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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, August 28, 2013
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‘Botong' exhibit opens

Jaime Agusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and chief executive officer of Ayala Corp., led the launching of the travelling exhibition on national artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco at The District North Point Mall in Talisay City, Negros Occidental yesterday, that will run until September 10.

Entitled “Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined”, the exhibition features 25 reproduction of Botong's paintings from institutional and private collections. Accompanying these images is a film produced by Ayala Foundation Inc. and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peque Gallaga on Botong's vision and artistry.

As a fulltime artist in Angono, Botong was a chronicler of the hometown he had inhabited since birth. His easel paintings depict intimate human gestures and daily still life images – folk and families at work, eating, feasting and praying.

Maria Lourdes Heras-De Leon, Ayala Foundation Inc. president, said the traveling exhibit of Botong was set up by Ayala Land and by their very own Ayala Museum. The Ayala Museum is under the foundation's Arts and Culture pillar, she said.

“Through our travelling exhibit, we wish to give Filipinos an opportunity to experience the beauty of art wherever they are,” De Leon said.

She also announced that one of their youth leadership programs, the Leadership Communities, will also be implemented in Bacolod City this year. “By integrating art and culture, youth leaders, and the Text2Teach in Negros Occidental, we hope to give you a holistic learning experience,” she said.

Mariles Gustilo, senior director for Arts and Culture of Ayala Foundation, said that the Ayala Museum, established in 1967, considers the promotion and appreciation of Philippine arts and culture as one of its primary goals.

Late last year, in honor of his 100th birthday, they paid tribute to Botong through a 4-month long exhibition, Gustilo said. It featured over 50 of his works from private collections plus a film by Gallaga that brought to life his large scale murals that hang in various public and private institutions, she said.

Gustilo said that after it closed in March this year, “We thought of producing a travelling version of the exhibition consisting of scaled reproductions and the film. For, despite his stature as a national artist, we realized that many Filipinos, especially the youth, are not familiar with Botong and his works,” she said.

She thanked Ayala Corp., Ayala Land and the Lacson family for making the exhibition possible at the Ayala District Mall.*CGS

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