Exhibits, Trips and all that Fun!

The first thing I did for this year was host/facilitate my first Adhoc sketchwalk. I was a bit anxious about the turn out but needless to say, I had a pretty great time. We set up around the Carillion in UP Diliman and spent the morning sketching the scenery there.

I had back-to-back sketchwalks that weekend, I also spent my Sunday sketching around Manila – we went to the Post Office and San Sebastian Church. It was challenging as we were exposed to so many elements – incoming traffic, smoke, dirt, prying bystanders etc. But it really gave me a great sense of what Urban Sketching is all about and made me more aware and vigilant of my surroundings and all the events that are happening around me all at once.

Our group, Urban Sketchers Philippines, also had our first exhibit for the year. I submitted my sketch of the Carillion and a few people sketches. The turn out for the exhibit was overwhelming. We had more submissions this year and it was then that I noticed how our group really grew from last year (I haven’t been with the group that long but our numbers have grown 3x over than last year).

February came in sweet this year as my works were featured in a magazine – The Philippines Yearbook 2016: Urban Pulse. Yeay! Here are the works that I have submitted for the magazine.

Another highlight in February is the Chinese New Year where we sketched around Binondo area. There was a constant flood of people, food and music, a joyful and colorful chaos.

Also in February was ELBIKON! We had another great run at Elbikon. Sales was good! And I was happy to see familiar faces, those who have always supported our group, The Cabinet, since its inception. Thank you for dropping by our booth and chatting with us. See you again next time!

The months went by so quickly and then it was already March! So much has already happened. I think that’s it for now! More stories on my next post. 🙂

PS. I also met one of my favorite Filipino musicians Mr. Joey Ayala but I wasn’t able to bring my sketching paraphernalia so I sketched him using chocolate syrup. 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

Halo Halo Outside Siiiideeeee!

Haven’t been updating this blog because I’m too busy participating. 🙂

There are just too many things I’d like to say and now I can’t even… I don’t know where to start. I don’t even know how I’ll tell the stories. Chronologically will be tricky. Backwards, well, I don’t want to go all Memento (that movie that was told backwards) on anyone. But here I go and I hope I don’t ramble off, skip or whatever. Hahaha

Okay! Let’s talk highlights. Last year was a pretty busy year. Kicked it off by going to Indieket 2015.

It was my first time to be inside the big hall. It was pretty intimidating but the overall experience was great. The crowd was smaller compared to the regular Komikon which was okay for me as I needed basic training on seller multitasking 101. Your talking and counting the change, then handing out the change and the copy/ies of the zine/s and then someone else is talking to you and you can sit ‘cuz their talking and it’ll be rude and so you stand there and someone approaches and asks for the price of the merchandise… you get the picture. I needed to get the basics pat down in preparation of the regular Kon which was November of the same year.

Next on the list was going to Pinto Museum! Went there twice actually – with friends.

The museum had a large collection of artworks – it was this enjoyable labyrinth of visuals! I really appreciated its minimalist yet homey vibe. And the view! Love the view from the top floor. It was perfect for photo shoots (for wedding, debuts, your new profile picture).

After that, I went and assisted in a workshop that our organization conducted at the National Museum.

12027090_1601201803476487_390355774409922194_o

Let me just clear the air by saying that I am NOT a professional. I am a hobbyist and I have to be honest, I can’t afford the luxury of art classes and so I have to go on a different route to get them. Hence, I figured I could assist in one of them. And there I was.

I had learned techniques that (I use now) helped me get the contours of objects better, estimate distances (most of my sketches are lopsided) and mix pigments to come up with interesting new colors (and I went crazy like a 5-year old would with my watercolor). I was also very honored to have assisted one of the great artists of our current time, Mr. Janeil Arlegui. I had learned so much from his lectures and I hope that I could get to assist him again (given the chance).

Then it was November Komikon! Yeay! Check this: regular Kon AND I was inside the main hall. I was not in the Indie Hall. MAIN HALL BABY!

Sales was good. The Kon went for two freakin’ days and the whole engagement was fun but very exhausting. It was nice to talk to people especially to those who were really interested in reading comics and short stories (you guys are the best!) It was also nice to meet new friends who I was sharing the table at the time. They helped me shoo the stress away by sharing the burden of the being the multitasking seller. And check it! Wolverine was there! He was just browsing some comics. 🙂

Okay. That’s it for now until next time!

Went batsh*t crazy addict over Game of Thrones

There are several levels of being a fan. I am not quite sure about the levels but there is one level – the highest level anyone could ever achieve – that I have never been. Well, until recently.

Game of Thrones is a popular HBO show that is not for the faint-hearted. It is one of those shows that has somehow intricately and beautifully intertwined the story/plot with very violent, widely unacceptable heinous acts of crime. There is just too many violent acts to mention, I don’t even know where to start.

Anyway, I just realized about a month ago that I am completely hooked on this TV show. Unfortunately, I have only read the first book (but I will get to that later).  But needless to say, I have exhibited symptoms of a fanatic and I have evidence to prove it.

I started on this project of creating my very own Westeros map and hang it on my wall – the map, complete with all the banners. It was a major under taking as I was not trying to put a typical poster up my wall. It was a 48in x 121.9 cm Presentation board (yes, it was pretty gigantic) with all the popular house sigils and detailed map of Westeros.

Before I got started, I strategically placed the sigils around the map while keeping in mind where the houses are located on the map.

00003467

Layout

 

00003456

Burnt edges (for dramatic purposes)

 

Then I went on and painted the background. I chose to paint it with coffee instead of actual paint ’cause coffee was cheaper than a tube.

00003469

00003472

00003474

 

After almost 5 hours of painting and drying, I pasted the necessary paraphernalia for the poster.

00003499

00003497

00003502

on the other side of the Westeros map is the flags of the Stark House and the Targaeryen House – my favorite houses.

Finally, when the glue has settled, I hanged it on the wall beside the door to the balcony.

00003674

Mission Accomplished!

It took a couple more hours to get it up there ’cause the poster was too heavy to stick to the wall but with a little faith and much much persistence, its up! And voila! Here it is!

I don’t know if I will be having any kind of project as big as this soon but I hope I do and make actual money out of it. Haha until next time!

 

The Choreography of the Dancing Men

Growing up watching Anime and cartoons was the way a proper 90’s kid in the Philippines would describe his/her own childhood. And as a bona fide 90’s kid, it is no question that even as I turn old and cynical I will and forever appreciate any kind of animated flick whether be it generation-crossing sagas as long as Dragon Ball or as short and creepy as the animated film A Country Doctor (written by Kafka).

Late last January, a friend sent me a link to an animation workshop at this place in Escolta. She thought I would be very excited about the news instead my trepidation slowly crept in and I confessed that I knew squat about animation. She just brushed it off and told me to check it out and quote “it might be fun”.

The animation workshop was facilitated by 98B Collaboratory with the leadership and direction of Japanese animator Matsumoto Chika and musician VOQ.

I googled Mr. Chikara’s work

Raw Animation Sheet (credit to owner)

and found that, although the themes and the visions were quite complex, the method of animation was basic and achievable even with a simple camera and a roll of good drawing paper. I went to the 98B website to sign up and had my first animation workshop.

Due to the overwhelming amount of applicants, the facilitators decided to divide the group into two and had two days of workshop sessions. The two workshop groups were Group 1 (Friday) and Group 2 (Saturday) and I was on the Saturday session. During the workshop, we were asked to take turns as the animator and the model.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.738107566309359.1073741923.127180300735425&type=3

Being the model was just as hard as being the animator as you will have to stay still in an awkward pose for a couple of minutes while people around the room were staring right at you in scrutiny. Nonetheless, everything went well and it was all good fun.

I learned a lot from the workshop and I don’t say that as generic as one might think but what I meant was there is a certain strength and freedom and yet a sense of control and vulnerability in creating a story through animation. Unlike in writing where a reader can take-in the character’s feeling as it could be written as explicitly as possible in words, in animation, especially in a silent one, words are lost and so they are very important. It is important to form the words in other people’s head, the words the creator wants to convey, through the animation. The images should be as vivid as possible so the audience can catch it and take it and mold it as their own yet with the vision of the creator still intact.  This might be a stretch for everyone especially the creators as no one person has the same visual experience. And so the interpretations are always varied (I think I’m getting too carried away).

After toiling for the entire afternoon, the groups finally came up with this bit. I hope you enjoy it!

I’m looking forward to more animation workshops in the future! Until next time…

Chilling a Chili’s

Food is essential to the soul, I heard somewhere once. There is something sublime when you take in food that was cooked with the right amount of everything, all at once and yet it is not too overwhelming. I’m not a food expert and so that’s the best way, the most convincing way I can say that food cooked to perfection is one great feast no matter what the origin.

Chili’s at Tomas Morato

My sister and I had a craving last week for fajitas and we saw that Chilis, a Mexican inspired restaurant, was just around the neighborhood. We did not read any reviews or ask any friends if the food there was great. We just went and tried it out.

IMG_20150220_212004

See that! They have delivery…interesting.

IMG_20150220_210615

Salsa that goes with the Fajita

IMG_20150220_210601

Fajita! Yummmm!

The food gods must be smiling down on us as we were served hefty and scrumptious plates of Mixed (both beef and chicken) Fajitas and Burger Bites with a side of onion rings and fries. We did not expect the serving to be big. With our past experience in local restaurants, the serving was usually small and so even if we ordered 3 or more entrees, the entire “feast” would still be manageable. But at Chili’s, the words big and plenty were exactly as defined in the dictionaries. We weren’t able to get to dessert. Even our dessert stomach was out of commission! And we were only half way through the burgers!

Burger Bites

Burger (not so small) Bites

We were planning to get a few of those fried Cheesecakes that really looked tempting on the menu but there was hardly enough room for water in our systems so we ended pledging to return for those enticing desserts…and with a vengeance.

Nonetheless, we left the restaurant stuffed and smiling. 🙂

 

A Night of Music at Route 196

This is a late post. 🙂

Here we go…

Last September 20, a friend invited me to a bar to watch and listen to up-and-coming OPM bands perform. I am a sucker for indie music. Not that I’m against anything mainstream. There is just too much Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj – they are everywhere recently – that I can take in a day. I needed a break from them. I needed new, different, unadulterated Pinoy music to surrounded me and none of them hipsters or wanna be hipsters. (There I said it!) So, I went without any expectation (big production and huge crowd) and what happened turned out to be one of the best nights I have ever had!

I had no idea of the line up so when the lead vocalist of the Flying Ipis band Deng Garcia and Eraseheads drummer Raimund Marasigan walked toward the stage, I almost immediately spat my beer. They were just a stone’s throw away from me. What luck! And they’re in ONE BAND!? Even better! So I immediately got my phone, took a photo, recorded a minute from their set and watched while drooled. I did not record the entire set because I wanted to enjoy the event. I wanted to be there, I wanted to enjoy. And that’s exactly what I did.

And for your enjoyment, here is a clip of their set – presenting Assembly Generals:

Assembly Generals

Assembly Generals

 

Here are the other bands that performed that night:

IMG_20140920_225803

She's Only Sixteen

She’s Only Sixteen

IMG_20140921_000553

Imago

IMG_20140921_003736

IMG_20140921_011805

Autotelic

 

I don’t know the names of the other bands (if you do, please comment below) but I look forward to see performances like these in the future. Until next time…

Orgasmic Food and Simple Treats

Saturdays are often particularly meant for outdoor activities – having picnics, hiking in the mountains, going to the beach etc. For one whole day, you can choose to do one activity or several, take your pick. It was not planned but somehow last Saturday went on with one particular theme: food. I’m not really a food blogger but it was just so hard to ignore the itinerary of feasts that I had gone through that I just had to write them down (for your benefit or for future reference 🙂 ).

My sister and I attended the baptism of my niece Candace Lira at the La Paz Chapel near Taft Avenue that morning. After the ceremony at the small parish, we went to have lunch at a restaurant called Aling Nene’s. According to my Dad, Aling Nene’ was but a simple BBQ stand back when he was a young boy. The business thrived over the years and now, it is a large restaurant that offers the second floor as a function room where the reception of the baptism was held. I remember my Dad saying that Aling Nene’s made the best BBQ in town. And true to his word, it had the best BBQ I have ever tasted. It was not as fatty or as oily as the BBQs that I have had before (I’m not going to drop names here). The meat was tender and the serving (25php per stick) was large enough for 2 cups of rice. It is completely affordable and worth every cent. If you’re one who loves grilled food or grilled anything, then you should try the BBQ at Aling Nene’s. You will not regret it. You can visit their page: http://www.alingnenesbarbeque.com/

 

Aling Nene’s at Taft

 

Pork Barbeque

 

After an hour of silent munching (we just concentrated on the food the entire time), my sister and I had to bid our niece farewell. I did not have anywhere in particular to go but my sister had work so I decided to tag along with her. My sister works as a chef at a gourmet bistro called Your Local. It is an open kitchen bistro that serves unique Asian fusion dishes. Have you ever seen garnished salmon in between black burger buns with a side of fries covered in Parmesan cheese? If you are curious to see and eat one or just down right curious of what Asian fusion must be like, this is the right place to be. They have an interesting and sophisticated selection of appetizers and main courses which you can wash down with never-have-I-heard-ingredients-but-surprisingly-delightful drinks. I had a Chorizo sandwich and fries that I washed down with an Arnie Palmer (photographed below). Everything just felt right in my mouth!

Chorizo sandwich with fries

Chorizo sandwich with Parmesan cheese covered fries

 

The food-gasm did not stop there. Your Local has a connecting door/wall to this small pastry shop called Yardstick that can make sweet-tooths everywhere squeal in excitement. Unlike Your Local that has a somewhat private-underground-secret society-meeting vibe, Yardstick has a friendly, fresh and open ambiance that will make you double take as you pass-by. Here, I had a Revel bar and a Yardshake with a shot of espresso (also photographed below).

 

Yardstick: Revel bar and Yardshake with a shot of espresso

Yardstick: Revel bar and Yardshake with a shot of espresso

 

It was like having dinner and dessert with a change of ambiance! Not all restaurants offer that kind of change in atmosphere. Usually, after dinner at a restaurant, I have to get out and look for another place for my sweet cravings (some well-established restaurants are not so good with desserts). But in this place, you can hit 2 birds with one stone! You can visit Your Local and Yardstick at Universal LMS Bldg, along Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Brgy. San Lorenzo Makati. For reservations, you may contact Your Local at +632 823 6206 (phone) or at hello@yourlocal.ph (email). You can visit their page: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2014/05/your-local-makati-yourlocalph.html

Where you have the taste for affordable dishes or upscale entrees, always enjoy great meals whenever wherever you are!