"Siya Nga" is a Filipino expression of wonder and, thus of openness to possibilities. It is in other words, am expression of epiphany and eureka! And since this expressive phrase literally means "its Him". Fr. Villarin and I thought the phrase will "work wonder" as a title for this volume of Christian reflections."
David Jonathan Bayot
Sya Nga! Reflections with Art book was launched last January 28 attended by it author Fr. Jose Ramon "Jett" Villarin and editor David Jonathan Bayot and artists/friends from Ateneo de Manila University held at DLSU , Manila.
Collegiate basketball’s legendary rivals came together for the launch of a book of reflections on 52 terms in the Christian faith last January 28 at the De La Salle University in Manila.
Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University temporarily put aside their athletic differences to celebrate the launch of Siya Nga! Reflections with Art, a new book penned by Fr. Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin, S.J., President of Ateneo, edited by David Jonathan Bayot, and published by the De La Salle University Publishing House.
Each of the 300-word reflection aims to shed a light on the terms that both the author and the editor deemed significant in the life and living of those who share the Christian faith.
Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J. (Center), President of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) receives the first copy of Siya Nga! Reflections with Art from Br. Raymundo Suplido, F.S.C. (Right), President of the De La Salle University (DLSU) at the launch of the said book at the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall of the DLSU in Manila, last January 28. Joining them in the photo are (from L to R) Dr. David Jonathan Bayot, Executive Publisher of the DLSU Publishing House and Br. Bernie Oca, Chancellor of the DLSU.
“What we wanted to do is to make these familiar words unfamiliar once again,” Fr. Jett Villarin said. “The book aims to look at these words in a different way, in a different manner so that we may show that the newness of God will never grow old, and the bigness of His love will never grow small.”
Siya Nga! Reflections with Art contains 52 reflections on terms like Incarnation, Trinity, Word, Freedom, and Christmas. Each reflection is elucidated by images of artworks created by a broad range of Filipino artists including, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Benedicto Cabrera, Arturo Luz, Elmer Borlongan, to name a few.
“I envision the book to be one that contains images of artwork by a broad range of Filipino artists: from the canonical ones including the National Artists to the younger voices in the Philippine art scene. In so doing, the book seeks to foreground the artistic representations of the Filipinos and the range of the representations,” the book’s editor, David Jonathan Bayot said.
The launch of the book culminated in St. La Salle Hall being lit in Blue and Green—the school colors of Ateneo and La Salle, respectively—to celebrate the partnership between the two universities and to mark the 60th birthday of Fr. Villarin as well.