MEGA Ball 2023: The Stories Behind Sheila Romero’s Art Collection

MEGA Ball 2023: The Stories Behind Sheila Romero’s Art Collection


The MEGA Ball 2023 co-chair shares her journey from collecting revered—and elusive—art work to advocating for local artists and artisans

This is an excerpt from MEGA’s June 2023 feature story.

In this spatial home that rests in a tucked village inside a central business district, an entryway welcomes its guests and inhabitants with works of the art masters, such as Ang Kiukok and Vincente Manansala, to name a few of the dozens. On one wall, commissioned pieces by an emerging master refuse to be ignored—on the other is an Elmer Borlongan. But while the deluge of pure and venerable craftmanship is an art collector and devotee’s aspiration by itself, the dining room that stands right in front of the entrance’s break feels almost like a figment of a dream. Here, the walls are filled with more than 30 pieces of work by the great Fernando Amorsolo.

This home belongs to businessman, politician, and polo player Mikee Romero and businesswoman, philanthropist, and art patron Sheila Romero, who also happens to be the co-chair of this year’s annual MEGA Ball.

Blazer with abstract print sleeves by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN and Pants by LANVIN

To begin the interview, we ask Sheila how she would describe herself to a stranger. She answers, “I’m a wife and mother.” Interestingly, she disposes of other descriptors that the couple has been known in many industries—she didn’t even say anything about the arts. We shared with her this observation.

She shrugs it off, saying, “At the end of it all, family and what you’re able to give back to other people are the most important.”


It was in the early 2000s when the Romeros started building their former house. “The last thing we decided on were the art works,” Sheila tells MEGA. “One day, my husband comes home with a book about art. He points at a piece and says, ‘I like this.’ I had my choices, too. So, we started delving deeper into the art scene. We started with books, then came the gallery visits.”

Through the years, the hobby evolved into one that strengthened the couple’s bond: “We talk about business, our family, our kids—those are commonalities. But our passion, our common hobby revolves around art.”

Art collection has taken a such signifant part of their lifestyle that if one were to look more closely at every corner of their home, their life stories would be almost palpable. “I personally curated and hung all of these,” Sheila says, as we continue our conversation inside one of their living rooms that contained a few pieces from Indonesian painter Affandi. “Each one of these rooms, especially the room with the Amorsolos, has memories in it.”

Blazer with abstract print sleeves by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN and Pants by LANVIN

Their penchant for artistic creations may have begun at a younger age, as they both come from families who exposed them a little bit to the art world. “This hobby was not something that I thought of at a young age, but it grew through the years,” Sheila says, then she adds, laughing, “I was best in pastel, though. I don’t know how to draw, but I know how to color.”

Among all the pieces they own, and as apparent during our visit, the Amorsolos will always hold the bigger part of her collector’s heart. “Amorsolo was able to capture our culture, and it’s his style that fascinates me,” she explains. “When you go farther from the painting, the painting becomes alive. The focal point— whether it’s the fire used for cooking or the skirt, or the bandana—is moving. All the other artists have their own style, but I think it’s difficult to beat an Amorsolo.”

Read more about Sheila Romero’s passion for the arts in MEGA’s June 2023 issue, now available on Readly, Magzter, Press Reader and Zinio.

Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Creative Direction JONES PALTENG
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Shoot Coordination LAURD SALEN

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