ArtLit, Blog

Art Exhibit: Figura Filipina

February 25 – March 5. When you don’t have time to go to art exhibits, the art exhibits go to you.

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Distinct art styles showcased by three figurative artists of the Philippines: MananQuil, Santiago and Miranda

I was surprised to find a small open exhibit in the activity area of Robinsons Galleria a few days ago. The paintings were focused on showcasing Filipino women in various contexts. Three artists were featured: Romi MananQuil, Nemi Miranda and August Santiago.

The thematic focus on Filipino women is very timely. We are celebrating International Women’s month, the passage of the extended maternity leave bill, and the progression of the Anti-Discrimination Bill. In the same breath, we are still fighting for equal and rational basic human rights. 

I wrote a short poetic reinterpretation on the struggles of Filipinos and women few days ago. 

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“Figura Filipina”, an Art Exhibition for the benefit of the Art Association of Malabon

Many of the paintings were painted very recently (i.e. signed 2017). What’s great about the pieces of art is that they highlight the unique merits of each artist’s style. I also had a bit of time to review the exhibit itself.

I do regret not being able to properly label my photos with the title of the works. Miranda’s work in the first photo, for example, had a title that alluded to “The First Sin” or something similar. The title and other external elements like framing really do affect one’s interpretation of the work. Maybe you’ll catch this exhibit near you some time and you’ll be able to fully experience the art yourself.

Continue reading “Art Exhibit: Figura Filipina”

ArtLit, Blog, Essays

“Kasumpa-sumpa ang maging Pilipino sa panahong ito…”

In the library of Philippine feminist works, there is a poem that reads:

Kasumpa-sumpa
ang maging babae sa panahong ito:
Depinisyong pamana
ng nakaraa’t kasalukuyan…
Anong pag-ibig o pagpapakasakit?
Anong paglilingkod o pagtitiis?
Ikaw ang pundiya ng karsonilyo,
ang kurbata, maging ang burda sa panyo’t kamiseta.
Susukatin ang ganda mo sa kama,
ang talino sa pagkita ng pera.
Kumikita ang beer at sine,
nagdidildil ka ng pills…

Ruth E. S. Mabanglo’s “Ang Maging Babae” captures the frustrations of an oppressed identity. And in times like these –with an administration that boasts of crucifying the opposition, a legislature that’s scrambling to legalize discrimination, and a people that prefers alternative facts to reason– it is easy to replace “woman” with “Filipino”.

Kasumpa-sumpa
ang maging Pilipino sa panahong ito:
Depinisyong pamana
ng nakaraa’t kasalukuyan…

Continue reading ““Kasumpa-sumpa ang maging Pilipino sa panahong ito…””

ArtLit, Blog

#ArtFairPH2017

Another year of art, wine and life. A dump of my favorite picks. (Favorites from last year and from some other time.)

Art x Politics

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Textures and Colours

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(things that remind me of med school)

Continue reading “#ArtFairPH2017”

ArtLit, Blog

basket of angry and mute kittens

silence speaks nothing --

To be consumed by words until they come stumbling out, 
arranged and resonant, 
unwilling to bow to the closure of strict lips. What is that? Where is it-- 
I've written copies, and rallies, and letters YET none of the words 
that reside in me have my heart, and I'm---

Scared. SCARED SCARED SCARED 

I've never known fear like 
the fear that I have of the words inside me. I don't know what they look like. 
Amorphous, greedy, vicious things
I fear that if I write, if I speak, if in another sentence I play out a new stanza, 
If I dare
I fear the truth will come out. WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE HONEST good lord

I fear the truth of --loneliness?-- frustration, listlessness. A cacophony of longing 
that has no name and no purpose; I can feel everything raging under my skin 
like a quiet storm, a knot in a maze in a forest
woosh woosh woosh 
Outside the wild listlessness 
fades into a practiced nonchalance. Words can't unravel if the words 
are too honest, and all my letters are honest. I keep them in.

Through a mirror: I am indifferent, and silent, and sleepy. whispers

I fear that the who that I built outside will be consumed by the monsters 
that are growing in the peripheries! 
shades drawn, battle lines marked 
fighting myself by burning the war
suffocate drown and asphyxiate my self

Another lie, another half-truth. statement
I fear what I have in me; I fear that there is nothing in me at all. 

What if I can't write or paint or speak because there are 
no monsters in the deep?
No colors in the wind, no female mysteries, no hysteric soliloquies 
A new model! An automaton of motions, everything but nothing at the same time
Outrageous for the price of fun:
PRESS 1 FOR BREATHING
PRESS 2 FOR LUCK
PRESS 3 FOR LOVE
number not available!!!

Motions upon motions
Unfeigned confusion
"           "
relaxation, elevation, escalation
#anxietynation

In what scenario will I start to write the entries that define my meaning:
Denial death dusk depressed
Denied denied DENIED REJECTED
by myself

Shut up! Stop! Speaking! BE SILENT be silent be silent be silent 
until the silence starts screaming
without me

 

This isn’t a cry for help. It’s a………………n exercise in trying to write again OTL. And I wrote this earlier while eating in Market Basket! Good shrimp and good salmon!

In other news, my sister’s in Korea (and I gave her a cool list of things to buy for me). I’m still here, not studying for my GIN exam on Tuesday. :o

I want to write about so many other things: how much I’m following Miss Universe, how I loved our graded physical examination earlier this week, how I’ve got secrets piled upon secrets. Some other time.

xxx

 

ArtLit, Blog

I’m now a figure skating fan (thanks to anime)

My holiday break could be defined simply: unproductive, probably fattening, and also consumed by this groundbreaking popular anime called Yuri!!! On Ice.

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HEART EYES.

Plot summary After suffering a crushing defeat during the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and other failed showings at other skating competitions, Yuri Katsuki develops mixed feelings about ice skating and puts his career on hiatus, going to college in Detroit and later returning to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyushu. He visits his childhood friend Yuko at an ice rink known as “Ice Castle Hasetsu” and perfectly mimics an advanced skating routine performed by famous Russian figure skater Victor Nikiforov, who is Yuri’s idol. When secretly recorded footage of Yuri’s performance is uploaded to the internet, it catches the attention of Victor, who travels to Kyushu and offers to coach Yuri and restart his figure skating career. Together with Victor, Yuri aims to win the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series as he battles against his rival, Yuri Plisetsky, a 15-year-old rising star skater from Russia.

In my humble opinion, this anime has taken the figure skating world by storm. Famous figure skaters like Evgenia Medvedeva and our very own Michael Martinez have professed to being fans; and now droves of figure skating newbies like me are following the sport as it goes. And for good reason.

It’s hard to define what makes Yuri!! On Ice so special. It’s well-written, true, and the animation of the key skating routines is breathtaking. Maybe it’s in the characters and their relationships (which, to be fair, is the heart of almost any anime). Maybe it’s in the showcase of both racial and sexual diversity.

Yuri!!! On Ice is a story of how people can gain confidence and love for themselves in the face of crippling anxiety and self-doubt. It’s a story of how success can sometimes drive depression and isolation, and how relationships can bloom through adversity. It’s a story of life and love.

how YOI kind of changed my life, aka I am now following this sport

Continue reading “I’m now a figure skating fan (thanks to anime)”

ArtLit, Blog, Essays

I am furious: #MarcosBurial

I. 

that the soul of one person
has been desecrated to dust
should call to arms a nation's heart
and set fire to a world of sorrow

but here we remain, the whole world burned.
the grass is razed and the trees are fallen.
there is no more fruit,
there will be no more gain.

we sit still, here, in our own warmth,
housed in a multitude of light,
while the embers of this play
build towers of dust around us.

this man's perversion of honor,
prostitution of life,
and profanity?
is not a question.
the dust of the departed calls to you:
scorch it, conquer it,
burn it to the ground!

II.

Here lies a man, bare bones and sin
His children had to steal through the dark night for him
Beloved by many but reviled by even more
May his blood never rest, all ignoble foresworn


III.

BUHAY NA BA KAYO NUNG MARTIAL LAW

Hukayin ang puso at buksan ang damdamin, 
Ulitin ang tanong at subukang isipin:
Ang patay noo'y pinutulan ng diwa at dila, 
sinaksak, ginahasa at walang tigil na pinagdusa.
 
Walang boses ang bangkay at mga nang-iwang ulila,
maliban sa tinig at sigaw ng kanilang mga tagapagmana. 
Kaming mga anak at kamag-anak, kaibigan at apo
Tayong pinalaking mga tinuringang Pilipino.

WALA NAMANG EBIDENSYA NA MAY KASALANAN

Ilang bilyong dolyar at ilang milyong pangarap, 
tatlong libong patay at sandamakmak na hirap.
Mga salitang pabulong, mga talata't sanaysay, 
Hindi mabilang na bayani, mga buhay na inalay.

Kahit isang pursyento lamang 
ng mga bintang ang totoo
Hindi ba't sapat na ang isa
upang kilalanin siyang berdugo?

Burial in Secret

Yesterday, in a turn of events no one in my acquaintance expected, the ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos was hurriedly buried in Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Burial) by his family. He was buried with full honors in the manner of heroes; the Philippine flag was buried with him.

And his family, composed of thick-faced personalities and statesmen, had the audacity to come to the place as if it was a celebration and victory. There were same-edit videos of the event.

Every man has his human dignity, his final right to be buried with even the least amount of respect. But for a man and for a family who were behind at least a decade of blood, where thousands of Filipinos died without dignity and disappeared without a trace, it should have been clear. Not everyone has the right to die a hero.

Continue reading “I am furious: #MarcosBurial”

ArtLit, Blog

Productivity Check

I tried to art my way through studying the back and lower extremities. I got the art part down; the anatomy, not so much.

More notes! Earlier this month, I blogged about my feels over the intersection of Anatomy and Art. This is just more of the same. With more ink.

When we get to internal organs next year, I’ll try my hand at inking even the outlines and muscles.

And in other news:

  • I went on a 1200 calories per day diet last week, with the help of the planned meal deliveries from Gourmet Kusina. I’ll try to blog about the merits and demerits of having meals planned out for you… some day.
  • My sister’s out watching a premier showing of Doctor Strange right now. I, on the other hand, am preparing for my customary post-whole-day-dissection-shower-back-pain nap.
  • You know, it’s strange to realize that my life literally has nothing going for it, except for some random chats with still irrelevant people, and friendships, and family, and love. These relationships might all die like my cactus.
  • (I’m seriously annoyed because when I was drafting this life update in my head, I had more things to say).
  • Duterte’s still making a mess of things.

xxx