Maningning C. Miclat
(1972 - 2000)
When her brief life came to a close at the age of 28, Maningning Miclat left behind a cache of materials documenting her career as a poet and painter.

Born and educated in China, Miclat wrote in three languages: Chinese, English, and Pilipino. Her trilingual anthology of poems, Voice from the Underworld was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award. Poet Marjorie Evasco writes: “[Miclat] brings to us, her readers, intimations of the kind of inner territories she has had to traverse in search for roots, the deep connections within the ground of being which underlie the very act of living.”

As a visual artist, Miclat was known for her evocative xieji paintings. She was trained at an early age in the Si Junzi Hua (“Four Gentlemen Painting”) school. In 1994, she received the grand prize from the Art Association of the Philippines for her work, “Trouble in Paradise.”

Miclat’s undergraduate thesis was an arresting mural entitled “Embrace” painted on the wooden wall panels of the attic-bedroom she had occupied at the Asian Institute of Liturgy and Music. Of the mural, Miclat wrote: “From the living room downstairs, one can have a glimpse of the attic and the mural. As the viewer climbs the stairs, step by step, the painting is revealed little by little. Only upon stepping into the attic can the whole painting be appreciated in full glory.”

Lamentably, the mural has since been dismantled and painted over. The photographs of the mural, now stored at ALIWW, are the only records of this painting.

Maningning was honored on 1 March 2001 at a program hosted by the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings (ALIWW).


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Ateneo de Manila University
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