g r a n u l a r i t y #2

Sharing my photo set from an Independence Day spent traversing seas and chilling by the beach. Shot using Yashica FX-3 with an expired Superia X-tra 400.

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Daddy and Mommy
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A boat passing by

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Selfeet
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April

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This shot reminds me of the Philippine flag
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This boy was our guide at Mt. Gulugod Baby
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This is unfortunately as far as I can go. After I threw up on the trail, we had to go back down.
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This is what greeted us after a failed attempt at climbing the mountain.
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One last shot before we go back to the city.

 

As we celebrate this year’s Independence anniversary, let’s take the time to believe and pray that God will move mightily in our nation. May He do this through leaders, through ordinary people, and through me and you.

Maligayang araw ng kalayaan, mga kababayan!

Let’s also remember to be grateful that we live in a country get to worship Him freely. In other places, a mere mention of the name of Jesus can get you imprisoned or killed. May we never take this freedom for granted. Lift up a prayer for brothers and sisters who are being persecuted because of their faith in God.

Dadating din ang inyong kalayaan.

 

n e w

It’s been months since I last drew something that’s not work-related. I’m grateful to be sharing this artwork and the story behind it. It was a few nights ago… Right before I was about to sleep, I had a moment of “you know what, I don’t care if it’s already 1am, I miss drawing so I’m just going to draw to my heart’s content.”  It was a spur-of-the-moment grab-my-sketchpad-and-just-draw kinda thing.

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This was inspired by what my friend Bianca shared last Monday in her Victory group. This is the only line I wrote in my journal as she was preaching. Everything she shared felt so personal for me and my current situation. I thank God for the Word He spoke through her. It overflowed into an artwork and I plan on sharing her message to other women as well.

What she shared was that sometimes, we get stuck and feel that nothing’s happening in our lives because we’re so fixated on a system instead of focusing on the Source. We’re so busy waiting for a series of events to play out that we miss what God is currently doing in us and around us. We become too focused on what we want to happen, instead of focusing on Him. We forget that every good thing we have is a gift from heaven (James 1:17). Our hearts can be so set on getting promoted at work or in the ministry. We forget that real promotion comes from the One who gives us the ability to produce wealth.

I was looking at the wrong direction. I was trying to force my way into a door that only He will open. I realized then that my heart had to turn from the “system” and go back to the One who holds all things together. After all, this isn’t about what I can do for Him or what He can do for me. This is about Him—His character, His love, His glory.  Draw near to The Source and you will just witness systems fall in to place.

Put your hope in Him who makes a way in the sea, a path through mighty waters. The Lord our God who said:

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

(Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

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w a v e s

Waves will come.

And come.

And come.

Storms will come.

And come. 

And come.

They come 

In different forms.

It splashes at your feet.

It swallows you whole.

It’s a breeze then a hurricane 

A trickle then a flood

Get a compass

Brave the waves

Sail the open sea

But anchor your soul.

Seek a captain you can trust.  

Let Jesus steer you through.

The waves will come 

Waves of disappointment, anxiety, and grief

The storms will come

Storms of heartbreak, insecurity, and unbelief

But you’re still 

You’re still

In an ocean of grace. 

Old artwork. New meaning.

g r a n u l a r i t y #1

First shot.
First roll.
Film first-hand: I found joy in the anticipation — in waiting for the roll to be developed, the negatives to be scanned. I found magic in seeing photographs, which were taken days, weeks, months ago, for the very first time.

These are some of the shots from my first ever film roll that was shot using Yashica FX-3 and an expired Kodak Ultramax 400 film. Timeline of photographs: May 2015-June 2015. Developed around August 2015. I have 5+ rolls of film yet to be developed. All were taken during the first half of 2016. We’re on the last month of 2017’s first quarter. Whether through words, film, smartphone, or a digital camera, I hope to chronicle more of the little, magical, and delightful along with the sad, harsh, and bleak.

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First shot. Post Office from Escolta.
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Kids of Escolta.
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Self-portrait. Quiapo, while riding a jeep to Espanya.
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Ron, my brother. Mother’s Day 2015.
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Daddy and Mommy. Mother’s Day 2015.
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‘Ordinary’ bus to the city.
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Tiger, our dog.
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Sunset or sunrise? Expressway.
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While waiting for my lomiPalengke sa bayan ng Cuenca.
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April, taking my picture. National Museum, May 2015.
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April. National Museum, May 2015.
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April, adjusting her film camera. National Museum, May 2015.

 

gran·u·lar·i·ty
/ɡranyəˈlerədē/
noun
  1.  the quality or condition of being granular.
  2. technical
    the scale or level of detail present in a set of data or other phenomenon.

s l o w

Some days you just can’t get yourself to produce something that you think is “worthy.” Today is one of those days for me 😞
I felt unproductive, shifting from one task to another. alt tab click click alt tab. I was restless. I started questioning my abilities, wondering if I should just resign because I’m not doing my job well. I started thinking if my experience and years of study are all going to waste. Those thoughts burdened me more than the tasks at hand, which only slowed down my progress. They even overshadowed the truth that I am making progress—however small of a progress it was.

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Then I remembered my favorite animal… Turtles… They remind me…especially the tortoise (they’re different from turtles, just so we’re clear*)…that slow is fast. Slow is okay as long as you’re going in the right direction. Yes, I still have a lot to do and learn. But taking my cue from the tortoise…

Slowness doesn’t mean there’s no progress.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

(2 Peter 3:9, ESV)

Rather than moving in haste, we need to stay steadfast in the race towards the finish line (or in my case, the deadline).

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)

The tortoise can’t get rid of its heavy shell, but I can let go of my anxious thoughts.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-8, NKJV)

And with God’s grace, slow is, indeed, fast. 🐢✨

*Turtles have fins and can swim, tortoises have trunks and can’t swim

w i l t

Today, I decided to make the commute home more productive by writing haikus. Here’s the first one inspired by the rose that was left to wilt on my desk…

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He started drooping
just as she started blooming—

love is worth the wilt

f a r e w e l l

2 weeks ago, I got to talk to him before heading to the Admin office to finish work. I asked him how long has he been teaching in SoFA Design Institute. He jokingly answered, “Di ba nga last Christmas party, Amina mentioned na ever since the school started, I was there.” And he was. He’s been with SoFA from the very beginning. I don’t know much about his history with SoFA, but I still remember how I first got to know him. It was March 2015, my first week at SoFA, when Rodel, our registrar, mentioned that I should befriend Sir Dan upon learning that I’m the new graphic designer. I thought, who is this Sir Dan that I need to know him? I googled his name and I thought yes, I really should get to know him. I read some of the articles about him online– about telling stories through fashion illustration, the innate artistic talent in all of us, and I also saw some of his works. I was amazed and excited at the same time. I already thought of ways on how I can approach him and ask him so many questions about his passion, his profession, and just about his life. Since then, I would see him around school but never really find the courage to introduce myself. Three months later, the opportunity to befriend him came when we sat next to each other during a creativity development seminar for staff and faculty. The workshop gave me the chance to ask him questions and really get to know him. I’m so grateful for that day. The day I got to talk and laugh and brainstorm with the Danilo Franco.

After that workshop, I would never miss the chance to greet him when I see him around the campus. Sometimes I would see him painting in a classroom or in a corner by the canteen. Watching him paint is so relaxing, and exciting at the same time. I loved asking him questions while he painted—where does he get inspiration, does he use references on his works, what’s his favorite medium, and many more. Sometimes I’d catch him very early in the morning, already working on a portrait gift for his sister’s friend. Other days I’d see him way past work hours concentrated on the intricate details of an illustration. Looking back now, I realized that he was really in love with what he does. He loved using his hands in creating wonderful works of art. And he was generous with his gifts. Meng, one of my officemates, told me that he once gave each staff their very own portrait for Christmas. And he never withheld knowledge and wisdom. I once asked him how his students are doing and he’d often rant about their lack of patience and persistence. But in those rants, I heard his love and concern. All he ever wanted is for his students to reach their full potential; that’s why he gets frustrated every time they don’t see what he sees in them. Who would concern himself with other people’s progress when he has reached such a high stature in his career? Sir Dan would. As great as a designer as he is, he chose to serve students by sharing his life with them. He dedicated 10 years of his life to teaching and mentoring students—not just in design but also in life.

It will take a lot of time to get used to his absence. But it’s time for him to rest. His 10 years with SoFA was enough. His 64 years here on earth was enough. He has touched so many lives.

Thank You Lord, for letting me get to know the Danilo Franco.

sirdanilo

/ferˈwel/

exclamation

  1. used to express good wishes on parting.

noun

  1. an act of parting or of marking someone’s departure.

Enjoy paradise, Sir Dan.

I was thinking of Sir Dan when I made this illustration of a gown from Albert Andrada’s S/S 2013 collection.

m u n d a n e

adjective

  1. common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.
  2. of or relating to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs.
  3. of or relating to the world, universe, or earth.

When looking for an object to paint… I’m usually drawn to the pretty ones—be it flowers, sunsets, clothes, etc. I rarely look to mundane things as the subject of my artwork. Today, that routine changed. I already saw my Inapo’s orchids which were in full bloom. Sila na ang plano kong idrawing. But there were insects on the flower so I couldn’t pick them. That’s when I saw leaves on the ground. I thought, “Hey, I haven’t tried painting one of those.” So I picked. I picked the fallen, the broken, the dying, the useless.

As I was painting, I was reminded how God is like that with us. He picks us. He uses the useless. He chooses the fools to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). He sees the beauty in our brokenness. Just as He used His Son, Jesus—a king born in a manger, a God who went down from His throne to go through suffering as we humans do (1 Peter 2:21). If we’ll only submit to His loving pursuit. He can turn our mundane life into a magnificent display of His goodness, His love, His mercy. Because you are chosen. You are the object of His affections. Let yourself be picked. Let Him make a miracle out of your mundane life.

 

 

 

 

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Ephesians 1:3-6, MSG