Originally published in Esquire Magazine Phil.

By Mario Alvaro Limos

Gregoria de Jesus (Lakambini ng Katipunan), Apolonia Catra (lone recorded Filipina soldier with Macario Sakay’s forces), Remedios Gomez-Paraiso (Hukbalahap’s Kumander Liwayway), Lorena Barros (Martial Law activist), and Gloria Capitan (slain Bataan coal activist) are among the Filipina heroines featured in two separate exhibits at the University of the Philippines and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila.

Alas ng Bayan is a history art exhibit featuring the paintings of five Filipina heroines who resisted national oppression, social injustice, and false gender narratives across different junctures of Philippine history. The exhibition aims to raise awareness on the intersections between women, history, memory, climate change, and citizenship.

The paintings were created by John Erhard Guarin, a 26-year-old Filipino artist from Tondo. “I painted Oriang, Apolonia, Liwayway, Lorena, and Gloria in the style of sakla or tarot cards to honor how these brave women gambled with their lives to defy colonizers, dictators, corporations, and sexists alike,” he said.

The art exhibits will be held at the following locations on the following dates:

  • University of the Philippines-Diliman, The Corredor, College of Fine Arts: February 5 to 19, 2020.
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa Main Campus, Lobby, 4/F Ninoy Aquino Library, February 24 to March 6, 2020
  • University of the Philippines-Manila, Museum of A History of Ideas, March 10 to 21, 2020
    The exhibit was launched in celebration of Arts Month in February and Women’s Month in March.

Alas ng Bayan is jointly organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, the Constantino Foundation, and 350 Pilipinas. For more info about the exhibit, visit alasngbayan.org.