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Exhibit of Betis artists opens on PH Independence Day in Italy

Consul General Elmer Cato opens the “Suli ning Betis” exhibit of father-and-son tandem Wifredo and Josef Andre Layug at the Philippine Consulate General in Milan, Italy during Philippine Independence Day celebrations there on Wednesday. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

MILAN, Italy—With wishes of peace and prosperity, Consul General Elmer Cato led Filipino leaders here in Philippine Independence Day celebrations that included an exhibit of scupltures and paintings from Betis in Pampanga province.

“With peace and prosperity for the Republic of the Philippines and the Filipino people, to the good health of His Excellency President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., and to a united Filipino community in Northern Italy, working hand-in-hand towards a peaceful and united Philippines, Mabuhay!” Cato exclaimed in a gathering at the Philippine Consulate General in Milan on Wednesday.

In the same venue, he also opened the exhibit “Suli ning Betis” by ecclesiastical artist Wilfredo “Willy” Layug and his son Josef Andre. The exhibit runs until June 27.

“I hope their creative works will inspire pride among Italy-based Filipinos and generate interests in Philippine tourism among foreignersm,” Cato said.

Layug said the exhibit “shows our pride of place for Betis and features us as among the inheritors of Betis and its cultural, religious and historical heritage.”

Betis consisted of seven villages that were attached to nearby Guagua town in 1903. The former town’s furniture-making and woodcarving crafts have continued to flourish as craftsmen struggled to keep the traditions going.
Layug presents four paintings and a three-panel bas relief that sums-up the conversion of Betis from a Muslim settlement to a Roman Catholic bastion.
Layug’s son, also known as “Totek,” employs traditional and modern techniques in his works.