In 1937, Nazi fighter pilots bombed Guernica, a Basque town in northern Spain, murdering and maiming 3,000 people.

Years later, "a Gestapo officer holds a reproduction of Guernica and asks Picasso, 'You did that, didn't you?' Picasso replies, 'No, you did'."

Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas. 137.4 in × 305.5 in. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

This is why I don't get works and pieces that alienate the viewer or the audience or the listener. Do artists really just create for themselves?

A page from the book When Art Really Works given to me by a good friend.

Art is not produced solely for intellectuals ...

Subjectivity will - and indeed must - always play a role in the appreciation of art. 'Well, I don't know about art, but I know what I like' is a remark that is often heard at galleries and museums, but it is as valid as the high-faulting claims by professional art critics in the newspapers.

"Punctured" (2013) by Roen Capuli, resin. One of my favorite works the past year.
Everyone can appreciate art--whether they feel 'qualified' to do so or not. Equally, everyone can feel a sense of awe when standing before a great work of art: we can recognize that there is something magnificent about a certain work, and that feeling is universal because that is art's job.
— Andy Pankhurst and Lucinda Hawksley

The best snacks and desserts I had the past few weeks.

1. L'Opera cake from La Petit Chéri

2. Edamame Hummus with Spiced Pita from Nomama

3. Chocolate soufflé from Piazza Privato

4. French Kiss slabwich of corned lengua, sauerkraut and garlicky horseradish spread from Chuck's Deli.


So I've been recently learning how to cook. Note that I grew up cooking nothing more than hotdogs in a microwave oven and the occasional hotdogs on grill. I'm also a veteran in making s'mores at camp or nights out. 

But lately I found myself making my own (perfect!) sunny side up eggs when I get home late and everyone else would be sleeping. I throw in a slice of bread seared on a pan with some herbs and butter and Spanish sardines fried in their own oil straight from the jar. That would be my version of a perfect dinner stamped with my signature. 

But I'm looking for some progress. 

Enter The Fat Kid Inside demo videos and Erwan Heussaff. And then some Jamie "Naked Chef" Oliver, Junior Masterchef episodes and shows of my former pen pal, Bobby Flay (Why? It's a long story). 

I'm also reading "Just Three Ingredients" by Jenny White with simple encyclopedia-like pages on the basic ingredients, kitchen tools and minimalist cooking techniques. I find it the perfect book to have for dumber-than-dumb beginner cooks. 

I got the interest going as I was made to cover several restaurants and interview some awesome chefs while pretending I actually know what I'm asking and writing. I think I'll be covering less in the food beat now that we have a full-time lifestyle writer but I've to be ready. What if Mario Batalli comes over in Manila and our writer gets sick? Someone has to rise to the occasion. Ehem. 

But my main reason is how inspired I am by people who know their way around the kitchen and food. A wise man by the name of Saint Josemaria Escriva is perhaps one of the first people to have lived who believed those who serve and make the home a happier place have a job as dignified as a CEO's.

Also, imagine trying to create an artistic, excellent meal for hours and it will only be consumed in 15 minutes! It's somehow like writing, which would take hours and even days and months (and a decade, gasp~) to put together. It will only be read by someone for one whole hour or less. Ouch!

An untitled painting of a newborn child I spotted while in one of my regular walk around art galleries in Ortigas yesterday.

I hope and pray the RH Law will be declared invalid tomorrow. Otherwise, expect pro-life groups to take the battle in other levels during its implementation. 

And it was awesome. 

I had to suspend all expectations to appreciate the Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival for what it is. People going around, bobbing their heads as if gestured by the golden cat perched on cabs' dashboards. Pomelo scent filled the air, blown from the fog machine from the stage. I only spotted one girl wearing jeans and t-shirt: Me.

And now to share my discoveries: 

1. The art and talent of Mishka Adams (thank God she's back!) 

It was a bit awkward to be standing in front of the stage and waiting so eagerly for half an hour while she and sound engineers try so hard to perfect the volume of the microphones assigned to her instrument. But I had been waiting for that moment since college. 

Alas I did not have a courage to head backstage to meet her for an interview. I was so satisfied fangirling from the mosh pit. 

2. Eping, a Hanunuo Mangyan woman who so openly spoke with us about the plight and joys of her tribe. 


Yes, they are less fortunate than most of us economically speaking. But there are more of us, too, who perhaps love culture way less than they do. 

3. Outdoor installation art by the bulk. 

At Malasimbo, there is an abundance of  contemporary works. You name them: d'Aboville, Katigbak, New, De Guia, Arellano, etc. It's one glorious, grassy gallery!

4. This Mangyan guy:

Who practices everyday to create music from guava leaves. 

5. Poi. 

It's not a sport, not a talent, not even a body building practice. It's a dance, but still not exactly.

"It's a kind of flow," my bugang instructor Hans (in yellow shirt) said. Oh-kay. 

6. Picture-perfect Puerto Galera and its sand and its shore and its long, winding roads without light at night. (Electricity is expensive, the mayor told me.)

It's unfortunate that the once favorite tourist destination is now tainted by the rep of its red district, bawdy night life and availability of marijuana and illegal drugs.

Local government should consider battling these forces decisively if they want to make serious money for the people from a renewed boom in tourist numbers coming in for cheap, family-friendly getaways. 

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