Before and After: This '60s UP Sculpture Has Seen Better Days

"What would it take to bring [the] Bathing Lady back?" asks Paulo Alcazaren.

( The University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City is more than a just school. It's a biking and jogging spot on the weekends, film and performing arts hotspot on weeknights, and an urban haven for birdwatchers and photographers. The campus is also home to a number of sculptures made by some of the greatest Filipino artists.

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Urban planner and landscape architect Paulo Alcazaren on October 5 reminded us of the glory days of one of these public art pieces: "Nude Bathing" or "Bathing Lady," which is attributed to Ildefonso Marcelo (student of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva). Reportedly made in the '60s, its free-flowing feminine form is made even more distinct with the curves on the sculpture's body as she washes her hair.


"What would it take to bring UP Diliman's Bathing Lady back?" he asks. At present, the stone sculpture shows signs of weathering from frequent rains, soot and smoke from passing vehicles, and the absence of grass, water lilies, and actual water in the small lagoon.

It completes the triad of Marcelo's stone sculptures at the intersection of University Avenue and E. Jacinto Street (near the "checkpoint"). The other two being "Captivity" and "Contemplation."

Main photo by Paulo Alcazaren

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