Gandang Filipina

Makeup, Culture and Politics from a Southeast Asian perspective

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Manilart 2010 Exclusive Preview

I've calmed down a little from the hangover of meeting my second favorite-est Filipino designer (the first is my childhood friend Marc Rancy), Kate Torralba. I'm still not done bragging about it to my friends, but if you're my friend and I haven't bragged personally to you yet, you can catch up here.

Manilart 2010 opened to the public on July 30, Friday, but there was an invitation-only exclusive preview of the exhibit the night before. Thanks to Patrice, Maxime's friend, we were able to score tickets to this VIP event worth Php2,500. Rumors were circulating that the President himself was going to grace the event, but of course, the rumors remained rumors.

Situated in SMX Convention Center beside SM Mall of Asia, Manilart 2010 is the second of its kind, the first being last year. This year has 10 or more times more oomph and grandeur, because there were more galleries exhibiting, more artists, and definitely more newsbuzz. It took me half a day and a whole mall to put together my outfit, but it wasn't as difficult as that night when I attended the premiere night of Ploning. I figured President Aquino wouldn't flatter me on my outfit, so why bother.

I'm not an art collector but I do know some stuff about visual art, but my real love is performance art, and I'm lucky they didn't any shortage of performing talents in Manilart. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, the country's favorite ballerina, performed "Fire," a number created especially for the event, and Grace Nono performed in a mini-concert (she was onstage for more or less 20 minutes) with some of the most talented Filipino musicians and singers. 

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde's "Fire," together with some very hot and graceful talents from Ballet Manila

Maxime: "She looks old, but she has a great body and she's very flexible." Yes, with Lisa Macuja less than 5 meters away, you can see she's had a long ballet career, but she still has the moves of an internationally-acclaimed prima ballerina. Mabuhay ka, Lisa.

And will you look at that lift? I swear it was just one guy lifting her the whole 5 minutes they were onstage.

The final pose. (Just look at those abs.)

There was absolutely no shortage of abs, even in the performance of  Grace Nono:

Her gown was made of kacha, or sack cloth, which is hard and course but environmentally friendly. She had tassels made of shells. Very ethnic.

She would put the mic around 2 feet away from her mouth when belting out the notes, which shows how powerful her voice it. Very rarely do we see singers who have that kind of power and volume.

A kind of ritual where they were stepping back and forth while the man in the middle was chanting in an indigenous language.

A native guitar while Grace Nono is singing

Oooh, this guy knows about audience interaction.

Some people behind me were whispering that at this point, she was singing in Bisaya. I didn't understand at all, but it sounded like songs from the Spanish era.

And yes, I didn't resist from taking a picture of his abs. He sings pretty well, btw, which was a pleasant surprise.

Taking a bow

While walking around, I was sightseeing more on the people rather than the artwork (although I was looking for two particular Ado Rodriguez paintings, which were not there to my dismay).

Congressional Spouse Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo with two very famous visual artists; I feel so stupid I can't remember their names. If anyone recognizes them, please inform me so I could make the correction and do some self-lashing.

My friends from Ateneo and theatre, Mia and Camille. Camille is the sister of Floy Quintos, who directed me in a play he also wrote, Fluid.

This deserves another posting--Kate Torralba with her BFF (duh I wish)

With the best date one could ever have--Maxime. Thank you for this night and for opening the car door for me. He does it most of the time, and when he forgets he apologizes profusely--to the delight of my romantic, pro-chivalry, anti-radical feminism side.

I also met Sir Freddie Santos, who was my teacher in some workshop I enrolled at around 7 years ago. I dunno if he remembered me  (of course he said he did), but it was for public speaking and I learned a lot of things about dressing up onstage, confidence and diction. There were also 2 lawyers I met, both from the UP College of Law, and upon hearing that I'm also a student there, they said, "Good answer! It's the only law school in the country!" Haha, oh well. When you're in the best law school, they said, it's difficult not to feel any kind of pride.

It was a fun night, even without President Aquino around. The only thing we didn't like was the food. It was a cocktail affair, but the buffet table was packed with lechon and some fresh Vietnamese noodles. I like noodles and lechon, but they don't go together, and they're not compatible with the affair. And they served it on very small plates, which are appropriate for cocktails but not for this type of food. I mean, seriously, is there any way you can eat noodles on a small plate without spilling?

To solve the problem, Maxime and I stopped at McDonald's Las Pinas on the way home and feasted on chicken nuggets and McChicken--amidst the stares of some late-night snackers and the cashiers.


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