Filipinos remember Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil and Alice Guillermo

July 30, 2018 - 7:05 PM
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Filipinos poured out their tributes to Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil and Alice Guillermo, two important female figures who have recently passed away. (Prof. Alice Guillermo’s photo by Arkibong Bayan)(Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos)

Filipinos remember the works of Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil and Alice Guillermo, two important female figures in art and journalism, after news of their passing spread on social media.

Prominent art critic Guillermo succumbed in the morning of July 29 at 80 years old after a long battle with her illness. Nakpil, veteran historian-journalist passed the next day at 96 years old.

Albeit in different fields, both female figures have contributed much in shaping the historical and literary landscape of the country, particularly in the development of journalism, art and history.

Award-winning fictionist Vim Nadera paid homage to Nakpil and Guillermo on separate posts on his official Facebook account.

PAALAM, MA'AM CHITANG…GUERRERO NAKPIL, CARMEN, b. 19 July 1922, Ermita, Manila. Essayist, historian, journalist….

Posted by Awit Nadera on Sunday, July 29, 2018

PAALAM, MA'AM ALICE…Alice V. Guillermo was born on 6 January 1938 in Quiapo, Manila. She is married to poet and…

Posted by Awit Nadera on Sunday, July 29, 2018

In Nadera’s post for Guillermo, a watercolor creation was used by Jesus Manuel Santiago, an award-winning poet and a well-loved musician in the country.

Santiago’s artwork was originally shared from the Art for Alice, a fund-raising campaign page previously used to help the art critic’s family with her medical bills.

The art critic

The art studies department of the University of the Philippines–Diliman, which Guillermo had chaired, described her as a “pioneering force in Philippine art” in their tribute.

With great sadness, the Department of Art Studies informs everyone of the passing of our colleague, Dr. Alice Guillermo…

Posted by Art Studies UP Diliman on Sunday, July 29, 2018

The esteemed UP professor became a recipient of the Japan Foundation Fellowship Grant in 1991, the Palanca Award for her essay “Ang Kaisipang Filipino Batay sa Sining Biswal” in 1979 and the Art Criticism Award from the Art Association of the Philippines in 1976.

Guillermo graduated magna cum laude with an educational degree at the College of the Holy Spirit Manila, formerly the College of the Holy Ghost, in 1957.

She took up her master’s degree at UP and then attended the Universite d’Aix-Marseille in France through a scholarship grant.

Throughout her career, Guillermo wrote numerous articles and reviews for publications such as Archipelago, WE Forum and Who. She had also published many notable books back then, which include Social Realism in the Philippines (1987) and Images of Change (1988), and co-authored From Anito to Assemblage (1990).

The journalist and historian

Nakpil’s legacy encompasses many generations, spanning the turbulent World War II era until her remaining years as Chitang Nakpil or the “Grand Old Lady of Public History.”

According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, where Nakpil was chairperson for 1967-1971, the historian died peacefully at 1 am on Monday.

In its tribute, it used the painting of National Artist Vicente Manansala that was also featured in Nakpil’s autobiography Myself, Elsewhere in 2006.

She was initially known as a journalist way back in 1946, at a time when female reporters were not yet so popular, during which she wrote for national newspapers such as the Manila Chronicle, Weekly Women’s Magazine and Malaya.

Nakpil has published influential books such as Woman Enough and Other Essays, 1963, The Rice Conspiracy, 1990 and Heroes and Villains in 2010.