Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Voters Ed: Salingpusa artists interpret Mabini's Decalogue

Kudos to Gigo Alampay of the Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (Canvas) for mounting Dekalogo before elections to remind us of our national hero Apolinario Mabini's ten precepts which reads more like commandments called The True Decalogue .

The exhibit features ten Salingpusa artists to represent one commandment - Elmer Borlogan, Manny Garibay, Anthony Palomo, Karen Flores, Jose Santos III, Cris Villanueva, Jim Orencio, Tammy Tan, Neil Manalo, and Ferdie Montemayor.

The choice of Salingpusa is quite apt, the origin of the group quoting from Ronald Hilario: "Easel painting, in the form of large-scale canvases and the social-realist mode of commentary made a comeback in the early 90's with the popularity of Grupong Salingpusa. A collective of young and student artists, the group's initial objective was to break into the field of art discourse which was dominated by a constellation of individual senior artists. They succeeded in getting the art world's attention by introducing the novel method of interactive mural painting. Salingpusa members are known to create large murals in minutes a kind of performance in its own right. Their works are characterized by the representation of negative social emotions such as dread, isolation and disconnectedness in highly surreal urban environments."

Here's Mabini's 10 commandments for Filipinos which was originally written in Spanish and written to accompany his greatest work, the first Philippine Republic Constitution.

by Apolinario Mabini

by Neil Manalo. First. Thou shalt love God and thy honor above all things: God as the fountain of all truth, of all justice and of all activity; and thy honor, the only power which will oblige thee to be faithful, just and industrious.

[by Anthony Palomo] Second. Thou shalt worship God in the form which thy conscience may deem most righteous and worthy: for in thy conscience, which condemns thy evil deeds and praises thy good ones, speaks thy God.

[by Tammy Tan] Third. Thou shalt cultivate the special gifts which God has granted thee, working and studying according to thy ability, never leaving the path of righteousness and justice, in order to attain thy own perfection, by means whereof thou shalt contribute to the progress of humanity; thus; thou shalt fulfill the mission to which God has appointed thee in this life and by so doing, thou shalt be honored, and being honored, thou shalt glorify thy God.

by Manny Garibay. Fourth. Thou shalt love thy country after God and thy honor and more than thyself: for she is the only Paradise which God has given thee in this life, the only patrimony of thy race, the only inheritance of thy ancestors and the only hope of thy posterity; because of her, thou hast life, love and interests, happiness, honor and God.

by Ferdie Montemayor. Fifth. Thou shalt strive for the happiness of thy country before thy own, making of her the kingdom of reason, of justice and of labor: for if she be happy, thou, together with thy family, shalt likewise be happy.

[by Cris Villanueva, Jr.] Sixth. Thou shalt strive for the independence of thy country: for only thou canst have any real interest in her advancement and exaltation, because her independence constitutes thy own liberty; her advancement, thy perfection; and her exaltation, thy own glory and immortality.

Eclipse by Karen Flores. Seventh. Thou shalt not recognize in thy country the authority of any person who has not been elected by thee and thy countrymen; for authority emanates from God, and as God speaks in the conscience of every man, the person designated and proclaimed by the conscience of a whole people is the only one who can use true authority.

Sulong sa isip at gawa by Jim Orencio. Eighth. Thou shalt strive for a Republic and never for a monarchy in thy country: for the latter exalts one or several families and founds a dynasty; the former makes a people noble and worthy through reason, great through liberty, and prosperous and brilliant through labor.

No Tresspassing by John Santos. Ninth. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: for God has imposed upon him, as well as upon thee, the obligation to help thee and not to do unto thee what he would not have thee do unto him; but if thy neighbor, failing in this sacred duty, attempt against thy life, thy liberty and thy interests, then thou shalt destroy and annihilate him for the supreme law of self-preservation prevails.

Kapit Bisig by Emong Borlongan. Tenth. Thou shalt consider thy countryman more than thy neighbor; thou shalt see him thy friend, thy brother or at least thy comrade, with whom thou art bound by one fate, by the same joys and sorrows and by common aspirations and interests.

Therefore, as long as national frontiers subsist, raised and maintained by the selfishness of race and of family, with thy countryman alone shalt thou unite in a perfect solidarity of purpose and interest, in order to have force, not only to resist the common enemy but also to attain all the aims of human life.

The adjacent exhibit Everyday Filipino Heroes present works of emerging and senior artists "send a collective message about the role of the electorate in free elections, one that is critical and discerning and therefore heroic, never needing to be taken by saviors and messiahs of change." Both exhibits are ongoing at the Vargas Museum in University of the Philippines, Diliman campus until May 31, 2010.

What makes this event unique are the collaterals meant to engage the public. The campus oval is lined with banners representing each Everyday Hero artist while ten 'vote wisely' posters representing the ten dekalogo and artists available online for free. For more info, call Vargas Museum at 928-19-27 or Canvas' Gigo Alampay at (0917) 890-6160.

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