Hello to you unseen, unknown, (maybe also imaginary) blog readers!
I'm taking a break from activities here in northern Luzon to blog about a near-encounter with National Artist Benedicto Cabrera a few months ago during the height of the grounding of a American warship in Tubbataha Reef.
I've mentioned before that I'm uncomfortable about the idea of bringing art "down" to make it accessible to pedestrians by displaying them in commercial establishments. Still, it's a joy to live in Ortigas where malls that feature some art exhibits are just a few blocks away from my house that I can take a couple of hours or so skipping from one display to another, from mall to mall, on a free weekend afternoon.
So back to BenCab, I saw him one day being interviewed in Megamall Atrium as his works of birds are displayed around. Being a reporter myself, I wanted to approach him for ambush questions but I hesitated. While I didn't feel like working at that time, I also didn't bring witty questions to throw at him, so I abandoned my ambition of being up close with a great or risk being labeled incompetent by a popular stranger.
So I just looked around, and saw these:
|'Green-footed Booby with Juvenile' by Bencab .Watercolor on handmade paper 2012 13" x 18"|
|'Sunset at Tubbataha' by BenCab (detail). Watercolor on handmade paper 2012 18" x 13"|
The exhibit did not carry originals, of course, but the pieces did catch the attention of many passers-by just looking for a cheap buffet offering or looking to head to the uppermost floor to attend Mass. Subtly vibrant and with a vintage color scheme, BenCab's Birds of Tubbataha series show his masterful use of the tough practice of watercolor.
The Philippine Star's Igan D'Bayan writes: "BenCab painted the watercolors in Baguio, based on his own photographs. None were done on the spot. The paper he used is a very special handmade paper we bought in Moulin de Larroque, a 13th-century paper mill in the village of Couze, in the Dordogne region in France."
Since I'm nearer Baguio this time, maybe I can finally take a peek at BenCab's museum? Let's see. Maybe tomorrow.
I recently realized after having recited this prayer so many times as part of communion thanksgiving in our parish here in Pasig, that it can be a chant for journalists.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi (excerpt):
Lord, make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy ...
Hey, people! This is I guess my first comeback post to the blogging world. You probably missed me a bit over the past few months when I had an undeclared absence from this ridiculously-named personal site, or maybe you didn't.
But I indeed missed it. I missed writing with "I" after third-person writing stories after stories day after day since I started work at the Philippine Star online last September. The past months have not exactly been grueling--nothing is when you're having fun learning, experimenting and delivering stories worth telling. But they sure have been tiresome.
Anyway, this is just to say that I will try to blog again at least once in two weeks if I can't squeeze it in every week. And I'm excited! I can get to share again with a small part of the world interesting things I come across with. More paintings, more movie recommendations, more commentaries! Let's do this.
After all, there's something rewarding about writing something only few people read and only fewer truly understand. But it's still a few people. Makes a lot of difference.
I join the rest of the world to thank Pope Benedict XVI's great service to the Church. If you would allow me to be corny for the moment, I believe I belong to Generation B--the youth that grew up in the faith during this Pope's term.
Pope John Paul II was someone I revered but it was through the current pontiff that I appreciated the intellectual beauty of my faith. He spoke to the youth not in code nor in plain language--he treated us as thinking individuals capable of understanding, of giving ourselves up, of sacrificing, of having high ideals but at the same time grounded in the realities of the everyday.
As a journalist, I appreciated most his messages urging us on to pause and reflect amid the deluge of information we encounter and create hour after hour in our work. He told us to take a break, disconnect from the digital noise and find out the truths about life, people and God. Though I'm still far from mastering this art of reflection, his words will forever linger as they have been already ringing since the start of my professional journey.
He also encouraged us to consider reporting on what's beautiful and good and to give politics and crime and the inane a break.