Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES OF TIME AND SPACE IN ART- The National Museum of the Philippines

Going to an art museum is not simply looking at the art works per se. It is feeling the soul of the artist through his work. After all, art is the universal language of the soul. Art is what connects one person with another, gone or still living. Thus, it can be an emotional experience for anyone, and for me in particular, as a viewer and an artist. I can instantly be moved by what I see, an indication that a particular painting resonates with the thoughts and emotions of the artist and has touched my core.

Off I went with my brother to the National Museum of the Philippines and had a total art immersion. There were two buildings that we visited and it took us four hours to go around and feel every single work of art. One building was allocated for paintings and sculptures, while the other one was a repository for archaeological finds in the Philippines.

I felt the passion of Juan Luna and recalled his tragic life as I gazed at his painting, "Spoliarium". I was totally absorbed by his powerful depiction of the bodies of gladiators being pulled out from a Roman arena after a fight. I felt intense horror as I viewed the paintings that showed the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers to Filipinos during World War ll. I felt vibrant as I looked at the works of Ben Cabrera and felt like dancing in a white robe just looking at the symmetry of his "Sabel". I felt tranquility as I looked at the resplendent women of Fernando Amorsolo and could almost hear the soft murmurs of the wind as it playfully teased the bandanas, the hair of the beautiful maidens sitting by the river. I had a surge of instant joy as I recognized the strokes of my master artist friends, Raul Isidro, Pablo Baen Santos, Egai Talusan Fernandez, Fundacion Sanso, and Nune Alvarado. Indeed, I was bursting with emotions and was feeling every molecule of the moment. I was walking, brushing shoulders with the masters, and crossing the boundaries of time and space.

The 150 peso entrance fee was indeed worth the experience except for some moments of uneasiness brought about by glances from a few lady guards. Maybe they were afraid that I would fling my arms in a fit of uncontrollable elation and accidentally hit a piece of sculpture. So I was informed by a lady guard not to emulate any pose in a painting or sculpture as per management's order. Or perhaps, they were used to the usual solemn gazing at the art works by viewers and my actuations were beyond the ordinary. Well, art has to be felt. It is a personal experience with the soul of the artist residing in his art work. It is an instantaneous connection between two souls, that of the artist and that of the viewer. It is savoring the sublime moment with spontaneity, unmindful of others and the passing of time.

The National Museum of the Philippines

"Spoliarium" by Juan Luna

A staff of the museum talks about "Spoliarium"

Painting of a lady by Juan Luna

A portrait of Juan Luna

A portrait of Luisa Reyes Vergel de Dios by Fernando Amorsolo

A portrait of Serafina Santos y Aduna by Ramon Peralta

"Rape and Massacre in Ermita" by Diosdado M. Lorenzo

Portrait of Mr. Cheng Ban Lee and Mme. So Boan Ty by Federico Aguilar Alcuaz

An array of paintings by Arturo Luz

A Raul Isidro painting

A painting by Jose Joya

Paintings by Egai Talusan Fernandez

A painting by Pablo Baen Santos

A painting by Pablo Baen Santos

A painting by Nunelucio Alvarado

"Sabel" by Ben Cabrera

A painting by Romulo Olazo

"Arko Ng Pagkakaisa Para Sa Kalayaan" by Egai Talusan Fernandez

A painting by Fundacion Sanso

"The Black Nazarene of Quaipo" by Ricarte Puruganan

A photography exhibit of places in the Philippines

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Being Adecsky Explorer is not just about exploring a place. It is more than that. It is having the common touch, getting to know people no matter how unconventional they seem to be. They are different people that make this world truly interesting. Listening to them talk about their lives is always a learning experience, having the privilege to enter their world, understanding it, and doing away with labeling. I consider them to be among the most fascinating people here on earth. They think without a box and are candid about their thoughts and feelings once you gain their trust.

Whenever I go around our subdivision, I usually see a guy dressed differently. He goes around with his dog every saturday. He dons a military helmet and holds a baton while walking around. I have always been curious about him. So I got my luck one sunday afternoon after feeding the dogs at Toffee's Haven. On my way home, I spotted the guy walking towards my direction and waited for him. Of course I pretended not to be eagerly waiting for him. I hid a little bit by camouflaging myself with some leaves. When he got near me, I sprang from behind a tree like Robinhood and greeted him with a vivacious hello.That started our conversation. I introduced myself as Adecsky Explorer, left him for awhile to get my camera, juice, biscuits, and an orange, then hurriedly went back.

I read Roy on the badge on his shirt so I said, "You must be Roy and you must be an artist." Yes, he said, his name was Roy. He called himself Roy Vincent. Vincent was for his family name Vicente. And another yes, he was an artist. It was a good guess on my part. He spoke fluent english and had an american accent to boot. He had a childlike enthusiasm as he talked about his love for Nala, his dog, that he walks every saturday. His saturdays were for walking his dog while his sundays were for strolling alone. He was so proud of Nala which he claimed to be a jack russell like Manny Pacquaio's dog. Of course it is an aspin or askal but I understand his sentiments being proud of my own aspin dogs which I claim to have aristocratic breeds too. Aside from talking about Nala and having another dog in their house, he also talked incessantly about his love for drawing cartoon characters. I was totally engrossed and was instantly transported to Neverland in my rain boots. What a delightful afternoon with Peter Pan!

Roy, a middle child, is a born again christian who lives with his eldest sister in a rented house. His sister does spiritual healing while his youngest brother works in the Middle East and supports them financially. He loves the Philippines and that's the reason why he decided to leave the US after staying there for sometime and stay here for good. Unfortunately, they have to leave our subdivision soon as the house they are renting is due for demolition.

But hey wait! Why does he wear a military helmet and with a baton to match everytime he walks around? He told me a secret. He has always wanted to be a soldier and he is living every minute of his life as a soldier, protecting all creatures great and small. He said he was also a soldier in a past life and was sorry that he was on the other side of the fence when I told him about memories of my own past life as a jew that was persecuted by nazi soldiers and finally thrown in a gas chamber.

Come to think of it, we can forever be children like Roy in our own Neverland...if we only live a life like Peter Pan's.

I am with Peter Pan in his Neverland

Roy walking his precious Nala

Roy is out to protect all creatures great and small

In my fashionable rain boots courtesy of Elsie, my sidekick

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


When Deej told me that the theme for this month's art exhibit was on disability as July is the month for disability awareness, I became particularly interested. It was because he was very excited on how we were going to express the subject matter through our art and also because the topic of disability is close to my heart having certain disabilities myself like tourette syndrome, sleep paralysis, and obsessive- compulsive disorder since I was a child.

It was difficult growing up with a disability like tourette for instance during a time when having one was a social stigma. I could be termed deviant and be a laughing stock among my peers. I am thankful that I had a father who looked at my disabilities from a more positive angle, fostered my creativity and put pride in my academic excellence. This made me take the bull by its horns. I faced my disabilities and managed them properly throughout the years- from my student days as an academic achiever to becoming an international flight attendant, a hotel manager, a consultant on speech and personality development, and now as a full time artist. Yes, now an artist and you can call me a disability artist. I am in fact one.

What do I want to say here? That all of us will suffer disability sometime in our lives. But this should never deter us from pursuing our dreams and doing what we love to do. Manet did an exquisite flower painting while he was dying of syphilis, Goya did his black paintings while he was deaf and ailing, Monet painted his garden in Giverny, France as he was losing his sight, Van Gogh suffered from bipolarism yet created intensely beautiful paintings, and Frida Kahlo came up with surrealistic paintings which were expressions of her sufferings.

Let us not then be silent and be embarrassed of our or anyone else's disability whether it is a physical, a mental, an emotional, an inborn, or an acquired one. Our disability should never define us for we are more than our disability. It is only through a genuine acceptance of our condition that we become whole, that we are able to explore, develop, celebrate our distinctness, rise above our disabilities, attain empowerment, and soar high like an eagle.

"A World Without Sense" under "Katha" is our art exhibit for this month of July at the Rizal Park Visitors Center to commemorate the month for disability awareness. It runs until August 12, 2015 and is participated in by six independent artists- Gilda Pasion- Balan, Manuel Ibarra dela Cruz, Analee Angeles, Dan Abaygar, Datu Noo Jainal, and me. We present our thoughts and feelings on disability using different styles and media. A brainchild of Deej Respicio Salenda, the project officer of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), "Katha" is a series of art exhibits that showcase the talents of young and independent artists.

Everyone is encouraged to show his support for the local arts by visiting the Rizal Park Visitors Center to check out "Katha". The place is open to the public for free everyday of the week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For inquiries, please contact John David Salenda at 3027079, 09394280771 or at

With John David "Deej" Salenda, project officer of NPDC

Deej, artists and guests

Artist Dan Abaygar and his "Even I can see or not", ink on paper

Artist Analee Angeles and her "Desensitize", acrylic on canvas

Artist Arlene de Castro- Anonuevo and her "Silence", oil on canvas

Dan Abaygar's " The Inborn Blind", mixed media

"the world is described by others to someone who is blind."
-Dan Abaygar

Gilda Pasion- Balan's "Looking for Eddie", part of "Walang Pondo" series", acrylic on canvas

"There is not enough funds for the disabled."
-Gilda Pasion- Balan

Dan Abaygar's "Don't Just Walk, Fly", acrylic on paper

"Even the disabled has  dreams. Someday he will attain his dreams."
-Dan Abaygar

Analee Angeles' "Desensithize", acrylic on canvas

"Being numb to the things around us is the worst kind of disability. We always have the choice to be numb or not."
-Analee Angeles

Adecastroan's "Silence", oil on canvas

"We become silent about our disability because of the social stigma attached to it."
-Arlene de Castro- Anonuevo

Manuel Ibarra dela Cruz' "Mad, Mad World", mixed media on canvas

"Others do not understand the world of the disabled."
-Arlene de Castro= Anonuevo