22 January 2013

Daring to move.

One thing you should know about me is that I can be too proud. It might be a curse of the first born, the fact that we always have to be right, that I can't back down on anything -- and I mean anything.

Take for example when I was in pre-school. My mom used to place some tissue napkins in my lunchbox along with my juice box and baon. Unfortunately, one particular day, the juice box broke or something and pretty much my lunch box was flooded with orange juice. I honestly don't know what possessed me to do what I did, but I did it just to prove my busmate wrong. 

What was it?

I ate the orange drenched tissue.

She told me you can't eat tissue, but I told her my ninang said you can, and so I did.

And I ate all of it.

It's not as bad as the birthday candle I ate when I was about 4. Oh, that wasn't a dare, mind you. That was curiosity mixed with greed.

My sudden introspection has led me to arrive to the conclusion that I've eaten weird things. But that's not the point. The point is I do not back down from a dare. I'm not a highly competitive person, but once you prod me, there I go. 

And so this 2013, I am challenging myself, nay, daring myself to go through with these:

Produce an online magazine

I love magazines. I collect the printed kind, and browse through the digital format. My love for the medium became much more apparent when I was asked to be the moderator of the school paper when I used to teach. And now, I actually want to try to produce one with original content. It's still in its baby stages, but it has something to do with literature, food, and crafts. Now, this e-zine will be a collaborative effort (segue!) and if there is something inside of you that enjoins you to explore this idea with me, kindly drop me a line and we'll talk about it.

Get a tattoo

I've been contemplating about this for quite a long time. C'mon, this is permanent, something that marks you. I want it to be something that I won't regret five to ten years after getting it.

Right now I'm thinking of one of the designs above. The Enso, a feather, and the anchor. Each one has a special meaning, and it's really just a matter of which one to choose first. 

Join a bazaar as a seller

I've always been insecure about my craft. I'm still in the process of transitioning it out of the hobby phase, into something much more special, something more worthy to be shared to others. 

Learn a sport 

I don't fully know a particular team sport. I generally suck at it, especially one that involves balls flying all over the place. So yes, I'd like to learn one that isn't chess or yoga.

We were asked to do five, and then a wild card, but then I just went for the fifth one as my wild card dare courtesy of my blogging partner, Loreen! So what is it?

Not shop or dine-out for month

I am a spender. Most especially with food, and generally things I obsess with. *sigh* I think I need a support group for this? Anyone?

So what would you dare yourself to do for 2013?

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14 January 2013


The cursor keeps on blinking, and I'm stumped. 

What is my dream job?

What is my dream job?

Four years into the work force, and most days I day dream of the infinite possibilities of what I really want to do with my life. Some of them mundane, most are a little absurd, and a host have potential.

And then one day, as I was practicing my calligraphy, I realized what my dream job would be --

I want to be an artisan. A crafts(wo)man. 

Of what exactly, I'm not sure. I've dabbled in a lot of things, went to workshops, was in a trial and error sort of phase, and all of them I would love to do. However, I can never let myself to be a Jane of all trades, and a master of none. I want to be someone who's expert at something and people will come to her, because this is what she's good at. 

So I've kind of narrowed it down to four things, and if I can find an intersection of all, then that would just be plain awesome.
all photographs were taken by me, except for the cheese.

1. Coffee/Tea
In one of my random daydreams, I would think about opening up a small garden cafe where there are different kinds of coffee or tea, or even some that are uniquely blended for specific customers -- and of course partnering it with the right sweets, and whatnot.

2. Cheese
I enjoy cheese, and I love pairing it with different wines and food. There is more to life than Kraft Eden cheese. 

3. Indigenous Textiles
If there is one more thing I'm passionate about, apart from the reformation of education in the country, it's the indigenous culture of the Philippines. And one thing that showcases the richness of our heritage is through our textiles. The patterns, the textures...*sigh* I can just go on and on about it. 

4. Calligraphy
The written word that bleeds on paper. It's an art as much as meditation for the writer. Each stroke, each curve of the nib calms me and brings me joy, and the end result always surprises me. My thoughts, my spirit are transferred to the ink that has besmirched the virginal space of the page.

There you are. Hm, upon thinking about this on my drive home I realized a subconscious reason why I wanted to become an artisan/craftswoman of something. My grandparents had skills that brought others joy. Both my grandfathers were carpenters in their own right. My maternal grandfather even made a hammer handle with a bayabas branch. While my grandmothers were masters at the sewing machine. My maternal grandmother even made baby shoes for a living back in the day. 

I guess a part of me claims that this is my birthright. To work with my hands, to have an output, and to deliver it to the people who believed that my skill was enough to give them what they need. 

Looking through my blogging partner Loreen's post, something really struck me; she really highlighted what speaks to her, what she was passionate about, and how in the end she wanted to effect change -- to make people see her perspective. She writes:
 I will be a SOMEBODY who wrote about the LGBT community. Being part of that community, I know that writing a book about the triumphs and plights of a Filipino Lesbian will help give the world an insight into what goes on in our minds - how we are NOT SO DIFFERENT, and advocate for our basic human rights. I just want the world to recognize us, and not scoff or judge or HATE.
Like her, I want to be able to do something that will contribute change. To make people see that we all have this collective experience that makes us Filipinos. I want to be part of that collective, that what I do matters because this speaks of who we are as a nation.

Two nights ago, I wrote a prototype of this entry in my journal. In the end, being the practical person that I am, I just had to break down the process of my path in becoming an artisan/craftswoman on paper. Of course I didn't want my dream to just be a dream. 

I usually like to complicate things, and then this surprised me. They seem workable enough to maneuver the dream. I find it cumbersome when the practical side of me plays devil's advocate and barrages me with questions on how I can make my dream to reality. And so I've reconciled that it has to be converted into a workable idea, something that can be accomplished with the resources I have now. If I have that idea in mind, then I need to break it down into bite-sized goals. If need be, then I would have to do something each day to bring me closer to what I want to do. It can be a million bite-sized goals for all I care. I know this will not happen overnight, but it will eventually happen. And so when I get to my destination, and then it becomes a reality. But I know I'm not stopping there because innovation must take place. 

I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Right now, I can honestly say that I'm not even halfway through my dream-workable idea phase. 

But we'll get there...we'll get there. 

Now you might be thinking what in the world my title's all about. A wandergesellen in it's strict sense is a journeyman, a traveling craftsman. But for me, I guess it would apply as I am someone who sees this dream job as a pilgrimage of sorts. I learn as much as I can to hone my craft, and to be able to master it under the tutelage of an expert, and in the end, contribute to a cause greater than I am.

One bite-sized goal at a time. 

So how about you? What's your dream job?

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07 January 2013

When I was 16

More often than not, I do forget that I'm already in my mid twenties. There are days where I feel like I just recently graduated from college, wide-eyed and optimistic about the world. But there are also days where when I put on my make-up and closely look at myself, I kind of freak out because I realize that lines are forming under my eyes.

Sometimes I think the realization that I'm supposed to be an adult is both profound and shallow.

Is it just me? Or is this a plague that is happening to the 20-somethings of today? If you read Thought Catalog you'd notice the plights of supposed-to-be adults are essentially the same. Most of us can't still wrap our heads at the fact that we're supposed to be responsible for ourselves, and for others...in a more important way?

I honestly don't know.

ID pictures over the years. Okay except for the last one. That's the most recent that I have, so pardon the -- emoness? I've stopped taking pictures of myself as of late.

The title of this blog was supposed to be When I was 16. So who was I ten years ago?

In retrospect, I was merely a shell of who I am now. Did that make sense? Oh, wow, now I realize this post is full of question marks.

I was an emotionally, fantastically laden teenager with the hopes of becoming an interior designer. But it later changed when I saw Stepmom with Julia Roberts as a photographer. Then I told myself I wanted to be a photographer/filmmaker.

I forced myself to like alternative music, to be what we term now as hipster. I loved acting, I loved to tell stories. I wasn't as excited about school, except for English, and History. My crushes were all unattainable aka celebrities and musicians. I had a crush on a boy, but that didn't really materialize until I had to ask him out to be my prom date.

I had an inkling of what I wanedt to become, but in slam books I'd always write "I want to be somebody".

Vague as it was, maybe it was indicative of what I am today. Some of it are true. Some of those mentioned above formed my choices in life. When I was 16, I didn't know what the world held for me. At 26, I still don't.

All I know is that I want to be somebody. Somebody to exact change in this world we live in.

How about you?

19 December 2012

Sleeping with ink stained hands

And so for the past few nights I've been sleeping late because I've been practicing calligraphy.  I couldn't be happier going to bed with ink stained hands . There's still a long way to go to perfect the craft,  but I'm trying my best to head in that direction.

01 November 2012

To the touch

Apart from having a sensitive nose, I'm also a very tactile person. I love how textures interplay with how I feel and remember things. It must be some form of synesthesia, who knows, but I particularly love the intimacy of true textiles. Those cloths that have the intricacy of the weave, and the labor of being hand-made.

Beautiful textiles are a bit pricey, especially here in the Philippines. But once you get your hands on a piece (or two, or three...or four) well I do believe that each has a story to tell.

I'm very drawn to local textiles since we do have a rich history of it,especially those of the indigenous weaves. I'd really love to own an authentic one (not the printed kind), especially that of the T'nalak of the T'boli Tribe.

I own a few small pieces of Philippine made textiles, and if you are a fellow Filipino, or even a foreigner reading this, I hope you take the time in learning about our country through these beautifully hand-made cloths.

I remember buying this one in Davao for a fair price. The pattern is pretty common, almost like the Scottish Plaid. 

I cannot remember, for the life of me, where I bought this one. Even though it's shockingly pink, the design is still pretty tribal. 

This one is actually a handkerchief. It's the embroidery that struck me the most. Isn't it delicate? This is made in Iloilo.  

I bought this in the same place as above. The place mostly sells what they call bobbin weaves.  

 And yet another design. Oh, and no, I haven't used any of the hankies. I just couldn't seem to.

Now this last piece is the biggest of them all. It's actually a blanket, and yes, I'm using it now. It came from Ilocos and was sold at a very low price at this trade fair and I snatched it up immediately.

I have dreams of learning how to weave one day, although at the back of my head, I wouldn't really want to because I feel that if I do learn it, the magic and the mystery of this thing I can touch, I can feel, would be gone.

Does that make sense?

So are you the same? Are you also a textile fiend?