The unveiling of the Malayang Isip sculpture was led by DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena (4th from left), NRCP President Dr. Gregorio E.H. Del Pilar (2nd from right), DOST Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara (3rd from left), NRCP Executive Director Dr. Marieta Banez Sumagaysay (leftmost) together with Guest Speaker Prof. Geraldine Araneta, (2nd from left) and the Artist/Sculptor, Mr. Manuel Jose Sicat (rightmost).//Photo by Val Zabala, NRCP)

In tribute to the Filipino scientists and artists, the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) unveiled the Malayang Isip sculpture at the NRCP ground on March 9, 2021.

The sculpture is a significant milestone of the Council’s 85th Founding Anniversary celebration and is geared at honoring the NRCP members and their contributions to the country.

NRCP President Dr. Gregorio E.H. Del Pilar shared in his opening remarks that the unveiling is not only a recognition of Filipino researchers but also a showcase of the significant events and milestones that shaped the Council.

“Ang proyektong ito ay nagbabalik tanaw sa kasaysayan ng NRCP at pagbibigay parangal sa ating mga mananaliksik (This sculpture project looks back to the NRCP history and gives honor to its researchers),” said Del Pilar.


What’s with the Malayang Isip?


The Malayang Isip pays tribute to the Filipino researchers, scientists, and artists. //Photo by Val Zabala

Sculptured by Mr. Manuel Jose Sicat of UP Diliman, the Malayang Isip features a naked woman with four suspended books which signify the dissemination of knowledge and research results to stakeholders.

“Bukas ang pigura sa mga elemento, hinahagip ang act-in-motion upang ipahiwatig na dinamiko ang pag-aalay para sa kinabukasan (The sculpture is open to the elements to show the dynamism of service for the future),” reads a line of the sculpture’s description.

Sicat shared in his talk that the sculpture will “hopefully inspire the NRCP to continue in its mission and advocacy of conducting meaningful and responsive researches for national development.

In relation, Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director, shared, “Lest we forget and take for granted the value of research to our lives and our existence, as well as the essence of being women and men in the sciences and the arts, yes…. there has to be a symbol, this NRCP sculpture.”


Taking on the Malayang Isip Ideal'


Mr. Manuel Jose Sicat, sculptor of the Malayang Isip, encouraged the NRCP to communicate research results to the masses. //Photo Jamar Garcia

Sicat related that NRCP’s research should be like the suspended books of Malayang Isip, that needs to be communicated for the people.

“Sinasarili mo ang research kapag hindi mo ito pinapakita sa mga madla. Ang mga research na ito ay parang mga librong dapat pakawalan (You are keeping the research for yourself if you do not communicate the results to the masses. These researches are like the books that need to be disseminated),” shared Sicat.

Likewise, the guest speaker Prof. Geraldine Araneta, Head of the National Committee on Visual Arts, cited that the Malayang Isip should challenge the NRCP to continue generating knowledge that can address the societal issues.

“As open as the palms of the Malayang Isip, we remain receptive to the changes but we should also stay committed to our values and advocacies towards contributing for the betterment of our nation,” said Araneta.

Harmonizing Science and the Creative Industry


Prof. Geraldine Araneta served as the guest speaker of event. // Photo by Henri De Leon, DOST-STII

The unveiling of the Malayang Isip also signifies NRCP’s commitment for harnessing both science and the art towards achieving its goals for the country.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato De La Peña mentioned that they are looking into NRCP to push for the development of the creative industry vis-à-vis scientific progress.

“May programa ang DOST para sa pagpapayabong ng creative industry kaya magandang tingnan ang kaugnayan ng siyensiya at creative arts (DOST has a program to boost the creative industry, thus, it’s good to look at the relation of science and creative arts),” said De La Peña.

Meanwhile, Prof. Araneta acknowledged the NRCP for initiating an activity that promotes the creative sector, adding that artists can contribute in disseminating research results to the grassroots.

“While we are generating more researchers and technological breakthroughs, we need to also take new approaches such as the creative platform in cascading the results to the local level,” said Araneta.


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