CCP Cultural Exchange Presents Mabuhay PH for OFWS in Europe

The CCP through its Cultural Exchange Department (CED) presents Mabuhay Philippines!, a cultural awareness and arts appreciation program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and migrants, on October 20 to November 6, 2023 in selected communities in Europe.

Now on its 5th edition, Mabuhay Philippines will feature The Nightingales, composed of sopranos Bianca Camille Lopez-Aguila and Keiko Cressida Cayanga. The tour program will also include lecture demonstrations-workshops on Mindanao dance-theater by Professors Cecile B. Mambuay and Lolito M. Pontillas of Marawi/Cagayan de Oro and Agusan del Sur, and puni leaf art by Marichelle S. Bernardo of Malolos-Bulacan.

When it was first implemented in 2013 and 2014, Mabuhay Philippines brought the world-renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers for concerts and workshops in Singapore and Hongkong. In 2015, the CED facilitated the performance tour of CCP Gawad Awardee Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation, Inc. in various Filipino communities in Prague, Vienna, and Venice.

In 2018, the program brought the Song Weavers Phils. and Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe to Changwon City, South Korea for the Arirang Migrant Workers Cultural Festival. The program has been well-received in the three countries, with OFWs and Filipino migrants expressing their appreciation of the program.

For the Europe tour this year, the first leg featured concerts by the Song Weavers Philippines in June and July 2023 in Belgium, Germany, and France.

The last leg will have concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. These are in partnership with the Filipino Catholic Community of Gouda, Team Blended of Bonn, Philippine Catholic Community of Cologne, and the Parroquia Immaculada Concepción Y San Lorenzo Ruiz in Barcelona.

The Nightingales concert program is a vibrant fusion of musical styles, featuring Filipino folk songs that celebrate cultural heritage, powerful operatic performances that will showcase the soprano duo’s vocal prowess, catchy pop tunes to captivate a modern audience, and heartwarming Christmas songs to spread holiday cheer.

The Mabuhay Philippines concert tour is organized by CED, led by department manager Chinggay Jasareno-Bernardo, with The Nightingales artistic director Alfred Allan Samonte and production manager/videographer John Ryan Aguila.

For more information, contact the CCP Cultural Exchange at 832-3674, or e-mail, or through the CCP CED Facebook page.
#CCP #MabuhayPhilippines #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Discover ‘A New Contemporary’: 15 Must-See Highlights at ManilART’23

From October 11 to 15, 2023, the national art fair celebrates its 15th year in grandeur with the theme “A New Contemporary,” which pays homage to the past while propelling the fair into its exciting future. On its fifteenth edition, it bridges past, present, and future – fairgoers can marvel at the works of established artistic forefathers and interact with next-generation immersive exhibits under one roof. As a flagship project of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, ManilART’23 commemorates 15 years of Filipino creative brilliance during Museums and Galleries Month.

Our journey to explore this dynamic artistic landscape begins here. Moving from front to back, here are 15 picks from ManilART’23:

Orlina Art Cars. At the lobby, you will be greeted by Ramon Orlina’s captivating art cars, creations by and collaborations with the celebrated glass sculptor. These painted vintage cars channel the vibrant colors and psychedelic styles of the 1970s, providing a sneak peek into Orlina’s profound passion for vehicles and three-dimensional artistry — offering a preview of what’s to come at the upcoming Orlina Art Car Museum. (Pre-function Lobby/SMX Entrance)


Champagne Fountain by Ramon Orlina at The Estate Lounge. Detour to Hall 1. The Ledesma Champagne Fountain graces The Estate Makati Lounge at ManilART’23, serving as the centerpiece of The Wine Room. With its peridot hues designed to enhance the allure of sparkling wine, it adds a multisensorial experience to visual and gustatory appreciation. Partner Novellino Wines, a proud Filipino brand, supplies the fountain with super-chilled, free-flowing Vivace Sparkling White Wine. The Estate Lounge, meantime, gives visitors a sneak peak of the luxury and opulence of their soon-to-stand prime Ayala Avenue address as designed by world-class builders and adorned with the art of Filipino masters. (Hall 1 Lounge)

Ali Alejandro Digital Art (AADA) Installation. Stepping into the future, ManilART features new media, phygital art, and augmented reality, including Ali Alejandro’s Installation Art presented on a large LED screen. Through this new media, digital artists like Alejandro have limitless possibilities to project illusions of reality, utilizing materials that span from projections to sculptural pieces. Alejandro specifically created his digital art installation to celebrate 15 years of ManilART. (Hall 1 Lobby, LED stage)

Ombok Villamor (OMVI) Art Gallery. Inside the main exhibit hall, sculptures by its owner-namesake artist Ombok Villamor resemble tessellations of corals, forming organic shapes that evoke both surreal and contemporary elements. His recent works convey the dynamic energy and beauty of aquatic life, inspired by his surroundings on the shores of Samar in the Philippines. (Booth A1)

Marge Organo and Raisa Luz at Galleria Nicolas. Galleria Nicolas showcases a mother-and-daughter duo of glass sculptors, Marge Organo and Raisa Luz. Organo, a collector favorite at ManilART, creates contemporary abstract works that evoke relatable and intimate

scenes, captivating viewers with her generous use of color. Luz specializes in kiln-formed glass art, producing opalescent and transparent glass pieces that highlight her commitment to the craft and artistic development. (Booth A2)

Romulo Galicano and Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines (PASPI). Galicano, the country’s top figurative realist, delivers another masterpiece in his ongoing Climate Change series that offers social commentary about the spate of catastrophic changes in the world just in the past two decades with his work “The Messengers of Geoengineering”. He leads PASPI, a group dedicated to realist/romantic realist style in painting and portraiture based out of Manila and Cebu. Many notable painters today emerged from the group. (Booth B2)

Artes Orientes highlights the vibrant abstractions of Macoy Coching. Grandson of National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco Coching, the scion, a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas College of Fine Arts, has since made a name for himself with his distinctive colorist abstractions. In “La Luna Llena”, his signature waves set the stage for Moonscapes– depictions of full moons glowing above serene, iridescent waves. In high contrast are the steampunk works of sculptor Ram Mallari, Jr. Brute force and size grab the viewer’s attention with his statement pieces. Flawless execution of an 8-foot tall Spartan warrior makes Mallari’s mastery of the style and medium evident. (Booth C1)

Junyee, Vinluan and Aviado. The Artologist presents a triumvirate of the country’s most senior artists including Luis “Junyee” Yee Jr., Nestor Vinluan and Virgilio “Pandy” Aviado. Junyee is hailed as the “Father of Installation Art in the Philippines,” celebrated for his lifelong dedication to documenting Filipino life and creatively using indigenous materials. Dean Vinluan’s work, meanwhile, embodies his visual thinking style– works that bring abstraction to a higher, spiritual plane. Pandy Aviado is renowned as the top figure in Philippine printmaking, leaving an indelible legacy in the medium. (Booth A7)

Featured Artists at the Annual Sculpture Review (ASR). The ASR, an annual gathering of Filipino sculptors, which is now on its 19th year, showcases the most innovative works of its collection at the fair. Among the year’s highlights is Roen Capule, known for his surrealist subjects crafted from metal and molded resin. Wood master Agi Pagkatipunan is back with his highly-imaginative functional art that uses only the best local hardwoods. Meanwhile, Jinggoy Salcedo delivers a forest of trees in stainless steel and borosilicate glass. More glass of the highest artistic caliber is delivered from the House of Orlina led by the patriarch Ramon Orlina, with scions Anna Orlina and Michael Orlina, who themselves have created a following for their distinctive work in the medium. (Booth B5)

Espacio Manila has both young and veteran artists side by side. The works of Jerika See and Jean Govinda Marquesto stand side by side with those of Mayi Penaflorida and Roger San Miguel. Penaflorida’s doll-faced characters make intriguing wall mates with See’s top view slice-of-life scenes and contrast with San Miguel’s traditional figurism and Marquesto’s abstraction. (Booth B6)

RDS Gallery. Danny Rayos del Sol’s eponymous RDS Gallery is a mainstay at ManilART and a must-visit. He is an artist known for his prolific ostrich egg art and has ventured into the canvas medium, incorporating fresh techniques that blend figurative painting with collage, interspersing traditional subjects with distinct Filipino weaves. (Booth D3)

Jose Tence Ruiz at Galerie Artes. Bogie Ruiz is back with his acerbic social commentary with the work “Neo-Makapil in Blue Croc” alluding to an icon of shame in Philippine history. He is now clad in Birkins and Louboutins and the visual rant goes on. The multimedia painter, sculptor, illustrator, designer and performance artist never fails to deliver a punch with his strong composition and bold colors. (Booth D6)

Entre Blanc: A Multisensory Exhibit. Entre Blanc returns for its sophomore edition, offering an interactive exhibit that engages viewers through multiple senses. Thirteen visual artists collaborate with a music composer-producer, drawing inspiration from his music to create unique artworks. This immersive experience of sight and sound resonates on multiple levels, exploring inspiration through different senses. (Booth D7)

Adeste Deguilmo at Daloy Likha. Another pride of Cebu, who studied under the Cebuano master Martino Abellana, is international award-winning painter Deguilmo. He brings his figurative canvases portraying traditional subjects in more contemporary style under the banner of gallery and publisher Daloy Likha. (Booth D8)

Invitational Sketching by Masters. An event rather than a permanent booth is the on-the-spot invitational sketching which happens at the Estate Lounge on October 14, Saturday afternoon, with top portraitists including Raul Isidro, Hermes Alegre, Caloy Gabuco, Gig de Pio, Celso Pepito, Al Perez, Cee Cadid, Jun Impas and more. Special sitter will be Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano wearing a Filipiniana dress. (Hall 1 Lounge)


ManilART23 will be held from October 11-15, 2023 at the SMX Convention Center, 3rd Level, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City. Call (0977) 807 3369 or visit for details.


 #ManilART23 #ANewContemporary #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

ManilART ‘23 celebrates the ‘New Contemporary’

With celebrations tempered by three years of pandemic, ManilART’23 returns as a festival and fellowship of artists, collectors and aficionados with a grand Gala opening night on October 11 at the SMX Convention Center Taguig. This marks a triumphant return to form while integrating exciting new offerings, embodying the fair’s theme of “A New Contemporary.”

Embracing change and honoring legacies have become integral aspects of navigating the ever-evolving landscape of the post-pandemic era. The rituals of the invitational opening gala and vernissage stylishly signify our victories hurdling the challenges of prior years, underscoring our resolve to embrace new beginnings. Guests are invited to come in their celebratory attire ready to immerse in art and excellence.

 Selected Fair Highlights

Thirty-two booths open to the public over the five-day run bringing together over two hundred artists. Veteran and renowned names including Junyee, Ramon Orlina, Romulo Galicano, Tiny Nuyda, Jose Tence Ruiz, Pandy Aviado, and Edwin Wilwayco are joined by next-generation stars including Kublai Millan, Marge Organo, Demi Padua, Marco Coching, Ombok Villamor, and Anna Orlina.

The fair is an annual venue to showcase bigger and unusual works as will be seen in the large format pieces of Ram Mallari, Jik Villanueva, Agi Pagkatipunan, Jinggoy Salcedo and more. The fair also continues to make space for new media, with digital and interdisciplinary expressions exhibited alongside more traditional mediums. Art For Space and G9 Online are among the booths that will showcase emerging art forms including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and digital and video art.

Two special exhibitions will be presented onsite with partner Museo Orlina. The first shall feature art cars designed by Orlina including collaborations with artists Bencab and Marcel Antonio. Meanwhile, a multi-sensorial experience awaits at the Estate Lounge, co-presented with The Estate Makati. The centerpiece of this VIP Lounge is the stunning Ledesma Champagne Fountain designed by the glassmaster. The fountain made of carved glass and  stainless steel shall serve free-flowing Vivace sparkling wine courtesy of sponsor Novellino Wines, a proudly-Filipino brand. The Estate Lounge is a premier joint offering of SMDC and Federal Land that promises to give fairgoers a taste of the quality and opulence offered at their prime property soon to be unveiled in the heart of Makati.

The Estate Lounge shall likewise host an invitational afternoon sketching by master portraitists. Raul Isidro, Gig de Pio, Cee Cadid, Al Perez, Caloy Gabuco, Grandier Bella, and Hermes Alegre are among the names to sketch special guest sitter and host city of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, who shall wear a dress by a Filipino designer.

Also back are the walking tours which shall be conducted for Taguig public school students as well as, by request, to school and group tours and a limited number of open sign-ups. The full fair calendar shall be made available on ManilART social media pages and home page. Find @manilartfair on Instagram and Facebook.

A new art world of interconnectivity  

Having gone through the crucible of global challenge, ManilART’23 retains the gains of being thrust onto the online sphere and continues to develop its online viewing platform and portals.  These digital spaces allow for simultaneous, multi-location and satellite exhibitions, offering a  larger showcase that brings art to wider audiences, allowing them to engage with art from the  comfort of their own spaces. Satellite exhibitions include projects with Museo Orlina, the Manila Clock Tower, Ap’Laya Art Gallery, Galerie du Soleil, and Viaje 2 at the Carousel de Louvre. The full ManilART exhibition shall be viewable online by 360 walk-through beginning October 12 at

National Museums and Galleries Month of October

As the flagship project for Museums and Galleries Month of the National Commission on  Culture and the Arts, ManilART’23 continues to abide by its mandate to strengthen the Creative Economy and promote Philippine visual artistry through supporting art galleries, museums, and  associated institutions.

This year’s participating exhibitors are OMVI Art Gallery, Galleria Nicolas, M Gallery MNL, Ysobel Art Gallery, AT Art Gallery, Renaissance Art Gallery, The Artologist Gallery, Art for Space  Gallery PH, Gallery du Soleil MNL, Portrait Artists’ Society of the Philippines, Inc., Galerie  Raphael, Gallery Nine, Annual Sculpture Review, Espacio Manila, Artes Orientes, Historia Arts,  371 Art Space, Village Art Gallery, Drybrush Gallery, Art Circle Gallery, Rayos Del Sol Gallery,  Art/Space* Galeria Bañez, NAMI Art Gallery, Galerie Artes, G9Online, Daloy Likha Art Gallery,  Artalyer Art Gallery, and Visual Central Art Gallery.

ManilART’23 runs from October 11 to 15, 2023 at the SMX Aura Convention Center, Taguig City.

ManilART’23 is supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Museums and  Galleries Month, BAGO, Ladder Events Productions, The Estate Makati, SMDC, SMX  Convention Center Aura, SM Supermalls, Museo Orlina, Novellino Wines, Grentek Solutions  Inc., Vision, Think Big Taguig, I Love Taguig, Future Studios, Phoundry, BDO,,  Giffard, Via Mare, Sebastiao Cocktails, ANC, Daloy Likha,, Manila Bulletin,, Inquirer POP!, Be An Inquirer, Scout,, Cebu Daily News, DZAR 1026,  Experience Travel & Living, Frontpage PH, Klik.PH, Metro.Style, People’s Journal, Pilipino  Mirror, SMNI Channel, The Manila Times, and

#ManilART23 #ANewContemporary #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Music Educator-Artist Michelle Nikki Junia is New CCP President Ad Interim

Early childhood educator and performing artist Michelle Nikki Junia is the new President Ad Interim of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, starting September 1, 2023.  She was elected by the CCP Board of Trustees on August 16, 2023.

Junia, who has been with the CCP as board trustee since 2016, replaced Maria Margarita Moran-Floirendo who now holds the CCP’s ad interim co-vice chairperson position together with Atty. Lorna P. Kapunan.

Junia has a degree in Music Education major in voice (cum laude) at the UST Conservatory of Music.  She was under the tutelage of Maestra Irma Ponce-Enrile Potenciano.  Her love for teaching music and stage performance started at the young age of 15.

A former child singer and an original member of the 14K (scholars of National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab), Junia, whose family hails from Tolosa, Leyte, has performed all over the Philippines as well as in key Asian countries and in the United States.  She released a record album in 2009 entitled “Back in time”, which was hailed by media for her captivating music prowess and aptly accorded a title the “singer with a mission”.

Likewise, Junia did voice training in California, USA with the most sought after vocal coach in Hollywood: Seth Riggs.  Known for his “speech level singing technique”, Seth’s students included virtually the “who’s who” of the world’s top performers such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Barbara Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, and many more.

Presently, she manages and owns a school MUSIKGARTEN MANILA.  Junia was appointed a seat in the Board of Trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in October 2016.

Junia looks forward to making the CCP programs known to the younger audiences that compose a large chunk of the country’s population through art integration and digital technology. “It won’t be as difficult for some people to reach out to CCP because they may be able to relate to me,” says Nikki who coincidentally is the youngest CCP president to hold the said position. “We have great programs, and need to catch up in promotions and marketing due to advancement in technology, including social media and other various digital platforms.  These are the areas that I want to work on as soon as possible,” she adds.  “The new direction is towards integration and inclusivity.  Integration, meaning the old being understood and appreciated by the new generation.  Inclusivity, meaning CCP is for all, regardless of social and economic status and gender, we started this with Kanto Kultura programs and other CCP programs,” Junia said.

“CCP is being more relevant now,” Junia explains. “We are truly evolving, and being sensitive to the needs of the rising fast-paced needs of this era.  With that in mind, we want to expand our reach to a bigger number of audiences, and continue what our past CCP presidents have done in terms of doing outreach programs.  Especially now that the CCP building is being rehabilitated for preservation and retrofitting, it is important to bring CCP to the various regions to make them feel that CCP is present.  CCP is not just a building.  We’re bringing the soul of CCP to the greater number of people around the country.   And we also want to continue our cultural exchanges to better promote them.”

Junia also said that during her term as CCP President she will help to awaken Filipinos in finding their own place in the artistic global industry, uplifting their status as artists, and educating the families on the importance of arts and culture.

#MichelleNikkiJunia #CCPPresident #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Artifract, fine art NFT pioneer, secures seed investment from tech industry veteran

“Going once, going twice – sold!” exclaims Brian Poe Llamanzares, a founding partner of art dealing company Unit 256 Ventures, as the gavel goes down on yet another successful art auction. The winning bidder: Elmer “Jojo” Malolos, tech veteran and most recent investor in Unit 256’s latest innovation. The lot: a digital collectible from National Artist Vicente Manansala’s very first NFT collection. As with all Unit 256’s auction events to date, the collection sold out.

What began as a shared love for fine art became an obsession with making that art more accessible to the general investing public. Celebrated artists like Juvenal Sanso command dizzyingly high gavel prices on auction – and rightly so, given their incredible artistic and cultural value. And yet, the founders asked themselves, shouldn’t every person have the chance to own and appreciate a part of the greatest works of human creativity?

Democratizing masterpieces

Founded in 2022, Unit 256 Ventures is a leading innovator in the world of asset tokenization. Asset tokenization refers to the process of converting rights to an asset into a digital token on a blockchain. This process makes it possible to divide an asset into smaller, more affordable shares that can be easily and securely bought and sold. The group’s five founders are: Brian (concurrently CEO of Pantheon Holdings), Edison Tsai (President of Seedin Technology), Magellan Fetalino (Entrepreneur-in-Residence of UBX Philippines Corporation), Stephanie Oller (Managing Director of Market Connect, Inc), and Marvin Agustin (CEO of Yummyverse Holdings, Inc).

Leveraging the founders’ strengths in startup ventures and frontier technologies, blockchain became the logical path to democratizing access to fine art masterpieces. Soon, Artifract was born through a partnership between Unit 256 and UBX Philippines Corporation, the fintech company of the Unionbank of the Philippines.

Artifract is a pioneer in Fine Arts NFTs in Asia. Working alongside art estates, museums, private collectors, and artists, the company digitizes fine art masterpieces into NFTs, then fractionalizes them into one-of-a-kind tiles, turning these artworks into limited collections.

This model is built on a concept called fractional ownership, wherein several unrelated parties can share in ownership of a high-value tangible asset, such as real estate or fine art. In this case, it refers to dividing a piece of art into smaller shares – or tiles – that people can buy, thereby owning a “fraction” of the artwork. Regular tiles from these collections are often sold on their website, along with a limited edition giclee (or high quality reproduction), for P30,000 to P50,000 each. Premium tiles, highlighting special details or artist signatures, are auctioned off during events. In one case, a signature tile netted P250,000.

A global movement

Bringing this level of innovation to a traditional art market was no small task. But the Artifract team found ready partners in like-minded, forward-thinking institutions. Since its inception, the company has partnered with leading art estates like Fundacion Sanso representing celebrated national artists such as Juvenal Sanso, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, and Abdulmari Imao.

And these partnerships aren’t limited to local masters. Today, Artifract is the exclusive Asian partner of Belvedere Museum. One of the leading museums worldwide, Belvedere is home to some of the most celebrated artworks in history, including pieces from Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, and Gustav Klimt. Through this partnership, Filipino art collectors can log on to the Artifract website and purchase their very own piece of Klimt’s most famous work—The Kiss, as part of Belvedere’s The Kiss NFT initiative.

“It’s a partnership we’re very proud of, and one that we feel really captures the incredible new world we’re hoping to shape,” said Edison, Artifract’s president. “One where anyone, wherever in the world they’re from, can claim a part of the greatest works of human creativity—democratizing access to our shared global cultural heritage.”

A new vision for fine art

It’s precisely this vision that caught the attention of veteran tech investor Jojo Malolos, whose bona fides include being the former CEO of Wing Bank (digital bank in Cambodia), the former CEO of JG Digital Ventures (the venture arm of the Gokongwei Group), the former Chairman of Gotyme Bank (digital bank of the Gokongwei Group), and currently the CEO of payments solution startup Paymongo. Jojo has since joined Artifract as a seed investor, supporting the company as it grows beyond auctions and digital tiles.

Veteran tech investor Jojo Malolos.

“There is definitely something here, and I want to be part of things I know can be big in the future,” Jojo said. “I am also a believer that art should be for everyone.”

Today, Artifract has set its sights on more ways to utilize blockchain technology to democratize access to fine art. While there is much promise in minting and fractionalizing authentic digital versions of masterpieces, the team is now looking for ways to use this model of fractional ownership to allow investors to own portions of the actual physical artworks as well.

“Artifract is set to change the art landscape regionally,” Edison said. “And we are looking for more like minded people to join us and invest in that vision.”


#Artifract, #NFTArtCollection #ArtifractPartnerships #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

From 2020 Vision to ‘A New Contemporary’: ManilART’23

The country’s national art fair proudly announces its milestone 15th year with the theme “A New Contemporary.” ManilART’23 will be held from October 11 to 15, 2023 at the SMX Aura Convention Center, Taguig City.


This marks the culmination of a series of themes that ManilART explored over the most recent years, emphasizing the legacy and tradition of Philippine art, while embracing new perspectives and the incorporation of new media.

Leading up to this milestone and beyond

In 2020, the art fair faced the year’s unprecedented challenges head-on with the theme 2020 Vision for a Future Reimagined, ready to take on the country’s evolving artistic landscape. In 2021, Continuing Legacies highlighted the art fair’s journey as a platform for the arts, celebrating tried and tested methods and paying homage to the artists behind its success. And in 2022, Forging Futures captured the spirit of progress as the fair began to navigate a post-pandemic world, ushering in a new era of artistic exploration.

This year signals “A New Contemporary” as ManilART continues its commitment to excellence, built upon each iteration of its evolving journey–bridging traditional and contemporary, providing a space for an ever-expanding spectrum of old and new media expression in the visual arts.

From functional to phygital: offerings at ManilART23

At ManilART’23, there’s surely something for everyone. The art fair shall showcase a diverse range of exhibits, featuring both traditional and interdisciplinary expressions. Attendees can explore captivating canvas-based and sculptural works, as well as delve into the world of functional and technology-based art. The fair also embraces various media, including automotive art and design, digital art, sound art, and emerging forms like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and phygital media.

ManilART also returns as a festival and fellowship for all art lovers via the grand gala opening, as well as VIP vernissage, artist night and various planned social and artistic engagements for collectors, artists and art aficionados. The milestone 15th year also celebrates the fair’s uninterrupted annual staging and having come out more responsive to the times.

A new art world of interconnectivity

Having gone through the crucible of global challenge, ManilART’23 retains the gains of being thrust onto the online sphere and continues to develop its online viewing platform and portals. These digital spaces allow for simultaneous, multi-location and satellite exhibitions, offering a larger showcase that brings art to wider audiences, allowing them to engage with art from the comfort of their own spaces.

ManilART’23 shall continue to partner with satellite exhibitions around the country as well as expand its onsite offering through collaborations. In the lineup include projects with Museo Orlina, The Estate, Silangan Art Fair, Barasoain Church and the Manila Clock Tower.

As the flagship project for Museums and Galleries Month of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, ManilART’23 continues to abide by its mandate to strengthen creative economy and promote Philippine visual artistry through supporting art galleries, museums, and associated institutions.

This year’s participating exhibitors are OMV Art Gallery, Galleria Nicolas, M Gallery MNL, Ysobel Art Gallery, AT Gallery, Renaissance Art Gallery, Artologist, Art for Space, Gallery du Soleil, Portrait Artists’ Society of the Philippines, Inc., Galerie Raphael, Gallery Nine, Annual Sculpture Review, Espacio Manila, Artes Orientes, Historia Arts, 371 Art Space, Village Art Gallery, Drybrush, Art Circle, Rayos Del Sol Gallery, Galerie Banez, NAMI, Galerie Artes, G9Online, Daloy Likha, Artalyer, and VCM.

ManilART’23 is supported by The Estate Makati, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Museums and Galleries Month, BAGO, SMX Convention Center Aura, Ladder Productions, Museo Orlina, Grentek Solutions Inc., Vision, Think Big Taguig, I Love Taguig, SM Aura Premier, Future Studios, Phoundry, BDO Credit Cards,, Giffard, Via Mare, Sebastiao Cocktails, ANC, Daloy Likha,, Cebu Daily News,, Inquirer POP!, Be An Inquirer, Scout,, The Manila Times,, SMNI News Channel,  DZAR 1026, Metro.Style, People’s Journal, Frontpage PH, Klik.PH, Experience Travel & Living Magazine, and Pilipino Mirror.


ManilART23 is set to run from October 1115, 2023, at the SMX Convention Center, 3rd Level, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City. Call (0977) 807 3369 or visit for details.


#ManilART23 #15thyear #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph


Animated Film ‘Iti Mapukpukaw’ named Best Film in Cinemalaya 19

Animated film Iti Mapukpukaw made history as it brought home the Balanghai trophy for Best Film in the Full-Length Category of the 19th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

The film directed by Carl Joseph Papa was cited for “for boldly taking on the challenges of technology in crafting a very engaging narrative of a young man confronting the demons of his past, and for its overall cinematic excellence.”

Meanwhile, Januar Yap’s Sibuyas ni Perfecto won the Best Film in the Short Film Category for its “quiet but coruscating take on social iniquity and how the poor’s exploitation by the rich is driven by their own denigration and self-abasement.”

Best Director Balanghai trophies go to filmmakers Ryan Espinosa Machado and Mike Cabarles. For his film Huling Palabas, director Machado has effectively summoned “the resources of art to come up with a deeply personal film that evokes fond memories of pre-digital cinema while paying homage to one’s small-town roots, and how all of this contributes to fashioning self-respect and self-identity.”

Director Mike Cabarles, on the other hand, employed “the resources of cinema in effectively evoking the loneliness of two brothers missing their mother whom they have lost to the sea” in his film Makoko sa Baybay.

Jopy Arnaldo’s Gitling and Arvin Belarmino’s Hinakdal received the Best Screenplay awards. The film Gitling was cited for “its very tender tale of two persons bridging the divide between races and cultures and, through constructed language and through silence and even evasion, coming to a poignant understanding of the heart.”

Hinakdal, co-written by Belarmino and Kyla Romero, won the award for the “very striking narrative that remakes the horror genre while humanizing zombies and endowing them with heart and soul.”

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific) Awards went to Iti Mapupukaw and Hinakdal. The full-length film by Papa was praised for “its finely nuanced, masterfully crafted, tale of healing, friendships and young love, effectively utilizing state-of-the-art technology that is integral to its storytelling.” Citation for the short film Hinakdal mentioned “its pithy, layered and strong social commentary laced with dollops of humor.”

Actor Mikoy Morales and actress Pat Tingjuy were cited for their Best Performance of An Actor and An Actress, respectively. Morales won the jury’s nod for “his compelling performance of a charming but predatory womanizer who gets his just desserts” in the film Tether; while Tingjuy won the award for “her refreshing portrayal of a young girl coming to terms with her sexual identity as she comes of age in the exciting world of volleyball.”

Cinemalaya 2023 Awarding.

Actres Dolly de Leon and actor Bon Andrew Lentejas won the Best Performance of a Supporting Actress and Actor, respectively. Dolly de Leon, who starred in the film Iti Mapukpukaw, was recognized for her “pellucid performance of an affectionate mother helping her son confront the demons of his past.” Meanwhile, Lentejas got the award for his “engaging portrayal of a young man trying to understand his best friend’s difficult ways as the latter comes of age” in Huling Palabas.

Technical awards include:

BEST EDITING – Ilsa Malsi (Rookie), for “effective splicing and intercutting that unravels a girl’s coming-of-age in the exciting world of volleyball.”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Martika Escobar (When This Is All Over), for her “effective camera work and lighting to depict the world of drugs and the lifestyle that sustains it.”

BEST ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE – Kindred, composed of Justin Punzalan, Vince Dalida, Luis Montales, Jaime San Juan, Moses Webb, Fern Tan, Jorge Juan Wieneke V, Othello Intia, (When This Is All Over), for “its original musical soundtrack that helps propel its depiction of the drug subculture obtaining in high condominium living.”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – KAYE BANAAG (When This Is All Over), “for successfully conjuring the contrasting worlds of affluence and want in condominium living.”

BEST SOUND – Gian Arre (Tether), “for its effective sound design in which both noise and silence are melded well together to heighten psychological realism.”

Special Jury Prize winners were: Dustin Celestino’s Ang Duyan ng Magiting, cited for “its trenchant portrait of the wages of political violence, for its highly discursive and dialectical take on the culture of impunity that seems to have entrenched itself in Philippine politics, and for arousing among audiences awareness on the need to come to grips with the country’s escalating political violence”; and Sam Villa-Real and Kim Timan’s Hm Hm Mhm, for “its boldly experimental verve to depict a woman revisiting the darker aspects of her childhood.”

Special Award was given to Ang Duyan ng Magiting for Best Ensemble Acting, for its actors “powerful acting that credibly renders the opposing viewpoints in the history of political violence and culture of impunity that seem to have bedevilled the Philippines since the turn of the new century.”

Hinakdal and Rookie won the hearts of the Cinemalaya theater goers and audiences, receiving the Audience Choice Award for Short Film and Full-Length categories, respectively.

#Cinemalaya #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

‘Ang Larawan: The Musical’ is a tour de force in the PH theater

The all-star cast, Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ dancers, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, presented Contra Mundum, a star-studded concert version of Ang Larawan: The Musical, held at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre last May 6, 2023.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Manila Metropolitan Theatre, and Culturtain Musicat have offered a one-night-only Saturday performance of the three-act musical to celebrate the 50th-anniversary of the Order of the National Artists of the Philippines and National Heritage Month. It was also streamed for free on MET’s official Facebook page.

The country’s best artists from the film, music, and theatre industry united on stage to perform the greatest Filipino stage musical ever made. The stellar cast includes Celeste Legaspi, Bituin Escalante, Dulce, Aicelle Santos, Audie Gemora, Mitch Valdez, Karylle Tatlonghari, Hajji Alejandro, Kakai Bautista, Mikki Bradshaw-Volante, Kakki Teodoro, Nyoy Volante, Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo, Agot Isidro, Bodjie Pascua, Jericho Rosales, Sandino Martin, Markki Stroem, Nanette Inventor, Jojit Lorenzo, Jaime Fabregas, Nonoy Froilan, Paulo Avelino, Roeder Camañag, Ricky Davao, Rachel Alejandro, and Bea Alonzo.

The musical was based on the National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s stage play, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. It tells about two spinster sisters who are barely making ends meet despite having the ability to sell the symbolic and valuable last painting that their sick father made.

The musical play was staged several times by different theatre companies through the years, starting with its non-musical and original script presented with its English text in 1955, and it became more popular for its Tagalog musical adaptation in 1997, translated and lyrics by Rolando S. Tinio, and music by Ryan Cayabyab. The musical was even made into a film in 2017, directed by Loy Arcenas, which is an entry to the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival that won the Best Picture award.

In Contra Mundum, the producers put a great effort to bring a top-notch stage musical, which is a pure Filipino masterpiece and a precious gem in literature, music, and arts. The concert version was brought to life with Chris Millado’s direction.

The concert had different actors who portrayed some roles in each act, showcasing different approaches to the lead characters of Candida and Paula, as well as Tony Javier and Bitoy Camacho.

Winter David’s minimalist set design and Barbie Tan-Tiongco’s wonderful lighting design complement all mise-en-scènes that were on point, making the entire show complete perfection with Joyce Garcia’s projection design. National Artist Badong Bernal, with well-known costume designers Gino Gonzales and Francis Libiran did a great job of making all the artists’ costumes fit their character’s bone structure and be realistic based on the story set in the 1940s.

Ang Larawan: The Musical is truly a must-see for everyone, especially millennials as if it is both entertaining and enlightening. Never boring, it is a spectacular musical for its wonderful music score, a high-spirited conga number led by Elsa Montes (Bea Alonzo), and inspired performances by the talented cast. It is also enlightening and informative, giving us a glimpse of Old Manila through the play’s dialogues, scenes, and songs. It shows a part of our history through a fictional tale of an impoverished family, specifically the spinster sisters, who are trying to desperately hold on to and fight for what is left behind – the painting, the house, their values – in the face of materialism, the changing times and the looming second World War.

Contra Mundum, the musical play’s concert version, is truly a tour de force in the Philippine Theatre that pays tribute to our very own art and culture. It is both a literal (the actual painting) and figurative (the Filipino artist) depiction of the Filipino artist. It is a sad commentary about starving artists who write or paint for their personal satisfaction. Their art gives them food for the soul but there is that sad realization that they also need to earn to put food on the table.

The award-winning film adaptation of the musical is now available for streaming on Netflix. It can also be streamed on iWantTFC.

Contributed by Rayne Jarabo

#AngLarawanTheMusical #ContraMundum #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

CCP TIG Gallery’s ‘The White Elephant Project’ inquires into architectural usages and purposes

The Cultural Center of the Philippines opens the second exhibit of the Bulwagang Roberto Chabet (TIG Gallery), titled “The White Elephant Project” by visual artist Jomar Galutera, on view until August 13, 2023.


Curated by Jason Dy, SJ, the exhibit is a serial inquiry into monumental infrastructures inspired by the artist’s mushroom farming. To support his independent practice, Galutera propagates edible mushrooms and sells them to local restaurants in Lucban, Quezon.

While farming, he gained insights on how organic materials flourish in decomposing substrate matter and correlated it on how disused, derelict, and destroyed buildings may have a future for utilitarian and humanitarian purposes, leading him to conceptualize and exhibit The White Elephant Project.

For the iteration exhibited at the TIG Gallery, the artist discursively engages the cultural complex, specifically the Manila Film Center (MFC), as another site of exploration for his first solo exhibition in Metro Manila. He delves into the history, architecture, and adaptive reuse of the building, as well as other complex factors that shaped its Parthenon-inspired architecture.

“This is the second of the series; the first being the running commentary and critique on the Bataan Power Plant. For this current exhibit at TIG Gallery, the artist chose the Manila Film Center. Admittedly, it had some lofty ideals when the Manila Film Center was imagined to be created. Nonetheless, we know that eventually when the film festivals ended, we had to reinvent the building,” shared Ariel Yonzon, the CCP associate director and head of the Production and Exhibition Department.

Through the years, efforts to reinvent the structure were made. Before the pandemic, the CCP planned to repurpose it as a communal creative space for artists and filmmakers.

“The artist’s insight on the building gives us the very basic definition of architecture. When we try to define architecture, it is always just forms and functions. Is the building, according to its form, able to serve what its intended purpose? The exhibit tries to delve into this,” said Yonzon during the exhibit opening held recently.

Through monochromatic paintings and video installations, the artist acts like a hybrid researcher that surveys online film clips and resources related to the film center. He did onsite visits and documented it through photographs and videos to understand the interplay between architecture and social space, history with its current evolution, as well as arts and public buildings.

Join the White Elephant Project workshop on July 18, 2pm. The workshop is co-organized with CCP Intertextual Division for the National Children’s Book Day Celebration.

There will also be a talk, dubbed “Inquiries and Interplays” with artist Jomar Galutera and curator Jason Dy, SJ, at 4pm. Galutera will talk about the first presentation in SaLang (Single-Piece Exhibition Series) at Project Space Pilipinas in Lucban, Quezon; while Dy will discuss the research and creative process for the current iteration that revolves around the Parthenon-inspired architecture of the Manila Film Center. The conversation aims to encourage thinking about how artmaking can present complex and historical subject matter in exhibitions.

The White Elephant exhibit runs until August 13, 2023. The Bulwagang Roberto Chabet (TIG Gallery) is located at the third floor of the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater), inside the CCP Complex.

To keep you posted on the latest CCP news and current events, visit the CCP website ( or follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok.


#CCP #TIGGallery #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Cinemalaya 19 Announces Short Film Finalists

The Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. reveal the 10 competing films that will vie for the Best Short Film in this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

From 192 submissions, the 10 finalists are: Tong Adlaw Nga Nag-snow Sa Pinas by Joshua Caesar Medroso; HM HM MHM by Sam Villa-Real and Kim Timan; Golden Bells by Kurt Soberano; Hinakdal by Arvin Belarmino; Kokuryo: The Untold Story of Bb. Undas 2019 by Diokko Manuel Dionisio; Ang Kining Binalaybay kag Ambahanon ko para sa imo by Kent John Desamparado; Maudi Nga Arapaap (Last Dream) by Daniel James Magayon; Makoko Sa Baybay by Mike Cabarles; Sibuyas Ni Perfecto (Perfecto’s Onion) by Januar Yap; and Sota by Mae Tanagon.

The competing short films tackle a myriad of human stories, including zombie tale, family adventure, coming-of-age chronicles, LGBT narratives, and a documentary on horse caretakers, showcasing different techniques and approaches.

The 10 competing short films will be screened during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, slated on August 4 to 13, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) located inside the CCP Complex in Pasay City.

The best short feature film will be awarded a cash prize amounting to Php150,000 and a Balanghai trophy during the Cinemalaya Awards Night on August 13.

Now in its 19th year, the Cinemalaya is an all-digital film competition that aims to discover, encourage, and support the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.


#Cinemalaya #digitalfilmcompetition #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph