The first time Dingdong Dantes brought up the idea of his wife Marian Rivera collaborating with painters, the actress got a little nervous.
It was her first time to be part of a painting exhibit, and it was also a first to incorporate fresh flowers in a work of art.
"Napi-pressure ako to be honest," she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the opening of I Am Super: An Art Exhibit for Resilience at the ground floor of Resorts World Manila.
She continued, "Kasi, first time ko ‘tong gawin. 'Sandali, may bibili ba? Maganda ba ang gagawin ko? Magugustuhan ba?'
"So in fairness naman, today na-sold-out siya.”
The exhibit opened on August 21 and will run until August 27.
Her initial concern was that the flowers might ruin the painting.
"Kasi sinabi ni Dong [Dingdong's nickname] na gusto niyang may collaboration with the painters.
"Sabi ko parang mahirap ‘yan 'tapos dun sa mga painters, tinanong ko, 'Kayo na ang magsabi, kayo na ang mag-dictate kung ano ang gagawin ko.'
"Hindi ko painting, e. Parang medyo sensitive para sa akin. Ayokong galawin, natatakot ako."
Aren't the flowers going to wither or wilt?
"Hindi sana, hindi sana...
"Well sana alagaan nang mabuti. Hindi mababasa, hindi maaarawan."
And in case they die, Marian is willing to replace the flowers, and, the painters, to retouch them.
"Sabi ko nga kung may bibili, masira or whatever, ibalik lang sa akin at gagawin ko or kung gusto nila.
"Nagsawa na sila sa flowers, pe-painting-an na lang ulit..."
FOR A CAUSE. During the brief program, Dingdong introduced the two painters who got to work with his wife.
"Una sa aking listahan, ang pangalan po niya ay Carlo Saavedra, whose work can be described as figurative or representational and non-abstract.
"But if asked about what his paintings mean or what he is trying to communicate as an artist, he believes that Francis Bacon’s quote, 'If you can talk about it, why paint it' is most fitting."
By the way, Carlo proposed to his girlfriend Jonalyn Carpenter that day.
The second artist was Mark Padernal, who, according to the Kapuso star, "sees the social relevance of anyone in his photographs from different parts of the world."
Dong added, "Some of his subjects are frozen stills and moments in events that matter.
"Using free-flowing, textured hand techniques, he intends to show a personality instead of the likeness of a person giving more meaning and adding life to the art work.”
The last but not the least was the wife of the founder of Yes Pinoy Foundation.
"Para makumpleto ang tatlong ito, siguro yung ibang artists na nandito because naging last-minute ang pag-set up dahil talaga namang kapuyat-puyat ang paggawa ng mga ganitong klase ng magagandang likha.
"And I personally witnessed this because isang lingo niyang trinabaho ito.
"Kanina, nagising pa ng alas-tres ng umaga para matapos niya at nagkasugat-sugat pa ang kamay.
"Bakit ba niya ginagawa? Malalaman natin.
"At gaya ng sabi ko kanina, sila ang mga heroes, sila ang mga super dahil ie-empower nila ang mga kabataan natin.
"Gusto kong ipakilala ang founder ng isang flower shop, isang online flower shop na bagong likha pa lang, and we are very honored to collaborate with these artists, ang aking asawa, ang may pakana ng Flora Vida, walang iba kung hindi si Marian Gracia-Dantes.”
Fifty percent of the sales from Carlo and Mark's art works will go to I Am Super campaign, while Marian will be donating one hundred percent of the sales that will come from her floral art.
Marian remarked, “Maganda naman ang kahihinatnan at ang proceeds nito ang daming makikinabang na mga bata.”
In an Instagram post, Dingdong mentioned that the campaign also extends assistance to families, children, and soldiers affected by the Marawi Seige.
A Marine reservist, the actor further stated, “Our soldiers are modern-day heroes.
"Their efforts, together with our volunteers in Mindanao, deserve to be recognized and appreciated by every Filipino.”
SUPPORT FOR HUSBAND. Aside from taping for Alyas Robinhood, Dingdong is also working on two movie projects—Sid and Aya and Seven Sundays.
He's also busy with his foundation.
Does her husband still have time for his family?
“Well, hindi naman araw-araw na busy siya. At least ito, nairaos na namin so ibebenta na lang namin.”
What if they miss each other?
“Facetime,” she quickly said, referring to an app where users can make video and audio calls from iOS devices.
Meanwhile, Marian became emotional when she delivered a short message.
"Gusto ko lang din i-share sa inyo na dahil sa collaborations na ito, yung best friends ni Dong, e, parang ako na rin ang best friends ng dalawa.
"Simula nang maisip naming mag-collaborate, wala kaming ginawa, wala kaming pinipiling oras, magkaka-usap kami.
"Actually, na-pressure kasi ako noong sinabi sa akin ni Dong na baka naman puwedeng mag-collaborate ang Flora Vida sa mga paintings ng magagaling na dalawang ito. Sabi k okay Dong, parang hindi ko yata kaya.
"Parang bago pa lang akong nagsisimula, although love ko ang Flora Vida, love ko ang mga bulaklak, sabi ko, 'Para saan?' 'Tapos inexplain niya sa akin.
"Dito mapupunta ang mga kikitain, yung mga ganito, may mga bata tayong matutulungan 'tapos ‘eto nga, itong sa Yes Pinoy Foundation.
"Sabi ko, 'A, okey, hindi na ko magdadalawang-isip, gagawin ko yun for the love and totoo yun."
She also woke up early that day to finish her floral arrangements.
"Kanina, alas-tres akong gumising, natapos ako 8:30. Kinakatatok na ko. 'Miss Yan, akin na po ‘yang ginagawa niyo. Kailangan na po sa Resorts World.
"Ako hindi, walang fifty percent, seventy percent. One hundred percent ang ibibigay ko para sa Yes Pinoy Foundation."
The exhibit also featured the works of Ivy Lim, Alfonso Recto, Albrecht Behmel, Benedict Abigan, Evelyn Montenegro, and Patrick Cabral.
Marian with her mom-in-law Angeline Dantes