Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Allow me to introduce you to Rolly's Garage. Formerly a garage (obviously) and "talyer" owned by Filipino-Canadian Rolly Orbeta, it has now become one of the newest and coolest art venues on up Ossington Street in Toronto. And just last week, I went to the opening of the Kilusan Collective, a show done by that group of Filipino-Canadian artists I collaborated with for Transitio Manila 1945 (I made a post about them a few weeks ago). It was a very very cool culmination of a project that literally made "Manila meet Toronto, Toronto meet Manila."

Rolly's Garage. Street view.

Folks start to arrive. There were about a hundred folks would attend the evening. More or less.

More people shots above. A lot of them were walk-ins. Apparently, Ossington is really becoming ground zero for the hipster set of Toronto. And the bus stops RIGHT in front of Rolly's. Auspicious.

Robin's mom plays "tindera" of all the cool stuff that the Kilusan guys brought from Manila. Sales were brisk. She really worked it. Love her.

A stairway to Jen Maramba's homage to Bayani Fernandos' MMDA street art projects.

Kapisanan folks Isa Palanca, Executive Director Caroline Mangosing, and Vince Galvez.

Tiffany Naval's handmade flash cards about nationalism and identity. Very cute.

And of course, it's not a party unless there's Sangria and Lumpia. Very Fil-Hispanic. Wonder if this is a choice Jose Rizal would have wanted for his art openings. Rumors have it he was a latent conyo kid. Or maybe it wasn't so latent at all.

People admiring the works of Alex Felipe.

Robin starts the show and introduces artist Jeff Garcia of Halo Halo Collective.

Jen Maramba shares a few words.

Super chica Kilusan artists Tiffany Naval and Ilona Fiddy (brilliant graphic designer with a photographic memory for fonts). A rare skill really. Tiffany did the cute "Nationalist" flash cards.

Photographer/activist Alex Felipe talks about his work.

Jeff Garcia's amazingly overdone overdose of color, light, and stimuli.

Former resident at The Living Room, film maker, and Mr. Caroline Mangosing to you, Romeo Candido. He is being hugged by Robin Lacambra, Rolly's daughter and the brains behind Rolly's Garage Art Space.

All in all, well done, guys! The Kilusan show rocked the house. Hilarious comment heard from a Toronto Filipino re: Kapisanan, Kilusan and all these new Filipino arts folk I'm meeting in Toronto. "It's so good to see an artistic Filipino community that doesn't host beauty pageants!" Well, if they did, it would probably be an edgy one. It's really a new generation taking over. No doubt Rolly's Garage is going to go a long way.

Next: Transforming the space for the Toronto premiere of "If These Walls Could Talk".