“Philippine Gold Treasures” Debuts In New York Sept. 11

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO ( JGL) – Butuan City in Agusan del Norte in northeastern Mindanao was a flourishing kingdom during the pre-Hispanic 10th and 11th centuries for its metallurgic industry that established links to the Song and Yuan dynasties of China. The Asia Society of New York City wants to make sure that this once Indianized kingdom’s pre-eminence of its gold industry is not forgotten, according to Marilyn Abalos, media coordinator.

Dubbed Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, the exhibit will come into view in New York from September 11, 2015, through January 3, 2016, showcasing recently excavated objects that highlight the prosperity and achievements of this little-known Philippine Kingdom.

The exhibit will comprise approximately 120 objects from the tenth through thirteenth century that will demonstrate the sophisticated gold-working techniques developed during this period.

Weekend activities will include the Premiere Gala Night on Friday, Sept. 11th, FilAm community celebration on Saturday, Sept. 12th and on Sunday, Sept 13th there will be a Rondalla concert.

From September through December there will be a host of special events bringing together visitors, near and far, to see the fortune and culture of pre-Hispanic Philippines.


The Gala Dinner on Friday will mark the opening of Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms and help launch a season of programming that highlights the richness and diversity of Philippine culture and current affairs, and explores its cuisine, performing arts, film, design, literature, and more. The evening will include a private viewing of the exhibition, reception and dinner along with special Filipino entertainment. For tickets and more information, about the FilAm community celebration, email PhilippineGold@AsiaSociety.org or call 212-327-9335.

On Saturday, at 6 p.m., the FilAm ommunity celebration will feature live music, pica pica reception and tours of the exhibition. There will be a special performance of Langhapin, Lasapin, Namnamin…Pag-Ibig at 7 p.m.. Directed by Benjamin Dia and Herbie Go, “Breathe, Taste, Savor – Love” will be presented by FilAm Artists featuring Jeremy Blossey, John Andrew Fernandez, Enrico Lagasca, Antoni Mendezona, Rogelio Penaverde Jr., Katrina Saporsantos and Joy Tamayo with special participation by Mica Bernas and Madeleine Nicolas. For tickets, visit https://support.asiasociety.org/pages/box-office-events/phillipine-gold-festival or call the box office at 212-517-2742.


“When you visit Asia Society to see the exhibition on Sunday, you will be able to revel in the stirring music and dances of Tunog ng Ulap Rondalla at 2 p.m.,” Abalos said.

This delightful plucked string ensemble affiliated with the Iskwelahang Pilipino of Boston performs original compositions and arrangements of traditional pieces celebrating the musical dynamism of the islands. Rondalla is an ensemble of stringed instruments with origins coming from the folk traditions of Spain, which were brought to the Philippines and incorporated into the culture. The performance is free with paid admission to Asia Society. Tickets are available on the same day of the event. First come, first served. For more information, email PhilippineGold@AsiaSociety.org or call 212-327-9335.

Among the events lined up for the month of September include:

September 15, 6:30PM: (For Members Only) Re-collecting a Forgotten Past: Traces of Hindu-Buddhist Art in the Precolonial Philippines. A lecture by co-curator of Philippine Gold: Treasures from Forgotten Kingdoms, Florina H. Capistrano-Baker for an insightful talk on the origins of these extraordinary objects, from the pre-colonial era of the Philippines, which are on view in the United States for the first time. Dr. Capistrano-Baker is Consulting Curator, Ayala Museum.  This is a free, members-only event. Tickets are distributed at the front desk from 6 pm onwards on a first-come first-served basis.

Non members of Asia Society receive discounts on all public programs, unlimited free admission to the Asia Society Museum, 10% off at both the AsiaStore and the Garden Court Cafe, and much more.  To join, renew, or upgrade your membership, parties may visit http://asiasociety.org/new-york/general-membership or call 212-327-9338.


On September 18, 6:30 p.m., Federico De Vera discusses the inspiration behind the Asia Society lobby installation of Filipino Design Now showcasing signature works by renowned and emerging Filipino designers.  Each design will capture Filipino heritage through the eyes of celebrated designers, promoting knowledge and appreciation and inspiring pride in Filipino design, technique, material and craftsmanship.

Designers featured are Maricris Brias, Lenora Cabili, Ian Giron, Jewelmer, Josie Natori, Tina Ocampo for Celestina, Ditta Sandico, Wynn Wynn Ong, Anne Saguil, Rafe Totengco, Bea Valdes, Natalya Lagdameo and Al Valeniciano for Balay ni Atong.

Signature pieces from each designer collection will be selected for inclusion in the vignette, the balance of each designer’s collection will be featured for sale at AsiaStore and online at asiastore.org where customers can purchase products and view expanded collections by these talented Filipino designers. Mr. De Vera’s books,  De Vera Objects and De Vera Jewelry will be available for sale and signing in AsiaStore following the event.

The Philippine Gold Exhibition of more than 100 gold objects focuses on the wealth of the golden age of Butuan, a polity on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that rose to commercial prominence in the tenth century and declined in the thirteenth century.

Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms is organized by Asia Society, New York, and Ayala Museum, Philippines. The exhibition is co-curated by Florina H. Capistrano-Baker, Consulting Curator, Ayala Museum, and Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Senior Curator for Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society. Loida Nicolas Lewis (US) and Doris Magsaysay Ho and Fernando Zobel de Ayala (Philippines) are the Benefit Committee Co-Chairs.

Members of the Benefit Committee as of press time include: Honorary Chairs, Ambassador and Mrs. Jose Cuisia Jr., Ambassador and Mrs. Mario de Leon, Jr., Chairs, Doris Magsaysay Ho, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Vice Chairs, Tony and Gail Alvarez, Sheila Marcelo, and Members, Marilyn Abalos, Roger Alama, Aida Bartolome, Elena Brim, Angie Cruz, Mars and Cora Custodio, Agnes Jamora, Edwin Josue, Jean Lobell, Victor and Bambi Lorica, Paul Magahis, Michael Nierva, Lily O’Boyle, Ricco and Celestina Ocampo, Emilio and Fely Quines, Joe Ramos, Cora Reyes, Vincent Roldan, Lolita Valderama Savage, and Jerry Sibal.


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