Filipino artistry, design take center stage during Apec dinner affairs | Inquirer Business
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Filipino artistry, design take center stage during Apec dinner affairs

/ 12:25 AM November 21, 2015

With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Week in full swing, Filipino artistry and design take center stage as the Apec economic leaders are treated to several dinner affairs featuring Philippine hospitality and entertainment.

Renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue is the creative director of the welcome dinner last Wednesday. Projecting the image of the “Global Filipino,” Kenneth used natural materials and natural themes incorporating 21st-century sophistication. He also wanted to show that Filipinos are rooted in the past yet focused on the future.

With that as his focal point, Kenneth drew inspiration from rice terraces for his designs. Transforming the entire space into a huge outdoor garden, his main challenge was how to transform the coldness of the huge SM Mall of Asia Arena into a warm and cozy venue.


A grassy circular stage was set in the middle of the arena for dinner. Dramatically hanging over the setting were colorful anahaw leaf designs that changed colors digitally.


The chairs used for the 21 economic leaders were based on Kenneth’s Yoda chair design that was inspired by blades of grass. Some adjustments were made to suit the needs of the leaders at the event.

Check out the showroom of Kenneth at San Lorenzo Tower, Residences at Greenbelt, Arnaiz Road, Makati City for other unique and truly global Filipino design pieces. Roselen Ocampo, the showroom director, will gladly show you the stunning works of art.

Swatch Fiesta

Another Filipino-themed affair was the Swatch Fiesta held at the Swatch & Swatch building on Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Swatch creative director Carlo Giordanetti and vice president for sales Gonzalo de Cevallos found the event to be the perfect opportunity to present to our National Artist, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, the second watch he designed for Swatch—Ode to the Flag.

Directed by Rowell Santiago, guests were transported back in time to the early 20th century of Philippine haute cuisine. Creative set designer Gino Gonzales made hanging lamps with BenCab prints and silkscreened a BenCab image on the grand piano next to the artfully arranged table setting.

Swatch grand dame Virgie S. Ramos put together an event pulling together our Spanish-Chinese culture, with the heady influences of 20th-century France and America.


Rustan’s BenCab collection

BenCab also launched a new home line at Rustan’s, the country’s premier destination for luxury goods and quality products. An avid supporter of the arts through its partnership with notable artists from both the local and global scene, the retail giant collaborated with the talented hands and brilliant minds of renowned Filipino artists such as Arturo Luz, Ramon Orlina and Nemiranda.

The “Rustan’s X BenCab Collection,” a limited-edition home-merchandise collection featuring embedded artworks by legendary National Artist BenCab was recently launched at all Rustan’s stores.

Hailed as the master of Philippine contemporary art, the famous Filipino painter and printmaker celebrates his five decades of success as an art icon this year through a much-anticipated exhibit that highlights a retrospective of his life’s work in seven participating museums. In line with this special milestone, Rustan’s—one of the artist’s retail partners—held an event in honor of his significant contribution to the nation’s embodiment of visual arts.

The launch of BenCab’s special 50th anniversary edition home pieces had the presence of the artist’s family and friends, media members and Rustan’s loyal patrons.

Signature subject

A signature subject that recurs through BenCab’s works, “Sabel,” an image inspired by a real-life scavenger whom the National Artist photographed and sketched in 1965, is present in the home items in beautifully-made drawings composed of a balance of vibrant colors and unique abstracts that emanate a drive of intense emotions.

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From the sophisticated-looking porcelain plates to unconventional mugs, extraordinary cushion covers, attractive fans, decorative trays and nice utility boxes, the collection unveils classic visual interpretations of the Filipino culture in the olden times through design elements of mother and child illustrations, monumental figures, traditional masks and different portrayals of women at work. In addition to the wonderful collection, a free tote bag with a printed BenCab artwork is given for every single receipt purchase of Rustan’s X BenCab collection worth P10,000.

TAGS: apec 2015, column, Kenneth cobonpue, property, tessa prieto-valdes

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