Unveiled on 14th March 2019 was a large-scale wooden mural depicting the every day life of the Filipino Christian and Muslim communities earning its temporarily title “The Meeting of the Christians and the Muslims.” As per press time, details about the work’s actual title, make, and other details such as the number and identity of the workers who created this piece with Alcantara is yet to be determined by the museum’s research staff.
This piece was originally commissioned by Philamlife for their auditorium designed by by Filipino architect Carlos Arguelles. Originally located on the left side of the Philam Life auditorium as the curvature of the mural was tailor made to fit the structure of the auditorium.
This is one of three large-scale wood murals that Philam Foundation is putting on loan to the National Museum of the Philippines. The remaining murals will be exhibited in separate spaces with the National museum of Anthropology as one of the projected spaces where the remaining murals will be displayed to the public.
Jose Alcantara is known for his wood carving work and as a close friend and contemporary Vicente Manansala. Although not much is known about him, his family describes him as a man who stands at 4’11. To this day, the fact that Alcatara was able to complete a mural of this scale does not cease to amaze them.
Apart from being a cultural space that has housed commissioned works by Vicente Manansala, The Philamlife Theater is well known for its excellent acoustics that could be compared to that of the Sydney Opera House. The auditorium had performers such as the Vienna Boys choir, and served as a venue to many graduations during its heyday.