ManilART 2013



I was invited to cut the ribbon again for the opening of ManilART 2013 Wednesday night by my artist friends Michael Cacnio and Danny Rayos del Sol. This year, in addition to lectures there is a film screening and an art walk. The gala opening night was wonderful – a great mix of collectors, fans, artists and gallery owners. Seriously, the local art scene has been in this explosive high the past decade and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Yay for Philippine art.


This year, ManilART is at SM Aura’s SMX on the top floor of the mall.


The show goes on until Sunday October 13, 2013.


I didn’t quite make it to the actual ribbon cutting, but glad I was able to present a prize to one of the guests with emcee Angel Jacob.


It was a very well attended opening night.


Danny Rayos del Sol is an old friend from Canada. He is creative in all aspects and has now found his calling as a sculptor focusing on carved ostrich eggs.


Danny’s beautiful and delicate work. He donated one egg lamp to this year’s UNICEF Auction.


Another UNICEF Auction for Action donor artist Jinggoy Buensuceso.


Pete Jimenez showed this large standing sculpture made from repurposed metal. His piece in UNICEF is smaller than this.


Loving these Daniel de la Cruz sculptures in the foreground.


With one of my favourite art couples, sculptor Michael Cacnio and wife Tess. They always support my Unicef auction. Look out for his piece at Auction for Action, it’s totally different from what he normally does.


Michael Cacnio’s new works have the water and light themes.


With Mr and Mrs Romulo Olazo. Can I say, I am a huge fan of Olazo. I cannot afford his works now; but I am a proud owner of a sketch portrait he did of me about eight years ago. I’m still hoping to own a painting one day.


With sculptor Ramon Orlina who always supports my UNICEF Auctions. Can’t wait to visit his new museum and gallery in Tagaytay.


Orlina and Olazo.


Paseo Gallery carries three of our greatest contemporary artists – Orlina, Olazo and Cacnio.


Finally met artist Dominic Rubio, a regular contributor to Unicef’s Auction for Action.


Sarimanok sculpture by National Artist Abdulmari Asia Imao.


Romeo Lee’s new muse, John Lloyd Cruz. He recently painted JLC’s portrait. And he jokingly/seriously told me that he is teaching JLC how to paint.


So then Romeo Lee shot this photo of me and John Lloyd, my “brother” in a movie. This is Romeo’s photo (from Facebook “Leetrato”).


And then he asked John Lloyed to take this photo of us. We met over a decade ago in Magnet Gallery’s events. He remembers everything! Amazed. Photo courtesy “Leetrato”


Met a longtime reader, Marsha. Thanks for saying hi!


OK, I love this. By RM de Leon


And this by RM de Leon.


But the one that took my breath away was Francesca “Keka” Enriquez.


I love this. Old Keka Enriquez from 1994.


This Keka Enriquez early work. Double sided. Sigh…


For more info on ManilART, visit their






I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about Auction for Action. Please allow me to occasionally post stories about the items and auction activities. The actual auction doesn’t go live until October 21 to 27th. But already friends are planning their purchases and bidding strategies.

There are some amazing pieces this year. If you’re looking for lighting, here are a few…


Busilak Bell Jar Lamp by Ito Kish, bid on them separately.


Murano glass pendant lamp from Pietro Collection. Check out Pietro’s facebook page to see the rest of their collections.


Kinks and Curls lamp by Vikki Rodriguez. It is large and glorious.


Check out all the pieces included in our 3rd UNICEF Auction for Action in this slide show…



For a downloadable PDF file of our auction catalog, click here.



UNICEF Auction for Action Year 3



We held the press preview for my third UNICEF Auction for Action last week. Lots of new developments since we first started in 2011. I can’t believe that in the two times we’ve done it, we’ve raised over P4.5 million pesos all in online auctions. This year, I have a bigger goal. Will you help me raise P5 million?

Auction for Action started as a small idea between me, Angela Travis (then Head of Communications for Unicef Philippines) and the fundraising team. Initially I relied on goodwill from friends and relationships I cultivated after years of focusing on design. Now we have a full team organizing the auction and we have partners approaching us to help and get involved.

It is a huge honour for me to be given the chance to get all my great loves together in a project that means so well — my love for art, design, media and children. I am so grateful for the opportunity to curate another auction of this magnitude.

Since it is held in October again, we are honouring National Children’s Month, with Auction for Action 2013 bringing together over 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry. We are specifically raising funds to benefit a unique education program to provide children access to early learning: Supervised Neighborhood Play Program (SNP).

I had the chance to see Supervised Neighbourhood Play Program first hand when I visited Davao Oriental last March, 100 days after Typhoon Pablo devastated the area. There I saw a preschool teacher singing songs and acting out lyrics with her 5-year old students. It was the “raindrop song” – so simple yet so full of impact. These are kids who witnessed a scary storm that destroyed their town and killed people and animals. They need the raindrop song and other educational methods to help them cope with trauma.

This year’s Auction for Action will go live on on October 21 to 27. I will post links then. For now, feel free to read more here.


This year, we partner with Yuchengco Museum, who not only hosted the site of our press preview but will also host the public preview everyday at the Yuchengco Museum lobby.


This is my only shot of the Yuchengco lobby facade from the inside. It is accessible through RCBC tower in the ground floor. Admission to Unicef Auction for Action is free. You can see most of our auction items everyday up to 6pm except on Sundays.


Dr Will Dapgne and Tumoo
With me is Dr Willibald Zeck, UNICEF’s Chief of Health and Nutrition, who is also a published artist in Austria. He donated another one of his abstract works. Also in photo is Mr Tomoo Hozumi, Country Representative of Unicef. (The red painting is by Roceli Valencia, “Meditation in Red”. And the little guy is Hari Sonik by Elmer Borlongan).


I have to warn you that this blog post will overdose with photos of me. For some reason, that’s all I have in my camera and in the official camera. I promise to post detail product shots of the items at a later date.

A bit more about Supervised Neighborhood Play – It is a simple, low-cost and easy to organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours, every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and in informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.


Dr Will and Daphne
Dr Zeck presenting his abstract painting. Also seen in photo is Raymond Legaspi’s “The Sack Race” and Olivia d’Aboville’s “Liquid Heaven”


Daphne 5
Domicillo Mirror and Jinggoy Buensuceso’s Moth chair. We have two, in black and this marigold.


Kinks and Curls lamp by Vikki Rodriguez for Accessoria.


Daphne 4
Stunning oil painting by my classmate from elementary, Sandra Fabie Gfeller, who is a celebrated artist. You can also see Stanley Ruiz’s Wheelbarrow. I have a Daphne Chair in the lot too. All the auction pieces come with a commemorative brass plate this year. See the man with the magnifying lens? He is looking at a miniature water colour by Gregory Raymond Halili.


Foreground, Seb Chua sculpture. Olivia d’Aboville’s Anemone table lamp and behind me is Michael Cacnio’s Sweet. Candy Crush fans would love that one.


Transformer earrings  copy
TRANSFORMER earrings by Janina Dizon Hoschka. These dangling earrings consists of a brilliant cut blue topaz with green tsavorites and a pear shaped amethyst top in yellow silver. The middle part are bezel set amethysts with white sapphires in the double happiness symbol. Bottom danglers are made with icy blue amazonite drops in silver. These earrings can be worn five ways.


Tomoo Hozumi checking out the detailing of Kawayan Tech’s bamboo bike. The world is catching on to this bamboo bike technology. Even Marc Jacobs designed one here.


Mr Hozumi trying the Kawayan Tech bike. You can see in the background – Leeroy New’s Entropy, Hamzah Marbella’s Catching Fish , Dominic Rubio’s Father and Two Sons, Pete Jimenez’ Play it by Ear , and Manuel Baldemor’s Filipino Family.


National Bookstore
National Book Store donated 10 signed books. We’ve decided to auction them all individually. Stella wants to bid on the Eric Carle’s “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.” You can see a beautiful carved ostrich egg lamp by artist Danny Rayos del Sol.


And our major highlight, Kenneth Cobonpue’s sculpture Coral. Kenneth has not shown this piece to the public yet. It makes its debut here at Auction for Action. That gorgeous blue and white painting is by Popo San Pascual. He never fails to amaze me. The desk lamp is by Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo of Firma Makati.


We have an impressive collection of jewelry and accessories from – Amina Aranaz, Kristine Dee, Paul Syjuco, Janina Dizon-Hoschka, Jewelmer Joaillerie, Joyce Makitalo, Ann Ong, Ana Rocha, SC Vizcarra and Nicole Whisenhunt.


A closer look at Leeroy New, Kawayan Tech push bike for kids, Hamzah Marbella and Mitch Shivers’ Log-in.


Grateful to Patty Laurel for attending the press preview with her lovely mom and sister. Thank you to my Bench family for my pretty dress from Karen Millen.


Bid for one-of-a-kind pieces from notable Filipino artists and designers and help make a difference for children. The auction goes live on October 21-27, 2013 at

For a preview, visit or go to the Yuchengco Museum from October 3 to 26 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

This year’s auction is made possible through the generous participation of the Philippine Star, Yuchengco Museum, Summit Media, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, EBay Philippines, Citem and Manila Fame.



Nico Jose



Niccolo Jose, artist.


I love hearing stories of people who find their passion and “one true thing” through an accidental journey. That’s my story and many others’ too. Niccolo Jose, a visual artist, had a similar happy accident.

Nico was a student at International School Manila where he immersed himself in performance art. He tried to pursue Theatre as a major at the Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. While studying theatre arts he realized he was more interested in actual construction and design of the stage than being an actor. So he switched his program and landed with a double-major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. His works now reflect his knowledge of human anatomy, stage design and natural materials.

Nico recently showed his newest collection of three-dimensional art. The pieces continue to be displayed at his studio in LRI Design Plaza at 210 Nicanor Garcia St. Bel-Air Makati.








Niccolo Jose with Lifestyle Asia’s Christina Gomez and Tedrick Yau


Abel Jose, Yanah Laurel






The Lover
The Lover


Nico Jose generously donated a gorgeous piece of furniture to my online auction in UNICEF Auction for Action this October. Watch this blog for more information on how to bid. All proceeds will go to UNICEF programs for children in the Philippines.


For more information, or visit his showroom at LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia St, Makati.



Yahoo logo



I’m so glad Ghost Month is over. I never even knew it existed. But because of the new things I’m doing, I was made aware of it. I was told not to start anything new, sign contracts, or build anything during Ghost Month. Well, I broke all the rules and did all that. And I’m still alive. And hopefully my projects are all successful.

Yahoo! did the same thing. Is it just a coincidence, or did Yahoo! purposely use Ghost Month to tease and try out 30 different logos every day? Those were cringe worthy days, I tell ya. Then on the last day of the dreadful Ghost Month, September 4th – they unveiled the new Yahoo! logo.




It’s a bit more precise, without looking the quirk. There’s still a yodel in the end, so the playfulness is still there. I like that there are no real straight lines. As Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer puts it – “straight lines don’t exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature,” explaining all the slight curves.

It’s the first time Yahoo! updated it’s look in 18 years. I guess change was inevitable. I will miss the serifs and chubbiness of the old Yahoo! but I think this one isn’t so bad. It could have been worse, if you remember those 30 days. I don’t know if I like this, but I don’t hate it.

Be like Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer and geek out on every detail of the logo here.