Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

A lecture-exhibit, “Alas ng Bayan: Women, Heroism and Memory” will open on 25 November 2019, 10:00 am, and will run until 27 November 2019, at the UP Asian Center, QC. The exhibit features several lectures on, and five tarot-styled paintings of, women who struggled against injustice throughout Philippine history, from the 1896 Philippine Revolution to the Marcos dictatorship. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first served. Walk-ins are welcome, but participants are urged to sign up.


Lectures (10:00 am–10:50 am, 25 Nov)

Towards a Usable History: The Story Behind the Alas ng Bayan Paintings
          Constantino Foundation

Kumander Liwayway: A Feminine Warrior
          Ana Maria Nemenzo

Message from the Artist
          John Erhard P. Guarin

The Paintings

The Alas ng Bayan are paintings of five remarkable Filipinas who fought oppression, injustice, and false gender normatives throughout Philippine history. Painted in the style of Tarot cards or sakla, the works mirror a similar mysticism while provoking its viewers to engage, if not decode, subtle symbolisms throughout the images.

Gregoria "Oriang" de Jesus (09 May 1875 – 15 March 1943), also known as Lakambini who, with her husband, Andres Bonifacio, helped organize, grow, and mobilize the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan.

Apolonia Catra (unknown – 5 March 1905) is the only named female officer in Macario Sakay's armed forces under the command of Lt. Col. Lucio de Vega. Branded a bandit by US authorities, she "dressed in men's clothing and was well-known for her cruelty and reckless courage."

Remedios Gomez-Paraiso (12 July 1918 – 15 May 2014) was a guerilla who fought the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II under the alias Kumander Liwayway. A fearless officer of the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon, she rode headlong into battle astride a horse, pistol in hand and wearing makeup.

Maria Lorena Barros (18 March 1948 – 24 March 1976) was the founding chair of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan ( MAKIBAKA). Laurie obtained in 1970 a degree in anthropology from UP, and went underground to fight the Marcos dictatorship.

Gloria Capitan (28 March 1959 – 01 July 2016) was an anticoal activist and human rights defender affiliated with the Coal-Free Bataan Movement. On 1 July 2016, Gloria was assassinated in her own videoke cantina by two unidentified gunmen.

The Artist and the Speakers

John Erhard P. Guarin is a Filipino painter, poet, and hip-hop recording artist from Tondo, Manila. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Visual Communication at Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Intitute of Science and Technology. As a professional painter, he crafts his works using mainly oil on canvas.

A feminist and socio-political activist, Ana Maria R. Nemenzo is a pioneer advocate for women’s reproductive rights in the Philippines. She is a founder and National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines, established in 1987, which promotes women’s rights to health, reproductive self-determination, and gender equality. Currently she serves as the Lead Convenor of the Philippine campaign network that vigorously calls for “Life of Dignity for All!” through transformative social protection in regard to employment, health, housing, food and public services.

About the Lecture-Exhibit

Alas ng Bayan raises awareness about the intersections between women, history, memory, climate change, and citizenship. It seeks to inject history and feminism as fundamental elements in the way the youth respond to the worsening state of national forgetting and the climate crisis. The exhibit intends to mobilize sectors not normally active in the climate debate by offering new notions of citizenship and nationalism responsive to the multiple emergencies we face today. It is organized by Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities; Constantino Foundation; 350.org Pilipinas; UP Asian Center.

For queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. View vicinity map.

The Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.