Velada Tomasina

Yesterday, January 25, was the Velada Tomasina in UST wherein students are advised to wear Filipiniana to commemorate UST during its early years. 

I entered UST yesterday knowing that there will be people on their best Filipiniana clothes but I did not expect to feel that I really was transported back in time. I pretty much enjoyed seeing people playing the roles of students during the Spanish Era but the only difference was that there’s technology. It’s quite funny seeing students before having cellphones and cameras. haha.

So yeah, I guess everyone who went to UST yesterday pretty much enjoyed it too. here are my photos.

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Aswang, 2014, ink.

In my motherland, in inangbayan, the supernatural lived as close to me as my skin. This is what I am trying to embody in my pieces.

I chose a woman in a forest as the focal point for Aswang – nothing overtly monstrous about her, so long as one looks politely away from her cache of picked-clean skulls. The image of aswang I grew up with was someone wild, mad, ravenously hungry; monstrous, savage, bestial. Insane, and the furthest thing from beauty in the grime and gore. I counter this with my outcast, calling birds – ghosts – flame spirits – to her hand, perched comfortably on an unearthly tree whose branches are hung with dark moons, weaving magnificent all around her as if mantled by power made visible, reveling in wildness, enchantment, the impossibility of being understood or known. I say: the forest is an intricately woven spell. The forest is cradle and bower and shelter. The forest is an open mouth, waiting, hungry.

This work was made possible by my wonderful Patreon patrons. Thank you so much. This is the kind of art you enable, that you support.


NYFW S/S 2013 II Cushnie et Ochs

Michelle Ochs is half Filipino, and since that makes her label one-quarter Filipino (as she joked a few days before the show), Ochs and design partner Carly Cushnie decided to look to the islands as a starting point for Spring. Needless to say, Ochs’ mom was pretty pleased; to ensure the designers had plenty of source material, she dug up and sent over traditional clothes and family heirlooms for her daughter and Cushnie to work from.

In addition to mining traditional Filipino dress, the designers were also interested in evoking an island vibe…

…Outside of the pool, the interpretation of Filipino fashion staples generated the best results. A sheer, sleeveless silk chiffon blouse with floral embroidery was reminiscent of a man’s formal dress shirt; paired with a sheer-paneled pencil skirt it looked light, feminine, and totally fresh.

A collection inspired by the Philippines.  There’s some interesting, more modern/contemporary takes on the barong and “traditional Filipiniana”/Pilipin@ clothing.



The Minimalist. Digital cover 3 of 3 of Marian Rivera for our Dec/Jan issue, wearing different designer gowns for every kind of bride-to-be. Inside the issue: 10 Filipina transgenders start a transrevolution, the 2014 Creative It List, and get crafty this Christmas with our Preview wrapping paper!


Photographed by Paolo Pineda 
Styled by Liz Uy 
Art Direction by Vince Uy
Makeup By Omar Ermita for Shu Uemura
Hair by Jay Wee
Nails by Arlene Santocaras of I Do Nails
Shoot Assistants: Maura Rodriguez and Yanna Lopez

Day 24: A book you wish more people would have read

The Social Cancer (A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere) by José Rizal, Charles Derbyshire (Translator)

Read it here.

Noli Me Tangere is Latin for “touch me not,” an allusion to the Gospel of St. John where Jesus says to Mary Magdelene: “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” In this modern classic of Filipino literature, Jose P. Rizal exposes “matters…so delicate that they cannot be touched by anybody,” unfolding an epic history of the Philippines that has made it the most influential political novel in that country in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The popularity of this novel is grounded in its reflection of the turbulent times in which it was written. Its influence on Filipino political thinking, as well as on contemporary fiction, drama, opera, dance, and film, has been and continues to be enormous. The vivid characters and the harsh situations depicted still ring true today. (Goodreads)

Maria Clara

While waiting to go to Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal Ransomed I decided to try using some new brushes I got from Frenden. And they’re really nice! Rob Cham was a guest speaker in our class the other day and he demo’d some art using them. I guess you can do the same thing with SAI, though, haha. But at least I won’t have to go Photoshop-Sai-Photoshop-Sai anymore.

Here’s Maria Clara from Rizal's Noli. It’s a bit glum, but that’s life