We, my brother Alvin and I, were well traveled when we were young. It was either Ibajay, Aklan this summer or Janiuay, Iloilo the next or Panubigan, Canlaon this summer and Regional and National quiz contests were not new to us, humbly speaking.
We were trained to be independent in our emotions when we were young; it was training for the college days when one has to leave San Carlos for a better education. For short, were being prepared for the future – intellectually and emotionally. Our parents were not pampered when they were young, maybe our parents just wanted us to have what they wanted when they were young.
We were shown how to pack our things as compact as possible, not to forget our toiletries or our towels; and we learned, we are better at packing for a trip for we do not travel light at all. We are equipped of a two week long costume change for a five day trip, we can buy our soaps and shampoos in small packs when we arrive in our destination – no more spills, no more mess. We have learned.
The Singapore Trip which my brother Alvin gave me as a gift ( I don’t have the idea on what occasion), is another destination trip for me. From the hundreds of bus rides, boat rides I have taken, I have come to realize that there is a reason for every journey we make. We need to have reasons now why we travel, in our “virgin” days we traveled for fun, for reunions, to refresh from school; now, we travel to transact business, to refresh our minds and bodies from the stresses of everyday living, to learn what we did not learn in our yester years, to learn to understand ourselves, and to enjoy the past’s labor to inspire the next individuals who may follow us.
Destination Singapore, I coined as Destination Art because I wanted to travel in a way that is not traveled by a stranger in a new place, I wanted to see the world not as it was fed to us in the internet or in travel magazines. I wanted to see a new world in my own new eyes.
Destination Art is a travel for my brother Alvin and to my other siblings, for them to see what I can see beyond the architecture of a building, beyond the colors of Little India, beyond the fast blurring images in a subway. It is a travel dedicated to love for the arts, the love for one another, the love for company. In a fast paced life called Singapore, when nobody almost talks on the train, when you are the one responsible for pushing your button whenever you want to cross the street, when one works hard to buy the lush and pretty bags displayed; you tend to forget everything you have. It was marvelous, fun, awakening and emotionally satisfying in many ways and a midst the chaos of colors and people; I can hear her saying “Do the best you can, make us proud of you”.
Now that I am done stitching the videos and photos in one work, listened to the images with the music, I thought of my late mother, Perpetua Estampador who kept on pushing us to be different, to empathize, and to be sensitive of what others feel – not to hurt, not to step on others, not to forget the past.
Destination Art is a journey to the heart of my passion, to the heart of what my brother really wanted for me, what beauty it is to be far and new, how far I am in my struggle for life, how I have let myself be left behind. I need to paint on the canvas my parents have prepared for me, I have been given the paint and brushes by my siblings, now it is time for me to stretch a bit, crunch my fingers, hold the brush and touch my heart.
To Alvin, who was the only gift my mother has left me.
To my mother, who would have been celebrating her 85th birthday today, you will always be in the colors of my palette and in my heart. Happy Birthday, Ma.
I know I have made you proud now.