No more nightmares.



I’ll be part of this year’s CANVAS Looking for Juan outdoor banner project. The topic, human rights, is a pertinent matter in our country right now, God help us all.

My fellow Ang INK members and I made pieces specifically about children’s rights. Mine is about the child’s right to rehabilitation.


A peek of my work and the mess. It’s been such a long time since I’ve painted an acrylic piece this big, and there was definitely a strong sense of fulfillment after I finished it and delivered it to the gallery. I enjoyed the process a lot, though, and I hope to learn more about painting bigger pieces in this medium.

The project and exhibits open on June 20. The banners will be installed in around the UP Diliman oval.


View photos from the opening reception of Camouflage and Wanderlust here.


My work, Long Way From Home, is also available to purchase as prints from the Light Grey Art Lab online shop. The original artwork is 9×12 inches, handmade watercolor on cold press paper.


The Sunday Currently, no. 3


I finally (!) have a bit of time to read actual paper books and not audiobooks! I borrowed a few from Abi and family’s library. I first saw Jenny Saville’s work in 2015’s Art Basel HK. She’s so good! And before I left for the other year’s internship, Abi told me about Raymond Ching and his bird paintings. I love the context he paints his birds in. His lighting technique also reminds me of Durer.

Liza also lent me her Hamiltome. She and Jamie introduced me to Hamilton last year, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot, heh. It is a big, big regret of mine that I didn’t get into it when I was still in New York. I could’ve watched a show! Woe. (Another big regret is not getting to taste girl scout cookies which I have heard great things about, but that is a completely different story altogether.)

Andrew Bird’s “Echolocations: Canon” album, and also the Hamilton soundtrack, both the original cast version and the mixtape.

I am on Season 2 of Mind of a Chef.

-Semi-spicy spinach with oyster mushrooms, and turmeric fried rice. All ingredients found in your friendly neighborhood palengke (market).

nbnh-2017-6_zpsegzohvt9-These hand-illustrated ceramic cups from a Japan Surplus shop along Kamuning that Roja, who I know from INK, pointed out. For good measure, all the ceramic ware were half-price on the day I visited.

-Alsoooo my parents, who just left last week, and who I won’t be seeing until who-knows-when. It’s been ages since I’ve been with both of them at the same time for the holiday. In a span of the few weeks that we were together, I’d witnessed them fight, get along real well, and everything in between.That’s how I realized that A) I know nothing about love. Nothing. and B) My father is a very good man, and I am proud of him. I can only hope to marry someone as kind and patient someday.

nbnh-2017-0_zpswqspelaxHere is a sunset photo from Antipolo to cap off my cheesy sentiments.

-And lastly, I bought a shelf! We changed shelves in the office and I bought the old one we had. This is in my room, and currently houses reference books, some picture books, and graphic novels. So now all my paperbacks can live in the old shelf, where they will be properly stored and sorted instead of just being in piles on a table.

Manila Maker is awesome, check out their stuff and buy a shelf or ten.

To finish a couple more pending projects and I am officially deadline-free! The first time in more than a year. Lesson learned in not biting off more than you can chew, brought to you by the year 2016.

Also, I picked up my Bible recently and the cover started to disintegrate, hala.

I want all these chaos-causing people in the government to just calm down and maybe, you know, go away………

OK, at the moment.

Looking Forward To
-I ordered a planner and it’s supposed to arrive this coming week and it’s supposed to have really good paper and I’m excited.

-Along with a couple of Taiyou Matsumoto books that are also supposed to arrive in the mail reaaally soon.

-Getting my computer. I really dislike changing electronic devices and so I have been stalling. But! I’m in the process of checking out the stores where I’ll be getting the pieces of my Frankenstein system, and hopefully by next month, I will start a new chapter of my life wow haha.

-In the past week, I am proud to say that my semi-sedentary self did not pass out while lifting dumbbells and doing planks at home after work, so I’m kind of looking forward to getting through this coming week’s set. I’ve found that a bit of exercise helps me with my anxiety every day and puts me to sleep easily at nigt. I’m really trying to convince myself to just get on with it daily.

Here are some work things!


Last week I wrapped up some illustrated posters for the Masungi Georeserve and their geotourism and conservation educ projects. I learned so much working on the posters, especially about which species of the animals and plants on the list are endemic to the Philippines, and what they looked like. For instance, the jade vine grows purple in the country, and our local wisteria grows white instead of lilac (European variety). The native impatiens are white, too, instead of the purple and pink ones that look more familiar. It astounds me to learn how much biodiversity can exist in such a small (well, compared to the rest of the country) space like Masungi.

A lot of things feel relatively insignificant compared to this. Nature projects have a very special place in my heart because they are humbling to work on, and they put things in perspective. Carl Sagan was right about the pale blue dot.

I’ll show you the final posters some other time, but here are some style studies. I wanted to render everything in paint, and was a couple of birds in when I saw the timeline, and decided to just draw everything digitally in the interest of time. I’m happy with the paintings, though, and will push through with the other birds someday.

It was my first time to try this realistic style, and I definitely learned a lot of new things about painting with new materials (hot pressed watercolor paper and acryl gouache, which is basically matte acrylic).

Here is a peek of the final drawings that made it to the posters.

nbnh-2017-4_zpsvu5ekmymAnd a peek of a picture book drawing. Not sure when this book comes out, though. Bleep bloop.

And lastly, Studio Dialogo’s latest collab with Prestige Papers is out. I helped work on the illustrations for the covers. I first drew the leaves digitally, then we printed them out, cut each leaf, and composed and mounted them in papercut art style. We had them photographed, then laid them out across the diff products. It was tedious but enjoyable!

Some holiday introspection has brought me to notice how much my life has…hushed. I sometimes find myself missing the more intrepid parts of my early 20s, maybe even wishing I had the stamina and social capabilities to still live like that, but! I also know that taking care of myself in a quiet way is what I have to do at the moment. I need to take deep breaths and sit still for a bit; the adventures can wait for a while longer.

Recently, I’ve learned a few things about how to calm myself down and/or distract myself from bad thoughts. Particularly useful ones that maybe you can use in times of anxiety too, include:
-taking longs breaks from social media
-only thinking of the people within a 100m radius
-consciously remembering good memories from people who genuinely care
-recalling kind things strangers have done for me and for others
-a bit of exercise every day
-and a personal favorite, food show/documentary binges on Netflix heh

A very happy new year to you all, and here’s to a productive and quietly content 2017. I know last year dragged us all by the teeth into the dirt, but as the Rilo Kiley song goes, our bruises are coming / but we will never fold.

next chapters



Life goes on.

I can say that things are back to normal programming as they were last July before I left, only they are not! The past months have taught me how to see things in a different light. Even though I am back home, back at the usual daily grind, it feels as if I am starting anew. I guess it really is healthy to take a break, step back, and look at things from a different perspective for some time, even if it is just for a little while. My head is a much quieter place now and the days seem sunnier than they probably really are. It also feels so good to unplug from social media and go offline for prolonged periods of time. Y’all should try it, it’s a great kindness to the mind.

Last week, a friend asked me about the biggest personal change that last year’s adventure brought about. I have been thinking about it, and I think the answer is that I feel more quietly content now, in the sense that I care considerably less about certain things like gossip/other people’s personal lives that aren’t my business, impressing everyone all the time (fellow illustrators, friends, family. It’s so stressful, and what is the point, really?), and people’s opinions of me and my work. There are so much more important things to do and think about. I figured I really don’t want to spend the rest of my youth and energy on trivial things. Is this easy to do? Not at all. But this is general cleaning, and it has to be done, and I have to take care of myself.

I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now, and I hit the ground running when I got back. Miraculously, I’ve successfully restarted my sleep cycle at exactly the right time, and I have had next to zero jet lag episodes since I landed. So far, the days have been this strange mix of events and emotions and, well, hours of endless city traffic.

As for work:
A) I am still in touch with the Cornell Lab of O, helping with the production of the picture book I illustrated during the past months’ internship.

B) Back at Studio Dialogo, in time for annual report season, with all the jokes, snacks, and fun times in between.

C) Fun freelance work for which I am truly grateful for. Here’s a peek of one of the projects I’m currently working on. Machuca tiles and indigenous patterns are so enjoyable to draw! I really like drawing tiny detailed repetitive elements.


In other news, I am hoping to earn extra during the next few months so I can afford to go to this year’s Asian Festival for Children’s Content in Singapore. The conference and workshops seem very interesting, and I am curious to see what goes on during the AFCC. Leaving this right here, maybe the universe is listening…


I tried to maximize the last week of my holiday vacation with all sorts of paper-related activities.

1. Worked on a piece for an upcoming group show later this month. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend! I taped my floor to help me measure the parts of the artwork and figure out the proportions so I can have the frame made already.

2. I got myself a bottle of Jacquard SolarFast sunprint dye last month, and finally got around to trying them out. Unfortunately, it was really cloudy that day and my test prints were terribly underdeveloped.

Here I used stamp prints on acetate sheets. The prints barely came through.

For this one I crumpled a sheet of onion skin paper and spread it on top of the dyed page. With this, at least I got the idea of how it’s going to look like when developed properly.

3. Offline journaling. I’m using this Sketchnotes notebook that Eilyn (who also made it!) gave me last month. I met her at Bring Your Own Benta last year. I like the paper she uses for the inside pages a lot because my usual pen’s ink doesn’t bleed on them. Go get yourselves one. I think she even accepts custom orders if you want a bigger or smaller size.


Back to the office tomorrow!

Long distances

On other people’s photographs
It must be said that I actually do enjoy Instagram because generally I am a very visual person, and I like looking at photos. It’s one of the most convenient places on the internet where people purposefully makes all (well, almost) of their photos presentable and well-curated. We all prepare for our Instagram photos, in one way or another. La la la. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep at night but am too tired to get out of bed, I run through my Instagram feed until I doze off (and my phone falls on my face).

Here are some of my favorite people on Instagram!

1. Sabine Timm is a recent find, and she has the loveliest posts. Her photos mostly feature arrangements of color-coordinated found objects, which I find refreshing and just nice to stare at. Find more of her work on her Flickr.

2. I’ve been following Geninne on Blogspot for a while, and at one point in my life she became one of my life pegs haha. I’m happy she’s also on Instagram because aside from her art, her house and her dog and all her house plants look so beautiful, too. Her husband made their house and he also makes furniture and basically they are both awesome at what they do.

3. Studio Arhoj is a ceramic studio (among other things) in Copenhagen. They’re one of the first ceramic groups that I started following when I first got interested in ceramics and pottery. I love how they glaze their work, it’s so fun. Also, they post some of their studio mishaps and I like that, because I am the kind of person who secretly finds it noble when people post about their mistakes, and the lessons that they learn, on the amazonian jungle which is the internet.

4. Jem Magbanua is an illustrator based in Singapore. I love her artworks! She doesn’t post frequently but when she does it’s always lovely. You can also see her work on her website.

5. I first found out about Louise Fili from reading Jessica Hische’s profile, because Jessica had previously worked at Louise Fili Ltd. That must have been such a thrill, to be young and in love with letters, and have such a great mentor to work with. Louise’s posts are consistently typographic in nature: street signage, restaurant lights, subway tiles, and other found letterforms.

6. JR is a street artist and I’m not sure how to introduce him properly, so please watch his TED talk instead, and then you will see why I admire him. I saw a photo of one of his works hanging in the lobby of the hotel we stayed at in Phnom Penh a few years ago. I thought it was visually moving but I didn’t know what it was and what it stood for, or that it was actually set in Cambodia. Well now I know~

This list was inspired by Yuko Shimizu’s blog post 15 influences that stick with you, FOREVER. I tried to come up with my own list, but I figured that  I haven’t been around long yet to say that my influences have stuck with me, especially now that I’m in a phase where I’m trying a lot of different things all at the same time and just playing around. I made a shortlist anyway, of the people who I’ve admired for a significant period of time already, even up to now. My list includes Candy Chang for design (I drew a lot of inspiration from her works and her methods while I was doing my college thesis), Brecht Evens for art and illustration (whose works had such an impact on me that I really strived to teach myself how to use watercolors), and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and his wonderful films.

On staying home
Because being a girl means having hurty feelings sometimes, and because deadlines need to be beaten without losing sleep, I’ve just been at home for the past couple of days. I am pleased to report that I have indeed been productive, so far. The quietness has also been very nice, and all the girly pains aside, I’ve been rather content with the arrangement.

Last night, after cleaning my room, I came upon my extra clay from my past pottery classes. Although I’ve kept them in plastic bags, they still hardened up over the months. I’ve had them for some time now and last night I finally decided to push through with learning how to recycle them. It took a lot of time and energy because I had to hammer the big chunks down to little pieces first before I could rehydrate the clay; my right hand wrist really hurt afterwards. But it worked and my clay is usable again! Thank you, Google, for being such a beacon of knowledge and empowerment.

Before calling it a night (which turned out to be really late because I couldn’t sleep), I had managed to make a mug and a pendant.

It’s the size of a soup bowl right now but ceramic pieces really do shrink considerably when they get fired, and I’m hoping this’ll end up the right size when it’s finished. It’s also my first time to use the coil technique (again, thank you to the internet for the free walkthrough). I hope this piece pulls through! Because I really like it.

And here is the pendant. It’s about the height of the palm of my hand.

I have been working on some cake topper studies also, and tonight I made a prototype of one of my ideas. Behold.

“Oh hey guys! I made a study prototype of a cake topper…”

“ know, for cakes to celebrate wilted love, uncertain futures, and break-ups of all kinds.”

It didn’t occur to me at all that my plan needed armature to work. I’m still figuring out how to go about it because although I can use air dry clay which dries much sturdier, I really like how white and kind of translucent polymer clay is.

Here is another attempt on a variation of the same topper idea.

Let’s see how things work out!

In other cake news, The Chocolate Kiss Cake Shop is now open! Drop by for some dayap cake and brownies at The Courtyard Building, Sgt. Esguerra, QC.

Aaand back to regular programming! I need to figure out that cake topper…

Happy birthday, Tove Jansson!

Forest Floors

Your head is a living forest
full of songbirds.

EE Cummings

I am currently working on a mini-print series called Forest Floors. Some of the prints will be available at the upcoming 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair on July 19, at 10A Alabama Street, Quezon City (near the corner of E Rodriguez and Tomas Morato).

Carving out stamps is really therapeutic, and it’s one way I can be productive when I’m upset about something or when my weird mood swings kick in. Today was kind of a gloomy day for me, full of all sorts of confusing and sad things, and I badly needed an outlet. Sometimes, though, when I draw to let some steam out, I feel like it’s disrespectful to the craft, using it to keep my monsters at bay and all. But some days it’s the only way out other than just sleeping, which isn’t very productive. (Also, I’ve been reduced to writing like an elementary student. How about that.)

As for earlier this week, I’ve been thinking about how I should cut myself a little slack about this whole illustration business. I’ve been on my toes, always feeling pressured about “making it big” or getting really good as soon as I can, like there’s this big deadline in my life. This makes me feel incompetent, and sometimes I can’t help but compare myself to my peers, which is proving to be a counterproductive and dangerous thing to do. It dawned on me the other day that I should be patient with myself, and just do things at my own pace, and not force myself to draw what’s popular, or change my style to what’s in or what most people like. I only started teaching myself to really draw and compose images and paint when I joined Ang INK, which is just three years ago, a fairly recent event. Before that all I had were doodles, and I couldn’t even stand using watercolor, and I barely had an illustration portfolio. I look at where I am now, all the progress I’ve made and all the things I’ve learned, and I realize that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, and just work on getting better at my own pace.

There. I hope I pull myself together this week, stay calm, and go about things as quietly as I can.