Art, Exhibit, North Wing Gallery (Landing), South Wing Gallery

Life’s Arcade: QUIAPO | Rick Rocamora

The UP Vargas Museum opens Life’s Arcade: QUIAPO, a photography exhibit by Rick Rocamora on November 12, Tuesday, 4PM at the 3F galleries of the museum.

“Homeless Scholar” Paterno Street, Quiapo, 2012

“Homeless Scholar” Paterno Street, Quiapo, 2012

Quiapo is one of the favorite subjects of street photographers as the intersecting streets give rise to interesting anecdotes and images for the lenses to capture. It is also the site of the annual celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene where people gather and carry out their religious rituals sustained by passion and faith. Rocamora explores the lives of the Quiapo residents, looking into their everyday activities, personal struggles and anxieties. He initially started documenting Paterno Street where the inspiring story of Rodallie Mosende unraveled. Mosende has lived homeless on Paterno Street, living with everyday subsistence and the challenge of finishing her education. Another subject is Veronica Rodillas, a sampaguita garland vendor who faces harsh realities of living in Manila at a young age. These are portraits of the few who represent the community of Quiapo, which is not pictured as a squalid environment, but a network of strong-hearted individuals who work hard to better their lot. On the part of Rocamora, his photographs are not static documents; they are vehicle in uplifting the lives of these people. By posting them on social media and other online sources, Rocamora gathers benefactors who help change the lives of these people.

Rick Rocamora is a multi-awarded photographer now based in United States of America. His images and picture stories received awards from the Asian American Journalist Association, SF Bay Area Press Photographers Association, New California Media, and Media Alliance and have been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times and other national and international print and online publications.

His works have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Photographic Arts, Museum of Photographic Arts, Gorman Museum, Oakland Museum among others. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was the principal photographer for “Pork and Perks – Corruption and Governance in the Philippines,” by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, a National Book Award winner in the Philippines in 1994.

His current projects include “Clogged Veins of Justice in the Philippines” and “iLife San Francisco.” The latter documents San Francisco at street level 40 years after he arrived as an immigrant from the Philippines using an iPhone and Hipstamatic app.

Life’s Arcade: Quiapo runs until December 3, 2013. There will be an artist talk on November 23 at 3:00PM.


About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.


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Internship program: We already closed the call for museum interns. We will have another batch in May. For Library Internships (UP Vargas Museum - Library and Archives), please check details posted here. Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures is on its fifth week of viewing. This Curating Development exhibition is open until 28 March 2018. Books, reports, and other materials about #migration #policy are available for reading at the 3F South Wing, courtesy of colleagues from Goldsmiths - University of London, Scalabrini Migration Center Philippines, Enrich HK, Department of Sociology of The University of Hong Kong - HKU - 香港大學, and Keele University. The Living Architecture Exhibition is on view until 7 April 2018. Here is one of the four Tiyad structures created by Indy Paredes on the porches of the museum. Paredes will be joined by architecture and urban planning specialists on 24 March for the Artkitektura Exhibit Encounters 3: Vargas Conversations - "How can we make our cities more human?" Activity details will soon be posted on our Facebook event page. @artkitekturafestival Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures at the 3F Galleries is extended until 28 March 2018. For guided tours, please send a message to

Image: One of the work journals created by London-based Filipino migrant workers through the Curating Development project with Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and Filipino Domestic Workers Association UK. We are extending the runs of the two shows here at Vargas:
1F - Living Architecture Exhibition: 7 April 2018
3F - Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures: 28 March 2018 The internship program of the Vargas Museum is a good opportunity to understand and experience museum work. The museum invites undergraduate and graduate students of Art Studies, Humanities, Fine Arts, Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Cultural Heritage, History, Library Science, and Archives Studies to apply:

Please send applications to with subject line “INTERN-Museum APR 2018”. The program is designed to give the intern an overview of museum practices: collections management, curation, exhibition coordination, and educational programming. For March 2018, we need interns to assist with research of objects, manuscripts, and memorabilia for upcoming exhibitions.

Library and Archives INTERNS
Please send applications to with subject line “INTERNS-Library 2018”. Application is all year round.

Interns will index the serials collection, digitize the archive and memorabilia collection, and contribute to the inventory of the library collection. Applicants are preferably Library Science majors.
928-1927 during office hours

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