Cariño: Baguio Connections 84

Baguio Stories

THE week before last, about old and new. This week, more of the old and new.

Two weekends ago, we were invited to an exhibition of the late Geoffrey Carantes’s work, called “Pengsasan: Drawings and Prints of Geoffrey M. Carantes,” at the old Diplomat Hotel.

I called Manong Geoff exactly that, and he called my father Uncle Andy. The two were not just relatives, they were also Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity brothers, along with Uncle Sinai (Hamada). Uncle Sinai and my father were both lawyers, Manong Geoff was an artist, though art was something my own father dabbled in, too.

But while his work was for the most part amateur, among his memorabilia are skillful sketches of faces, an entire set design, the sort that is layered by carbon(ish) paper, each layer building upon the basic design found on illustration board, and other artistic works. Very nice stuff.

Manong Goeff, on the other hand, was a professional artist, also being the first Ibaloy to graduate from UPD’s College of Fine Arts (1961). Pengsasan was a collection of finely detailed paintings of Benguetaña, if you will. So detailed that I mentioned to Lynette, Manong Geoff’s daughter who curated the exhibit, that he was very MTV, with that rich detail in each piece of his work.

A Loakan elder did the ritual prayer for Pengsasan, also explaining earlier that the word means something like “memorabilia,” but more; that which is there to remember by and remind, forever. Thus forever there.

Also impressive was how Lynette had asked an artist to simultaneously paint the event while it was happening. Whaaat? Yes, it was something else, and now if only Etot would send me the clip she took of that happening. One recording of an artist likewise recording the event. Ah, the poetry of it.

It’s funny how the route to Diplomat Hotel is so circuitous, when as children we regularly climbed to the old Dominican convent from Campo Sioco, quite quickly. So while up there doing justice to Pengsasan with Lynette and her three angelic daughters and Bahag and Bobby and Powie and Dada and Etot and Mercy and Kub and Mylen and Venus and Phylian and Stella and Ed and Kulot and Ompong and everybody else, I kept trying to determine where the old footpath might have been, down to Campo Sioco. I could not situate it.

Another thing both old and new: Charlie’s Angels.

Exercised my senior citizen movie booklet Monday before last and watched the latest Charlie’s Angels installment with mein muder. We laughed through the whole show. Really fun—estrogen on testosterone, and in sequined ankle boots, yet. Gottagetapair.


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