Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Found this Molave wood sculpture by Manila artist, Romeo Factor, at the Contreras Sculptures at SM Megamall’s Artwalk.

It was mainly my appreciation for both our indigenous wood and local artists that inspired me to acquire it. Since then, I had purchased two more wooden sculptures by two other Manilenyo artists. Thought my buying these would demonstrate my support for our upcoming local artists.

Incidentally, members of the National Press Club are in an uproar over the clandestine sale, for P10 million, of the huge mural that used to hang on the wall in the dining hall of the National Press Club. The creator of the mural was national artist Vicente Manansala; the buyer was an unidentified private individual.

Those behind the sale of this national treasure claimed that termites were eating up the mural which is painted on lawanit boards, and that proceeds of the sale would pay for a new elevator.

However, this mural was commissioned to Vicente Manansala by the Manila Chronicle when the press club building was being built in the mid-1950s. It was donated to the NPC by the Lopezes with the condition that if the NPC doesn’t want the mural anymore, it would revert to the Lopez family. I can only surmise that a long litigation for its return to the righful owner might be in the offing.

Be that as it may, for those looking for some artsy things to do, here are some visual art exhibitions in Metro Manila that are worth checking out:

The Colonial Imaginary
Photography in the Philippines during the Spanish period (1860-1898)
until February 28th
Telephone: 527-1215

Extramuros: Life Outside the Walled City
Nineteenth-century prints from he BPI collection; genre scenes of the city and country
until January 31st
Telephone: 757-7117

Herbs, Harmony and Health
The science and history behind the traditional Chinese medicine
until January 31st
BAHAY TSINOY (Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center)
Telephone: 526-6796

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:11 PM


Blogger christine said...

This is a beautiful piece, I love it. I haven't seen many nice wooden sculptures. I'm just wondering, there's no problem taking molave or other wooden piece out of the county, right? I'd hate to spend money on a nice sculpture but would have to leave it behind if I move out of the country.

January 17, 2007 9:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the tips on the art/photography exhibits! i remember seeing a spanish photography exhibit at the national museum a couple of years ago. =) will definitely check them out. =)

January 18, 2007 5:40 AM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

nice pick up senor. i am partial to wood carvings too. they are masterpieces.

January 18, 2007 7:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Christine -- from what I was told, anything Molave is not ideal for export to North America with its extreme seasonal weather changes; the wood might crack. If ever I move back to NYC again, I might just donate my molave pieces to a local art school or museum for people to see, and hopefully, appreciate.

January 18, 2007 9:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'd probably go see all three of these exhibitions, Carla. They do seem very interesting!

January 18, 2007 9:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Photo Cache. Yes, I do enjoy wood sculptures. Wish I were rich and able to commission a tall wooden sculpture like those in art museums.

January 18, 2007 9:46 AM  

Blogger GingGoy said...

any kind of wood can be exported to the cold countries.

only problem with most philippine carvers, like from my hometown Paete, is that they don't have the proper knowhow in curing before shipping

no need for curing if only in tropical philippines. exporting to "frosty" places require them

hope to visit the ayala museum exhibit nearby :)

January 18, 2007 11:01 AM  

Blogger KJS said...

I recently attended my first art show in NYC!

January 18, 2007 11:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm surprised, Tito, that DTI hasn't implemented any program to teach our wood-based industry people to learn about curing techniques.

Btw, I think there is also an existing ban on chopping down our trees.

Yes, that Ayala Museum exhibit seems interesting.

January 18, 2007 1:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That is so wonderful, BNY! Which one?

You're indeed fast becoming a quintessensial New Yorker :)


January 18, 2007 1:55 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


I have with me a similar-looking sculpture, or more like wood carving, maybe made of molave, too, but full figure and very tribal-looking; and quite small. Brought it from the old hometown and may be quite common in our area. And it doubles up as a nut-cracker.

And you are right about Philippine hardwood as not recommended for temperate climates. Learned that when we had wishful plans to export furniture many years ago. Thus explained why we typically see rattan and similar materials used for imported furniture here (coming from PI).

But would curing help, too?

January 18, 2007 7:50 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol! I think this one I have may be too big and cumbersome to double as a nut cracker, Amadeo!

Molave is a beautiful wood. I'm really surprised why we haven't come up with an effective curing technique to prevent it from cracking.

Btw, molave is one on the list of our local hardwood trees that cannot be chopped down.

January 19, 2007 7:23 AM  

Blogger wernicke said...

Your blog brings to mind the neglected bench wood works of Jerry Araos being used as tambayan by UP students at the AS Lobby (the lobby of Palma Hall in UP Diliman). I'm not sure though if they are still there.

Señor Enrique, would you know if the The Colonial Imaginary is in the old or the new National Museum? I would like to check that one out.


January 25, 2007 4:57 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not sure where The Colonial Imaginary is Wernicke.

I have actually the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, but had not returned to the National Museum since my first visit.

You might want to inquire directly. Here's their number:


email: nmuseum@i-next,net

Good luck!

January 26, 2007 9:30 AM  

Blogger wernicke said...

Thanks! I saw an announcement last Friday - it's at the new National Museum, the one beside Orchidarium, in front of Lapu Lapu's monument.

January 29, 2007 4:38 PM  

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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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