Art and the City

Quezon City (QC) is one of the biggest cities in the Metro, and all 165.3 square kilometers of it is home to some of the most creative minds in the country. This could come from the fact that QC is also a university city, and home to some of the most prestigious schools such as the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, and Miriam College. This undercurrent of freethinking and the presence of some of the main government centers have honed a highly creative, socially aware, and vocal community.

Take a tour of some of the noteworthy museums and galleries that enrich QC’s vibe, and find out what makes it such a creative hub:

West Gallery

West Gallery

This gallery is practically an institution along West Avenue, and the rest of Quezon City. Run by artist Soler Santos (son of the late great painter Mauro Malang Santos), West Gallery is notable for running exhibits of different artists at the same time. Its roster of artists is a who’s who of the Philippine art world–including National Artists Arturo Luz and Cesar Legaspi, Andres Barrioquinto, Bernardo Pacquing, Agnes Arellano, and of course, Malang.

48 West Ave., Quezon City, tel. (+632) 411 0366

Jorge B. Vargas Museum

Jorge B. Vargas Museum

This museum, a landmark in the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus, is named after the first Filipino executive secretary Jorge Vargas, who turned over his collection of Filipino Art, artifacts, books, and memorabilia in the 1970s. The museum features changing exhibits of local and international artists, the latest of which is an exhibit of artist Katti Sta. Ana’s sculptures. One of the noteworthy features of Vargas are the floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal great views of UP’s lush school grounds.

Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, Roxas Ave., University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City, tel. (+632) 928 1927

Bulwagan ng Dangal Museum

Bulwagan ng Dangal Museum

This is one of the newer exhibition halls in the UP-Diliman campus, having opened in 2009.

Bulwagan ng Dangal occupies the cavernous basement of Gonzales Hall (UP Main Library). Some of its permanent exhibits are of art that have hung unnoticed for years in UP’s halls. One gallery room is located right below the library’s main walkway, and visitors can look up through the midcentury glass blocks to catch a glimpse of the people walking above.

Gonzales Hall (Main Library), G. Apacible cor. Roxas St., University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City

Ateneo Art Gallery

Ateneo Art Gallery

It may be famous for its prestigious Ateneo Art Awards, but Ateneo Art Gallery is an important institution in the University. Recognized as the first museum of Philippine modern art, it was established in 1960 when Fernando Zobel donated his collection of works by key Filipino artists such as Vicente Manansala, Galo Ocampo, and Arturo Luz. Recent exhibitions held here featured the Ateneo Art Awards winners, the works of National Artist Badong Bernal, and noted artists Eric de Leon Zamuco, and Rodel Tapaya.

Arts Wing, Areté, Ateneo De Manila University, Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, tel. (+632) 426 6488

Blanc Gallery

Blanc Gallery

Founded in 2006, this beautiful Katipunan gallery exhibits established artists, as well as up-and-coming ones such as Allan Balasi, EJ Cabangon, Mideo Cruz, and Louie Cordero. Their current exhibit of artist Ronson Culibrina’s mixed-media works of discarded materials and ocean detritus is a statement on fisherfolk’s problems with sea waste and environmental issues.

145 Katipunan Ave., St. Ignatius Village, Quezon City, mobile 0920 9276436

Green Papaya Art Projects

Green Papaya Art Projects

Green Papaya has been part of the QC art scene for more than a decade, and its attitude towards art hasn’t changed. It is less of a traditional gallery and more of a laboratory of sorts, where the artists collaborate, interact, and critique each other. From day to day, the gallery can be transformed into a dance studio, theater, or music space. Don’t be surprised if you walk into an art installation and find another artist doing his performance art piece in the same space.

41B T. Gener St., Kamuning, Quezon City

Artery Art Space

Artery Art Space

Fifteen years ago, Cubao X and its environs was a booming hub of creatives in the fields of art, design, and music, but the boom has since fizzled. Although many of the breakthrough galleries have closed, this brave, artist-run space opened in Cubao in 2014. Artery Art Space is not only a gallery; it also has a snack bar and store that sells artists’ merchandise. This kind of laidback setup, the owners believe, encourages interaction between the artists and their patrons.

102 P. Tuazon Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City, tel. (+632) 7252837

Quezon City is definitely rich in creative inspiration, and Ayala Land’s Vertis North—a hub of residential, lifestyle, and business developments in the city—is right at the heart of it all.

As Alveo’s latest residential tower in this district, Orean Place at Vertis North is a condominium for sale in Quezon City, with the perfect address for people who thrive in a creative atmosphere. Click here to learn more, or visit their onsite showroom in Vertis North and 3F Trinoma.

Design Hubs for Every Space

Mention Pasig City and you’ll immediately think of office high-rises, call centers, and malls. But if you look beyond the buzz of the commercial-business district, you’ll find growing developments that provide a relaxing respite for its residents that still exude the energy and design of a dynamic and prosperous city.

It’s an ideal city to live in. Appropriately, there are many specialized design hubs and depots in and around the area, so decorating your own space won’t be difficult. Here are a few choices:

Space encounters

Space Encounters

Interior designer Wilmer Lopez opened this store back in 2010, and he hasn’t stopped expanding since. He started out with Space Encounters, which carries a line of midcentury furniture and décor with fun, timely themes. They also recently launched their Space Encounters Gallery with its collection of Filipino art; Lopez’s design firm, incidentally, is housed in the same building.

Mezzanine and 7th floor, Padilla Bldg., F. Ortigas Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


CW Home Depot

CW Home Depot Ortigas

This flagship branch of the CW Home Depot group is one of the most complete home depots in Metro Manila, with stores selling specialty items like customized lights (Keystone Lamps), ultra-modern furnishings (Décor), and vintage-style toilet fixtures. Aside from the depot, the complex houses several restaurants and bars (such as Rue Bourbon), a KTV lounge (Music Match), and a sports center. “CW Home Depot is great because you can couple furniture hunting with sourcing other home improvement services and materials,” says Michael Magturo of Urban Abode, one of the stores in the depot.

1 Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig City. Tel. no.: 636 0772; email: Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Urban Abode

Urban Abode

Located within the CW Home Depot Ortigas complex, Urban Abode offers furniture and accessories designed by interior designer Kristine Neri. All her pieces are housed in a beautifully curated shop with industrial-modern interiors and murals washed in natural light. Business operations manager Michael Magturo recommends their chesterfield sofas. “They exude a casual elegance and are surprisingly comfy.”

Shops at CW Home Depot. Tel. no. (+632) 570 4663. Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Furniture Anthology

Furniture Anthology

Also located within the CW Home Depot Ortigas compound, this store carries elegant furnishings for urban homes. Their collection ranges from upholstered sofas to midcentury-style consoles and accent lighting pieces. One look inside the Furniture Anthology showroom and you could be transported back to the 1950s, with its sleek and nostalgic pieces.

Technopoint Bldg., CW Home Depot Complex. Tel. no. (02) 721 5874. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

MC Home Depot

MC Home Depot

This home depot is located in a no-frills, warehouse-type setting, but it has become popular with both designers and homeowners because you can get everything here—from granite to wallpaper and furniture (and everything in between). Don’t forget to stop by Ricad Trading, which customizes mosaic tile designs, and carries the trendy Machuka-style patterned tile.

168 Ortigas cor. Meralco Aves., Pasig City. Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Robins Design Center

Robins Design Center

If you’re a homeowner or designer with discerning taste, this is the hub to head to. Robins Design is a two-story center filled with the stores you need to complete your home. These homegrown shops all have a certain sophisticated flair about them. There is La Europa Ceramica, which carries the on-trend large-scale ceramic tiles from Europe; Alno, the premier line of modular kitchens; the delightful De Adorna showroom, which features beautiful designer décor from Pampanga; and Schema showroom, with its award-winning metal lamps. If you’re a condo dweller, drop by Perch Furnishings, with its affordable but stylish collection of sofa-beds, chairs, tables, and more.

31 Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Telas de Mercato

Brgy. Kapitolyo

This formerly quiet residential neighborhood has been transformed into a foodie paradise, but there are also many interesting lifestyle stores within its winding streets. A new player in the area is Telas de Mercato, a warehouse filled with hundreds of fabric and soft furnishings for the home. Take your pick from damask, cotton chintz, satin, tassels, and other trimmings for upholstery, curtains, and pillows, sold by the meter or yard and organized by type and color.

749 Pioneer St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City


One of its hippest home stores in the hood is Heima, owned by husband-and-wife team Rossy and Bong Rojales. Rossy—an interior designer—creates Scandinavian-modern pieces with an offbeat touch. The store also sells stationery items, decorating books, and small accessories.

No. 103, Three Brixton St., Brgy Kapitolyo, Pasig City

The Green Company

Just a few steps away from Heima is eco-living store The Green Company. The charming shop not only sells organic personal care items, but it also all-natural detergents, household cleaners, and they even run an earth-friendly laundry service.

G/F Ace Water Spa Bldg., United cor. Brixton Sts., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Cevio Art Haus

Hidden in the depths of Kapitolyo is Cevio Art Haus, a gallery within an old house. They support up-and-coming contemporary Pinoy painters and sculptors like Froilan Pastrana, Catherine Salazar, and Siefred Guilaran with regular exhibits.

60 San Isidro St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City

West Elm

West Elm

This famous US brand’s first Philippine store is located right in the heart of Pasig City. West Elm is known for their laidback, finely made contemporary furniture. More than that, though, one of the reasons why most homeowners like West Elm is that a majority of their pieces are designed to fit condo living and urban spaces. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in West Elm, though, drop by their sister brand Pottery Barn, which is in the same mall.

G/F Estancia Mall, Meralco Ave., Pasig City

With so many choices, get to decorate your home the way you want it. The units in Alveo Land’s Portico, for example, are spacious and well-planned to encourage residents to personalize their spaces. How Portico is designed also inspires in its future residents an appreciation for art and design, perfectly complementing the artsy vibe of Ortigas.

For more information on Portico, go to or visit their onsite showroom located along Capt. Henry Javier St., Brgy. Oranbo, Pasig City.


While relatively lighter reads continue to take up space in everyone’s gadgets, a number of design and architecture publications still reign supreme offline in a constantly online world.

Fashion and current affairs magazines have long been conquerors of the newsstands. However, the physical presence of design and architecture publications does not fall far behind.

Many continue to stand tall and proud while garnering thousands of online followers at the same time, as nothing beats the experience of color, imagery, and tactility in real life.

Apartamento aims to show the unpretentious side of living spaces by taking readers through honest and candid interiors. Instead of concentrating on design per se, it tackles the stories behind homes and objects that not only interest readers but inspire them as well. The cult magazine is a highly coveted title as one issue can sell out in just a few days

Design Anthology is Asia’s premier publication on luxury interiors, design, architecture, and urban living. It is a sophisticated volume packed with content that celebrates Asia’s cultural and creative scene, along with the latest projects and products from around the world. As each issue explores a theme, its international team promises high-quality editorials for a pleasurable reading experience.

Anthology is a quarterly read on home and lifestyle. What sets it apart from the flock are its writings, which take a narrative or literary form. The creators envisioned Anthology to be “a collection of stories” rather than a structured publication. It is definitely a breath of fresh air in the field—a publication both professionals and enthusiasts would love collecting.

Dirty Furniture is anything but your ordinary design magazine. It puts a special focus on the relationship between people and the things they live with. Each issue takes a particular piece of furniture as its theme and creates stories and stunning imagery with it, exploring different topics such as history, technology, and humor.


A compact home can be an unexpected jewel with these practical tips for designing limited spaces.

More than setting the look for a space, determining its mood is also important.
What’s on-trend in terms of style is fleeting, but a design that rouses feelings of calmness and serenity or adventure and cheery openness can surely go a longer way.


Small living spaces are easy to clean up, but the limited storage and desk spaces make clutter more visible. The potential to acquire clutter doesn’t change in proportion to room size, so it’s all the more important for small spaces to be designed with the lazy days in mind—shoes thrown to the side of the door, a book left open on the sofa, or an empty wine glass sitting on the side table. How all these can come together without looking chaotic
requires organizational methods customized to the way you live.


A custom dining table that incorporates the dimension and details of the dining room ceiling bathed in the warmth of droplights could actually inspire as much awe. It’s easy to spot a good look and nail it, but to come up with something unique to a user’s space gives a deeper sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.


There’s nothing like a blank canvass to inspire creativity. A neutral palette for the sofa fabric, just a slight tone darker than the walls, not only expands illusion of space but also allows for fun accessorizing. Throw covers and pillowcases can be changed at a whim, creating a whole new look in an instant.

A space, no matter how well it looks today, needs to change and transform gracefully for tomorrow.


Pushing boundaries in retail design, today’s stores have traded up for highly interactive and experiential spaces.


is an optical eyewear salon that carries a global casting coup of brands while dressed in a black marbled and lacquered interior. Steel shelves and glass drawers frame an impeccably curated selection of eyewear to create an overall museum-worthy salon.

Ronnie & Joe is located at the Power Plant Mall, Makati; SM Aura Premier, Taguig; and SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Ortigas.


boasts of handsome interiors that goes well with its handsome items. The store provides today’s stylish gentlemen with a cool selection of clothes and accessories. From brands like Lyle & Scott and Victorinox, explore an urban space of tiles, wood, and metal furnishings.

General is located at Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig.


is one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in the country. It promises a space that feels exactly how its food tastes—exquisite, natural, and clean. With wooden floors and light beige walls, trees and plants surround the restaurant that could pass for a quaint indoor farm.

The Wholesome Table is located at Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig; Infinity Tower, H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati; and Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig.


is inspired by cigarette smoke. Designed by Ed Calma, the store’s palette of whites, greys, and blacks complements its exquisite and modern lineup of international fashion labels from Lanvin to Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons to Maison Margiela.

Univers is located at the ground floor of East Tower One Rockwell, Makati.


is sparsely designed to accommodate storied items that in themselves provide an ideal “back in the day” ambience. Artisanal, old-timey, and without a strict in-store layout, it’s the disheveled yet carefully curated corners and spaces that make Craftsmith the charmer that it is.

Craftsmith is located at 2J Crown Tower on 107 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo Village, Makati.

The Little Big Things In Life

LE D lights can brighten any dark corner at home. It can do the job where the sun never seems to shine. Long-lasting compared to the incandescent light, it conserves more energy and money.
With the many options in home stores, one can choose the perfect lighting for various areas of the home. Chic lamps, classic pendant lightings, functional ceiling lamps, or simple pin lights can put you in a good mood for different tasks such as working, dining, or relaxing at home.

Every home, no matter how minimalist, should be enriched with books. After all, the home is a place for family conversations and sharing of stories. It would be a good idea to create a sweet and quiet little nook as a space to retreat to. Read a book while sipping tea, take out your photo album and reminisce family moments gone by, or simply study your options for a new piece of furniture. It’s the best place to hear your thoughts.
Choose a comfortable chair—an armed chair or a winged chair in a relaxing color, a sturdy side table, and a good lamp. You can also include a foot/leg chair for the ultimate comfort to settle in with your favorite book. As this area can also double as a meditative corner, make sure it’s clutter-free. Keep books in the bookshelf organized.

Delicious Juicy Living Living life to the fullest means having the energy to keep up with the demands of the day. When all exercise and trips to the spa fail, it’s time to take a look at the kitchen and see what’s keeping you busy. Beautiful minds and bodies operate on efficient use of energy and fuel. Raw and juiced fruits and vegetables can raise the alkaline level of the body.

Lover of Color Nature has taken great pains to produce some of the most beautiful hues, and soaking in delightful colors can do wonders for your soul. Whether its wild purple tints, calming tinges of green, or dangerous shades of gray, the combinations of tones and palettes should pay homage to your sense of style. Carefully selecting your paints can make a difference to your health. Choose a brand that advocates environmental awareness.

Choose well-designed, quality kitchenware and cutlery. Not only are they nice to look at, they are also trusty in delivering the perfect meal. Impress your guests with your culinary skills and entertain in style.

Organize your spices and snacks with these designer storage pieces that double as art pieces. With these accessories, dinner conversations are made more interesting.