About the Piece
In Botong Francisco’s Fluvial Parade, it is no small surprise that the higantes, in their bright red apparel as church acolytes, manage to upstage the patron San Clemente, in papal vestments, complete with mitre and staff, though up on the floating pagoda, surrounded by dozens of male devotees paddling the Laguna de Bay (Lake of Bay) with bamboo oars or sagwan. A giant green crocodile with serrated teeth participates in the merry-making. Indeed, each fragment of a scene is a slice of Angono folk life: a fisherman holding aloft a wriggling prize catch; a couple bent over a large kawa, an iron cauldron fit for a feast; a group of elderly folk with heads bowed reverently in prayer; a theatrical presentation of a moro-moro; and a band of town musicians led by a pretty, baton-twirling majorette.
There’s a marvelous gaiety to the painting, appealing in fact to all the senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. Piled high with bodies, Botong pulls it all together splendidly, no detail out of place in the overall design and composition, purposely leaving that clear, aqueous space below the off-center, where delighted children with water-slicked hair jostle to catch a shower of coins.
Carlos 'Botong' Francisco
Oil on Canvas
87 3/4" x 127 3/4"
3/F Stair Lobby, Administration Building