Sunday, April 29, 2012

Is It Okay If I Sing This Song?

Okay so here's my second try in recording music. I'm not quite happy about it but I'm still sharing it anyway. This time I didn't plug the guitar to the stereo so as to get rid of the distortion produced by the speakers' limited headroom. I used a thin pick while strumming hoping to achieve a brighter sound. Well the guitar sounded brighter alright but I hate the clicking sound. Oh well... The audio, by the way, was again recorded separately with a Nokia 3800.

I really wish I have better equipment here. Maybe I should sell this guitar and buy a bigger acoustic guitar. Or should I buy an amplifier instead?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Tribute to Haile Selassie

This is my tribute to the Ethiopian Emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975). The Rastafari Movement perceives him as a messianic figure that will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom. His traditional lineage is thought to be from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

See more of my digital paintings here.

If you want a portrait in this style click here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Plot Device

This video by Red Giant on Vimeo is simply amazing. It's just about 9 minutes long and and it used only a single location but it'll never bore you. It's about a young film maker who obtained a mysterious device that brought different cinema scenes right in front of his house - and it drove him crazy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Bohemian Fashion:
Nothing's Wrong With My Sarong

Summer isn't over. With yesterday's 35.9 °C temperature in Manila, we can very much feel summer. When it's this warm and I'm home all day, I sometimes wear this blue sarong I bought in Cagayan De Oro back in 1997.

If Scottish men have kilts, Southeast Asian men have sarongs. Every bohemian man should have at least one traditional sarong in his wardrobe. The best sarong for me are those with batik or ikat designs from Malaysia or Indonesia. They make really cool beach wear.

The sarong is quite a common home clothing or "pambahay" for men and women in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. In the Philippines, I believe it is still worn in the rural areas of Mindanao. I never tried wearing my sarong with a shirt in public here in the Metro. But if I live in the Serendra condominium you will probably find me wearing this ensemble in Bonifacio High Street. ^_^

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Spotting:
The Art of Otto Bjornik

I was looking for inspiring pen and ink sketches when I saw one of Otto Bjornik's works on Google. In his blog I found lots of impressive stuff. At first, by the sound of his name, I thought he's from some Scandinavian country. But as I followed old posts I've noticed the frequent use of Tagalog words so I realized that the man behind these awesome works is a Filipino with quite a remarkable style.

I have high respect for artists whose work requires a lot of diligence. And you'll know how much effort they put in their art through the intricate details. Below is The Dichotomy Of Man, one of my favorites by him. Though monochromatic, the fullness of texture, shape and pattern gives pleasure to the eye.

Otto Bjornik's work is not limited to paper or flat surfaces. I've seen the magic he's done on toys, furniture, canvas shoes. His art is also available on mobile phone skins.

His blog is also quite interesting. Browsing through it down to the first post, I gather that his since-2004 blog has a "dark" past. "Deathunmasked" was probably the original blog name. It started out as an outlet for his creative writing and through the years it featured more of his visual art. Truly, an artist's life could be as interesting as his works.

I got curious about how he looks like. He has no pictures of himself in his blog but you'll find pictures of his hand on his work, serving as a watermark hehe clever. But I found one picture of him on another blog hehe find him here.

Otto Bjornik, you're amazing! I'm your new fan!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Music to Bring to the Beach

I'm just gonna share this playlist I made on Spotify. Music I know that would be a cool "soundtrack" for your beach trip. There are currently 21 song in the playlist. Some are old, some are not so old hehe. I'm sure every bohemian person can dig the music here. Well, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Beach Trip of the Year

I'm glad that I spent my first beach trip this year with my folks. Going to the beach together is something that my family hasn't done in more than 2 decades, I think. Before, it was just the 5 of us - my parents, my two siblings and myself. Now we are 9 - the original 5, plus my brother's wife and their 3-year-old daughter, and my sister's husband and their 1-year-old daughter. The sight of them together enjoying the sun, sand and water was just beautiful.

Our beach vacation was spent last Saturday and Sunday in Balai Resort in San Juan, Batangas. It's a nice place, really, despite the turbid waters. If you don't like crowded beaches, this is one of the places to go. I like the vast sand areas - you can play volleyball, fly a kite or just sit around a bonfire with friends. The sea is at the east so you can catch a beautiful sunrise or moonrise there. I also like that the rooms are located in front of very large fishponds. You can actually go fishing with the bamboo fishing rods that they provide. Buffet meals are served there. You can't cook your own meals there but you can bring your own snacks or "pulutan". Drinks such as sodas, juices and beers are available at the clubhouse.

If you wish to know more about this beach resort click here. ^_^

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Lord Has Risen.
How Do We Celebrate?

Bunnies are cute. I'd like to have one as a pet. Intricately painted eggs are cool. Unique egg art like that of Frank Grom, which I featured last year, is awesome as well.

But today the entire Christian world is celebrating its most important feast. If you are Christian, let us put away the Easter Bunny and his Easter Egg because they really have nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ.

As a matter of fact, the modern English term "Easter" developed from the Old English word "Eostre" the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. In Germany her name is Ostara, in Babylon her name is Ishtar. She is the goddess of fertility worshiped in spring when all life is being renewed. As for the egg and the rabbit, both are symbolic in European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals.

So instead of saying "Happy Easter", say "Happy Resurrection Day" especially here in this country where Christianity is the dominant religion and where there is no winter, spring or fall.

Anyway, how did the name of a pagan spring goddess become associated with a Christian principal fest? I've read an article by David C. Pack about the true origin of Easter and how the Resurrection Day was made to be celebrated on Sunday. What I find interesting is that in 325 AD there was a dispute between the Eastern church (Jewish Christians) and the Western church (Gentile Christians) with regards to the day the Resurrection is celebrated. It is known as the "Quatrodeciman Controversy". I've learned that the early Eastern church, instead of celebrating the Resurrection on Sunday, observed an annual commemoration of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ during the Jewish Passover (14th day of the moon in the evening), substituting the sacrificial lamb with bread and wine - the body and blood of Christ, the New Paschal Lamb.

Eventually, by political influences, Western church practices are followed. So instead of a Christian Passover, Easter is celebrated annually.

But I still don't quite understand why the word "Easter" was used on the Sunday when the entire Christendom celebrate the Resurrection. =/ I'm a bit lost here. A lost sheep? I guess what's important is that we not only remember the purpose of Christ's sacrifice but also remember his teachings and apply them.

Happy Resurrection Day everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Week Special:
Favorite Jesus Christ Art

There are so many actually, for many artist from medieval times to the present day have drawn inspiration from the life of Christ. Paintings and sculptures, traditional and modern interpretations, typical and shockingly deviant works are all over the web. Here are a few from what I find interesting...

A pile of nails, pieces of ordinary construction material made of metal, suddenly become symbolic when a crucifix is placed among them. It's like each nail represent the price for the salvation of one human soul from death.

I like that the photographer used a metal crucifix. The monochromatic look is just brilliant.

This is probably the most famous statue of Christ in the world. It is not really the largest. It is only the 5th largest statue of Jesus. I like this statue because of its Art Deco style and it is beautifully placed on top of a 2,300 foot mountain. Aerial pictures of this statue seem to convey a message that Christ is there in a high place watching over us.

I like the icon painting styles from the Byzantine Empire. The style is maintained in Greece, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria and other Eastern Orthodox countries. The photo above is a mosaic from Hagia Sophia, once an Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum located in Istanbul. You know, I kinda like this style of painting over renaissance paintings in Catholic churches.

This wax sculpture of Christ by Paul Fryer is scaled 2/3. (I think if it will look kinda creepy if it's life-sized). One of the most unique depictions of Christ. Makes you think that if Jesus lived in the middle of the 2oth century, he would have been executed this way and the electric chair will be the symbol of Christianity.

This was a prop from an American adventure fantasy comedy film directed by Kevin Smith. In the movie, this image of Christ was used by a cardinal in a campaign to renew the image of and the interest in the Catholic Church. So instead of a crucified Christ, he created a more uplifting image of Jesus.

The image is later produced as an action figure. It's kinda cute - the smile, wink and the thumbs-up. As if Christ is saying, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it."

For me, this is the most handsome version of Jesus Christ in a painting. If Christ looked like that, a percentage of the women who went to see him preaching probably did so because they had a crush on him.

This painting by American artist Ariel Agemian is based on the image found on the Shroud of Turin. The shroud is a piece of burial cloth made of linen and bears a ghostly image of a man who has been crucified. By the markings on the shroud, many believe that it its the very cloth that was used to wrap the dead body of Christ.

The shroud is one of the most controversial artifacts in human history. You'll find a good article on Wikipedia about the tests and experiments done to prove and disprove its authenticity. Really I tried to understand the scientific terms in there. Like "corona discharge" and "Maillard reaction".

Anyway, if you're Christian I hope that these pictures will inspire you to take a moment and reflect
on the life, teachings and self-sacrifice of Him who has inspired many artists in history.

Have a blessed Holy Week...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bohemian Diet:
My Usual Order at Chickboy

Often there are long lines at lunch time and dinner time here at the Molito branch near Madrigal Avenue. It's no surprise. Chickboy serves food that's delicious and affordable and that makes kinda up for the waiting that you'll have to do sometimes.

There are many dishes there that I haven't tried and I will never order. Not because it isn't good but it isn't quite the healthiest. You'll never see me ordering the bagnet complete with the crunchy pork skin and juicy layers of fat. Tempting as it may be.

So when I eat there with my lunch buddy we order: half of Cebu Lechon Manok for Php 125 (roast chicken); 2 cups of rice for Php 20 ( half cup for me, one and a half for my buddy); one plate of gising-gising for Php 55 (vegetables with sweet chilli sauce); 2 glasses of refillable iced tea for Php 25.

We each pay Php 125 pesos for a healthy delicious meal. Not bad huh? Maybe we'll order one whole Cebu roast chicken next time. Masarap eh. I love the vinegar dip that goes with it!

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Bohemian Fashion:
Planning My Beach Trip Getup

The weather's kinda weird the past few days. It's so not like summer. I hope it won't be raining next weekend. My folks already made reservations in a beach resort in Batangas and being together on a beach trip is something we haven't done for a long time - like decades!

Anyways, I've already planned my wardrobe for the 2-day 1-night stay. We don't want to wear clothes that clash when worn together, right? The key is to streamline your choices. That way, whatever it is you pull out of your bag, you know that they will match. It's a really simple thing to do.

The colors I will use will be red, white and black. Not the typical colors for summer, I know. I'm gonna use these colors primarily because they are the colors of my board shorts and my backpack hehe. Yes, even the bag has to match!

So my beach wardrobe includes the following items:

1. red t-shirt
2. black t-shirt
3. red tank top
4. red/white nylon pants
5. black/white board shorts
6. white linen pants
7. white flip flops
8. black/white shemagh scarf
9. black net-like shawl
10. some accessories (bracelets and necklaces)

And here's how I will wear them: Presenting beach fashion ensembles for the bohemian man...

Going There
I wear my board shorts while traveling to the beach. So when I get there, I'll just take of my shirt and grab my towel and race to the sea.

Swimming Time

If your bag has to match your outfit, the same goes for your towel hehe. Make sure your blings are the kind that won't get ruined by water. I'd wear those made of plastic, rubber, shell and coral. Don't wear your expensive jewelry unless you would like to leave a sunken treasure for other people to find ^_^. Don't forget to wear sunscreen!

Bar Hoping

I usually stay in the water from 3 PM until sunset. When it's getting dark, it's time to enjoy the dry areas of the resort - like the restaurants and bars. Time to be a bit more stylish but keep dressed down. Remember: stand out but fit in.

Morning Walk

If you didn't drink too much or stay up very late. You'll be able to get up early in the morning and enjoy a serene walk in the beach while the sun is rising.

Home Bound

You may get a bit tired but that's no excuse for not being stylish hehe.

Maybe on my next beach trip, it's gonna be blue, khaki and white. ^_^

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I watched Hunger Games yesterday. You know, I only get to learn about novels when a movie is made from it. I'm absolutely not a reader. Before watching, I usually ask a bookworm friend or google about the plot. Well it seemed interesting enough for me, despite it being a tween novel.

So we have kids age 12 to 18 from slave districts, selected by lottery to kill each other in a televised survival game. A game created by the ruler of Panem, a nation under hegemony in post-apocalyptic times. How's that?

I like the production. The portrayal of the Capitol's affluence is quite amusing - the technology, architecture and interiors, most especially the fashion. Everybody there is stylish. As if the entire metropolis is a runway for haute couture.

I just didn't like the quick panning and shakiness of the camera on some scenes. That really makes me nauseous.

Film adaptations often change or exclude some details. So if you've read the book you will most likely have some disappointments about the movie. And if you've not read the book, you know what they say: Don't judge the book by it's movie.

Also, don't expect spectacular fight choreography. The story really doesn't call for it. The killing scenes are not too graphic to stop you from eating your popcorn. =P

My applause to Jennifer Lawrence who played Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist in the trilogy. We have a new action girl! She also played the young Mystique in X-Men: First Class.