The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney last night (April 30) commenced activities in New South Wales to commemorate Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini’s sesquicentennial on July 23 this year.
Apolinario Mabini came to be known as the “Brains of the Revolution” being one of the trusted advisers of Emilio Aguinaldo during the revolutionary period. In July 1898, he was also appointed the first Secretary of Foreign Affairs by President Emilio Aguinaldo following the establishment of the first Philippine Republic in June of the same year.
Last night’s event was highlighted with a display of the newly completed large painting by Sydney-based artist-painter Daisy Ann Gonzalez Cumming.
The artist-painter, who also “entertained” the audience on how she created the “masterpiece” including how she selected her models from the Filipino Australian community, comes from a family of painters in the Philippines.
Her father is the late Felix Gonzalez who served as President of the Academy of Filipino Artists and introduced open-air theatre in Luneta (now Rizal) Park and whose commissioned works included portraits of the “rich and famous”, and foreign dignitaries and personages including the Kennedys and MacArthur.
Cumming’s painting of Mabini is done in acrylic and comprises two large panels each measuring 4 ft by 8 ft (approx 1200mm x 1800mm).
The painting will be transported to Manila and turned over before July 2014 by the artist to the National Historical Commission that will become the painting’s “permanent home”.
The painting of “the Sublime Paralytic” (another name given to Apolinario Mabini) is the third “heroes sesquicentennial works” by the artist. The first large painting is that of the Philippine national hero Dr Jose P. Rizal in 2011, now adorning the Philippine Consulate General’s Bulwagang Rizal. Rizal’s sesquicentennial was observed on June 19, 2011.
The second “sesquicentennial painting” is a large painting (comprised likewise of two panels, now in the custody of the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts) of Andres Bonifacio whose sesquicentennial was November 30 last year.
In introducing Mabini-related events in New South Wales, Consul General Louis encouraged community organisations and individuals to initiate other events especially those that will continue to help the youth of Philippine parentage to learn more about their heritage.
The other activities are a lecture forum (July 5) by Prof Floro Quibuyen on Rizal’s Liga Filipina to Bonifacio’s Katipunan to Mabini and the Revolution, “Tribute to Mabini” (July 26), a cultural program and display of photos and articles on Mabini, and Mabini@150 Visual Arts Competition by the Philippine Embassy in Canberra.
*** Selected photos of last night’s event by The Filipino Australian.