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Archive for the ‘arts and paintings’ Category


Let’s go green today.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day afterall. Every year, I blog about this. I have so many shamrocks growing in my garden and every time I see those dainty white flowers, I am reminded of the Irish Blessings book that a friend gave me a long time ago but I lost it during typhoon Ondoy back in 2009. All those books at my night table that were my daily companions back then are gone now.  A few years ago, this same friend gave me another copy, a little older edition of the one he gave me before. I love all those sayings written in that well-loved book.

The quarantine we are having now has been enhanced. It took effect last night.  Suspended work  for some, closed malls, no public vehicles on the road. Josef and Jovy have no work today. I wonder about their schedules thereafter. Nissa works from home and that is three days a week, then down to the office for two days.  She made these lovely oil pastel  paintings over the weekend. She wants to paint on acrylic again but has no canvas.

I remember my own foray on acrylic two years ago, Nissa enrolled me in an art class for my birthday.

Taking everything one day at a time. Hoping this virus would leave our shores for good.

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More gifts.

Yes.

Last Saturday, Nissa gave me a lovely red journal from UBX. It’s another addition to my  stash.  Maybe, I’ll get to use them all until I die.  I don’t often write my posts in those blank pages bu I love collecting them. She further gave me a desk calendar featuring  our local artist BenCab. twelve paintings on Mother and Child. One painting in each month.

Mother And child, Acrylic on Canvas, 2006

 

Mother’s Love 1, Ink on Paper, 1977

Mother and Child, Acrylic on paper, 1994

These are just three of the featured paintings in the calendar.  Benedicto Reyes Cabrera more popularly known as BenCab  is one of our National Artists and  is widely held as a master of contemporary arts. When you see  reproductions  of  artworks like these every day, you are somehow inspired.

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IMG_6078

Can't get enough so I made two Dragon Scale bracelets last night.

Can’t get enough so I made two Dragon Scale bracelets last night.

A reversible Sailor's Pinstripe bracelet. It was a challenge doing this.

A reversible Sailor’s Pinstripe bracelet. It was a challenge doing this.

 

My kids are really spoiling me. Josef bought more rubber bands in pastel and assorted colors while Nissa gave me this bracelet organizer to display the things I made. I feel like a child given her new set of toys. Some designs are really challenging to make and it is lots of fun to decide on color combinations.

Sorry, this is a bit too short, just to let you all know I am still alive and kicking and   enjoying looming.

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Last Friday, while  we were busy shopping for baby Nate’s needs, I had the chance to visit Kultura at  the second level of SM Makati. I was looking for something to give a  friend who is coming home for a two-week vacation this coming October. It’s always the place I visit every time I need to buy something for balikbayan friends. Their merchandise speaks of the wealth of Filipino culture. Some of the goods on display are hand-crafted. I took some shots, but of course.

Don’t you just love those native bags on display here? We call them “bayong” and they are made from buri  and woven into these lovely bags. Back when I was a kid, Mom used larger version of these  to carry anything and everything from the wet market. Now it has become a fashion accessory, you could tie ribbons and flowers and voila, you have a lovely and fashionable shopping bag. And since most of our supermarkets no longer use plastic bags, these reusable and sturdy bags would be handy for those not so heavy items on your shopping list.

Kultura also boasts of sweets and delicacies from every part of the archipelago.  Learn a little of our Filipino culture when you have the chance to visit any of their branches at SM stores.

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In one of our many road trips more than two years ago, we discovered an exciting place teeming with murals  of one of our National Artists, Carlos V. Francisco popularly known as Botong Francisco. And here I thought, Balaw Balaw Restaurant And Food Gallery was enough for me but in a place where so many artists abound, you’ll be glad to discover something more. Botong Francisco,  was the second Filipino artist to receive the title National Artist in Painting after Fernando Amorsolo. He is well-known in the art of mural painting.

Dona Aurora St.  in one such place ,  the whole stretch of the street is literally teeming with Botong Francisco’s artworks. The sun was too hot on our backs so Nissa and I had to take some quick shots of the place. I even saw maestro Lucio San Pedro’s lyrics and notes of his composition, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan but I was not able to record it in my camera.

Bayanihan

Bayanihan, which loosely translated in English means helping each other is a typical Filipino trait that is still being practiced until now especially in the province where you only need to invite neighbors and relatives to help you with a particular work or task and they do.

Kaingin – 1945

Magpupukot -1957

Magpupukot means pulling in the net. The above picture is the actual painting where the mural was probably copied. Painting the lives of the fishing community was one of Botong’s favourite subjects. Angono, his hometown where he was based, was a fishing village.

Pista Sa Nayon – 1947

Pista, taken from the Spanish word fiesta (festival or feast) depicts revelry and thanksgiving. We celebrate many fiestas here in the Philippines. Such popular devotions and festivals are the Sinulog in Cebu, the Ati-Atihan in Aklan, and the Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon to name a few. Philippine fiesta has its roots during the pre-colonial period.

If you have the chance to visit Angono, visit Aurora St. and you’ll surely be surprised by the richness of murals painted in almost every wall of the houses there.

And it’s more fun in the Philippines.

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Two years ago, I received this lovely journal from my daughter featuring paintings of various Filipino artists and painters. Contempo featured several well-known artists of the land, the likes of  National Artists HR Ocampo, Mauro Malang Santos, Jose Joya, and Oscar Zalamea to name a few. It also featured the artwork of Ms. Phyllis Zaballero  who found my blog and even left comments about it.  It was actually a calendar notebook for the year 2010 but I made it as my journal, a reference notebook for all the Bible readings and reflections that I post at our Catholic site.

This  year,  I was in seventh heaven when Nissa brought home two similar notebooks simply entitled Amorsolo. One was a calendar notebook featuring the lovely paintings of our National Artist Fernando Amorsolo taken from the same art collection of Bank of the Philippine Islands where I worked for more than twenty years. The other was a journal with the same cover, featuring his  Mango Gatherers painting dated 1924. This collection was even more beautiful than the first one and I fell in love with it. Never in my dream would I ever own a Fernando Amorsolo so just looking at the reproductions gives me so much joy. Come to think of it, when you visit the 1851 Club of BPI, you would see these paintings adorning the several function rooms.

What a pleasant surprise to receive another journal, Modernism to Abstraction which is for the year 2012. As usual I took shots of the different featured paintings which even include an artwork of the only well-known artist I met personally, Manuel BaldemorI was just so excited not to share them here.

January 30, 1970

Jose Joya, National Artist

View of the Pasig River

Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (1975)

Still Life With Fish

Vicente Manansala, National Artist (1951)

Carroza

Mauro Malang Santos

Pahiyas Sa Lukban (The Lukban Fiesta)

Manuel D. Baldemor (1984)

Untitled

Juvenal Sanso

Abstraction 163

HR Ocampo, National Artist (1978)

Mother Earth Awesome In Her Beauty

J. Elizalde Navarro, National Artist (1995)

Don’t you just love having these as collections too? I do love the twin set of smaller journals which Nissa bought for me.

Still Life

Macario Vitalis (1942)

Cityscape

Arturo Luz  (1960)

Galumphing Ghost Town

Lee Aguinaldo (1980)

Diaphanous Series (Yellow)

Romulo Olazo (1986)

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Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.  ~Lydia M. Child

It is always a joy to visit the garden early in the morning. There is that feeling of being at peace with the universe when one is busy looking at the Koi gently swimming  and discovering something new – a bloom or a shoot of an annual plant that was not there on your last visit. I always look forward to seeing my Hoya orchids bloom every year. They are truly a sight to behold.  This morning I was pleasantly surprised when I saw several buds of flowers. There is no fixed month where one can see these flowers bloom, before you know it, they’re just there and all you need is to admire them and wait patiently for another shoot on another day. They seem to say, “you’re surprised, aren’t you” because they finally decided to show their face for you to utter those “oohs” and “aahs” because finally you have something to show for your effort after another year of regular watering. I thought of taking some shots but I could not upload them here anyway so I’ll just show what Hoya is like on a previous post that I did. Growing Hoya , you can find this at my Multiply blog.

Hoya belongs to species of hanging plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane) and is commonly known as waxplant, waxvine or  waxflower probably because its small triangular  petals are wax-like and sturdy.

I have a close circle of friends at my Multiply home page and they’ve been my contacts for years. I normally don’t accept requests if I don’t know them personally but the other day, I was surprised that a certain Rembrandt Vocalan requested that I add him up, with a short note of thanks for blogging about Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant  located in the picturesque town of Angono. We went there two years ago to celebrate Valentine’s day. It turned out that Rembrandt is the son of the owner Pedrigon Vocalan. The former is an artist too and a photographer.  What a small world! One of these days, we may be able to revisit the place and explore the rich culture of Angono. It is known as the Arts Capital of the Philippines.

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It was my first Pinoy Indie Film.

It was one of those nights when you were getting eye strain because of too much reading and staring at the computer screen and the only viable alternative was to look for a nice TV program to while away the time before that much-needed sleep. Then I saw this film on Cinema One, a cable TV channel that shows Tagalog movies twenty-four hours a day.  Since we have recently upgraded our cable via two digiboxes  on our TV units, it is nice to catch up on programs on high-definition.  I was  intrigued when they were showing this Tagalog movie with English subtitle.

Still Life.

This was the first time that I’ve watched an Indie film, a novelty for me because it was a rewarding experience.  It was directed by Katski Flores, and it was his official entry to the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2007.  Come to think of it , I was not even familiar with the characters except for a brief appearance of John Lloyd Cruz at the start of the movie.  The name Ron Capinding and Glaiza de Castro didn’t even ring a bell. Hubby said that Glaiza de Castro is a mainstay of Channel 7.  I told you I seldom watch TV and the few times that I do, I am usually tuned at Lifestyle or Asian Food Channel. Still Life, is the title of the movie.

A Brief Summary.

Still Life is the story of James Masino (played by Ron Capinding)  a  gifted Filipino painter, who suffers from “ Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS). Faced with a destiny that he could no longer paint, he goes on a self-imposed exile to paint for the last time – one last masterpiece.  It was an ideal place for creating a work of art but he was not alone after all, along came Emma, a vibrant, mysterious lady who had her own story to tell. It was her courage amidst life’s trials and  bubbly optimism that convinced James that there is a life beyond his canvas.

So that’s how an Indie film is made, a minimum of two characters but still can convey an exceptional storyline that would make you think about life in general with all its angst and broken dreams. I don’t know where they shot this film but the scenery was a joy to behold and so was the music.  There are lots and lots of good dialogue  in the movie.  James has tried several times to take his own life but through their sharing and communication, confiding in each other about their own life stories, Emma brought home the fact that life is not a choice but a gift. I love that line, because it makes us realize that we are only here temporarily and that our given life is truly a gift from God. One finds courage in misfortunes and the defining moment becomes real once you realize that life is not a bed of roses but a series of surprises that sometimes tickle the heart and sometimes make you cry.

I wish I could find a DVD for this movie, because I want to watch it again. That’s how good the movie is. the ending was just unexpected.  Bravo to Filipino films.

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Balaw Balaw is synonymous with native Philippine cuisine, exotic food and arts. I had a lesson in Arts when we visited this quaint place located in the heart of Angono. I could not express my delight in finding so many paintings on different subjects displayed in their three-storey gallery. I am ignorant when it comes to such a medium but I can admire a beautiful painting and a lovely wood carving.

Angono, Rizal is known as the Art Capital of the Philippines. It is the hometown of the famous artist Botong Francisco. Balaw Balaw started as a “tambayan” of sort by the owner, the late Perdigon Vocalan with his artists friends. It is now being managed by his wife. One of the waiters who served us is also an artist and his artworks are displayed at the second floor of the old building.

First thing you’ll see before entering the restaurant are these large busts. It was quite a little eerie seeing so many mascots hanging at the ceiling of the ground floor but the garden/pond in the middle of the restaurant is a welcome site. You could listen to old familiar music, think kundiman and Tagalog songs which you may not have heard  of for the last decade or two.They do offer exotic dishes like kamaro (cricket), frog legs, adobo or fried, fried itik, and the one which they call Uok, an edible worm found inside coconut trees.  We were not brave enough to try one. No exotic food please!

Minaluto

Minaluto

 

Minaluto is the specialty of the house. a big “bilao” consists of steamed rice, mussels, prawns, crab, water spinach, fried pork, salted red egg, tomatoes, eggplant and gambo. It’s a complete meal in itself, a typical  dish that you would find in any Filipino household specially during fiestas and other occasions so dear to us. Wow, this is what I like best, Sinigang na Kanduli sa Bayabas.  I like any kind of sinigang mixed with bayabas.  It reminds me of those days way back in the province when my three brothers and I used to climb guava trees to pick those ripe fruits for Mom’s kitchen. I love their Kare-Kareng Baka, beef chunks stewed in peanut sauce,  vegetables and shrimp pastes. Balaw balaw simply means shrimp pastes mixed with gruel and angkak, a food coloring to make it a little pinkish.

My son tried the Gayuma. It’s made  of coconut milk with gulaman (gelatin) cooked in  pandan. I settled for the safest drinks, buko juice (young coconut juice) and plain water.

We enjoyed going to the art gallery after our hearty lunch. What a sight, it was full of art collections and wood carvings.

 

sa-ugoy-ng-duyan

heny

self-portrait

The Gallery

The Gallery

Your visit to Angono would not be complete without dropping by this place.  This is not just an art gallery, but a museum of sort.

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Imagine this!   I am grinning from ear to ear (if there is really such a thing) because I got more surprises than I bargained for.  I just received a  note from my brother Noel telling me  that he just paid one more year of Premium Account at Multiply.  And that means – unlimited storage of photos and videos,  and full resolution originals are kept forever.   I am simply grateful for having a brother who  supports and encourages my writing, who is forever praising me for learning new  tools  of the trade. Lately, I learned how to make videos, another plus for me of course!  And here’s what he wrote:

Here’s your redemption code for another year of premium Multiply account.  Have a  merry Christmas!”

Yesterday, I got a surprise visit from a cousin whom I haven’t seen for quite a while.  We were classmates in grade school.  And we spent a few hours reminiscing  and  exchanging news about our other classmates  way back then.  She is a member of  The Lord’s Flock – LWUA Psalm Ministry and she gave me a copy of their  CD called Lighting  Paths, Touching Lives. It is an inspirational album  and I love all the songs in it.  I was particularly touched by the songs  People Need The Lord, Love  Is The Answer and the solo rendition of You Raise Me Up. The latter  has been my favorite since I heard Josh Groban  sing it  and when I found out that it was one of the songs played during Dad’s funeral three years ago, I can’t help but remember him every time I listen to it.  Thanks Cynthia for this wonderful gift.

And here are more surprises that I truly, truly appreciate.  Nissa gave them to me before she left for Tagaytay yesterday, a journal and a calendar for the year 2011.  The calendar  has  lovely  paintings by  our national artist,   Amorsolo.   They are from the art collections of Bank  of the Philippine Islands where she works.

Last year I received the Contempo, a collection of modern paintings from the same art collections of Bank of PI.  I even blogged about it because I found the paintings so lovely.  I remember now, one  of the artists, Ms. Phyllis Zaballero  found my blog on google and she left comments  when she saw that I included one of her paintings.  She told me that she no longer remember who had that particular painting of hers.  I am quite an  “ignoramus” when it comes to lovely works of art but I do know how to appreciate though.  When I met the great artist, Manny Baldemor  two years ago, I even became more enamoured with looking at such awesome creations by our talented artists.   How I loved to visit the 1851 Club of Bank of PI when I was still working there.  Their function rooms were full of these lovely collection.  This time,  in their 2011  calendar notebook and journal, they featured the paintings of Amorsolo, our National Artist.  He  is one of the most important artists in the history of paintings in the Philippines.  I took pictures of some of his artworks because I find them all lovely and fascinating, some of them are countryside scenery that I love.

Trade In A Colonial Shore (Galleon Trade) 1959

 

Burning of Manila (Ano Nuevo 1942)

 

Fruit Vendors (1924)

 

Woman Washing Clothes (Lavandera) 1947

 

Tinikling 1951

 

Hinulugang Taktak 1951

 

Tinikling 1953

 




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