Virginia Flor Agbayani, also known as the Grand Dame of Philippine Art Education, has passed away on October 22 in Sherman Oaks, California. She was 96.
A Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Prof. Agbayani pioneered innovative approaches to include art education at the primary and secondary levels as well as in the development and nurturing of numerous world-class artists from the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA). She also mentored several Philippine Masters and National Artists enrolled in UP.
Prof. Agbayani's was a life well-lived: She served as a consultant in arts and archeology to several international Governments and Professional organizations, a British Council Fellow and Scholar, as well as a recipient of numerous prestigious national and international awards. She was first employed as an instructor at the School of Fine Arts in UP and became the first woman appointed to the rank of full professor of Fine Arts in 1975.
According to a press statement written by her eldest child Anna Victoria Agbayani Resurreccion and sent to GMA News Online by Vim Nadera, Director IV of PHSA, she was instrumental in the transition of the School of Fine Arts to the College of Fine Arts in 1970.
Catholic services were held for Prof. Agbayani on October 30. She was cremated at the Oakwood Memorial Chapel.
Prof. Agbayani is survived by five children Anna, Marianne, John Patrick, Cana-Mari, and Franz John Agbayani; son-in-law, Rey Resurreccion; grandson Carl Francis Agbayani and his wife, Marie. — LA, GMA News