Posts

Showing posts from June, 2008

Julius Babao's art collection

Image
Julius Babao's art collection 
By Walter Ang
June 23, 2008
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The façade of newscaster Julius Babao's home is austere. However, its plain walls, clean lines, and lack of embellishments belie a cornucopia of colors and shapes that adorn the interior. There is an almost acute sense of horror vacuii upon entering the home as every available square inch of wall space is filled with paintings of varying sizes in every imaginable technique and medium.

The eye-level painting nearest the door by Welbart shows dramatic red curtains oh-so-slightly parted in the middle, revealing the faces of two harlequins in a deep, furtive kiss. High above everything else, with a sole wall dedicated to it, is one of Babao's favorites, Elmer Borlongan's "Bus stop" depicting several would-be passengers in various poses of sleepiness.

These two pieces are an apt prelude for every visitor: yes, there's a lot going on here, this is just the holding area, and you&…

Photo exhibit of Bohol churches' ceiling murals at Ayala Museum

Image
Blessed images on ceiling 
By Walter Ang
June 23, 2008
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A flurry of white shingles suspended in mid-air leads visitors' eyes skyward and onward to Ayala Musuem's photo exhibit on the ceiling murals of Bohol churches. "Kisame: Visions of Heaven on Earth" aims to generate greater awareness of the historical and aesthetic significance of these large-scale murals and ceiling paintings.

Kisame is part of the Filipino Heritage Festival's many activities for this year's Filipino Heritage Month (which is held annually in May). "With the corrosion caused by bat droppings, rain water on roof ruts, and subsequent repair and repainting of corroded ceilings, these treasures are in great danger," warns festival director Bambi Harper. "It is high time for Filipinos to have a good look at these living museums, our mementos of the Catholic faith that blossomed through ages."

Out of twenty or so Spanish-era-built churches under the c…

Stirring up contemporary dance: Wifi Body Contemporary Dance Festival 3

Image
Stirring up contemporary dance By Walter Ang June 9, 2008  Philippine Daily Inquirer 
It is befitting that Wifi Body Festival 3, an independent contemporary dance festival to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, will take place during the week of Independence Day. This year's main showcase performance revolves around the theme "dance in revolution, revolution in dance," and is a wink and nudge at (but also a respectful bow and salute to) the state of contemporary dance in the country.
Festival director Myra Beltran talks of how, about a decade ago, "independent dance practice in the Philippines necessarily had to be contemporary in approach and aesthetic," and how it "broke away from the regular conceptions and conventions of `formal' dance, that is, classical ballet."
"This growing movement of independent dance, this `revolution' is what this festival celebrates," she says. "This movement has grown through differe…

2008 gets ready for the 4th Virgin Labfest

Image
Take 4 for Virgin Labfest 
By Walter Ang
June 9, 2008
Philippine Daily Inquirer

"The Virgin Labfest is a venue for playwrights, directors and actors to bring to life `untried, untested, unpublished and unstaged' one-act plays," explains festival founder Rody Vera. Now on its fourth year, this annual showcase of emerging playwrights has grown organically and now includes a workshop component for high school students who wish to learn more about the craft of playwriting and even a contest for owners of blogs (web logs or online journals).

Kicking off on June 25 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the labfest is presented by the Writers Bloc, an independent organization of established and aspiring playwrights headed by Vera, and the CCP's resident theater group Tanghalang Pilipino.

Following the convention of past labfests, "this year, there will be five sets of one-act trilogies where each set deals with a central topic or unifying theme ranging from comedie…

Lopez Museum offers art conservation services

Art conservation arrives in Manila via the Lopez Musuem, and art collectors should check out what it has to offer.
Return to top form 
By Walter Ang
June-August 2008 issue
Metro Home and Entertaining

Furry mice are suspended in mid-crawl across three wooden contraptions with pulleys. No need to worry, the mice are actually just stuffed toys. This humorous installation piece speaks volumes about the vulnerability of art, or anything made by man, for that matter, against the elements. And it is an apt introduction to the Lopez Memorial Musuem's exhibit tackling the very serious matter of art conservation.

"The Sum of Its Parts" features pieces from the museum's collection which have undergone or are slated to undergo conservation. To underscore how fragile art can be, the exhibit shows how Juan Luna's "A group of men pushing the wall" (pencil on papel de marquilla) has been reduced to what looks like pencil striations on a yellowed piece of paper. Fortunate…

Gibi Shoes' Lydia Castro has a sense of detail and diligence

Image
A sense of detail and diligence 
By Walter Ang
June-August 2008 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

Given the stiff competition from China, Gibi Shoes, an all-Filipino shoe enterprise,
has not only survived but also thrived. Walter Ang talks to proprietor Lydia Castro
on how she and her husband did it with
A sense of detail and diligence

The one striking thing you realize after talking to Lydia Castro is the supremely practical way she views life. "Accept your situation in life and do the best you can, otherwise you'll never be happy," she says. This mantra has helped her work together with her husband William in building their shoe company, Gibi Shoes, from a backyard operation to one store in Marikina and, finally, to its present network of outlets all over the country.

"My husband and I started out with just five workers," recalls Lydia. "We would make shoes for the stores along Avenida. Eventually, we decided to come up with our own brand." They borrowed ca…