Award-winning visual artist and trilingual poet (English, Filipino and Chinese) Maningning Miclat met an untimely death on the campus of Far Eastern University (FEU) 18 years ago.
In her memory, her parents, writers Mario and Alma Miclat, formed the Maningning Miclat Art Awards, which became a biennial event.
This year’s commemoration is special because the winners of the art competition will be known on the same day as “Ginugunita Kita,” a concert which weds Maningning’s poetry to the music of multi-awarded composer Jesse Lucas, as interpreted by the poet’s younger sister Banaue Miclat-Janssen, soprano, with renowned cellist Renato Lucas as accompanying artist.
Other performers are tenor Al Gatmaitan, dancer Angela Castro and interactive artist Nasser Lubay.
Roeder Camañag directs.
This was announced at a recent press launch at FEU, with Miclat-Janssen singing two songs created for the concert, accompanied by composer Jesse on the piano and cellist Renato. The 18 semifinalist visual artists present were also presented to the audience.
These are Andres Catig, Arvin Santos, Christine Capili, Cyriel Cleope, Cyrill Jan Mustera, Deo Carlos Amarante, Dhan Louie Bautista, Dominic Nelson Jinon, Hardy DC Santos, Jayroll Francisco, Jessica Lopez, Jheco Lorica, John Nikko Pelaez, Kenneth Santiago, Ralph Lauren Barola, Ronald Dulay, Richelle Kirk Tabanera and Wendi Patok.
“Inspiration came easily after I read the poems of Maningning Miclat in her book ‘Voice from the Underworld,’” said Jesse. “The words are almost melodious that I can hear the music through the poetic images. It spoke and at the same time sang to me poignant thoughts about life, pain and love. The experience in writing the music was meditative and cathartic at the same time. It feels like I have discovered a new language, a language that speaks directly to the soul.”
For Miclat-Janssen, “from a singer’s perspective I am very pleased that Jesse understood Maningning’s poetry. Through the marriage of my sister’s words and his music, my voice is able to journey from the depths of the underworld to the heights of the heavens.”
Works of the 18 semifinalists are on display at FEU’s Nicanor Reyes Hall. Grand prize winner will be announced at the historic, newly restored FEU Auditorium, Manila, on Sept. 26,
6 p.m. This will be followed by the “Ginugunita Kita” concert.