An art high in Tagaytay

By Isabelle Romualdez
Photos by Gab Pili

Millennials packed the “Tagaytay Art Beat” music and visual arts festival held recently at the Museo Orlina in Tagaytay. Organized by Ning and Anna Orlina (daughters of well-renowned sculptor Ramon Orlina) and DocDef productions, I was fortunate enough to perform in an event that was staged to support budding local artists and independent music acts. 

The crowd of Tagaytay Art Beat music and visual arts festival

Despite my punctuality, I was pleased to see that the venue was already filled, especially because local art has not been as exposed as it should be.  Walking around, I was able to observe works by young artists such as Archie Geotina, Ayka Go, Erica Ng, Ivana Tyler, Jason Sto. Domingo, Jessica de Leon, Ku Romillo, Lee Caces, Lyka Orhel, Miggy Antonio, Monica Castillo, Rae Toledo, and Tammy dela Fuente. Their creative works were made out of wood, paper, and 3D printing.

The author (vocalist and bassist of Fools & Foes) performing in Tagaytay Art Beat

Right upstairs, I was able to see the intricately made sculptures of Ramon Orlina for the very first time. Being a fan of his works, I just stood there in silence, overwhelmed by the beauty of local art. Everything was there; there were live mural paintings by the artists known as Cinos and Mr. S that event attendees were able to witness while enjoying the band performances in the open space area of the venue.  Everywhere you go, whether to view the works of the budding artists and Ramon Orlina’s or to grab a drink by the roof deck, you can hear the music.

Live mural painting

My fellow performers didn’t fail to impress and hype the crowd. The music was diverse enough for anyone to appreciate. From catchy folk tunes (by the Ransom Collective, Niki Colet, Paolo Mallari, Bullet Dumas, Reese Lansangan) to soul-foul jazz beats (Jensen and the Flips, Sud, Miles Experience, Banna Harbera, Anj Florenjo, Farewell Fairweather, Dayaw) to indie goodness (Autotelic, Fools & Foes, Tom’s Story, Austin), Tagaytay Art Beat proves that OPM is not dead. Many claim that OPM is not as refined or as catchy as foreign music, but that is only because it is not as exposed.

Ramon Orlina

Many of us today are still having that “Tagaytay Art Beat” hang over (as witnessed in social media) with reason. It was a one-of-a-kind eclectic experience of local art. It gave me, and many others, an “art high” you can experience with Philippine art.

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