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Home NEWS Events Filipinas Heritage Library, Partners launch "Revolutionary"

Filipinas Heritage Library, Partners launch "Revolutionary"

On May 20, Saturday, Filipinas Heritage Library, Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation, Inc., and the Estate of Nick Joaquin will launch REVOLUTIONARY, an exhibition and program held at the Ayala Museum in celebration of the centenary of the National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin, and the sesquicentennial of the musician and Katipunero, Julio Nakpil.

Featuring the compositions of Nakpil as well as Joaquin’s non-fiction works, the multi-sensory exhibition will attempt to arrange a conversation between the two artists on History and the Revolution. It will also try to illustrate the Manila where both Joaquin and Nakpil were born, and where they lived at an important historical turn – the end of Spanish rule and advent of American colonization.

In Nakpil’s time, Manila was called the “Reina de los perfumes en Asia,” having had perfume makers that imported scents such as ilang-ilang and lavender to Europe. Nakpil even honored the ilang-ilang with a composition. Contemporary scent creator Oscar Mejia of Oscar Mejia Artisan Fragrances will contribute scents that invoke both old Manila and the Revolution. Meanwhile, World War II had destroyed the Manila that Joaquin had begun to write about in the 1930s, and whose history he traced in books such as Manila, My Manila, Almanac for Manileños, and his many journalistic works.  

The turbulent period of the 1896 Revolution has undeniably influenced Nakpil’s political and musical ideas. Likewise, Joaquin’s essays, plays, and short stories talk about the slow, long process of our national formation since 1565, the 1896 Revolution that was the inevitable fruit of this formation, and the Philippine-American War that ushered in a new world.  

REVOLUTIONARY aims to reach out to the present generation who themselves have to grapple with the idea and reality of Revolution and brave new worlds in their individual, social, and national lives. The free, two-month long exhibit will be supplemented by a comprehensive educational program which includes a rare Independence Day Concert featuring Nakpil’s piano works on June 16. To be rendered by the Manila Symphony Orchestra and Dr. Raul Sunico, the concert will be the first time that Nakpil’s works will be performed publicly in the 21st century.
The Estate of Nick Joaquin will also stage a chamber musical for young Filipinos based on Joaquin’s children story, “How Love Came to Juan Tamad.” Film screenings and lectures on the life and work of the two great Filipinos are also part of the program. For the full schedule of activities and for inquiries, please call (02) 759-8281 or email Interested audiences may also pre-register at