There is Italy, and there is Venice. This city in the north of Italy is built on more than 100 small islands and on centuries-old culture, commerce and otherworldly beauty.
The 56th Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition held once every two years since its founding in 1895, making it the perfect melding of the past and present.
This year, after being absent from the exhibition for 51 years, the Philippines was asked to participate again in this prestigious event.
A group of 20 old and new friends got together to enjoy the Biennale as well as Venice’s rich history and, of course, to celebrate friendships.
I was also there to support the Philippine pavilion, which was lauded by several top art critics and institutions as one of the Top 10 pavilions among 89 in the Biennale.
Congratulations are in order for the team: filmographer Manny Montelibano, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan Garcia, curator Patrick Flores, installation artist José Tence Ruiz, professor Felipe de Leon Jr. and, the woman who spearheaded this amazing project, Sen. Loren Legarda.
It was a memorable trip not just because of the sensory pleasures, nonstop shopping and overindulged stomachs groaning from the pasta, pizza and ice cream, but also for the catch-up conversations and priceless moments that renewed old friendships.
So now, foremost on everyone’s mind is, where to next?