Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The Exaggerator has so kindly called our attention on an inaccuracy in a particular information in our Juan De La Cruz post. And I quote:
"Actually, "John Bull" is the symbolic personification of Great Britain; the Union Jack refers to the flag, which, in the several depictions of John Bull, is oft appropriated as a waistcoat."
That is John Bull's photo you see above.  
May I also clarify that Juan De La Cruz is neither a a symbolic representation of the Philippines nor the Filipino people but of the Filipino masses. 
I apologize for all the information errors. 
Thank you

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spoliarium: Among the Best of Filipino Paintings

The Spoliarium  by Filipino artist icon, Juan Luna.  

Luna entered this painting to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884, where it won a gold medal. In the same exposition, Hidalgo won a silver medal for his "Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho." (See photo below) Because of the twin victory of the two Filipino painters, Filipinos in Spain gathered to honor them. One of the Filipinos was Jose Rizal, who in boosting the two honorees also spoke for the first time of the conditions then prevailing in the Philippines which was then a colony of Spain

"Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho."  
 A Filipino art critic spoke of Luna thus: "Vigor and realism characterize his art. In a single brush stroke, he paints a fair of emotions that fills the beholder with drama and tragedy of his theme. Luna was graver, more profound in his emotions than Hidalgo. The latter was more pure, more serene in his feelings."
Luna sought inspiration not from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, but from the Romantic Delacroix, Rembrandt and Daumier from whom he learned imparting power and mysticism to his works. All these influences were incorporated in a style that was Luna's own. 
Luna's fame spread far and wide; he was acclaimed both in Europe and at home, yet there were skeptical Spaniards who took his race against him. Rizal defended him by saying, "Genius has no country, genius burst forth everywhere, is like light and air - the patrimony of all; cosmopolitan as space, as life as God."
Spoliarium viewed in Barcelona
 Note:  The "Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho" original was destroyed in a fire at the University of Valladolid Spain. The painting shown on the photo above is only a copy, currently on display at the Manila Metropolitan Museum.  For further information visit www.lopezmuseum.org.ph/bio_luna.html

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Juan De La Cruz

Juan dela Cruz is the generic name used to symbolically represent the common Filipino. Juan is depicted as a naïve-looking man wearing a camisa or Barong Tagalog, long trousers, native slippers (in Filipino: tsinelas) and his trademark gear, the salakot. This icon is the equivalent of America's “Uncle Sam,” and Britain's “Union Jack.”
The Scottish publisher R. McCulloch-Dick of The Philippine Free Press was the first to use the name Juan de la Cruz to refer to Filipinos in general when he noticed the name's ubiquity in court dockets and police blotters. Because of this, McCulloch-Dick wrote small verses about Juan dela Cruz in The Philippines' Free Press who was often depicted narrating the petty crimes he had committed. Slowly, McCulloch-Dick enlarged his conception of Juan until he settled on a fixed template – Juan dela Cruz as a typical Filipino who is friendly, humble, self-respecting and hardworking.
The image of Juan dela Cruz wearing a barong Tagalog, salakot, and chinelas, was first drawn in 1912 by Filipino artist Jorge Pineda. It was published in the Philippine Free Press.

Source: Wikipilipinas