Thursday, October 10, 2013

Great paella at the home of the Spanish Ambassador, and the one and only Betsy Westendorp



Tonight in Manila, living a Travelife, I spent a very nice evening at the lovely residence of H.E. Jorges Domecq of Spain, in Forbes Park to celebrate the National Day of Spain.

I'd come from the ABS-CBN studios, where I'd done a lively taping for a segment of a show on ANC called On The Money.


It wasn't live, so it'll be up for showing in the future still. I'll let you know when it airs.

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20 LARGE PANS OF PAELLA

From ABS-CBN all the way in Quezon City, I rushed home to change into suitable cocktail attire and then headed to the home of the ambassador.

The party was in full blast and waiters were passing around plates of paella.

Truly delicious paella.


I'm on a modified diet at the moment, but even I couldn't resist having two large plates of paella. And as I write this, I'm even wishing I had more.

Later on, Ambassador Domecq said to me: "We actually ordered 20 very large pans of paella, and they're all gone."

Of course. That's because the paella was so good. And I saw those pans he was talking about. They were H-U-G-E.

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THE SPANISH CONNECTION

Everyone who had some connection to Spain was there.

I spotted my dear friend, the artist Marivic Rufino, with the dashing Miguel Realmonte, and I took a lovely photo of them looking ever so happy. 

If only everyone in the world should be as lucky as they are, having found happiness in each other.


A BEAUTIFUL PORTRAIT OF BETSY WESTENDORP

I love taking portraits of my friends, but not in a very posed way.

I really like trying to capture that split-second when a person realizes he or she is being photographed but doesn't yet have the time to pose for the usual shot.

I do this only for good friends, though, as even casual portrait photography needs a connection with the subject to transform itself from just a regular snapshot to a lovely portrait.


THE ONE AND ONLY


Later on, I also saw the eminent society painter, Betsy Brias-Westendorp. This elegant lady is truly in a class of her own.

I did a portrait of her as well tonight, which I'm posting online because I'm so pleased with the results. For me, it shows the lovely Ms Westendorp exactly bathed in a light of beauty.

TALKING ABOUT ART

After I took her photo, I sat with her for a while and we had a very nice chat about Manilart 2013 and some prominent artists and also young and talented artists we both knew.


I'd just seen her last night, albeit briefly, for the opening of Manilart 2013 -- so we compared notes on what we saw last night.

She told me of a very promising young female artist who does artworks in a unique medium. 

Ms. Westendorp reckons this young artist will be very big in the future. I have a mind to go back and check this out if I have time in the next two days or so.

ANOTHER ARTIST IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN:
JUVENAL SANSO




Ms Westendorp and I were also together at the epic retrospective of National Artist Juvenal Sanso at the Shangri-la Makati a few weeks ago.

It was the night before I was leaving for Spain, and I still hadn't even packed; but I forced myself to drop by because I like the works of Sanso.

A sample of a Sanso painting

Also the event was being organized by my friend Jack Teotico, who is one of the biggest and most successful gallery owners and art collectors in the country.

These were comprised of works from Sanso's private collection -- and many of them have never been seen by the public before.

Most of them came from the 70s and 80s.

This is not the painting I liked,
but another of the interesting ones on exhibit... 




ONE OF SANSO'S BEST EXHIBITS YET

Ms Westendorp and I agreed that this was one of the best exhibits of the works of Sanso yet.

I showed her the photo of the Sanso painting that had tugged at my heartstrings. It was on my Blackberry.

Ms Westendorp said: "That is definitely one of his best and most unique works."

A sample of a Sanso artwork

She should know.

Ms. Westendorp follows the art scene with a passion, she is from that generation of artists who prize artistry and technique over shock value, and she knows Sanso and his works very well. They have been good friends for decades.

I can tell you that her comment definitely made my day into not just another one in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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