Manila’s ‘500’ brave the traffic for Bravo
‘An exhibit of a foreign painter capturing the distinguished people of another country is something unique’By Marge C. Enriquez |Philippine Daily Inquirer
When Chilean painter Claudio Bravo died last June 2011, Paulina Silva, a painter and wife of Ambassador of Chile Roberto Mayorga, suggested an exhibit commemorating his sojourn in the Philippines.
The envoy knew that Oscar Lopez of the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) had relatives who sat for Bravo. When he broached the idea to Lopez, the patriarch got excited. He appointed his daughter Cedie Lopez-Vargas, director of the Lopez Museum, to organize the Claudio Bravo exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. It would also mark the 202nd anniversary of the National Day of Chile.
The formal affair last Sept. 18 was attended by the Zobels, Elizaldes, Aranetas, Manahans, Cojuangcos, to name a few, and the diplomatic corps, naturally. Some 500 braved the traffic to view the exhibit. Mayorga was told that it was the first time that a foreign country’s national day was celebrated with an art form that bridged two countries.
“An exhibit of a foreign painter capturing the distinguished people of another country is something unique,” said Mayorga.
In his speech, Lopez, chairman emeritus of the Lopez Group, said EDC has been undertaking exploration activities in geothermal energy in Chile. “We hope to likewise contribute to the supply of clean and renewable energy into the homes and industries of Chile.”
Lopez recalled meeting Bravo in January 1968 during the 40th wedding anniversary of his parents, Don Eugenio Lopez Sr. and Pacita Moreno. He said that during Bravo’s stay, some of the Lopez family members had a sitting with him—his mother, his sister Presy Lopez-Psinakis and his sister-in-law Conchita Lopez-Taylor.
At the front row of the ceremonies sat Bravo’s big-time subjects: Katherine Young, Tessie Luz, Baby Forés, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala and Mari Carmen Roxas Elizalde.
While guests sipped Chilean wine and nibbled chicharon with Laguna cheese, served by Cibo, they examined the 29 portraits and drawings.
The diversion that night was the boyish-looking ambassador from Panama, Roberto Carlos Vallarino Moreno, 35, who had women swarming around him.