Monday, March 9, 2015

SININGSAYSAY - Philippine History in Art at the Gateway Gallery, Araneta Center, Cubao

The Siningsaysay is the joint project of the University of the Philippines (UP), the UP Alumni Association (UPAA), and the Araneta Center Inc..
The art exhibits of 30 large-scale paintings highlights Philippine history and culture as depicted by the artistic illustrated views of respected and highly-recognized UP artists in our time. 
The Araneta Center's Gateway gallery.
Their works tell us the story of the Philippines from the time it was occupied by pre-historic settlers down to the rediscovery of our archipelago by the western explorers, Spanish colonization, US and Japanese war, and the many struggles, atrocities, recovery,  development and progress through the years  till the recent years, some of which were witnessed by us.  
Ruben D.F. Defeo
Prof. Ma. Luisa T. Camagay sharing to bloggers her own way of helping the participating artists and her short list of "Did you know" about Philippine history.
The Araneta Center's Gateway gallery.
The artists did their work meticulously that they went back to do some research literally through various form of historical literature references that includes old textbooks, almanac, vintage and old back issues of newspapers and magazines, as well as old photographs, and of course in some authoritative websites that cater to Philippine history.  Part of their work is to paint first their obra in a small-scale canvass fondly called by local artists as the busitos that they have to carry with them every time they have to consult some notable historians in UP and some people of interests to their piece of art. The artwork, when finalized, is then transferred to a huge canvass measuring 2 meters x 4 meters (mistakenly called and referred to by some as mural) by painstakingly painting up to the finest details according to factual references.       
Jingjing Romero of Stratos Inc. hosted the special  preview for bloggers.
A special preview of Siningsaysay for bloggers. Seated in front are some of the artists involved and organizers of Siningsaysay

The paintings are carefully crafted that each frame must not fall flat on its face.  The artists had put some motion in the illustration and used  the color of an expressionist and the surreal and/or realistic texture of lights and shades. The result was a tapestry of fragmented significant events of Philippine history hand-painted on 2 x 4 meter canvasses.
Jingjing Romero of Stratos Inc.
A special preview of Siningsaysay for bloggers. Seated in front are some of the artists involved and organizers of Siningsaysay
The word Siningsaysay is coined after combining two Tagalog words, the sining (arts) and the kasaysayan (history). Thus, it means the illustrated version of  telling history, where instead of reading texts, the historical events are retold through art paintings.   

To fully understand about Siningsaysay is to know also the story and see the scenes behind the exhibit. Thus, I suggest you to get a copy of video documentary of Gigi Javier Alfonso, available in CD with accompanying printed glossed-paper booklet in full color, The Making of Siningsaysay - Philippine History in Art.  

It took many years to complete the project. Finally, it was unveiled to coincide with the 6oth Anniversary of the Araneta Center Complex in Cubao City that houses the said grand exhibit of large-scale paintings.
The Araneta Center's Gateway gallery.

The art exhibit is open to the public and is highly recommended to visiting local and foreign tourists.  Students in all levels are also encouraged to visit the exhibit to witness before their eyes the artistic rendition of Philippine history.  It is wise for campus administrations and tour organizers to include in their upcoming field trips and excursions to drop by at the exhibit. 
Edgie with Ruben D.F. Defeo (Curator, Writer, Member of UP Project Team) and Prof. Ma. Luisa T. Camagay (Historian, Writer, and Member of UP Project Team)

Margette with Ponciano E. Rivera (Regent of UP, and President of UPAA), and Ruben D.F. Defeo
The Siningsaysay is easily accessible as it is situated in the center of Metro Manila. You can get there by riding the MRT train, EDSA bound buses, jeepneys, and taxis. You can find and witness the Siningsaysay at:

Gateway Gallery
5th Level, Gateway Tower Mall
Araneta Center, Cubao, Q.C.
The gallery is accessible from the ground floor of the Gateway Mall entrance by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, by just taking the elevator to the 5th floor.

The exhibit is open every day from 11:oo AM to 7:00P.M.

Lunch with the organizers of Siningsaysay in Gloria Maris (4th Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City)

Standing L-R:  Edgie Polistico, Simkin de Pio, Pablo "Adi" Baen-Santos, Jonahmar Salvosa, Jingjing Romero, Ruben "Dado" D.F. Defeo; Seated L-R: Margette Polistico, Ging Santos, Romeo S.A Carlos, Atty. Gary Tiongco, Atty. Gladys S. J.Tiongco, Ramon Maronilla, Ponciano E. Rivera Jr., and Crissy Caballero and son Lyndel
The UP alumni artists who participated in the Siningsaysay are the following with the title of their participating paintings: 

  • Luis "Jun" E. Yee Jr.  - Prehistoric Philippines I 
  • Benjamin "Benjie" I. Cabangis - Prehistoric Philippines II
  • Simkin S. De Pio -  Peopling the Philippines I
  • Gig de Pio - Peopling the Philippines II
  • Armand B. Bacaltos - The West Discovers the Philippines I
  • Amado H. Hidalgo - The West Discovers the Philippine II
  • Jonahmar A. Salvador - Galleon Trade
  • Janice Young - Reunion: Chinese in the Philippines
  • Vincent Paolo S. De Pio - Filipino Responses to Spanish Colonization
  • Romeo Mananquil - Breaking Colonial Ties I
  • Aileen Grace Lanuza-de Pio - Breaking Colonial Ties II
  • Grace "Gigi" Javier Alfonso - Women Empowerment in the Philippines
  • Adonai Artificio -  Re-asserting Independence
  • Norman Dreo - American Betrayal of an Ally
  • Ben Cabrera (a.k.a. Ben Cab) - Filipinos Experiencing Invasion
  • Crisostomo "Cris" S. Cruz - The Philippines Under Starts and Stripes
  • Norlito "Norlie" P. Meimban - Building from the Ashes
  • Leonilo Neil" Doloricon - History of Labor in the Philippines
  • Romeo Carlos and Michael Velasco - Quirino Presidency
  • Bernardino "Ben" F. Infante - Post-War Philippines
  • Pablo "Adi" Baen-Santos - Martial Law in the Philippines
  • Angel C. Cacnio - Filipinos Unite to End Martial Law
  • Michael N. Velasco - Ramos / Estrada Administration
  • Grandier Gil C. Bella -  Restoration of Democracy Continues
  • Denes Villa Cruz Dasco - Philippines Icons and Symbols
  • Romeo S. A. Carlos - Philippine Festivals

Members of the UP Siningsaysay Projects Team are  Alfredo E. Pascua (UP President), Emerlinda R. Roman (former UP President), Gari M. Tiongco (former UP Regent), Gladys S. J. Tiongco (former UP Regent), Pociano E. Rivera (UP Regent and UPAA President), Jorge L. Araneta (President of the Araneta Group of Companies), Judy Araneta Roxas (President of the Don Amado Araneta Foundation), Romeo S. A. Carlos (Artist/UPAA Executive Director), Ruben  D.F. Defeo (Professor, Curator/writer), Ma.Luisa T. Camagay (Historian),  and Gigi Javier Alfonso (Project Leader/artist/documentarist)  

For information about Araneta Center gallery, you may contact its Curator, Mr. Gregorio R. Apolonio III at (02) 911-3101 extension 7432, or through mobile phone at (+63) 908-881-6406. 

Send email to or  Visit also the website


#SiningSaysay #UPAA #AranetaCenter #Gateway #UniversityOfThePhilippines #UPArtists #Paintings #PhilippineHistory #MyLifestyle #MyLifestylePlan #PhilippineIllustrated #SettingFootprints

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.

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