Monthly Archives: May 2013

My Ateneo Art Gallery Art Students

I love the artworks made by my kids! I am extremely proud of my students. I can’t believe summer is almost over… 馃槮 We set up their exhibit today and finished painting the murals. Tomorrow we are going to present their works to their parents. So exciting! Here are some of the works that will be exhibited at the gallery:


This was made by 7 year old Amanda. The class was only supposed to be for kids from 9-12 years old, but her father insisted that she joined. Good thing we gave in and let her in because she kept up with the older kids and really did a good job! 馃檪


This was made by Audrey. Our activity was to make an alternative portrait of someone with an object that represents his or her (or in this case, its!) personality by using one continuous line. She chose to make a portrait of a fish with a flower. How creative!


These sculptural pieces were made by Mikaela. She didn’t know what to sculpt, so she made little things that she could rearrange and stack to make different sculptures. Wonderful!


This collage was made by Kristian. It’s his commentary on the effects of pop culture/media on kids (and adults) today. He made light of it, but it’s a clear idea of what is going on right now. He’s quite shy and insecure—he didn’t realize he made a good work of art!


This is an unfinished work by Jolly. I really appreciate this one because he’s a boy with a lot of energy, who cannot sit still for five minutes, and yet was able to produce this intricate drawing. I think it’s beautiful even if it’s not painted!


Kian made this sculpture. He wanted to make a fish, then a bird and ended up with a flying fish! 馃檪 Here’s another boy with a bundle of energy who was able to create and finish his work. It’s an adorable piece! He put the fun back in creating! 馃檪


Travis also made an animal sculpture. He made a solid and reliable looking dog. It’s very much like him—he made sure his group mates did their part so they could finish their projects. He’s also intelligent and creative.


Nieves loves to draw animals and mythical creatures. She brought one of them to life by making this dog sculpture. You can tell that she already has a style of her own—her sculpture looks exactly like her drawings! Adorable!


JR, the most serious of the bunch, created this piece by using colored india inks. This was inspired by one of Fernando Z贸bel’s works from his Saeta series. We listened to one Saeta song and he made this. He has great skills and has a good command of art materials for such a young boy. The Force is strong with this one. ;o)


And last, but not the least, is Renzo. This is his interpretation of the Saeta we listened to. He likes to work under the radar—but his works will catch your attention. You can see that there is thought behind what he does.

And there you have it: my first batch of students from the Ateneo Art Gallery Summer Art Workshop. My students really did a fantastic job! I’m going to miss them. I hope this workshop gave them a jolt of energy that they need for the incoming school year. Keep on creating, kids! 馃檪

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Third cat


I’m getting my third cat on Sunday. A friend is leaving the country and cannot take her rescue cat with her. She’s been searching for a forever home for her, but there have been no takers so far. She has no choice but to put her out on the streets if no one takes her. I don’t want that to happen so I’ve volunteered to foster and look or another home for her.

I am declaring to the world that I am only fostering this cat, but I know that it would be next to impossible for me to find her another home. So, like I said, I’m getting my third cat.

To be completely honest, I am quite apprehensive about this adoption. Twister and Wednesday get along fine… I don’t want to rock the boat by introducing another cat into the mix. Jello, who is turning 2 in October, is not used to seeing other cats. Twister, who’s 2, was an only cat for about a year until I got Wednesday (who was from a cattery and was used to playing with other kittens). I did the proper protocols for introducing cats–put them in separate rooms, let them get used to each other’s scents, and then let them see each other. It took about 2 weeks, but it went smoothly than expected. I was stressed, though, because I felt bad for both of them. Wednesday just wanted to play and didn’t know why she was all alone all of a sudden, while Twister, Mr. Lion King, didn’t want her around. I’d like to think that Wednesday won him over in the end. She’s so easy-going and friendly—I guess he couldn’t resist!

Now a third one. How would the two react? Would it change their relationship? I can’t put them in separate rooms anymore (long story) so I might keep Jello hidden in my room for a couple of hours, open the door and let things happen naturally. I’ve read in several sites that this is an acceptable way of making introductions as well. Keeping them apart for a long time might do more harm than good. It might stress them out more if they don’t see the new guy right away.

What do you think?

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On making mistakes


My summer art classes at the Ateneo Art Gallery are about to end next week and I can’t help but look back on the times that I’ve spent with the kids. They entered my class—ten children ages 7 to 11 years old—eager to learn, full of curiosity and excitement, but were also apprehensive about being in a new environment. We were not in a classroom, but an art gallery, surrounded by artworks made by people decades ago. They had new classmates from different schools. Everything was new and after the first activity, they knew that this was not like any of their previous art classes.

From the beginning I encouraged all my students to make mistakes. I probably drove them mad because—coming from very traditional schools—they wanted to excel and get things right right away. “Teacher, is this correct?”, they kept asking me. They were so worried about getting things “right” that they forgot to have fun. There is no “right” or “wrong” in art—you just have to do it and enjoy the ride.


I also push my students to explore and expand their creativity. Yes, they learned techniques like which pencil to use for what, how to mix their colors, and how to make sure two pieces of clay will stick together, but I focused more on how they could use these tools, turn them upside down, and create something new. Again, they asked me, “Teacher, is this correct?”, their fear of the unknown getting to them. And since they couldn’t control the outcome, they wanted to just stop or settle, but by helping them shift their focus from the “perfect” output or product to experimenting (which equals to making possible mistakes) and enjoying the process, comments like “I give up!” and “That’s okay enough.” slowly disappeared.

Yesterday they started working on their murals. They divided themselves into 2 groups—the girls (with one boy), who didn’t want to get their hands dirty at the beginning of this summer art workshop, faced their wall filled it with random symbols and words, and splashed it with colors. One girl had paint on her hair and just giggled while working. The boys—who were always rowdy and hyperactive—created a plan for their mural and silently worked on the details of their illustrations.

I’d like to think that they were able to learn a lot from this workshop; not just the technical things, like what is additive and subtractive sculpture, or knowing the names of the works in the gallery’s collection, but also about working through their fears and being less critical of themselves (which is sad to see in children at that age!). I hope that after this class ends they will continue to experiment, to face blank pages and walls with gusto, and, when creating, to learn how to jump without worrying if there is a safety net or not to catch them.


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Neko Font! :)

Cheap thrills, I know, but I love this site because it makes these for you:



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Creating again

While the other Filipinos were at the polls, I was busy painting again. Yes, it’s not a good excuse to skip on my civic duty as a citizen (I have no excuse–I forgot to register), but at least I made the most of my day. I been floating again and needed this to get my groove back.

I scanned and printed Chelsea College of Arts and Design’s catalog from 6 or 7 years ago, drew a grid on Gavin Turk’s photo, drew a distorted one on my canvas, which resulted in a not-so-exact copy of Turk’s portrait, then I started painting. I haven’t done this in a while, to create something just because I felt like it. I am usually trying to create something for a project or for my classes. It feels different when you do something for no reason at all; it’s very liberating! 馃檪 I’m still not done with it and I have no idea where this is going. It’s exactly where I want to be, though–with a paint brush in hand without a plan. Just JUMP!!! 馃檪

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I was having lunch with my family at a restaurant in Makati yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day and a mall employee entered and started handing out gifts to all the moms in the place. I got one. Sigh. Guess I look like a mom! Oh well, it’s sort of true anyways. I AM a mother to my two furbabies and the strays that hang out outside my building. 馃檪


Happy Mother’s Day to you, Motheroo!


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It’s another Caturday… Twister looks like he’s about to sneeze. 馃檪 Actually, he was sleepy but wanted to play and was begging for food at the same time. ;o) Now that’s multi-tasking, feline style! 馃檪


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Instant Actress

Last Sunday I experienced a first: I became a “talent” on a film! Okay, I’m lying; I’ve been an extra before. I was the translator for “The C贸nsul of Sodom” when they filmed here in Manila back in 2009 and they cast me as a tobacco factory worker. I don’t think I was even seen on screen so that doesn’t count. Hahaha.

Anyway, “Extra” is not the right term to use for me this time around; it’s “actor” since I was given some lines to speak. EEEEEEP! 聽For a self-conscious antisocial with stage fright, it ranks high on my list of nerve-wracking-things-I’ve-done-in-my-life-so-far. All those people staring at you… and the camera! I will probably appear on film for a total of 3 minutes, no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was a big step for me. I am definitely keeping my day job as an artist/art teacher/graphic designer/Spanish teacher/translator. ;o)

Thanks Nathaniel for the pictures, Marya and Jessica for the company, and Director Leo for the opportunity to be immortalized on film! 馃檪 Wheeeeehoooo!

“Instant Mommy” stars Eugene Domingo. It is part of Cinemalaya 2013 and will run from July 26-August 4, 2013 at the CCP, Greenbelt 3, and Trinoma.


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It’s been forever since my last entry. Forgive me, my dear blog. 馃檪

The top two artworks were painted by Fernando Z贸bel, a Spanish-Filipino modernist painter. They were inspired by “Saetas”, a series of religious songs sung a capella during Holy Week in Spain. Z贸bel used a syringe to paint the precise lines in his artworks. My students listened to a couple of Saetas (they hated it! Too scary!) and produced the bottom two paintings. They used ink droppers and india ink to paint their works on poster paper.

Z贸bel’s paintings “Saeta no. 36” and “Saeta no. 42” are part of the permanent collection of the Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines.

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