Thursday, March 29, 2018

March Marches Through

This is The Life LOL!
   I'm sure glad I was able to go to the beach early this summer. I went to Calatagan, Batangas again on the second weekend of March with Shah and other riders. But I didn't go there on a motorcycle. Some of us went there in cars and that means we were able to bring a lot of stuff - hammocks, beer, FOOD! Hehe

I made new friends this month. =)

Finally able to catch a Calatagan sunset!

   But now March is almost ending *sigh*. I usually make a blog post on the first day of March since 2011. But not this year. I have a lot of things going on this month. March is special because in this same month 7 years ago I decided to stop being an employee, became a freelancing graphic artist, and created this blog Buhay Bohemio. So yeah, this blog is now 7 years old.

  How's the blog? Well through the years we can see there has been a decrease in the frequency of post. Haha! Though I'm more active on Instagram, I assure you, my dear readers (if you are still there) that I will never abandon this blog. For sure in the future there will always be something that is too long to talk about on IG hehe.

  And how's the freelancing life? Well I am soooo used to it. I really could't imagine myself being an employee again, waking up at 5 or 6 AM to get to work by 9 AM hehehe. Even if the pay is not as much as I get when I was a designer on a leash, working at home surely saves me a lot of money, especially time, which is often used on procrastinating haha. But I'd like to call it "creative contemplation" instead.

The Barcelona Tote by Customized Chic. Laser-cut design.
A collaborative work between me and Madam Yssa.

Customized Chic now has sleek black plexiglass items.

    I have been keeping one regular client and the rest are seasonal clients. My regular client Customized Chic, which I have been providing with artwork since its launch in 2014, has really taken off the ground. It has over 60 plexiglass houseware products now and I haven't counted the stationery, glassware, metal fashion accessories, and bags yet. Orders just keep coming in and it's beginning to feel like...well, routine. Because I do more of the production layouts than product design. I already hired an assistant - a friend I used to work with in an exporting company, but she's a new mom that is new to freelancing, which kinda affects her reliability so she's doing just a fraction of what I do for Customized Chic. My client also has another artist/designer working for her now, a cousin of hers and she does the stationery and other products that I used to work on. Still, I wish I would just do product design and have all the production work done by my assistant. That would give me more time for my own brand.

    If you have been a follower of my blog since day one, you would know that I have ventured into screen-printing and created my own line of printed shirts that I named Buhay Bohemio Shirts (I don't know what else to call it haha). I started with 4 designs and in 2015 I have around 30 designs, excluding those that I phased out. But something awful happened in the middle of 2015 that made me realize, while producing an order,  that there is something wrong with my methods and materials. I mean, I have been producing good quality shirts, but the procedure and the type of inks and screens that I've used made things quite inefficient and tiresome. So after the completion of that order. I took a break from printing and selling shirts for the rest of the year.

One of 5 new designs from Buhay Bohemio:
This is my Bul-ol T-shirt. Coming out very very soon haha!

     Early in 2016 I started salvaging and replacing damaged stencils and  tried a new type of ink. Then I started printing stocks of my old designs by the last quarter of 2016. But I didn't sell them haha. In fact I have been printing stocks of shirts (including new designs) all throughout 2017 and just kept them in a big box haha. Now I have 35 designs and around 200 stocks of printed shirt ready to be sold. But the thing is, I'm not ready to sell them yet haha sorry. I still have to upload them. I thought I will be able to relaunch my line of shirts this March but something came up. Aside from assignments from Customized Chic (while my oh so reliable assistant is enjoying a 2-week vacation out of town), getting my motorcycle registered for 2018,  I also have some construction going on here at home.

Under this pergola will be a lush garden with seating. =)
     I'm having a pergola made here at the balcony outside my room. I designed a simple, lightweight construction made of wrought iron square tubes. I'm still deciding on the roofing material. Maybe canvas or bamboo slats? Anyway this pergola marks the beginning of the creation of Hardin Bohemio hehe.

Korean BBQ!!!

    Well another thing that's special about March is that it's my birthday month hehe. It was on the 20th. Celebrated with my folks over lunch at Samgyeopmasarap, a Korean BBQ restaurant in Greenhills.

  *Sigh* 43 years old, 7 years of bohemianism, still trying to achieve absolute creative freedom.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

El Bohemio Rides to Calatagan

   Why is my blog beginning to look like a travel blog? Haha. So yeah, I've been taking my motorcycle to places again and this time to Calatagan, Batangas! This took place just a few days ago during the recent holiday in view of the ASEAN Summit.

      Actually our original plan is to ride to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan. But we realize it wouldn't be advisable to go North because the ASEAN Summit that will also take place in Pampanga. So I suggested that we go ride to a beach somewhere in the South. My ride-buddy-sistah Sharon suggested that we go beach camping - why not?

     We had Burot Beach in mind but we learned that it is no longer open to the public. We actually decided on Manuel Uy Beach Resort only after passing Nasugbu while taking a break at a gas station.

     We took the long way to Calatagan because we chose the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway just to enjoy the twisties and pass though the Kaybiang Tunnel. So that's nearly 100kms. We left Evia (our assembly point) at around 9 AM and it was supposed to be a 5- to 6-hour (sub 400cc) ride but something unpretty happened. Our friend Jarret overshot a curve in Ternate that gave him a deep wound  above his left ankle. But don't worry folks, he's alright and the bike just had scratches and a broken mirror. Thanks to the personnel from the DENR Mount Palay Field Office whom I asked for help. He radioed for a tricycle to bring him to San Lazaro Hospital in Naic. That's like 19kms away.

    So after the stitches were done and Jarret has a family member coming to pick him up from the hospital, and his bike safely kept at the DENR field office, Shah and I decided to continue our journey to Calatagan. We left Naic around 4PM and got to the beach around 7PM. We chose a spot where we can park our bikes next to our tents that we pitched in the dark hehe. Well it wasn't completey dark - there were LED lamps hanging from cables.

    After dressing down and throwing all my stuff inside my tent I didn't know what to do. We are not really new to camping (though the last time I did this was 17 years ago haha in Anawangin). But this is the very first time we went to a campsite on a motorcycle and that puts a limit to what we can bring - so there's no ice chest filled with beer, soda, and frozen meat hehe. But Shah brought small pans and a camping burner and we enjoyed a dinner of canned sausages, whole wheat pandesal and coffee haha.  What's next? We just sat with our friendly camping neighbors and did small talk over rum and gin until we all got sleepy. I went back to my tent at almost 2AM.

    Next morning I unzipped  my tent and this is what I saw: Blue skies and a calm sea, and a spacious beach  of khaki sand.  Waking up to a view like this is really something else! 

   Shah was still sleeping in her tent so I walked around the beach to take pictures. If you haven't been here, let me show you around with these snapshots.

I didn't get to see a sunset but here's a Calatagan sunrise 
over large fishponds in Manuel Uy Beach.

I can see the island of Mindoro from here.

There are boat tours here. Ambil and Golo Islands are
far from here so I'm guessing these boats will take you
to other beaches in Calatagan.