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.



It seemed like the three beasts of the Book of Revelations with their seven heads each came to me when I was notified that the Local Government of San Carlos has decided not to give support for the NPBC7 this year. It was a jumble of my emotions hearing the news even though I had the sense that this year the Government will not be supporting the NPBC as it had for the past six years. I would like to thank the San Carlos City Local Government for their support for the past six years. The NPBC would not have last without your support. My deepest gratitude for the help you have extended.

I knew there was a sign somewhere that warned me not to continue the plan for the Seventh Nui Pintaflores Bodypainting Competition(NPBC) but the fight for the recognition of artists is very strong. I did send the letter hoping for a positive reaction from the Festival Organizers. I knew it! Gut feeling sometimes can be very true!

As explained by the festival head, they have problems of stretching the budget since they have NEWER programs and activities for the Pintaflores Festival’07 like Fireworks Competition (like the one in Dumaguete) and others. Maybe it was one way of saying that the bodypainting is not worth giving awareness to since it is not worthy of showing to the public. Maybe the public can understand better the money spent as the sky is lighted with colors for a few seconds worth of thousands! Maybe the public can enjoy better watching the beauties of San Carlos strut their bodies on stage for the coveted crown of the Beauty of the Year. Or maybe the public can understand better the meaning of a Fiesta through rock bands and a street long trails of tables filled with beers and broken plastic chairs.

It is a maybe for a question unasked. Why?

The Local Government has been a partner of Nui for six years in presenting to the people a part of their Visayan Culture – the beauty of the ancestry of ours called the Pintados. The story of the Pintados’ existence can be read in many history books, and because of this idea the NPBC was created FOR San Carlos. And after six long years, will the NPBC become a history like the Pintados?

Visual Artists are always called striving artists, you know why? It is because there is always the long struggle for recognition of the essential subsistence of the arts in a society. It is also because of this thought that I am always prepared for “NO” answers even though my heart and soul want a “YES” to continue the struggle for the recognition of the NPBC as a highlight of the Pintaflores Festival. I thought I had created a niche for the artists to express their talents, I thought the NPBC was considered as one of the highlights of the Festival, or maybe I was just dreaming.

Will there be another bodypainting competition for San Carlos?

Maybe next year or maybe never.

In life there is no guarantee and nothing lasts forever like the green and red fire that ignite the black skies and the temporary smiles of the public.

See you next year!


Sunday, September 9, 2007

there is always a first

This was part of my plan, to create a blog that may become a venue for my creative juices to flow and reach a multitude of people. Having stayed here all my life, my home and my city is an ideal one for those who do not crave or the hustle and bustle of an urban city life. Everything here seems to move slowly, our local means of transportation is the pedicab and it is just a turtle compared to the racing jeepneys of Cebu and Manila. But who wants to hurry anyways?
We all do.
And as our friends always say, you only live once. So what does it mean? live your life slowly and take your time until time runs out of you?
So here it is, my blog and my artistic life as a designer of clothes, as an event organizer, as a web site designer (self proclaimed!), a graphic artist, a care giver, a lover, a stylist, a passionate photographer, a son, a brother, a sister, a speaker of thoughts. You name it, and I can be what you want me to be. But I do not intend to take the role of a mother or a father or a priest or your maid of honor, with my limitless talents there are still roles that I don't play.
May this blog be a positive and effective vehicle for me, for us, to share to the world what we have in the few moments God has gifted us. So what are you waiting for?
Hop on and take a joyride with me. Bring a hanky with you, sometimes it rains in the other corner when it is golden sunny here, be ready to get muddy and wet.