Here’s the story behind the cradle nests seen in Fort Santiago

Published May 17, 2022, 10:16 AM

by John Legaspi

Visual artist Kristine Lim honors all mothers this month of May with ‘Ugoy’

Visual artist Kristine Lim continues her “artist on a mission” movement this May with an exhibit dedicated to celebrating and honoring all mothers. Dubbed “Ugoy,” the exhibit presents 18 beautiful cradle nests installed in Intramuros, Manila. This exhibit comes after the success of her showcase in April titled “Portraits of Christ.”

“[Eighteen] cradle nests representing our 18 regions are scattered in Intramuros to honor the mothers in our country and our motherland,” the artist says. “The past years have been challenging, and through God, who comforts us as a mother comforts a child, we are granted endless source of strength that we may endure our dark days.”

(Photo by Ali Vicoy)

Ugoy,” a Filipino word meaning “to rock” or “to cradle” in English, has usually been closely associated with motherhood. It is a way to show comfort and love to their children, making it the perfect source of inspiration for the artist. The exhibit also features the composition of Jonathan Manalo, the creative director of ABS-CBN Music. The music is “a beautifully combined and ethereal melody, voice, and rhythm we can rest on as we ponder on what it means to be cradled by our motherland we must uphold, honor, and care for,” as per Kristine.

“Cradle nests, made of wood and branches, are placed inside Fort Santiago. Through Kristine Lim’s art installation and Jonathan Manalo’s musical score, we can take a moment in one of the 18 cradle nests and gently sway back and forth, taking in the scenery before us,” curator Ian Belleza muses. “As we are left with our musings, we are encouraged to remember that God, like our mothers, always has our best interests in His heart. That He will always be there to nudge us in the right direction, no matter how challenging life can get.”

Jonathan Manalo and Kristine Lim

With the exhibit happening on the same month of the national elections, Kristine also wants it to serve as a reminder to Filipinos that “it is not just the elected leaders who we should depend on when it comes to caring for our nation. Each and every one of us is the true mother of our homeland.”

“Our patriotism lies not on our loyalty to people but on our loyalty to our country. Our leaders will continue to change, but the soil that we are on will remain,” she says. “We are Filipinos not because of our government or the authorities who lead us but because of who we are. Our constant need for the comforting cradles in our homeland can only be satisfied when we are able to look within ourselves, do what we must, and surrender not to man but to God.”

One of the cradle nests of ‘Ugoy’

Ugoy” is presented by the Department of Tourism, It’s More Fun In The Philippines, Intramuros Administration, Art Lounge Manila, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I Love Mom Movement; with the participation of Sustainable PH, Christian Collective, Artists on a Mission Workshops, OM Philippines and AOR Global. The Art Installation can be viewed at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila for the whole month of May.


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