The mural titled ‘Bayanihan” (pronounced bah-ya-nee-han) is one of Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco’s masterpieces and shows the Filipino’s bayanihan tradition, which refers to a spirit of communal unity, effort or deed to achieve a particular goal.
Francisco (1912-1969) was considered as one of the most accomplished modern Filipino visual artists and was posthumously recognized as a Philippine National Artist by the government in 1973. He was affectionately called “Botong” by his family and friends. Many of his masterpieces depict Philippine historical events and were titled accordingly such as the Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, The Martyrdom of Rizal, etc..
Bayanihan shows Francisco’s distinctive style with its bold composition and the daring juxtaposition of elements that showcased his mastery of anatomy and lush tropical color. The mural was commissioned in 1962 by Jose Campos founder of the pharmaceutical and health care company United Laboratories (UNILAB). The mural is on permanent display at UNILAB’s administration building in Manila.
Long live Philippine visual arts!