FEU film gets ticket to Short+Sweet Hollywood

Aswang film poster

A short film from Far Eastern University earned a ticket to Hollywood after winning People’s Choice Award at the Short+Sweet Manila Gala Finals held last September 26 at the Century City Mall Events Center in Makati.

Hannah Grace Maur‘s “Aswang” will represent the Philippines in the international competition together with Ar-Jen Manlapig‘s “Ang Unang Araw ng Pasukan,” which bagged Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay. The two winners will be showcased along with other selected films at the Marilyn Monroe Theater in Los Angeles, California on October 13.

“Aswang,” a final requirement by FEU communication students for their Cinema Production or CNM2 class, tells the story of little Ruben (Alvin Maghanoy) who believes that Lilith (Lyka Dela Cruz), the beautiful lady in their town, is an aswang. His world changes upon knowing about Lilith’s suspicious interest in his family. Rowi Du and Gaye Piccio play Ruben’s parents.

Written by Marygail Alcantara, “Aswang” earlier topped the fourth and last heat of Short+Sweet Manila last August. This came after the film won honorable mention at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video. It also bagged 3rd Best Film and Best Production Design at the Sinepiyu XI Golden Reel category last May.

“Ang Unang Araw ng Pasukan,” on the other hand, is about a 10-year-old boy from a poor family who goes to school on the first day of classes in what seems to be a very enticing day for him. The five-minute film also won the grand prize at the first Sinekabataan last year.

Or Kan Tor’s “Little Thing” won Best Cinematography while the Best Actor and Best Actress trophies went to Zyren Leigh Luansing of “Maghihintay, Tonton” (Alvin Baloloy) and Angeli Bayani of “Baon” (Noel Escondo), respectively.

Another FEU short film, “Taya” by GCay Reyes, also made it to the finals. Written by Lily Gomes, Taya is about Magda, a Filipina who comes home from Japan. Caught between her past and her present, she struggles to play around with her fate.

The other finalists are “Me Too” by Ayeshah Rose, “Just Fine” by Neil Sebastian, “Mr. Whistle” by Arjanmar Rebeta, “Gawilan” by Kelsy Lua, “The Return” by Luidmilla Komrakova and “Pikit” by Ivan Cortez.Aswang Short+Sweet awards

Short+Sweet, the biggest 10-minute performing arts festival in the world with events in more than 30 cities across 12 countries, presented the event in partnership with The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute-New York, Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, Casting Networks AU, Pineapple Lab, Asia Pacific Film Institute and Century City Makati.

Aswang production team at Sinepiyu XI

Aswang production team at Sinepiyu XI


FEU partners with San Agustin Museum on assessment of retablos

DSC_7203 - Abel Alvarez
Consistent with Far Eastern University’s advocacy to promote heritage conservation, the Community Extension Services (CES) and the Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts (IARFA) partnered with the San Agustin Museum (SAM) in Intramuros, Manila to initiate the assessment and documentation of its retablos.

IARFA students and faculty-architects led byJeremy Jade Balagat, Arriane Joy Dullas and former Dean Lorelei De Viana collaborated with SAM’s Louella Revilla and Fr. Ricky Villar, OSA, conservation head and director respectively, in identifying architectural pieces that need to be assessed and documented for future conservation efforts.

The conservation effort showed the need to improve the physical environment of the retablos by providing appropriate lighting, humidity, and temperature. Systematic structural investigation of the wood joints, fastenings, anchorage, and retrofit are needed to improve structural resistance to induced dynamic forces such as earthquake. Regular cleanup and repair or replacement of deteriorated parts are also recommended.IMG_6287 - Abel Alvarez

“I am honored to assist the student volunteers of IARFA in documenting the four-cloister retablos of San Agustin. Documentation is a prerequisite for an informed decision and is very essential for heritage conservation,” said Architect Balagat.

The advocacy part and parcel of service learning initiatives for the students who were assigned per retablo. Julius Kristian Y. Palqueza, one of the student team leaders shared this insight: “The project has made me realize that architecture is not just about creating something new, but also about preserving the treasures of our rich history and culture. Documenting these retablos is not an easy task, but I took on the challenge in order to expand my horizons.”

Revilla, SAM’s conservation head, confirmed the significance of the partnership: “In conservation and restoration, any in-depth research and documentation presented can be deemed valuable records of this era and can be used as reference material in the future.”

Complementing this initiative is the assessment and documentation of paintings, SAM’s equally prized assets.DSC_7162 - Abel Alvarez

The newly reformatted CES has taken on this proactive role to pursue FEU’s programs on heritage conservation. “FEU has the country’s largest ensemble of well-preserved Art Deco Architectural structures in the country, and we hope to replicate the principles of this advocacy by helping in the documentation process of cultural treasures such as the retablos of the San Agustin Museum,” said Dr. Luzelle Anne Ormita, CES director.

SAM, conceived in 1965, houses centuries-old collection of religious art of the San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines.

DSC_7192 - Abel Alvarez

Lourdes Montinola Piña Weaving Competition showcases Filipino artistry

HABI, the Philippine Textile Council, puts the spotlight on Filipino textile artisans who can showcase their creativity in revitalizing the traditional piña cloth through the Lourdes Montinola Piña Weaving Competition.

The contest is named after the Far Eastern University Chair Emeritus who wrote Piña, a formative book presenting pineapple cloth as a national treasure. This queen of Philippine fabrics, which is a naturally glossy ivory-white fiber extracted from the leaves of the tropical fruit, is often blended with cotton, abaca, silk, or polyester to produce traditional Filipino dresses such as the Barong Tagalog and Baro’tSaya.

The contest is named after FEU Chair Emeritus Lourdes Montinola

The contest is named after FEU Chair Emeritus Lourdes Montinola

Sharing the same advocacy as Montinola, the competition encourages young talents to take up piña weaving as a craft and a vocation.

The competition challenges all artisans, who weave, dye, embroider, or embellish piña to create a new form of the elite fabric. Winning pieces must encapsulate the full artistic ambition of cloth-making using tried and unknown techniques alike. The cloth must be 2 meters in length with no limitation on width and at least 50% piña. It must champion excellence in weave and design—tension control, balance between fabrics, and execution of dyeing among others; and embrace the fibers of craftsmanship and innovation such as dexterity in handling materials and blends.

On October 2018, three awards will be given to artists and artisans who—individually or collaboratively—create extraordinary piña cloth. The winning entries will be exhibited at the annual Likhang HABI Market Fair at the Glorietta Activity Center, Ayala, Makati, from October 13 to 15. These will remain the property of their makers after the full documentation of HABI.

The top three entries will receive cash prizes of P50,000, P30,000, and P20,000, respectively.

Deadline of entries is on September 15 at the HABI office: 4D Carmen Court, 6080 Palma Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati.

Musica FEUropa 10


Musica FEUropa is Far Eastern University’s annual choral competition and festival supported by the European Union. Initially named as the European Union Choral Competition in the Philippines when the competition began in 2009 when there were only four (4) participants mostly from Manila, the name was later changed to Musica FEUropa in 2011. In the span of nine (9) years, Musica FEUropa has strengthened its hold as one of the most prestigious choral competitions in the country. Now on its 10th year, the competition will once again be the battleground of the best choirs in the Philippines, from high school choirs to university, church, company, government, and other choirs around the country.

The key criterion for Musica FEUROPA is that each choir has to sing two songs: one from any EU composer and one from the Philippines. In the last nine years, choirs sang songs in different European languages such as Czech, Latvian, English, Basque, Spanish, Italian, German, Finnish, French, French-Flemish, Flemish, Hungarian, Lithuanian as well as different Filipino languages such as Tagalog, Cebuano, Bisaya, Ifugao, Ilokano, Itneg, Kinaray-a, T’boli, Maguindanaoan, Yakan and Hiligaynon.

Musica FEUROPA 10 takes place on May 26 and 27, 2018 in the newly restored historic Auditorium of Far Eastern University, Manila.

Free Admission!

The Grand Champion shall receive P100,000 and a trophy. The first runner-up shall receive P30,000 and a trophy. The second runner-up shall receive P20,000 and a trophy. Three P10,000 checks shall be given as consolation prizes.

Follow Musica FEUROPA on Facebook, Twitter, and the official Musica FEUropa website.

FEU inks partnership with Kandama


Far Eastern University and Kandama social enterprise officially launched their partnership on August 9, 2017 at FEU Manila.

The partnership aims to promote social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility both in the academe and fashion industry. It seeks to organize workshops, conduct joint research projects, exchange research materials, and engage in sustainable activities that would positively impact on struggling communities.

Kandama as a social enterprise brings together indigenous artisans, cosmopolitan designers, and master weavers to create pieces that reflect the elegance of cultural heritage and the flair of modernity while providing economic opportunities to indigenous women. It aims to preserve the tradition of handloom weaving by expanding the market for hand woven products.

FEU, known for its culture and the arts programs, supports this heritage conservation initiative. FEU student leaders will be exposed to the leadership prototype of Kandama’s founder, Victor Baguilat, Jr., as part of their training to do meaningful community projects. The partnership will also benefit FEU’s Fine Arts students enrolled in the course textile and fashion as they get to understand the process of handloom weaving and do internship with the Kandama designers.


“The partnership reminds us that innovation and collaboration are crucial to worthy causes such as cultural preservation. This is our moral obligation as concerned Filipinos and academics,” said Joeven Castro, FEU’s assistant vice president for academic services.

During the launch, the Kandama founder talked about his passion and the story of the social enterprise. On August 19, the second part of the launch will showcase the creations of the collaboration between indigenous women from Julongan village in Kiangan, Ifugao and cosmopolitan designers and fashion brands such as John Rufo, Jeff Tonog, Joco Calimlim, Ranroe, LA Sevilla, Mark Escay, Airaz, Ibarra and Nomad.

IARFA prof wins Artist in Residency Program of Alliance Francaise


Far Eastern University Special Lecturer Dexter Sy was recently named the winner of Alliance française de Manille’s Philippine Artist Residency Program 2017. Sy will be in France from August 1 to September 8, 2017 and will have a solo exhibition on September 7.

Sy shared he is excited to collaborate with other residency artists and his presentation will likely be similar to his recent Form of the Formless one-man show at the Ayala Museum.

The award-winning artist is already an established name in the international art scene as he has already conducted exhibitions in China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States since graduating from FEU with a degree in Fine Arts, Major in Advertising in 2005.

“My works evolve more on concept and its more mature now and simple.”

Sy offered an advice for young artists who dream of thriving in the local art scene.

“You need to be very sensitive, ready to fail, work hard and do your best, and lastly what ever you do put God first.


Remembering Our Nick: Friend and Artist


Related articles:
Remembering Nick Joaquin
National Artist Nick Joaquin: He lives!
Ties that bind: FEU and Nick Joaquin
Remembering Our Nick: Friend and Artist

Remembering our Nick: friend and artist, FEU celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of Nick Joaquin
FEU pays tribute to national artist Nick Joaquin


Far Eastern University (FEU) commemorates the birth centenary of National Artist Nick Joaquin in a series of activities that presents the renowned writer in an intimate and personal light. The year-long celebration kicks-off with a public memorial lecture, featuring the reopening of his memorabilia room, book relaunch, and an art exhibit.

“For FEU, Nick is more than just a Philippine treasure. His works are part of our identity and his legacy remains in the values and culture of the university,” explains Dr. Michael Alba, FEU president. “He wrote our hymn and authored books about our alma Mater; he even wrote the biography of our founder Nicanor Reyes, Sr. It is but natural for us to celebrate his life and his contributions not only to our community, but to all Filipinos.”

Family and industry friends of the great writer join the extensive program in honoring this milestone. Guests recall Nick as a poet through a lecture conducted by Professor Emeritus Dr. Gemino Abad. He shares his knowledge and view on the literary works of the award-winning journalist.

A Special Collections Exhibit, which gives a glimpse of Nick’s life history, is revealed to the public. The display includes rare memorabilia donated by Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr. and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Ligaya Amilbangsa. Here, the Czech version of The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Nick Joaquin’s Pop Stories for Groovy Kids will be displayed to the public for the first time. A bust of Nick Joaquin by Julie Lluch was also unveiled. The exhibition is curated by FEU Literature and Humanities assistant professor, Timothy Sanchez with the guidance of literary scholar Jonathan Chua.

Different students from FEU’s Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts make an interpretation of Nick’s mind and translate his Palanca-award-winning Doña Jeronima. To complete the tribute to the man behind the pen, FEU Publications launches the centennial edition of The Complete Poems and Plays of Jose Rizal. This is a first edition book translated by Nick himself.

The event is hosted by the FEU Academic Affairs Office, Department of Literature, University Library Publications Office, President’s Committee on Culture, and Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts.





FEU student’s “Light of Hope” wins in 31st DPC-PLDT Visual Arts

Congratulations to Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Major in Advertising Arts student Maria Teresa Ramos for winning 3rd Prize Winner in the 31st PLDT Visual Arts Competition this year.

Maria Teresa Ramos (PLDT Visual Arts 2017 3rd Prize)


“Light of Hope”

We have so many struggles in our life but we still face them with a little hope living inside us, believing after all the pain and sacrifices we have gone though it will bear beautiful things in our life. Even if we are in the hardest part of our life or feeling a great depression there is still a little hope that help us to lighten up our mind. Remember there will be someone who will be there to comfort and lessen your sadnes. To tel you to keep on going because they know that you have a future waiting for you, to motivate you to keep on correct things, to have an inspiration to achieve your dreams and tell you that you must not give up.




Why Art Matters in the Educational Curriculum


by FEU President Michael M. Alba

I write this essay with trepidation. I am not schooled in the arts; art was not a significant part of the curriculum in my formal schooling. The little that I know I have picked up hither and thither, mostly from a lifetime habit of reading for fun (including, as my mom used to say in Ilonggo, the putus sang ginamos [loose newspaper or magazine pages used in wet markets as bago-ong or shrimp-paste wrappers]). So at best I can claim only to be a dilettante, a dabbler, a saling pusa in arts appreciation.

Be that as it may, I believe I have some understanding of what art brings to human living, and therefore of the importance of its inclusion in the educational curriculum. Art whether in words, images, sounds, actions, or a combination thereof is about the artist(s) communicating in a way that is meant to evoke an affective response from the audience – an emotional reaction that can be inchoate (or, to expropriate the words of St Paul, a groaning of the spirit), ineffable, and “awe-full.” So much so that the best art edifies and uplifts the human condition, and hints at a transcendent dimension to human existence.

Mark Rothko

Black, Red and Black (1968) © Mark Rothko

This may all appear abstract, so let me give an example. Consider the painting “Black, Red and Black” (1968) by Mark Rothko. The viewer’s eye is drawn at once to what looks like a burning slab that seems to be ethereally afloat in a shallow inky haze. The haze itself shrouds … is that more blazing fire in the background? The edges of both slab and smoke are ill-defined, giving the sense of something dynamic captured in an ephemeral moment. Inevitably, the viewer’s gaze is transfixed on the slab, a red-orange plane, luminous and incandescent. The effect is hypnotic and trance-like. The bar seems to whoosh in flames fed by some gas sweeping through it from within. At some point one wonders, “Is the rectangular plane an opening to some other dimension? Do I dare insert my hand into that tear in the fabric of reality? What is on the other side?” The viewer becomes a jumble of emotions – haunted, fascinated, sadly longing to be completed in some way. Coming away from the painting, unhinged, confused, profoundly moved, the painting still etched in his mind’s eye, the viewer somehow knows something in him has changed.



The point is this: Art in its various forms has the power, first, to capture the heights, depths, and breadths of human experience – on the one hand, the glorious, sublime, and exquisite; on the other, the vile, sordid, and despicable; and even the everyday, mundane, and banal – and, second, to challenge our perceptions, perspectives, and presumptions of being and as beings in the world. This power, in turn, makes art a powerful medium for exploring and coming to a deeper sense of what it means to be human, a branch of inquiry with its own magisterium of knowledge and pursuing the truth altogether different from those of religion and science. Indeed, when art successfully conveys the essences and meanings of being in the world that are not readily sensed, expressible, or understood, it enlightens and ennobles us who are its raison d’être (because art cannot exist without an audience to appreciate it).

Thus, given what art is and what it can do, the question in education ought to be how art can be effectively used to improve learning outcomes, not whether it even has a place in the curriculum. That art’s role in education continues to be asked – and the answer of a not insignificant number is that it need not have one, given cost and budget constraints – is a sad commentary on (a) the diminished stock of art in society in general and among stakeholders of education in particular and (b) the more timid societal goals that are now set for education (as exemplified, for instance, by the minimalist education-for-employment aspiration).


Why does art matter in the educational curriculum? First, because the lofty goal of education is, as articulated by Blessed John Henry Newman, no less than the perfection of the intellect, and art is a branch of knowledge unto itself as well as a potentially effective tool for helping to achieve this perfection. Recall the famous passage from Newman’s The Idea of a University (1852, pp 138–139):

The perfection of the Intellect, which is the result of Education, and its beau ideal, to be imparted to individuals in their respective measures, is the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things, as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its place and with its own characteristics upon it. It is almost prophetic from its knowledge of history; it is almost heart-searching from its knowledge of human nature; it has almost supernatural charity from its freedom from littleness and prejudice; it has almost the repose of faith because nothing can startle it; it has almost the beauty and harmony of heavenly contemplation, so intimate is it with the eternal order of things and the music of the spheres.

In this exalted endeavor, art needs to be in the curriculum, first so that the intellect can comprehend it on its own terms “with its own characteristics upon it.” Then art can also help the intellect to achieve that “clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things” by being a vehicle for heart-searching and coming to a deeper understanding of human nature as well as by helping spur the intellect’s wonder and awe at the beauty and harmony of the heavens, “the eternal order of things,” and “the music of the spheres.”


Second, because art transforms those who engage it to be more open to possibilities. As mentioned above, art challenges our presumptions and beliefs – views that we take for granted as well as convictions that we hold dearly. Hopefully, a student of art then becomes less irrationally tied to dogma, is better able to do out-of-the-box ideation, and is more capable of adapting when life throws something from left field.

Openness to new things and adaptability to unforeseen developments are important life stances because, as pointed out in Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life (2016) [a book written to support the most popular undergraduate course at Stanford University], three-fourths of all college graduates in the US (but should also be true elsewhere) end up in careers unrelated to their majors. (It is thus ironic that an indicator (supposedly) of educational quality that is foisted on colleges and universities in the Philippines is the percentage of graduates whose careers are aligned with their academic programs.)

Third, because engaging art brings a person (as audience) in close contact with creativity and fosters critical thinking. A student who seriously takes up art appreciation confronts questions such as: What message does the artist wish to convey? What problems does the artist face in this project? How does he or she solve these problems? Is the message relevant to me; does it resonate with me? How am I affected by the art that I behold? What does this reaction say about me?

Arguably, answering these questions is a steeping process that keenly develops an art student’s sense of the creative process and the thinking that powered it, the ideas that inspired it, the pain that went with it, etc, all of which can become part of the student’s template for creatively and critically thinking through problems that she herself encounters. Moreover, the exercises being reflective should foster greater self-knowledge and maturity.


Creative and critical thinking skills and self-knowledge and reflection are obviously valued attributes in today’s workforce, perhaps even more so than in the past. Globalization and rapid technological change are transforming the world of work in fundamental ways: New entrants to the labor force are more likely to face jobs that did not exist while they were still in school; the most lucrative opportunities may be for people with an entrepreneurial mindset who are able to create their own futures. If so, the value of a college graduate’s major may count for less; it may only be good enough to gain for her an entry-level position. To flourish in a career, she will need the aforementioned soft skills. (Thus, even in the limited education-for-employment framework, art in the curriculum arguably still matters.)


Given the foregoing, it is a source of immense pride for me that art is such a significant part of university life in FEU – a hallmark of FEU’s stance to remain steadfast in offering a holistic, full-service (if you will) college experience, including an extensive extracurricular program in culture and the arts. The Manila campus is a living art museum with its UNESCO-Heritage buildings and auditorium done in the Art Deco style and the many works of art by national artists (Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, and Napoleon Abueva) permanently exhibited in the grounds, hallways, offices, as well as the chapel and the library. In fact, a coffeetable book that compiles these great works has been commissioned to art critic Cid Reyes and will soon be published. Moreover, FEU’s President’s Committee on Culture prepares a calendar of art and cultural events for the university every year, both to showcase the artistic talents of the university’s cultural groups (the Bamboo Band, Chorale, Dance Company, Drum and Bugle Corps, and Theater Guild) and to expose students to world-renowned artists.

That we have heritage-conservation architect Lorelei de Viana as dean of the Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts, portraitist Candido Manarpiiz as a member of the Fine Arts faculty, and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa as an alumna is an added bonus. They are the lodestars that point students to how fulfilling art can be in their future lives.


Burnett, Bill, and Dave Evans. 2016. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived,
Joyful Life. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Newman, John Henry. 1852. The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated in Nine
Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin. [A Public Domain Book]


On Thursday, March 9, 2017, Filipino artists representing all media and led by National Artist Ben Cabrera (BenCab) will come together in an unprecedented exhibit that will put the spotlight on human dignity amid the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country.

HUDYAT! will run from March 9 to 24, 2017 at the Far Eastern University (FEU) main campus at Nicanor Reyes St, Sampaloc, Manila. It will showcase all forms of art – painting, sculpture, installation, narrative, photography, documentary, poetry, and music.

The exhibit’s opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 9, at 5:30 pm, FEU-Manila. PETA Chorale will perform at the event.

Aside from BenCab, the participating artists are the following (in alphabetical order):

Pandy Aviado
Xyza Bacani
Melvyn Calderon
Sheila Coronel
Antipas Delotavo
William Elvin Manzano
Patricia Evangelista
Carlo Gabuco
Toym Imao
Marne Kilates
Jose F. Lacaba
Raffy Lerma
Julie Lluch
Nikki Luna


Rick Rocamora
Jose Tence Ruiz
Ea Torrado
Mark Valenzuela
Veejay Villafranca


Curated by Ricky Franciso, HUDYAT! aims to highlight human dignity, which is lost in the current anti-drug campaign of the government.

It is the first of a series of exhibits to be held in major campuses in and outside Metro Manila.

“Without human dignity at the center, the purported gains of the anti-drug war will be short-term instead of resulting in a real and lasting significance in society,” said human rights advocate Edna Aquino, one of the organizers. “In the drug war and the problem it seeks to eradicate, human dignity pays the price.”

Romeo Bernardo, president of the FEU Central Student Organization, lauded the project. “To battle for the right’ is in FEU’s hymn and one of our core values is uprightness,” he said. “The ‘Hudyat sa FEU’ is a discourse platform that will guide us in making a more informed decision to uphold and protect human dignity.”

On Friday, March 10, a student forum on human dignity and extrajudicial killings will be held at 2 pm at the FEU campus in Manila. Speakers include artists, advocates as well as victims and survivors of extrajudicial killings.

Another forum on the same topic will be held on Saturday, March 18, also at FEU Manila.

For more information, please check or post your query on Hudyat’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HUDYATSAFEU) or call 09176302924 or (02)7364897.