The Bachelor of Fine Arts program provides a rich learning environment that develops and nurtures the the creativity of its students in the arts. BFA students specialize in three areas: Painting, Visual Communication and Industrial Design. Formal classroom sessions conducted by faculty members from the industry are combined with activities that motivate students to explore and bring out their creative side. Digital Arts through high speed, graphics oriented computers are used to enhance traditional methods of learning. BFA students regularly attend seminars on Printmaking, Photography, Film and Social Documentaries and New Media Art.
Career Opportunities are in Advertising Agencies as Copywriter, Creative Director and Account Executive. They can also be Art Curators, Visualizer, Furniture Designer, Industrial Designer, Graphic Designers or Artists, Professional Painter, Visual Merchandiser, Photographer and Product Manufacturing Designers.
The arts have a long history at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in Manila. The teaching of music began in 1925, a few years after the founding of the university in 1919. In 1939, the Department of Music was organized, and it continued to operate until the outbreak of the war in 1941. From 1943 to 1944, the Philippine Conservatory of Music, which was founded by the late Felicing Tirona, existed as an affiliate school of PWU. Enrollment was open to both women and men. When PWU re-opened after its rehabilitation, the School of Music was formally established in 1947 under the deanship of its original founder. The youngest among the colleges, it awakened cultural interest within the university, as well as promoted artistic consciousness and progress at home and abroad. In 1952, The Philippine School of Music and Fine Arts became an affiliate school and, eventually, was transferred to the main building in 1977.
PWU’s first fine arts students were Patty Birocel, Antera Mar, Lilia Trinidad, Elenita Sayoc, Fe Severino, and Rosario Bitanga. Tromp l’oeil painter of hand-embroidered lacework and art educator, Araceli Limcaco Dans became the Director of the Institute Fine Arts and Design (IFAD), which developed a curriculum that produced artists who excelled in the fields of painting and graphic arts. When its Center for Visual Printmaking was established in the 1960s, which is described by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as the “unofficial center of printmaking in the country,” IFAD produced significant printmakers under the direction of Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. who was also responsible for organizing the Philippine Association of Printmakers: Virgilio Aviado, Lucio Martinez, Lamberto Hechanova, Restituto Embuscado, Mario Parial, Adiel Arevalo, Petite Calguas, Emet Valente, Brenda Fajardo, Nelfa Querubin, Ivi Avellana-Cosio, Nonon Padilla, Manuel Rodriguez, Jr., Marcelino Rodriguez, Jr., and Ray Rodriguez. A vanguard in art education and practice, students were also engaged in experimental art activities and gained popularity for the university and the artists themselves.
In 1967, the Shell Companies of the Philippines cited IFAD as one of the best art schools in the country. Among its noted personalities, the following occupied key positions: Mariano Madarang and Raul Isidro as Directors of the College of Fine Arts; Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. as Head of the Graphic Arts Department in 1973; Julian Cea Napal as Director from 1978 to 1979 with Alfonso Miaga as Officer in Charge; Ludivina L. B. Abes as Associate Dean from 1979 to 1986; Jerry Elizalde Navarro as a consultant professor; Virgilio Aviado as Officer-in-Charge/Dean with Purification Torres as Administrative Officer until 1989; Dr. Luhualti Trias as Administrator from 1989 to 1991; and Lorna Alvarez-Salutal as Officer in Charge from 1994 to 1998. In addition are faculty members like Ibarra de la Rosa, Benjie Cabrera, Noel Farol, and Roberto Feleo.
In August 1998, PWU President Jose Conrado Benitez appointed Rosario Bitanga Peralta as Acting Dean and, after two years, as Dean. During this time, the M.A. in Fine Arts and Design Graduate Program was established. In June 2006, Reiner Suva was appointed as Assistant Dean. In the same year, IFAD was changed to the School of Fine Arts and Design (SFAD). In 2007, Peralta became Dean Emeritus and Suva was appointed Dean. In July 2010, Arch. Ma. Bienvenida T. Candelaria took over as Officer in Charge. A year later in May 2011, PWU President Francisco Bantug Benitez appointed Josephine Turalba Dean and Candelaria Associate Director for Program Development. With the recent inauguration of the SFAD Gallery, Noel Soler Cuizon assumed the position of Curator, bringing together students, faculty, and alumni. Finally in January 2013, Dr. Pearlie Rose S. Baluyut was appointed Professor and Coordinator of the reinvigorated M.A. in Fine Arts and Design Graduate Program that encourages traditional and innovative learning, meaningful dialogues, and sustained collaboration with the arts community, local organizations, and museums.
Indeed, the Philippine Women’s University’s School of Fine Arts and Design has established a reputation of excellence and it continues to build future artists and designers through its undergraduate and graduate curricula, the critical crossroads of various disciplines, including but not limited to art education, art history, design, fine arts, cultural heritage, and museum studies. Currently, it offers a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Major in Industrial Design, Painting, and Visual Communication), a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and a Master of Arts in Fine Arts and Design under the trimester system, beginning June and ending in April. Taking into consideration the important role of art and culture in our global society, we hope that you will take this opportunity and journey toward academic and artistic excellence.
Dean Don S. Amorsolo
Since 1919, the PWU has made a historical mark in the academic industry. It is known for its graduates who actively participated and contributed through quality service. Many of them have gained recognition and honor in their professions here and abroad.
Do come and visit us and let us help you realize your goals. We have highly competent and committed faculty, complete laboratory facilities and local and international affiliates that will ensure intensive and hands-on training for the students. In the classrooms and laboratories, learning is closely supervised to ensure that students learn the necessary knowledge and skills, and develop positive professional attitudes and values.
Welcome to the PWU family!
Amorsolo, Don S.
Alonzo, Marcelo L.
Botor, Melanie S.
Cuizon, Noel S.
Dizon, Arsenio Oliver T.
Ellson, Che Alexei G.
Flores, Jesus I.
DON S. AMORSOLO is an academic artist, art educator and researcher. As a young artist he obtained his mentorship from the late Florencio B. Concepcion at the UE School of Music and Arts (UESMA), where he was given a study grant by the late Maria G. Ford and Senator Geronima T. Pecson to complete his studies in painting. He then obtained a study grant from the Bilateral Technical Assistance Program between the Czech Republic and the Philippines and pursued further training in the Theory and History of Fine Arts at Charles University in Prague. He was later on given a research grant by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid through Ambassador Pedro Ortiz Armengol and acquired knowledge from the Secion de Raros of the Biblioteca Nacional and Museo de Ethnologia in Madrid, which helped him write his Candidature Dissertation on the visual arts and social life of Filipinos during the Spanish Colonial Period. He became a Visiting Professor for the Division of Arts at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. He was also an International Fellow at the Boyer Institute of Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania and a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for Fine Arts, Design, and Culture at The University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He was a recipient of travel grants to several European countries from the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines. He exhibited in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and the USA.
MARCELO ALONZO is a professional interior designer known for his eclectic contemporary style. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of the East, a certificate in Interior Design from the Philippine School of Interior Design and his Masters in Fine Arts and Design at Philippine Women’s University. He specializes in residential and commercial design and was one of the prime movers behind the Philippine Interior Design Act of 2012, which regulates and modernizes the practice of Interior Design in the country. His work has been featured in several lifestyle magazines and has been featured in international coffee table books. In 2011 he received the prestigious Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) ICONOCLAST Award.
MELANIE S. BOTOR is a licensed interior designer who has worked in various government projects to improve the quality of products through design. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design degree from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and is currently pursuing her Masters in Interior Design in the same university. She designs for furniture and construction companies that specialize in retail fit outs in different malls throughout the Philippines. She has been an exhibition designer for the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines and is a member of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers.
NOEL S. CUIZON is a multi-award winning visual artist whose works frequently address subjects such as personal struggle, social alienation and identity politics. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the Philippine Women’s University, where he is currently completing his Masters in Fine Arts and Design. After his first solo show, he represented the Philippines in various expositions such as the 3rd ASEAN Travelling Exhibition, the Quinta Bienal de la Habana in Havana, Cuba and the 4th Asian Art Show in Fukuoka, Japan. He received several awards such as an honorable mention at the 2nd Biennial of Arts in Makurazaki City Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, the Mention du Jury in the 26’eme Festival International de la Peinture in Cagnes-sur-mer, France and the Thirteen Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a bi-annual tribute given by the institution to outstanding young artists. He was endowed the Starr Foundation Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council as well as an artist-in-residence bursary from the Pacific Bridge Contemporary Southeast Asian Art in Oakland, California.
ARSENIO OLIVER T. DIZON is the program coordinator of Visual Communication at the Philippine Women’s University. He obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising degree from PWU and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Santo Tomas. He worked as a graphic artist in a printing press and at an advertising agency. He specializes in printing production both traditional and digital.
CHE ALEXEI G. ELLSON is currently teaching at Philippine Women’s University and was the first alumnus of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao to successfully pass the Philippine Regulatory Commission’s Interior Designer Licensure Examination. He obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Interior Design at PWC-Davao and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Interior Design at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He is a member of the National and Mindanao-Davao chapters of the Philippines Institute of Interior Designers.
JESUS I. FLORES is a visual artist who was trained to master the art of fine printmaking. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas. Throughout the years, Flores has given seminars and workshops on the art of printmaking, travelling around the Philippines with renowned printmakers like Raul Isidro, Pandy Aviado and Benjie Torrado. As a professional printer, he was hired by National Artist Jerry Elizalde Navarro and also worked for Bencab and Pandy Aviado among others. He is a member of the Philippine Association of Printmakers, where he is an officer and a board member.
Occeno, Sammuel A.
Dr. Onoza, Myrna O.
Sambile, Mutya T.
SAMMUEL A. OCCENO teaches foundation courses at Philippine Women’s University, where during his first year as an undergraduate, the late Ibarra dela Rosa took him on as an apprentice, adopting his mentor’s philosophy of focusing more on actual studio practice than purely theories. He obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising from PWU where he also pursued his Masters in Fine Arts and Design. He was recognized for his talent in painting by being included in Manila’s Top Ten Protégés along with Hermes Alegre, Ambie Abaño, and Herzon dela Rosa only a year after his apprenticeship. He is a multi-disciplined artist whose focus involved historical and socio-cultural aspects of development. Throughout the years, he experimented with various mediums, styles, and techniques, honing his craft as a studio arts practitioner in the Visayas region before returning to PWU to teach.
DR. MYRNA O. ONOZA is a licensed interior designer who earned her B.S. in Fine Arts major in Interior Design at the Eulogio Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, where she also obtained her M.A. in Administration and Supervision under a Philippine State Universities and Colleges scholarship grant. She also earned her M.A. in Special Education from the Philippine Normal University. She received her Doctor of Education Management degree from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She has served as an auditor for the Council for Interior Design Educators and has taught courses in interior design, served as a Dean of another school’s College of Architecture and Fine Arts as well as been a graduate lecturer of special education. She is an active member of the Philippine Institute for Interior Designers
MUTYA T. SAMBILE is a teacher at Philippine Women’s University and a product designer who has worked for a Manila-based export manufacturing company, as well as a local counterpart program designer for the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines. She holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila and is pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts and Design from PWU. She was the Regional Senior Designer with the Advocate for the Philippine Fair Trade Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to product development and design consultancy with small case and starting manufacturers. She is a licensed teacher and has taught mathematics and art at an elementary school.
MA. BIENVENIDA T. CANDELARIA currently coordinates the Interior Design program and is the Associate Director for program development at Philippine Women’s University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas and her Masters in Interior Design from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She is a licensed architect who has worked on structural, landscape and engineering projects with prestigious architectural firms and as a design consultant for residential, office, private resort and renovation projects.
WILFREDO E. POLLARCO has been practicing Design and Advertising for more than 30 years. He obtained his B.F.A. major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas where he is currently pursuing his M.A. in Fine Arts. He has done projects for several commercial firms and served as Art Director for an advertising company, Lowe Lowe and as Creative Director for Sterling Paper Products, Inc. He has also served as Art Director for various international companies.