Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The days are coming by so fast and we do not notice that it will be time to celebrate the day of Love in February. But my excitement just keeps on rising as 28 days more to go and it will be Myton and Bambi's Big Wedding. Here are the additional works I have done for the January Wedding II and I still have a lot to do...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Silent Night, Holy Night

I can feel the coming of Christmas, faintly compared to the Christmases when the family would get together in our modest abode when my mother, the late Perpetua Estampador was still alive. Her presence was so strong that we felt that everything that happens with and in us has to be celebrated with great attention and excitement. I could still remember her tin foil stars which she had collected the whole year from our Nido consumption or her ever beautiful Belen (Nativity Scene) which we have exchanged with coke bottle caps. The well preserved Christmas garlands and stockings and other small embellishments will be washed and cleaned before the month of November ends.

What about our Christmas tree? Oh yes, my mother was against buying a ready made nylon or plastic tree because for her it lessens our creativity and hinders us from digging inside us and feel what we are here for. She has taught us the great use of our ingenious minds and we have made use of her teachings.

This year, after doing Vresco Office’s Christmas d├ęcor, RCBC, and one prominent family’s residence, I have finally done my Christmas rituals. Even though I would be spending the holidays alone since my father has gone to Manila to celebrate the season with my elder brother and his family, I will not be feeling that “so alone” feeling or the spirit of love shines the vacant home that used to be full of laughter and drama.

It has been said that the Christmas season is a time for reunions, food, giving and forgiving. Well, that is just they say for their family is just complete and in perfect attendance. Mine has one root taken and suddenly every branch seems to wilt slowly.

The passing of one strong foundation in a family can cause a lot of changes and the change is very evident in mine. But what can one do? We just have to be strong and be contented and happy for the other branches of the family are still bearing fruits and flowers.

In a silent Christmas like mine this year, I would just sing a silent Christmas carol as I sit and look at the Christmas lights that do not appear to be breathing with brightness and listen to the carolers from the next house and lull myself to sleep.

“Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy Holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth…”

It would be the day after Christmas tomorrow; I still have the New Year to worry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Christmas is always a story of love, hope, and the beauty of having a family. They say it is a time for giving, of forgiving, of thanking the Lord of the blessings that he has showered us the whole year round. The time to reflect on the light the light that symbolizes each hope in us which is the light that also keeps us burning and striving to live each day for another christmas.
The Christmas tree concept for Vresco for the San Carlos City Christmas Village is all about light, the stained glass effect using light weight plastic painted in enamel and latex create a colorful play of patterns and forms reflecting man's journeys and emotions. This is about the Glory of God and the seven days of Creation.
But what is the true meaning of Christmas?

To be continued

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The January Weddings 2

The motif is FIRE as the groom and bride had agreed and I thought of doing the concept of India - its colors as true as love, its intensity as pure as the groom's passion for the arts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


January will be a time for celebrations not just for the Ati-atihan and Sto. Nino devotees but fot me and the couples who will be wed on the first month of the new year. Myton Ouano will be one of these happiest people. Before I would show you my creations for his wedding, I am proud to show you his works as a photographer (I hate to say this, but I am proud also of having him exposed to this aspect of art!) in the land of opporunities.

His other works

A Body Shot

With our hectic schedules, we still had time to feed our indulgences. Raymond who is busy with his business and building his abs and me with my own (work not abs!) we still had time to spare and enjoy the beauty of art, body, and photography. I guess it is time to flaunt what we possess and what we have worked for.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Revelers

just a few images I have taken during the recent Pintaflores Festival. uploading more

Friday, November 9, 2007

The 2nd NUI Bpdypainting Awards

It is a fact that artists are unresting individuals, everything has to be done always- no time for rest and no time for love. So here we are again, with brain cells popping with colors we decided to stage another event and it is a follow-up of my First Nui Bodypainting Awards(NBA) in July of 2000. This time the contest will be held at the Balete, San Juan, Sipaway Island giving the spectators a real life experience of mystery and beauty. Using the century old balete tree as the backdrop, the NBA committee hopes to give the public a diverse and unique presentation which will start 12 noon in April.
The 1st Sipaway Island Festival that we have organized 4 years ago was a huge success not just with the goal of getting people to experience Sipaway Island but also with generating income to the little businesses in th area such as the food vendors, trisikad drivers, and the pump boat operators. The result was overwhelming and this April we will again be doing another one.
We invite photographers, artists, and SPONSORS(!) for this endeavor.
For details and inquiries, please email me or call 09155529645 and 034-7293019.
Your participation is very important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

San Carlos Beauties

The recent Miss San Carlos City proved to the organizers and the sponsors that the talents of the city can create a spectacular event (even though I was only there for the production number and it was a good one), there is no need for the city government to spend 5 hundred thousand for out of town pageant coordinators who bring their own models who were vying for the title of Miss San Carlos with only a pinch of knowledge about the city. It was one horrible idea!
The Pageant Night was a good one for me since it gave me the chance to meet old friends and past Miss SCC winners that we (with my brother Alvin) have trained and now became successful in their chosen paths - yes, the path to marriage and finding a good husband.
And so I heard from a neighbor that "Dida" Tambis won and bagged most of the minor awards.
And I couldn't add more.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In COTTON and In SILK, an art exhibit


Yes, be one of those few who will try to save the art scene of San Carlos by just being one or all of the following:

  1. Artist who is a native of the City and believes in the word “GROWTH”;
  2. A Lover of Art who believes in the talents of San Carlos:
  3. A Curious Individual who consider art as a subject worth talking about;
  4. A Collector of One-of-A-Kind Pieces by different unknown artists.

This is just a testing ground for us artists of San Carlos City who always have different visions and opinions. We have taken part of our time from the busy schedules doing costumes and props for the fiesta just to give the visitors of San Carlos Pintaflores Festival ’07 and the general public a part of our devotion to art and the City.

Should you want to be a part of this small exhibit, please contact me at 7293019 and 09155529645.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

When Life was Simplier

Got this mail from my friend Christine and I loved it. Maybe it can make you realize too how simple life was then when everything wasn’t touched by the culprit called advertising. But that culprit is a good one, I have taken advertising arts for 8 years and it was worth it anyway. For those who do not belong to this age bracket, read and imagine how your parents lived their lives.

The photos attached were taken by my father in the fifties of my brother, Bingkoy and sister, Alma.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank
while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can,
and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in
baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets
and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks
took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats,
booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a
special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and
NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid
made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because,


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as
we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and
then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After
running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video
games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no
surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer! s, no
Internet or chat rooms....... .

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there
were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not
live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with
sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen,
did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the
door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those
who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was
unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,
problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck
to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so
much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors,
doesn't it?!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Second Trip to January

The last of the passengers to the January 5 Wedding.


The skies have turned from blue, to orange and then black, gray, and light yellow and then blue again yet our hands and eyes haven’t rested throughout nature’s transitions. Tired yet awake, we continued till the last invitation has been folded. It was 7 am. And we greeted each other the sweetest “Good Morning” we could utter and again laugh like we did a few hours before. The session of joking, followed by a burst of laughter and silence always keep coming back. This is the drug that keeps us going – the ease with the co-workers, the voluntary gesture of serving coffee or cooking pancit canton when some of us start to look worn-out and lethargic and the effort to crack a joke even if it would sound banal.

One cannot feel the exhaustion when under pressure and it was only when the super hot and spicy beef noodle soup settled in our stomachs that we realize it was time to park and let our over used organs to rest. And I came up with the perfect blueprint for a wedding vigil or any job that would require a group to work like the world is ending.

  1. High in everything food! High in salt and pepper Pancit Canton.
  2. High in quantity of cigarette puffs to break the monotony of picking up each molecular bead.
  3. High bpm mixed soundtrack especially created by Jay Broce to dance to as one struggles keep sleep from over throwing him
  4. Low calorie Diet coke that I discovered more potent than the regular one
  5. High dosage of jokes and sarcasm
  6. Vigil candles to keep away the mosquitoes
  7. A working team that works with passion (and with a goal! From earning more for the son’s education to working to buy a new pair of slippers or just plainly for a cell phone load

The list may vary each time depending on the kind of work the group is cramming but one thing for sure, all of us are working for our own reasons and needs.

My reasons? The continuous greed for beautiful results, the reactions of the excited clients - more positive than awful, and the end point when our creations are worn and used with much pride. And nothing can stop us from doing another day to night to another day work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The January Weddings (part 2)

Frantic and very drowsy ( I catch myself yawning every two minutes), the crew of five wanted to occupy their waiting beds before the clock would strike 4 am. The neighbor’s chickens were practicing their wake up rituals every now and then, drug buyers and peddlers have passed our gates in uncountable times already and the bags are nearly full, covers open looking like crocodiles waiting for a catch.

After months of preparation, the first batch of wedding essentials for January have taken form, 36 hours later, they will be flying to the cool place called California. The “buri” bags have already been dyed and beribboned, the last bead of the wood and crystal bead wedding “cord” has been stranded, the end of our vigil is near.

After ironing each dress Aljhun would hold the purple cloth behind my 12 year old and ever useful fitting form who I had christened “Emma” as I ready my camera for Emma’s photo shoot. After the shots, each dress is escorted to the anxious carriage that bears the logo of the Samsonite, each dress went through the same routine until the queen arrived.

Dressed in white, the queen looked radiant and pure amongst the fluorescent lights. After saying our goodbyes, the queen in white gracefully hop in to the Samsonite carriage and mingled with the others who wore lilac, champagne, tangerine and magenta. Seeing that they have already sat comfortably in the carriage, I put on their elastic seatbelts to ensure that they will arrive safely and crease free.

After reviewing the checklist for the first flight passengers, we closed the second carriage

containing the brown skinned wedding essentials, the “sugong” tokens and the embroidered bamboo fans and their bags. With all the bags packed, the time has finally come for us to say goodnight and goodbye. The two carriages will be traveling thousands of miles and I will be traveling another thousand dreams.

The tension has ebbed and the sleepiness has risen. It is time to park after a long trip and it is 4:26 am.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Future of the Arts

Having been selected as judge of the recent district meet for the Elementary and high school dept. I witnessed a growing number of artists-to-be and good coaches that will represent the beautiful City of San Carlos to the regional meet in Antique. I can't help but reminisce the good old moments when I won art contests in my virginal days, winning the grand prize of twenty pesos plus a gold medal that will turn to bronze in years of captivity, I never felt greater and it was stamped in my mind that art can really make you rich. It was then that I realize that "I want to become an artist someday".
In the district meet, new skill categories were introduced like tie dye making and still there is the grand and highly creative skill called "dustpan making". These skill contests are training grounds for these elementary and high school students for their chosen vocations in the future - may they be creative little boys in search for his creativity as he arranges the flowers for his contest piece or a brilliant girl in front of a blender testing the newest fruit shake mix that cannot make our stomach crumble. But the grandeur and creativity of the dustpan making really blew me. Again, the "maybe" theory came into me. Maybe this is a test of precision ( the accuracy of collecting the amount of dust swept into the beautifully crafted pan), or a test of creativity (The beauty of the forgotten dustpan as it stands in the corner of one's living room which also functions as a sculpture).
Judging the tie-dye making, I truly pity the other participants who came and were not even prepared to battle. What has become of the teacher/coaches? Other students were unprepared and the others were overly prepared that they were able to miss the small details (one works still smelled that reminded me of "kinilaw" (fish salad with pepper and high doses of vinegar). I wonder if the coaches have been doing their homework.
Many times I have thought of doing a summer art workshop for the teachers of San Carlos,
with a teacher's monthly salary that isn't that inspiring ( well, the most beautiful set of clothes they could afford is a well searched second hand designer piece from their "suki" ukay-ukay).
These art and home economics teachers need a crash course for them to create skillful and proud students because I have observed that what most of them teach are the copied notes from their art teacher in college, it takes creativity and resourcefulness to teach art in school. Now I remember my nephew asking me about the color wheel for his Humanities Class in college.Whaaaaaaaaaat?????????????
I have promised myself not to make long speeches, and I am unknowingly making one. Art and its wonders is really an exciting topic to discuss. Maybe we could talk about it in my summer art workshop for the teachers.

Check some visuals I took during the mural painting contest. Who do you think won?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The January Weddings Part Two

The Champagne Filipiniana wedding this January is near in its completion. But I still have to do the smaller and more detailed stuffs like the cord, the veil, the pillows were the rings and "aras" will be places. The flowergirl's dress is made of hand painted organza, satin and white shantung silk top with painting details.
Here are some of my other works for the January Wedding.
And maybe it is also high time to give thanks to my loyal and efficient beader, Gaga, who has been with me for almost 4 years now.

The January Weddings

Starting with my wedding works, maybe it would be appropriate to commence the wedding stories with the most essential of all wedding planning parts...the wedding gown. Doing weddings for more than a decade has taught me a lot. And the experience of the groom and bride to be with moi has been more than exciting. One groom wrote me that "it has been a memorable and happy roller coaster ride with you" pertaining to the tension and pressure working with a designer like me! Huh! but as the story always ends...everything went into place.

Nothing is such as a perfect wedding, every wedded couple, every experienced principal sponsor (how many times have I worn this ecru dress already?), every designer and wedding planner could attest to that. But still, in this memorable day of the newly wed and just financially strained couple,
before realizing they don't have the energy for a honeymoon, whew! it was worth it!

I welcome you to my daily life as a fashion designer and the designs that make time fly fast are the gowns for the brides and their respective entourages for my two January '08 weddings.
This blog will be a window for my couples-to-be to view their wedding in progress. And one reason for them to check out if I have been doing my work!

The first one will be a Filipiniana inspired wedding set in a beautiful garden in Palm Springs, California.

My love for details always prevails, this passion for the minutest of details is very eminent in most of the Filipino designers who some would opt for intricate embroidery and some for lace over lace.
The creativity of the Filipinos is incomparable.
The detail of the "train" reflects one aspect the Spanish heritage of the Filipinos, the fan and the love for wine. The concept of the fan and wine will also be used in the guest give-aways. Here are samples of the give-aways we have personally made for this wedding.

These bamboo creations represent the "sugong", a container for coconut wine. Representing the rural Filipino tradition of celebration, the "sugong" is adorned with two different abaca twines, rafia, and wood shelving flower. This truly is a Filipino pride.