Robbie Antonio: Idol!

I was going to blog about being stuck in a three-hour traffic jam last night. But hell, I just read about Robbie Antonio in Vanity Fair.
First, he’s building a 25,000-square-foot home in Manila, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
Second, it’s going to house a museum that will include his commissioned portraits by world-class artists such as Julian Schnabel, Marilyn Minter, and David Salle.

Robbie Antonio in Singapore

Who is Robbie Antonio?
He’s the 36-year-old managing director and board member of Century Properties, son Joey Antonio and wife Hilda, and brother to Jigger, Marco and Carlo.
Among Century Properties developments are Azure Urban Resort Residences, endorsed and partly designed by Robbie’s friend, Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton and Robbie Antonio of Century Properties
Paris Hilton Azure

The Trump Tower Manila

Donald Trump Jr. and Robbie Antono
With Donald Trump Jr. with Robbie Antonio

and Acqua Iguazu by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck

Robbie Antonio, Philippe Starck, Jigger Antonio
L-R: Robbie Antonio, Philippe Starck, Marco Antonio

Listen, this isn’t a sponsored post and I don’t know Robbie Antonio personally.
I have met him once during the Acqua Iguazu press conference and found him pleasant.
Many rich people in Manila have their homes featured in glossy magazines, but I find them “lifestyles of rich and boring” for the most part.
Now if Rem Koolhaas is doing your house, it will be anything but boring.
Take a look at some of his work:

Educatorium (University of Utrecht) in Utrecht by Rem Koolhaas
Educatorium, University of Utrecht

Rem Koolhaas Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public Library

Rem Koolhaas IIT Chicago
Illinois Institute of Technology

03 Casa da Música 7361
Casa de Musica, Portugal

Now take a look at some of the portraits in Robbie’s collection—they give a whole new meaning to term “selfie”

Robbie Antonio by Kenny Scharf
Interstellar (Portrait of Robbie Antonio) by Kenny Scharf

Robbie Antonio
By David Salle

Robbie Antonio by Takashi Murakami
By Takashi Murakami

robbie-antonio-museum-of-me.sl.3.robbie-antonio-ss02
By David LaChapelle

robbie-antonio-museum-of-me.sl.5.robbie-antonio-ss04
By Damien Hirst

robbie-antonio-museum-of-me.sl.9.robbie-antonio-ss08
By Julian Schnabel

And hey, I don’t judge if he wants to spend money this way. After all I did have my portrait done by Crajes—though mine is more affordable.
I just wish I knew him well enough to see his house!!
But reality bites. I already have a house and it needs fixing because I heard it’s gonna rain hard on Saturday and I have flooding problems.
To know more about Robbie, click HERE.
To see the Vanity Fair story, click HERE.

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  • Manila’s-conscience

    Just 3 comments: I wonder if all that love of self (his portrait collection) is becuz no one loves him for himself (but for his lucre)? Two, it would be nice to share some of that wealth with society; and finally, regardless of his wealth and social standing, he still looks Mayan or Aztec.

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    Mike B. Reply:

    I find flashing wealth very tacky, too. But your last comment is naive and disgusting. What’s wrong with being rich and still be short and brown? And news flash, the so-called “Spanish” that settled in the Philippines during colonization were actually Mexican. So don’t think your ethnicity-mix is any better. What European rich people would want to live in uncharted land on the other side of the world full of primitives? My ancestors were French scientific illustrators that came to document flora and fauna, working class.

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  • Cecille B.

    Trying too hard I must say of the Antonios. I agree with Ms. betty Lopez that one need not flaunt his wealth.uesss It’s breeding and taste that spell the difference.

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  • michdulce

    absolutely insane. my mom is really good friends with his parents but i dont think ive ever met him, but he is my mega idol!!!!!!! ABRAMOVIC ROOM SOUNDS INSANE i reaaally want to go to this house !!!!!! ive said it before but if i was rich i would totally spend all my money on art and i love that this guy can do it and did!

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    michdulce Reply:

    ps the hirst one is the best!!!!

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    Walter Robles Reply:

    The LaChapelle is the best. It looks like an artista-covered notebook featuring Romnick Sarmenta pre-Pardina at Mga Duwende. ;-)

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  • PJ

    now, why can’t we have buildings like those here in the Philippines? Doesn’t have to be all in Metro Manila.

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  • Biuda

    IS he U.S. citizen? Maybe he will be on American Greed in the future episode in CNBC.. I’ve seen a lot of people like him in that program!!

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    CVS Reply:

    uy i wanna watch that

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  • dudung10

    daym this guy is boss. chose a nice way to invest his money too. pinaghirapan niya yan wag mainggit :)

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    disqus_vALCsDaPMq Reply:

    Actually, his father is the magnate. :)

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    dudung10 Reply:

    so he just sat there, did nothing to run the company, huh? aba anak pala ng diyos to.

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  • Betty Tenmatay Lopez

    Flaunting wealth means people lack any style or class. It means they made their money quickly, without putting any effort into it, having no idea of what it means to actually work for your money.I would be afraid to buy condos from this family.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    That’s a crazy accusation to throw at anyone because they’re young and successful. Do you know the amount of vision, capital and hard work required to get projects of that sort executed?

    Obviously not. Actually, flaunting wealth is needed to get the high end business. How do you partner up with brand names if you don’t have the style or the capacity?

    The Sy’s and Gokongweis are piss rich but why can’t they get to what Century has done? Clearly the formula to sell opulence requires decadent tastes.

    All this is deliberately planned. And all you really are at this point is envious because he’s done so well. It is sad people really like to put other Pinoys down for their success simply because they can’t come close to being happy with their own lot in life.

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    crissantos Reply:

    Uhm, no. Betty has a point there. The reputable developers know better than to engage in conspicuous consumption at this point. Not with the BIR being really ferret-like in their research, and not with the Delfin Lees of this world. And no, sometimes it’s not about brand association but about royalties and fees. Flaunting merely gets you more column inches in the sosyalan pages and lifestyle glossies, and most of them are pretty gullible anyways. And it’s also for validation. Why these people need validation, well, I think they should answer that themselves.

    And it’s not about envy. It’s about discretion, or rather, the horror at the lack thereof. As for the “decadent taste” well, desgustibus non disputandum.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Actually you’re missing the point, what really is the value of a luxury development if not perception? Robinson’s “Luxuria” projects are far from tasteful let alone the fact that they are value engineered to a point that the only luxury you get is the mashed up connotation in that brand.

    So here’s where any discussion turns sour. How can you say that you’re not envious when you’d put a wanted felon in the same context as another? Tiglao intimated Antonio to be in the same league as Imelda Marcos. Then went on a tirade to making moral comparisons to donations by tycoons. The only motivation people would have to make such sentiments so public is envy and then justifies it with peripheral moral alternatives that do nothing for anyone else.

    Because if it wasn’t envy, then we can of course discuss the economic benefits of having such high end developments dotting an otherwise commoditized shoebox condo landscape. Attracting wealth is as important as attracting investments. Creating beauty in an urban landscape is part of creating value.

    Perception is everything and commissioning an artist or designer to do a piece to get them on board, is a cheap price to get them away from your competitors.

    Again, some imagination here, and no doubt this PR effort has created quite a buzz that its just statistical probability that their projects profiles just got elevated.

    I am not defending Antonio’s actions but his right to be his own person and to do what he wants with his resources is none of our business.

    One can say the same things about women in their choice of bags, shoes, and clothes. It is all about perception, and that’s where the value of luxury really lies.

    Profane as his eccentricities maybe how does it harm you?

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    anne_203 Reply:

    It will harm us if their company is not able to repay its debts, because their projects do not sell well. If this is a PR move to attract wealthy buyers, it feels like a double edged sword. You could attract those who want to spend their fortune on branded digs, or they could make investors think twice about whether their projects are sustainable given that the owner’s son chooses to spend his wealth in a much more showy way relative to the rest of the Philippine population or of his peers.
    Despite our government’s assurances, we actually live in a much more volatile economic climate now. If their projects do not do well and they encounter cash flow problems later, the ones who are left holding the bag are their creditor banks. Their loans will be considered non-performing loans. Good if their bank can take the loss but the worst case scenario, is that banks with a large number of NPLS fail and collapse.
    I hope I am proven wrong about the future debt repayments of this company. Still, it would be better, I think, for Robbie Antonio, to just save his money for a rainy day and spend a much smaller amount instead to achieve some measure of happiness.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    anne_203, if any of the Antonios are dipping their hands into corporate funds for their personal expenditures, then they are technically embezzling. That’s a rather serious leap of reasoning.

    You seem to be unable to distinguish between the two entities. Moreover, you seem to be imputing that there is some anomalous ongoings that will affect the ability of this company to repay debts and deliver on their obligations. All because of an article about one of the owners lavishly showing off.

    These are clearly distinct issues that require indifference to not see and malicious envy to impute.

    If they encounter cashflow problems later, they will either have to restructure their loans or liquidate assets, which will likely not include those atrocious self portraits.

    Think about it, that’s purely speculative and have no basis other than “inggit”.

    Thing is we are NOT Robbie Antonio. We will not be commissioning self-portraits but granted the resources, we aren’t likely to give “everything” to charity either, just because people who don’t have it, impose it on those who’ve earned it to do so.

    A rainy day for someone like that is when they’d have to share a helicopter with another family. We’re using our circumstances to judge someone just because we think it matters to us when it doesn’t.

    He’s spending money he’s earned. And as long as he does, we have no right to tell him otherwise.

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    anne_203 Reply:

    No I just think its just a bit of a red flag that Century took out a P4.2 billion loan recently (funded by other people’s deposits) and this guy spends P1B of his personal money on a house and paintings. You don’t hear of these things from the Sys or Gokongweis. And if they do, they are doing the right thing by keeping these things to themselves. He didn’t need to give a Vanity Fair interview unless the intention was to create more PR buzz for their company or he simply wanted to be more known in the art world.

    But I think the interview was the wrong strategy to take. This kind of news of very expensive buying sprees can make ordinary mortals like us think twice about whether we can trust their company’s management, which is also the sentiment of some commenters here.

    Also, the restructuring of loans and the liquidation of assets of a large company will be a much more painful exercise than you think. Its not just their family who will be feeling pain–you have to consider their suppliers, employees, home buyers who have invested a good chunk of their savings, and creditor banks who will be carrying these losses and cash flow imbalances on their balance sheets.

    I would certainly like to be proven wrong. No one is begrudging them their wealth, but I think it always helps to put their investors–both stockholders and unit owners–at ease if we know that they are spend their wealth more prudently especially in light of their recent loans.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Thing is, I don’t like to be wrong. But before I do make judgments I simply prefer to be less speculative and more informed.

    Your thesis here is that the reason why they borrowed money is because you think they’re in dire straits. Now you’re trying to pull the most tenuous bits of assumptions to support it.

    Then you conclude your posting with an assumption that they will be restructuring.

    Firms borrow money for a variety of reasons, some of them to retire higher interest debt, and some for expansion.

    That conclusion of yours is quite a leap in the absence of information and a rather senseless conclusion if only based on suspicion not to mention a rather bleak interpretation of how private individuals and firms work.

    Actually the Sys and Gokongwei’s have their own indulgences, that can be handily placed under the “if you only knew” clause. But like I said, that’s their cup of tea to stir.

    They (SM/Robinsons Land) simply do not occupy the market segment that necessitates this kind of frivolous publicity. Antonio’s aiming high, and undoubtedly working as hard for it and no doubt risking a lot as well. Unless you want to be underhandedly communistic about it, his rewards shouldn’t be measured against his risk but against that of pure equality.

    Understand that the crowd they are wanting to attract are those who are aspiring for greater things that money can summarily buy, like class. Normal people have more practical things to attend to and buying a property named after Trump makes me feel that it comes with a combover.

    Remember, property is a good store of value, better than cash or stocks most of the time. Can’t say the same about that particular kind of artwork. It is rather obscene however you look at it.

    Nevertheless, their personal wealth, is theirs to spend. Their indulgences for them to enjoy. And as long as they do not do so at the expense of their shareholders, customers, employees, and the republic, we really have no right to be upset.

    Actually all this ranting I read, is envy hiding behind verbosity.

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    anne_203 Reply:

    For some reason, my comments cant get through but here’s the gist. The Sys and the Gokongweis are on another strata of rich compared to the Antonio’s. Their businesses are also well diversified. I say that gives them an extra cushion in business in the risks that they want to take and how they would like to reward themselves.

    Still, I think there is value in keeping a low profile on personal spending for top executives and sons of magnates. And that spells more class because that tells us at least they’re careful about their money. And if they are careful with their wealth, then maybe they will be careful with ours. But this article spooked me because it showed us a glimpse about their their expensive and eccentric personal projects. It makes me ask, if they can afford to spend this much of their personal funds, could they be really prudent as a company behind closed doors? Have they allocated some reserves to pay for contingent liabilities in case things get challenging so that buildings can be completed? In a post-Lehman world, it is better to be perceived as strong, steady, stable and trustworthy, rather than just simply wealthy.

    Lastly, I am not writing out of envy. Not all of us need a entire house of self-portraits to be happy.

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    crissantos Reply:

    Agree. And I don’t understand why the Sys and the Gokongweis have to be dragged into this. They know better than to invite suspicion, speculation and ridicule through conspicuous displays of wealth, so again, let’s leave them out of this. When one of them slips up and publicizes a rather large personal purchase, then let’s have a go at them, too.

    I agree that prudence is key in this industry, much more than perception. And like one commenter here who actually bought something from this developer, the way this guy is spending hardly inspires confidence. I think these are valid questions for people who’ve already bought from them as well as for the institutions who lent them the money, and I think they should make sure their money goes where it’s supposed to.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    They’re merely comparison points, Bobby Tiglao included them (Sy/Gokongwei) in his article comparing their philanthropic endeavors to Antonio’s expenditures. Lance is a particularly humble fella, a leadership by example type. How the Sy’s treat their vendors and the endemic corruption inside SM is something shareholders should be more concerned about.

    So yes they are somewhat valid concerns, but only if and when Antonio’s doing something anomalous with company funds. We are always free to imagine the worse case. Not particularly healthy though if without basis.

    There are far less flamboyant developers who have failed to repeatedly deliver by the way.

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    dingdong Reply:

    Never expected to read a business lecture in this forum. This argument is really just another version of the ephemeral “the rich should give their money to the poor.”
    Sa tingin ko lang it’s Mr. Antonio’s choice how he spends his money.

    On the business standpoint, I’ve heard some analysts say that the Antonios pay themselves relatively higher paychecks compared to the Sys and Gokongweis. THIS despite a rather tight working capital ratio. But this is beside the point, and the point is, Mr. Antonio can do whatever he desires with his money, as long as it is legitimate. That is really how private property and a capitalistic society works.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Two very different companies and two very different generations.

    That image of eccentricity is what locked out other developers in the country from accessing those designers and brand names.

    Now let’s see if the gamble works out.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    It is terribly easy to speculate and intimating that their private expenditures are somehow subsidized by their corporate activities is having difficulty trying to prove itself beyond “probable”. By that time it will be under “anything’s possible”.

    If they default on their deliveries, buyers and shareholders will have a right to seek legal redress.

    Thing is, I doubt the speculative points would be any different if he purchased artwork. “Luho” tends to be frowned upon in societies that are poor, but we seem to be neglecting the fact that here’s a relatively young and very successful person. And all we are subjecting him to is vitriol because we think we know better than he does in what to do with his own money.

    I personally think his answers are very intelligent. I just think his choice of subject for commissioned artwork is unequivocally terrible.

    As a nation, we simply aren’t so supportive of dreamers and visionaries as we are of people who profess false humility. He is at least honest about being rich and he knows what to do about it.

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    anne_203 Reply:

    The thing is, real estate is a special kind of asset. Its expensive and it takes at least 5 years of construction if you’re buying a condo. You should therefore think about what can possibly happen 5 years down the road. Is this development going to sell well? Is the developer going to have a stable source of cash flows to complete the project? How is the management of the company?

    But if you’re going to wait until they slip up and get more evidence, by that time, you would have already put in good money into their pre-selling payment schemes. And as the buyer, you will also be the last person to be given legal redress because the first rule of bankruptcy is to pay senior debt first, and that means, its the banks. The funds will have to come from whatever can be sold from a half-finished building, and probably at a discount at that.

    Maybe I am speculating from your point of view, but if you look at it another way, this is also just about weighing the risks you want to take for yourself given the information that is available to you at the present–For the next 5 years, do you want to put your money in condos that have good locations, classy selling propositions and with a developer who has a 30 year track record, but have people behind them who are admitting out in the open about their lavish personal spending? The Vanity Fair article is new information. Some people enjoyed reading it, but others like myself, I was spooked by it.

    I have no problems with architectural dreamers and big spenders either–I’m just concerned whether they can support their company and personal cash flows if there are unforeseen events, because their buyers are dreaming of their own paradise too.

    Anyway, I think this is my last post on Real Estate 101. I am offering an olive branch to you, and just wanted to say my peace and fair caution to buyers of any real estate product from any developer.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    You do know that other developers constantly borrow money or issue
    shares as well to raise funding for their projects, right? What makes
    one think that diversification of assets of a conglomerate would
    automatically shore up a failing project? Again a separation exists in
    between distinct accounting departments.

    Still that’s
    a rather perturbed paradigm. By that reasoning, any company that
    engages in projects with mid-long term deliverables should not have
    owners/executives who live lavish lifestyles because you feel/think it
    would endanger their ability to fulfill their obligations. What is even
    more troubling is that there’s a hint of implication of financial
    impropriety.

    Unless you’re wiling to exclude that possibility,
    then you really are implying the Antonios are acting against shareholder
    interests.

    Because what that ultimately means is that people
    should not be able to enjoy their success let alone have the right
    (even in poor taste) to flaunt it.

    It is unfair and malicious
    to impute such things. You can go around this so many ways but you do
    realize that you are imposing a terribly maligned judgment based on the
    fact that this guy lives it up and rubs it in the public’s face.

    Then again you are entitled to your opinion and Antonio put himself out in public.

    However,
    there are a host of developers with far less success leaving their
    customers high and dry. The promised high value and class of some
    “premiere” developments are also left undelivered by some of the largest
    developers. I personally would be worried more about those types.

    Clearly
    there are far greater considerations beyond “real estate 101″ that
    establishes value when it comes to developers. Money can buy class, but
    it can’t buy taste. People flock to the Century projects because of
    the luxurious novelty it exudes. That’s a feature promised by the
    product.

    Incidentally, Robinsons has had to re-launch tower 2 of certain Luxuria project in Ortigas -again.

    Luxury is ultimately time, space and not having to give a damn about what other people think.

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    manila_conscience Reply:

    @uncommonsensibility:disqus…you make a lot of great points as well as anne_203. However, what I find a little odd in your posts is that you stand up for “…people are free to spend the money they earn honestly any way they want so long as it does not harm others.” I agree 200% with you on that. However, in the same breath, you condemn Antonio’s choice of artists for his protraits — which I grant you is not conforming to your personal taste. Anyway, it’s just a small observation of a disconnect in your otherwise very astute and common-sensical posts. I really enjoyed your discussion with anne_203. I guess next stop for Robbie is Hola! magazine!! But then, you have to be royal and beautiful in the traditional sense to get into that one. ….snicker…

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    No one could really care less about his choice of artists, there was no “condemnation”. That is really his choice. I just don’t find the output aesthetically pleasing.

    You’re about as entitled to waste time as you would electrons with your inventive observations too.

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    crissantos Reply:

    I would like to be wrong, just as much as you do, because it’s other people’s money involved here, and that is what should be emphasized. It. Is. Other. People’s. Money.

    And please let’s not drag the other developers into this. The Sys and the Gokongweis, they’ve made their fortunes in other businesses and they have proven themselves, fancy portraits or no. “Profane”, well, first time I heard it used in that manner, but there you go.

    Only time will tell, when we will be able to see who is the stronger developer once the impact of the sudden rise in interest rates finally settles on the property developers. As Romy Bernardo said, when the water level goes down, we’ll see who’s really naked.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    If its other people’s money it would be called embezzlement. Unless you are willing to back that up with proof, we shouldn’t be so haphazard in making judgments.

    This isn’t as much as a contest as it is a matter of business models. SM likes commodities, they’ve in fact destroyed value by creating obnoxiously cheap, heavily compressed, inhumanely crowded boxes stacked as condos. Dropping the prices likewise has made it improbable to have said condos as a good store of value for investments.

    The Gokongweis on the other hand have a more prudent approach, but their attempts at value engineering their high end offerings only diminished its value. That and they don’t have the people who can understand the lifestyle and attract the talent. They couldn’t get Starck for a good reason.

    But here’s a hint, the word “Luxuriate”; does class and opulence have to be this in your face?

    Actually it wasn’t Romy Bernardo (former undersecretary of finance) who said that but Warren Buffet: “After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

    Big aspirations, Big risk, big rewards. Very few will have the opportunity, resources, connections, and guts to get something like this done. Instead of watching it and studying its merits, more people are focused on what if it turns out badly?

    We shouldn’t judge matters that we do not understand as the parameters are somewhat different at this scale.

    If Antonio fails, then this would have been a terrible prelude. Should he ultimately succeed, would you be singing praises or resenting him for his eccentricities?

    Come on, we can’t be this pessimistic as a people.

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    anne_203 Reply:

    Agree with you there. Their company just took out a P 4.2 B “dual currency secured term loan” meaning they borrowed both in pesos and dollars and secured, meaning their projects were used as collateral. They are projecting 15% compounded annual growth for the next 3 years, which means they expect to grow 15% every year or 52% by year 3. That seems like a pretty steep goal, to be honest. http://www.interaksyon.com/business/63811/century-properties-raises-p4-2-billion-in-debt

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  • Steven Zahl

    VANITY is one of the 7 Sins.

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    CVS Reply:

    so is ENVY :)

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    ilean Reply:

    correct. to each his own. fyi, the antonio’s are good and hard working people, i know them personally.
    and i love the portraits. wish i can afford to have a self portrait by Julian Schnabel too.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    The portraits are atrocious and egomaniacal. But if you’ve earned it, you have a right to spend it however you wish.

  • Jon Ray Fernandez

    There is somthing sexy about the Antonio boys. =)

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  • Ahr

    He’s guwapo ah! I love his life.

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  • Mrs. M

    i’m really worried on how he spends his money. i bought a unit pa naman in one of their properties na 2018 pa ang turn over. kinda scared with how he spends. baka ma delfin lee (like a previous comment here) ng globe asiatique to the highest level ako! scared.

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    CVS Reply:

    understandable

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    disqus_vALCsDaPMq Reply:

    I share the same concerns as you, Mrs. M! The developments of some of their properties have been going by quite slowly and the Paris one, development wise, doesn’t look nearly as attractive as the one they promoted. I pass it everyday on the skyway and I wonder why the construction is at a snail’s pace. Solaire came out of nowhere and I’m still waiting on this. I truly hope that this isn’t another Delfin Lee case!

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  • melissa

    hi ms. cecille, i’ve been reading your blog since 2007. Ikaw ang nag-introduce sa kin kung sino si Philippe Starck, back then, i dont know anything about furniture/lighting designers, fast fw to Apr 2013, i never thought that i will saw him at the Milan Lighting Fair :) Nakipagsiksikan talaga ko para makita at mapicture-an sya kasi alam ko you like him so much :) – Melissa

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    CVS Reply:

    lucky you! where’s the pic? :)

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    melissa Reply:

    Its his new table lamp design for flos, the guy beside him is the owner :) Yii i really took these photos to show you :) thanks for your reply! :) #yourbigfan!

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    melissa Reply:

    error uploading photo, hope the link works :)

    http://instagram.com/p/X74SWNQmaC/

  • jojoloco

    Damien Hirst made an artwork for him! Meaning, he is THAT rich. Levelling ni Jared L.

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  • crissantos

    He tries SO HARD to put his face closer to Starck’s. Hahahahaha!!!! Idoollllll [ko si Starck]!

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  • ZT

    I’ve always thought of the Antonio men as mga “poging Pilipino.” Muka silang mga bayani. Jose Rizal levels ang dating :)

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    If you take out the dosh, would they still be as “pogi”?

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  • ThePseudoshrink

    In David Salle’s work, he looked like Apolinario Mabini

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  • Alexander McDonut

    Is he gay???

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    dudung10 Reply:

    even if he is, di siya tumatanggap ng papa ngayon. better luck next time

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  • Italitha

    The comments about him ‘having a face for radio’ or him not being ‘aesthetically gifted’ are really quite ignorant and shallow. What is your definition of ‘guapo’? Mestizos and blondes with blue eyes? Now that is a cliche. I agree with the comment that he has similarities with Lapo Elkann – a Filipino version if I must say..and no, just because men like Robbie and Lapo Elkann dress well doesn’t mean they are gay. They just know the beauty of a good suit. Yes his idea of a museum of himself might be narcissistic, but he’s putting the country on the art map. These artists – Julian Schnabel, Damien Hirst, etc.. they will not paint your portrait just because you have the money. You have to earn their respect. Julian Schnabel and Damien Hirst are not exactly known as the friendliest of human beings. You don’t want to get on artists’ bad sides (just read the recent story between Charles Saatchi and wife Nigella Lawson).

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    gusm Reply:

    Oh please stop with the lecture. People are not being ignorant
    or shallow; what do you really think people will comment on when his face is
    his object of his fascination? Nobody here mentioned anything about his race,
    you did. Most people here don’t find him attractive, so what. People say what they think based on their
    personal preferences. It is the same with how people see these paintings. Many won’t think that they are beautiful
    or important, but so what, art is subjective and personal.

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    CVS Reply:

    no need to pick a fight!

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Most people find money attractive.

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    Manila's-conscience Reply:

    I suppose he looks OK by Mayan, Aztec or Inca standards.

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  • MiketotheB

    He has lotsa money to burn and it shows! His home could be one for the books and when finish might end up in one of those Fine Architecture coffee books. He could be one of the Medicis or those affluent families of the Renaissance in his past life. I could see others in his circle following suite.

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  • njmanang

    I guess to each his own but I would rather hope that they would spend their millions on more worthy cause. How about a world class public library/museum for all. Fill it with books not readily available for kids who are dying to learn and you can even dedicate a “Robbie Room” with all your portrait : ) Hey how come no portrait from Fillipino artist. He should have one done by every Pinoy artist then I’d be more impressed. Sayang the oportunity to showcase Pinoy artist sa VF article.

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    DEOJ Reply:

    AGREE.

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    dudung10 Reply:

    does he tell you how to spend your money? No? So shut the fuck up.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Yeah but here’s a reality check.

    How do you know they don’t have any charities they support?

    And who are you to tell anyone how to spend money they’ve earned?

    At this rate it seems that its wrong to succeed and enjoy the fruits of your success just because other people might find it “excessive”.

    As long as it was earned legitimately and you didn’t harm people in the process then thee is no moral burden to how one wants to spend their earnings.

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    njmanang Reply:

    You are correct I don’t have any right to tell him how to spend his money. That’s why I said I HOPE he’d spend it on causes that give back to the people. Wouldn’t it be nicer to be the Warren Buffet and Bill Gates of PI in terms of giving back than being Paris HIlton’s posse? Just my opinion which I believe I’m allowed to have.

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    uncommonsensibility Reply:

    Owning an opinion is only respected as long as it doesn’t infringe on the welfare of others.

    Their projects generate jobs, spur trade and economic activity. What makes us think that they have not given anything to charity? What makes one think that people SHOULD give to charity in the first place if not out of their own will?

    We seem to be imposing “should” and perceptions of “nice” while frustrating ourselves in the process of unduly moralizing a situation where awe followed by indifference is the most humane thing to do.

    Women are likewise better off not buying obscenely priced shoes, bags, make up, and such things with resources that find better purpose for charitable works.

    But no one’s rubbing that in your faces is there?

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    njmanang Reply:

    So opinions only matter if it agrees with yours. Hmmm I did not know there was such a rule. Must be a new one. I did not say he SHOULD give to charity I said I HOPE he would instead of building this Museum of Me. And again I agree buying obscenely priced anything is a waste of money and It would be NICE if they were otherwise spent helping others in need. But according to your rules my way of thinking/opinion is flawed because it doesn’t agree with yours. Also not exactly getting the “infringe on the welfare of others”. I’m pretty sure Mr. Antonio is happily living his privileged life no matter what I think of him.

  • http://www.currystrumpet.com/ Deepa

    So much gel. My scalp is getting itchy.

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  • johbeeze

    maybe he just loves art. i can only speculate that he wanted to be an artwork, making himself as the main subject of these artwork. we all got our own narcissistic thing.

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  • teadrinker

    I’ve been reading about the Antonios when they promote their projects. I’m wondering about their family background (pardon my ignorance). Where did their family come from? How did they amass their fortune? What made them have that kind of lifestyle? Curious lang.

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    crissantos Reply:

    I’m not so sure about this family. Shades of Divine Lee, et al. Remember how they became oh-so-fabulously wealthy and all the lifestyle glossies were just falling all over themselves singing praises to their fabulousness? I say, if you gotta ask where they got their money, something ain’t right. And it doesn’t help that they are into real estate, which means so much cash from pre-selling or DPs, or heaven forbid, bank loans.

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    Inihaw Reply:

    I believe this Robbie is the grandson of Pablo Antonio, a Manila architect who was prominent in the 50s, 60s and maybe even into the 70s. One project I remember his father designing was the now-closed Galaxy moviehouse on Avenida Rizal. I once met two of the Pablo Antonio’s sons (at a dinner at their house — one of whom must be Robbie’s father); very ma-arte and were very sosyal. I believe they hit it big with the construction boom hitting the Philippines. I think…I said. I could be wrong.

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  • snickerdoodle_123

    IS HE GAY?!

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  • oh_fudge

    He has the face for radio.

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  • http://www.pinkmagaline.com/ Mrs. Kolca

    It’s gonna rain a lot on Saturday? Oh pleas no. Paano na ang birthday party ko? :’(

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  • Bernadeth

    6th photo, that is Marco Antonio not Jigger, beside Starck. Marco is the most good looking among the four sibs.

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    CVS Reply:

    thanks!

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    DEOJ Reply:

    AGREE

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  • retortingjk

    Vanity and wealth can create a rather “interesting” mix.

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  • joeyindubai

    Love the artworks. Whether he is egocentric or whatever is beside the point, but really he has the taste (and loads of money) to become a good art collector. Wish I can see his house…

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  • Nikki

    For some reason, he comes off as an Asian version of Lapo Elkann (the FIAT heir), which isn’t a bad thing really.

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  • literarybulimia

    His look is very ‘good-looking cro-mag’. Also, I think it’s amazing how he’s putting the Philippines/Filipinos in the map through art and architecture.

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    dudung10 Reply:

    pinoys hate him though because he’s not donating to “charity” or spending his money on a more “worthy cause” for all we know this guy heads dozens of charity organizations and what not

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    pinkcarebear Reply:

    And vanity

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  • YEn

    On the way to school this morning, my daughter asked me what happens to art when the economy is bad. Then I come home and read this blog post and I must say very sincerely, thank you, Robbie Antonio. Thank you for bringing those artists work to us because otherwise, we couldn’t in our wildest dreams ever see their work as it pertains to us, Filipinos. And thank you for TRYING to bring significant architecture to our country even though I realize that you wouldn’t be doing this if the bottom line weren’t lucrative. He spends, I appreciate (and so does my daughter).

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    disqus_vALCsDaPMq Reply:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the public won’t be able to see his gallery unless one is a personal friend of Antonio’s. The architecture is for his house in Forbes. Also, Philippine architecture is still significant! Bobby Manosa is still alive, you know.

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  • Walter Robles

    There’s a wonderful Carly Simon song playing inside my head right now as I read this post.

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    DEOJ Reply:

    hahaha

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  • JJ

    I admire his persistence in getting these great artists to work with him but I still can’t help but snicker at his self-portraits and think it’s especially silly considering he’s a guy. I wonder though what his girlfriend? wife? (or boyfriend?) think about all this…

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    Walter Robles Reply:

    It’s not called persistence. He pays them to work with him. ;-)

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    DEOJ Reply:

    if this guy isnt gay i dunno what is

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    kaloka Reply:

    After reading this blog post about him, the first thing actually that came to my mind is: Is he gay? But he said in that Philstar interview that he is looking for a woman who can at least speak 1 European language.Kabowg!

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  • Jay Lozada

    I like the Julian Schabel basag-basag na plato.

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  • anna

    cant deal…. that many portraits of himself. and he’s not even that much of an Adonis. oh well.. to each his own. he kinda reminds me of those Filipinos during Rizal’s time…

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    hiddendragon Reply:

    Maybe the fact that he is not ‘that much of an Adonis’ is the whole point – that the joke is on us.
    And how exactly did Filipinos look during Rizal’s time? And how SHOULD Filipinos look anyway?
    This being a really appropriate time to ask – it’s his birthday today.

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    anna Reply:

    oh yeah you’re right. well, i cant describe it perfectly. like the pictures of men i find in my old history books. it’s not bad or anything — it’s just a certain look that he reminds me of.

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  • hiddendragon

    I grant him the benefit of whatever.
    If he didn’t do what he did, we wouldn’t have something to whine about, would we?
    My view now is the rich (and especially the infamous) are there to entertain us. I told my cousin when he drives around in his Audi, I enjoy his car’s lines and curves from the outside and he doesn’t.

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  • boi skater

    I think he should be called Narcissus instead of Antonio. Or
    maybe he is just overcompensating for not having an aesthetically gifted face.

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    Walter Robles Reply:

    Teh, taken na ang Narcissus as trade name ng canned mushrooms na made in china! ;-)

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    CVS Reply:

    well, Kenny Scharf thinks otherwise :)

    ‘The Los Angeles-based painter Kenny Scharf portrayed Antonio as “a chic space alien,” complete with antennae. “We had dinner, I took his picture, and we talked a lot,” says Scharf of getting to know Antonio. “He wanted it immediately, and I told him he couldn’t have it immediately. He was very impatient.
    “He’s a good-looking guy, and he obviously likes that part about himself.”’

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    puppyeyes Reply:

    Naks exotic :)

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    gusm Reply:

    Nice play on words.

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    dudung10 Reply:

    i’m pretty sure you’re more than trying to overcompensate as well with your below average looks and waaay below average income.

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  • http://thekaloka.com/ kaloka

    Ruffie: grabehhhh.

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  • Steven Zahl

    A Museum of Himself. LOL

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    Inihaw Reply:

    A legend in his own mind!! LOL!!

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