Maningning Miclat Visual Arts Award

Continuing the legacy of mentorship
By Nico Erle Ciriaco

The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation Inc. (MMAFI) in cooperation with the District Gallery, the Artist Playground, and Far Eastern University's President's Committee on Culture unveiled an art exhibit featuring the 18 semi-finalists of the Maningning Miclat Visual Arts Award at the Exhibit Hall of FEU's Nicanor Reyes Hall.

"This undertaking started two years ago when the MMAFI was planning for a suitable venue for this event. Before her untimely demise, Maningning Miclat taught here at the Literature and Fine Arts department.

"The visual arts award celebrates her gift of poetry and art. It is also fitting that the exhibit unfolds on the first building on campus that was designed by National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio in 1938. And as FEU celebrates its 90th founding anniversary, we have kept the essence of this building's original Art Deco design," shared Martin Lopez, spokesperson for the President's Committee on the Arts.

For this year's competition, 62 entries qualified from the online applications received by the MMAFI Secretariat. A distinguished panel of judges, which included Dexter Sy (first winner of the competition in 2004), chose the 18 semi-finalists that will vie for the grand prize.

Of the lucky semi-finalits, five comes from EARIST - Andres M. Catig (Dinadalaw na Naman Tayo ng Kaluluwa ni Papa), Cyriel Cleope (Peace), Deo Carlos Amarante (Longings of the Heart), Dhan Louie Bautista (Collateral Damage), and Rhicelle Kirk Tabanera (Different Motions Through Everyday Situations); six are from the University of the East - Arvin Santos (Ordinary Day), Cyrill Jan Mustera (Sinners), Harddy DC Santos (Cover Up), Jayroll P. Francisco (Icon), Kenneth H. Santiago (Different States of Emotion), and John Nikko Pelaez (Beg); two from the Technological University of the Philippines - Christine Capili (Tabula Rasa) and Dominic Nelson Jinon (Come, He's Here), and lone qualifiers each from the Pangasinan State University (Jessica Lopez - Motion of Life), Marikina Polytechnic College (Ralph Lauren Barola - The ARTstoppable), UP Baguio (Ronald Dulay - Balik Tanaw), and Far Eastern University (Jheco Lorica - The Modern Throne of Basic Needs); as well as the entry of Wendi T. Patoc (Hindi na Maibabalik Pa).

The grand prize winner will be formally announced on Sept. 26 at the historic, newly reopened FEU Auditorium, when the exhibit closes. The top prize recipient will be given a Julie Lluch sculptured trophy, a Miclat book collection, a solo exhibit slot at District Gallery, and P28,000 in cash.

Now on it's eighth season, the biennial Maningning Miclat Visual Arts Award started in 2004 with Dexter Sy of FEU winning the plum prize for his work, Dominus Vobiscum. The other winners of the competition were Melvin Arlegui (FEU - The Show Must Go On), 2006; Raffy T. Napay (EARIST - Katauhan, Katotohanan), 2008; Lance Kirby Yaneza (FEATI - Sound of Silence), 2010; John Magne Lisondra (Negros Oriental State University - Munti Kong Pangarap), 2012; Niño Cubacub (EARIST - Abstract Family), 2014; and Robert Tiaño (Lipa City Public College - InbestigatoriPradyek), 2016.

"I can't pass by Nicanor Reyes Street without crying, remembering my daughter's demise 18 years ago. She jumped to her death from the seventh floor of this building in Sept. 29, 2000. But I have to move on. So I picked up the shards of my ruined life and shared them. After all, it was my daughter's dream to help young artists in having a place in this world, through the MMAFI and the art competition," declared Alma Cruz Miclat, MMAFI president.

During her lifetime, Maningning Miclat was a poet, fictionist, and essayist in English, Filipinos, and Chinese as well as a painter in Western and Chinese genre. A Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from UP Diliman, she was a fellow of the UP National Writers' Workshop, the Silliman Writers' Workshop, and the Rio Alma Poetry Clinic. Her Chinese poems made her one of the top-rated women poets in Chinese the world over.


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