Iya Regalarioâs Naivete
Artist Iya Regalario and her father Jimmy Regalario.
Iya Regalario’s Naivete
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2019 - 12:00am

I was once in a gallery and saw an interesting wood piece of monkeys. These monkeys did not look painted so I inquired about the artwork. I learned that the piece was by a young artist named Iya Regalario, who used fire to create some of her artworks.

Iya was born in Bulacan and was raised in Quezon City. She is an interdisciplinary visual artist working on various art processes such as pyrography (wood burning), sculpture, illustration, installation and public murals. The artist says her art “pays tribute to the function of images as exposed identities, visual narratives, philosophical case studies, and agents for social change.”

She adds, “My art introduces my personal visual deconstruction of socio-political and cultural realities to purposely enforce questioning, contemplation, and to move the spectator. My work is influenced by a coming to terms with the diversity of environments I am exposed to every day as an artist. Public art and community is vital. It keeps art fluid, fiery, boundless and grounded.”

Recently, Iya staged her first solo exhibit titled Naivete at The Metro Gallery in San Juan City. The exhibit was composed of a series of pyrography works on wood tinted with ink, dye and stain. Round works were more dominant in this collection. Different types of wood were used as her canvas and most of the rectangular works would remind one of tarot cards.

Congratulations on your first solo exhibit, Iya! I am sure the art world will clamor for more of your beautiful and unique works.

(The Metro Gallery is located at 214B Ortega St., Addition Hills, San Juan City. For inquiries, e-mail metrogallery@hotmail.com.)

A visual feast of flavors Let’s eat!

RPD Publications, an imprint under The Crown Book Group Inc., recently launched Káin Ná!: An Illustrated Guide to Philippine Food at the High Street Lounge of Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City. I initially thought it was a recipe book but I discovered that it was a wonderful photo book with illustrations of Filipino food!

The first illustrated book of its kind, Káin Ná! or “Let’s Eat” in Filipino, explores the diverse variety of cookery and dining essentials spanning different regions of the country. The book’s 12 chapters cover Almusál (breakfast), Lútong Báhay (home cooking), Meryénda (afternoon delights), Lútong Kalsáda (street food), Panghimágas (desserts), Pulútan (bar chow), Pang-Pistá (festival food), Inúmin (beverages), Sa Panaderyá (bakery finds), Kakanín (rice treats), Mga Sawsáwan (dipping sauces), and a section on key Filipino ingredients.

The book was co-written by Philippine culinary historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria and Singaporean culinary writer Bryan Koh, with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Mariel Ylagan Garcia. 

Sta. Maria received the first Kalakbay Award from the Philippine Department of Tourism in the Domestic Resident Travel Writer category in the ‘80s. In 2001, she received the SEA Write Award, an award presented annually to poets and writers of Southeast Asia.

Koh released his first book, Milk Pigs & Violet Gold: Philippine Cookery, in 2014, which won the Best Food Book Award at the Philippine National Book Awards. Milk Pigs’ second enriched edition titled Milkier Pigs & Violet Gold, was nominated for Best Travel Food Book at the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards 2017. 

Garcia is a Filipina illustrator/painter who specializes in watercolor and oil painting. She finished Multimedia Arts at Malayan Colleges Laguna in 2015 and is a member of the Kapisanan ng mga Pintor sa Pilipinas at iba pang Sining Inc. (KPP), and Space 4026. In 2014, she started an internship at the Ayala Museum where she designed event posters and assisted art workshops.

The authors said, “Filipino food plays a critical role in the foundation and imminent education of Philippine history. While there are many well-known dishes beloved by the populace, little is known beyond the usual favorites like Adóbo, Sinigáng, Lechón.”

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and cultural icon Gilda Cordero-Fernando graced the book launch and enjoyed several Filipino delicacies served at the venue. The original watercolor illustrations featured in the book were framed and available for purchase during the event, with proceeds going to the Quezon City Arts Foundation.

Online bookstore The Crown Book Group started as The Kitchen Book Store. It launched another online bookstore called Anáhaw Books specializing exclusively in Philippine publications. In 2019, the group entered into the world of publishing with RPD Publications, with its inaugural title E. Aguilar Cruz: The Writer as Painter by Ambeth R. Ocampo, launched in April this year. Its upcoming roster of books will include a prestigious lineup of authors such as 2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef Margarita Forés, “Cake Queen” Penk Ching, and food writer and cookbook author Angelo Comsti. Watch out for those, Manila foodies! *

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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