By Vanette Colmenares
New York – The weather here had been brutally freezing but inside the Philippine Center, the ambiance was warm, jovial and fun with the opening of the exhibit “Fishers of Men” by two renowned Cebuanos: Jun Alfonso and Gil Maningo. The two artists were college buddies at the University of the Philippines Fine Arts more than 40 years ago who dreamed of one day putting on an exhibit in the Big Apple.
That dream was realized on January 24, 2019, with the opening of their Fishers of Men exhibit which was a well-attended event to include no less than Consul General Claro Cristobal himself and art philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.
At seven in the evening, I was exactly at the door of the Consulate and the first person I saw was my high school classmate, Mariter Alfonso, wife of Jun who had earlier invited me through our high school viber chat. Another high school classmate of ours, Paloma, came. We were shrieking in joy and began reminiscing memories.
The theme ‘Fishers of Men’ clearly came from the artists’ devotion to their Christian faith. Although their wives had told me that their talents had emerged and developed since their college years.
Jun migrated to the US to pursue a mining career, his love for painting was put in hold. He is now based in New Jersey with his wife Mariter and their three grown children.
Gil has many artistic talents, including being a TV actor, graphic designer, recording artist, composer, and photographer. He and wife Mara manage their retail business ‘Kulas’. They have three children.
‘Fishers of Men’ is organized and curated by Ping Panlilio and will run until the end of January 2019 at the Philippine Center. It is a must see for us who live in New York. (Photos by Vanette Colmenares and Ping Panlilio)