Freeway x Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco Launch Tribute

by Freeway, 2012

About the Launch Tribute

Freeway kick starts the 100th year Celebration of National Artist for Visual Arts Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco through the beautiful pieces of the National Artist Collectors’ Series.

The launch celebration was held last October 18, 2012, Thursday, at The Row, Glorietta 1. Attended by fashion and art enthusiasts, media friends and bloggers and the family and friends of Botong, it was a splendid night of art, fashion and a grand presentation of Filipino talent.

The event night opened with a very impressive art exhibition by Michael Blanco’s Academy of Artists.  The exhibit showcased young talented artists at work, ages 6 years old to 12 years old, all from Botong Francisco’s hometown province of Angono Rizal.  The talented young artists wowed everyone with their incredible abilities showcased through live painting and sketching activity during the cocktails at 6pm.

This was followed by the event proper hosted by premier actress Cherie Gil.  A short video presentation was shown featuring the life and works of our National Artist.  After this informative and inspiring video, the 25 piece elegant Holiday collection immortalizing Botong Francisco’s paintings was showcased in a fashion show.  The original paintings that inspired each piece served as a colorful backdrop on the LED screen onstage.  From canvass to fabric, it was majestic to witness how Botong’s timeless paintings were translated into sublimation graphic tees, work shirts, tailored dresses, casual tops, weekend wear, and many other accessories.

To shed more light into the human side of our National Artist, host Cherie Gil interviewed  special guests   Ino Manalo  (Executive Director of the National Archives) and Carlos “Totong”  Francisco II (Grandson of Botong Francisco) who both shared interesting stories and trivia about Botong Francisco and his big influence in Philippines Art and Culture.  Another guest who joined the art experts during the interview is former Governor of Tarlac, Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco who’s a passionate lover of art and fashion. The audience was able to participate in the discussion by sending questions via Live Tweeting. It was indeed a meaningful artistic experience and a deeper insight into Philippine Arts and Culture in one delightful evening.

Invited guests enjoyed delectable cocktail servings and took home Freeway x Botong Francisco memorabilia – a special edition Tote Bag from the Holiday collection.

After Freeway officially launches  the 100th year Anniversary of Botong Francisco this October, there will be series of events and celebrations throughout the year staged by each of the institution of the Botong consortium.The Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco Centennial Consortium is composed of

Angono Artists Association * Ayala Museum * Blanco Family Museum * Botong Francisco Family * Cultural Center of the Philippines * Far Eastern University * Freeway: National Artist Collectors Series * Lopez Museum * Municipality of Angono *  Museo ng BSP *  Museum Foundation of the Philippines *  Philippine Art Awards *  SM Malls *University of Santo Tomas * UP Vargas Museum * Yuchengco Museum.


To know more about the collection and Botong’s 100th Anniversary celebrations (see Calendar of Activities below). View the Freeway x Botong Francisco National Artist Collectors Series Holiday Collection 2012, click this or get freshest updates at Freeway’s Facebook page ( and Twitter (  For inquiries and program updates on the Centennial, email at or check out Facebook: Carlos “Botong’ Francisco Centennial.

  • 18 September – UST Museum Centennial exhibit of Botong and Puruganan
  • 18 October – Freeway:  National Artist Collectors Series x Botong Francisco
  • 25 October – Inauguration of studio marker and other events in Angono at  the Franciso Heritage Home
  • 10 November – “Sabado sa Museo at si Botong Francisco with Dr. Patrick D. Flores and Carlos (Totong) G. Francisco” at the National Art Gallery
  • 4 November – Holy Mass at Botong’s grave at Angono Public Cemetery
  • 4 November – Botong Francisco centennial event in Angono
  • 16 November – Painting Exhibit by Botong’s Apprentice – Salvador Juban, Yuchengco Museum
  • 3rd week November – UST College of Fine Arts and Design student exhibit
  • 19 November – Botong conference in FEU
  • November /TBA – CCP Exhibit of Dick Baldovino’s photographs of Botong Francisco
  • November onwards/TBA – Tours within FEU
  • 22 November – Angono Higantes Festival, Angono, Rizal
  • 23 November – Angono town fiesta, Angono, Rizal
  • 4 December – Ayala museum Images of Nation exhibit
  • February 2013/TBA – Target date of launching of the consortium’s monograph
  • February 2013/TBA – Botong tribute exhibit of Angono Artists Association, SM Megamall/Podium
  • February to March 2013 – UST Museum Annual Inter-School On the Spot Painting Competition and Exhibition.


Michael Blanco’s Academy of Artists.

Students are the following:

Pre School:
Sean Blanco Causapin  – 6 years old
Justine Blanco – 6 years old

Xia Cemone Pagkaliwagan – 10 years old
Jannah Trisha Manliclic  – 9 years old
Cedric Estrella – 10 years old
Elora Gayle Blanco – 11 years old
Nikky Santos – 10 years old
Jan Lemuel Blanco – 1 years old

Beatrix Galang – 15 years old
Joshua Villegas – 16 years old
Angelica Miraballes – 16 years old

Ms. Mabel Blanco
Ms. Flor Rivera