Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Revisiting the National Museum

    A week ago I went to National Museum  with a couple of blogger buddies. My last visit was in October 2012 during the Museum Month when admission to the galleries is free. Now after 3 years I became curious about what improvements and newly acquired artworks I will find there. 

   It just so happens that May is National Heritage Month.  So again I didn't have to buy a ticket to get in. ^_^

      Originally a mortuary statue, this work by Tolentino stands behind the wall on which Juan Luna's Spoliarium  is hung. Yeah I simply had to look at that grand old painting again no matter how dark and depressing the subject may be.

     There is just no reason for not visiting the National Museum in this very warm summer season. You get to see awesome works for free and the galleries are fully air-conditioned! ^_^

      Even the corridors display art. That's how many artworks are exhibited here now.

    One of my favorite galleries here. I just love the orange walls, black and white checkered floors and of course the antique rebultos.

    Nothing compares to seeing the works of Filipino art masters in-person and up-close.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Puerto Galera for the Primera Vez

    My, my! It's been a month since I last made a blog post! Well there could only be one reason for that, and I'm kinda tired of saying it as much as you are probably tired of hearing it. But I'm sure you'll be glad to know I took a vacation on the first 3 days of this month in Puerto Galera, Mindoro with my close friends and cousin, and it was a vacation that I really really needed!

      So I'm gonna talk about my first time at White Beach in Puerto Galera. Yeah it took me 40 years before I stepped foot onto that famous beach. I have been invited there many times by the same people who I went there with.  But the fact of it being famous could only mean that it's a crowded and very commercialized place - and that just didn't appeal to me. I'd tell them that I prefer beaches that are secluded and unexploited, the kind that's perfect for a nature-loving boho like me. Just like Caramoan which I visited last year and Anawangin in 2010.

   When our boat reached the shores of Puerto Galera, I saw a beach that is lined with business establishments with their permanent structures and signages. Also I saw waters on which float clusters of rafts, banana boats, and jetskis. It was 11 AM when we got there and the scorching heat of the sun just didn't get me excited to take a dip.

   By late afternoon more and more people started to show up. I've never seen this many people in a beach in my entire life as a hermit LOL. My friends say that it gets even more crowded on Holy Week, particularly Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Pilgrims? I think not hehe.

   But I'm asolutely not a snob. Bohemians can find beauty anywhere they go. And in my 3-day stay in White Beach, I'll tell you guys why I now LOVE Puerto Galera hehe.

    The Sand. It's pretty vast. It's about 20 meters to the water and the entire beach is about a kilometer long. The fine sand is light beige and looks white under the bright noontime sun. Why shouldn't they call it White Beach? Puerto Galera, by the way is Spanish for Galley Port. A galley is a kind of ship different from a galleon. Anyways...

   The water. It is magnificently blue. Cool and clear and the current that flows North East keeps it that way. I of course brought my diving mask and snorkel. There's not much to see down there but I've heard you'll see more marine life in Sabang Beach which is also in Puerto Galera.

  The sunset. Nothing makes a beach more romantic than a golden sun setting behind a glistening sea. *sigh*  Sunset will always be my favorite time of the day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Where's the "Free" in Freelancing?

      It looks like you guys won't be seeing any new post in this blog for the rest of April. I'm busy again... well, I'm always busy. I have a pretty long list of things to do. What you see above is just the ASAP page.

   I certainly am not trying to convince everybody that I am the busiest person in the world, though sometimes it feels like it. Especially when you see your friends on Facebook traveling here, vacationing there, attending this, experiencing that...

   Times like these I kinda miss working in an office, you know, for a company that only needs me 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Being a freelancer, I tend to work even on weekends and holidays just to get the job done the soonest, so I can get back to the work that has more to do with my long term goals.  Also to get back to some non-profitable creative stuff, that always seem  more fun to do.

    But after the completion of a "survival" project, another one comes along.  It really is a good thing but it sure feels draining. Trouble is, and you might find this amusing,  that when I'm working on a graphic project I get chained to my old laptop for days and I can no longer bring it anywhere because the battery doesn't work anymore, and it now uses an external monitor and keyboard. So yeah, I become like a prisoner in my own room, that I've been decorating to make it look less of a ward. Believe me, a beautiful ambiance does help.

    Yet I do need to replace my 8-year-old  laptop soon. Then I could just bring work anywhere again when I feel confined.  Yeah this means another major purchase. Arrgh! I also need to buy new tires for my motorcycle! Which to spend for first? *sigh* Bohemian problems! LOL

   Well I'm going to Puerto Galera with my peers on May 1st. I think I will need this 3-day vacation more than anything else!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Old Churches of Cavite:
Dasmariñas Church

     We arrived at our 11th church around 7PM, I think. And I am glad to see another old church with an an impressive facade. Dasmariñas Church, is another church built in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The church's mains structure made of stone was built in the same year when the parish was established in 1867. It was simple and had no belfry then. Improvements and repairs were made in 1874 and 1880.

      However, I didn't expect the not-so-high ceiling. I realized that pediment part of the facade was just a veneer. When we got here there was a mass going on and we had to wait for it to finish before we could take closer shots of the altar. There were also plastic sheets covering the renovation at the right side of the church, hence such cropping of this photo hehe.

     The retablo at the altar certainly isn't 17th Century. But the image of the Immaculate Conception was carved in 1857 by a famous sculptor Don Esperidion Arevalo from Sta. Cruz, Manila who also carved the retablos at Imus Church, Cavite.

     Another remarkable thing about this church are its doors. Aside from the front door, it also has large doors at the side aisle and transept. Each panel is carved with a relief of a known Marian image, like Lady of Fatima, Lady of Lourdes, etc. The church is a good place to test your knowledge of Marian imagery. ^_^

      As I mentioned earlier, we targeted to visit 12 known old churches in Cavite. The last church was the Cathedral of the Lady of the Pillar. When we got there sometime past 8 PM, it was already closed for the day, no lights and totally creepy. And it's a shame because it was a cathedral that we missed - a large an important church. Ironically, Imus is close to Manila but our route is a loop starting in Bacoor, then the coastal towns of Kawit and Rosario,  then General Trias, then Tanza, Naic, and Maragondon, then Ternate, then a long trip to Indang, then another to Silang as it was getting dark, then Dasmariñas and Imus, then back to Dasmariñas to get back to Metro Manila via Daang Hari Road.

     Don's route plan is actually good because it allowed us to visit a lot churches by mid afternoon, since the first number of towns are smaller and close to each other. Anyway, Don and Fitz will come back for Imus Cathedral with their folks. Too bad I can't *sniff* but it was really nice of Don to offer the use of his photos of the cathedral. But you know, the experience of seeing it yourself is important too. Well maybe some other day. Imus after all is near the Metro.

    And so this concludes our Cavite Churches Tour that happened 11th of March 2015. Muchas gracias to Don Trivño of bonggaba.com and dontrivino.com; and Fitz Villafuerte of readytoberich.com.

    Have a blessed Holy Week!