I entitled my work “Safe Haven” because I want to highlight how the campus became a place of refuge during the first quarter storm and Diliman commune. It has been and will always be the voice for the oppressed, the marginalized, and the voiceless. For example, Vinzons hall became the center for student activism during the Marcos regime; the dorms played a significant role in protecting the students against the military forces. No threat will take away the courage of the critical minds within the four walls of the campus. With this, I also want to highlight the courage and firm conviction of the Diliman community who fought against the oppressive system to attain academic freedom, despite being faced with all sorts of threats. Be it tear gas thrown at the students in their dorms nor guns that have killed some students. Today as we remember this remarkable event, we salute the lives that have bravely sought justice and fairness not only for the campus but also for the nation.
Kharla Nicole Bitas is currently a 3rd year painting student at the College of Fine Arts at the University of The Philippines Diliman. She has been creating art as a child but never realize the love for it until she took the time to study it when she turned 15. She first became interested in lettering and miniature art-making but gradually gravitated towards watercolor painting, which started when she first held a water brush and some cheap watercolor to do a simple tree painting. Along with landscapes, she also taught herself to paint portraits. Today in her formal art practice, her works consist of watercolor portraits and flowers, oil portraits, landscapes, and still-lifes, and sometimes she works with acrylics as well. In her current artworks, she explores the effective execution of light and shadows, the playful burst of colors, and the soft and light rendering of elements to create a harmonious composition.