I’ve heard about steampunk art many years ago and dismissed it as something faddish or something that new and artist wannabes would like to dabble into for drama and attention, perhaps.
But a couple of weeks ago, Rein Escaño, a friend, hauled me to an art gallery on Ortigas Ave., for the opening of an exhibition of steampunk art.
So, there we were at Secret Fresh Gallery in Ronac Art Center on an early Sunday evening with members of the Steampunk Artists of the Philippines. The exhibit they called Steamtrooper Unleashed ran for two weeks at the posh art gallery with a café and an honesty store up front. It was an exhibit that marked the group’s third year in steampunk art.
I thought, it was just something those guys do when they are bored or passing the time away. But talking to one aficionado, a dentist, who said his dental office in Quezon City has been decorated with punk art since the time he encountered the art movement in the Philippines, it dawned upon me how it has crashed onto the mainstream of visual arts scene in the Philippines.
I asked around how much a painting would cost and I was bowled to know that it could fetch more than a million pesos…and there are buyers.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, I was told, picked up a chess set from one of the artists.
The pieces in the exhibit were eye popping; a combination of industrial, neo-classic, and photorealistic visual style. The inspiration of each of the piece I looked at seemed straight out of a science fiction novel or futuristic sci-fi films fused with Victorian era style.
So, what really is steampunk art?
Says one art writer, “the term itself comes from science fiction novels and coined by author Kevin Jeter. It’s all about fusing the usability of modern technology with design aesthetic of the Victorian age.”
Says young fiction author Caitlin Kittredge, “It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans.”
Steampunk art has grown to be a big movement now in the Philippines extending its reach even to interior design. Go to Ronac Art Center in Greenhills and ask where you can find members of Steampunk Artists of the Philippines.
A gourmet’s stop in Parañaque
Traveling down south is one scenic adventure, but the problem is finding a place to stop when the stomach starts craving for food. Not just food, but food that can be part of the unforgettable journey one is making.
Recently, we stumbled into a small restaurant in BF Homes in Parañaque. Not really stumbled, because a friend suggested we stopped by instead of going to the barbecue joint another friend recommended.
So, we did, settled down, perused the menu, and decided on three small plates: Chorizo Pasta, Cuban pulled pork sandwich and a cake for dessert.
The place has a rather jejune sound to its name, Tito Chef and Everything Culinary. But who cared, we were hungry.
And then while waiting for our orders to be put on our table, I became curious who this Tito Chef is? Could he be a chef whose nickname is Tito or an uncle in a family that is a chef?
I asked the supervisor who Tito Chef was, and he said, he was in the kitchen busy with something as there was a small party at the upper level of the restaurant. But the waiter could have told the chef someone was interested to meet him. In a couple of minutes he was there at our table.
Tito Chef is Menoy Gimenez, an Ilonggo, who said he is happy with his restaurant in the subdivision south of Manila so he hasn’t thought of expanding north or east of where he is right now.
“I am very hands on,” he said, “ and I don’t want to compromise the quality of my food.”
Well, he said it with a determination of someone who has made his reputation in the neighborhood and whose restaurant seems to have made quite a reputation residents north and south of BF Homes have been flocking to the restaurant on weekends.
So, our verdict on the dishes we ordered ….EXCELLENT!
We promise to have a second, third or more visit to Tito Chef and have a taste of the other dishes the menu offered. Soon, I promise.
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Magical and Dreamy Christmas Tree
Diamond Hotel Philippines officially marked the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year by lighting up its magical and dreamy Christmas Tree.
Hotel guests, corporate clients, partners and media friends joined the tree lighting event and expressed their admiration for the spectacular Christmas Tree decked out in festive decorations accentuated by blush, red and golden hues.
The holiday celebration was made more meaningful with the presence of honored guests namely Director Danilo Intong of Tourism Standards and Regulation, Department of Tourism; Arnold Gonzales, Deputy Chief Overlooking Officer for Marketing & Promotions, Tourism Promotions Board; Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh Nguyen; Miss Earth Fire Melissa Flores; Miss Earth Water Valeria Ayos; Miss Earth Air Melanie Mader; Reverend Nante Tolentino, Parish Administrator and Shrine Rector of Immaculate Conception Parish and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage; Carmela Ang, Diamond Hotel Philippines; and Vanessa Suatengco, General Manager of Diamond Hotel Philippines. Altogether, they lit the mesmerizing Christmas Tree and offered a toast to bring good tidings this season.
Among the highlights of the event were the remarkable performances of Bayanihan, The National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines, the harmonious musical regale of the Pansol Choir, and of course, the gift of joy of Santa Claus. Kids from the Remedios Training Center also joined the merriment and were amazed by the joyful holiday experience.
As part of the annual tradition of giving back to the community, the hotel has chosen Kanlungan ni Maria to be its official charity beneficiary. Kanlungan ni Maria is a non-stock, non-profit organization with a mission to provide adequate and sufficient home care, basic and medical needs for the abandoned, sick, and homeless elderly.
For more information call Diamond Hotel Philippines at (632) 528-3000.
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