Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Long December

Looks like I'm gonna be busy until New Year. There are still some projects lined  up and I am yet to get gifts for my folks. It really does feel like a long December and I understand that the month feels even longer for  people who are going through tough times, especially for the victims of unpleasant events that has recently happened here and abroad.  

But the year seemed to go by so fast. It's almost over and I hope we all find the time, amid the hustle and bustle of the season, to look back and count our blessings, and yeah also find  reasons to believe that next year will be better. 

Here's a song by Counting Crowns from 1996...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Just in case you forgot what this holiday is really all about, it's about that greatest gift of God to mankind that came in a small package, wrapped in inexpensive cloth.

And so. . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Into the Christmas Rush We Go

It's 7 days 'till Christmas. We're feeling the rush. We can actually see it - malls on extended hours, long lines at the cashier counters, more vendors on the sidewalks, heavier traffic on major thoroughfares.

But how about the Christmas spirit? Are we feeling it? I heard a DJ on the radio saying that he's not feeling it at all. I saw a friend on Facebook saying  that he's not excited about Christmas, and another who's thinking of just spending Christmas working in the office.

If you ask me, well I'm not feeling the spirit either. But I'm very much feeling the rush. I have a total of 27 portrait projects this month. I've delivered 7 last week, 4 yesterday and 16 are due this week. I've been printing shirts on the side too. I feel blessed and stressed at the same time and I remember that I haven't done my Christmas shopping yet.

Busy - that's what we all are. Peraphs too busy to feel the Christmas spirit. Our minds are pre-occupied with the concerns of the Season - what to wear at which Christmas party, what present to give to who, what to cook for Noche Buena, how to hide from a battalion of godchildren, and what have you.

Maybe Christmas is just for kids, said a friend on Facebook, just like Halloween. Isn't it? I couldn't help but recall those years when I was a kid. As a little child, Christmas is when you receive things - toys, clothes, money. Then you'll come to understand that Christmas is giving and receiving. As you grow older you'll give more than you receive. Well after all, Christmas is "The Season of Giving". Yeah, receiving sounds better - it's easier. To give, especially to a lot of people, will need some time and effort. . . and money.

Many have gone weary of this season of exchange of material things. Sadly that's what Christmas has become to them and who can blame them in a consumerist society such as ours? Christmas feels just like any other day, said a friend, who's working for a call center, who's single, living alone, whose parent's have long passed away, whose siblings have their own families living far from his city. Feel sad for him? Don't be because he isn't. He's happy and very much used to it.

How Christmas feels is actually how you make it. I know somebody who donate and volunteer in charitable activities every Christmas season. Giving gifts to people who has more than you do seems pointless, he says. Though exhausting, to see the smile on the faces of the less fortunate people that he reaches out to, felt fulfilling for him. And through those smiles he very much feel the Christmas spirit. 

I should try that - to feel the pointlessness of giving presents to people who has more than I do hahaha! Well good luck to all of us. May we all meet our deadlines in December and may we all have a meaningful and stress-free Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just having fun with scrabble tiles... ^_^

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Art of Kris Kuksi

It's been a while since I've featured works of other artists here in my blog. I haven't been browsing  favorite art websites lately. You know, the Holidays are coming so I guess we've all been busy busy busy.

Just last month I saw my artist aunt like a photo from the Facebook fan page of Kris Kuksi. I clicked on the photo and wow! Totally awesome sculpture. I've always had a fascination for classical sculptures as well as baroque and rococo ornamentation. And I've always been a fan of the mix of the old and new so this work really got my attention.

"The Surrender of Helios"
mixed media assemblage, 32" x 27" x 8", 2011

Kris Kuksi is an American artist born in 1973 and is based in Kansas, Missouri. He collects statuettes, toys and other miniatures, modifies them and diligently put them together in an informally symmetric composition that resemble a monument form a post-industrial Renaissance world. If you also have an interest for classical sculpture you will  find some characters quite familiar.

What I like about artworks like these is that they cause your eyes to explore - to look at every character, every element that is incorporated in this beautiful mess. If you want to feast your eyes on more of his intricate works, click here. He has nice drawings and paintings too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

by Serena Ryder

I've been hearing this song by Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder on the radio for like weeks. It's one of my recent favorites now. Quite a catchy tune and I've been waiting for the official music video to show up on YouTube. Finally here it is. Real simple with just animated lyrics. Stompa invites you to slow down, relax,  detach yourself from your concerns and just let your body move to the music. Give it a listen!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Information -
The Key to an AIDS-Free Nation

December is here. Before we become excited for the coming holiday season, before we hang green wreaths and garlands with golden ornaments and red ribbons. Let us take a piece of red ribbon and make a single loop and pin it on our shirt because today is World AIDS Day.

I'm writing this post as my little contribution to the advocacy for AIDS awareness and the fight to stop the spread of the nasty virus that causes it. Do you know what's really un-pretty? Our country is among 7 countries where HIV cases are increasing - soaring by more than 25 percent this year. And the countries on the list are not even our neighbors.

This increase is very much a testimony of the lack of public education. Also, in a predominantly Catholic country such as ours, the widespread of a sexually transmitted disease is a testimony of the disregard of Catholic teachings against premarital and extramarital sex. And while the RH Bill is still being suppressed by a group who think that this epidemic can simply be contained by telling (stuborn) people to be abstinent, not only  HIV cases will continue to increase but irresponsible impregnations as well.

If this goes on, soon every Filipino will have somebody they know that has HIV. Just this year I knew 2 people who died of complications and I have a dear friend who has been living with HIV since 2007. This friend of mine, who has been a volunteer for HIV prevention and awareness and providing moral support to  infected people, told me even more un-pretty things. Stories of patients as young as 17, deaths because of late diagnosis, and suicides caused by severe depression. One of the saddest stories he told me was of one who was disowned by his family. And they even burned his personal belongings out of fear or being infected too. Imagine! Not only do victims have to fight to stay healthy but they also have to fight the stigma. And this stigma again is a testimony of the lack of public education about HIV.

And so I call out to my Pinoy readers whether you are single or married, gay or straight: The increase of infection cases is a serious matter - it affects us all. Take the time to know about HIV. Understand how it can be contracted and  prevented. Help fight the spread of the disease and the stigma. Remind the people you care about, especially those whose lifestyle put themselves at risk, to practice preventive measures.

And to the HIV+ people: Life is indeed beautiful and fragile. Stay happy and strong! Keep that positive attitude. Value your health. Help is available! You too can contribute in making an AIDS-free nation!