Friday, May 8, 2009
MOUNTAIN BLISS PART 2 - THE EXHIBIT
I finally met Jim Ward, the tireless owner of Bliss Cafe. (I was only able to meet Shanti his wife later during the day when she got back from being with their daughter at the hospital.) He's a charming fellow who struck me as quite laid back and has this calm serene air about him. We went to his cafe after a short breakfast at Mcdonalds and, well, I was simply surprised.
Bliss Cafe is small affair tucked in one corner of Hotel Elizabeth. It serves vegetarian food (one thing I admitted to Jim that would take sometime for my tongue and palate to get accustomed to. I am happy meat muncher) and everything about the place is cheerful. It's not the cheeky cheerful kind but it definitely "serenely cheerful".
The photos will show you.
This is the first thing that pops to greet you once you entered the cafe - a wall hanging from Tibet. I hope Jim will forgive me for not knowing what it is.
A hole they had on the wall with lyrics from Cynthia Alexander's song. Apparently, the songstress is a close friend of the couple. The words bring to mind that which is uttered by the priest during Ash Wednesday, "From ash we come, to ash we'll go back", or something like that.
... and here's my untiring host - Jim - behind another hole leading to the kitchen.
A funky table. A funky lamp. And that funky book with these lines that caught my eye, "What is a friend? A future enemy. / What is an enemy? A former friend."
Instead of a bull-shaped piñata, Bliss has a paper-mache gecko clinging on the ceiling. Unusually lovely.
A corner buddhist "flag"? A hanging? ...or something.
A quiet sunny corner.
Buddha in the greenery.
I could never forget the taste of the tea made from some dried flowers Jim served. It looked like dried roses and had that calming effect on the body when I drank it. He says that these flowers can only be found in the mountains.
The outer "courtyard" with all that luscious color and details.
The interiors of Bliss before my works were placed...
... this is how it looked like after my works were safely tucked in their places. It felt like the cafe's a very comfortable drawing room.
With Jim keeping an eye, Anna (with black beret) and her posse hanging one of the works...
...and they became troubadours when evening came.
Jim serenading a couple of Japanese guests at the evening's exhibit. He sang an "enta" a Japanese form of the blues. Having known that a very close friend of mine died, he asked if I could give a small percentage of the sales to kidney research to which I agreed. For those who buy my works, a small amount helps towards this cause.
And I had to take this picture. I couldn't resist.
Thank you Jim and Shanti!!!
Eight of my works are currently on exhibit at BLISS CAFE. If you find yourself in Baguio, do drop by and check it out. You'll love everything there.
BLISS CAFE is located in the lobby of HOTEL ELIZABETH at the corner of Gibraltar and J. Felipe Sts. For contacts, call Jim or Shanti at landline 074 619-0367, or through mobile numbers 09178464729 and 0917528116.
You'll love the place. I know I do.