Several public art of Abueva can also be found at UP Diliman campus. Among these are: The Crucifix with Two Corpora, including the altar base (1957) and subsequently, the bust of Fr. Delaney at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice; The University Gateway (also UP Gates); Tribute to Higher Education, at the entrance of University Avenue (1967); The Spirit of Business, in front of the College of Business Administration (1979); Diwata, at the Faculty Center (1992); Alma Mater, at the lobby of Ang Bahay ng Alumni (1996); Three Women Sewing the First Philippine Flag, also known as Tres Marias Plaza, at the UP Donors’ Garden, as part of the centennial celebration of the 1896 Philippine Revolution (1996).
The honors and awards accorded to Abueva are tremendous. A few are: First Prize, Sculptural Exhibition by the Art Association of the Philippines (1951); First Prize in the Fifth Annual Art Exhibition (1952); First Prize and Special Award on the Fourth Sculptural Exhibition (1952); Awardee, The Unknown Political Prisoner, in the International Sculpture Competition by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1953); First Prize and Special Award, Kaganapan (Marble), in the Semi-Annual Art Exhibition by the Art Association of the Philippines (1953); First Prize, Kiss of Judas (Wood), in the Religious Art Exhibition in Detroit, Michigan, USA (1955); First Prize, Water Buffalo (Marble), in the Annual Show, at St. Louis , Missouri, USA (1956); First Prize, Figure (Wood), in the Annual Show of the Art Association of the Philippines (1957); Most Outstanding Alumnus of the School of Fine Arts, U.P. Golden Jubilee (1958); Republic Award for Sculpture (1959); Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) Awardee in Sculpture (1959); Winner, U.P. Gateway Design Competition (1962); Winner, Cultural Heritage Award (1966); ASEAN Awards for Visual Arts in Bangkok (1987); Fourth ASEAN Achievement Award for Visual Arts in Singapore (July 1995).
In an interview, Abueva was asked: “Why do some individuals become great artists, while others, unfortunately, do not?”
Abueva answered: “The inner drive…A more accomplished artist has inner drive and stamina. Now this is very important. The plight of the artist is somewhat similar to that of the long distance runner. You have to cross the finish line. What counts more in life is the end result. Leonardo da Vinci once said that the greatest tragedy of artists is when theory outstrips performance (laughs). Artists are judged by the end result. Theory is important but concepts must be executed very well for any theory to be realized. The artist must possess the inner drive, passion, and “loneliness” of a long distance runner to go very far…”
After his mentor’s (Tolentino) demise, Napoleon V. Abueva did the replica of The Oblation at the following campuses—UP Baguio, UP Tacloban, UP Miag-ao, UP Mindanao and UP Los Banos.
Now 76 years old, Napoleon V. Abueva continues to lead a busy life as a sculptor and still do projects in the same humongous proportions as The Transfiguration. His passion for his work remains at a high-pitch.
1*From Bulawan 1, a publication of The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2001).