Manila's Culturati celebrate birthday of literary blueblood Lisa Guerrero Nakpil
León Gallery’s Jaime Ponce de Leon with the celebrant, Lisa Guerrero Nakpil
Photos by Alex Van Hagen For power MAC Center

Manila's Culturati celebrate birthday of literary blueblood Lisa Guerrero Nakpil

MY LIPS ARE SEALED...SOMETIMES - Maurice Arcache (The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2019 - 12:00am

It’s official. The party people of the Philippines are now knee-deep into the longest holiday season in the world. Fancy dress balls, destination weddings and fashion spectacles all compete for the guests with the mostest.  

One of my favorite events ever is none other than the much-awaited last auction of the year: the León Gallery Kingly Treasures Auction on Nov. 30, palanggas, which has everything, including an amazing art collection.

Getting it all on a roll was the birthday party hosted by the brilliant Jaime Ponce de Leon and effervescent Robbie Santos for literary blueblood/historical consultant Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, no less. León Gallery is the perfect setting for one of the hot tickets of Manille’s culturati.

Lisa wore a black crepe cocktail dress accented with French lace, designed by none other than Robbie Santos for the über-chic line Septième Rebelle.

Publishing powerhouse Gus Vibal and visionary academician Gerry Torres were seen in deep convo with legendary collectors Paulino and Hetty Que, debonair gentleman-scholar Daniel Zuellig, art ambassador-at-large Dr. Joven Cuanang and venerable antiques expert Jaime Laya. Maverick entrepreneur JJ Atencio and legal eagle Rod Libunao were among the intellectual invitees circulating at the party.

International art figure Ken Hakuta, who was jetting off the next day to the Tate Modern in London for the grand launch of the five-city world tour of the Nam June Paik retrospective, arrived early, accompanied by beauty and brains Lina Juntilla of León Gallery International. Spritely Madrileños Rosa Aboitiz and Chicho Dominguez de Posada, on the other hand, had just returned from Europe.

Mike Tomacruz, who represents the next gen of collectors, was seen with fellow entrepreneur Gabby Estrella and Lisa’s brother, top hotel designer Luis “Luijo” Guerrero Nakpil. One of Luijo’s latest projects, Be Resort in Panglao, was just named one of Condé Nast’s best resorts.

Art magus Derek Flores and in-demand auction darling Andres Barrioquinto escorted the ever-elegant Melot Sunga in a pewter Charina Sarte top.  Tim Tan of Poliform and pixie-like Erica Nocom were another glamorous tandem, as were chairman couple Marga and Rey Tiangco and Lori Juvida in head-to-toe Escada with Louie Ojeda.

Celebrated photographer Mark Nicdao made a rare public appearance with the scintillating KC del Rosario. Also present were Ian Anderson, who represents the new generation of artists, young turk Jed Fernandez, beauteous jeweler Nicole Whisenhunt in trendy Comme Çi, the über-stylish Pepito Albert and vivacious Allana Montelibano in Armani were overheard sharing the latest scoops on the art scene with Toto Gonzalez, resident antiques curator for León Gallery.

Talking non-stop art were Art Fair Philippines’ eye-catching Trickie Lopa and in-demand interior designer Paolo del Rosario, who just opened his own style atelier, simply called “Del Rosario Home,” on Baler Street near chic Poblacion.

Too bad our lips are sealed, but there is always a next time. N’est-ce pas?



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