CFA Highlights

Robert Alejandro receives 2023 UPAA Distinguished Alumni Award

On 19 August 2023, 6:00 PM, the UPAA held the Awarding Ceremonies of the 2023 UPAA Alumni Awardees at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The UPAA Awardees are outstanding individuals recognized for their leadership, achievements, service, and contributions to create positive change in the country and in the world. This year’s awards for Most Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus are given to Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo (AB’86) and Arsenio M. Balisacan (MS’82).

The UPAA grants the Distinguished Alumni Awards to individuals with outstanding achievements in their fields of endeavour. This year’s awardees include UPCFA Alumnus Roberto A. Alejandro in Art as Advocacy. The UPCFA family congratulates “Kuya Robert” for being the inspiring artist and designer that he is, employing his talent to serve his fellow Filipinos. 

Read more about the UPAA Alumni Awardees 2023.

About the UPAA Alumni Awards:

The annual UPAA Alumni Awards is an independent award program that gives recognition to UP graduates with exceptional achievements in their fields, careers, or vocations. The works of these outstanding alumni bring substantial benefit to society and give distinction to the University. The UPAA recognizes the achievements and contributions of individuals and organizations whose efforts impact the community at the local, national, or international level.

*Images courtesy of the artist through Kuya Robert’s Healing Journey Facebook account.

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!

Announcements CFA Highlights Exhibits

Benjie Cabangis, Reelin’ in the Years

The UP Fine Arts Gallery Legacy Series is proud to present Professor Emeritus BENJAMIN ISLA CABANGIS’ 31st Solo Exhibit “Benjie Cabangis, Reelin’ in the Years” featuring works from 1976 to 2023 at the Gallery One, Gallery Two and Multipurpose Hall of Parola. It will be launched on March 1, 2023, 4.30PM, and will run until March 31, 4PM.

“There is an opportunity to slow down when I draw, and to immerse myself in the process. My art making is a way to discover, reflect on, and express myself. It’s like writing a journal or keeping a diary, but with lines and marks instead of words.” (Cabangis)

[The UP Fine Arts Gallery Legacy Series is an exhibition series featuring works of retired and former professors of the U.P. Diliman College of Fine Arts. The exhibition ceremonially marks the lasting relationship of the mentor to generations of artists as life-long learners. Benjie Cabangis is the fourth feature– acknowledging his contributions as Professor Emeritus, former Chair of the Department of Studio Arts, and former curator of Corredor Gallery (UP Fine Arts Gallery). Earlier exhibits in the series were for Leonilo Doloricon (Visual Communication Professor and former Dean), Johnny Reynoso (Visual Communication Professor), and Yasmin Almonte (Studio Arts Professor).

Announcements CFA Highlights

Anong Papel Mo? Mga Kwento ng Pagmulat at Pagyabong

Anong Papel Mo? Mga Kwento ng Pagmulat at Pagyabong on March 3, 2023

The public is invited to “Anong Papel Mo? Mga Kwento ng Pagmulat at Pagyabong”, an Artist Talk on March 3 (Friday), from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the UP Fine Arts Gallery Multipurpose Hall.

The talk launches “Limbag at Likhang Kamay: Papel ng Kababaihang Manlilikha sa Pagmumulat”, a discussion and workshop project that explores how women artists wielded paper, among the most fragile of materials, towards pamumulat: connecting the personal and the political through the written page, painting, and printmaking, writ large.

The talk highlights the contributions of UP’s women artist-scholars to cultural work and art practice. It features a panel of distinguished art practitioners: director and scriptwriter Bibeth Orteza, conservation expert and visual artist June Dalisay, and printmaker and educator Ambie Abaño. It will be co-moderated by Annie Pacaña and Lisa Ito. Please register for the event at

The second part will be art workshops on and children’s book production, printmaking, and giant poster painting to be facilitated by the artists. Interested participants may sign up for limited slots in one-day free art workshops, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants will experience hands-on production of these art forms and hear stories of how these were used to express personal to collective struggles. The workshops are:

  • Basic Woodcut with Color Enhancement Techniques with Ambie Abaño (March 10)
  • Writing and Illustrating for Children’s Books with Annie Pacaña (March 25)
  • Memory Project: Making the NPAA’s Giant Poster with June Poticar-Dalisay (March 27)

To register for the first workshop on March 10 on basic woodcut, please fill out this form: and inquire via

The project threads the UP Diliman Arts and Culture Festival 2023’s theme of “KALOOB mula at tungo sa Bayan: Artista-Iskolar-Manlilikha” with International Women’s Day 2023 on March 8, 2023 and National Women’s Month in March.

It is a pilot project of the UP College of Fine Arts, through its Gender and Development (GAD) Committee in cooperation with the UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), UP Fine Arts Gallery, and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP).

Announcements CFA Highlights Donors

Leo Abaya Thesis Grant


On the 24th of February, 2023, Fundacion Sansó donated proceeds from the Masters Giclées sales (composed of limited-edition giclées of the works of National Artists Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and Abdulmari Imao, and of Juvenal Sansó)  to the University of the Philippines – College of Fine Arts (UPCFA) for the establishment of the Leo Abaya Thesis Grant.

Named after the late artist and UPCFA professor and mentor Leo Abaya, this Thesis Grant is for the research and development of thesis projects in the college. We would like to thank the Aguilar Alcuaz family and the Imao family for their great generosity in this project, and UPCFA for letting us be a part of this program, as UP is Juvenal Sansó’s alma mater, and it is his consistent wish to help art students.

In attendance were UPCFA Dean Marc San Valentin, Dr. Dayang Yraola, Professor Riza Romero of Studio Arts, Fundacion Sansó Director Ricky Francisco, College Secretary Manolo Sicat, Professor May Lynn Cruz, Toym Leon Imao, and Veronica Fuentes and Analyn David of Fundacion Sansó.

Academic News CFA Highlights

UPCFA One UP 2022-2024 Professorial Chair & Faculty Grant Awardees

Itong buwan ng Pebrero, Buwan ng Sining, malugod kaming nagpupugay sa mga Artista ng Bayan ng Kolehiyo ng Sining Biswal na nakatanggap ng pagkilala bilang One UP Professorial Chair at Faculty Grant Awardees (2022-2024)!

Isulong ang taglay na likas na talino at talento sa paglikha ng sining!

Academic News CFA Highlights

Assistant Professor Abdulmari “Toym” D.L. Imao Jr. (UPAA) Distinguished Alumni Awardee 2022

Assistant Professor Abdulmari “Toym” D.L. Imao Jr.
(UPAA) Distinguished Alumni Awardee 2022


The UP Alumni Association (UPAA) Distinguished Alumni Awards was held on Nov. 11, 2022 , 6pm at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni. This year’s theme was Magsikhay (persevere). UPAA President Reynaldo C. Laserna and UP Vice President for Administration Nestor G. Yunque were present to award the trophies and certificates. Among seven UP Diliman (UPD) faculty members honored, Assistant Professor Abdulmari “Toym” D.L. Imao Jr. (BS architecture, 1993) of the UP College of Fine Arts received the honors for the culture and the arts Visual Arts category.


This year’s UPAA Distinguised Alumni Awardees: were Josefino “Chino” J. Toledo, PhD (bachelor of music, 1979); Carlo A. Arcilla, PhD (BS geology, 1981); Arthur Luis P. Florentin (BS statistics, 1977; diploma in industrial relations, 1987; master in industrial relations, 1988); Abdulmari “Toym” D.L. Imao Jr. (BS architecture, 1993); Gerard Rey A. Lico, PhD (BS architecture, 1997; MA art history 2000; PhD Philippine studies, 2006); Lorelei Regilme-Vinluan, PhD (BA 1992; master in education, 1996); and Flora Elena Rivera-Mirano, PhD (BA English, 1971; MA comparative literature, 1976; PhD Philippine studies, 1991).





Academic News CFA Highlights

UPCFA Congratulates Professor Emeritus Benjamin I. Cabangis

Congratulations Professor Emeritus Benjamin I. Cabangis

Congratulations Professor Emeritus Benjamin I. Cabangis of the UPD College of Fine Arts Department of Studio Arts! Prof. Benjie Cabangis is one of the 21 professors conferred emeritus on the 1376th BOR meeting.The Department of Studio Arts resolved through its departmental online meeting on 07 December 2020:

That Professor Cabangis has dutifully served the department as faculty member of the department for the past forty years;

That he also served as chairperson of the department for many consecutive terms and helped maintain its relevance alongside the exigencies that come with administering a creative practice-based unit;

CFA Highlights


Announcements CFA Highlights

SANAG: UP Art Prize


The University of the Philippines launches SANAG: UP Art Prize 2023. This art prize is open to all present and former UP students. Submission of entries from 14 September 2022 to 14* October 2022. 

SANAG is the first University of the Philippines Art Prize (UP Art Prize). It is sponsored by the 21st University of the Philippines President, Danilo L. Concepcion, during the last year of his term (AY2022-2023). SANAG, a Hiligaynon term denoting the beacon of light, lucidity, or enlightenment embodies the essence of the UP Art Prize, which is an award given to artist members of the University of the Philippines System who lived by the University’s core values of honor and excellence, serving as beacons of light in these trying times.

UP Art Prize is not limited by age, gender, or nationality. Its eligible awardees are present and former students at the University of the Philippines System, from any course, whether they have graduated or not, with a professional practice as a visual artist between five to ten years. Again, this art prize is open to all present and former UP students. Submission of entries is from 14 September 2022 to 14 October 2022. Email us at

Click links for full details on Call for Entries and Mechanics