Sunday, 13 January 2013

Casa San Miguel's 20th Pundaquit Season

An uncanny photo of Coke, he is indeed an angel of San Antonio
I love going to Zambales to visit ever creative Plet Bolipata in her farm. This is where she and her husband hied off in 2002 and established a home, in her family's mango orchard in San Antonio, Zambales.

The visit was a double treat - first to attend the opening of the 20th season of Casa San Miguel's annual Pundaquit festival dubbed "Pamana" and second,  to get a sneak peak of Plet's video "Manet of My Dreams". Note that she is currently taking a film course in Casa under the tutelage of Ruelo Zendo.

Mind you, the day was packed with several openings! First was the opening of the Museum of  Community Heritage at the third floor of Casa San Miguel.

Plet (in yellow) with her hubby Emong,  sister Non and pumpkins
Honestly, I am amazed by the constant transformation of Casa. It has completely changed since I first stepped foot way back in 1993. The ground floor now has  a restaurant called "Backstage Cafe" and the garden has a Bed and Breakfast. The third floor has been transformed into a museum to celebrate the history and culture of the town.

Currently on exhibit are: the wrap-around mural by local artist Zaniel Mariano, gigantic mobiles by Don Salubayba depicting sea creatures based on folk tales of Treasure of the Sea, a porcelain and earthenware collection salvaged from shipwrecks in the area, Nico Sepe's photographs of the fisherfolk community complemented by early 1900 black and white photographs of American anthropologist William Allen Reed  of indigenous aetas, bamboo poles with peepholes to view 1905 photos by a Mr. Damind and  videos of resident artists Ruel Lozendo and Geby Concepcion.
Nico Sepe's works
inside photos taken by Darmind in 1905 as part of a report by Allan Reed, and videos by resident artists Ruel Lozendo and Geby Concepcion
mobiles of sea creatures by  Don Saluyba
Good to see Amadis and Rome Jorge

Jazel Kristin
Next was the opening of multi-media artist and media practitioner,  Jazel Kristin's exhibit at the Siemen's Gallery called "I consume therefore I am."

Fresh from her artist-residency in Paris, Jazel's works are made up of cut-up images of food she's eaten and enjoyed in the different cities she's been in such as Paris, Baguio and Manila. She chose to mount these works on raw wooden chopping boards that "allowed her to cut,paint, gild, burn and destroy them to her heart's content."
"So I ask you, what consumes you" by Jazel Kristin, mixed media, 2012.
"Everything I touch turns into gold", mixed media, 2012.

After the exhibit, we were ushered to Ramon L. Corpus hall to listen to the Pundaquit Virtousi's concert. Coke opened the program with a solo violin performance. The "Pamana" video was shown. This is a  UNESCO  project promoting the Philippines' five world heritage sites, original music by Coke and the text  by award winning poet Vim Nadera.

Setting up the sneak preview of "Manet of my dreams"
The concert was followed by a dinner (more like a feast of local bests) at the Backstage Cafe and performance by the folk dancers from the local community under the direction of Manolito Basillo.
During dinner, we hurried to Plet's to watch her short film.

The Pundaquit Festival is an annual community program of Casa San Miguel to develop the local fishing community through various programs including long and short term residencies for visiting artists, performances, workshops and exhibits.  The Festival will run until May with different exhibits and Saturday performance. For more info, visit

Feb 9 - Geric Cruz's 'I Feel Safe' here exhibit, 'Next Wave' featuring shorts by Film students Plet bolipata, Glenn dela Cruz and Henessy Casiano.
March 16 - Foundation Day and Brendale Tadeo exhibit
March 29 - Seven Last Words of Christ and Geloy Concepcion's exhibit
April 26 - Conference for Art Educators
May 11 - Aviva Lerer's exhibit and Kianne Esteban's recital
May 19 - Karlo Gatus' exhibit
May 20 - Gab Mendoza's recital

P.S. For those who want to spend a weekend at Casa, check out their bed and breakfast. It has five airconditioned guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Do book really early since the rooms fill up fast especially during the festival season. Also, if you are a surfer, bring your surf board and hit the waves in Pundaquit, a 15-min walk from Casa.

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