By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Recognizing the need to further instill among learners the value of history, Education Secretary Leonor Briones graced the inauguration of Linangan, the display home of “Constantino Murals: Hidden in Plain Sight” in Quezon City.
“I am deeply honored and grateful to be part of this significant occasion—the blessing of Linangan which serves as a timeless testimony to our past struggles and victories in pursuit of freedom and democracy,” Briones shared as she attended the inauguration of Linangan, home of Constantino murals, on Panay Avenue, on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of nationalist historian Renato Constantino.
The Linangan seeks to extol—through the murals and future activities—the true stature of Macario Sakay and Lean Alejandro, as well as other Filipinos whose acts helped elevate and establish the meaning of heroism. It is a project of the Constantino Foundation.
Instead of showcasing the murals in art galleries, the Foundation shared that it worked with local governments to install the paintings at the Ospital ng Makati in Pembo and the old San Juan City Hall. “Hidden in plain sight and in working class settings, the choice of government buildings as display sites was significant,” the Foundation explained.
The Constantino Foundation, which was originally named Foundation for Nationalist Studies, was established by the late couple Renato (March 10, 1919 – September 15, 1999) and Letizia Constantino (April 9, 1920 – June 27, 2016), whose mission was to promote nationalism and to advance a singular idea: “In order to shape the future, the past must play an active role in the present.”
The Linangan also displayed the quotes of Constantino, one of which was written in 1975, that said, “A real people’s history is still in the future. I believe a real people’s history will be written when the Filipino people actively seize their destiny and courageously shape another exciting period of their history.”
Likewise, the Foundation shared that the Constantino Murals were created in 2007 in collaboration with Tutok, an artists’ group that, before disbanding, explored the language of dissent in the visual realm. Commissioned to commemorate the execution of heroes Sakay and Alejandro, the Foundation requested Tutok to paint the heroes not as an extraordinary beings towering above their people, but as ordinary Filipinos advancing uncommon deeds in pursuit of national freedom.