From July 9 to 25, “Elemental Landscape” attracted a large number of art collectors to the Qube Gallery at the Crossroads in Banilad. This was a solo exhibit by Janine Barrera, who has been into painting since childhood.
Janine is the daughter of Remy Gaboya Barrera and the late Manoling Barrera. For quite a while now, she has been immersed in the art scene of San Francisco, California, where she resides and is regarded as a fine artist.
Instead of an opening event, Janine had a culminating reception attended by Cebu’s art enthusiasts, plus a horde of family, friends and batchmates from her high school days in St. Theresa’s College-Cebu.
Before this, they had snapped up most of the works on display, which were mostly abstracts in luminous colors, inspired by nature. Janine calls it non-objective art.
With her for this Cebu homecoming were her supportive husband Eduardo Castillo and their two sons, Steven and Sam.
Early birds at the event had been her mother Remy with dear friends Sony Velez and Tita Zosa. Janine’s first cousin Myra Magsaysay Sun was present, too, admiring every canvas.
Present were artists Dennis Montera and Javy Villacin, architect Maxwell Espina, Maia Franco, art collector Alicia Plaza, Elvira Luym and daughter Kaye Sala, Shige and Kumiko Onda, Barbara Abello, Paul van Hogen, Laverne Rosello, Ina Ronquillo, June Marie Dosdos, Frances Siao, Merce Abellana, Loida Montesclaros, Mike and Rose Hennessy.
Guest of honor
Claire-Lise Dautry, executive director of Alliance Française de Singapour, came to Cebu for an all-too-brief visit. She was guest of honor at a dinner given at La Maison Rose. This French restaurant of first magnitude is within the premises of Alliance Française de Cebu.
Present were Alliance Française de Cebu president Michel Lhuillier, Honorary Consul of France, with his wife Amparito; the managing director Louis Thevenin with his wife Honeylet; deputy director Thomas Le Grand; and trustee Marlinda Tan.
Conversation was witty as well as most informative, more so for the excellent red wine chosen for the occasion, and the excellent menu.
It started with scallop carpaccio smothered by cirrus spume. Then came a slab of fried foie gras over a bed of flavorful mango chutney, and a fish dish, “Rouget en croute de tapende” with ratatouille and saffron emulsion. Dessert consisted of dollops of lemon tart, and never was meringue tastier.
La Maison Rose’s new executive chef, Anthony Simon, was asked to come and collect due applause. He has just come from Paris, and is only 32 years of age. He is happy at La Maison Rose where he is encouraged to show his creative prowess, as he did that evening. He only speaks French, but in no time he’ll be expressing himself in English and Cebuano.
Friends from the press were invited to sample the latest dishes offered at Mizu, the Japanese restaurant at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Welcoming all was Karen Hassim, who led us all to a special area.
The occasion was actually to meet the top men of the hotel, led by the new general manager Grant Raymund Jefferies, who is Australian. He has been in the hotel industry since he was 6, his parents being owners of a hotel.
He has been all over the world, and now finds Cebu a challenging destination. He has many innovative ideas. One of them is a 50-percent discount at Café Uno on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the all-day buffet.
The Waterfront in Cebu has one of the largest ballrooms in the Visayas. Under the supervision of Jefferies, it is being refurbished to make it a proper venue for grand shows featuring international stars.
“Tell us who you have in mind,” said Jefferies, “and we’ll start making arrangements to bring him, her, or them to Cebu.”
Usually the beauty pageant for Miss Cebu in January is held at the Cebu City’s Waterfront Hotel.
Present on this occasion were the genial corporate executive chef Mark Mulder, who is a Dutch national; the food and beverage director Michele Catini, who is Italian; sales manager Gayle More; marketing communications manager Arnel Aparis; and Gerralyn Longakit, conventions and events manager.
The Japenese food served was exquisite and different from the usual fare. Mizu is just one of the international food outlets in the hotel. There is Tin Gow with the best Chinese cuisine in town; and La Gondola, which serves fine Italian specialties.
The grandest gathering of the season was the birthday celebrations of Tony Lozada, Maricar Perdices, Eduardo Gonzalez, Margie Taylor and Jose Mari Moraza. They all turned 70 within the month of July.
They gathered close family and friends for a stomping affair at the ballroom of the Casino Español de Cebu for a great night of food (make your own pansit was just one of the possibilities), wines and spirits, and dancing to a band that lasted beyond 2 a.m.
People did the boogie, the twist, the frug, the elephant walk, the Latin American beats, even the Calypso when the “Banana Boat Song” was blared. That one really caused everyone to abandon their seats and give in to the exotic lure of the Caribbean.