A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

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Reason for Being Filipino

Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra) accosts Ronnie Abarquez (Padre Damaso). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

“Sinabi ng kuya ko, Kuya Jun, Felipe was an ardent nationalist. Sobrang lublub ng kanyang pagmamahal sa bayan. Halos gabi gab isinasabi niya sa amin ‘Hindi aksidente na kayo ay naging Pilipino. Meron tayong misyon sa ating bayan. Hindi aksidente yon’. There is a reason why you’re a Filipino– to help support, defend and promote our own race. Ang kanyang misyon sa buhay, itampok, ipahayag at ikalaan ang kaluluwang Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng musika.” Justice Magdangal De Leon was quoting his father National Artist for music Felipe Padilla De Leon. Justice Magdangal was speaking during the launch for NOLI ME TANGERE THE OPERA running from March 8-10, 2019 at the CCP Main Theater, Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

Justice Magdangal De Leon; Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

This is the Philippines first full-length opera, written by National Artists Guillermo Tolentino (libretto) and Felipe Padilla De Leon (music). NOLI ME TANGERE (Huwag Mo Salangin/Touch Me Not) the opera premiered in 1957 and was based on the novel by National Hero Jose Rizal. The novel changed Philippine history by exposing the abuses of Spanish colonizers and Catholic Church. It also had the unintended consequence of breathing life into an independent Filipino nation.

This year’s production is in time for the CCP’s 50th anniversary and U.N. designation of 2019 as the Year for Indigenous Language. J&S Productions would like to acknowledge the support of Senator Loren Legarda. J&S is the same production responsible for Noli’s run in the Kaya Playhouse in New York (2013), the John F Kennedy Performing Arts in Washington DC (2014), the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila (2014).

Noli was last run in the CCP (2017), which commemorated the opera’s 60th anniversary. This fulfills the J&S Production’s commitment to keep this masterpiece alive for young Filipino audiences to experience and enjoy.

From right: Co director Jeffrey Camañag, Mari Yapjoco (Basilio), Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra), Producer Jerry Sibal, Director/Producer Edwin Josue, Jose Miguel Espiritu (Kapitan Tiago) and Ronnie Abarquez (Padre Damaso). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Justice Magdangal De Leon in his quote above was also referring to his Kuya (older brother) Jun De Leon who became Chairman of the NCCA- National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2010-2016). Magdangal himself is a brilliant legal mind who became a judge, then Justice in the Court of Appeals and retired August 2018. Noli the Opera became part and parcel of their personal lives growing up.

from right: Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra), Mia Bolanos (Doña Victoria). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Justice Magdangal shared that at age 13 he was cast in the role of Crispin, Linares at age 25 and finally as Pilosopong Tasyo at age 38. “So from Crispin, Basilio, Linares and Tasyo kasama ako sa lahat ng production Noli Me Tangere.” He had a lot of memories of his father writing the music despite the chaos of him and his siblings playing.

Bernadette Mamuag (Sisa); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

He fondly calls Tolentino, ‘Mang Emong’ who visited their house in Sampaloc to work on the libretto with his father. Describing Felipe, “Wala siyang na ririnig, meron siyang sariling daigdig. Ibang klase ang utak nito. He was hearing his own music in his mind. He was not a pianist but he can write music for nearly all instruments. Di siyamarunong mag piano, trombone player.”

foreground: Ronnie Abarquez (Padre Damaso); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

What few historians and biographers know is that Felipe relied on his wife Illuminada Mendoza to test out his musical compositions. Justice Magdangal gave a lot of credit to his mother as his father’s pianist and copyist. His own grandfather Luis Mendoza (on his mother’s side) was an earlier composer and perhaps an influence on both his parents. “Nanay ko tiga tugtog niya. Nanay ko magaling kumopya ng nota siya rin gagawa ng music piece. So there was a perfect partnership between the composer, pianist and copyist. So this was the atmosphere lumaki kami ng mga bata.”

Nerissa De Juan (Maria Clara); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Hearing the music is an emotional experience for everyone, “You cannot help but be touched by the music of Felipe De Leon. Na muling ma antig ang damdaming makabayan if you hear the music of Felipe de Leon and of course kasama yung libretto ni Guillermo Tolentino. Ginagawa yung opera, we were hearing the music all the time. Kabisado po naming ni Kuya Jun ang music po niyan.”

From left: Dr. Raul Suñico, Jun De Leon; Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Suddenly Jun interjects, “Lahat ng mali”. Magdangal goes on, “Pati raw mali alam namin (laughs). Alam naming lahat ng kanta, lahat ng interpretation ng bawat aria because we grew up with it. One sidelight, For the Aria of Sisa na gawa niya na yan wala pang opera. Ginamit ni Villavicencio Cuyugan at her initial recital, 1949 yata yon e.  Na una yung awit ni Sisa, pangalawa yun KAY TAMIS NA BUHAY, preceded the opera.”

Bernadette Mamuag (Sisa) and Mari Yapjoco (Basilio); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Magdangal also made note of the challenges of composing a 3-hour opera. He also acknowledges the need to edit or shorten for the latest version which is now significantly shorter. “Si Jun De Leon at ako composed some songs also for some marches, some hymns. Pinaka mahaba ng na compose ko  five minutes lang. Subukan mong gumawa ng nonstop music for 3 hours napaka hirap po niyan. It’s a superhuman effort to have perseverance to have a 3 hour non stop opera.”

The previous showings of Noli The Opera over the decades became a barometer for the best musical venues, if not the most prestigious in the country. It premiered in 1957 andwas followed in 1965 both in the FEU Auditorium. 1969, 1975, 1987 were in CCP.

Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue then had the audacious efforts of staging it the U.S. in Kaya Playhouse in New York (2013), the John F Kennedy Performing Arts in Washington DC (2014). It returned to the Philippines at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila (2014).

From right: Co director Jeffrey Camañag, Director/Producer Edwin Josue, Producer Jerry Sibal, Orchestra Conductor Hermie Llanera and Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Justice Magdangal personally thanked both Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue, “I’m glad sa producers natin doing their best to give life sa katha ng aking ama. Na sabi niya I will live and die for this country. Eto angaking purpose for being here from a humble origin in a small town in Peñaranda Nueva Ecija. At siya ay pumunta sa U.P. wala naman siyang pera from a poor family. Na bubuhay siya noon dahil painter din siya noon.”

from left: Greg De Leon (Pilosopo Tasyo) and Timothy Carlo Racho (Alferez). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Felipe then became a painter of movie billboards, posters and signs announcing: NOW SHOWING or NEXT PICTURE. Felipe’s formal entry to the world of music was the U.P. conservatory. One of his teachers then was Francis Abelardo and graduated 1939. This was the time when U.P. was in Padre Faura far smaller and far from the now expansive campus in Diliman. ‘Much later, he continued his studies under Vittorio Giannini at the Juilliard School in New York, U.S’ [ from Wikipedia ]

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Justice Magdangal waxed nostalgic of those days when the land the Supreme Court now occupies were all under the auspices of the university., “Kinuha siyang faculty ng U.P. wala pa sa Diliman, sa Orosa pa Padre Faura pa ang U.P. noon. That’s where my former office was. I just retired last August, Court of Appeals nandoon ang building ng U.P.  familiar , Supreme Court all part of U.P.”

Nerissa De Juan (Maria Clara); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Justice Magdangal reiterated his gratitude, “I want to thank Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue, their camp for again sacrificing your time, effort of course your money. Kahit siya ay malugi, he is not here to earn money. But to promote love of country especially among the young.”

Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra) accosts worker. Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

The effect of the opera is just as powerful to this day, “2017 nabalitaan ko maraming estudyante po they were crying after watching Noli. Music can really move the heart and the mind. Hindi kaya ng salita kayang gawin ng musika. I congratulate the artists for making the students cry. Pati classmates ko sa U.P. Law they watched the opera pati mga bata they were also moved by the music.  we have never heard such beautiful music in our life. Gawa pa ng Pilipino. So be proud to be Filipino salamat.”

from left: Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostimo Ibarra) and Greg De Leon (Pilosopo Tasyo). Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Bernadette Mamuag (Sisa); Noli Me Tangere The Opera runs from March 8-10, 2019 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Boracay Rediscovered Part 2

Boracay allows you to do almost any adventure sport from rock climbing to wind surfing or the newer Kite surfing. I have to confess I was more into the sport of just laying on the beach…Thank you My Warmth.

My Angel, My Warmth, I adore you.

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

The accommodations are not the cheapest in DISCOVERY SHORES, but every penny is well worth it because of the free services that make your stay so much easier and enjoyable.

Here’s a summary of the list:

  1. The free van rides- can be essential if traveling with senior citizens and infants,2. Free Merienda- snacks and refreshments that can make your day, 3. Free Foot Spa,4. Free Fast Wi-Fi. For a more detailed description of these free services click on this link to part 1.

  1. Innumerable Cable TV Channels. I stopped counting after 200. You may argue that it comes with the room you’ve paid for. But in my experience with hotel and resort rooms I have never seen this many channels anywhere else and it is something to behold. The main reason I’m mentioning it here is foreign visitors may appreciate a channel in their spoken language, giving them a slice of home while keeping in touch with current events.

The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

For example there are 5 Chinese language channels: Lotus Macau, CCM HD, Phoenix Info, STAR Chinese Movie, Formosa Xing Kong, SUN TV, CCTV. 2 French Channels: TV MONDE Channel, FRANCE-24. European channels: BBC, TVEspaña, RUSSIA TODAY, RAI Italia, RTR Planeta,3 Korean Channels: YTN WORLD, ARIRANG, KPOP Plus, Japanese channel: NHK TV,Indian Channels: SAHARA NAT, SAHARA MUM, Middle Eastern: GMAN TV, SAUDI R, 1TVRUS, YEMEN TV.

The list above is by no means complete but gives a general idea of how many international channels are available in your room at DISCOVERY SHORES.

DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Experience the Heart of the Filipino

NBA Premium TV

For a self confessed TV addict like me, I was overwhelmed with choices of HBO, FOX, Discovery (network), History, Crime + Investigation AND their variants: HBO HITS, Fox Life etc. BUT I was personally elated to find out they had both NBA Premium TV HD and BTV. So I was able to watch 4 NBA games in one day, if not portions of each. Apart from the games are the News/Magazine shows like THE STARTERS.

Lovers embrace while watching the Boracay sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

I caught an interview/dialogue between two of my childhood heroes Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. They talked about growing up in Michigan all the way to Lakers vs Pistons Finals in 1989 & 90. They had a tearful hug in the end because the two were very close childhood friends and had grown apart in recent years. They were never able to talk about it or flesh it out until that interview/docu.

By no means is it a necessity, but for any fan wanting to catch up with the NBA, it’s priceless. With the number of channels available it’s likely you’ll find one…or a dozen that’s right for you.

INDIGO and SANDS Restaurant has delectable delights along with a fantastic view of Boracay Beach. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Food Choices

Another big difference from my previous trip is the growing number of Chinese and Korean restaurants that have sprung up around town. Some famous establishments have translations of their menu items to Japanese, Korean and Chinese script and also Russian. This is an indication of the growing tourism market or visitors from those countries.

Favorite ANDOK’S dishes (left) Liempo – charbroiled pork loin and (right) Roast Whole Chicken. Photo by Jude Bautista

ANDOK’S

My brother George however has a very Filipino craving. ANDOK’S is a popular charbroiled chicken brand in Manila. They have countless stalls for take out. The main difference here in Boracay is that they actually have fast food style outlets like Jollibee or McDonald’s. Jollibee also recently opened a large branch here greeting customers with an inflatable mascot 50 feet high. But the novelty for us is ANDOK’S Restaurant complete with air-conditioning. They have 3 separate branches. We were advised by Discovery staff to go to the branch away from the beach, as it is less full.

Enjoying ANDOK’S Resto from left: Hazel Bautista, Gina Ronquillo, George Bautista, Eric Ronquillo and Tita Linda.

Sisig

Needless to say we enjoyed ANDOK’S charbroiled chicken, their Liempo (charbroiled pork loin). Their prices were the same as in Manila. I was also very proud to see a Chinese family enjoying sisig for the first time. Sisig has come into prominence in New York recently with the late Anthony Bourdain and BIZARRE FOODS’ Andrew Zimmern as praising the uniquely Filipino dish. With the nose to tail trend in the U.S. sisig has become a hit there. Pork ears, face and brains are finely chopped and served on a sizzling plate (sunny side egg on top is optional). It tastes better than it sounds and goes great with beer.

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

Signature Dishes

There are however, other must try signature dishes in ‘Bora’. FRIDAY’S is a restaurant bar just a few meters away (almost right beside) DISCOVERY SHORES.  We enjoyed their cheese pizza and Lobster Thermidor, which they were famous for. Both are reasonably priced. The pizza is thin and extra crispy. The lobster was fresh, sweet, the biggest we’ve seen and perfectly cooked.

FRIDAY’S Lobster Thermidor

It wasn’t planned but weordered more Filipino fare in this trip. In another establishment we tried their Sisig, Sizzling Bulalo (Beef Bone Marrow- also a Bourdain favorite) and Pansit Palabok (glass noodles with chicharon-pork rind and eggs).

Left: Pansit Palabok – glass noodles with chicharon-pork rind and eggs, Right: Four Cheese Pizza is surprisingly good.

If I were a foreign visitor, I’d take advantage of trying Filipino cuisine, obviously because that’s what we know and are best at. In any case there are many other cuisines you can choose from around the island including Italian restaurant FORNO OSTERIA in DISCOVERY SHORES.

Left: World famous Sisig, Right: Sizzling Bulalo- Beef Bone Marrow. Both dishes are highly recommended by Bourdain and Zimmern.

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lessons

As exercise I hiked to the less occupied portions of the beach beyond the rocky outcrop. This is where a restaurant / bar was demolished by the government during the 6 month closure. No doubt a lot of jobs, businesses were closed from it. Although, shooting the waters and beach after the fact it is hard to argue with the results.

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

What this tells me is that taking care of Boracay isn’t just the responsibility of the government or of business owners here but of every single person who visits as well. IF we want to keep Boracay pristine, we all have to make better choices. We can avoid using plastic, make sure to not litter on the beachand better yet pick up trash that we see. We should all be conscious of not polluting the air, water, beaches, be conscious even of noise pollution. Otherwise we’ll lose a beautiful place like this.

Controlling visitor numbers have had a positive effect on the environment in Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

Exemplary Service

The level of service we experienced in DISCOVERY SHORES was not just the best in the island, but the best anywhere in my opinion. Everyone was always willing to go the extra mile.

DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

For example my dad Joe (86) has a habit of waking up at 3am. One morning he decided to walk out by himself, while we were sound asleep. When he got back my mom opened the door and she thought my dad in her words ’picked up a girl’. Before she could raise hell she found out it was a Discovery staffer assisting him safely to his room, as it was still dark outside.

DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Over breakfast we were laughing about it. I was getting a juice for my mom. Dad went to the buffet by himself. His hands aren’t as strong as they used to be with the plates and getting food at the same time. Next thing we know a staffer was right behind him getting food and assisting him back to the table. We weren’t even asking for it but they were always ready to anticipate your needs.

It makes you feel special. I’m proud as a Filipino,they are able to represent that hospitality our country is known for. It’s not just the spectacular beach but the people and culture that attract the whole world to Boracay.

Joe and Linda Bautista; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: George Bautista and college bud Eric Ronquillo. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

We stumbled on a romantic dinner set up in INDIGO. Initially we thought it was an engagement party but found out it was just for one lucky couple. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Joe Bautista and great grandson Theo; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our group in INDIGO Restaurant. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Experience the Heart of the Filipino

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PAL Premium Economy

Exceptional comfort and convenience are just some of the perks available on board PAL’s New Premium Economy cabin. Whether passengers are traveling for leisure or business, this choice offers premium comfort and convenience without the sky-high prices. They can skip queues with priority check in, boarding and check in, boarding and baggage retrieval, in addition to greater baggage allowance.

For international flights passengers will have extra spacious seats with 38-inch leg room and 8 inch recline. They can also indulge on delicious meals and enjoy their overnight amenity kits*. The New Premium Economy is available on international routes to New York, Toronto, London, Honolulu, Auckland, Melbourne, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Bangkok, Xiamen and all domestic routes.

*Overnight amenity kits are available on select routes.

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SANDS restaurant & bar has the sea breeze day or night. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Dad and mom enjoy FRIDAY’S Lobster Thermidor

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FRIDAY’S Four-Cheese Pizza

from left: Joe and Linda Bautista, (author) Jude Bautista and George Bautista at FRIDAY’S.

The waterfall changes the mood at night. This was the view near our room. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Lola Joy with Baby Theo

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIGO Restaurant’s Tanigue Steak – King Mackerel; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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We stumbled on a romantic dinner set up in INDIGO. Initially we thought it was an engagement party but found out it was just for one lucky couple. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

“There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that was as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace it’s audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had a playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed the children about, knocked lilos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret little chuckle”

― Cecelia Ahern, The Gift

Boracay allows you to do almost any adventure sport from rock climbing to wind surfing or the newer Kite surfing. I have to confess I was more into the sport of just laying on the beach…Thank you My Warmth.

Boracay Rediscovered Part 1

The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

The last time I was in Boracay was more than 10 years ago. I can’t even remember the exact year. All I knew was I didn’t want to go back. To be fair it was during Holy Week, where the crowd had swelled, spilled over everywhere. I had to go through throngs of people walking around. Rave (that was the in thing then) was blasting out of speakers every few hundred meters or so. The waters right off the beach was greenish from a distance because of seaweed and plant life. Whether it was due to coliform or not, it did not look enticing to me. I was more than happy to not swim in spite of the searing heat.

I also knew there were countless more pristine beaches in the country like El Nido, Puerto Princesa both in Palawan, or in Cebu and Pearl Farm in Davao and the one growing in popularity Siargao. As photographer I shot what I was supposed to and then went back home to Manila.

INDIGO has delectable delights along with a fantastic view of Boracay Beach. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fast forward to January 2019, my brother George Bautista, his wife Hazel and daughter Hannah were in town to celebrate the holidays with us. And they invited me, my parents, Joe, Linda and my niece in law Linnel and grandnephew Theo to the reopened Boracay. George and his family are based in New Zealand while Linnel and Baby Theo are New Yorkers who managed to escape the blizzards.

Linnel Bautista with Baby Theo; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

From my own experience I had mixed feelings about going back there. But I was also very curious if the 6-month closure by the government and the stricter control of visitor numbers had any effect.

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

I was really glad to find out that there was a world of difference from Boracay I knew then to the post 6-month closure. I’m also particularly thankful to George for choosing DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY ISLAND as our resort / accommodations. The service, amenities, facilities are all excellent. I realized then that choosing the right resort could make or break your Boracay experience.

Experience the Heart of the Filipino

George Bautista and daughter Hannah are Pinoys based in New Zealand. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

First of all even before you set foot on the island, landing on the airport in Caticlan, they already have their own van and personnel waiting for you. Caticlan Airport is located in Aklan, the larger main island. Boracay is a smaller island to the north of Aklan. The Discovery personnel waiting to assist relieve you of the confusion (and bother of falling in line for tickets) of what vehicle to ride to where for the next sea craft to Boracay island itself.The resort also has their own speedboat that whisks you to the white sandy beaches while other less fortunate visitors not booked in Discovery have to wait for the ferries.

A waterfall is a precursor to the beach; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Spectacular Views

Once you get there the viewsare spectacular. While it may have been incorporated in the design, a waterfall is the precursor to the star of the show, the perfectly white beach. The sands are visible as you walk down. But wait there’s central pool with a swim on bar. A Jacuzzi is arm’s length from the shallow area for the kiddies. The whole atrium is surrounded by greenery of bamboo stalks and several types of palm trees creating a tranquil ambience. You could hear their leaves swaying in the sea breeze lulling you to sleep.

The pool’s swim on bar beside the Jacuzzi is also lit at night. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIGO has delectable delights along with a fantastic view of Boracay Beach. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIGO – coastal cuisine, the main restaurant, has the world famous white sand beach as its view. The same with SANDS restaurant beside it, take your pick. From both you could seethat the crystal clear waters that made Boracay world class have returned.

There were some families, pairs of Europeans lying on the beach underneath coconut trees. The view from the bar and resto are postcard perfect. It’s a very chill vibe unlike my first experience from a decade ago.

Guests lie on the beach underneath coconut trees right in front of DISCOVERY SHORES.The resort scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Things In Life Are FREE

The accommodations are not the cheapest, but every penny is well worth it because of the free services that makes your stay so much easier and enjoyable. Here’s a short list.

  1. The free van rides. Part of the Boracay experience is walking on the beach, exploring restaurants, shopping areas and other establishments. Our group however, had senior citizens and an infant. Walking, even if it’s a short distance, could be difficult. So the free van service they provide was a lifesaver for us. All you need to do is give them your room number, wait for a few minutes and a van will take you to your desired location. Once you’re done you can call them to pick you up. If you managed to walk somewhere and decide you want to take it easy call them and they’ll have a van pick you up, that’s it. Of course that’s within the vicinity of the Boracay beach area, Town Square, nearby malls. It would be unreasonable to expect a free ride to the other side of the island. By the way the resort already arranges your arrival and departure vehicles to and from the airport.

  1. Free Merienda. In the Philippines we have snacks between meals that we call merienda. As soon as you walk into your tastefully designed room you immediately see them and they’re free. Our first day there was a cream puff pastry with shrimp tapas 3 pieces. It also changes daily. The next day it was Egg tarts. And poolside they had bibingka(a rice cake cooked over hot coals) and melon juice. Just make sure to get to the poolside merienda while supply lasts.

from left: Egg tart, PutoPao (Pinoy Take on Pork Buns) and Cream puff with Shrimp Tapas on the side. These free delectable merienda (snacks) are delivered to your room once a day. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

After a sumptuous breakfast buffet, that comes with your room, and the free merienda personally I’m more than satisfied with my food intake for the day. Apart from saving money, you’re saving calories by just sticking with the free food and skipping dinner. That’s just me; you’re more than welcome to eat more. The free melon juice poolside is so refreshing on a sunny day. On other days its lemongrass flavored water, tanglad in Filipino.

Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

  1. Free Foot Spa.Each person in the room is entitled to a free foot spa. I was bunked with my parents and decided to pass on mine to my mom. Some might say that its only 15 minutes long. But after walking on the beach for the whole day, someone washing your feet in warm water and rubbing it with scented oils for 15 minutes is heavenly. Again, might I remind you, it’s free.

DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

  1. Free Fast Wi-Fi.In today’s interconnected world its no longer a luxury but a necessity. The advantage here is you’d be able to check your emails using your phone, tablet or laptop while catching a tan by the pool or the beach. I really appreciated the speed as I was watching Youtube videos without a lag. I barely noticed the time as they were preparing our rooms when we arrived because they gave us the Wi-Fi password immediately. Make sure to ask for it when you arrive, to maximize it the whole stay.

Continued on Part 2:

Our group in INDIGO restaurant. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

We stumbled on a romantic dinner set up in INDIGO. Initially we thought it was an engagement party but found out it was just for one lucky couple. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

SANDS restaurant & bar has the sea breeze day or night. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: New Lolas Lilibeth De Villa, Joy Bautista with Baby Theo. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lifeguard Tower makes swimming in Boracay Beach safer.

The pool’s swim on bar beside the Jacuzzi is also lit at night. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Exceptional comfort and convenience are just some of the perks available on board PAL’s New Premium Economy cabin. Whether passengers are traveling for leisure or business, this choice offers premium comfort and convenience without the sky-high prices. They can skip queues with priority check in, boarding and check in, boarding and baggage retrieval, in addition to greater baggage allowance.

For international flights passengers will have extra spacious seats with 38-inch leg room and 8 inch recline. They can also indulge on delicious meals and enjoy their overnight amenity kits*. The New Premium Economy is available on international routes to New York, Toronto, London, Honolulu, Auckland, Melbourne, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Bangkok, Xiamen and all domestic routes.

*Overnight amenity kits are available on select routes.

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Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: George Bautista with parents Joe and Linda, Cora Lim, Diko Lim, Hazel and Hannah Bautista. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sunlight filters through clouds with Paraw boats in silhouette.

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Experience the Heart of the Filipino

INDIGO has delectable delights along with a fantastic view of Boracay Beach. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches have returned to Boracay. Photo by Jude Bautista

Great grandma Linda Bautista and Baby Theo; DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The waterfall changes the mood at night. This was the view near our room. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIGO has delectable delights along with a fantastic view of Boracay Beach. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

View from SANDS Restaurant in DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY;The resort scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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(left) view from INDIGO Restaurant DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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George Bautista and sister in law Joy Bautista. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

The waterfall changes the mood at night. This was the view near our room. DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY scores on impeccable service, amenities and facilities on our trip January 9-11, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The Paraw sailboat is a symbol of Boracay along with the golden sunset. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Dulce, OPM Greats Serenade Richard Merk

Dulce was THE showstopper in a star filled night. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

In a night that featured icons of Original Pilipino Music (OPM), Dulce was undoubtedly the showstopper. She started out with WHAT I DID FOR LOVE. Her vocal prowess is already well known. There’s soul, power if you put that together with her ease in conveying the emotion of a song that’s what puts her over the top.

She can ‘birit’ (belt out) with the best of them at the same time have tremendous soul, depth, lower registers in her range. Everything from her eyes, hands even a throwback lean like Cebuana province mate Pilita convey emotion. The result is overpowering. The audience had an immediate standing ovation.

from left: Michael Williams and guitarist Billy Melendrez. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Resort’s World Manila Artistic Director and theater stalwart Michael Williams had the misfortune of following Dulce’s unforgettable performance. He relied on his wit telling the audience ‘What can I do to follow that???’ Williams, however, gave a great account of himself singing a Broadway worthy IMPOSSIBLE DREAM and EMBRACEABLE YOU.

Some of the best names in music came together in a concert entitled RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE to raise funds for their comrade at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019.

Isay Alvarez and Robert Seña; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Artists

The prestigious list includes: Kuh Ledesma, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez, RJ Jacinto, Rannie Raymundo, Marco Sison, Isabella Gonzales, Dondi Ong, Arpie & the Multivitamins, Brod Pete, Carina Dignos, Champagne Morales, George Sarakinis, Chris Ang Ping,  Henry Katindig, Jeannie Tiongco, Jane Joseph, Jong Cuenco, Megan Herrera, Michael Williams, Nants Del Rosario, Progeny, Rachel Ann Wolfe, Route 70.

Kuh Ledesma; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Many more artists were in the line up but were not able to take the stage: Kris Lawrence, Margaux Salcedo,Mike Hanopol, Jazz Almonacid, Joey Bautista, Tosca and Rox Puno, Sal Panelo. Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo was already sighted at Johnny B. Good but was pulled away to Malacañang on urgent business.

It wasn’t just the singers but the top instrumentalists were there to lend their support: Henry Katindig (keyboards), Billy Melendrez (guitar), Colby Dela Calzada (bass), Mar Dizon (drums) and Vix Lucero (saxophone).

Marco Sison; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jazz Royalty

Richard Merk is considered as Asia’s Prince of Jazz and has carved out a name for himself as singer since the 1970s and 80s. His mother Annie Brazil isAsia’s Queen of Jazz was also there to watch the concert in spite of her frail condition. Brazil is recovering from a stroke since last year but willed herself to the momentous occasion. Richard’s sister Rachel Ann Wolfe came from New Jersey to sing to her brother and mother, who were both wheelchair bound.

from left: Annie Brazil, Rachel Ann Wolfe and Richard Merk. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Declining Health

Richard has a host of health problems after an accident 3 years ago, injuring and wounding his leg. It got infected and acquired Necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh eating disease. Because of his diabetic condition, it has not been able to heal as quickly. The past New Year his situation got worse and was confined to an intensive care unit.

During the night of the concert he declined to be interviewed, as he could not speak at length. He recently had five of his teeth extracted. All of this resulted in an accumulation of medical bills that has been a huge burden, hence the need for a fund raising.

Dulce encourages Richard Merk as Michael Williams looks on. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Depression

The past years have not been kind to Richard. He is currently embroiled in a legal battle that has drained his dwindling financial resources on top of his medical expenses. The resulting emotional stress has taken a toll. Siblings Rachel and Raffy Wolfe have feared a turn towards suicide. They sought the help of a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with depression. He has since been prescribed anti-depressants. They added that the recent deaths of friends Rico J. Puno and Pepe Smith have also affected him.

from left: Bernard Cruzata, Dulce, Michael Williams, Richard Merk (in cap) and Brod Pete. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

PAANO

During the concert Dulce sang her original hit PAANO, from 41 years ago. The song has the line Paanoba Aking Mahal? Paanoba Ito? (How can this be, My Love? How can this be?). The words speak of the underlying context of Richard’s legal problems. Bago ka lumisan sanay maturuan mo, Naiwasan ang bawat nakasanyan ko, At limutin na ang maghintay lagi sayo, Paano ba Aking Mahal?

Dulce PAANO

Even if you weren’t aware of that context everyone was already so moved by her performance. The way she sang it was so heart rending. A Canadian theater actor Rick Schiralli, whom Dulce acknowledged in the crowd was so overcome by emotion he was not just giving a standing ovation but shooting a video with his phone. After her segment he was gushing, “This was the highlight of our whole Philippine trip!” It didn’t matter that the Filipino language is completely foreign to him. Schiralli is the star of CURTAINS a musical comedy running in Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts, Toronto in April 4-14, 2019.

from left: Canadian actor Rick Schiralli, Dulce and J.J. Dayot. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

This is what makes OPM so powerful, tagos sa buto na salita (lyrics that penetrate your bones). That’s what took Dulce’s act to another level. During an interview she revealed that she was in constant communication with Richard and was well aware of what he was going through. This may have colored her songs with heartfelt emotion. The audience experienced the anguish and pain of losing love through the music and words.

Dulce was THE showstopper in a star filled night. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Widened Horizons

Dulce first met Richard Merk when they were both cast in a musical, IWAGAN way back in 1984. It was written by award winning musical scorer and composer Jun Latonio. As a newbie then Richard was guiding her professionally. More than that, Richard tremendously widened her whole concept and understanding of music and singing. His style, which she described as ‘free flowing’ was so out of the box that it encouraged her to improvise and find her own style.

Dulce was THE showstopper in a star filled night. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

She discovered that it wasn’t just her that Richard influenced but a whole generation, “Si Richard kasi kaiba. Pumasok siya sa industry nung na kilala siya at narinig ng tao nagkaroon ng ibang kamalayan. Kasi hindi tayo ganoon e. Basically tayong Pinoy lalo na kakagaling lang natin sa adaptation turn sumikat ang mga Rico J, Basil Valdez, noong panahon na yon. Pumasok siya iba yung timplang dala niya.”

Dulce – Sharon Movie Medley

This led to widening her horizons, “Sa akin kasi personally ang laki ng nangyari ang laki ng na gawa ni Richard. Sa kanya nagkaroon ako ng lawak. Kasi na ninawala ako na sa kakayahan na yon na pwede kong gawin. Kaya friendship naming na develop hanggang sa ilang taon na hanggang ngayon. Kaya sa panahon na to na nagkasamasama tayo to give support to one another is always a blessing talaga.”

Arpie & the Multivitamins; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Richard’s Help to Musicians

During his days operating Merk’s Bar and others, Richard was well known as someone who consistently organized fund raisings for musicians in need. Now they’ve all come out to support him in his time of difficulty. Dulce noted that people like Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña were the same ones going to Richard’s fund raising activities before. That’s why she feels compelled to be there for him now.

Isay Alvarez and Robert Seña; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Hindi lang sa panahon na ganito kung di emotionally we are connected sa craft natin sa arts natin we are all connected. That’s why we are there to help one another. Palagi ko siyang pinagpepray.  Richard is very open about sa mga panahon na kelangan niya ng mga prayers at Malaya natin na gagawa yon sa isa’t isa.”

RJ Jacinto; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Incidentally, Rannie Raymundo who is also part of the OUR LOVE fundraising concert will be having a post valentine concert with Dulce in Zirkoh on February 16, 2019. HIT MEN Richard Reynoso, Renz Verano and Dulce’s son David Ezra will also be part of the show. David is truly making a name for himself having just won BEST ACTOR at the Aliw awards for BINONDO. David Ezra is also part of the EL BIMBO cast a musical based on the Eraser Heads hits, running in Resort’s World Manila again in March.

from right: Rannie Raymundo and saxophonist Vix Lucero.The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Brod Pete; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rachel Ann Wolfe; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Route 70; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Isabella Gonzales; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nants Del Rosario; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Jane Joseph; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: ROUTE 70 guitarist Butch Elizalde, Bernard Cruzata, Dulce, Manny Santos and Jeffrey Enriquez. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Champagne Morales; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Arpie & the Multivitamins; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jane Joseph; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

RWM Artistic Dir. Michael Williams; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Dulce was THE showstopper in a star filled night. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Rachel Ann Wolfe and Dulce. The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jeannie Tiongco; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Michael Williams and Dulce; The RICHARD JAMES MERK, OUR LOVE fund raising concert was held at Johnny B. Good, Glorietta 3, Makati City last February 4, 2019. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Randy Ortiz 30th: An Artistic Journey Part 2

2nd from left: Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus Bautista

For decades The Peninsula Manila has been a paragon of style and sophistication. Everyone from world leaders to people of fame and the international elite stay at ‘The Pen’ when in Manila. So there could have been no other hallowed place that would host such a momentous occasion. Randy Ortiz’ penultimate 30th anniversary show last November 26th, 2018 was the very definition of timeless elegance. [For Part 1 of this 2 part series click here]

The Ortiz show can easily be described as old Hollywood Glam albeit with the Filipino’s flair for color and flights of fancy. With the pulled up hair of the models one can easily visualize Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly wearing Ortiz’ stylish gowns. An all black tuxedo-like number (and another piece similarly in all white) pays homage to Marlene Dietrich herself.

Fine jewelry by DIA GOLD and accessories by KIT SILVER; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

LIFESTYLE ASIA’s December 2018 / January 2019 issue had a very revealing tribute to Randy Ortiz’ family history and career written by Chino R. Hernandez for a cover story photographed by MJ Suayan. It is a must read for anyone curious about one of the most influential names in fashion.

from left: Juliana Gomez, Randy Ortiz, Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez and LIFESTYLE ASIA EIC Anna Sobrepeña. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The issue also features Gianni Versace, artworks of jewelry designer Hans Brumann and the recent masterpieces of Jaime Zobel De Ayala. Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña was honored as Editor of the Year in the Asia Leaders Award 2018 along with the magazine earning a Philippine Quill award.

from left: Randy Ortiz and fashion show director Jackie Aquino; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

To quote the LIFESTYLE ASIA cover story, “Thirty years later Randy has remained one of the country’s top designers. Manila’s fashion lovers continue to beat a path to his door for the timeless, wearable and romantic designs. ‘I’m classic but with an edge,’ he smiles.”

That edge can be seen in his masterful choice of fabric and color. The native Philippine material Piña lends a unique and feminine feel for the long flowing dresses and skirts. The elaborate embroidery called burda adds whimsy. They become a contemporary translation of materials that are traditionally Filipino and breathe new life into them. Men’s coats and jackets become canvases for elaborate prints and textures while at the same time maintaining their classic feel.

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

PMAP&The Next Generation

The title of the show Homage, however, is not just about timelessness of Ortiz’ fashion. It also has the freshness and exhilaration of youth. Ortiz throughout his career has worked with the most revered supermodels, having nurtured their careers along the way: Apples Aberin, Tweetie De Leon, Wilma Doesnt, Grace Molina, Marina Benipayo, Richard Gomez, John Estrada and many more. These names happen to be the same core group of models that formed the Professional Models Association of the Philippines almost at the same time Randy was making a reputation for himself in the late eighties, early nineties.

Nicolas Gonzales; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

For this show Ortiz debuts the next generation of models that were born from the genes of their beloved and admired parents: Nicolas, Lorenzo and Sabina Gonzales get their looks from mom Tweetie De Leon.

Josh Benipayo; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Modelling skills of Marina Benipayo rubbed off on son Josh. Blogger and online influencer Kaila Estrada is daughter of John Estrada. AyaAbesamis is the daughter of Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1984 Desiree Verdadero Abesamis.

Aya Abesamis; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Kaila Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Emilia Asiana Doesnt; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Emilia Asiana Doesnt got her beautiful smile from mom Wilma Doesnt who is not only a model but a TV actress and host.

from left: Wilma Doesnt and Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Juliana has acquired super genes from both of her gorgeous parents Richard Gomez and Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez.

Juliana Gomez; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tweetie

Prominent in the article written by Noel Sales Barcelona, Randy Ortiz 30th: An Artistic Journey Part 1 is the collaboration between artists, painters and sculptors that resulted in a simultaneous exhibit during the fashion show.

Randy Homage: Artist: MonnarBaldemor, Title: Homage to Randy Ortiz, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 48 inches | 2018

Curated by The Artologist Gallery, there were ten exhibiting fine artists: Judeo Razon Herrera, Julmard Vicente, Hiro Kawabata, Adam Nacianceno, Monnar Baldemor, Fernando Antimano, Eman Santos, Doltz Pilar, Valen Valero and Carlo Saavedra. ‘All of them converged to honor Ortiz as an artist and as a person of beauty,’ wrote Barcelona.

from left: LIFESTYLE ASIA EIC Anna Sobrepeña, Don De Castro and Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Although Ortiz was not the only inspiration; one of the works was inspired by model Tweetie De Leon, simply entitled ‘Tweetie’. The painting is a striking abstract portrait in black and white that nevertheless captures the ageless beauty. It’s no surprise that she inspires artists just as much today as when she first started modeling. Some might argue she’s even more ravishing now than her days of modeling for Randy.

Artist: Adam Nacianceno, Title: Tweetie, Acrylic on Canvas, 48×36 inches | 2018

Ria Bolivar & Jasmine Maierhofer

Tweetie represents that ideal Filipina look especially with her complexion. Today’s current supermodels like Ria Bolivar also has that undeniable Filipina charm, those same high cheekbones. As a photographer I believe Ria has to be the best model today hands down. I love her versatility from dress to dress and show to show. Here in RandyO she’s ultra feminine, demure, virtuous, everything can be gleaned on her face and how she walks.

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

During Rajo Laurel’s show, wearing a black-feathered cape, almost looking like a superhero or super villain whichever you may choose, her facial expression was fierce.

Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The definition of Filipina beauty has certainly grown. Supermodel and photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol for example is Filipina but can also pass for Japanese or Chinese. Especially now with names like Pia Wurtzbach and our latest Miss Universe Catriona Gray, that perception, that definition has widened. Jasmine Maierhofer who has made her own reputation in international fashion has Austrian roots. Her features can both be Caucasian and Asian.

Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

2 Runways

The sheer size of RandyO’s 30th anniversary show was an enormous challenge to create, curate and then execute. There were 2 separate runways in order to fully display all the magnificent pieces. Models had to work their way through the Peninsula Manila’s storied landing, go down (& up) marble steps and meander to the second runway inside a huge hallway/ function room. And then go back to the landing by the marble staircase.

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

If you can imagine 70+ people were moving through the walkways in two separate ‘ramps’. Then climbing marble steps up and down in high heels flowing skirts and dresses and projecting at the same time, it’s all an accident waiting to happen. This is with a live audience seated just an arm’s length away. That’s why most fashion shows build their ramps and stages to accommodate their choreography not the other way around.

All models should be congratulated for the accident free show. But when you look at Ria and Jasmine in particular they are able to make it look easy. They give you so many expressions, that you are able to shoot more pictures. How they walk and project is something aspiring models should emulate. Knowing when to speed up, slow down and work the cameras is an art in itself that they have conquered.

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

 

center: Randy Ortiz & Juliana Gomez; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Love for Randy

After the show, countless designers, models, showbiz personalities, well-heeled clients and fans were all present to congratulate and express their love for Randy. The celebration lasted hours after the fashion show. It became a reunion of sorts for present and past members of PMAP (Professional Models Association of the Philippines) and Fashion & Design Council. The huge crowd was a testament to how beloved Randy Ortiz is as a designer and human being.

from left: Irene Marcos-Araneta, Sen Sanchez, Ito Curata and Bob Miller. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: John Estrada, Marilen Nuñez, Randy Ortiz and Ogie Alcasid. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Eman Santos, Title: TresEstilo, Acrylic On Canvas, 36×48 inches | 2018

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Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Harrison Hay; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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(left) Artist: Monnar Baldemor, Title: Le Modele Series 5, Acrylic on Sculpted Ceramic, H: 29 W: 11 T: 11inches | 2018, (right) Artist: Monnar Baldemor, Title: Le Modele Series 2, Acrylic on Sculpted Ceramic H: 30 W: 12 T: 9inches | 2018

Art exhibit opening from left: Peninsula Manila GM Li Mark Choon, Ramon Orlina, Iza Agano, Don De Castro, Randy Ortiz, Suyen Chi-Sia, Hans Brumann and PDI Lifestyle Editor Thelma Sioson-San Juan. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Fernando Antimano, Title: Blossom, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 inches | 2018

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from left: Ronald Mabanag, Henry Calayag, Vic Barba, Izza Agana, Jojie Lloren and Tonichi Nocom. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: PDI Lifestyle Editor Thelma Sioson-San Juan, Ramon and Lay Orlina. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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John Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Carlo Saavedra, Title: In Search of Eden 1, Mixed Media, 48×36 inches | 2018

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from left: Izza Agana, Suyen Chi-Sia, Maribel Lastimosa and Pretty Coronel. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

From left: Toots Tolentino, PDI Lifestyle Editor Thelma Sioson-San Juan and Dr. John Ray Galamay. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Tweetie De Leon, Marga Nograles-Kaayo, Randy Ortiz and Yanee Alvarez. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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2nd from left Jasmine Maierhofer; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Judeo Herrera, Title: Beauty Unfolds, Acrylic on Canvas, 48×36 inches | 2018

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from left: Marco Protacio, Vic Barba, Tonichi Nocom, Randy Ortiz, Henry Calayag, Ronald Mabanag and Jackie Aquino. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Grace and daughter Isabella Molina, Jane Molina, Kim w model mom Phem Baranda. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

center: Emilia Asiana Doesnt; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Artist: Doltz Pillar, Title: Madame Dowager, Acrylic on Canvas, 36×48 inches | 2018

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from left: Artist / Jewelry designer Hans Brumann, Maria Brumann and Randy Ortiz. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Juliana Gomez; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Toots Tolentino, Marlon Garcia, Carl David, Morick Gutierrez, Jack Garcia and Dotlz Pilar. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fine jewelry by DIA GOLD and accessories by KIT SILVER; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Aya Abesamis; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Wilma Doesnt, Juliana Gomez and Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fine jewelry by DIA GOLD and accessories by KIT SILVER; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Tunay na BAYANI SAN DIEGO

from left: Angeli Bayani, Bayani San Diego and Lilith Reyes. The 5th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI office, Dec. 11, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus Bautista

Bayani San Diego Jr. was an influential figure in the world of Philippine cinema. As writer, editor, journalist he faithfully reported on the successes of countless Filipino filmmakers who earned honors abroad. When independent filmmakers, artists and performers are sometimes oppressed by the commercial system or suffered in some way he’s been there to report on it. He performed these duties for about two decades.

So his passing at age 48, last October 25, 2018 left a huge absence in media and the world of entertainment. The news of his death was a huge shock to friends andcolleagues who have seen him work actively on the field.

Months before he was confined in an ICU but decided to keep his hospital stay under wraps from most people. He was diagnosed with coronary heart disease necessitating a heart by pass procedure. Instead of concentrating on his health he was still more focused on his job.He managed to control his diet and lost weight but it wasn’t enough.

In the morning of his death his sister tried to wake him up for an upcoming flight for the Tokyo International Film Festival. Bayani was rushed to the hospital, where he was resuscitated but to no avail. . His ‘official cause of death was cardio pulmonary arrest’. — From report of Marinel Cruz, PDI.

2017 trip (left) Love, love, love this year’s @tiff_site‬ poster and logo. Tokyo Film Fest. So young and fresh. The poster; not me! Char! #MissingTokyoMonAmour‬‬ ‬‬
(right) Ordering via a tap on the computer screen. Since there’s no English menu, Ryoko of @tiff_site ‬was a huge help and kept the food and drinks rolling all night! #RoppongiMonAmour — in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.‬‬ – TIFF 2017 (from Bayani San Diego facebook page / Instagram)‬‬

Heroes

Bayani’s parents may have predestined his life by naming him. Bayani in Tagalog literally means ‘hero’ and that’s what he became as a champion of Filipino cinema. By the same token, I feel there are also important names and people who recently passed away who should also be recognized: Mario A. Hernando who diedSeptember 5, 2017 at age 68,from bone and prostate cancer and Bibsy Carballo – Decemeber 2, 2016 at age 75.

from right: MPP founding member Mario Hernando, Indie Bravo Proj Dir Marinel Cruz. The 37th Gawad Urian Awards was held at the Dolphy Theater June 17, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

There is a worldwide crisis where journalists are vilified and sometimes even murdered, if not jailed or harassed. TIME’s selection of Persons of the Year is a statement against this persecution in Jamal Kashoggi, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of Burma and our very own Maria Ressa in the Philippines. Our beloved country is notorious for this as the 32 journalists killed in the Maguindanao Massacre have yet to find justice 9 years after. It is the world record for most number of journos killed at one time.

Bayani San Diego, Mario Hernando and Bibsy Carballo may not have been persecuted like the TIME honorees, but their contributions in the world of Philippine entertainment and journalism are not any less vital. All contributed greatly, they are journalists, editors, columnists and definitely heroes in their own right.

After over a decade of interviews, finally a photo with @brillante_mendoza … At the Homecoming Dinner, Makati Shang. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Best Actress Nora Aunor is hugged by Benilda Santos as other MPP members look on from left: Mario Hernando, Dr. Mike Rapatan and Tito Valiente. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mario Hernando, Bibsy Carballo

Mario A. Hernando was a film reviewer and had a pioneering TV show dedicated to Philippine cinema and TV in the 90s. He became Managing Editor of Ang Pahayagang MALAYA and was also appointed as part of the Movie Television Review and Classification Board. More importantly he was a founding member of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the most respected award giving body in the country.

from left: Jake Macapagal ‘Thank you for the love and support you gave to our community Bibsy. One last hug!’ (from Romano Macapagal’s facebook page)
(Right pic) from right: Bibsy Carballo, FPJ and BK Jimenez. (From BK Jimenez’ fb page)

Bibsy Carballo was a columnist for the Philippine Star. She wrote not only about movies but also Philippine Theater, music, dance and the cultural scene. While many today know her to be a journalist, she was also one of the producersof the epic Filipino classic HIMALA. This became a cultural phenomenon that starred Nora Aunor and was also produced and executive produced by former Governor Imee Marcos now running for the Senate. HIMALA director Ishmael Bernal was honored as National Artist for Film.

from right: National Artist Benedict ‘BenCab’ Cabrera, Bibsy Carballo (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

INDIE BRAVO Tribute

This year’s 9thINDIE BRAVO AWARDS at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office in Makati was more poignant than previous editions. Bayani or Ton ton to family and friends was one of the originators of the now much awaited event that brings together the best of independent filmmakers who reaped honors abroad. Bayani was remembered in a touching tribute, highlighting his contributions.

The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

INDIE BRAVO has become a yearly tradition that unifies everyone in the independent film community. Emmie Velarde, one of the originators, called it a night of recognition as opposed to a competition.

These are directors, artists, documentary filmmakers who are usually out of the studio / commercial system. Most are products of film fests such as Cinemalaya , CineFilipino, CinemaOne, QCinemaeven the MMFF but  are not confined to them. For example, this year’s batch includes National Artist awardees: Ryan Cayabyab, Kidlat Tahimik, Lav Diaz and ‘future’ National Artist Brillante Mendoza.

Another point of view. Selfie with the PH team in Cannes: @rargutierrez @andieigengirl Jaclyn Jose & @brillante_mendoza — with Raymund Ribay Gutierrez. 2016 (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Context of Cannes

In the middle of the ceremonies organizers were surprisedby a volunteer who shared his memories with Bayani. French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Marvin Macalintal was moved to tears seeing Bayani’s photo at the Louvre in Paris during the slide show. Macalintal was there with Bayani during that same trip.

from left: Atty. Virgie Suarez and Cara Magsanoc (CALL HER GANDA) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Through his extemporaneous speech Martin was able to give a clear timeline to Bayani’s journey,  “Talagang tinututukan niya lahat ng lumalabas sa international film festivals. Bow ako. And in his first trip to Paris was in 2008 nagkataon July yon birthday ko e. Pati dinner sagot ni Mother Lily totoo yon.  That was 2008 at least 50 filmmakers kasama namin ni Bayani to showcase Philippine cinema in France. Of course after that alam niyo na. After 2000 the very first time pumasok ang ANINO (by Raymond Red)sa short film, the very first Palme D’Or na pumasok na Filipino si Bayani kinukulit nako. That was 2000 naging best friends kami ni Bayani because of Philippine cinema.”

French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal;The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

After the 2008 Philippine cinema showcase, it somehow bore fruit: Brillante Mendoza’s KINATAY won in Cannes. The successes may have inspired Bayani and Emmie Velarde to start INDIE BRAVO the same year 2009, “Bayani maraming salamat, Indie Bravo maraming salamat. And yon that was 2008, Indie Bravo came 2009 / 2010, katas yan e, magkaka sunod yan e. After the tribute to Philippine cinema in 2008, then 2009 we had KINATAY in Cannes. So yon yung nag udyok kay Bayani and kay Miss Emmie para gawin talaga to.

From Left: Enchong Dee and Lotlot de Leon reads to kids at the Inquirer office. Nov 2016 (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

From then on an avalanche of awards have followed nearly every single year, not just from Cannes but from all over the world: Brillante Mendoza THY WOMB (2012) Best Director- Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Pepe Diokno’s ENGKWENTRO (Clash) Lion of the Future – “Luigi de Laurentiis” Award for Best Debut Film, as well as the Orizzonti Prize from the Venice Film fest (2009), Lav Diaz’ NORTE, HANGGANAN NG KASAYSAYAN (2013), and so on.

Ken Ken Nuyda accepted for NGITI NG NAZARENO.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Many more younger Filipino filmmakers were discovered along the way earning honors abroad. INDIE BRAVO became the official gathering and homecoming of sorts for these independent filmmakers who’ve honored the country with their groundbreaking work.

from left: Treb Monteras, Sonny Calvento, Thop Nazareno, Carlos Dala, Jay Altarejos, Denise O’Hara and Carlo Obispo. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Red’s Circle

The 9th edition of INDIE BRAVO has come full circle in a way as these days original Pinoy Palme D’Or winner Raymond Red is now known as current awardee Mikhail Red’s dad. Mikhail earned his INDIE BRAVO Goyuito (the second time) by winning Most Promising Talent and Best Director at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival for NEOMANILA a truthful take about the current war on drugs. Local release is set for January 2019.

from left: Timothy Castillo, Mikhail Red (NEOMANILA) and Mary Joy Apostol (BIRDSHOT). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Witness

PDI Pres. and CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez was there to bolster the institutions’ support for the honorees, “Inquirer has been a witness to how the indie film community has grown and how it has gained respect not only locally but in the international arena as well. From the very beginning we have always expressed our full support to your artistic endeavors and to the talent of local artists. Your films have shown the world the richness of Filipino spirit, our resilience, our simple joys, struggles, challenges and hope. Please continue to inspire the present and future generations with stories we’d love to go back to over and over again. I hope you carry the passion to do whatever it is you love to do despite all the challenges you probably face.”

PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez;The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

She also mentioned that the INDIE BRAVO space has been coveted, “In fact many other section editors are so jealous of the kind of space you get in the supplement in the anniversary. But that’s the testimony that we’d like to give you.”

Laila Ulao (WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER); The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Before RESPETO

Treb Monteras director of RESPETO has won several awards from Cinemalaya and abroad. He talked about how Bayani helped them, “Whenever we’re part of a festival, he’s always there first, na uuna siya parati. For him his devotion to his job and his desire to help out Pinoy Filmakers really shows. You know its tough to promote our films. Bayani messages me every 2 weeks to update with projects and festivals. It helps a lot; like me with RESPETO its self produced.  So I don’t have a PR company. Bayani is always there for us even for small events for my film.”

RESPETO wins Cinemalaya Best Picture: Producer Monster Jimenez (on mic), Director Treb Monteras (with trophy) looks on; Cultural Center of The Philippines, August 13, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monteras’ INDIE BRAVO experience began way before he started his own movie, “I directed the 30th anniversary of the Philippine Daily Inquirer 3 years ago (2015). That time I wanted to get an Indie Bravo, it was also at the same time, December. But I still didn’t have a film. Someday I hope to get an Indie Bravo. Now after 3 years na abutan ko pa si Miss Letty Jimenez Magsanoc. I’m so happy the owners of Inquirer are still the Prietos.”

Finally, my Queen series of photos is complete. Thanks, Lea Salonga Lea Salonga. Loved last night’s show. As you often write in my favorite @inqent Inquirer Entertainment column (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) “Backstory”: “Break legs, tonight!” — at The Peninsula Manila. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Defending Freedom of Self Expression

Filmmaker Carlo Obispo during his acceptance speech said, ‘This is the time for us to speak out’, referring to the current political climate of repression in the Philippines.

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Thop Nazareno, Carlo Obispo and Carlos Dala (1-2-3; GASPING FOR AIR) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

When asked about it Treb was more specific and pointed out the ‘unofficial martial law’ in the whole country, “Nangyayari kasi if you look around parang Martial Law na hindi, not just in Mindanao, hindi lang siya in-announce, hindi siya official, what’s happening right now is what happened 30-40 years ago. With Ressa (of Rappler) and now with filmmakers tinatag kami na komunista daw, terorista lahat na ng ‘ista’ nakakabahala (film makers are being tagged as communists and terrorists, its very disconcerting). I think lahat ng media, filmmakers at ng artist kelangnan natin magkaisa (All media, filmmakers and artists should unite) to defend our freedom, to defend our right to self expression.”

Treb Monteras (RESPETO);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

POST SCRIPT: Thank Yous

My own recollections of Bayani were always of his professionalism. I have to confess that every time I see him interviewing someone I made it a point to sneak in it as well. His questions were always intelligent and he had an insight or update no one else knew that he was certain to ask. I was also sure that it irked him no end whenever I snuck in, but I still did it. This is born out of his devotion to PDI, getting an exclusive was foremost in his mind.

Ian Veneracion in ILAWOD

Later on though, I noticed he softened his stand at least in my sneaking in because he knew that promoting Philippine Independent cinema was an enormous task. Getting the public to know about and watch these movies is a challenge.

ALPHA RIGHT TO KILL by Brillante Mendoza earned an Indie Bravo

Normally this MMFF season, people would much rather watch JACK EN POPOY, an action comedy starring the biggest network stars in Vic Sotto, Maine Mendoza and Coco Martin. And even the popularity of that is (in reality) only secondary to their foreign counterparts. Because for the majority of the year its Hollywood blockbusters like AQUAMAN that rule ticket sales.

Team “Meant to Beh,” led by Vic Sotto, @BaebyBaste @andreaetorres and director @iLuvChrisM Chris Martinez at the #MMFFParadeOfStars 2017 in @OFFICIALMUNTI Muntinlupa. #MMFF2017 Photo c/o @EatBulaga | @bayanisandiego‬(from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

I never got to thank him for all those times he let me sneak in my audio recorder while he was interviewing someone. I consider it a huge privilege and honor to have known him along with Mario Hernando and Bibsy Carballo. I want to personally thank them for everything I have learned and everything that I WILL learn from them as their work lives on in the web. I can still reference their articles, the stories and information they’ve gathered.

With the late Bibsy Carballo at PETA Center in QC, “Pamana,” a docu-musical tribute to Cory and Nonoy, July 25, 2013. (from Mario Hernando facebook page)

They may not know it but I consider Emmie Velarde (former PDI Entertainment Editor), Crispina Belen (Manila Bulletin Columnist & former MB Entertainment Editor) and Francis G. Rivera (Advertising Photographer) as eternal mentors.

from left: Indie Bravo Show Director Tcel Maramag and former Entertainment Editor Emmie Velarde. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Incidentally, two of my college professors have photos here with Mario Hernando: Clodualdo ‘Doy’ Del Mundo and Mike Rapatan. Their mastery of their craft in screen writing, film reviews and expansive knowledge of cinema is still unmatched, in all my years of covering entertainment. I’m a better person for having them as teachers, again thank you.

left: Rody Vera is one of the multi-hyphenated of PETA, from playwright to actor and musician. April 9 2017 (right pic)With filmmaker, writer and De La Salle com arts college icon Doy del Mundo. Doy wrote some of Mike de Leon’s best films and Lino Brocka’s “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag.” June 2017 (from Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

I want to say thank you to everyone involved with INDIE BRAVO for shining an extra light to what Pinoys should watch and look out for and giving honor to our talented and courageous film makers:Rito Asilo – PDI Entertainment editor, Marinel Cruz – Indie Bravo Proj. Director, Jenny Santiago – desk editor, Oliver Pulumbarit – writing editor, Allan Policarpio – reporter, Belle Roberto – editorial assistant, Tcel Maramag–Indie Bravo show director.

PDI Entertainment Team (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

I want to say thank you to all my friends and colleagues who are writers, photographers, editors, videographers, bloggers, media, filmmakers and artists. I want to grab this opportunity to say what you do means something. All your sacrifice means something. Just like Treb said above, we have to unite and have the courage to tell the truth.

The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Dessa; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Superstar with Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino- from right: Natl Artist for Literature Bien Lumbera, Rolando Tolentino, Dr. Nick Tiongson, Benilda Santos,Best Actress Nora Aunor (THY WOMB), Tito Valiente, Dr. Mike Rapatan, Mario Hernando and Butch Francisco. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent last June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Finally, a selfie with Mega. After the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the roller-coaster ride that was the last few years, Sha remains just as sweet, just as stellar as always. @reallysharoncuneta at the #historymakerawards Brava Mega! #my40yearssharon (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

from right: Dawn Zulueta, Bibsy Carballo (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

from left: Gaye Domingo, Atty Virgie Suarez and Pearce Pinlac (CALL HER GANDA). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando and Concert Director Roeder Camañag. GINUGUNITA KITA Performance Art, May 20, 2015 where composer Jesse Lucas set the poetry of Maningning Miclat to music. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ryza Cenon sneaks a cellphone pic of Odette Khan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Odette Khan (ECHORSIS: SABUNUTAN BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Carlos Dala (1-2-3; GASPING FOR AIR);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Andrea Caparanico (THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN), wife Ilaria Caetani and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Christian Bables (SIGNAL ROCK) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Mario Hernando, Ting Nebrida, Ronald Rios and Teddy Co.

Sonny Calvento (NABUBULOK);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Shireen Seno (NERVOUS TRANSLATION), John Torres and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan.The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Shireen Seno (NERVOUS TRANSLATION);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Mario Hernando, Gloria Romero, Isah Red and Ricky Calderon (From Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

from right: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Alemberg Ang and Gaye Domingo (ANG LARAWAN) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Ryza Cenon (MR. AND MRS. CRUZ);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Home visit with the one and only Superstar Nora Aunor. Home Body Story came out Monday in Inquirer Entertainment, p. D1. — with Vic E. Velandria, Wilma Gaba and Sohn SanDiego. (from Bayani San Diego’s facebook page / Instagram)

Tanghalang Banhyuhay Artistic Dir Roderick Alo and Zeni Ang accepted for Nash Ang (NO MAN IS AN ISLAND). The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Indie Bravo Proj Dir. Marinel Cruz and PDI Entertainment Editor Rito P. Asilo. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aljur Abrenica with PDI Entertainment team

Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis and Dr. Mike Rapatan. Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

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Timothy Castillo (NEOMANILA);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

From left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando with Cara Barredo (Caitlyn), former Rep Assoc. Artistic Dir. Menchu Lauchengco Yulo and B Delgado (Peggy) during the CAMP ROCK press launch. The musical ran November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nico Nicolas; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mary Joy Apostol (BIRDSHOT);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis; Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Bibsy Carballo embodied the Bohemian spirit (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

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Andrea Caparanico (THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN) and wife Ilaria Caetani. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino seated from left: Phl Star Columnist Butch Francisco, Dr. Mike Rapatan, Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso standing from left: Dr Nick Tiongson , Head of Cinema One and Velvet channels Ronald Arguelles, Ntl Artist for Literature Bien Lumbera, Mario Hernando, Tito Valiente and Dr. Roland Tolentino. The 37th Gawad Urian Awards was held at the Dolphy Theater June 17, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Laila Ulao from scene in WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER

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Jay Altarejos (TALE OF THE LOST BOYS / INSTANT FREINDSHIP);The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PDI Pres. & CEO Sandy Prieto Romualdez, Treb Monteras (RESPETO) and PDI AVP for Corp. Affairs Connie Kalagayan. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Actress- Nora Aunor (THY WOMB) gets a hug from Mario Hernando of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Pic was taken during 36th URIAN awards night at the NBC tent June 18, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Presenters from left: Alex and Ping Medina with MPP member Mario Hernando. Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bayani San Diego and Monique Wilson in the 80s

Eric ‘Nui’ Cabales is the Artist / subject in the docu THE LANDSCAPE WITHIN by Andrea Capranico. The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mario Hernando with Kathy Solis; Photo was taken during the 35th Gawad Urian awards night June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater. Photo by Jude Bautista.

former PDI Entertainment Editor Emmie Velarde; The 9th Indie Bravo was held at the PDI Office in Makati, December 13, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Early dinner at PETA Center July 25, 2013. Friends Amadis Ma. Guerrero, Bibsy Carballo of Philippine Star, and Jude Bautista. Is that my plate at the table, full of cauliflowers, broccoli, fish fillets, pancit, and fried chicken? (From Mario Hernando’s facebook page)

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Bibsy Carballo embodied the Bohemian spirit (from Bibsy Carballo’s facebook page)

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Randy Ortiz 30th: An Artistic Journey Part 1

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written by

Noel Sales Barcelona

In the world of fashion, Randy Ortiz is an icon. He’s a revolutionary who deserves all the accolades and respect for he is a genius who greatly influenced the Philippine fashion industry in the 1990s. Merging the classic into the modern, he created beautiful clothes worthy to be worn, even by a queen.

Randy Ortiz is hugged by Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

But his designs are not only for the daughters of Eve. He also created pieces that brought the pagkamaginoo (gentlemanly), elegance and strength of Filipino men, reshaping men’s fashion in the country.

from left: Juliana Gomez, Randy Ortiz, Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez and Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Now the latest fashion show of Ortiz, is in collaboration with The Artologist Gallery entitled Homage at the Manila Peninsula, November 26th. There are ten exhibiting fine artists: Judeo Razon Herrera, Julmard Vicente, Hiro Kawabata, Adam Nacianceno, MonnarBaldemor, Fernando Antimano, Eman Santos, DoltzPilar, Valen Valero and Carlo Saavedra. All of them converged to honor Ortiz as an artist and as a person of beauty.

(left) Artist: Monnar Baldemor, Title: Fashion Icon, Acrylic with Pen & Ink, 36×48 inches | 2018 (right) Artist: MonnarBaldemor, Title: Jackie, Acrylic on Canvas, 36×48 inches | 2018

For Ortiz is also known as a philanthropist apart from being a true creative visionary, therefore worthy to be called as one of the strong pillars of the Philippine fashion industry.

Each work on display really shows how skillfully the artists are in combining the four elements of fashion design: shape, line, color and texture; and its principles: proportion, balance, unity, rhythm and emphasis.

Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

This is not really unusual for Herrera, Vicente, Kawabata, Nacianceno, Monnar, Antimano, Santos, Pilar, Valero and Saavedra belong to the roster of talented and powerful artists.

Powerful, we can say, for they have that capability and absolute control of bringing into reality the concepts and ideas that are dwelling in their minds, hearts and souls.

Artist: Julmard Vicente, Title: Influence, Oil on canvas, 48×36 inches | 2018

Similarly with Ortiz whose works are not mere ‘beautiful apparels’ but are concrete manifestations of the designer’s understanding of Filipino culture, Filipino soul and the globalist spirit.

John Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

For fashion as we all know just like any other form of visual art transcends cultures, linguistic and political barriers. Coco Chanel himself explains it in his famous quote, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Chanel’s quote comes to fruition in the current show. For every stroke, every color, every hue and every image that re immortalized on the canvases, sculptures by the participating artists do not only honor Ortiz but also honors the Filipino aesthetic tradition. This aspect of the show is also the spirit of the Ortiz creations being shown for the first time to the audience.

To honor his homeland he often uses traditional or indigenous fabrics like the piña and other hand woven textiles of our tribal brethren and traditional burda (embroideries). Besides this, the international fashion designer is also known for his philosophy of bringing fashion to more Filipinos as he firmly believes that a good piece of clothing should be affordable.

Ogie Alcasid; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Meanwhile, the show is also an homage to the people who have had great contributions to Ortiz’ success as an international designer—his parents. In particular his mother whom he said in an interview with Zalora Philippines in 2016 is “The ultimate fashion inspiration and style icon”. He credits his peers, his models, his assistants and his co-workers just to name a few. For “without them, there’s no Randy Ortiz”.

Supermodel Tweetie de Leon and Randy Ortiz. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The same can be said for the exhibiting artists honoring Ortiz, without the experiences, the support of their peers and the people who believe in their talents and skills as painters, sculptors they would not be able to create art pieces that are worth the admiration of people. In other words, the show is about honoring their artistic journey, homage to their own roots as creators.

(left) Artist: Eman Santos, Title: Majesty, Acrylic on Canvas, 48×36 inches | 2018 (right) Artist: Valen Valero, Title: Glamorosa, Acrylic on Canvas, 48×36 inches | 2018

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Kaila Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Art exhibit opening from left: PDI Lifestyle Editor Thelma Sioson-San Juan, Peninsula Manila GM Li Mark Choon, Ramon Orlina, Iza Agano, Randy Ortiz, Suyen Chi-Sia and Hans Brumann. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Lovi Poe shows off her hot abs. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Bing Taojo, Robbie Carmona, Irene Marcos-Araneta, Rajo Laurel and Juan Sarte. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Lorenzo Gonzales; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

(center) Lorenzo Gonzales; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Juliana Gomez; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Artist: Doltz Pillar, Title: Into the Woods, Acrylic on Canvas, 36×48 inches | 2018

(center) Juliana Gomez; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Supermodel Grace Molina, Designers Patrice Ramos Diaz and Vic Barba. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Emilia Asiana Doesnt; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Harrison Hay; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Suyen Chi-Sia, Izza Agana, Randy Ortiz, Maribel Lastimosa and Pretty Coronel. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fine jewelry by DIA GOLD and accessories by KIT SILVER; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña and Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

(right) Nicolas Gonzales; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Josh Benipayo; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

2nd from right: Josh Benipayo; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Emilia Asiana Doesnt; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña, Randy Ortiz and PDI Lifestyle Editor Thelma Sioson-San Juan. Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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(left) Kaila Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Event Host Ding Dong Dantes; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Hiro Kawabata, Title: Time Conqueror, Acrylic resin, 80 x 27 x 27 cm | 2018

(left) Harrison Hay; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Emilia Asiana and Wilma Doesnt; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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John Estrada; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Ashley Montenegro; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Ogie Alcasid; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Artist: Carlo Saavedra, Title: In Search of Eden 2, Mixed Media, 48 x 36 inches | 2018

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Supermodel Ria Bolivar; Randy Ortiz’ 30th anniversary gala ‘Homage’ was held at THE PENINSULA MANILA, November 26, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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