Houston we have a problem

*Among the permanent and temporary pieces displayed at Aphro Living, these framed ones by the entrance has piqued my interest since I first visited the gallery and in subsequent visits. I do love me some spaceman art. Haha! If you do drop by, try the slide. 

Timeless art always possesses the possibility of being timely.

Back in 2014, Emmanuel Santos exhibited some of these pieces in Immanent Geographies, a collection of both topographic and social landscapes by various Filipino artists. This featured familiar locations with stark twists.

Second Earth imagines a hyperreality where an astronaut finds himself in local terrain, however displaced and even out of place in these spaces—of all spaces—but the outer.

I’m partial to astronomical subjects 👽🚀🛰 and postmodern contexts 🤓 yet there’s a grimness to these that make me a little uncomfy but I can’t ignore it.

There’s also a bit of Foucault’s heterotopia in his work, as the astronaut searches for his place in a world that’s comprised of nature, the virtual, and what’s in between. This is relevant in our tech age that propels itself into a progress that could spell self annihilation with no signs of slowing down.

But what of children that wish to stay grounded and mounted to preserving life on the blue green ball of life? Earth born and earth bound dreamers 🌏🌍🌎

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Devotion at an arm’s length 

*Don’t you just love following that obscure neon sign amidst unoccupied spaces in buildings for lease that lead to a staircase to an exhibit in progress

an edit I made from two other corners of the exhibit 🛠

This is supposed to be Polish artist Pawel Althamer‘s take on Quiapo’s diversity. But the historical district is also where thousands of entangled bodies pile on each other once a year during the Black Nazarene.

Apart from the religious undertones, it actually looks to me a lot like a gym on leg day, where people are enslaved to body goals. That is, if it was open to interpretation, the sort of environment I’m more aware of.

Cool thing is, visitors that drop by are welcomed to become part of the exhibit. Though it primarily represents disenfranchised members of community, now all walks of life can be unified in Nazareno: Quiapo Constellations. This is through casts of faces and limbs held together by old scraps of wood and metal from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.


Featured image: a corner of Bellas Artes Outpost

transit terminal vol. 5

*I’m packing for a quick trip over the long weekend to visit my brother, so I thought of sharing bits of what life’s been like lately. It’s been busy but pretty good despite the chaos I’ve been learning more about the world and myself, alone and not

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On a short summer break 🌞
Falling asleep to CNN/BBC
Survived the first term of my senior research
🌟 & I did surprisingly well 🌟
Sleeping earlier
Rethinking unhealthy relationships
Had a blood test 💉 and my results were a-ok!
Tidying up parts of my room little by little
Finished w my study desk and shelves and dresser
Waking up to IG stories from the west
Rediscovering literature I might want to read 📚
Seeing my grandmother more often
Read thru my magazine collection
Cut out some lovely pages ✂️
Following abstract artists
Watching vlogssssssss vlogs and vlogs
Following the French elections
Sundressing 👗
Thinking abt that decently priced giant latte at a Korean dessert cafe
Research on coconut oil and apple cider vinegar
YouTube yoga few times a week
🍳 Preparing my meals 🥑
Liking handpainted prints and patterns
✍️ Religiously updating my daily planner & daily gratitude journal 📒
Crushing on young Jeremy Irons and Ralph Fiennes
📱 Waiting for my first call from my BeMyEyes app! 🤓

Persisting I

*Passed by the Art Elements Asian Gallery weeks ago with my parents and we discovered Norlie Meimban. Boy would I have loved to take home a piece or have something commissioned. Given his animation background, his style is a lovely mix of techniques and themes that give it a very postmodern look. Would love to meet him someday and see more of his work and how else it can evolve

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that centerpiece!

I’ve been so fixated on his series of unbroken motion depicting ideas of perhaps of a persisting self. I’ll always be curious about the temporal and the causal facets of continuity. Much to read on. Art that makes you think, a feast for the eyes, and food for thought, y’know 😊


Featured images: © Norlie Meimban

Mary Lou “Lion Heart” Retton

*Since it’s Olympic season, although it’s barely televised over here, I just wanted to share a wonderful moment that happened to me in the sea of Simone Biles news.

This is Mary Lou Retton. She’s an Olympic gold medalist in artistic gymnastics. 🏅 She’s an icon. My uncle says she was America’s darling. She changed the face of gymnastics becoming the first American woman to win individual gold, beating the Romanians, who together with the Soviets, had dominated the sport for decades back then. Moreover, I just think she has this bubbly, energetic personality that made everything she did absolutely captivating. It translated on the floor.

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Two nights ago I tweeted that 1984 was a golden year. And part of the reason I love 1984 so much is Mary Lou. Just look at her fire. 🔥 And to my amazement, she acknowledged the tweet! Her verified account. Just to make sure, I checked her likes and it’s not like she’s the type that goes around liking fan tweets, she mostly likes sports related announcements. Boy was I happy. I freaked out for a good 20 minutes. I really appreciate famous people that still acknowledge fans. It’s just a tiny effort on their part but it sure does brighten any fan’s day

I get so teary-eyed every time I watch this. Just listen to Bella Carolli energetically narrate history.

If it isn’t obvious, aside from tennis, artistic gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport. Every four years, I look forward to seeing people achieve what looks like the impossible and I wish my folks enrolled me in gymnastics classes growing up. Hooray for small, strong people.

But there’s just something about gymnastics back in the day. It was a lot more about form, artistry, creativity, and grace. Today the athletes are inarguably pushed to physical limits, but it’s because the sport has centered on stunts and the difficulty of extreme flips and tricks. Props to Simone Biles for quite literally defying gravity and challenging physics. But I miss the performers. I think Mary Lou was one of the best performers out there and her perfect 10 athleticism that was no accident either. It was also just part of the technique that made up the rest of her show.

She’s such a hero not just because of her gold or perfect 10s but because of her fighting spirit. I just really look up to her flame. You can see it in her eyes and her candidness gives away her passion. Most of all you can see it in her smile.

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Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.

—Mary Lou Retton