Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Vol. IV,    No. 41      November 14 - 20, 2004      Quezon City, Philippines











Web Bulatlat


(We encourage readers to dialogue with us. Email us your letters complaints, corrections, clarifications, etc.)

Join Bulatlat's mailing list



(Email us your letters statements, press releases,  manifestos, etc.)



For turning the screws on hot issues, Bulatlat has been awarded the Golden Tornillo Award.

Iskandalo Cafe


Copyright 2004 Bulatlat


Angono Remembers Two Homegrown National Artists

Angono, Rizal, known as the “Artists’ Haven of the Philippines,” paid tribute to two national artists who hailed from the area in a celebration that showcased the town’s rich cultural tradition.


Francisco (left photo)
and San Pedro

ANGONO, Rizal – Municipal officials, artists and residents here paid tribute to their homegrown National Artists Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Maestro Lucio San Pedro last Nov. 4 by offering flowers to their tomb, opening various art exhibits, launching the historic street painting and founding a new art movement and organization.

Botong, whose 92nd birthday fell on the same date, was declared National Artist for Visual Arts in 1973 while San Pedro received the same award for Music in 1991.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), which screen awardees for the highest and most prestigious art recognition, described Botong as “the poet of Angono, who revived single-handed the forgotten art of mural and remained its most distinguished practitioner for nearly three decades.”

San Pedro, on the other hand, is known in the music scene as the “creative nationalist” who devoted nearly 60 years of his life as composer, conductor and teacher to young musicians in Angono and nationwide.

Angono is a bayside town in the province of Rizal located 18 kms south of Manila.

The Nov. 4 commemoration used to be called “Parangal kay Botong” (Tribute for Botong) but after San Pedro died two years ago, officials and artists here decided to include San Pedro and other artists of the town who passed away in remembering their contributions to the town that prides itself as the “Artists’ Haven of the Philippines.”

Botong’s and San Pedro’s tombs also lie adjacent to each other.  Both “Maestros,” who were cousins, died on March 31 – Botong in 1969 and San Pedro in 2002.

The commemoration

The morning program was held at Angono’s cemetery called Mountain of Eternal Peace. Botong’s and San Pedro’s friends – former Angono Mayor Nemesio Miranda, Sr. and businessman Carlos Tan Chuy Chua -- reminisced their days with the two National Artists whom they described as gracious, keenly devoted to their art, and “whose lives were deeply wedded in their people and community.”

Students from the Angono National High School’s Special Program for the Arts (SPA) danced, recited poems and sang accompanied by the Angono Wind Ensemble under the baton of Romel Gragera.

Artist Nemi Miranda, meanwhile, shared his optimism on the prospects and development of the arts in Angono.

After the program, an interactive painting initiated by the Visual Arts Committee of the Foundation for Culture and the Arts of Angono, Inc. (FFCAAI) was held on Poblacion Itaas, where Botong’s house-studio stands.

Established artists from Angono Ateliers Association, independent artists, art students from SPA, as well as children as young as two years old, dipped their paintbrushes on paints, producing images that range from realism, abstract and figurative expressions.

Rizal Vice-Governor Jestoni Alarcon was also present.

The next day, Nov. 5, FFCAAI and town officials opened the annual exhibit at the town gymnasium, which drew participation from around 100 established, young and student artists.

National Artist for Visual Arts (Sculpture) Napoleon Abueva, the guest of honor, pointed out the need for NCCA and CCP to “give Angono special credit and recognition” for its vibrant contribution to the art scene in the country.

On the evening of Nov. 6, around 40 artists from Angono Artists Association (AAA), opened their exhibit at the Pasig City Museum dubbed as “Paggaod sa Bayan ng Angono” (Paying a visit to the town of Angono).

Young artists

On Nov. 6 also, young independent artists, writers and poets, and cultural workers hatched a new art organization and movement in Angono. Calling itself “NEO-ANGONO,” the group, which was borne out amid changing times, strives to render modernist visual and artistic language and explore the possibilities of art by articulating and invigorating contemporary Angono experience, sensibility and consciousness.

The group’s programs, which will be held on Nov. 22, the eve of town fiesta, include site-specific installations, public art performances, in-transit or “moving” graphic/poetry works, studio exhibitions, poetry-music fusion performance, and artists’ talk/symposium.

“We want to inspire young artists in Angono to explore the limits of art and create new perception. Through our programs and activities, we hope to bring art closer to the people by diluting or constricting the space between the artwork/performer and viewer/audience. Ang buong Angono kasi ay isa ng malaking canvas o teatro na pwedeng pagtanghalan ng ating mga sining” (The entire Angono is one large canvass or theater which can feature our art), the group’s statement said.

NEO-ANGONO’s advisers are Prof. Alice Guillermo, respected art critic and former chairman of the Art Studies Department at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and Jesus Manuel “Koyang Jess” Santiago, two-time “Poet of the Year” by the National Language Commission, visual artist and respected nationalist musician. Bulatlat




© 2004 Bulatlat  Alipato Publications

Permission is granted to reprint or redistribute this article, provided its author/s and Bulatlat are properly credited and notified.