Monday, May 26, 2008

clear skies, blue waters

My friends and I found out that the best antidote to a week of frenzy is a weekend at The Pearl Farm in Davao, Philippines.

No crowds. No annoying hawkers. No bars with blaring speakers. We were surrounded only by the soothing color blue.

All our rooms had a view. And a price to match!

Everyone could nap and tan in peace. The next group of sun worshippers would be at least ten meters away.

Buffet breakfast. Buffet lunch. Buffet dinner. Had we been a bunch of anorexics, we would have gotten cured.

We slept in suites that hung over the water's edge. The sea breeze was our air conditioning. And the sound of the surf was our lullaby.

It was a perfect place to rejuvenate the weakened, the perfect healing drug for the city's weary and wounded souls.

(Top) The clear and blue Be@rbricks were designed to promote the 2006 Summer Sonic Music Fest in Japan. The 2-day concerts in Tokyo and Osaka featured rock groups such as Linkin Park, Metallica, Hoobastank, Deftones, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Daft Punk, and Scritti Politti. A neo-Woodstock – indeed, a different way to lift one's spirit!

Pics by me. / Info from and the Summer Sonic Website

Monday, May 12, 2008

be@rbrick bares it!

The Be@rbrick as underwear model?

Yup. Check out the sexy bear on the left wearing lacy black lingerie and fishnet stockings. This little hottie joins the equally foxy Fergie (below), former vocalist of of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, as underwear model for Peach John, a Japanese mail order company.

Remember when former rapper Marky Mark (now Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg) posed in his undies for Calvin Klein? That sold bundles of boxer briefs. And though I don't think it did anything for his musical career, it gave his abs instant fame.

Like they say, sex sells. But I hope, for Fergie's sake, that it sells songs, too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My artist friend Christina Quisumbing Ramilo was based in New York City for the longest time. But she returned to Manila two years ago to take care of her ailing mom, bury her father who passed away, and to tear down and rebuild her grandmother's old house which she had inherited.

When I visited her late last year, the house was almost done. Created from the wood of the former dwelling – combined with vintage tiles, colored glass, and other rare and recycled materials – it was quite beautiful. Old remnants came to life in an eclectic structure pieced together by Christina's passion and artistry.

But she had so much 'leftover wood and stuff' that she decided to put them to good use.

The result was 'Palimpsest' (left), an exhibit of sculptures and installations made of leftover lumber, old door knobs, metal locks, cabinet handles, used nails and rusty drain covers.

A palimpsest, figuratively speaking, is something that has been reused and altered, but still bears visible traces of its earlier form. Like the dead reincarnated, its spirit continues to live and evolve.

Below are details of her work.

(Above) Wooden scraps are resurrected as two-legged creatures.

(Above and below) Roughened relics are rearranged as skyline art.

I am happy for Christina. After losing her Dad, she has moved on – built a new home, created a new kind of art, found a new life back here in Manila.

There is life after death. My friend has proven this to be true.

'Palimpsest' will run till May 21, 2008 at the West Gallery, Level 3, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.

(Top, right) Joseph Michael Lisner's 'Death' Be@rbrick comes alive. His name is Cernunnos, the god of death, who has reincarnated himself in the form of a mortal named Darrian Ashoka. His lover, Dawn, leads him to his true identity and self discovery.