Hiraya: Collab Is In Fashion, So Is Self-care

Hiraya by Carla, the makers of stylish face masks, scarves, and maskadas (neckerchief) based in New York City, has launched its new baby: Hiraya Clothing. The collection is handcrafted with precision and love just like all Hiraya creations.

New York City-based Actor/Singer, Carla Mongado, has teamed up with Elaine Baskin Bey, a seasoned designer who has been in the industry for over four decades. Baskin Bey has designed for legends such as Eartha Kitt, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, and Marvin Gaye, among others. Elaine always has unique ideas and designs and she keeps on innovating much like how Carla innovates on her designs, too, which is apt in a fashion-forward city like New York. The collaboration’s launch is simultaneous with Hiraya’s release of its new collection of face masks for Spring/Summer 2021.

F A S H I O N I S T A S H O W C A S E

Hiraya Clothing will be introduced on June 26 at Kalye Kabisera along Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, from noon onwards. Other fashionista partners to be featured in the event are Natibo atbp. by Hatzumomo, Fleurenz, and Self First Club. This first-ever outdoor fashion event along Allen Street coincides with @SoSarapNYC’s “Tambayan Saturday” gig. This special event is co-organized by Kabisera Collective, Kabisera NYC’s event and marketing arm highlighting small businesses and up-and-coming brands, artists, chefs, and food creatives.

‘Hiraya’ or vision, which turned one year in May 2021, is Carla Mongado’s brainchild and was envisaged at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. While the brand aims to continue to remind people of wearing masks whenever they are in a public setting, it also wants to add more color, attitude, and life to its designs, which is apparent in its latest collection.

According to Mongado, “New Yorkers can still look and feel chic while wearing masks and it is indisputable that self-care is the next trend in fashion. This is what we are working on in the past year or so and we will continue to find unique fabrics and deliver the same quality products that stylize while keeping our valued customers safe.”

“Hiraya just recently turned one year and I’m very grateful to everyone who supported our brand from its infancy. I’m thrilled to present Hiraya Clothing, a collab with the amazing Elaine Baskin Bey, to our customers here in the states, Europe, and Asia.”, Mongado added.

Aside from Hiraya, Carla Mongado has been part of the cast album recording for Platinum Girls – The Musical by Andrew Beall and very recently she has been doing vocal demos for Beall’s new musical, Goodbye New York. She also maintains her own virtual music and voice coaching sessions on weekends.

For custom orders, email hirayabycarla@gmail.com

Hiraya’s new website is out to launch soon, meanwhile please keep track on the gram: @hirayabycarla

📷 Courtesy of Hiraya by Carla; Models: @Jlfarin, @Rose_verde

BEDKO: Art and COVID

Highly acclaimed visual artist, Edbon Sevilleno, shocks the public with his out of this world creative concept for his show at the opening of DASUN, a group exhibition at the Art District in Mandalagan, Bacolod City. This exhibition is also in celebration of the 30th year of Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference or VIVA ExCon, the Visayas-wide biennale which started in 1990.

Bed of Dreams

These past few months of quarantine, Maestro Edbon, had kept snapshots on his phone (and in his head) of his daughters lying in their bedrooms while browsing through their smartphones. An image or habit that has become a norm in the time of quarantine, hence the inspiration for the show’s title: BEDKO.

From that imagery, it dawned on him that when one is in isolation, the mind of a human being never wants to be isolated or restrained. It craves to imagine, it continues to create, it wants to communicate. It wants to travel to places. Places and universes even the physical body couldn’t wander about.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the hardest and city borders were controlled, we paused, some stopped, and some unfortunately succumbed to the virus. It shocked humanity. It brought changes, very drastic changes in our jobs, our plans, our ongoing activities—our dreams. No matter what manner of coping one did, it is important that we have reacted; and, whether we reacted well or not, here’s hoping that one did what one had to do.

The Assemblage

At the centre of Edbon Sevilleno’s The Black Room / Studio 57, is the exhibit’s star, the “bed of dreams” (or bed of ideas, howsoever you want to interpret it). Surrounding the bed are different works from past to present: The Obreros Series, Collages and Montages, Kalye Art Series, and new works and installations conceived during the quarantine period.

Crazy Poor Asians

The “Obreros: Mga Balatyagun para sa Mamumugon” is featured in commemoration of its first launch on May 1, 2010 (Labor Day). A brilliant way to revisit the show from ten years ago which paid tribute to the farmers and their everyday struggles. After over a decade, let us ask ourselves what has changed in the plight of our farmers? Are they still living in poverty while the hacienderos have become crazier and richer?

Lagaw-lagaw, Pinta-pinta

Edbon Sevilleno is known for his Kalye Art. He is always inspired in the exploration of the everyday life on the streets or kalye, be it at the Bacolod Public Plaza, Binondo St. in Manila, or some spice market in the Emirates. Included in this series are paintings of houses from the ’30s and how different they look at the present time. It’s interesting to know that the wooden framings used in these paintings are remnants from the same subjects/houses.

The new installations are inspired by the coronavirus quarantine protocols. Liquor bans, lockdowns and police/military visibility on checkpoints, border controls, are all evident on these works. What’s exciting is the artist’s 57-page coffee table book that is still in progress. It’s called, “Riit”, which can be translated as something eerie or spooky.

Visit Edbon Sevilleno’s BEDKO: Sadto|Subong|Kag Dasun Exhibition at The Black Room / Studio 57, Art District, Mandalagan, Bacolod City. The exhibit runs from November 6, 2020 – January 6, 2021.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdbonSevillenoArt

Kusinata: Back to Nature, Back to our Roots

The name Kusinata is a portmanteau word derived from the blend of words ‘Kusina’, which means kitchen, and ‘Ata’, one of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines. The Atas (or to some dialects: Aetas, Agta, or Ayta) are one of the earliest known settlers in the country. In the modern-day setting, they are living in mountainous areas around the archipelago.

This unique ethnic fusion concept was conceived from Chef Jay Grey’s college research paper about the indigenous peoples on the island of Negros. Now spearheading as Kusinata’s resident Chef de Cuisine, he works closely with our Ata brothers and sisters, providing them culinary skills training and jobs where they work as hosts, cooks, and servers, adding great value to Kusinata’s diverse and vibrant team.

Since it opened almost two years ago in the Municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto, they have become known for its ever-surprising, taste buds-teasing menu, thus their fearless introduction of transportive flavors, like the Tamalata, a redefined version of the Mexican Tamales and Shakshuka, their own take and style of this famous Mediterranean dish.

Kusinata’s advocacy is not only centered on the Ata indigenous people but also on supporting local produce, sustainability, and nature preservation. Kusinata is also tapping products from farms toiled by Atas to be used as ingredients for the restaurant’s food and beverages.

A weekend meal with the family at Kusinata is truly an amazing back-to-nature gastronomic experience whilst enjoying the majestic canvas of the Malatan-og Mountain and the Malatan-og Falls. They take early table reservations for Friday to Sunday, 8am – 5pm; but if you missed to book or you just happen to pass by the area, walk-ins are welcome too.

Location: Brgy. Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental
Reservations contact: 0995 915 9229
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kusinata/

Image credit: Kusinata

Music In The Time Of Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the archipelago in January of this year. Local flights got cancelled and so were the major events. Inter island travels ceased and so were the mass gatherings. City borders were closed down and so were the music bars and restaurants.

Don’t Stop The Music

Music died a little for musikeros and music lovers of Bacolod; but it certainly died a lot for many whose main source of livelihood come from playing music in bars and hotel lounges, singing at weddings, performing at fiestas, and the likes.

The country endured the lockdowns. People stayed at home. The borders were militarized and so people were frightened to deflect from quarantine protocols. Girls and boys started gardening as a hobby and a week later they have memorized all the mighty fine names of the plant kingdom, familiar or otherwise.

How do we keep the music playing?

A New York City-based Ilonggo, who happened to be stranded in Bacolod because of the lockdowns, teamed up with Rebecca aka Rated R, a local singer, and together they thought of normalizing the ecosystem for the local musicians through a weekly virtual musical show without flouting community quarantine guidelines.

It was a spur of the moment thing which started with a quick creation of an online event on Facebook. However random the idea was, the intention and fervor to help out local musicians were already in order.

Rated R[ebecca] and friends

The show is entitled, FLOW – Acoustic Soul Wednesday Live Session, and the concept is to feature Rebecca and friends to perform some of the most loved classic and contemporary music acoustically every Wednesday during this quarantine period.

The attempt is to replicate the musicians’ “old normal” grind back when they used to go to a regular gig, dress up to serenade a wedding, or jump up the Masskara stage. The show producers wanted them to do things they have missed doing like setting up their instruments together, doing sound checks, and a quick rehearsal before performing to a live audience, albeit virtual ones this time. The gig comes with a car service (if needed), food and drinks, and a talent fee, just like the good old days, so to speak.

It’s been an amazing run, thus far, and the weekly show has been joined by such talented and down-to-earth local musicians. On the other hand, the show has also gained overwhelming support from friends’ brands and businesses. Bless them for their kindness, generosity, and support for the art of music.

Stay safe and stay kind

During this coronavirus crisis, every performance from FLOW’s guest musician is a story of hope, courage, and longing; and, you, the audience and supporters, have become a part of their stories.

So the next time you see one of our local musicians, ask how they are doing and let them feel that they still and always have your support–our support. If they happen to be active online, try to engage them and let them know that we value their artistry and that we shall overcome this pandemic together and we’ll sail through.

FLOW – Acoustic Soul Wednesday Live Session is LIVE every Wednesday, from 8pm onwards.

Follow Rated R’s page here: https://www.facebook.com/RatedRMusicBacolod/

Inscape of Beauty: Celebrities

Here are some works by David LaChapelle as exhibited at the Ara Modern Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea. This post features LaChapelle’s photographs of big shot celebrities he has worked with, as well as some chromogenic prints of celebrities whom the artist admired.

My Own Liz

My Own Marlin

Archangel Michael: And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer

Eminem; Sir Elton John

Angelina Jolie: Lusty Spring

Pamela Anderson: Over Easy Half-breed

Tupac Shakur: Solitary

Christina Aguilera: I Got You Babe

Madonna: Devotional Pose

Marilyn Manson: Rigor Mortis

David Bowie: Face Masks

Milla Jovovich: Collage

Leonardo DiCaprio: Nostalgic Styling

Sylvester Stallone: Alone

Courtney Love: Pieta

Ewan McGregor: Dollhouse Disaster, Love Scorned

Visit David LaChapelle Page for up-to-date LaChapelle exhibition listings.