Hello! I haven’t done this in a while—and it’s kind of embarrassing that this is only VOLUME TWO—you should pity the fool, who in this case is me.
I dipped back into Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS, which I abandoned a while back, and am starting to get into the meat of Peter Mendelsund’s What We See When We Read, which is a beautiful object, book content aside. Recently, I finished John Williams’ Stoner, which was tragic and beautiful and something I’ll probably write about… soon ish.
Just journaling for now, but I want to write something substantial soon. Ish. HAHA I AM A SAD SACK, SEND HALP.
I am on a The Drums hangover again. I recently saw them in San Francisco, luckily snagging cheap re-sold tickets on Craigslist (thank you, Ben!) and I can’t get them off my mind.
What L.A. is like these days. I haven’t been since 2008.
Commodity Book, which is my leftover smell from yesterday, which I don’t quite understand because I took a bath?
Nothing in particular. I am pretty content right now. Maybe to have one more of those ginger cookies from Blue Bottle Coffee.
What is the difference between a wish and a hope?
A… The Drums shirt. HEH.
OH, I recently discovered honey mustard. AND WOW? WOW????
More time to finish this post because I’ll be boarding soon.
Pressed for time. Lalalala, this is turning out to be a disappointing post, I am sorry.
If not for this retrospective by the Whitney Museum, my pedestrian familiarity with Jeff Koons would remain pedestrian. Although I suppose that’s what retrospectives are for. Prior to seeing the Jeff Koons Retrospective, the strongest image I had of him was tied to a balloon animal. I think he is probably one of the artists who produce quite polarizing work, especially as viewed by the general public or art snoots, and his portfolio has undoubtedly raised the question of what art is and isn’t a hundred million times.
The retrospective takes you on a quite literal journey, a progression of Koons’ work, so far. A common strain in his work is the appropriation of common objects, reworking them to possibly mean something other than what we currently take them to mean. Because these objects are so mundane, the validity of Koons’ pieces as “art” is always questioned, but there is a clear thought and reason for why these pieces are the way they are.
If you plan on going to see the retrospective (which you should, anyway—it’s up until October 19!), be sure to avail of the free audio tour because it helps clarify the intention of Koons with his art, after which you can decide for yourself whether or not he succeeds with his execution.
I always mean to post about my American exploits, but the thought of filtering through the images I’ve captured (so many) has halted me, and so here we are, three weeks in, and I’m trying to recall the first full day—a Saturday—we spent in New York City. Predictably, we spent most of it in a museum.
I sifted through hundreds of photographs (you’re welcome), but I think I’ll post some of the “rejects” somewhere else or something. I don’t know if I want to post about each of the places we went to, mostly because I am daunted, but I like having a record and (over)sharing things so here we are.
One of my favorite museums is the Museum of Modern Art (aka, MoMA). This is where I discovered a lot of the art that resonated with me, back when I didn’t really care much for a lot of art, as well as its history.
Me, lol. The day I wore this scarf thing was the day I ran into many dogs who were also wearing this scarf thing.
We caught the installation of Robert Gober’s The Heart is Not a Metaphor, and though we didn’t get to catch it, the structures set up to keep us bystanders out of the installation, the act of and transition of the installation was so beautiful anyway.
I made a Made-Up History look for this work (It’s called “Bed”) a few months ago, which you can see here. Made-Up History is a series for Softly Sometimes, my beauty blog, in which I try to make makeup looks inspired by art work.
I also made a Made-Up History look on this painting, which you can see over here! Incidentally, a palette I received from MAKE Colour was perfect for it.
On display at Art Informal until September 22 is Nilo Ilarde’s Faulty Landscape. Although they usually have simultaneous exhibits at AI, Ilarde’s brain space has occupied the three rooms and it is beautiful.
This isn’t the first time he’s worked with artists’ cast-offs, a mix of debris that permeate a painter’s home or studio. With paintbrushes, he creates a topography and with caps from the paint tubes, he creates a sky. This is also the first time I’ve seen a deconstruction and dissection of the paint tubes, however, when he peels away the wrapper to reveal the unused paint inside. The lazy thinker in me thinks that this is a manifestation of potential. Read More
Again, another attempt at keeping up with a series. I kept seeing this on Helga’s and Camie’s, so I thought I’d jump in on it, too. The link-up link can be found down below! I think these are simple, nice updates that are easy enough to do. So, here goes!
I’m currently re-reading Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone by You Know Who, and it’s been nice so far. I’m looking to cross off a few books on my To Be Read pile before I leave, but I’m not sure if that’s feasible. I also bought the latest issues of Grid, Esquire Philippines, and Preview, so those are some of my reading material at the moment.
Also, I managed to snag a copy of Allan Balisi’s newest zine, Before Us, Nothing Existed Here, which is b e a u t i f u l.
I have a few “pending” articles I want to roll out before leaving, again, but I’m not working on them right now.
Ang Bandang Shirley, forever and ever. I just came from the video launch for “Nakauwi Na” last night. Congratulations Shirley, Sarie, and the Seabiscuit team!
Deadlines, packing, and plans for the immediate future.
Photograph is a work by Kiri Dalena called “Liar!” which I photographed today, when I visited What does it all matter, as long as the wounds fit the arrows?, a tribute to Roberto Chabet at CCP, on display until October 26.
I don’t tend to write the more “personal” things here because a) it kind of dawned on me in the last few years that public spaces on the Internet are public to the entire world (depending on your office firewall, har har), and b) I don’t want my personal business to be anybody else’s business but mine, which is what tends to happen when people share even a miniscule detail about their lives. Just because I share something I think or feel, it doesn’t mean that I want to share more about it… Blogs are often receptacles for my thoughts and feelings, so I hate it when people pry too much because I very rarely like talking about deeply personal things. So, I’ve resorted to vague, abstract versions of white-hot feelings on this space, which makes me hate it a little bit because then it sort of stopped feeling like it was mine.
I admire people who air everything out in the open, but unfortunately, I am a person who cares about what people think of her. Perhaps a little bit too much, which is something I’d like to change about myself. Here’s a step towards not caring and also towards possibly being O.K. with who I’m turning out to be.
I’ll be turning 26 at the end of the month, and I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough. This is pretty much a constant feeling, and even though I sometimes have actual output to prove otherwise, I feel like I’m not doing enough, by which I simply mean, I’m not doing as much as I could be. Life feels like it’s out of my depth, and I don’t know how to begin to navigate if I’m drowning.
It’s never healthy to compare, but that’s what I’ve been doing for who knows how long, and before I knew it, all these feelings of doubt and inadequacy have nested inside me. And you know what? Those feelings are freaking hard to get rid of and hard to get over. I am not the most motivated person in the world, and it is a constant battle to talk yourself out of giving up and settling for something you know you don’t want. Sometimes, giving yourself pep talks that you don’t listen to (?? !!) gets a little tiring. I know success and fulfillment mean different things to different people, and I think about if I’d be happy just being a good person, etc. etc. and right now, I’m not quite sure if that’s enough for me to feel like I’m doing my best or living the best version of my life that I could be.
I’ve spoken and written and whined about feeling stuck before, and part of me feels like my unconscious decision to revert to inaction is partly due to this comfortable paralysis. The fear of everything that comes with trying takes root in your heart and makes you just not want to do things. And when you spend enough time not doing anything, you kind of lose your bearings and forget where you are and where you want to go.
Right now, the view up ahead is a little foggy and I’m honestly really scared of the future—both on a personal level and on a global, catastrophic level—because if I don’t know where I want to go, how do I start walking towards it?
I know this was like a week and a half ago, but I just wanted to share how much fun I had with Sarie, going around the Global Pinoy Bazaar. Our friend Daniela was part (holla Common Ware, holla Fellow!) and we figured we’d stop by to see what else was up for sale.
We saw a lot of cool things, but I was there specifically for traditional woven goods, food, and skin care. Specifically, I was looking for jojoba oil. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true! Anyway, we went around first to kind of assess the situation and decide later what we wanted to buy. This was a good plan, in that we didn’t get buyer’s remorse. This was a terrible plan, in that we forgot to buy some things we had our eye on. Win some, lose some, I guess!
One of my favorite purchases was this bag from a new brand called Northloom. They don’t have much of an online presence, but it’s run by Dindo, an ex-ad guy and Ilocos native. He uses traditional Binakul textile, handwoven by women from Paoay and Sarrat, Ilocos Norte for his bags, which are handcrafted by women from Krus na Ligas, Quezon City. What surprised Sarie and I was the affordability of the items. This is a beautiful tote I got for only Php 855:
Another favorite stop for me was Nipa Foods, which was where I discovered Palapa, aka my new favorite condiment of all time. Palapa is a traditional Maranaoan condiment made of indigenous scallions, ginger, coconut, and chili that they usually mix with rice. I finished my bottle up and ate it with chips and meals. D: Good thing they deliver!
I was also able to taste a mead they made from honey made by bees that pollinated sunflowers. :) Most of my other purchases were soaps. I got two small bars, Green Clay and Coconut Lime, from this nice store called Remedy, and then I unwittingly bought some bars of soap made from emu oil, which I didn’t even realize was extracted from dead emus. I don’t even want to use them anymore, but they were expensive, so it’s more of a waste if I don’t.
Other Stuff I Got:Theo & Philo chocolate (Adobo, Calamansi, Ginger & Mint), Cacao nibs, a Yoda stamp from Beng.
All in all, I had a great time there. I wish I was able to go around more and explore, even if we already walked around the whole tent several times. There’s just always something that’s interesting to look at and maybe buy. I kind of wish that we didn’t need bazaars like this one to actively support local goods. It’s just really hard when they are scattered all over the country or don’t even have information up online about purchasing the goods.
What was good about it, though, is that I was able to physically see just how many great things are available locally. I honestly wanted to buy so many things, but I was keeping myself from hoarding. Notebooks, especially. Looking at you, The Sunday Paper!
I saw Smile! My college blockmate who I miss a lot :D
I also got to meet Mansy (finally!) of Hey Kessy. :)
And saw some Anthill Fabric goods in the flesh!
Then, of course, we kept running into Phoebe, here. Even when we drove all the way to Glorietta from World Trade Center. (Well, Sarie drove. Haha.)
Garapata and a swanget me.
Anyway, I had a great time. I can’t wait for the next one… I hope there’s a next one? I definitely want to check out some more stalls, and I’m scrambling to find a way to purchase them online, because that is what us spoilt online shoppers are wont to do.
Did you go to the bazaar? What did you end up getting? Anything great that I missed out on?
20 Square at Silverlens Gallery: Ryan Villamael’s Isles
So, this is a pretty overdue post, but as it happens, I have a hot/cold relationship with my blog and the subsequent oversharing on the Internet that it entails. A few weeks ago, my sister and I dropped by Ryan Villamael’s solo show, “Isles,” at Silverlens’ 20 Square. Here are a few photographs, and I’m sorry that I’m only telling you about this now because it was a seriously beautiful show that is probably best appreciated in person. Oops.
Next up on this post are some new shows up at West Gallery currently, and they’re up until September 6.
I am an enormous Pacquing fan, but I think people generally know that about me. (I don’t know, maybe?) Inattentional Blindness has several large-scale abstract pieces that demonstrate his excellent intuition for color combinations and texture.
Gallery 2: Guillermo Naval’s Cheap Metaphysics
Gallery 3: Fernando Modesto’s Anonymous
Gallery 4: RM de Leon’s Go ahead!…enjoy looking at us!
I’ve always thought that RM de Leon was one of the most underrated artists in the Philippines. He plays with vintage illustration and abstraction.
Oh, and Noah met a new friend:
48 West Avenue, Quezon City
(Open: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm)
2F YMC Bldg 2, 2320 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City
(Open: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 1-6pm)
I saw a few new films since my last update, including What If, which starred Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, because of course. I’m not really sure what the reasoning behind the title is, or what they were trying to speculate with the movie. What I think about when I think of the title is: “What if we cast Harry Potter as the lead in a romantic comedy?”
(Although, of course, I later found out that it was originally titled “The F Word,” as in “Friend Zone,” I guess?)
Two things working against him from the get-go: 1) he is Harry Freaking Potter, and 2) Daniel Radcliffe is quite short. The story revolves around the friendly coupling of two seemingly made-for-each-other individuals: Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) who meet at a house party and bonded over cynical magnetic poetry. (Speaking of which, The Magnetic Feels!) They get along swimmingly and Chantry gives him her number and then the fact that she has a long-term boyfriend (Rafe Spall, swoon). With whom she lives! Wallace lets the wind take care of Chantry’s number (by which I mean he literally throws it into the wind), but of course it won’t be a story without fate or something getting involved. They meet again, shenanigans ensue, and we are forced to endure a charade of self-denial and well-concealed jealousy.
All in all, it was quite charming and most of the charm was hinged on the fact that Dan Rad is really rad and he has great rapport with his co-stars. I love him so much, and I think he has such a great grasp on comedy. And I say this with is Extras cameo in mind, not that dreadful SNL hosting. Would I recommend this movie? Sure, if you like romantic comedies and Daniel Radcliffe. I wouldn’t urge you to run to the cinemas to catch it, though. It was cute and certainly funny at times, but in spite of all the quirkiness that they seemed to have worked hard at and it’s determination at being the atypical rom-com, it falls into the Rom Com trap and becomes one. It was supremely entertaining, but it’s still nothing to write home about.
In other film-y news, I saw my friend Bia’s film, Letters to the Future, which is a short documentary that centers on a handful of twenty-somethings living in Manila. (Sidenote: I hate the word twenty-somethings.) It was quite nice, seeing a selection of people who had a lot to say about being millennials (I mean, isn’t that millenials do in the first place?) and what it’s like living in Manila today. I think I would have liked more variation with the interviewees.
I made this for the series of alternate posters they had for Letters
While I appreciated the inclusion of blue-collar workers and young people who had young families, it still felt a little lacking in the variation of perspectives, even if there was actually a fair variation of people. In terms of industry, I suppose, if not social classes. It made me wonder if we are all in a similar state of being lost, or if ennui is reserved for the middle class and above. Something to chew on, though I’m glad I got to watch it. I think there’s one last screening this Saturday, the 30th. So far, at least! For details and updates, click here.
I’ve been watching a lot of new web series lately. I’ve dipped my toes in the genre a few times with The Guild (which I didn’t realize reached Season 6 already?) and The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and who could ever forget LonelyGirl15? Anyway, LBD left me hungry for more. I decided to give Emma Approved, another Pemberley Digital-produced web series, a try. It’s based on—what else?—Jane Austen’s Emma, and it just recently wrapped up.
I am in the middle of another Pemberley Digital creation, produced in conjunction with PBS—Frankenstein, MD, based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There are four episodes so far, in case you want to join in. It’s… alright. So far. I think I may dislike the protagonist a little, which puts me off of paying attention. (Oops.)
Another series I’ve been enjoying (uuuuugh this is making me look like a no-life) is called Nothing Much to Do, based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s made by New Zealanders and it is quite convincing as a real vlog/story. It’s hosted on multi-channels, from multiple perspectives, with a very believable cast. I think a lot of the people who started watching them didn’t even realize it was a web series at first. :)
I think it really capitalizes on the video/channel/playlist format, and it’s soooo good once you get the hang of it. It’s about 50 short videos in, and it’s quite nice.
In the book world, I am in the middle of several books, but I started reading Bryan K. Vaughan’s Saga, because I kept seeing it everywhere. It’s a beautiful story of an unlikely couple caught in the middle of a war between their species. It reminds me a little bit of Firefly, and I’ve always appreciated Vaughan’s humor, though I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. Anyway, Saga is still in progress, so while waiting for the next volume to come out, I busied myself with another BKV story, Y: The Last Man.
I’ve been hearing about Y: The Last Man for so many years, I don’t even know why it took me this long to delve into it. It’s about Yorick Brown, the last man on earth, inexplicably immune to the disease that wiped out the entire planet’s male population. I like the speculative aspect of it, but I ultimately was left dissatisfied by how it ended. I think I’ll be writing a full review on this series soon, so maybe check back for that?
I am still in the middle of Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss, which I’ve slowly but surely been losing interest in. It’s a little frustrating because her story is very unique… and not totally applicable to “girlbosses,” in my mind anyway. But I’ll keep reading it until it’s done because it’s easy enough to read anyway, and it may surprise me. I hope anyway.
GREEN CURRY, PLEASE. At some point in the last few weeks, I’d been consuming this for most of my meals… for three days. But that’s because I had leftovers. I actually have the green curry paste and am planning to make a vegetarian version soon. YAY, WISH ME LUCK.
Just a quick post about the recent awarding of the Ateneo Art Awards, which was held on the 14th. :) My brother, Luis, was one of the people shortlisted for the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art for his exhibit, Nocturne (which I posted about here). I think you can still see the works on display at Shangri-la’s East Wing lobby, aka the new wing, just until today. They’ll be up at the Ateneo Art Gallery from September 8 to October 15, in case you can’t make it today and would like to see the exhibits that were nominated. This is part of my brother’s exhibit:
Congratulations to the winners Leslie de Chavez, Charles Buenconsejo, and Jeona Zoleta! I don’t have a lot of photos because… well, can you see where I was standing? Hehe. Congratulations as well to the winner of the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism, Carlo Daona.
Prior to the awarding, my folks and I (sans the brother) checked out this new (ish?) cafe called Poetry & Prose Patiserie. It’s a pretty cute place with lit-themed decoration and a really clean and focused aesthetic. Not my cup of tea (get it?) but I can appreciate the thought and effort behind it.
My sister and I went for the salted caramel profiteroles, because I always go for the ‘salted caramel’ option and splitting a dish with my sister almost always means that I eat 80% of it. I got a cappuccino, which is my safe coffee drink when I go to a new place that doesn’t serve flat whites.