Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shepard Fairey

Really, really cool.


My best friend shared this with me a while back.

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never got past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal, and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work." --Unknown

I read this and I was like, so it isn't just me, I'm not alone! Whew! 

But then how long does this phase last? Because I'm still in it! :P

The thing with art and all creative work is that they're largely based on talent; talent, and a good deal of genius. It's either you have it or you don't.

Hard work and practice can get you far. But hard work, practice AND talent can get you there. But you can't rely on talent alone. You also need that spark, that idea, that inspiration, that aha! moment. You need genius. Add genius into the mix and you get straight to the top. 

Unfortunately, genius isn't easy to come by. 

Bravo to those who found it, who have reached it, who own it. :-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Great Finds

Speaking of finding things, I found a ton of new things here and there. I just don't have the time to read and appreciate and explore them right now. So I'll list them down here so I can get back to them later :-)


Super cute idea.

I wish I could paint like her.

I will check this out later.

And I will read this later.

Looking Back

It's been 3 years since I first moved in to Cagayan. (Sheesh! How time flies.) I remember the jumble of emotions I felt at the time. I didn't quite understand what I was feeling. 

The decision to move to my hometown surprised a lot of people, but none were more surprised than me. I have always preferred bustling and fast-paced Manila over convenient and easy-going Cagayan de Oro. After spending my whole life there, it's pretty obvious that I would. Cagayan to me, was only a place to rest. It was a place where we spent the summer and year-end holidays, not a place to stay permanently. 

That was the case until, the February of 2009.

More surprising still was how easy I made that decision. It was as if I was meant to switch homes. 

I was in the middle of a crossroad, then. I was running away from something, and at the same time, in search of something else. I had thought maybe Cagayan held answers. I had hoped that it would offer opportunities, change, or a fresh beginning.

But I sure was unhappy about it. 

I missed my old life terribly. And I hated being the new girl. I had no friends, and I practically had no life.

That was how I came to find this. THIS! 

In those miserable, nothing-to-do moments alone, I discovered a whole new world that I barely knew existed-- a vast and endless community of artists on the internet. 

I would spend hours just browsing through different blogs and websites, admiring them page after page and link after link, clicking away to unveil a multitude of fresh ideas, inspiration, and to-die-for artwork. I just fell in love. And from that moment on, I somehow knew that that was what I wanted. 

I have always wanted to create my own pieces of art, to walk down that career path. I remember thinking, This could be what I have been looking for.

It took a while longer for that realization to really sink in, though. 

Actually, a lot longer.

3 years later, I'm still as lost as I was in the beginning. I still feel like Cagayan is not the place for me, I still miss my old life in Manila, and I'm still no where closer to finding what I was searching for. But I'm no longer miserable. And, I found plenty of new things to be grateful for. 

I found new friends. (And as an incredible bonus, my old friends are still around. It was as if I never left because they came to visit me here often.) I found a new pair of legs (2 pairs actually. And they're not legs, they're wheels!). I found my faith again and became part of a new SGI community. I found new, action-packed experiences as an intensive care nurse. I found 2 godkids. (They're my firsts!) I found a new love. I found what I really loved to do, and I founded my own blog :-))

I'm not done yet. I'm still busy finding things.

I'm still in the middle of crossroads, but I'm moving along. I'll get there, and I'll find my answers. 

One step at a time. :-) 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Today is my grandmother's 8th death anniversary. My dad and I went to the cemetery to pay our respects. We lighted some candles and burned incense as customary. I walked around the small mausoleum my family built for her, and picked up the black-and-white photograph of my Amah in her younger years. As I was looking at it, I thought of how beautiful she must have been back then. She was about 31 in the picture. My dad told me she had just given birth to him at the time (My dad is the 6th and youngest in the family. My grandma gave birth to the eldest at age 18). To me, she looked 3-4 years younger still. She was beautiful. I imagined her skin glowing, her hair dark and full, her cheeks rosy, her lips red, her eyes glinting with the promise of a bright and beautiful life ahead.

On top of her tomb, was a picture of her 30 or so years after. She had just celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary. She still had a head full of dark hair but I knew it had already been dyed. Her skin was wrinkled, her cheeks rosy with rouge, her lips red because of the lipstick she wore. She wore her huge tinted glasses, a string of dainty pearls around her neck, and a big, bright smile. I remember that smile all too well. She would wear that smile as she stood at the porch, welcoming us as we came home for the summer. It was the memory of her I missed the most.

It was a good thing we managed to revive our old childhood videos. The whole family--cousins, aunts, uncles, cousin-in-laws-- watched the videos together last Christmas. Everyone laughed, cheered, and screamed at how funny and young, and fat, and thin we were back in those days. Amah was in 'em, too. Smiling her bright smile, playing with her grandkids, and just being around. As I watched her on TV, it almost felt like she was still around.

And in some ways she still is.

We miss you, Amah. We love you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Drunk with Coffee

I think I might have drank too much coffee.

I felt dizzy and lightheaded. I thought it was because of lack of sleep. I didn't sleep after my night shift because I wanted to paint. And paint I did -- after drinking 2 cups of coffee (labeled EXTRA BOLD) to keep me awake.

But right after I painted this,

..I felt nauseated.

My hands were shaking, I was getting a headache, and a storm was brewing in my stomach. I felt bloated. I felt like there was too much acid in my tummy.

I tried to throw up, but nothing came out. I tried to sleep it off, but with all that caffeine, well, that obviously didn't work.

I felt hungover!

Note to self : Never drink more than one cup of coffee two hours apart or less, especially the EXTRA BOLD ones. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Birthdays, Bonding, and Babies!

Family fun never gets old, especially with a huge family like mine. I look back on these moments and think to myself, how lucky could I be to have such a beautiful family. ;-)