What They Say of Papo de Asis

Papo was ever eager to know better the workers and peasants that he depicted in his works. He either lived with them or he renewed his links with them through visits and serious social investigation… He made manifest his position on social reality not only in the relatively cozy art galleries with framed paintings but also in street mass actions with huge murals and gigantic figures.

We are happy to know that wherever Papo was, in the Philippines, in the United States or elsewhere, he was always a revolutionary dedicated to the struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy as well as to that of the people of the world against imperialism and reaction. He looked forward to the eventual victory of the proletariat and people in the struggle for socialism.

Papo de Asis will always live in our hearts and minds and in the struggle of the Filipino people for national and social liberation against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. (Tribute to Papo de Asis, Jan. 12, 2005, Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle; Julieta de Lima, Executive Director,International Network of Philippine Studies)

BAYAN USA pays tribute to Danilo Hubbero “Papo” de Asis–people’s artist, revolutionary, and kasama in the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines…May Papo live on in our collective memory as one of those artists who remained true and faithful to the cause of the Filipino people, and may his dedication to the struggle inspire artists and organizers to continue fighting for the liberation of all people from the grips of imperialism. (BAYAN USA)


It’s not the manner of death

That makes someone a hero.

It is the meaning drawn

From the struggles against the foe.

There is the hero who dies in the battlefield,

There is the hero who dies of hunger and disease,

There is the hero who dies of some accident,

There is the hero who dies of old age.

Whatever is the manner of death,

There is a common denominator

A hero serves the people

To his very last breath.

(MIGRANTE Europe Statement, citing a poem from Prison and Beyond by Jose Maria Sison)

Mulat si Papo sa katotohanan ng tiranya sa lipunan. Siya ay biktima bilang isang artista ng sining biswal, nais makahulagpos sa kalakaran na idinidikta ng kinang ng salapi at hindi ng pagkakaunawa at pagpapahalaga sa katotohanan at ng buhay…

Dama ng mga pintor ang pangangailangan magpinta para mabuhay; ganun din upang itaas ang kanilang sining bilang isang paraan ng pamamahayag ng katotohanan at pag-asa. (Concerned Artists of the Philippines, 2005)

The passing of Papo due to a stroke on January 8, 2005 marks a great loss of a man who meant so much to his family as well as to the artist and activist communities. As a fiancé, father, brother, friend, artist, social justice activist and community organizer, Papo was an inspiration to all who met him…

He used his brush and canvas to express what we could not always do with words. He has dedicated his life to the cause of social justice and for that the people will always be grateful. It is indeed a difficult farewell to a man that has given so much of himself to the world but also for those in the world that have become his family, his legacy will continue to inspire and guide us. (Habi Arts)

Papo’s contributions to the arts is revolutionary both in its content and form. Papo is known as the people’s artist. His art was largely dedicated to social realism. He challenged the point of view of the dominant colonial, semi-feudal, and imperialist class culture. He faithfully depicted the conditions of the Filipino people and was dedicated to the struggle of the Filipino people for national freedom and democracy and of people around the world against imperialism. With the stroke of his brush, he captured the history of the people’s struggle for justice and freedom. He was able to penetrate that deep place in the mind and heart where the aspirations of the people live. (Melissa Roxas, Chairperson, Habi Arts)

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