Abdulmari Asia Imao, a native of Sulu, is a sculptor, painter, photographer, ceramist, documentary film maker, cultural researcher, writer, and articulator of Philippine Muslim art and culture. Through his works, the indigenous ukkil, sarimanok and naga motifs have been popularized and instilled in the consciousness of the Filipino nation and other peoples as original Filipino creations. His U.P. art education introduced him to Filipino masters like Guillermo Tolentino and Napoleon Abueva, who were among his mentors. With his large-scale sculptures and monuments of Muslim and regional heroes and leaders gracing selected sites from Batanes to Tawi-tawi, Imao has helped develop among cultural groups trust and confidence necessary for the building of a more just and humane society. It is the legendary bird that has become a ubiquitous symbol of Maranao art. It is depicted as a fowl with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its beak or talons. The head is profusely decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs. It is said to be a symbol of good fortune. The Sarimanok is derived from a totem bird of the Maranao people, called Itotoro. According to the Maranao people, the Itotoro is a medium to the spirit world via its unseen twin spirit bird called Inikadowa. The Sarimanok is also believed to have originated from an Islamic legend. According to the legend,Muhammad found a rooster in the first of the seven heavens. The bird was so large its crest touched the second heaven. Its crow roused every living creature except man. Judgement day would come once this celestial rooster ceased to crow. A Maranao legend also says of a Sultan's daughter being swept by a colorful rooster that became a handsome young man and they were never seen ever again. The Sultan then created replicas of the bird to remember his daughter by. ************************************
Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890-1976) represents the National Artist Awards for Sculpture in 1973. He is consider as the "Father of Philippine Arts" because of his great works like the famous "Bonifacio Monument" symbolizing Filipinos cry for freedom located in intersection of EDSA and Rizal Avenue and "The Oblation" in UP signifying academic freedom .
The monument commemorates the most proletarian of all Filipino heroes, Andres Bonifacio. The monument likewise marks the first encounter between Andres Bonifacio and his revolutionary group called Katipunan with the Spanish soldiers on August 3, 1896. The monument was immortalized by the great Filipino national artist Guillermo(Botong)Tolentino in 1933 together with Guillermo Masangkay, one of Bonifacio's generals adapting the facing of Bonifacio's Statue towards his birthplace in Tondo, Manila, which is situated on the south of Caloocan. OBLATION
No symbol is more closely identified with the University of the Philippines than the statue of the Oblation. The naked figure of a young man in a symbolic gesture of sacrificial offering of service to country and humanity has become a landmark in every campus of the University. For the hundreds of thousands of UP Alumni, the Oblation has become their major symbolic link with Alma Mater. The Oblation is also the major rallying point for all kinds of dissent, protest actions, and social criticism, as well as expressions of public service, nationalism, and patriotism. For the autonomous units and all the campuses of the University of the Philippines, the Oblation is the enduring symbol of their unity in mission, vision and traditions.
The Oblation, a masterpiece of Filipino sculptor Guillermo E. Tolentino, was commissioned in 1935 by President Rafael Palma, first Filipino president of the University. His order was for professor Tolentino to translate the second stanza of Rizal's "Last Farewell" into a monument which would be the identifying landmark of the University. Eduardo...
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