Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Three short nonpoems


It is difficult to write about poetry

How it must be grand
to be worth something

It is poetry if it is about your life

And if it is about life,
then it is worth something


It does not matter if it is not perfect
What matters is I loved it enough to see it written


Fear defines our lives,
Defines all life

There must be something beautiful about fear --
It exists, after all


Wednesday, November 29, 2006


End-of-November bloom

Monday, November 27, 2006


Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Joy Mallari @ Pinto Art Gallery

Pinto Art Gallery invites you to its fourth quarter exhibitions for 2006:

Joy Mallari
"Ulinig" @ Gallery Shop & Gallery 2
"Manibalang" @ Gallery 1

LA-based visual artist and painter Joy Mallari returns to the Philippines after a series of successful international exhibitions the last 10 years. For her homecoming solo show, the artist will feature two simultaneous painting exhibitions highlighting her artistic concerns of the last decade, as well as introducing her latest ouvre on the subject of identity and intervention.


Upgrade: Young Contemporary Artists Series V.1

Marina Cruz
Anton Del Castillo
Ian Quirante
Tatong Recheta Torres
CJ Tanedo
Rodel Tapaya
Juanito Torres

This exhibition collectively features seven young emerging artists and their unique take on two-dimensional art. It represents a diverse group with specific concerns, using iconographic and figurative methods in conveying personal worlds and visions.

The exhibitions open on 26November, 2006 @ 3PM. Pinto Art Gallery is located @ 1 Sierra Madre St, Grandheights Subd, Antipolo City.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Anna Varona @ Ayala Museum

Anna Varona mounts “Color, Light and Shadow,” which opens on November 14, 6:30 p.m. at the MuseumSpace, second floor of the Glass Wing of Ayala Museum, Makati Ave. corner Dela Rosa St., Makati City.

In her 2nd solo exhibition, the artist features new figure paintings as well as still life of familiar objects – fruits, glass, flowers and pottery – done in oil on linen or Ampersand Gessoboard panels. Varona continues to develop her artistry in harnessing light and shadow to create varying color intensities, bringing out nuances of mood and texture in her subjects.

The works are on view until November 28. Curated by Jojo Ballo. For information, please call 757-7117 to 21.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Last Sunday, two unexpected visitors showed up at Pinto - Mark Justiniani and Joy Mallari (to the great surprise of Dr. Cuanang and Andy Estella). Mark and Joy are both visual artists living in L.A. Both came back, after a long hiatus, to the Philippines, for a brief visit. (Joy will be having an exhibition of paintings @ Pinto this November 26. Mark will be part of a group exhibition at the Art Center in Megamall this coming February.) They bring with them a wealth of experience, and a different set of eyes, eyes that have seen everything under the (artworld) sun.

Pinto curator Riel Hilario was also there, as well as other artists and French visitors. Over Dalandan juice and Turon, discussions about art inevitably took place, discussion that eventually became dialogue, as each person sought to understand the process by which his own art takes place, and by which art in general is viewed and understood.

I then realized that the moment of creation (where all Art becomes manifest) cannot be known - it can only be understood after the work is complete. The artist's place isn't to think - it is to do, to immerse himself in the moment of creation, totally and inspite of doubt, fear, anxiety and worry.


We're way behind in the field of new media and new processes. In Singapore, they're looking into getting all artists of every persuasion to collaborate, hence the emergence of the title "Creative" - an all-inclusive noun for people working in design, urban planning, painting, theater, sculpture, film, fashion, sound art, etc. The collective
FARM is basically working to create SYSTEMS for creative people to work together. Imagine that.



The Chance to Love Everything
by Mary Oliver

All summer I made friends
with the creatures nearby ---
they flowed through the fields
and under the tent walls,
or padded through the door,
grinning through their many teeth,
looking for seeds,
sweet, sugar; muttering and humming,
opening the breadbox, happiest when
there was milk and music. But once
in the night I heard a sound
outside the door, the canvas
bulged slightly ---something
was pressing inward at eye level.
I watched, trembling, sure I had heard
the click of claws, the smack of lips
outside my gauzy house ---
I imagined the red eyes,
the broad tongue, the enormous lap.
Would it be friendly too?
Fear defeated me. And yet,
not in faith and not in madness
but with the courage I thought
my dream deserved,
I stepped outside. It was gone.
Then I whirled at the sound of some
shambling tonnage.
Did I see a black haunch slipping
back through the trees? Did I see
the moonlight shining on it?
Did I actually reach out my arms
toward it, toward paradise falling, like
the fading of the dearest, wildest hope ---
the dark heart of the story that is all
the reason for its telling?


A photo of the rosette nebula, below:

"Do not they consider that the heaven and the earth were once joined together and then we clove them asunder." - The Qur'an

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A View of Pinto Art Gallery

This is the place where I work, around sunset. You can see the small chapel where antiques are stored. Love that bed (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).

Monday, August 07, 2006


Please come to my exhibition of paintings entitled "Poems and Mandalas" at Boston Gallery, 2nd flr, this Saturday August 12. Opening cocktails at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

Boston Gallery is at 72-A Lantana St, Boston cor Lantana St. Cubao, QC. (near Blue Bacon restaurant and Immaculate Concepcion church). #7229205

To get there:

(cars) from makati on edsa:

go to cubao overpass (ibabaw), and turn right (at gas station) at p tuazon just before araneta center. Bawal kasi ang left turn galing edsa. so make u turn at p tuazon. follow p tuazon going towards new manila until the end (petron gas station). turn right here at N Domingo. sa ika-2 kanto sa kaliwa, turn left (Boston). diretso lang hanggang dulo. :)

commuters from antipolo area :

go to santolan lrt line 3, get off at betty go belmonte station (north side). look for the old caltex gas station. boston st is just beside it, pwede lakarin :)

Salamat, see you there! :)


Thursday, July 13, 2006


i will stay. if i had a choice to go anywhere i wanted, i'd stay.


yesterday, going home, the jeepney i was in was stuck in traffic. knowing how my mind works, it was another one of those moments when i would throw my arms up in the air in disgust and say, to hell with it, i'm leaving this country. but after a while my frustration would subside, and i would stay put.

yesterday, following the heavy rains, the road on the way to our subdivision was covered with water above-the-knee high. but i wouldn't have known that if i didn't get off the jeep and decide to walk.

anyway, there it was, the reason for the traffic. that flood. and cars moving in either direction were stuck, afraid their engines would stall. who could blame them? i started to walk. at least i could get a nice warm bath at home, i thought to myself.

surprisingly, it wasnt so bad. instead of taking a trike, i decided to walk all the way home, rains and all (don't worry, i had an umbrella with me.) =)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Exhibitions @ Pinto

(This show recently opened last May 7. If you wish to visit the gallery, please call us up at 6971015 or email us at Thanks!)

Antipolo Arts Festival 2006 (AAFO6)
Pinto Art Gallery

May 7 - June 23
Curated by Riel Hilario and Jojo Ballo

The Antipolo Arts Festival 06 (AAF06) is a cultural and contemporary art event organized by the Pinto Art Gallery and takes place in the grounds and spaces of the Silangan Gardens in Antipolo City. The AAF06 is a re-organization of what has been an annual tradition of art events organized since 1990 by neurologist and art patron Dr. Joven Cuanang. Its previous name, The Antipolo Maytime Arts Festival, reflected themes of gathering and pilgrimage, the month being a traditional season of homage to the city’s patron Nuestra Senora Dela Paz y Buen Viaje.

The AAF expands the thrust of the event to feature not only exhibitions of art, but also performances, month-long activities of other art fields. It also seeks to open itself to a larger Asian context, with exchanges and exhibitions with artists from the region and elsewhere. AAF also hopes to provide a venue for Asian Art networks through future projects, art talks, residencies and cross-cultural workshops.


Gallery 1
Antipolo Young Artists

John Paul Antido, Antonio Ariola, Edrick Daniel, Dennis Fortozo, Guerrero Habulan, Michael Angelo Lampayan, Joven Mansit and Jaypee Samson

Gallery 2
Toushin Maruyama

Gallery Shop
Hadrian Mendoza

Monk's Cottage and Gardens
Pablo Capati
Anagama-Fired Stoneware and Sculptures

The House
Anna Varona
Paintings in Oil

Studio Gallery
"Alas-Sais Ym Punto"

Installations by students from
the Philippine High School for the Arts
Bea Alcala, Janea Balquin, Janno Gonzales, Mariel Flores, Andrea Molina, and Jika Regala

Pool Area and Gardens (Opening Day)
Paper Art-to Wear Fashion Exhibition

by Twinkle Feraren in collaboration with:
Wataru Sakuma (Paper/Environmental Technologies)
Otto Retardo (Performance Painting)
Happy Feraren and Ida Del Mundo (Spoken Word)
Madz Abubakar (Sound Installations)
Carmen Reyes (Body Art)

About Pinto Art Gallery

Established in September 2001, Pinto Art Gallery was built by Dr. Joven Cuanang in Silangan Gardens (his Antipolo residence) to serve as a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Philippine art. The structure was designed by artist-in-residence Antonio Leano (one of the founding members of the artist group Salingpusa which broke ground in the Philippine art Scene in the 1990s), who also designed parts of the Gardens and grounds. The Gallery’s thrust is connoted by its name (Pinto or "doorway"), as a threshold and space open of all forms of Philippine contemporary art. The Gallery spaces include not only the exhibitions building but also some structures of the Gardens including the Studio Gallery (which houses the studios of artists-in-residence), the Monk’s Cottage, The Chapel, The Grounds (for open air, installation works or sculptures), and The House. Pinto Art Gallery has three central spaces: Gallery 1, Gallery 2 and the Gallery Shop. Besides exhibitions, Pinto also offers residency for local and foreign artists. Some of its spaces can be rented for small one-day workshops, development seminars and as site for creative projects.

Big Sky

Still showing at Big Sky Mind
until June 3

Some 70+ artists of different persuasions came together to show their works in a 10" x 10" format. Gelo Suarez opened the show with his dada food throwing performance (it's weird how some people will not fight back even if food is already being thrown at their faces hehe. As for myself, i was standing behind the performer so nakaligtas.) Hope you can catch it. =)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Leonardo Now


The name of Leonardo Da Vinci is on everyone’s lips these days. And it makes me wonder how deep and how wide his thinking must have been to continue to impact our world today, 500 years after the Renaissance.

Notwithstanding the success of Dan Brown’s book, Leonardo has influenced every major field, from artistic production to aviation, to education to business consultancy (see Michael Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci), and now, entertainment and popular culture.

The enigmatic Leonardo could draw like an angel. More so, he could paint like an angel from the highest choir of heaven. His mirror-written notebooks spanned the breadth of his intellectual interest, from anatomy to botany to military strategy to art, architecture, aerodynamics and mysticism. (Bill Gates bought one page for millions of dollars.) Leonardo was constantly experimenting, and had only a handful of completed works. Yet, in all of artistic history, these are some of the most priceless. It is the man and the mind behind the works that are right now in the public eye.

Leonardo was born at a time when Italy, as we now know it, did not exist. Venice, Rome, Florence, and Naples fought for supremacy and survival, with each state led by a family of nobles who controlled and protected politicians, armies, cardinals, artists and thinkers. Added to this was the real and constant threat of an invasion from Spain and France. Most artists of his time survived (and flourished) under the care of a patron. At one time, one of Leonardo’s patrons were the Borgias (the ruling family of Pope Alexander), most notably Cesare Borgia (commander of the Pope’s army) who used one of Leonardo’s military inventions (a war tower) in battle.

It was a chaotic and creative time, when man took his destiny in his own hands, and the renaissance poets, artists and thinkers drew inspiration from the civilization of Ancient Greece, most notably from the works of Plato. Here began the concept of the artistic genius, born with the gift and curse of divine creation, and exemplified in the triumvirate of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo.


500 years later, are we in a similar Renaissance? Certainly, if the specials over at National Geographic are any indication, we are witnessing an explosion of religious information. 2000 year-old documents are resurfacing to challenge our long and deeply-held beliefs. It’s not much different I think, from finding out that the world isn’t flat, and that the planets do not revolve around the earth. (Hard to imagine that this was what we thought 500 years ago.)

In five years, any new information and technology we currently have will be obsolete. As a species, we are constantly evolving, discarding old patterns and ways for new ones. Here and now, this is happening, a process that began when early man devised new tools for himself to help him hunt more effectively. Consequently, he also found the time to think and reflect and become better. He has been at it ever since.

In Leonardo’s paintings, particularly those about John the Baptist, there is an image of a man pointing upward towards the sky. The popular image of John the Baptist is that of harbinger, messenger. It is eerily similar to the Buddhist koan of “pointing one’s finger toward the moon.” The finger merely points towards essence, towards truth. The Buddha reminded us to look beyond the finger, to look beyond the message and experience the truth of the moon.

Since the beginning of Christianity, we have been looking through the lens of religion. Now, we have the opportunity to experience the Spirit firsthand, without intermediary. Technology, history and new discoveries have all led us to this point.

Are we ready?

© Jojo Ballo 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yamato, the Drummers of Japan

Went with Cathy to the "Taiko!Tambol!" concert last Jan12 in the new PETA theter in QC. What an amazing experience to say the least!

check them out

My words definitely will not do justice to their performance. But it was like being transported to feudal Japan. The costumes of the Yamato group were also very... Japanese? Haha they were very well designed beautiful eye candy. Astig astig astig sila. And of course the drumming! I wonder how many years of training they each had to go through to achieve such skill. And how many more years added to that playing as a group? Wow...

The greatest impression I had though was how their music was able to communicate to a Filipino audience. For one brief moment, there truly was no need for words. The drums and their music were more than enough.