Wednesday, January 10, 2007

FABIAN: An Artist worth remembering

In the art circle, the name "Fabian de la Rosa" never rings a bell. It is because nobody pays attention to his works or probably, he has been forgotten for the past centuries and has never been taught or introduced to the younger generation. I also have to accept that I was not knowledgeable about him and his works and never seen one until I was involved in an artbook project of and UP Jorge Vargas Museum.

Later did I realized that "Lolo Fabian" was a vital link that bridges two generations of artists. My research on his life allows me to know that De La Rosa was the direct heir to the artistic traditions set forth by homegrown talent Simon Flores, his uncle and first teacher, and by the European-trained Hidalgo and Luna. He was also the first Filipino director of the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts (1926-38), and then became the mentor of Fernando and Pablo Amorsolo.

This little known master was the first Filipino painter that made an indelible mark to the visual art circle with the rest of the best in the world. Now, his famous masterpiece was already in the possession of the Malacanan Museum.

With the ongoing book project, I was able to meet different art lover and collectors who enthusiastically and proudly showed their collections on Fabian. Through them I have been able to understand his works, as a man and a true master of his generation. One of the collections that I had admired are those of the lovely Que couple. They have nine of Fabian's works and they allow us to take photos for its inclusion to our book project. Thru them, we are able to trace his other famous paintings that are really worth a story. The Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation Collection has the infamous "Portrait of Purita Kalaw" when she was 18 years old and it was his entry in the World's Art Fair in Spain.

The National Museum has also nine paintings of Fabian and one of those was already perceived to have been eaten by fire long time ago. Those paintings that I took with my "photog" friend were not available for display at the Vargas Museum and was so eager and enthusiastic to have it included in the book without worrying its deadline for the press.

With this experience, I have been able to discover his value and real place in the Philippine Art Circle. His contributions to the art is something the younger generation should look into and witness a work of a master that had shaped our well-known artists of today.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Vacation in Baguio

FireplaceAt last, a vacation was fulfilled after the hurdles in the office. But still has to work in baguio for a day meeting with our librarian/editor and to give the indexing of the book that is already scheduled for the press. The Xmas break is the only time that I should pursue since the coming year is expected to be tight with deadlines and activities.

Anyway, three days and two nights in a cozy old house of my "Ninong Lloyd" is something that I cherished and thankful about. At least, I have saved money for other expenses as we stroll all over this romantic place with my wife, my little prince and my younger siblings.

This is my second long trip with my family for a vacation. We have been to my hometown in Bicol few months ago and now here we are in the summer capital of the Philippines-Baguio City.


Burnham This lushious public park did not change at all since our my last visit here for the Panagbenga Fest last 2004 except for additional commercial establishments that sorrounds and within the area. The usual group of bikers and swan boating in the lagoon was a common scene. More pedlers are scattered in the park offering their merchandise they carry on their hands. I bought my kid a knitted cap since the temperature is getting cold during late afternoon.

We took first our lunch in a seafood restaurant inside the park as I waited for the text message of our editor. The food was truly amazing and we have eaten so much. Vegetables here were fresh and we enjoyed their tropical drinks.


Burnham_boating To loosen our stomach, we decided to stroll the park and have decided to go swan boating as a request by my wife. Mind you, this is my first boating in the lagoon here in baguio. Me and my wife have never tried that when were still dating. My son really enjoyed the ride and keep on calling other children in other boats.


Chadmom2 Early in the morning of our second day, we started in this famous landmark of baguio. We stop in here to thank and ask for guidance as we stroll our list of itineraries. I also thank the Lord for giving us chance to visit here with my family. The Cathedral was still on its fame and more people flock to this place when they visited this city. There's already vendors in the side walls of the church where you can buy souvenirs and delicacies.

Chad3Cathedral Our visit was just in time 'coz we have witness a wedding ceremony. The long aisle of the cathedral was a dreamed of every young couples. The red carpet, nice flower arrangement and glowing chandeliers added to the elegance and sacredness of the wedding.


Botanical This park in noted for igorots on their costumes waiting for tourist souvenir photos for a fee. This is a good alternative income for these aborigines but it seems, they are being tolerated to depend on this type of income generation. Sometimes they already victimizing the tourist for their pictorial fee. This should be regulated and there must be a clear guidelines for these people on their business.

Family Anyway, I just can't stop myself from giving feedback to what I observed so at least future visitors would be wary before transacting photo-op with these people. Good for me, I have shut my flash, so they have no idea that I was taking their pictures : )

The garden is not as lushfull as before. Flowers are seldom seen..well may be its not yet February...but I found the place lack of flowering plants and constant maintenance for the park is required.

We have photo op with the giant carvings of local legends being displayed in strategic parts of the park. My kid was so amazed with these giants and had enjoyed running around the area.


Eating_1 What I don't like about this place is that, it is so crowded with tiange and mini-stores. If I am new to the place, I can't able to identify the location of the Mine's View park. These stalls that hide the natural view of the park should be relocated in place suited for them. The park should be cleared so as to have more space for tourist to room around and enjoy the place.

On the contrary, the cold breeze is something you cannot buy on this place plus the breath- taking scenery of lushful forest. Food in restaurants are also nice and an order of "chopsuey" is a good start.

The Good Shepherd Seminary is becoming more popular because of their cooperative that produces local delicacies such as strawberry and jam. It is just a walk away from the Mine's view park and you can experience a long line of people waiting their turn to during peak season. Thou their goods are a bit pricey, you can assure of the quality product plus the assurance that it follows the rules of sanitation.


Manor It was my first time to visit Fort del Pilar, where our famous military officers today have sculptured their bodies and mind with the gospel of love and service to our countrymen. PMA is really a stop that you should not missed. If you have visited Camp Fort Bonifacio, this one is an experience that is worth to tell. The place is cool with heavy fogs embracing the tall pine tress that surrounds this military facility.

Chad2 Vintage planes and tanks are on display and I was happy that my little boy can already recognize this objects that he usually see in his story and picture books. We have just stayed here for an hour because we are running out of time.

Afterwards, we went to Camp John Hay, I have been here two years ago when I covered the Panagbenga Fest. I want to bring my family the Club House but it was closed because of the presence of our "Madame President" who was in baguio to rest and holds the Rizal day celebration. We'll, we just went to Manor Hotel where we have refreshment and relax.

My son was so excited when he sees children of his age and play with them as we stroll the place while having a souvenir pix. The accommodation here is a bit expensive but you could have an experience to its fireplace and log-made hotel. The design structure is also one of a kind here in the Philippines. When you are there, its like you are in Paris or in United kingdom.

We'll, that was 3 days and 2 nights in baguio. Tiring but rewarding but at least I have comply with my promise. I have spent my time with my family and at the same time have a relaxing place like this to visit. My next stop would be...

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