Bravo, Bañares Brothers!
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2016 - 9:00am

There was an overload of talent when brothers Marco and Salvador Bañares simultaneously held their first solo exhibitions at J Studio in Taguig City recently.

Marco Bañares’ show titled Metaphor was composed of 10 new pieces all representative of the artist’s unique style of hyper-realistic animals juxtaposed in uncharacteristic settings. Meanwhile, Salvador Bañares’ show Imaginary Beauty had seven paintings that interspersed greatly detailed flowers with the human form. Both shows were produced by J Studio’s Jia Estrella and Tonico Manahan, the manager of the Bañares brothers.

It was through Tim Tan, who is also an art patron, that I first saw Marco’s paintings. I was blown away with his technique and wanted to meet Marco, who would eventually paint my dog Pierre. Two years later, I was glad to see he had finally done his first solo exhibit together with his equally talented brother Salvador, who I just met recently at the Art Fair Philippines.





Both shows were sold out and were heavily attended by art enthusiasts. Guests enjoyed flowing champagne, lechon and food catered by chef Michelle Tomacruz.

Other guests spotted at the exhibit were Tintin and Anya Babao, Sheila Suntay, Maya and Katie Colayco, Eric and Charles Tan, Anna Martha and Kai Moreno and Tedrick Yau

There is no doubt that the Bañares brothers are on their way to establishing themselves as important young Filipino artists. We look forward to seeing more of their works.

(J Studio is located at Unit 604, VFP2 Building, Veterans Road, Veterans Complex, Taguig City. For inquiries, call 216-9164 or e-mail

A world-class bar in BGC

Bank Bar opened late last year with no signage or exact address. Manila’s night owls’ curiosity got the better of them as they sought out this intimate hideout of a bar, “at a bank, inside a convenience store.”

Six months later, not only Manila was intrigued by it as the bar found a spot on CNN’s “7 of the World’s Most Intriguing Speakeasies” list along with the established bars in New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Taipei, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.

Bank Bar, a top shelf-drinking den in BGC, is the latest venture of the Moment Group with friends, adding to their roster of exceptional homegrown concepts. “Bank Bar is a curious amalgam of all the drinking spots we have had through the years, buoyed by the inspiration for a derelict chic cloister meets an abandoned old-world loft,” said Abba Napa of the Moment Group.

The intrigue of the place begins with its entrance through, perhaps, the most famous 7-Eleven in BGC where one should “look for the storeroom, walk through it, past the provisions to a heavy curtain that pulls aside to reveal Bank Bar.”

This speakeasy has an extensive, impressive bar list with well-crafted cocktails and the widest selection of spirits and liquors of any bar in Manila — from akvavit to absinthe, sake to single malts, grappas to gin and an extensive choice of vermouths, sodas and tonics. Guests should go for the Martini trolley offering tableside service.

Bank Bar’s version of happy hour is The Bull Market where from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, drinks are marked down by 25 percent, with an additional five percent off for every succeeding drink. Bank Bar is located at the ground floor of the RCBC Building in BGC, Taguig.

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(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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