Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

To Be a Fly on the Wall

Below are excerpts, as transcribed by The New York Times from a secretly recorded tape of an Oval Office meeting on January 5, 1973 between former US President Richard Nixon and then Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos P. Romulo.

The context of course, was that this was just a few months after the declaration of Martial law in the Philippines. Were they lying to one another? Or just in denial? Or ignorant? Or simply trying to convince themselves that the ends justified the means? Whatever their state of mind, or their true intent, future events would later prove them both to spectacularly be on the wrong side of Philippine history.

For all the talk - then and now, some by good-intentioned but frustrated and misguided folks - that democracy will never work in the Philippines or worse, that maybe what we need today is a benevolent dictatorship, this short snippet of a conversation provides a cautionary glimpse of how cavalier the powers-that-be can be about the exercise of power, and that indeed, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It is something to think about, as we move towards 2010.


NIXON: We hope that things are calming down there.

ROMULO: That is right, very well, Mr. President. I know it’s very important to you that now there is peace and order.

NIXON: Do you prefer tea or coffee, or neither?

ROMULO: Nothing, thank you. There is peace and order. The landlords [unclear] Their guns and arms can equip five divisions.

NIXON: Did the president have to take these strong measures, or — ?

ROMULO: He had to, yes, he had to.

NIXON: I know some people here were, you know, coming in to my office and saying, we must lecture President Marcos. I said nope, not a lecture. I said that I hope that he realizes that this poses some problems. But he knows his own internal situation. I know he is dedicated, as you are, to freedom and all the rest. But you cannot have anarchy. You cannot have it. Your people —You once told me that the Philippines took all of the excesses of American democracy and improved on them. (laughter) ...

NIXON: How do your young people feel?

ROMULO: Well, they want to clean all the streets. Cleaning the graffiti on the walls. You know what, we have some of the cleanest cities in Asia.

NIXON: Wonderful.

ROMULO: The flies have disappeared because the garbage is gone.

NIXON: Good.

ROMULO: You see, democracy, really, American democracy, is for a mature, highly developed, affluent society.


ROMULO: For a developing society, you need someone with strength.

NIXON: You also need it in Latin America. You need it, for example, in Korea. You’re going to need it in Vietnam eventually, you know, the truth is. I understand that.

ROMULO: But Mr. President if you had Marcos over here, your Congress wouldn’t be giving you the trouble they’re giving you now. (laughs)

NIXON: They’ve been giving me trouble for four years and we survived it.

ROMULO: Yes, might be a victory. I was with the board of editors of The Times, and I said to them — they were speaking of the power of the press.


ROMULO: [unclear] said, my friends, about the power of the press — that makes me quite doubtful about the power of the press because you went after President Nixon and you went all out for McGovern. I think the American people maybe didn’t. (laughs)

NIXON: (laughs) Ha-ha! That’s a nice chuckle.

ROMULO: Yes, I said he won all the states except for Massachusetts, and certainly it was not The New York Times that won Massachusetts for McGovern. It was the Kennedys who won that. That kept them quiet.

NIXON: That’s right.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Freedom to Create Prize

The philanthropic organisation ArtAction is seeking to "find light in darkness and courage in truth" with the 2009 Freedom to Create Prize, which honours artists around the world who promote human rights and free expression and are denied their "freedom to create." The deadline for entries is 14 August 2009.

The prize is divided into three categories: the Main Prize is open to artists (individuals or artistic groups) in all creative fields; the Youth Prize is for artists aged 18 or younger; and the Imprisoned Artists Prize is for artists currently in jail because of their work. The total prize fund of US$125,000 is to be divided between the winning artists and advocacy organisations they designate in order to further the cause their artwork has highlighted.

For more information and to register, visit the Freedom to Create website.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


CANVAS is going to have a raffle to raise funds to produce (finally!) our Rakenrol CD.

As we recently mentioned, we've taken full responsibilty now for this project - and we hope to release the CD early next year.

The raffle will be held on at 830pm on July 18 at MANILART 09, at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila where we will also have a two-band rock concert featuring Peryodiko and Loquy.

Only 1,000 tickets are available, and all tickets are guaranteed to win. Prizes include original artworks from dozens of artists, limited edition prints, children's books and other downstream merchandise produced by CANVAS.

Tickets are now available at 1/of Gallery. If interested, you may also text 0917.890.6160 or email

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cool Survey

Team Manila rocks!

Happy? Not Happy.

In case you missed it, Rizal's home in Laguna is now freshly minted green. What to make of it?

On the one hand, here's the explanation from Ambeth Ocampo who gave the green light to turn Rizal's home well, green... and got a lot of people seeing red.

(a) Mr. Ocampo says "the green hues are meant to honor the memory of the Rizal family and their way of life."

(b) The house is not even the original anyway, being a mere reconstruction by Juan Nakpil in the 1950s.

(c) And finally, he suggests that actually, houses had color in Spanish times, but were limited to available paint colors: blue, yellow, red and green. So it could actually have been green (although probably not this shade of it).

Hmmm... this explanation is from the very same guy who first took issue with Martin Nievera's singing of the National Anthem a month ago. So something just doesn't ring right.

Where does he draw the line? True, there's a law on how to sing the National Anthem, but there must be a law against vandalism too, right?

Rizal's house may not be the original thing, but the new color we must say (based only on what we see from the only picture we could find on Google shown above, courtesy of California Chronicle), not only isn't very flattering, it doesn't jive with what we imagined it would look like - either today, or in the 1800s during his time.

There's something to be said about at least trying to create the illusion, if not even cultivating the perception, that this once was the great Jose Rizal's home. It may only be a reconstruction, but at least people and tourists who came would somehow feel it was the original, and be given the experience of visually being transported back in time - the same way some of the old churches, houses and buildings in Intramuros, many of which are not originals either, do.

Looking at it now, this house doesn't evoke a sense of awe or reverence. The choice of color certainly doesn't look like something that an artist like Rizal would have approved. If at at all, it seems to fit more with the questionable taste of a presidential wanabee with a liking towards garish baby blue and jarring pink.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Happy

Artwork: Lulubog, Lilitaw by Alfredo Esquillo (2008).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Born to Be Wild - Tales from the Sierra Madre

Some of the Stuff We're Thinking About

With our big projects (Pacific Rim Park and the Outdoor Banner Project in UP) done for now, we have some time to step back, assess the "damage" and survey the future. Here are some of the major projects we have coming up:

1. Our Art and Rock & Roll Project hit a snag when the global economic crisis hit our music and multimedia partner, which then had to close their recording studio. They wanted to continue with the project, but financial realities dictated that they had to let go of the whole thing. Decent and good folks that they are, they've told us they were willing to just give us what has been done so far (four songs recorded with master copies ready), and waive and transfer all rights to us.

We probably won't make money on this, but it's a great project and one we can be proud of, if we're able to pull and push and force it through. And we'll have fun doing it - how many people actually get the chance to produce for the likes of Dong Abay, Peryodiko, Up Dharma Down, Noel Cabangon, Joey Ayala, Cynthia Alexander and Loquy?!

So we're taking the challenge - which means raising money to book recording studios for the remaining five bands (two songs each), pay the composers, advance some royalties, and other unavoidable expenses that are sure to come our way. We have some ideas, and plans (one of which is our previously posted online gallery)... and will provide details soon.

2. The overwhelmingly positive response to the public, and the artist community, to our Outdoor Banner Project, has us thinking of doing it all over again next year, just in time for the elections, and with more artists, writers, poets, and musicians than ever.

We still have to refine the idea, but it's basically going to be about Everyday Filipino Heroes. The exhibit will be a collective statement that the 2010 elections shouldn't be about finding heroes or saviors, because those people are all around us everyday. It's going to be a nonpartisan affair, but still exploring the use of art to instigate public reflection, discussion and debate.

3. And of course, we have those three children's books in the pipeline:

Ang Dyip ni Mang Tomas in October 2009 (story by Genaro Gojo Cruz, artworks by Anthony Palomo)

Doll Eyes
in December 2009 (story by Eline Santos, artworks by Joy Mallari)

Mga Huni sa Loob ng Kawayan
in February 2010 (story by Fernando Gonzalez, artworks by Juanito Torres).

The last book won our Romeo Forbes Children's Storywriting Competition this year, and normally, it should be published no earlier than August 2010. But, the story is also about the famed Las Pinas Bamboo Organ and its festival is celebrated in February, so we wanted to time the book launch appropriately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now Here's a Competition that Truly Matters

An I-Witness documentary presented by Howie Severino and starring some of the most gifted adolescents in the country

I-Witness documented a nerve-wracking and dazzling real-life reality show that television did not stage -- a public high school did. The school is the only one of its kind, the famed Philippine High School for the Arts in the secluded woods of Mount Makiling in Laguna, the alma mater of such arts luminaries as Raymond Red and Grace Nono.

For the first time in its history, the PHSA called for a live audition of aspirants for 40 annual scholarships, worth 300,00 pesos per student per year.

Howie Severino and his team immersed themselves in the week-long auditions on PHSA's mountain campus, and focused on the lives of three applicants as they go through an emotional roller-coaster in a tranquil environment. Applicants become friends while competing as rivals for limited spots.

Ziv is a shy home-taught classical guitarist who lost his mother to breast cancer five years ago. Finally feeling at home in a school, he faces the prospect of rejection because another classical guitarist who is auditioning may be even better than he.

Applying for the second consecutive year, ballet dancer Joan was traumatized by her first rejection but wants to be a student at PHSA so much that she decided to try again.

Having never known his father, folk dancer aspirant Jason has been inseparable from his mother. But auditioning is the only way he can continue his education and help his mother alleviate their poverty.

Triumph in these auditions means not only a free, world-class arts education, but an opportunity for an artistic career and a chance to represent their country overseas, like many other PHSA alumni before them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Online Gallery of Sorts

Building the Park in Puerto Princesa, and our Outdoor Art Banner Exhibit in UP were both very very well received, and definitely worth all the effort (even if only for the families soaking in the artwork while walking together on Sunday underneath UP's acacia trees), but... both were also serious drains on our not very imposing coffers.

And now, we have a number of big projects coming up, including the long overdue Art & Rakenrol CD (the rights to the music, we are finally assured, will be transferred to us in full so that we can take charge of pursuing this in earnest), and three children's books in the next eight months:
  • Ang Dyip ni Mang Tomas in October (story by Genaro Gojo Cruz, artworks by Anthony Palomo)
  • Doll Eyes in December (story by Eline Santos, artworks by Joy Mallari)
  • Mga Huni sa Loob ng Kawayan in February (story by Fernando Gonzalez, artworks by Juanito Torres).
So we've decided to try and create an online gallery of sorts to help us with fundraising... we wanted one that's free, relatively uncomplicated, and easy to update ourselves, so that we can have a way of letting people know exactly what artworks and books we have for sale.

We didn't want to use the CANVAS website for that - first of all, something just didn't fit; and second, to do that, we would have to commission a back-end database and management system... which we can't afford and which we're not so confident will pay for itself over time.

So we played around with Blogspot, that free blog publishing tool from the good folks at Google, and came up with CANVAS' Online Gallery and Bookshelf.

It looks like it will serve our purposes for now. Just a place where people can browse and inquire, about the amazing artworks we have for sale, as well as the books we have on stock. We'll try to keep it updated, so people know EXACTLY what we have, at any given time.

But there's no online payment mechanism, so interested buyers will just have to send us an email, and we can take it from there.

So feel free to browse around... if you like anything, shoot us an email... and if you end up buying something, know that you're also supporting our cause, for whatever that's worth. :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Morning In U.P.

Took an early morning jog around UP's Academic Oval, on the first Sunday morning of our month-long Looking for Juan Outdoor Art Banner Exhibit, and we were very pleasantly surprised to find LOTS of people there!

And amidst the crowds, there are some quiet moments to be found as well.

This is why we really wanted to do the show in UP... :-)

If you're looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday morning or afternoon in Metro Manila - whether alone or with family - UP Diliman, one of the few truly green spaces in this city, should really be at the top of your list.

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project was made possible in part by generous support from The Pag-IBIG Fund.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nationalista Fashionista

From the article Nationalista Fashionista by Sam L. Marcelo, Businessworld Weekender June 12-13, 2009.


Expressions of nationalism don’t have to be as grand or as life-changing as getting shot in Bagumbayan. Open your eyes a little wider and you’ll see love for country plastered on the humblest of garments: the T-shirt.

After breaking free from the barong Tagalog and the terno, "nationalistic fashion" now speaks in the language of the youth. Hence, you have shirts bearing respectfully tweaked depictions of Filipino heroes — Jose Rizal in aviator sunglasses, anyone?; pithy slogans pregnant with Pinoy humor; and modified Philippine heraldry (since, according to Section 34 of Republic Act No. 8491, it is prohibited "to print, paint or attach representations of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise").

Why is it cool to be Pinoy all of a sudden?

The popularity of these designs, which are aimed primarily at the so-called "Millennial Generation," or those born in the 1980s, and succeeding generational cohorts — is the culminating result of several socio-cultural factors.

Individuals born in the 1980s, although too young to participate in the 1986 People Power Revolution, were probably brought up by parents who participated in or, at the very least, remember the First Quarter Storm and the events leading up to the removal of the Marcos administration.

By the time EDSA Dos occurred in 2001, these Millennials were old enough to march to Ortigas Center to experience firsthand the exhilaration of a mass political movement.

Jay Aldeguer, president of Islands Souvenirs, a brand of geographical pride shirts that began in the 1990s, added that the advent of globalization and advances in technology ironically paved the way for an upsurge in patriotic sentiments. Confronted by a borderless world — virtual or otherwise — questions about Filipino identity cropped up again, in the same way that they did during momentous events in our history.

Then, too, came the diaspora of Filipino workers, whose prolonged periods away from native soil heightened their appreciation for all things Pinoy, no matter how small. "A lot of people are leaving the country. It’s a sad thing, but that’s what life is. When they do leave, they want to carry a sense of home with them," said My Philippines Lifestyle, Inc. president William Brian Dy, who observed that the "nationalistic" trend began with foreigners and balikbayans before trickling down to the local market.

Of course, international celebrities like boxer Manny Pacquiao and Internet sensations Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda have also made it "cool" to be Filipino. But long before these guys came onto the scene, there was rapper Francis Magalona, who made patriotic hits like "Man from Manila" and "Mga Kababayan," which were released in the 1990s. Upon his death, fans flocked to stores to snap up shirts from 3 Stars & a Sun, his clothing company, as a show of support.

The Philippines is sexy

Team Manila’s Aswang, Sanay sa Krisis, Psychedelic Rizal, Silog and I Rizal Ph T-shirts

Youth-oriented brands have adopted their own strategies of harnessing the buying power of this new generation of proud-to-be-Pinoy consumers.

"[They] have such a high-level of taste, expression and awareness. It’s up to us to ’get’ what kids of today are all about so that our shirts can give them an avenue to unleash their voice and be heard," said Team Manila general manager Nico Bacani.

In Team Manila’s case, a graphic design team and a product development team collaborate on designs that mine current issues for inspiration. The results are posted online and the public is asked to vote for their favorites. As an example, Mr. Bacani offered the "Sanay na sa crisis: Manila Matibay" shirt.

"It addresses the current economic crisis and gives hope. After all, we’ve gone through worse and survived," he said, adding that the brand favors optimistic statements and witty lines that illustrate everyday life in Manila.

Collezione C2, on the other hand, scored a hit in 2008 with its My Pilipinas map shirts, the brainchild artistic director Rhett Eala. Although he couldn’t supply hard numbers, Mr. Eala said that the brand experienced triple digit growth from last year owing to the success of the shirts.

The artistic director explained that for this particular line, he was looking for a symbol that would represent the fact that Collezione C2 is one of the few local brands that has products that are 100% Philippine-made.

"I was always fascinated by the shape of our map. It’s sensual, easily recognizable and unique so I decided to put it on one of our polo shirts. From there, it just snowballed into what it is today," he said, adding that come July, Collezione C2 will be launching a Rizal series to expand their nationalistic-themed apparel.

Meanwhile, Islands Souvenirs is adding a line dubbed "Pi" (short for Philippine Islands), which features "trendy and patriotic designs," to its collection.

"It’s not just a new product but an advocacy in itself. We want to actively engage in cause-oriented nationalistic initiatives," Mr. Aldeguer said, adding that his company has partnered with Youth Vote Philippines (YVote) by supporting satellite registration activities at different campuses.

Fashion to action

Ideally, these sartorial expressions of love for country should translate into action, otherwise the shirts become fodder for hipster irony. Just look at what happened to Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary turned posterboy for counterculture. Although his stylized face is iconic in the global street fashion scene, one wonders if people really know who the hell he is and what he stood for.

Rapa Lopa, executive director of the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation (BSAF), neatly sidestepped the problem of meaningless nationalistic fashion by developing a movement similar to Bono’s (Product) Red, a business model that directly gives a portion of profits to the Global Fund to invest in African AIDS programs for every (Product)-Red-branded item sold.

Under the iamninoy campaign, everytime someone buys an iamninoy item from BSAF’s retail partners, a portion of its sale goes to various national charities that "work for justice, freedom and the well-being of our countrymen." Since its launch in August 2008, the campaign has raised P1.2 million.

"We wanted to develop a Ninoy brand and make advocacy cool. We didn’t want it to be purely a fashion statement," Mr. Lopa said. "The mere act of buying is already doing good but hopefully, people then start to think ’what else can I do?.’"

Aside from the campaign’s built-in altruism, its success also hinges on Ninoy, the man himself. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino was a modern-day Filipino hero who was martyred in dramatic fashion, and it doesn’t hurt that his face is on the P500 bill, that he has an airport named after him, and that his squarish black prescription glasses are as recognizable as Kanye West’s shutter shades.

"The glasses became a symbol of seeing the country through Ninoy’s eyes. It also helps because retro is cool now," Mr. Lopa said.

And so the multitude of versions of Ninoy’s bespectacled face that stares out from shirts — posterized, glorified, and, in one case, Obamafied in a design inspired by Shepard Fairey’s red-white-and-blue stencil portrait of the American president.

The campaign has received such a positive response that all of BSAF’s retail partners — Bench (Suyen Corp.); Penshoppe (Golden ABC); Team Manila; Rudy Project; Analog Soul; i2i; My Philippines Lifestyle, Inc.; Island Souvenirs; The T-shirt Project; Sarabia Optical (Losar Optics); and Tieline — have expressed their desire to renew their year-long contract with iamninoy.

"Young people, distracted as they may seem, want to do something. They just don’t know where and how. We’ve given them a platform for everyday heroism," Mr. Lopa said.

* T-Shirt Ni Juan, by Roel Obemio (3'x6' acrylic on canvas, 2009). Submitted for CANVAS' Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Exhibit.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our Independence Day Gift

It could all begin with the fact that we are an archipelago, a collection of islands - some big, some small, some gone when the tide is up - separated from one another, and bound together only by legal fiction.

Similarly, as a people, we are more like a collection of tribes or regions or provinces. It is easier to talk about the traits, quirkiness and stereotypes (fair and unfair) of Batanguenos or Ilocanos or Ilonggos or Muslims or the people from Imperial Manila, than it is to define what exactly it is to be a Filipino.

So ask the ordinary man or woman on the street what binds all these disparate folks together beyond an arguably common shared history, and we will get various, even conflicting, responses.

There are our traits. Are we condemned by crab mentality? Or are we uplifted by our sense of bayanihan?

Are we famously resilient because we can laugh at ourselves and our problems? Or are we hopelessly hampered by an inability to take things seriously - laughing even when there is nothing to laugh about?

Is our faith - and the Church - our saving grace, or our ironic cross?

Who is Juan? Who is Juana? Or maybe it is the name itself - Juan is a Spanish name, one that did not exist in these Islands before we were conquered. Do we reject “Juan” as a non-Filipino name? Or do we embrace it as an undeniable part of who we are today given our history?

It is easy to stereotype the OFW as a prototypical Filipino today. Counting OFWs and their friends and loved ones left behind, they comprise a huge majority of our population who share common experiences - the displaced sense of family, the heroic notion of sacrifice, the pasalubongs when one returns, the jeepney loads of relatives that accompany them to the airport when they leave, and of course, the remittances that collectively keep this country afloat.

And yet, we all know the Filipino is more than just the OFW. There are millions of farmers and fisherfolk, thousands of youthful call center agents and ICT workers, and dwindling numbers of indigenous peoples. They, too, are Filipinos.

So, what does it mean to be Filipino? What does it matter? Why does it matter?

The answer to this question is important, not least because the lack of a common and shared sense of identity could be one major reason why we cannot seem to get our acts together, and live up to our full potential as a nation.

This is a basic theme that we should explore and discuss, and most importantly, pose to anyone (especially the young) who might listen - if only so that they will not take their identity for granted.

Unfortunately, the question also often sounds hackneyed (gasgas na gasgas na) and, indeed, corny. Worse, many times even, the people calling for unity (many of them in government, the church and the media) are only self-interested, and are those we would really rather ignore.

We need to ask the question, and to propose some answers - but in a manner that is not off-putting or intimidating, and in a way that allows people to seek and find the answers just for themselves without feeling awkward or forced.

The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development’s (CANVAS) Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project - opening at the University of the Philippines’ Academic Oval on Independence Day (June 12, 2009) - is an attempt to provide that venue, that opportunity.

We asked dozens of artists, writers, musicians and poets to provide - through their art, words and music - their answers to the question - What Does It Mean to Be Filipino? Their responses were then transformed into art banners and will be displayed so that people can enjoy them as they walk, bike or drive around a 2.2 kilometer oval under the magnificent acacia trees of the University of the People.

It is an engaging, and completely relaxed environment, especially on Sundays when the whole place is closed to traffic, and joggers jog, children play, and families come out to relax and just be with one another. It will be fun, and we hope to see you there.

And best of all - the answers (and sometimes even more questions) are given - almost subliminally - by artists, writers, poets and musicians who, by definition, are engaged in work and lifestyles that force them to think and express thoughts and things bigger than they are.

We also like to think that this show is even more special in that, collectively, it gives a snapshot of what some of the best young creative talents think when asked about what it means to be Filipino, at this particular point in our nation's history.

In the end, of course, there is no single correct answer to the question, “What does it mean to be Filipino?”

Which is as it should be, because for many of the important issues confronting us today - as individuals and as a nation - understanding the questions is often more important than providing the answers.

A Happy and Meaningful Independence Day to All!

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Exhibit will be on view from June 12 to July 11, 2009 around the University of the Philippines’ Academic Oval in Diliman, Quezon City.

At the end of its run, the banners will be converted into tote bags by two women’s communities in Antipolo and Laguna, and sold as original works of functional art. Proceeds from the sale will benefit PADYAK - a UP Mountaineers-led movement to promote cycling and environmentalism as healthy lifestyles, as well as other CANVAS efforts to promote greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment.

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project is made possible in part by generous support from The Pag-IBIG Fund.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Banner Project, From Idea to Completion

We started this blog, back in November 12, 2006, with this very activity in mind. Tomorrow, exactly 31 months to the day, on Independence Day - June 12, 2009, we will have delivered on this goal.

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Exhibit opens tomorrow (Independence Day) at 4pm at the UP College of Law with a free mini-concert by Peryodiko. The show will remain on view until July 11, 2009 around the University of the Philippines’ Academic Oval in Diliman, Quezon City.

At the end of its run, the banners will be converted into tote bags by two women’s communities in Antipolo and Laguna, and sold as original works of functional art. Proceeds from the sale will benefit PADYAK - a UP Mountaineers-led movement to promote cycling and environmentalism as healthy lifestyles, as well as other CANVAS efforts to promote greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment.

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project was made possible in part by generous support from The Pag-IBIG Fund.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Still Looking for Juan, This Time at Alab Art Space

We've moved the CCP Show, and added a few more paintings to the Alab Art Space of the Intellectual Property Office.

Relatively undiscovered, the Alab Art Space - we were pleasantly surprised - was very spacious and well laid out.

Located at 351 Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia Ave.), its a few buildings away from Makati Ave. Or, along Jupiter Ave., it's just across Red Ribbon.

The show runs until July 7, 2009. Catch it while you can! :-)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fun with Economics

Here's one of the best, most informative and least boring mini-lectures on global economics we have found. Gapminder is a treasure trove of useful information... and helps us get an understanding of where we are and maybe where we are going, relative to the rest of the planet.

In case you're wondering where the Philippines is in the video below, by the end of the presentation, we would be the small red ball just beside and to the left of China, with a life expectancy of around 72 years of age and an annual per capita income of around $3,200.00 - and most promisingly, definitely in the cluster of countries identified to be well positioned to accelerate growth and catch up a bit in these years of recession in the more developed nations.

Anyway, just watch the video, and visit the site - it's a lot less boring than what we just said. :-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LOOKING FOR YOU!!! Whoever YOU are!

The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS) is looking for a Business Development Manager.

The successful applicant will be tasked principally to:

* Establish and implement, under the direct supervision and guidance of the Executive Director, a business development strategy and business plan for CANVAS, centered on the production, marketing and sales of downstream products based on art images in CANVAS' databank.

* Establish and implement an e-marketing strategy for CANVAS' e-books and downstream product line.

* Manage and expand the local distribution network for CANVAS' books and downstream products.

* Assist in the development of other downstream products based on CANVAS' images, stories and other products.

* Assist in all other activities and projects of CANVAS.

Qualifications: College graduate, preferably with business/finance background/experience and an interest in the arts. Excellent English writing and speaking skills. Computer literate. Demonstrable entrepreneurial interest. Must be able to work independently and with minimal supervision. Project management experience and/or web development skills a plus.

Monthly Compensation: P15,000.00 to P22,000.000 (depending on qualifications).

This is a full time position.

If interested, please email your CV/resume, complete with references to

For more information on CANVAS, please visit our website:

Celebrate Independence Day with a Leisurely and Meaningful Walk in UP

Celebrate Independence Day with us with a leisurely walk under the magnificent acacia trees around the UP Academic Oval to enjoy CANVAS' Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Art Exhibition, featuring the images and words answering the question, "What Does It Mean to Be Filipino?" and capped by a mini rock concert by PERYODIKO at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law.

4pm on Friday, June 12, 2009. Admission is free, but seating for the concert is extremely limited. First come, first served.

At the end of its run, the banners will be converted into tote bags, as original works of functional art, and sold for the benefit of Padyak, a UP Mountaineers-led movement that promotes environmentalism and cycling as a healthy lifestyle, as well as other CANVAS efforts to promote greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment.

For more information, email or visit

See you there!

P.S. The original artworks for this project will be on display at the Alab Art Space of the Philippine Intellectual Property Office, along Buendia Avenue and Jupiter Street from June 9 through July 8, 2009.

The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project is made possible in part by generous support from The Pag-IBIG Fund.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Salinlahi Park Trivia

One year and six months (December 1, 2007 to May 30, 2009).

That's how long it took - from the time the idea to possibly build the park in the Philippines was broached to us, to the time that we actually launched the Pacific Rim Salinlahi Park in Puerto Princesa - to complete this project. :-)