Often, things feel like one big blur to me and everything just becomes a vague compound of emotions and memories, save for a handful of stark and special instances and experiences. That’s partly why it’s helpful, keeping a blog. Many times I get swept away by the want of more hits that the pressure to create “good content” becomes paralyzing, resulting in no content at all. But then, I remember that I do this for myself anyway, and anybody can choose to read it or not read it. And then the mysterious weight is lifted and I can post freely again.
(Of course, there is still some semblance of censorship, which is something that I want to get rid of especially when I see how I used to post with no cares in the world. So, I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to work on that.)
Anyway. 2012 was an interesting year. It started off quite busy for me and I got to focus on more of my art-related pursuits early on. I got sidetracked by big-ish design projects and I was plagued by the thought of being stuck in a rut… which made me feel like 2012 was a colossal waste. I hate being proven wrong, but in this case, I was glad for proof of the opposite of waste.
In January, I dreamt that I wanted to be a Hobbit when I went to Mayoyao, Ifugao, and lived in the mountains for three days. You can read more about Mayoyao by clicking here. Truthfully, you haven’t really lived until you watch a sunrise from a great height.
Photo by Gracie
I went to my first music festival, Laneway’s Singapore leg (post here). We got to see Toro y Moi for a second time when he took a side trip to Manila. I took photos for Restless Cities, but truthfully, they are not very good. (Sorry, Zet!)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart stopped by Manila, too. Here are some of the pictures I took. I don’t know why I suddenly feel very, very inadequate when it comes to taking pictures. Is it a “stuck-ness” in a certain style or have I been awful at it lately? Someone posted a comment on here about how my pictures were boring (something off about the composition) and as much as I’d want to ignore it… well, I can’t say that it didn’t make me feel bad. Anyway. That’s not important.
What’s important is initiative, and in February, I launched my online portfolio. Finally.
Also in February: I met Vincent Moon, and he said the most wonderful things. Sometimes I think about how pedestrian my life is… and I feel bad because I think I’m coasting and not “living,” but I’m really generally okay with how my life has been going.
Dreams came true in March and we got to see Death Cab for Cutie, live (post here). Sarie and I thought we were crazy to camp out at 1:30 in the afternoon, but a handful of people were already there! You must understand: this is a high school dream come true. Never, in a billion years, did I think that they would find their way here, but they did and it was marvelous.
There was also a screenwriting workshop conducted by Aaron Rashaan Thomas, who was on the writing staff of Friday Night Lights (post here).
April kicked off with a trip to Bellarocca, which is a privately-owned island turned resort (I think?) that reminded us of Battle Royale. It was a glorious three days and it made me wish that I lived nearer water. I snorkeled for the first time, too:
There was an exhibit organized by Young Star, in which a photographer collaborated with an artist to make a Philippine-centric work of art. Here’s me with the lovely Hannah Reyes and our finished piece! :) Bonus: Ours won a sort of Sponsor’s Choice award. Post here.
In May, I got to experience an international art fair! My family flew to Hong Kong for Art HK and I got to see tons of great art. It was pretty cool. Tiring, but pretty cool. (Instagram photos here, because I haven’t gotten around to posting the real pictures. Oops.)
What made it extra special for me was that a few pieces of mine were up on the walls of Lightbombs Contemporary for Art East Island, a bunch of exhibits that were showing in another part of the country.
I was also part of two group shows that opened on the same night, May 26th! They were at Manila Contemporary (Through the Looking Glass) and Pablo Fort (Hairy Things). (photos here)
My second solo show opened on June 23 at Blanc Peninsula Manila. It was exhilarating, scary, but right up there at the tippy-top of the the Fulfillment Scale. The exhibit was also featured on Lost at E Minor.
This month, I also started teaching Illustration at Ateneo.
July was a slow month, but it was the first time I got shot by Everywhere We Shoot, so that’s a milestone!
Wild horses, or in this case a super storm, couldn’t drag me away from the Smashing Pumpkins show. It was phenomenal and I can’t believe I was set on not going. Thank you, Sarie, for bringing me along.
September was a month of magic for me. My parents kindly took us with them on a trip to Europe. We toured eight cities (?)—France, Munich, Rome, Florence, Venice, Amsterdam, Brussels, London—in about thirty days. It was one of the most tiring experiences ever, but I can hardly even remember my creaky bones and aching feet because it’s just so wonderful to be filled with wonder. That trip was really, truly unlike any other. Every time I look at pictures, I just wish I was back there.
There was no shortage of beauty. Everywhere I looked, I just wish I could own a picture of it.
For your convenience, if interested, a collection of links of my Europe posts. Warning: They are all picture-heavy:
- A hellacious twelve-hour wait in St. Pancras Station & our first day in Paris — Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Jardins des Tuilieres
- Musée du Louvre — Duh.
- Notre Dame Cathedral & the Sacred Heart Basilica
- Porte de Vanves — a flea market Sunday
- Centre Georges Pompidou — a museum of modern art
- The Eiffel Tower & Seine River
- Montmartre! — in which I forced my family to track down Café de 2 Moulins, aka Amelie’s place of employment.
- Château de Versailles, Musée d’Orsay
- Dachau Memorial Site — the first concentration camp; Munich
- Schloss Nymphenburg — a castle and some gardens
- Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
- Roman Colosseo
- Walking around Rome
- St. Peter’s Basilica — perfect example of how rich the Catholic church is/was
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- First day in Florence
- Florence at sunrise
- Random Florence scenery
- A Venetian Sunset
- Piazza San Marco
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- Random Venice scenery
- Amsterdam, aka my new favorite place.
- Train rides & Stations
- Belgium on Film — a day trip to Brussels
I’m still not done uploading, but before I forget, we also got to watch Radiohead:
In Preview’s October issue, I was part of their Creative It List for 2012. What an honor! Thanks to whoever made it possible and who threw my name around in the mix and the people who thought I was worthy of something like that. <3
And another proud moment, when I got to write about television in the Entertainment issue of Rogue:
In late October, I also launched Softly Sometimes, my beauty blog. I’ve been working really hard at it because I have fallen weirdly in love with cosmetics. Recently (as in tonight haha), Reggie wrote some really kind words about it on her Tumblr. :)
November was fairly uneventful. I was either gathering my strength to finish things or falling back into “vacation mode,” annoying everybody on sight.
Young Star “graduating” feature, even though I’ve never actually been featured. I pointed this out to Raymond, who seemed to think that they feature me all the time. I actually just write a lot for them, and this was my first YS feature, but I’m obviously happy to be a part of it. :)
We got a new dog, Noah, and as of today, we are all in love with his underbite and naughty ways.
We also launched The Manila Review. It was one of the funnest events I’d ever been to. I mean, if I do say so myself.
And in the form of tiny squares, here is the condensed year according to my Instagram, in two parts:
I didn’t think so at first, because December was such a disappointing month in terms of personal productivity, but I like being able to see how much I’ve changed (and improved?) over the last 365 days. I realized that I really stopped trying to take note of things and that I wish I was more present. Which brings me to my sole resolution-but-really-motto-for-the-year, which is: Pay attention.