Art in the Park (Part 1)

Text and photos by Chris Quintana

Salcedo Park in the Philippines’ center of commerce.

And here I was again walking along the concrete and marble forest of the Makati CBD. It’s been a few years since I was back here. I used to walk these streets at the heart of the business district – mostly empty and desolate during the early mornings on weekends – when I was still working in this city almost a decade ago.

Only a few vehicles were parked there on the side of the streets, and only a few pedestrians could be seen. The clean, dark tarmac – occasionally with yellow lines, the polished steel barriers, marble and tinted glass extending high above – has brought a certain mix of melancholy and serenity every time I walked here. Enya’s “No Holly for Ms. Quinn” again played inside my head.

An art piece displayed at the Art in the Park in Makati City. Photo by: Chris Quintana

An art piece displayed at Art in the Park in Makati City. Photo by: Chris Quintana

An acoustic trio playing music at the Art in the Park in Makati City. Photo by: Chris Quintana

An acoustic trio playing music at the Art in the Park in Makati City. Photo by: Chris Quintana

The melancholy was soon replaced by excitement, like before, as I approached the end of the street with the walls of Makati Sports Club right in front of me. I have arrived. I usually sigh as I turn to walk at the entrance of the Salcedo weekend market.

Most of the time I go here, by myself, to feast as a reward for myself. My eyes and nose and taste buds are taken into a great selection of discriminating palate and sampling of world cuisine. A taste of “the good life” as they say in elite circles.  A moment of sweet indulgence.

The sensation was quite different as the offering this time was art. In the Philippines, events like this can be exhilarating. I like going to these kinds of places. They can be quite inspiring. A soothing light jazz was being played by an acoustic trio at the center of the park, keeping the mood fresh and light as everybody wants it on a Sunday.

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