drawing, dancing, and all the fun stuff in between!

Dating a Hoarder

Several years ago,  as I was shifting to a minimalist life, I was also dating a hoarder.

I’m far from being a super minimalist,  and I drown in consumerism sometimes, and I don’t mind when people aren’t into minimalism, but hoarding! Hoarding is another level.

He was super smart and talented and funny. He also loved spending money. on things. that he did not need or use. He had a room full of books that he never read (but I did, thank you), a room full of shoes that looked alike to me (except for a green kermit the frog adidas which was really cute), a living room full of toys that were gathering dust. Whenever I’d sleep over,  I’d always just stay on the bed– because that was the only place that was empty. Even the space around the bed was crammed full of things.

(I don’t mind things– especially things that make us happy. I dated a guy who loved music so much; he had cds and records and musical instruments and he enjoyed them all.)

After some time,  I decided that I can’t live with someone like that. It was just really obvious that we had different values.

I guess it’s the same for any kind of relationship– you find people with the same values and everything else is just white noise.


How to Keep Things From Overtaking Your Space

I have a simple rule: 1 for 1.

For every thing I buy/receive as a gift, I give one (or more) thing away.

I try to make the trade in the same category so that I don’t end up with say, 30 shoes and 1 pair of pants. Although why any one would need 30 pairs of shoes is beyond me.

Of course I try not to buy fluff in the first place. But that’s another thing.

So there, easy. 1 for 1. That should keep my life manageable.

Getting into Minimalism

Nearly a decade ago, I looked at my stressful life and decided to turn to minimalism.

My life was a mess, and I decided to move to my own place so I could live my life the way I intended to. 

Moving from a house to studio unit meant I had to leave most of my things behind. I brought a small suitcase worth of clothes plus a box worth of art materials and that was it.

It was great to be free of all those things that needed organizing and cleaning. I had no stuff so I did not need to organize.

It’s funny though how our habits, if we are not careful, can ruin or lives. I grew up buying so much crap. and soon enough,  my condo filled up– oh another pair of shoes won’t hurt, some candles would be nice, I need that coffee table.  It’s these little thoughts that add up to not-so-little-things.

Two steps forward, one step back. I call my life a work in progress.

I decided to be more intentional about my life– not let impulses and objects control me.
There are a lot of benefits to a minimalist lifestyle. Oh and when I say minimalist I mean figuring out what is useful and meaningful and beautiful in your life and getting rid of the rest. one of the biggest benefits is it has freed up so much of my time– I hardly shop, I don’t do obligatory occasions, I don’t need to work so much to buy stuff I don’t need.

So much in my life that is not real anyway. What things do I really need to make me happy?  to make me a better person?

I still have a long way to go, and just so I don’t revert back to my old non-thinking ways I will write about my progress. A meaningful minimalist life is the road less travelled, but I like this road that I am taking.

Burn all your boats

2009. It was the CCP Thirteen Artists Awards and the recipients were tasked to come up with a show. Wire Tuazon would curate.

I first met Wire in 2000 when I showed in, and would eventually join,  artist initiative and artist-run space Surrounded by Water.  He was like the father of the group.

I learned so much from SBW– especially about work ethic.  I learned that I should work constantly.  Painting is like any kind of work– you do it everyday. That’s the only way to do it.  That’s the only way to get better.

I didn’t understand art then (well, I don’t think I understand it now) but I learned much about the other aspects of art through experience. We documented shows,  did the installation ourselves (more like us following Mike’s orders), cleaning up after openings,  painting walls, cleaning bathrooms, taking turns manning the gallery.

We didn’t have a lot of money but there was a dream and we worked for it. I came in late in the game and I just feel so lucky to have been part of that group.

Anyway. Back to 2009. I had this idea of drawing a 360degree sky, a drawing as huge as a room so that the viewer would actually be inside the drawing. 

Short story: it would cost me a lot of money to construct the circular room plus all that paper plus everything else. .. That I actually told Wire that maybe I shouldn’t do it and do some other half-assed thing instead.

And Wire sent me a message: Dahil lang sa ganun CD hindi mo na gagawin yung trabaho na gusto mo?

I felt ashamed for having given up too easily.

So. I went on to construct the room, do all the drawings necessary (300 normal sized drawings), install for a week and so on and so on. Since then I promised myself to never be unambitious. To not have a fallback. If I have to not sleep for a month and suffer all sorts of injuries to get a drawing done,  then that’s what it will take.

My friend Vicky posted recently: When Cortez landed in Mexico, the only way he got his men to defeat the Aztecs was to burn all their boats so they could not return home.

I feel like I’ve become soft recently. That I’ve chosen comfort over dreams. I don’t know.  Maybe it’s with age.  That I have to be practical and think of the future and think of security and all that.  (That’s a totally different post.)

But anyway, no, this isn’t about that. This is about pursuing a vision. What am I willing to do to get what I want?  Today,  I burn all my boats.

Where to Eat on a Hypoallergenic Diet: Linguini Fini

Where to Eat on a Hypoallergenic Diet: Pho Bac

Today’s delicious meal comes from a tiny Vietnamese restaurant Pho bac.

It’s rice noodles in clear broth mixed with cauliflower, broccoli,  cabbage, mushrooms.  (I took out the baby corn and tofu.) And yes! Some kalamansi squeezed in and basil leaves on top.  I wanted to put in some sriracha but I wasn’t sure what was in it so never mind.



Pho bac is at the second level of Glorietta 2, Makati City. The place seats only around 20 so I recommend going on non-peak hours.  Yeyyy for delicious nutritious food!

Where to Get Paper?

Yes this is a concern, a big big concern.

So I was so happy when I finally went to Prestige Paper– it is paper heaven!


They carry Fedrigoni papers which I use a lot for my origami work. Look at all these colors!



There’s a range of Fedrigoni papers that are acid-free. My favorite is the off-white Pergamenata (in varying weights)– it folds very crisp and the translucent quality makes the piece look really light.


The Pergamenata is also what I used for the collab pieces New Pairs with photographer Corinne de San Jose for last year’s Paris Photo.



I popped in and bought my stash– Imitlin Tela (feels like fabric) , Sirio Plain (standard paper but in a wide range of colors), and a really thick Pergamenata.

And if you buy 2000php worth, they will gladly deliver to your place for free.

And I heard they’re bringing in Fabriano papers– omg that will really be paper heaven!

So excited to experiment with the new papers! Yey! 🙂

Prestige Paper Products
33 Gen. Lim, Heroes Hill, QC (behind Fisher Mall)

Two nights ago, I was at the Dusit Hotel for the Eraserheads-as-Esquire-cover launch. Buddy had asked me to check his clothes and hair (he didn’t really need me;  he looked great). I had gone shopping with him for the first Eheads reunion concert; we also bought coats for their US tour; and we shopped for clothes for when he joined The Dawn. He’s the easiest person to shop for and with.  We’d be done in an hour,  tops,  and then proceed to take longer eating with Veda.

I don’t remember how this shopping thing with Buddy started.  I do remember though that I once made a Halloween costume for Veda. I also remember that one time,  at their old place in QC, my ex-fiance had asked him to be godfather at our wedding.

He was excited,  I remember, and dished out some funny love advice.  Every time I’d see him after that,  he’d ask about the wedding. Well,  the wedding didn’t push through. 

The first time I saw him after that break up,  he asked me about it.  And that time,  my whole life was a blur, so I don’t remember anything except that Buddy said, “I think he’s making a very big mistake.”

Fast forward a few years later and my ex-fiance has gotten engaged to that same someone else. I’m walking along Emerald Ave where my pole studio is located and someone honks at me– it’s Buddy, waiting for Earnest who is delivering her baked goods. I get in their car and we talk about my ex’s engagement and I say I’m OK. 

Now all of this I’m remembering because I’ve just finished reading Erwin’s piece on the Eheads, which is so much more than just about the Eheads. Erwin was one of those people who were there for me during the break up– I would always be at this place,  just lying down and not saying anything and it would be OK with him.  One time we watched The Bridge– a documentary on people who jump off the SF Golden Gate.  It felt appropriate at that time.

I’m also remembering because I came to love the Eheads because my ex would always sing Andalusian Dog. And the first time my ex’s band played with the Eheads was one of the happiest times I’d ever seen him. 

I also realize that until now,  8 years later after the breakup,  I carry some habits that I got from my ex.  Everytime I’d sleep over,  he’d play music until we fell asleep. At that time it was Elvis Costello x Burt Bacharach. I do that now,  and the playlist changes every so often but it always comes back to the Eheads’ Lightyears.

And so my ex was at the same Eheads launch.  I did not see him but my friends did,  and maybe that’s better.  We’ve never really talked since.  I always make it seem like it was a good thing, the breakup– I lost so much weight and got into pole dancing and my art career took off and I got to date all these gorgeous boys with abs.

It’s all true.  And yes it was probably for the best.  But what’s also true is that the pain never goes away.  It’s still here and during times when I’m not busy,  when it hits me,  it hurts just as much.

And those days,  it doesn’t matter what I’m listening to,  I will listen to Lightyears and for four minutes there is something aside from the pain, something beautiful.

Juxtapoz Magazine – Photography and Drawing Combined

I love collaborations and how they can push the different mediums that come together for a piece of work.  I love how my ideas are stretched and pounded and transformed into something new and different when working with someone.

I first met Juan when I had to design 3 grueling sets for 3 days for his photos because no one else wanted to do the job, hahaha.

We became friends and did a lot of projects together before coming up with this set of pieces called Stereo I. And years later it comes out on Juxtapoz. Yey! 🙂

You are what you eat, really.


It’s been 4 weeks since I had to go on a hypoallergenic diet because of severe allergies that landed me in the ER.

That means 4 weeks of ranting about food,  fixating on food smells,  learning how to make my own food, trying to adjust to a chemical-full world when my diet should be chemical-free.

It’s also been 4 weeks of lessening my workouts because non-cotton sports bras make me itch, hot places (like the gym or yoga studio) make me sweat which then makes me itch.

But a funny thing happened though.  While I was busy getting angry about food and the lack of exercise (I want my endorphins!!!),  I was losing weight. I didn’t notice until people kept pointing it out and my shorts got so loose that my friend had to give me a belt. 

I also have so much energy now. I used to think I had bipolar tendencies (oh so dramatic) but all those severe mood swings were just caused by the wrong food.

So there.  It’s true.  You are what you eat. Try it out and see the difference.