Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AngI.n.K. Corner: Tutubi... tutubi...

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I remember as a child, I used to chase and catch dragonflies with my brothers and cousins at the backyard of my grandparent's house. Now, with all the progress in the neighborhood, they're all gone. nowhere to be seen. How I wish to see them once more.

Main artwork done for AngInk corner, pubished in Manila Bulletin last December 1, 2012.

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Kidlat sa Bilis

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Recently, Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan held its 21st Annual Exhibition, entitled Mabubulaklak na Dila, Mga Sawikaing Filipino, all about Filipino idiomatic expressions, or “sawikain” We had to create a spot illustration interpreting common idioms and I was assigned to work on “Kidlat sa Bilis”, (translated as "fast as lightining") which meant to move very fast. While thinking up on this piece I asked myself "When do we run our fastest?" Of course, when we are running for our lives. 

I even imagined a background story on the piece: Mom asked Boy Kidlat to buy vinegar, but is so afraid of neighbor’s dog… so he took his Lolo’s agimat that grants him the gift of unnatural speed! 

The exhibit at has recently concluded, but the other pieces can be seen at the UP College of Fine Arts starting December 6, 2012.

Friday, November 16, 2012

21st AngI.n.K. Annual Exhibition: Mabubulaklak na Dila - Mga Sawikaing Filipino

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It’s the time of the year again when InKies showcase their obsession for creation through the power of children’s illustration. The 21st Annual Exhibition of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (AngI.n.K.) is entitled “Mabubulaklak na Dila: Mga Sawikaing Filipino” and here we illustrate various distinctively Filipino idiomatic expressions. Seeing the previews of the submitted works of art, I couldn’t help but be excited to see how the participating artists interpreted more than 50+ “sawikain” This is surely going to be one entertaining exhibit! And entertaining is the apt word because your eyes and mind will feast on the variety of styles: from the intriguing, controversial and mysterious to the literal, ridiculous and humorous treatment.

You’re invited to visit the exhibit and look at the masterpieces. If you like, play a little game. Try to guess the “sawikain” correctly without looking at the title card of the painting and see how well you score! (That’s what I’m gonna do!) Better yet, if you like the paintings, you can bring them home (but leave some money, we worked hard for our babies).

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The show runs from November 16-30, 2012 at CANVAS Gallery and Gardens. Opening reception is on November 16 5PM. See you guys there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012



"Love what you have and you'll have more love
You're not dying
Everyone knows you're going to love
Though there's still no cure for crying"

I started making this after listening to Regina Spektor's song "Firewood". I love her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Caught In The Rain

"Of all days I should forget to bring my umbrella, why did the sky all of a sudden decide to rain now?," Mesma muttered while taking cover under a mushroom along with other elves who were caught unawares by the sudden torrent of rain. Huge globs of rain explode as they crash against the ground, splashing water everywhere, it was impossible not to get wet. And with the rate the rain is falling, pretty soon every mushroom on the mound will be engulfed by the rising flood. Forgetting the umbrella was the least of his problems Mesma realized.

Friday, August 10, 2012

11 Minutes of Sex

My Moleskine drawing "Magkadugtong sa Bituka" in Paulo Coelho's Blog! Woot!


Even if he didn't personally ask me to have it featured in his blog, the mere fact that he SAW my drawing, and CHOSE it to ACCOMPANY his WORDS is AWESOME!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Moleskine inspired takas at the TAKATAK ATTACK!

"Take a trip down memory lane: Takatak Attack Kids who grew up watching “Batibot” have seen the art of Taka, or paper-mache figures made by craftsmen in Paete, Laguna. While a Taka can be any figure or form, the most popular mold is that of the horse. Check out Takatak Project’s first exhibit, “Takatak Attack”, where brightly colored Taka horses take center stage. The roster includes over 50 artists, and pieces are for sale so you can take home a Taka after." (from YAHOO She)

Takatak Attack Poster

For this event, I created sets of takas inspired from my Moleskine Art. "Wake Up" and "Catch of the Night" will be at the exhibit starting July 21, 2012 and will run until August 4, 2012.

Takatak Attack - T - Catch

Takatak Attack - T - Wake

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baghajit and Ondine at the ROBOTARS CUSTOM SHOW #2



July 21, 2012 at the Vinyl on Vinyl, Malugay St. Makati

My two customs, Baghajit and Ondine will be joining 40+ others on this special event! See you guys there!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Catch For The Night


Catch For The Night
By Christian Oliver A. Cruz

Last summer, the whole family went to Donsol where they say we will be able to see the gentle giants of the sea, the biggest fishes of all... the Butandings! So excited was I! I even read books about them. They open their big mouths and in the planktons go. I wonder what planktons taste like.

We rode on boats and headed out to the sea. So excited was I! I made sure not to blink because I wanted to be the first to spot them. I looked to the front. Then to the right. Then to the back. Then to the left. I made sure to look all around. Hours passed and still no butanding. Soon the boat headed back home. My little sister was crying, "Why are the butandings sleeping? Wake them up mommy!" I wanted to cry too, but I didn't. I wonder why they didn't show up.

My little sister was still sobbing as she slept beside me that night. As soon as she was sound asleep, I left the bed and looked out the window. It was a clear night with the moon and stars up in the dark sky. A lot of stars tonight. There's the Big Dipper. There's the Small Dipper. Hmmm, I wonder what that one is. As I stared to that group of stars, I noticed it started to move! Soon, other group of stars moved as well! Suddenly the moon shone bright, illuminating the whole sky to reveal what the moving stars were!

I rushed to the bed, woke my little sister, "Look up to the sky! Look up to the sky! The butandings! The butandings! There they are, up in the sky!"

We ran to the beach, to the nearest boat and sailed up to the night sky. Up and up we sailed high up to the night sky! Awesome sights galore! Butandings everywhere! Golden starfishes shining bright! Fiery jellyfishes zooming by.

I told my sister, "I want to catch a butanding for you, so you'll never cry again!"

"Thank you Kuya, but I don't think that's a good idea," she replied.

"But I'll catch one for you anyway!" I flung the net out and caught a huge butanding, its star-studded body struggling.

"Kuya! Stop! Look at him. He's crying!" I looked at my catch and there it was staring at me with tears in its beady eyes. I felt shameful of what I was trying to do. "I'll be fine Kuya, don't worry," my little sister whispered to my ears. Together, we released the butanding back to the night sky as it rejoined the other moving stars.

We came back to the shore, back to the room then back to bed, where my little sister and I went back to sleep. This time, no sobbing.

The morning sun woke us up. As we were packing our luggage for the long trek home, Dad and Mom said, "Don't worry kids. Perhaps we didn't see the butandings today. But all the more reason we'll be back here next year!" I caught my sister gleaming at me with a pretty smile. I winked back at her. So excited for next year!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waking Up


"How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?" Plato

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Virgin of Balintawak


After reading Ambeth Ocampo's column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled "Virgin of Balintawak", I suddenly remembered where I read or saw some images about the virgin before. I retrieved from my little library the book I bought to feed my private history curiosities, Ileto's "Pasyon and Revolution, Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840-1920" and there it was, the virgin and the child drawn on the cover. I also remembered seeing this back when I was still in second year college when I visited the Philippine Independent Church near our school. I have always been fascinated by how the Katipuneros seem to intermingle local mythology, religious zealousness and nationalistic aspirations in their way of life. I've cited Bernardo Carpio before, and this is another example.

Here are some excerpts from Gregorio Aglipay's "Novenary of the Motherland" pertaining to the virgin:

“When he was still living, the journalist Aurelio Tolentino used to say that one night when Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and other comrades were sleeping in the house of Sore in Balintawak, one of them saw in a dream a beautiful Mother dressed in the style of the farmers of Balintawak, leading a pretty child by the hand, dressed like a farmer with short red pants and holding a shiny bolo, crying Liberty! Liberty!

“The beautiful woman approached the one dreaming and said to him, ‘Be careful.’

“When the dreamer woke, he told his comrades what he had dreamed, saying that the Mother and Child had the face of Europeans though dressed like Filipinos.

“Because of this, they did not follow their plan to return to Manila for their regular work but decided to wait in Balintawak awhile. It was not long before news came that the Guardia Civil Veterana had raided the press of the Diario de Manila and captured a number of Katipuneros and their papers.

“Because of this dream, Aurelio Tolentino adds, ‘the first soldiers of the Katipunan wore red trousers.’

“But for this dream, Andres Bonifacio and his staff would have been captured and we would still not be free even now.

“The Mother of Balintawak reminds you constantly of your sacred and inescapable duty to make every effort possible to obtain our longed-for independence; and she is the sacred image of our Country.’ The voice of the people will constantly resound from our pulpits, reminding you of the great teachings of Rizal, Mabini, Bonifacio and other Filipinos, and these teachings of our greatest compatriots will form the special seal of our National Church.”

Further on: “The Mother of Balintawak symbolizes our Country, and the Katipunan child expresses the Filipino people, the rising generation which longs for independence, and both figures consistently reminds us of the tremendous sacrifices of the liberators of our Country and of our sacred and inescapable duty to follow them, also making all possible sacrifices on our own part to achieve our independence.”

And: “In this image of the Motherland, we symbolize all our natural drive for national independence. The Virgin-Mother is the Country, for the Country is the only mother that can truly be called Virgin, Virgin as it is of all lust. The Katipunero child represents the People, eager for their liberty, and their spokesmen, prophets and evangelists are the great Filipino teachers: Rizal, Mabini, Bonifacio, and our other countrymen whose modern sapient teachings will form the best national Gospel.”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back Home To Where The Wild Things Are...


"There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.” - Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012)

Here's my tribute to one of the greatest writer and illustrator of children's literature, who has greatly influenced how I see the world and recreate it through my humble art. He's back home to where the wild things are...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Last Guardian of Matukad


This piece is based on a legend on one of the scenic islands of Caramoan in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Pristine white beaches, ancient caves, breathtaking diving spots and overwhelming land masses. In the island called Matukad, there can be found a beautiful lagoon but you can't see it unless you climb a steep wall of jagged rocks. The story goes:

"According to the locals, once upon a time there were 2 giant milkfish, each about 2 feet long, that were residing on the hidden Lagoon inside the island. These 2 milkfish were considered sacred by the locals and were believed to be guardians of the place. One day, a fisherman went to the Lagoon, caught one and brought it home for his family to eat. Right after eating, everyone in that house who ate the fish died. Since then no one dared to go near the remaining giant milkfish." (courtesy The Backpack Chronicles)

I was lucky enough to see the lone fish in the mysterious lagoon and wondered what went on its mind, now that it is the last guardian of Matukad. And hence I wrote:

"Am I to swim these waters forever alone? The shadow of my being, cast against the basin floor by the high noon sun constantly reminds me of you. But my shadow pales in comparison to you, for it can never mimic the grace and fluid elegance of your movements as we danced the mystical dance. I am mere words and thoughts, but you were poetry in motion... I am creation embodied, but you were inspiration personified... I construct the world around us, but you enhanced it beyond imagination... I am just strong, but you endured... until that fateful moment the mortal captured and consumed your sanctity. It is bliss to live in these magical waters with you by my side, but with you gone forever? It has become eternal hell. Nature has lost its balance and this lagoon that we have been destined to protect together will no longer be hidden. I must endure but I will diminish... The sadness of losing the innocent beauty of our world is great, but I am willing to accept it, if it means that we will be together again... reunited in a time and world where men will never ever seek and destroy us..."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meet Constance


Ever since she was a kid, Constance has always dreamed of becoming a superhero when she grows up. She would spend day in and day out reading and training. But in her commitment to her quest, little and little she withdrew herself from family and friends. The people around her branded her as weird. It’s as if you are always left with an unsettling feeling every time you’re around her and no one can ever understand her and the things she does. Finally realizing the futility of her ambitions, she ventured out in the world. But something was eerily wrong. She wondered why people ignored her as if she wasn’t there. Why? And the idea hit her like a solid rock in the head. She didn’t need to be a superhero to be invisible.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Close Call


“A Close Call”

As Alex Dorsey looks across the crowded room at Mariangela Diaz, he has no idea that in 99.99999% of the parallel universes that him and Mariangela both exist in, they actually meet at this party and embark on a horribly destructive and lengthy love affair that ruins both of their lives and leaves them bitter, hollow shells of their former selves… creating a legacy of pain and sorrow for generations.

FORTUNATELY, this version of Alex and Mariangela happen to live in the parallel reality where Mariangela picked up smoking at the age of 16 (which only occurs in .00001% of the parallel universes she exists in), so that when Alex spotted her from across the room, he thought to himself “I don’t like smoking” and then quickly looked away… never to think of her again.

While each of their paths in time led them here, in this reality they do not continue together… neither of them ever knowing how close they came to lives of pure misery.

Original art and writing by David Micheal Chandler of The Daily Doodles ("A Close Call"). I sooo loved this piece, I just had to draw it in my Moleskine.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kawaiillustration 3

Maybe in the desk, maybe in my pocket, maybe in my bag
I’m always forgetting all the time, I ponder my selections
Just a little, just a little, for real – just a little, happiness is coming alive
A sweet smell lingers in this fluffy atmosphere
Following up on my Kawaiillustration series, where I utilize a style of combined vector and traditional drawing, here is a piece inspired again by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is probably the most popular model and personality in Japan nowadays. She's the personification of kawaii, and the pervasiveness of her influence to present and future Japanese popular culture is intense. The art is derived from her latest music video entitled "Candy Candy":

The video features Kyary running late for her taping (hence the toast in her mouth... "eat and run") but arrives just in time. While resting, an impostor replaces her which enrages her. Not sure, why the Onion gets mad, but since this is a tie-in with the marketing of Breo, a mint candy, perhaps the Onion is actually the God of Bad Breath. Nothing much can be said about the video, but one can't deny how her music sticks to mind. It's worth watching her other videos (Tsukema Tsukeru is interesting) and listening to her music, if it suits your taste and you dig these kind of stuff.

I started with a sketch (on the first paper I could grab to), then proceeded to inking, scanning, vectorizing, and eventually coloring.

CandyCandy WIP0

CandyCandy WIP1

CandyCandy WIP2

CandyCandy WIP3

Here's another version of the illustration:

Ah, but, this or that, everyone
Wants to be amazing
I heard your request, but I had no time to tend to it
Because, because, I’m a girl after-all, so I treasure “now”
A sweet smell lingers in this fluffy atmosphere
Candy candy candy candy candy
Sweetie sweetie girls love
Chewing chewing chewing chewing chewing
Cutie cutie ch-ch-ch-chewing love

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baghajit: The Tiger Warrior


"In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood." (William Shakespeare, King Henry V)

As usual, it started with a simple doodle, and it grew into a story of what ifs. The Baghajit, or the tiger warrior is renowned for their ferocity in battle. Among warriors, the practice of consuming the enemy's heart is thought to endow him with the victim's strength. The Baghajits are not only given strength, but the lethal limbs of their conquests as well, all of which can be summoned at will.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Marriage Made In Heaven


When can the sun and moon really be together? They may share the same sky, but can only gaze at each other from afar across each end of the horizon. For only but a moment before they resume their eternal chase.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

AngI.n.K. Corner: Vernal Equinox

Living in a temperate country makes one quite ignorant of words such as equinox and solstices Even if you don't know what they mean, one has to agree, they do sound nice and cool! And that's one of the reasons I chose this topic for this round of AngI.n.K Corner features. Learn and create at the same time.
"When the center of the Sun directly aligns to the celestial equator of the Earth.... And when the length of the day is almost as long as night... marks the start of Spring, a time of celebration of life and rebirth, the dawn of a new cycle of seasons."
The equinox happens twice a year, and on March 20, 2012, the vernal equinox occurs and it marks the start of Spring at least for those living in the northern hemisphere. This is significant for most cultures around the world because it marks the start of the year and a new cycle of seasons, and holds spiritual meaning as well for some religions (It's not coincidence that Easter happens near the equinox).
Here are the characters:
My rendition of the Earth… a component graphic for an upcoming piece about the vernal equinox. Funny, how I channeled a Humpty Dumpty look into the character. I love his Equator belt!
My rendition of the Sun… a component graphic for an upcoming piece about the vernal equinox. Just looking at her makes me feel all warm inside
My rendition of Day and Night having a conversation… a component graphic for an upcoming piece about the vernal equinox. Mr. Night here remarks how he’s as tall as Ms. Day already is, and the lady just shyly agrees.
My rendition of the Eostre, the dawn goddess… a component graphic for an upcoming piece about the vernal equinox. Bunnies and cranes always makes me giddy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kawaiillustration 1 & 2

Tsukema Tsukeru


Just my attempts at vector illustration using this style. In case you're wondering, these are inspired by this rising Japanese celebrity, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is the personification of Harajuku kawaiiness. This fascination ignited by Katy Perry's tweet (Yes I follow her!) about how she fell in love and got high with this video:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Logo Design: CAMP@50

This year will be the University of the Philippines Manila College of Allied Medical Profession’s (UPM-CAMP) 50th Anniversary. CAMP has undergone dramatic changes from the time of its establishment in 1962 to what it is today. After 50 years since its founding, its pursuit of academic excellence and its dedication to serve the Filipino people have been the guiding pillars of the School. These goals shaped the School as one of the premier institutions in the country that offers degree programs in the professions of Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), and Speech Pathology (SP) and post-graduate programs like MRS, MRS-SP, MClinAud and MPT. And just recently, the college has finally found a new home in its own building.

As a graduate and having been a faculty member for 10 years, CAMP has been a very important part of my life. I am so indebted for the all the wonderful memories, uplifting knowledge, skills and experiences. One cannot deny that the most amazing people of the country belong and were produced by this college. Sure it is something to be called a graduate of CAMP (considering how tough it is to graduate) but where else can find a college that respects each of its constituent for everything you are, molding you not only to become the best OT, PT or SP, but allowing you to grow with your other talents as well (singer, writer or artist, or whatever unconventional skill you might have). So it was with great pleasure for me to create the seal of CAMP, and this time, to design the commemorative logo of CAMP’s golden anniversary.

Dean Cabatan sent me all the necessary information I need to work with. The theme is: “CAMP @50: Aiming Higher -- toward greater relevance and stronger leadership”. The seal and the whole text should be included in the whole logo set. One of the informal guidelines I have when creating a commemorative logo is that it should look good enough for you to wear it. And of course, when you wear a logo, it should be flashy enough for people to notice you and easy enough to identify with the message.

I wanted “50” to be the main highlight of the whole design, incorporating the graphical elements within its outline. Celebration was what I have in mind, and though the drawing looks random, each swirl and swoosh represents an aspect of the chosen theme. I had to keep it simple as well to facilitate printing in all forms.


The CAMP seal will be conveniently placed inside the “0” and the text are placed around in simple but elegant NeueHelvetica font.


Of course, gold is the theme color, so I used different shades of yellow and orange in the logo. Good enough to wear?


Here is how the logo might look like in shirt form (I soooo hope CAMP has the budget to make these shirts):


Happy 50 years CAMP!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Water Dragon


"Water has a calming effect on the Dragon's fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another."

Gong Xi Fa Cai / Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Logo Design: 6th APOTC (Philippine Bid)

The Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines, Inc. (OTAP, Inc.) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015 and to commemorate this milestone, the OTAP would like to have the honor of hosting the 2015 Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Conference and the Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Regional Group Meeting. In their words, “It would be a fitting way, not only for the OTAP to celebrate with the world, but more importantly, to share with the world the unique brand of Filipino occupational therapy." I was asked by the organization to create a logo to accompany their bid for the 6th APOTC Congress.

“Moving Forward with the World” is the slogan they chose and wanted to focus on the Bayanihan spirit that Filipinos are known for. They came up with an idea to use a stylized bahay kubo with four people at each corner carrying the bahay kubo. Bandaritas need to be used in the logo since we will be using this in our booth in Chiangmai. They sent me a sketch to explain further how they want the logo to look like.

APOTC Concept

Now, this was a rush job since they were pressed with time to come up with the necessary documents and media for the event, so any form of direction is truly appreciated. However, the theme is in a way difficult to execute, without making it look too traditional. And since the instructions were pretty focused, I am required to include specific graphical elements in the logo: bahay kubo, 4 people and bandaritas. The challenge is how to keep the logo look uncluttered even if it will be full of details.

I worked on developing their concept, but instead of approaching it in 3D (as their sketch suggested), I invested on fitting all the elements within a tile. This will be the main graphical tile where the other elements of the logo will be based on.


I used this tile within "15" (which was a mistake, since I thought then it was the 15th Congress. It was the 6th to be held on year 2015) and played around with some text.


I still had enough time to enhance the logo, so I added highlights and effects (such as the basket weave background, drop shadows and gradients), and framed this within a stamp. I imagined it would be cool to have the logo packaged in a vintage looking stamp, where all merchandise bearing this stamp. Old Manila style.

APOTC Stamp 2

Here is the final logo.

APOTC Stamp 1APOTC Whole

Unfortunately, the organization’s bid didn’t make it. But I heard that the Philippine delegation put up quite a fight against the winning country. It’s just a matter of time when APOTC will realize this: “Occupational Therapy. It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

Logo Design: Radiate Inc.

Radiate Inc. is an upcoming media company that will focus on film production and photography. Still in its beginning stages, the company needed a preliminary logo that they can work with. I was given much freedom with regards to its design, but basically they wanted it to be simple and relevant.

The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the word “RADIATE” is light. Sources of light, such as the sun, a light bulb, a candle, a firefly are all examples of what could be ideal graphical themes for the company’s logo. However, almost every company that has a name with references to light has a logo with different variations of these, tucked within a convenient frame or cleverly positioned over a letter. I wanted to offer something unique for this company. I came up with three initial concepts, after selecting a unique font which I think represents creativity and modern innovation. The first is a play on the negative spaces of the letters. Luckily, the central letter of the word RADIATE is the letter I, a very dynamic letter which can be modified to form a graphic. Since, I wanted to avoid using the cliché, I represented light in an indirect manner. Imagine, you’re inside a dark room and you came upon this door (Concept 2), and slowly you open it up, and bright light rushes in! (Concept 3).

Radiate v1

They instantly like the idea, so I developed the concept further, adding shadow effects. I even suggested that the logo could be animated (ala movie opening credits where they show the production company’s logos). So simple, it can work on its own in monochrome. Colors and other special effects can be added should they decide to expand and diversify.

Radiate v2

The final design