The University of the Philippines partnered with artists to construct an art installation in memory of the institution’s loved ones who passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the context of the UP Diliman’s Pagiilaw 2021 (lighting ceremony) theme of “Ugnayan at Pagpupugay” (connecting and honoring), ACC grantees Noel Soler Cuizon (ACC 1998), Irma Lacorte (ACC 2016), Kat Palasi (ACC 2004) and Sam Penaso (ACC 2013) gathered to create a site-specific installation at the University Amphitheater.

The collaborative project PAGTAWID (crossing over), establishes the complexity of grief felt by the many families dealing with unexpected loss during the pandemic. In this, it emphasizes subtle alterations to the "normal" process of grieving borne out of necessity to cope during crisis.

PAGTAWID simulates the crossing of thresholds, remembering and understanding, as well as the process of healing – illustrated through an installation of three staircases that form a triad, “LuzViMinda,” representing the country’s three main islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (as well as other contextual triadic configurations). This encloses an assemblage of prints formed by a group of artists convened by Dumaguete-based visual artist, art educator and ACC grantee, Irma Lacorte. The piece reads:

The imprints of one’s decisions at the time are not vivid enough to see the larger picture but highlighted by patterns of a hopeful next step composing the overall abstraction of life. Some fade into the ephemeral transition, yet as in a painting we are remembered by what we leave in the blank spaces. The artworks illuminate this premise in paying homage to the staff and faculty of UP Diliman who recently passed in the time of pandemic. (Collaboration by five artists: Irma Lacorte, Tin Palattao, Ledz Taboada, Ched De Gala & Des Pirinsesa)

Front row (l-r), ACC Phils. Program Director Teresa Rances, Jose Estrella, Barbie Tan-Tiongco, Boyet De Mesa; Back row (l-r), Kaye Oyek, Sam Penaso, Noel Cuizon, Kat Palasi, Irma Lacorte

The uncertainty of the times is likewise echoed through the use of other ephemeral components – twigs, dried leaves, handwoven Iloko fabric, the Inabel fabric and other recycled materials…all assembled to augment the over-all concept of the site-specific work. The collaborative art installation project was paired with performance art by artists Kaye Oyek and Boyet de Mesa, and ACC fellows Noel Cuizon and Sam Penaso. Lighting design was led by Barbie Tan-Tiongco (ACC 2009), and the overall program ceremony helmed by theater director Jose Estrella (ACC 2007).