By Richard R. Gappi

Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos will serve as one of the guests in the opening of a year-long series of activities commemorating the centennial birth of National Artist for Painting Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco.
The program will be held at the Blanco Family Museum this Thursday, October 25, at 3:00 in the afternoon. It will feature art exhibition of Angono Artists Association and previous winners of Philippine Art Awards, motorcade, and reopening of Botong’s refurbished studio.
The organizers, who belong to the Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco Centennial Consortium, also invited as guests Governor Jun Ynares, Rep. Isidro Rodriguez, Rep. Joel Roy Duavit, Irene Marcos, Museum Foundation Director Marites Pineda, and PMFTC president Chris Nelson.
Representative Marcos used to be Botong’s benefactor as well as her husband, former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.
Botong received the National Artist Award from the former president in 1973.
Botong was born on November 4, 1912. He died on March 31, 1969.
The members of the consortium include Angono Artists Association, Ayala Museum, Blanco Family Museum, Botong Francisco Family, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Freeway, National Artists Collectors Series, Lopez Museum, Municipality of Angono, Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Museum Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Art Awards, SM Malls, University of Santo Tomas, UP Vargas Museum and Yuchengco Museum.
Apart from the Consortium, other artist groups and cultural organizations in Angono and Manila have lined up similar activities honoring Botong’s life, works and contributions.

The last visit of former First Lady in Angono was in 2003 when she attended the interment of Prof. Lucio D. San Pedro, another National Artist for Music.