fcuk it! fcuk sadness! 12"x9", ink, acrylic, and colored pencil on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

Everyone feels sad from time to time, I understand that. I just hope, for everybody’s sake, that it never gets to being hopelessly sad. As for myself, whenever I’m feeling down, I just listen to music. And if that still wouldn’t clear up my mind, then I’d sleep it off. Anything worse than that, I’d need to find an outlet for– like drawing. If it’s the worst kind, like the grief brought by the loss of a loved one, then I’m afraid I’ll be so devastated that the only thing that’s going to lift me up is the mercy of Christ.

Today, I’m feeling down. An unlikely Saturday kind of sadness. And so I find myself writing this post, while listening to Pandora radio, preset to one of my personal choices of station: Billy Joel’s. Right now, what’s playing is Five For Fighting’s “100 Years.” How fitting. Because it seems that even after all these years, I’m still caught up in some lamentable memories and worries of my life– causing me not to see my blessings, instead of realizing that each second that passes is an opportunity for gratitude.

Ahh, I need to find a way to look at the bright side…shake off this sorry feeling. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

imploding into zero, 12"x9", graphite, acrylic, and colored pencil on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper


Why, oh, why

Kung Ikaw Ay Nag-aalinlangan, Nagsusumamo Ako, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

Kung Ikaw Ay Nag-aalinlangan, Nagsusumamo Ako, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

Oh, dear! Talk about life’s predicament. And love, for that matter.
The poem below (at least, that’s what it’s trying to be) is my vain attempt in translating Ogie Alcasid‘s beautiful song, “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” into English (the music video below was performed by Freestyle band). I know it’s not a straight and strict poem in its metrical sense, but, who cares? I want to do it! Hehe. Just kidding. Anyways, a dear friend sent it to me and asked for my reaction to it. So I thought of just translating it in poetic form in my own way. If you do not understand the song because it is in Tagalog and you already read my translation, then you know that what it means is basically this: “right love at the wrong time.” In short: Back off!  (ouch!)


Y. O. Y. (you’re in my life just now)

Why, oh, why is it just now
that you came into my heart,
when there’s already someone
who fulfills the tender part?
How I wish I’d known before
that you’d be here soon enough;
then I would have waited long
’til you are my better half.
I wish it were always you
locked in my warm embraces,
and your hand I hold on to
and not just someone else’s.
But why walk into my life
and rouse my heart in feeling
that it’s you I must be with
and none else is worth keeping?
Please, oh, please I need to know
why you’re in my life just now–
when I am no longer free
and bound in one’s loving vow?


Much thanks, 5378!!!

Drag on, human!

what a real drag on human, 12"x9", marker and crayon on Canson 80-lb Drawing paper

what a real drag on human, 12"x9", marker and crayon on Canson 80-lb Drawing paper

Ahh…today is a good day to live! Beautiful earth, beautiful creation! What breath-taking miracle! I feel so alive and free! The monkey is finally off my back and I am now ready to fulfill my destiny. There is no reason why I should falter again. I feel sooo good!
Oh, but looky what I got in front of me?!! A human! A hard-headed human being! A homo sapiens who can’t live up to his “wise man” or “knowing man” attitude if he were left alone to his own devices! No. I am not quite ready yet to trust a creature who takes me as I am with open arms one moment and then clenches his fist the next breath!
But, on second instinct, I’m willing to coexist with this primate– as long as he looks over my safety and keeps the monkey off my back! And then he can scratch my dorsal scales.

Earth Day

I was checking my mail in AOL when I came across an article about archived images that NASA released recently in celebration of Earth Day. The pictures serve as both reminders and warnings of how beautiful– and at the same time, fragile– our planet Earth is. The message is simple: Earth is the only planet we live in. It is beautiful! So let us protect it and keep it preciously that way.

NASA infrared photo of Morenci Mine, AZ

NASA infrared photo of Morenci Mine in Arizona, U.S.A.

Original Caption Released with Image:
The Morenci open-pit copper mine in southeast Arizona is North America’s leading producer of copper. In the 1860s, prospectors arrived looking for gold; instead they found copper. Underground mining began in the 1870s, and the first pit was opened in 1939. Phelps Dodge employs over 200 people in the mining and refining operations. Around-the-clock removal of 700,000 tons of rock per day results in production of 382 thousand tons of copper per year. Phelps Dodge is now developing the Safford Mine, about 12 km southwest of Morenci. It will be the first new copper mine in the US in more than 30 years. When production starts in 2008, the Safford Mine will produce 109 thousand tons of copper. This ASTER image uses shortwavelength infrared bands to highlight in bright pink the altered rocks in the Morenci pit associated with copper mineralization.

The image covers an area of 21 x 16.9 km, was acquired on July 14, 2007, and is centered near 33.1 degrees north latitude, 109.5 degrees west longitude.

The U.S. science team is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Image Credit:

I find the picture above sooo beautiful and it reminded me of the colorful abstract/expressionist works of de Kooning, Kandinsky, Rouault, Pollock and Gorky. Who would have thought that an infrared shot of an open-pit copper mine could produce such stunning image?! It is no doubt that the deeper we look into nature, the more beauty we can find. That is, if there is still anything left in nature that we can look at– considering the dire state of the environment we are in now. If we treat our planet Earth as our “home” in the same way we treat our own house as our abode, then we would have made the first step in our constructive efforts sympathetic to Earth’s survival. Save and conserve energy, recycle, plant trees, don’t throw trash into the river, turn the lights off when not in use, etc.– yes, these phrases might be clichés already. But they are also irrevocably, undeniably true. If we don’t see the truth in these tasks, then we as a people will all perish first long before the non-biodegradable trash we throw wantonly around shows up on top of our ashes and graves.

a man and his abstract future

a man and his abstract future, 11″x14″, acrylic, colored pencil, marker and crayon on Strathmore Sketch 400-series, 60-lb paper

And since earth rotates on its axis every day and revolves around the sun every year, then let’s give our own share and keep practicing Earth Day 24/7,  365.25 days, year in and year out.

How Sweet It Is…!

Here are two drawings that I did while listening to James Taylor‘s “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.”  It is the title of a song written by the Motown songwriting trio of Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian Holland and Edward Holland, Jr.. It was originally recorded in 1964 by the great Marvin Gaye. But it was James Taylor’s version (from his 1975 Gorilla album) that I’ve come to know by heart.

how sweet it is to be loved by you!

how sweet it is to be loved by you!, 11"x8.5", pastel on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I needed the shelter of someone’s arms, there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs, there you were
With sweet love and devotion
Deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you baby
I want to stop and thank you baby (yes I do)

How sweet it is to be loved by you (feel so fine)
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I close my eyes at night
Wondering where would I be without you in my life
Everything I did was just a bore
Everywhere I went it seems I’d been there before
But you brighten up for me all of my days
With a love so sweet in so many ways
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby (whoa, yeah)

How sweet it is to be loved by you (it’s just like sugar sometimes)
How sweet it is to be loved by you

(Whoa, yeah)

You were better to me than I was to myself
For me, there’s you and there ain’t nobody else
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby (whoa, yes)

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you (whoa, now)
How sweet it is to be loved by you (it’s like jelly, baby, whoa now)
How sweet it is to be loved by you (just like honey to the bee babe, yeah now)
How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you!

let me count the ways

let me count the ways, 12"x9", pen and ink on Strathmore 400-series, 60-lb Sketch paper

lyrics courtesy of :    http://www.sing365.com

My need for God

drop that metal, for your own sake!, 11"x14", ink and acrylic on Strathmore Drawing 400-series, 80-lb paper

drop that metal, for your own sake!, 11"x14", ink and acrylic on Strathmore Drawing 400-series, 80-lb paper

With all the news of murder that’s happening around us, it is disheartening to know that life seems that fleeting after all. One moment you are full of hopes and dreams and the next instant you’re gone– either as a result of someone else’s undoing, or worse, your own! Here in the U.S. (and probably elsewhere, too), one reads or watches the news and all that can be had is one bad economic news after another. Now, really, that is not at all that depressing, as economy is subject to the usual vicissitudes of market speculation. But to hear of news about a parent killing his/her own family (and then committing suicide) for any reason whatsoever, or someone going amuck because of personal grievances, is downright discouraging! I’m beginning to think that the line separating reason and insanity is but a thin one. Indeed, the hardest challenge one can ever face is his/her personal battle against his/her own demons– be they anxieties, jealousy, pride, lust, impatience, irascibility, etc. The effect of one’s own irresponsible action becomes a double-edged sword that causes harm to both that person and the others around him/her. It is mind-boggling to learn of seemingly normal people snapping out of their minds and doing inconceivable crimes! A bad time can really bring out the worst in anyone! And when really bad things really happen, I sometimes hear other people asking if there is ever really a God. But the more important question might well have been, “Did that person (who committed the wrongdoing) believe in God?” For one’s faith in a Divine power can surely put a righteous sense in one’s reasoning! I’m not arguing the fact that even non-believers are capable of good deeds. Because, certainly, they are also kindhearted individuals and some are even outstanding members in their respective communities! Moreover, I do not intend to be judgmental (even if I appear I do) for the simple reason that I have not walked in their shoes and therefore have no revealing idea how they came about their own beliefs. I’m just baffled by the thought of how they even manage to stay on the right track in times of great personal crisis! Perhaps, the answer lies in the abundance of God’s love. This proves that God sees through the clear conscience in our hearts and probes into the real motives in our intentions. Truly, God values more our character than our reputation. And all that is genuinely good is God’s! In fact, I believe He already knows who are His own– irrespective even of human understanding or how one perceives himself/herself to be. On the other hand, one who doesn’t believe in a Divine Being does not necessarily mean that he/she hates God. It just shows his/her indifference toward a greater power over the liberal views and capabilities of his/her mind– that which cannot be seen and proven scientifically is non-existent. Nevertheless, speaking just for myself, when I am faced with a very, very dispiriting challenge, I always call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for His help. Not that He has granted all that I’ve ever asked of Him. But He has answered my prayers on the most troubling periods of my life! And recalling those lowest moments, I realized He didn’t leave me at all anyhow! I am still alive and I believe in God!

hell ain't cool!

hell ain't cool!, 12"x9", ink and acrylic on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

Absolutely nothing!

pooot!, 11″x14″, marker and crayon on Strathmore Sketch 60-lb paper

pooot!, 11″x14″, marker and crayon on Strathmore Sketch 400-series, 60-lb paper

war’s dilemma, 11″x14″, acrylic and graphite on Strathmore Sketch 60-lb paper

war’s dilemma, 11″x14″, acrylic and graphite on Strathmore Sketch 400-series, 60-lb paper

War. What is it good for??!  Absolutely nothing….!”

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, as sung by Edwin Starr

Many, many suns and moons ago, I liked playing with toy soldiers, toy guns, and toy tanks. I enjoyed it so much that becoming a soldier was one of the dreams I had as a child. My interest in it was borne out of watching a lot of World War II movies on TV at that time. Even then, at a young age, I already knew that being a soldier meant defending your country by killing the enemy. And as callous as I may sound– yes, I’d always thought that “getting rid” of the enemies was a normal part of soldiering.
In my make-believe war games, I’d separate my toy soldiers into two camps: the first camp comprising the Filipinos and Americans, and the other one by the Japanese and Germans. Needless to say– and please excuse my scenario– a lot of the casualties lay on the second group. That was always the case. To me, that was how I’d win the war and do my job as a soldier: by staying alive at the expense of the enemy. In hindsight though, I realized I was totally insensitive to the challenges that a soldier would face daily in carrying out his/her combat duties. I hadn’t the slightest idea how each soldier must have felt after killing an enemy combatant or, even worse, a civilian! As a kid playing a make-believe war game, my conscience was oblivious to the moral aspect of war vis-a-vis one’s personal dedication to duty and faith. Not till many, many years later did I wisen up to get a grip on its harsh reality. And perhaps, even more apt, not until I’ve walked a mile in their shoes could I only truly begin to fathom the trying experiences these soldiers went through. That’s how I realized why being in the military is not for everyone and why some soldiers would experience PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after combat duty. Now, just imagining myself in their shoes, I am wondering as to how I would have turned out had I been alive already during the Second World War and– being an adult– drafted in the military to take up arms in defense of my motherland. Not that I would have said no and evaded it! I was just thinking how I would have fared: would I have been one of the early casualties of war, or one of those soldiers who lived to tell of its horrors? Ahh, whatever it is and for whatever war is truly worth, peace is always precious! And to achieve it– and keep it– in times of war, requires an even far more precious sacrifice: life. The irony of war is that lives are taken so that others may be spared. As such, it is much wiser not to take peace for granted and risk crossing over to its other side where death and conflicts reign. Otherwise, to get back to peace, one has to cross these conflicts anew. And I know for certain one will never be the same again once he/she crossed paths with war. Whichever side one is on, life is precious life no matter how one looks at it. It’s been said that if we didn’t learn the lessons from our mistakes in the past, history is bound to repeat itself. Sadly, we’ve been wrestling with this “peace” issue ever since, either in our hearts or on the battlefield or both– yes, struggling…ever since that fateful day two thousand years ago when an innocent Man had to lay down His life so that others may live!

kaput!, 11"x14", crayon and ink on Strathmore Sketch 60-lb paper

kaput!, 11"x14", crayon and ink on Strathmore Sketch 400-series, 60-lb paper