Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some random pictures from May

A tree with roots spread wider than its branches.

Christ interred in a box of glass

Hole in a tree covered with vines.

A nice and gentle cat named Simba from my 0n-the-job training in a printing press.

Old, almost forgotten, statue of a putto in our school

Broken stained glass.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Stars? Hanging in the sky of mud? No! They are tiny suns, with an eternal smile fixed in silver, on top of my sketchpad.

I took this picture this May. This month is about to end, yet the rainy clouds just went away and the sun again dominates the sky. Things are getting warmer right now, especially during afternoon, where the tiny clouds were no match to the scourging heat of the sun. Though I like solid blue skies and thick cotton-like clouds, I miss the gray sky of May, but probably they will come back this June since it is the start of the rainy season.

I also like the rainy season of June. It is the time when the trees start to dance in the violent wind, begging the sun to come back, who walked away when a big fat gray cloud entered the scene. But I like this cloud, he always makes me sleepy during the afternoon, and the wind is getting cooler as it strikes down to the streets and window panes. But I also like the sun, he gives me a beautiful sky in the morning, and in the evening, he leaves, promising to show me the stars.

I remember when we went back to my mother's hometown, my siblings, my cousins, and I usually go out of my aunt's house in the evening, set up a wooden platform, and lie there to observe the stars.

I took my bunny to the woods in our school where there were many fireflies. We did nothing for a couple of minutes but watch them dance in the dark. May is the mating season, so they produce light to attract partners. But what's interesting about them is that they usually fly around a tree, creating beautiful swirling lights around it (sadly, I never had a picture of them like this but maybe someday). They are like fairies around their kingdom, or stars visiting the earth, searching for their partners.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Barasoain Church

I have this model of a historical Romanesque church called Barasoain. It is a wedding souvenir dated August 2003 (as inscribed below the church, along the base). The squishy bunny gave this to me recently because I like models, especially architectural forms, and it had been stocked along with other old things in their house for so long, without anyone taking notice of it.

I never made a Romanesque church model before, and probably, the church was modeled and carved by hand from modeler's clay. After it was dried, it was painted with a gold-coloured medium, probably acrylic, or something like special paint.

I never been to the actual church, but the bunny has been there when she was a very little bunny in elementary. She saw it on a field trip, but was unable to get a picture of it from the inside (digital cameras were nonexistent then). She tells me that there is a wide stone plaza before the church, as in the typical Spanish colonial town plans in the Philippines. The doors of the church are made of massive planks of wood, and were quite imposing from the outside. Inside, since the trip was made during the week days when the church is closed during the middle of the day, the windows and side doors were closed, but in front was this terribly grand
retablo or altar-pieces with niches for religious statues. It was gilded in gold paint, and at the very center was the figure of the Virgin, in her complete embroidered regalia and the golden halo. She says that it is similar to the Virgin figure in main church in the town of Angeles in the province of Pampanga, but that one had a silver halo.

Anyhow, I had been in one of the most beautiful churches, for me, in the country. This is the Manila Cathedral. I took this picture almost two years ago for my photography class.Manila Cathedral was builtt in Romanesque with other elements, with a monument of a Habsburg monarch, Carlos IV, in the town square fronting the cathedral.

I had also been to the San Agustin Church, also inside Intramuros, Manila, the famed Walled City and last bastion of the Spanish colonial forces, as is the Manila Cathedral.
The San Agustin church is, however, older, and shows more of a Mexican Baroque style, and I love their doors. They are heavily carved with obscure figures of saints and clergymen. It is sadly in a state of poor repair, and the doors are terribly exposed to the traffic and pollution from the streets, with little protection to preserve their beauty.

These are some of my pictures during our trip.

The crucifix facing the dungeon beneath the Manila Cathedral.

The grand but fading side door of San Agustin church...

The Manila Cathedral's main door (it is now not the original.)...

Detail of the door. A mass scene...

And a window from the former monastery.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rainy May

It's a rainy May, and the sky has a gloomy grey colour. Sometimes, I look at it while going to school, while thinking of random things like what would be the main idea for my latest story. Speaking of which, I've written down some of the ideas that had been stuck in my mind for so long, and I want to use them for my fifth story for my beloved squishy bunny. The story is the sequel of the first story, which I wrote almost five years ago for my friend Alex, and is also the continuation of the fourth story that I'm currently working on. The fourth story serves as the history of the first and fifth stories. It isn't in a novel form, more like a brief record of history, hardly in narrative form. Both of them are unfinished, and I still don't know what will be in the other scenes.

Although I have not started writing the fifth story itself, the main idea and important characters are already drafted in my new sketchpad (the one from the bunny). Like the first story, the characters and the settings are based on real people and real places, as well as on the squishy bunny's experiences.

I am also planning to change my blog's header and footer pictures this month, and my profile picture as well. It is also the third time in my whole life that I'm using watercolour as a medium. Up until now I have been using acrylics mostly. The first time probably was way back in my elementary days, when my teacher taught us how to paint a volcano on illustration board. The second time was when I painted a symbolic illustration for my squishy bunny about a year ago. It was the symbol of the end of our two-week misunderstanding about a personal problem. And of course, the third time is for this header, on watercolour paper.

First things first. I started with a sketch. I put some figures that populate my work.

A man with his child caught in an acacia roots.

Lady of the sun.

And then it's done.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Legend of Santa Rita

Let me tell you a story about this particular statue of a saint named Saint Rita.

Among the statues I know, in particular religious ones, this is one of the most interesting for me. It is the statue of Saint Rita, who was born in Spoleto, Italy. She entered the convent of Augustinian nuns in Umbria and she is known as the patron of impossible cases.

She is sometimes called "Black Magic Mary" on the place where the statue was, in a place where there are many abandoned churches and undiscovered caves that some others say have become the realm of bad spirits, and that island is called Siquijor. She holds a skull that, according to legend, belonged to a woman’s husband whom she killed for reasons nobody in the island seems to know. She also holds an inverted cross.

The statue, according to others, sometimes walks in the evening, and then returns to the church before sunrise. The local church goers say that they see that she still has dirt on her feet from her walk during the night. Whether it's true or not, it is a good idea for another story.

I wrote a story almost two years ago about a girl can preform miracles, and she can see unusual sightings. That story was for the squishy bunny, and I was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Hundred Years of Solitude" and his other masterpiece "Of Love and other Demons". The film "
Itim" by a great director Mike de Leon also inspired my third story.

The picture came from the internet.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I have a sketch of one of the characters from my first story, dedicated to my friend Alex, in my old sketchpad. It is a female being called Engkanto. They are man-like beings with white skin and hair , and their realms are found within large trees such as the balete. They show themselves to humans if the people are kind to them. And sometimes the Engkantos invite them to their kingdom inside some tree. It is said to be a very bright place, where all is white except their special food, black rice. Once a human eats black rice, he or she can never come out of their realm. Accounts go that children often found themselves invited by a strange, new playmate over to their place. After going inside a tree, they are greeted by the sight of a feast. Strangely, none of the food is seasoned with salt. If visitors refused to eat, the beings let them go back to their houses. If not, nothing else is heard of them.

I got the idea of these beings from our local myths, though I altered its appearance by adding armor to its attire as a symbolof authority, rather than the usual white clothes.

Local folktales fascinated me since I was a child, and sometimes I liked to hear their stories and origins.When I was a child,my dad sometimes told me unusual stories and legends from their village far away from our present home, and it is during the rainy June,when there usually were brownouts. I remembered when he told me about a certain husband and wife who lived in a nipa hut in their village. I the middle of the night the wife was about to gave birth to a child and her husband was helping her. All of a sudden, the house started to shake, and the floor tilted towards the door. When the door opened, a hairy giant called Kapre was waiting for the child to came out so that he could eat it.

I recently remembered it so I decided to draw it using pencil in my new sketchpad that the squishy bunny gave my on January 2008. It is based on what the event might looked like. This kind of story was popular in my father's remote and creepy villageduring his childhood.

One of the things he also told me was the story of a boy, one of my father's friends during his childhood, who was walking with his father in a narrow bridge in the evening. They came from the rice field and they are about to go home when suddenly, the boy heard some growling noise behind him, as if someone's breathing heavily. When he looked at it, a big black dog, almost as tall as him, with red eyes, staring at them. To his suprise, he ran quickly as fast as he can, pushing his father away from the dog.

Another thing was that my father's older sister Aunt Beth, sometimes could see unusual beings, some kind of a person with a third eye, within their place. One of them was a small man, almost three to four inches tall, with very dark skin and curly hair beneath their house staring at her. She shouted at her suprise and the small man started to hide in the dark but she can still see his eyes, staring at her.

It is quite good to hear these stories from my father, whether they are true or not. And this stories were inspired some of my ideas from the firststory that I made, in which I included mythical beings and their stories.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I like my school, especially when I'm walking in the middle of the school road with acacia trees lined at each side. Acacia trees are creepy. My father told me way back that they were the realm of spirits and beings unseen by humans, like the Kapre, a mythical hairy giant who smokes enormous cigars, and Engkantos. But it is still an interesting tree for me because it is unusually wonderful, spreading a wide canopy of leaves with gaps between each of them that create patches of light on the road.

During our freetime, I usually go somewere, taking pictures of trees for reference in my illustrations. This school is also the setting of my latest story I am writing for the squishy bunny who always walks with me when I'm taking pictures.

There is an old stone stairway on a slope within the school. It's quite fascinating for me its oldness, how it is now filled with moss, grass, and dry leaves.

As i sometimes walk by, I see an old, almost curvy asphalt road, and at its side are myriad of trees in different variety and size. I saw beside the road are old canals filled with moss and small plants. I just remembered when i was a younger, me and my friends used to hide there when we played hide and seek. it was not filthy during that time, and it was quite cool ( but I know it's a little bit disgusting.). Beyond the trees are houses it looks like no one lives in them, which made a little bit creepy, and almost the same scene as in my first story.

We even went to into the part of the school where during evening itis one of the darkest place thee. the lagoon. this is the place were the latest story I'm writing right now will happen, it is the sequel of the first story. The place was filled with trees and silences.

Abandoned structures such as walkways are now filled with grass, dirt started also to creep on them. Maybe this is one of the things i will never forget when I'm about to leave this school.


It had been a boring afternoon, so I started to roam around our college. Entering room by room and taking some photographs of interesting graffiti on walls and armchairs.

I found out that graffiti are sometimes good art. By good, I mean, not bad in terms of style and technique.

Books about Durer

I was browsing in our school library when I saw a book about Albrecht Durer. It was a good book and it had a page spread with his design for the Triumphal Arch of Maximilian the First of Habsburg (1459-1519). I was stunned when I first saw this work of Durer, because if this arch had been executed, it would have been grandiose. Unfortunately it was never executed.

Depicted within it is the emperor, the patron, in heroic scenes, although I doubt if all of it really happened. Some of the reliefs are the patron's ancestors, their names and titles carved as well. Actually, before, I had a hard time reading books, and I didn't like them. But the squishy bunny, who is a good artist and a book worm, influenced me, and so I started reading books. I realized it was fun.

I am planing to draw the entire family tree of my squishy bunny, back to the fifth generation before her. And when I saw this work, I had an idea about it, and thought I wish I could execute that for her.