Saturday, July 28, 2012

Collage and symmetry

We took a look at the cloth weaving of the Maranao people of Mindanao. They have an amazing history of making head cloths called the pis siyabit and wrap-around waist cloths called the patajung. Showing them the patterns woven into them, it was said that each pis was unique, each pattern and design were unique to the whims and creativity of the weaver. It would usually have a central shape and the design would repeat itself on all four sides to represent the cardinal directions. We talked about the colors, and the patterns they created. I even had the guts to wear a malong in place of a patajung just to show off the garment to the students. 

Armed with strips of double-sided tape and colored paper, the kids attacked the project with some hesitation. Some of them wanted to draw the patterns, others spoke out because they were reluctant to use the scissors. By the end of the period, creative mayhem ruled the classroom. There were songs being sung, and paper and tape were being asked from each other. Colored paper covered the table, scissors were lying about, but happily, some got through it.  Others, found an interest in double-sided foam tape. But the hour ended too soon and we had to pack our mess away. They were reluctant to end the class. And deep inside, I was happy. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sarimanok-inspired artwork

Looking at the resources I had at home, mom had a large collection of books on Mindanao artwork and icons. I couldn't help it. Here was a whole month's worth of lessons just lying around and I wasn't using them! So, first up, the mythical Sarimanok. Colored paper, white acrylic paint, a bronze figure and legends on the Sarimanok started the course. I introduced Abdul Imao whose artwork on the Sarimanok gave the younger kids a simpler, vibrant picture of what they could make. An hour wasn't enough though. Sure, I had complaints, excitement, uncertainty and hand-holding as we started visually dissecting the Sarimanok, but I liked the challenge it gave them. I could wish for a lot more, more time, more silence. But its a start.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pre-Hispanic Newspapers

Since we're into the review of last school year's Social Studies themes, I asked them to make a mind map, answer a quiz, and list all of their ideas and research topics before they started designing and writing out their "newspapers'. It was a tough beginning for all of us, dusting our brains and searching for past facts and stories. But in the end, having a handy online textbook ( made things incredibly easier. The results; though a bit rough, though a bit rushed, was still praise-worthy in the end.

Gabbie gets a taste of hard work as she finishes her newspapers.

With enough research, Aaron shows off his newspaper with his organized, neat style.

Aaron's first page

Aaron's second page

Gabbie's first page

Gabbie's second page

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Old school work.

Was organizing the mountain of paper and whatsits at home and found these. An art project from my junior high students and some get-well cards from my elementary students. These junior high students are probably junior university students now, maybe seniors. Still, their work reminded me of days where the misfits were kings in class. Their shy smile from the sincere appreciation I gave their work spoke volumes.

Just for those moments, when I see these kids on Facebook and hear of their current exploits,
reminds me why I do what I do. Regardless of place, management, or circumstance.
Monday, June 11, 2012

Teaching graphic design in Poveda?

A dear friend invited me to speak at the San Pedro de Poveda School last June 5. I was lucky enough to have been chosen for the task. It was a workshop for the school's club moderators who needed ideas in setting up a graphic design group for the students.

Now, I'm not an expert in graphic design, but I've tried teaching it to high school students in the past and the experience helped set up the framework for the talk. But as the afternoon wore on, I realized my message wasn't just about design, but advocating art as a method of teaching and learning. Since my audience were primarily academic teachers, I wanted to share how you could use different methods in planning and implementing a lesson.

It was an interesting experience. I got to see an old family friend, and saw the inside of a school I normally would pass by on EDSA. Plus, my wedges were killing my by the end of the afternoon. Still, Friday's was within walking distance, and relaxing over a Coke and lime was good way to end the day.
Friday, June 08, 2012

Old exhibit photos SY 2009-2010

Didn't realize that I had a treasure trove of photos on my Facebook account. Still, looking at the pictures, I regret not taking more. It was a fun ride, finishing up the grades of more than a hundred students, telling them to submit, submit, submit! And who can forget the simple jokes a 1st grader would share with you and you just have to laugh...yep. Those days were fun.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Posting stenciled art work

Back to Tagaytay for another round of training. This time, with Grade 7 MAPEH teachers.

We had a cozy number of about 200+ teachers in the room, all from different schools in the Philippines. It was more intensive than the last workshop. The food was better too! :)

To be honest, I appreciated the schedule they gave us this time. It felt less hurried and we had more time to interact, talk and coach the participants.

Tattoo designs on cups 

Weaving workshop
Saturday, May 05, 2012

K-12 Teacher Training Workshop @ DAP, Tagaytay

Teacher trainers working their magic.
Group shots of trainers from different regions.

Demo teachers!End of April 2012.
We had 1,500+ Grade 1 teachers from all over the Philippines to be trained on how to teach the new K-12 curriculum. We were Mrs. P as the convener, one veteran art teacher, two art curriculum writers and myself as the National Teacher Trainers for Art.

One whole week of sharing, laughing, speaking, teaching and having a fun. It was also a frustrating, hair-pulling, more-than-words-can-say kind of anger at times but it was worth it.

I would never claim to say that the workshop participants learned a lot from us and they would move on to greater and amazing art classes in the future but as in any class, you have high hopes for a chosen few with whom you felt understood what you were saying and you hoped they learned from the experience. To be honest, this was the biggest workshop I've ever helped facilitate. EVER. And to have a handful of them echo the workshop perfectly to other teachers in their region is a possibility and I'm hopeful.

If you're reading this and you are a teacher, you might want to visit our Facebok pages and download the K-12 Art Curriculum for Grade 1 and Grade 7 for FREE!! Yes, please don't be fooled into buying books for your Grade 1 or Grade 7 art classes. You can download it there, use it and hopefully, send us your pictures and feedback when you can.
Thursday, April 05, 2012

Veggie Planet website

Helped a friend put up their website/blog a while back. Take a a look at

Monday, March 19, 2012

Now, about the dog...

It was really weird. Waking up at 5 a.m. then being shown a "crop circle" slash line drawing of Buster's artwork. This happened for a few days and we would eagerly await for them to appear when we woke up. I swear, this isn't some hoax or anything. Perhaps we just a have a dog who loves symmetry. Or not.
Monday, January 02, 2012

Silkscreen attempt

Ok, so I didn't create the silk screen itself. I had someone else do it. But it really was a learning experience, trying to manage the process, how to unclog the screen, choosing the colors and what material to print on. In the end, the ugly prints were used at home. Realized the white pillow cases were a bit thin but they look really pretty!