I thank and commend the facilitators, organizers, and contributors of Tugon CFA for initiating such a timely exhibit. In a time where historical truths are under constant threat, Tugon serves as a much-needed archive of national memory generated by contemporary insight. As a virtual exhibit, it doubles also as an artifact of our current situation. Looking to the past through these works of art provides us with a more nuanced perspective of our present.

The 50th year since the Diliman Commune, as well as the 500th year since the Spaniards arrived on Philippine shores, coincides with a point in time that once might have seemed unthinkable to us. The extraordinary challenges of today resonate strongly with the extraordinary events of the past that we now see as turning points in our history. In many cases, history is the best place to start looking for ways to make sense of things. From anti-colonial resistance against the Spaniards to anti-fascist resistance against dictatorships, instances of collective resistance in the Philippines have been fundamental to our history and national consciousness. Processing such momentous events as a community of Filipino artists reminds us what acts of collective resistance against injustice and adversity have managed to overcome. As we commemorate the past through Tugon, may we find deeper understanding and appreciation of what our history means to us today.

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