Monday, May 5, 2008

Unang Kanto: Oarhouse

Hi guys, been out of blog circuit for more than a month due to recent travel in the Philipines. Good to be back, dear ol' Terra Australis! While recovering from a joyful month of seeing family and old friends and visiting islands and places, I've busied myself sorting out photos and writing  anecdotes still vivid in my mind.

Last April 6, just a week after arriving in Manila, my first of three-cornered exhibits opened at Oarhouse in Malate, Manila, an historic watering hole ran by Anabel Bosch and Reg Hernandez. The cosy pub comfortably accommodated 20 framed prints of digitally-manipulated and enhanced photographs I've all created in Sydney.

It was also birthday celebration of friend photographer Ben Razon , Oarhouse cyberkeeper. Ben likewise is a member of Banggaan Art Group, an old e-group of artists that jam in cyberspace. Banggaan inspired me to put up exhibits in Manila.

There were lots of cameraderie, one of which was abruptly closing Mabini St. for a photo opportunity. Great to see old time friends most of whom have become successful in their media , political, artistic and writing careers .

Why, even Claro Cortes, our Reuters man from Beijing was there... and Jimi Florcruz who also flew straight from Beijing, his face still fresh as I watched him last night on CNN as he reported on recent earthquake disaster in China.

In the early 70's Jimi was our college paper editor and I was editorial cartoonist. 

Banggaan artists, friends and Ben's guests (mostly photographers) were popping in doors and windows from everywhere:) Penman Krip Yuson was there, actor Ronnie Lazaro, musicians Heber Bartolome and Wally Gonzalez, artists Eric David, Glenn Baustista, Benjo Laygo, Arnel Agawin and a host more.

Good to see Global Nation editor/writer Sylvia Mayuga, poet/writer Marne Kilates, photographer Joe Galvez and US Bangger Tante Tagamolila. With us also were Dong Alegre, Peggy and Mutya Bose, comedian/mimic Willie Nepumuceno and La Salle dean Gerry Torres.

And while France withdrew its forces from NATO and insulin first synthesized in China; "A Man for All Seasons" getting Academy's best picture; while first hand-held calculator is invented by Texas Instruments;  our Araullo High School Class 1966 was that year ready to face brave, new frontier, albeit intrigued by adult world about to welcome us. Then in a blink of an eye 40 years have passed yet I saw my classmates again, whence  air was crispier and their speech resonated old tunes, even a nostalgic sense of a Quonset hut Social Studies class, this time inside Oarhouse! 

Araullians again in good ol’ Manila! Tony Baranda, good ol’ friend and kababata took an active role in inviting long-lost school friends and had a toast at Oarhouse! Salamat kapatid!

Heartfelt gratitude to my family members in Pasay.. Mila, Ricky, Marge,Camille and Gio; and family of my Menchie. Thanks for coming Aunty Ne, Uncle Pepe, Rowie and Gil. Childhood friends Elvis, Rod and Freddie whose company I've missed for so long were there. 

Of course, the crown goes to younger brother Ricky and his artist friends Jonet and Bodyi who were all behind preparing and setting up my three exhibits in three venues, including Oarhouse.

Thanks to all who attended Ben's birthday celebration and opening of my exhibit; gracias for an unforgettable night.

Meanwhile, here’s a photocollage (frontispiece) I did and a few photos I found in my camera.