Roaming around

LIFE has not stopped just because of the pandemic. And so, Chocolate Queen Raquel T. Choa celebrated her birthday (yesterday) not with one big party—as she would have wanted to do to celebrate life and love—but a series of small parties at her Casa de Cacao in Casals Village, Mabolo, Cebu City. She made sure all her friends, clients and associates would be able to share in the blessings poured on her these past 45 years, even during the pandemic. Her Casa de Cacao/The Chocolate Chamber has been doing pretty well and she has even added new concoctions to her array of cocoa confections.


Over in Talamban, visual artist Celso Pepito was able to finish work on a mural for a bank, something he would not have been able to do, were it not for the pandemic lockdown. He has found the time, too, to work on a new venture: sculpture! He explained that sculpting was something he had done very little of—mainly only for school exercises during his art studies.

This project is a massive wood sculpture, 65 by 111 inches, entitled “Making the Family Holy,” which he expects to finish this month.

The project, he said, began in late 2019 when he was asked by Fr. Gerry Quejada, chaplain of Paref Springdale school and architect Ric Ampiloquio, director of the school, to come up with a study for a sculptural work depicting the Holy Family for the school quadrangle.

The study was approved and he set to work, with the help of a carver to do the initial representational work of the project, under his supervision. These days, he is transforming the representational work into his favored art form: cubism.

The wooden work will be cast in bronze as it will be placed at the school quadrangle in a ceremony that will mark the school’s 25th anniversary, and since this year also marks the Quincentennial Years of Christianity Celebration, the school intends to unveil the bronze sculpture in April. The wood sculpture will be housed elsewhere.

Pepito describes this project as being “in line with my artistic objective and in collaboration with Springdale’s School in promoting the importance of the family, which is part of my art for the last 20 years.”

“Primarily, it hopes to inspire students to nurture the importance of strengthening family ties that contributes to nation-building and inspires the public to do the same. Since the theme of the project is about the Holy Family we decided to incorporate the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu as our means of collaborating with this year’s celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.”


Over at Gemilina St., Tayud, Liloan, the construction of a swimming pool half the size of an Olympic pool has been completed. A project of the GTNA Recreational and Events Center, it will be accessible to the public and will also cater to the GT Northeast Academy (GTNA) student populace.

Engineer Leonora Salvane, GTNA chief executive officer, said: “We want to train our students either to pursue swimming as a sports career or for their safety. We’ve seen schools from other countries making swimming as part of their curriculum and we wanted to have it as part of ours also. We are aiming for our school to be an international school.”


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