Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category


Virginia “Aling Barang” Reyes Moreno: “Matahari”

August 16, 2021

Aling Barang once told me that she was writing her memoirs; its title is “Matahari.” I wonder whether she managed to finish it because at the time of my visit, she was quite busy with J. Moreno Foundation activities.

[R to L]: Aling Barang, Jorge Arago, Hilario “Mang Larry” Francia, Rodrigo Paras-Perez? at the book launching of my brother’s {Isagani R. Medina) book, “Cavite Before the Revolution,” Balay Kalinaw, U.P., 1994. (Photo by Mirana)
Happy Together
VRM’s Birthday 2019 / Photo by Mirana
VRM’s Personalized/Autographed Invite
Aling Barang’s Signature
Poetry Reading 2005 Flyer signed Aling Barang by VRM; Mang Raul Ingles and Ms. Deana Ongpin-Recto

MANILA, Philippines — The poet, playwright and arts organizer Virginia “Virgie” Reyes Moreno died on Saturday morning after a lingering illness. She was 98.

Known for her grace and graciousness, Moreno earned lofty monikers such as “The High Priestess’’ or “Empress Dowager of Philippine Poetry”—conferred by no less than National Artist for Literature Jose Garcia Villa—both for her published works and the energy she devoted to stoking the creative spirit of likeminded artists who held her in high esteem.

She was the only female member of Villa’s coterie of younger writers known as “The Ravens.”

Moreno published only one collection of poems, “Batik Maker and Others,” but it was a slim volume of peak lyrical power when it came out in 1972. The titular piece “Batik Maker” and “Order for Masks,” for example, went on to become gems in Philippine literature in English, featured and studied in textbooks. The collection won first prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.

Tondo girl

Moreno was born in Tondo, Manila, on April 24, 1923. She was the older sister of the late fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno, himself an icon in his field. (She later headed a foundation set up in his memory.)

eir father, a ship captain, died when Virgie was about 6 years old. The siblings were then raised by their mother, a rice trader, at a house on Juan Luna Street in Gagalangin.

Moreno earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of the Philippines (UP) and pursued further studies at the Kansas Institute for International Education, the British Film Institute and the International Writing Program in Iowa.

In 1976, she became the founding director of the UP Film Center, around the same time she was teaching humanities at the state university.

Outside the academe, she chaired the Unesco Culture Committee of the Philippines.

In 1984, she received the SEAWrite Award in recognition of her stature in the arts and letters of Southeast Asia. In 1991, the French government named her Chevalier (knight) in the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, a national honor bestowed on academics for their valuable contributions to education and science.

‘Onyx Wolf’

As a playwright, Moreno is best known for “The Onyx Wolf,” which won the National Historical Playwriting Contest in 1969. The play is also known as “La Loba Negra” and “Itim Asu.”

Adapted for dance and staged in 1970, 1984 and 1990, “Itim Asu” was scheduled for another run starting February 2020 as part of Ballet Philippines’ 50th season at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with music by National Artist Antonino Buenaventura and choreography by Alice Reyes. The author was able to join the audience for a special one-off presentation, before the rest of the performance dates were canceled due to the pandemic.

Moreno’s wake will be held at Funeraria Paz at Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque City, on Aug. 16. The family on Saturday said that due to community quarantine restrictions, viewing will be for family members only.

Burial will be on Aug. 17. An online memorial will be held on the ninth day after her death, details of which will be announced soon.

“Ultimo Adios’ in Filipino Sign Language; showing sponsored by J. Moreno Foundation; a repeat showing was held at Cafe Orfeo in December
My last talk with Aling Barang was in April 2021 on her birthday. I couldn’t go to her place because of pandemic scare and restrictions. On the phone, she was excited talking about her plans. Last Friday, August 13, Sheila informed me that Ms. Moreno was back home, bedridden after hospitalization. I was surprised. From Tikoy, I came to know about her passing away. Lockdown however, prevents us from going to the Memorial Park to pay our tribute to her. Ms. Moreno was my professor in Humanities, and the one who recruited me to work as researcher at the UP Film Center. It is to her that I owe my being a film editor. She sent me to the Film and Television Institute of India to study. I am forever grateful! We shall all miss you Aling Barang! [Photos & Flyers: MRM collection]

Taghoy ng Inang Nangungulila

May 12, 2020

Mayo 10, 2020. Linggo, Mother’s Day. Nainterbyu ko si Bienvenida “Aling Idad” Tejada, 85 taong gulang. Araw ng mga Ina pero sa araw na yun ang pangungulila sa anak na mentally-challenged ang naibulalas nya. Bukas, Mayo 13, saktong isang buwan mula nang mawala si “Mameng.” Kilalang-kilala ang mag-ina dahil sa kalye ng J. Fernando, Barangay 77 sa Pasay, sila ang mga pangunahing tauhan. Homeless ang dalawa kaya kung saan-saan sila makikitang sumisilong o lumulugar kasama ang alagang aso na lalaki pero “Tita” ang tawag ni Aling Idad at mga pusang naging gala na dahil iniwan ng mga nag-alisang owners ng mga ito ay kanilang kinalinga. Ironic pero sa kanila nakatagpo ng pamilya ang mga iniwang mga hayup.

Sa ngayon, patuloy pa ring ang pag-asam ng isang ina sa pagbalik ng anak na minsa’y nag-aalala na rin at di maiwasang isipin na baka ito’y wala na o di kaya’y pinigilan sa Mental Hospital kung saan minsan ng ang anak ay pinagamot rin. Hangad ng bidyong ginawa ko na maipaabot sa mas maraming tao ang kalagayan nila; nagbabakasakaling isang araw may taong makakilala at maibalik si Mameng sa Ina.

Ngayong gabi, napag-alaman kong kaarawan pala ni Mameng noong Linggo, Mayo 10. Coincidence?


1st Year College Application to DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education & Applied Studies Extended Until Feb 11

January 23, 2020


——————————————————————————————————————————————-The Benilde Admissions Application Form and Other Related Forms are available through the website:

——————————————————————————————————————————————APPLICATION REQUIREMENT



ASP’s Walk for Autism 2020

January 21, 2020

The Autism Society Philippines Angels Walk for Autism is an annual FREE FREE FREE advocacy event that has been held since 2007. It has grown from 200 to 24,000 registered participants in 2019. Join ASP celebrate another milestone year and help build an Autism-OK Philippines! The pre-walk show will showcase the talent of persons with autism and celebrate the advocacy’s accomplishments! Let’s walk for public awareness, private sector involvement and inclusion of the autism agenda in government social development initiatives! Here’s to acceptance, accommodation and inclusion!ASP Walk for Autism 2020

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 6:30 AM to 12:00 PM (PST)

Mall of Asia Arena
Jose W. Diokno Boulevard
SM Mall of Asia Complex
Pasay City 1300
View Map


1st PASIG International Film Festival 2019

November 24, 2019

For the benefit of the Scholarship Program of 47 seminarians of the Diocese of Pasig, the 1st Pasig International Film Festival will be held on December 6, 2019, Friday, from 10am – 5pm at Pasig City Museum, Plaza Rizal, Bgy. San Jose, Pasig City.

PASIG FIlm Fest 2019

Below is the tentative Program Outline:
10:00am – 12:00nn – Opening Prayer
Pasig City College Student Film Screenings of Meridian International College (MINT) East Ortigas Pasig Catholic College (PCC); UP Film Center films

12:00nn – 1:00 pm – Angelus Prayer
Lunch break – Heritage walk Plaza Rizal and PCM / Pasig City Hall / Pasig Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception / Museo de Diocesano de Pasig / Pasig Catholic Cemetery / Bonifacio Plaza

1:00 pm -2:00 pm – Film Talk: The Art of Filmmaking

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – A PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST AS FILIPINO video screening of c1965 film by Lamberto Avellana, PH National Artist for Film and Theater, courtesy of LVN Studios’ Mike de Leon

Presentation of Certificates of Recognition & Appreciation
Live performance of Filipino movie theme songs
Closing Prayer

Fee: Php200- regular admission / Php100- Student/Senior/PWD


On Lonely Death or “Kodukushi” — in “Encounters with Silence,” a Documentary by Janus Victoria

November 9, 2019

The UP Asian Center will hold a free screening of the documentary, “Encounters with Silence,” on 13 November 2019, 2:30–4 pm, at the ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center, QC. A discussion on the film’s topic, the “lonely death” in Japan, will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Walk-ins are welcome, but participants are encouraged to sign up.

Encounters with Silence2


In a country with a large population of elderly and middle-aged people living in isolation in small apartments without friends or family to rely on, many die alone and unnoticed. Their bodies are discovered by neighbors several weeks, or even months, after. The lonely death, or kodokushi, has become hauntingly common in Japan. Still it remains a sensitive subject and is rarely discussed. Filmmaker Janus Victoria confronts the silence on the subject through encounters with a man who cleans the apartments of those who die alone, a photographer who documents the aftermath of kodokushi, an elderly woman fiercely protective of her independence even in old age, and an artist who sings to pierce the stillness around her. By examining the quiet and lonely death, Encounters with Silence becomes a meditation on life itself. Encounters with Silence premiered in competition under the Asian Perspective category of the 2017 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival in South Korea.


The context of film topic and the production process of the documentary will be discussed by the filmmaker after the screening. Q&A will follow afterwards.


Janus Victoria is a filmmaker of narrative features and documentaries. She produced Encounters with Silence during her fellowship at the Asia Center of The Japan Foundation. She is currently taking MA Asian Studies, major in Japan Studies at the UP Asian Center.



The Ramon Magsaysay 2019 Awardees

September 23, 2019

On September 9, we attended on behalf of Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. the 2019 Presentation Ceremonies of the Ramon Magsaysay Award held at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines. The awardees are as follows: KIM JONG-KI of South Korea, KO SWE WIN of Myanmar, RAVISH KUMAR of India, ANGKHANA NEELAPAIJIT of Thailand, RAYMUNDO “Ryan” PUJANTE CAYABYAB of the Philippines. Except for Mr. Cayabyab, we managed to get the signatures of all awardees making my souvenir magazine extra special. Unfortunately, he was on his way out by the time we got near him. It was my knack for documentation that prodded me to queue up for their precious signatures…


Their individual stories and contributions to their society in particular, and the humanity in general are truly inspiring. The late Gina Lopez could have been one of the awardees too in recognition of what she had done for the environment, the children and the marginalized people in our country.

Here are links to read about the awardees and the award giving body itself:;

RMagsaysay Awardees_wide

The 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees with Vice-President of the Philippines Leni Robrero and RMAF Board of Trustees Chair Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (4th and 3rd from right respectively)

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Tikoy Aguiluz’s art of waves, whorls and wings

August 31, 2019

Posting late but as they say, better late than never….

“A fortnight after joining a group show at Sining Kamalig, Tikoy Aguiluz had his first one-man show at Kanto Gallery in Makati Central Square. Billed as “Rara Avis,” the exhibit opened on June 8, with Virginia R. Moreno cutting the ribbon with the assistance of Jun Factoran. Another guest of honor, Nestor Vinluan, came a little late for the opening rite.

Other artist-friends in attendance included Pandy Aviado, Heber Bartolome, Gus Albor, filmmaker Onin Delotavo Tagaro, who co-directed the Urian award-winning documentary, Yield, and filmmaker/producer Toshihiku Uriu, owner of the gallery and the Tiu Theater (with a screening room and a sound stage) also at Makati Central Square. Uriu is also the co-producer of Aguiluz’s film-in-progress, Pisonet.

Tikoy, a.k.a. Amable R. Aguiluz VI, who has won various awards for his notable documentaries and feature films, started with his recent spate of artworks in late 2017 when he took a three-month residency in Sri Lanka.

Rara Avis Xhibt

Film Director Tikoy Aguiluz, friend and UP Film Center colleague I have worked with for decades as his film editor, and I holding the drawing I have chosen from one of his sketchbooks. Ms. Virginia R. Moreno cut the ribbon to open the exhibit.

He says he made it a daily habit in the beginning of 2018, producing what were basically sketches for oil paintings, but that these developed a life of their own. For these sketches, he used a Bic ballpen and different kinds of Pentel pens, mostly black but sometimes blue.

To read Krip Yuson’s article full article: “Tikoy Aguiluz’s art of waves, whorls and wings”, please click the following link:



Kodi Lee: Blind singer with autism wows ‘America’s Got Talent’ judges, gets away with Golden Buzzer

May 29, 2019

Watch amazing Kodi Lee, a 22-year old blind singer with autism!

According to his mother Tina: “…Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world, because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually saved his life playing music.”


Figurative Abstraction Landscape Paintings of ROMEO E. GUTIERREZ

March 20, 2019

After many decades, I’ll finally meet an old friend, award-winning and former art professor Romeo Gutierrez. We very fondly called him “Romy.” Exhibition will be held at the 4th level, Artwalk, SM Megamall Bldg. A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong in Metro-Manila.