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MPSH launches Art Exhibit, features Unsung Aeta Heroes of World War 2

Angeles City- The Museum of Philippine Social History launched last August 31, 2022, an art exhibit featuring works of Wiljun Jay Magsino showing more than forty ink-on-paper portraits of selected unsung heroes of World War 2, primarily those who are Aetas.

Titled “Tepangan: Sketches of Unsung Heroes,” the exhibit aims to revitalize the sense of nationalism and patriotism among all Filipinos and teach the present generation the significant contributions our fellow indigenous brothers and sisters have shared during the war and the country’s liberation.

Present were members of the Angeles City Police Station 1, Tarlac Tourism Pgt, fellows and staff of Museo Ning Angeles, Bamban Museum of History / Bamban Historical Society, Department of Education Schools Division of Angeles City, and descendants of the brave Aita, Mag-Antsi men who played their part in the 2nd World War.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Aaron Rivera, Museum of Philippine Social History.

MPSH curator Bettina Arriola shared in her welcoming speech how “times have changed indeed, but the lessons learned before are still applicable today.”

“Through their heroic deeds, may we be inspired to act on advocacies we wish to fight for the betterment of our society,” Arriola added, emphasizing how heroes are made and not born and how our choice to fight for what is right is but a call and duty as a Filipino.

Exhibit’s Artist, Wiljun Magsino, shared as well his thoughts on his work and the heroes. “Ako po mismo, maraming natutunan, habang inihahanda ang eksibisyong ito,” Magsino stressed, “narito po tayo para magbigay pugay… sa mga bayani na hindi nabigyan ng malaking pagkakataon upang maipakilala nang mabuti sa karamihan ng ating mga kababayan.” (I myself learned a lot while preparing for this exhibition. We are here to give honor… to heroes who were not given the grand opportunity to be properly recognized by our fellowmen.)

 PHOTO CREDIT: Aaron Rivera, Museum of Philippine Social History.

Serving as the guest of honor is Mr. Rhonie Dela Cruz, Bamban Museum curator, who Magsino handed the Aeta squadron sketches.

Dela Cruz pointed out in his speech: “Tayo po ay pwedeng maging bayani, sa ating kanya-kanyang gawain: sa buhay, sa pamilya, at sa komunidad” (All of us can be heroes in our personal works: in life, in our family, and in our community.)

Guest Aeta also shared a ritual dance performance during the said program, while a simple communal merienda followed the ribbon cutting ceremony and showcasing of exhibits.

The exhibit will run until September 30, 2022. MPSH is one of the museums of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and is open to the public. It is housed at the Old Florentino Pamintuan’s Mansion, Santo Entierro St. cor. Miranda St., Sto. Rosario, Angeles City, Pampanga, and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM.

Gerone Baladhay
Gerone Baladhay
Gerone is a freelance writer, editor and writing coach. He is a spoken word artist and author of a chapbook called "Burarul". He loves traveling with his second-hand Toyota 2013 vioz. A fan of pizza, anime, all that is Kapampangan, the beach, mountains, BL series, and the oxford comma.
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