Characters, legends, and imagery here.


photo by: A.Felipe, Me and the giant Tribesmen Statue


by vincent

It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve really just been in a place where I’ve been taking everything in. I guess like I said before, it’s interesting to be exposed to various art work and character depictions of Filipinos, that I would never be exposed to if I wasn’t here. In some ways it’s a bit overwhelming, unnerving, unsettling, and at the same time it’s brilliant, exciting, and overall amazing. The uncomfortable feelings come from the notion I instantly feel by saying to myself “why have I never seen or heard about this before?!” and then the good time feelings sprout up with “whoa, this is frickin cool, I want to know more about it!” Continue reading



by Vincent

the group gathers for the tour start, photo by a.felipe

Transitio, a celebration where the world comes together. Well where various travelers, balikbayans, and Filipinos living in and around Manila come together to commemorate the end days of World War II in the Philippines. The event starts out with taking a large number of people through an amazing tour of the Intramurous area of Manila, and then ends at Fort Santiago with numerous performances, readings, art pieces, and installations on display. Carlos Celdran is the veteran tour guide and mastermind behind this well attended event. I have to say that I really admire and respect the work of Carlos and his tours. I find that his tours allow people to see an aged city in a brand new light, and I really dig that. People tonight came from all over, like Germany, Canada, Israel, and U.S. to name a few of the foreign countries I saw being represented. Continue reading

A Golden Past… now what about the present?

One style of dress the Spaniards saw when they arrived in the Philippines. Note all the gold they're wearing.

by alex

They called us “indios” back then.  They considered us savages.  But what were we?

Vince and I, with new friends from Manila [*thanks for the introduction Anjo!], went to the Ayala Museum to see the display of pre-hispanic indigenous gold.

You see, before the Spanish we were a people with a rapidly developing culture.  We were not only bahag (loincloth) wearing, hunter-gatherers.  We were also a group of stratified societies with it’s own textile, gold, steel-making, cannon-using industries.  We traded with several neighbouring empires among them the Malay Sri Vijaya, Javanese Majapahit, Brunei, Melaka empires.  Our peoples traded with Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand, Java, China, India, Arabia, and Japan.

When the Spanish arrived they would have met well dressed, gold clad, warriors and noblemen.  This gold drew in the Spanish coloniser, and even to this day remains a major draw for the current world powers that be.  Read up on the Boxer Codex for more info.

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by: Vincent

Powerful works of art and culture live in the Philippines. That’s what I saw during one of our early days here. Carlos Celdran took us on a tour of architecture and art throughout Manila. And something about seeing works of sculptor, painting, and design, in the country my parents came from, well ain’t that just the coolest thing.

RENATO ONG - Lumabat and Lumawig playing chess 2007

For example you have this work from Renato Ong. Here he depicts 2 gods from Filipino mythology playing a game of chess.  Some mountain tribes, like the Bagobo, recognize nine heavens, each with its deity, Lumabat being the God of the first heaven, while Lumawig is viewed as the supreme god and ”the creator of all things and the preserver of life.” And these two dudes are supposed to be playing chess? Amazing! And I wouldn’t have even learned about these guys until I saw this work of art depicting them doing their thing.

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Pride, Shame, and WWII @ Transitio Manila 2010

by alex

Tomorrow (Sat 27 February), Vince and I are showing a film we shot specifically for premiere at Transitio Manila 2010.  [*Some of the photos I shot for this can be seen in this post.]  This is an annual event put together by Carlos Celdran to remember World War Two in Manila, it combines his popular historical tour of Intramuros with an art festival in historic Fort Santiago.   Continue reading