Monday, January 12, 2009


Maningning na Pulang Tala inspired two “good friends of China” -- Mario and Alma -- to name their first born not Maputa, as alleged, but Maningning!

Back in the 70s, Red Star was shining -- hot (or, cool nowadays) -- especially among them, student activists – since for them it will forever represent the five fingers of the worker's hand, the five of six inhabited continents, and five social groups responsible for leading the nation to communism:

1. the youth;
2. the military;
3. the industrial workers;
4. the agricultural workers;
5. the intelligentsia.

Born on 15 April 1972 in Beijing (long before artist Han Meilin created the Five Fuwa namely Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini) where her dad and mom fled during the Marcos Regime and worked in Radio Peking for 15 years, Maningning was trained to become a trilingual poet and writer (who took classical Chinese literature in Beijing University as well as indigenous and modernist Philippine literature under Rio Alma's Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo) at the same time a visual artist (who eventually won the Grand Prize in the non-representational category of the Art Association of the Philippines Art Competition in 1992).
Unmatched, she wrote this best-selling poetry collection -- Voice from the Underworld (Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2000) -- the one and only book of poetry in the world in Filipino, English and Chinese languages written solely by one author – after her first book called Wo De Shi. which was launched in 1987 during her 1st solo exhibit of Chinese paintings entitled Maningning: An Exhibit of Chinese Brush Works at the Cultural Center of the Philippines when she was merely a 15- year old artist, the youngest who exhibited that year at CCP!

She could have written more but her meaningful life was cut short when she met her Maker on 29 September 2000. After a year, her dad Dr. Miclat and pal Romulo P. Baquiran, Jr. edited Beauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning where our open letter Mahal Kong Maningning appeared with other 33 visual and literary artists paying tribute to her:

A known painter and multi-awarded poet leapt to her death yesterday morning
from the seventh floor of the Far Eastern University (FEU) in Sampaloc, Manila.

Ayon sa kalendaryo, ang tawag
sa batang ipinanganak
noong Setyembre 29
ay Miguel kapag lalake
alinsunod sa pista ng arkanghel,
bantay ng Israel,
patron ng simbahan sa buong daigdig,
at tagapag-ingat ng mga susi ng Langit.
kapag babae kaya
ang sa Malayong Silangan isisilang——
Maningning din ang dapat na pangalan?

Posthumously, she co-authored Beyond the Great Wall: A Family Journal (Anvil Publishing, Inc.), which was a 2006 National Book Award for biography from the Manila Critics Circle citing it for: "From 1971 to 1986, the Miclat family lived in the People's Republic of China and this gathering of essays from Mario, Alma, Banaue and the late Maningning Miclat flow together in a majestic yet personal recollection of a time and place between times and places. Beyond the Great Wall signifies the act of celebration through memory, and moving on through returning."
Now Maningning needs you, through her Art Foundation, Inc. if you are a young artist -- 28 years old and younger -- to enter their masterpiece to the 2008 Maningning Miclat Art Competition that began in 2004 and is held during even numbered years alternating with the poetry competition held during odd numbered years since 2003.

The 1st Maningning Miclat Poetry Award in 3 languages, where we served as one of the three judges, was held in 2003 with Naya S. Valdellon and Joselito delos Reyes winning the English and Filipino divisions respectively. There was no winner for the Chinese division. Then in 2005 it was turn of Allan Pastrana, Joseph Saguid and Ye Cai-sheng to win in the English, Filipino, and Chinese divisions respectively. Young poets Chen Siyuan of Guangdong, China, Erica Clariz delos Reyes of Ateneo de Manila University, and Raymond John de Borja of the University of the Philippines won in the Chinese, Filipino and English language categories of the 2007 Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards.

2004 saw some 60 students from 17 universities, colleges, and high schools participated in the 1st Maningning Miclat Painting Competition but it was Dexter M. Sy of the Far Eastern University who stole the show by bagging the top prize.

Now, PhP 28.000.00 in cash and a Ramon Orlina glass sculpture trophy await you during the awarding ceremonies on September 24 at the Shangri-La Edsa Plaza in Mandaluyong City. Shortlisted entries will be on exhibit sale from September 17 to 30.
Entries may be submitted on September 13-15, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Art Circle Gallery, Shangri-La Edsa Mall ( Tel. 634-3305 ) as well as in its other branches at Megamall, Mall of Asia, Festival Supermall, Glorietta 4, UP Bahay ng Alumni Diliman and Robinson's Place Manila. For more information on the 2008 Maningning Miclat Art Competition, please email or
We will have a regular weekly LITERARY SECTION every Monday beginning September 1 so kindly email us via your unpublished masterpieces: 3-5 poems, 1 story or essay with less than 2,000 words, and 10-minute plays in English, Filipino, and other Philippine languages with English or Filipino translation.
The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
Forgiving is love' toughest work and love's biggest risk.
to forgive is to dance to the beat of God's forgiving heart.
to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner to be you.

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