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Everybody’s talking about Netflix’s latest fashion series “Halston”, with Erwan McGregor (as usual, having a nude scene in the first episode). The life of the iconic American designer is now available in our homes, thanks to this streaming treat that gives a glimpse on the ultra lifestyle of the rich and famous in New York, which was the epicenter of the world during the 1980s with disco fever hitting the urban landscape.

Halston was the man of the hour with his name branding ultra suede shirt dresses down to bags and belts. The darling of the Big Apple that drew in his bubble, heavyweight namedroppables as Jackie O, Liza Minelli, Andy Warhol and the whole glamour armada was in that rarified aire that brought stars and magnates to his feet. Well, I got a dozen or so comments from netizens comparing me to Halston. Besides his good looks, Dahlinks, I doubt any semblance to this high flying fashion charlatan, who wasted millions of dollars decorating his New York flat with expensive orchids and disco drugs when all he really did was introduce the “Pillbox Hat” to Jacqueline Kennedy. Well, he did have a penchant for well-endowed black hustlers.

Milestone grand fete: Giles Garcia, Philip and Tina G; right photo, Reeda Bantug and Raffy Remitio*
Les intimes (l-r) Manolet Lamata and Belle, Uncle Bob, Atty. Jam Angudong, Judge Jun Servando, Ricky Monfort and Manuela Vista, Big Bro Philip and Tina G*

“Halston” is definitely a must-watch in the confines of your home.

In the historic lieu of Casa A Gamboa located in Silay City (Paris of Negros), good looking painter Miko Zayco launched his seminal exhibit of artworks. With his artist mom at his side, Lisa de Leon-Zayco giving him ample space to find his expression, the good looker attended workshops by printmakers Pandy Aviado, Mars Bugaoan, and Ambie Abano, who all influenced Miko to transfer images from a mental matrix to a surface. The results are colors that underline the passions of this young man jumping from his canvas to challenge the viewer to reflect on one’s emotions during this pandemic that originated from China’s Wuhan. Our perilous lives are now on the line with this Flu.

Cutting the inaugural ribbon was Congressman Kiko Benitez with art doyenne Reena Gamboa. Reena has beautifully transformed the Casa A Gamboa to a multiple space event center that also becomes a restaurant, an art gallery, and venue of the annual adobo festival that has always been a trademark of her Mom, Lyn Gamboa. From fronting local artisans and handicrafts to pop-up boutiques, this lieu is fast becoming into Negros’ one-stop cultural must.

Casa A Gamboa’s Reena G with guest of honor, Congressman Kiko Benitez; right photo, handsome hunk artist, Mikael Nikolas Miko Zayco with his “Animated Stories”*
Good genes: Nonoy and Lisa de Leon Z, fiancée Carmeli Bantug, Miko, Casey Yanson Z and hubby S*

Guests started to pour in time for cocktails and yummy hors d’oeuvres. There were lots of spaces to social distancing for culture vultures like Paz Valenciano, Raffy Remitio, chic couple Bomber Buñol and coffee connoisseur Thomas Sproten from Dusseldorf, Germany. Ably hosted with his bride-to-be Carmeli Bantug, Miko entertained friends Pio Villanueva and Op Matti to the best of Philippine cuisine that has now become a trademark for Casa A Gamboa. A perfect partnership of art and lifestyle in this New Normal.

The show runs ‘til June 11, 2021 and then – the almost sold-out paintings go to their new owners’ homes.

My fav painting with the boys (l-r) S and Miko Zayco, Raffy Remitio, Pio Villanueva, and Op Matti*

What do you do to celebrate your 75th birthday during this pandemic? Let those who will go out on a limb, die-for-you friends and family enjoy the day at your Palace in the Sky. And this is exactly what my Big Bro, Philip with wifey Tina and son Giles did on that very special event. Expecting a horde of cars in the sprawling lawn, sure enough, I faced only a handful of his most intimate coterie marked this milestone with good food, lots of guffawing stories, and endless glasses of spirits.

Everyone felt comfortable with the select guests, who enjoyed the scent of fresh pine mingling in the cool air of the mountain retreat. Even the weather cooperated with nary a drop of rain. There was lots of time for bonding and reminiscing of the good times which unfortunately, I believe will never come again. But, courage is needed and may your reign prove long and fruitful, my dear brother!

Bombee Buñol and Alexis Lustre view the black n white series*

My prayer: I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2, NIV*

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June 2022

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