Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WEATHER THE STORM (June 14, 2010)

It's official.

L.P.A. is here!

Politically, it could mean Liberal Party's Aquino.

Our hope!

But for PAGASA, or Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, it is nothing but Low Pressure Area.

One was spotted 40 kilometers northwest of Basco, Batanes last Friday.

June 4 witnessed another rainshowers scattered during the inauguration of The Gallery, the visual component of theBonifacio Arts Center in Global City complex. Right within the FVR Park, The Gallery opened with an exhibition of photography, painting, sculpture and installation art by 22 artists making cloudy skies reminiscent of Andy Warhol's taupe canvas or Kelly Hoppen's gray interiors.

Thunderstorms of claps and clamor deafened Humanfolk -- composed of guitarist-composer Johnny Alegre with New York-based Pinay percussionist, Susie Ibarra, and her drummer husband, Roberto Juan Rodriguez, and poet/instrumentalist Cynthia Alexander and electronica expert Malek Lopez. Flashfloods of applause was caused by theUniversity of the Philippines Guitar Orchestra, featuring National Music Competitions for Young Arts Foundation (NAMCYA) winner Franco Moscardon Maigue and Adrik Cristobal, both members of the guitar ensemble. The pioneering improvisation comedy troupe -- SPIT -- or Silly People’s Improvisational Theater succeeded, as ever, in triggering or intriguing landslides of laughter.

Entitled Ulan sa Tag-init, the show features 22 artists from as far as Cebu like Sio Montero and the U.S. of A such as Julian Oteysa, Marvin Santos, and Marielle Mariano. Other future National Artists taking part include Arnel Agawin, Alex Aguilar, Pandy Aviado, Maxbal Balatbat, Joe Bautista, Ruel Caasi, Ross Capili, Fitz Herrera, Nap Jamir II, Jethro Jocson, Red Mansueto, and Eghai Roxas.

Salvador Ching, the pride of Bulacan, failed to make it to their ribbon-cutting since he was with us during the culminating activity of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Department of Education's Summer Camp on Culture-Based Citizenship Building and Good Governance for Teachers, Youth, and Students in Bago City, Negros Occidental. Buddy, our Buenos Aires Mountain Resort roommate, had been contemplating on staging the greatest performance art in Lapu-lapu City on October 20, his luckiest day according to his personal Chinese calendar!

Perhaps, he will dare doing a Cesare A.X. Syjuco, raising an artistic family, with his equally versatile wife, performance artist and painter Jean Marie Syjuco, who reared brainy and beautiful daughters – Maxine, Michellene, and Trix Syjuco – making waves for themselves! The Syjucos' works can also be viewed in Full Circle: Creativity Moving Through Generations, running until June 30 at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati City. They are featured with other family teams of Anita, Doris and Robert Alexander Magsaysay Ho; Agustin, Abi, and Anna Marie Goy; Salvacion and Lewis Lim Higgins; Betty and Kenneth Cobonpue, our Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) batchmate.

Likewise, siblings – Monnar and Mailah – son and daughter of internationally popular and prolific artist Manuel and Delia Baldemor, will open their show Sensibility on June 18, at the 2/F floor, Ortigas Building, Ortigas Avenue,Ortigas Center in Pasig City where their homes at Green Park were greatly affected by super-typhoon Ondoy last year.

Compared to his father (or his elder brother Marvin who had his solo exhibit Migration Of My Vision last year in Donegal, Ireland where he is based) -- whose trademarks are both re-creating what can be seen outside – Monnar loves to look inward, leaning more towards the direction of Bosch, Dali, and Degasperi objectifing human thoughts and feelings, exploring the depths of dream and despair, exploiting the criminal mind, for instance, to the point that you will be convinced to forgive his or her sins. Where is this angst coming from? “From my observations of society,” he reveals, “I learn to abhor those who pretend to be blind, credit grabbers, procrastinators. But nothing about my work is obvious. Mainly, I want people to think. I want people to like my works not just to hang in their living room, but to spur their intellectual curiosity.” Majoring in advertising, Monnar obtained his degree in Fine Arts from the University of the East-Caloocan where he joined the Pinsel Artist Group. Then he became a member of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) and Samahan ng mga Kartonista sa Pilipinas (SKP). Yes, he is a cartoonist, too, maintaining cartoon strips for such publications as Sun Star Manila, Diyaryo Filipino, Manila Times, and Malaya for almost two decades. At present, he is the design director for the weekly magazine Women’s Journal. He has won in the Artist Association of the Philippines -- where his dad's career began – and in the Phillip Morris Group of Companies' Philippine Art Awards.

On the other hand, Mailah is the kind of artist whose style can be compared to de Nerval's “Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.” She has the power to transport everyone to the magnificent sceneries she has been to here and abroad. Her deliberate use of softness in tone radiates her take on Mother Nature via acrylic and watercolor. Yet a far cry from, say, Klimt's yonic symbology, still her flowers, defined and thick, are elaborated with breadth and depth that leave a cool and comfortable, thus healing, effect.

The incumbent chair of University of Santo Tomas, College of Fine Arts and Design's Painting Department, Mailah made it big early in 1993, when at 19 she placed second – both in the watercolor painting category -- during the 10thMetrobank Foundation National Painting Competition and during the 26th Shell National Student Art Competition. After two years, she took the honorable mention, again in the watercolor painting category, during the 12th Metrobank Foundation National Painting Competition. At 23, she had her first one-woman exhibit in 1997 entitled The Blessed Mother at the Galerie Y. In between group exhibitions and art competitions in and out of the country, she has been involved in both formal and non-formal education, including her art workshop for kids with cancer at the National Children’s Hospital in 2006 with our colleague, Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo, and the Kythe Foundation. She won in the Kulay at Tubig Watercolor Invitational Competition for the Gallery Genesis in 2000 and 2008. Last year, she was part of Balik-Tanaw 2009: A Grupong Tomasino Annual Art Exhibition at the University of Santo Tomas's Beato Angelico Main Gallery as well as of Art Spectrum sponsored by the Intellectual Property Office and the Guro ng Sining on at the Alab Art Space Gallery and Innovation Gallery in Makati City. If you want to catch the cocktails during Monnar and Mailah Baldemor's Sensibility – please be early at the Ortigas Foundation Inc. For details, please call # 631-1231 to 38 or email at ortigasfoundation@ ortigas.com.ph.

Also opening on June 18, but earlier at 4 p.m., at the U.P. Jorge B. Vargas Museum are the three exhibitions: (1) Boundby Roberto Feleo, Jose Tence Ruiz, and Gaston Damag; (2) Bomba by Kawayan De Guia; (3) Yari by the Anino Shadowplay Collective. Yari runs until 3 August 2010, while Bomba and Bound will be on show until December 2010. For more information, kindly contact # 981-8500 loc. 4024 or write vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

At the Asia Arts Net Creative Exchange Project in Taipei in 2001, we were asked why we had so many stuff to say in our 15-minute performance art piece. Last Saturday, during our 112th Independence Day celebration, we again realized that we still had a lot of unsaid things, artistically or not -- while we weather the storm -- past, present, and future!


The electric chair was invented by a dentist.


Things in life move with twists and turns and they happen with valid reasons. So if you doubt some things happen to you, stick to this: WE CAN NEVER LEARN TO BE BRAVE AND STRONG IF THE ONLY THING IN THIS WORLD IS HAPPINESS.”

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