Arts & Culture

Look: Three Rare, Intriguing Letters by Andres Bonifacio Are Up for Auction

The historically important letters detail the controversial Tejeros convention.

Three important letters that Andres Bonifacio wrote to Emilio Jacinto will be auctioned off by the León Gallery on March 3. The sale will benefit the Asian Cultural Council Philippines Foundation, Inc.

The three surviving extremely rare and historically important Bonifacio letters dated March 8, April 16, and April 24 detail the controversial Tejeros convention. Aside from the letters, one document signed by Bonifacio will come under the hammer.

The main highlight of the sale is José T. Joya’s Space Transfiguration (1959) which has been regarded as his masterpiece by León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de León. Space Transfiguration was painted when the artist was 29 years old. It has been exhibited in museums locally and abroad, and has appeared in books and other publications. The National Artist was the first artist to be granted a scholarship, by the then-Ford Foundation, a precursor to the ACC.

Space Transfiguration by José T. Joya

Works by masters Ang Kiukok, Mauro Malang Santos, Vicente Manansala, Fernando Amorsolo, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, and Fernando Zobel will also be part of the sale, as well as a 32-inch ivory crucifix dated from the 17th-century.

Mother and Child by Ang Kiukok

Fishpond in Malabon by Fernando Amorsolo

Tahip by Anita Magsaysay-Ho

Virevia by Fernando Zobel

17th-century ivory crucifix

The Asian Cultural Council is an international non-profit organization that supports the U.S. and Asia exchange through the arts. The vision of the organization is best described in the words of its founder, John D. Rockefeller, III: “I am convinced that this avenue toward understanding… is crucial to success in advancing peace and amity among nations and bequeathing a gentler world to future generations.”


The foundation has aided numerous artists and scholars through grants since 1963. Over 6,000 grants have been given to individuals and organizations that promote and support the same cause.

Though the Philippine chapter was only founded in 2000, the ACC has been supporting Filipino artists since 1967. Grantees have included the likes of José T. Joya, Roberto Chabet, Manuel Rodriguez, Jr., Lyra Garcellano, Mideo Cruz, Lirio Salvador, Riel Hilario, and Leeroy New.

ACC Philippines continues the vision of the foundation by promoting cultural exchange along with international dialogue, understanding, and respect. The 2017 ACC Grantees are Kevin Castelo (Music), Faye Cura (Museum Studies), Winner Jumalon (Visual Arts), Russ Ligtas (Theater), Ea Torrado (Dance), multi-grantee Grace Nono (Music), Ma. Cristina Sison (Theater), and the UP Center for Ethnomusicology.

The León Gallery Asian Cultural Council sale will have a special weeklong preview starting on February 24, 2018 at the León Gallery, G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati. For more details, visit or

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Paolo Chua
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