Monday, May 31, 2010

Auction Results

This just in: New records for Amorsolo and Geraldine Javier at the latest Christie's auction! Other Pinoy artists scored as well and sold at several times estimate!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Celebrate Independence Day with Outdoor Art at the Makati Underpasses

There's art everywhere ...
It's time to take a walk.

Everyday Filipino Heroes
at Sedeno Underpass


Looking for Juan
at Legazpi Underpass

A public art show from June 9 to July 9, 2010
from the Outdoor Banner Project of

Brought to you by
Ayala Land, Alveo, The Lerato, Macea, and CANVAS

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Postscript to the Judging

The stories were read with no names revealed, so we only found out after the judging that Issa Alarilla-Arellano is based in Dubai. She is the first OFW to win our storywriting competition. :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010


CANVAS is pleased to announce that Issa Alarilla-Arellano has won CANVAS' 2010 Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition for her story, "Tahan Na, Tahanan." It was a close vote against Angela Mapa's "Rain Song on the River," but the result was unanimous.

The other finalists were "Patubiling" by Alice Mallari, "The Boy Who Dreams to Cross the Ocean" by Catherine Nanta, and "Ang Alamat ng Pagong" by Joseph Villarosa.

Thank you to our judges, Rica Bolipata Santos and Carlos Celdran, and everyone who participated, and congratulations to Ms. Alarilla-Arellano and the rest of the finalists!

Watch out for the launching of the book, sometime in mid 2011!

*** The artwork shown is the untitled contest piece rendered by Don Salubayba. It served as the inspiration for all stories submitted for our competition.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


A few years back, we acquired the rights to the story, “Si Ninjang Kabayo at ang Ermitanyong Kalbo” by Andrea Lazaro, which you can read below.

We have big dreams for Ninjang Kabayo, including books, new adventures, merchandising… maybe even a movie. Who knows? But as we’ve learned, making big dreams come true begins with taking small steps.

So first things first - we are now looking for an intern who can illustrate and create the initial character studies for the two main characters of the story.

If interested, read the story and email three pen or pencil sketches of the characters from scenes from the story, together with your CV to If we like your work, we will contact you to set an interview appointment, and we will see how it goes from there.

If hired, you will (a) receive a modest (very modest, really) stipend for the project; (b) have a very nice entry for your CV; and (c) most importantly, get your foot in the door of (ahem) one of the most creative, cool, fun, laid back and innovative groups of artsy-fartsy people in the local art scene. Work is output-based, hours are flexible, and everyone telecommutes most of the time.

This is not a contest, so there is no deadline. Applications will be accepted anytime, but we will also hire as soon as we think we’ve found the right person.


"Si Ninjang Kabayo at ang Ermitanyong Kalbo"
ni Andrea Lazaro

Sa bayan ng Santa Angelina, may isang ermitanyo na nakatira sa taas ng Bundok Mapang-akit. Ayaw makihalubilo ng ermitanyong ito sa mga tao sa bayan. Subalit kahit pa man nag-iisa siya, may dalawang bagay na kinagigiliwan ang nasabing ermitanyo: una, ang alaga niyang kabayong si Ninja, at pangalawa, ang pagtugtog ng kanyang violin.

Simple lang naman ang dahilan ng ermitanyo kung bakit siya nahihiyang humarap sa mga tao -- kalbo siya. Kaya naman takut na takot siyang makita ng mga tao dahil iniisip niyang pagtatawanan siya. Di niya maintindihan kung bakit ayaw talagang tumubo ng buhok sa ulo niya. Sinubukan na niya ang lahat -- gamot, iba’t ibang brand ng shampoo, pati na samu’t saring anting-anting -- hindi pa rin tumalab.

Isang gabi, habang nakasakay ang ermitanyo sa likod ni Ninja at tumutugtog ng isang malungkot na piyesa sa kanyang violin, may nakitang bulalakaw sa langit ang dalawa. “Sabi nila,” ang bulong ni Ninja sa kasama, “may mahika raw ang mga bulalalakaw na makatutupad ng kahit anong kahilingan.”

At humiling nga ang ermitanyo. Ipinagdasal niya na sana, wala na lang buhok sa mundo. Sana, pantay-pantay ang lahat. Sana, lahat ng tao ay kalbo.

Maliwanang na ang sikat ng araw nang magising kinabukasan ang ermitanyo. Nagulat siya nang makita niya si Ninja sa paanan ng kaniyang kama. Kalbo si Ninja!

“Anong nangyari?” tanong ng ermitanyo na gulat na gulat. “Hindi ko nga maintindihan,” ang sagot ni Ninja habang kinakamot ang ngayo’y makinis niyang ulo. “Basta paggising ko na lang, wala na akong buhok.”

Hindi makapaniwala ang ermitanyo sa narinig at nagtatakbo siya sa bayan para masiguro kung nagkatotoo nga ang kanyang hiling. Baka naman kasi binibiro lang siya ni Ninja.

At ayun nga, matanda man o bata, babae o lalaki, tao o hayop, hindi kakikitaan ni isang tali ng buhok! Ang dalagang si Nena, wala nang maipusod. Ang makisig na binatang si Pepito, di na singkisig nang mawalan ng bigote. Ang asong si Itim, kulay puti pala ang balat. Magkakamukha silang lahat!

Nagmamadaling umuwi ang ermitanyo. Sa tuwa, naisipan niyang tumugtog ng isang masayang kanta. Ngunit pagbukas niya ng lalagyan ng violin, nagulat ang ermitanyo. Ang bow ng violin niya, walang kuwerdas!

“Anong nangyari sa kuwerdas ng bow ko?” iyak nya. “Bakit nawawala? Paano ako tutugtog ngayon?”

“Hindi mo ba alam,” sambit ni Ninja, “iyang kuwerdas ng bow mo, gawa rin sa buhok. Buhok ng mga kabayong gaya ko.”

“Anong gagawin ko? Hinde ko na matutugtog ang violin ko!” hagulgol ng ermitanyo.

Kinamot muli ni Ninja ang kanyang makintab na ulo at nag-isip siya nang matagal. Namalas niya ang kade-deliver na diyaryo na nakapatong sa lamesa. Sabi ng isang headline, See The Leonids This Week!

“Masuwerte ka,” sabi ni Ninja, “panahon pala ng pagbagsak ng mga bulalakaw ngayon. Mag-abang ulit tayo mamayang gabi para humiling na bumalik sa dati ang lahat.”

“Pero kapag bumalik na sa dati, baka pagtawanan ako ng mga tao dahil ako lang ang kalbo sa buong Santa Angelina!”

“Matitiis mo ba ang buhay na walang musika?” usisa ni Ninja.

Nagbuntong-hininga ang ermitanyo. Tama si Ninja. Mas mahalaga ang musika sa kaniya.

Pagsapit ng gabi, nag-antay ang magkaibigan sa pagdating ng mga bulalakaw. Sa ningning ng unang bituing bumagsak sa lupa, humingi ng paumanhin ang ermitanyo at nagdasal na ibalik na ang mga buhok na nawala.

Ngunit hindi lang ang ermitanyo ang humiling ng gabing iyon. May hiling din si Ninja. Hiniling ni Ninja na sana, mawala na ang hiya ng kaibigan niya. Sana, magkaroon ito ng lakas ng loob at tiwala sa sarili.

At kinaumagahan nga, binati ang mga taong-bayan ng Santa Angelina ng masigla at matamis na tugtugin mula sa violin ng isang lalaking nakasakay sa isang kabayo.

Ang mga tao nama’y kumaway pabalik at nakangiting bumati ng “Magandang araw rin sa inyong dalawa, Ginoong Ermitanyo at Ninja!”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Paintings are Amazing... Really Amazing!!!

Last Chance

Think about jogging tonight or tomorrow morning at the UP Academic Oval. Those are your last best chances to see the art banners. They're going down later in the morning starting at around 10am. :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Joke the Vote

"In the most serious moments, trust Filipinos, acclaimed to be among the world’s happiest peoples, to joke and pun and laugh at themselves. The last elections, a historical moment for being the country’s first national automated balloting, sparked a bumper harvest of humorous tricks and treats across media old and new."

--Excerpt from a funny, revealing PCIJ piece.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How We See Our Role Post-Elections

Just a year after the EDSA Revolution of 1986, writer James Fallows wrote a highly controversial, widely read and still-discussed piece entitled A Damaged Culture - A New Philippines.

He pointed to a lack of nationalism among Filipinos, which he defined as the inability to "look beyond themselves rather than pursuing their own interests to the ruination of everyone else." The "national ambition is to change your nationality," he quoted, and he makes an overall argument that ours is a "damaged culture" characterized by "the tradition of political corruption and cronyism, the extremes of wealth and poverty, the tribal fragmentation, the local elite's willingness to make a separate profitable peace with colonial powers..." reflecting "a feeble sense of nationalism and a contempt for the public good."

In other words, he raised some very uncomfortable questions 23 years ago that, ironically, we are still asking today, as the son rises to take the place of his sainted mother.

It should be required reading for all Filipinos - even though Fallows is, of course, wrong.

There's no such thing as a damaged culture, just as it is wrong (and almost xenophobic) to even suggest that some cultures are superior or inferior to others. That's precisely what got World War II and apartheid into our history books.

What we do suffer from, as a country and as a people, is perception - both in terms of how the world sees us (an impoverished country with flawed institutions that consistently fails to live up to its potential); and in terms of how many of us see ourselves (increasingly defined by migrating overseas workers, corrupt politicians and a disaffected constituency).

It is not how CANVAS sees the Philippines and the Filipino people.

We are a proud nation with a rich heritage, and the fact that there are millions of us living abroad is not a liability or a source of shame, but a strength, source of hope and a testament to the resilience, adaptability and pride of the Filipino.

This is precisely why we have our Looking for Juan Program. By Looking for Juan, we affirm that, through art, we can, and must change this perception. Changing how the world sees us and how we see ourselves can redefine our history and destiny - again, as individuals and as a nation - in ways more tangible than people may think.

A positive view by the world leads to increased tourism and investments, more jobs, and a better future. Meanwhile, a positive view of ourselves leads to greater confidence, pride and hope.

As Manny Garibay recently put it to us, “Hope starts when people work on changing how we think. This is why art is important. Art is the expression of the ideas and aspirations of people and they form the foundation of culture.”

As the country transitions into a new administration and moves forward in a new, hopefully better direction, this is where we see our place... our role... Over the next few weeks and months, we will be announcing several new, more ambitious Looking for Juan initiatives.

We hope you will continue to support and join us.

** Artwork:

“It is a picture of history taken from this point in time. It is bleak,” says Emmanuel Garibay. “Take it as a lament.”

The image came not too long after the floods. As a coincidence or effect, we see symbols of nationhood and of institutions in ruins. The Rizal monument, the MalacaƱang Palace, a church – symbols of tradition and patrimony – sink into what Garibay describes as “oblivion,” while a bushel of bananas (a banana economy) and a basketball (his metaphor for illusion and deception for an audience so easily entertained and distracted) are the only things remaining afloat. A man and woman – perhaps overseas Filipino workers, modern-day saviors – suffer crucified underneath a caricature of justice. But amid the chaos, Mabini’s expression is placid.

The image is a lament indeed -- for a people who have forgotten their nobility, for a state that knows not the meaning of “sovereignty,” and for a nation where social justice is compromised while corruption is rewarded -- just as it is a challenge to hope and to work towards the realization of hope.

--Excerpt from note accompanying
the untitled piece shown above by Manny Garibay
5x4 feet, oil on canvas for Dekalogo (2010)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fair Warning

We received a call from U.P. earlier this afternoon. They have an unanticipated need for some of the posts from which our art banners are hanging - could we take them down earlier than originally scheduled?

We're not yet sure exactly when, but we may have to honor their request. So one of these days, the banners could just be gone.

So come and visit and enjoy them while they're there. And if they're not, well, the original works will still be on display at the Vargas Museum until the end of May, regardless. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Update: 2010 Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition

With the elections over, we can now move to more important things, like choosing the winner of our storywriting competition! :-)

The five stories that made it to the final round are now with the judges!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Whether you voted for Noynoy Aquino or not...

... he is now, OUR PRESIDENT!

His success... or his failure... will be ours as well.

Overheard on Election Day

"Ang bagal naman, di gaya dati. Pero mabilis naman daw ang bilangan. By tomorrow, alam na natin kung sino ang nadaya."

"Huwag kayo umalis. Tignan mo yan, yung mga mayayaman nagtitiis, tayong mahihirap naiinip at umaalis."

"Manood muna kayo ng Iron Man sa SM. Pag-balik nyo, turn nyo na bumoto."

"Low tech high tech ang sistema natin ngayon."

Pagkatapos Bumoto, Magkapitbisig Para Sa Bayan

Two reasons to pull together this day, regardless of who you vote for:

1. To protect your vote... all our votes... and

2. To rally behind whoever wins, at all levels of government, because that is what democracy is all about...

*** Artwork: "Kapitbisig" by Elmer Borlongan (5x4 feet, oil on canvas 2010) for Dekalogo.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Looking for Juan Site Soon

We are going to set up our new Looking for Juan website very soon. This blog may be inaccessible for a few days when you type in ""

In the meantime, our blog will remain active and viewable through ""

Please bear with us. We think you will like the changes once they are up.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Think of Your Vote as a Lotto Ticket

If you think about it, it really makes no sense to vote.

In the first place, what are the chances that your single solitary vote will actually decide the elections? Don't delude yourself. You probably have a greater chance of winning the lotto.

And second, think about how the counting machines aren't working right, and how the lines will literally craaaaawwwwlll as people take at least ten minutes to fill in those 2-foot long ballots. And then, there's the unbearable heat - caused by the sun and made worse by the seemingly countless bodies that are sure to crowd you on election day (naligo ka na ba sa pawis ng iba?).

Rational Filipinos are going to be better off just sleeping late, watching the circus on TV and then taking some time to go out and purchase a lotto ticket.

But most Filipinos, including all of us at CANVAS, are not rational. So come election day, we will, like most Filipinos, brave the heat and the crowds, and all vote.

The way we see it, our vote is our voice, and we choose to join the chorus of voices clamoring for change. It doesn't matter that whoever hears our shout will not discern our voice from the many others. What matters is that we are part of history, and that makes it worth the time and effort.

It is good to remember that we do actually get a few chances to be part of history - so let's not waste it.

Who will we vote for? Well, since the chances of our vote actually deciding the elections is very very slim (like we said, think winning the lotto), we will treat it like a lotto purchase. We may not win, but if we do win, we want to win BIG (as in really-great-for-the-country big!).

So only sensible thing is to vote for the person who we think can best lead the country. That will be our only criteria - not the looks, not the slogans, not the surveys (although indeed, maybe the best candidate is the best looking, most articulate and leads in the surveys - don't we all wish).

Nothing else matters. It doesn't matter that he or she might lose. Again, we want to win BIG. And we won't win big by settling.

And if who we vote for doesn't win? Well, winning consolation prizes from the lotto always made us happy. We will live with the results. Wala lang dayaan.

It's as simple as that. So there.

** ** Artwork entitled "Pinger" by Buen Calubayan (4'x2' digital print on tarpaulin) for Everyday Filipino Heroes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Find Your Heroes in UP Every Sunday This May!

Sunday morning has always been a great time for people to just walk around the carless UP Academic Oval.

It's even better now with the artworks on the banners for everyone to enjoy.

You can catch the outdoor art banner show this whole month of May.

Even better, the Vargas Museum sits along the Oval so you can view all the originals for Everyday Filipino Heroes, plus the Dekalogo pieces while you're there!

As a bonus, here are some pictures from our opening night. :-)

All shows - Dekalogo, Everyday Filipino Heroes and the parallel Outdoor Art Banner Exhibit - will run until May 31st.

Vargas Museum is open everyday except Mondays and holidays from 9am to 4pm.