Monday, July 31, 2006


It's been a busy month over at The Living Room. Although no artist talks/exhibitions were held, the place was still abuzz with guests who share my objective of changing the way we look at the misunderstood City of Manila. First to check in at the end of June were Barcelona residents, Gabriel Diaz (above) and Miguel Trillo (below). Gabriel Diaz is an affable journalist of Uruguayan descent whose last assignment was in Sierra Leone. Miguel Trillo, the more serious one of the duo, is a photographer obsessed with documenting the urban avant-garde and the characters that dwell within. They were both sent over by Casa Asia to create a visitor's guide to Manila's alternative scene. They visited places as diverse as Imelda Marcos' Shoe Museum in Marikina, the I Love You Store, Cubao X, Club Mwah, and seedy little strip joints below the LRT Monumento station in Caloocan. We anxiously await it's publication. Some of Miguel's portrait work are posted below; some more are posted over here.

And bringing up the end of the month was Christian Razukas, the bespectacled fellow featured below. As the film programmer of the Louis Vuitton Honolulu International Film Festival, he flew into town for a few days just to check out the goodies on display over at Cinemalaya Film Festival held the CCP. And apparently, he was very pleased. A very charming fellow, he claims to have fallen in love with the city and hopes to be back in town again to check out other film festivals. Check out more about the scene surrounding the HIFF by clicking onto their blog here.

We hope this isn't the last time we see these guys over here in the town everyone loves to hate. The Living Room wishes you three a fond farewell for now and "Mabuhay!"

Oh. And thanks a million Doug for the fantastic post. Wish my tummy didn't look so big though...

Friday, July 14, 2006


And so it came to pass that the third Artist's Talk at The Living Room came to be. And if I must say so myself, it was perhaps the most successful one so far. The artist of the evening was the current artist-in-residence, Miss Jenifer Wofford, a Fil-Am multi-media artist from Oakland, California, US of A (pictured above chatting with yours truly.)

It was one of the best attended talks, too. The crowd topped off at - ooh, say, around twenty-three. Naturally, that number includes our dear helper, Susan (pictured above, peeking behind Jenifer who is beside my wife Tesa (L), the TLR technical director Denis Lagdameo (R)).

Fellow bloggers, Micketymoc (above on R) and his better half, Minette, as well as Watergirl and her friend, Ashani arrived bright and early. Meanwhile, bringing up the rear at the end of the talk were Susanne Lenz, Tilman Baumgartel, upstairs neighbors Butch, and Coco and Baby of Lumiere. Surreal moment of the evening: PR maven Junjun Poblador swanning in with recently outed Pinoy Brother survivor, Rustom Padilla. I know, wha...why is he here? I really don't know. Just wished I took a picture, though. It isn't very often when post-modern art discourse and Philippine showbiz meet and match.

So after a rather OK sunset on Manila Bay (there have been better ones), we all had a few beers and watched slides of her early sculptures (above). Afterwards, there was a screening of her video works, Cucaracha Motel, Flipflop on a stick, and Chicksilog. Some of the topics discussed that evening were: sculpture vis-a-vis two-dimensional work, the state of art education in the California public school system, feminism, the Filipino diaspora, nurses, her mother, my mother, and someone else's mother, and of course, the joys of her collaborative work with fellow Fil-Ams Eliza Barrios and Reanne Estrada in the renegade performance art trio, Mail Order Brides. It was a good talk, deep but not too pretentious; provocative but non-confrontational.

So after hoo-ing and hah-ing and way too much posing for photos, things finally wrapped up at around ten pm. Some headed off to the Preview Rock Glam party at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, while most of us just retired upstairs for some impromptu pasta.

All in all, I can say art is alive and well in downtown Manila. Hope to see more of you out here at the next artist talk.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I received a phone call from TV host/fabulous actor, Ricci Chan (familiar to many theatre buffs out there as Angel in the Manila production of the musical, "RENT" and as Didi in some performances of " Zsazsa Zaturnah Ze Musical". He needed a place in Malate to do a shoot called, "A Day In Malate". Hence a fashion statement was made at The Living Room. Well, kinda and barely. It was all for underwear. The photos appear in the June Issue of The HongKong gay newsletter, Dimsum. More photos below. Not for homophobes or for the ultra conservative, mind you.

Monday, July 03, 2006


The Living Room would like to shout out "Congratulations!" to former artist-in-residence, Antoni Abad (above, in pink shirt), for being one of the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2006, an international competition which seeks out the best in Cyberarts. His winning entry in the field of digital communities, was - an interactive site in which 40 people with disabilities used mobile phones to photograph their daily lives on the streets of Barcelona. With the help of Multi-Media Messaging, they created a map of every obstacle they came across. Check it out here.

Mabuhay ka, amigo. We hope to see you in Manila again soon.

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