July 27, 2016, 9:38 p.m. – THE UNVEILING of a Thomasian artist’s mural was the highlight of the 50th anniversary celebration of Philippines-New Zealand diplomatic relations last July 13 at the Wellington Museum in New Zealand.

Roderick Macutay, a graduate of the old UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts, was commissioned by Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa of the Embassy of the Philippines in New Zealand to paint a mural depicting the two countries’ relations.

“I did a lot of research on the major contributions of each nation, primarily on the export and import industry, to conceptualize a painting that will showcase the two countries’ contributions to their economic growth as well as their similarities in culture,” Macutay said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

Unveiled by Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Domingo, Macutay’s 6×10 mural, titled “Ties that Come a Long Way,” depicts a Kiwi and a Filipina in a Hongi, a traditional greeting that originated from New Zealand’s indigenous Polynesian group called Maori.

In a Hongi, two persons press their foreheads and the tips of their noses.

There are also historical and cultural emblems such as the two nations’ flags, coats of arms, national flowers, crops, livestock and livelihood.

Following the unveiling of the mural was a performance of Binasuan and Tinikling, two of the country’s most popular folk dances, by the New Zealand Filifest Cultural Group.

Twelve photographs of Filipino sceneries chosen by Filipino and Kiwi photographers were also displayed.

For Macutay, murals are painted not just for “beautification or ornamentation” but also “to strike pride in one’s history and culture.”

He has painted murals for the 100th year celebration of Filipino Migration to Hawaii at the Filipino Community Center in Hawaii, Adamson University, San Lazaro Hospital, La Salle University Bacolod, Pasig Catholic College, San Roque Parish, Pasig Cathedral and Pasig City Museum.


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