From May 8 to 20, Project Hulmahan is setting foot at The Manila Hotel’s Grand Lobby and Art Gallery. The art exhibit features a diverse range of artworks such as sculptures, paintings, and mixed media pieces — all using shoe molds — created by both established and emerging artists who share a passion for helping others through their art.
“We looked for volunteer artists by posting publicly on Facebook who was willing to paint or make any kind of art out of hulmahan [shoe molds] that are no longer being used because the pandemic hit the struggling shoe industry in Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines,” relates Bernardo. The call for volunteers had a positive response and hundreds of artists all over the Philippines expressed interest.
The Manila Hotel’s creative consultant Rachy Cuna, National Artists Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and Kidlat Tahimik, sculptors Pete Jimenez, Jonathan Dangue, Julie Lluch-Dalena, and thespian Dolly De Leon are some of the participating artists whose works are featured in Project Hulmahan.
Project Hulmahan is the brainchild of Zena Bernardo, one of the members of Ladies Who Launch (LWL) and one of the co-founders of Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya. Ms. Bernardo met with shut-down shoe manufacturers in her hometown, Marikina, and their group purchased almost 500 pairs of shoe molds to transform them into artworks to earn funds for community-based activities.
“It is fitting that The Manila Hotel collaborates with inspiring ladies, as the Grand Dame celebrates ladies, especially mothers, in the month of May,” says Marvin Kim Tan, Director of Sales and Marketing of The Manila Hotel. Ladies Who Launch is a four-woman team comprised of Zena Bernardo (mother of Ana Patricia ‘Patreng’ of the famed Maginhawa community pantry), Dolly De Leon, internationally acclaimed actress, Judith Albano, and Jasmine Ong. They were the founders of the community kitchen, which assisted many people during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The proceeds from the artworks will benefit the advocacy efforts of these three organizations: Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya for community kitchen and livelihood programs, The Community Kitchen Project for national disaster response, and a community-based art school for kids.
“Sa akin napaka-deep ng story ng [Project] Hulmahan. We want to give dignity back to the community; we consider them as partners in our community-based projects and not beggars. We may not be popular, but we want to be transparent and accountable. [Project] Hulmahan is about molding a person and molding a society. The success of this project will depend on working together and pooling resources so we can ensure that those in need have access to necessities during these challenging times,” says Bernardo.
Project Hulmahan is on display at The Manila Hotel’s Grand Lobby and Art Gallery until May 20, 2023. Admission is free.
To culminate the fundraising endeavor, a grand auction will be held at Centennial Hall of The Manila Hotel on May 21 from 6 PM to 11 PM. This is by invitation only.
About The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel is situated in the heart of the City of Manila. Defined by its history, elegance, and world-class service, The Manila Hotel maintains to be the choice hotel of the most distinguished clientele. Over the years, The Manila Hotel continuously provides the best services and amenities for a truly memorable experience. It has more than 515 well-appointed rooms and 22 function rooms.
Apart from these, the hotel offers five-star relaxation and wellness experiences with The Manila Hotel Spa and Health Club. It has 6 dining outlets, each offering a unique culinary adventure: Café Ilang-Ilang which is a favorite spot for its extensive selection of International buffet delights; Champagne Room with its Old European style fine dining and also hailed as the most romantic room in Manila—it features European cuisine in a posh, fine-dining setting; Tap Room, an Old English pub-inspired outlet where one can enjoy an evening of live music; Lobby Lounge which is ideal for casual dining, aperitif, post-dinner nightcaps, or leisure meetings; Red Jade, a fine dining restaurant that serves authentic Chinese cuisine; and Delicatessens that offers the hotel’s signature pastries, bread, chocolates, and pralines.