Monday, July 26, 2010

Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of the First National Children's Book Awards (NCBA)!

No categories, just Best Reads for 2010.

Araw sa Palengke (Market Day)
Written by May Tobias-Papa
Illustrated by Isabel Roxas
Adarna, 2008
(In Filipino, with English translations)

Can We Live on Mars?: A Book About Space
Written by Gidget Roceles-Jimenez
Illustrated by Bru
Adarna, 2009
(In English)

Just Add Dirt
Written by Becky Bravo
Illustrated by Jason Moss
Adarna, 2009
(In English, with Filipino translations)

Lub-Dub, Lub-Dub
Written by Russell Molina
Illustrated by Jomike Tejido
Bookmark, 2008
(In English)

Tagu-Taguan (Hide-and-Seek): A Counting Book in Filipino
Written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido
Tahanan, 2009
(In Filipino, with English translations)

Tuwing Sabado (Every Saturday)
Written by Russell Molina
Illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III
Lampara, 2009
(In Filipino, with English translations)

In the words of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Treasurer Rayvi Sunico, "The National Children's Book Award: Best Reads for 2010 aspires to be a different type of literary 'contest.' It consciously avoids rankings because it believes that each work of art and culture is an individual, incomparable achievement and cannot be compared the way commodities can be compared.

"Unlike other competitions, its focus is on the BOOK, that is to say, a cultural but also physical object that is the product of teamwork, from author and/or illustrator, to the editor, publisher, and the printer."

We are happy to have been part of and witness to the first NCBA. Congratulations to all the winners and to the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and PBBY for organizing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Juan Sajid Imao's Open Endings

Juan Sajid Imao, multi-awarded sculptor, represents a story with each artwork that he creates. This is particularly true for his latest collection, Open Endings. Each piece symbolizes a personal experience that he believes has made his life more meaningful and contributed greatly to his personal transcendence.

With his work, Imao parlays the unlocking of these experiences. It is with fascination that he involves his viewers in this process as he likes to think that his sculptural stories are open-ended, thus giving them the luxury of making their own narratives.

It is the artist’s hope that those who will see his sculptures would be encouraged to reflect on their own lives. “I want viewers to interact with my works and maybe help them realize that there really is an open ending to any experience.”

Age-old superstitions and long-held beliefs, known to Filipinos as “pamahiin,” are also rendered in some of Sajid’s pieces. For instance, he was inspired by the proverb “Matutong mamaluktot” which means that one has to learn to curl up or fit under any blanket no matter how small. The euphemism for a person’s need to adapt to a situation especially during tough times is depicted with nuance in “Namamaluktot.” The same piece shall be featured at 1/of Gallery’s showcase in the upcoming ManilArt exposition.

Open Endings is on its second leg at 1/of Gallery, 2nd level, Shops at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City and is co-presented by Project Art.

A portion of the exhibit proceeds will benefit the Resources for the Blind Foundation, Inc.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Art, Ideas and Sex

One role of art is to inspire. Or to encourage and make it more likely that ideas will have sex.


Paraphrasing Richard Seymour below, it used to be that what we imagined could extend beyond what we can do. But what if that were no longer the case? What we can do now, actually extends beyond what we can imagine? Then our future - and the future of everything around us would be inhibited by a lack of imagination.

It says something about the social development role of art, design and technology. That with some imagination, and imaginative use of the tools that we already have like the internet and other tools of technology, we might actually have it in and around us to deal with many of the problems we face now, especially as a nation. And we're talking about the big things like education and poverty and corruption and transparency and progress.

It's something to think about. It's something we think about.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We publish stories.

To paraphrase Chimamanda Adichie, Nigerian novelist, there is a danger to the single story because it assumes that there is only one story, one vantage point, one truth; when in fact, there are many. She speaks of this at length in her TED Talk below.

We publish stories. We have published nine so far.

In these stories live varied characters –

There is Mang Tomas, the town’s well-loved jeepney driver who, with his trusty jeep, is witness to life in Barangay Pastol – each child’s baptism, each couple’s walk down the aisle, and each student’s graduation from school. Through his humble trade, he provides for his family and dreams of sending them all through school.

There is Lupito, a young traveling salesman who lands in a circus village. At first a stranger and transient, he decides to make Barrio Sirkero his home after he falls for the town beauty with a telekinetic gift, Sela, and n keeping with the barrios’ customs of courtship, he wins her heart through paninilbihan and panunuyo.

There is Romeong Mapangarapin who, according to doctors’ diagnosis, would not amount to much, yet whose imagination and creativity could not be crippled. In his mind, he is a poet and a traveler, two perfect things to be.

We are happy to participate in the act of story-telling. With nearly all our stories published in both Filipino and English, the invitation to read extends to non-Filipino speakers.

It is our hope that each of our stories help to reveal another layer of the Filipino, celebrating our truths or imagination.

It is good to not have a singular narrative. There should never be just one story to tell.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Recommended Reading

If you're looking to read an art book that's not too fartsy, we highly recommend Edward Dolnick's The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece. It's fun, funny, easy to read and filled with trivia you can use to impress. :-) Like did you know that Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" was painted on cardboard?

Two thumbs up!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Next Children's Book!!! Coming Very Soon!!!

It's been over two years, but we are nearly there and we promise it will have been worth the wait.

We've seen the second set of nearly finished paintings, and they're spectacular.

Launching this September, Our first dark children's story, "Doll Eyes" by Eline Santos. Exquisite paintings by Joy Mallari and an amazing translation by Augie Rivera.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Exactly 118 years ago today, on July 7, 1892, the Katipunan was founded in Tondo, Manila, by Andres Bonifacio and a few other fellow urban workers. It was just a group of simple men on a night that could have been exactly like tonight, committing to something bigger than they were.

It was a spark, that's all it was. And that's all it took. We will never forget.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Towards a "Bagong Pilipinas" (Dispatches from Inauguration Day)

Thrice yesterday, the crowds that gathered at the Quirino Grandstand were asked to stand up. First, for the National Anthem; second, to join Noel Cabangon’s challenge-song to be truly “Mabuting Pilipino;” and third, pledge their own “Panata sa Pagbabago” just as the nation’s 15th president delivered his promises minutes earlier.

In the many precursors leading to President Noynoy’s oath-taking and address, the Philippine Madrigal Singers’ performance of “Sabihin Mo” was but one of the more touching highlights of the event.

A father’s words to his child, the song bid, “Sabihin mo ikaw ay Pilipino, saan man sa mundo, ‘yan ang sabihin mo. Sabihin mo ikaw ay Pilipino, ‘yan ang totoo.” It was difficult not to get emotional as the music and their voices swelled.

The words are so simple: say – tell them – that you are Filipino, but with so many things that are wrong in this country, to say these words with absolute pride is more difficult than it looks.

Yesterday, we ushered in a new president and on him are pinned so many of our dreams as individuals and as a nation. However, we were reminded that the task of forging a truly new Philippines is not one that he shoulders alone.

Noel Cabangon enumerated in practical and ordinary terms the actions of a mabuting Pilipino“tumatawid ako sa tamang tawiran, sumasakay ako sa tamang sakayan, pumipila, ‘di nakikipag-unahan …” etcetera, but we know it will take more than this.

What will it take to realize a truly new Philippines?

We trust (and pray) that Noynoy will make good on his promises, particularly about not letting culprits – inside and outside office – get away with murder and a host of other crimes; that forgiveness can only go hand-in-hand with justice.

Perhaps the most quoted part of his address speaks of this:

To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

A characteristic of a genuinely changed Philippines would perhaps be the unwillingness to accept empty utterances of, “I’m sorry.”

And so, yesterday was an inauguration of hope, not only in a new leader, but also in ourselves. Yesterday – whether at the Quirino Grandstand or in our living rooms – we bore witness and promised each other a better future. Yesterday, with our vows as citizens of this country renewed, may we not forget that a nation’s government should be a community’s best reflection of itself. The present and future administrations can only be as honest, effective, and committed as the electorate that chose it.


(composed by Sonny Coloma and Marian Pastor Roces)

Pilipino ako


Na tutulong sa ating pamunuan

Sa pagtataguyod ng marangal na pamamahala

Sa pagpapalakas ng isang lipunang makatarungan

At sa pagpapatingkad ng ating demokrasya

Upang guminhawa ang ating demokrasya

Upang guminhawa ang pinakamamahal nating bayang Pilipinas.

Gagampanan ko

Ang lahat ng katungkulan

Ng isang mabuting mamamayan

Na kasing-tindi ng paghamon ko sa ating mga pinuno

Na sumunod sa landas na matuwid.

Makikipag-kapit-bisig ako sa aking kapwa Pilipino

Sama-sama nating babaguhin

Ang takbo ng kasaysayan upang umiral ang kagandahang-loob.

Ipinangangako ko ito sa ngalan ng aking mga ninuno at mga apo

Patnubayan nawa ng Poong Maykapal ang sambayanan.

iPad Art

We're actually planning to do a show exactly like this!