The Foundation

Meynard Halili
Chairman, MMAFI

From "Beauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning"
Anvil, 2001 pp.xvi - xviii

I did not know Maningning before she passed away. I was minding my cargo forwarding business and as a pilot, was teaching people to fly while she was producing works of art.

If I had been an artist, I would have known that few among us could accomplish her achievement. Viewing her works truly confirms the uniqueness of man, who was created in the image of God. Indeed in her art, one can see the hand of the Creator-God.

It is fulfilling to be involved in a foundation whose mission is to help young artists in Asia find the way toward the culmination of artistic achievement in painting and poetry. As counselors and cheerleaders to these gifted young men and women, we hope to encourage and help them rest their souls on the shoulder of that higher Being whose worthy representatives they are.

When Mario and Alma mentioned that they intended to put up a foundation in memory of Maningning, they invited me to help in organizing it. God moved and the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (MMAFI) came into being and was officially founded on Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001, coinciding with Maningning's birthday. I felt more like a conductor as I unofficially directed this symphony of accounts and revelations from the lips of the organizing group as they expressed their appreciation of God's amazing gift to Maningning. Someone had to direct traffic, as the vision and mission of the foundation unfolded in our minds. Chuki, Edna, James, Joaquin, Mario and Alma, Herman, Ding, and Linda all made their inputs according to their lines of expertise. Fellow artists gave their commitments to support the foundation with donations of their own art works to be exhibited and auctioned and the proceeds donated to the foundation.

The foundation envisions to form a Pan-Asian community of young artists exemplified by Maningning. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and promote Asian, especially Filipino artists 28 years and below through awards and creative programs. We will organize and fund annual awards in poetry and in painting. To nurture these young talents in the arts, programs will be developed and organized, available resources will be tapped. The annual Maningning Miclat Award for poetry and painting will be given to deserving young artists. The foundation will collaborate with other organizations to put up art exhibits, poetry-readings and book launchings. We shall urge philanthropic and civic-minded people in the realm of business to see beyond financial statements and get involved in the lives and triumphs of our young artists. Our program includes documenting art works of Maningning, her memorabilia and to artists to read other young artists' works that the foundation will choose.

We took the first step by publishing "Beauty for Ashes" ( a compilation of poems, elegies, letters and essays). By God's grace and with your involvement, we will accomplish our goal of remembering Maningning and helping deserving young artists like her.