Image: Astrology Friends Philippines founder Resti Santiago annotating the exhibition.
Blog feature via Astrology Friends Philippines
Text by Walter Ang
Photos by Kat Palasi and Edel San
The first exhibition of its kind in the Philippines, “Poetry of Stars: An Overview of Astrology in the Philippines” was held at Lopez Museum and Library from Aug. 15-17, 2013.
Organized by Astrology Friends Philippines (Astro Friends), the event was held to commemorate the birth centennial of poet, journalist, publisher, and astrologer Serafin Lanot and to mark the existence of astrology in Philippine culture and history.
The exhibition opened on Aug. 15. Lopez Museum curator Ricky Francisco gave the welcome remarks, giving guests an overview of the exhibition. Astro Friends member Gou de Jesus hosted the afternoon program.
Astro Friends founder Resti Santiago gave the opening remarks sharing his vision of establishing an “astrological community,” while Astro Friends member Ime Morales gave a talk on the life and works of Serafin Lanot, which included his contributions to astrology in the Philippines and to the world.
Santiago then gave a short talk on “What astrology is not,” to give guests an idea of the basic concepts of astrology. “Sun sign horoscopes” is not astrology, he insisted.
Film directors Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes attended the exhibition opening. Gallaga revealed that he had read Lanot’s book “Astrology Through Filipino Eyes” while he was growing up.
Painter and illustrator Danny Dalena, who drew the painting used as the cover of “Astrology Through Filipino Eyes,” was invited to share how he ended up being tasked to draw the cover illustration, a figure of a man with the planets in a curved row above him.
Astrologer and composer Heber Bartolome attended the talk and was invited to share his personal experiences in founding the first ever student/campus-based astrology group in the country in 1974: University of the Philippines Astrological Society.
Marra Lanot, Serafin’s daughter, was in attendance. Also present were Marra’s siblings, members of the family of her husband, Pete Lacaba, and family members of her mother, the Licad family.
Marra had gathered the following individuals to read poems written by Serafin, mostly from his book “Songs of the Brown Man:”
Kris Lacaba, poet and Marra’s son
Pete Lacaba, writer and Marra’s husband
Jacquie Aquino, actress and member of Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)
Bobby Andrews, actor and MTRCB member
Tony Veloso, lawyer and MTRCB member
Krip Yuson, writer and poet
Kit Kwe, UP professor and wife of Kris Lacaba
Marra read a poem she had written.
Learning and living with Lanot
To round out the afternoon’s series of talks, Lanot’s former students Ofel Santos and Luisa Lamoste shared their experiences learning under him. Marra also shared anecdotes about growing up with him.
Refreshments were served, compliments of Pfootsy Lanot, sister of Marra.