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Manila an art paradise

What is obvious is Manila, or the Philippines, today has become an art paradise.



I love looking at art. I may not be able to give you an intellectual explanation of what’s painted on a canvas, but I know exactly what I like. Maybe I could even relate a piece of art to my life experience, but I would not go beyond what I am capable of and pretend to be an expert.

Whether I am the rule or the exception, there is no telling. What is obvious is Manila, or the Philippines, today has become an art paradise. We are a talented people. But one need not wonder because the masters of the past have left a legacy of world-class fine arts, their works fetching such large amounts beyond the expectations of the artists and collectors. Now, even our young artists, creating beyond the imaginable, are also being acquired, some of them making millions with just one painting.

I recently attended a viewing party featuring art works for auction to benefit the Asian Cultural Council Foundation Inc. This was in cooperation with Leon Gallery which, through the years, has been responsible for the auction of a number of art pieces obtained by the country’s top art aficionados.

The gathering of the beautiful and cultured took place at the new Bloom Café and Bar of Ching and Phillip Cruz in Greenbelt. This is one restaurant that I love because of its nice décor. I am fascinated by the paintings displayed on the wall. And, of course, the food is very delicious.

I am glad that the Asian Cultural Council Auction is in support of its Fellowship Program for Filipino Artists. It only means that we are taking care of our own, which is important. It matters a lot that we develop our own talents, although, if we can afford it, we should still send them abroad so they will be exposed to various influences and techniques.

Later, the viewing party continued in Leon Gallery at Eurovilla, Legaspi Village, which I attended also. So many friends were there, all extremely passionate when it comes to the visual arts. But if the people who came surprised me, I was even more impressed there were so many works of Filipino masters and National Artists on exhibit and ready for auction.

So, who said one can’t make a lot of moolah on art?