AGAINST THE CURRENT reopens at Pamanang Bedista Museum, San Beda College Manila

Manrique, San Bedan social realist and AGAINST THE CURRENT: Contemporary Social Realist Art in the Philippines at San Beda College, Mendiola campus. These exhibitions will be formally open on November 13, 2013 at 3:00PM.


Al Manrique is a Bedan that emanates the spirit of social realist art.  He is known for his paintings, particularly his Bunong Balikat works that have become the cover of many catalogues and books that deal with the period of Social Realism in the country.  He also did a lot of photography and graphic design work, being involved in many NGOs and socially-oriented institutions.  Because of his work, he was able to travel around the country and see for himself the conditions that many Filipinos faced. His works deal with political oppression, but it also dealt with gender inequality, the displacement of indigenous peoples, the destruction of our natural resources, and many other forms of subjugation and oppression that our countrymen faced.  He had a desktop publishing shop and was among the pioneers of computer-generated art in the country.


Redeamus et Reddamus is Latin for “to come back and to give back.”  It was the rallying call of San Beda High School Class 1966, of which artist Al Manrique is a part of, for their fortieth anniversary.  In this exhibit, the artist is being honored for his contribution to Philippine Social Realism.  It is hoped that in recognizing his act of giving back, his art can continue to inspire the students and alumni to give back to society and practice the San Bedan virtue of striving for peace through practicing social responsibility and social justice.

Against the Current: Contemporary Social Realist Art in the Philippines presents works of both established and emerging Filipino artists from different fields of practice, offering a spectrum of forms, subjects and media. It brings to the fore a variety of issues besetting Philippine society today. These include the seemingly never ending problems of poverty, human rights violations and government corruption, as well as issues related to gender, race, identity, diaspora, trauma, virtual/cyber violence, and the environment. Situated in the complex and dynamic relationship of art and history, the works are not mere documentaries of social conditions, but are active participants in the continuing struggle of the people. It is art which dares to go against the current and seeks to become a potent agent of social transformation.


Exhibitions run until December 13, 2013. For more information, visit