Sanib Pwersa @ SM North EDSA March 22-25, 2019

A first-ever show featuring three Japanese art forms will open on March 22, 2019 and will run up to March 25. Dubbed as Sanib Pwersa, the exhibit will feature around 200 bonsai trees from the members of the Philippine Bonsai Society, the country’s premiere and most prestigious bonsai club. PBSI is the lead organization, having mounted huge bonsai and suiseki (viewing stones) exhibitions and conventions annually, including exhibits hosted for the international organization called Bonsai Clubs International (BCI), regional conventions for ASPAC and for ABFF, plus national shows every year.

The 2019 exhibit is joined by partner clubs Natural Stones Society of the Philippines (NSSP) which will showcase suiseki, or landscape and figure stones collected from all over the Philippines and in other parts of the world, and the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Manila which will display some ikebana arrangements.

I am showing some of my viewing stones collections to give readers an idea of what suisekis are. The exhibit and competition will be judged by an international panel of masters and experts from Taiwan, Japan and the USA. Bonsai Master Yen, from Taiwan is one of the judges, alongside another Taiwan master and another master from Japan, Kunio Kobayashi.

On the afternoon of the March 22 opening day, Master Kobayashi will do a live demo on how to create magnificent bonsais from raw trees. He will have Prof Amy Liang, another master from the National Bonsai Assn of Taiwan as partner in the demo. Here is how Master Kobayashi did his demo in the last national convention in Taiwan.

There are lectures and demos from March 22 to 24. Learn from the masters. This is a very rare opportunity.

The exhibit is open to the public, in partnership with SM Supermalls. Catch it at The Block Atrium, SM City North EDSA.

Canvas Hotel Puerto Princesa

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It was decades ago when I brought my wife and daughter to Puerto Princesa for a cruise of the Underground River, a visit to the Iwahig Penal Colony, the Vietnamese resettlement community, a crocodile farm and a mall.

Progress is evident in the new malls, especially SM City where we held a bonsai exhibit.

Stayed before in what was then the best hotel in town. Passed by it and it still looked good, and won’t mind staying there again.

But the most pleasant surprise is the hotel recommended by friends.

Canvas is a boutique hotel. The rooms are of good size, well appointed, and with all amenities I expected. I liked the overall design concept, and was intrigued by the coffee shop’s name, Painted Table. Indeed there was a huge painted table, very well done, that served as the focal point.

The best thing about Canvas is the staff. All very professional, all very attentive. From the front desk, to housekeeping, to the Painted Table staff. They offered to bring my omelet instead of waiting for it to be done. They asked whether I wanted another cup of coffee. All these without feeling intruded.

Canvas will be my hotel of choice in Puerto Princesa.

Bonsai Show by Cavite Bonsai Club May 1-5

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img_1081An unprecedented show is going to be mounted by the Cavite Bonsai Club (CBC) at SM Dasmarinas from May 1-5, 2019.

Dubbed as SANIB PWERSA, the show will feature over 100 bonsai trees, 40 suiseki viewing stones, and ikebana floral arrangements. The exhibit follows the national show of CBC’s mother club, Philippine Bonsai Society, Inc (PBSI) held at SM North EDSA where PBSI collaborated with the Natural Stones Society of the Philippines (NSSP) and the Ikebana Ikenobo Society of Manila, also a first-of-its-kind show in the Philippines featuring 3 Japanese art forms. img_1157

The exhibit is a joint project of the Cavite Bonsai Club and SM Supermalls. Thus the show is open to the public.

Mall goers, bonsai hobbyists, and all those interested in plants and gardens will appreciate seeing trees in pots, and will be treated to lectures and demonstrations on bonsai, suiseki, and ikebana by local experts, on different dates within the show. There is something to see and learn everyday. Visitors might even be lucky to win bonsai materials donated by members of CBC.

Remember: May 1-5 at SM Dasmarinas. Brought to you by Cavite Bonsai Club.

 

Ilocos Sur Rodeo at Kannawidan Festival

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The rodeo in Vigan, actually the 6th invitational amateur rodeo tournament, has just been concluded. This event has become the highlight of a month-long Kannawidan Festival.

This year, moe new teams participated, including teams from Visayas and Mindanao.

The VROoM (Volunteer Rodeo Officials of Masbate) officiated the games, ran the stockyard, briefed the players, brought in its barker, and had Ilocos Sur use their bull riding gear for free.

Three events were held for the first time in Ilocos Sur: bullriding, wrestling from horse back, and lassoing from horseback.

Indeed the rodeo in Vigan has come a long way. And plans are afoot to invite rodeo teams from ASEAN schools in 2020.

Ilocos Sur has, de facto, become the Amateur Rodeo Capital of the Philippines.

Edible Garden in Mobo

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When my friend Mark and his girlfriend invited me for dinner while I was in Masbate for the rodeo, they said we were going to a restaurant outside of the city proper. Is this like Sonya’s Garden serving salads? Could it be they serve mostly veges grown from their garden restaurant?

We arrived at Edible Garden about 25 minutes from my hotel. The place looks very very simple, no frills. If at all, the decor is shabby chic, more the former than the latter. Appropriately shabby.

We took the long dining table with 2 wooden benches. On another table for four sat a group that obviously enjoyed their banter over dinner. Looks like the place is a magnet for friends planning lunch or dinner. My hosts also had close friends joining us. Shey cleaning up a table for us

We had so much food. Barbecue was apparently a house specialty that there wasn’t enough for each one of us. We also had bulalo and kare kare, among the many dishes ordered by Mark and Janine.

Can’t tell you how much the bill was. I can only surmise that the prices of the food items here are diner-friendly. It is not fine dining. It is away from the city. Ergo pricing must be really affordable. I must say everything tasted well. Such that I immediately recommended it to friends. Bico, fresh from a Hongkong trip, according to her diner-friends

The appeal is enhanced by the personal attention from sisters Bico and Shey and their mom. They cook, serve the food, and clean up. In between conversations about their pet doggies with diner-friends who seem to go just to be with the sisters, and have good inexpensive dinner at the same time.

Kannawidan 2018, Vigan

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Kannawidan is the biggest event in Ilocos Sur, and Vigan starts the festivities as early as January 28.

The highlight every year is the rodeo where teams from Luzon and, this year, a team or two from the Visayas compete for honor and cash prizes.

Plan your trip and book accommodations now!