Celia Diaz Laurel and her ‘colorful life’


Artist’s biographical coffee table book to be launched on June 18

Celia Diaz Laurel is a name synonymous to world of arts.

diaz2By virtue of imagination, talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the field of fine arts, Celia Diaz Laurel has gained the reputation for being a prolific stage actress, painter, writer, poetess, set and costume designer for more than six decades.

Now at 86 years of age, Celia Diaz Laurel has a record feat of chalking up hundreds of stage plays and musicals, painting a treasure trove of artworks on different subjects, and writing and publishing books.

And yet, Diaz-Laurel is still up and about to launch her latest project, which is a coffee table book aptly titled The Colors of My Life Celia Diaz Laurel—Painter on June 18. The gathering will be held at the Executive House of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Quezon City.

The book will be launched by the UP College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation Inc. (UPCFAAFI) headed by its president, Romeo Carlos.


The beautiful Celia Diaz Laurel through the years (Photos from the subject’s personal collection)

UP president Alfredo Pascual will be the guest speaker and his wife Menchu, who happens to be the vice president of the UPCFAAFI, will cut the ceremonial ribbon for an exhibit of Diaz-Laurel’s paintings.

The first part of the book, which contains five chapters, is the author’s personal memoirs of her early childhood in Talisay, Negros Occidental up until she moved to Manila for secondary education at Assumption Convent.

The author also shares her anecdotes as a budding artist, and her college years at the UP-College of Fine Arts located in Padre Faura. There, her intrinsic talents in painting, poetry and acting were honed and brought to the forefront, and even her extra-curricular activities are worth remembering.

The author also pays tribute to the different men and women that helped shape the life she has lived. The vignettes were written unabashedly with wit and humor, which all the more makes the book easier to read. This also serves as the background of the courtship of her ardent admirer Salvador Laurel Jr.

Another interesting chapter is the author’s tutelage from the Masters Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino, her professors who helped mold the brand of artistry that she now carries.

The final chapter talks about her life at the UP Diliman campus.

The second part of the book, “My Works in Art,” chronicles the evolution of the author’s creative artistry and prolific mastery in painting as vividly executed in a variety of subjects: “Portraits”—from the Diaz and Laurel clan; “Personalities” that continue to inspire her – like Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, her mentor Fr. James B. Reuter S.J., foreign dignitaries, friends, and figures; and “Mother Nature.”

The creative and production team of The Colors of My Life: Celia Diaz Laurel—Painter is led by Efren Yambot (editor); Cocoy Laurel (art director); and Nestor Malgapo, Jr. (book design and cover).

This is the first of three books, which Diaz-Laurel hopes to finish by the time she is 86 years old. The second book will focus on her work in the theater as actress and production designer; while the third book will share the colors of the eight decades of a truly blessed life she has lived.
Diaz-Laurel, wife of the late Vice President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, is the mother of eight children—Suzie, Lynnie, Cocoy, David, Larry, Stella, Kris and Iwi, all artists in their own right.  Her brood will perform in a special program during the launch, which will be prepared by Cocoy.

For inquiries, call 869-7298 and 478-0575.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.

1 Comment

  1. This is a new revelation because I am sure not many people know that she is a painter – studied under Amorsolo and Tolentino in UP. It’s about time…