Book Review: ‘Pride of Place’

This colorful, hefty and sumptuously illustrated coffee-table book, Cebu: Pride of Place, a collaboration between the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc., Cebu’s pioneering arts and culture organization (spearheaded by photography and art lover and SM vice president Maria Eloisa N. Fernan), Tacoma, Washington-bred master lensman E. Billy Mondoñedo, editor Thelma Sioson San Juan, writer Alya Honasan and art director Norinno Hernandez, is a powerful book of images and words that aims to stir pride and passion among Cebuanos. And with good reason. Cebu prides itself as a land of beautiful white sand beaches, abundant marine life, turquoise waters, rugged mountains, rich natural resources, perfect vacation weather and cool highlands, and as home to some of the country’s unique flowering species (dendrobiums, tillandsias, vandas, etc.). But more than anything else, Cebu is an island rich in history, culture and religion. The Philippines’ written history began when Portuguese maritime explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on its shores and planted the seeds of Christianity. Subsequently, it was also the first to successfully resist Spanish subjugation when local hero Lapu-Lapu vanquished the latter in the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521. Cebu has also produced a home-grown president in the person of Sergio Osmeña and some of the most hardworking, hospitable, warm and fun-loving people in the country as personified in their arts, crafts and colorful festivals.

Mondoñedo’s outstanding large-format collection of 349 photographs, all shot with Leica’s M bodies (M6,M7 and M8) and the Sumarit, Sumicron and Elmarit Leitz lenses, celebrates 400 years of Spanish rule and 40 years of American rule with eye-catching photos of some of the best-preserved churches in Argao, Bantayan, Boljo-on, Carcar, Cebu City and Sibonga; 19th and early 20th century ancestral houses (Balay na Tisa, Borromeo House, Casa Gorordo, Garcia-Escaño residence and Yu residence), lighthouses (Bagacay Lighthouse and Capitancillo Lighthouse), government buildings (Cebu Provincial Capitol), notable landmarks such as Magellan’s Cross and the Mactan Shrine; and the country’s oldest and smallest fort, the venerable Fort San Pedro.

Also colorfully documented by Mondoñedo’s camera are Cebu’s natural wonders (Bukilat Cave, Inambakan Falls, Kawasan Falls, Mangudlong Rock Resort, Marmol Cliff, Molobolo Spring and Oslob Beach); the engineering marvels (Marcelo Fernan Bridge) and modern infrastructure (Cebu International Convention Center, SM City Cebu and Marcelo B. Fernan Cebu Press Center) of the booming metropolis of Cebu; the colorful and exuberant Sinulog Festival; the gaudy Taoist Temple; the private art and antique collections of Annie Chen and Lydia Aznar Alfonso; museums (Rizal Memorial Library and Museum and Rizaliana Museum); premier hotels and resorts (Alegre Beach Resort, Badian Island Resort and Spa, Bunzie’s Cove, Kota Beach Resort, Marco Polo Plaza, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort, Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa and Waterfront Cebu City), residential and community developments (Monterrrazas de Cebu), and restaurants and bars (Acqua Restaurant, Café Uno, Z Champagne Bar and The Tinderbox).

Equally highlighted in this book is the island province’s role as a leader of artistic trends and developments in the country, citing Maribago’s guitar makers and the potters of Danao City, as well as the talents of fashion designers (Arcy Gayatin, Felix Yu and Philip Rodriguez), artists (Ernest Santiago, Ivan Acuña, Christopher Murillo and Professor Julian Jumalon), concert pianists (Ingrid Sala Santamaria and Professor Reynaldo Reyes), choirs (Parian Children’s Choir), architects (Arsing Abella, Ed Gallego, Gregorio Segura Sr. and Teodoro Trinidad Sr.), furniture makers (Angelo Salazar, Carlo Tanseco, Josephine Aboitiz-Booth and Kenneth Cobonpue), sculptors (Napoleon Abueva) and fashion-jewelry makers (Miranda Konstantinidu). Stunning underwater photographs, on the other hand, were provided by Erwin Lim.

Cebu: Pride of Place retails at $130 abroad and P3,550 here, and can be obtained at Powerbooks. You can also contact the Arts Council of Cebu at www.artscouncilcebu.org.

Pride of Place

A BEAUTIFUL COFFEE TABLE BOOK, TITLED “Cebu: Pride of Place,” a collaborative effort between Cebu’s pioneering arts and culture organization, the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, and photographer E. Billy Mondoñedo, was launched in SM City Cebu Northwing on Dec. 14, 2007, with President Macapagal-Arroyo as honored guest. Then last Feb. 28, 2008 it was launched at the Podiums in the Ortigas Complex in Pasig. Next month, the book will have its US launch: on May 13, 2008 at the Micaela Gallery in San Francisco, California, and on May 16, 2008 ath the Philippine Center in New York City, with Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hilario Davide as the principal guest. A powerhouse group of Cebuanos will depart for the US to help promote the book, which is now on its second printing. Among the glamorous promoters, aside from the conceptualizer and driving fornce behind the project, Eloisa “Marissa” N. Fernan and her mother, Elo-Nolasco-Fernan, will be Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, the wife of the Cebu City mayor Margot Osmeña, civic leadier Annie Osmeña-Aboitiz; Teresin Mendezona, Cebu’s “most influential party and event stylist,” and Elvira G. Luym, trustees of the Arts Council of Cebu and the book’s co-publisher. “Cebu: Pride of Place” will retail at $130 abroad and P3,550 here, and can be obtained at Powerbooks.

The object of the Cebuanos’ patriotic promotions, this powerful book celebrates in outstanding photos by Tacoma, Washington-bred Billy Modoñedo (husband of my good friend from UP days, Marlene Navarro) the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of this island province as well as its role as a leader of artistic trends and developments in the country. In this latter role, one can cite the talents of furniture makers such as Kenneth Cobonpue and Josephine Aboitiz-Booth and many fashion-jewelry makers.

• PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER-BELINDA OLIVARES-CUNANAN

Cebu! Cebu!

THE NEWEST ELEGANT coffee-table book, Cebu, Pride of Place, was launched in the Queen City of the South at an exclusive cocktail party at Aziza in The Tinder Box hosted by Cebu’s pride, Marissa Fernan.

The book was published by the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Elivira Luym and Marissa. Alya B. Honasan write it and recently re-installed Philippine Daily Inquirer lifestyle editor Thelman San Juan served as editorial consultant. Norrino C. Hernandez was the art director and book designer. Photos were taken by the multi-talented E. Billy Modoñedo.

Marissa writes in the introduction ,”It is through Cebu’s year-round festivals that the best characteristics of its people are brought to the fore. Cebuanos are fun-loving people, and music and dance are a big part of their lives. There are no real strangers to the Cebuano whose warmth and hospitality is generally a reflection of his soul.”

The handsome Tourism secretary Ace Durano was beaming with pride that evening. He finally has a book on Cebu that is world-class. This book will definitely be an unforgettable visual journey to visit Cebu again and again. Having no province, I have adopted Cebu as my birthplace and I always cheer for the Cebu basketball team in my pleated skirt always forgetting to put on my matching team-colored undies with pompoms in my hands.

An intimate dinner over the weekend was hosted by Marissa at her charming residence. I must have gained and extra five pounds upon my return to Manila.

Copies of the book available only at high-end book stores, are running out fast and Marissa has said there will be no reprints to keep its exclusivity at a premium.

• ASIAN DRAGON PHOTOS: MIKE SANDRO WONG RIETA

Cebu pride at the Podiums

For a while, it seemed that The Podium had been transported to Cebu when the crème de la crème of the Queen City of the South came to town for the book launching of Cebu Pride of Place at the mall.

Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña and his wife Margot graced the launching and led the opening ceremony together with Sen. Mar Roxas and Tourism Secretary Ace Durano. SM’s Marissa Fernan also joined the unveiling of the book.

Cebu Pride of Place was published by Marissa Fernan in coordination with the Cebu Arts Council Foundation, Inc. Daughter of the late Senate President Marcelo Fernan, Fernan is SM Supermalls’ vice president and special assistant to the president.

The book which brings readers on a visual and inspirational journey through Cebu was a collaboration with E. Billy Modoñedo for the photographs, Themla San Juan and Alya Honasan for the write-ups, and Norman Fernandez for the art direction.

The team has chosen over 300 photographs from the thousands of images taken by Mondoñedo. These range from the mountain’s forest floor to the modern steel and concrete edifices of the city; from the pristine beaches of coastal towns to world-class resorts in outlying islands; from ordinary celebrations to spectacular festivals.

• MANILA BULLETEIN STYLE WEEKEND

Book to promote towns, sights in Cebu globally

A Book that showcase images of the best of Cebu was launched yesterday by a guest whose mid-morning visit required tighter-than-usual security at the SM City’s Northwing: President Arroyo.

The President, who signed a copy of the book, told publisher Marissa Fernan that it contained images of Cebu that she has never seen before.

“Cebu:Pride of Place” is a collection of 349 images of the things and places Cebu is known for, chosen from about 12,000 picture shot by Billy Mondoñedo.

“It will allow tourists to see a different side of Cebu. If you look at the tourist magazines and books, what are usually highlighted are the hotels, Mactan, the shopping malls,” said Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano. In contrast, “small towns in the south and north, beautiful old houses and old churches are highlighted in this book,” Durano continued.

His favorite was the photograph of a 100-meter road stretched in Santander lined by trees on both sides.

The book was a dream of the late Marcelo H. Fernan and Supreme Court chief justice.

“It’s a dream that my dad and I shared. With the support of SM, I have been able to see the realization of this dream,” said Marissa.

She said they wanted to come up “with a boom that Cebuanos can bring all over the world and say, “This is where I come from.” It’s not your usual postcard type of images,” she continued. Fernan is SM Supermalls’ senior assistant vice president for marketing in the Visayas and Mindanao.

• SUNSTAR DAILY: REPORTER:JGA PHOTOS: AMPRE CAMPAÑA

A book to make Cebu proud

A coffee table book, “Cebu: Pride of Place,” which features lush photos of Cebu landscapes, landmarks, festivals and people was launched yesterday at the SM City Cebu Northwing lobby.

The book was conceptualized by SM vice president Maria Eloisa “Marissa” Fernan and her father, the late Senate and Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan.

Marissa said the book was her way of showcasing her father’s pride in his birthplace and her way of promoting Cebu.

“I wanted to have a coffee table book that will make foreigners see Cebu in a way that they’ll encouraged to come here and visit,”she said.

It took Fernan Almos two years to produce the book from its concept to layout.

“The book showcases images of the island of Cebu taken in a way you have not seen before. It shows the simplest parts of Cebu and tells us that these simple places are really beautiful,” she said.

The book’s front cover features pictures of Cebu woven into the leafy wrapper of the puso (hanging rice), a local staple. The book is a collaboration between Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Inc., of which Fernan is a member, and photographer E. Billy Mondoñedo.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was Fernan’s profession at Assumption College and Ateneo de Manila University was guest of honor at the book launch.

• CEBU DAILY NEWS: REPORTER:CRIS EVERT B. LATO PHOTOS:TONEE DESPOJO(CDN)

Book Review: ‘Pride of Place’

This colorful, hefty and sumptuously illustrated coffee-table book... MORE

Pride of Place

A BEAUTIFUL COFFEE TABLE BOOK, TITLED “Cebu: Pride of Place,” a collaborative effort between... MORE

Cebu! Cebu!

THE NEWEST ELEGANT coffee-table book, Cebu, Pride of Place, was launched in the Queen City of the South... MORE

Cebu Pride at the Podiums

For a while, it seemed that The Podium had been transported to Cebu... MORE

Book to promote towns, sights in Cebu globally

A Book that showcase images of the best...MORE

A book to make Cebu proud

A coffee table book, “Cebu: Pride of Place,” which features...MORE