IN PHOTOS: The tea sommelier who is helping people find peace through tea meditation

"You just have to give time for yourself, even if it's just for 10 minutes."

healing art featured image.jpg "Well, it all started during the pandemic, you know. People made bread, I made paintings," quipped Rachel Ngan Dueñas, during a chat with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. We were admiring her works, which are currently on display at The Farm at San Benito. According to Rachel, creating art was part of her coping process during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a way to de-stress and release anxiety, and also a simple way to pass the time during the lockdown.

Apart from being a rising contemporary artist, Rachel is also a well-known tea sommelier. She is only the second one in the country to hold this title.

Because of her expertise, she became a consultant, wherein Rachel used her knowledge of tea and its relaxing benefits to create fresh new ideas for bars and restaurants. Naturally, she eventually became captivated by the concept of tea meditation. She first did it for herself, and then shared her experience to others.

Later on, Rachel did tea meditations for larger groups.

Enter Rachel's maiden solo exhibit, titled "Healing with the Arts." The show features 44 floral themed artworks. Together with the unveiling of the exhibit, guests were also invited to experience her tea meditation.

Tea sommelier and painter Rachel Ngan Dueñas at her first solo exhibition at The Farm at San Benito in Batangas.
Guests of the show were also invited to take part in tea meditation.
Participants were asked to create their own unique tea blend - there was mint, tarragon, basil, and other herbs.
While sipping tea, Rachel guided guests on how to meditate, reflect, and appreciate the intricacies of life.
The author (left) amongst fellow tea meditators.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of each painting at the exhibit will go to All Nations Mission School, a missionary organization that currently has 43 local Mangyan churches in four different regions of Occidental Mindoro.
Rachel's exhibition at The Farm at San Benito is on view until June 30.

"It's just mindfully preparing tea for yourself," explained Rachel. "You just have to give time for yourself, even if it's just for 10 minutes. With this, you'll become more rested, and the more you allow yourself to have proper thoughts."

After her show at The Farm at San Benito, Rachel is set to hold another solo exhibit on October 7 at Galerya Amalia in Parañaque City. The show, which will be curated by art critic Cid Reyes, will feature a new collection of Dueñas' paintings.