Batang gubat

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Septiembre 2nd, 2011


Ito na yata ang pinaka kataka-takang estatwang nakita ko sa ManilART exhibit.



Mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan ng isang binata, may simisilip at lumalabas na mga ibon.



May palaka.




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 Ang eskulturang salamin ni Ramon Orlina

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Septiembre 1st, 2011


Sa unang tinging, ang nakita ko dito sa eskultura ni Ramon Orlina ay isang ina at ang kanyang sanggol, “Mother and Child” kumbaga, ngunit ang pamagat niya ay hindi nauukol: “Passive Multiplayer Online”.



Bakit kaya iyon ang tawag sa piyesa? Dahil kaya nagbabago ang itsura ng salamin kapag mula sa ibang punto-de-bista ka tumitingin? Tingnan mo kung paano nagbabago ang kulay, kung paano kumukinang ang liwanag na tila sa tubig, o bahaghari.



Mula pino, nagiging magasapang ang salamin.



Mabuti ay panooring itong maikling video para makita ang eskultura mula harap hanggang gilig at likod.




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 Ang sining ng pang-araw-araw ni Michael Cacnio

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Agosto 29th, 2011


Buti na lang at nakaabot ako sa huling araw ng ikatlong ManilART sa NBC Tent sa Fort Bonifacio. Ang ManilART ang taunang art fair sa Metro Manila. Sa dami ng magagandang larawan at eskulturang aking nakita, napagdesisyunan kong gawing installment ang pag-post sa kanila para higit nating mapag-usapan ang mga likha.



Uunahin ko ang mga eskulturang yari sa tanso at salamin ni Michael Cacnio. Nakakaaliw tingnan ang pino ng detalye nitong unang piyesa: ang isa-isang niyaring dahon, ang kulubot ng puno at ugat.



Sa website ni Michael Cacnio, nahihiwalay sa mahigit siyam na tema ang kanyang mga eskultura: balloons, interaction, mother and child, father and son, children at play, vendor series, horses, eclectic, nature’s bounty, atbp.



Buhay na buhay ang pagkakagawa ng eksena: ang batang lumalambitin mula sa kamay ng kanyang ama. Halos asahan mong magpapatuloy sa pag-ikot ang kanyang katawan.



Sa kanyang balloons series, ipinaghahalo niya ang salamin sa tanso. (Pasok din ata ito sa vendors series.)




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 Bargain digging at Divisoria

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Julio 2nd, 2010

Last time, I wrote about the Sunday Legaspi market, where you can find all sorts of things and even unexpected surprises. It is a very accessible place to find trinkets and sundries, since it’s near the mall, offices, and villages. But if you want to hunt for the best bargains and are not afraid of an adventure, you should get ready to push and jostle your way through the oftentimes messy and disorderly streets and stalls of Divisoria, Manila. (more…)


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 Philippines voices

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 29th, 2010

I never expected to chat with so many wonderful people across the globe, and to meet the lovely winners and bloggers in New York last April, together with the people from Benetton. As many have already said, this has been something truly memorable.

But that was not the end. Take these quotes from some Philippines guys and gals, who have joined the contest and have created new profiles even after the winners were announced. That’s the art of enjoying.

Sara Camille
I like to draw people I know as dinosaurs and monsters… I’m not good at goodbyes, but I really like cheese… Shine on, rock on, and love, love, love! :)

Yes, my hair is natural. (And what hair!)

In a time where men and women have no boundaries to what they can or can’t do, I think IT’S TIME for something new, someone less gender-specific. Someone like me, who the general public seem to look at differently, can actually be recognized for a change.

Mike Grageda
I’m mixed race. I’m mostly Filipino, a little Chinese and a little Spanish in me. Just shows how the world is getting more diverse and diverse.

It’s always been my dream to become a model.

Mauie Sanchez
I’m a dreamer, my dreams bring me to places I’ve never been to and to dreams I never thought I could have…My innate ability to make others laugh is what keeps me going, and my heart (en)joys in the continuous unfolding of the wonders of this world.

Pretty eyed, pirate smile, she’ll marry a music man. :)

I never, ever, eeeeever (I needed to stress that) in my life thought I would have had the GUTS to take a strike at my dream of becoming a Benetton model, considering the proximity and lack of opportunities! Thus, when I found out about this competition seven days ago, despite others already thousands of votes ahead of me, I just told myself, GO FOR IT! You never know when an opportunity like this may arise again, so just do it! and I DID! I am not afraid to be different. Life is too short to blend in…Bad day? Good day? It don’t matter, you gonna see me smiling like no other.

Arito Lara
Goodbye people! This was a fun experience! :) Life goes on!

El Bosquejo


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by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 25th, 2010

Something rustles surreptitiously outside the window. Sounds like dry leaves, or a cat, or maybe even something that hisses.

Immediately I think of my grandmother and what she would say. It could only be three things: a “kapre” (a giant elemental with blackened skin, which incidentally likes to smoke tobacco), a “manananggal” (a young or old woman who by night detaches her upper torso, which grows wings so that it can take flight in search of pregnant women), or a shape-shifting witch that has taken the form of a huge black bird. The scariest thing the “aswang” (“monster” in Filipino, which variably refers to one or all types) is that the nearer it is, the softer the sound it makes.

I think most families in the Philippines have their own share of aswang stories, especially those that frequent their hometowns in the provinces. In my case, whenever my aunts and grandmother begin to talk about eerie experiences (when I was a kid), my cousins and I would instantly congregate, in a tight circle, to scare ourselves late into the night and sometimes until the next few days.

The folklore is rich, fed not only by legends of monsters with endless variations from the rural regions, but also by popular culture. One movie, “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”, which first showed while I was still in elementary, has become a film franchise (no different from the Freddy and Jason movies) that has already presented the tenth installment in its series.

Looking for picture references for this post, I stumbled upon equally cute and gory cartoons, illustrations, figurines, and even dolls of the popular “manananggal”. (Second on the list is the “tikbalang” or the half-man, half-horse elemental, which can lead travelers astray on their journeys.)

The “manananggal” (the root word being “tanggal” or “detach”) is a vampire-like creature that appears as a normal woman (in some versions, a man) during the day. It has a long tongue that is said to be able to go through roofs and thatched floors in search for pregnant women. Upon finding them, the manananggal feasts on unborn fetuses.

It is said to be afraid of garlic, like vampires, but salt can also repel it from houses. To defeat it, one need only locate the bottom part of its body while its torso leaves during the night. Salt or sand is enough to prevent it from fully reuniting itself. The rays of the sun can then finish the job.

Going over the images I found, I can’t help but observe how far removed they are from the dark and musty stories my grandmother told us. I guess that’s what you get living in the city your entire life with only Hollywood as your source of horror, and with the stories of our forebears slowly fading from our disturbed, sleepless memories.

El Bosquejo


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 When Art gets a Fashion translation

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 20th, 2010

An unlikely pair indeed: punk-inspired fashion designer Tina Daniac and national artist Ben Cabrera, known simply as Bencab.

For the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2010, Tina collaborated with the popular painter for the second half of her collection. She focused on Bencab’s most famous muse, “Sabel”, whom he has portrayed and reinterpreted in his works across the decades.

“Sabel” is a name the artist has a real-life scavenger he photographed and sketched way back in 1965. Her image has been a medium for the expression of various moods, always with the flow and volume of fabrics signaling different emotions.

So it may only seem natural that Tina Daniac picked Bencab for her latest artist collaboration. But this may be true for other designers, and not for Tina, whose edgy creations appear in sharp contrast to Bencab’s untamed representations. What she has done in adopting a different design language is pay homage to both the muse and the artist.

Whatever one may say of the effectivity or creativity of Tina’s translation, this collaboration appears as a welcome direction towards more partnerships between designers and artists.

Who knows what kind of clothes can be produced using the imagery of the works of fellow national artist Ang Kiukok?



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 Filipino Retro Pop

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 16th, 2010

It’s back to the 60s with Orange & Lemons’ video for its record Yakap sa Dilim (Embrace in the Dark), which is set at a traditional diner where high school students share stolen glances, sugary words, and milkshakes during dates.

There is intentionally no edge or anything sleek and sharp about these three songs, which slurpily relish in their saccharine sentimentality – an identifying feature of Filipino music in general, which is perfectly at home with the ultimate sentimental decade: the 80s.

From Orange & Lemons’ diner, Moonstar88 shifts to the lonelier venue of the store, where an “embrace in the dark” moves deeper into the fantasy of “Dream”. A mannequin takes the place of the object of affection, comes to life, and even becomes a companion to an amusement park.

From excursions into past decades, the Eraserheads’ “Huling El Bimbo” (“The Last El Bimbo”), launches into a young manís reverie of his childhood, when his sweetheart taught him how to dance to El Bimbo. The imagery is near-sepia, and captures innocent puppy love, but the darkly-lit scenes also foreshadow a future tragedy.

Though often fatalistic and mainly helplessly sappy, the bulk of Filipino pop retains hope and carefree cheer, and more importantly, doesnít lose the ability to laugh at itself.

El Bosquejo


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 Faith vs Reason

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 11th, 2010

Faith and reason are really sworn enemies in the modern world, where even with the separation of church and state, religion and common sense often times meet in opposition?

I have already written about how religious rituals permeate the day-to-day life of most Filipinos through the celebration of an entire calendar of fiestas. But that is just the outer core of how deeply-set beliefs influence our lifestyles, where many of our habits have been formed consciously and unconsciously through what priests and teachers have handed down.

If any of you have watched the fights of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, you would have noticed the rosaries that he wears or how he makes the sign of the cross before games, just for luck. Instinctively, we turn for guidance and deliverance even during less crucial moments-whereas many in the west only find themselves turning to their makers when they fear for their mortality.

A short trip to the Quiapo district of Manila, to the various stalls with tables laid in front of the church, reveals strings and strings of rosaries sold, together with icons in all sizes, talismans, oils with alleged healing powers, and mystic roots and crystals.

Some of the imagery from Quiapo is recognizable in several of the Southeast Asian works on exhibit at the Faith + Reason & Catching the Spirit of a Heritage show at the Manila Contemporary gallery, which I recently visited. They are most apparent in the colorfully decorated crosses by Valeria Cavestany and the hand-painted wooden panels by Guy Custodio, who has drawn from the heritage of local artists.

When modernity, disbelief, “reason”, and disillusion plays with and distorts these images, we get the sort of fashionable iconoclasm present in the works of Patricia Eustaquio, Gerardo Tan, Sri Astari, and Leeroy New (who has appended the heads of monsters on plastic icons).

(For those interested, the Manila Contemporary gallery is located at Whitespace, 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. The exhibit is open until June 13, 2010.)

El Bosquejo


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 Riddle me this

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 9th, 2010

The idea for this post came from the Batman marathon that HBO aired last Saturday. I must admit that it has been a while since I last saw Jim Carrey‘s incarnation as The Riddler, maybe during a time that I may have found his riddles a little interesting. Not so last weekend.

I have long been mulling about riddles, ever since my classes in ancient mythology and folk literature. I liked their form as simple mental games. But during school I found out that they were not just meant for costumed villains or for the amusement of adolescents and children.

Though now they form part of the leisurely activities of tribes in the Philippines, there was a time when riddles meant life or death.

Of course everyone knows about the famous Greek story of Oedipus and the Sphinx, a monster with a human head and the body of a beast, who asked this to the future king of Thebes: What animal is four-footed in the morning, two-footed at noon, and three-footed in the evening? The answer of course is man (woman also, for that matter).

Recently I found out that Homer the great poet was said to have died of vexation after not being able to solve this: What we caught we threw away; what we could not catch, we kept. You are right if you thought of the louse.

The list goes on, involving Odin, Samson, King Solomon, and the Queen of Sheeba. From a prehistoric age where failure to answer a riddle meant the loss of life or honor, to the ancient times where riddles were used as tests of intelligence and even used before marriage, riddles are now mostly used to impart knowledge and wisdom to the young, or as entertainment and pastime.

Below are eight riddles drawn from the many parts of the Philippines, invented across the tribes. I have supplied the pictures representing the answers, but of course they are jumbled up. See how many riddles out of the eight you can figure out:

Two siblings,
They have never met.

Tall when sitting,
Short when standing.

I bought a slave
Who is taller than I.

My pig in the field gets fat
Without being fed. (sweet potato)

The skin covers the bone;
The bone covers the flesh.

When it is young, its hair is white;
When it is old, its hair is black.

I have a beard, but no face;
I have teeth, but no mouth;
My body is dead but I still have life.

Leaves that bore fruit,
Fruit that bore leaves.



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