Nabiag na Bato is one of the major works of National Artist Napoleon Abueva. Growing up in Bohol, Abueva’s interest in sculpture began at an early age, molding animal figures from the mud. Despite the tragedies he experienced during World War II, Abueva went on to create masterpieces and produced inspiring works of art. He was innovative and used a broad range of materials in his art, from wood to metal, stainless steel, cement, coral, bronze, to name a few. In 1976, he was named National Artist for Sculpture in the field of Visual Arts and was the youngest to be conferred such an award at the age of 46.
Abueva’s works can be seen here and abroad, all over Bohol and in his hometown in Duero. When the National Museum Philippines in Bohol re-opens, visit the Pagpauli Gallery which features 26 significant works from the artist’s personal collection.
Occupying the biggest portion of the Nabiag na Bato (Living Stone) cladding the base of the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) is Lapulapu. Also in the same portion are the episodes of the burning of Buaya (a community of Mactan) as so ordered by Ferdinand Magellan and the Victory at Mactan over Magellan in April 1521. Designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, the Nabiag na Bato dramatizes the valor, heroism, and selflessness of the Filipino in history up to the gallant defense of the Philippines in Bataan against Japanese invaders during World War II.
Lapulapu and the Victory at Mactan will remain inspirations to every generation of Filipino: like how Emilio Jacinto evoked their memory prior to the Philippine Revolution of 1896 as a morale booster for the Katipunan, and Emilio Aguinaldo exalted the same on the very day the Philippine Independence was proclaimed in 1898.