Issue of February 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Café Dua art show features children, traditional cooking
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Through artworks now on display at Café by the Ruins Dua, a children’s book author and illustrator pays homage to Filipino cooking traditions and childhood to promote the importance of child development and early traditions in the millennial age.

Kora Dandan Albano, originally from Bulacan and currently based in Baguio City, puts on display her latest art pieces in the exhibit called “Lutu-lutuan sa Dua” also to remind people that there are things that are innately good, like cooking.

The exhibit has 11 adorable paintings of children on acrylic canvas preparing a variety of traditional Filipino delicacies and ingredients, each becoming each artwork’s title, namely Bibingka, Biko, Bilo-bilo, Galapong, Kutsinta, Bigas na Malagkit, Pinipig, Palitaw, Suman, Niyog, and Puto-Bumbong.

“(Cooking) is something positive, an act of service, at the same time a show of gratitude, especially if you are cooking for your loved ones. It is more fulfilling when you’re cooking traditional foods because these are difficult to cook. You need certain skills, and more time and energy is involved,” Albano said during her show’s opening last Jan. 29 and to run until Feb. 27.

Albano has been a freelance illustrator and author of children’s book since 1993. She considers illustration as a medium in advocating children’s development through various suitable themes, through which she aims to  remind about traditional activities unknown recent generations.

Albano started painting on canvas in 2013. Her first solo show last November held in Makati City gallery focused on children playing traditional games.

For the Lutu-lutuan exhibit, she drew inspiration from her love for cooking and doing it for her family and loved ones. As a stay-at-home mother, she prepares her family’s food almost every day, can whip up some really good hummus or bake a Medovik cake. However, it is during the holidays that she gets to cook her local specialties – halayang ube and suman sa latik.

Albano is a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan or Ang InK, the only local organization of Filipino illustrators for children.

She has illustrated 46 books for various local and international publishers including All About the Philippines (Tuttle, 2015), which won a gold in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2016 in the U.S.

Her illustrations for Ang Alamat ng Ampalaya (Adarna, 1995), Pilandok (Adarna, 1994) and Carancal (Lampara, 2003) were named three of the 25 Best-Loved Children’s Book Characters for the past 25 years by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People in 2008. Her upcoming book Kung May Dinosaur sa Kamalig ni Lolo (Adrana, 2018) is coming out next month.

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