Artspiration Stimulation: “iART FEST MANILA 2017”

AFCJuly 20, 2017. Being art enthusiasts, likewise creators, my brother and I were pretty hyped for this free admission 4-day event, iArt Fest Manila 2017! Some of the best local artists were set to showcase and exhibit their original artwork at the World Trade Center, ranging from traditional, to digital art, craftwork, and even musical performances! Sadly we didn’t catch the live bands when we were there, but we were able to witness ongoing activities like contest giveaways, capsule classes, demos, on-the-spot painting and digital drawing. Did I mention there’s also food and refreshments?
Participants in the event include Ismael Figueroa Esber, Kristen Uy Ramos, Rick Armando, Baroyskie Arts, Ernilo Germino, Sam Penaso, Mel Araneta, Fredi Agunoy, Joanna Liza, Kuatro Kantos, GWAPINGS NG KOMIKS, SIKLAB, 302B, Levi Batara, Marlon Lucenara, Jo Anna Vocalan, Joemarie Sanclaria Chua, Suicidal Genius, Pilipinas Street Plan, Room One Eleven, Graphic Artist Philippines, TUP-FAD Creatives, Betsin-artparasites, STYLES STROKES & SKETCHES SOCIETY, and Yolkers Collab.

It was a bit late in the afternoon on the second day of the event, but just before office hours ended when we arrived at the venue. Good thing we pre-registered to avoid the long line-ups! Upon registration, instead of an ID or wristband, we were given cards that we can easily just tap on through the entrance and exits throughout the 4 days. Props to the event organizers who thought of this entrance setup. Very convenient!

We were under a bit of a time-constraint because we didn’t want to get caught in the rush hour. Plus, I had a dinner planned with friends later on in the evening and another meet-up with a different circle of friends afterwards, so it was a pretty hectic day for me. Nevertheless, we were able to experience and enjoy this specific event in just the right amount of time!
The first things you’d see upon entering the venue were displays of different clothing, supplements, accessories, etc. that you can purchase. We didn’t pay too much attention to them though because we were hungry for visual stimulation. There was a car show going on simultaneously which was pretty cool too. Nothing too out of the blue, so we went straight to the art exhibits. A great crowd of creative individuals welcomed us. One of the first exhibits we stopped at was the Betsin-ArtParasites‘ where I got to talk to some of the members of their talented team. I’ve followed their well-recognized facebook page for quite some time, so it was great to get some of their insight on their work, face-to-face.

Visual Journey. Walking around, seeing the gallery of artwork and crafts these local artists made, it’s impossible not to get inspired to just create something! My brother and I were visualizing ourselves maybe being an exhibitor someday at an event like this – definitely one on our goals list. We actually went to a similar event not too long ago also in Makati, called Art In The Park at Salcedo Village. The vibes were just as great, the only difference is this exhibit was indoors.
Here’s my brother Sam, at one of the photo exhibits. To this day, it amazes me how people are able to compose and capture visuals of life that are so powerful and enticing. As a photo-hobbyist, I’m always eager to learn how different photographers go about shooting, speciffically street or candid photography.
And here are more paintings – retro style. I really admire traditional painters, like the man I got to talk to behind these pieces of art. Painting, whether acrylic, watercolor, etc. has always been a struggle for me. Though, fun fact: a painting I made back when I was only in pre-school actually made it to the Burnaby Art Museum, back in Canada! Now, if only I continued my interest in painting, maybe I’d be alot better.

Conspired Culture. Another thing I really appreciated, aside from being able to draw inspiration to create with events like this is that, I’m also able to learn about our filipino culture. So much can be said and portrayed with a mere photo, painting, or sketch of an individual. From the artwork I saw, it just proves how rich and vibrant our culture is. Through the artwork, I analyzed patterns that showed how much of an influence other cultures have injected into us, and how it has shaped and enhanced our culture now- something to be proud of. I think each work of art has several different stories worth sharing. It all depends on the way you perceive it.

If you yourself is an artisan, art enthusiast, a photographer, or even an aspiring craftsman who wants to learn more about the artistic local community, then I highly recommend you go to iArt Fest Manila 2017 – the kind of event you’d definitely want to experience!
And of course, when it came time for us to leave, we couldn’t help ourselves but get some sort of souvenirs from the event. As support to the local artists, we purchased a few small things to-go from Yolker’s Collab and Betsin-ArtParasites. It kinda sucks we couldn’t stay longer, or even dropby again during the last days of the event. But we know there will be more art fests to come and we’re already looking forward to them! Lookout, because who knows. We might have our own booth next time! #goalz


DAY 2: Baguio City Hits

Check out what went down on our first day in Baguio City if you haven’t already, by clicking here: DAY 1: Baguio City Hits

Second Surprise. After an eventful first day in beautiful Baguio City, we wanted a bit of a more laid-back day. Nothing too much, too extraordinary. Just some quality time with the family. This day we were also checking out of the Hotel Elizabeth to stay at the home of Benguet State University’s President’s place – a past co-worker and friend of my parents.
We started our day off right, of course with our complimentary breakfast buffet. Honestly it was the smell of the unlimited crispy bacon I was originally going to dive into, but there are so many choices that I just had to try everything! Some of the food they served were salad that you can make on your own, beef tapa, sunny-side up eggs, fried rice, assorted bread, french toast and many more!

We then packed all of our stuff and got ready to leave. We were already checking out and our van arrived, so we headed out of the lobby. As we were escorted by the hotel’s manager and lobby men, they all of a sudden stopped our parents (with my dad arguably questioning them) and began to sing… “Happy Anniversary” while bringing out a special dessert plate just for the two love birds! We were surprised as well, because that wasn’t arranged by us. We suspect it was secretly favored by some of our parents co-workers who had already left Baguio. A startling, yet sweet surprise indeed! Thank you Hotel Elizabeth for the exceedingly great accommodation.

Art Appreciation. Benedicto Cabrera, or  “BenCab” is a well-renowned master of contemporary Philippine Art. His paintings and prints have been widely exhibited internationally and he was won numerous awards throughout his career as a fine artist.
The BenCab Museum, situated on 6 Asin Rd., Benguet (15 minutes away from the Baguio City Center) is a way of bringing arts closer to the people. It houses a wide collection of the artist’s work, plus other work from Filipino contemporary masters and on-the-rise artists. Going there was our main agenda for the day, so as a family of art enthusiasts and craftsmen, we were all excited to check it out! It’s been a long time since we’ve all been to a museum too.
I won’t show you much of the artwork shown because you have to see it in person to fully appreciate it. But many of the artwork represents the filipino culture, history, and the museum is also filled indigenous/tribal sculptures and woodwork.
Aside from the artwork, there is a museum shop where you can purchase souvenir items, books and arts & crafts materials. There’s also a small cafe called Cafe Sabel which is at the bottom floor of the museum, overlooking a relaxing view of the forest and pond on the exterior. They boast of their organic menu and food for the soul, where some of the ingredients are actually from BenCab’s farm! Sadly, we didn’t eat here. But I will tell you, the ambiance is so chill and relaxing.

And of course from the Cafe, you can walk down to the pond and garden where you’ll see some of the organic farm produce. This area also showcases indigenous architecture, a river that runs through the property, a hill & forest with an eco-trail, and housing that is the home of farm animals and other livestock.

For more information about the BenCab Museum, visit:

Sadly once again, the weather did not cooperate and the rain began to fall. Good thing we were pretty much done at the museum. From here on, I didn’t take much photos anymore, so I guess I’ll fast-forward to our third morning in Baguio and also the day we left to go back to Makati City. But before that, here’s a photo of a retro 80’s-vibe rain jacket that I was able to get for a steal, at P25 only! Yup, that’s what I was talking about when we went to the Ukay Night Market during our first day in Baguio City.
Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Anyway, after about a 6-hour deluxe bus ride back to Makati (where I first experienced using an extremely convenient yet tricky-to-use washroom inside a bus), we had a late lunch. We then went and attended mass at St. John Bosco Parish, which is where my parents got married – perfect for their anniversary. Did a bit more ukay-ukay hunting and I managed to get something nearby (another jacket if you’re wondering… yes, I love jackets). Had dinner at Greenbelt 5, and then to top off the entire weekend-long fam-jam/celebration, we did our last surprise for our parents. We made them a scrapbook/coffee table album of all their recent photos together. Yes, printed photos are better than digital.

I couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate my parents anniversary. Everything was a success, and just another memorable experience with the family to treasure. ‘Til our next trip!

Do you know any other cool spots to go in Baguio City? Let me know so we can check it out the next time we go there!

Vintage Cameras

Originally, the camera was invented to capture a moment in time quickly and exactly. Paintings often reflected the opinion of the painter in their art, however, photos show exactly what was happening. Photos can be biased but nonetheless they are authentic. The first use of a lens that projected light onto a wall was the camera obscura (dark chamber) – this is where the name “camera” comes from. The concept of “light paintings” was created long before a method of permanently recording the image. The main reason for its invention was to help artists in drawing difficult subjects. However, since the physics behind the camera were discovered by many different people across the world, they were subsequently used for different reasons.
The evolution of the camera is extraordinary. As the physics of cameras evolve, the ways of using it has also evolved too. It’s a good thing I got into photography because I see it not only as a way to document significant life experiences but also artistically portray certain images in my mind that I can’t easily express, in the best way possible through post-processing and photo manipulation. Photography allows me to show my perspective of the world – through my lens and my eyes. As cheesey as it sounds, it really does allow a person to share a piece of themselves to others.

It wasn’t too long when I first really got into the art of photography but my interest was developed during my early college years when I was used as a model by some photographer friends. I learned from them after and in between photoshoots as I would ask them to teach me and I would end up practicing with their cameras. I was always amazed by its function and learned how to use it because of necessity since it is also part of my college course (Communication Arts) and I thought I should be prepared for our subjects that involve photography. The photos I see in media, printed material and digital images all inspired me to create photos for myself.
Awhile back, I went around our house just looking around because it’s like a museum of the “Carlos’-es.” I then found this amazing collection of vintage cameras. From Polaroids, Pentax, Instamatic to Canon, Nikon, and to Konica, Contaflex. There were so many and I was drooling from its authentic beauty. I’m so used to seeing a bunch of digital cameras nowadays, but when I saw the old film cameras, I was amazed and just had to take pictures of them. Ironically, cameras, especially the vintage ones are very photogenic. It’s like camera porn, seriously.

This led me to realizing, even if I didn’t take up my course, I think I would have still ended up being into photography, because that collection of cameras proved that I had more family who was very much into film photography back then. I know my dad has always enjoyed taking pictures as well. That collection I found is actually my Aunt’s. She’s the one responsible for most of our printed baby pictures. My parents are actually both into photography as well. Although they don’t take as much pictures anymore, their interest still remains.
Those close-up pictures above are my favorite vintage film cameras out of the whole collection. I plan to try and get film for them and try a bit of film photography. They’re all still in pretty good condition so I hope they still work properly.

Now, my goal is to continue on the passion for photography in my family and maybe add on to that collection cameras. I still don’t have my own camera, so once I have a job, I plan on my first payday to buy myself a DSLR. And if you’re wondering how I took these photos, I used my friend’s camera since she allowed me to use it for the photoshoots we’ve been doing these passed couple of days.




It’s another chilly morning in the motherland. That means my creative juices are gonna be flowing like crazy. Is it just me, or does cold weather have an effect on our imagination?

Creative Critics


(Photo Credit: Nexus)

In the world of artists, the business of creation is one of the hardest industries to work in, simply because you have to bend and break the rules – work with it, around it and through it to create something unique and appealing. We are never really contented with what we accomplish (or so it seems). Or in other words, we’re always striving for self-improvement.

A creative mind’s best critic is themselves.

Now that’s not a bad thing. In fact, that’s a good thing! Why settle for less, when you know you can do better?

It is in our human nature that we tend to underestimate our own abilities. Before doing something, there’s always that little voice at the back of our mind asking “Is it possible?” This is why we usually doubt ourselves when we are faced with new challenges. Or when we do accomplish something, we tend to ask ourselves, “Is it good enough?”

Ultimately, we are constantly questioning ourselves: “Am I good enough?”

I’m guilty for having these thoughts which I think are produced from my humble character. The problem with having these kind of thoughts, is that it holds us back from releasing our full potential. And if you doubt something you have already done, then it takes away from your credibility and self-dignity.

Like they say, “too much of something, can kill you.” If we look at the big picture, that’s what over-thinking does – gradually weakening your self-confidence.

So what do we do when we are in doubt?

Well, here’s a thought – isn’t it strange that in the perspective of others, sometimes our [seemingly] mediocre work or achievements can actually meet or even exceed their expectations of what is good? Although you tend to underestimate yourself, others may do the opposite – over or accurately estimate your capabilities and creations.

When I make a piece of artwork, a lot of times I struggle to finish, thinking if I should add more to it, if it’s enough already, or if it is too much? Whatever the case is, when I am in doubt, I usually stop and ask for the opinion of other creative minds.

Usually when you’ve spent a long period of time working on something, you become so engrossed with it, that you fail to see possible mistakes, or indications that your work is actually already of great quality. What I’m trying to get at is that when you’re in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask for the opinion from someone you trust and has knowledge in whatever it is you’re trying to create, whether it is a piece of writing, painting, architecture, music composition, fashion design, digital graphics or whatever form of art.

An outsider’s perspective is sometimes all we need to affirm and/or assist us in knowing what is actually right in front of us (but of course in art, it really is all about perception, unlike in science, it’s either you’re right or wrong). But as original artists, we don’t necessarily have to make sense or entertain the thoughts of others. We can use them as a platform for self-realizations, because to truly live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong and go with what you feel is right.

We’re not after the approval others, but for the expression of yourself.

I am a firm believer that in anything you create, whether you know it or not, there is some sort of message or story you are trying to articulate coming from deep within the artist’s soul.

So how do you know a piece of artwork is finished?

You’ll know an artwork is finished when you see yourself through it.” – Januz Miralles

And that’s all that matters.



A lot of my plans got changed today so I decided to go on a little trip by myself just around our neighborhood. Our place is just along the highway of Los Banos, PH, so I decided to take a walk around the places I usually pass by but never really took the time to explore.

There’s a tight road on our block that leads to The University of the Philippines (Los Banos), so I took that road knowing I’ll pass by some cool places, like that mini basketball arena, the railroad by IRRI and Pili Drive, where you’ll see all of the agricultural fields, mountains, trees, and just nature at its finest.


And of course, I went out around 5:30pm – jjust before the golden hour so I could catch the amazing sunset. The Philippine skies never disappoints.


All of these photos were taken just from my phone. Yeah, I know. I still don’t have my own camera, but hey, you’ve gotta work with what you have.

Click the photos to see more pictures from today, or click this link to see my photo / art blog with all my other work:


Project Travel

Project Travel

Project Travel: A compilation of different places at different times”

I realized I’ve stashed a whole lot of photos like this and so I decided to compile it. As I travel to more new places, I will keep compiling my photos and build-up this collage.

Please click the photo for more of my photo / art work or go here:

URBAN Magazine


This is our final requirement for our desktop publishing class. Each one of us had to make our very own 24-page magazine about anything we want. My magazine focused on urban lifestyle and youth culture, It focuses on art, music, fashion, featuring many multi-talented and unique individuals in our local setting. The style of the magazine was inspired by my favorite local magazine called STATUS. It’s a minimalist and modern style of layout-ing which I think best captures my personal style and the theme of my magazine. So here are some sample pages of my magazine:


Front Cover Page






 Back Cover Page

If you would like to take the time to see all the pages of my magazine and read it, please check it out here: