All posts in the Art category

And So I Was Told

Published March 26, 2012 by The OC

Folk tales are defined as stories handed down to us through oral tradition which means it has been passed to us because of continuous telling and listening. Folk tales are different from fairy tales. Fairy tales, according to Wikipedia, involves characters like fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, mermaids, or gnomes while Folk tales, specifically Filipino folktales involve characters like tikbalang, nuno sa punso, manananggal, aswang, engkanto, tiyanak, kapre and diwata.

Characters in Filipino folktales often are misinterpreted or at least being identified as something else. The Filipino’s kapre should not be compared or called as a giant. A kapre is a creäture that lives as a tree demon that is hairy and is smoking a tobacco. Diwatas are not fairies and so as tiyanak is not a goblin. There is much difference between these creatures compared to those monsters of the western world. Our culture is rich in its own way which cannot be compared to any other.

Growing up, my grandmother would always tell me folk tales and such. Though it is prevalent in our country, it is not worldly “accepted” as compared to fairy tales. Having these stories go with me from being a kid to a teenager, I can say that it has helped me a lot with the way I act and think. Folk tales may not always have the moral lessons and happy endings, but in the midst of the story, you get to learn some things.

Stories about the diwatas, dwendes and engkantos taught me not to mess with nature and take care of it or else, I can end up messing their home and have me cursed or such. Stories about the kapres, white ladies, and manananggals made me think twice about lurking around at night. These tales are mostly scary and creepy but it implies the so-called lessons just in a different way. This is how our ancestors have their beliefs put in action and be passed on to the next generation.


Kite 101

Published February 27, 2012 by The OC

"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." -Laura Bacall

Did you just bought a kite, flew it, made it crash, and then just destroyed it? Ever wondered how you can repair your kite? Or how you could make one? Well, don’t fret! I just happen to have these easy steps in making a kite.

First, you need to gather the materials needed for the kite. Of course, no materials mean no kite. Prepare a pair of scissors, a roll of tape, two sticks (one should be longer than the other), a spool of strings, and a garbage bag. We’re going to make a traditional diamond-shaped kite by using these easy-to-get and low-cost materials.

After gathering the materials needed, we then start making the skeleton before the other parts of the kite. The skeleton is the framework of the kite. It makes the kite’s structure firm and strong as it hits the wind. Using the two sticks, place it like a small letter “t”, being the longer stick under the shorter stick. Tie them together using the string by doing a crisscrossing pattern on the intersection of the two sticks making sure they are not lose.

We then make the sail of the kite. Spread the garbage bag and lay the skeleton on top of it and tape it so that it won’t move when you’re working on the sail. Using the tape, preferably a masking tape, make a diagonal pattern by connecting the endpoints of the sticks. Make sure you leave at least an inch for allowance around the frame. Cut the diagonal pattern; a diagonal kite is much easier to make compared to other kites. Now, using the strings tie the edges of the garbage bag to the endpoints of the sticks but make sure that it’s tight enough for the kite to fight the wind or else it will just loosen up and cause the fall of your kite. After tying the edges, remove the tapes you put for securing the skeleton on the sail then adjust the bottom string at least an inch up for the tail.

Now that the body of the kite is made, take the remaining  parts of the garbage bag and cut at least three to five straight strips and attach it to the bottom end of the frame by tying them using the string. The tail makes the kite soar higher and catches the wind more making your kite flying even longer. The tail also creates a balance for your kite.

Next, tie a string from one point of the vertical stick to its opposite point, leave at least two to five inches allowance. Do the same to the horizontal sticks; make sure that the horizontal string is under the vertical one. Using the end of the string of the spool, tie it to the intersection of the two strings, the vertical and horizontal.

If you have finished doing all the steps, you are now successful in making a kite! The kite is not a hundred percent sure to fly but it’s still best to try to adjust it. To fly the kite, of course, go outside your house and make sure that the place you’re going to fly your kite is an open area meaning no trees or electric posts or fences or anything, just a plain open space. It’s better to fly a kite on a windy day because it makes your kite fly higher and stay longer on air. Ask someone to hold the kite for you while you unwind your string. The person holding the kite must stand opposite the direction of the wind. You then, release the kite and run for initial lift of the kite. When the kite is on air, you can make it go higher by unwinding more string or lower by pulling the string. The most important thing to do is have fun! :)

Simplicity At Its Finest

Published December 12, 2011 by The OC

I’m not an artistic person nor am I the one who loves art. I do know how to appreciate one but most of the times, I just don’t get it.


With that in mind, you would expect that if I was in a museum, I will just look at the artwork and then move to the next one. But seeing the painting of Nena Saguil entitled “Tag-Ani sa Bukid” I can’t help but be in awe. It’s a simple artwork colored with the hues of pink, purple and red, a painting as big as a standard notebook and put in the middle of two relatively larger ones. Despite its size and visibility (position-wise), I was captivated by the vibrant colors used for it just catches your eye and makes your feet stay where they are.

The painting depicts the celebration of farmers in the time of good tidings and good harvest. With a simple scenery of a traditional farmland rendered by a blood red-roofed hut on the right side and three triangles on the left side of the painting, two in the shade of pink and the other in red, seem to represent the tall mountains; a hot pink horizon with vertical wavy lines in both sides,  with the native black gray-horned carabao standing on the lower left side of the view; and a purple back draft with an intricate white scale-like pattern.

The characters in the artwork can be easily interpreted as well. The farmers sing and dance together to a tune. The two men are wearing the traditional camisa de tsino while the two women are wearing their baro’t saya with underskirts. The woman who appears to be singing stands by the right side of the hut while looking at the man who sits in front of the hut in an Indian sitting position, playing his black guitar. On the other hand, the other couple seems to be dancing together. The lady can be seen in the middle of the piece dancing in her red ruffled-neckline dress while holding a pink handkerchief with which she captures the essence of the artwork very well. While her partner dances on the left side of the painting in front of the mountains. Their clothes are hued with the same bright and bold colors used in the scenery of the painting.

All in all, the masterpiece of Ms. Saguil is truly a simple but a very straightforward painting representing the farmers who have worked hard and celebrated the feast of harvest time.

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