Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vigan Sketching last November 17, 2012

As head for the visual communications track of the architecture program of De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, I had suggested the town of Vigan as part of the main destination for the 151 freshmen to freehand sketch this historic Spanish era collection of residential-shop structures. It was declared as World Heritage in 2000 by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The students and 10 faculty members had a blast at sketching what resembles a European-like town in the tropics. 

Lawton Area, Manila Sketching

Last November 24, a small group joined in for the regular monthly session of the Urban Sketchers Philippines at the Lawton area in Manila. We had a chance to sketch the neo-classical Manila Post Office building and surrounding area. Ryan (graphics artist), Rebecca (lawyer), Clairol (my engineer wife) and I (architect) this building that is rumored to be converted into a posh hotel. It was designed by one of Philippines' first master architect, Juan Arellano before the war.

Luneta Hotel Sketching last Oct. 27, 2012

The Urban Sketchers aren't exactly a group entirely made up of professional visual artists. For this particular session of sketching an early 20th 6-storey building - the Luneta Hotel, a majority were of newcomers who wanted an opportunity to sketch with us. Two visitors from Spain joined in too. The hotel I heard is opening, with a major restoration taken place to resolve a structural problem & provisions to meet the building code standards.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Luneta Hotel Sketching on October 27th, 2012

The next sketching session will be covering the majestic Luneta Hotel in Manila on Saturday, October 27th, 9:00am to 12:00pm. Participants are advised to protect themselves against the morning sun & water for hydration. Meeting point will be across the street of the hotel itself.

Monday, October 8, 2012

USk-Philippines Tacloban Sets Up Local Month-long Exhibit

Solo Galura joined USk Philippines sketching session exactly a year ago with the visit of the National Museum Gallery and former Philippine Congress Assembly Hall. He has since set up a group in his home city province of Tacloban, in Leyte. Last September 30th saw the opening of the USk-Philippines Tacloban group’s sketches exhibit entitled “Tacloban, Tacloban…”. Held at Café Lucia in Tacloban City, in the island of Leyte (where General Douglas MacArthur landed to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese) the opening was attended by my wife & yours truly over that weekend with some 15 or so other sketchers and guests. The exhibit will run throughout October. This gives a much needed awareness for people visiting the café of the small city to appreciate on-location sketching of their place and culture.

Solo reports that they are some 5 regular members who attend their weekly sketch walks here. The day before the exhibit opening, my wife and I got a chance to sketch with the local group. We sketched the Hotel Alejandro where my wife and I stayed for two nights. What’s interesting about the hotel was that the ancestral house was retained and made into a museum and main entrance for the newly built hotel. You can see the plan of that in the sketch I drew.

On our last day there, Solo had tour-guided us in the neighboring island of Samar and sketched a church there.

Future coordination with Manila and Tacloban groups are underway for bigger and more ambitious exhibits and activities.

Under the shade sketching Hotel Alejandro
A refurbished Filipino ancestral house converted as the main entrance of a new hotel
Sketch of Hotel Alejandro showing the old ancestral house turned museum and main entrance
The gang after sketching that Saturday morning
Cafe Lucia was the place of the exhibit
Solo, Dan, Ed and Janeil
Opening remarks

Ribbon Cutting
Some of the sketches
Ed's Sketch
Ed's sketch
Solo & Janeil
Tacloban Sketchers hang out
Group Picture
Sketching at Samar on the last day

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Zoorific Experience

We finally started sketching animals for a change, as the theme for this June's sketching session for the Philippine USk. Some 15 of us managed to get up early for the 9 to 12 sketching at the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden last Saturday, June 23, 2012.

The Manila Zoo is not what others expect as well kept than some. I remember visiting the one in Singapore, and I got to feed a giraffe and its rough tongue brushing my fingers, and it was so big that we didn't finish seeing all the animals there.

Back in Manila Zoo, we only have a few animals (the site says 500 animals) and I didn't notice any guides touring visitors or any animal petting areas where the kids can experience some of the less wilder species first hand.

It is no surprise that any pro-animal group are recommending the closure and transfer of the animals to other zoos, after seeing some state of decay. I think, however, that loosing OUR zoo would will not do, as we stand to loose a place of learning and interaction with animals.

Here are some of the sketches of the animals that caught our attention.
Mali the elephant was moving about most of the time
Muffy's sketch of Mali
7-year-old Ampoa and her sketch of Mali
Mali was obviously a bit restless with her pacing around and sometimes not so enthusiastic to visitors
We saw some of the birds like this macaw caged up with no way of using their wings
She had such a colorful blending feathers
This Cassowary bird had a very large horn
A least this one has lots of space to run around
The peacocks couldn't stay still! Now I know where G-Force's costume design came from.
The harvest of sketches on sketchbooks for this session
We had a hearty lunch at the nearby Tapa King