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.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Landslide - a cover by El Bohemio



   This is something I haven't done in a long while. So here's  a new recording done again with the help of my brother's Avid Recording Studio device. Of course I recorded the video and the audio separately again. Even the vocals and guitar were recorded separately. I'm just not good enough to do all that  in just one take haha!  I added a delayed effect on the vocals and the a flanger effect on the guitar to hide the flaws of my singing and my playing hihihi ! I'm not sure if it worked. My ears are tired already from listening to what I've done if it's any good. My God, I don't even like the cover image!

  But who's demanding for perfection here, right? Hehe. This is really about having fun, doing the things we love, pretending to be some famous rock star. I remember the words of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters about the "human element" in music making and how today's  music sounded perfect  but lacks personality and...

  Anywaaay, this video isn't a Foo Fighter song hehe. It's a Fleetwood Mac song written in 1975 ( I was born in that year ). But it was only after the year 2000 that I first heard this song and it was a live version. I really think their vocalist Stevie Nicks sounded better there compared to the original 1975 recording, and Lindsey Buckingham's guitar-playing is just amazing!

  I love this song not only because it sounds great but because of its meaning. Nicks wrote this song at a time when she was in Aspen, Colorado, contemplating on going back to school or continue to pursue a career in music with Buckingham, whom she is not in good terms with at that time, and their album had been dropped by Polydor Records. She was looking at the snowy mountains and felt that her life is crashing down like an avalanche. That kind of feeling is something I believe we all can relate to. I felt that many times in my life.

   Landslide was beautifully covered by other artist such as Smashing Pumpkins and Dixie Chicks, also in the TV show Glee. I've read Miley Cyrus, Tori Amos, and Bush did it also. Actually there are a lot more.

  Well I hope you will give my version a listen haha. Please don't bash me hahaha!

Saturday, October 21, 2017


    Real sorry guys. If you happen to stumble upon my online catalog or this blog and saw a photo of a shirt that you'd like to buy, I regret to inform you that I am momentarily not selling them yet. 

    I'm also sorry I cannot answer every inquiry I receive about the shirts. If you have been a follower of this blog you will find that I took a break from printing shirts for retail, for most of 2016. 

   I'm actually back into printing now but usually have to put it aside sometimes for other projects. I've been printing stocks  and will relaunch soon. There will be new designs, and some old designs will be available in new shirt colors. ^_^ 

  But I'm afraid I cannot give you a specific date as to when this relaunch is gonna happen. There is still a lot to do. A few designs are yet to be printed and I need to photograph each design for the online catalog. I  also need to convert my FB page into an online store so all transactions will be done there.  Hopefully I can finally make the shirts available by December.

  Well thank you for your understanding! Especially to my most loyal patrons haha who have been waiting patiently for the new designs. You guys inspire me - you give that extra push for me to make things happen! ^_^
   

Monday, October 9, 2017

El Bohemio Visits the Pinto Museum

  There was a 100% chance of rain in the forecast for last Sunday, October 8, 2017 and it was really pouring the night before. I thought that this trip will not push through. But we woke up to an overcast weather. So Shah, George, Jaret, and myself, we took our motorcycles up to Antipolo hoping the weather will just stay that way - cool and cloudy.

   I've been wanting to go to Pinto Museum since I learned about it a couple of years ago (or more) and I'm glad this group agreed to do a short ride just to check the place out. Originally, the plan was to ride around Rizal after this art-watching field trip haha but we spent around 5 hours in this romantic place.

    So I'm gonna share to you some pictures I took of this very unique museum. It truly is a place for someone who appreciates art, gardens, and traditional architecture.

The Architecture
    Well, it's Mediterranean. They will remind you of Santorini minus the blue accents. Blue is replaced with earth colors such as terracotta and sienna, and a lot of greens provided by our lush tropical flora. I personally love this style or architecture with its roughly plastered, dull-cornered wall finish; niches, and built-in seating. I remember dreaming of a house like this. If I'm lucky to have my own house built, it will have this same rustic charm.








The Gardens
     Lots of open spaces here and the plants are allowed to grow freely - no tree or bush cut into a topiary, or plants arranged in a Zen like manner. They cascade in the sloping terrain along steps and pathways that lead you to a lot of artful surprises. Impressive sculptures of clay, cast stone, and metal will greet you while you explore the museum grounds.










The Galleries
     They have galleries as small as a cellar and as large as a warehouse. The museum's rustic style is consistent inside and out. One gallery will lead you to another, not only by turning left or right but climbing up or down. The steep terrain on which the galleries are built added to the appeal of this museum. Some galleries are even "landscaped" with large rocks.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Day In Tanay, Rizal Province

      So yeah I went riding again the other weekend (June 4)  hehe. Gotta take every chance to ride out of town before the rainy season starts pouring in. Shah and I took our bikes up to Tanay, Province of Rizal, via Marcos High-way. This time with George (far back) who's also a Mga Independent Biker member. Also with us is Shah's big sister Jane (white helmet)  and her friends. So we're 8 riders with different motorcycle types and we called this trip the Chopsuey Ride lol!

      It feels so good to ride again to Tanay via MARILAQUE Highway  (a.k.a. Marcos Highway and Marikina-Infanta Highway). The twisties, steep roads, and mountainscapes made it a choice route to many motorcycle riders.
   


     We reached our destination, the Martessem Mountain Resort, around 8 AM. Typically, riders would meet up early in the morning and ride to places like these for breakfast, chit-chat, then ride back to Manila just in time for lunch with their families hehe.



    But Shah, George, and I -  we had something else in mind after that delightful breakfast in Martessem on that beautiful sunny day. We took our bikes over 5 kms further to Sitio Aguho Sampaloc in Tanay and checked out the

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Pahiyas Experience

 
   I've  been to Lucban twice already. But only on this third visit I get to see the Pahiyas Festival  in this famous town of Quezon Province. My past trips to Lucban were on a motorcycle and I went with a different rider group on each trip. This time, after 9 or 10 years, I  went back to Lucban with just one companion - my friend Sharon on her custom motorcycle that she calls Muffin  = )


    I met Sharon through a motorcycle club of which we are members and we did a lot of out of town rides with the group (Mga Independent Bikers) from 2002 to 2007. After a long hiatus, both of us are trying to get back  into doing long rides outside Manila (She already had a head start, actually hehe).
   Well now that I have a new helmet, new motorcycle battery, boots, a backpack to match my bike,  a powerbank for my iPad mini, and a selfie stick,  all I need now is a destination.

    And the Pahiyas in Lucban is just a perfect start!  Luckily Sharon and I are both available to go riding on a Monday. The Pahiyas Festival always take place on the 15th of May, regardless of what day it falls.


    So we met around 6 PM in Alabang and took the National Highway to get to Calamba (because our bikes are sub 400 engines). We took a break and some pictures in Liliw, then reached Lucban around 9 AM.

   Here are some pictures I took as we roamed the streets of Lucban during this beautiful day:




    Pahiyas means "precious offering" in Filipino and it's the day when this agricultural town celebrate harvest day in honor of  St. Isidore the Laborer (San Isidro Labrador). On this occasion houses are decorated with vegetables, fruits, grains, and colorful leaf-shaped wafers made of rice.
    Prizes are awarded to houses that wows the most. Makes me imagine how I would design one if given a chance.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Making A Dreamcatcher Mobile

     Hello again! Let me share to you this project that took ages to complete LOL!  It began December last year when I decided to make use of a bunch of yellow feathers and yarn that was originally for a costume project that didn't push through in 2013.

    So in Divisoria I bought some beads, a roll of ribbon and rattan loops to make dreamcatchers that I intend hang as a mobile in my room.


     It actually took days before I started weaving the "webs",  It was quite easy and fun - therapeutic even. My dreadlock artist also make dreamcatchers and he sells them at his shop. I guess I learned how to do the weaving by just looking at one of his finished pieces  -  following where the string goes. Well I really don't have to teach you how it's done hehe you can always Google for tutorials.


     The first (and the smallest) of 5 pieces was completed after almost 2 months. It took a while before I could find a chord with the right shade of yellow. I even had to to replace the ribbon that is wrapped around the loops. I thought I can never go wrong with the colors by going monochromatic. But because they are all of different materials, the tone and vibrance of golden yellow varies and they seem to compete with each other when put together. I dunno maybe I'm just being OC haha!


       Originally, I had this design in mind for my dreamcatcher mobile. Then I realized  my ceiling is not high enough for this. Also, I will need longer sticks to achieve this balancing effect. So I thought of just hanging all 5 dreamcatchers in one branch that is, at the most, 1 meter long.

     Of course that perfect branch didn't show up sooner. I actually didn't know where to look. So my dreamcatchers just laid around for months while I was working on other stuff - you know, the ones that pay the bills hihi.


          Then last month, while walking around my village I saw a guava tree in a vacant lot. So I hurried home to get a saw hehe. I understand that it will take a year for this branch to be completely dry. But I just let it sit under the sun for a week to somehow get some moisture off.  Anyway,  I wrapped the branch with ribbon and attached "crystal" buds and flowers.


    So here's the finished product (after nearly 5 months), installed above my bed. I hope you like it.  I'll call this piece "New Beginnings". Such is given to us in every golden sunrise.

    Maybe I'll make another one - a big one for the wall that looks more organic, using indigenous materials. But before that, I'll make a green one as requested by a friend. ^_^

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Six Years of Bohemianism

Ahh March is here and that means this blog is now 6 years old. Not much posts last year (well 21 posts is not bad hehe). I remember back in 2011 when I created this blog, switched to being a freelancer, and started learning how to screen-print, I have a blog post almost everyday then.

     Now after 6 years, with more things to do, the time I have for some of the things I love doing goes to that which pay the bills (sounds familiar? hehe). But I have been trying to keep a good work-and-leisure balance. I say "work-and-leisure" instead of "work-and-life" because work is part of life. Work is that boring stuff that I do that has nothing to do with my creative and business goals haha! On the other hand, "leisure" for me includes the work I do for Buhay Bohemio aside from the personal creative work I do that gives me no profit (or at least no immediate profit).

    Actually 2016 was like a break period for Buhay Bohemio. After an exhausting order of prints late in 2015 by my dreadlock artist and friend Avhel a.k.a. Pinoy Dreadman, which severely clogged my silkscreen stencils, I decided to not print shirts for a while and just do computer graphic work for regular clients. Mid 2016 I started buying new inks that is less quick-drying. By August of the same year, I already started printing stocks of Buhay Bohemio shirts but was not ready to sell. I was only able to print size sets for 4 different designs, when my desk job started to pile up in the last quarter. So my apologies for all those un-replied inquiries! :- (


   Anyway, this year I am really determined to get back into printing on a regular basis. Last January I finally accepted printing 85 pieces of tops for Pinoy Dreadman (after waiting for a year). This time using slow-drying inks and with an assistant. Yup, finally an assistant. His name is Pol and we worked in the same jewelry-making company before. He'd like to try his hand on screen-printing too so I taught him all I know about printing multiple shirts with just one pressing table haha! Soon I will show him how to emulsify a screen and burn a design with a light box.

   And speaking of assistant, I already have another person to help me with my graphic work. Particularly for vector files needed for the monogrammed products of Customized Chic. Her name is Lani and she's a new mom who also would like to do freelancing work while taking care of her baby at the comfort of her home. Oh she's also an artist from the same jewelry company that I worked for haha small world! Well I'm certainly glad that my assistants are people that I know personally.

   So yeah I'm pretty excited for 2017. I feel that everything's slowly falling into place and I will have a lot of good things to talk about in this blog. I'd like to thank all my followers, both the visible and incognito, for finding the time to read  the stuff that I post here all these years. I really appreciate it! :-)  If you are more active on Instagram as I am,  you can follow me there too! Hihi ^ _ ^

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Art Watching At The
Art Fair Philippines 2017

  Hello my dear readers! Long time no post haha. You can probably guess why. Well I'm gonna try not to keep saying that I'm busy when the truth is that I'm just bad when it comes to managing my time hihi. Anyway, if you follow my Instagram you'd see that I have been printing shirts again, and I'm glad that I've finished a project just in time to see this year's Art Fair.


    I went to the Art Fair with my fashion designer friend Ronnie. That was last Saturday, February 18th, at The Link car park building. When we got there at 2 PM,  the line to the elevator was pretty long already and being inside the venue feels like being in a mall on a sale. You will really have to be patient, quick, and clever if you want to take a picture of a popular free-standing artwork without capturing somebody else's head or butt.

    Well even if you can't spend more than 60 seconds admiring an artwork up close to look at every minute detail, in consideration to the mob of phone-cam photographers, let's just be glad that more and more Filipinos are appreciating art - and that is good news to our local artists.

   Anyway, being a smartphone photographer myself hihi, I took photos of some interesting works and I'm sharing a few favorites here  in this post. Click the photo for a closer look.  Enjoy! ^_^

Deco - Deconstruction 2017. The first artwork that caught 
my eye. It's a print and I'm glad that digital art is finding 
it's way into galleries and art shows.

I just love this beadweaving by Karl Castro.




I'm not a fan of neon colors but this work is superb!
"Hyper Overdrive" by Jood Clarino


Looks familiar, right? The plastic bottle craft sold on sidewalks
has leveled up. "Green Wall" by Francis Commeyne.


I love everything about this painting. 
"Down Town" by John Paul Antido.