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April/May 2015

KATHA MASTERMINDS Geli Balcruz Aya Dalumpines Andrea Dela Cruz Allie Principe Cachi Reyes

Illustrators Lando Cusi Ella Lama Charisse Reyes Carla Chua


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Katha is a bi-monthly magazine for creatives, by creatives. Copyright is reserved. Reposting in whole or in part on other sites and publications without permission is prohibited. All rights to photos and illustrations belong to their respective owners.

WHO EVER SAID THERE WAS A WRONG TIME TO TRY AGAIN? Certainly not us. But still, we need to fess up. This issue was supposed to come out months earlier and was meant to help everyone start the year right. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t seem to find the right balance of things, and we ended up constantly postponing the release date until we found ourselves already in the midst of summer. We are by no means condoning this behavior, of course. On the contrary we’d love to be the perfect bi-monthly magazine that will make everyone’s dreams come true. But we just aren’t. But then we thought that surely we aren’t the only nes in this predicament. We’ve all made resolutions at the start of the year, but really now, how are you doing with them so far? If you’ve managed to keep them, we bow down to your greatness (really, we do!). But if you haven’t, we’re here to tell you that it’s alright, and that you don’t have to wait for the next new year just to start doing better. Pick yourself up and try again. The time for change all depends on you, and this issue is dedicated in pushing you in that right direction. Read stories about people helping others, healthy eats and activities, and little ways to nourish your daily grind. We’ve kept this issue short, sweet, and simple, just like how we’d all like our lives to be, right? We hope you enjoy this one! Cheers, The Katha Team

photograph from hcube


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T HI S I S S UE ’S CONT R I B U TOR S JACLYN ABERGAS is the Market Girl and 1/2 of Jertie’s Kitchen, a specialty business that creates mouth-watering delicious gluten-free and vegan food products, teaches vegan cooking workshops and offer health coaching. She is a passionate vegan and health advocate and believes everyone needs to start investing in their own body and health. She loves to eat more than ever and she loves to experiment in the kitchen, vegan-izing her former favorite meatbased dishes.

MARZ AGLIPAY holds a day-job at a local art magazine as an Editorial Coordinator. On the flip-side she does freelance work involving editorial design & video editing. She’s a big fan of handmade goods and likes to turn things into stamps. She blogs over at

ALVE ARANTON is a 19 year-old girl who is still figuring out what’s life in store for her after college. She loves writing, art and spending her spare time in peaceful coffee shops. Alve blogs at and has had most of her writings published on Candy Magazine online. In the future, Alve is looking forward to inspiring people, traveling the world and making the universe a beautiful place, one step at a time.

JAMIE CATT of is a self-taught artist and illustrator doing freelance work. She’s currently living and working in Manila, PH. Primarily working with watercolor, gouache and pen, she captures the beauty and essence of her subject by portraying them in a whimsical manner. Her love for delicate lineworks and shapes are shown through her pieces as well. She’s fond of nature and animals and it’s the main focus of her works.

By day, PRECH MAURICIO works as the Creative Director for 2nd Avenue. In her spare time she doodles and tries her hand at crafts of all kinds. Prech has a little ways to go, but her goal is to write and illustrate a book about comics and doodles. But for now she’s just excited for her daughter to pop out early this year.

JEM MAGBANUA is an artist currently working in Singapore. Her artistic practice currently delves into the poetic politics of land, its representations, and how the human psyche ties in with all of those elements. Her infatuation with the natural landscapes gives her a constant itch to go on hikes or meander through the city. If she’s not physically traveling through one hemisphere, her mind wonders through the trails set in books.

JAM PANGILINAN is a youth leader, photographer, and videographer. She’s the managing director and founder of Share Movement ( She’s a firm believer that everyone has a capacity to share something for the benefit of other people.

Through photography, CANDICE REYES found herself in some unlikely places: the highest peak in Luzon, in a floating school in Cambodia, inside a private jet of a controversial politician, in the middle of protest rally dispersals, and inside prison cells. She’s now working on a group exhibit, some personal photo books and her upcoming “big day” this year.

MADELEINE SABLADA is a multitasker. She works as a Digital Marketer, owner of (@izzoshop) and Event Stylist for Oomph Styling (@oomphstyling). She does all these things for the purpose of His glory.

CHARLENE TAN is a dreamer. The mind and heart behind Good Food, she holds the entire community together. Learn more about them at


Download our past issues here!

NOURISH YOUR SOUL Songs that may or may not be about being brave, loving yourself and optimism. 1. 32 Flavors Ani DiFranco 2. You Gotta Be Des’ree 3. Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield 4. Just A Ride Jem 5. Full Circle Color It Red

6. Whatever You Want Club 8 7. Song Number 9 Drip 8. Forever Haim 9. Courage The Whitest Boy Alive 10. The Fear Lily Allen

LISTEN HERE photograph from rockjem


Make it blissful is not your ordinary lifestyle blog. Founded by Martine de Luna, the blog focuses on living on a thoughtful and meaningful life that (aspires) to inform and inspire women to create their own bliss.



Staple and Perk Bakery is a cozy 24 hour cafe located at Ecoplaza Bld., Pasong Tamo Extension. It’s the perfect place to be if you have after work meetings or if you want to pull an all nighter while studying. Proudly showcasing their simple yet delicious and well-done products, from bread to pastries up to their freshly brewed coffee. Grab these goodies while supplies last as they only make limited quantities per day.

Got something to say but can’t seem to put it into words? Get those creative juices flowing by checking out Linya - linya - mga guhit at sabi sabi. A collection of doodled puns, catchphrases and misquotations scribbled on a blank notebook. These witty puns accompanied with quirky doodles are downright entertaining. It will make you smile, laugh and think / wonder all at the same time. Be sure to check out those witty hashtags too! Now exercise those brain cells and try it for yourself ! Start writing down those ideas because you’ll never know unless you try? But sometimes, the more you know, the more you know that you do not know. We really don’t know how they come up with these ideas, start writing and make sure to read between the Linya-Linya!


If you’re looking for paint supplies, check out ArtWhale, an online hub for watercolor, acrylic, and other paint. They have brands like Nicker, Turner and they actually sell Nicholson’s Peerless Transparent Watercolor, which are saturated color coated films that you can cut and dissolve easily. Talk about portability! Contact Klarina Ulpindo at 0917 899 2424 or Ian Ulpindo at 0917 820 0408 for more information. 10 | WHIMSIES


Here are a few recommendations if you want to get away and recharge, or simply have a little change of pace.



Get in touch with your inner self and spend a weekend at Bahay Kalipay. Located at the heart of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, the center houses an intuitive community of healers committed to provide a holistic lifestyle by embracing and celebrating sacred simplicity, radiant health and joyful living.

PINTO ART MUSEUM at the streets of Maginhawa, Museum/281376918562097 Van Gogh is Bipolar is more than This place has been popping up on just your ordinary cafe. Dining in everyone’s social media page and is truly a one of a kind experience. with good reason. Pinto transports You’ll get to enjoy great food you to a different world altogether, that is concocted with passion. It making it hard to believe that the highly encourages every individual busy is but a stone’s throw away. to celebrate there greatness by This place is sure to make an art embracing their imperfections. lover out of anyone.


Louise Anne artistically documents her everyday life in four squares and it instantly reminds us of home. Browse her collection of #lettersbylouise as she expresses her feelings through letters, song lyrics and quotations all staged in a stunning photograph.

EAT YOUR V EG ETA BLE S! We love Punchdrunk Panda collabs, and this camera strap designed by Alessa Lanot achieves the amazing feat of illustrating all of the vegetables in the song “Bahay Kubo”. Vegetable lover or not, we’re sure this will have you singing the timeless Pinoy classic while taking photos! (P505.75)

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SCENTSATIONAL Make your home smell so good by creating your own room spray. w o r d s an d p h otog r a p h s b y C a c h i R ey es

WHAT YOU NEED • 1 small spray bottle • 5 tbsp distilled water • 1 tbsp alcohol • 20-30 drops of essential oils

HOW TO DO IT In the bottle, combine water and alcohol. Then add about 20-30 drops of essential oil or until the scent is strong enough to your liking. Shake and spray. You may add labels to your bottles if you are making different kinds of scents. The alcohol is supposed to help the oil mix with water. It is recommended to use vodka but since I didn’t have one at home, I used isopropyl alcohol and it has worked fine so far. I just had to shake the bottle before spraying. I usually spray peppermint in the morning for that instant wake-me-upper and lavender at night to help me relax and sleep better. You can even try creating your own scent by mixing together two or three types of essential oils. If you want your room to smell like baked cookies, try combining vanilla and cinnamon. Or if you want some sort of energy boost, mix orange and lemon.

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Hi! We’re Life Documented Manila! Who are the girls who make up the group? CH is based in San Francisco and is currently working as a freelance graphic designer as she finishes up her MFA. When she’s not busy finishing up design deadlines, she’s passionate about hand-lettering, traveling, and snail mail. Pinky spends her days doing corporate work and her nights scrapbooking to her heart’s content. When she isn’t traveling, she’s planning her next trips while listening to Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and One Direction on loop.

Bay Area! We have mutual appreciation for nail polish, alone time, glue tape adhesive, and when we’re together we must have good meals/food. Was creativity or making arts and crafts a part of your childhood? Pinky: As a child I was terrible at arts and crafts. My only skill was sticking colored art paper onto oslo paper. (Who would have thought that could come in handy in the future...)

Yam keeps herself busy with Life Documented Manila operations and freelance projects on the side. She is a big reader, movie lover, an avid viewer of Korean dramas, and these days she is also on a mission to ride at least 5km a day on her bike.

Yam: I dabbled occasionally in arts and crafts, but most of my art skills were limited to coloring (haha) and experimenting with crayons, colored pencils or markers, oil pastels. I didn’t really think I was creative enough until I started making scrapbooks. My cutting and gluing skills (whether paper or photos) were honed by my early days of scrapbooking.

As a trio, one of our favorite activities is shopping via Whatsapp while CH hits the crafts stores in the

CH: I have always been an artsy kid — instead of toys, I looked forward to getting coloring books and

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Crayola craft sets! I loved making scrapbooks for my friends as gifts in high school. Who or what inspires you to design or create? We read a lot of blogs by creative people such as: Ali Edwards, Amy Tangerine, Elise Cripe, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman (A Beautiful Mess), and Kelly Purkey. Instagram helps us see what other scrapbookers and creative people are up to. We also love going to other creative workshops, and design events such as Graphika Manila, Type Kita, etc. CH finds inspiration in San Francisco — it’s such a creative city full of artists and designers, and everyone just seems to encourage each other to keep making or creating. Travel is one of our biggest inspirations as a group. There’s nothing better than the thrill of exploring old and new places and going on all sorts of adventures. How did you girls meet? Did you initially connect and thought of starting out this venture? We’ve been friends for more than ten years, from when we followed each other on LiveJournal. We stayed in touch throughout the years through different social networks, and had occasional face-to-face encounters. In early 2013, we were all using pocket page-style products for our own scrapbooks, specifically the Project Life brand. When CH was about to come back to Manila later that year on holiday, we wanted to have a “crafts party” with our friends but we didn’t know anyone else who was into scrapbooking. That’s when we started brainstorming on ways to get our friends started with the hobby.

What or who was the inspiration behind Life Documented Manila? We knew we wanted to get more people our age into scrapbooking, especially our friends. Our idea was that we couldn’t be the only people interested in pretty paper and pictures, and we knew many of our peers also had stories to document, because they would share so much on Facebook or Instagram. One of our early questions was, “How do we make scrapbooking cool?” That was our driving force. We wanted more friends to join our lonely barkada of three (haha). We also knew we needed to make the hobby more accessible to beginners, especially because the products aren’t readily available locally. We had a lot of ideas about what scrapbooking could be for people our age, and for other Filipinos. We decided to form Life Documented Manila with the vision of building a community of local memory-keepers and creating products that are more relevant to a Filipino audience. What made you decide to use Life Documented Manila as an avenue for creativity and to reach out to those who want to rediscover their artistic side? We saw Life Documented Manila more as an avenue to record stories through pictures and words — the artsy side is just an added bonus. In fact, we advocate the use of this simple memory-keeping system because it’ll work even for those who don’t think they’re artistic at all. We wanted to get back to the heart of scrapbooking, which, even though is full of pretty products, is really about the stories. It’s been wonderful, though, to see

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self-proclaimed “not artistic” people be super creative with their albums and pages in our workshops! We’re all creative in our own ways. In what way do you feel that Life Documented Manila is helping a person nourish their creativity? We strongly believe that anyone can use pictures and words to tell stories. Our youngest workshop participant to date is 6 years old, and our oldest is in her 50’s or 60’s. We make it a point not to limit participants in terms of the album topic or any specific techniques they ‘must’ use. We’ve seen a wide range of albums - from family vacations, to goals for the year, to random albums with things that make them happy. We love seeing the different stories they want to showcase. We also provide additional materials at workshops that participants can try and use to help make their projects prettier, but since the pocket page-style scrapbook system is good enough to use as is, we emphasize that pictures and words are all that are really necessary. What is your vision for Life Documented Manila in the future? We want to encourage people to tell their stories. We’ll continue to hold our Beginners’ Memory-keeping Workshops on a monthly basis, schedule permitting. We’ve also been working on a new workshop module for those who want to take their memory-keeping to another level. We’re releasing more original products this year, starting with card sets designed to appeal to the local audience. Since most scrapbook companies are based out of the US, some expressions or themes are not that relevant to us here (i.e. winter or Thanksgiving cards).

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Our original card sets are either designed by CH, such as this Paskong Pinoy card set, or in collaboration with Filipino designers. Last year we worked with Aia Arkoncel on One Direction Card Sets, and we look forward to working with more talented Filipinos. What advice would you give to an individual/group who would like to engage in moment collecting? First, if we can do it, you can do it! Art skills are not a requirement with the specific pocket page system that we use. Second, take it one step at a time. Figure out what story you want to tell, then you can go into the small details and figure out the content and flow of your project/ album. Third, with an abundance of local sellers of various craft materials, whether online or offline, try not to be overwhelmed by available supplies or be pressured to make things pretty; what’s important are the pictures and the words to tell your story. We try to remedy this by carefully choosing what kinds of scrapbook products we want to sell in our online shop — we know that it’s easy to get carried away, so we focus on the essentials. Lastly, come by and join a workshop sometime! Getting started is really easy, and is more fun when done with a group of people just as excited about memory-keeping as you are — the community aspect is really important and is one of the main reasons we started Life Documented Manila.


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gel i balc r u z

I love that I have a space to call my own in our quaint house. Growing up, I didn’t have my own room, I’d sleep with my parents or with my sister. I only “owned” a durabox which was upgraded to a cabinet where I stuff all my (hoarded) items. Aside from that, I love how the sun enters my window and how my space is close to the main door. I can hear the birds sing while I work and the neighborhood cats meow when they ask for food. I have a love hate relationship with my workspace, don’t we all? Having the freedom to decorate it, I change how it looks every once in a while. My sister can testify on how many times I rearrange this place. But I seriously love and hate the clutter. I hate it because it annoys me, but I know exactly where everything is. I love it because when my space is cluttered, it prompts me to clean it and most of the times, it signals the start of a new project. My favorite item is the bookshelf and window display. I refer to it as my little nook for relaxation and to keep my creativity flowing. It’s also the place where I take most of my photos because the light is beautiful there. I also love every piece of artwork I’ve received from family and friends who give me the push I need when making. After rearranging it a gazillion times, I think I’m going to stick to this arrangement for quite a while. I also tried Austin Kleon’s tip on having a space set for analog and digital work. It easily conditions me that I have to work with my computer or make something with my hands. M AK E | 1 9

THE ART OF JOURNALING w r it t e n a n d c om p i l ed b y M a r z A g l i p a y

Planners can be such delightful things that help us document life or record various aspects of one’s interests. Sometimes journals can be a springboard of ideas and life plans. You’d be surprised by just how much a journal can speak of its owner by its contents alone. Here are some lovely people found on instagram who have journals that we can all take a little inspiration from.

@sailormimzy TYPE OF JOURNAL: This is a black soft cover notebook by Miquelrius. It’s thick! 300 sheets of graph paper. WHAT YOU KEEP: I empty out the bits of my day from my mind and hope that it fits onto one page. Whether it’s something important or not, if I want to remember it, I write it. I try to draw something in my journal everyday but I always end up writing way more. I mainly use the right page for my day and use the left page for overflow writing (if any) as well as ephemera (from the day or just for decor ), notes from friends, random lists, and/or more doodles. WRITING PROMPTS: The hashtag for my journal pages is #sailormimzyjournal. I do journal prompts sometimes, they’re fun! If I’m stumped I check Pinterest, IG or Google for journal prompts. There’s so much inspiration everywhere! JOURNAL ARSENAL: The star of my arsenal is my favourite black inky pen. It writes so nice and I love drawing with it. They’re inexpensive (from the dollar store) which is good because I go through one a week. Next I need my washi tapes, colouring tools (markers, paints, pencil crayons) some magazines---and I’m set.

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@kitune_no_tete @cecicat

TYPE OF JOURNAL: I journal in a Hobonichi Techo. (Hobonichi is the brand, Techo is the style/size). It’s A6 size paper, with fantastic tomoe river paper which handles many mediums fantastically. WHAT YOU KEEP IN YOUR JOURNAL: I usually will write about my day, or some thoughts about problems or issues that I am particularly thinking about. I use my journal to document cute things that my two young children do or say. When I am feeling uninspired, I’ll practice lettering and jot down a few quotes or song lyrics for songs I’m currently listening to. WRITING PROMPTS YOU USE: I like following photo challenges, and have done @fatmumslim’s #fmsphotoaday challenge many times. I also like following planner/traveler’s notebook related challenges. I’ve used the hashtag #messyceci in the past to tag my “mess” aka washi and crafting hoard pictures. I’m also slowly going through my past journal prompts with #ceci_journals so I can personally see them all in one place. JOURNAL ARSENAL: My must have journal tools are; Pen: uniball signo 0.28 black Pencil (for sketching): pentel twist-erase 0.5 Paint: Schmincke Horadam watercolors Markers: Akashiya Sai watercolor brush pens Decor: Washi! I can’t get enough washi! My favorite brand is MT tape.

TYPE OF JOURNAL: Traveler’s notebook WHAT YOU KEEP: My daily life with bunny character that represents me. WRITING PROMPTS: I post all my journals on Instagram using hashtag #travelersnotebook (Its a.common tag, everyone is using it. so there are so many posts by others.) I sometime post them on my blog too -- ( JOURNAL ARSENAL: dip pen. Stabilo point88 red, Stabilo pen68 black, pigma graphic 0.5/0.1, kaveco sport

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@zoetuico TYPE OF JOURNAL: I’m not too particular about the brand itself, but I do mind the size and weight of the notebook and the quality of the paper. I don’t want my journal too big or too heavy because I like bringing it around wherever I go, in case I find the time to write. As for the paper, I don’t like it too thin because I usually write back to back. I haven’t been journaling seriously for too long, but the notebooks I’ve used for the journals I’ve finished have mostly been gifts to me. (I just started using the journal in the photo and my mom was the one who gave it to me!) WHAT YOU KEEP IN YOUR JOURNAL: Planning and drawing are both entirely different stories. I use this journal mostly for words—God’s Word, my thoughts, and a lot of quotes that I don’t want to forget. I keep lists of things I want to do. I write down poems, insights, verses, ideas, letters—anything and everything. One of the things that I want to do this year is to write more often and so far, I’ve been doing just that. WRITING PROMPTS YOU USE: I don’t use hashtags consistently, but I post a couple of things that I write on my blog. Some of my art ends up there as well as on Instagram. JOURNAL ARSENAL: My weapon of choice for my journal is mainly a black pen (a Pilot G-Tec-C4 to be exact), but I do also use Sharpies and Uni Pin and Micron pens. My two current obsessions have to be my brush pen (Pentel) and my white gel pen (Uni-ball Signo).

@paperblush TYPE OF JOURNAL: I’m using the Kate Spade Wellesley Planner for daily life management and kikki.K Gold Small Time Planner for my wallet. WHAT YOU KEEP: I have all my appointments, to do, brain dump, lists and short daily ramble in my KS. For my KikkiK, I use it to keep track of my daily spending as well as my purchases & payments. WRITING PROMPTS: I don’t have writing prompts, just jotting down briefly what happened in the day in my Kate Spade.

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JOURNAL ARSENAL: I like to keep it simple in terms of decorating my pages so I will probably have some washi tapes, stickers to bring my pages alive. I’m not particular about pens.

@aurorasheart WRITING PROMPTS: At the moment I’m following the prompts in the #creativemidorichallenge from the lovely @livelifeandcreate.

TYPE OF JOURNAL: I’m currently using a Midori Travellers Notebook in dark brown, Regular size. WHAT YOU KEEP: I keep a planner and a Creative Journal in my Midori. The Journal is more of a Smashbook or Scrapbook-Collage kind of type. When I draw in it, it’s more like filling the background with stain or doing some calligraphy/ word art.

JOURNAL ARSENAL: I’m currently loving to write and draw with a black Sharpie pen, using Distress stains, watercolors and of course Project life cards and all kinds of stickers and Washi tape.

@pepperandtwine TYPE OF JOURNAL: I use a Hobonichi for daily journaling and a Midori Traveler’s Notebook as a photo journal and for hand lettering quotes I like. The Hobonichi is great because it gives me a lot of space to work with and the grid lines help keep my writing looking neat. The Midori was my first journal and I love it because it’s simply gorgeous and has wonderful quality paper, thicker than the Hobonichi’s but unlined. WHAT YOU KEEP: In my Hobonichi, I use the weekly pages as a diary, detailing what I did or how I felt that day. The daily pages I use for journaling prompts, writing about anything from donuts to heartfelt entries about life experiences. My journaling entries are mostly writing, sometimes dressed up with doodles. WRITING PROMPTS: My favorite journaling prompts are from Life: Captured Inc. They post daily journaling prompts on a monthly basis. I don’t currently hashtag my posts, but I think I may just start doing that now! I think I”ll use #pathobo for my Hobonichi entries. JOURNAL ARSENAL: Currently, I mainly use a black Pilot G-Tec-C4 for my Hobonichi, both for writing and doodling. Sometimes I’ll use Sakura Microns, they’re great too. If I feel like color that day, I’ll use Sakura Gelly Roll pens, they’re so cheerful and make the page really pop!

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@thepapercat TYPE OF JOURNAL: I use a Hobonichi. It’s a daily diary/planner from Japan, which became quite popular abroad too, so the company eventually made an English version of it. It’s quite small, B6 size, but since it’s a daily, the space is more than enough. Its leaves are Tomoe River paper, making it great for calligraphy and even watercolor, despite the paper’s thinness.

@thestoragestudio TYPE OF JOURNAL:I started with a Midori as an art journal and I am now trying to journal daily using an a6 Hobonichi. WHAT YOU KEEP: I doodle, watercolor and write snippets about my day WRITING PROMPTS: I haven’t tried using journaling prompts as of yet. JOURNAL ARSENAL: I use a lot of supplies but I like watercolors, colored pencils and made my own watercolor pencil palette.

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WHAT YOU KEEP: Since it’s a planner, I use it to keep track of tasks, projects, meetings, trips, and goals. I also write quotes, often motivational in nature, or lines from books and poetry, which I find beautiful. I doodle sometimes, mostly a cartoon version of myself, depicting a mood, or my #ootd haha WRITING PROMPTS: I only really tag my planner pages with #hobonichi or # ほぼ日手帳 JOURNAL ARSENAL: Washi tape! I love washi tape and my recent discovery of the Japanese brand MT only made my love for washi tapes grow. I also use cute stickers, some of which are meant to be used in planners/schedule books. As for pens, I use Zebra Mildliners, Pilot Frixion Colors, Kuretake Real Color Brush, Pentel Fude, and, yes, even my dip pens! For general writing, my favorite is a 0.25 hexagonal pen from Muji which has teal colored ink, and a ZIG Cocoiro pen with a mint green refill.

Got lost in the sea of journal jargon? Here are some of the commonly used terms in journal keeping.

MIDORI a brand of leather bound traveler’s notebook, ideal for traveling. You may find their product range here.

HOBONICHI is a planner brand. You can check out similar products here.

Need more inspiration? Search #Hobonichi #diary #planner #midori on Instagram for even more ideas!


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We chat with this issue’s cover artist about her crafty beginnings and how she became The Quilling Duchess. int e r v ie w b y G el i B a l c r u z

I am Anne Marie, a paper quilling artist wannabe who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts in UST. I am a pure-blooded Filipina and I am currently residing in probably the busiest city in the world, New York City. I have always believed that EARTH without ART is just EH, that papers, scissors, and glue are the most important inventions of all time and I am also a selfconfessed washi tape addict. What did you want to be when you were young? When I was young and asked that question, I would always answer the most cliché answer that a child can give – to be a doctor. But as I grew older, my heart went farther and farther away from becoming a doctor because medical stuff seriously scares me. I was also one of the many people who did not really know what they wanted to become, to be frank I have just realized my dream to become a happy and successful quilling artist after I graduated college. This is why I live by the words “our dreams may be delayed but they should never be forgotten.” Did you enjoy creating or making art as a kid? Hell yeah! Crafting makes me really happy. I used to watch art shows like Art Attack, Art Iskool, and Art Angel. Then I would ask my aunt if I could buy some 26 | MAKE


p h otos f r om A n n e M a r i e

materials and would do the art projects that I had watched. They also bought me play dough, a complete set of coloured pencils and it really put a huge smile on my face. Who did you look up to or who was your inspiration as a kid? Did you grow up in an artistic family? I seriously did not grow up in an artistic family. I am actually surprised myself that I ended up as a very artistic person, because I have four handsome brothers and we would always play PS1 video games and watch TV shows like wrestling and car racing. I guess the only artsy fartsy person in my family is my Aunt Venus who ignited my creative soul. She would always invest in stationeries and we would craft together. Back then, did you imagine or see yourself as an artist? I have never imagined myself as an artist. In fact, I still cannot believe that I am trying to make a living out of crafting and paper quilling. When I was young, my aunt would always tutor me and train me to join quiz bees and spelling bees, but there was a part of me that always gets excited whenever I saw cute things, stationeries, and arts and craft stuff.

In what year did you start delving into the creative world? I can trace this interest in the creative crafting world to when I was 10 years old. We used to have portfolio projects in gradeschool where we would compile all of our best works, and I started to border designs in every page with the help of my Aunt. She began purchasing colored paper, craft punches, and all sorts of embellishments until I was able to form designs that I found appealing to my eyes. At that time I would even sacrifice sleep just to be able to come up with a beautiful design. I am crazy like that which probably explains my lack in height, lol. What hobbies or activities sparked your interest in quilling? My love for paper crafting must have sparked my interest in quilling. I love the idea of cutting different colors of papers and then sticking them together to form complex designs. Scrapbooking at that time was also very prominent, I would go crazy on glitters and sequins and all my school projects would be so sparkly. I really loved designing my school projects before submitting them which probably ignited and molded my creative soul.

Who taught you paper quilling? Tell us the story on why you pursued the craft. In all honesty, I learned quilling all by myself. I discovered the art form when I was 10 years old. It was my cousin’s Christening day and she received a beautifully wrapped present from her godmother (who was a Fine Arts graduate). The gift had three fabulous paper flowers and it caught my attention. I got so curious about it that I tried cutting strips of paper and rolled them. To my surprise I was able to do the same flowers. Two years later, my aunt and I were in our favorite bookstore and found tools for making paper flowers, and that’s when I found out the term quilling. Just like Yulia Brodskaya, I was able to quill a flower before knowing the term “quilling.” But after knowing about it, I didn’t do any further steps to learn more about quilling because I had to go to college. In fact I had to sacrifice all the art materials I hoarded because I figured I wouldn’t be needing it. It was only after I graduated that I went back to quilling, I was so happy to roll strips of paper, and it felt like I never stopped. I tried to quill more kinds of flowers with the help of youtube tutorials and pictures in pinterest and began posting them on Facebook and Instagram. M AK E | 2 7

I was able to sell a customized quilling piece when a lady sent me a personal message asking me if she could commission me to do a personalized piece for her. With lots of doubt and fear, I said yes. Thanks to social media sites, I was able to sell an artwork that I did, and more and more customers have approached me to quill pieces for them. Never in my wildest dreams that people would go through the trouble of buying my artwork. It was then that I realized that through quilling, I think I can truly become happy and successful. It became clear to me, even though it was kind of late, that this is my dream – to become a professional quilling artist. What do you usually create? Does your subject revolve around everyday encounters / experiences? I usually create flowers, and when people saw it on Facebook, most of them commissioned me to quill names and other customized pieces with flourishes and swirls. Recently I have been creating flowers that resemble real flowers, for the reason that my paper flowers will never wilt, rot, or die. I also quill random things to keep the ideas and creativity flowing. So far, I have not quilled something based on encounter and experiences but I will definitely do that in the near future. Why did you decide to work with paper? Paper is a very fun and beautiful medium to work with. As I have said before I delved into quilling, I am more of a paper crafter, and through that I can create a whole lot of things with it such as paper cutting, calligraphy, origami, and the like. Paper comes in various sizes and colors, they are accessible and cheaper compared to other media.

Can you share some of your favorite works? Can you tell us the story behind it? My favorite piece by far is Project Eunica, which you can see on my Instagram. It was a customized quilling piece and it was definitely a challenge for me. I only had a few days to do it and it turned out exactly as I wanted it to be. I also thought that it is impossible to combine yellow and green strips of paper but it turned really appealing. I also love the Pantone quilling I did, as of now I’ve got three patterns so I am trying to do sketches to quill more of it. I do the pantones so that when a customer would like to order a customized piece, I could just show her those pantone patterns to help them decide on the totality of the design. What comes to mind when you create? Do you create something to make your audience connect with you? Or do you create for yourself? Whenever I quill I just really feel happy. It fascinates me to create something amazing with a couple of strips of paper. Quilling is also my salvation, through it I became confident and I was able to express who I really am; we are all destined to do something great, some were born to lead, some were born to put an end to cancer but I was born to craft, to quill. It would be great if people were to discover their dreams and their true self as early as possible. Are you working on a masterpiece or a series now? Would you like to tell us more about it? As of now, I am not working on any masterpiece series, but just like any aspiring artist I definitely want to. I have lots of ideas listed and a couple of really, really rough sketches. But I still need to push myself to find the time and determination to execute all those plans. What would you like to work on in the near future? What is your dream project as an artist? Moving here to the US has somehow delayed my plans as an aspiring quilling artist, so it feels like I am starting all over again. But I would like to open an Etsy shop where I could sell customized quilling pieces, floral embellishments, accessories, and trademark masterpieces. It would also be fun to teach and conduct workshops especially for kids because it would be a great way to exercise their patience now that technology has greatly influenced them. It would also be great if I will be able to land a job in advertising agencies where I could execute their print advertisements using quilling technique.

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Do you plan to hold an exhibit for your artworks? That would be a dream come true. As I have said, I have been sketching so that I could make lots and lots of new designs. It will be such an honor because I will be able to share the joy of quilling to other people. Can you share some advice/s for people who want to be an artist like you? For people who would like to become an artist, I would suggest that they should have tons of patience. I believe that everything can be learned. Every one can quill, draw, or paint but not everyone has the will, passion, and determination to become better. Thus the most important ingredients to success are patience and hardwork. They could also take advantage of social networking sites by showing their works and by posting something that is worth posting. When I opened my Instagram account to the world, I had to

delete all the selfies and irrelevant posts I did in the past and started posting pictures related to quilling. I highly recommend that they read the book entitled ‘Show Your Work’ by Austin Kleon because he is a modern man who understands aspiring artists in the contemporary times. Success cannot be achieved overnight. I, myself, do not have the right to say or brag that I am already successful. I tell myself that I should keep working, keep researching, keep quilling so that I can become a better quilling artist. Being resourceful, creative and hardworking goes a long way, and it will definitely help us achieve our goals in life.

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COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS Candice Reyes writes a guide on how to be thankful everyday Dr aw i n g s b y P r ec h T a y a g - M a u r i ci o

Want to know the secret to everyday happiness? It’s gratitude. It is keeping track of what you’re grateful for each and every day. Your day doesn’t have to be special. You only need to focus on what went well that day or something/someone that made you smile. This 2015 will be my fourth year of keeping a gratitude journal. I usually pick a nice notebook and place it near my bedside. For three years, I have consistently listed my blessings each day in bullet form. Just keeping this habit has helped me keep a positive outlook in life and having that kept me grounded, inspired me to create good work and love more. I want to share the good vibes so I thought of the Blessing Tracker. It’s a list of guide questions that will help you answer the question, “What are you grateful for today?” If some of the questions don’t apply to you, that’s okay, focus on your day! To record your blessings, you may keep a gratitude journal, a blog, or post a series of instagram posts (i.e. #365happydays). Remember to make it fun and not treat it as a chore! Keeping track of your blessings everyday is one special way to make this a better year (and the years to come!) I can guarantee you—just having a few minutes at the end of the day to recall & record your day’s good vibes will instantly boost your happiness level and inspire you to make more people happy like you. So, what are you grateful for today?

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Places • Did you visit a nice place for the first time today? • Where did you have breakfast/lunch/ dinner? • How was your commute to and from work/school? If it was terrible, what made it bearable? • Any “happy coincidence” you saw along the way?

Things • What’s the most entertaining stuff you watched/listened to today? • What’s one delicious food you ate today? • Any new purchases? • Did someone give you anything today? (notes, letters, gifts)

People & Love • Who are the two people who made you smile today? Why? • Did someone made you feel extra special today? How? • Did you help anyone today in any way? • Did you make someone smile today? • Who/what made you laugh today? • Who did you ate/shared breakfast or lunch or dinner with?

Life • • • • •

Enumerate 1-3 things you accomplished today. Did you read an interesting article today? What did you like about today’s weather? How was your sleep? What’s the most awesome thing that happened to you today? • Did something unexpected happen today?

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CONQUERING YOUR MESS Madz Sablada offers some tips on how to declutter your space. Ever since I can remember, I have been a collector of things. All sorts of things. My mom would call them abubots (sometimes trash) but I call them my treasures! But to be honest, cleaning isn’t always my favorite todo. I like rearranging things more around my room. But I realized that redecorating and decluttering work hand in hand, so I really can’t escape cleaning. As a motivation, I put to mind that I cannot make my place pretty with it being cluttered. Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions. So make the decision to declutter now. I’m hoping these things I listed below will help you kickstart: 1. Make sure everything has a proper home. Just like in groceries and department stores, it is ideal to have proper places for the things that you own. One reason clutter ends up in a part of the room where it doesn’t belong is because it doesn’t really belong anywhere. Assign each of your things to a specific part of your home. 2. Good habits = no clutter. I remember how my mom would always tell me to put back whatever you get to where you found it. It is a tested decluttering technique. It is important to put things where they should be. Clutter happens when you start placing things where they shouldn’t be. Make it a habit to put things back to where they belong. 3. Small trays, big help. I would always have a small plate or a small tray by my bedside for my essentials. Through the years, I have collected a lot of jewelry, and most of them I can’t give away (because, sentimental) but I can’t use either. I find the small plate very useful for the jewelry that I often use. Makes them easier to find, especially for mornings when I’m already running late for work. 4. Store then label away. For someone who likes boxes, crates and cute storage bins (I mean, don’t we all?), I need to put labels on them to save time

as I would not need to open them one by one when I’m trying to find something. They also serve as a reminder that I have own certain things. Saves me money too as I am reminded not to buy things that I still have. Hair ties, headbands, bottles of nail polish, craft materials are the items I usually put in a box. Small items are usually the cause of clutter, so better put them in boxes. 5. Add some flora and fauna. There was never a time when I threw away leftover flowers from our styling gigs. Sometimes, I even go to our nearby wet market to get a bouquet just because. Flowers are an instant room-brightener! If you’re a busy person, you can always get a low-maintenance succulent and it will surely add that extra designer touch that makes your house feel like a home. 6. Put a little of yourself in every corner of your home. I noticed that I am perpetually re-decorating and with that I also find myself doing some impromptu cleaning. I encourage you to do the same. Clean as you re-decorate. Make your space an eye-candy and nose-friendly too (goodbye, dust!) 7. Do the Four-Box Method. Donate. Throw Out. Recycle. Keep. Letting go is always the hardest, but it is applicable in all aspects of life. Yes it is hard to let go, but it is needed. The more things you own, the more they own you. Remember that as you let go, new things will come. It’s good to leave space for better things that are coming. Remember that as you declutter your space, you’re also on the road to decluttering your mind. You’ll find yourself being more inspired to get creative on your clear table. You’ll have more space to imagine in; more space to breathe in. And at the end of this chore, you’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to take on new tasks.

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Note; These were submitted by ninacurly under our hashtag #KathaMagPH and we thought they were completely awesome and decided to feature them under our Fash section. Thanks Nina! 34 | FASH

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DIPOLOG DISCOVERIES Geli Balcruz shares her musings about her eye-opening trip to this Southern locality. w o r d s an d p h otog r a p h s b y Gel i B a l c r u z

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“Nak, pupunta tayo sa Dipolog.” It wasn’t the first time mama would tell me that we’d go somewhere on a whim, and it wasn’t my first time in Dipolog either. But thoughts of “Anong gagawin ko doon? Anong dadalhin ko para may magawa ako? Ang dami kong gagawin may internet naman dun kaya magawa yung deadline.” came into mind. I know, the provincial life is what most of us look forward to these days, but during that time, I was so overwhelmed with work that I needed to be online 24/7. We were running late on our way to the airport and I kept thinking that we should postpone the trip. Aside from that, a little incident happened that forced mom to be in a wheelchair so that we can could make our flight. (But that’s a totally different story altogether.) Upon landing, the sun warmly welcomed us with its brimming sunrays and the wind unfailingly made the trees sway as if it was performing a welcome dance for us. We road a tricycle to the hotel. When you ask the locals if there are any taxis around, they’ll proudly say, “Yes we do, here’s our taxicle!” After settling in the hotel, we roamed around the streets of Biasong. Mama told me stories of her childhood, how strict lola was and how she would always be grateful that she was raised up to be independent. She told me that she’d sell a lot of things to make ends meet. She sold guavas so that she could buy paper and 38 | S TO RIES

pencils for her and her siblings. I imagined my mama, a brave little girl in her sando and shorts carrying a bilao filled with guavas and giving a huge smile to anyone who bought from her. Perhaps that smile was what convinced them to purchase from her. While crossing the street, I noticed a quaint little gate that lead to a garden of some sort. I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I immediately told mama that we havd to visit that place. She was hesitant because we had a full day ahead of us, but since I inherited her convincing powers, I was able to get her to say ‘yes’. After we finished all our tasks, we went back to the street where I saw that mysterious gate. Upon entering the gates, I imagined myself as Alice, getting lost in a garden of surprises and finding the Cheshire cat who’ll give me riddles then disappear after giving me a huge grin. What an imagination, huh? Or perhaps it was my way of figuring out the many whys I had in my life during that time. We were welcomed with a beautifully made information counter but no one was there to greet us or to tour us around the place. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I immediately roamed around the place and a man named Aldrin, who said his hellos and took us around at the back of the garden. He advised us to sit down, relax and gave us a menu. It turns out that the place was an art gallery slash restaurant that thrives to advocate simple living.

While looking at the modest menu, my mind started to wander and I couldn’t keep still, so I asked Aldrin if I could roam around the place, and he gladly said yes. While looking around, I discovered a lot of artworks, most of which made use of unconventional materials such as old broken pieces of porcelain that were re-sculpted to form a beautiful art piece, a piece of painting made entirely of soil which took Aldrin three months to complete, and a lot of nature inspired pieces utilizing different mediums. He also said that the place welcomes anyone who wants to stay here and take a break from life. “Bingo!” I told my self, “I found a little piece of my heaven here in Dipolog.” While waiting for our food, I continue to look around the garden and met Eddie Tabancura, who turned out to be the owner of the place. I had the urge to ask him about the place and he gave me the most honest answers I’ve heard in my life as he continued to repaint an old garden set. He told me his story on how the place was his fathers’ and how he left Dipolog to seek greener pastures in Manila. After living a busy life in Malate where he discovered the word “stress”, he finally decided to go back and settle down in his hometown. He then restored the place as a tribute to his family, most especially his father. He continues this simple lifestyle because he realized that the earth is suffering more than we are and if he wouldn’t do anything about it, all the hardships that people went to get the freedom that we have right now will go to waste. When he talked about his art, he then told me that he opts to make upcycling and repurposing his art because a wise man by the name of Msgr. Jose Morquiran gave him a very insightful quote, which is “There are no useless things, only a useless mind.” I then asked for his advice, because I felt like I needed to hear something from someone who understands what I was going through at that time. He told me “Nothing is original, everything in this world has already been taught of and put into action.” It gave me a lump in my throat because that was exactly what I was worrying about, “However..” he continues, “whatever art you decide to make, you must make art that benefits the whole, the nature, the people around you, and if not, you must make art only because it makes you happy, it enriches you and nothing else matters.” After telling me that, I felt like I’ve solved the riddle by my invisible Cheshire cat. Aldrin then shows up to tell us that the food is ready, I called mama to introduce Eddie and it turned out they were childhood friends. Funny how fate has a say on things we cannot control. Like how my hesitation about this trip turned out to be the answer to most of the questions in my life. “Trust the process.” I’ve said this to myself time and again but this time, I’m giving my full trust for this rollercoaster ride. There are still a lot of stories to tell and places to be discovered. But one thing is for sure; I wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to visit this wonderful place called Dipolog again. STOR IES | 3 9

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THE SHARE MOVEMENT Jam Pangilinan talks about why sharing is caring. What is a day in the life of Jam like? I am primarily devoted to church work, so I do a lot of different things. I regularly do editing, radio broadcasting, and other media jobs. I’m also a youth leader, photographer, and videographer. My daily work varies from time to time, but it always involves my computer. A day in my life never passes by without the warm company of a cup of coffee. I love fund-raising, and just about anything creative and inspiring! Did you ever dream of starting something greater than you such as Share Movement? Did you always have an inclination to reach out and help others? Yes! For a long time, I’ve been praying and dreaming about doing something meaningful that I’ll be able to pass on to the next generation. I grew up witnessing my mom do her best to help other people, and that inspired me to give, serve, and help too. My desire to help people in need would develop and grow deeper as starting being involved with Joseph Feeding Mission’s outreaches and mission trips. What or who was the inspiration behind Share Movement? It started with my burden to GIVE MORE, more than just taking photos and videos. I wanted to give more because I saw the need for more. It’s a need that never ends. I battled a lot of hesitation, but God taught me that it’s better to do something than nothing at all. So I didn’t stop praying, I didn’t stop asking God what else I could give. My heart earnestly goes to the people in need. We want to help them with the best of our abilities and create projects for their benefit. What made you decide to use Share Movement as an avenue to reach out to those in need? Why did you decide to choose workshops as a form of fundraising for Joseph feeding mission? It started with God’s revelation that money is not the only way to help other people. God made me realized that everyone has a capacity to share something. It

can be your time, your energy, your passion, talents, resources and a lot more! I have a lot of talented friends. What I do is ask them if they are willing to share their talents. From there we decide to organize workshops for a cause. What was your first workshop with Share Movement? Since I’m a photographer, my first workshop was about photography - street photography, specifically. I challenged a friend of mine Larry Piojo, an experienced and superb street photographer who already had experience organizing and managing workshops, to help me out. I got very important tips and advice regarding anything workshop-related (how it works, how to manage it, etc.), and the rest is history. What have you learned from your speakers, contributors and those who have taken a part for Share Movement? A LOT! One of the best perks of Share Movement is learning. I was able to learn my speakers’ passion, skills, talent and a lot more! All for free! Another thing is the process of event planning and discovering that there are actually tons of people who are eager to give, people who are itching to help out. In what way has Share Movement “nourished” you? Share Movement has nourished a lot of areas in my life that I never thought it could do. It continuously pushes me to go out of my comfort zone and make my ideas happen. I was also able to learn a lot of different things like event planning, leadership, lettering, blogging and so much more! What is your vision for Share Movement in the future? My dream for Share Movement is to influence a lot of people, and get them to be involved and committed to fuelling this accelerating movement. I want Share Movement to be a massive avenue of projects that will directly benefit JFM, as well as all the people who exert effort for our cause.

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Herbology A N IL LUSTRATED GUI DE TO L O CAL M EDI C I N AL PLAN TS W o r d s an d i l l u s tr a ti on s b y J em M a g b a n u a

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pho to b y J oy Carpi o

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p h oto b y I n a J a c ob e of th eStar t mag az in e

FROM FARM TO TABLE Charlene Tan tells us about grow ing a sustainable society with Good Food Community

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What do we mean by good? I remember looking around the table at my eleven other friends who comprised the prayer group of Christian Life Community, hoping for some clarity to put together our vision and mission for Good Food Community. There were different answers of course: we wanted food that tasted good; that was healthy and nutritious for the eater; that provided safe and secure livelihood to farmers and food that was harmonious with local ecosystems. At this point, someone would say, we have to prioritize. We can’t have everything at once. After several of these round table dinner meetings and agreeing to disagree, we said, “Let’s just get through the first season.” And really, that’s how we began. Community Shared Agriculture was an idea I picked up from a visiting volunteer who was just amazing at cooking. Its basic premise was to transform one’s relationship to farming from being a detached consumer to becoming a stakeholder in the farming process. By committing upfront for a share of the harvest, one could collectively share the fruits of farming.. In this way, shareholders got the freshest seasonal produce and farmers have the assurance of a steady demand. Brilliant, I thought (and especially revolutionary in a country like ours marked with staggering inequality and a feudal urban-rural divide). Personally, I loved the vision it conjured: planting, 48 | S TO RIES

harvesting, cooking and eating together? Changing the world together in this most awesome win-win arrangement? Learning and growing together? Fun. Absolutely fun. But oh, the details! From an idea with expressions in countries like Japan, US and Switzerland, how are we to operationalize it in the Philippines with smallholder farmers? What’s a season? How many farmers to how many shareholders? Should this be a corporation, cooperative or NGO? How much should the shares be? Where should we deliver the veg? How should we pay the farmers? What mix of vegetables? From our theoretical questions around that table in 2010, we’ve spent the better part of the last five years developing the answers on the ground. From 11 farmers from Capas, Tarlac, 1 agriculturist, 20 shareholders and 12 part-time volunteers, we’ve grown to about 60 farmers in Tarlac, Benguet, Mountain Province and Laguna, 8 team members (even more volunteers and friends) and hundreds of shareholders who’ve committed at least once to the program. We’ve changed the mechanics a number of times, tweaking everything from commitment period to price to vegetable mix to farming support and learned so many things about vegetables and people. The work is alive, I tell you. And though we never stop learning in this case, I would like to share three hard-won lessons thus far:

p h oto f r om P h i l r i ce M agaz in e

It takes a village. From the time I recognized I wanted to live more responsibly, I started composting, learned how to ride a bike, learned how to cook for myself (and eat my cooking!) and tried mostly unsuccessfully to become vegetarian. But I quickly saw that this independent sustainable living was not very sustainable without other people. For one thing, I couldn’t provide everything I needed for myself, and second, more importantly, our culture shapes our choices. If we want the freedom to eat good food, treat our farmers with respect and enable the sustenance of future generations, we need to do more than choose a label off a grocery shelf (especially if the label we want didn’t yet exist). We need to change the context of our choices; from one of faith in the market’s invisible hand to deliver the best allocation of goods to one where the common good is a possibility we create. ​ Dialogue and trust. Relationship 101 it is. When we began talking about the mechanics of planting for a CSA with the farmers in Capas, we couldn’t get a solid harvest plan out of the discussion. When we would try to explain the difference between edible and deliverable, we would be interrupted urgently to ask if we needed a vegetable that was ready RIGHT NOW. We’ve come a long way in understanding what matters to each other and that took weeks and weeks of visits to communicate that we were here to stay. Being able to plan for three months hence was once a pipe dream, but here we are completing multi-year microloans. We learned that this face-to-face contact was incredibly important, and a fidelity to listen and to adjust was what made us a community. ​

With a steadier farmer base, we’re looking to apply this lesson to the urban community as well. Though we have often solicited feedback from our shareholders, we realized that a face-to-face encounter is what builds any possibility of ‘we.’ To this end (and fun) we have opened up a gathering space called Good Food Sundays where you can truly meet the people behind your food! Check out Uno Morato every first and third Sunday of the month. Cooperating with grace. Call it what you will, but “living our way to the answer (thank you, Rilke)” took much more than hard work and planning. It took saving on several occasions and on each occasion, saved we were. Consider how we stopped operations in 2012 because we ran out of resources and people willing to work at this full-time. How did new team members arrive who were willing to work for nothing? Or how did the farmers learn to trust us again after we had stopped? How did the right people show up at the right time for the requisite skills we needed to grow our work? How did our farmers step up in responsibility and ownership when we needed to focus on other things? How is it, that our work has made us so many awesome friends along the way? ​ omehow, like what Paulo Freire said, the journey has S been made by walking, with the destination clear but the map undrawn, one step at a time, where only the next step appears. To carry on with faith like that takes more than one person’s vision, it takes others to walk with you, to respond in step. And each step together, in this further inclusive and deepening sense, is the point. STOR IES | 4 9

LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE YOUR BODY Jaclyn Abergas of Jertie’s Kitchen shares tips on how to eat your way to a better you. illustrations by Allie Principe

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More and more people are now looking for ways to take care of their bodies and their health. Gone are the days of careless living and mindless consumption. We’re more vigilant now. We want to demand healthy food. We want to demand only things that are good for us. The problem though is that a lot of people are not exactly sure how to start this transition. We’ve lived a certain way all our lives and it is hard to undo all that. But it can be done.

meal, just make sure you add your healthy fats (avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds or coconut). Weekly Meal Plans The best way to know if you’re eating food that’s right for you is to write it all down and stick with it. It’ll make shopping easier since you’ll have a specific plan to guide you. Do the plan on Friday night or Saturday morning a couple of hours before you shop so you can focus on it. Make sure you have enough servings to keep you full. Nobody likes to go hungry so make sure you’re not hungry.

So how do you do it?

Meatless Mondays We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us. It’s complete in the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that we need. Lessening animal products definitely lessens the amount of saturated fat, acid and cholesterol that’s added in our bodies. Meatless Mondays is a great way to start eating more fruits and vegetables. Have oatmeal with fruits in the morning, stirfry veggies with rice for lunch, nuts for snacks and maybe a pumpkin soup or roasted vegetables for dinner. And who knows you might continue doing it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and everyday from then on. Green Smoothies Green smoothies are the best and quickest way to “eat” your greens. You just add greens (romaine lettuce, camote tops, spinach, kale, Chinese broccoli leaves or kangkong), fruits (banana, mango, apple, or melon), liquid base (water, coconut water, green tea, peppermint tea, or non-dairy milk) and optional superfood (chia seeds, maca powder, goji berries, malunggay flakes, turmeric powder, lemon, or apple cider vinegar ) and blend. You can have this as your

Avoid Processed Foods Processed food is devoid of any nutrients and are not good for anyone. It’s full of chemicals and MSG that will mess up your insides. And because it messes up your system, your body will need to neutralize your inside and grabbing the reserve minerals and nutrients stored in your body. It may taste good now but over time, your body won’t feel good anymore. When Eating Out When eating out, we need to make better choices. Don’t be fooled by all the photos that have been designed to make you drool over it. Stay strong. And don’t forget to ask them to remove all instant seasoning, broth cubes and MSG used to cook your dishes. It’ll keep your body inflamed, prone to any diseases. Trust me, they all put that deadly stuff in your food. I know all this information may be overwhelming, it was the same experience for us. But the truth is, we know this already, we just don’t know how it can be good or how it can be bad. Now we do and we need to make sure we are making the right choices. What choice will you make today?

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Coc onu t Veg gie Ric e

INGREDIENTS (Serves 1 -2) 1 cup uncooked brown rice, pre-soaked for at least 30 minutes ž cup coconut milk ½ cup water 3 pcs okra, sliced diagonally 2 string beans, sliced into 1-inch strips 2 bunches pechay 1/8 of whole kalabasa, cubed 1 thumbsize ginger, sliced into strips 1 small onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 lemongrass spring onion (as garnish) malunggay flakes (as garnish) salt and pepper, to taste turmeric powder (optional) chili (optional) METHOD Mix water and coconut milk in a bowl. Add uncooked brown rice and coconut milk mixture to rice cooker. Add lemongrass, garlic and onion. Press cook and wait until it boils. Add the rest of the vegetables inside rice cooker. Wait until rice cooker goes to warm. If rice still needs to be cooked, press cook again and wait until rice cooker goes to warm. When rice is done, add salt and pepper to taste. Add in turmeric and chili, if desired. Mix and serve in a plate. Garnish with spring onion and malunggay flakes.

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ppl e a e n i P a n Bana Sm oo t h i e

INGREDIENTS (Makes 500ml glass) 1 cup camote tops 2 frozen lacatan or frozen bananas 1 cup frozen pineapple 1.5 cups water 1 tsp chia seeds (optional) 1 tsp maca powder (optional) 3 dates (optional) METHOD Blend all ingredients. NOTES You can use other greens like kangkong, spinach, kale, Chinese broccoli, alugbati, malunggay (mixed with other greens), romaine lettuce and pechay. You can also use other sweeteners like coconut sugar, and maple syrup. You can also use other sweet fruits like red apples, mangoes, and melons. You can also substitute the water with coconut water, non-dairy milk or brewed tea.

i l l u s tr a ti on s by Jamie Catt NOM S | 5 3

A NIGHT OF WORDS NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa Cagayan de Oro) gathers local artists, writers and poetry enthusiasts for an evening of soulful self-expression through CDO Poetry Night. words by Alve Jane Aranton

As a lover of words, being invited to a poetry night got my mind preoccupied. It was in the middle of December, weeks before Christmas break, my group and I were finishing our Neuron Model for our BioPsychology class. But all I wanted was nothing more than to get it done for the day. I was too excited that I had to slip it off my head for a while until moments would fly by fast enough to reach 6 pm. The sky was getting darker and the sun has finally settled, I took a glance at my watch and realized it was time. I ate dinner swiftly and together with a couple of friends, we eventually found ourselves opening the door of a secluded coffee shop that was once a bar. The place was packed with people listening attentively to a guy who was starting to read his poem. Eyes were fixed upon the stage with a metal pole, a tiny spotlight and a microphone. It was there that I thought to myself, what better way to spend my Saturday night, was nothing else but with words. HOW IT ALL BEGAN “Wala’y Mahay (No regrets)” as Abigail James and Val Marie “Mai” Santillan says in chorus when I asked over tea if forming CDO Poetry Night was all the worth. Both are members of NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang

54 | S TO RIES

photographs by Mark Rodriguez

Mambabalak sa Cagayan de Oro) known as United Poets of Cagayan de Oro and they have been active in planning poetry nights in the city. It all began with a simple idea of wanting to feed the “need for art” as Mai states accordingly. It was in February of last year when Mai was invited to speak and promote The Vagina Monologues (an episodic play which aims to awareness for violence against women) in a poetry reading competition held at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. Abigail, who as a senior English major at that time, and who now works as an English teacher, formed the contest alongside her batch for a project. Mai was in awe of the great performances delivered by students and members of the academe and soon realized such vast potential among them. A few weeks after, CDO Poetry Night started. “It doesn’t need fireworks or a noisy music played by a DJ. Poetry is simply meant to be said.” Abigail says, who is an enthusiast herself. There seems to be no struggle in arranging a poetry night as both of them admits they do it spontaneously. After all, they are a part of something they immensely love doing. Mai is proud to say that the organization is lucky to have

people who are not only involved in the arts but are also ready to help whenever it is needed. NAGMAC hopes that more people will be able to appreciate and acknowledge their craft. The organization also encourages everyone who is interested to join and participate in promoting art and literature in Cagayan de Oro. They are celebrating their first anniversary this February 28 with the theme, Love Will Save Your Soul. Aside from the fact that it is the Valentine season, they are mostly focusing on dedicating it for the Arts month. THE IN-BETWEENS There is a certain calmness that CDO Poetry Night brings. You’re simply sitting down in wonder while you’re taking in all the words a performer has said. It felt like it was something I perfectly belonged in and my days of imagining being in a Bowery Poetrylike scenario was finally coming to reality. “It’s the release of a creative person”, Abigail expresses as she refers to the performers who put their entire hearts into their work, “the listeners get something from it. The first time I joined I was so relaxed. I was filled with words.” And I don’t even beg to differ, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a lot like eating your favorite comfort

food and it just fills you up and makes you happy. When you’re in that same room with people who love words as much as you do, the joy is incomparable. Words come to life and hearing a performer’s feelings unveil right in front of you is priceless. “Poetry night is liberating. When you read a poem out loud, its different when you just leave it on a paper”, Abigail adds. The audience was also given a chance to deliver via open-mic. My friend Angelo who sat beside me the whole time was courageous enough to read the poems he typed on his phone. His palms were sweaty and shaking but I saw his courage to do so. While words are supposed to be written down, they were meant to be uttered out loud as I realized. Apart from reciting poems, musicians also performed which brought the guests to sing in unison. I never noticed the time and I wasn’t ready for it to end. I went home with a light heart and a kind of peace only words have given me because sometimes, all it takes to satisfy you aren’t the grandest things, but rather the simpler ones embodied in the things you love; by listening and experiencing them.

STOR IES | 5 5

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LET THEM EAT PIE We all need to be mindful of what we eat. But really, who doesn’t love dessert? You can enjoy a slice of banoffee crumble pie without feeling guilty with this recipe. Don’t worry, we substituted the fatty ingredients with less sinful ones. words and photographs by Bing Bercades

YIELDS: 6-8 servings FILLING • 200 g (½ can) condensed milk • 200 g or 8 oz low fat evaporated milk (8 tbsp low fat milk dissolved in 9.5 tbsp water ) • ½ tbsp cornflour • 6 medium bananas • Juice of ½ lemon or 2 calamansi

CRUST • 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour • ½ tsp salt • 1 tsp baking powder • ½ tsp ground cinnamon • 1 cup rolled oats (Not the old fashioned thick ones, as this would make the crumble look like muesli. Use the semi-instant ones) • ½ cup butter, cold • ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, cut butter into small cubes and mix with brown sugar until combined. 2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and oats. 3. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix with fork or with a pastry cutter to combine. 4. Set aside 1 cup cookie dough for topping. Press remaining (about ⅔) oatmeal cookie dough onto the bottom of greased baking pan or glassware. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F 5. While the crust is baking, make the filling. 6. Dissolve cornflour in ¼ cup milk and set aside. 7. In a medium saucepan over low heat, put condensed milk and let boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly until it turns a little golden/brownish in color. 8. Combine the rest of the ingredients for the filling -- including dissolved cornflour. Place on medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and becomes golden for about 5 minutes. 9. Cut bananas thinly, then toss in lemon juice. 10. Pour a third of mixture over the crust then arrange sliced bananas. Pour remaining toffee over bananas, distributing evenly. Put remaining crumble on top of pie. Press lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. 11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 12. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

NOM S | 5 7

MUSIC+MEDITATION Anna Graham shares her first time experience with Vinyasa Yoga as introduced by her friend Mel Torre. illustration by Lando Cusi

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I was never really interested in trying Yoga before, probably because I’m not really flexible and feel I lack the strength and grace for it. But when my bandmate, Mel Torre, who also happens to be a Yoga teacher told me about about a music night that they offer, I felt that maybe I could try it out. “Yoga is an ancient and powerful philosophy that espouses a lifestyle that focuses on achieving selfrealization through physical wellness, mental mastery, and breath control, as well as meditation. It originated in ancient India, where over three thousand years it has developed into the many forms that it is known by today. Ultimately the goal of any true Yoga practitioner is to achieve complete “union”, which is the Sanskrit root of the word Yoga.” ( There are many different styles of Yoga, and the one that has a music element to it is the Vinyasa flow class. Vinyasa refers to the flowing sequence in between the different movements and poses in Yoga, coordinated with regulated breathing. Vinyasa was especially challenging for a beginner like me, given there was hardly any time to rest. But observing the other students around me, it was amazing to see some of them moving from one pose to another with so much grace, flexibility, and so much strength! Yoga requires a good understanding and awareness of your own body, strength of your core, flexibility, balance (oh, if I could count the number of times I almost toppled over!) and coordination. The pose that the class worked towards was the Svarga Dvijasana or “Bird of Paradise”, which is a tropical flower. Dvija means “twice born”, Svarga means “paradise” or “heaven”. This pose requires the body to emulate the shape of a tropical flower, experiencing the depth of paradise, and a feeling of renewal within the body. For me, this pose held a real challenge of keeping yourself steadily rooted to the ground, and trying to keep balance as you lift your leg up towards the heavens. And as a beginner, I could not execute this pose correctly! Hahaha! I have to work on my flexibility. It also required a lot of opening in the hips area, which the instructor prepared you for through the previous movements and poses.

songs. She says that the music is meant to help the students with the flow from pose to pose, which the Vinyasa type of Yoga calls for. She also shares that she uses the music to distract the students from being too serious. Sometimes getting the form correct can get very frustrating, so the music helps keep the mood fun and light. Some of the songs in her playlist included “Slow Down” by Cas Haley, “One Love/People Get Ready” by Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Breathe” by Stick Figure, “Sunrise” by Positive Motion, and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” by Jimmy Cliff. Reggae music is a genre that originated in Jamaica in the 1960’s. This genre was actually influenced by several other musical genres that include jazz, rhythm and blues, African music and ska. The laid back beat, rhythm and tempo of reggae music is one of the well known elements of this genre, as well as the call and response style. It fit the Yoga session perfectly, matching the pose of the tropical flower, and with achieving union. But Teacher Mel shares that she uses other genres as well depending on the rhythm and flow she wants to achieve. She says that sometimes she even uses hip hop if the mood is right. My favorite part was the end where you relax and meditate. One of my personal favorite songs, “I Am Light” by India Arie, was played. It set the mood right perfectly as all the lights were switched off and everyone was quiet. I was focusing on my breath and my whole body, trying to clear my mind of any thoughts. For a first timer like me, it was a challenging session, but the music did help me a lot with keeping with the flow. The music selection was great, and worked well with the theme and meaning of the pose. I learned and appreciated how much Yoga makes you more aware of your body and your breathing. I also got to reflect on what it takes to keep you healthy, grounded, balanced, flexible, strong and coordinated. Not just physically but mentally as well. *Music nights are being offered at Urban Ashram Manila. They have three branches: Brixton (661-YOGA [9642]), Vinyasa Music night every Thursday 7:008:30pm; 6780 Ayala, Vinyasa Music night every Friday 6:30-7:45pm; High street (869-YOGA), FNR (Flexibility Not Required) Music night every Friday 6:30-7:45pm

Given the name “Bird of Paradise”, Yoga instructor Mel Torre made a playlist filled with feel-good reggae TUNES | 5 9

IN NEED OF SOME EXTRA MOTIVATION? Geli and Ella made some printable motivational posters just for you dear readers! Simply click here to download the high resolution versions. You can print these out at home, or use them for your own personal crafting or design work. Just don’t forget to show us what you’ve done with them! Snap a photo and email it to us or upload it on Instagram and tag us at @kathamagazine and/or use our hashtag #KathaMagPH. Enjoy!






Lando Cusi shares the things that nourish his creative life.


thanks for reading !

Katha Magazine Issue 09 - April/May 2015: Nourish  

Read stories about people inspiring others, healthy eats and activities, and little ways to nourish your daily grind. We’ve kept this issue...

Katha Magazine Issue 09 - April/May 2015: Nourish  

Read stories about people inspiring others, healthy eats and activities, and little ways to nourish your daily grind. We’ve kept this issue...