A Bookworm in Cebu


I didn’t have any posts up last weekend because I had to fly to Cebu on Friday night on a business trip, to cover the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival hosted by the provincial government at the Cebu International Convention Center.

I’ve been to Cebu at least once a year in the past four years (second time this year), but always for work, with a bit of leisure crammed in. Always hopeful for some reading time, I packed three books, although to no avail. For some reason, when I have several books with me I never find the time to read, and when I don’t have any books with me I end up with absolutely nothing to do!

I didn’t have much time to go around because our activities were packed (I wish I can go to Cebu for fun next time!), but I managed to squeeze in some bookish time– finished one book, went to a couple of Book Sale branches and got a bunch of books, scoped out some bookish items at the trade fair, and met up with a Flipper friend!

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In Remembrance of Botong

National Artist for Visual Arts Carlos "Botong" Francisco. Photo courtesy of Vibal Foundation.

Yesterday This week, I went on a media tour to Angono, Rizal, touted to be the “Art Capital of the Philippines.”

Angono has produced two National Artists, namely Carlos “Botong” Francisco (for visual art) and Lucio San Pedro (for music), and several well-known artists such as Nemiranda, the Blanco family of painters, and Perdigon. In recent years, younger generations of artists have emerged in Angono and art galleries and studios are a familiar sight in this municipality.

The subject of our tour was Angono’s most famous son, Botong Francisco, best known for his sprawling murals (some up to 200 feet!) that are a familiar sight to Filipinos as a lot of them are displayed in prominent institutions. His masterpieces, which depict historical scenes and Filipino communities, include the MalacaƱang mural “Fiesta”, “Blood Compact” (Yuchengco Museum / RCBC Building), “First Mass at Limasawa” (National Museum), “The Martyrdom of Rizal” (Fort Santiago), and “Stations of the Cross” (Far Eastern University).

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