From Baguio to Bicol to Dipolog: 3 Milestone Celebrations of Arts and Music

Arts celebrations are often intimate affairs. Families, friends and ardent supporters gather in one place to witness the unveiling of masterpieces and experience a work of art.

Sometimes these are also celebrations of a milestone like these three regional events: Take 5 on Aquarelle, Wild about Flowers and Afternoon Sonatina.


On February 11, Bencab Museum celebrated its eighth anniversary with an all-watercolor painting show from five generation of painters. These are Alfredo Roces (80), BenCab (70), Elmer Borlongan (50), Kelly Ramos (40) and Abi Dionisio (30).

As such this 5-person, 5-generation exhibit was also a way of sharing the stage with fellow artists. Kelly Ramos, for instance, was from Mindanao and now lives in Baguio. Her paintings are about musings on living in the mountains of Benguet with environmentalist neighbors.

Below are preview photos from three exhibitors, namely: Ballast 2 by Abi Dionisio, Two Cattleyas by Alfredo Roces, and Nesting by Kelly Ramos.

BenCab’s Studies of Dance Movements, a series of 40 drawings based on a Polish Choreographer’s movement, were also displayed at Print Gallery.

The exhibit runs until April.


On February 1, Bernadette “Bidibidi” De Los Santos’ first solo exhibit opened at Ayala Malls in Legazpi City. It featured roses, poppies and “endemic” flowers in lush, tropical colors.

Flowers in the Forest Series. Photo courtesy of Ms. Bidibidi.

The flower paintings carried the mastery of her visual style, which ultimately blossomed in her 2003 exhibit. Her flowers were painted singly or in sparse number as if to emphasize their anatomic glory.


Typhoon Nina had severely damaged her home and farm, too. Yet she proved that a talent in full bloom can outshine all these challenges and finish masterpieces in just a month against her full-year preparation for her first exhibit.

While she needed to get the approval of the City Arts Commission in CA, USA, for her previous exhibit, this time she was invited by Albay art curator Apo Gonzales. She also considered this off her comfort zone, as she would exhibit solo only in her gallery in CamSur; while her first exhibit was with two women.

Her first solo exhibit is thus a celebration of resilience and mastery of style – two qualities necessary to bring forward the art scene in the region including literature.


It is open until February 28.


The Romano’s Afternoon Sonatina is a 25th-year celebration of teaching classical music and fine arts in Dipolog City. Misha Romano, grand winner for junior string category in National Music Competition for Young Artists in 2016, will perform together with her sister Miracle (his accompanist during the competition).

NAMCYA Concert of Winners last November 2016. Photo courtesy of Miracle Romano

According to Miracle, “It is a family affair shared with students as an attempt to expose their youths to fine arts and classical music.” It started with the Romano couple (Didi and Marietta) teaching piano and painting and sketching. A few ears later, Miracle (also a NAMCYA prizewinner at the age of 11) started to teach piano.

For raising musical champions, they bring honor to the region. Misha is the first violin grand winner from Mindanao. By teaching music, including to underserved communities in Cebu, the family helps impart lessons that our traditional schools can’t give. The family, therefore, makes ripples beyond personal.

In March, the family looks forward to two important events. First is the Afternoon Sonatina, a music recital and art exhibits with their students. Second, the result from Misha’s audition to Asian Youth Orchestra.

Hopefully, Dipolog City would showcase classical music performances in its tourism campaigns.