Monday, October 29, 2012

Freeway x Botong: A Salute to Our Greatest Muralist

Marking the 100th anniversary of Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Freeway releases yet another breathtaking collection featuring the artist's greatest murals.

Hailing from Angono, Rizal, Botong spent his college years at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts where he was awarded the "Most Outstanding Alumnus" in 1959. Although not a college graduate, he single-handedly revived the forgotten art of mural and remained its most distinguished practitioner for almost three decades. His most popular artworks include the Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, The Martyrdom of Rizal, Bayanihan, Magpupukot, Fiesta, Bayanihan sa Bukid, Sandugo, Portrait of Purita, The Invasion of Limahong, Serenade and Muslim Bethoral.

Totong Francisco, Ino Manalo, Tingting Cojuangco, Cherie Gil
Deviating from Fernando Amorsolo's romanticism of Philippine scenes, Botong's linear style focused more on our country's historical moments. As discussed in the launch a few weeks ago hosted by Ms. Cherie Gil with guests Ms. Tingting Cojuangco, Totong Francisco and Ino Manalo, Botong's art is "history on canvas", evoking a feel of our culture and tradition with vibrant colors and hues. Restorer Helmuth Josef Zotter once said that Botong’s art “is a prime example of linear painting where lines and contours appear like cutouts.” Zotter successfully restored a Botong painting which suffered sloppy handling and a botched restoration by previous the restorer.

Botong Francisco was rewarded as the National Artist for Painting, considered as the greatest muralist of the country and 1964 Republic of the Philippines Cultural Heritage awardee. Hailed as Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts in 1973. His artworks were regarded worldwide, but he never left the Philippines (by choice) and died a poor man.

Freeway x Botong Collection

From canvas to fabric, Freeway immortalizes Botong Francisco’s paintings into wearable art.  Freeway’s Holiday Collection honoring Botong Francisco consists of beautiful tailored dresses in woven poplins and soft materials like chiffon, a range of silhouettes of casual and corporate tops, plus fave gift items like accessories, watch, tote bags and more. The 25-piece collection comes in vibrant holiday colors, befitting the color palette of Botong Francisco’s paintings. Like always, an attractive packaging and a biography tag accompanies each item.

More photos of the event:

The event night featured an art exhibit of talented kids (from Michael Blanco's Academy of Artists) ages 6-12 from Botong's hometown of Angono, Rizal.

with Ava and Krissy
Keigh, Ava, Krissy
with Alex and Paul

Celebrate and support Botong's artistic genius by purchasing from this limited edition collection. The Freeway x Botong collection is in-stores now!

How to Save a Botong Francisco
"100 Years of Botong" Freeway's Tribute

To know more about the collection and Botong’s 100 Anniversary celebration, visit Freeway’s new website and get freshest updates at Freeway’s Facebook page ( and Twitter (


  1. Wow this is so great. I'm from Angono, Rizal Ms.Kira! :)

    1. So many talented people in Angono! Hope you can pass by Freeway to check out more of Botong's creations :)

  2. Wala tayong peeechure. Wah. Pero I loved this event. Sobrang nakaka-gutom sa information kasi ang ganda ng mga paliwanag.