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More Tacky In The Philippines?
By GEMMA CRUZ ARANETA
Posted date: November 14, 2012, Manila Bulletin
Indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines, but is it also more tacky? Is it more... uh… “baduy”? I am asking you this because yesterday morning, I got a very early call from Ramon Orlina (famous Filipino sculptor, candidate for National Artist Award); he sounded alarmed and outraged. A native son of Batangas, Taal to be exact, he is most concerned about conserving the heritage of his hometown. On his own initiative (and expense), he has offered to repair the crumbling capitals of the Corinthian columns of the basilica and has clashed swords with those who mindlessly endanger structures that have survived the merciless element of time. He has also restored the Orlina ancestral home and has given it adaptive reuse in such a creative manner.
Via e-mail, Ramon had sent me a photo of giganatic letters spelling “TAAL” on the esplanade in front of the basilica. He said that an architect from out of town bought a house in Taal but, not content with that, he wants to make his august presence felt by leaving his imprint in the heart of the heritage town. Didn’t your Governor want to do something similar? She wanted to put a humongous label saying “Batangas” on the slopes of the enchanting Taal Volcano. Apparently, not only the Koreans have such tacky ideas. Remember that spa they surreptitiously constructed at the rim of the crater?
Orlina is worried that if the “Taal” thing (sign? laell? sculpture?) is not removed, the virus might spread like an epidemic to every single town and city in this republic. Bad taste is severely contagious, said Ramon, but let us hope it is not incurable. He observed that after former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza put those over-priced “sputnik” lamp posts along a portion of Roxas boulevard, other local government officials rushed to the same supplier. As a result, those “baduy” lamp posts have defaced the national landscape to as far south as Zamboanga.
There is a character in one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novels, an old general who, one day, started putting labels on the furniture around him – chair, table, vase, etc. He said he did not want to forget what those items were called. What a poignant way of describing a human being’s battle against Alzheimer’s. Could this obsession with labels be a prelude to collective dementia? (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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MANILA, Philippines—After two years of delay, the musical play “Mapaghimalang Birhen ng Caysasay ” is set to open Oct. 25, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the newly renovated Taal gym covered court that can accommodate 4,000 people, according to Ramon Orlina, executive producer. It’s like a coming home for the play as the miracle of the Virgin Mary took place in barrio Labag, Taal, in 1603. Singer Ogie Alcasid is going to play Haybing, who was beheaded by the Spaniards, but lived again with the help of Our Lady of Caysasay.more>>
MANILA, Philippines—Twenty years ago, then newbie singer Ogie Alcasid threw his hat into the show biz ring by way of initial gigs in small watering holes, along with a number of then unheralded talents. If memory serves, we caught one of Ogie’s fledgling sets in a showcase bar. We thought he was a frisky and funky young performer; otherwise, however, his performance gave little indication of the big multimedia star he is today. more>>
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