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Makati Ave. cor. De la Rosa St.
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Tel. No. - (632) 759-8288 loc 36
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Ulahingan Project set to digitize major cultural treasure

It is said that the “Ulahingan” is so huge -- a never-ending story for as long as there are singers.

Ulahingan comes from the word “ulahing,” meaning to sing and chant. A major epic of the Manobo indigenous group in Mindanao, Philippines, it contains 4,000-6,000 lines per episode and 79 episodes on average.  This tradition is orally passed from one generation to the next, often taking several days of continuous chanting while in trance.


Nineteenth-Century Filipino Photography to be exhibited at Ayala Museum

The nineteenth century saw many innovations in capturing images, from the invention of “negative” photography (which allowed for the multiple printing of pictures) to the development of portable cameras to the devising of color photographs and cinema. While all of these were going on in Europe and the United States, a Panay-born photographer named Félix Laureano succeeded in practicing professional photography in the Philippines and Europe. As Spanish and other foreign photographers worked in Manila, Laureano set up a studio in Barcelona, had his work published in Spanish newspapers, and participated in expositions in Spain and Paris, as well as in Manila. In 1895, while his Filipino contemporaries were clamoring for colonial reforms, Laureano wrote Recuerdos de Filipinas, an album of Philippine scenes and landscapes with explanatory text. 


Manila Reborn

This May, Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) published another online exhibit on Google Cultural Institute through GCI’s End of World War II channel, which presents 28 exhibits on the period after the war. FHL is the only institution from Southeast Asia included in this channel; the other Asian museums are from Japan while majority of the contributors are from the United States and Europe.

Featuring photographs from FHL’s Retrato collection, “Manila Reborn” talks of how the city in the 1930s was “taken by surprise” when war broke out in 1941; how the military aspects of the Battle for Manila in February 1945 left the city in ruins; and how Philippine governments, from those led by Sergio Osmeña to Elpidio Quirino, sought to rebuild not only the city, but the country, from scratch.

The library’s first online exhibit on GCI was titled“ We look before and after, and pine for what is not: A history of Pines Hotel and Baguio,” launched in September last year. Future exhibits on GCI seek to promote the library’s collections on World War II, its presidential papers, as well as its photo and music collections in the context of Philippine and international history.



FHL Imagines Batanes in New Exhibit

Filipinas Heritage Library has partnered with independent publisher Firetree Press in presenting IMAGINING BATANES, an exhibition and series of talks on the remote group of islands in northern Philippines.

Imagining Batanes opened on May 12 with a conversation among Quintin Pastrana, director of Firetree Press; Ivatan artists Victoria Abad Kerblat and Xavier Abelador; and Ivatan anthropologist Prof. Edwin Valientes. The conversation also presented Asa Ka Awan du Vatan (A Year in Batanes), Firetree Press’ maiden publication. This limited edition book and journal curates the vivid watercolors and narratives of the seasons, lives, and cultures that make up Batanes.

The event will consist of two more talks on Batanes life and culture. On May 23, Prof. Nestor T. Castro of the University of the Philippines Department of Anthropology will present “Nanau nu Mangalkem: Ivatan Indigenous Knowledge on Biodiversity Conservation.” Prof. Florentino H. Hornedo, himself an Ivatan and a member of the faculty at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, will deliver a lecture on “Word & Reality in Ivatan Traditional Lyric Poetry” on May 30.

Watercolors by artists from the Yaru nu Artes Ivatan Gallery in Batanes, as well as photographs by Opal Bala and Raena Abella, are displayed during the event, and shall form part of Retrato, the photo archive of Filipinas Heritage Library. Supplementing the exhibit are Ivatan artifacts from private collectors and related books from FHL’s Filipiniana collection.



Six Pinoy book designers on book covers

When book covers began to be more popularly used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they served mainly functional rather than artistic purposes. Aside from protecting the inner pages, covers such as leather imprints functioned as status symbols. Book production has gone a long way, with books becoming objects of mass consumption and covers playing a major role in the selling of books.

What sort of cover would, as food writer and teacher Ige Ramos describes it, make a book “either jump off the bookshelf screaming ‘Buy me!’ or sit quietly until the right person picks it up”? Musician and visual artist Datu Arellano puts it simply: a good book cover is “striking.” But more importantly, it “draws the reader in,” says designer Karl Castro, and “entices without giving too much of the content away.”

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Music of the Lumad

Music of the LumadIn general, lumad music encompasses a wide repertoire of sounds performed for various occasions, and makes use of an extensive array of musical instruments...

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Other Features


The T’bolis believe that the gods created man and woman to look attractive so that they would be drawn to each other and procreate. Among the Lumads in Mindanao, the T’bolis stand out for their passion for beauty and personal adornment. This is evident in their costumes, body ornaments, hairstyle, and cosmetic practices.

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Retrato is where the public can view the images in the Filipinas Heritage Library’s Photo Archive. It consists of searchable black-and-white images, in thumbnail size, depicting Philippine life through the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The images are documented according to a standard adopted by the Library.

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Search Retrato Collection

About LibraryLink

LibraryLink is a one-stop resource center for Filipiniana resources. It aims to provide one search engine or point of entry for researchers and students who are doing research on Filipiniana. LibraryLink provides a venue for interaction among researchers, library professionals, people from the publishing industry and the academe.

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