline Borntraeger-Stoll in Switzerland. In 2017, Orsini published his third book. That same year, the Indonesian Museum Pasifika (Nusa Dua, Bali) devoted a book of in-depth background surveys to some of its collections; to this book, Orsini contributed chapters on the Dutch East Indies-based oeuvres of European artists Auke Sonnega (1910-1963), Willem Dooijewaard (1892-1980), Roland Strasser (1886-1974), and Romualdo Locatelli (1905-1942/43). The latter was a prelude to the present biography on Locatelli, whose life and work he has researched since 2014.
Orsini regularly acts also as an assessor of the authenticity and value, of paintings as well as works on paper, by artists based in the former Dutch East Indies during the period from 1850 to 1960.
Shades of Love” – the UST Annual Inter-School OTSPC 2019
The UST Museum, in partnership with Metrobank Foundation, held the UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition (OTSPC) at the Benavides Gardens last February 15, 2019. Fine Arts students from Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP), Bulacan State University (BSU), College of the Holy Spirit (CHS-Manila), Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), Far Eastern University (FEU), Kalayaan College (KC), Mapua University (MU), Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines (UP), and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), with a total of 162 students participated this year.
Through the theme “VIEWING THE SHADES OF LOVE,” in this year’s OTSPC, the participants were challenged to share their sentiments and ideas about love through visual art. Hopefully, their sentiments and ideas about love render a great power that will surely shape the future of humanity and of this country.
Love is a fundamental and unchangeable human value. However, its understanding and expressions vary in the context of the world’s realities, such that love can be about love of God, love of country, love of parents, love of family, love of history, love of nature, etc. The present young generation surely has its own experiences and learnings about love within the changing realities of our society and the world.
The winners this year were: “KALEIDOSCOPE,” oil on canvas by Steven John Natal (BSU), 1st Place; “(IN)COMPLETE,” acrylic on canvas by Christian M. Casimiro (FEU), 2nd Place; and “HOME,” oil on canvas by Allan Dale Licaros (EARIST), 3rd Place.
1st, 2nd and 3rd Honorable Mentions were: “TUNAY NA PAGMAMAHAL,” oil on canvas by Warren L. Tanguilig (EARIST); “SA KABILA NG PAGSUBOK,” oil on canvas by John Rowell N. Correa (BSU); and “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE,” oil on canvas by Louis Rafael L. Espinosa (UST), respectively. All winners received cash prizes and special gifts from Giordano, represented by Giordano Marketing Officer Noel Villanueva. Lunch was in great part sponsored by KFC, thanks to Mr. Jess Montemayor.
This year’s panel of judges were: National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) National Committee on Art Galleries Head John Delan Robillos; visual artist and former UST College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) Dean Jaime Delos Santos; visual artist Celeste Lecaroz; conceptual artist, writer, heritage and cultural worker Ar. Raj Busmente. The judges for the Metrobank Choice Award were visual artists Mark Andy Garcia, Raffy Napay, and Lynyrd Paras. Notably, both Mr. Garcia and Mr. Napay were winners in the UST Annual Inter-School OTSPC.