This zine collection honors Cirilio Bautista, the National Artist for Literature

Published June 2, 2021, 11:51 AM

by Jules Vivas

Commemorating the poet and author, along with his masterpiece The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus

MAGS FOR THE NATIONAL ARTIST The zine set, produced by the Benilde center for campus Art, dedicated to Cirilo Bautista

A celebrated achievement in Philippine literature, the Trilogy of Saint Lazarus is a masterpiece of an epic poem about the development of the Filipino soul toward liberation. The title brings together three of National Artist for Literature Cirilo Francisco Bautista’s works namely The Archipelago (1970), Telex Moon (1981) and Sunlight on Broken Stones (1999). It had earned him several recognitions, among which are the National Centennial Commission First Prize in Epic Writing, the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award, and the Book Development Association of the Philippines Gintong Aklat Award.

The texts, which collectively took 30 years to finish, not only synthesize nationhood but have shaped the modern landscape of Filipino literature today. The creative retelling of Philippine history and its remarkable author has recently inspired the conception of a new zine collection.

Honoring the life and work of the late renowned poet, critic, and nonfiction writer is a compilation of 21 art zines named after his trilogy. The anthology titled Trilogy of Saint Lazarus was rendered by contemporary architects and artists, including Nel Banaag, Gringo Benedicto, Blic, Gab Brioso, Tricia Castillo, Julius Clar, Mariah Concepcion, Jackie Cruz, Bayani Galera, Winna Go, Miguel Infante, Doktor Karayom, Charles Mañez, Stephen Matti, Regina Morales, Walther Ocampo, Levyn Purcil, Robin Ravago, Gabby Rosario, Isola Tong, and Thea Torres. The introduction was written by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Manila and La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) president, Brother Edmundo Fernandez FSC.

LITERARY ICON Cirilo Bautista was conferred the National Artist of the Philippines award in 2014

The zine set is produced by the Center of Campus Art (CCA), curated by CCA director Architect Gerry Torres with Architect Harvey Vasquez of Benilde Architecture. The first 40 copies will be gifted to the family and literary friends of Bautista as well as to the artists involved in sharing their talent for the homage.

The texts, which collectively took 30 years to finish, not only synthesize nationhood but have shaped the modern landscape of Filipino literature today.

There is also a digital installation called “House of Words,” which reimagines the Quezon City home of Bautista and his wife Architect Rose Marie, the former dean of DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts.

COLLECTIBLE These magazines bundled together create the anthology Trilogy of Saint Lazarus

Architecture students Tracie Bejar, Bea Carague, Jackie Cruz, Janelle Gan, Kevin Nuñez, Emilio Tenorio, and Aaron Yu, in collaboration with Multimedia Arts students Marco Ajero, Gelo Fabian, Enrique Masias and Raine Sanciangco curated phrases and stanzas from the epic poem and used a “Text as Image” concept to reinvent the house. Environmental graphics and architectonic volumes were employed.

The new book and the digital installation are both part of an exhibit dedicated to the late National Artist.

Originally a physical exhibition launched in 2020, the virtual gallery may now be accessed at