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Monday, February 28, 2011

There truly is a Pinoy in every crevice of the world. While watching the Oscars today, I saw friends tweeting about Philam student producers who worked on the film, "God of Love". It won for Best Live Action Short Film. Congratumalations to Gigi Dement, Stefanie Walmsley and Stephen Dypiangco. This looks like a lovely project to have worked on. Full story on the Inquirer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tricia Gosingtian at New York Fashion Week

I was reading the reactions to Tricia's little, "in the Philippines, it's not that fashion forward" slip.  To start off, I do think she's extremely lucky to have gotten this gig. We should be proud that someone from the Philippines got to be part of Tumblr's influential 20. Though a lot of people are disappointed and even angered at her statement, I'm putting my poker face on. The truth is Tricia Gosingtian is not a Filipina. Her roots are Chinese. She aspires to be Japanese. She looks like she stepped off a Korean fashion catalog (the ones that tag me on Facebook) and she has a Valley Girl accent. Filipinos shouldn't be mad at her for distancing herself from her mainly Filipino fan base. The question to be asked here is why she has such a fan base.

We (admittedly even me to a slight extent) admired as she deliberately and obviously distanced herself from Filipino culture. But then why do we spark an outrage when she accidentally disses the Philippines?

"Like" duh. Poker face. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Over the weekend, me and and a bunch of friends traveled to Puerto Galera to take part of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival. It was spectacular see this unique concert venue situated on top of mountain.  Here I am hitching a ride with wooden lizard which by the way is a work of art. We're riding down to the grassy amphitheater below.
There were a lot of interesting art pieces to be found at the festival. They even constructed a Mangyan Village where artists could sleepover for the night. Billy Bonnevie, a friendly resident artist, would sit down and give you lessons on village life and music. I dig his threads.
I wish I could look as funky wearing something like that. But I do love this sarong dress that I picked up from the market beside our resort. It's a steal of P180 plus it matches my necklace perfectly.
I was there to support one of the organizers, Olivia d'Aboville, who also happens to be an artist. She works with discarded plastics and dramatic lighting to create stunning visual statements. You can tell what these are made off. It was wrapped around a tree and lit in blue. 
Olivia's family set this up to support the Mangyans, comprised of the eight indigenous groups found in Mindoro. They used to inhabit the shores of the island but were driven higher and higher up the mountains to preserve their way of life. Now that development is so widespread, it may just encroach upon them again. So where are they to go? I think some of the art tried to communicate those issues.  
Serious concerns aside, the event was so much fun to be a part of. The nights were breezy, the people were warm, and the vibe was chill.  On the first night, the full moon shone bright like nature's big nighlight. I loved the organic feel of it all. How I could just head over to the Tree Bar and get some drinks, lay there and take in the music, or  jump to my feet and start dancing. 
The only thing that I would suggest they improve on would be the music selection which had too many genres. You'd be feeling the groove of world music but then it'd be followed up by some abstract techno. It kind of killed the buzz for some music lovers. However, I discovered a new band that I liked. Kadangyan. Their sound is has that Filipino island beat but mixed in with modern music. They used indigenous instruments and wore traditional garments. Alavet.
The best trip of the year so far. It really reminded of why I loved going out of town. This is me with my half frown and the "Tibetan" bag from I got from Beijing (A reminder of the need to help our disenfranchised cultures. How apt.) How I wish I could have stayed in that hut for a little while longer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On my previous entry, I proudly showed off my tamburin necklace and it made think about when my fascination with it began.  I got this photo from an encyclopedia. I almost bought a cross with this "tinik" design. Instead, I ended up buying a more traditional "pineapple" tamburin.

The first time I saw a tamburin up close was when I was a Mabuhay guide. The owner of Tesoro's Handicrafts was telling us about the beauty of pinya cloth and other special finds in the Philippines. There she was standing regally, in a simple starched barong blouse accessorized with a beautiful gold tamburin necklace and matching pearl earrings. She looked so chic that the image of her and her necklace stayed with me. It looked kind of like this...
Upon researching, I found out that the gold necklace was no ordinary piece of jewelery. It was an antique that could cost up to P250,000. The way of making it involved techniques that are no longer used because goldsmiths don't know how to replicate it. Thus, I was ecstatic to have found my tamburin at a reasonable price. Though if you look at the photos on my previous entry, it’s quite simple compared to the ones featured here. Also, mine is gold-plated. The best tamburins are made from 100% gold. The more intricate the design, the wealthier the owner.

I’m not sure if I want to believe the saleslady who sold me mine but she said that all tamburins are atleast 100 years old. I wonder who mine belonged to. I love a good story to go with my jewelery and how I wish mine was passed down to me by my grandma. Then she would tell me of how it was passed on to her by a devout mestiza woman who wore it everyday after she was gifted it by a Spanish merchant.

I can dream right?

But I’m just happy I can pass something on to my future grandchildren. With my tamburin, I will tell them the story of how our great ancestors were gold fiends. They used to make everything out of gold: from their pots to their bangles to their chastity protectors.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I haven’t updated my blog in forever. The culprit - a little friendly criticism. A good friend gave an honest assessment of my blog and it opened up a deep cavern of doubt on the direction the blog was taking. So I took time to try and answer questions like, “why do I blog?”,  “what do I want to achieve with this? “, and “what’s my theme?”.  To be honest, I’m not sure. But I realized that I’m content trying to figuring it out. I just love sharing what I find interesting about Filipino culture. This year, I resume blogging on Valentine’s. Because I'm corny and symbolic like that. And I'd like to believe that when you love something, you step up to the plate even if you’re uncertain, because you have faith that you’re leading up to something great.

(That being said, I somehow made it to finalist at the Philippine Blog Awards. Check out the snazzy banner on the right. Despite my blog lacking a recurrent theme, I think that some people enjoyed it. Thanks so much guys. Your encouraging comments mean a lot.)

I’m leaving you all with some photos that I was supposed to post last year. One of my favorite pieces of jewelery is this tambourine necklace which I bought at a shop in Megamall. It’s gold-plated silver and was all the rage for pious women during the Spanish times. I whipped up a matching outfit for it- something to carry it out from antiquity.

Tambourine necklace. A blue reworked vintage dress. Melissa Vivienne Westwood pumps. A woven beret I got from Kultura. Thank you to the uber talented Kaity Chua for the photos.

Happy Valentines everyone!