i will be here

April 26, 2010

Tomorrow morning when you wake up
And the sun does not appear
Ah ha-a-ah I, I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
‘Cause ah ha-a-ah I, I will be here

Chorus 1:
I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to crying
Through the winning, losing and trying
We’ll be together
‘Cause I will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is unclear
Ah ha-a-ah I, I’ll be here
As sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
So ah ha-a-ah I, I will be here

Chorus 2:
I will be here
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we’re older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the one who gave you to me
Ooh ooh ooh
Ah ha-a-ah I, I will be here

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
‘Coz ah ha-a-ah I,

— gary valenciano. he sings the most beautiful songs, doesn’t he?


A kokeshi fix

March 26, 2010

I am trying to collect kokeshi dolls. There aren’t a lot for sale here though. In fact, I know of only one store selling them.  It’s Collage, at Ayala Center.  My husband bought me my first doll late last year, after months of seeing me salivate over them every time we pass by the store window.  And he bought it after seeing it’s the last one left (there were four of them originally).  That time, it was like a little over 500 bucks.

After that, we kept on coming back to the store to inquire when the next batch of Kokeshi dolls will arrive.  I think we asked the sales people every weekend, to the point we were getting very annoying and overly kulit.

Well, last month, the new kokeshis did arrive.  And they had lots of new designs.  But I was shocked to find out their prices almost doubled.  From 500++ to almost a thousand bucks.  Hmn… maybe they thought the kokeshis were so in demand, not knowing it was only one person who tried to look for them every weekend.  We bought one, nonetheless, and I promised myself I wasn’t going to spend another 900++ for a little wooden doll which I knew cost only half of that price originally (and maybe one-fourth if you bought if from the manufacturer).

The old kokeshi and the new much more expensive one.

Anyway we saw an ugly kokeshi doll at Parkmall. It was so cheap, but just plain ugly.  I wasn’t too interested and wasn’t jumping up and down when I saw it, because I would have, but it was Alvin who suggested I could repaint it.  So I grabbed it and lined up to pay.

Ugly kokeshi doll. Pink hair??? Round eyes with two lashes each??? Ugly, ugly kimono design.

Last week, I got my watercolors from my baul and started repainting her.  I didn’t even sand off her old paint anymore.  I painted over her monstrous “pinkness”.  I knew watercolor is not something that lasts, but good thing I always have an art fixative in store.  After spraying over the fixative, I got a clear nail polish and applied all over her, for a glossy finish.  And this is what I got:

I think I’m gonna look for more of these ugly kokeshis. She turned out pretty lovely, don’t you think?

My Artist in the Making

March 26, 2010

Art is pretty big in my family.

My brothers and I can draw and paint. But I have to concede and say my dad’s the best artist among us.  I remember it was when I was six years old when Papa sat down with me and taught me how to draw a side profile of a female on my magic board.  I couldn’t stop drawing female figures the few years that followed.  He called me when I was a bit older, around 9 or 10 years old, to teach me the wonders of shading (I remember this was not long after that time he explained to me the concept of gravity using a white paper, a ref magnet, and some bits of pebbles — way before we talked about magnetic force in school).

My 4-year-old niece, Frankee, started painting when she was two.  And thanks to her, most part of my mom’s walls are now covered with hieroglyphics, but we all like it that way.  My mom says she can look at the walls — her own precious art gallery — when her grandkids are all grown up, and she’d always smile.

And because her dear cousin is a little artist, Athalia wouldn’t want to be left out in some painting sessions.  Shortly after Athalia turned two, Grandma gave her her own paint set, with her own little brush. All her “artworks” were unidentifiable back then.  Merely dark scribbles, some of which she says were bats.  But after her first stint with watercolor, she seemed to have lost some interest.

A few weeks ago, Alvin and I decided to buy her a new set of watercolors and color pens, and a new sketchbook.  I tried teaching her how to draw circles, but her hand still couldn’t control the pen.  She insisted on her own scribbles. I thought I just needed to wait until she’s ready to learn from me (because her Papa isn’t good in the art department. He is reserved for Science and Math and yeah, PE, too).

So imagine my surprise one morning when she got her drawing pad and her pencil. She asked me to draw a boat, then the sea, then a fish. I obliged. And then she took the pencil from my hand and started doing her own thing. And this is what I saw:

Fishes!!! She got the form, she got the eyes,
and she got those little extra lines for the tail.
I had to hug her so tight for the wonderful surprise.

That afternoon, she was already drawing faces!

And see that drawing below? That thing with tiny swirls on the head is a tiara.  Because that’s a princess! She even drew a few lines to represent a flowing skirt.
Well, who would have thought?
See, she can even draw a star! Although I think this was just luck.
Athalia really does certain things at her own time.

happy birthday, norman rockwell!

February 3, 2010

Okay, I have missed on a lot of Google logos here before, but today’s logo is special.  It’s Norman Rockwell’s birthday. Mr. Rockwell is one of my favorite artists. My Papa’s too. It was Papa who introduced Rockwell to me, and he had this large book with full-page pictures of his work, specifically his works for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. I love how he handles the most minuscule of details, like wrinkles on the hands and creases on clothes. I love how he depicts realism and inserts humor into his paintings. *Now, I wonder where that Rockwell book went.*

Norman Rockwell's Birthday - © 1926 SEPS by Curtis Publishing

fairy tales are not good for 2-year-olds

January 26, 2010

For a few times, I tried telling Athalia some stories during bedtime. And being the fairy tale sucker that I am, only stories like Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood come to mind when it’s story-telling time.

But I always find myself revising the stories midway. I’d realize all too late that I need to make up the main body of the tale. Either that or I’d suddenly stop and say I’d tell her a different story.

For instance, three nights ago, Athalia asked me to tell her a story. I asked whose story she wanted to hear. She said Cinderella’s.

“Once upon a time, there was a nobleman and his wife. They had a beautiful little girl, named…uhm…Ella.”

Thought bubble: Okay, now, how would I explain later why she became Cinderella when her name’s Ella? Would she understand the word ‘cinder’?

“While Ella was a little girl, her mama died.”

Thought bubble: Wait a minute, my kid doesn’t understand the concept of death. How do I explain it?

And because she’s still two years old, she doens’t ask too many questions just yet. So on with the story I go.

“When Ella’s mama died, her papa married another woman. Her stepmother was so wicked… wicked… you know, like a moomoo.”

Thought bubble: Do 2-year-olds understand the concept of a parent remarrying another? She doesn’t even understand marriage at all. Does she know what a stepmother means? Much more a WICKED stephttps://i1.wp.com/screencrave.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/SnowWhiteALP10-5-09.jpgmother? Oh, crap, just tell her another tale.

“You know what, babe, let’s do Snow White. Snow White is actually more interesting. She’s your favorite, right? Here goes… Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen. They lived in a big and beautiful castle. They had a beautiful baby, whose skin was as white as snow. You know snow right? They named her Snow White. But when Snow White was little, her mama… erm… uh… her mama died. And her papa… uh…er… her papa married again. But her… uhm… stepmother… was… wicked… You know wicked, bad… like a moomoo…”

“You know what, Athalia? Let’s go to sleep. I’ll tell you another story next time. I’ll tell you the story of the Little Mermaid, okay?”

Thought bubble: Little Mermaid’s mama had died, too, you know. And so had Belle’s. Waa!

How to eat bread…

January 19, 2010

…according to Athalia:

1. open plastic packaging…

2. eat eyes, nose, mouth, and half of each ear (in other words, all the yummy parts — except for the ears, which taste the same as the rest of the bread)…

3. give to mama and let her finish it off.

things japanese

December 2, 2009

I can’t remember when my fascination for certain things Japanese started.  It could have started when I was very little and I’d see my Mama tending to her bonsai plants. Or it could have been when I was in fifth grade and discovered a really cool series of origami books. I couldn’t stop folding paper during the years that followed.  I used origami — usually folded paper flowers, butterflies and cranes — to accessorize everything, including my school projects. I wish I kept those books until now, so I could pass them on to Athalia. However, they weren’t hardbound and they were quite destined to get lost as I grew up and became interested in many other things.

Origami Book 1 - House, Hat, Organ (Origami)Origami Book 3 - Flower, Rocket (Origami)Origami Book 11- Elephant, Shrimp (Origami)

My first origami books. Nowhere to be found now.

From time to time, though, I go back to origami for certain artistic needs and when my hands get too idle.  We got another book that featured more complicated models or figures, like spiders and gazelles. But that book belonged to my brother, who loves anything Japanese, too (like manga comic books, anime series, wooden chopsticks, nori, sushi, and, I am guessing, hentai as well).

A few months ago, I discovered an origami book at a local bookshop that was relatively cheap (because craft books these days — especially the really good ones — cost not less than 800 pesos).  Seeing that book made me feel so nastalgic and I just needed to have it. I figured Athalia and I can make easy paper models once she’s old enough to fold straight lines and can already be trusted with a pair of scissors. I can’t wait.

I -heart- this book.

It has instructions on how to make paper animals. I’m sure Athalia will have a grand time folding.

And flowers and other decorative items, too. Perfect accents for Christmas gifts!

Needless to say, I have a weakness for origami paper, too. I bought a set of patterned origami sheets way, way before I even found and bought the book (which came with its own set of origami sheets, too).  But I never got to use them. Perhaps because I don’t have the heart to fold these beautiful papers.

Origami sheets. Drool.

Lately, however, I discovered a blog whose owner is just as crazy about Japanese art (or maybe much, much crazier than I am). And so I learned how to make these paper geisha dolls! Finally, I found something worthy of my origami sheets, and a perfect excuse to buy more! (My husband hates the fact that I buy so much craft materials and I never ever use them at all! Now, he can take a look at my dolls and see that indulging me when it comes to all the what-nots is not really a bad idea.) If only I know where I can get kimono and washi paper this side of the world, it would be heavenly.

See my geisha dolls? They will be the focal point or centerpiece of my gift wrapping this holiday season. I will make it sooooo hard for you to open your gift! Haha.

And speaking of dolls, I have been in lust with those kokeshi dolls at Collage in Ayala. I have begged, and begged some more, for my husband to buy them for me, but all that begging was useless. Until last week when he got his 13th month pay. And he knows he has no more choice but to give in. The sad thing is that there was only one doll left. All the other 3 dolls — with lovelier kimonos — were gone.  I just had to buy the last one before it goes to somebody else’s hands!

Anyway, I have noticed craft bloggers have this thing with matryoshka dolls. What’s with matryoshka dolls? Well, if most of them have a fetish for matryoshka dolls, it’s kokeshi dolls for me. I had to ask Collage if there’d be another batch of kokeshis, and, indeed, new stock will be coming in within the month. *cartwheels*

My pretty little kokeshi doll! I promise you won’t be lonely for long. 🙂

If only I have enough money to travel wherever I want, you’d know where I will go first. Just the thought makes me…uhm… wet. Really.

3 reasons

November 14, 2009

An old friend asked me whether I regret marrying young (and by young I know he didn’t mean the fact that I married at 24 years old, but the fact that I submitted myself to domestic life while all the rest my age were packing their backpacks and hopping from one island to the next).  I told him I had my fair share of spontaneous travels, all before they even started to take it seriously.  I have experienced getting on a bus bound for another island-province without my parents’ knowledge and without knowing if I will be sleeping on a bed that night. Besides, who says a woman with a husband and a kid cannot hop on planes and embark on an adventure together?

He then asked me what made me decide to marry Alvin, and how I knew he was the one.

I told him I can give him 3 reasons:

1. He is one of the smartest guys I know. I can never win an argument with him because I don’t know half the things that he knows. He challenges me intellectually, and because of that I know I never have to worry about mentally stimulating conversations when we’re old.  I know that idle times won’t be spent talking about just the latest movies, or the latest fashion, or about certain people we know.  And not only is he brilliant, he is hard-working and strives to excel in everything he does.  He doesn’t settle for mediocre, and with him I know I will always have somebody to pull my string when I’m being lazy and just contented to be middle-of-the-road.

2. He loves me.  He loves me enough to strive to be a better man.  I have seen him go from super-brat to not-so-brat (hehehe).  From a relentless bully to a guy who can control his anger, distaste, disgust, temper even way better than I could.  He had a privileged upbringing and was used to either getting what he wants or throwing tantrums til he gets it.  What he is right now is a person who knows how to set aside his heart’s own desires to give way to what his wife and daughter want.

3.  He is the one who taught me that love goes beyond boundaries.  He taught me that love can transcend my ideals and my own picture of how a perfect partner should be.  That it doesn’t have to be a knight in shining armour all the time.  That love cannot co-exist with stereotypes and biases, much more with any kind of discrimination. That it gives no significance to the opinion of those not involved.  That love is indeed powerful.

Anyway, happy 32nd Bunot! I love you.

The Party’s Not Over!

November 10, 2009

Now, if you know this song, you know what I mean 🙂

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street

Come and play
Everything’s A-OK
Friendly neighbors there
That’s where we meet

Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street

It’s a magic carpet ride
Every door will open wide
To Happy people like you–
Happy people like
What a beautiful

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame street…

How to get to Sesame Street

How to get to…

This was Google Logo on November 6:

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

On November 7:

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

On November 8:

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

On November 9:

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

And on November 10:

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

Now, which one is your favorite Sesame Street Google logo? Mine has to be Oscar the Grouch, mainly because I love him.

Nothing beats Sesame Street. Not even Dora the Explorer.