Dear Lover, Some Little Thing I Owe You

Dear Lover,

I don’t remember saying “We’d see the entire world together”. Or maybe I did, but entirely forgotten because a few memorable places would actually already do.

Remember when I told you I’m taking you to Baguio? In my head I was actually telling you I’m taking you home. And just a month ago, I did. As promised, we took the midnight bus. We did not have the luxury to recline our seats as we missed the bus we’re supposed to take. I would have wanted to keep the curtains open for you to watch the outside pass us by, but I chose that you take rest instead, for mostly, the ride we took were all freeways in sight.

The sun had already declared its might by the time we arrived. I briefed you of my soon-to-be tendency to point out random places and tell stories of what happened then and there. You let out a small laugh because I have already started right before I warned.

We jetted to Tam-Awan Village after that. We were greeted with a massive wall of graffiti my friends did for the village. It looks brighter and a lot less gruesome than it had been. We were welcomed by my old friends, whom to you are new. But at that moment, I knew you knew what I meant how faces become places and how places become faces. Their sanctuary has also become ours.

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You insisted we take the trek past the view deck before leaving. You loved how the weather afforded us a sweat-free trek up until the borders of the village. We hopped on to museums – of people and works you knew. Might have been because you met them once, or I acquainted you with them as per stories told then and there. We took the road up to meet the Oble of the North. I roamed the halls I used to roam. Some ten years ago, I was here, without any idea we’d exist here at one point.

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The night has finally put on its veil just as the rain poured, we sought refuge in a cafe because I promised to give you a taste of the best Strawberry Shortcake. I knew you’d find it not sweet enough, you requested for a slice of Apple pie. We felt we needed something to refresh our palette so we crossed Session Road and headed to an artsy vegetarian restaurant. I know I promised you a glimpse of a lesser known road but equally beautiful as Session, but the weather did not afford us – it was washed white from where we stood. Oh, it was that night you took literally The Magnetic Fields’ The Night You Can’t Remember – deluded with alcohol, you forgot how you wounded up in our room the following morning. And I, of course remembered, how you took a cold shower and jumped to the bottom bunker naked.

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The next day was a stroll on Baguio’s scariest. I must say, I am one lucky person – to have someone like you who looks at these kinds of places with utter admiration of beauty and history rather than what they are shallowly known for. I love how you marvel and wonder like a kid presented with an idea that aliens exist or something. And of course, you made the same face when confronted with a plate full of meat and protein. We took a cab home that evening. It was a toil getting one along Session Road, but it was along the trip you admired Baguio’s city lights. You struggled to take a photo from the moving vehicle. I laughed a small laugh and slipped into my mind that image of you in awe of Baguio’s lights.

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I took you out for touristy things the following day. You knew this was not my forte, I hated to do this actually. We strolled Burnham Park, maybe I just had to lend you stories which unfolded there – afternoons at the playground and some moments affront the lake. We judged a few people because it was what I used to do there. We felt a pull towards SM Baguio, you insisted we watch a movie for sixty pesos. But that was then, two hours spent at the cinema now costs a hundred and fifty. Well, still not bad these days. We stayed a little while at Harrison as we did thrift shopping that evening. It was not really your thing, but I got you sniffing around looking for vintage shirts you could parade and be proud of.

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We woke up early the next morning to oblige for everyone’s pasalubong requests. I took you to the outskirts of the wet market – not everyone has ever been to where vegetables from La Trinidad or Sagada is dropped off, not everyone sees how vendors wash their goods onsite, and not everyone knows there’s a fifteen peso kilo of carrots there.

We no longer left the village after that. We strolled back again to the roof deck, but we caught rain. We missed the sunset, which beauty I promised you forevers ago. However, we were presented with a dazed view of the mountains and South China Sea. We stayed there for a little more while, unmindful of the sharp shudders, without need of a coat, a jacket, or a warm cup of coffee. It’s like a cheesy scene in a movie bound to make you cringe and giggle at the same time.

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I thought the trip would be totally over when we set foot at the bus. On the way down Marcos Highway though, you pointed out again how beautiful Baguio’s city lights were and how it kind of reflected the serene night sky. Just when I thought we missed that part on the beginning of our journey, you brought it to me even before it came to an end.

I kind of smiled myself to sleep, knowing those days have been very exhausting, but promising and exciting. We may not have been able to tick off all that was in my Baguio checklist, but I was glad to have brought you to my heart’s home. Now, it’s yours as well.

Love always,

Asteorra

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Lanuza Walking Tour

Lanuza they say, is a hidden surfing gem, mostly overshadowed by its northern counterpart, Siargao. In the last few years however, they are marketing the area for tourism. Every November, they hold a music and surfing festival for three days. Curiosity had us cruising for thirty minutes from Parang to Lanuza.

We arrived a little early. We went directly to the surf camp but there was no one to welcome us. We took a look at the beach and the waves were rather tame. Perhaps it was because of the time, like in San Juan, La Union, waves were wilder in the afternoon. So we decided to look around other sites first.

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I made a research prior to this trip and have read good reviews about the Centennial Old White House. It’s a hundred and twelve year old house which showcases antiques and relics. Several blogs have mentioned that this is a municipality museum. Much was our surprise when we arrived there and found out that there were still people living in the house! Apparently, heirs of the house’s original owner still reside there.

They were very warm. Kuya Armando, our tour guide, led us around the house. According to him (and some notes posted around), the structure was built on May 28, 1898 through the help of Chinese artisans. It served as the business residence of then Mayor of Cantilan, Don Gabriel Uriarte Herrera.

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Pottery and earthenwares can be found in random corners of the house.

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Corners of their ceilings were painted of this kind.

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This dragon detail on a jar caught my attention. Chinese artisans, maybe.

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That’s Kuya Armando in a white shirt. The boyfriend (in backpack) was too eager to listen to him, while I took photos of things I found interesting.

This is their living room. That guy in the piano is related to the Herrera family, methinks. He was chatting with them. Also, I remember him playing the piano while we were having the tour.

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Such beautiful piece.

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Works of different media can be found throughout the house. There are paintings, charcoal drawings, carved wooden reliefs.

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I remember old wooden cabinets at home having this kind of details.

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Old gasera(s). My father used to collect these things.

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This globe looks ancient in actual.

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Some other old finds.

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Some other too many old finds.

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Their santo(s). All of these are made of wood and some have already been infested with termites.

The Herreras sponsor holy week and other church activities. They had a locker for dresses of these saints.

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They have a pretty good collection of Chinaware. We have been told that some of these even came from ship wreckages.

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Los Mexicanos. Yes, they do have these puppets hanging on their plants.

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We then proceeded to their garden.

Mama Mary was surrounded with water. She even had another statue praying to her.

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This, they say, is where the Herreras also welcome visitors aside from their sala.

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Dr. Herrera, Don Gabriel’s grandson I assume, joked that this well’s too old it could pass for a wishing well.

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Then we hopped to Propsero Pichay Sr. Boulevard, still with Kuya Armando. He told stories of people around, like who owns the houses and the resorts at the beachfront, stories of political clans, and gossip like who married who.

It was during this walk we realized that the old political families were the boyfriend’s second to third degree relatives, the Azarcons and Orozcos. They were also former mayors and vice mayors of the municipality.

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I wonder if this is where lifeguards chill during the height of the surfing season.

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Facade of the Orozco house in Lanuza.

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Of course, upon realization that the boyfriend’s related to once political families, we just had to visit the Lanuza Municipal Hall. It was closed at that time, but Kuya Armando being the ultimate tour guide knows the ins and outs of the building. I kid, he knows his way around because he was the assistant and landscapist of Mayor Herrera during his term.

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Blocks away from the municipal hall is the Herrera’s mausoleum.

It was a small structure, more like a chapel, where the family visit their departed relatives. Sometimes, they attend mass here.

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And surprisingly, we found familiar names in the mausoleum: Monteclaros. There were even Orozcos, Azarcons, and Limguangcos. We offered silence and prayers for a while.

It felt like we were walking for hours (well, we actually did). The heat of the sun made us tired.

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We headed back to the white house and ended up at the Herrera’s dining table.

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We thanked them for their very warm hospitality. They even told us to pay them a visit every time we fly to Surigao.

We went back to the surfing area. Unfortunately, the waves weren’t what we expected. It wasn’t the surfing season anyway.

We cruised back to Parang midst the rain. The boyfriend’s spirit did not dampen. He was obviously giddy and ecstatic about knowing people from his extended family. If only he could draft a family genealogy right then and there, he would. He was so amazed by how he found blood ties in far (relatively) and different places.

It may have been a swift and tiring walking tour, but it was all worthwhile, Lanuza. You made my annoyingly happy man a lot happier.

Wallpaper Wonders

I am usually the type of person to enjoy pretty sights. And in such lonely and plain work area, I kind of rave for something interesting and inspiring just to get me through another day.

Aside from having a few postcards on my wall (which I stripped off some days ago because I’ll be transferring office) and colorful flaglets and post its, I give love to my computer/laptop by giving it a new look every now and then. I think I changed wallpaper some three weeks ago.

Here is how it looks now:

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It took me a while before settling for this one. Images from DESIGN LOVE FEST will actually give you a hard time deciding! I think it took me four changes before I eventually convinced myself that this is the best pick.

Design Love Fest is a a lifestyle blog featuring design, style, DIY, food, travel, entertaining, etc. Bri Emery, the Art Director behind the blog, transformed the site from a studio to an art house. She and her blog have been featured in Elle Décor, Apartment Therapy, HGTV, Lucky Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Los Angeles Times and more.

Take a look from the wallpapers I have hoarded from her! I think I have used two or three of my past wallpapers from these.

I like how her designs shift from watercolors, oil, graphic, and typography. The pastel tones are pretty cute bonus points.

You may get these cute wallpaper downloads under her Design Your Tech posts, or by simply clicking at her Downloads categories.

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In other news, (well, I kind of mentioned it above) I am transferring work area next week. It does not excite me at all since I detest the work schedule and I will be having a smaller cubicle (so I’ve heard). But I hope pretty images like this will last me until the remaining two months (more or less) of employment in this company.

 

 

 

Art Fair Philippines 2014 (An Overdue)

I used to work in an art gallery and even if I shifted career two years ago, I would still like to believe I am still connected to the art world.

Back then, I used to be critical of art fairs. No, I have not yet experienced an A-List/VIP art fair, except for the Hong Kong Art Fair in 2011 which was some sort of educational trip for me. We visited not only to spot international artists but also look at how international galleries brand, give identity, and market their art. Back then, comparing their and our Art Fair was plain unjust. It would be purely a conflict of interest. This time however, I am to shut my chubby face and list down personal favorites from the Art Fair:

It might be that branch which extended outside the confines of of the frame of the artwork itself which initially reminded me of Brancusi’s Flight. However, staring at it for a little more time made me drawn to its simple and minimalist aesthetic, which implied more of a feeling or a setting (a place) rather than an outright portrayal. This appealed more on the mind, producing a memory or a movie still of a scorching hot desert.

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New Mexico by Christina Quisumbing Ramilo

I have developed a penchant for Anting-Anting and other related paraphernalia ever since I worked on my thesis on Solar Drawing. It showed the beliefs and wisdom of the olden days. In Noell El Farol’s work however, the Anting Antings were hung in a clothes hanger as something that could be worn and disposed right after use. It mocked  the convenience and availability of today’s things, be it tangible or not.

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Disposable Anting Anting by Noell El Farol

Being a book lover, this installation from Ringo Bunoan made me go “Aww, look at this.” And yes, by looking at this and reading the notes on the wall made me agree on the artist’s idea and commentary on life and death.

This is a floor to ceiling installation of books set up next to a range of framed “the end” pages. (See image below)

It’s a philosophical take on how the end is detached from the narrative itself, or simply, how death is separate from life lived.

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No Endings by Ringo Bunoan

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Endings by Ringo Bunoan

Norberto Roldan’s works have always piqued my interest. Not only because they looked like altars or retablos, but also because it seems to tell very personal stories.

I saw him a few times before working in his space at the Green Papaya arts project. I saw old photos,  perfume bottles, cans, mirrors, crowns, handkerchiefs, etc. Each had (or lacked) a story as they were. But when put together to form an image, suddenly, they meant so much more. I always fall in admiration at how he stripped every single detail off its essence in order for it to obtain a new one in accordance to all other elements present in the image. It feels like peeking and watching a moment in somebody’s life unfold in my eyes.

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100 Altars for Roberto Chabet by Norberto Roldan

This detail from the artwork pictured above reminded me of days when Kuya Kevin and I would visit Peewee (Norberto Roldan) in his space to chat about art, even gossip sometimes. Kuya Kevin would bring him works for consultancy, or papers, or letters. One time, he brought him moon cake tin cans he could use for his works. This tin cans do not mean anything to anyone, not even to Kuya Kevin who gave it to him. He may or may have not used it for his work. It may even be this detail, who knows.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, I may have seen an actual tin can in his work, but it resonated a moment of the past so much different from it being a mere tin can. Suddenly, things are seen more than they are.

You may have experienced the same if this reminded you of Wong Kar Wai.

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Detail of 100 Altars for Roberto Chabet by Norberto Roldan

This one caught my fancy for personal reasons. I love hand written and mailed letters.

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Iconic by Jia Estrella

I liked Alwin Reamillo for his overwhelming yet interesting pastiche of materials and imagery. His works are random found objects stitched together in such disarray, that seeks and struggles to uncover history and identity. Yes, it may seem chaotic and disorderly, but it is actually a memory, a story told.

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Unnatural History, ang totoong alamat ng pilipinas a pensar en la immortalidad del canajero by Alwin Reamillo

Notice that he used crab shells for these portraits.

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Detail from Unnatural History, ang totoong alamat ng pilipinas a pensar en la immortalidad del canajero by Alwin Reamillo

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Detail from Unnatural History, ang totoong alamat ng pilipinas a pensar en la immortalidad del canajero by Alwin Reamillo

This Nick Veasey initially reminded me of Nona Garcia’s entry to the Phillip Morris Art Awards. This one however, piqued my interest in structure and production.

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Accordion by Nick Veasey

Self-portraits has always appealed to me. It seems confrontational and conversational. It gives further depth and involvement.

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Self-Portrait for My Grandmother, the Photographer by Wawi Navarroza

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The Painter’s Garden by Wawi Navarroza

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Viva La Frida by Wawi Navarroza

I have known Victor Balanon for his smooth transition from making drawings to creating videos out of them. More admiration goes out for his carefully conceptualized and excellently executed videos. This one at the art fair is no exception of his remarkable works.

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Still from Orpheus Reversed by Victor Balanon

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Still from Orpheus Reversed by Victor Balanon

Zambales 2010

There hasn’t been so many interesting stories in my life lately. Well, actually there are, but I am yet to disclose until the right time comes.

I haven’t been writing for a time, too. I got pending writing/blog ideas but never really had the time, even for drafts. Work has got me preoccupied with a lot of things and I assume that will go on for the next few months. This taxing and tedious time at work just makes me want to run away to an unknown place.

I was having some spring cleaning last weekend and found photos of travels long ago. I am sharing this trip to Zambales circa 2010 as it reminds me of the first adult out of town trip I had with my sister and all other memories and emotions in between. This was back when working was such lovely labor.

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Casa San Miguel, an art sanctuary in San Antonio, Zambales.

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We were there just in time for the Pundaquit festival. These kids were practicing for their performances.

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They made beautiful music.

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Works by Leeroy New were scattered all over the place. My sister thought they’re creepy.

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Found these tiles too. I love how they reflect music and art and madness and passion.

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Speaking with/interviewing the artist, Brendale Tadeo. Yes, we traveled far and wide for this interview.

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The Gallery inside Casa San Miguel.

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Brendale Tadeo’s Machinas on exhibit. This was later transferred and exhibited at NOVA Gallery.

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Back in my gallery days, I was always interested about how the works were lighted. This explains this photo.

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Studying and looking at Brendale’s work.

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And asking him some more questions.

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We spent the afternoon at the beach. Baybay, as locals would call it. Breathtaking sunset.

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Brendale again, he asked us to call him Tadz instead.

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My sister, enjoying the water but trying not to get wet

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But ended up getting soaking wet anyway (HAHAHA!)

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And then, there were kids. Perky and happy, playing in the sand and posing for the camera.

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The next day, we searched into their backroom where old paintings and sculptures were stored. Here are works from their weekend children’s workshop.

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Plet Bolipata’s then work in progress. I believe she filled this animals with tiles and had them displayed in BGC years after.

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Good old days, Zambales.

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Memories of Blood and Strawberries

Yesterday, I posted a throwback Thursday photo on my Instagram. It featured an artwork from one of the first art exhibitions I worked for. Nostalgia struck through me the moment I was editing and uploading the photo.

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The Menstruation of the Goddess or the Apotheosis of the Strawberries. Sandra Palomar. Coloratura Exhibit. mospace. 2009

Coloratura was the second show I officially worked for. The first one was Gaston Damag’s Exploding Idols at Pablo Fort, but it wasn’t as full on as this one. For Coloratura, I read books and journals, including texts in French. For this exhibit, I learned photoshop, laid-out manuscripts, sourced for volcanic rock and paper stock, documented a performance, and written and submitted press release personally.

Yes, it was the first time I wrote press releases. Back then I had little confidence for my writing. I was barely out of college and it was so much pressure knowing my words will come out in the Lifestyle pages of broadsheets and magazines. I made two drafts, so the editors could choose which to use. I initially submitted the copies to our Project Manager, Sandra, who was also one of the artists, just for her to review and judge my writing before the rest of the world does. I remember her telling me “This would do”. It came out the papers several days later. We were having a meeting in our office then about last minute preparations for the exhibit when she told everyone that my Press Release was beautifully written. It all felt glorious that moment, considering it came from a Paris-based artist whose aesthetics and literature were so refined. I was more than flattered. Eventually, she assigned me as head of exhibitions/events planning and PR for the gallery.

It was really a tough project. That was but one portion of the entire learning experience. It was not just writing. Actually, there were more physical activities involved, like transporting the paintings, hanging them, using those weird rulers, adjusting lights and wall texts. I was a fresh graduate then, and this I thought was some surprising kind of training. I loved it though. Everyone was not afraid of committing mistakes, if they did, they would turn it out into something they can work on. That’s one of the things I actually love about artists. They can always think of a creative way of turning things around. They make the process lean more to fun and learning.

It was all tedious and messy work, but I felt the happy kind of tired at the end of each day I was working for that exhibition. The entire experience was happy and fulfilling.

I rarely get that kind of feeling these days. So much feelings for a throwback Thursday.

1/12, And It’s Not Yet Too Late

I have been away for quite a time. I haven’t even posted this year’s goals, and here goes:

1. Save

I mean, I say this every year. But maybe I should learn not to spend more than I earn or not to spend more than I save. I will have to negotiate with myself on that.

2. Read more books.

12 books in a year is a pretty feasible target for many. But not for my pretty weird activities and schedule, it’s shamefully hard to reach! So there, I also promise to finish Roland Barthes within the month. Just some theoretical shiz to balance out all the romantic stuff.

3. Listen to good music

8tracks is a gift to mankind! It’s a repository of mixtapes from whoever around the world. I got new contents for my ipod from here. And it’s free!

4. Tour and explore Metro Manila

Because I fancy going places and finding out interesting things from wherever, the culture vulture me wants to explore further places in the metro or places nearby. It’s better to associate Manila with culture rather than traffic and smog.

5. Write more

Just this morning, I came up with a writing idea springing from a friend’s old letter to me. I’m so excited for this, but I guess it will be long project. Release dates will be next year, methinks.

Also, I just wrote 3 fictions last year. 2 of which were published here. I think I need to write more.

6. Learn to cook

I am so much into baking I forgot personal training in the old dirty kitchen. Yes, I will save time for this, uhm, along with baking. Yes.

7. Take care of my phone

Basically because it’s the boyfriend’s Christmas present to me and he saves me the time of updating OS, downloading applications, etc. So in return, I have to take outmost care for this little pretty thing.

8. Be more concerned with skin

I’ll throw creams and lotions to my skin. I’ll moisturize. I’ll learn how to put on make up correctly. Duh.

9. Remain connected with art

There are loves you cannot lose. Never. So here I am, with a red thread spun to my fingers, and with art’s – promising to read, write and feel more about it.

To All The Profs I’ve Loved Before

A little more than ten years ago, when asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I cheerfully say “I want to be a teacher”. It was in the late years of elementary I decided not to be one because realized I will never ever possess the required patience of the job.

I remember not having a favorite person from the faculty in grade school and high school. Though I must thank my Language and Phoenix, and Reading Comprehension teachers in grade school. They made a mean grammarnazi out of me. They pre-arranged my love for books and the creepy silence of the library. They made reading and writing a leisure – from which I decided to quit Language and Literature in college, fearing I won’t be reading and writing the same way again.

I owe “Thank you” to my Values teacher in high school who required the entire class to read Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince and made me read aloud my analysis of each chapter. Those were the earliest Barthes exercises, I guess. And to my fourth year English teacher who made me speak of 19th century literature. I felt amazing presenting in class that George Elliot was actually Mary Ann Evans and so other literary trivia. It felt like disclosing Illuminati secrets in national TV. I was an awesome geek. And I owe another word of gratitude to my fourth year adviser who gave our class daily dosage of the chill pill. She taught us to let loose and be fun midst the stress and pressure of finding a good college.

Then came college, which was a lot different. Spending it in UP made it complicated. I had to juggle academics and extra curricular activities. Not to mention, UP is a microcosm of society. There are different communities and you get to interact and deal with them one way or another. My professors made the whole journey more than bearable. The varied approaches of learning made learning itself interesting. Along the way, what I initially found complicated, I eventually deemed enthralling. UP paved the way for the real world. My professors did.

Yes, UP profs, They laid out facts, opened possibilities. They taught me that matters should be viewed like a a kaleidoscope. It should be seen in different perspectives to get a better understanding. And you take everything and every angle with it – the bad and the good, the beautiful and the ugly. They taught me that it’s the same thing with life. You can look at it whichever way you desire, but you have to accept it with all its positive and negative aspects. Use whatever is too much to make up for the less. Balance what makes you feel bad with what makes you feel better. Seek knowledge for that you lack understanding of. Take challenges as lessons.

With this, I certainly owe them more than thank you’s.

*This post makes me want to go back to school. Seriously.

Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s

When I thought I have cut ties with art, here comes an artist friend asking me to write for his show. And being the yes girl that I am, I agreed. Well, I do think it’s a good exercise to write about art once in a while. I can’t just put four college years aside, especially when I’m planning to make a comeback after n years.

It actually feels great that I can still write about art, and even articulate artists’ ideas after leaving a job involving such. Oh art, you really are my mistress! I can’t say no to your tease every freaking time.

Here goes the article:

Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is a three-man show revolving around the imagination and the unconscious brought about by odd juxtapositions and dis/orders in everyday life. The artists attempt to illustrate a child’s vision hence the playful, bright, comical, cartoonish appearances. These images though do not render mere fun at all, but a rather light satire of society. 

Genepaul Martin leads us to a hodgepodge of characters from our childhood – Ultraman and Alice (in Wonderland). It may look sweet, resembling Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – colorful candies, donuts, gummies and other melted sweets. The characters, however, have a sad look upon their faces – Ultraman without his horn, cut, decapitated, devastated, Alice sitting on donuts, carrying a teacup yet with no one to share some afternoon tea. 

Tawnie Tantay’s characters are reminiscent of dolls – bright eyes, flushed cheeks, tinted lips, pretty dresses. Just the way society wants its women to be. At an early age, little girls are aligned towards the epitome of a desirable female. The artist begs to look at the dolls’ faces, but viewers still tend to take more pleasure in staring at the body and its surroundings, hauling a more judgmental look at women, formulating a sexual connotation rather than an innocent interpretation.

JJ Zamoranos routed viewers to a seemingly unfamiliar dimension, or maybe actually a familiar one. He displays a colorful yet uncanny group of characters in between lego blocks, masks, toys, and dark castles representing perhaps how figures from television register in a child’s mind – a chaotic combination of childhood’s innocence, smothered with adulthood’s harsh realities.

Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is a reaffirmation of Roland Barthes’ Toys (in Mythologies). This reflects, reiterates, and reinstates how society purposely yet unknowingly molds children into the harsh world of adulthood. This presents us once again what society has initially presented us in childhood – left unspoken and unquestioned.

After this trip back to childhood, how then are you going to see things?

*Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is opening at the Secret Fresh Art Gallery at Ronac Center, August 19, 2012 at 6PM.

Woes on Art Writing

When people ask me: “Do you write about art?”

I reply in a flash: “I used to. I used to write criticisms based on history and theory in college.”

Then I realize how pathetic my answer is. I can actually reply with a simple yes or no, but why should I insist on such explanation.

I have been trained to write academically about art. I have been taught to write in layers and degree of criticism. I have been reminded every now and then of describing without using the words: beautiful and ugly, good and bad, but to incorporate aesthetics and words that could vividly depict an image in one’s imagination. I have been instructed to at least provide a frame when writing, perhaps use Barthes, Said, Karp, Berger in my articles and simplify them and make them speak to common people. I miss conversing that way. I miss being all theoretical yet simplistic when I write.

I remember initiating a writing project for myself once since an art magazine editor wanted me to write for her. I browsed through the publication and found feature articles about art. I thought it was going to be an easy task. But hell, it wasn’t. I started with the formalistic approach, but as I moved on, I could not help but criticize and point out what I found interesting and problematic which leaned more towards the theoretical side. Think: History, Anthropology, Cultural Studies. I always get trapped in the academic/theoretical way of writing/appreciating art. I feared my article would sound intimidating that only people involved in the art world might appreciate or at least read it. Thus, I never finished it and considered feature art writing not my strength at all.

Now I can only congratulate those writers who can write features for art. I never imagined myself saying this, but yes, somehow, I do wish I could write like you people.