From left, Ambassador Teodoro L. Locsin, Dr. Marcelito Custodio, Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-de Vega, Mr. John Ablaza and Mrs. Louie Barcelon Locsin at the opening of the exhibit “Maestrong Pilipino” at the Philippine Center in New York on June 8, 2017. Behind them is the “A Wiping,” a work by National Artist Hernando R. Ocampo.  (Photo by NYPCG)

The Philippine Center in New York celebrated Philippine art, culture, design and music at the launch of the “Maestrong Pilipino,” an Independence Day exhibit at the Philippine Center in New York.

“Maestrong Pilipino” is a rare exhibit featuring the works of National artists like Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, Hernando R. Ocampo, Arturo Luz, Jerry Elizalde Navarro, Ang Kiukok, Jose T. Joya, Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, as a special offering to the public in commemoration of the 119th Anniversary of Philippine Independence.

The works of other renowned Filipino artists like Manuel D. Baldemor, Manuel Rodriguez, Sr., Mauro Malang Santos, Rene Robles, Eduardo Castrillo, Lao Lian Ben, Solomon Saprid and Abdulmari Toym de Leon Imao, Jr. are also on display at the lobby gallery and Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center located in the heart of New York City.

These works by acclaimed Filipino artists are part of the Philippine Center’s art collection acknowledged as one of the more notable collections of modern Philippine art outside the Philippines.

“Many of the artworks on exhibit hang in the private offices and are not readily seen by regular visitors to the Center. To see them now on display for the duration of our national day celebration is truly a visual feast, a pure pleasure and delight,” said Ms. Lenore R.S.

Lim is a 2004 Pamana ng Pilipino Awardee and President of the RS Lim Foundation for the Arts.


Guests appreciate the art pieces on exhibit, including the collection of petite gowns and dresses by John Ablaza at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.  (Photo by NYPCG)

Dr. Marcelito Custodio, President of the Society of Philippine American Artists, Inc. (SPAA), provided a well-researched introduction and background of the art pieces and their corresponding artists.

Aside from the art works the charming and intricate collection of petite Filipiñana gowns and dresses by fashion designer and artist John Ablaza were loaned to the Center for display during the launch program.

The collection of miniature couture amazed the guests with their detail and design.

Guests were likewise serenaded by young New York and New Jersey based-singer Kirby Asunto and musician and conductor Michael Dadap.

The duo gave a beautiful rendition of Visayan songs accompanied by classical guitar.

As part of the celebration of Philippine Independence month, refreshments at the opening were provided by newly-opened Brooklyn-based Filipino coffee shop “Mountain Province Espresso Café” — a pioneering Filipino-American enterprise serving coffee varieties from Benguet Province, as well as native Philippine delicacies.

The exhibit is a project of the Philippine Consulate General in New York headed by Consul General Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-de Vega and the Philippine Center represented by its Manager Consul Arman R. Talbo.

The “Maestrong Pilipino” Exhibit runs until June 30, 2017.


Philippine coffee and native delicacies from Mountain Province Espresso Café.  (Photo by NYPCG)


Ani ng Dangal awardee Kirby Asunto (left) and musician Michael Dadap perform a beautiful medley of Visayan songs.  (Photo by NYPCG)

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