Anita Magsaysay-Ho is one of the most respected and admired painters in the Philippines. She won so many prizes such that, by 1958, when the Manila Chronicle ’s Sunday magazine This Week pooled a panel of eight prominent art figures to name six outstanding Filipino painters of the time, Anita was included. The other artists selected were Vicente Manansala, Arturo Luz, Hernando Ocampo, Carlos Francisco, and Fernando Zobel. She was identified with the emerging Modernists and was the only woman among the thirteen new young talents who challenged the established Conservatives, although her awards in the annual exhibits showed that she could win both in the Conservative and Modern Divisions.
She wrote a beautiful memoir in which she recounts better than anyone else the story of her life and development as an artist, as well as her most intimate thoughts. It is so beautifully written that she can qualify as a poet and a writer. Also, very recently, a magnificent book on Anita, entitled In Praise of Women , was written by Alfredo Roces. Lovingly put together by Randy Young and Sonia Ner, and illustrated with about three hundred paintings, it is the most comprehensive work on Anita.
Her memorabilia – her writings, poems, memoirs, sketches, manuscripts, interviews, books on her – are being turned over to the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings. It is only fitting that a woman who lauded the women of the Philippines in her works, and who admired them for their strength, hard work and quiet dignity, can now inspire thousands of citizens, especially the young, who will have access to this repository of her personal archives.
©Ateneo Library of Women's Writings
3/F-Rizal Library Annex
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights,1103 Q.C., Philippines
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