"Locked Down with My Colors: Color More, Stress Less, Year 4" A Virtual Exhibition

The exhibition entitled “LOCKED DOWN WITH MY COLORS, COLOR MORE, STRESS LESS YEAR IV” began its run, not in the Museum Gallery as it usually does, but online via a video posted on the UST Museum’s YouTube channel on December 16, 2020.

This year, the popular coloring book exhibit featured chosen works together with personal

reflections of non-professional hobbyist individuals who have found comfort, meaning and enjoyment in their coloring books during the long months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fourth year of the exhibit presented in cooperation with Coloring Books for Adults Philippines included works by Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P.; Winona Alegre; Cathy Lasam Ballo; Dahlia Mia Barlaan-Alaras; Vermailene Barrios; Sandra Guia Briam; Ai Maristelle Carpio; Anrey Reyes Cosme; April Dy; Christina Fernandez; Ana Marie Fororonda; Mari Jo V. Gabinete; Anwy Gaño; Angelique Ginete; Angel Gorospe; Annie Gorospe; Beverly Laiz; Karen Linde; Maan Mercado; Diane Lane Pascual; Aly Carmen Quirolgico; Michi Rapada; Vivian Recio; Maet Sevillo; and Jennevie Shih. The artists rendered their works using watercolor, pastel, colored pencils and colored pens.

Heirlooms of Authority: A Virtual Exhibit

On the occasion of the election of the Very Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., PhD, as the 97th Rector of the University of Santo Tomas, the UST Museum created “HEIRLOOMS OF AUTHORITY,” an online exhibit that showcased the valuable objects in the UST Museum that are related to the Office of the Rector.

These objects symbolize the Rector's authority as the highest academic official of the University of Santo Tomas, have belonged to the Thomasian community for generations, and may be considered as heirlooms. The exhibit aimed to inform and educate viewers about the history, value, and significance of the objects related to the Office of the Rector, and was produced with the help of the UST Communication Bureau.

The virtual exhibit was uploaded to the Museum’s Facebook page on October 11, 2020.

The exhibit featured the silver Maces of the Office of the Rector, Rector’s Chairs, silver pen and ceremonial trays, crystal inkwells, and the past and current Rector’s Collar and Medallions. Also included were gifts to the Rector that are on display at the Rector’s Hall.

The Museum is grateful for the cooperation, support, and assistance of the Office of the Rector; the Office of the Secretary General; Miguel de Benavides Library; UST Archives; and the Facilities Management Office.

THE ROSARY – Into the Garden of Paradise

The rosary is an unparalleled Marian devotion. It has kept people close to God for centuries as a source of inspiration, comfort, and countless graces. In celebration of the month of the Rosary, the UST Museum presented “The Rosary – Into the Garden of Paradise.”

An exhibit created to promote the rosary devotion, the twenty mysteries were illustrated with photographic representations of Philippine art.

Though most of these were selected from the UST Museum collection, the exhibit also featured other works from churches in Tanay (Rizal), Silang (Cavite), Calumpit (Bulacan), Santo Domingo (Quezon City), and Caleruega Retreat Center (Nasugbu, Batangas), as well as the Museo ng Archidiocesis ng Maynila. Gospel citations assist in contemplating each mystery.

UST Museum Director Elected to ICOM Philippines Executive Board

UST Museum Director Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. was elected a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Philippines Executive Board during the General Assembly held last January 12, 2020 at the Ateneo Art Gallery. His term of office will run for three years.

The UST Museum is a longstanding institutional member of ICOM, with Fr. Abaño being one of the founding members of the ICOM University Museums and Collections (UMAC) Sub-Committee, established in Barcelona, Spain in 2001. He has also served as a Board Member of UMAC from 2013 to 2016, and spearheaded the UMAC 2015 International Conference hosted by UST.

The incumbent Chair of ICOM Philippines is cultural anthropologist Dr. Nestor Castro, Chair and the Board Members along with Fr. Abaño are: artist and businessman Mr. Anthony Gedang; Ayala Museum Senior Manager of Exhibitions and Collections Ms. Aprille Tijam; applied anthropologist Mr. Joseph Lalo; Asian Institute of Maritime Studies president Ms. Arlene Abuid-Paderanga; and historian and author Mr. Ambeth Ocampo.

UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition (OTSPC) 2020

The UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition 2020 was held on February 15, 2020 and was marked by strict adherence to health protocols established by the University in response to what was at the time, the emerging threat of COVID-19.

Fine Arts students from colleges and universities were invited to interpret their own “Message For Peace” – the OTSPC theme for 2020. As always, the competition proper was held out in the open at the Benavides Garden, which allowed for proper social distancing. Participants underwent temperature checks and health screenings by the UST Health Service before being allowed to register. Judging procedures and awarding ceremonies this year were held at the Plaza Mayor rather than indoors, in the interest of everyone’s safety. The competition proper ran from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Awarding began at 5:00 p.m. and ended at 6:00 p.m.

The winners this year were: “TAWAG NG KAPAYAPAAN,” acrylic on canvas by Chester Aaron Sia from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, 1st Place; “IT ALL BEGINS WITH US,” oil on canvas by Mark James Barbecho of Bulacan State University (BSU), 2nd Place; and “KAILANGANG DAANAN ANG DIGMAAN BAGO MAGKAROON NG KAPAYAPAAN,” oil on canvas by Reynaldo Barredo, Jr. of Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), 3rd Place.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Honorable Mentions were: “LOOK AROUND AND YOU WILL SEE,” oil on canvas by Jemson Conje (EARIST); “UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE,” acrylic on canvas by Jose Pamatian (UP); and “FAITH AND HARMONY,” acrylic on canvas by Rhichelle Kirk Tabanera (EARIST), respectively. All winners received cash prizes and special gifts from Giordano, represented by Giordano Marketing Officer Mr. Noel Villanueva, as well as art materials from Pebeo, represented by Mr. Jorge Vizcarra.

This year’s panel of judges were: Museo Ng Kaalamang Katutubo, Inc. Director Cora Alvina; National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) National Committee on Art Galleries Head John Delan Robillos; art collector Flora Urquico; photographer Manuel “Butch” Tan; and UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P.

Partnering once again with the UST Museum was the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. The special Metrobank Choice Awardee was Ronneille Talavera of BSU. The judges for the Metrobank Choice Award were visual artists Mark Andy Garcia, Raffy Napay, and Carlomar Daoana. Mr. Garcia and Mr. Napay were themselves previous winners in the UST Annual Inter-School OTSPC.

Museum Facilities Improvements

2020 has been a unique, challenging, and interesting year for the UST Museum. The year began with decluttering storage areas from January to February, but operations were ceased as preventive maintenance and in adherence to university and national policies as the COVID-19 pandemic began to escalate and lockdown began.

After the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) restrictions were eased, the University resumed operations with scaled-down workforces beginning June 2020.

In response to safety protocols, disinfectant mats and alcohol dispensers were put in place for the safety of the staff, whose work schedules were staggered in order to ensure physical distancing and minimize health risks.

The Museum, although not yet allowed to receive guests, made good use of the opportunity to continue improving and refurbishing the lighting, cabinets, and displays. More detailed documentation was accomplished, and conservation procedures which are normally difficult to carry out when there are guests onsite were also done from June through September. The Natural History endangered endemic species diorama was also repainted and the contents laid out anew.

October saw new lighting for the freshly-repainted displays outside the Director’s Office, with Museum Director Fr. Abaño himself curating the objects.

When the Museum welcomes guests once again, they will be treated to a fresh, updated look and an improved visitor experience!

RECUERDO DE FILIPINAS: A Survey of the Cultural Landscape Through Postcards, Stamps and Letters, 1898-1941

"RECUERDO DE FILIPINAS" was an exhibition that ushered viewers through a journey to the Philippine cultural and communication landscapes as featured in the postcards from the Pichon Family and Robert Biggert collection, historic stamps from the UST Museum and from the Archivo del Convento de la Santa Cruz de los Padres Dominicos de San Juan del Monte, M. Manila and significant letters from the holdings of the Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomás.

The exhibit was on display from January 30-May 30, 2020 at the Exhibit Area, UST Miguel de Benavides Library, ground floor.

The digital copies of the postcards on display, which are from the collection of the Pichon Family, are available in the Digital Library Website (http://digilib.ust.edu.ph/). The rest of the donated postcards were to be uploaded as well.

“ROMUALDO LOCATELLI: An Artistic Voyage from Rome, the Eternal City to Bali, the Island of the Gods” Book Launch

The UST Museum was pleased to host the launch of the book “ROMUALDO LOCATELLI: An Artistic Voyage from Rome, the Eternal City to Bali, the Island of the Gods” edited by Vittorio Sgarbi last January 30, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. at the UST Museum Main Gallery, University of Santo Tomas.

The book, published by the Associazione Culturale Amici dei Locatelli, Figli d’Arte, was presented by Signora Daniela Locatelli, niece of the artist Romualdo Locatelli and president of the Locatelli Art Association.

The painting, “Portrait of a Young Balinese Girl” by Locatelli, from the collection of the UST Museum, is featured in the book, and was on display during the book launch. Signora Locatelli presented the Museum and the University with copies of the book, which is one of the most authoritative publications on the life and work of one of the greatest and most sought-after Orientalist painters.

Guests were welcomed by UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., followed by a special message from His Excellency, The Honorable Giorgio Guglielmino, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Philippines. Among the guests were UST Secretary General Rev. Fr. Jesus M. Miranda, Jr., O.P., PhD and representatives from art galleries and museums.

PROJECT: Vicarial Image of the Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario

Last November 7, 2020, the UST Museum was given the task to take photographs with actual measurements of the image of the Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary) of UST for the purpose of recording details and commissioning a vicarial image. The documentation was carried out under the direct supervision of Museum Director Rev. fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., assisted by Noel Villaseñor and Grandy Belchez.

Philippine Fruit-Bearing Trees by the UST Museum

Plantitos" and "plantitas” have become a household word for the explosive interest in plants and planting during this long period of quarantine due to COVID-19. In order to counteract boredom and make use of passing time fruitfully, many individuals have embarked on cultivating all sorts of plants, from the most expensive to the lowly grass.

The UST Museum is one of those infected by the hobby. This November 2020, having in mind that conservation of cultural heritage includes nature and the environment, UST Museum Director Rev. fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. took it upon himself to collect and plant in the campus some Philippine fruit-bearing trees that are becoming less known.

Among them are: gumihan, lipote, cambarella, anonas, yambo, bitongkol, balimbing, abiu, mansanitas, and hagis. They were acquired through donation, in great part, by the Faculty of Civil Law Dean, Atty. Nilo Divina.