Thursday, October 1, 2015

Over PhP 7 Million for breast cancer raised at the Art of Pink auction of the Peninsula Manila. And about buying a Ramon Orlina sculpture

In Manila tonight, living a #Travelife, I braved some pretty horrendous traffic to go the short distance to the Peninsula Hotel to attend The Art of Pink auction and cocktail party hosted by General Manager Sonja Vodusek.

This auction was organised with the help of the auction house Christie's and six major art galleries to raise funds for the Philippine Foundation for Breast Cancer, Inc. The six galleries were: Avellana Art Gallery, Artinformal, Galleria Duemila, Silverlens, The Drawing Room and Tin-Aw.

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Meanwhile, the artists whose works were placed on auction included BenCab, my childhood friends Elmer Borlongan and his wife Plet Bolipata, and Kenneth Cobonpue, whose furniture I first purchased over 15 years ago.

The sculptors Impy Pilapil and Ramon Orlina, who I both met in Tokyo over 25 years ago, also had works for auction.


Elmer Borlongan. by the way, has promised me a painting for one of the walls in my living room, which I've kept deliberately empty for him. I invited him and our other common artist friends from childhood over for dinner sometime back just so he could see the wall where his painting is going to hang and create something from there.

Otherwise, his paintings are impossible to get as there's a long line of buyers even for works in progress. And yesterday, the medium-sized Elmer Borlongan painting on auction sold for over 2.5 million pesos.

Everything's pink tonight at the Peninsula,
including the chocolate fountain


Mr. Jaded had come to my house to pick me up at the appointed time, but I wasn't even home when he arrived as I was stuck in traffic, and I still had to get dressed in something pink.

So we agreed to meet at the party instead so I could dress up in peace without the pressure of someone waiting impatiently for me.


When I got to the Peninsula Manila ballroom, the auction was in full swing. But when he saw me, Mr. Jaded indicated he was ready to go home pretty soon as he'd been waiting there for quite awhile already.

"Let's stay a little longer," I said to him. I didn't want a late night either, so I was looking at 9 PM.

Fortunately he agreed. And then I got the surprise of my life.


At the Peninsula Pink Party tonight, living a #Travelife.
That's the artist Ramon Orlina in the middle.

There I was standing by the art display talking with an old school friend when Mr. Jaded standing next to me suddenly put his auction pallet up to bid for the Ramon Orlina sculpture.

Someone else put up a bid across the room but Mr. Jaded kept raising his pallet, and soon he outbid everyone.

I stared at him with my mouth open, and I couldn't help saying: "I can't believe it. You were ready to go home awhile ago, and now you're bidding for the sculpture?"


The sculpture was beautiful, of course, and the fundraising was also for a very good cause. But we're talking the upper-end of a six-figure sum here simply because he had stayed 30 minutes or so longer at the Peninsula party at my request.

Initially, I thought it was the endless champagne going around that suddenly made him decide to bid. But later, he told me that he'd actually wanted the Orlina sculpture when he'd seen it.

#Travelife with us to Greenland in February 2016.
We're visiting truly off-the-beaten track destinations.
Click here for more details



The funniest thing was that so many people thought that I had bought the Orlina sculpture because the spotlights had been trained on us as he was bidding, and we'd been standing together  talking in whispers.

During the bidding, you see, I was actually asking him how high he was prepared to go in the bidding, and where he was going to place the sculpture in his very big house in the best neighbourhood in town, if he won.


But afterwards, lots of other guests came up to me saying things like "I hope you enjoy your sculpture."

When people I don't really know say things like this to me, I always think it's better not to correct them because it's just too tedious to spend time correcting someone you probably won't see again. So I just said smiled and said: "Thank you."

At the Peninsula Pink Party tonight, living a #Travelife.
That's GM Sonja Vodusek on the right.


When I told Mr. Jaded about this later on, he replied: "You should've bought it, actually."

Actually, I should've bought every Ramon Orlina sculpture I'd seen when I first met Ramon Orlina in Tokyo and he was bringing his sculptures to Japan. Last night, I told Mr. Orlina so.

This was over 25 years ago, and if I had done this, I would now be living a never-endingly happy #Travelife indeed. 

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