Five things to do this week of July 19 to 25

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Artist Leeroy New presents "Iris," an online exhibit of mirror pieces in a special edition of Art in the Park from July 25 to August 1. Photo courtesy of ART IN THE PARK

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life, July 19) — This week, we recommend exhibits to check out, a new album from an OPM legend, an affordable art fair in case you’re in the mood for more art, and more.

Visit Blanc Gallery exhibits

You have until July 31 to view the exhibits “This Flesh is Cursed” by Jomari T’leon and Mccoy Lazaruz, which draws on the themes of remembering and mortality, “Disanthropomorphic Era” by Rene Bituin, a rumination on how we have driven ourselves to ruin; and “Connections that we Crave” by Mark Dawn Arcamo, which deals with media consumption in the digital age.

You can view the works online through — CNN PH LIFE STAFF

Listen to Barbie Almalbis’ new album

Barbie Almalbis is celebrating 25 years in the music industry with her new album “Scenes from Inside.” The nine-track album is inspired by her experiences during quarantine as “musician, a mom, a friend, a wife, and a pet lover.” Early favorites from the album include the opener “Kumpas,” the breezy track “Iyong-iyo” and the lovelorn “Silaw.”

The album is now available on music streaming platforms. — DJ

Buy affordable art

People are still buying and selling art! So much so that the organizers of the affordable art fair Art in the Park decided to hold a second edition this year. Art in the Park Special Edition is a celebration of its 15th year anniversary and will run from July 25 to August 1 online at

Works are priced at ₱70,000 and below. The fair will have an estimate of 10,000 artworks from 62 galleries.

Some of the featured artists include Antipas Delotavo with a special exhibit called “Gridlock,” Leeroy New with an installation called “Mebuyan Vessel Polyp” at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Makati; Anna Bautista’s “Time Capsules;” and Eugenia Bautista’s “Adrift.” — CNN PH LIFE STAFF

Shop local at Studio Artesan by Rustan’s

Though upmarket department store Rustan’s has always been known for carrying international luxury brands, they have also been home to a number of local designer/in-house labels that many of us grew up with. For women of a certain age, it was Lady Rustan and Criselda Lontok. As one who lived through the Y2K fashion years, we had U (which launched in 2000; Hindy Weber-Tantoco was one of their in-house designers). Until today, I still have a wide neck, almost off-shoulder top with fuschia and grey stripes from the brand. A real gem from that era.

In that same tradition, Rustan’s recently launched their new concept store Studio Artesan, which features homegrown Filipino fashion and home brands. While there are a growing number of stores that focus on locally made wares, this one has the Rustan’s shopper in mind: pricier pieces that are ideal for our older and more seasoned loved ones (Who, let’s admit, can be extremely picky). Think carabao-shaped ceramic jars by Liwayway and indigo-dyed towels by Maison Metisse. But there are a few items that welcome modest budgets, such as beaded accessories, trinket boxes in-laid with capiz shells, and even small leather pouches to store your face masks on the go. — Marga Buenaventura

Shop for Studio Artesan items here.

Load up on K-pop B-sides

It’s always the “title track” in the spotlight: the lead song of the idol group/soloist's comeback that’s being promoted. But many K-pop fans also know that comebacks also mean an opportunity to mine B-sides for hidden gems. Stellar examples include BTS’ “Home” from “Map of the Soul: PERSONA,” GFRIEND’s “Night Drive,” and NCT 127’s “0 Mile.”

If you feel like listening to hours and hours worth of K-pop B-sides, listen to Manila Community Radio’s “Shut Up and Listen w/ Bishfork-K (비슈 포크-K)” on July 21, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with tracks selected by a bunch of K-pop geeks (including yours truly). — DJ