Monday, September 14, 2009

PITIKBULAG (August 17, 2009)

The first thing we did last January 23 upon receiving from gmail Elmer Borlongan's Banyera, his most favorite acrylic painting which he finished in 1995, was to set it as desktop background.
Everytime we opened our laptop, we would instantly remember our project, PitÍk-Bulag, Letra at Liwanag, A Celebration of Contemporary Filipino Art & Poetry, an interaction of our leading visual artists and poets in the National Language to produce paintings and poems, and compiling it into a deluxe coffee table book.
Similar to the said old Filipino children’s game, 15 poets and 15 painters were paired sight-unseen by raffle for them to collaborate in two ways: (1) the poet writes a poem on an existing painting by the partner-artist; and (2) the painter creates a new painting on an existing poem by the partner-poet.
After seven months, we were able to write our poem entitled Karagatan and he created a painting for our favorite poem Waka sa Kamay translated by Marne Kilates:
1. Choka for Mr. Thumb
When they raised
Mr. Fat Finger,
Fatter became
The confusion of this fate.
War broke out,
Which the Philippines
Did not spark.
Who came between
Was smacked.
2. Tanka for Mr. Forefinger
He pointed and poked
At the one who disobeyed.
The eyesBehind the hood
Fingered and betrayed.
3. Bussokusekika for Mr. Middlefinger
Nothing he did,
The weak in the middle,
The warrior
Whose emperor was desire.
Nothing he could do. Nothing.
4. Sedoka for Mr. Ringfinger
Motherland, they
Took advantage of.
The guilty
Put her to trial.
And for her beauty
She was condemned!
5. Katauta for Mr. Littlefinger
The decision:
“Asia for Asians!”
And they fingered her.
As we collaborated with Borlongan (who opened last August 14 his exhibit with his wife Plet called Bolipata and Borlongan: A Two-Part Invention at Ayala Museum's ArtistSpace in Makati City) so did Leonardo Aguinaldo with Egay Samar, Egai Fernandez with Mike Coroza, Pandy Aviado with Ayer Arguelles, Manny Baldemor with Jerry Gracio, Buddy Ching with Joey Baquiran, Charlie Co with Teo Antonio, Fil Dela Cruz with Fidel Rillo, John Santos with Bobby Añonuevo, and Steve Santos with Becky Añonuevo.
National Artist Virgilio Almario co-edited the book with poet/translator Kilates.
Rio Alma wrote poems for Fernando Amorsolo's Dalagang Bukid and Mariang Sinukuan; Carlos Francisco's Sa Magdamag ng Moryon, Vicente Manansala's Barong-Barong, Bagwis, and Isda; Hernando R. Ocampo's Halimuyak and Kronika; Jose Joya's Norturne; and Ang Kiukok's Pakwan which art director/book designer Rillo used for the cover.
The book will be launched next Tuesday, August 25, 6 p.m., in a grand exhibit, curated by Susan de Guzman and Giselle Kasilag, at the Government Service Insurance System's Museo ng Sining at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, Financial Center in Pasay City.
There is an on-going Quezon Art Exhibit at that venue, too, featuring the works of Quezonian artists from August 7 to 29, the very day of the 35th Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) Convention highlighting the 1st Pambansang Seminar para sa Pagtuturong Batay sa Panitikan and the 22nd Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas.
August 21 was declared a holiday but Ryan Palad – Pitikbulag's moving spirit and manager of GSIS Public Relations Facilities Department -- had the museum open to give our kababayans the chance to see the works of our local artists including writer Orlando Nadres whose play Huling Hagbong will be staged at the GSIS Theater this coming Friday, at 6 p.m. “The period play,” according to Palad, “is set on the eve of World War II , discussing situations in Tayabas and other Tayabasin personalities. Hagbong is a "forgotten" tradition in Tayabas, or an asalto or a surprise party. What makes the play interesting is that it uses Tayabasin words and punto.”

The whole nation is mourning, having lost a dedicated mother. Now all we have left is a wicked stepmother.
If a bird fell in love with a fish, where would they live? Who keeps the fins, and who loses its wings? It’s an irony but that’s how cruel yet poetic love can be.

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