Morning In Binondo by Sym Mendoza

After having been at awe by the magnificence of the paintings featured in The Dimasalang Artists Collection Exhibit at the National Museum of the Philippines, it would obscenely be unfair if I would only have one post about it.  Here’s my initial post about this event: Fixated with Café Scene

first time to see a lettuce-green-colored gallery. i love it!

first time to see a lettuce-green-colored gallery. i love it!

catch it while its there...

catch it while its there…

dimasalang group

It has exactly been a week already, yet I could not expunge in my thought the need to write about a 1970 oil painting done by Sofronio “Sym” Mendoza entitled Morning in Binondo.  I don’t know why but this painting seem to have quietly caught my attention during the night of the exhibit’s formal launch.



I would like to believe that it is the alluring streaks of color as well as the glowing pigments that has attracted me most about this 44 year-old painting.  Also, I guess it is the easy-going yet serene approach in the depiction of a specific space in Manila that has caught my interest.  This vibrant yet soothing tableau truly exemplifies an excellent portrayal of Philippine life and scene.


The Dimasalang Artists Collection Exhibition will run until July 27, 2015 at the Museum of Fine Arts of the National Museum of the Philippines.

Super nays!

Fixated with the Café Scene

cafe scene: my fave eac painting

cafe scene: my fave eac painting

Without clicking a single brain cell, my automatic response was the “Café Scene”.  This was when I was asked which among the Emilio Aguilar Cruz (EAC) paintings featured in the newly launched Dimasalang Artists Collection was my favorite.  The Dimasalang exhibit is a newly launched exhibition of gorgeous paintings by 6 artists at the National Museum of the Philippines.

photo grabbed from national museum of the phiilippines fb page

photo grabbed from national museum of the phiilippines fb page

In fact, before this painting made it inside the museum of all museums of the Philippines, a lot of people actually owns a mini-copy of it tucked inside their wallet.  This is because a couple of years ago this painting was chosen by Mastercard to be one of their credit cards’ cool designs.  Here’s a link when I wrote about this: A Painting In My Wallet.



To even prove my point that I indeed is a fan of this painting, the cover of my 2011 journal which I brought on my second trip to Australia was the photo of this magnificent painting.

my 2011 journal

my 2011 journal.  this notebook kept me sane during a long train ride from sydney to gold coast.

Maybe the reason why I love this painting is because it captured the feeling of people who loves to celebrate food with friends and family.  I guess, it can basically represent my being a social person.

Sosyal kasi ako. Kaya layk ko ‘yan. (saying this in pa-sosyal tone)

My National Museum

Silly as it may seem, this blog can be a testimony that I truly adore going to museums.  This is especially true during my out-of-the-country journeys and adventures.  My trips abroad would usually have at least a day spent at a museum.  Me and my friends would usually call it “the cultural day” segment of the adventure.  This is the time when I would further immerse myself to the abundant culture, beautiful art and rich history of those far away cities.

What is so strange and striking is that I actually have not gone to the very national museum whom I consider my own.  The very museum that features my nation’s culture, my nation’s art and my nation’s history.  The very museum that does not need an airline ticket to visit but just a 10-minute taxi ride from my place of stay.

super like!

super like!

the old session hall of the senate of the philippines

the old session hall of the senate of the philippines is now the national museum…

proud of my museum!

proud of my museum!

Thankfully, this strange and striking irony has been resolved.  This is because I have been to the National Museum of the Philippines Thursday night to attend an art exhibit.  The one of three domains of the museum that I particularly have been to that night was the main and the grandest domain, the National Art Gallery.  The other two components (The Philippine Planetarium and The Museum of the Filipino People) of The National Museum are housed in an equally splendid buildings.

Being inside the building of the National Art Gallery already evokes some exquisite emotion.  I was like being transported through a time capsule to the grand and auspicious era of the Philippines.  The feeling was like being inside a gorgeous art piece, breathing with it and being part of it.

i love this shot! that man is f. sionil jose the national artist for literature.  he is on his way to dimasalang exhibit...

i love this shot!
the hallway leading to the dimasalang exhibit. that man is f. sionil jose the national artist for literature.

Before and after the program formalities of the beautiful art exhibit I attended (housed in one of the glorious galleries of the building), I and my colleagues got the chance to view the other galleries of the museum.  Museum directors graciously opened all galleries in all floors of the whole museum that night for all event attendees of the art exhibit to see and appreciate!  The night time ambiance with impressive lighting mood inside the museum galleries further add up to the already massive emotions I was already feeling.

Aside from the penetratingly dramatic Spoliarium painting by Juan Luna and the massive yet gentle looking Diwata sculpture by Guillermo Tolentino, I will not be posting any photo of the art pieces on display.  It is because I want you to go there and experience the same emotion I had.

a super huge painting! spoliarium by juan luna

a super huge oil on canvass painting! spoliarium by juan luna

diwata by guillermo tolentino

diwata by guillermo tolentino

I never knew how rich, magnificent and stunning the Filipino-made art pieces were until last night.  Those precious works of art were so beautifully intense it felt like those were interpolating divine messages directly towards me.

The visit to my National Museum was an outstanding buffet that fed my soul to the brim.  It was no doubt an invigorating assault to my senses!


The National Art Gallery of the National Museum of the Philippines is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Its free admission on Sundays.

Grabe, parang wala ako sa Maynila!

Nora, Bona and the Masa

Though all things seem to have settled down and it has been considered a wrinkle in time, Nora Aunor the greatest actress on the face of Philippine cinema must nevertheless be thankful that she was not bestowed the recognition of National Artist.


She should be thankful for not being conferred by a President who doesn’t seem to know anything about sining (art).  I have yet to read or learn in the news that the present Philippine president supports Philippine art.

She should be thankful for being nominated by her fellow potent Philippine artists but only to be scratched by a non-worthy President because this made a lot of people especially today’s generation to be interested and curious about how magnificent her body of work has been.

She should be thankful because her not being declared a National Artist pushed me to watch one of her greatest works entitled Bona.

the prolific nora in bona

the prolific nora in bona

Bona, directed by the equally genius Lino Brocka, remains significant and substantial in today’s time.  The story and characters still remains to exist in today’s Filipino realm.  It is unlike other films made in the past that when viewed now would already look silly and stupid.  It remains germaine and relevant up to this day.

Some would say that Bona (the movie) would have been a better film  if it explained why Bona (the character) had so much obsession and bizarre infatuation towards Gardo (a bit player and struggling movie actor).  For me, this impenetrable and baffling element made Bona a great work of art. It is like conveying that feelings of passion, adoration and reverence need not be explained for it is simply unexplainable.

Bona, the movie is so relevant!  Simply look on how we, the masa (ordinary middling populace) adore and revere today’s movie stars.  Can you imagine today’s glamorous movie stars being so filthy rich when in fact they did not even finished high school or college?

Furthermore, like Bona, we are so unexplainably awestruck by the charm of these movie actors and actresses, majority of us even had the bizarre obsession of voting for them during election to occupy crucial seats in government offices.  Only to be duped and hoodwinked later on by these very celebrities (slash now-government-executives), similar to that of Gardo towards Bona in the movie.

Surprisingly, even though the movie is already 15 years old, it still depicts the poverty and destitution that an ordinary masa endures to experience and suffer from.  It felt like this unglamorous movie was just done yesterday!  It is so unfortunate that the country’s presidents in the past and the present (the one who refused to name Nora a National Artist) seem not have done enough to alleviate these adversities.

Now that the President has gone over with the condemnation by the Philippine art community because of his dim-witted decision of not declaring Nora a National Artist, he should find time to watch Bona the movie.  He would definitely get enlightened and learn a lot about Nora, Bona and the masa.

Pans kasi ni kristeta…