Where Art Thou: Defining Quirino

Defining Quirino at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

“Our country deserves all the loyalty and devotion we can give. I beseech you to summon all the big and noble in you, all that is earnest, all that is patriotic, all that is sincere, to help set a pattern of sanity and constructive action in these days of bitterness and political bewilderment.”

–President Elpidio Rivera Quirino

These words said by the late President of the Third Republic of the Philippines still ring true; especially now, when the majority is clamoring that they want a change for a better country.

Elpidio Quirino, hailing from Ilocos Sur, was a self-made man fueled by determination and ambition. He started as a teacher at Barrio Caparia-an. He came to Manila to work and to study law at the University of the Philippines. After being one of the top examinees of the 1915 Bar Examinations, he worked as a law clerk for the Philippine Commission. Later on, Quirino caught the eye of Manuel L. Quezon, who later on mentored him in life and politics.

To commemorate Quirino, an exhibit featuring a tribute wall was opened to the public last November 2015. The tribute wall showcased 125 portraits of the President, created by 125 artists, friends and family in honor of the self-made man from such humble beginnings. Luckily, my submission became part of the exhibit! 😀

Contributors to 125 portraits of Quirino

Late President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

Late President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

Late President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

Late President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

Late President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae ScoopsLate President Elpidio Quirino Portraits at Ayala Museum Sundae Scoops

From all the different portrayals of Quirino, what I like best is him being a man from humble beginnings bringing about change. During his time, it was an extremely tough period for the country. And yet, he went ahead, and brought about change by holding the highest position in the country and by having the incredible task of rebuilding a nation from the remains of war.

Sundae Scoops Defining Quirino at Ayala Museum Lego Portrait by mis_ter_e
Sundae Scoops goes to Defining Quirino at Ayala Museum Lego Portrait by mis_ter_e

125 Portraits at Defining Quirino at Ayala Museum Philippines Sundae Scoops

To learn more about Elpidio Quirino, you can check out ElpidioQuirino.org.


The Ayala Museum is a privately run museum located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District in the Philippines. The multi-storey museum permanently houses collection of archeological artifacts, dioramas that visually narrate Philippine history and, contemporary art. The museum also has various programs to educate people on history, art, music, and design through temporary exhibitions, lectures, workshops and performances. Since 1967, the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (then known as Filipinas Foundation, Inc.), has provided a venue for tourists, families or arts and culture enthusiasts to explore the arts and culture of the country.

Defining Quirino was a temporary exhibit at the Ayala Museum that was open to the public from November 7 to 28, 2015. The exhibit was part of a series of events and programs in honor of the 125th year since the birth of President Elpidio Quirino. It was curated by the Ayala Museum, Elpidio Quirino Organization and the Filipinas Heritage Library.

“Our message here is a challenge for our youth to use their lives for the betterment of our nation.”

-Ruby Quirino Gonzalez (Grandchild of Elpidio Quirino)

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