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Selfies with the dead?

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Nora Ignacio, the superstar of Ermita antiques dealers, once showed me a charming painting of San Jose and the Santo Niño typical of religious art in Spanish Philippines. What caught my eye was the Niño garbed in a thin embroidered garment, somewhat like piña. Was this painting from the Philippines, or Mexico?

Posted: May 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

From Panacot to Panatag

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Like most historians, I do research in libraries, archives, and museums but, believe it or not, sometimes I do research in antique shops.

Posted: March 21st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Preposterous allegations’

This refers to the allegations of columnist Ramon Tulfo against myself and National Museum Assistant Director Ana Labrador (Metro, 6/29/13).

Posted: July 4th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Church against state

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ALL THE positive comments regarding the National Museum lately have proven one noisy critic wrong. Over a year ago, he claimed irreparable damage to Luna’s “Spoliarium” after a decision was made to move it a few meters; and he complained about the renovation of the former Senate Session Hall, which has now been completed and is one of Manila’s truly grand spaces. There was the issue of bringing all the Fernando Amorsolo drawings and Juan Luna paintings from storage and displaying them in once-empty halls. Now people say the museum is worth a visit because there is a lot to see. Visitors can now take photos for personal use as souvenirs. Previously, guards would pounce on students taking pictures even of the outside of the building. I intervened once and asked why a student wasn’t allowed to photograph the lengthy text of the historical marker at the entrance instead of copying it out by hand for her assignment.

Posted: December 11th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Public-private partnership at the National Museum

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First, allow me to join the rest of the nation in expressing grief over the passing of a genuine public servant and a truly good man, Jesse Robredo, whose legacy we should seek to preserve by building on his good work. Sec Jesse strongly believed that nation-building requires learning to work together, the private and public sectors contributing efforts toward common goals. Whether for education, health, or good governance, whether for communities, cities like his beloved Naga, or the nation as a whole, his formula for success involved mobilizing partnerships among citizens and government servants to improve Filipino lives.

Posted: August 31st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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