The mish mash of the Philippines I found both pleasing and confusing. As a country highly influenced by Spain and seriously peppered with Americana it somehow sits comfortably in S. E. Asia. After trying to rapidly orientate myself in Manila John Batten and I hung the Antarctic exhibition at the Australian Centre which is located in the Australian Embassy. Forty-seven paintings and One hundred and eighteen drawings all rather icy works strangely looked out onto a hot and smoggy city full of the most gaudy taxi/bus vehicles one will ever see.
The formal opening went well, TV, cable and press interviews were done, John flew back to his Hong Kong gallery and I jumped on a bus to Baguio. During the five days I spent in this interesting mountain city I began a new series of works, visited the Green House Effect gallery and met a number of the artists connected to the Baguio Arts Guild. Santiago Bose was my host who exuded hospitality and warmth. The people and places I briefly got to know in the Philippines all made me strongly consider returning sometime in the future. Next text could be from Beijing....