Anastacio Caedo

Anastacio Caedo

Anastacio Tanchangco Caedo (14 August 1907–12 May 1990) was one of the Philippines' greatest sculptors. His style of sculpture was classical realist in the tradition of his mentor, Guillermo Tolentino. He produced commissioned representational sculptures mainly monuments of national heroes and successful Filipino politicians, businessmen, and educators. He was born in Batangas, Batangas to Arsenio Caedo and Genoveva Tanchangco.


At the age of 11, Caedo entered primary school at Batangas Elementary School and completed his elementary education at Calaca Elementary School in Batangas. In 1925, he entered the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Fine Arts. Even though lacking the required High School diploma in order to enter the university, Caedo made it to the UP College of Fine Arts through the direct recommendation of Professor Guillermo Tolentino, who saw in the young lad a great potential for sculpture. Thus, Caedo studied night high school at the Manila University while taking up Fine Arts at the UP.


Caedo's career as a sculptor began in the year 1925 when he worked with Guillermo E. Tolentino's atelier as student-assistant and protege. He assisted Tolentino in creating most of his landmark commissions like: the "UP Oblation"; the "Bonifacio Monument" in Caloocan City; the "Rizal Monument" in front of the Rizal Provincial Capitol; and the "Shaw Monument" at Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong to name a few.

He graduated in 1932 from the UP College of Fine Arts.

The U.P Oblation statue was actually modeled after the physique of Caedo because of his lean and muscular body (he was an amateur bodybuilder). Tolentino later relegated the task of building the other Oblation figures in U.P. Baguio and Manila to Caedo.

After WWII, Caedo was able to establish himself as a major sculptor on the commissions from the Jesuits. He executed at least eight major works for the Jesuits. He was also commissioned to build the MacArthur Landing site in Palo, Leyte, as well as other monuments of Philippine national heroes. Caedo was known for injecting vitality and breathing life into his sculptures, which became the hallmarks of his style. He was also commissioned to build the monuments of Bonifacio in Balintawak, Rizal in Germany, Juan Luna in Madrid, Apolinario Mabini in Manila, and Chief Kipua in Guam. He ultimately became known as a monument builder, and he built more monuments around the world than any other Filipino sculptor. For his life-like bust of Rizal and his numerous monuments on Rizal, he was conferred the title "Knight Grand Commander" by the Order of the Knights of Rizal.

In 1951, he became a faculty member of the UP School of Fine Arts where he served for 20 years. He was appointed as Head of the Sculpture division of UP Fine Arts from 1957 to the early 1980s. His students and apprentices included Eduardo Castrillo, Abdul Mari Imao, and Ross Arcilla. Caedo's son, Florante Caedo, also learned sculpture from him, and became a noted sculptor in his own right.

Professor Caedo is also known as a meticulous portrait sculptor. His clients included Presidents Aguinaldo, Quezon, Osmeña, Quirino, Aquino, and Marcos. He also created several portrait busts of famous movie stars, politicians, and businessmen.

Achievements and Famous Sculptural Works

* "Dying Soldier" (1925), Gold Medal, National Heroes Day Competition
* "The Problem" (1926) Gold Medal, Philippine Exposition of 1926
* Trece Martires de Cavite (Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite)" (1931)
* Padre Jose Burgos (Fr. Jose Burgos)" (1932)
* 1952 – Second Prize, Art Association of the Philippines
* 1963- Araw ng Maynila Award for his sculpture "Andres Bonifacio"
* 1966- "The Risen Christ", Gold Medal, Philippine Art Exposition
* "Malakas at Maganda" sculpture which became the trophy of Philippine Sports Association
* "Mercury" Professor Caedo's version of Giambologna's famous sculpture.
* 14-ft statue of St. Thomas More – Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City (formerly at the Ateneo College of Law at Padre Faura St., Manila)
* The MacArthur Landing site in Palo Red Beach, Leyte
* "Benigno Aquino Monument" (1986) – Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas
* The Official Trophy of the Film Academy of the Philippines.
* The Rizal monuments in every Philippine embassy
* Rizal Monument in Heidelberg, Commissioned by the German Government
* Rizal Monument in Wilhelmsfeld, Commissioned by the German Government
* Bonifacio Monument in Pugad Lawin, Balintawak
* Pres. Sergio Osmena monument, Osmena Mansion, Cebu City
* Juan Luna monument, Manila
* Chief Kipuha monument, Commissioned by the Guam Government
* Juan Luna monument, Madrid, Spain, commissioned by the Spanish Government
* Raha Sulayman monument, UP Vargas Museum
* General Paua Monument, Imus Cavite
* President Aguinaldo monument, Malolos, Bulacan
* Francisco Balagtas monument, Balagtas, Bulacan
* Quezon Monument, Quezon City Hall
* The Death March Memorial, Capas, Tarlac
* The Mabini monument, Kalaw, Manila

A humble and self-effacing man, Professor Caedo refused several times the nomination to become a National Artist in 1983, 1984, and 1986. He died in 1990 at the age of 83.

Personal Life

Professor Caedo was married in 1937 to Ms. Florencia Beltran (1921-2003 )of Bicol. They had five children, one of whom-Florante Caedo- became a noted sculptor in his own right. Professor Caedo was known as a philanthropist, regularly donating portions of his earnings to charity. He was an active member of The Lion's Club and The Order of the Knights of Rizal.


*Catipon, E. "Altar". In CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 325. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.

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