Lantawan magazine of USC-SAFAD, 2021/1 (February 2021) issue


For many Cebuanos, school publications seem to be only “textbooks”, just for student use. Or just entertaining brochures about the school’s events and social life. This might be true for colleges and universities with main focus on teaching. However, University of San Carlos (USC), a Catholic research university maintains its ambitions in four additional areas as well: research, entrepreneurship, community extension services, and communication. Thus Lantawan magazine of USC’s School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (SAFAD) is not accidentally different from textbooks or social publications—the conscious way of embracing all five areas distinguishes it.

Lantawan started in 2008 when a visionary SAFAD Dean, Ar. Omar Maxwell Espina FUAP accepted an advocacy which goes beyond traditional teaching. If the magazine intends to work for the community, for a renewal of art and architecture to serve the Filipino people, it must convey well-established knowledge in a reader-friendly and progressive way. This development led to the present special issue of Lantawan magazine (2021/1) which is conceptualized as a commemorative publication of the quincentennial celebrations.

“Do you still print?” asked a potential sponsor when we shared to her the concept.  Yes, we printed, this time not only a new issue of the established magazine of USC-SAFAD but also a time document, a collectible. This had to be printed since printed publications remain with us while digital ones easily get lost in the garbage bin of computers. Even if our students might not immediately pick it up in the school because of online teaching, this time document strives after a much wider publicity since many potential readers thirst for a genuine legacy in these confusing times.

The reason to treat this issue of Lantawan in a prestigious way is in the title: 500 Años. Of course, this is not meant to glorify those colonial times, but to remember the spirit of the Philippine’s long journey towards independence, which includes 330 years under Spain, 44 years under the United States, and 3 years under Japan. What happened 500 years ago? We recall at least two major events: the first Holy Mass in the Philippines that marked the “start of Christianity” in the country, and the Battle of Mactan that marked “Philippine pride” with the triumph of Lapulapu.

The first part of the magazine takes us to an overview of the 500-year journey in terms of the first built works, fortifications, and parish churches, presenting the development of the details of their load-bearing structures, and of the urban fabric they have become a part of. Then, we look at 500 years of landscape architecture and interior design, with focus on house altars and the veneration of Santo Niño. Afterwards, Cebu’s painters recall their interpretation of the five centuries, while cinema professionals discuss the rich history of Cebu’s cinema. This part ends with questions about and visions of the future.

The second part is dedicated to USC-SAFAD’s commitment for the quincentennial commemorations: how we deliver designs to support the celebrations and how we support less privileged Filipinos living close to where the Battle of Mactan took place.

Students also reflect on the challenge of building a successful future that is informed by the lessons of the last 500 years. Finally, the magazine ends with student galleries, and a visual guide to the Quincentennial Exhibits of the Archdiocese of Cebu and other festive events of the quincentennial commemorations.

Br. Bela Lanyi, SVD

Lantawan Magazine can be purchased through the E-Commerce page of MegaTEXTS Phil., Inc. The ONLINE version will be available after February 10, 2021—and the PRINTED version is expected for February 25,, 2021. For information, please write to: [email protected]  or call the Editorial Office under (032) 2300-100 loc 232 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during office time. Every email will be answered.