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Crazy Rich Filipinos

‘People are casually coughing up money,’ says a social historian.

A tribute to her

GALLERY OWNER and art patron Silvana Ancelotti-Diaz is, first and foremost, a mother. The Italian citizen, who left her home when she was 18 and decided to stay in the Philippines for good when she was 23, has four children of her own. But, over several decades, she became a mother to hundreds more through one exhibition or another.

MIBF 2018: books, more books, comics, and pop culture

ANYBODY OF THE opinion that no one reads physical books definitely hasn’t been to the annual Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), which traditionally welcomes hordes of bookworms. On its 39th season, the fair, which runs from Sept. 12–16 at the SMX Mall of Asia, is expecting around 150,000 visitors.

Protect your bags, with style

AUSTRALIAN ROB SCHLIPPER, who’s a frequent traveler, spent an uncomfortable night in a train running through Morocco, with him trying to sleep on top of his bag in order to protect it from thieves.

Love in the time of capitalism

BALAG AT ANGUD is a chronicle of love based on the life of protest artist Luis Lee Jr., better known as Junyee.

The essence of martial arts

WHETHER it is making sushi, growing bonsai, drinking tea, or arranging flowers, there is art present in every aspect of Japanese culture. Beyond being a sport or methods of self defense, the martial arts are, as well, a Japanese art form.

‘Eat like a pro’ advocacy promotes healthy eating for families

NOT A one-time campaign event but an advocacy, Eat Like a Pro is a healthy eating habit program initiated by Beko, an international home appliance brand in the Philippines.

Healing through art and trees

NATURE and art can both lead to healing, so it is not surprising that a museum owned by a doctor provides both.

Three new prizes added to the Ateneo Art Awards 2018

THREE new awards were added to the roster of prizes given by The Ateneo Art Awards 2018, two for visual arts and one for the art criticism section.

Adi Alsaid is a rare bird in Young Adult fiction: he’s...

YOUNG ADULT (YA) fiction is dominated by women writers, but there are some men who have established their names in the genre, such as David Levithan and John Green, whose respective books, Every Day and The Fault in Our Stars, have been made into movies. Adi Alsaid is another young and male author who joins the gang. He likes the idea of his novels being turned into films just like the others’.

How to make classical music less intimidating

CLASSICAL music is often described as being “high culture,” “elite,” and “unreachable.” For Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) president Nick Lizaso — who described himself as a “layman” — these tags should be dropped and everything should be referred to simply as “music.”

The music is fun in Gee Gee at Waterina

THE music is queen in Gee Gee at Waterina, ang Musikal. The 11 songs, composed by Jesse Lucas, aid in the storytelling and add to the visual spectacle of the one-act play on stage.

8 movies to be screened at the International Silent Film Festival

WHILE MORE than half of the Philippines’ film collection has been lost forever because of the country’s lack of technology in conservation and restoration, and also of the lack of foresight over the importance of intact films, which includes silent movies, the Philippines is still able to join the 12th International Silent Film Festival, which will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 at the SM Megamall.

Recreating heroes’ favorite dishes for a special menu

WHO WANTS to try Dr. Jose Rizal’s “most favorite” dish, bistek? Or perhaps, taste Melchora Aquino’s tinolang manok na tagalog?

It takes two to dance ballet

IF EXPERIENCE is the best teacher, then prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde is a straight A-student. For 32 years she danced lead in 350 full-length ballets and performed in 90 cities on five continents. Retired from dancing since 2017, the A-student took on the role of teacher early in her career, melding both theory and practice in her teaching style. Among her best students is Ballet Manila’s guest principal dancer, Katherine Elizabeth Barkman, who is the only ballet dancer to win back-to-back medals from two of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.

Passion and art: Balag at Angud

ONE OF the toughest choices people have to make is choosing between work they love despite that offers little compensation or a job they hate but which pays the big bucks. What would you pick?

Bedazzled by bamboo

BAMBOO can be boring — a run-of-the-mill construction material, it doesn’t command attention unless when used as material for something unusual like bicycles or sunglasses. But for artist and fashion designer Anat Heifetz, the simple yet sturdy plants make for an interesting canvas.

Both the new and the old in focus in BM’s Tour...

BALLET MANILA (BM) is taking both the literal and figurative meanings of “Tour de Force” as the title of its 23rd season which opens in September.

Buy art. Help kids smile

ON VIEW at Solaire’s The Shoppes Artway gallery is an art exhibit for the benefit of kids with cleft palate in the Philippines.

Music and nostalgia in Eto na! Musikal nAPO!

ETO NA! Musikal nAPO! is bounded by time (it is set in 1975), but it is timeless in theme, and, of course, in music that transcends generations.

More than freaks and geeks at Atlantis’ Side Show

A BEARDED WOMAN, a Three-Legged Man, a Lizard Man, a Half-Man-Half Woman, and a Geek all enter the circus singing “come look at the freaks!” Sir, the ringmaster and the man behind the spectacle, then calls in the stars of the show: charming Siamese twins who can definitely sing. This is Broadway’s Side Show, which is coming to Manila on Aug. 31.

PHL loses cultural icons Guillermo and Guerrero-Nakpil

THE PHILIPPINES has lost two formidable women in the passing of historian and journalist Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, 96, and art critic Dr. Alice V. Guillermo, 80.

Ang Huling El Bimbo, with a smile

FILMMAKERS say that a story is good if it follows a full circle: the premise at the beginning is addressed at the ending. The premise, often confused with the plot, is the initial action of a narrative. Premise is hypothesis or the very reason why the story is being told, while plot is the story line.

Designing clothes with a story

AT SoFA Design Institute, madness breeds creativity — or is it the other way around? As a culminating activity for the school’s 24 fashion graduates this year, a public exhibition has been set up at Makati’s Power Plant Mall where original, eclectic, and whimsical clothes are on view.

Is the future of auction houses online?

WE’VE BEEN REDUCING our activities to the comforts of our small screens: shopping, dating, banking, studying, even attending funerals and masses. The same goes for art viewing and buying, as in the introduction of purely online auctions in the Philippines that started two years ago. Despite its convenience, the questions begs to be asked: How does technology disrupt the dynamics of traditional auctions?

A problem of language and art

IT SAYS something about the place of English as a language and medium of discourse in this country that for the first time since it started in 2014, the annual Ateneo Art Awards-Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism has received an essay written in Filipino. And despite any merits it may have, it cannot win precisely because of the language it is written in.

Cosmos, Legos, and Jinggoy Buensuceso’s distortions

A MAN WHO works in multiple mediums, artist Jinggoy Buensuceso demonstrates in his ongoing exhibition how he marries materials and methods.

Tweaking the classics

TINY SUNGLASSES that sit below the nose bridge and barely cover the eyes, according to fashion arbiters, are about to bid their farewell. Unsurprising: fads come and go. Choosing a classic style, after all, is still the best investment in fashion. But what if I tell you that an icon can still level up its A-game?

Awit ng barkada

THE popularity of jukebox musicals featuring the songs of a well-known performer (think Mamma Mia! and Rock of Ages) shows no sign of waning, particularly in the Philippines. While PETA has Rak of Aegis and Resorts World Manila has Eraserhead’s Ang Huling El Bimbo, 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live join in the musical fun with Eto na! Musikal nAPO!, which pays tribute to yet another local music icon, the APO Hiking Society.

Tam-Awan: Celebrating the Cordillera arts for 20 years

BAGUIO’s Tam-Awan Village is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a travelling art exhibition featuring artists it has worked with through the years. Naturally, some of the subjects are about nature, the culture of the Cordillera, and the indigenous peoples and their artefacts like a native bag or bracelet.

Say ‘yes’ to the dress

JOHN HERRERA, the Filipino designer who was named Britain’s Top Designer in 2017, has just opened his eponymous flagship store at Edsa Shangri-La Plaza. There, 10 to 15 pieces of his off-the-rack bridal gowns and evening dresses are available.

Love and lies

HOW CAN a man fall in love with someone without ever realizing — even after 20 years — that his lover is not a woman?

What is a fiesta without a band? This one has 14.

THE MERRYMAKING in traditional Filipino fiestas is never complete without the presence of a brass band or groups of instrumentalists that parade through the streets with their cheerful music. And this fiesta will be brought to the stage of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on July 20 to 22 thanks to the 14 bands and orchestra groups that will perform in Banda Rito, Banda Roon.

Grab Philippines launches food delivery service, plans to offer financial services

GRAB Philippines on Thursday launched an on-demand food delivery service in key cities in Metro Manila, as part of the company’s vision to become a “everyday app” for Filipino consumers.

Gee Gee at Waterina: More than a gay story

HOW DO old gays survive when all the glamor and glimmer of their heyday finally come to the inevitable curtain call? This is the premise of the play Gee Gee at Waterina ang Musikal.

Shocking, charming, timely stories at this year’s Virgin Lab Fest

THERE’S A reason why Tulad ng Dati was sandwiched between two comedy-filled Virgin Lab Fest entries: it’s shocking.

Abstract or figurative? Or maybe both

NO visual artist is ever one dimensional. They may start off working on still lifes, and end up pursuing abstract images, or the other way around. They may even start playing with sculptures and installations. But it is almost always certain that artists have one medium they are most comfortable to work with. But Renaissance Art Gallery’s ongoing exhibition called Ambidextrous recognizes and celebrates the duality, even multiplicity, of some visual artists’ skills in moving from one medium, technique, or style to another.

Spain’s Unfinished business

SPAIN’s 2016 entry at the Venice Architecture Biennale has found a temporary home at the reconstructed San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, the Walled City of Manila.

What’s in a name?

AN ONGOING exhibition at the Ayala Museum called Historia showcases 54 artworks that span the history of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) from 1851 when BPI was still called Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II to today’s modern art in keeping with today’s modern bank.

Ballet Manila brings Asian and American dancers together on one stage

EAST MEETS WEST and converge onstage as Ballet Manila presents American Stars Gala, a one-night only concert that features some of today’s brightest and...

Virgin Labfest presents a Marawi-inspired musical alongside an EJK play and...

BESIDES the usual stories of friendship and romance, the Virgin Labfest’s entries this year include stories on social issues like extrajudicial killings and the effects of the seige of Marawi.

Long Live Print: Tirada exhibit shows 50 years of printmaking

LIKE BOOKS, newspapers, and magazines that struggle to survive the digital and paperless world, print, as a form of art, is also confronted by the same dilemma — and more.

Binondo looks at the Chinese-Filipino experience of love

THE NEW MUSICAL Binondo: A Tsinoy Musical sheds light on plight of Filipino-Chinese through the prism of a love story.

Air Supply’s songs are highlight in RWM’s next musical

MAKING MUSICALS based on the popular songs of established musical stars seems to be the thing to do — abroad, think Mama Mia! which features the songs of ABBA, and locally, there is PETA’s popular water-logged musical Rak of Aegis, which features the songs of the popular jukebox band Aegis. Now Resorts World Manila (RWM) is getting into the game, presenting two musicals based on existing popular music. First announced was Ang Huling El Bimbo which features the iconic songs of local band the Eraserheads which will run from July 20 to Aug. 26 at RWM’s Newport Performing Arts Theater. This will be followed up in October with All Out of Love the Musical featuring the hits of Australian soft rock duo Air Supply.

Artist Pfrommer goes on blurring the lines

LAST YEAR, German artist-photographer Sven Pfrommer showcased a two-part portrait series and photo installations of Manila’s construction workers in what he called their “contemporary fashion style” — wearing a T-shirt turned into a face mask, which protects them from heat and dust while working. Mr. Pfrommer is back, but this time, his subjects are random and blurry.