“One Mighty, Awesome, Incredible Rescue”

The Manila International Book Fair is just around the corner (it’s happening on Sept. 17 – 21, 2014) and I’ve been busy finishing a children’s book for OMFLit under their Hiyas banner. The book is called “One Mighty, Awesome, Incredible Rescue” and it’s a retelling of the Exodus story written by Yna Reyes.

The book is currently being rushed to press to make the Book Fair, but here’s the cover art as a preview.

One Awesome and Incredible Rescue

Book Colored Proof

If Trees Could Talk

I’ll be participating in a group show organized by Canvas Gallery this September entitled “If Trees Could Talk”. The show opens on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 (4pm) at the Asian Center Museum, University of the Philippines, Diliman. The exhibit runs until Sept. 19, 2014.

if trees could talk poster

Here’s my work. :)

“Tuktok”, 32 x 40 in. Oil on Canvas

Never Forget


I’ve been busy these past few months working on an upcoming children’s book entitled “Isang Harding Papel” set during the 1970s – the Martial Law years. Written by Augie Rivera and published by Adarna House. The book will be coming out soon.

As with all period stories, research is essential; not just textual research but visual as well. Protest pictures were relatively easy enough to find, as well as images of the infamous Metrocom that truncheoned protesters into submission; but the smaller things proved a bit problematic. For example, what did the National Highway known as EDSA look like before ugly gigantic billboards sprouted up and blotted out the sky? What did the old propaganda billboards of President Marcos and Imelda Marcos look like?

Tight timelines only allowed me internet research with Google image search providing the bulk of the reference pictures. Some sites were particularly useful to my research, though. The blog site The First Quarter Storm Library had a lot of protest images during the early 70s while the flickr site by Gorio72 had loads of bus images and advertisements from various decades in Philippine history.

I was also able to grab some reference pictures from the long out of print book “The History of the Burgis” by Mariel N. Francisco and Fe C. Arriola published in 1987. Here is a little glimpse inside the book.




For more information about Martial Law and its victims, here’s a link to the Martial Law Memory Project initiated by online news portal, Interaksyon.

I have always been fascinated with this era in Philippine history and it amazes me that in just two decades after Ferdinand Marcos’ exit, people’s feelings about Martial Law are slowly changing from outrage to ambivalence, and for some even fondness. More stories have to be written, movies filmed, and pictures made about our past so that we won’t easily forget.

Lastly, another book that was useful in my research is a pictorial account of the EDSA Revolution – the bloodless revolt during February of 1986 that toppled the Marcos regime. I was only 7 at the time of the revolution but I had vague memories of seeing the coverage on TV and the fervor of those heady days spilling onto our school.

Here are some images from the book:







Process: Mito ng Pagkalalaki (Myth of Manhood)

filipino myths and legends

I barely made it to this exhibit. But I managed to submit something just in time.


I decided to start with a black ground.

Mito Process


I began painting most of the elements in grisaille with the intention of glazing in the colors for the final stages.


Some flat elements were rendered in acrylic.




Here, I started to glaze on the colors.



I didn’t color in everything though. I still left some portions in monochrome.


Here’s the 3 x 5 ft. finished piece.


Several days ago, another student fell victim to fraternity hazing.


The student was a nephew of one of my friend’s friends. I was contacted a few days ago and asked if I wanted to contribute to a social media art idea they were thinking of.

The idea was to ask different illustrators to draw heroes breaking paddles with the line: BROTHERS DON’T HURT BROTHERS #EndHazingNow

I drew one of my favorite Filipino heroes growing up: Flavio, also known as Panday.




I’ll be part of a group exhibit organized by Sinag Microfunds, a non-profit organization that supports financially struggling students in the Philippines through microloans. Part of the proceeds of the exhibit will go to the tuition loan funds of college students in need.

sinag dreams on canvas


Here’s my painting for the event:


“Baitang”, 3 x 4 ft., oil on canvas






When: Opening Cocktails on May 24, 2014 (2 to 5 pm)

Exhibit runs until June 24, 2014

Where: Bulwagan ng Dangal, UP Main Library, University of the Philippines Diliman


Visit their website or their facebook page for more details about the organization.

Alunsina Handbound Journal Unwrapped

I’m a moleskine guy. Even if it feels a bit overpriced, I still buy the carnet de croquis because a lot of my painting ideas were born in those notebooks.

Nevertheless, I always love a well-crafted journal, especially one made by local crafters.

I found about Alusina Handbound Books on Instagram and after requesting a catalog, I sent in an order for a handmade journal along with a couple of mini-journal necklaces that I gave out as gifts.

A couple of weeks ago, my journal arrived and because I love receiving packages, I just wanted to document the unwrapping.







The craftsmanship of the journal is excellent and then paper stock is thick enough to take in ink without soaking up the back of the page. The price is also reasonable for the quality of the product.

Visit their facebook page for more information on their products.