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Gonzales, Paolo San Luis

“Country Before God”

watercolor and gouache


500 years after the Spanish arrived in our shores, and 50 years after the Diliman Commune, the country has become more divided than ever. Cultural, socioeconomic and political factors play a huge role in providing a strong and united people with shared goals and aspirations. 500 years after Spanish colonization, the archipelago is still violently divided by the Islamic south and the Christian majority, each with their own historical arguments for cultural and political independence or dominance. 50 years after the Diliman Commune, wage laborers still fight the same fight, while at present jeepney drivers are again struggling, now against the government’s jeepney phaseout efforts.                       

The centuries and decades of struggle seem to be making no significant impact on the improvement of our society. In fact, it appears our country is facing the worse inequalities and injustices since the Marcos regime. Out of the Spanish Colonization and the Diliman Commune, emerged two kinds of gods that slowly tear our country apart: Money and Religion. Every Filipino deserves better. We deserve more, we should demand more. Country, above all.

Paolo S.L. Gonzales is a 3rd Year, Painting major from the College of Fine Arts. His preferred medium is watercolor or gouache, which he uses to produce his most expressive works through the employment of depth and translucence. Subject matter may vary depending on the needs of the time, but he’s most drawn to topics on humor, loneliness and destitution. He hopes to become a full-time visual artist after graduation.