Friday, October 31, 2008

(Isa pang) Linggo ng sining + Ana Tzarev Gallery + Superstitions

No deadlines = no money = not good. But then, I can do stuff like this.

Happy Halloween!

Ok, maybe it's not scary enough. That's because it's not meant to frighten anyone. What's with the decapitated head? I didn't have enough clay to make more body parts, but I would love to make a figure next time, preferably from life.


Should I build an empire first, gallery later?

Money would be the least of my problems if I were Ana Tzarev. NYT has an intriguing piece about the artist, who is opening her own gallery in Manhattan on November 24. Her first exhibit, Journey of Discovery, is about her travels. Her works are folk-naive, with fluid lines and startling colors. I wonder how long she spends in one place...


I noticed that there were a couple of garlic cloves on the maid's room window. I asked them if they've had "visitors". They just said no, but since it's All Saint's/All Souls soon, they wanted to be sure the spirits won't come in.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Global Network Initiative

The Global Network Initiative, formally launched yesterday, has noble aims: "Protecting and Advancing Freedom of Expression and Privacy in Information and Communications Technologies". Participants include NGOs, centers in the academe, and the interesting triumvirate of giants: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. We may not see this motley crew as the guardians of the Internet, but I believe they are standing for our rights. I have high hopes that something positive will come out of this and that they will work as a dot-org, and not as mere defenders of the dot-com. Control over the internet should not go into the hands of the few.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something fell from the sky + Eternal sunshine soon?

The other day, I was having my afternoon snack and listening to the Learn Indonesian podcast when I heard something fall into the backyard. A notebook and some folded-up papers? Where from? Turns out, they were the notebook and love letters the couple from the other street were arguing about. I asked our helper to throw them back where they came from.

The woman started shouting for a village guard. One arrived but said he couldn't really send the man away. Crimes of the heart are not his territory.

Whenever this couple argues (and this is not the first time), my (and my brother's) schadenfreude kicks in. It is really a joy to listen because it's so dramatic (pang-FAMAS) and so loud that I can hear it from inside the house. Somehow, it manages to be terribly funny. That's real-life for you.

Kids, maghiwalay na kasi kayo.


Or would they rather forget it happened? Here's hope for all of you seekers of spotless minds: selective memory. What could your "certain unwanted memories" be?

[via BoingBoing]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Girl Effect

It starts with a girl. Seriously. In many countries in the developing world, girls are still not given the chance to study and to lead. In forced early marriages The Girl Effect hopes to change that.

Find out more here:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Neverwinter Nights 2 + World in Conflict

This old RPG (2006) was installed on the our desktop last week. Somehow it feels older than the first Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. I'm still getting accustomed to the interface. The camera view is tricky.

My limited knowledge of the D&D skill set forces me to use the Recommend function every time I level up. My paladin is named Kira Welter (thanks for that, randomizer).

I'm finding turn-based attacks slow. Plus there's so much dialogue, I get bored. I don't think I have to patience to make it through even half of the game. I don't even know how I'll get past this particular locked door (above) in Eyegouger Lair Lever 2. Not even Thieves' Tools work. I need my rogue back!

has a rating of 8.5 from, with graphics and presentation its weaker points. It's a step down from the 9.0 and 9.4 of NVN and BG2:SoA, that's for sure.

My brother is playing World in Conflict (2007), a real-time tactical wargame set in 1989. He calls the game realistic and thinks it could have happened. Instead of the Soviet Union collapsing, they attack Western Europe and the United States. My brother likes that the soldier have character, that they are individuals and not the robotic soldiers of other games.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

People are talking about...

RPG, the first 3D animated feature film made entirely by Filipinos. Check out the teaser accompanied by a live orchestra below, filmed at Level Up! Live.

Next year na!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My art week

Square photos, eh? I'm actually not as square as most people think...

The past week was filled with oil work and experiments with clay. I'm pretty sure our helpers were puzzled to see me sitting on the floor, kneading dirt on the marble. But I cleaned up the mess afterwards, so I'm not bothering anyone, really. Two of the Celtic key pattern-inspired pieces broke in transit, but our always-gracious hostess A gave me another lump to work with, so I'm thinking of what to do next.

Three SUVs with open doors. Great drivers think alike?

Thursday, we had another MAG session in Makiling, my first on-the-spot with a live model. I was very pleased with the result even though I only made one small 12" x 9" piece. I was told that I should make the figure bigger to count as a portrait, but being the farthest from the model (15 feet or so), I think that was the best size for what I could see. Next time, I'll bring an easel.

Our very pregnant (and very pretty) sitter was a good sport, as it was extremely humid. With Mang A, D and T, I later headed to CCP for the Borlongan and Bolipata two-man show, and saw the impressive Julie Lluch Dalena retrospective, as well as the mixed media works of Valenzuela, which made me think of stencils, tattoos and this photo I took the other weekend.

tattoo de iloco

Thursday, October 23, 2008

YouTube Screening Room: animated shorts

If you've seen The Danish Poet, you'd know that something that animated short films that make it to the YouTube Screening Room should be worth seeing. Take a few minutes off to see these.

The Chestnut Tree Hyun-min Lee's beautifully choreographed line drawing piece dedicated to her mother.

Last Time In Clerkenwell Some black-and-white craziness from Alex Budovsky.

Sebastian's Voodoo Joaquin Baldwin's tale of dolls will drive needles into your heart.

Yellow Sticky Notes Jeff Chiba Stearns' reflective animated timeline juxtaposing the world events he ignored while going through nine years of his life.

When the Day Breaks Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis paint animals living human lives.

The Tired City 累透社 John Chan and Pam Hung say what everybody says about Hong Kong through a stressed-out multi-tasking girl. Incidentally the only film with a semblance of dialogue.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bite-sized food notes

On Krispy Kreme taking the space of Auntie Anne in Galleria: it's the end of an era. Says A, it was the place to meet up, pre-cellphone times, because it was near the entrance and kids then (since they didn't drive) would be dropped off there.

C is a fan of Minute Maid Pulpy Orange. Given that most liquid juices are made from concentrate, this one was slightly better. But the best fruit juice is still the one you make yourself. Nothing beats fresh.

I'm a recent convert of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It's a great, chilled out place to meet.

We got rid of our Jolly Cow Non-Fat Milk because the BFAD advisory wasn't too clear. The Slim variant was found to have traces of melamine; the pure variety was not found to have any.

This week's dessert: chili chocolate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Projectorhead: video contest for international students in the UK

Crosspost from the Pinoy Erasmus Mundus blog.

Are you an international student in the UK? Become a Projectorhead and create a video diary of your UK experience. Upload your video and we'll post it on the Projectorhead YouTube channel for the whole world to see. If your video tops the charts, you could win a prize worth up to £200. Choose from Apple iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii, Canon Camcorder or Panasonic Digital Camera.

Share your experiences of what the UK means to you as an international student. Just press record and let it all out. Whether you're a movie-making expert or a camera-phone novice - it doesn't matter. Project your head and make your memories a reality.

[Projectorhead website]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Forever online

When a batchmade died, it was chilling to see his Facebook account still active. His status messages in the last year of his life reveal his state of mind and heart. His case is one of many. Technograph shares this story about a Pinay who was killed in an accident and given infinite karma by Plurk. Ian Brown posts a Guardian news item about a woman killed by her husband over her Facebook status. Chilling and cautionary.

We remember the online gossip and the resulting suicides, the online suicide notes and murderous intentions and their aftermath. But then think of all those recovering from illness or trauma, or living on borrowed time, who use the Internet to connect and feel more... human. If it is the way we want to be remembered, to be notorious, to live on forever, then so be it. Until the plug is pulled on the Internet.

The virtual world has changed the way we live and die. May all web users departed rest in cyber- and real life peace.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Movie time!

On the longest land trip I have ever taken, I watched seven films--none of them in full. (I wasn't exactly in control of the player and dozed off every once in a while because we traveled at night.)

The destination itself I'll talk about in two months' time. All that you need to know is that it took eight hours to get there and ten to come back. Here are the films in three sentences (fragments, actually) each, in the order in which that I saw them:

Deathrace I was surprisingly amused by the concept, even though this is a remake. Prisoners in a race to the death, ammo and all. Joan Allen makes such a nice villain.

Righteous Kill Pacino and de Niro take justice into their own hands. The idea is simple, the execution more so. In fact, too simple for these two living film legends.

Mirrors Since I don't watch horror, I only listened to this. That didn't keep me from taking a peek, though. Love the production design and cinematography inside the abandoned department store.

Baseketball Watched it on HBO in the boys' hotel room, while waiting for my room to be cleaned. Totally inane, but occasionally funny. But I'd really rather not spend my time that way.

Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) Not as fantastic as I expected, but an awesome film, nonetheless. It had a grasp of time and place. Left me wanting more.

Eragon Since I had not read the book, I only knew the reviews. It's a film in a great hurry. I like the protagonist and Jeremy Irons, but that's not enough.

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar (Tempelriddernes Skat) Can I just say OMG? Bornholm will always be magical for me and the memorable places make this film for kids so much better in my mind than it actually is. Can't help smiling.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Once, The Musical + Dekada Cinemanila

According to Variety, the Oscar-winning film Once (2006) is going to be on Broadway for the 2010-2011 season. I feel that the Broadway stage is too large for something so intimate. Off-Broadway could work better. Anyway, lots of things can happen until then. Let's hope things work out for this one.


It's Cinemanila Year Ten now at Gateway Cineplex 10. I just might go. Why are California Dreamin' (Romania) and Vanished Empire (Russia) on at the same time? Gah!

[via caffeine_sparks]

Friday, October 17, 2008

Parol country

Christmas songs on the radio. Check.

Queso de bola in the ref. Check.

Parol on the window. Check.

The holidays are here. (In the Philippines, at least.)

the lantern maker christmas lanterns

Worked on a feature on the Christmas lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga. You'll find it (and another feature I wrote) in this month's issue of Masigasig magazine, bundled with Entrepreneur magazine. If you're lucky, you might be able to get hold of a copy at a Globe business center near you.

making capiz balls cos at work
stars at her feet

Thursday, October 16, 2008

THES - QS World University Rankings 2008

The year 2008 really is Ateneo's year. In the latest Times Higher Education Supplement - Quacquarelli Symonds (THES-QS) rankings, Ateneo rebounded to 254 from 400+ last year, making it the highest ranking Philippine university. UP also went up to 276 from 398 last year. DLSU and UST are among the universities in the 401-500 spots. Full rankings here.

We're still a long way away from our Asian neighbors. Japan, for example, has four unis in the top 100, and Tokyo (19) is the highest ranked Asian university. Hong Kong has three in the top 100; Korea has two. Singapore has two, NUS (30) and Nanyang (77). Even Denmark has two: Copenhagen (48) and Aarhus (81). In the 101-200 table, Taiwan (National) is at 124. Unfair to compare with tiger economies, you say? Look at our Southeast Asian neighbors Thailand (Chulalungkorn-166 and Mahidol-251) and Malaysia (UM-230 and UKM-250). Still ahead.

I'm not saying we should be obsessed with rankings. No methodology is perfect. But the numbers exist for a reason. We have to get better. Jon has some suggestions for improvement. I so agree.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Today is Blog Action Day, that one day of the year when bloggers talk about one issue of extreme importance. Let's do this. Let's talk about poverty.

Is it possible to eradicate poverty? In any country, there will always be a lower socio-economic class. It cannot be helped that we live in a capitalist world where those without capital will be left behind. Some would even say that poverty is a state of mind, that it is relative. Someone will always be poorer than other.

But then what about the bottom billion, people who live with less than a dollar a day in Africa, South America and Asia? Is that not poverty?

We cannot trust aid to solve complex situations in every corner of the world; there are just too many Swiss bank accounts waiting for that.

What do we do now? Plan, discuss, think this through. Take a look at these resources. Join the thousands of blogs talking about poverty. Let's change the conversation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Touching the Sunlight @ Met Museum

If you happen to be at the Metropolitan Museum, don't just look at the Amorsolos and then leave. Go a little further and take a few steps towards the back to view our exhibit of on-the-spot paintings at the old library. These are the individual works of children with disabilities (autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome) and us mentor-artists in San Jose, Antipolo, as well as the fruits of our interaction at the museum.

The task to paint with Fernando Amorsolo in mind was a huge challenge considering the physical and emotional state of the kids, but somehow we made it through. I enjoyed working with Carl, 12, who was always smiling despite the heat and discomfort of being in a wheelchair by the riverside.

Mang Ato, Thom and I also have plein air oils that we painted in Makiling. The pieces are very small, but I'm still thrilled to have a couple of works on the walls of the Met alongside some very good artists. It doesn't happen often to everyone. And with this so early in my vocation (hahaha), I feel positive about moving forward and discovering the art I want to create.

Touching the Sunlight runs until January 13, 2009

Friday, October 3, 2008

Video recap: Ateneo Blue Eagle Bonfire 2008

As promised, something quick.

I'm going on a ten-day blog hiatus to focus on meeting my deadlines. Please hop over to my photolog while I'm away. I post there daily even when I'm on break here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Of chain emails and viral videos

Now this is the kind of thing we need for 2010. Pass on to five friends.

[via Lessig Blog]

In case you missed it: Blue Eagle Bonfire 2008

[I took a little holiday yesterday, as did the rest of the country because it was Eidl Fitr.]

Having little school spirit in me, I would not have gone to the Bonfire had I not been in the campus the whole day anyway, doing library research.

I was so happy to see clear blue skies over Katipunan early Tuesday morning, which gave way to torrential rain in the afternoon. (Oh why did I throw away my rubber boots?) By the middle of the evening, Bellarmine field was a mudbath in parts. In my faux patent leather, I kept to the periphery.

With the lighting, my position and my camera, my images aren't anything like Gene's here. But then we all experienced it differently. Will post a short video tomorrow.

Bel field before 6pm

Bel field by 9pm

All the players were there (seriously)

C and K were afraid of the rain and did not come. I sat beside J at Gesu, where the Ateneo College Glee Club's singing made up for Fr. Ben's not-quite-a-homily. Even with the Song for Mary as recessional (odd choice), it came out solemn. You can hear it here.

Fr. Nebres had a lot of exercise going up and down the stage

There were a couple of music acts before the program, which was hosted in turns by different people, including this season's UAAP courtside reporters. Drei Felix had a fuller head of hair than I remember; Bianca Gonzalez made me think of mermaids with her nearly waist-length hair. Lia Cruz's height was always an issue. Lia and Rabeh (with Chris Tiu, below) seemed to have a score to settle offstage, but I was touched by the photo of Al-Hussaini at the foot of the cross in MT's video.

Wesley Gonzales, who was speechless in the beginning, turned out to have unapologetically acerbic humor. He had several quotable quotes that evening, but I only jotted these down:

Lia: Di ka swimmer.
Wes: Swimmer ako. Taga-Sampaloc ako, no!

Wes: Laos na ako.

Tiu and Al-Hussaini

Kirk Long and Jai Reyes

AVPs of the teams and the presentation of the five winning teams (high school swimming, college swimming-ladies, and grade school, high school and college basketball) went alright. The Blue Eagles, as expected, drew the most screams. Chris Tiu and Yuri got their "treasury bonds": an induction into the Hall of Fame in 20 years' time. Chris was smart in plugging his food stall and TV shows.

Tiu in transparent cubism

Awkward moment: US Ambassador Kristie Kenney onstage.

The bonfire was lit, Song for Mary was sung while fireworks lit up the sky. Sponge Cola came onstage. I tuned out by the time Miggy Escueta came on because my legs needed to move and I was hungry.

Although there were familiar faces, I only saw a few batchmates, like R and C. B came late and I passed by M on the way to meet him, so I ended up chatting with the two of them at Seattle's Best.

I had a vanilla milkshake before midnight. On a night such as this, skipping dinner is easy.