Philippine Pet Birth Control Center Foundation

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Did you know that an intact (un-spayed) female kitten can get pregnant up to three times per year? Each pregnancy could produce a litter of two to eight kitties. This means that just one female cat can produce between six and 24 kittens in a single year. Most of these kittens will be dumped or killed. Those who survive in the streets will reproduce when they hit puberty (at 5 or 6 months old)  and the cycle begins anew. 

The solution to this problem is for responsible pet owners to spay or neuter their cats. And to curb population growth in your area, do a TNR project: Trap, Neuter, Return. With your donation, you can help the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center Foundation do just that. Please click on the link below and help. 

https://www.youcaring.com/philippinepetbirthcontrolcenterfoundation-802773

Please check out their FB page for more details about their program.

Every bit counts! Let’s do this!  đŸ™‚ 

Thank you! 

#kaponangsolution #spayandneuter

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Horror Vacui

How would you feel about inhabiting the empty spaces in your life? 

I am far from being religious, but the Jesuits have a soft spot in my heart. And this, this speaks to me. 

I struggled with Horror Vacui in 2016 and I have been wanting to face this issue head-on this year. There’s just too much running around, too much fire and air, too much static, to many to-do lists. I need my quiet time, to inhabit my empty spaces again to find my voice, to just be
http://pinsoflight.net/2017/04/16/horror-vacui/

Happy Easter, friends. 

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Quicksand


It seems easy enough to escape Quicksand. You just need to keep your cool, stay in the present, make room for yourself, float, and stand when you are able to do it on your own. You can’t expect people to pull you out of it because they can’t and they shouldn’t. It’s something that you have to do and figure out on your own.

I have never seen quicksand and, being a hermit that I am, I don’t know if I ever will. But it’s good to know; there is a life lesson here. I feel like I have been roosting in some form of bog of my own for a long time now. I have been living in a void that I have kneaded and fed, helped expand, and have allowed to swallow me whole. And, much like what they said about trying to escape quicksand, the more I struggle, the more viscous and constricting it gets.

I’ve been getting it all wrong, I think. I haven’t been making time to do things that spark delight in me. I have been too focused on struggling to survive, to make a living, that I have let my eyes wander off away from the prize. I have been settling for things when I should have settled within myself and listened to Steph. Is this really how I want to be for the rest of my existence? I need to find time again to do things that give me true joy; things that would give me room to expand and help me rise again. And, yes, I shouldn’t be afraid to lose my shoes or any other thing along the way. They are just objects, nothing of consequence. Life should not be about survival, but more about being alive.

I have lost my way and getting stuck in this quagmire was probably the best thing that could have happen to me. If you walk around without looking or without purpose or without being present, you are never going to get anywhere and, perhaps, you’ll never even know that you have been going around in circles, in a daze. Running on empty and on autopilot can only sustain you for some time. I should be grateful be in this sticky situation instead of wandering around aimlessly.

It will take some time to get out of this murky sinkhole, I know. Patience is crucial. It is quite daunting, to be honest, to try to get away from this. But maybe it would not be as overwhelming if I think less of it as a “escaping” and more of break, an opportunity to rest and just be. I’ve alway asked the world to stop from spinning so I could get off. Well, here it is. The goal is to trust enough so that I could float and stand on my feet again. I hope I don’t have to break my back like that cartoon guy did, but I am willing to roll on the ground and crawl if I have to. Then maybe if I let go–maybe, just maybe–I won’t just find solid ground to walk on, but be it would be strong enough for me to run on, lift off, and fly again.

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One Week

First picture of you

You came into my life with a bang. It was New Year’s Eve, just hours away from 2014. I was running late, on my way out, and the fireworks had already started. You ran into the driveway and hid under the car. You had a gash on your left flank. You were too scared to come out, so I took one of my carriers and left it out for you. I left a bowl of water and some kibble inside and left.

The following morning you were still there. You let me tend to your wound. No coaxing, no questions asked. You acted as if we had known each other for a long time and it was normal for me to clean you. You knew that you had found your human, didn’t you?

I already had 4 cats at that time. I had my two sets of tabbies and inky black fur kids: boy tabby, black girl, black boy, girl tabby. So even, symetrical, orderly. I didn’t want a fifth and a white one at that. You were so scrawny and generic looking; I called you gato—a cat in Spanish—because I wanted you to stay anonymous and separate from me and my clowder.

But life never turns out exactly the way we plan it sometimes. You stayed, the neighbors started feeding you too, and they started to call you siopao (a pork bun) because you began to get, well, fluffy. I resisted and insisted that you remain just another gato.

But you were hard to ignore. You would run and hop like a bunny every single time I would return home. It didn’t matter if it was at 1 in the afternoon or at 3AM. You were always there to meet me at the gate and walk me to my door. For a street cat you were well mannered and patient. You never had a hissy fit and you were incredibly light and full of joy. I would play with you in the afternoon and you would leave me “presents,” beautifully arranged remains of your prey, at night. It was funny that you would leave a bloody mess in the area in front of that cranky, old lady’s apartment and then offer spotlessly clean gifts on my doormat.

The first time I had to take you into the house was during one of the biggest storms that hit the country, Yolanda. Again, you didn’t complain. I locked you in the downstairs bathroom with some food and water and a makeshift bed. The other cats were already familiar with your scent since you were always hanging out by the window. Slowly but surely you were becoming part of our family. You were now Gato.

And then I decided to move. I was left with the dilemma of leaving you behind or to take you with us knowing that that I would be exposing you to 4 FeLV+ cats. But, it was an easy decision to make, actually. By then I could not bear to part with you, my Gatito. Maybe it was a selfish move on my part, but I could not abandon you.

So the generic gato became El Señor Don Gato, the Condo Cat.

There are so many pictures to share, so many stories to tell, but they will never be enough to describe how beautiful a soul you were. MuchĂ­simas gracias for picking me to be your human. I must have done something good to deserve such a loving and giving fur child. You’ve sat with me through migraine and vertigo attacks, bouts of chronic fatigue, and dark days. I never knew that a tiny creature could do so much and leave such a huge void in my heart. Thank you for the endless purrs, Gato. I wish I could have given you more in return.

Buenas noches, dulces sueños, mi alma. Tu viaje ha terminado. Cierra los ojos y descansa en paz, mi Gatito. Adiós por ahora, amor mío. Cuanto te quiero.



El Señor Don Gato (31 December 2013 – 29 March 2017)

Last picture of us

 

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rePORTS at 98B

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“rePORTS is a mode under the “TALKS” program of 98B. It features local artist presentations of their trips, residencies or conferences outside of the country. It aims to provide a platform where artists who have gone overseas can impart to the local art community the process they went through before, during and after these trips, and more significantly, their experiences and learnings.”

Reposting from 98B’s FB page. See you on Saturday! 

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Lord of (the F)lies

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.” (Lord of the Flies)

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Another year older

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I spent my birthday in Escolta surrounded by worn out spaces from a bygone era that whisper their stories through the chipped walls, fading paint, and the layers of dust that embrace forgotten belongings. The nicks and cracks alone can make even the most prosaic of men to wax nostalgic, but there is no room there for sentimentality. A decrepit shop window surprises you with an intriguing art installation, while the former site of a department store is now the home to a bustling community of artisans and creative entrepreneurs. The elegant architecture remains—albeit weathered and worn—but it is now charged with youthful, colorful, contemporary energy that makes you look forward to the future, that makes you excited to see what’s next for this place.

It was not a bad way to spend my birthday. It gently reminded me that everything old can be made new again, that change is constant but old things need not be discarded. It made me remember my favorite line from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: ‘Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit. ‘Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.’ Not a bad day at all.

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Art Class: art journal

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Start keeping a creative journal now! Contact me if you want to learn how to do observational drawings and basic watercolor & collage techniques. Email: teacherstephp@gmail.com or text 09167676574. #artclass #Manila #drawing #painting #watercolor #journal #Sketchbook

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The 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination

Logo_2016LBMP

 

I have been busy for the last couple of months working on this project with my fellow visual artist, Josephine Turalba. The 2016LBMP is an artist-initiated event comprised of a series of exhibitions, performances, symposiums, and workshop that will take place in several locations in Manila, Philippines on 14-18 September 2016 and participated by approximately 80 Filipino and 20 international artists.

The 2016LBMP is an extension of the 2016 London Biennale. It was founded in 1998 by world renowned Filipino artist David Medalla, who is currently short-listed for the Hepworth Prize for Contemporary British Sculpture 2016, and Adam Nankervis, inter-nation coordinator of the biennale. Since then, it has seeded artist-initiated hubs worldwide. There will be various exhibitions and live events in different venues in Rome throughout the month of May 2016, as well as in London, England in June, and other pollinations in places, such as Las Vegas and Paris.

LB David Medalla

 

The 2016LBMP is also a satellite space for interactions with other cultures and plays host to a video exchange program with the Transart Triennale in Berlin this August 2016.

The 2016 London Biennale MANILA Pollination kicks off in Escolta. It will be hosted by 98B COLLABoratory (98B) in cooperation with its immediate community in Escolta. Day 2 will be at the Metropolitan Theater, Padre Burgos Avenue corner Arroceros Street, Manila. An exhibition of installations will be curated by Tin-Aw Gallery.  The last day will be at the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas (Folk Arts Theatre), CCP Complex, with activities hosted by the Philippine Association of Printmakers (PAP).

Please check out our Facebook page and Instagram account for updates.

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On losing my voice

From September 2006. Almost didn’t recognize myself.

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Child of Saturn

Something clicked into place inside me. I awoke with a start, jumped out of bed as the sun rose, and started cleaning my room. I threw open all the windows, scrubbed the floorboards, dusted my bookshelves, and changed the sheets. I rearranged the furniture with Herculean determination; I would have torn down walls and transplanted my room to a sunnier spot had I not realized that I was only renting a room and did not own the place. General cleaning was in order.

This could be the effect of the Full Moon or it could be that I just got tired of being tired. I spent the whole day yesterday in bed, nursing a colossal hangover. I didn’t really drink that much; with two bottles of beer and a sip of cheap red wine, I willed myself into drunkenness. I was desperate for a reprieve from that barren child who had been spending endless hours splayed on the floor, defeated, reeking with suffocating saturnine malaise and dripping with melancholy.

I was only able to slip away from her tight grip for a couple of hours. When I opened my eyes she was roosting on my chest, scratching the lint on my shirt with muddied claws, staring at the black moth that somehow got into my room. I wonder if she would let it escape. Too exhausted to move, I allowed myself to be swallowed by darkness. An hour later and I was up. She had moved to a corner, her scraggly head resting on a pile of dirty clothes. The moth was gone.

I rummaged through the fridge for nourishment. I opened a bag of fresh greens. My body was screaming for meat, but I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I finished half a gallon of water hoping that would flush down the toxins and cobwebs from my system. There was still no running water (it was the third day; the manager of the building said it would be back by tomorrow) and the electricity was low. I could turn on the fan but not the lights, the telly but not the computer. Frustrated, I return to my room. MĂ©lancolie, as I now start calling her, coaxed me to return to bed. With nothing to do, I gave in. Sleep took over instantly.

It was dark outside when I woke up. The lights were still not working; I turn on the TV. Not even the Sports News could rouse an emotion from me. Spain lost to Northern Ireland? I turn my head the other way and face the wretched creature that has been siphoning my energy. I study her face with indifference—her slithery hair shining in half light, weathered skin that was both greasy and parched, pudgy and taut, her eyes drowning in darkened sockets. She was not malevolent in any way, I realized. She was just devoid of everything; a useless lump of mass occupying space for no reason at all.

I began talking to her, asking her questions. She remained in her wraith-like state, more interested in flicking specks of dirt from her nails than speaking to me. I poked, I prodded. WHY ARE YOU HERE?!? Her apathy enraged me. I started pulling her at her yellow-stained sleeves. I pushed her off the bed. I grabbed her neck and threw her against the night table. WHY? WHY? WHY? Not a screech, a whimper, a moan. WILL YOU EVER LET ME GO? My head started to throb. I wanted to kill.

I stepped back and started to weep. The scream that was thrashing inside my lungs for days was no longer silent. Primordial anger, hate, sorrow, pride, guilt, and wrath pulsated within my shell, erupting from my chest, tearing down the stone cold moor around my heart. I am sorry. I was wrong.

I sat in front of her; I am shivering. She doesn’t ask for comfort or care; I offer her none. I reached for the nearest trinket on the table, a half-eaten chocolate bar, and left it beside her. I bid her goodnight.

Something clicked into place within me this morning. She is gone. Saturn’s child will be back someday. In the meantime I am alone again. I am free to open the windows and air out my soul.

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