Latest Stories

Kuh Ledesma makes the most of yet another talent

The singer and businesswoman has rediscovered her art, and paints ‘metaphors of life’ for her one-woman exhibit


KUH LEDESMA with “Pregnant”

Singer, businesswoman, decorator, hotelier and evangelist, Kuh Ledesma has discovered that a sense of purpose is the deepest expression of the heart and soul. Recently, she rekindled her passion for painting, which conveys her innermost feelings.

On Sept. 12, she will hold a preview of her exhibit, “Unexpected,” at Whitespace, followed by a full exhibit starting Sept. 13.

The themes are metaphors of life and studies in flat shapes, bold colors, and curvilinear and rectangular patterns. She describes her style as “abstract,” mostly broad strokes sweeping across the canvas.

“I do a lot of lines,” she said. “I’ve got black and gold, colorful and white themes.”

It’s an oft-repeated story, how she loved painting in her youth but got sidetracked to a musical career.

GOLD and black themes symbolize God purifying the soul. An old tree branch
becomes an architectural detail in the bathroom. PHOTOS BY NELSON MATAWARAN

“The success made me focus on music,” she said. Now at an age which she doesn’t want to reveal, she taught herself how to paint, and is learning the business of selling her art.

On how she got serious about painting, she quoted the parable of the talents, about the master who gave his three servants talents (a form of currency) according to their skills. One received eight talents, the second received four and the last received one.

When the master met them again, the two who increased their talents were rewarded, while the one who received one talent and hid it in the ground was penalized for laziness.

The moral is to make the most of what was given us, she said.

KUH LEDESMA’S “Harvest,” inspired by the Biblical stories on abundance

Ledesma seeks Divine Guidance by waking up at 5 a.m., and starting the day with a thanksgiving prayer and Bible study. She would paint for as long as 10 hours in a makeshift studio at Hacienda Isabella in Cavite, or in her home in Mandaluyong.

Purifying powers

A VIGNETTE composed of a black-and-white abstraction of a harvest, and rustic furniture

Some paintings were washed in black and embellished with swirling gold patterns. Ledesma said they were allusions to the blackened soul being transformed into gold by God’s purifying powers.

UNFINISHED work at the bar

Others were abstractions of a broken cello, compositions of rectangular patterns and flowers.

“When I visit museums abroad, I would look at the paintings more closely and examine their detail and textures. In modern art, anything is possible,” she said. “A painter paints from the inside. It’s the sum total of what you’ve experienced. When you’re connected with God, you paint the things that will glorify Him.”

Ledesma cited that aside from painting, decorating was a childhood talent. She drew master plans of communities and building perspectives.

The talent for interior design was put to good use when Hacienda Isabella was built.

A BLACK painting with abstract foliage design is a focal point in the Oriental room.

The place was a small five-bedroom farmhouse on a 4.5-hectare property in Mendes, Cavite. When a friend held his wedding at the garden, guests started making inquiries for possible bookings, and Ledesma saw the business potential.

Today, the 50-room property consists of 12 buildings and a swimming pool.

Ledesma favored a rustic look, with whitewashed walls and cement floors emphasizing the time-worn look of the antique furniture and the exaggerated proportions of their replicas. All the beds are framed with sheer curtains.

THE ORIGINAL house which has been turned into the reception and main hall.

Over time, she added color, such as sand tones for the Marrakesh room and red for the Chinoise.

“I started with Balinese and a lot of Filipino antiques, then it went on to other diverse styles,” she said.

On hindsight, Ledesma is grateful for how the Bible has taught her how to multiply her talents. “It’s a powerhouse for lessons on how to live an abundant life.”

Whitespace is at 2314, Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Art , Celebrities , Kuh Ledesma , Lifestyle , painting , People

  • julymorning

    abstract my foot! this is the alleged form of art claimed by self-proclaimed artists who could not even draw a simple cat let alone a  human face. i’ll bet my old sandals if kuh could even draw still life

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZS723M7OQL5GJ43IEJMJUDDIY hanep

    Didn’t  like  her  singing.  Don’t  like  her  art.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    Oy, art na pala ang mga bilog bilog na mga iginuhit guhit lang.
    Nai-zoom ko kasi marunong naman ako mag-appreciate ng art.
    Kaya lang pagka-zoom ko, eh, para akong binangunot.
    Naalala ko tuloy noong bata pa ako at ang bunso kong kapatid ay
    nagpuslit ng dalawang piso sa pitaka ng ate para pumunta sa peryahan para sumakay sa
    ferris wheel. Komo wala naman sumasakay ay isinakay na rin kaming mga bata
    kahi’t bawal at gabi naman. Ang gagong umaandar ng ferris wheel ay biglang binilisan ba naman.
    Nagsisigaw at nahulog ang mga tsinelas namin at pagkatapos ay umiiyak at nagtatakbo
    pagkahinto ng ferris wheel. Sa mga sumunod na dalawang gabi ay binangungot ako na
    nahuhulog sa ferris wheel habang maraming bilog na nasasalubong pero hindi naman
    mahawakan. Ooops ginanahan akong magkuwento. Sorry Kuh, ha. Nawili lang ako.
    Stone, stone from heaven. Matamaan ay nagbubukol. Pero, sa totoo lang, My sister
    loved your voice and song. A long, long time ago. I swear.


    Paintings ‘NO”, Gaffiti ‘YES’…Singing talent YES.. Good back-up for Lani M. though….Sorry Ms Kuh..

  • Ellen Eslao

    bumebenta naman yata eh..hayaan na, bisnes is bisnes. pag kumikita nang maayos, why not coconut

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  10. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia