Citing its historical significance for the province and for Pangasinenses, the provincial government agrees with the owner’s claim that the rightful place for Princess Urduja painting is the Urduja Mansion in Pangasinan.
Luis Villanueva, owner of the painting traces his family’s roots in Bolinao.
Villanueva said that his mother happily prefers that the said precious painting be in Urduja House in the province of Pangasinan instead of being given to the University of Fatima in Valenzuela City which has earlier expressed interest in buying the painting for purposes of expanding their own collection of significant Philippine paintings.
However, being a historical figure in Pangasinan, the Villanueva family thought that Princess Urduja painting should best go to the province particularly at the Urduja House.
Due to the aforementioned reasons, Princess Urduja painting is now being offered to the province not as an auction but as a preferential buyer.
“What we can do here is maybe just to authorize a deed of sale between the province and the owner,” Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan said.
In line with this, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has enacted Provincial Resolution no. 649-2011 to authorize Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. to enter into a contract of sale for the purchase of the original 1954 oil painting entitled “Urduja” created by mural artist Antonio Gonzalez Dumlao las June 13 during their regular session,
The move is in line with one of the present administration’s main thrust to gear up towards the determination, promotion, enhancement and preservation of Pangasinan’s historical and cultural resources to further boost tourism thrust of the province.
Princess Urduja has been considered as a symbol of beauty and bravery that played an important part in Pangasinan’s history, rich culture and heritage.
According to Vice Gov. Ferdinand Calimlim, establishing the founding day of Pangasinan comes with knowing the very people that have historical importance which include Princess Urduja, an epitome of a woman of strength and heroism.
“The right place for Princess Urduja painting is the Urduja House, dun sa official residence ng ating provincial governor which is now being renovated to double as official function area. Magiging multi-function, hindi lang siya magiging residence. I believed yan ang magiging rightful place,” he further said in a recent interview.
According to VG Calimlim, the painting will certainly make every Pangasinense aware of his or her historic past.
As among the best artworks of Antonio Dumlao, an internationally acclaimed Filipino painter in the past, Princess Urduja painting is part of the collection of Roberto Villanueva displayed in their Forbes Park gallery which the Fatima University offered to buy at P650,000.00.
For sentimental reasons however, the family of Villanueva opted that the next owner should not be someone who has no sentimental value to Princess Urduja. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)