Sunday, September 28, 2008


On the weekend of OCTOBER 3, 4 and 5 I'm going to set up a booth (more like put a mat on the street and lay my wares on it) in the CUBAO EXPO ARTISTS' FLEA MARKET.

Am gonna be selling some of my old drawings there ranging from 200 to hmmm... around 3,500 bucks. It'd mostly depend on how big they are, and well, I guess it'd be good to let go of works and sort of start fresh.

Aside from my works, I'd be selling some of Christine's funky jewelery. (You should check her stuff. She does them all by hand.) Sheila's books and some bags and wallets bearing the image of an old study.

The flea market will be open from 2 in the afternoon until midnight.

Hope to see you there!

I attached a map above to make it easier to find the place. Cubao Expo has flowered into an interesting bohemian center for artists and their ilks. (That includes me I guess)

Drop by on those dates. I'm sitting at stall no. 1 so it'd be easy to spot me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


... and here's the new book I've recently designed for CANVAS. It's now with the printers and I can't wait to see the color composites. I really, really like this one. It's really, really cute and it's something an adult can read to a three-year old, about how a boy tried to save the seas.

It's written by Charmaine Aserappa and the wonderful images were done by Rodel Obemio. The latter kind of looks like the images in the book too.

Watch out for it. This book's going to be released in November.

Friday, September 26, 2008


For the life of me, I could never understand why scarves became in vogue in this country, especially those Abu Sayyaf-inspired ones I see many young people wearing these days. If they're using it to protect their necks from the UV rays of the sun, I might understand the "practicality" of its use. Since the advent of whitening creams and glutathione, and every brown Pinoy wants to look as pale as, say, Lindsay Lohan or Matt Damon... hmmm, okay, I'd say it could be forgiven.

What could not be forgiven is the simple and utter inappropriateness of some designs. Many of these scarves are simply "ugh", "blech" and bland-looking.

Now, if the scarf-wearing segment of this fashionista crowd would wear something a little bit funkier, then I'd be shutting up my mouth and perhaps get one for myself. Hehehe...

AND THEN, I discovered Twinkie Chan online, a woman whose scarves made me see food in a different light... or knit.

Here she is with breakfast around her neck.

This one's for those with a sweet tooth.

And here she is again with a light meal.

I think I have fallen for this chic. :-) She rocks!

You can see more of her stuff here, here and here.


written by Rene Villanueva
illustrated by Me

published by Tahanan Books for Young Readers


I was at my usual haunt the other day - the bookstore. Lounging around the children's book section checking out the new titles when from the corner of my eye, I spotted a pretty familiar title.

Lo and behold! Another old, old book I did eons ago. I really find it amusing that an old work is still being sold in the store. I have long thought that this was already out of circulation.

I immediately bought it and then leafed through my illustrations. Goodness, I thought, did I draw these?? I thought my drawing style has long since changed when I was still groping my way around then.

I find it odd too that looking at the illustrations in this book, it felt like a totally different person did all these. What a blast from the past.


I wonder if the original illustrations for this book are still alive. I gave the whole caboodle (50 of the illustrations) as a wedding gift to Brian who I remember hung them all on his wall. Hmmm... I really wonder.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


For 800 x 600 size

For 1024 x 768 size

For 1440 x 900 size

I've always liked designing children's books. If there's anything that beats painting or drawing, it's doing these books for kids, and for the past few days I have been pretty occupied with finishing this new one - MESSAGE IN THE SAND. It's written by Charmaine Aserappa about a boy who tried to save the seas.

I am also totally amused with Rodel Obemio's seashells. I spent an entire evening picking them out one-by-one and did this wallpaper just to show you a little peek into it. I really think it's cute. (If you like 'em, feel free to copy-paste and splat on your monitor. I did three sizes and you just choose which one fits yours.)

Am gonna send the file of the book to the printer today and by November, CANVAS will release another one of our lovely, lovely books.

Okay, I'm gloating.

Friday, September 19, 2008


You have to love this guy...

Artist Phil Hansen is very creative, he makes art using bibles, photocopied messages, Starbuck cups, oreos, and paints with his feet among other hidden talents seen in his videos. At top, a video reel with a bunch of his work. -Adriana de Barros, from Scene 360

Saturday, September 13, 2008


In Defiance
31 cm x 38 cm
acrylic on canvas

What happens when your exhibit fails and you’re reduced to a pile of unpaid bills higher than your 5’11” frame?

What happens when someone who harangued you to be a good person to be with couldn’t even get his own life in order and sucks you into thinking “he’s worth it”?

What happens when you literally carry a 50-lb artwork on your back across 5 cities, endure grueling traffic and a large woman carrying an overly flatulent baby on her lap in a bus that looks more like a coffin on wheels; and arrive at your destination to be greeted with, “Oh… didn’t you get my text? I won’t be getting your piece. Something came up. Sorry.”?

What happens when you find yourself between starvation and insanity, with only enough money for one jeepney fare to go to your brother’s or best friend’s house to grab some free meal and hopefully, they’ll lend you some dough to last a couple of days until you’re able to sell some piece?

What happens if everything else fails, bogs down, slows down to a halt that you’re left staring at the ceiling, or outside by your window, or into the toilet bowl while taking your morning dump, or into a refrigerator with only four bottles of freezing water while you’re burning with fever for the past 2 days and the medicine you took only lasted for half a day?

ANSWER: Paint your heart out and be defiant!


I owe Mariano a drink for pestering him with annoying text messages; Sheila for being such a healing friend, mother and confidante; Utol for simply being there and Vicky for the Jampong soup (or whatever it is called).

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Thanks to chuvaness, I've been reduced to a snotty, sniffling nose-plugged-with-tissue fool.

Watch these vids and you'll see...

Note to self: I shouldn't like Celine Dion songs... I shouldn't like Celine Dion songs... I shouldn't like Celine Dion songs... argh!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Just found out from Delan that the book THE ROCKING HORSE won the GINTONG AKLAT AWARD given by the Book Development Association of the Philippines in the category of Children's Books.

"The prestigious Gintong Aklat Awards, established in 1981, are given out every other year to outstanding book publishers based on the quality of the books they produce year after year. Managed by the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), the Awards are meant to recognize excellence in bookmaking in the country’s book industry."

Rocking Horse is written by Becky Bravo and illustrated by Elmer Borlongan and published by CANVAS together with UST Publishing, and of course, designed by me. :-)

This book and other publications of CANVAS are available at all branches of FULLY BOOKED.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


36" x 36"
acrylic on canvas

"There are two great tragedies in my life - you and the bus crash," remarked Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera when she caught the latter having sex with her sister.

A tribute of mine to the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.


When I finished this piece and hung it on the wall, someone (well, most of the people who've seen it) told me that the the flower vendor looked like she's holding on to something more than just the yellow cloth to tie her basket around her shoulders. Freudian slip perhaps? Hehehe... I would've just let it be if it were not for my nephew who said it looked like a "toto". I've painted over that part since and now she's holding on to the stems of the leaves instead.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Watch the video above and go "Ooooh!"

Hehehehe, I did.

It's a simple illusion involving a paper cutout and some simple folds. Try it out.

I am pretty sure my nephews will be amused by this (or their father will) and Sheila's sons. Hehehehe...

Download the Dragon Image here.

Watch the Dragon Video here.

Oh di ba?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Hmmm... strange but true.

I got this from chuvaness. I regularly read her. She's a funny fasyonista.

An Obituary Announcement in Vallejo Times-Herald

After some debate on the authenticity of Dolores Aguilar's obit in the Vallejo Times-Herald, which if you recall was shockingly brutal, we got to the bottom of it all.

Turns out Aguilar's obit is real - mighty real, according to an anonymous editorial spokesperson at VHT. In order to publish the damning obit, the editor staff did something unprecedented. "We demanded to see Aguilar's death certificate brought in by a blood relative" before going ahead with the obit, our source tells us.

Also, just after SFist posted the story yesterday, the Vallejo Times-Herald pulled the obit online right-quick. It seems, who hosts the paper's online obits, yanked both the notice and the guestbook after receiving "over 200 responses" that bordered on cruel and offensive. (Just like Dolores!), we're told, prefers its commenters to never speak ill of the dead. Good luck with that.

But if you've access to a print issue of this weekend's Vallejo Times-Herald, you can find the obit in there, or read it here. Oh, and be sure to hold onto it. That issue is a keeper.


pen and ink on paper
14" x 20"

“How long did you have that tattoo done?”

“Ah, about an hour man.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Naah, it’s just like being pricked by a needle.”

“Duh-uh… it IS being pricked by a needle – a thousand times no!”

“Oh yeah. It’s also like putting a lighted cigarette on your skin several times over.”

“Ooooh… that hurts.”

“Ey, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

And so went my conversation with Al – a rastafarian I met at Ricky’s tattoo shop. I’ve been going back there a million times now, still undecided if I’m going to have a tattoo on my right shoulder or not.

For a hundred times, I’ve been procrastinating on having mums tattooed on my shoulder up to the side of my arms. And for a hundred times, I always end up just hanging at the tattoo shop.



Just around the corner from my place is Leveriza St. It's where the cheapest grocery I've ever found is located (Liana's), the best place to find great longganisa and exotic fish (Cartimar), the best deals on bikes and the best tasting tofu from the several Chinese and Japanese shops along the area. Leveriza, at night, is also where I can hang out and watch some of the funkiest street dancers I've seen in the city.

They come in all shapes and sizes, dance grooves and what they call "gangs". There's the Batang Hippers made up of 15 to 20 year old kids who are either young fathers or moms. There's the Tropang Troopers who are still stepping into puberty but can cuss like seasoned 50-year old men. The Khool Ghurlz made up of teenage girls from the local college here in Pasay. When they step out and do their J-Lo numbers on the street, they become a magnet to all the horny salivating men.

My favorite though is the funniest, and I think the hippest. They're a group of four old transvestites, the youngest is in his/her late fifties and the oldest is Lolo/Lola - a 70-year old grandma/pa who works in a run-down parlor across my place. They would come out on Saturdays, put on their merriest and most colorful gowns and sit in front of Old Mameng's - a 24 hour eatery. Holding their grass fans, they will be fanning themselves haughtily as they watch the kids do their dance stuff. Every now and then, when a young man would catch their fancy, they'd either wink at him or purse their lips at the young creature.

The fun part comes when one of the kids would dare the Lolas/Lolos to do their stuff. With great aplomb and a shake of their tresses, they'd stand up holding their fans and start doing in a very choreographed manner, an old fandango that harks back to the slow dance steps of the fifties. Amazingly, they'd do it in a very synchronized manner - like they've rehearsed it a million times - to the tune of Rhianna's Umbrella Song. Their dance builds up. The crowd hoots and applauds. And like clockwork, near the end of their number, the kids would then all jump in and do their own beats. The Lolos/Lolas, tired from their exertion would go back to their seats, fan themselves furiously and giggle (or sometimes cackle) like a pack of teenage girls.

When I saw this video on youtube, I thought, the hiphoppers in this video could pick a thing or two from the locals of Leveriza especially the Lolo/Lolas... :-)