Category Archives: INKSOUNDPALETTE

Book reviews, music features, art exhibits, indie film, theater, dance


Introducing Ava Canaceli

Think of contemporary Christian music singer Evie (family name Tornquist Karlsson) of the 70’s, Filipino gospel singer Gigi Villa from the 80’s (now Mrs. Gigi Villa Kenney, wife of Pastor John David Kenney based in Jakarta, Indonesia who had a successful music ministry in the United States under the banner Evangeline Ministries), or even Kari Jobe from 2009!

The self-titled debut album from Ava Canaceli has great packaging (great photos and lay-out courtesy of one of her sisters), and great production due in part to a cohesive band that provides her with the instrumentation to complement her sweet soprano voice, and another sister providing back-up vocals in most of the songs. The recording itself is clean with a crisp, clear sound.

14322771_673968696099014_2549779689003850698_nBut what makes this album stand out are the songs themselves, and the voice delivering the message of hope and love. All the songs were written by Ava between 2010 to 2015, with five of the tracks recorded in 2014, and one recorded this year. The first track is a youthful song reminding one to “take it slow and not rush into relationships”, hence Dahan-dahan Lang. The second track Isang Pintig continues where the first track left off, this time to “savor the relationship until the time comes when the two become one” – marriage as the goal. Whereas the first two tracks are ditties (a.k.a. love songs) and easy on the ears, the third track Paikot-ikot makes you stop and listen. The tempo picks up but is still light and easy on the ears (jazzy a la Sitti), and you are hooked by the chorus, tackling falling in and out of love in a positive tone that leaves you with Last Song Syndrome (LSS). If there was one big ballad on the album, it is the fourth track. Kung Mawala Man Ang Lahat tackles changing circumstances when blessings such as material wealth, dreams, even love relationships are lost and you go through a dry season – would you still sing a song of praise? Everyone can relate to this song. The remaining two tracks, Wala Nang Iba and Para Sayo are praise and worship songs that are adaptable to worship teams and youth choirs.

Good news is that the album contains accompaniment tracks of all the songs, hence the album becomes an invaluable addition to the music library of churches and youth groups, a perfect example of Original Pilipino (Christian) Music.

motex107To order the album:

1. Visit page and send a message.

2. Send your order info (format):

Complete name: Complete address: Mobile number: CD Quantity: Amount to Deposit:

***CD cost is P275.00 ***LBC Shipping Fee is P160.00

3. Visit any BPI Bank and deposit the amount to:

Name: Ma. Vanessa Ava Canaceli Account No. 4519-1193-37

4. Scan a copy of your deposited/payment receipt and send it to her.




How are the “Women of the Weeping River”?

The scene starts off with an aerial shot of a secondary forest at early morning with the sounds of nature in the background. After a few seconds, the camera dives into the canopy of trees to reveal two women in the undergrowth garbed in blouses and malong skirts placing their location somewhere in Mindanao. They are dragging a body wrapped in cloth by the upper torso, with only the feet showing. It has to be the body of an adult male as it takes the strength of the two women to progress through the dense forest. They leave a muddy trail behind.
With this dramatic opening scene, award-winning indie and documentary film director and writer Sheron Dayoc introduces the lead character Satra to the audience.
Blood feud, locally known as “rido,” is the central conflict of the film and is being practiced by some Muslim communities until the present. There have been government efforts to curtail this practice but it has proven unsuccessful so far. Many disputes over land ownership lead to blood feuds carried out by men through several generations. There is an unwritten code that women are spared from bloodshed for it is deemed shameful and dishonorable for men to harm them. And so the adult men in rival families dwindle as they strive to avenge the death of their family members leaving behind the women and children to carry on with their lives and to fend for themselves.
What would otherwise have been gory scenes are presented in good taste through excellent cinematography. A young boy being pursued by an adult male from a rival family through the forest, weakened by the loss of blood through a stab wound in the stomach, falls on his face, still far from his home and not within hearing distance from rescuers. The pursuer catches up with him and starts hacking him with a jungle knife (bolo) as he lay on the ground. Mercifully, the camera angle only shows the killer hacking away but you get the idea of what occurred.
Satra initially seeks vengeance for the death of her husband and uncles but finds herself being convinced by Farida, a mediator trying to reconcile the rival families, to leave the land after the death of her only child Amiya.
A river borders the land occupied by Satra’s and Shadiya’s family. Both families get their water from the same source and as the conflict escalates, a murder taints the waters red. Flashbacks to earlier times and happier days show a couple bathing in the river’s pristine waters. Fast forward to present day and Satra is found swimming in the river crying over the loss of her only child at the hands of the rival family. Hence, the weeping river.
A conflict arises within the family as Satra’s father and brothers refuse to leave. They would rather die fighting for their land. To prevent the loss of her remaining male family, Satra secretly meets up with Shadiya, the matriarch of the rival clan, to seek possible reconciliation.
The movie thus ends in a hopeful note.
All of the cast are raw natural talents who delivered great acting, credit due in part to the acting coaches in their production team.
Thank God for independent movie producers who eschew formulas for commercial success, and the benefactors who support these artistic and creative endeavors. They provide society with the much needed insight and perspective.
The practice of “rido” may not yet be completely removed from Mindanao due to the long history of political conflict that continues to haunt the island until today, but with films like these giving other Filipinos and the world an inside perspective, understanding and compassion in action may yet prove to be the catalyst for reconciliation.
Women of the Weeping River won Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor at the recently concluded QCinema International Festival! Congratulations to the team and entire cast: Mr. Fernando Ortigas and EA Rocha from Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Entertainment and Artikulo Uno Productions, Cinematogrphy by Rommel Andreo Sales. Special mention to former colleague Dianna Jean Callejo-Cruz, Line Producer for the movie. We are so proud of you :)
The Line Producer with the Lead Actress Ms. Laila Ulao, a nurse by profession
*** All photos used provided by Ms. Dianna Jean Callejo-Cruz

Intimations of Immortality


Fine Art photographer Marlon Despues is a graduate of the College of Environmental Design, University of California at Berkeley, USA, Class of ’81 where he studied architecture, science, poetry, and where he was classically trained in photography almost thirty years ago. 

In July 18 – Sept. 9, 2006, the Instituto Cervantes located at 855 T.M. Kalaw St., 1004 Ermita, Manila presented 800 + of his nude photo images  in a solo exhibit entitled LA PIEL COMO METAFORA, Fotografias de Marlon Despues.

Collecting images for this 800 plus photo exhibit began in 2005 with the gracious support from a host of volunteers, most of whom joined the project through referrals from other participants – including doctors, directors, teachers, politicians, tricycle drivers, models, artists, diplomats, many coming from Spain, the United States, Australia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Korea, China, India, Japan but mostly from the Republic of the Philippines.


Sofia Guillermo observes in her blog published in August 2006:

“In his landmark exhibit at Instituto Cervantes, over 800 photographs have taken over walls and part of the ceiling to form, as it were, the building’s inner skin……Admittedly, the exhibit overwhelms at first viewing and must give the most jaded exhibit-goer pause. After all, on how many occasions are we confronted with hundreds of photographs–not to mention skin portraits–placed edge-to-edge? Yet this is the intended effect. Current commercial nudes have an all-look-same tendency and it is this that the exhibit’s massive attack approach ironically plays on. But to zero in on one portrait is to realize the subject’s individuality and each photograph tells a story–a chapter of autobiography, perhaps–as written on the skin and body. Every curve, every body part, every pose, was chosen by the model to represent his or her entirety, as in synecdoche.”

“It cannot be helped that a photography exhibit of bodies unidealized and individualized should evoke intimations of mortality. In the past year since the earliest photographs were taken, not one of the models–and not even the photographer–can say that nothing has changed about their bodies. Yet the sheer number of people who participated in this collaboration transforms what could have been just another show of skin into a celebration of our vulnerable humanity and an affirmation of the beauty in simply being alive.”

In an interview with lifestyle journalist Oliver Quingco II in the latter part of 2004 for Art Manila QuARTerly Magazine published by the Manila Times, Marlon Despues elaborates on Fine Art Photography:

“My methods are both classic and contemporary – classic because I learned by apprenticing with some of the best black and white photographers in the West, and contemporary because my approach is spur of the moment, capturing a fleeting but interesting arc of human experience. As such, my images are spontaneous and never contrived.”


His nudes exude life – revealing, intimate and playful. He says that part of his motivation in doing nudes is to test its limits within the context of Filipino culture. He explains that unlike other photographers who pay their models to disrobe, his is a collaborative effort between him and his “guests.” He credits his good fortune to the fact that he is not afraid to ask people, even strangers, to pose for him and when they agree, he never dictates on them. Regardless of their status in life (from executives to household help), or gender orientation (heterosexual or gay), or physical condition (fit or obese, pregnant, with scars from surgery or amputations), or marital status (singles, couples, separated, in between), or age (teens to octogenarians), he always asks for their input during the pictorials. Some are at ease showing their faces while others prefer to reveal only certain body parts for the exhibits, but Despues ensures anonymity for all collaborators in deference to their privacy.


When asked to elaborate on what role photography has in his life, Despues waxes poetic.

“When you read a poem and are moved by it, you cannot attribute that to any one particular element. It is in its entirety that the power of inspiration is at its strongest. I can’t say where photography begins and ends in my life. It’s a continuum. You see, it is no longer just an art form. It intertwines with life itself. It now takes on a different meaning. My goal in life is not to make a name for myself or become one of the highest paid photographers in the country, although I may become that somewhere along the way. My goal is to do things which are of significance (benchmarks) that would allow me to find my place and become one with the continuum of photography. Like those who have come before me, I hope to draw others into it and contribute to its development.”

Short of realizing his dream photography exhibit of 1,000 nudes, Marlon Despues died of a heart attack in February 5, 2007.

He was 46 years old.





“There’s more than enough singers and songwriters out there. So let’s find what’s unique about you – not just your music, but the message of your life.” - an advice from singer-songwriter Brian Bates who became a friend through the internet.


Taking on a holistic approach at sharing the message of his life, kurios first tackled his website project early on in October 2009 with the help of some close friends and colleagues.


“More than just another website, it is a tool I use to engage youth and popular culture through eyes of faith with the ultimate goal of knowing Christ and making Him known. It has sections on men’s lifestyle (eleMENtal), travel (alternate route), features on the seven arts – music, visual arts, film, architecture, dance, literature and theater (inksoundpalette), various advocacies that make the world a better place to live in one day at a time (MAN to MAN), and food articles (degustation).”

“As a way of promoting the website, I have recorded a music sampler (non-commercial) which contains two OPM love songs composed by award winning composer Lisa Diy, another power ballad by theater stalwart Lito Villareal, and a cover of a Margaret Becker original which was made into a music video shot on location at Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort in Oslob, Cebu.” 

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In 1994 at a youth group bible study, Oliver Quingco II took on kurios as his pseudonym, a Greek word that means “lord”, signifying his submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Any work that comes under the banner kurios is specially offered to the one true source of all creativity and inspiration – God.

Äs an artist, kurios hopes to impact pop culture in a way that will enrich people’s lives – that they will see the reality of God at work in their everyday lives through his creative expressions; and that they will hear God’s voice far above his own.

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Oliver Quingco II has been a record executive at the following record companies:

Label Manager at Praise Music, Inc. from 1995-1997

Business Development & Media Relations Officer at Shekinah Music in 1999

Artist & Repertoire Officer at Verje Music Publishing under VIVA Records in 2000



All I Ever Wanted (CCM Sampler) 2009

Stories from the Streets (Advocacy Sampler) 2010

White Christmas (Christmas Sampler) 2010

Ngayon Lang (OPM Sampler) 2011

Like I Love You (Love Songs) 2012

Cradle Songs (Lullabies) 2013

In the Company of Sinners (Songs on the Life of Christ) 2014






All I Ever Wanted for 2010

Say the Name Gospel Jam 2010

Soundcheck Teaser 2010

Soundcheck Post-event AVP 2010

Find Me AVP for 2010

Ask Me AVP for 2010

Nobody But You for 2011

Salamat Edgeradio 2011

Salamat Christian Music Festival 2011

It Matters to You at The Re-United Organization 2011


Genre: Alternative
Country: Philippines
State or Region: Metro Manila
City: Quezon City
Influences: Lito Villareal, Jungee Marcelo, Reuben Laurente, Terry Javier, Girl Valencia, Margaret Becker, Kim Hill, Julie Miller, Out of the Grey, Amy Grant, Sam Phillips, Trace Balin, Tony Vincent, Russ Taff, Michael English, ClayCrosse, Christafari, Jars of Clay1334137448_kuriosfiles


Transwing Art Gallery: showcasing Filipino art to Germany & Europe

an interview feature on gallery owners Mr. Klaus Werner Hartung and his wife Mrs. Jane Rodriguez Hartung


How long have you been residing in DarmstadtGermany?

We transferred to Darmstadt – that is actually the city were Klaus was born – when our youngest daughter was 2 years old to have more space for both children to have their own rooms. That was around 8-9 years ago.

We understand it was originally planned to be a private residence. When did you decide to have an art gallery within the premises?

We purchased the house after it was damaged by fire. We renovated it and extended the house as well as constructed the showroom. We transferred the Transwing office to our residence from another location and at the same time started the sale of ceramic and porcelain dinnerware, as we do in the Philippines through our subsidiary Royal Accent Group, Inc., where we are the exclusive distributor for German brands WMF AG, as well as Seltmann Weiden porcelain.

Around 5 years ago, we were approached by Kunst Gallery Philippines which is based in Batangas to assist them in promoting art in Germany. We decided to open the Transwing Art Gallery ( in our premises. Since we have extended our business in freight forwarding and at the same time moved the porcelain and ceramic business nearly entirely to the Philippines, we were able to accommodate space of around 100 square meters for the gallery.


What factors did you consider in the design of your home and gallery? Who was the interior designer? How did you choose the furniture and fixtures?

Jane is an interior designer from Metro Manila, therefore there was no need to hire somebody else. The furniture and accessories were collected during our many travels abroad. The paintings in our residence are mainly from Paco Gorospe, a Filipino artist from Mabini. Some are newly purchased during exhibitions in Berlin, Germany.

Any stories behind particular accent pieces/paintings you consider as your favorite pieces?

We have been collecting paintings for the past fifteen years exclusively made by Filipino artists, mostly from Mabini.

There is one set of art works that we took over from the VOELKERKUNDEMUSEUM. This is a museum in Heidelberg, the place where Dr. Jose Rizal studied during his stay in Germany. These paintings on Rizal by the Filipino artist Robert Lavidez were stored in the cellar at the museum and the new director just wanted to dispose of them. So we took them over to our gallery to keep until the artist, who is now living in Canada, can decide what to do with his paintings.

Other paintings on Dr. Jose Rizal, especially the one from Rene Robles, are great. We have some artworks of some of the National Artists of the Philippines, like Fernando Amorsolo, Ang Kiukok, and H.R. Occampo, which are in our possession and each acquisition and each artwork has its own story.

We are very proud of a cubism painting by Paco Gorospe, the one we are going to place on the book cover. The book is about art development in the Philippines, with a focus on the crucial role of Mabini Art. This painting unfortunately is not for sale. It reflects for us Filipino art, native injection, cubism in work and Western Art influences from a Mabini artist, produced at a time when Mabini was the nucleus of contemporary art in the Philippines.


What are your fondest memories of your home?

Purchasing a house that was heavily damaged and reconstructing/renovating it with your own bare hands, and transforming it into not only a residence but a business place, and later a gallery.

We also have a home in Cavite, Philippines. We are so happy to have two homes …. This is filled with furniture from Germany and paintings from the Philippines.

Any future plans for the gallery?

We want to share our extensive collection of books on Rizal, art and the history of the Philippines to the German and European communities, as well as to the Filipino community in Europe.

We did have at the start of 2013 an exhibit of three artists (a group exhibit) at the German Club in Makati, simultaneous with an exhibition about Mabini Art in our gallery in Darmstadt. In February we have ongoing venues with the Philippine Art Education Association (PAEA) in the Philippines in at least three academes in commemoration of their 45th anniversary, after having had two locations in 2012. We sponsored an art competition organized by the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) on April 13 at the Rizal Park.

For Rizal’s birthday in June 19, we are supporting the Philippine group Kontra Gapi during their European tour, in coordination with the Embassy and the groups in Berlin for an exhibition in Berlin. There was a wreath laying ceremony with the Mayor of Wilhelmsfeld and the Knights of Rizal in Wilhelmsfeld near Heidelberg at the statue of Rizal, where he stayed during the time he wrote the Noli Me Tangere.

In autumn, we went to participate in the Manila Art Fair, and held another exhibition in our Gallery.


We launched our book on Mabini Art in May 2013. After having reprinted the Noli Me Tangere in the German language several years ago after it was out of stock in the bookstores in Germany, the Mabini Art book would be our second major book project.


We have been regularly exhibiting at the German Club Manila in Makati, and at ManilArt every October, as well as continuous travelling exhibits and lectures on Mabini Art Movement in the various universities and colleges in Metro Manila. Last 2014 we did a partnership with GSIS Museum of Art for a solo exhibit on Mabini artist Paco Gorospe.

Any assistance we can extend to the Filipino and German community will be a very big achievement for us.


The Sunday Times Magazine cover story
November 16, 2014
Raising image of ‘cheap’ Mabini art in Europe
by Gian B. Franco Student Journalist, The Manila Times College

Read more:


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Dancing with Fire

They swing fireballs through the air, dancing to the beat of percussions or keeping in time to the rhythm of the music, their sweaty bare torsos in perpetual motion as their hands deftly and skillfully etch fiery patterns in the dark night sky.

You mostly find fire dancing, a form of entertainment, offered within the vicinity of beach resorts in Boracay, Puerto Galera, Panglao and Palawan in the Philippines, and no doubt, in other exotic locations in the world such as Hawaii, the Bahamas, Ibiza, and in New Zealand where, Wikipedia states, it originated from the Maori people.

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Also commonly known as POI, the term is loosely used to refer to the performance art and the equipment used by fire dancers. The dancers do NOT necessarily have to use fire, as others prefer to use “safer” elements such as luminous materials, swatches and strips of brightly colored neon fabric or cloth, or colored bulbs and handy light sources such as flashlights. Poi is practiced by both male and female performers, though a majority of known practitioners in the Philippines are male.


Traditional Maori poi is generally performed in group choreography at cultural events, with vocal and musical accompaniment. By contrast, modern poi is generally performed by individuals, without singing and with less structured choreography.

Local fire poi practitioners often use jeans cut in strips and bound together to form a “ball” which is then dipped in kerosene or gasoline, attached to a stainless steel chain with a swivel, as a fire source. Practical and very affordable, but it poses danger to the dancer as the burning fabric tends to drip off in clumps.

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Ms. Deborah N. Tangunan, proprietress of Iraya Performance Gear Philippines, offers professional fire performance gear and clothing since 2011. Her fire poi sets are made with electroplated pro-series chains and Kevlar (fire proof) cloth which, with proper handling and maintenance, has a lifespan of at least a year for the active fire dancer. She imports her materials from Flowtoys and Home of Poi which is based in New Zealand, and is able to sell them at a much lower price compared to another local supplier since she and her team assemble the fire poi sets locally.

I was privileged to spend a night with two men of poi at the Alona Tropical Beach Resort ( owned by the Honorable Mayor Leonila P. Montero in Panglao, Bohol where we shot some of the routines at Alona Beach.


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Joseph Laurden, a resort worker, and his longtime college buddy Florante Ybanez who is finishing his studies in Marine Transportation, have been practicing fire dancing as a hobby and as an additional source of income for some years now.

They are often contracted to perform fire dancing at the various beach resorts in Panglao during the weekends (Friday to Sunday) when occupancy is at its peak, during holidays, and at town fiestas and other special events.

According to Joseph, fire dancing has helped pay off some of his school expenses in college. From folk and modern dancing, he ventured into poi since it was something uncommon. He teaches some kids to compete every now and then and looks forward to the time when poi becomes accepted as a dance sport nationwide.


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Florante, on the other hand, considers fire dancing as a form of “leisure” activity, a break from his studies, and a way for him to maintain his lean physique.

“Seldom will you find a fire dancer who is chubby as the routines are physically taxing and the heat from the fireballs causes one to sweat profusely,” he shares.

As there is no professional association or organization for poi dancers in Panglao (or in the Philippines for that matter), they create their own routines and equipment. Since Kevlar is quite expensive and not readily available in the province, they improvise or order from Manila where there are currently only two known suppliers of professional poi gear.

According to them, the youngest fire poi dancer in Panglao is a 14 year old kid who gets his training from his father, a former fire poi dancer, who googles the routines on youtube and then teaches it to his son.

Routines vary with skill and dexterity but the basics which every fire poi dancer must know include the helicopter, butterfly, double infinity, anti-spin, hyperloops, and flower.

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Under the Leg moves with kicks: A technician might really appreciate the fluidity of a poi artist doing under the leg movements without lifting the leg, yet a dancer might find a lot more expression in the possibilities created when one does lift the leg while performing under the leg patterns, offering an array of kick opportunities.

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For inquiries on professional POI gear, you may contact:

Iraya Performance Gear Philippines

NIGS Bldg., C.P. Garcia Ave. corner Velasquez St.

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, Quezon City

Call/text: 09237450427




PARI: “upholding world class Filipino talent”

The Philippine Association of the Record Industry, Inc. (PARI)

celebrated its 42nd Anniversary in 2014!

Music is everywhere! Whether you are walking down crowded streets, enjoying refrigerated air in plush malls, commuting in jeepneys, surfing through the internet, or tinkering with your cellphone, you can’t escape the sound of music.

Most people can claim having a soundtrack for their lives. This much appreciation for music has launched artists’ careers into the stratosphere and given birth to the music industry.

The Philippine recording industry, as in other countries, consists of producers of local records many of whom are also licensees of foreign labels and of the singers, composers, musicians, arrangers, managers, PR men, technicians, studios and duplicators.

Role of PARI

Record companies and record producers in the country banded together in 1972 to form an association (PARI) that would promote the interests and rights of those involved in the music industry.

This is understandable considering that the music industry has become a lucrative business. PARI sales reports reflect the following annual earnings:

2000 – P1,668,953,940.00;

2001 – P854,347,600.00 (Jan. to June only);

2002 – P881,413,000.00 (65% of market);

2003 – P610,865,800.00 (Jan. to June only);

Issues and Concerns

Changing times have brought about new developments. Mr. Danilo P. Olivares who headed PARI for over 20 years has given way to the new Executive Director Mr. Ronald Aniceto who took over the office in 2007, and with a new office address to boot.


The young and energetic music exec who resided in the USA for a time and worked in an information technology-related industry there counts Nina’s live album, the first Bamboo album, and Bob Aves’ Translating the Gongs as his favorite OPM albums.

When asked about his thoughts on Filipino Music, he stated that the current trends in buyer’s tastes require Filipino artists to release foreign-sounding music that is acceptable and sells well. This is reflected in the sales of albums that contain cover versions of foreign compositions, as well as ballads that are comparable to their English counterparts. He opines that there is really no distinctive pinoy sound in music except those that may fall within the ethno-pop genre often associated with artists such as Joey Ayala, Gary Granada, Grace Nono, Bayang Barrios, Cynthia Alexander, Pinikpikan, and the like. He refuses to categorize these artists under World Music, contending that they do not reflect the world in their music but elements that are uniquely Filipino, hence a better term for their genre would be ethno-pop.

In an exclusive interview in trendy Greenhills, Mr. Aniceto revealed that music piracy tended to increase at a rate of 10% every year but counts among his achievements the fact that it had been lowered to 5%.

The Philippine music industry claims that it was a P2 billion thriving industry before the vicious tentacles of music piracy choked it to near collapse starting year 2000. It is estimated that audio disc piracy is now a P1 Billion a year illegal business while the legitimate industry has dropped by 25% in year 2000. Wrestling 5% away from piracy means that PARI has helped increase the revenue of legit businesses to 5% within the last 3 years.

He further stressed that the fight against piracy is an inter-agency as well as a cross border effort and frowns upon the notion that patronizing pirated foreign CDs is OK. As such, PARI has been busy lending technical and logistics support to stakeholders in the fight against piracy, lobbying for the strengthening of intellectual property rights laws, e-commerce laws, and conducting raids in sidewalks, malls and illegal duplication plants.

Although in the provinces, conventional media that include cassettes and compact discs are still widely used, the advent of online digital music has given birth to new media that include optical media (audio-video storage, interactive music CDs that contain artist interviews, photo galleries, videos, audio CDs, links), broadband (online music programs akin to FM radio), and digital music downloads that has coughed up a number of controversial topics such as peer to peer file sharing., a purely online local equivalent of the popular Apple iTunes site, is dedicated to tap Filipino record labels and artists coming from a broad range of music genre at P40.00 per song download and at P80.00 per video. Fliptunes users may either download an entire album or music singles from various OPM artists. “We exist not just for the business, but because of our strong belief in Filipino talent. This is the main reason why we actively promote OPM in Fliptunes,” a quote from Ms. Tin Loya, Fliptunes Project Manager.

Aside from dealing with the issues of piracy and new media, PARI is intent on restoring the credibility of its own Awit Awards, the annual awards for excellence in recorded music.

World Class Filipino Talent


Ms. Lea Salonga

Mr. Aniceto factually pointed out that Filipino talents who have been recognized abroad include Lea Salonga who has won awards in the USA and England, Christian Bautista whose records are selling in Asian countries, and bands like Rivermaya and Bamboo who have won and been recognized in MTV Asia video awards.

The following American artists are of Filipino descent:

apledeap2-1 of Black Eyed Peas


Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls


Enrique Iglesias


Bruno Mars


Rachel Lampa


Jerome Fontamillas of Switchfoot (guy in the center of photo)


Original Pilipino Music (OPM) benchmarks

Source: The Making and Recording of Pilipino Music by Danny Yson

               Awit Awards Souvenir Program, June 1991

  • First recording of anything Filipino was done by France Desmore, a musicologist, in 1906 at Louisiana, USA. He recorded the sound of indigenous Filipino musical instruments. These recordings are kept in the library of the Smithsonian Institute.
  • First record company in the Philippines was Victor Records established in 1913.
  • First recording artists were Maria Carpena and Victorino Carrion who recorded songs mostly taken from sarzuelas.
  • First Filipino band to gain world acclaim was the PC Band formed in 1902 by Col. Walter Loving which won in the 1904 St. Louis Exposition in the USA. It was also the only foreign band allowed to accompany William Howard Taft during his inauguration as US President in 1909. The PC Band won the grand prize in the Panama Canal Exposition in San Francisco, California in 1915.
  • First Filipino international composer and interpreter was pianist Lou Borromeo whose jazz composition, My Beloved Philippines, was recognized in the US in 1921.
  • First Filipino singer to record abroad was Natividad Arellano whose songs Ang Dalagang Pilipina and Paalam sa Pagkadalaga were released in the USA and in Mexico by Columbia Recording Company in 1926.
  • First music station in the country was KZIB which was opened by Isaac Beck of Columbia Records and Columbia Broadcasting System in 1926.
  • The first Filipino record producer of Pilipino Music was Bernabe Solis who handled the production of Natividad Arellano’s recordings of Pilipino Music in the US in 1926.
  • First Filipino-owned recording company was the Philippines Recording System with labels Bataan and Molave which was put up by Cecil Lloyd, an enterprising singer and band leader, in April 1948.
  • The first English OPM hit ballad was In Despair composed by Salvador Asuncion and recorded by Johnny Astor for MICO Records which sold over 30,000 copies in 1948.
  • First cover versions of foreign songs were recorded by Bimbo Danao for Miltone Records in 1950.
  • First licensee of any foreign label was Miltone Records who acquired the rights of Mercury Records. Before that, all foreign albums were directly imported from abroad.
  • The first commercial recording studio in the country was set up by Villar Records in 1953. Before then, recording companies availed of the broadcast studios of Manila Broadcasting Company and the Far East Broadcasting Company for recording local music.
  • The longest reigning superstar is Nora Aunor who recorded over 35 long play (LP or full length) albums and almost 400 singles for Alpha Records.
  • The longest running TV musical variety show was also Nora Aunor’s Superstar which aired for two decades from the 70s to the 90s.
  • The most number of recording of Pilipino Music goes to Villar Records for having released over 500 LP albums and 3,000 singles of kundimans, balitaw, folk songs, danzas, haranas, novelties and pop music composed by Filipino composers.
  • The first recording industry association in the country was formed in the mid-60s. Called the Recording Industry Association of the Philippines (RIAP), it was composed of the so-called Big 4 namely: MARECO, owned by Manuel P. Villar; Super records (Simeon Cheng). HIDCOR (CIE) (Alfredo Lustre) and MICO (Contreras). Its first president was Manuel P. Villar of MARECO, who, with his effort to produce voluminous local recordings mostly traditional, had earned for him the title of Father of Philippine Recording. As early as then, there was record piracy which was perpetrated by some clandestine small-time Chinese producers.
  • The largest selling single and most recorded song in foreign language is Freddie Aguilar’s Anak which was first released by Vicor in 1978. It was recorded in Japanese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Taiwanese, English, Italian, Belgian and other languages.
  • The first Filipino artist to win in an international songfest was Lerma dela Cruz who at age 14 won in the Kimi Koso Singing Contest in Tokyo, Japan in 1978.
  • The first minus one released in the country was by OctoArts in 1980 upon the suggestion of Danny Yson..
  • The first multiplex in the country was released in 1981 by Grandmark Records, also a brainchild of Danny Yson.
  • The first Filipino artist on CD was Joey Albert whose album was released by OctoArts International in 1987.
  • The first Filipino artist to release a music video (MTV) was Viktoria (born Teresita Victoria Elizaga Agbayani on July 28, 1969 in Sual, Pangasinan). She started her singing career at age 17. While pursuing her singing career, she managed to finish a Mass communications degree at the University of the Philippines. She was tagged as the “MTV Queen” because she was the first to launch a music video in the MTV Channel. She is cousin of Filipino singer-comedian Bayani Agbayani.
  • The largest selling LP in cassette format goes to Jose Mari Chan’s Constant Change, first released in 1989, which sold over 400,000 copies.
  • First Filipino jazz exponents abroad were Federico Elizalde who was recognized in England and Ka Kiko who became famous in Japan.
  • Filipino artist who has recorded the most number of LP albums is Pilita Corales, with over 50 LP albums to date. She has recorded with almost all existing record companies in the country.
  • The most awarded music artist in foreign lands is Lea Salonga for her role as Kim in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon.


Suite 207 Greenhills Mansion
37 Annapolis St., Greenhills
San Juan, Metro Manila
Tele/Fax: +63(2) 725-0770
Tel: +63(2) 744-0337
Cell: +63(917) 850-5360



Office Manager

Please REPORT any form of Music Piracy to


President ALVIN F. DE VERA
1st Vice President JESMON L. CHUA
2nd Vice President RENE A. SALTA
Treasurer JOHNNY K. SY
Board of Directors ALVIN F. DE VERA



Dumaguete City’s center for the visual arts


For the past 22 years, Mariyah Gallery has been nurturing Dumaguete’s art community by hosting regular art exhibits for paintings and terra cotta sculptures, and just recently, hosting the provincial leg of cross-cultural interaction exhibit “Salpung”, besides the one held at the NCCA Gallery in Manila.

Salpung’s Manila leg featured the works of Egyptian artist Ibrahim Ghazala, London-based Filipino artist Yveese Belen, Dumaguete based-artist Kitty Taniguchi, Bacolod-based artist Anthony Fermin, Baguio-based artists Jordan Mang osan, Art Lozano and Agang Maganda, Zambales-based artist Farley del Rosario, Quezon based-artist Tres Roman, Rizal based-artist Felix Amoncio, Bulacan based-artists Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr. and Gonzalo Uy, and Manila-based artists Anton Balao, Jomike Tejido, Cathy Lasam, Janelle Tang, and Jojo Ballo.




Established in 1992 by Cristina “Kitty” Taniguchi who holds Ph.D. units in English Literature from Silliman University, Mariyah Gallery in Dumaguete City is the coordinating and implementing body of the Dumaguete Open Biennial Terra Cotta Art Festival Exhibit and Competition, which successfully launched its series of events in 2005 and 2007.




Haven to visual artists, the Gallery has a Residency Program on Terra Cotta for artists who are serious in pursuing the medium. The Residency is held every two years with the main objective of meeting one requirement of the Terra Cotta Biennial, which is to produce well-meaning terra cotta works for the Special Exhibition.




Mariyah Gallery had a bar and restaurant for events and catering, and a three room pension house when it opened in the early 90’s. Today, it has dispensed with the bar and restaurant, and has just recently revived its artist residency program.



Home to Kitty Taniguchi, her daughter Maria S. Taniguchi and her brother Danni Sollesta, Mariyah Gallery is housed in a Spanish casa with whitewashed walls, lush gardens that showcase the sculptures and other installations, and has ample wall areas to accommodate regular-sized paintings.

Mariyah Gallery is a member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – National Committee on Art Galleries as represented by Danni Sollesta.



“Generally, I feel that my subconscious dictates an intention more on processing my art than considering an ultimate meaning or message. I would also say that in doing so, I am most of the time satisfying some kind of psychology on my part. I pick up anything (issues, forms, objects, texts contexts whatsoever) that i think would meet the psychological demand/s or sensation/s that I expect to achieve out of my effort. Though, I would not deny that I am conscious of intention that pertains to meaning (as other artists do with lots of considerations I suppose).”


Address: Larena Drive, Bogo Junction, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental 6200

Phone: (035) 225 1687



Revisiting Mabini Art book cover

In a new book, Mabini art shows its true colors

 by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

Before the advent of Romanticism, which emphasized the importance of the individual and his utterance (especially artistic) as a veritable imprint of his soul, art was largely seen as a trade and the artist as a craftsman meant to address the demands of his particular patron. Of course, not all artists were created equal. There were those who, showing exemplary talent, coveted lucrative commissions. Artists sought, even fought over, patrons. The Roman Catholic Church was inarguably the most powerful client there was.

In a sense, art-making was tied with, if not deeply entrenched into, commerce. The tide turned when artworks were seen more than just objects of beauty but as nebulous entities invested with spiritual implications. To trade one openly was to corrupt it. Even if galleries proliferated at the start of the 20th century and sold more paintings than at any point in history, care was still extended in the treatment of artworks as sacred objects. Like a spiritual relic, they were placed on a pedestal, illumined by a light source, held with gloves. Viewers, pondering them, kept their distance. This practice continues up to now.

That is why artworks sold openly by a commercial establishment, which dispenses with ritual preparations and curatorship connected with a formal display, are frowned upon, if not outrightly rejected. They are judged not according to their forms, movements and subtleties but on their context. Since no care is extended in presenting them and evoking their magic, the consensus is that their value—if there’s any at all—lies merely in the decorative. Never mind if the art works in question share the same qualities as those which are shown in legitimate galleries and exhibitions.

The book Revisiting Mabini: Its Significance in the Development of Philippine Visual Arts, edited by Oliver Quingco II and Klaus W. Hartung and published by the German-based company Transwing Jane e.K., offers a corrective to this view, even arguing that what is viewed as “commercial art”—specifically those showed in the famed street of Mabini in Ermita, Manila—has helped propel the momentum of art in this country, bringing its own welter of iconography, impulse and inspiration. The editors, with contributions from some of the most notable art critics and academicians in the Philippines, present their case in more than 200 pages of art history annotations and image reproductions.

In their Preface, the editors promise to “revisit how Mabini Art developed starting from 1949 and its role in the development of visual arts in the Philippines, the walk-out of the conservatives from the AAP [Art Association of the Philippines] competition in 1955, the influence of modernism, and later on the mingling of studied artists, college dropouts and self-studied artists in the galleries and studios in Mabini, and the subsequent opening of Pistang Pilipino.” Pistang Pilipino, by the way, was a commercial complex where different galleries traded their wares.

But before the editors proceed to their bone of contention, they offer a sweeping view of the history of Philippine visual arts, back from its indigenous roots to its present-day incarnation and blossoming. For those with no or little knowledge about the subject, these chapters are a treat. They elucidate, aside from a variety of concerns, how our forebears translated the world into symbols they carried on their bodies; how Filipino artists during the Spanish times worked with foreign, therefore hostile, Christian iconography; and how Jose Rizal, having been schooled in painting at Academia de Bellas Artes de San Francisco in Spain, became an accomplished landscape artist.

The book then turns a gear as soon as it covers the 20th century. Fernando Amorsolo, who would eventually gain the distinction as the country’s first National Artist for Visual Arts, was the acknowledged master of the first half of the century with his idyllic settings, lovely maidens and intoxicating treatment of light. He was also the figure that the modernists, after the Second World War, rebelled against. Leading the modernist pack was Victorio Edades who, himself, would also become National Artist.

It was during this intense period (when the conservatives and the modernists staged their confrontations) that the so-called “Mabini Art” was born. Pearl Tan, associate professor of Art Studies at UP Diliman, mentions that the reputation of  Mabini Art we know today—something that is openly commercial, ready to be snapped up with the click of a purse—is largely faulted on the third generation of artists who have set up shop on the street.

“Because the paintings are easily produced and reproduced in quantity,” Tan writes, “Mabini Art is commonly looked upon as commercialized by most art experts and non-Mabini artists and dismissed as low-quality art or ‘cheap art’…” She adds that “such disparaging aesthetic judgment and stigmatization prove to be unwarranted” since the first two generation of artists (and a handful from the third) were serious practitioners, worthy of historical documentation.

Revisiting Mabini makes a roll call of notable Mabini artists from all three generations, including Cesar Amorsolo Sr., Cesar Buenaventura, Roger San Miguel, Oscar Ramos Apuli, Rafael Arenillo Cusi and Emmanuel S. Nim. The book’s piece-de-resistance, however, is about Francisco “Paco” Gorospe Sy (who signed his work as Paco Gorospe). Why he is made as a focusing lens of this book could be credited to three factors. First, even if he belonged to the second generation of Mabini artists, he was one of the street’s loyal denizens (re-building his gallery twice after being engulfed in fire), making him a credible witness to and an active participant in Mabini’s history. Second, he was willfully eclectic and prolific, playing around with trends and figurations and not sticking with one particular style. He was a micro-Mabini Street all by himself, metaphorically speaking. Third, after his death in 2002, one can now make an objective appraisal of his work and contribution to Philippine visual arts.

Born on July 10, 1939 in Binondo, Manila, Gorospe was largely a self-taught artist, even if having spent a term as a student at the Fine Arts department of University of Santo Tomas. Initially, he worked with crayons and watercolors but found out that he could best express himself in oil. After getting married and having four kids, he founded his gallery in Mabini in the ‘60s, forging what is now referred to as the Mabini Triumvirate, the two artists being Roger San Miguel and Francisco Ello.

Prof. Paul Blanco Zafaralla, Ph.D., respected art historian and critic, sums up the Gorospe visual vocabulary as such: “For 45 years (1957-2002), Gorospe fixed his eyes, mind and heart on at least 11 different subjects, in various media and styles. The subjects…were the following: people, fowls, fishes, animals, landscapes, riverscapes, abodes, still-lifes, climate, industrialization, religion.” Gorospe, Zafaralla adds, was at home with “realism, cubism, abstraction. He used the styles of some Western and Filipino artists as take-off points for his deconstruction of the subjects whose pictorial units are taken as metaphors.”

Though they are metaphorical as they come, Gorospe’s works, especially his figures, are full-bloodied, alive, inflected with the immediacy of animate objects. His coloration, trumpeted as his main achievement, renders a multi-dimensionality to his paintings (he was not called as the “Picasso of the Philippines” for nothing), as though they are transpiring, at once, in the realm of sense and spirit. They are undeniably painterly. They are pieces whose main subject is beauty, broken through the prism of seductive forms. His portraits of the natural world, especially, are beckoning.

Why he didn’t achieve the renown he was meant to have in his lifetime can only be surmised. Perhaps, just like Mabini art, he was a willful (and willing) outsider, creating his art beyond the whims of trend while ironically operating under the demands of the market. He produced his paintings—all 7,000 of them—to the service of the eye and in the seeming absence of anxiety, employing faultless technique and mesmerizing craft. He will not remain a neglected master for so long. Revisiting Mabini: Its Significance in the Development of Philippine Visual Arts also seeks to redress that.


2012 Palanca Awards First Prize Winner for Poetry in English is Carlomar Arcangel Daoana—it’s his very first time to win First Prize, and he did it after only twelve attempts. Yes. Twelve attempts in twelve years.  That’s how coveted a Palanca gold medal is: you have no right to give up until you achieve it—and yes, Poetry in English is one of the toughest categories for anyone to win; it can take more than a decade!