Painting what your heart holds dear

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AS PARENTS, Mario and Alma Miclat saw to it that their daughters—Maningning and Banaue—began honing their talents at a young age. Their eldest daughter, Maningning, was three years old when her mother saw her drawing of a “funny figure.”

“We made it a point that when they (including Banaue) were still young, we would bring them to museums and plays. So, I think it started there,” Ms. Miclat told BusinessWorld.

Maningning grew up to be a painter, and a multilingual poet and writer who published works in Filipino, English, and Mandarin Chinese.

The late artist’s given name was inspired by her parents’ love for the country. “When you live outside your own country, your patriotism is enhanced,” Ms. Miclat said. The couple was based in China when their children were growing up. Ms. Miclat recalled that they wanted to use a Filipino name for their daughters.

Maningning started her artistic career with Chinese paintings, which she learned to make from a teacher in Beijing. Her first solo exhibition of Chinese brush work was mounted at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1987; this was followed by the publication of Wo De Shi (My Poems), her first book of poetry in Chinese.

In 2000, the 28-year-old artist and art professor at Far Eastern University fell to her death from the seventh floor of the building where she taught.

Established in her honor in 2001, the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc., holds activities aimed to encourage young poets and artists aged 28 years and younger.

It recently launched an exhibit-sale featuring the artworks of the 18 finalists of the 2018 Maningning Miclat Art Awards.

The event was done in cooperation with District Gallery, and the FEU President’s Committee on Culture.

“Our vision is to support and encourage creativity in young people and give recognition to the most outstanding,” Ms. Miclat, president of Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, at the exhibit-sale’s launch.

Ms. Miclat noted that the competition carried no specific theme. “Kung ano yung pinakamalapit sa puso nila, ‘yun ang i-paint nila (Whatever is close their heart, that is what they should paint).”

The grand prize winner will be given a trophy designed by sculptor Julie Lluch, a check worth P28,000, a Maningning Miclat book collection, and a solo exhibit at District Gallery in Quezon City.

“Young artists need support. Most of the time they don’t need money, but recognition. Competitions like this give opportunities for them to be recognized,” Ms. Miclat said. “I feel that Maningning has a hand in all this. Perhaps, this is what she really wanted us to do.”

Since 2004, the foundation has hosted painting competitions on even-numbered years, and poetry competitions on odd-numbered years.

The exhibit-sale is on view at the Exhibit Hall of the Nicanor Reyes Hall at FEU.

The awarding ceremony will be held on Sept. 26 at the newly reopened FEU Auditorium to be followed by Ginugunita Kita, a performance featuring 11 of Maningning Miclat’s poems from Voice from the Underworld, set to music. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

The exhibit-sale is ongoing until Sept. 26. For more information, call the FEU President’s Committee on Culture at 849-4145 or 736-4897. For ticket inquiries to Ginugunita Kita, contact the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation c/o Carmela (0999-8050681) or call Ticketworld (, 891-9999).