I’ve been thinking about the past a lot lately. And I think the reason is because I’m old already.
My father told me years ago that when a person grows old, his/her mind becomes occupied mostly with recollections of yesteryear. And he’s right! My thoughts now race all the way back to the time when I was kid, something I wouldn’t even think about when I was younger! And I found out I couldn’t just selectively pick only the good stuff from the spate of disparate experiences that beset me, all the while living through the gamut of emotions from regretful to grateful! Now that I’ve aged a lot, I also got dealt with a lot of memories to look back to. And even as I try to focus on only what’s on hand, I’m always drawn somehow to shift my sight from the horizon that’s just ahead, down to the path I’m standing on, and then all the way tracing back to where I came from. Ah, what incredible guilt trip! And it sounds like I’m remorseful about a lot of things. Well, lemme see, how many hearts did I break? I guess, a few. How many feelings did I hurt? I guess, a few. How many good opportunities did I pass up? I guess, a few. How many well-meaning people did I take for granted? I guess, a few. Okay, now, let me calculate once and for all this freaking payback figure in my head: “a few” + “a few” + “a few” + “a few” = a lot?? OMG, that’s like a ton of guilt, right?! No wonder I feel crappy nowadays!
And just a side thought as my unsolicited advice to the youth: Ask your parents for guidance whenever you’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable dilemma. Parents are there for a reason: they are your answered prayers for every growing-up trial you may face. Chances are they’d been down your troubling, rocky road before and they know exactly where each kind of path will lead you. Don’t go it alone with even the slightest doubt dampening your spirit. Your parents are the key to your portal through maturity. They know better, especially when you feel clueless about life.

the paths from regretful to grateful and then back, 12"x9", acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

the paths from regretful to grateful and then back, 12"x9", acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper



Breakfast in Paris, 12"x9", acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

Lunch in Gotham, 12"x9", acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

Dinner in Niagara, 12"x9", acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

Here are three more works that I did with a few bottles of acrylic before me. As always, with or without brushes, if I want to express something through color, I just do it! I do not even have to worry about draftsmanship! All I want is to treat myself the sensation to the sweet-and-sour palate of hues. A palette of even two colors serves the meals all right!

My space

spacearth, peacearth, 12"x9", acrylic on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

Fifty-one years ago, on October 4, 1957, the then Soviet Union launched the world’s first man-made, earth-orbiting satellite named Sputnik 1. Designed primarily for use in atmospheric studies, its successful deployment beat the United States by being the first craft in space and sparked the beginning of the Space Race. As the years progressed, competition between the two countries intensified with each other’s exploration until July, 1969, when the United States achieved a milestone with the first manned landing on the moon through the Apollo 11 mission! Ironically now, decades later, we are reaping the benefits from this Cold War Space Race by way of the GPS units we depend on in our automobiles, the cellphones we always carry with us, the laptops we use by way of broadband cards, etc. The importance of these “eyes in the sky” (as satellites are sometimes called) lies in the fact that they virtually shrink the vast expanse of space into smaller yet connected regions that can communicate with each other! Now, what was once a seemingly unknown and unreachable space suddenly becomes– in effect– “your space” and “my space”! Technology surely does have its pluses and minuses. But, not surprisingly, the good always outweighs the bad!

John Mellencamp

Cherry Bomb, 12"x9", ink and acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

One of the finest rock artists I’ve ever listened to is John Mellencamp. I first heard his songs way back in high school with titles like “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane.” His album Scarecrow, released in 1985, cemented his stature as one of the most socially-conscious rock songwriters/singers of our lifetime! But it was his The Lonesome Jubilee album, released two years later, that got me convinced on the true importance of his musical artistry. The following three links feature three songs from that 1987 album: “Cherry Bomb,” “Paper in Fire” and “Check It Out.”


Pearl of the Orient Seas, 12"x9", acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

I was thinking of the land of my birth, the Philippines, when I drew this. Even if it is winter or autumn here in the U.S., I always kind of feel the tropical climate whenever I’m reminded of my country– beautiful beaches lined with graceful coconut trees, hot and humid summers interspersed with stormy rainy seasons, cheerful people blessed with even more sunny disposition…and gorgeous women! When I was a kid in school, I was taught that the Philippines is the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” because of its natural beauty and rich natural resources. It was true then and it still is now! I am glad I’ve never forgotten about it!

Life’s a run

Run of your life, 12"x9", ink and acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

When you want to cross the finish line, you only do one thing: run as best as you can! When you want to be the first to cross the finish line, you do one thing more than just run your fastest race: you run “the run of your life”! The idea is, in a race, every competitor runs his/her fastest time ever! So to win, you need to top their best times with what you believe is your best time! But you know they will all “give their lives” to win the crown! Hence, you do the same by running “the run of your life.” The point is, you offer no less than your life when you want to earn the “prize”!