Sunday, March 22, 2015

The HeART of Yolanda de Castro-Cabuco

"Dream Art", watercolor

"Ballade to Mature Beauty", acrylic

"Sharpening One Another", acrylic

"Colour My Life", watercolor

"Oh the Night is Blue", acrylic

"Wild Blooms", watercolor

"Enlightened", acrylic

Yolanda de Castro-Cabuco's art is her personal journey towards her inner self. It is art on introspection and is manifest of her very existence that is anchored on her faith in God. She is a naive artist, a painter of butterflies, mountains, and all other elements of nature in their purest forms. In exuberant strokes and colors of the rainbow, her vision of the world expressed in her works remains untainted.

Yolanda started her painting career rather late in life. Her entry into the Philippine art scene was brought about by a personal crisis. Having undergone brain surgery and having been blessed with a second life, she found her calling in showing God's greatness and love through art. She paints God's creations in various hues to show their magnificence.

There are many artists who produce more outstanding works of art in terms of techniques and composition. But why did I choose to write about the art of Yolanda ? It is because I see her heart in each of her work and that is truly important. For every twist and turn in her life, she paints her unwavering faith on canvas. Painting is her catharsis, painting is her way of exulting the Creator." I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart." That is the voice of Vincent Van Gogh's heart and that is what I also hear from the heart of Yolanda de Castro-Cabuco's art.

Yolanda de Castro-Cabuco

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Being a flight attendant is not for all the tall and tan and young and lovely. Being a flight attendant is being more than beautiful. Above all things, someone who aspires to be a flight attendant must basically possess wit, grit, and humor. The magic word here is chutzpah; she should have this in the right amount. Contrary to what we often see on television and magazines, the job is not all about inflight food service with a smile and providing total comfort to passengers. These are only secondary to ensuring the safety of the passengers until they arrive to their destinations. A flight attendant is tasked with multiple responsibilities inside the plane that she must be the sum total of a lot of qualities so as to function effectively.To be quite specific, she has to be street smart, cheerful, must have a natural inclination towards people, patient, courageous to either jump out of the plane or remain inside as the situation warrants it and as per captain's order, and adept in multitasking especially when the flight experiences full load situations.

Talking with a seasoned flight attendant is like talking with a professional boxer. Ask her about her inflight experiences and you will be amazed on how she handles situations involving unruly passengers, emergency childbirths and attempted hijackings to name a few. She certainly knows how to give the best jabs and avoid the fatal blows. In other words, she knows how to assess situations and act accordingly. Take for instance the experience of my friend, a senior flight attendant, during her last flight prior to her retirement. She had a "turbulent" flight for having a female passenger who started gulping alcoholic drinks prior to take off. This passenger certainly gave her hell 30,000 feet above sea level that lasted for the entire flight. Obviously tipsy, the woman unfastened her seatbelt during take off and landing, intermittently walked up and down the aisle, hollered and complained. Her behavior finally peeved a male passenger who stood up and said, " Hey lady, what's wrong with you? Have you not had sex for a long time?" A fistfight or hair pulling between the two passengers could have been the final scene, but my friend used her human relations skill, discretionary judgement, and toughness to prevent this. The feisty flight attendant certainly didn't buckle under pressure only to find out at the end that the woman was a mystery guest out to observe that flight but did an overkill by being too hyper and meddlesome.

So what makes flying so attractive? At first glance, everything seems to be about glamor with the uniform and the countries a flight attendant travels to. Indeed, it is. A flight attendant receives a big salary and allowance, gets to travel around the world for free, stays in deluxe hotels, shops in different key cities of the world; most often, marries a businessman or a high profile man. Long years of training and flying have kept her abreast with the do's and don'ts in social events and has learned to have impeccable manners. Yet, that's only a part of being a flight attendant. Flying is also about hard work during inflight service, having grit during emergency situations, and putting one's life on the line in every flight she takes. Flying is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. It is a combo of glamor, hard work, and heroism.

So, are you thinking of becoming a flight attendant? Think hard and ask yourself if you have what it takes to be one. If you feel half-hearted to be a flight attendant but you want to travel while working and don a stewardess' uniform, you still have another option. You can always work as a stewardess for deluxe buses like Victory Liner's until you are ready for take off.

My very first Cathay Pacific Flight Attendant Uniform still fits!
As a flight attendant of Cathay Pacific Airways
CX Induction l: before and after

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


When God gave his gift for cooking, I guess my brother was one lucky recipient. He can just cook anything as in anything. He is a natural in the kitchen and the dining area; as if he was born there. He is just an expert on difficult and easy dishes, the right way of using the appropriate utensils, plates, goblets for fine dining, proper way of dissecting the food and chewing it, and laughing with elan even when his mouth is full.

Whenever my brother cooks, it is always a glorious occasion with us expecting to be served food for the gods. Whenever it is my turn to cook, there will always be a question of , "Is it for the gods or the dogs?" You see, if Dennis is Ratatouile, I have to be a magician in the kitchen and come up with something up my sleeve.

So what are my brother's words of wisdom on cooking? Cooking is like traveling on a train. As one journeys, he slowly imbibes everything that he sees. Similarly, in cooking, one must go slow and not overwhelm or choke his dish with so many ingredients; everything has to be in moderation. Meat and fish must be cooked gradually and in low fire to cook them evenly; veggies with bigger fire and shorter period of time to retain their crispness and freshness. Cooking is an art and a process that has to be enjoyed like a journey.

For me, cooking is tango, rumba, chacha or a fast beat depending on what I'm cooking. For instance, if it is pinakbet that I am cooking, then it is chacha with me playfully tossing the veggies in the pot. If it is spaghetti, then it is rumba with my hips gyrating as I grate the cheese. Cooking is happiness. Cooking is being in love. It is absolutely romancing my ingredients and being surprised at the end. I never follow any recipe, always put a twist like adding something unusual in my dish and most often do not have any idea of how my dish would eventually turn out. I am just surprised when the people around me nod with approval, say bravissima and ask for more after tasting my dish. Indeed, anyone can cook! ^_^


Cooking is tango, rumba, chacha or a fast beat depending on what I am cooking.

"Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with complete abandon or not at all."
-Harriet Van Home

"A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe."
-Thomas Keller

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gray Wall Art Studio- Jude and Naila Puruganan's romance with art

Art makes the heart grow fonder for another. Exactly! For Jude and Naila Puruganan, it is art that brought them together, binds them together and helps keep the ball rolling in their relationship not just as husband and wife but also as comrades in art.

This energetic tandem are the brains behind Gray Wall Art Studio that boasts of a collection of works by various artists such as Victor Puruganan, Jun Martinez, Angel Cacnio, Romulo Olazo, Ramon Orlina, Napoleon Abueva, Vicente Manansala, Rodolfo Samonte, Greg Bolanos, Menchu Arandilla, and me to name a few. Jude and Naila conceptualized the creation of the studio and formally started its operations in 2013. It was primarily envisioned to bring art closer to the people. As such, the duo came up with the idea of having a traveling art; they bring the art pieces to various events and venues such as galleries, parks and bazaars. This proactive couple eventually plans to expand and come up with other art venues in Ilocos, the province of Jude, and Aklan, the province of Naila.

Jude's exposure to art dates back to 1983. His father, master artist Ricarte Puruganan, used to take him along with him to various events, instilling in him the love for the arts, and making him learn the ropes of the trade. It was on one occasion that he met Naila who was then connected with an established art gallery. It was definitely love at first sight for them. As time goes by, their love for each other definitely keeps their romance with art passionate.

Jude and Naila Puruganan with my art work

The legacy of art from Ricarte Puruganan lives in the hearts of Jude and Naila

The studio boasts of art works by known artists

Gray Wall Art Studio
11 Don Narciso St., Don Enrique Heights
Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City
Landline: 7856984
Instagram: graywallartstudio