Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Friendship Park Update

Just an update on the Pacific Rim Friendship Park that we're still planning to build in 2009.

We're now talking with Mayor Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa City. And we're trying to begin discussions to explore options with Manila and Subic.

James Hubbell is the renowned artist-architect from the US who leads this multi-country effort and with whom we'll be working. Check out his website.

* Photo shows a Hubbell-designed shade pavilion and community gathering place in Shelter Island in San Diego, CA.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Valentine's Day Offer from 1/of Gallery

For a limited period only, a special set of giclee prints based on romance-themed artworks by Farley Del Rosario, one of the country's most exciting and sought-after young artists, is now available through 1/of Gallery.

"BLUE KISS", is based on his sold-out show "Truly Madly Deeply" while "LOVE SEAT" is taken from his earlier works. This special gift collection is sure to set the mood for Valentine's Day. Limited to only 20 prints each, both works are signed and come with certificates of authenticity.

Order now and receive a free canvas art wallet featuring artist Palma Tayona's tribute to the environment "It Takes a Village to Plant a Tree."

For inquiries and details, please call 901-3152 or text/call 09202957836. You may also email Clarice Placido at clarice@canvas.ph.

Proceeds from sales will benefit CANVAS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Philippine art, culture and the environment. To learn more about CANVAS, please visit www.canvas.ph.

*** Giclee prints of both "Blue Kiss" and "Love Seat" are artist-signed, printed on archival paper and are mounted on acid-free matting. Image size is roughly 9.25" x 7.5". Edition size: 20. Price: P2,500.00 each, with free art wallet (worth P450.00) while supplies last.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Required Reading

"The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines" by Paul Hutchcroft.

Click here to download a pdf file.

Click here to read on the web.

One way to read this rather lengthy academic paper is to think about it in these terms: Many say that the problem with Filipinos is that we are politically immature. Witness how we vote for personalities, they would say, rather than for programs or political parties as a whole.

But are we entirely to blame? If one were to look closely at the political institutions and how elections are conducted, one would find that the system itself encourages, if not forces us to choose on the basis of personality.

Consider, for example, how we vote for the President and the Vice President. No less than the Constitution requires that we choose them separately, rather than as a team. Simply put, it tells us to choose personalities, rather than a common vision or program that could (presumably) be continued by the VP in case the President dies or becomes incapacitated.

Or how we elect our Senators - We choose 12 at a time. We don't know about you, but how many can actually remember or even select 12 that they would vote for? Given this procedure, name recall becomes a big advantage. Again, here is an institutionalized mechanism that encourages personality-based elections.

Ah, and what about our honorable representatives from the Lower House? Here, it's a bit trickier. We elect them singly, by district. The unintended effect: given our feudal history, political families and warlords have an easier time consolidating power within a relatively small geographical area. In this case, the elections again, could turn on the candidate's name, i.e., his or her family name.

We're not saying it's not possible for an unknown to win, but obviously, the cards are constitutionally stacked heavily against him or her.

Possible tweaks to discourage personality-based politics: Allow for block voting, select Senators by region rather than at large (to allow people to really study and know the candidates), and create larger congressional districts with multiple congressmen (to dilute the power of powerful families - they would likely still win, but now they would be one among a number of other candidates).

Of course, all these could also have unintended consequences, so they need to be studied carefully. But that's not our point.

The point is that institutions matter not only because they could help reduce (or increase) corruption, inefficiency, traffic, birth and death rates, GNP, GDP, overseas migration, blah, blah...

At an even more basic level, institutions matter because they affect who we are, how we see our leaders, who we choose to follow (and blame), and how we see and will define our individual and collective futures.

If we want to truly understand who we are as a people, learning how institutions (including the Church) work for or against us would be a great starting point.

Bayang Magiliw (2007) by Manny Garibay.
Oil on Canvas. 78"x96"

Rockin' for Juan

Here's an update on our big October show.

What show? This one.

We've lined up a dream set of artists: Plet Bolipata, Elmer Borlongan, Fred Esquillo, Karen Flores, Manny Garibay, Winner Jumalon, and Mark Justiniani, and matched them with equally accomplished rock and roll bands: Joey Ayala, Noel Cabangon, Up Dharma Down, Drip, Cynthia Alexander, Dong Abay and one more who will remain nameless until we iron out the last few remaining details.

We're excited, but anything can still happen. First exchange of works is in March. If (when) that happens, this one's really going to start rolling. Let's all keep our fingers crossed! :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yet another cool site...

Get your daily dose of imagery.

Don't miss the flash-enabled photos in the archives, like this one. And this. Or this.

Really cool.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Found this on the Internet: http://www.wdydwyd.com.

Check it out.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Living Stories by Palma Tayona

On the 14th of January, Palma Tayona opens his first one-man show of paintings in a show titled LIVING/Stories. Known for the robustness of his images, the artist features some of the works done during the past two years.

Featured in his exhibit are several of his works that the artist would write about in his blog. His images, much the same way as his stories, have an innocent and light-hearted sentiment which are both a pleasure to see and read.

opens on January 14, 2008 at 7pm and will run until January 25. it will be held at 1/of Gallery, 2 nd level Shops at Serendra, Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila.

For details call 9013152.

Taking Over The World through Pinoy Musicians

As a follow-up to our Arnel Pineda post... how did/do Filipino cover bands end up as a major export?

Check out this excellent 2005 article from the New York Times Magazine.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Our First Book on Amazon.com!

Sol - A Legend About the Sun is our first title to appear on Amazon.com. (We wish we could have completed this in time for the Christmas season, but we are very happy nonetheless.)

We chose this particular story because we thought it had the most universal appeal. Regardless of how well this does, we will publish some of our other stories on Amazon as well.

Amazing stuff - the Internet. Together with Canvas Downstream, our Amazon presence is the second component of CANVAS 2.0 - our two-pronged program for using the Internet to promote greater awareness for Philippine art and culture (and Filipino artists and writers) in the global market, through affordable merchandise based on some of the best of contemporary Philippine art and literature.

To view Sol on Amazon, click here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Big Plans for an Exciting Year

How our 2008 is shaping up...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again!

CANVAS invites you to join its 4th Annual Romeo Forbes Storywriting Competition. This year's contest is based on an original untitled oil on canvas painting by Joy Mallari (pictured above - click on the picture to see a larger version).

In addition to receiving P30,000.00 in cash and a trophy, the winning author will also see his/her story rendered and published as a full color children's book in mid-2009.


1. The 2008 Romeo Forbes Children’s Storywriting Competition is open to all Filipinos.

2. Entries must not have been previously published, and all entrants must warrant the originality of their submitted entries.

3. Writers may submit only one entry, in English or Filipino, which shall be of 2,000 words or less.

4. There is no particular theme, other than the use of this year’s contest piece by artist Joy Mallari as the inspiration or basis for the entry.

5. The CANVAS children’s story writing competition shall be awarded points by a select panel of judges based on the following criteria:

* Originality and Storyline (30%)
* Quality of Writing (30%)
* Imagery (30%)
* X-Factor (Judges’ discretion) (10%)

6. Judging Process.

* CANVAS shall first shortlist the ten (10) best stories, copies of which shall then be forwarded to the CANVAS Fellow.
* The CANVAS Fellow shall then shorten the list further to seven (7) stories, and may provide comments on any or all the stories for consideration by the panel of judges.
* A panel of judges shall collectively choose the winner from the final set of stories.
* If the judges cannot come to a consensus on the winner, they shall take a vote and the entry that gains the most number of votes shall be declared the winner.
* Neither the judges nor the CANVAS fellow will see the entrant's name until the winner is chosen.

7. Entries must be submitted by email, as a Microsoft Word attachment, to storycontest@canvas.ph with the subject heading 2008 ROMEO FORBES CHILDREN’S STORYWRITING COMPETITION. Entrants must include a cover sheet with their name, mailing and email address, and telephone number. Only the story title should appear on all pages of the entry.

8. The deadline for submission of entries is 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), Friday 21 March 2008. Entries received after the deadline, even if sent earlier, will no longer be considered for the competition. CANVAS shall not be responsible for entries which are not received, or which are received after the deadline, due to technical failure or for any other reason whatsoever.

9. Subject to Rule 14 below, by submitting an entry, all entrants thereby agree to authorize CANVAS to post such entries on its website or blog, as CANVAS deems fit, and free from any payments, royalties or fees whatsoever.

10. There shall be only one winner, who shall receive a cash prize of PhP 30,000.00 and a trophy for his/her entry. The winner shall be responsible for all applicable taxes.

The winning writer shall also be entitled to five (5) free copies upon publication of the book.

The winner shall grant and transfer to CANVAS all intellectual property and publication rights to the story, including the right to translate, adapt and/or make modifications thereto. (Please see our short note on why we have this rule.)

It is hereby understood that the cash prize to be awarded to the winner shall include consideration of such intellectual property and publication rights to the story, and the writer shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, derivative works, licensing of, or other transactions on the same.

Except for the right to publish any received entry on its website and/or blog, CANVAS shall not retain any other rights to entries that are not selected as the winner, except where separate agreements are reached with the writers.

11. CANVAS shall exercise full and exclusive editorial and artistic control over the publication of the winning entry and resulting book.

12. While it is the full intention of CANVAS to publish the winning entry as a full-color children’s book, CANVAS reserves the right not to publish the same for any reason whatsoever.

13. The winner of the CANVAS storywriting competition will be announced on or around 21 April, 2008. The winner will also be notified via email on the same announcement date.

14. CANVAS reserves the right not to award the top competition prize in the event that the judges decide that no entry was received that is deserving of the top prize. In such event, however, CANVAS shall have no right whatsoever over all entries that were received; and shall not publish any entry, in its website or in any other venue, without the prior written consent or agreement of the author.

15. The decision of the competition judges shall be final, and no correspondence or inquiries into the same – including requests for comments/feedback on received entries – shall be entertained.

16. Employees of CANVAS, 1/of Gallery and members of their immediate family, as well as the CANVAS Fellow’s immediate family, are disqualified from participating in the competition.

Why We Ask for the Transfer of Rights

The competition rules clearly state that the winning author should agree to transfer all rights to CANVAS and "...shall not be entitled to any other royalties or fees from earnings, if any, that may result from future publication of, derivative works, licensing of, or other transactions on the same."

This rule has understandably raised quite a few eyebrows in the writers' community, and this note is just to clarify where it is that CANVAS is coming from.

First of all, having complete ownership of the story rights makes it easier and less complicated for us to quickly and liberally share and give our consent to anyone who may ask for permission to use the winning story (something that we have always granted in the past).

Just as we were fortunate enough to have been given permission to adapt "The Man Who Planted Trees," into our maiden publication - “Elias and His Trees,” - we hope that the stories that we work on will inspire similar creativity.

It is for this very reason that the stories and illustrations of books we publish are all available for free viewing and enjoyment on our website (www.canvas.ph), despite the concern of some that the easy availability of the stories on the Internet could eat into the sales of our books (which, happily, has not proven to be the case).

A second reason why we ask for the transfer of rights is that CANVAS is a small NGO, and is not equipped to document and track royalty shares that ideally should accrue to authors and artists. In fact, we only rely on and trust our partner publisher(s) to remit to us our own royalty shares. It is for this reason that our prizes (we think), are quite substantial and approximates (if not exceeds) what writers would normally expect to receive in royalties.

Finally, we are also trying to be financially sustainable. We rely on a small amount of grant funding to conduct our activities, including co-sharing the publication costs of the books. We can only hope to recoup the expenses so that we can do these activities on a continuing and recurring basis in the years to come.

Please be assured of our continuing effort to balance our desire to contribute to the public domain in a manner that is also fair to the writers and artists, on the one hand; and our need to also be fiscally responsible with the grants that have been entrusted to us, and to the publishers that we partner with, on the other.