Arts & Culture

LOOK: Inside the VVIP Preview of This Year's Art Fair Philippines

Dedicated collectors and art enthusiasts assembled at the intimate opening of the country's biggest celebration of art.

Before thousands of visitors occupy The Link carpark for the highly-anticipated Art Fair 2018 on March 1, a curated guest list of Manila’s devout art collectors and enthusiasts were given a sneak peek of the works in advance of the public. On its first day, the formal opening of the country’s foremost art event took place on the evening of February 27, following a VVIP preview in the afternoon.

At the preview, guests were not only given first dibs on the vast collections of art exhibited by 51 local and international galleries, but also a chance to explore the space in a relaxed social setting. Gallerists, artists, and the fair organizers were present to answer guests' queries and mingle. Guests found that there was more ground to cover this time, with the Art Fair occupying all available space of the carpark for what's expected to be its biggest edition yet.

With the many changes this year, there were many aspects that remained the same, starting with Art Fair Philippines founders Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Ongpin Periquet welcoming the guests.

Trickie Lopa, Lisa Ongpin Periquet, and Dindin Araneta

Kitkat and Fernando Zobel de Ayala

Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo

Andy Locsin, Tina Ocampo, and Neal Oshima

Lance Gokongwei (left); Mercedes Zobel

BenCab and Annie Sarthou

Lizzie Zobel, Ricco Ocampo, and Bledes Forés Legarda

Michelle Tomacruz, Tim Yap, and Margs Lopez

Jaime Ponce de Leon, Ava Pessina, and Dee Zobel

Mon Lindo and Malu Gamboa Lindo

Patrick Pesengco and Joseph Tay

Princess Banal Russell and Edward Lim

Raul and Joanna Francisco with Erika and Francis Reyes

Richie and Carrie Yang with Alicia and Chris Sy

Tina Fernandez and Evelyn Forbes; Xandra Ramos and Precy Ramos

Virgie Ramos and Ambeth Ocampo

Tats Manahan and Kenneth Cobonpue

Michaela Eduque and Mandy Eduque

Monique Toda (center)

Michelline Syjuco

Kidlat Tahimik and Lissa Guerrero-Nakpil

Erwin Romulo and RJ Fernandez

Marilu and David Batchelor

Gianna Montinola, Lourdes Montinola, Neil Dela Cruz, and Soler Santos

Carmen and Jay Ong with Jay Leong Gokongwei

Deanna Ongpin Recto; Erica Concepcion Reyes

Charlene and Aga Muhlach

Teresa Herrera

Jonathan Que, Daniel Dela Cruz, and Stella Que

Patrick Johnson, Yola Johnson, and Maria Closa

Grace and Felix Ang

Raymond Ang and Isabel Santos

In between inspecting thousands of artworks, guests took breaks with Aperol Spritzes at the Town&Country bar, while trays of hors d’oeuvres made rounds.

The popular attractions throughout the day included the exhibit spaces of Art Fair featured artists, as well as the fair’s dedicated gallery space for photography.

Kidlat Tahimik’s wooden deities struck opposing takes on Western and local films. Nilo Ilarde’s thousands of die-cast cars provided a playful commentary on the event’s carpark venue and liken its participants to cars navigating the traffic and terrain of the art scene. Meanwhile, in another corner of the multi-level exhibition venue, Alvin Zafra’s two-hour long “Revolver” tackled the timely debate of violence and power. 

Nilo Ilarde's installation

Featured Artist Kidlat Tahimik's space

After a few hours of sifting through the galleries, guests proceeded to Mireio for Town&Country’s Collectors Cocktails and capped the night off with a tipple and great company.


Art Fair Philippines runs from March 1 to 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Link, Parkway Drive, Ayala Center, Makati. For more information, visit

About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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