Entry 108

Sculpture 13: Scientia or The  Triumph of Science over Death

In 1890, Jose Rizal sent two statuettes to his friend Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian scholar. These hand-crafted sculptures were made of clay. One of the statuettes was Scientia or The Triumph of Science over Death.

It is figure is of a nude, young woman holding a torch with both stretched hands. At her feet is a large skull from which she stands. Her long hair covers her lower privates.

The clay statuette is now in Fort Santiago in Intramuros. However, a monumental copy made of concrete guards the Calderón Hall (College of Medicine) in the University of the Philippines Manila. I am not familiar of its artist but it has nuances from the original statuette. For one, the countenance is not identical, however all the elements and symbols are present.

Below is a composite of images of the sculpture.

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Entry 094


Kay Tamis ng Buhay

Many Filipino musicians were inspired to create an audible music to the song of Maria Clara in chapter 23 of José Rizal’s Noli me tángere (1887). The first, I learned from a source, was by Ladislao Bonus in 1888, as instructed by Rizal himself. I am not aware if Rizal provided the tune.

I have earlier written a post about this, prominently about Felipe Padilla de Leon, National Artist for Music, breathing life into Rizal’s text. You can read it here.

Curiously his son Felipe “Jun” Mendoza de Leon, current chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, composed another version of the song, using a different translation (or text) altogether. IMG_7123

I procured a music sheet from a friend, and later transcribed it using a music software, the output of which you will hear below. But first, the words.

Kay tamis ng buhay sa sariling bayan
Ang lahat ay magiliw sa ilalim ng araw
Kay tamis ng hangin mula sa palayan
Walang hapdi ang pag-ibig, walang pait ang pagpanaw

Kay tamis ng paggising ng musmos na sanggol
Sa yapos ng kanyang mapagkandiling ina
Hangga’t naroon siya’y di daranas ng hirap
Masaya ang kislap ng kanyang mga mata

Kay tamis ng mamatay sa sariling bayan
Ang lahat ay mutya sa ilalim ng langit
Mapait ang pagsimoy ng hangin sa taong
Walang bayan, ina, at tunay na pag-ibig

Kay tamis ng buhay sa sariling bayan

This file is your guide while listening to the music: Kay Tamis ng Buhay (FML) – Vocals

I never took notice of this at first when a friend gave me the music sheet as I was then looking for the older Felipe’s composition that was specifically an aria in an opera adaptation of the Noli.

I first heard of F.M. de Leon’s version at “Tatlong Ipê: Isang Konsiyerto”, a tribute concert on 4 December 2015 featuring the music of the three Felipe de Leons (Felipe Padilla, Felipe Mendoza, and Diwa Felipe Sarabia).

Another trivia is that this song was composed for Dulaang UP’s staging of Noli Me Tangere in 1987 as commissioned by theatre director Antonio Mabesa.

Entry 080

Sculpture 07: José Rizal Depictions

Filipino reformist Jose Rizal not only inspired the early Katipunan members (though he is anti-revolutionist during his time), most especially its founder Andres Bonifacio, but also artists. Following an American regime-inspired veneration of Rizal are busts and monuments sculpted in his honour.

Here is my image collection of various sculptures of Rizal, taken at different locations. I expect this gallery to hold more images in the future.

Perhaps the most famous of the Rizal three-dimensional depictions is the monument at Luneta, Manila. This Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling’s work is, of course, a foreigner’s take on an idolised hero. This reminds me of one topic in my college history class: pangkayong pananaw is an outsider’s view of our local history, telling us that “this is what you are”. Employing pantayong pananaw, on the other hand, gives power to us Filipinos to relate our version or view of history to ourselves, thus building a stronger fabric of our identity. I am applying this theoretical perspective on sculptures. Anyway, this post is not about such grand historiographical scheme so I won’t delve into it.

Richard Kissling’s bronze rendering of Rizal in his work Motto stella erected in 1912

The following are busts made by early 20th century masters, Filipinos of course. They are displayed at a gallery dedicated to Rizal at the National Arts Gallery of the National Museum.

Isabelo Tampinco, a contemporary of Rizal, made this from plaster cast circa 1900.

Isabelo Tampinco, a contemporary of Rizal, made this from plaster cast circa 1900.

This is a wooden bust made by Graciano Nepomuceno in 1926.

This is a wooden bust made by Graciano Nepomuceno in 1926.

This is a concrete bust by the prolific Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist. He would later pen the libretto for an opera about Rizal's novel Noli me tangere.

This is a concrete bust by the prolific Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist. He would later pen the libretto for an opera about Rizal’s novel Noli me tangere.

This is another Guillermo Tolentino.

This is another Guillermo Tolentino.

Within the enclave of UP Diliman’s historic Palma Hall are two sculptures of Rizal.

At a small quadrangle inside Palma Hall stands this work by Domingo Celis made circa 1910-14.

At a small quadrangle inside Palma Hall stands this work by Domingo Celis made circa 1910-14.

Guarding the main entrance is another one by Guillermo Tolentino, acting as a proud sentinel of Palma Hall.

Guarding the main entrance is another one by Guillermo Tolentino, acting as a proud sentinel of Palma Hall. It was made from bronze and was finished in 1955.

Side view of the profile

Side view of the profile

I hope to add more Rizal sculptures here. In my future post are Andres Bonifacio depictions.