The Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) is an impressive collection of Philippine modernist and contemporary paintings, sculptures, installations, prints, photographs and manuscripts, with a few European masters thrown into the mix. First established by the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in the 1960s, the AAG collection symbolizes the Ateneo’s strong emphasis on the education of the Humanities in all its course offerings, despite being most known as a business and law school. The AAG recently relocated to the Areté, along Katipunan Avenue, in Quezon City.
There are many examples Philippine Classical and Modern Art in the AAG collection, with notable works of Ateneans who helped forge new styles and schools of thought in the Philippine art community. Among these Ateneans in the AAG collection are the reformist Felix Pardo de Tavera, Jr. y Gorricho (1859-1932), the AAG founder Fernando Montojo Zóbel de Ayala (1924–1984), the National Artists Arturo Rogerio Dimayuga J. Luz (born1926) and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (1932-2011), the godfather of Philippine conceptual art Roberto “Bobby” Rodríguez Chabet (1937-2013), the international artist David Cortez Medalla (born 1938), Eduardo De Los Santos Castrillo (1942-2016), Jaime de Guzman (born 1942), Virgilio “Pandy” Arguelles Aviado (born 1944), Raymundo Pidad Albano (1947-1985), Leo Rialp (born 1947), and José “Bogie” Tence Ruiz (born 1956).
With the strong emphasis of the Humanities in the Ateneo curricula, each generation of Ateneans produce more creative alumni, who will continue carry the torch for Philippine art. In the disciplines of Visual Art, these are the postmodern Atenean artists who carved a niche for themselves in the 1980s to the present:
Ateneans in other Creative Fields:
Aside from the Visual Arts, there are also many Ateneans who have also entered other art disciplines. In literature there is the poet and revolutionary José Palma y Velasquez (1876-1903), writer and politician Rafael Palma y Velasquez (1874-1939), playwright Francisco “Soc” Aldana Rodrigo (1914-1998), educator and writer Fr. Horacio Dela Costa, SJ (1916-1977), National Artist for Literature Alejandro “Ading” Reyes Roces (1924-2011), poet and activist José María Canlás Sison (born 1939), poet and activist Emmanuel Agapito Flores Lacaba (1948-1976), historian Ambeth R. Ocampo (born 1961), and poet Danton R. Remoto (born 1963).
In the film and theater industries, there is National Artist for Film and Theater Lamberto Vera Avellana (1915-1991), actor Enrique “Pancho” Gayoso Magalona, Jr. (1923-1998), theater director Onofre R. Pagsanghan (born 1927), actor Victor “Vic” Payumo Silayan (1929-1987), theater actor Jose “Joonee” Espineli Gamboa (born 1936), actor and former President and major Jose “Joseph Estrada” Marcelo Ejercito (born 1937), actor Jose Maria “Vic Vargas” Marfori Asuncion (1939-2003), actor and comedian Noel Trinidad (born 1941), comedian Gary Lising (1942-2019), actor and comedian Ricardo “Subas” Wright Herrero (1943-2013), comedian and director Manuel “Jun” Urbano Jr., National Artist for Theater Salvador Floro Bernal (1945-2011), director Juan “Johnny” Ledesma Manahan (born 1947), comedian George “Dyords” Javier, actor Alfonso “Alfie” Serrano Anido (1959-1981), actor and former Senator José “Jinggoy Estrada” Pimentel Ejército, Jr. (born 1963), actor Arnold Ariel Tiangco Gamboa, actor Gabriel “Gabby” Arellano Concepcion (born 1964), theater actor Anthony “Nonie” Buencamino (born 1966), actor Jake Macapagal (born 1967), actor and director Enrico “Eric” Smith Quizon (born 1967), comedian Andrés José “Anjo” Garchitorena Yllana Jr. (born 1968), theater actor Joel Trinidad, comedian Mhel Garrido (born 1969), actor John “Jon-Jon” Hernandez Salvador, (1969-1993), director Christopher R. Santiago, actor Marco Polo Garcia (1970-2010), actor and director Santiago Larrauri (born 1970), actor Rodolfo “Gary Boy” Garcia Jr. (born 1972), actor and television personality Hans Joachim Montenegro (born 1974), comedian and musician Gabriel “Gabe” Mercado, actor José María “Jomari” Garchitorena Yllana (born 1976), director Paco Santa Maria, actor Robert “Bobby” Riu Andrews (born 1976), director Paolo Abella, theater actor Ricci Chan, director Mark Garcia Zambrano (born 1977), actor and director José Sixto Raphael “Dingdong” González Dantes III (born 1980), actor Alfred Dumlao Vargas (born 1981), actor Ramoncito “RR” Herrera, director Quark Henares (born 1980), actor Abelardo Dennis “Dennis Trillo” Florencio Ho (born 1981), actor Robert Marion “Robi” Eusebio Domingo (born 1989), actor Enrico Nicolas Rodrigo Cuenca (born 1994), and the filmmakers brothers Red: John, Raymond (born 1965), and Ronald (born 1970).
In television news and sports commentary, there is news commentator Hilarion “Larry” M. Henares, Jr. (born 1924), sports commentator José María “Smoking Joe” Cantada (1942-1992), sports commentator Dick Ildefonso, former actor and newscaster Angelo Ylagan Castro Jr. (1945-2012), sportscaster Emy Arcilla (1946-2016), sportscaster Bill Velasco, television host Eugenio “Boy” Romerica Abunda, Jr. (all born 1955), sportscaster Sev Sarmenta, television personality and documentary journalist Horacio “Howie” Gorospe Severino (born 1961), news commentator and Georgian consul Thelmo “Buddy” Olivares Cunanan, Jr. (born 1971), television host Paolo Antonio Barba Bediones (born 1974), news presenter Alfonso Tomas “Atom” Pagaduan Araullo (born 1982), and sportscaster Mico Halili.
In the music industry, there is the rocker Ramon “RJ” Pereyra Jacinto (born 1945), singer Basil Salvador Valdez (born 1951), the Apo Hiking Society’s Jaime Ramon “Jim” Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier (born 1951), singer Richard Vincent “Ric” Segreto Macaraeg (1952-1998), musician José “Joey” Íñigo Homer Lacambra Ayala (born 1956), the Dawn guitarist Teodoro “Teddy” de Villa Diaz (1963-1988), singer Louie Heredia (born 1964), songwriter and priest Manuel “Manoling” Simplicio Valdes Francisco (born 1965), music producer Patrick Reidenbach (born 1965), musician Darius “Bodjie” Delphin Dasig (1963-2012), Tropical Depression frontman Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa (1965-2013), singer and actor Jaime Garchitorena, musician Rico Rene Granados Blanco (born 1973), True Fath band members Macky Macaventa (born 1973) and Allan Chacón Elgar, singer James “Jimmy” Patrick Romero Bondoc (born 1975), percussionist and martial artist Jean Paul Zialcita, rock band Parokya ni Edgar‘s Gabriel Ignatius “Gab” Juan CheeKee, Alfonso “Chito” Yanga Miranda, Jr, Ferdinand “Dindin” Alvarez Moreno, and Francis Vincent “Vinci” Rosales Montaner (all born 1976), Southborder’s guitarist Manuel Tabuñar, Rivermaya guitarist Michael Maximino “Mike” C. Elgar (born 1976), After Image drummer Rogie Callejo (born 1976), rock band Kjwan / Sandwich’s Ramon Marcelino “Marc” Diaz Abaya (born 1979), rock band Itchyworms’ Chino Singson, Smokey Mountain’s Christian Jeffrey Hidalgo and Tony Lambino, rock band Sponge Cola’s Yael Yuzon (born 1983) and Christopher L. Cantada and Reynaldo “Gosh” R. Dilay (born 1985), rock band Chicosci’s Miguel “Miggy” Chavez, Miguel “Mong” Alcaraz, Carlos “Calde” Calderon, Jan Kevin Santos and Joel Salvador.
In architecture and interior design there is Tomas Fernandez Arguelles (1860-1950), Arcadio de Guzman Arellano (1872-1920), Andres Luna de San Pedro (1887-1952), Juan Marcos de Guzmán Arellano (1888-1960), Tomás Bautista Mapúa (1888-1965), Fernando Hizon Ocampo (1897-1984), Jose Lorenzo Gómez de Ocampo (1906–1995), Arturo Cabarrus de Santos (1912-1996), National Artists for Architecture Carlos Antonio Santos-Viola (1912-1994) and Ildefonso Paez Santos Jr. (1929-2014), Gabriel Papa Formoso (1915-1996), Alfredo Dimayuga J. Luz (1922-1989), and Vincent Martin “Veepee” Bondoc Pinpin (born 1967).
There are so many more creative Ateneans that I have not mentioned, as there too many and also lack information on them, that includes individuals who had entered the Ateneo as recognized artists already, especially in the college. However, the next article will deal with three masters of modern art, who have helped shape the destinies of these Atenean artists, in the Ateneo de Manila Grade School.
I have not placed the biographies of the postmodern artists, as not all have given me their bio-data or have responded to my requests for an interview. However, should I complete the data of these artists, I will edit this article to include their write ups.