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.

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. 

“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:

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”.

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

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

ArtLit, Blog


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, Essays

I am furious: #MarcosBurial


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!


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



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.


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”

Blog, Essays

we may not have won tonight

Animals cannot be evil because they do not know what it means to be evil. But we do.

And as humanity we have long ago decided to know evil: to understand it intimately, to measure its extent, to judge its worth. To deny. In this manner we have become creatures capable of ethical choice.

This 2016, we have collectively allowed decisions founded on ideas we’ve already judged inhumane. Here comes the renaissance of discrimination and prejudice, the rejection of collective good, and the perversion of a democracy. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. 


Who stands on the right side of history? Who wears the face of evil’s intent?

Humans can be wrong, but we have ensured that power rests equally on us all. But the victors write history; the empowered define what evil is.

The sixty million who voted for Trump can be judged as legitimate by history, or by simple arithmetic. And the Supreme Court Justices may have been wrong, but it was us who empowered their mistake.

We say tonight and last night that humanity lost. But the victors will say that humanity has won.

It’s up to all of us to define what humanity is. Hold on to the definition you know to be right. And at the earliest possible moment, give these children a dictionary.

Right now: it is by our own rules that we must to accept this new world order of hate and lawlessness.

But there’s still tomorrow.

#NeverAgain #MarcosNotAHero #NeverForget #MayBukasPa

And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.

Alcuin (735-804 CE)

tl;dr the world isn’t fair, and it isn’t fun, just or healthy. but it’s the world we have and the world we created. so we either suck it up or we change it.


#HistoryCon: the things people do

I took an ill-advised break from studying last Saturday, and had some fun at the first-ever #HistoryCon (tagline: Manila Makes History).

It was also my first time in the World Trade Center (in recent memory)! All the other conventions I’ve attended were in SMX.

I entered the convention with zero expectations. I don’t watch the channel, and I only said yes to the free ticket the day before. Luckily there’s a website.

First Impressions

There were exhibits you’d expect from the History Channel… like aliens and samurai.


For awhile I thought that the students on field trips in the area would end up disappointed, because I wasn’t seeing anything truly historical inside the convention. But I got around and I saw cool deals like this —

Presidential limousines. Actual, honest-to-god limousine cars ridden by previous presidents like Magsaysay and Aguinaldo. Apparently there’s an initiative to create a car museum somewhere, and while I’m not a hardcore car enthusiast, I did love the sleek lines of the black cars.


World War II Veterans Exhibit. I think I shed a tear or two. The exhibit wasn’t spectacular by any means –as in, I feel like the layout of the photos and text could have been improved– but it was lovely still.


This one hit me right in the goddamn feels.

Cars and more cars. Apparently History channel, aside from peddling vintage finds and pawnshops, also deals in detailing cars. With celebrities.

A bunch of bikers with legit leather jackets vroom-ing away!
There were a lot of high quality bikes, cars, boats and even segues in the exhibit (but it was such a hard time trying to get a picture without random people in it). Lovely <3
And Celebrity Wars… celebrities.

And one of the most popular stops in the #HistoryCon was this booth on the popular Heneral Luna movie. In the background, they were playing the trailer for another (must-watch) film called Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo. 

This is a replication of the prop used in the film. In the background, awesome girl stuff is happening.

But that’s not all.

Making History

Honestly, what boggled and interested and entertained me the most during #HistoryCon were all of these attempts at breaking Guinness World Records.

Case #1. World’s Largest Serving of Sautéed Mushrooms.

I didn’t stick around long enough to know what it tasted like. But just. Why?

Case #2. World’s Most Quarterpounders In One Minute.

I’M SCREAMING someone actually broke the world record for most quarter pounders in 1 minute ??? #HistoryCon

A photo posted by Jari Monteagudo (@jarimonty) on Aug 26, 2016 at 9:56pm PDT


Case #3. World’s Longest Marathon Watching (Cable) Television.

Sponsored, inexplicably, by Piknik and Yakult. They had to beat a 96-hour record –so.

They’re all, like, a case for the complex and profound nature of man. That we can build cities and travel the stars… and eat one Zark’s Ultimate in under 15 seconds.

And, I think, something I loved as well:


TBH I just made this blog post to prove that I’m not just a med student. Jk. Love you.

Though I should have been studying that weekend.

Or not.

(Abangan the kwento).


ArtLit, Blog

Ballet: The Great Classics 2016 by PBT

LET NO ONE TELL YOU THAT BALLET IS BORING. I almost cried, I kept sitting in awe, I learned to believe in love again. Philippine Ballet Theatre’s The Great Classics was a good show and a fun time!

The Cultural Center of the Philippines
in cooperation with Petron
Philippine Ballet Theatre 30th Season
The Great Classics 2016
Featured Guest Artists are JARED TAN of Atlanta Ballet and JOSEPH PHILLIPS of Mariinsky Theatre, Primorsky Stage.
Artistic Director: Ronilo Jaynarion
Accompanied by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Herminigildo Ranera.

As always, we can’t take photos or recordings while the show was ongoing.

Showing in Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, The Great Classics features a selection of ballet’s most celebrated dances, including pieces from the Swan LakeFlames of ParisRomeo and JulietDiana and Actaeon and Paquita. 

I loved how the narratives and emotions can be clearly felt from a combination of the dancing and the music (perhaps thanks to the live orchestra, which is unfortunately not a mainstay in the show’s run). The emotional resonance in the first Swan Lake and in the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene were particularly moving.

When the story is lost, when it becomes a succession of technical moves, I find it more difficult to follow or to appreciate. This might be the reason why out of all of the featured dances, I liked the wedding scene from Paquita the least.

That, or I was just beginning to feel that a 2+ hour run-time was too long.


But kudos to everyone! As I said, I didn’t get bored or disinterested at any point during the show. While the performances weren’t flawless (with a few unfortunate costume or set disturbances along the way), it was still an excellent show of what the CCP’s resident ballet company could offer.

Every time someone leapt, I kept wondering how people could transcend the laws of gravity and physics. It looked like they were flying.


Here’s a round of applause for all of the artists who made the show happen!

And another round of applause to C, for coming with me (or for inviting me?), and to my sister, for getting us orchestra center seats (!!!). It’s like appreciating ballet is also about the company you’re with. I feel the need to suddenly brush up on my technical knowledge of ballet, since C is an actual fan! Missed you, M!

I think there are still tickets available for the shows later tonight and tomorrow! I’m so helpful I’ll link to TicketWorld! Haha.

Follow me on Instagram/Snapchat @jarimonty and on Twitter @gudejari

I’m kind of interested in watching PBT’s Darangan ni Bantugen, when it shows in September. As far as I know, it’s a highly regarded epic in Maranoa.

So you should also watch out for that!


ASMPH MD/MBA: Transsum

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 00.33.54

The long journey’s at its formal start — five years of MD/MBA (what’s that? why is it relevant?), a couple of years residency, and a million or two moments of crying. I’m so excited. I’m also afraid I’ll forget things (half of my college experience now seems like a haze in my memory), so here’s a new blog series post thing.

Road to Medicine

If you asked me when I decided to go into medicine, I don’t think I’d be able to give you a clear answer. My only actual Career Moment as a child was deciding I’d be a lawyer (Harvard Law, of course), thanks to the inspirational queen that is Elle Woods.

But sometime in the last ten years I just woke up knowing that I’ll work to become a doctor. By third year high school, there was no question.

Sometimes I try to justify this choice by thinking of my dad, who died of cancer 1.5 decades ago. I’d think of the times I play-acted at nursing him back to health. I’d think of revolutionizing the world with medical research.

Today, I offered a thanksgiving lunch with my family. Everything that allowed me to achieve anything came from the strength of my mother, family and friends. One of my greatest sources of inspiration might not have been physically there, but he lives in all our hearts. It’s a big thing to go all the way from the small town of Nagcarlan, to eventually graduate AB Economics Honors from AdMU, rise up the corporate ladder, help raise a family. In many ways, he inspires me, albeit in a different way my mother does. I have very few memories of him. But I distinctly remember playing doctor with him as a child. He’d lay down on our couch and pretend like my plastic orange stethoscope was the real deal. And someday, I hope to be a real doctor, making changes in health research and service. And I hope to make him proud. (Especially since, finally, magiging Atenista na rin ako!) Happy Father’s Day, papa! I hope you had fun as well today.

A video posted by Jari Monteagudo (@jarimonty) on Jun 19, 2016 at 6:50am PDT

In any case, I’d keep getting inspired throughout the years, and I’d keep committing. I’ve immersed with communities in Pampanga, Manila, and more recently in Rizal.

And I realize in debate and discussions, again and again, that any right we enjoy in life are premised first on the right to health, and that there’s no sense fighting for feminism or progressive nationalism or equity in general when only a meager percent of the world can choose to enjoy it.

Education, transportation and right to liberty. But health first.

By the time I was inexorably moving towards medicine as a career, I already fixated on the idea of helping people access quality services. The most beautiful thing in the world is the sight of people who could choose to live their lives well. That’s a kind of art I think more people should appreciate.

Making the Right Choice

I’ve never had a dream school, but if I had one, Ateneo would come pretty close.

Ateneo was the school of my dad, brother, sister and a handful of other relatives. The Ateneo Way –whatever that is– was sold to me heavily that summer of 2011 (?), during the Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar.

I wouldn’t trade what I experienced in UP Manila for the world, but I always wondered “What If?”. Ateneo, after all, was my only other choice for college.

Come med school, I guess I won’t have to wonder. In a way. (Though now I’d keep wondering, what if I got into UPCM instead?).

But why Ateneo?

Continue reading “ASMPH MD/MBA: Transsum”

ArtLit, Blog

Book: Historical Atlas

I finally got around to perusing my digital copy of the Office of the President of the Philippines’ Historical Atlas of the Republic. Self-described as the first of its kind, the atlas traces the country’s geopolitical landscape through the years, from prehistory to the May Day Rebellion.

Though I’ve only read bits and pieces (what I wouldn’t give to get a free glossy hard copy for easier viewing!), I can say that the work is a testament to the genius of the multidisciplinary approach, and to the skills of the Filipino researchers involved. Kudos to the team who made this. We need more ways to remember and love and forgive our history.

Here’s the lovely cover. It’s a preview of the clean and pleasing imagery of the rest of the book.


Continue reading “Book: Historical Atlas”

Blog, Travel

Food: Angeles x Clark

{ Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy | Cafe Fleur | Jangsoo Korean Restaurant | Hues at Park Inn by Radisson Clark | Patchawaran’s Thai Restaurant }

Thank you to everyone who made this food trip possible: my mom (technically the birthday celebrant), my brother (the driver), my sister, and our generous and lovely tita b and ate m. Pampanga was awesome. I’ll return someday to see sights other than the yummy food!

Back to main Travels page!