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Alex Y. Vergara

‘Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage’ exhibit opens

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines are holding an exhibit of the late National Artist Salvador Bernal’s works dubbed as “Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage” at the 12th floor gallery of the School of Design and Arts (SDA) building on Pablo Ocampo Street, Manila. Apart from paying homage to Bernal by featuring some of his best costumes and set designs for such productions as The Magic Flute, Sa Bunganga ng Pating, Realizing Rama, Lapu-Lapu, Orosman at Zafira, Dalagang Bukid, Paglipas ng Dilim, and Romeo and Juliet, among others, the exhibit aims to highlight production design as a discipline and art form with a rich tradition in the Philippines. The items on exhibit were curated by production designer Gino Gonazales and writer Nick Tiongson. …

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Where will fashion (and design) be without literature?

Images by Noel B. Pabalate Video by JC Villanueva and Julius Lacaba As architect Gerry Torres and costume designer Eric Pineda put it, there are many reasons why De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) said yes to the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) invitation to jointly present “Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage” at the 12th floor gallery of the School of Design and Arts (SDA) building in Manila. Ongoing until Dec. 17, the show honors the late National Artist for Theater Design Salvador Bernal with an exhibit featuring costumes, scale models, and digital images of his many projects for Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino where he was CCP resident manager. The show doesn’t include costumes he did for concerts and TV shows. Among the items on display are Bernal’s costumes from such theater productions as The Magic Flute, Sa Bunganga ng Pating, Realizing Rama, Lapu-Lapu, and Orosman at …

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Pinoy chef bags top prize in ‘Food Hero’

Singapore – Filipino chef Anton Amoncio recently bested three regional rivals from Thailand and Malaysia to bag the top prize in ‘Food Hero 2016,’ an annual search for the region’s best young chef and TV host conducted by Asian Food Channel and Food Network. Part of his prize is to travel all over the region and appear on cooking shows to be produced by both cable channels. Amoncio, who used to own and manage Antojo, a Filipino and Spanish restaurant in Quezon City, is so far the only male and Filipino to bag the title in the contest’s three-year history. He and his fellow contestants had to undergo a series of challenges during the past three months in their respective countries prior to meeting each other during Thursday night’s finals at …

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Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, an original and a maverick (1945-2016)

Tributes kept pouring in for the late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago two weeks ago as the “Iron Lady of Asia” and “the best president the Philippines never had” was laid to rest after losing her two-year battle with stage 4 lung cancer. Like most complex and intelligent individuals, Santiago, even in death, had captured the public imagination. She was also many things to many people. Let’s set aside for now the many appointments, elected posts, rulings, bills, and awards she earned, authored, pushed, and amassed over the decades. Let’s also refrain from tackling at length the many personalities she once sparred with, from former President Fidel Ramos and the late Sen. Raul Roco to socialite Bettina Aboitiz and lawyer and now Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, during a long and checkered career as a lawyer, law professor, judge, and three-term senator. To journalists …

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Read to lead

Images by Noel Pabalate Canvas, a non-government organization whose mandate is to spread the love for reading among Filipino children, has produced a new title, its 20th children’s book, with no less than National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera as one of its collaborators. Simply dubbed as BenCab’s Activity Book for Children, the P300 book follows in the heels of Nadia and the Blue Stars, an earlier book by Francesca Nicole Chan Torres, which Gigo Alampay, founder and executive director of Canvas, credits for helping kids caught in such disasters as Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and the Zamboanga siege cope. This time, Canvas has tapped teacher Karen Foronda to write the text and develop all the activities in BenCab’s book, including sections for coloring, find-the-word puzzles, and even paper doll cutouts inspired …

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Grand finale

Images by Jun Arañas It is with no small amount of irony that fashion designer-turned-interior designer Chito Vijandre turned his back on fashion sometime in the 1980s, a period known for its maximalist aesthetics and larger-than-life proportions, only to return in a big way in 2016 when color, texture, layer, detail, and bling have resurfaced and reclaimed their rightful places in global fashion. Indeed, Vijandre couldn’t have chosen a better time to make a comeback and show Millennials as well as older people who were either asleep during his heyday or perpetually afflicted with short memories how good he still is. But whether we’re in an age of minimalism or decadence, the 40 jaw-dropping pieces Vijandre showed during last Saturday’s Red Charity Gala could very well stand on their own. Now on its …

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Prominent figures

We don’t know if a memo was sent out weeks before the party, or if most of the women who attended last Sunday’s Red Charity Gala at Shangri-La at the Fort were mindful of who and what Chito Vijandre, this year’s featured designer, was capable of doing. Apart from wearing the usual neutrals, not a few female guests opted for color, texture, prints, and bling. And many of those who came in black dresses, with the notable exception of Dawn Zulueta, who simply allowed her emerald-and-diamond drop earrings to do the talking, opted for some form of embellishments either on their shoulders, necklines, or bodices. Jeweler Ann Ong, for instance, came in a black dress with oversized sleeves, which she accented with her huge, dangling jewelry pieces reminiscent of the 1980s. Since …

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How safe are you inside your car?

Images by Noel B. Pabalate When and why should you have your SUVs and luxury sedans reinforced with armor and thick, bullet-resistant glass? To car and gun enthusiast Abril Tolentino, the reasons are many, but his answer is short and simple. “If you can afford it, then you need it,” said Tolentino, a veteran in the luxury and armored car industry, and VP-sales of Manila-based Hi-Protect, the newest homegrown world-class company offering clients added protection by reinforcing their vehicles with Finnish-made armor and thick glass—between 21 mm and 39 mm—as well as outfitting them with run-flat tires. Run-flat tires are made of solid rubber, which are concealed underneath normal tubeless tires. They’re designed to resist the effects of deflation when a car’s real tires are punctured, say, by a hail of bullets. It allows …

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The Heart of Diamonds

Portrait by Noel Pabalate It’s easy to understand why Heart Evangelista loves to keep it simple when it comes to her earrings. Blessed with a lovely face, the actress-painter, who takes after her parents in her fascination with diamonds, doesn’t need anything more than a pair of diamond stud earrings to draw attention to her prized asset. But Evangelista never thinks of it that way. It’s simply her personal style, she said, to downplay her earrings and play up her rings by sometimes wearing as many as eight “lucky” rings stacked around her dainty fingers. And she knows her diamonds, which makes her an ideal endorser for My Diamond’s new Diamond Dream collection. “What’s nice about diamond jewelry is you don’t have to really go wild by buying everything,” she said during the …

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The Movies in her mind

Images by Noel B. Pabalate Video by Jay Bustamante and Angelo Alejandro “You handle glass like you handle men—loosely. Never handle them tightly. The more you tighten your grip on them, the more you  get cut.” Coming from actress-painter Maria Isabel Lopez, such words of wisdom gain more resonance. The former Binibining Pilipinas Universe, a Fine Arts graduate from the University of the Philippines before making a name for herself as a sexy star in the mid-1980s in such films as Silip, Isla, and Hubo sa Dilim, should know her art as well as her men. “Even with the bubog (shards of glass), if you make kalkal (go through them), you have to be gentle,” she says of her newfound love affair with mosaic art one afternoon inside her third-floor office, part of a modest Quezon City townhouse she shares with her …

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