“If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” —Epictetus
Simple, but true: we are the choices we make. Whether deliberate or not, big or small, we need to make good choices in life so that all will be well. The daily choices we make have the capacity to change the trajectory of our entire lives.
This new chapter in my life has been filled with so many family-centered choices. Though I feel that more and more social events are happening again, I have prioritized my time to keep my kids in the loop.
I am glad that my daughter, Jordan Valdes, is visiting from Siargao with her surfer beau, Darud Boticario. Both of them joined me in some of my affairs around town.
We attended the recent art exhibit of my Assumption classmate Connie Quirino, youngest child of Tomas Syquia Quirino and Conchita Rastrollo. Connie took art classes in the ’80s with her mentor and renowned painter Federico Aguilar Alcuaz. Little did she know that her first teacher then was destined to become a National Artist. For 12 years, Connie trained under L’Arc en Ciel run by Elaine Herbosa.
These talented artists have had several successful group exhibits. Connie shares that life has taught her many lessons, and one of them is perseverance. She says, “I realized that no matter what happens, art will survive and endure. And as an artist, I will continue to pursue my own definition of life through my works.”
With her manager and celebrity sister Cory Quirino, Connie has staged many art shows, with the latest one called “Bold and Beautiful” at the Art Gallery of Fashion Interiors, Makati City. Connie’s 50-piece solo exhibit is a fine balance between portraits, nudes, still lifes and landscapes.
I’ve been extremely proud of Connie since her first solo exhibit in 2001 titled “Romancing Life,” where Alcuaz was her guest of honor. Since then, her work has traveled the world with her, even all the way to New York. She is now back in the Philippine art scene.
Iconic Pinoy art
From Connie’s exhibit, in true Tessa fashion, I rushed to another event at Palms Country Club (Laguna Heights Drive, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa; tel. 7738-7826, 0926-6899014, 0927-3242984). Kartini Asia celebrated 20 years of business with the grand opening of the “Iconic Pinoy Art” exhibit.
The exhibit features magnificent renditions in painting and sculpture of renowned Filipino artists, which is a testament to Kartini Gallery’s advocacy in promoting Philippine art.
The exhibit showcases the genius of Joe Datuin, who was internationally acclaimed in the field of sculpture after he won the grand prize in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Art Contest (Sculpture Category) with his “Dancing Rings” rendered in stainless steel, besting artists from more than 30 countries.
The exhibit also features widely acclaimed artist Manuel Baldemor with his latest landscape compositions; the jeepney compositions of artist Jojo Garcia; the romantic abstractions of Jeff Dizon; Gilbert Angeles’ recycled art series made from plastic sachets; the acclaimed Mother and Child renditions of Aris Bagtas; and the winning pieces of Dale Bagtas, who won both the GSIS and Metrobank competitions in 2021.
Kartini Asia is also celebrating this year the addition of The Palms Country Club as its latest business address for Kartini Gallery, and its flower shop, Kartini Flora, located on the first floor.
Healing power of shopping
There is no doubt that the world is opening up again, both with social events and new opportunities. With these fresh beginnings coming our way, it is vital that we take precaution in protecting our mental, physical, and spiritual health—ensuring that we always make the right choices for ourselves and those around us.
Personally, my healing power of choice is shopping! Check out this weekend’s Katutubo pop-up bazaar (The Bench Tower, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; @katutubopopupmarket on Instagram).
Hosting the local arts and craft of local artisans and the latest fashion designers’ collections, Katutubo PH and Bench are extending their support to more than 50 merchants that include outfits from terno to streetwear.
Designers include Mandy de la Rama, Randy Ortiz, Pepito Albert and Rhett Eala, to name few. Apart from all the accessories, especially from my favorite, Adante Leyesa, check out the food additions from Morsels, From My Kitchen by Nicole Ortega and Casa Daza.
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