Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sketching in Intramuros

Afternoon Sketches

Night Sketches

The Manila Collectible was nothing short of a wonder. Filled with tribal trinkets and unique ornaments, it was definitely the place that could spawn creativity, even to the most idle of minds. Unfortunately, The Manila Collectible will not be situated at Cabilco cor. Beatrico anymore. But do not fret as it will only be moving to its new home inside Fort Santiago. And it was in this store during its moving party that we decided to have our little sketch session, as a final farewell to its old home.

It was obviously the most appropriate place to do some sketches – the eclectic collection and the scenic view from the rooftop. Aside from that, we were lucky to catch the store’s farewell program at the rooftop and witness performances by local artists – one Shaman named Abraham Abdulla and one Calligrapher Mr. Kristian Kabuay. We got so drawn into the sketching vibe that we made two sets of sketches: one, afternoon sketch and the other, night sketch.

We were glad to spend our time at The Manila Collectible. We hope that we can visit the store in the future and see it in its new home.   
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Gee and Nadja while sketching. Photo by Meg Roxas
Sketching while listening. Photo by Meg Roxas

Our sketches while Abraham Abdulla performs. Photo by Gee Roxas

Kristian Kabuay while performing Tulang Kalis. Photo by Gee Roxas

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The sounds slowly fade out and the people around became figures in colors but, they, too, blurred in the background. From where I am, I could see the spire of the Manila Cathedral. Its lines and arcs and the turquoise roof which, even under the direct hit of the sun, still looked cool to my eyes. Years of anticipation for this moment didn't prepare me for the grandness of the structure from up close. Its silent and non-deteriorating respectability drew out the design enthusiast in me. Stoically, I absorbed the beauty and its imposing stillness enveloped me in a world where no one, except the structure and I, ever existed. One by one, I unearthed my sketching materials from my bag and I took a deep breath before I made the first mark on my paper. The lines were always dancing and had a rhythm on their own, which, as much as I would want to, I couldn't control. The images drawn were a variation of light and shadows; of alternating straight and curved lines; of weaved dreams and realities; and the merging of past and present.

The Shaman Abraham Abdulla performed several wedding music in his kulintang, transporting us to another world - a world where silence and sound is of equal importance, and his slight and hard taps brought the peace and beauty of his land. For a time, we became conscious of a parallel world, of a gasping culture, so rich and so full of stories, but only seen by an outsider when the different worlds intersect in one definite moment, this time the moving out party of The Manila Collectible Co. Abraham Abdulla's music erased the language barriers and formed an invisible link for those of us who got a glimpse of his world. 


Later, Kristian Kabuay, a prime mover of the campaign towards the popularization of the pre-Fiipino calligraphy, which is baybayin (usually and incorrectly known as Alibata), shared the brief story of his curiosity which later became his advocacy. He performed Tulang Kalis, and silently demanded us to appreciate the history and the beauty of our own writing, which has been unconsciously ignored with the development and evolution of our lives as Filipinos.

Kristian Kabuay. Photo by Meg Roxas

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Gee Roxas Sketches
Meg Roxas Sketches

The Manila Cathedral at night. Photo by Gee Roxas

* Many thanks to Gee Roxas and Meg Roxas for the photos and for the invite. :)

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