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Ten years ago, I did a very challenging research project (my post-grad thesis in art history) that sort of “formalized” this love for Ilonggo art and culture. Upon the suggestion of a dear teacher-friend, Dr. Elnora Loriega (now dean of the College of Educ. at West Visayas State University), I pursued what seemed like a morbid topic to many. Entitled “An Art Historical Study of Eight Spanish Colonial Stone Cemeteries in Iloilo,” the research dispelled the frightening images conjured by antique cemeteries. I set out to prove that cemeteries and art do mix. The image you see above is an artist’s rendition of a cemetery motif found at the capilla or funerary chapel of Cabatuan cemetery. A complex design I should say and interesting too. That’s a pair of martyr’s palm with the skull-and-crossbones motif in the middle.

No, the skull-and-crossbones does not mean Poison nor Pirates. In Christian iconography, the skull represents the mortality of humans and the crossbones allude to Christ’s death. Actually, this motif shouldn’t register fear but hope: the bones of Christ defeating our mortal deaths and securing us eternity.

I discovered that in Iloilo province, not just one but eight colonial stone cemeteries of artistic significance have survived. This implies that there was a conscious desire among the Augustinian friars in Iloilo to construct cemeteries of a distinct character. These eight cemeteries are in the town of Oton, Dingle, Janiuay, Sta. Barbara, Pototan, Cabatuan, Miagao and San Joaquin. The entries are individually posted. Happy reading!

One Response to “CEMETERIES & ART DO MIX”

  1. Michelle S. Eusebio Says:

    Ma’am Inday Hami,

    Hello! Si Michelle S. Eusebio (michelleeusebio@yahoo.com) po ito ng UP Archaeological Studies Program (Diliman) at taga Iloilo. Nais ko pong humingi ng email address nyo kung okay lang. Gagawin ko kasi kayong resource person para sa paper (about cemeteries as heritage sites) na gagawin ko for UGAT Conference this year at para sa Cemetery Project namin sa UP Archaeological Studies Program (kapag nakakuha na kami ng funding).

    Regarding po sa UGAT conference, nasa ibaba yung details. Sana makasali kayo, ngayong araw na pala ang deadline ng abstract. – from Michelle

    UGAT 30th Annual Conference Call for Papers
    CALL FOR PAPERS

    UGNAYANG PANG-AGHAMTAO, INC. (UGAT)
    Anthropological Association of the Philippines

    30th Annual Conference
    “PERFORMING HERITAGE”
    23-25 October 2008, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
    Sponsor: Philippine Social Science Council

    Heritage is a contested socio-cultural category because what constitutes it depends on the ways by which positioned actors and institutions would mobilize its meaningful values in such realms as identity politics, commodification of culture as resource, and biocultural diversity advocacies. Hence, heritage, as a vital site of cultural production, consumption and transformation, has permeated our views on cultural similitude and difference, and necessarily implicates issues of authenticity, appropriation, conservation, preservation and so forth. As a subject matter, it has increasingly become a site for transdisciplinal inquiries by practitioners and scholars in the social sciences and the humanities. In all this, perspectives drawing on theories of culture, power, temporality, space, agency and structure get mobilized, resulting in often competing understandings of heritage as a human invention entangled in subjectivities, structures and processes, at local, national, regional and global scales.

    With the theme, “Performing Heritage,” UGAT invites panel and paper proposals for the 2008 Annual Conference. Papers and panels are expected to problematize the various modes of performing Filipino heritage (e.g. in festivals, cinema, cyberspace, museums and other spectacles) in (trans-)national settings. Suggested areas include (but are not limited to):

    *Heritage in theatre, film and the media
    *Tourism and representation
    *Heritage and eco-tourism
    *The revival/(re-)invention of fiestas and traditions
    *Place marketing through heritage
    *State, heritage and spectacle
    *Intersections of archaeology and heritage studies
    *Aesthetics and politics of dance competitions in festivals
    *Institutionalization of heritage conservation
    *The language of heritage and the heritage of language
    *Heritage and the transformation of landscapes
    *Preservation of intangible heritage
    *Disaster and heritage restoration and management
    *History as heritage

    Guidelines for ABSTRACTS
    *Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.
    *Authors must indicate the sub-theme their paper may fall under.
    *Submissions should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation and contact information (mailing address, telephone no., mobile phone no., e-mail address). For students, please indicate your intent to join the Student Paper Competition.
    *Abstracts should be sent to ugat_aap@yahoo.com by 15 JULY 2008.

    Abstracts may be considered for either paper presentation or poster presentation.

    Papers authored by students will be automatically entered in the student paper competition. The winning paper will be considered for publication in the Aghamtao.

    For other inquiries, please contact UGAT at 0918-6989445 or at ugat_aap@yahoo.com, or go to http://www.geocities.com/ugat_aap.

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bkground32.jpg

Ten years ago, I did a very challenging research project (my post-grad thesis in art history) that sort of “formalized” this love for Ilonggo art and culture. Upon the suggestion of a dear teacher-friend, Dr. Elnora Loriega (now dean of the College of Educ. at West Visayas State University), I pursued what seemed like a morbid topic to many. Entitled “An Art Historical Study of Eight Spanish Colonial Stone Cemeteries in Iloilo,” the research dispelled the frightening images conjured by antique cemeteries. (more…)

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