Manila Fame 2019

Yesterday, I woke up to a postcard sent by my good friend Nurai. She’s based in Germany, but she posted this from Spain while she was on holiday. 

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It was the ideal preview to my artistic day ahead. I rode the LRT 1 and hailed a tuktuk to take me directly to the World Trade Center. 

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I went to the Manila Fame to immerse myself in Filipino artistry. My short visit last Friday was too brief, and I really wanted to spend more time at the fair. 

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I started my visit with some refreshing liquer de calamansi. 

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Then, I had some good coffee.  

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I dropped by the Handcrafted by Harl’s booth because I love their advocacy in supporting differently-abled artisans. I bought a handbag from them last year, and it’s still serving me well. 

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I joined a leather-crafting workshop for only Php50. I made a leather coin purse with the help of their talented deaf-mute artisans. 

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I ended up being the empowered one because I learned a new skill and got to learn from a differently-asked person.  

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It was lovely to see fashion influencer Lolaandrogynous at the fair! I totally dig her style. 

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I also bought small trinkets from another social enterprise, Kilus.  

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I got to appreciate the finer details during this visit.  

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I finally got to try 1st Colonial’s sili ice cream and it was delicious!

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I had a wonderful evening at Manila Fame and I’m very proud to be Filipino.  

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I ended my day with cheese sticks, so I’m also doing the same here. 

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Here’s to more opportunities to be proudly Pinoy! 

Common Ground

Last March 28, I got to witness the opening of Common Ground , a ceramic art collaboration of Israel and the Philippines. It was held at the UP College of Fine Arts (UPCFA). 

It was my first time at the beautiful new building of the UPCFA. It was the perfect venue to showcase the exhibit, which was the culmination of a week-long partnership between noted Israeli ceramic artist Roy Maayan and the UPCFA students. The college is planning to institute a multi-disciplinary Ceramic Arts Program as a new minor in the future, and this collaboration is in line with that vision. 

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The Embassy of Israel has been a cultural partner of the UPCFA, and this collaboration has not only benefited the students and the artist himself, but also the public at large. The exhibit is just the beginning of a visual conversation between the Israel and the Philippines through ceramic arts. 

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Jezzel Wee, one of the artists in the exhibit, hosted the event and brought a youthful vibe to the evening. 

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Dean Leonardo C. Rosete welcomed everyone by saying that ceramics are “vessels of cultural exchange”. The masterclasses and open studio which was shared by the guest artist and the students has created an environment where art could be created and cultural ties could be strengthened.  

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To continue with the theme of cultural exchange, the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Rafael Harpaz has mentioned in his speech that he made ceramics as a child. His early exposure to the arts has led him to seek “culture as the highest form of satisfaction” amidst his hectic schedule and diplomatic career. He cited as an example of his visits to local tourist attractions and the simple joy of eating halo-halo in the Philippines as his introductions to our local flavors. 

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Later during the evening, I chatted with him about his early interest in ceramics. He said that while he no longer practices it, he is still appreciates the art. He is happy to continue the long-standing partnership between the Embassy of Israel and the UPCFA to bridge our common cultures and inspire the future of Philippine art.  

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The UP President, Danilo L. Concepcion (second from left), has also spoken during the event. He said that since assuming his presidency, he has declared that each new building in all UP campuses should have an artwork. He mentioned that the education of artists is important for our culture, and that international art collaborations is essential for the university. He thanked the Embassy of Israel and Roy Maayan for their efforts in enriching the UPCFA with this endeavor. 

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The UP Kontra-GaPi performed lively musical numbers during the intermission. 

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Lastly, Roy Maayan himself said in his message that he was happy to witness firsthand the talents and skills of the UPCFA artists during their masterclasses and activities. As an Israeli “Clay Ambassador”, he shares his rich expertise to students and artists around the world. He mentioned that he has found friends amongst the Filipinos he has worked with during this collaboration. I witnessed this first-hand as the warmth between the artist and the students was present. 

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Finally, it was time to open the exhibit! 

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Roy Maayan has used the Tembel hat, an Israeli bowl-shaped cloth hat as his cultural “base” for his works in this exhibit. 

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He mentioned that he combined tuff, a volcanic rock found his his country to be combined with some of the tembel hats, like the two bottom hats in this photo. He said that tuff and clay both share common processes of firing in order to form hard objects, and this is something that he highlights whenever he goes around as a clay ambassador. Every culture has something worth exchanging and elevating into art!

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Another Israeli element which Roy Maayan has used as a base for the exhibit is the matka. It is a wooden paddle which the UPCFA students has embellished with local elements, making it entirely their own.  

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My personal favorite was “Hangover” by Blessi Bariuan, because it spoke to me about overcoming a night of drinking and paddling through to carry on the next day. 

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Roy Maayan has given the students the freedom to inject local elements, while also contributing his own matkas with natural and earthy themes to showcase the commonality between all cultures: we are all made of the earth, and we can all collaborate together. 

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The mix of students, faculty, the diplomatic community, the media, and art enthusiasts like myself has made the evening a memorable and fun exchange between two rich cultures. 

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I was able to meet new friends from the Embassy of Israel, appreciate beautiful works of art made by an established Israeli clay ambassador and emerging Filipino artists, and witness the friendship formed over clay and culture. I am thankful that there are events that showcase the commonality that we all share in order to enrich our own respective experiences and perspectives. The future of art lies in collaboration, as the world is becoming more connected by globalization and social media. It is up to us to personalize the art that we make and share the art that we appreciate to make the world a better place to live in. 

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Healing and Hugs

Yesterday, I got to enjoy my day after my transformation of work conference at AIM.

I checked out the Peek-a-Book exhibition at the Ayala Museum for my first stop.  

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Here are my favorites: 

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Then, I got myself some milk tea from Teaberi. Their cup looks fab with my cozy from The Attic Yarn and Craftery! 

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I went for some pampering at a salon.  

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I got myself some trendy hairpins! 

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I rode the MRT and the LRT.  

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Then, it was cuddle time with my furry friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe Sta. Lucia branch. 

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I ended my day with a healing mass officiated by Fr. Fernando Suarez. 

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I prayed for my terminally-ill father, as well as for my jobhunting journey.  

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It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I just need some art, hugs, and healing from the challenges that each day brings. With faith and positivity, I know that I got this.  

IDC 2018

Yesterday, I got to attend the International Design Conference of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The IDC 2018 entertaining and informative. I learned from the various panels of speakers from the creative industries, and now I am more inspired to keep on pursuing dangerous ideas in order to take risks, innovate, and disrupt my life. 

I took two P2P buses to conveniently reach the venue, the Samsung Hall at SM Aura. 

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I wore Marikina-made shoes from Rob and Mara, which I purchased after trying them on for comfort. And yes, they are one of my most comfortable pairs to date! 

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I had pizza for breakfast!

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And a non-fat latte to perk me up.  

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Then, it was time for the talks. 

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For lunch, I went to Aperitif. I had the prosciutto pasta, which was mixed in a cheese wheel. For dessert, I had the ooey gooey chewy chocolate chip cookie, which truly lived up to its name.  

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After getting my share of creative inspiration, I proceeded to The Pen to view the Salcedo Auctions’ preview of Important Philippine Art.  

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It was moving to view the boceto for the Spoliarium, which is Juan Luna’s most prolific work.  

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I am determined to keep on being creative, thanks to the IDC 2018, my sumptuous French lunch and snack, and remarkable Philippine art. I am really lucky to have these opportunities, and I look forward to similar experiences in the future. 

Ateneo Art Gallery x Elmer Borlongan

Yesterday was a series of field trips to some artsy places. I began my day with a veggie skillet at Breakfast Bin. 

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I dropped by St. Clare Monastery to pray and give thanks. 

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I then went to the Ateneo Art Gallery for an ArtSpeak featuring Mr. Elmer Borlongan. 

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The Arete building was gorgeous. 

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I was excited for the event to start, but first, I had to check out Mr. Borlongan’s ongoing exhibition in the gallery. 

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I also checked out the various artworks which are permanently displayed in the gallery.  

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Finally, it was time for the ArtSpeak! Mr. Borlongan introduced his wife, Plet Bolipata to the audience. She’s also an artist.  

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He introduced her as his cheerleader. 

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As indicated in my notes, Mr. Borlongan has chronicled the everyday and turned them into art. He has emphasized the importance of always bringing a sketchbook so that his drawing and artistic process never ends. He also chose to focus on the everyday as this is timeless and can surpass art trends and movements. 

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I had an insightful morning. Thank you for inspiring me, Ateneo Art Gallery and Mr. Elmer Borlongan!

Art Fair 2018

Art Fair Philippines is one of my favorite annual events because I am guaranteed to see works that will inspire me. This year, I visited the fair on a Friday to avoid the weekend crowd. 

I started my day with a delicious breakfast sandwich and a double-double. I was fascinated with the knit design of Tim Hortons’ cup, as it reminded me of my recent Knitting Adventure at Banaue. 

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I also had some quiet time at Greenbelt Chapel. 

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Before I knew it, the fair was already open for the day!

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Allow me to share with you the pieces which have caught my eye. 

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This cute K9 will guard the works of art!

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Sublime piece by my college classmate Maxine Syjuco. 

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Meeting THE Kidlat Tahimik was the highlight of my visit. He is known as the Father of Philippine Cinema. Here was his imposing work. 

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I also attended a special screening of Kidlat Tahimik’s films at the roofdeck. 

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I then proceeded to LTD All-Day Dining for lunch and coffee. 

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I had a delicious chorizo pasta, sansrival and cappuccino. 

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I had a wonderful day at the fair and I am definitely inspired to infuse whimsy and design into the everyday. 

Living Architecture Guided Tour and Talk

Last Wednesday, I joined the Living Architecture guided tour and talk on Gaudi at the UP Vargas Museum. I was curious to know how these structures integrate nature into their designs and how people keep them alive. 

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I was happy to see a mix of students, professionals, and art enthusiasts. 

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It was an engaging tour, where I learned that architects design structures to be living by integrating the natural environment and allow people to use it in a flowing manner. An example of which are buildings that utilize green energy, contain markets and food halls, and combine cultural centers with public spaces like skater parks amidst an arresting natural landscape. 

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We then proceeded to a talk on Gaudi and his groundbreaking work, the Sagrada Familia.  

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The speaker, Architect Choie Funk, discussed Gaudi’s natural influences and how she has applied them in the design elements found all-throughout his work. 

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My key takeaway from this experience is that “design solves problems”, as Ms. Funk explained to us. If we can use our knowledge in design to tackle issues not just in our personal lives but in our society and environment, then the world will be a better place.

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Design and structures live on as we make use of them and integrate them into our routines. I look forward to letting nature influence me more as I go about my day-to-day life. And of course, I will keep on applying design thinking to solve problems with a dose of empathy. 

Loving Vincent

I watched Loving Vincent again at the UP Cine Adarna. It was a solo movie date on a weekday, and the gloomy weather set the tone for the movie. 

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I had to watch it again because a) it is showing at UP Film Center this February, b) I can’t say no to Van Gogh, and c) it is a visually arresting movie.  

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Here is Cine Adarna’s schedule for February 2018. Tickets are Php150 each. 

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I had a lovely solo movie date. 

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The seats at Cine Adarna are mall-standard and comfortable. 

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I had Rodic’s tapsilog for dinner.  

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And for dessert, I had fresh strawberry graham shake at Roma and Charlie. 

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If you want to unwind at an affordable price, drop by Cine Adarna and eat at UP Shopping Center. It is beginning to be my favorite campus.  

Papemelroti Artisan’s Workshop

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon crafting, making, and simply being myself. 

I dropped by the newly opened Papemelroti Artisan’s Workshop to chill out and get lost in arts and crafts. I was eager to take a break from reality, and I was not disappointed at all.  

I was lucky to find a parking slot in front of the Korben Building. I was able to look around the Papemelroti Flagship Store at the ground floor, where handmade goodies were on display.  

I am a huge fan of Papemelroti merchandise because they are locally made and most of them are crafted by artisans in need (their accessories are made by the Kidney Friends Foundation members).  

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The second floor houses racks of vintage clothing which are in good condition! Proceeds from the sales of these clean thrifted fashion go to charity.  

The clothes are affordable and most of them are branded.  

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A few steps from the clothing boutique is the Artisan’s Workshop. I was greeted by shelves of kits awaiting customization.

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I also found this napping area.  

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This taka horse is reminiscent of the papier-mâché horses at Paete, Laguna. 

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They have paper dolls in the workshop. Perfect for a nostalgic play session. 

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The workshop is open from Monday to Saturday from 8AM to 8PM. You do not need to book or schedule a crafting session. You simply show up, purchase a kit, and pay the Php50 borrower’s fee for materials such as paint, glue, pens, and old magazines.  

The space is inspiring and it brings out the artist in you. Notice the natural light, murals, and handmade decor.  

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The tables and chairs are inviting and I was excited to spend time crafting!

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When I saw these papier-mâché sitting pretty dolls, I knew I already found my kit for the day. 

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Their menu features affordable price points and various craft options for all ages. 

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So I finally settled for a 2018 planner and sitting pretty doll as my crafts for the day. Yes, I chose two because, why not? 

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I began my crafternoon at the stamping station which is reminiscent of similar setups at tourist spots abroad.  

I personalized the first two pages and I knew that it will be a productive session. 

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I also got an old book so I could tear the pages off for decorating my planner and doll. As a bookworm, this broke my heart a bit. But then again, this is also eco-friendly. And words look pretty.  

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I did my thing and enjoyed the sunshine on my window.  

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I was assisted by workshop staff Lyn, who was not just a proficient teacher, but also a skilled photographer! 

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I gave my doll magazine cutout hair and curled it using scissors.  

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Before I knew it, I already spent four hours in there and I was done! 

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Lyn was game to take photos of me with my crafternoon work.  

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I was really into the taka horse.  

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This place made me feel young, carefree, and capable of having a dream. As you know, one of my dreams is to live a handmade lifestyle. I think this afternoon perfectly upholds that! 

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Meet my sitting pretty doll! I enjoyed decorating, painting, and styling her. 

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I made her heart wings, which I later removed and turned into a separate decor for Valentines.  

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I had a productive crafternoon and my journal is basically my vision board for the year. I pasted magazine cutouts, painted words, and placed stickers to spice up my days.  

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Spot my creation among her sisters! 

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By the time I was done, I was starving so I drove to Breakfast Bin Maginhawa for my favorite toasted naked longganisa with brown rice and sunny-side up egg.  

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I had a gorgeous day and I recommend the Papemelroti Artisan’s Workshop for your next art session! Bring your friends and family. Or if you want to spend some quiet time by yourself, it is also fine! Then eat at your preferred restaurant. You deserve self-love and handmade goodness all-year round!

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Contemporary Art AM

Yesterday morning was chilly and I liked it because it was perfectly for my brisk walk around UP Diliman. After a quick breakfast of Rodic’s tapsilog  and instant coffee, I was on my feet, people watching while sound tripping. It was exhilarating, and it makes me wonder how come I only took up walking at UP now. Maybe it is because my heart really belongs to nature (think trees, grass, fresh air...). Or maybe I just need a fresh start this new year. 

After a few rounds around the oval, I proceeded to the Vargas Museum, which is one of my favorite places to explore for an art fix. Their current exhibit features contemporary art, and it did fuel my interest in beautiful paintings and sculptures. I enjoyed roaming around the museum, even if I am a frequent visitor. There is always something new here, and it pays to follow their Facebook posts for their exhibitions. Do check out the Vargas Museum at UP and experience the best of Filipino art and culture, at an accessible and inspiring location. 

Who knew that art and fitness could both be experienced in a single morning? I encourage you to try this out someday! It will definitely bring you joy.  

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Sunday Beauty Queen

Yesterday, I was able to catch the closing film of UP Film Center for 2017, which is Baby Ruth Villarama’s Sunday Beauty Queen. This award-winning documentary has caught my attention because of its pageant plot and focus on domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

I was pleasantly surprised that the pageants being organized are for charity, such as the Bethune House, which helps troubled women workers get back on their feet. I was touched by the movie and I realized that people can uplift their circumstances if only they will find a passion to pursue.

I am inspired by the women in the film, and I was thrilled to take a selfie with Mylyn Jacobo. She was one of the brave and admirable stars of the film. And I was happy to hear that she is now living in the Philippines for good, and she is taking acting workshops! I wish her all the best and I look forward to catching her on the big screen soon.

I am excited to catch more films at UPFI’s Cine Adarna next year! Here’s to more impactful movies and charmed moments! 

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