Arts & Culture

Areté Executive Director Yael Buencamino Voluntarily Resigns Amid Marcos Invitation Uproar

Ateneo university president Jose Ramon Villarin has also issued his apologies for any hurt caused by the incident.

  • Ateneo University President Jose Ramon Villarin SJ issued an apology on April 10, 2019, after the backlash over the invitation of Irene Marcos Araneta to a university event.
  • The third child of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was present at the launch of an outdoor art installation program at the university’s arts and culture hub, Areté.
  • The incident sparked concern among the Loyola Schools student body who called it a “grave insult and vehement mockery.”
  • In response, Areté executive director Yael Buencamino voluntarily offered her resignation.


It has come to light today that Areté executive director Yael Buencamino has voluntarily tendered her resignation from her post on April 10, 2019. Three days prior to the announcement, deceased President Ferdinand Marcos’ daughter Irene Marcos Araneta was invited as a guest to Areté’s launch of an outdoor amphitheater. The following day, the Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, which represents the Loyola Schools student body, released a statement calling out and condemning these actions.


Part of it read: “The Loyola Schools student body condemns the invitation and participation of Irene Marcos in Areté’s amphitheater launch. It is nothing but ironic that a Marcos participated in the event of the institution, Ateneo’s premier creative hub where the spirit of creativity and innovation is nurtured and cultivated. It is the university’s central space for creative, adaptive, and independent thinking—values that the Marcoses systematically destroyed during the darkest era in Philippines history.”

[Indignation Statement Against the Presence of Irene Marcos on University Grounds] The Marcoses simply wish that the...

Posted by Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila on Monday, April 8, 2019

The statement issued by the Sanggunian gained traction among various social media platforms over the weekend. 

The university president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin offered his apologies in a statement publicly released today but dated April 10, 2019. “The unintended consequences of this incident do not mean that the University has turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed during the Martial Law regime. If anything, they have strengthened the University’s unfailing commitment to help seek justice for the victims of the regime, to counter historical revisionism and to educate the Ateneo community regarding the regime’s pernicious effects on Philippine society,” he wrote in his memo. 


It was also in this statement that Villarin revealed that he had accepted Buencamino’s resignation as executive director, while continuing to recognize her contributions to the growth of Areté. Read the full statement below:

University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJ has released a statement on the April 7 Areté incident.

Posted by Ateneo de Manila University on Thursday, April 11, 2019

Yael Buencamino is the niece of Greggy Araneta, the husband of Irene Marcos Araneta. Marcos Araneta is a known patron of the arts, and she is regularly seen with Buencamino, her family member. Throughout her stay at the Ateneo, Buencamino has played an integral role in Areté's mission of bringing science and the arts together.

Apart from her position in Areté, she is a lecturer at Ateneo’s Fine Arts department and coordinator of its Art Management program. She has also been around to see the completion of the building and aided in the launch and curation of the Ateneo Art Gallery.

About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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