It’s 11:33pm and I’m actually supposed to begin working on a new project due next week but I just can’t seem to bring myself to do so until I’ve written all everything down about the past week. I’m currently sitting down on our couch with thoughts brimming in my head and wondering if last week as just a dream or not. However, thanks to n memory cards filled up with time-lapse photos and videos, my sandals and sneakers stained with paint, maybe last week really happened!
I really sound so repetitive but I just really am grateful for having the opportunity to be able to paint on walls–131 square meters at that–with kindred souls, friends & loved ones! *Why do I feel I’m about to get a comment about the overuse of ‘kindred souls’? Hahahaha.* But wait, let me organize my thoughts and group themor else you will find me taking you here and there in my labyrinth of musings! The last mural we did for Serendra was 9 x 8 feet so having to do a bigger one really brought many lessons, realizations & beautiful reminders about art & life in general. 🙂 *My 2 favorite topics if you have noticed.*
1. A Sense of Community – Life must probably be laughing at me right now. All those years of “Where can I get a clone so I can finish all my pending work?” was just actually a call for me to wake up and really be humble to realize that work cannot be done by a single person…or 5…or 10. The wall was painted by a total of 26 people. We started at 5 and ended up at 15 per day! I really miss everyone in the team. I miss our dinners together! By this time, we’re usually cleaning up our brushes and saying our good byes to each other and preparing yet for another day of mural making.
Start. Just start. Still LOLing every single time I’m looking at this photo. We were at Day 0 of painting but I actually felt productive then. The wall designs just got approved and we’re ready to paint!
I chose something vibrant for the palette but also placed some pastels (pink & light blue) plus the bluish black to balance it.
It just made sense to me that these colors were in harmony–as I was finishing the design for the last wall, it dawned upon me that the orange & green are for Ayala Malls then pink, blue & dark blue for the Googly Gooeys!
2. Saying YES – One afternoon, as we were celebrating a family event in Tagaytay, Chef Tony Boy Escalante passed by our table as he did his usual round greeting diners at his place. He was talking about his new venture in a new location and he said, “You don’t know when opportunity will strike but when it presents itself to you, you have to be really ready!” I just thought, wow. What a yummy lunch with food for thought as a bonus.
I remember being asked several times by members of the team why I took on the project considering the timeline. Well, first of all, I’ve been wanting to do a mural again. I’ve been daydreaming about something interactive, colorful and geometric to the point that I mentioned several times to Riley’s dad that should I ever have a studio, I will paint my own wall. He said that I should week after week if I really wanted to! So, when I was contacted to work on the project, my mindset was just all about getting it done and finding the means to make this happen. Secondly, if I didn’t say yes, I don’t know if I would actually be able to sleep having passed up the chance to do something like this.
Applying first coats for most of the colors! Here’s the hubby on a ladder.
3. Asking for Help – I would encounter Amanda Palmer on several videos and podcasts. She talks about the power of asking for help. We were halfway through the wall and I was confident that we will deliver on time but I just really wanted to have the opportunity to be able to polish our work some more. If we couldn’t buy time, perhaps we can hire more artists, I thought. It’s like life slapped me in the face to make me realize that what I’ve illustrated is about a sense of community–of cities gathering together, influencing each other and the project was silently designed to foster that amongst illustrators, painters and friends too too! I’ve written it several times over social media but I’m just really grateful for everyone who allowed themselves to be part of this project: even those who were there for half a day after their work. Again, thank you to:
Anthony Go (a.k.a. Riley’s dad) , Charisse Go, Anne Macachor, Leah Pascua, Rhobelle Macachor,Genesis Uichanco, Darryl Don Doctor, Yani, Jak, Paula Michelle Mappala, TC Purple, the Faber-Castell Family & Friends: Mark Jason Montecalvo, Marc Romeo Olympia, Danica, Johndreve, Franc, Flora, Errold & Majenta Ocampo, the Ilustrador ng Kabataan (INK) Family: Ben Reyna, Jak, Angela Taguiang, Yas Doctor, Mickey Velarde, , Lauren Baldo, Misato Wakatsuki, Nerfe Nerfs, Rex Aguilar, , Ara Villena & Liz Ranola! Couldn’t have done this too without the support of my father-in-law (Riley’s BFF), his yaya & Ninang Char!
Thank you to my parents too for surprising me at the Mall Opening aand supporting me through the years! I still clearly remember my dad teaching me how to work with limited color schemes while working on an assignment in pre-school. I also vividly remember the first time he showed me how to draw with a ruler: It was then that my fascination for geometric shapes & measurements began. My mom is not necessarily an illustrator but she loves visuals in general & I grew up watching her rearrange our house several times.
4. Love for Country – I was drawing and redrawing the Pancit Malabon for 4th panel. I couldn’t seem to solve the visual. Why did the Pancit Malabon look like spaghetti? Sometimes, it looked like Ramen to me. It either really does look like spaghetti or ramen but it may also mean that in our lifetime, we’ve seen more people draw sushi than sapin-sapin and Pancit Malabon. Whatever the painting my look to you (and gahh…writing about this makes me hungry), I just really hope that this can be a start of embracing our identity as a country: our heritage sites, our culture and our story. Speaking of,
This mural is an ode to culture, geography and history: a celebration of palette and palate of the CAMANAVA region’s vibrant and bustling cities. As with the intersecting figures in the artworks, shaped by time and people, it has become a potluck of things, places and tradition with remembrances from each era in our history. These pieces come together to reveal a story that tells of people who “live festive” and embrace life.
Here’s a quick run through of all the walls by the way!
TC taking care of the final details of our Malabon Heritage Wall!
a. Malabon – Did you know that we have heritage houses in Malabon from the Spanish era? I always thought we had to travel all the way to Ilocos or to Rizal’s house in Laguna to relive this period in our history!
The last few days were practically paint parties. Everyone was assigned to a section. Sometimes, we would have a mini meeting and agree what we need to tweak.
b. Pancit Malabon – Enough said. I’m really really hungry so can we move to the next topic? Hahahaha. Also daydreaming of Dolor’s Sapin-sapin–one of the desserts we had during that week of painting.
Leah & Charisse applying the initial coats to the Navotas & Monumento walls.
c. Navotas Fish Port – Somewhere between chuckling at how the hubby personally requested that I remove the cartoony eyes on all my fish drawings, isn’t it just amazing how different products from each city make it to our plates? 🙂
Polishing stage: Rhob, Ben, Jak & Olly work on the Monumento & LRT Walls.
d. Monumento – Monumento & Balintawak are a part of my childhood. My mom and I used to ride the jeep and get off near the area. Commuting as a kid was exciting for me. It meant I had a chance for me to nap on my mom’s lap even if it meant getting off the jeep with pins and needles because it is already our stop!
e. LRT – I also illustrated the LRT of my childhood but recolored. My Tita Anne used to take me to Quiapo so my cousin & I could play during the summer. I remember passing by Luneta every single time & being in awe.
This is me at the launch. Please forgive me. Hahahaha. I still don’t know how to pose after all these years.
f. Valenzuela – San de Alcala Church was built in 1632. To this day, the original belfry still survives. The structure sits in Brgy. Polo. Polo means sapilitang paggawa or forced labor which is so vivid in my mind because I had to research about this when I was 10 years old. I chose this church in the hopes that in my own little way, we will be reminded to embrace more of our disappearing hertiage sites in other parts of the Philippines.
Misa & Lauren making sure polishing the curves on the Quezon City wall! Their enthusiasm & OC-ness is contagious!
g. Quezon City Circle – Have you ever seen the aerial view of Quezon City Circle? I initially wanted to illustrate how it looks like from that vantage point but I didn’t want to take away from its magnanimity so I chose a silhouette of an icon instead. It just dawned upon me now that when I was walking in Paris almost a decade ago, I would see posters with silhouettes of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc d’ Triomphe and also wishing we would have something similar in the Philippines. Yay for 1 item being checked off my list!
h. Balintawak Market – I would pass by this market for a good 8 years for my day job. I am always in awe at how much fruits & veggies gets delivered to this place. In our trips to Sagada and Mt. Pulag, I would also get to pass by the lands where these vegetables are planted–I’m just amazed at the journey they take before they get to our plates (and we’re talking about food again so I’m really hungry again). I made the veggies gigantic as it seems there is always an abundance of produce–just enough if not more than the vehicles could handle. I am also guilty of watching people argue over what the pink veggie stands for. I would love to revisit the mall again several times and stand in front of the mural just to hear everyone’s comments. Hahahahahaha. *Please excuse my humor & weirdness.* It is labanos recolored so that the wall may be white instead of pink. It is also my dad’s favorite.
Nerfe, Mickey, Yes & Angela finishing the Valenzuela Churhc, Dimsum Wall, Banawe Friendship Gate & Cloverleaf walls respectively.
i. Banawe – The hubby works near the area so we have explored several restaurants here. I would always joke to my friends that I’m really this close to making a map of banawe and all our favorite food: from hand-pulled noodles, fresh lumpia, rice rolls and dimsum! Ugh. I should have placed my favorite freshly-made soya milk too!
j. Cloverleaf – I lived in Bulacan growing up and I studied in Quezon City. For a good 8 years, I lived in Quezon City and worked in Bulacan. I would pass by the Cloverleaf for a good chunk of my life. I fondly remember collecting toll tickets from the North Diversion Road (that was the name before it became NLEX) and the toll fee then was Php 1 and everyone was shocked when it doubled and became two pesos. This is the aerial view of the Cloverleaf. I don’t know why I have a fascination for maps. Perhaps it gives me a sense of perspective as to how cities and cultures connect and how small I am and my worries are in the greater scheme of things!
When I was little, I would cry and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I just can’t seem to move on until I’ve expressed myself. My forms of crying have diversified these days. I have spilled all my thoughts and feelings and I have just processed the whirlwind of a dream that happened last week. Congratulations again to the Ayala Malls Admin Team for pulling off such a huge task of opening a mall and for giving the Googly Gooeys a new home! Thank you too to Sir Raf, Kylah & Celine for taking care of us throughout this project!
Good night & good morning!
If you’re still reading, have a great week ahead and thanks for sticking with me throughout this moving on blog post. Hahaha.
Visit the mural at the 4th floor of the Ayala Malls Cloverleaf branch just beside the Cinema.
I’m so not used to posing alone but thank you so so much to all of you for supporting these two blobs–a figment of my imagination now in concrete literally & figuratively. 😀
*Sending you lots of hugs*
Mama T & the Googly Family
P.S. Riley calls me ‘Mama T’ these days. He can’t say ‘Tippy’ yet. When I got my nickname, and people started calling me ‘Tip’ and ‘Tips’, I was joking that it won’t be long that someone will call me ‘T’ one day. That day has come!
P.P.S. It’s 12:47am! OMG.
I intentionally read this a week after our last day because I want that sense of nostalgia. And OMG I can’t believe it’s over Tippy! Congrats! Missing the workout that this mural gave us too. Now we can no longer eat and not gain anything. We’ll suffer the consequences of all those frappes and chocolates. Bwahaha. I also can’t believe that an introvert like myself would enjoy the company of so many people.(Who I think are mostly introverts too?) Everyone’s creativity and sense of community was energizing. Hihi. Till the next mural? 😉