Portraits by Federico Aguilar Alcuaz at the National Museum of Fine Arts

Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, National Artist for the Visual Arts (2009), painted a series of portraits in the early 1970s that featured celebrities and personalities from show business, the government, private sector, military and police. Alcuaz is known for his modernist style. 

He has a dedicated exhibit hall in the National Museum of Fine Arts. Displayed outside the hall is his portrait series which is currently on loan from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) collection.

photo courtesy of NCCA

Lamberto Avellana was named as the first National Artist for Film in 1976 for his contributions to the Philippine movie industry.

His wife, Daisy Hontiveros Avellana, was also  honored as a National Artist in 1999.

His film repertoire includes Sakay (1939), Anak Dalita (1956), Badjao (1957), and A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (1965).

Lamberto Avellana

The most recognizable and famous among these portraits would be the King of Comedy, Dolphy. His real name was Rodolfo Vera Quizon (RVQ productions) and started his career when he was 13 years old as a vaudeville actor during World War II. He later on entered radio and the movie industries.

In the 1950s, he was known to be a movie sidekick in almost all of Gloria Romero's comedy films. He became a lead actor when he co-starred with Lolita Rodriquez in the film adaptation of Mars Ravelo's Jack en Jill.

He was a versatile actor. One of my favorite films that he made was 1978's Ang Tatay Kong Nanay with a young Niño Muchlach.

His career spanned 70 years until his death in 2012.


A popular singer in the 1970s, Anthony Castelo is known for his hit song, Balatkayo.

Anthony Castelo

James Barbers was a Police General and uncle of Robert Ace Barbers.

James Barbers

At the time when the portrait was painted in 1970, Juan Ponce Enrile was the Minister of National Defense under the Marcos Government. He would be part of the 1986 People Power Revolution that would oust Marcos. Enrile would be one of the longest-serving senators in the Philippines. 

Juan Ponce Enrile

Fidel Valdez Ramos was appointed Chief of the Philippine Constabulary in the 1970s. He would be one of the key players in the 1986 People Power Revolution and become the 12th Philippine President in 1992.

Fidel V. Ramos

Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde is recognized as one of the greatest Philippine boxers of all-time. He was a southpaw. He hailed from Bogo, Cebu.

Flash Elorde

The, hands, on, the, piano, are, armless.
No, one, is, at, the, piano.
The, hands, begin, and, end, there.

There, no-one’s, hands, are, there:
Crystal, and, clear, upon, the, keys.
Playing, what, they, play.

Playing, what, they, are.
Playing, the, sound, of, Identity.
Yet, how, absurd, how, absurd, how, absurd!

Jose Garcia Villa
Doveglion Collected Poems: 164

Jose Garcia Villa was honored as National Artist for Literature in 1973. He was a poet, a writer, a painter, a literary editor, and a cultural attache to the Philippine Mission in the United Nations. He lived most of his life in the United States.

Some of Garcia Villa's poems would be considered distinct because of his style of using a coma after every word. American poet, e.e.cummings, was an admirer of his works. 

Villa's father was Colonel Dr. Simeon Villa, Emilio Aguinaldo's personal physician and chief of staff. Eventually, the relationship between father and son became estranged. 

Jose Garcia Villa

Want to find out more about Federico Aguilar Alcuaz? Visit this website.


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