Ilocanos to pay tribute to PHL greatest painter

BADOC, Ilocos Norte — To immortalize the life and artworks of Juan Luna, known as the greatest Filipino painter and patriot, officials and residents in his hometown Badoc prepared a week-long celebration for his 159th birthday anniversary on Oct. 24.

Led by the Badoc municipal government in collaboration with the Department of Education, Municipal Tourism Officer Jade Ceasar Raquel said a painting workshop will be held on October 10, followed by a painting competition, storytelling about the life and works of Juan Luna, oratorical contest and quiz show.

Apart from the pre-celebration activities, Raquel said a wreath laying, military honors, and grand parade will be conducted at the Juan Luna Shrine, the ancestral home of the Luna family, which has been recently recreated as the modernize Juan and Antonio Luna museum, a repository of the Luna brother’s masterpieces and great contribution for the country.

Based on records of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the Luna brothers were engaged in the reform and the revolutionary movements aimed at securing Philippine independence. Juan Luna became renowned for his excellence in painting. Many of his works, such as the Spoliarium, the Blood Compact, and the Death of Cleopatra, won awards in various expositions abroad. In 1898, he became a diplomat of the Philippines. At the request of his brother Antonio, he designed the uniforms of the Philippine army.

Meanwhile, Antonio Luna, an accomplished pharmacist, was active in the Propaganda movement in Spain. He was arrested for suspected complicity to the revolution in 1896. After his release, he joined the Philippine revolution as editor-in-chief of the revolutionary newspaper La Independencia, as a member of the Malolos Congress, and a general of the Philippine army. His 150th birth anniversary will also be commemorated on October 29.

The museum was temporary closed for renovation and it was re-opened to the public on April 27. 2016. Among the new features of the modernized Luna museum includes a reconstruction of Juan’s Paris studio and an augmented-reality simulation of trench warfare. The museum also has an e-learning facility where students can access the NHCP’s online lessons on Philippine history.

“We are inviting the public to come and join us in the celebration as the people of Badoc takes pride of our greatest patriot and hero, Juan Luna Novicio,” said Raquel.PNA/