Utzurrum: The quirky and essential

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

UNIQUE, out-of-the-box, charming, like no other, and yes—quirky. All these and more describe the Queen City’s latest boutique hotel, The Henry, located along Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Road, Banilad.

When its owners, Hospitality International Inc (HII) represented by founder and chief executive officer Luis Monserrat, and chairman Hanky Lee conceptualized the 38-room-hotel, they imagined a mix of European, rustic, vintage and industrial accents.

Immediately upon entering, a life-sized Red Doorman—welcomes you at the lobby, and throughout the area are creative conversation pieces from artistic oversized furniture to abstract pop-art frames, attractive wall murals down to signage!


Each room or suite is tastefully “livened-up.” One has a Marilyn Monroe mural, another has Moroccan windows, and a third, a lady perched on her vintage convertible. Every room is an amazing discovery!

Quirky? Not when The Henry has been consistently ranked as second best hotel among 72 Cebu City hotels, by TripAdvisor, “in barely a year of operations,” said hotel general manager Mirro Reperuga. A milestone indeed! The Henry “like no other.” Discover why.,


The action is still at The Henry, fast becoming an artistic destination too, as this is where the Qube Gallery is located.

To mark its first anniversary, Qube owners, Jon and Janice Gotiong, invited no less than Philippine art icon Juvenal Sanso, to grace the gallery with his body of works compiled in the span of five decades during his stay in Europe.

Here’s another first. This is also Sanso’s first time to bring his personal collection, “rare and essential” to our shores. The precious canvases depict Parisian scenes, summer beachfronts, lush greenery golden dawnscapes, etc.


While Sanso is considered a Philippine art icon, he is not really a Pinoy, having been born in Spain in 1929. He was only four years old when the family moved to Manila, where his father set up a wrought iron business. However, he was too much in love with painting, to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Much of Sanso’s works were influenced by Filipino masters like Fernando Amorsolo, Irineo Miranda and Dominador Castañeda when he enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.

To pursue mastering of his craft, he set up residence in Paris and traveled extensively to the art capitals in Italy, the UK and USA before returning to his homeland, the Philippines. With an astounding profile enumerating solo exhibitions and enviable awards across the globe, indeed, Sanso’s place in Philippine art and history is beyond compare!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 27, 2014.


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