Thursday, July 30, 2009

And In Local Art News...

You still have a a few more days to catch Cinemalaya at UP...

And you may have heard that Malacanang announced the latest batch of National Artists. As usual, delicadeza-wise, they appear to have bungled it big-time. So what else is new?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reflections on Two Women

Cory is fighting for her life. Yellow ribbons are everywhere - even at the UAAP Basketball Tournament last night where coaches and players sported them in tribute to a revered former leader.

Meanwhile, Gloria will give her valedictory later today. People are being called upon to wear black as political rallies and impassioned calls for her to categorically indicate that she is stepping down next year - most likely to face charges of corruption - abound.

Ironically, one could argue that Gloria was the better president - even those most opposed to her must give her credit for improvements in agriculture, education, and yes, even steering the country through a historic economic crisis. To be sure, hunger and poverty still exists - indeed at unacceptable levels - but who, honestly, would have done better?

In contrast, Cory - as president - failed to take advantage of a historical opportunity to address agrarian reform, and presided over the enactment of what - in hindsight - is a terribly flawed Constitution that allowed political dynasties to re-emerge... ultimately leading to the the corruption and inefficiencies that continue to hound us today.

Simply put, the accomplishments (or lack thereof) of both women are overshadowed by, and indeed are being judged in the context of public perceptions of their personal integrity and moral fortitude.

Who knows how history will eventually judge both? For now, the question - taken to the extreme - is this: would you rather have a corrupt president who is nonetheless able to deliver the goods for his/her constituency; or would you rather have an incorruptible president who leads by example, and yet is terribly ineffective with the job?

It would, of course, be ideal if we could have a morally upright president equally skilled to take on the responsibilities of the highest leadership position in the land... but given a choice, it would appear that the collective Filipino answer is not really that difficult.

The fact is that Cory is beloved and Gloria is reviled tells a lot about what is really important for all of us - as a people.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS) is pleased to offer, on auction, two new artworks (shown above) by Elmer Borlongan, both of which have been selected to be on display at the Chianciano Bienalle in Tuscany, Italy this coming August. Rules for participating in the auction are provided below.

The artworks, both 36"x36" and rendered in oil on canvas, will be on display and may be viewed at 1/of Gallery in Serendra from August 1 through 5, 2009. Registration and bidding forms to participate in the auction may also be obtained at 1/of Gallery.

Proceeds from the sale of the artworks will benefit CANVAS efforts to promote Philippine art, culture and the environment; Fernando Sena’s Art Discovery & Learning Center; Casa San Miguel Foundation; and the Silangan Foundation for the Arts, Culture and Ecology.


1. The auction is a silent auction and shall involve two new 3’x3’ oil on canvas artworks by Elmer Borlongan.

2. The artworks on auction may be viewed at 1/of Gallery, 2nd Level Shops at Serendra from August 1 to August 5, 2009. 1/of Gallery is open from 1pm-9pm.

3. Interested bidders may obtain a bidding form from 1/of Gallery.

4. The artworks shall be bidded out separately. Bidders may enter separate bids for each artwork. To discourage non-serious offers, bidders shall be required to pay a non-refundable token fee of P300.00 (cash only) for each bid.

5. Bidders may revise their bids before the deadline only two times. If they wish to change their bid a third time, they would have to obtain a new bidding form and shall be charged the corresponding P300.00 token fee.

6. The deadline for submission of bids shall be 5pm of Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

7. The minimum bid for each piece shall be P100,000.00.

8. The paintings shall be awarded to the persons who respectively submitted the highest bids for each work. All bidders shall be notified whether their respective bids were successful or not, by phone, email and/or fax on or before 8 August 2009.

9. In the event that a single person submits the highest bids for both artworks, he/she shall be given the option to purchase only one or both of the artworks at their respective bid prices. Should the winning bidder choose to purchase only one of the artworks, the remaining artwork shall then be awarded to the next highest bidder for that artwork.

10. The identities of the winning bidders and the amount of their respective bids shall be kept private.

11. Upon notification, the winning bidders shall be given three (3) days to make a non-refundable deposit which shall be 25% of the winning bid. In the event that such deposit is not received by CANVAS, the painting shall then be awarded to the next highest bidder.

12. The remaining balance of 75% shall be due immediately upon delivery of the artwork, which shall be made after the artwork has been exhibited at the Chianciano Bienalle in Tuscany, Italy in August 2009 and returned to the Philippines. Delivery is expected in the first half of October 2009. Check payments will be subject to clearing prior to release of the artwork to the winning bidder.

13. CANVAS and Elmer Borlongan fully expect, and shall exert all best efforts to ensure that the artworks are in the Philippines and ready for delivery by the first half of October 2009. Nonetheless, in the unlikely event that the artworks are misplaced, damaged or lost in transit, the winning bidders’ deposit shall be refunded in full, and neither CANVAS nor Elmer Borlongan shall have any further liability or responsibility to the winning bidders.

14. Inquiries may be directed to CANVAS by emailing

15. All bidders shall be deemed to have read and understood the above guidelines, and agree to abide by them.


Finally, a Filipino-themed and Filipino-made board game that's all very Filipino. Why do we say that? For one, just like us, it's very hard to describe what this is all about... except that it's fun, it's very social (pambarkada, pampamilya!), and like most of our jokes, you probably have to be Filipino to get it.

Ano ang malalim na mababaw?

Ano ang malabo na malinaw?

Ano ang magulo na demokratiko?

Nakakaaliw na nakakabaliw?

You get the picture. Or maybe you don't. But you can get the game - for yourselves or your friends.

It's available at 1/of Gallery, Hobbes & Landes, MagNet Cafe, Papemelroti, and a few other places.

Learn more about Mismo! here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Below is the list of people who won artworks or prints in our fundraising raffle. We apologize in advance for any misspelled names.

A total of 100 original artworks and limited edition prints were up for grabs. The actual picking of the winners of the artworks and prints, at our request, was done by the Secretariat of Manilart 09 to ensure the transparency and impartiality of the raffle.

All ticket holders who are not listed below automatically win hardbound copies of CANVAS' latest children's books: Earth Tales: 3 Ecofables for Children, and Message in the Sand.

All prizes may be claimed at 1/of Gallery beginning Thursday (July 23, 2009). Please bring your ticket stub, and an ID when claiming your prize. If another person is claiming your prize on your behalf, kindly give him a letter of authorization, your ticket stub and one of your IDs.

Kindly note that 1/of Gallery (tel. 901-3152) is open from 1pm to 9pm everyday, except Sunday.

Thank you for your support.

1. Romeo Forbes (limited edition print) - Cynthia Cervantez
2. Elmer Borlongan (limited edition print) - Errol Hernandez
3. Ricky Ambagen painting - Gerry Cua
4. Noelle Sandicon - Aimee Alampay
5. De Juras (mixed media) - Albert Chua
6. Shalmar Gonzaga - Abby Yao
7. Jay Dalupang - Yorkie Gomez
8. Mark Arcamo - Mai Flor
9. Manny Garibay - Jerry Lim
10. Janelle Tang - Orly Q.
11. Malyn Bonayog - Robbie Santos
12. Peter Jarrata - Jaime Buencaflor
13. Maria Guada Ramos - Angela Gonzales
14. Salvador Banares - Sonia Mozo
15. Rheca Canzon - Maria Handa
16. Palma Tayona - Cathy Billedo
17. Rene Joe Bituin - Jesus Altuna
18. Josue Mangrobang - Nath Rondina
19. Inday Cadapan (limited edition print) - Erika Aguirre
20. Norman Dreo (limited edition print) - Nath Rondina
21. Norman Dreo (limited edition print) - Jhiedon
22. Norman Dreo (limited edition print) - Jose Ortiz
23. Norman Dreo (limited edition print) - Dr. Toto Salgado
24. Norman Dreo (limited edition print) - Jeff Cheng
25. Farley del Rosario (limited edition print) - Jesus Altuna
26. Farley del Rosario (limited edition print) - Pacifico Gonzales
27. Farley del Rosario (limited edition print) - Debbie Tan
28. Jef Samonte - Philip Antiporta
29. Rex Tatlonghari - Regina Syquia
30. Roel Obemio - Erika Aguirre
31. Yvesse Belen - Nicole Cruz
32. Yvesse Belen - T. Halcic
33. Jef Samonte - Alex Jeanne Corte
34. Tess Aligaen - Pao Montinola
35. Felix Amoncio - John Imperial
36. Romeo Forbes (signed print) - Gary Lorenzo
37. Jomike Tejido - Albert Chua
38. Anthony Frmin - Vivian Madrigal
39. Romeo Forbes - Jerwin Alcantara
40. Elios Santos - Orly Q.
41. Daniel Aligaen - Adib Tamano
42. Tres Roman - Kenneth Ang
43. Wilfredo Offemaria - Yorkie Gomez
44. Anthony Fermin - Veronica Peralejo
45. Plet Bolipata (limited edition print) - Marjorie Tan
46. Anton Balao - Lisa Periquet
47. Aner Sebastian - Ann Jacobe
48. Anna de Leon - Sam Galvez Lorenzo
49. Buds Convocar - Ana Diaz de Rivera
50. Salvador Ching - Rod LIbunao
51. Buds Convocar - Ava Marie Anido
52. Farley del Rosario - Rafael Andaya
53. Omi Reyes - Carina Sibug
54. Andy URag - Gerry Qua
55. Janice Liuson Young - Percival Ortega
56. Juanelani Tulas - Corazon Mendoza
57. Michael Cacnio - Jane Evangelista
58. Juan Sajid Imao - Kenneth Ang
59. Bin Samonte - Mark Hebel
60. Bin Samonte - Maritess M. Pineda
61. Buen Calubayan - Jhiedon
62. Wilfredo Offemaria - Joel Paz
63. Yvesse Belen - Louie Ignacio
64. Anthony Mallari - Corazon Mendoza
65. Hershee Cenizal - Cynthia Cervantes
66. Menchu Arandilla - Philip Vasquez
67. Gonzalo Uy - Herman Kraft
68. Gonzalo Uy - Ruth Imperial
69. Gonzalo Uy - Michelle Leus
70. Gonzalo Uy - Ed Soler
71. Gonzalo Uy - Tessa Pascual
72. Gonzalo Uy - T. Kalcic
73. Gonzalo Uy - Pacifico Gonzales
74. Gonzalo Uy - Obet Escueta
75. Gonzalo Uy - Malou Alampay
76. Gonzalo Uy - Debbie Tan
77. Agang Maganda - Ariel Magno
78. Agang Maganda - Adib Tamano
79. Agang Maganda - Bien Benitez
80. Agang Maganda - Dominador Leonida
81. Buds Convocar - Ann Jacobe
82. Aner Sebastian - Didi Lopa
83. Aner Sebastian - Rina Tan
84. Farley del Rosario - Fred Sibug
85. Farley del Rosario - Jennifer Lazaro
86. Elios Santos - Bien Benitez
87. Elios Santos - Dave Evangelista
88. Elios Santos - Pacifico Gonzales
89. Elios Santos - John Valenzuela
90. Elios Santos - Manolet Salak
91. Elios Santos - Jaime Ponce de Leon
92. Romeo Forbes (signed print) - Mabel T. Gonzales
93. Romeo Forbes (signed print) - Jeff Cheng
94. Anton Balao - Ariel Magno
95. Wilfredo Offemaria - Adib Tamano
96. Wilfredo Offemaria - Ceey Magsaysay
97. Wilfredo Offemaria - Ariel Magno
98. Wilfredo Offemaria - Ava Marie Anido
99. Wilfredo Offemaria - Nath Rondina
100. Manuel Baldemor - Dave Evangelista

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Behold, Thou Art Fair

by Sam Marcelo
Originally published in Businessworld, July 15, 2009

Despite staring down the throat of a recession, 40 brave galleries will participate in Manilart 09, the first international art fair to be held in the Philippines.

FLOWERS by Isabel Diaz is one of the paintings that are for sale at Manilart 09

"It may not be the best time, but we have to be courageous. We cannot hold back — everything will collapse if everybody runs scared," said Galleria Duemila owner Silvana Diaz, one of the last gallerists to sign up for a booth owing to her visit to the Venice Biennale.

Over 500 works, mostly new, from around 300 artists — among them masters like Benedicto "Bencab" Cabrera, Arturo Luz, Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz, Juvenal Sanso, Ramon Orlina, and Michael Cacnio and emerging talents like Marcel Antonio, Buen Abrigo, Anthony Palo, Farley del Rosario, Ruel Obemio and Camille Ver — will be featured in a single venue.

Galleries from Manila, Baguio, Bacolod, and Dumaguete will represent the Philippines while two galleries from Malaysia and Singapore will lend the event a regional flair.

Jonathan Sy, director of the P5-million project and foun-der of Bonafide Art Galleries Organization, said that contemporary art in the Philippines has remained vibrant despite the downturn.

"Galleries have grown in number and in size — spaces that used to be in the malls have moved into large warehouses because of their success in the international market," he said, citing the recent triumphs of Geraldine Javier, Nona Garcia, Ronald Ventura and Rodel Tapaya at auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

"There’s been an acceptance of the diversity and talent of the Filipino artists, who count among the best when it comes to concept. They might not be as skilled as their regional counterparts but their ideas are very original," he said.

He added that the glut of condominium units with bare walls waiting to be furnished — a consequence of the real estate boom that preceded the crisis — has generated a lot of opportunities for artists.

Manilart 09, modeled after art fairs in Hong Kong and Singapore, presents a unique opportunity for collectors. Galleries were screened beforehand to make sure that no artist is represented in more than one booth and owners themselves had to be highly discriminating in deciding who to show, given the competition.

Ms. Diaz, for example, is banking on her 35 years of experience in the art world.

"I have an eye for art and I’m very sure of my artists. I believe that they are extremely good. If the public does not share my point of view then it’s a loss for them. At the same time, this is also a chance for me to learn and see new ideas."

Since everyone is vying for the attention of buyers, Mr. Sy said that the fair represents the "best of the best."

"Let’s say you have P50,000 — you can shop around and make sure that you get your money’s worth. You don’t even have to go around the entirety of Manila since all the prestigious galleries with integrity are going to be at the fair," he said.

Mr. Sy estimates an attendance of 10,000 visitors over a period of three days, a number that he hopes will increase to the hundred thousands (similar to tallies at car shows) at succeeding Manilart events. "Even if people have no intention to buy, they should come to enjoy and see what’s happening. This is our culture and our pride — our art is who we are," he said.

Manilart 09 will also feature free seminars: "Trends in Philippine Contemporary Art" by Prof. Ma. Corazon Hila, Chairman, Department of Theory, UP College of Fine Arts, Diliman and "Building an Art Collection" by Dr. Jaime Laya, former Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor on Friday; and "Appreciating Philippine Contemporary Art Today" by Cid Reyes, veteran art critic and visual artist and "Introduction to Preventive Conservation" by Ma. Genylyn Yusi, painting conservator and chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Committee on Galleries on Saturday.

Other activities include the Manilart Auction, organized by Vita Sarenas of Finale Art File; Looking for Juan in Art and Rakenrol, a mini-concert featuring Peryodiko and Loquy; an art raffle by Delan Robillos of CANVAS and 1/of Gallery on Saturday; and "Oriental Strokes," a Chinese painting demonstration by art teacher Haw Chok on Sunday.

Contemporary Art Philippines Magazine will also be launched on Friday.

Participating galleries include 1/of Gallery, ArtAsia, Art Circle, Art Informal, Art Verite, Artes Orientes, Blanc Art Space, Boston Gallery, City Gallery, Choice Expression, e Galerie, Finale Art File, Galerie Astra, Galerie Francesca, Galerie Joaquin, Galerie Stephanie, Galerie Y, Gallery BiG, Gallery Genesis, Gallery Nine, Kaida Gallery, Kulay-Diwa, Linda Gallery, Manila Contemporary Gallery, Mariyah Gallery, Masterpiece Gallery, Metro Gallery, my little art place, Nicolas, Paseo Art Gallery, Phinma Gallery, QuattroCento, Renaissance Art, Ricco-Renzo Galleries, Silverlens, Tam-awan, The Artesan, Village Art Gallery and Whitewall Gallery.

MANILART 09 will be held from July 16 to 19 at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tickets are at P200. Students and senior citizens with valid IDs can get a 50% discount. For details, call 531-6231, 0917-8511333 or visit

Artwork above: CRAWLING MAN by Thirteen Artists 2009 Awardee Buen Calubayan, one of the artists represented by 1/of Gallery at Manilart 2009.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Enemy of the Good is the Perfect

This article by Antonio G.M. La ViƱa, JSD, Professorial Lecturer, U.P. College of Law and Dean, Ateneo School of Government, was originally published in The U.P Forum, July 2009. We don't necessarily agree with all the statements here, but it is worth thinking about... and reprinting in full.


How to Choose a President in 2010: What Should We Look for In a Future Leader?

“The enemy of the good is the perfect.” This is the adage I will bear in mind when I enter the voting booth on the 10th of May, 2010. At that time, I will probably have four or five candidates, possibly more, to choose from. They are the ones who remain standing, with serious chances of winning after the longest campaign in Philippine history.

All of the choices will be imperfect: if the country allowed it, one choice would be a reform candidate - a non-“trapo” local government official, a Christian preacher, a young councilor or an environmental and sustainable agriculture activist. If the COMELEC or the Supreme Court allow it (which I cannot imagine them doing given the clear prohibition for any reelection under the Constitution), another choice would be an impeached ex-President. Three or four senators from varying backgrounds and perhaps a former Congressman turned Secretary of Defense would complete the spectrum of options.

How will I choose a President in 2010? It is tempting to do this in a very simple manner: to approach politics, like all things in the Philippines, as personal. But to say that politics is personal can mean two things. It can mean on one hand: Sino ang kakilala ko? Who is closest to me? Who is the one I am most personally connected to? Or it could mean: Ano ang alam ko sa kandidato? What do I know about a candidate? I suppose, as a good citizen, I would choose a President based on what I know about the candidate, rather than my personal connections to a candidate. But wait, this is the Philippines: what I know about a person comes not mainly from what she or he has done in her or his public life but largely from the fact that I know him or her personally.

Take for instance, one of the potential candidates, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro. I have known Gilbert for more than 20 years as we were classmates in the UP College of Law. As someone who studied for the bar exams in the same study group as Gilbert, I know him to be one of 2 or 3 of the most intelligent Filipinos that I have personally known, and I have studied and worked with and taught thousands from 3-4 generations in the last 30 years. More significantly, I know him also to be one of the most patriotic, humble and honest public servants (and I have known thousands as well), able to make hard choices even against his own family and class interests. The discipline, professionalism and leadership he has brought in his work in the Defense Department are good qualities of a future President for this country. But does the country have an appetite for a candidate supported by the present administration? Will Secretary Teodoro be compromised and become unelectable if he is endorsed by President Macapagal-Arroyo?

I also know Governors Ed Panlilio and Grace Padaca quite well. They inspire me and many others: I look up to them. Both governors, potential candidates for 2010, are founders and champions of the Kaya Natin Movement that aim to espouse genuine change and ethical leadership in our country. The movement seeks to promote genuine and lasting change in our government by promoting transparency, social accountability, people empowerment and electoral reforms. By upholding these values and principles, Kaya Natin hopes to help make our government and our leaders more responsive to the needs of the Filipino people and enable it to deliver basic services to those who need it most in the most efficient and effective way.

Together with Brother Eddie Villanueva, John Carlos de los Reyes, Olongapo City Councilor (Ang Kapatiran Party 2010 Presidential Candidate), and environmentalist Nicky Perlas, Governors Panlilio and Padaca are considered by many to be non-traditional politicians and reform candidates. All of these reform candidates will be running on a bare bones, volunteer-manned campaign fueled by idealism and hope. Their potential candidacies excite me but it is difficult to imagine any of their campaigns prospering unless they unite and form a unified front. Even then, the odds will be daunting.

We should also acknowledge that, given their lack or limited governance record, the country is also taking a risk with these reformers. I would have preferred that Governors Panlilio and Padaca finish three terms as Governors first and that Brother Eddie, Councilor de los Reyes, and Nicky acquire local executive experience before running for national executive positions.

The good is of course not monopolized by the reform candidates. To me, the candidacies of Senators Mar Roxas, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Richard Gordon are attractive and merit consideration.

Behind the hoopla of the padyak commercials of Senator Roxas has a solid record of implementing and legislating economic policies that have created jobs and have benefited the poor. Senator Roxas, as Trade Secretary and as Senator, has also been at the forefront of consumer protections and defending our trade interests in the WTO. For example, he has taken leadership, in the face of the opposition of the multinational drug industry, to ensure cheap access to medicines by the poor. His recent vote for CARPER (extending the agrarian reform law with reforms) is something I will count in his favor as I make my decision on who to vote for in 2010. Finally, I like the fact that Senator Roxas is supported by people I have the highest respect for – from veteran political and social activists like former Education Secretary Butch Abad to young and imaginative campaign workers like Rose Romero and Clare Amador.

Senator Villar also has a solid pro-poor and pro-development record, as a businessman and a legislator. The passion with which he is conducting his campaign is also attractive to many. I can personally attest to his commitment to local development as reflected in the manner with which Senator Villar supports capacity building of local governments all over the country. I have met many local government officials who have told me that find in Senator Villar someone who understands the challenges of development that their local government units are facing. Finally, to the extent that political courage and will is an important quality for me in our future leaders, I will always remember Senator’s Villar’s actions the night the House of Representatives impeached former President Joseph Estrada.

Senator Legarda is also a real option for me as I decide who to vote for in May 2010. Indeed, on substantive issues that I care deeply about, such as peace in Mindanao and environmental issues, her record is admirable. Through many years, I have personally seen how she has been a passionate advocate for sustainable development. Through these years, I have also been quite impressed with the work ethic of Senator Legarda who has clearly put at the center of her life a passion to lead the country to better times.

I do not know Senator Escudero as well as others in the UP College of Law, not having the opportunity to teach him. But a viable candidacy of a 40-year old politician who is explicitly appealing to the youth vote is very tempting to support. The clarity and passion with which he articulates his positions will serve Senator Escudero well if he is elected as President.

While I see the positive aspects of the candidacies of Senator Roxas, Villar, Legarda and Escudero, I am concerned that they do not have local governance experience. Through the years that I have worked on governance issues, not just in the Philippine but all over the world, I have come to believe that the heart of governance, the place where it matters most, is local governance. My hope is that one day, we will have a President or a head of government that comes from the ranks of local government officials. For this reason, I will include Senator Gordon among the options I will consider, given his record as long time Mayor of Olongapo. For the same reason, if the candidacies of MMDA Chairman and former Bayani Fernando and Mayor Jejomar Binay became viable, I will not necessarily rule them out as I make my choice.

Reflecting on these choices for President, I actually feel good about what is in store for us in the 2010 Presidential elections. I think we have a number of good options. Of the candidates I have mentioned in this article, I could easily vote for any 3 or 4 of them.

So how will I choose a President in 2010 among the three or four that I like? The Movement for Good Governance developed and the Moral Force Movement has endorse a criteria that would enable us to select transformational Leaders. They have also recommended a score card to use to evaluate the 2010 candidates, for President and other options. It is this criteria and scorecard that I will use and encourage others to apply in answering the question - What should we look for in a future leader?

Our future leaders should be transformational leaders who bring about change in individuals, institutions and the country to build a just, humane, prosperous and genuinely democratic Philippine society. Transformational leaders promote the moral values of integrity, social responsibility, and love of country through their practice of effective, empowering, and ethical leadership.

An effective leader is competent, decisive and proactive and has the track record to support this. As Kapitan ng Barko, she/he has the ability to steer the ship of government, to arrive at the destination of a prosperous and just society. Sample indicators for effective leadership are:
• Does the candidate have a vision of society with a clear, comprehensive and viable platform of government? Does this translate to consistent and clear positions on key issues (e.g., human rights, agrarian reform, education , etc.”
• Does the candidate work hard, get things done, and demonstrate political will?
• Does the candidate have a sound and effective record
• As a legislator (in terms of number and quality of bills);
• As an official of the executive department (in terms of effective, innovative and sustainable programs)
• As a leader of citizen organizations or business enterprises (in terms of effective, innovative and sustainable programs)

An empowering leader is participative/engaging, inspiring, and is committed to social justice. As a servant leader, a Lingkod ng Bayan, she/he sets a good example for all to follow and work together. Indicators include:

• Does the candidate involve stakeholders in decision-making, and in implementing and evaluating policies, programs and projects?
• Does the candidate promote social justice? Addresses basic needs (food, health, education, shelter) and promotes interests of the disadvantaged (women, indigenous people, handicapped, etc.)?
• Does the candidate inspire unity, trust, and hope in people?
• Does the candidate prepare others to be leaders to succeed him/her?

Finally, an ethical leader is a Katiwala ng Bayan: God-fearing, has moral ascendancy and integrity, a clean and honest track record, and has proven integrity. Inidcators are:

• Does the candidate demonstrate good moral character (lifestyle); have a circle of associates (allies, backers, party, broad-based volunteers) who are people of integrity and are pro-reform; and transcend self-interest and sacrifice personal/familial/vested interests for the common good (political dynasty, conflict of interest, nepotism)?
• Does the candidate: advocate and practice meritocracy in government; personally comply with laws (self, family and subordinates); prosecute/punish offenders; potect and promote human rights; and tke responsibility for his/her actions?
• Can the candidate be trusted, based on his/her record and background, to use the national wealth and resources for the common good and to practice transparent use and accounting of public funds?
• Has the candidate acted to expose injustice and corruption and has this led to prosecution and/or enactment of a law or other concrete actions?

“The enemy of the good is the perfect.” I will remember this principle when I vote on the 10th of May, 2010. But I will vote with confidence and optimism. I do so knowing that I will vote not for the least or lesser evil but for the best among a number of imperfect but good choices. If many of us do this, if enough of us do this, we will change the country.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


MANILART 09 - Don't Miss It!

40 art galleries, side by side at last under one roof. Not one subjugating to the other in terms of curatorial excellence and quality of exhibition. All competing for critical acclaim and viewer attention.

Imagine 500 of the best of the best artworks by our most established and emerging contemporary artists together on display for the first time in our entire history.

MANILART O9, is the first international art fair to be hosted in the Philippines.

The opening night, which is by-invitation-only, will serve as a preview to the entire art fair and will be held from 6 to 11 pm on July 16, 2009.

will then open its doors to the general public from 11 am to 8 pm on July 17 to 19, 2009. Admission tickets are priced at Php200. or US$5.00 each.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Paano Kaya Kung May FB na Nung Panahon ng Katipunan?

Pardon the quality of the pictures. We only grabbed these from someone who grabbed them from someone who grabbed... Wish we could properly acknowledge the source.

Just click on the pics to see a larger version.

This is hilarious!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Art in Traffic?

We've found that it's a good idea to have a camera at all times in the car. We're just be careful not leave it there in plain sight, for obvious reasons. But with traffic the way it is, it's another way for us to keep our cool and avoid road rage.

Here are a few street scenes we captured while stuck in traffic from Manila to Quezon City yesterday.

Wala lang... :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Visit to the Bamboo Organ

We're publishing "Huni sa Loob ng Kawayan," by Don Gonzalez, the winning story of our 2009 Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition in February 2010. It was inspired by the famed Bamboo Organ in Las Pinas, the only one of its kind in the world.

So we paid a visit to St. Joseph's Parish Church, which houses the Bamboo Organ and took along our artist for the book - Juanito Torres - to give him a feel for the place, which he can then hopefully use to give the book a more authentic ambience.

The bamboo organ is the only pipe organ in the world whose pipes are made of bamboo. The first parish priest of Las Pinas, Fr. Diego Cera, was the genius behind adapting the European instrument to the Philippine setting.

It took him eight years to finish the organ (from 1816-1824). It fell victim to a typhoon and an earthquake in the 1880s, which rendered the organ unplayable for decades.

In 1972, the organ - which was kept in an old sacristy - was shipped to Bonn, Germany to be restored. It was returned home three years later in 1975. While it was being restored, the church and the grounds were also returned to its original state. The renovation of the church was carried out by Architects Bobby Manosa and Ludwig Alvarez.

We even got to hear the organ for ourselves courtesy of the Bamboo Organ Foundation which gave us a free special concert.

These images really do not capture the whole experience. Believe it or not, the organ has pipes (pajaritos) that mimic the sound of chirping birds, giving the soaring notes of Mozart and Pachelbel a truly unique and special dimension.

If you haven't been there - really, it is worth the short trip. And come in February if you can - that's when they have a weeklong Bamboo Organ Festival, and that's when we hope to launch our children's book.

It's going to be special.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Preserving Your Memories

Old prints fade. Digital photographs stay fresh, but —squirreled away on your hard drive— linger just one technical hiccup away from oblivion...

Here are some useful tips from National Geographic on how to preserve your photos (and memories) for years and years to come.

It's really quite simple: scan your old pictures, print your favorite new ones, and back everything up!