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Libre (Free)

Exhibiting Artists: Reynold Dela Cruz

Venue: Forth Gallery > venue details

Dates: 11 Jun 2008 - 22 Jun 2008

Libre is a word that can be found in romance languages such as French and Spanish. It originated from the Latin liber which denotes the state of "being free" or having "freedom." From the Spanish, who had colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years, Filipinos have understood libre in the vernacular to mean something that you get for free.

In this series, the artist Reynold Dela Cruz was inspired by the projects of the local government of his birthplace. Constantly observing the social and economic events of his surroundings, Dela Cruz was fascinated by this "phenomenon" recently taking place as well in many cities and towns all over the country. Libreng Sakay (Free Ride) which happens during transport strikes due to oil price hikes; Libreng Tule (Free Circumcision) a summer initiation rite for boys to "manhood"; Libreng Tubig (Free Water) an answer to the ever increasing price of this precious commodity, both drinking water and water used for bathing and daily washing; Libreng Edukasyon (Free Education) offered to children of poor families in the primary and high school levels.

The connotation of the original word libre may have been obscured over time, but if we think about it, the way it is now used in programs offered to poor families remains essentially the same: they promote a certain degree of freedom from the lack of one's basic necessities in life, a welcome respite for most.


  • Reynold Dela Cruz


    Reynold dela Cruz is a self-taught artist whose choice of career was vindicated when he won Juror’s Choice at the 1998 Philip Morris Philippine Art Awards, which led to him representing the Philippines at the 1998 Asean Art Awards held in Vietnam. Besides the Philippines , he has exhibited in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Vermont , USA, and has featured in a number of SE Asian auctions.

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