Clowns and Songs

Saw this while walking along Rue Saint-Paul at Quebec City, en route to our late lunch at Cafe du Monde. This was, at first, just eye-catching. And then I realized the clown was sad. Made me think of a couple of songs:

Sammy Davis Jr.’s (and then later on Regine Velasquez had her rendition) What Kind of Fool Am I

And, somehow of the same meaning, Send in the Clowns, which Regine also sang her own version of.

Such nice songs with sad messages.

Street Art Hunting: Mabuhay Manila

Mural

“It’s in your hands to make the world a better place.” Nelson Mandela

Mural

My hands are my tools to plant seeds, soothe one’s pain, encourage or appreciate through a simple pat, build, mold, communicate through writing or painting, save lives, and convey love and care through touch.

What do you consider as the most powerful things you have done with your hands?

The mural is called Mabuhay Manila by Bunnie Reiss. You can find this at the 7th Avenue, near the BGC High Street in Taguig, Metro Manila. 

 

Street Art Hunting: Unsung Heroes

Magsasaka

Magsasaka

Years ago I left the corporate world to practice what I learned in the University. I took a project with the government and conducted market studies for three farmer group proponents, finding out what sustainable crops they could focus on. I was able to spend time with farmer groups of Real, Quezon; Negros Occidental, and Misamis Oriental. It was a truly enriching experience as I got immersed in community of farmers. In Real, at the time, there was no electricity in the farming village and we used gaseras at night. I sat with the farmers as they talked around a bonfire sharing stories of their lives. There was no radio, and I was lulled to sleep later on by the sound of the seawaves. That was why a few years later when the province of Real was hit by a typhoon my heart ached for the farmers who were mourning the loss of their crops – they worked half the year toiling the earth and in an instant the hardwork was literally washed away by the fury of mother nature.

The mural above, Magsasaka is made by Archie Oclos and Aleili Ariola. It’s found next to Burgos Eats along Rizal Drive in Bonifacio Global City. A tribute to the unsung heroes, the magsasaka (in English, farmers), who tirelessly work the fields, rain or shine, to provide rice – the Filipino staple food.

Thus this artwork resonates to me so much and whenever I see it I am reminded to honor the Filipino farmers who work with passion and perseverance, everyday.

Street Art Hunting: Pangako

“I’m not going to swear an oath I can’t uphold. When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies.” – Jon Snow, Game of Thrones

I just had to put that quote out there. Because, Game of Thrones. It’s just around the corner. And I. Can. Hardly. Wait.

And then in May comes the Philippines Elections. I’m not even gonna delve on that topic. All I can say is We deserve who we elect.

But back to Jon Snow’s quoteand putting it into context: Have you ever made any promises that you had no intention to keep to begin with?

I know it’s just words, but for every promise I have made there had always been a pure intention to see through it. And when things don’t always turn out as planned, for example, ending a relationship that just won’t work, there are several emotions that occur afterwards: sadness, anger, guilt, regret.

img_3798

Pangako is a mural by Anjo Bolarda. In English, it translates to promise. It can be found at the side parking of Bonifacio High Street’s B3.

Street Art Hunting: Where the Heart Is

The Way Home

The Way HomeThe Way Home is a composed of 3 murals, depicting its creator Solana L. Perez’s homesickness. They can be found at the One Parkade at BGC.

What comes to mind when you think of home?

I could take it literally and choose which dormitory, house, or apartment made an impact to my memory from the time I moved out of my folks’ to go to college, until I married and settled into a house of my own, with D and the boys. Or I could take this question metaphorically and think of what, where, and when I find peace and happiness most. I’d go for the latter – when I am true to myself and accept the people around me.

Right here, and now, as I write this: I am home.

 

 

Street Art Hunting: Courtship

Tagpuan

Tagpuan

This beautiful mural by John Paul Antido is called Dating Tagpuan. In English it translates to the old meeting place. Very artistically done, where the painting was done on two joint walls. It’s located near the side street of BGC Central. I like passing through this street when I take the long route home just so I can see this art work.

Oh, the age of innocence! Sometimes I’d bring my thoughts back to the days of my youth, when the world seemed bigger and everything was simpler.

But way back in the olden days, the concept of ‘courtship’ was observed. Men would formally visit a woman’s home and bring gifts, usually for both the women they are courting and the women’s parents. They would make their intentions of courtship known, and they would patiently wait until they get the woman’s “matamis na oo” (in English: sweet yes). I believe this practice originated from the time the Philippines was colonized by Spain.

I had my fair share of this back when I was in the university – I also experienced my own harana (serenade) though it was more of a thing the guys did for for fun really. They jammed and sang Eraserheads songs outside the dorm window.

For me, personally, I cringed at the thought of courtship. I mean, it’s so formal and one way, I’d  just say no outright to save the guy his time and effort. More than a couple of times I found ways to dodge guys who would ask if they can go to the house to court.

Anyway, I digress.

Whenever I see this mural I would hum to Kanlunganan old song that my friends  and I strummed the guitar to back in the university. Its lyrics go like this:

Natatandaan mo pa ba nung tayong dalawa ay unang nagkita,

 Panahon ng kamusmusan sa piling ng mga bulaklak at halaman

Doon tayo nagsimulang mangarap at tumula.

In English: Do you still remember when first we met, we were young.

Amidst flowers and trees, that’s where we started to dream and write poetry.

Have you ever courted anyone, or been the one at the receiving end? How was it and how did it turn out? Would you prefer for this Filipino tradition to be revived?

Street Art Hunting: Bear With Me

Art
Art
Artwork by Nate Frizzell

Welcome to the first part of my Hunt for Street Art in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City, Philippines.

Many would consider BGC as the new Makati. It’s a fast developing CBD, with new high rise buildings popping up before I could even familiarize myself with my surroundings. Last December I moved into my new office here, hence I had more time after hours to explore what the place has to offer. As an appreciator of art, BGC proved to be a feast to my eyes. One of the first art works that captured my eye is this painting by Nate Frizzell. It’s called We Are What We Pretend To Be, and here are the thoughts that came into my mind as I looked at it.

No Dramas, they say, but just you wait…

Nonchalance, when deep inside bubbles of anxiety are brewing…

Fearless, because there’s really nothing left to lose…

Stoic, after hardening one’s heart from all the hurt and pain…

Boisterous laughter, and if you look closer there’s no joy in the eyes…

I’m ok, LOL, why do you ask, it was not about me, don’t you worry. Life’s a blast.

 

 

 

 

Exploring Melbourne’s Art Scene

There are lots of reasons I enjoy visiting Melbourne: very good coffee that I find in every corner of the city; fusion of food (and readily available healthy options) that fill my different cravings; beautiful gardens and (and sometimes hidden) lane ways; and the thriving art scene.

The coffee, food, lane ways and gardens deserve blogs of their own – which I intend to write soon. For now, I will focus on the different art venues that I was able to explore during my last trip to Melbourne. I always started at the Federation Square – a central location for Melbourne’s arts and events. It is near the Flinders Street Station and a tourist information centre.

Street Art

This was the first on my list, as I have read a lot of reviews about the lanes in Melbourne that are famous for the street art. From the Federation Square, I crossed Flinders Street to the cobblestoned Hosier Lane which was filled with colorful street art. A few blocks away is the AC/DC Lane (you won’t miss it with the paintings on musicians), and the Duckboard Place where I saw murals.

 

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

Right next to the Federation Square is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). They have different exhibitions but I was only able to go to the permanent exhibit called Screen Worlds. Entrance here was free. The exhibit was very educational and interactive. I saw the evolution of the moving image like TV, film, video games, and digital art. My favorite in this exhibit is the Time Slice which created a 360 degree animation of a pose that I made. The technology is similar to the one used in The Matrix where Keanu was dodging a bullet and he seemed frozen in the shot.

National Gallery of Victoria

Locals call this the NGV. There are two sites of the NGV – the first one is called the Ian Potter Centre near the Federation Square, and the second one was a few hundred meters away from the Flinders Street Station, across the Yarra River. I went to the latter, and explored the permanent exhibits. NGV houses many art collections from Asia, Australia and Europe.

There are many other places in Melbourne where one can find art. I was also able to watch a couple of stage plays, the last one being The Rocky Horror Show at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

I remember seeing a couple of quirky and unique sculptures along Docklands when I was aboard the free city circle tram. It’s a shame I cannot find the photo of this one sculpture that caught my eye – it’s a cow up a tree. I’ll look for it again and take a photo when I go back to Melbourne.

windvane
wind vane art at the Docklands