MANILA, July 31 — President Benigno S. Aquino III led the opening of an exhibit featuring his mother, former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino’s paintings at the Lobby Lounge and Roma Salon of the Manila Hotel on Monday.
The exhibit, aptly titled, “A Gift of Self,” showcases around 90 paintings of the former President and pieces from the personal collection of her daughters Ballsy Cruz and Viel Dee, Senate President Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Metrobank founder George Ty and his wife Mary, and PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
The President, who arrived at 6 p.m. formally opened the exhibit by unveiling a painting of his mother by Emi Mercado and signing a guest list canvass prepositioned near the painting.
In his speech, the President said the paintings were a “small part of the legacy she left behind.”
“She understood how freedom was such a fundamental requirement for human life and so she fought for it and taught others to appreciate and care for it. She had every hope that the Philippines could rise above the dark days of Martial Law and so she did all she could to uplift the country and to inspire others to do the same,” the President said.
“Mom’s paintings are a very small part of the legacy she left behind. It is a legacy we feel every day as we live and work in a society now free from the iron fists of the dictator and from a military and police force that existed to serve one man alone,” he added.
Joining the President were Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairman Cristino Naguiat, Jr, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Lilia De Lima and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
The exhibit “A Gift of Self” will run until August 2.