ed defensor
My World of Art
multi-media visual artist of Iloilo City,
Philippines
...THE UNVEILING...
The Lin-ay was unveiled on August 24, 2011, as one of the major events in the City*s celebration of its 74th Charter Day. The Honorable Mayor of the City, Jed Patrick Mabilog, the Congressman of the Lone District of Iloilo City, Jerry P. Trenas, the Vice-Mayor of the City, Joe Espinosa III, and some members of the City Council were the 
special guests of this occasion.

Once again the Engineers of FF Cruz and Co., and of the City, devised an ingenious way of conducting the unveiling. A contraption was made so that the cloth cover of the Lin-ay would be taken off once a long, long rope which extended to the middle of Plaza Libertad, about 25 meters away, was pulled at by a number of people.

There was not much ceremony made in the unveiling except for a short speech I made about the Lin-ay, the introduction of the people mainly responsible for this historic monument, and thereafter the pulling of the rope. As the cloth was taken off from the Lin-ay, the audience gave a gasp of admiration and gave it a warm applause.  And then it was time for people to congratulate each other, for picture taking, and for the media to conduct interviews...

And thus was how the Lin-ay became an important page in the history of the City of Iloilo.

Below is an excerpt of the speech I made during this occasion:
Plaza Libertad, in front of the City Hall at the morning of the unveiling...
The Lin-ay wrapped with a cloth for the unveiling....
                                                                                     The  Lin-ay Sang Iloilo

When the good mayor, Honorable Jed Patrick E. Mabilog told me that he wanted a symbol of Iloilo on the dome of the New City Hall, the very first thing that came to my mind was that “I had dreamed of this before.”

Yes, as early as 15 years ago I already dreamed of a commission that would enable me to mold the symbol of Iloilo in brass or in bronze – the image was already clear and complete in my mind.  I dreamed of it in the same scale as it is today, but on the ground. Never did I imagine that it would be standing on the top of a dome and make history as the first of its kind in the whole Philippines.
What you see is the graceful figure of a beautiful peasant lady standing valiantly and proudly on a harvested field of rice.
I envisioned a symbol associated with our rice industry because to my mind Iloilo could not be represented otherwise since we have always been known as the rice granary of the whole Visayas, and several times in our history, of the whole country.
And to me, since our great city is the making of our great province, Iloilo therefore is both city and province. Thus, a symbol for one may as well be a symbol for the other.

What you see is a Lin-ay wearing the traditional bandana usually worn by farm ladies to protect them from the heat of the sun. On her neck she wears an ethnic necklace, symbolic of her ancestry, as she comes from a rich mythic past, from the Maragtas, the “Barter of Panay,” and the long line of heroic datus that peopled the island of Panay.

Her right arm cradles a bunch of harvested rice, symbolic of our prosperity. Her left hand holds another symbol of prosperity, the scythe or “garab” which has long been the traditional harvesting tool in the region. I remember when I was a child in the farms of Mina, Iloilo, whenever I saw a “garab,” I knew right away it is “good times” for it is harvest time.

She wears an embroidered blouse, symbolic of one of the popular traditional arts of the city and province. On top of it is a “sablay” of a “hablon,” the textile which contributed to Iloilo’s becoming the second city of the Philippines, next to Manila, at the onset of the 19th century.

The whole figure of the Lin-ay is highlighted by the “patadyong,” our native hand-woven wrap-around skirt, for which no other province is better known than Iloilo. As a bonafide historian I dare say that Iloilo has the best patadyong in the whole country.
The Lin-ay is standing on a pedestal with four sides carved with major assets of Iloilo – front shows rice-farming industry, at right is sugarcane, left is fishing industry and back depicts education since Iloilo is considered as the educational center of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Thus, I have outlined the meaning, symbolism and history of the “Lin-ay Sang Iloilo.”


City Hall at the day of the unveiling....
At the Rizal monument in the middle of Plaza Libertad. At left, the rope attached to the Lin-ay may be seen ...
...getting ready for the unveiling. Right to Left: Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the Artist Ed Defensor, Congressman Jerry Trenas, Vice-Mayor Joe Espinosa III, Councillor Sumakwel Nava, Councillor Lex Tupas...
...and now the unveiling starts...
...the long line of “unveilers”...1st and 2nd from left are Yasi Herbich and Franz Herbich, proprietor of Herbich Intyernational Art & Manufacutring corporation, the foundry responsible for the bronzing of the Lin-ay...
The Artist making his speech...
The Mayor and the media...
...the Mayor, the artist and the proprietors of the Foundry Company...
...the Lin-ay after the unveiling...
...the New Iloilo City Hall after the unveiling......
...the news item in the local daily,  “Daily Guardian”, published the day after the unveiling......