Filipino heroism has been defined by great figures such as Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan who fought against the Spanish, to Juan Luna, the renowned artist for the Philippine Revolution, to Jose Rizal, our very own national hero who used his knowledge and wit to challenge the Spanish colonizers. Yet lost in all the greatness of their deeds for the country, some people could have been overshadowed by the scale of the works these eminent figures have done also out of the same sense of patriotism. These acts come from the most common of people who have risen up for their own identity as a Filipino and fought for the Philippines.
The Constantino Murals presents Hidden in Plain Sight: A Celebration of Filipino Heroism by TUTOK – a collaboration between Filipino artists – from 2007. Their goal was to create subversive, but not militant murals; all while encompassing the theme of Filipino heroism by displaying the common people and the heroes Macario Leon Sakay and Lean Alejandro in their art. The two murals were previously showcased in the Ospital ng Makati and the San Juan City Hall to be viewed by the everyday Filipino as they carry on with their routine engagements.
The intricately detailed three-part mural featuring Macario Leon Sakay first focused on the Filipino revolution during the Spanish colonization period; second, the American colonization; and finally, the first revolution in EDSA. The second mural dedicated to Lean Alejandro focused on Makati and its former mayor Jejomar Binay, and the first E-jeep; these are some of the things that the Filipino workforce would usually see on a daily basis.
The purpose of these artworks was to spark a conversation between the artists and the viewers. Aside from this, it prompted the viewers to ask countless questions to contribute to the discussion that the Constantino Murals evokes.
The murals are open to visitors for viewing with some special lectures regarding social politics and its relation to art from October 14, 2017 up until March 24, 2018 at UP Diliman’s Bulwagan ng Dangal, University Heritage Museum.
Information regarding Hidden in Plain Sight: A Celebration of Filipino Heroism Exhibit can be accessed at their Facebook events page: https://www.facebook.com/events/179706579266031/
Report by Maia Boncan and Hazel Lam