Last evening, Philippine ambassador Romeo Arguelles opened an art exhibition in the embassy. Held in conjunction with the celebration of the republic's Independence Day, the exhibition features the oil paintings of Pablo Javier. "I am very proud to be giving this one-man show of my Western-style paintings," Javier said. "And I am very grateful to the ambassador for so much help to me."

Javier comes from a small town, Liang, in Bulacan Province. No one else in his large family aspired to art. "We were an ordinary family," Javier said. "My father was a small businessman. I have eight brothers and sisters, and they have all done quite well." In elementary school, he showed an extraordinary talent for drawing. "From that time I wanted to become a famous artist," he said.

He entered the College of Fine Arts, University of Santo Tomas, which was not at that time hard to do. That was in the early 1950s. He took a first honors degree in fine arts, and received from the Art Association of the Philippines a gold medal for the "best art student of 1954." He learned of two scholarship possibilities, one in Japan and one in Spain. "I applied for the Japanese Ministry of Education scholarship because it offered the longer stay of the two," he said. He came to Tokyo and entered a Japanese-language course at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.