UPCFA Pag-aalay, Pamamaalam, Paghiling


We are just on the first half of 2021 and it already proved to be very challenging. By "we" I generally mean all of us who live in this particular present; and "we" specifically I mean the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts faculty, students and staff, which is my home institution.  We have lost 3 of our dearly beloved faculty members -- Prof. Santiago "Jak" Pilar on April 12, Prof. Leo Abaya on May 26, and Prof. Joey Tanedo on May 28. As the old superstition goes, bad luck comes in threes. 


While the future remains bleak, we heed the wisdom of the old world, along with three of other colleagues, Toym Imao, Rita Gudiño and Jamel Obnamia, we did pag-aatang on May 29-- we placed offerings on the biggest tree at the heart of the College, we offered flowers, candles and wishes on the desks of the departed colleagues, and we broke earthen pots. All these to appease the greater spirits, to say goodbye to Sir Jak, Sir Joey and Leo, and to wish that the cycle of death in our College be broken. 


People may take it as simple superstition, others might have a hard time finding its worth, some would say this is mumbo-jumbo. But it is not for them that we did this. It is for us. To us who believe that this is faith manifest. We acknowledge, we pray, and we wait in gratitude for our healing while learning the lessons of this difficult period.