March 29, 2012

His name

Jesuit seal on the ceiling of a side chapel of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School
The seal of the Society of Jesus is the letters IHS (a monogram of the name of Jesus Christ), with a cross over it and three nails under it, all surrounded by the rays of the sun. This delicately detailed version, which recalls the beautifully illuminated manuscripts of old, is on the ceiling of a small veneration alcove in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School. The Latin words "et vocatum est nomen eius iesus" surrounding the seal is from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verse 21: "and his name was called Jesus."

March 28, 2012

I am

bronze panels by Juan Sajid Imao on the doors of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School
bronze panels by Juan Sajid Imao on the doors of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School
Made by sculptor Juan Sajid Imao, seven of the eight bronze panels on the doors of the Ateneo de Manila High School's St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel represent the seven "I am" statements of Jesus in the Gospel of St. John:
  • I am the bread of life.
  • I am the light of the world.
  • I am the door of the sheep.
  • I am the good shepherd.
  • I am the resurrection and the life.
  • I am the way, the truth, and the life.
  • I am the true vine.
The eighth panel, upper right in the first photo, contains the letters IHS, a monogram of the name of Jesus Christ.

March 27, 2012


Looking out towards the garden…
one of the wrought iron windows of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School

and looking in towards the pews and retablo
one of the wrought iron windows of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School
from one of the wrought iron windows of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel of the Ateneo de Manila High School.

March 23, 2012

Crazy drivers

traffic at the corner of North Avenue and EDSA
Have I already mentioned that Manila's traffic can get really horrible? This is at the corner of North Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), where two large malls are located—SM City North EDSA and Trinoma.

March 22, 2012

Three modes

MRT track over a footbridge over EDSA
The track of the Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) System over a footbridge over the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

March 19, 2012

Pride and joy

Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa
Ligaya (which means "joy") Fernando-Amilbangsa is a scholar, artist, dancer and cultural conservationist. She lived for two decades among the various indigenous peoples of the Sulu Archipelago, researching, documenting and trying to put into words the language of their music and dance. Aside from her research, workshops and conference lectures, she was one of the founders of the AlunAlun Dance Circle, which seeks to revive and nurture interest in ancient Filipino art forms.

March 16, 2012


Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus)
The small and colorful Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) is named such because its vivid coloration supposedly evokes the robes of Imperial China's mandarins. I have to admit, however, that it reminded me more of Emilio Pucci's clothes.

March 15, 2012

Sink me

golf putting green at Landmark Department Store
The Landmark Department Store at Trinoma mall has an unusual summer promotion. Spend a certain amount and you get a chance to try to sink balls in an indoor putting green and a billiard table. In the middle of the store while other shoppers watch you. I dunno…

March 14, 2012

Taking a break

Manila street vendor
I'm not quite sure what he's selling (onions?), but it cannot be easy in Manila's hot and polluted streets.

Taken from the comfort of an airconditioned car just outside the historic walls of Intramuros and the Club Intramuros Golf Course. Sigh.

March 13, 2012

A storm of sorrows

PETA Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's "Haring Lear" (see yesterday's post) had certain elements of Japanese kabuki theater, with its all-male cast and bizarre make-up. It was also innovative in its approach to the storm scene in King Lear. Instead of constructing an expensive shower and wind system, production designer Gino Gonzales laid bare the props to the audience, with a large, industrial fan in the middle of the stage and two stagehands carrying shower heads on long poles following Lear around the stage. After being taken aback for a few seconds (and one could hear the murmurs throughout the theater), one just accepts them and becomes riveted by actor Teroy Guzman's powerful performance.

King Lear in the storm scene in PETA Theater's production of 'Haring Lear'
At a certain point in the scene, Lear's two greedy and scheming daughters, whose ungratefulness have led him to this sorry state in the first place, take over from the stage hands and continue the deluge that they have caused. Actors Nor Domingo and Gary Lim play the parts such that Goneril and Regan are seemingly taking evil and perverse pleasure on the sorrows that they are raining down on their father.

March 12, 2012

Thorns and brambles in the kingdom

Gino Gonzales' set for PETA Theater's production of 'Haring Lear'
The set and costumes of PETA Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's "Haring Lear" was designed by Gino Gonzales, whose mentor was National Artist for Theater Design Salvador "Badong" Bernal, who passed away late last year. A true disciple of Badong, one of Gino's principles when designing for local theater is to use indigenous, inexpensive and easily-available materials; otherwise, theater in the country would languish, becoming prohibitively expensive. Like Badong, this self-imposed limitation unleashes Gino's creativity, and his simple yet powerful set is as sad, dark and nightmarish as the tale's betrayals and insanities.

March 9, 2012

Walking with heroes

path of heroes monuments at the Rizal Park
On the two long sides of Rizal Park's central lagoon are paths that are lined with the busts of Filipino heroes. It's good to see that some people take the time to stop and read about them.

March 7, 2012

To read and to dream

outdoor study beside Carlito Ortega's workshop
The workshop of sculptor Carlito Ortega (see yesterday's post) is open to his extensive garden, and so is the study beside it.

March 6, 2012


farmer with bolo, a Carlito Ortega bronze sculpture in progress
When Carlito Ortega is still working on one of his sculptures, it looks like an amalgam of sooty ash and gold.

Carlito Ortega demonstrating his bronze welding
Carlito is a sculptor who works in welded bronze and steel, and whose inspiration comes from Filipino folklore, labor, customs and traditions. He opens his home and workshop in San Pablo, Laguna to visitors during weekends, where he willingly talks about and demonstrates his creative process.

Carlito Ortega's bronze sculpture of Jesus on the cross
Carlito said that this bronze sculpture of Jesus on the cross will be a gift to a friend. He also said that whether his friend will like it or not is another matter altogether. Carlito's style is intense, and I can understand that it is not to everyone's liking.

I would love to see his sculpture of the farmer when it's done. Yes, that unfinished sculpture in the first photo is of a Filipino farmer with a hooked bolo (Carlito called it by a certain word, which I can't remember, unfortunately). Did you think it was a warrior, like I did? If you want to see more of his finished sculptures, visit this album. I have to say: I love his work.

March 5, 2012

Fine work

Two weeks after my husband and I spent a weekend in San Pablo City in Laguna, I went back again for a day trip with my college friends. We had lunch at Patis Tito Garden Café, and it was our good fortune that Patis Tesoro, the owner of the café, was in for the weekend.

Patis is better known in the country as the doyenne of Filipino fashion for her creative and elegant designs using indigenous fabrics. Her special passion is handwoven fabrics, like t'nalak (made of abaca fibers) and piña (made from pineapple leaf fibers), many of which are endangered because the number of weavers is dwindling.

Patis Tesoro showing off a length of lacy piña cloth
The stunning mantel (tablecloth) she showed us is made of hand-loomed piña. Piña already has a loose weave, but to create the lacy pattern, individual threads were pulled out carefully then meticulously knotted with cream, black and gold threads—all by hand.

a close-up of Patis Tesoro's lacy piña cloth
It took the women of Patis Tesoro's atelier three months to finish the cloth, and it can be yours for Php85,000 (US$1,990).

March 1, 2012

Lofty past

utility pole made out of a whole tree trunk
THEME DAY: ELECTRICITY • Metro Manila still has some old utility poles (which now carry telephone, cable television, and internet cables, aside from the original power cables) which are made out of whole tree trunks.

See how other City Daily Photo bloggers interpret this month's theme. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.