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The oils on Ronald Ventura's latest masterpiece had hardly dried when it was sold this Holy Week in Sotheby's Hong Kong for HK$3.98 million (about P21.8 million).
Following Sotheby's fresh-from-the-canvas-straight-to-the-auction advice, the up-and-coming Andres Barrioquinto rushed his diptych "Bathing Birds" and exceeded the modest pre-sale estimate of HK$70,000 to HK$90,000 when it finally went under the hammer for HK$524,000.
(Cocktales almost missed reporting the latest edition of the spring auction due to the extended Holy Week holidays.)
And despite her being two years short from being a centenarian, the prolific Anita Magsaysay-Ho reinforced her marketability when her 1957-era "Mga Naglalako ng Manok" again changed hands for HK$2.06 million (about P11.33 million).
Sadly, the main attraction from the Philippine contingent, Juan Luna's "En El Palco" (In The Theatre Box), which had a pre-auction estimate of up to HK$5 million, went unsold.
A 1940 Fernando Amorsolo painting, "Family Under The Mango Tree," exceeded its pre-auction estimate of between HK$550,000 and HK$750,000 when it sold for HK$860,000.
Still, the late national artist's masterpiece received less enthusiasm from last autumn's record when an unknown bidder submitted a winning bid of HK$920,000 for Amorsolo's 1926 painting, "Workers in the Field."
There were a few disappointments as well.
A black-and-white inkjet print of photographer Neal Oshima, as well as the paintings of Jaime Pacena and Jason Tablante, had no bidders.
P. Noy appointee wants to join lover
The Holy Week tryst by two P.Noy sub-Cabinet appointees in New York is apparently just the icing of their private entanglement.
The male appointee -- let's call him the "amorous commissioner" -- has apparently fallen under the spell of his more accomplished travel partner that he now wants to also join her in the same board of a private corporation where the government holds a minority stake.
The amorous commissioner had already managed to convince another undersecretary from another department to recommend him for the directorship, according to a copy of the communication obtained by Cocktales.
It was not clear what authority the undersecretary had to nominate the smitten commissioner, when normally such directorial appointment had to come from Malacanang itself.
The love-struck official, incidentally, already sits in the board of a government bank headquartered in Makati by virtue of an appointment from no less than P.Noy himself.
And to those who besieged Cocktales for more clues after last week's first publication, here are some more: The commissioner is part of that charmed Ateneo law circle, and had helped incoming Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa navigate the bureaucratic maze in Malacanang during the difficult transition months.