• Hazel Buctayon

UPDATE: Alab ng Manlilikha: Studes, artists rise up in video marking 48th year of Martial Law

Updated: Sep 23

In a bid to highlight the responsibility of artists in the communal sphere, Buklod Sining of the University of the East is set released on 21 a collaborative video in line with the Martial Law commemoration.

A recital of a pledge to “love art with all [their] heart,” Alab ng Manlilikha written by Kiko Moran aims to celebrate the Filipino people who "stood up to fight for the rights and freedom of our nation and highlight the importance of creating works that help develop social transformation." It was launched on Facebook at 8PM through the Buklod Sining's page.


The video features various student-artists and alumni of Buklod Sining, together with notable artists and historians in various fields including screenwriter and playwright Ricky Lee reciting their oath.


The pledge begins with a staunch declaration of loyalty to art: “Iniibig ko ang SINING, / Ito ang kaluluwa ng aking kasing-kasing. / Ako’y kanyang mananatiling alagad / Ang sining ang aking pakpak palipad.”


Aside from Lee, artists participating were: filmmaker Seymour Sanchez, actor and singer Mikoy Morales, and musician Gary Granada. It also features historian Xiao Chua, writer Alfonso Manalastas, Kapampangan award-winning photographer Ruston Banal, and artist WiPO.


Buklod Sining President Anjella Cruz said art has been their “way of communicating truth across the unjust borders of the society— between the ruling class and the Filipino mass.”


“It is an essential part of our community because we believe that our artistic expression contributes to fostering the development of social transformation,” she said.


Cruz also noted that the passage and implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law puts artists and cultural workers as one of the most vulnerable sectors.


“The continuing attacks on freedom of expression are brought to an alarming rate, and any form of art production might be tagged as a terroristic act. Nonetheless, in creating art, we must not jeopardize truth and reality to effectively communicate to the society, because the expression and voice of artists are crucial in these difficult times of oppression and repression,” she added.


In its Facebook post, Buklod Sining said it has been the nature and duty of artists, throughout history, to expose the truth and show creative ideologies in order to achieve change in their society.


“Ang bawat artista ay nagmula sa bayan kung kaya't tayo ay para sa bayan!... Ito'y napatutunayan ng mga akda at sining na bumago at nagsilbing impluwensiya sa ating lahi na ipagtanggol ang ating mga karapatan sa gitna ng mga malagim na kaganapang bumalot sa ating lipunan,” it said in a statement.


It added: “Kasama ang ibat ibang hanay ng mamamayan at artista ng bayan, kami'y nananawagan para sa isang makabansa at makataong diwa upang ipagtanggol ang masa gamit ang ating makasining na pamamaraan.”


Former President Ferdinand Marcos, through Presidential Decree 1081, placed the entire country on September 21, some 48 years ago under Martial Law, marking decades-long of abuses and violations of human rights.