Saturday, December 08, 2007


Last Thursday, Bong Bong Marcos hosted a reception in the South Wing Gallery on the fifth floor of the Museum of the Filipino People. It was to commemorate the short-lived Basi Revolt that happened 200 years ago on September 16 to 28, 1807.

It was a wonderful gathering of many Manilenyo and Ilocano culturati -- from the academe to the performance and visual arts. Although not a member of any these groups, but nonethless a son of an Ilocano from Zambales, I went. I must admit, the abundance of basi and hors d'oeuvres (comprised of authentic Ilocano fare) certainly kept everyone's spirit bouyant; hence a splendid time was had by all.

Incidentally, untll next Friday, December 14, in the South Wing Gallery is a two-man exhibit, Aklasang Basi by Esteban Villanueva, an early 19th century Ilocano artist, and Roberto Feleo, a contemporary Tagalog painter and sculptor.

Regarded as the first historical paintings in Southeast Asia, these fourteen paintings that depict the Basi Revolt -- from the formation of the contending forces up to the defeat of the rebels -- were created in 1821 by the self-taught painter Villanueva. On the other hand, Feleo's two large murals and other works on display were inspired by Villanueva's paintings.

* * *

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:56 AM


Blogger Ang Kuwago said...

I used to drink Basi when my friends and I visit Baguio. At one time, we decided to get really drunk on Basi. It takes a lot of Basi to get drunk, and we downed several large bottles before we felt like we were soaring amidst the Baguio fog. hehe.

December 08, 2007 9:57 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It was sweet nga! But I had no idea it would take a lot to be affected by it so, I nursed a shot glass for what seemed like an eternity; afraid to get too drunk and tipsy, and thereby accidentally stepping on Madam's Stuart Weitzman shoe.

But then again, had I succumbed to the basi's intoxicating spirit, I may have had the courage to ask Madam to oblige me for a quick tango, if not a full-contact lambada :)

December 08, 2007 12:13 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

And you took the pictures of the Marcoses yourself? Wow!

Minimum security?

Is this a sign that all is forgotten and forgiven of the tumultuous Marcos years?

December 08, 2007 1:15 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

hey i know Roberto Feleo! But, where is his works?...or has he changed his medium (the sawdust). I admire his works so much. he was my colleague/co-teacher once and i learned so much from the books he lent me!

I got to taste a lot of local alchoholic drinks when in college---it was quite a number and after a while I got so mixed up from which was lambanog to basi. An artist friend tried to make her own basi though but it turned more vinegar-y than alchoholic beverage. But then she only wanted to make one out of curiousity.

Interesting too that the Marcos children have now white hair :-) they're more the Marcos elders :-)? Gosh! They're about the same age as me! I guess I'm in extreme denial here (ha-ha!)

December 08, 2007 1:40 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The wooden mural next to the harp player is one of Bobby's, Bernadette, as well as a number of others in the gallery.

The other bottle of basi which I got to sample has a more vinegary taste to it. Again, not much of an alcoholic drinker so I wouldn't really know how to critique this local wine, except that its sweet. I just hope that Ilocano youngsters don't get into it at an early age.

Yes, the Marcoses look much older now.

December 08, 2007 2:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Except for Madam, I got to meet her three children, Amadeo. They were all very friendly. I guess, it may be because many of the guests came from the Ilocos region. Also, there were many young people who seemed affiliated with various academic and cultural organizations so, the overall ambiance is relaxed and pleasantly cozy. But then again, it may be the basi :)

I didn't see any hardcore security personnel -- only some men out in the hallway who looked like family drivers. They were holding what appeared to be typical "piyansadora" handbags.

December 08, 2007 2:43 PM  

Blogger Major Tom said...

I can see how good those paintings are. They must have been worth a fortune, considering their ages...

December 08, 2007 2:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

At this point in time, Major Tom, I can only surmise that since these paintings are considered the first historical paintings in Southeast Asia, outside Manila, they are now priceless.

December 08, 2007 3:07 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

I tasted basi many years ago in a remote barrio in Tarlac when all the sari-sari stores ran out of beer. :-) It was sweet but my taste buds prefer tuba.

Now I'm itching to go to the National kaya today?

Imelda is still beautiful despite her age. :-)

December 08, 2007 3:30 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The one time I tasted tuba was when I had a sip from my father's glass while he went to the bathroom. I didn't like it ... hehehe.

Yes, Luna, it's open today. Monday is the only day it's closed.

Have fun!

December 08, 2007 5:35 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Great to see you are now part of the rich, the famous and the powerful...

I knew the Spanish made wine in the Philippines but I thought it stopped when the Spaniards left.
Sayang I wasn't aware of that. I would have tasted it when I was in Vigan.

I am always learning something new in your blog.

December 08, 2007 8:30 PM  

Blogger BW said...

Is that Bong-bong Marcos on the picture? Man, he did catch up with father time with his gray hair.

Good info on the basi history and the famous Ilocano wine. Gosh, it had been years since I had the sip of this concoction !

December 08, 2007 8:44 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Wow, the art gallery is really impressive. And nice photos Eric!


Happy weekend!

December 08, 2007 11:44 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


Piyansadora? Now I would be reminded of somebody who processes or offers bail in a criminal case.

Is there any other meaning?

Re Imelda, I actually have very close relatives in Baybay, Leyte, who one might say "rub elbows" with the Romualdezes. HeHeHe.

December 09, 2007 1:00 AM  

Blogger g_mirage said...

She has lovely lila peeped toe shoes hehe (5th foto). Not only are the paintings priceless but your photos of them are as well SenorE.

And yes, I can see the white hair on Bongbong too...and he's starting to look more like the late president...

December 09, 2007 1:55 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks much for your kind words, G. Mirage :)

I was very much surprised to see Bobng Bong with some white hair; however, he's able to keep a slim physique, or did he lose weight lately?

December 09, 2007 6:29 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It started amongst my older brothers, Amadeo -- calling those big bags favored by matronly women "piyansadora" handbags, which often contain what seem to be whatever they can dump into them as some guys would with the trunk of their cars ... hehehe! But my brothers would like to think they contain wads of money to bail out their truant sons or thuggish secret lovers.

Carlos Celdran has many tales to tell about Imelda, which he does on one of the walking tours he conducts -- hysterical!

December 09, 2007 6:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It is one of the many galleries inside the museum, Kyels, and well-maintained one at that. You must visit it next time you're in town :)

Thanks, dear .. have a good one, too!

December 09, 2007 6:38 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And that was the first for me, BW. I find it too sweet, while the other a little too vinegary. But must be good while having dinner or something.

Yup, they're certainly getting on with the years :)

December 09, 2007 6:39 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Only on that evening, Sidney ... hehehe. Nonethless, I was impressed by the friendliness of the Marcos children, especially Irene.

Besides basi, tobacco was another that the Spanish tried to monopolize that incited another Ilocano revolt. I guess the colonial government eventually learned not to take away basi and tobacco from the Ilocanos; otherwise ... hehehe ... giyera na!

By the way, I met one of the nieces of the artist of these 14 paintings, Sidney. Interesting controversy she shared with me -- the region's government grabbed ownership of the paintings from the rightful heirs of the artist.

December 09, 2007 6:45 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

I haven't had the chance to sample basi yet. Lambanog, several times na but from what my relatives (Ilokano kami) have been saying, wala daw sinabi ang lambi sa basi..hehehe :)

Uyy, me naman si Madam stepped on my foot at my Ninang's wedding party (she was tangoing with my dad and I wanted to cut in). But I also managed to pee on the floor of the CCP (on it's inaugural) right before Madam made her entrance. Too late to clean it so her long gown did the job of mopping up my mess...hehehe :)

December 10, 2007 9:55 AM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

Just a footnote on Imelda...I saw her yesterday afternoon at the fruit section of Market-Market, sampling fruits. She was in green...with 2 bodyguards. One of her bodyguards almost stepped on my doggie. :-)

December 10, 2007 1:33 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Fruits would be a good idea for her to munch on, Luna. I don't think she needs to gain anymore weight, especially at her age.

Glad to know your pooch didn't get stepped on. Ouch!

December 10, 2007 2:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Check you out, Scrooch ... you're the true socialite from our bunch here -- partying with Madam from such an early age ... hehehe.

But seriously, that has got to be a historic evening, for the CCP is basically the crown jewel of that entire complex. Hope your folks took some pics!

December 10, 2007 2:20 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

That must be a very nice social event dahil nandoon si madam and her siblings. I remember something about the Basi revolt and the wine. My father used to bring home some bottles whenever he visits some friends in Pangasinan and Ilokos. I tried it once, pero lasang prutas na maasim, no wonder, that's how they make vinegar also by over fermenting the juice.

December 11, 2007 12:48 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It certainly takes some getting used to, Reyd. Never tasted it before -- only tuba when I was a kid.

Yes, it was a nice party.

December 11, 2007 2:57 PM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

All this talk about basi has made me interested :)

Imeldific shops in Market! Market!? That's close to home. I've only spotted her (close range) at Sanctuario de San Antonio. Someone said you've got to see the look on her face when she takes Holy Communion.

December 12, 2007 1:55 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Lol ... I'd better not indulge on my thoughts on that one, Dave.

December 12, 2007 3:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

seeing the photos of the marcoses reminds me of the book about them
'the marcos dynasty' a very brave
book indeed.

February 17, 2008 8:57 PM  

Anonymous grace said...

naimbag nga aldaw. . .
i like this blog. . .
after reading it im contemplating of telling my hubby to send me ilocano wine BASI over to california. . .

July 14, 2009 9:01 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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