“Cirilo Bautista took his father’s advice of ‘shaping the past’ by channeling his anger evoked by events in our history and transforming it into literary masterpieces. In the same way, Sir Cirilo encouraged me to challenge myself so that I could shape the future through the world he created and educate myself on these important matters. I am grateful to have been given an opportunity to see
and share his messages and lessons from our history hidden in events of today.
Through my design, I hope to instill a sense of optimism, hope, and possibility in the minds
and hearts of my own generation towards our country’s future,
through Sir Cirilo’s empowering words, as it did to me.”

JANELLE GAN

Portrait by Kevin Nuñez

“I believe that Filipinos today, especially our generation, should be reminded by empowering words such as this, so they continuously defend our rights,
as well as inspire us to call for justice. In the eyes of our fellow Filipinos,
2020 has shown nothing but countless unprecedented events that resulted
in turbulence in the political, economical and social systems of our country.
I hope that Cirilo’s words would remind us Filipinos that our voices are catalysts
for change and that we should only strew flowers on a land
we know we deserve to live in.”

There’s just something intriguing about Cirilo’s artistry with words – the way he paints vivid mental landscapes and sceneries through meticulously described analogies covering the simplest, mundane ideas to highly abstract ones. Yet, it’s just as striking to be able to recognize and associate such intricacies to certain historical events
and figures so quickly, as if they were lucid moments and first hand experiences.

Cirilo Bautista’s works are eloquent echoes of his powerful thoughts on the harsh reality of our country, manifested in other-worldly stories. He gives voices
to important people throughout history and writes them as shared memories.
His works are without a doubt labors of love and passion, with his drive
and fuel for national change infectious as you continue to read its pages.

These words resonate far more meaningfully in the “new normal” we are living in. I hope that while reading these words, we are able to pay respects to those who have continuously brought our country forward during this time of national strife – to those in the medical fields, to our farmers, teachers, business workers, volunteers,
and all of our fellow Filipinos who helped bravely,
tirelessly and wholeheartedly amidst risk and adversity.

Love must not betray them, and their sacrifices should be honored to no end.

I believe these verses could spark immediate introspection and conversation among passer-bys along our institution’s vicinity and further invite them
to the ‘House of Words’ to honor the many other transformative accounts
and records of our national artist.