CFA Highlights

Dean Colayco receives the National Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government



In recognition of her significant contributions to culture and the arts, Florentina P Colayco, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (The M),  was awarded the one of France’s most prestigious civilian distinctions, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the National Order for Arts and Letters), during a ceremony held on June 22, 2023.


Presenting the honour on behalf of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication was the Ambassador of France to the Philippines, Her Excellency Michele Boccoz cited Ms. Colayco’s “dedication to the development of the visual arts as an active part of society, the education of the public as key in the socio-cultural development of the community, and for being a partner of the Embassy of France in its objective to promote cultural diversity in the cultural environment. The years of lockdown due to the pandemic proved the importance of art in the wellbeing of man.”


As an educator, professor and former dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fine Arts, Ms. Colayco was “instrumental in establishing and implementing the Cooperation Agreement between UP and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (ENSBA) which allowed an exchange program between Filipino and French students.”


Moreover, Ms. Colayco, as a publisher, worked with the editorial and production team of  “Bon Vivant”, a book authored by Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo, based on a 2008 symposium on the role and influence of France in Philippine History, Culture, Education and the Arts. The award is fitting, as the Philippines and France mark 75 years of continuing robust, dynamic and diverse diplomatic relations this year (2023).


Under her leadership, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila has organized several important exhibitions, including  “Brave New World,” which brought together twenty Filipino and four French artists, as well as FITE: RENAISSANCE (Festival International des Textiles Extra Ordinaires), a memorable collaboration between the French Embassy, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the Musée de Bargoin, the city of Claremont-Ferrand, and Filipino designer Patis Tesoro that showcased textile and woven materials all over the world, linking heritage, the tradition of weaving, and contemporary art. 


Colayco said she felt “deeply honored and humbled,” to receive the award, adding that she would like to share it, “in gratitude, the distinction – with peers and esteemed colleagues at the French embassy, the museum, the academe, the publishing company, with dear friends and most specially – family”.


The French Ministry of Culture and Communication recognizes personalities in the world who contribute to the brightness of the beams of the cultural action of France in the world and those who work follows the same principles of Cultural Diplomacy.

Dean Florentina Colayco receives the award of the National Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government last June 22, 2023. French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz congratulated former dean of the UP College of Fine Arts, Prof. Florentina Colayco in the prestigous event. The UPCFA congratulates Dean Colayco with the presence of colleagues Dean Nestor Vinluan, Prof. Romanlito Austria, and Prof. Dakila Fernando at the awarding ceremonies at the residence of the French Ambassador. Congratulations Dean Tina! UPCFA is proud of your achievements!