Love at first bite

I am in love with a vampire. Yes a vampire. He's Damon Salvatore. But in real life, he is Ian Somerhalder. He's the hottest thing on earth and he's the guy I'd die for (well aside from my future husband. hehe).

I thought seeing him in person will just be a forever dream but NO! I had the chance to see him during his public appearance at SM Mall of Asia. Take note, not just see ha? HE KISSED AND HUGGED ME TWICE! How did it happen? Four girls won a photo opt with him through twitter and I was one of those girls.  Thanks to Penshoppe and my other advocacy group (ISF Philippines)!

Ian Somerhalder about to hug and kiss me on stage! I look so excited here! LOL
(Credits to the owner of the pic)

I am very SORRY girls, I have to crop you in the pic. I want to savor my moment with Ian. hihihi. Forgive me please.

with the hottest guy I've eve seen!!!
(credits to the owner of the pic)

why sooooo handsome? :(( I faint now.
Photo courtesy of Penshoppe

It was the wildest and most surreal moment of my life! I am the luckiest girl alive!!!! *woooh I'm screaming my heart out!!!!* I don't care if I look desperate here as long as I know I am very happy. :))) Can I just say? I LOVE YOU IAN SOMERHALDER! Nina Dobrev is so lucky to have Ian. huhuhu I AM SO JEALOUS! :( Kbye!


Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Happy 4th Birthday to the sweetest and prettiest little girl in the whole world - Julia Gimena! I miss her so much! It's so sad that we are miles apart. She's in South Carolina while I'm here in the Philippines. No worries, I know I'll see her soon. :) I love you sweet girl :)

soooo cutiiieeee patootieeee here!

We're both pretty right? Please say yes? :))


Happy Birthday Twins!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite twins -Andre and Andrew Medrano!!!

It seemed just a while ago that they were toddlers and I was playing and fighting with them. Now, they're grown-ups already. As their big sister, it saddens me in a way. We're not getting any younger.

Since I am an only child, I treat my cousins as my siblings. I love you Andre and Andrew! If only I could teleport or fly immediately to California just to hug and kiss you, I'd do it.

Andrew and Andre

my very cute and handsome cousins :))


Travel Weekend: Anawangin, Capones, Camara

At last! After how many attempts of going for an out of town trip, this year's plan materialized!

My friends and I wanted to hit the beach before summer ends and so we ended up going to San Antonio, Zambales. We visited three islands.

1. Anawangin Cove

Our first day was at Anawangin Cove. We spent our first day there and stayed overnight. There was no electricity so our peg was like the Survivor reality show.


Photo by Yam Macalino

10 in the group. Photo by Yam Macalino

Around 3pm, we trekked the mountainous area of Anawangin.

Go Nikki and Yam! You can do it!

Here's the view from the top

Complete group picture! Thanks to Yam's tripod. 

The trek was tiring yet rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling you get once you see the lovely view from the top.

When the sun set, we set up a bonfire. I have a confession: it was my first ever camping experience! :)))

Photo by Yam Macalino
2. Capones Island

Day 2 of trekking!

From L-R: bahm, thon, tabs, nhx, yan, justine, aaron, yam, ervin, yhow
3. Camara Island

My most favorite place among the three..

Though our outing was short and we encountered some misadventures, it was a fun trip after all. :)


Going through Strange Stations: Playing with our senses

Going through Maria Taniguchi’s Echo Studies at the Vargas Museum is like going through an amazing race or mystery game, minus the time pressure.  Instead, each “station” demands unhurried reflection, the better to absorb and appreciate the various strains and echoes each piece conveys.  Done in various media, I tended to assign a work to each station, according to its medium: Station 1-acrylic on canvas; station 2 – graphite on paper and plinth; station 3 – video installation and station 4 – photograph.
Also, each station plays with our senses through the visual, aural and tactile qualities of Taniguchi’s works.

First Station: Acrylic on canvas and Shapes
Image from: http://manilaartblogger.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/maria-untitled-mirrors.jpg?w=225&h=300

                Untitled (Mirrors) is the name of two large-scale geometric abstract paintings propped, rather than “properly” hung on the walls, looking as if they do not belong to the show. At first, it seemed strange, but on second look, they reminded me of ordinary mirrors leaning on ordinary household walls. Familiar objects like mirrors are made strange, especially when we look at how the shapes convey positive and negative spaces- “formed when a space around a subject and not the subject itself reveals shapes or other forms”[1],  as seen in the brick-like designs that were combined to form another pattern or geometric shape. Put another way, horizontal brick-like shapes served as the background or positive space while vertical brick-like shapes constituted the negative space to form different geometric shapes.
                The formation of the brick-like designs and the use of negative spaces give the paintings their unique visual quality wherein it plays with our sense of sight by giving us an optical illusion and perplexity towards which shape should be first distinguished by our vision.
                The pattern of negative/positive spaces is going to be echoed in another group of works in what I call the second station.
Second Station: Graphite and Shapes

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/legrandbleu/5580007014/

                Graphite drawings on Papers are mounted on unpolished wood plinths. The smudging of graphite operated as the positive space then forming a white spot which resulted like circle, oblong, square and rectangles – echoing the wall-bound paintings.
                I was thinking how that piece of art work became connected to mirrors? It looks like the shapes in the canvas were pulled out in the larger mirrors (referring to the painting) and were applied on the paper. Then the blocks of wood served as the fragments of the big canvas.
Here, aside from our sense of sight, another part of our senses (sense of touch) is played and challenged.    The drawings or sketches on the paper were finely and smoothly sketched but the background where it is mounted (wood plinths) is coarse and abrasive.
                Standing on this clue/art work, it directs us to an opening which leads us to the West Wing Gallery of Vargas Museum.

Third Station: Audiovisual

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/legrandbleu/5580018866/

                Dawn’s Arms, a 22-minute two-channel (11 minutes per channel) high-definition video shows how a craftsman from Romblon, the Philippines’ marble capital, recreated a marble sculpture of Dawn’s Arms in detail. The video installation creates an “echo” not just on the place but on the processes and materials that comprise it. The installation echoes back to a piece of sculpture Alba (Dawn) by George Kolbe exhibited for the German Pavilion built by modernist architect Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona Exposition. Taniguchi noted that “the pavilion is ground zero for a particular modernist agenda”[2]. The venue where the Dawn’s Arms is exhibited (The Vargas Museum) is a modern museum. . In the material used, marble echoes back to the Greek times wherein marble became the main material used in sculpture and reverberates in Vargas Museum’s faux marble.
This third station plays with both our visual and aural sense. At first, the video installation had an interesting appeal to me. The first time I saw it, I thought the sound comes outside the museum. It seemed that there were real workers doing the job. It took me some minutes to realize that the video itself is the source of the sound. In this case, there is interplay between a sound coming from the outside and the sound coming from the video. Aside from the sound, our sense of sight is teased with the way the video installation was placed in the museum. The videographer diverts the direction of the camera from the sculptural process then towards a background of trees and leaves which I saw very relevant and parallel to the background outside the museum. What was outside the museum is similar to what was documented – trees and leaves as the background. This set-up created sensitivity for space and an echoing mood. But as the video goes on, I feel so contained with what I hear. Everything keeps reiterating which caused me a bad headache. The sound suddenly became unpleasant to my ears, good thing the “trees and leaves” effects neutralized that feeling.
                I was also puzzled: why reproduce the arm alone? Second, who gets the credit for this video? The craftsman who crafted the arm or the artist/videographer or the “original” artist, from the original Dawn? Perhaps the artist chose the arm part because of the intricate and challenging work it demands, it is not easy to carve it especially the fingers. In which case, I think both the craftsman and Taniguchi should be given credit.  We just have to set the parameters. The craftsman can be called an artist but he is not the author of the work since the concept of the work came from Taniguchi. He can be labelled as an artist in his own right. For Taniguchi’s part, she may be considered an artist and author of the work because she conceptualized it but we should take note that her idea traces back from the Barcelona Exposition. She just did some alteration in her video installation: to present the arm part. These speculations and questions only go to show that Conceptual art truly complicates the notions of originality, authorship and artistry.

Fourth Station: A Photograph

Image from: http://kiritica.tumblr.com/post/5586773780/the-importance-of-nothing-walking-through-maria

                The photograph positioned against the glass windows and the walls of the museum play again with our sense of sight. This last station is a digital print of what resulted from documented labours of the Romblon sculptor. The photo seems to be 3-dimensional of sculpture’s fragment, especially because of its stark background in the picture frame and the stark background of the Vargas Museum walls.
                After my encounter with the photograph, it still left me puzzled and curious because I was not contented seeing only a part of the sculpture. This is the last part of the exhibit and I was expecting an actual encounter or at least a complete print of the sculpture.
Every station corresponds to a strange space which defamiliarizes our usual notion of what works (i.e. paintings, papers, video and photographs) are and gives us a back-and-forth, roller-coaster emotional and sensual ride. . Every art work in this exhibition is intended and designed for a specific place in the museum which makes Maria Taniguchi’s exhibit a site-specific one. But what is amazing about this exhibit is how Taniguchi intertwined the museum’s capabilities and limitations and the interplay of our senses with and in every work.
 On a final note, it is our choice if we are going to finish or stop this race. If we stop, our questions won’t be answered and we stop acquiring learning but if we pursue, the fragments will be completed and the clues will be concluded. If we do not go through all the stations, it makes no sense. But at the end of the day, there are still questions that will remain unanswered, and fragments that will leave us puzzled.

[1] Vargas Museum Echo Studies Educational Guide
[2] Vargas Museum Education Guide Appendix


Happy Birthday Daddy and Renz!

My birthday shout out to two of my favorite boys!!!!

1. My Daddy Homer (technically he's my uncle, it's a long story why I call him daddy) 

Sometimes he's being too hard and strict to me but I still love him though. I understand he has reasons and it's for my own sake.

When I was a kid, he would always give me what I want and take me anywhere I want to go. [but I'm not a spoiled brat ok? :)] I love my daddy!!!

2. Daddy's son, Renz

There are times that he is annoying me because he's so "malikot" and stubborn. But once he greets me with a smile and says "hi ate yan!" my heart softens then my irritation goes away. :))

Our little superman!!!

Happy Birthday Daddy and Renz!!!!


Happy Birthday Tita Len!

(Note: Starting today, I will officially blog the birthdays of people dear to me. If you see your name or picture here in my blog, it means you are important to me.)

To my tita who also served as my second mom, I wish you nothing but a very awesome birthday! Thank you for being so appreciative and for always telling me that you are proud of me.

Even though you are in California and we are miles apart, you never failed to shower me with your love and support.

Happy happy birthday tita Len! Love you. :)

Photo taken at Subic Ocean Adventure (July 2011)


Cities in Stasis, Barrios in Motion

Hernando R. Ocampo and Cesar Legaspi’s paintings are part of the Vargas Museum collection. The Contrast and Frugal Meal, respectively, are both painted in oil on canvas and are exhibited at the second floor main gallery. Hernando R. Ocampo is a National Artist for Visual Arts in 1991. He was a leading member of the pre-war Thirteen Moderns. Cesar Legaspi is a National Artist for Visual Arts in 1990 and was also part of the Thirteen Moderns. Both are famously known for their triumvirate with Vicente Manansala. These artists are identified as Neorealists, whose themes usually focus on “social inequalities and the oppression of industrial workers, the stark reality of a country in ruins and poverty and dislocation of the masses that the war had wrought.”[1] These socially-relevant themes made the modern artists favour proletarian art over art-for-art’s sake during the post-war period.

The Contrast captures the feeling of heaviness and pain of a slum dweller against the background of a building that looks abandoned.  Ocampo used vivid and warm colors like red, orange and yellow casts the man in a meagre light.   The dim shadow and green hue that frames the man made the scene more depressing and sinister; it conveyed a sense of heaviness. On the other hand, Legaspi’s Frugal Meal used predominant brown tones suggesting softness and comfort.  The earthenware positioned at the background supplemented a rustic and local mood.

Structured by jagged and vertical lines, Ocampo’s painting looked static and inert.. But in Legaspi’s, curves and wavy lines predominate to lend fluidity in movement to the composition. The movement of lines on both paintings also contributes on the composition and placement of the figures.  In The Contrast, the man set in the middle of the painting’s frame makes the space appear narrow and limited, giving  a contained and claustrophobic feeling but in the Frugal Meal, the mood is  expansive, the atmosphere and ambiance  well-ventilated due to  the additional space provided at the background.
The disparity of lines and composition also represent the dichotomy of privileged versus unprivileged. Due to the wavy and curved lines which are evident in the man’s muscular and well-developed body built, Frugal Meal suggests that he is more privileged. This situation is emphasized not just on his body built but also on his clothed body. This is in contrast to the vertical lines placed on the unembellished, unclothed body and lean limbs of the less fortunate man in The Contrast.
Gestures and posture also tell us many things about these men’s social conditions.  In Ocampo’s painting, the way the man is shown in full length, seated (almost cuddling his feet) reminds me of the depressed areas in an urban setting. Images like the squatters as they are portrayed in newspapers and other media come to mind..  Notice also the empty plate which added to a feeling of bareness and misery. His eyes are closed as if he is in agony, and completely alone in his pain.  Legaspi’s painting, in contrast, depicts a more laid back rural setting.. It reminds me of my own life in the province. Here, the man sits differently compared to Ocampo’s painting. He holds his one leg comfortably and it looks as though a peasant or farmer is taking a break from work.  His hands led me to the plate with a food in it, telling me that while the meal is frugal, it is sustainable enough. The way the lines are drawn in his eyes and his facial expression denotes the peacefulness and contentment in his life.
In these works, the contrast between rural and urban settings is expressed through the binary opposition between staticity and fluidity, with the former describing life in a supposedly frenetic city and the latter, describing life in a supposedly laid back rural setting.

[1] Guillermo, Alice G. Asian Modernism. “The History of Modern Art in the Philippines”.


Take me here

Can someone take me here? I would love to stay here forever. I want to always feel inspired.

Source: positivityworks.wordpress.com