The cognoscenti’s weekend paradise

Why Rue Angelique will be a treasure trove for Home Improvement fans and art collectors

‘A weekend in early February at the Palacio de Memoria should be the true destination of all interested in Filipino culture and the Arts. Plus the promise of great food & drinks.’

Ever since the Lhuillier “famille” opened the doors of the Palacio de Memoria at 95 Roxas Boulevard, it’s been one of my favorite spots to visit here in Manila. It’s like walking into a time portal that takes you back to pre-war Manila by the Bay—and yes, I know the breakwater would then have been just across the road—traipsing around the grounds of a seven-story grand mansion of architectural splendor. In terms of atmosphere, ambiance, and locational convenience, it’s hard to beat. That’s why before the pandemic struck, it was a steady favorite as a venue for wedding receptions, corporate launches and events, and for stylized photo shoots.

While the COVID health crisis still rages in many parts of the world, it’s inevitable that careful steps have to be taken to restart and resume “new normal” business. That’s why I’m excited about the Flea Market at the Palacio de Memoria, which is happening on the weekend of Feb. 6 and 7. The grounds will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it’s billed as a fair of Art, Antiques, and Artisanal Goods. Participating are Archivo, Gallery of Prints, Rue Angelique, Vidro, Galeria Lienzo, and the Edd Fuentes Private Collection. For the cognoscenti of the collecting community, these names hold promise for the kind of objets d’art that will be exhibited, and offered for purchase, during these two special days.

A sampling of the Bulols and Blue-and-whites from the Edd Fuentes Private Collection

The Manila Bulletin is a media partner, and other partners/sponsors are Tabacalera and Don Papa who will mount a Cigar Lounge at the Loggia area at 5 p.m. of both days, and Remy Martin, who on both days, at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m., will conduct a Cognac Master Class. Margarita Forés and her Cibo di Marghi will provide the lunch and food, and Gaita promises the selection will be like a “best hits” of Cibo. That’s something to definitely look forward to, as I’ve been a Cibo fan since its inception.

Angelique Lhuillier-Miranda and chef Margarita Forés at the Palacio grounds

For the serious collectors, and those aching to put their best foot forward in the rarefied air of this niche community of culture and the arts, Dr. Jaime Laya will offer an online talk at 11 a.m., Saturday morning. This promises to be a highly elucidating discussion on Philippine culture and the art of collecting. The kind of knowledge, expertise, and words of wisdom that emanate from such an authority as Dr. Laya, is hard to beat.

The COVID policies that will be holding sway during these two days will limit the number of people allowed entry at any one time. Temperatures will be taken, health forms filled out, and strict social distancing maintained. Marshalls shall be strolling the grounds throughout the two days to ensure the safety of both visitors and exhibitors, and that these health and safety protocols are being adhered to.

It’s a brave new world that the Palacio is seeking to explore. We keep it safe, but we also don’t allow ourselves to be defeated by the pandemic. For those aching for some step towards normalcy, the Palacio Flea Market weekend should be welcome news. While walk-in’s will be welcomed, head to to get more details, and even pre-register as to when you’d like to drop by.

We may still not be heading to the fabled flea markets of Paris’ Clignancourt or London’s Portobello Road, but the Palacio de Memoria is bringing the Flea Market experience to us!

Source: Manila Bulletin (