Katha Magazine - Issue 04 - March/April 2014

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Mar/Apr 2014

KATHA MASTERMINDS Geli Balcruz hellogelibee.blogspot.com Aya Dalumpines facebook.com/createbytlf Andrea Dela Cruz mabuhaydiy.wordpress.com Allie Principe thefoureyedwonder.com Cachi Reyes thepinkdoormat.blogspot.com

Illustrators Lando Cusi behance.net/landocusi Ella Lama threesixtyfivepointfour.tumblr. com Charisse Reyes behance.net/cmtreyes CONTRIBUTORS Koni Esteban candidlypretty.blogspot.com

CONTACT US For submissions, advertising opportunities, and other inquiries kathamagazine.ph@gmail.com

SUBSCRIBE Sign up for our mailing list http://eepurl.com/DI7LT

SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook kathamagazineph Twitter @kathamagazine Instagram kathamagazine Pinterest kathamagazine

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.


THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE MISS ABOUT BEING A KID. Eating ice candy during the hottest afternoons of summer vacation. Dressing up in our parents’ clothes for fun. Filling up coloring books as fast as humanly possible. Watching old cartoons. Joining in on games with the neighbors from across the street. Playing make-believe. The list goes on and on. (In fact, we have a long list of other things we miss about our childhood on page 82!) Sure, most of these are things we can probably still do as an adult, but nothing beats that sense of awe and wonder that came with being at such a young age. It’s a magical thing that we only wish we could hold on to for as long as we could, to see everything in the world with inquisitive eyes. We want to remember what that feeling was like. Why is it so important to us to remember anyway? Kids today have it a little easier – each moment can be captured digitally and uploaded to the internet, where it can exist beyond space and time, ready to be accessed in a matter of seconds. But for the rest of us, tangibility is limited to the number of small trinkets we were able to put aside in our treasure box. Hand-written entries in our diaries with locks. The number of film photos that we were able to have developed. The rest we have no choice but to play out from memory. But whether you grew up in the analog or digital age, we wish for you to celebrate those precious memories the best way we know how – by partaking in the wonderful stories and creations that will help you look back and reminisce about the simple things that brought you happiness as a child. A fun and nostalgic journey lies ahead in the next pages, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed in hoping that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Cheers, The Katha Team

photo by Geli Balcruz

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JAMIE BAUZA is a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer from Manila. She loves drawing, traveling, collaborating, and making lists. You can check out her work at www.jamiebauza.com. She illustrates her favorite sandwich recipe for this issue.

ELISA CHOI is a self-taught painter from Manila, Philippines. She paints in a loose style from life and unique photographs. She sketches on location to savor the moment a little slowly. She believes that everyone is an artist and hopes to encourage individuals to pick up the brush. Whether she paints or eats or sleeps she do it all for the glory of God. You can see her daily paintings (or so) at www.harmonythoughts.com. She talks about the art of painting like a child.


CARLA CHUA is an aspiring fashion illustrator and watercolor artist who loves everything about fashion, food, cats and crafts. She loves browsing fashion blogs, magazine editorials and paintings that help inspire her to create. In 2013, she finally started her own sketchblog at carlachua.wordpress.com. Aside from illustrating, Carla is a fulltime IT professional working for a Danish company. In this issue, she reinterprets our Fash section into paper dolls.

JASPER JAY GOMEZ is a Full-time IT professional and budding illustrator. He is passionate about colored pencils, inspired by geometry, architecture, geography and astronomy. He also hopes to become a furniture designer and learn how to build furniture for family and friends. He someday dreams of going to Australia and seeing the world. You can see his his furniture concept designs at jassaying.blogspot.com or behance.net/jasperjaygomez. He posts his illustrations and WIPs on instagram.com/asperjaygomez. He contributes for this issue’s Faceoff.

REESE LANSANGAN is many things she cannot compromise. She is a visual artist, graphic designer, musician and fashion student — all rolled into one convenient sushi. www.reeseypeasy.com is her virtual cave filled with art experiments, songwriting attempts, twenty-something thingamabobs, and a collection of life’s flotsam and jetsam. Reese gives us a glimpse of her childhood in our Reimagining section.

CONNIE MCDONALD appreciates the small things and dream of the big things. She is newly 20 years old, and lives in New Zealand. She love stickers, glitter, film photographs, babysitting, writing poetry and doodling. Visit her at www.facebook.com/ ConnieMcDonaldPhotography.


LAUREN NG is an instructional designer in a corporate world who makes sure everyone gets interested and learns with her colorful and lively graphics! She believes that a day without chocolate is a day without sunshine. She loves cats, books, daydreaming and art. In this issue, she revisits her childhood and experiences an episode of nostalgia in our Faceoff section.

Kate Pedroso is a media worker and grad student. She likes pandas, children’s books, coming-of-age stories, designer beer and beach weather. She blogs at lastgirl.net/the. For this issue, she tells us her story about leaving home and moving in with her partner.




When I was eight, my cousins and I visited our hometown province with our grandparents during the summer. We went to the beach everyday and one day, we were all in the sea riding the waves when a huge wave came and nearly drowned us. We seriously thought we we’re going to die! It’s not exactly a lovely memory, but it’s a favorite because it was a first (hopefully the last) and we survived!

I remember we used to have a small swing in our garden. Me and my sisters would hang out there and enjoy our champolas during merienda. We also used it as a pretend house when we would play bahay-bahayan! Many years later, we renovated our house so we had to remove the swing and give it to the carpenter’s family. Sad that we had to let it go, but it was really fun while it lasted!


My mom and I collected leaves from the backyard, and used it to make a personalized stationery set, complete with envelopes and gift tags. We applied poster paint onto the leaves and used it as stamps to decorate the brown kraft paper. I also remember 8 making | T ALK tiny pots and pans out of 8 air-dry | H EL L Oclay.



I will always remember how every time summer rolls in, we would set up our inflatable kiddie pool in our backyard where my brother and I would “swim” almost every single day. It wasn’t particularly big, but it was enough to wade around in, and it gave me something to look forward to every afternoon.

Believe it or not, I look forward to summer so I can sell ice candies! Mom taught us to sell ice candies so we can use the profit to buy whatever we wanted. I also love to draw oddly-shaped houses with chimneys and create mini clay pots, pans, and electric fans using play-doh.

FANCY SOME MUSIC? Songs that may or may not be about not growing up, maturity and days gone by. 1. Jump In High Places 2. Souvenirs Architecture in Helsinki 3. Kanlungan Noel Cabangon 4. We’re Going To Be Friends Jack Johnson 5. Anthems For A Seventeen-Year Old Girl Broken Social Scene

6. Little Kids Kings of Convenience 7. Same Suburb Different Park Firekites 8. Team Lorde 9. Cool Kids Echosmith 10. Young Blood The Naked and Famous



BOOK LOCKETS Keep your favorite library piece close to your heart! Literally. These book lockets goes well with your outfit and are easy conversation starters. Find a fellow bibliophile and win a new friend!


We all love cookies, right? Well, imagine indulgent cookies transformed into healthy ones: The Green Baker blends in vegetables into their sweet and delicious treats! Try their Malunggay Cookies, Red Beet Cookies, Carrot and Squash Cookies, and the very interesting Pinatubo Cookie Nibblers. Address: 39-H Malingap Teachers Village, Quezon City. Tel: 02 433 3741 Mobile: 0998 984 2339 Facebook: somadefoods IG: @thegreenbaker 10 | WHIMSIES



BOOK PURSES These are not your average book purses! These are handmade, hand sewn book purses with your favorite book titles embroidered one by one. Grow your library purses and purchase from thimblecap.com.

Transform your photos to realistic watercolors with this new iOS app! The results left us awestruck and the app turns even the most mundane photos to works of art you’d want to have framed and hang on your wall. Nothing beats the real thing but this comes really close. Waterlogue is currently available for iOS for US $ 2.99.


http://www.facebook.com/PylonesPH Step into this store and you’ll instantly be in a wonderland filled with splashes of colors. They have quirky kitchen accessories, colorful pens, super cute cellphone cases, and other adorable knick knacks. We’re particularly loving their mugs with angel wings! Pylones has branches in Rockwell, SM Aura and Glorietta 5.


http://www.facebook.com/pompyangtayo Pompyang is a word shouted by Filipino children at the beginning of a game. Pompyang came up with Kolabora Ora postcards, which are uncompleted postcards for you or the receiver to let your imagination run wild to come up with a totally different character. Tag, you’re it! Taya! Sinimulan namin, ituloy ninyo!


THE RAINBOWHOLIC ME http://the.rainbowholic.me/ The Rainbowholic Me is a blog by Kaila Ocampo, a dreamer who never gave up on her dream of visiting Japan. After the universe conspired to have her visit the Land of the Rising Sun, she never gave up on chasing her dreams and making things happen. Being a self-taught web designer, Kawaii blogger, founder of Japan Lover PH, aspiring Kawaii producer and the future owner of Rainbowholic Cafe, Kaila surely has a long way to go!

TEACHER’S PWET http://motsmots.blogspot.com/ Teacher’s Pwet shares stories of Teacher Mots that depicts his life as an elementary school teacher. A super fun read if you want to reminisce about your childhood school days when you used to play teks and used red ballpen when checking quizzes. Visit his blog and you’ll instantly find yourself smiling at his witty comic strips mainly involving his day-to-day experiences at school.


Do you remember shouting “Rawr!” while pretending to be a Dinosaur after watching Jurassic Park back when you were a kid? Can you imagine how fun that was? Happy Hoodies will help you relive that childhood memory again! Be a Dinosaur, Panda or Bee with their hoodies that are totally fun and unique! Happy Hoodies are committed to making fun products created by happy people that allow everyone to just feel good about him or herself.

T Y PE K I TA Type Kita, an exhibit-for-a-cause pays homage to the art of Typography. Signages, logos, street signs and the likes with beautifully arranged letters are prevalent in our everyday lives but not everyone sees the beauty, time and hard work devoted to make it. Type Kita was created to make people appreciate this often neglected art by featuring typographic works of local lettering artists, calligraphers, penmans and fellow type-lovers enthusiasts. This two day open event is welcome to everyone who share the same passion for the art of typography. Catch live drawing sessions by WeeWillDoodle, Casual Calligraphy session with Fozzy Castro-Dayrit, Stamping session with Alessa Lanot and Mansy Abesamis, Live Signage Painting activities to name a few. Generous artists and sellers will also donate a part of their proceeds to support Typhoon Yolanda survivors. Bring a friend and make new friends on March 15-16, 2014, 12pm - 7pm at 10A Alabama Quezon City.

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GREEN AND LEAFY We make a fun garland inspired by nature using watercolor and our favorite childhood coloring material -- crayons! 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

When was the last time you held a crayon? For this project we’ll show you how to make a leaf garland using crayons and watercolor. If you ask me, I really missed that waxy texture when you color with crayons! MATERIALS Watercolor paper or oslo paper Crayons Watercolor paint Paint brush Scissors String

STEP 1 With your crayons, draw different kinds of leaves on the paper. You can pick the leaves outside and copy their shapes. They don’t have to be perfect.

STEP 2 Paint the leaves with watercolor. Use more water if you want to blend two colors or more. Dark watercolor over light crayon will look best! I really loved the green paint and yellow crayon combination.

STEP 3 Let the leaves dry for about thirty minutes. When it’s completely dry, cut them one by one with a pair of scissors.

STEP 4 Punch holes at the top portion of the leaves with a puncher then string them altogether with yarn, or twine. Another option is use a needle to string all the leaves together. Then hang your garland by the window, around the walls, or anywhere!

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CRAYONS We all loved coloring when we were a kid, be it in our notebooks, books, random papers and hey, even on our walls! We can’t stop painting with those brilliant hues with witty colorful names. But did you know that the earliest record of the modern crayon was in Europe? The first ever crayons were a mixture of charcoal and oil and was later on improved by using powdered pigments of different colors to replace the dull charcoal. Then, to make the crayon sticks sturdier and non-greasy to handle, oil was substituted with wax and later on covered with paper. Joseph Binney along with his son Edwin Binney and his nephew C. Harold Smith invented the well-known crayon brand, Crayola. Joseph, having the proper knowledge of charcoal production, took a step up and started producing slate school pencils in 1900 and later on produced the first dustless school chalk in 1902. It wasn’t until 1903 when Edwin’s wife, Alice, coined the name Crayola, which was derived from the French word “craie”, meaning stick of chalk and “ola” from the word “oleaginous” which means oily. (See the opposite page for an illustrated guide to Crayola’s history!) Since then, the Crayola Company manufactured over 3 billion crayons each year. How cool is that? So the next time you pick up that crayon, you might want to thank Binney and Smith for making an awesome art tool come to life. Always live a colorful life! word s and il l us t r at io n b y G e l i B al c r u z

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L A POMME Apol Massebieau shares with us the story behind her new shop, La Pomme Home. w o r d s b y C ac hi R e y e s

ph otog r a p h s b y C a c h i R ey es a n d A p ol M a s s eb i ea u

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Amidst the hustle and bustle in Makati is a quaint shop filled with whimsical stuffed toys. This store is quite new as it just opened a few weeks ago. As you enter the store you will be greeted by a nice lady sitting at the corner. She will say hi to you, offer you biscuits, and she will just gladly entertain you while you are in there. Her happy disposition is so infectious, that you will end up smiling and laughing with her. That lady is Apol Massebieau, the person who started La Pomme Home. The Provenciana Apol’s background on working with fabric goes a long way back when she was seven or eight. Her mother used to own a sewing shop that is why naturally she grew up learning how to use the sewing machine and play with textile. She even recalls that she and her sisters would make stuffed snake toys out of their father’s old neckties and they would play a prank on their cousins with those. Before La Pomme began, Apol worked for some of the magazines in the Philippines, something that is totally different from what she is doing today. She

was one of the editors for Real Living Magazine and Good Housekeeping. Eventually Apol moved with her husband to a small region in France called Provence. In order to keep in touch with her close friends, and also to help her adjust with the new lifestyle, she started a blog entitled “Provenciana”. There she posted stories about her experiences as a third world city girl living in a first world province. The blog Provenciana later on was published into a book. When she was in France, her mother-in-law gave her an old Singer sewing machine. She would sew during her free time and make stuffed toys using the sewing machine. Having seen the potential of her stuffed toys, what was once just a hobby turned into a small business. The Shop The brick and mortar shop of La Pomme may have just recently opened last month, but it has made a name in the online world for quite a while now. Apol started selling her products on Etsy in 2007 and one of her first creations which were the stuffed apples became an instant hit. Since then she has been featured on

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Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, and even Decor8’s Holly Becker was an old client of hers. When she returned to the Philippines a year ago, Apol participated in a lot of bazaars and had pop up shops in some events. One of the main reasons why she chose to open her own store is so that she could have a place for her sewing workshops. She organizes basic sewing classes for kids and for adults as well. She truly enjoys teaching young children how to sew and she swears that her enthusiasm will probably make her a preschool teacher in her next life! If you notice that her works have a playful character to it, it’s because her interest in fiction like Neil Gaiman books and Game of Thrones have a great influence on her style. And like other artists, Apol finds inspiration from the works of others. One day she attended a dinner at Manila Peninsula and received an oiled wooden apple for a souvenir which was sculpted by an Australian artist. She found the apple so charming and she loved it so much that she had to bring not just one, but two wooden apples home. These wooden apples apparently latched on to her memory and it would later on become an inspiration for her famous stuffed fabric apples. She is also inspired by Ann Wood, who is known for her little fabric birds arranged with vintage materials; and Alma Quinto, who uses fabric to create sculptures with an ethereal style. 20 | MAKE

The Motherhood When Apol had her daughter Lilou, she had to balance motherhood and business. It was difficult when she had to keep up with the orders and at the same time take care of a little one. Even though she runs a busy schedule now, she still does her best to involve her child with what she’s doing. Apol is the type of mother who just lets her child learn by experience. Whenever she works, she lets Lilou use needles and teach her how to sew. In fact, Lilou learned how to work with needles and scissors when she was two. When she cooks dinner, she would let Lilou cut the vegetables with a butter knife. She allows her daughter to play outdoors, catch insects and climb on trees. THE ENDING Apol’s never ending flow of creativity has made La Pomme Home a successful and thriving crafting venture. What is Apol’s advice to other crafters out there? “Just keep looking for your inspiration. And soon this will help you develop your own style.” La Pomme Home is located in The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Village, Makati City. Check out www. lapommehome.com for more details on daily workshops at the shop and store hours.

HOW TO MA K E A H OU S E Apol taught us how to make a simple soft toy that you can finish in less than an hour!

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STEP 1: Go get your materials. You need fabric in four different colors/patterns, thread, a needle, pins, a pair of scissors, and pillow fluff.

STEP 2: Create a template with cardboard. For the wall of the house, cut a 8” x 5 ½” rectangle and trace it onto the wrong side of your first piece of fabric.

STEP 3: Before you cut the rectangle, make sure to leave about ½“ allowance around.

STEP 4: Make a cardboard roof template. The base of the triangle is 8”and the height is 4”. Again, trace this onto the wrong side of the second piece of fabric.

STEP 5: And leave ½”allowance all around. You now have a roof for your house!

STEP 6: For the back part of the house, tape the triangle and rectangle templates together.

STEP 7: Trace it onto the wrong side of the third piece of fabric. Leave ½”allowance and snip away.

STEP 8: Next is to make the door and window with a fourth piece of fabric. The door template measures 2 ½” x 3”, while the window measures 2 ½” x 2”.

STEP 9: Create a façade template and cut out holes for the door and window. Locate the door 1 ½” from the left, and the window 1 ½” from the right and 1 ½” from the top.

STEP 10: Trace the holes for the door and window and lay the door and window fabric on top of the pencil markings. Secure them with pins.

STEP 11: Fold the edges of the door and window and start sewing! You may use a sewing machine, or backstitch this with your hands.

STEP 12: Align the pencil marking at the top of the rectangle and the base of the triangle, with the correct sides facing each other. M AK E | 2 3

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STEP 13: Do the previous step to the back part of the house. Align the pencil markings, with correct sides facing each other and sew them together. Do not forget to leave a small gap at the bottom. With your fingers, flip the house right-side-out.

STEP 14: By this time you should be proud that your house is almost done. Stuff the pillow fluff inside the small gap.

STEP 15: Stuff as much as you want. Your house can be a flat one or a fat one. It’s totally up to you. Just make sure to get all the corners of the house well stuffed.

STEP 16: Time to seal the deal. Use blind stitch to close the gap. Pull the needle up and through one of the folded seams from front and back.

STEP 17: Sew X’s to make the doorknob and the window cranks.

STEP 18: And now you have a stuffed house!



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WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TOY? il l us t r a ti on s b y C h a r i s s e Rey es

I had clay pots and a tiny sandok, and I had a childsized charcoal stove.

Polly Pocket!


MARZ REN blog.marzren.com

digita lr a indr o ps .tum bl r.com

Coloring books and crayons

My mom’s homemade kite!

Casio S4-5 Recorder. I used to play the “Cedie the Little Prince” flute song with it.


Lausanne Barlaan



@i nesc ele s tin a

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s n aps -a nd-s cr ib b le s .tumb lr .co m

The Tamagochi. Virtual Pet + Activities to do!



Who do you think is the



CRAF TERPRENE U R i n ter v i ew b y Gel i B a l cr u z

“Hello! I’m Femi Cachola and I create cute and quirky plush toys and accessories at Gawani Femi.” A DAY IN THE LIFE OF FEMI Up by 6am on weekdays. Heavy breakfast (rice is a must!) while watching morning tv shows. Shower. Get dressed. Go to my 9am to 7pm office day job. After work, I go to the mall or have dinner with my boyfriend and then go home. Throughout the day, I try to squeeze in craft breaks. I doodle. I write my ideas. I eat. I stitch. I research. I window-shop. I eat. I play video games. I usually watch a movie to put me to sleep. It’s a different story on weekends. I stay at home as much as possible and create anything. I just love the word “create”. I work on my sewing projects while I listen to good music. I prepare the deliveries. I take photographs of my works. I do some gardening. I cook. I clean my studio. I arrange flowers.

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THE BIRTH OF GAWANIFEMI I’m a sucker for cute things. Being surrounded by them makes me happy. It makes me even happier when I am able to create adorable knick-knacks. Around 2009, I made some small quirky monsters. They had silly faces that made me smile. I made some plush pins and gave it to friends as gifts. They liked it, so I made more. I tried selling them and got surprised how quickly they sold. I love working with felt. They have a beautiful soft texture and can come in so many different colors. It is not susceptible to pilling or “himulmol” which allows me to create different shapes with the smallest of details. The first batch of felt that I used when I was just starting was not so good. It was too soft. It couldn’t hold the intricate shapes that I wanted to achieve. So I did some research and found felt that was of good quality. I was very keen from then on.

I enjoyed what I was doing. Fortunately, people appreciate what I create and they are willing to pay for it. I saw that there was a demand for cute handmade items. People love cute things. It makes them smile. It makes them happy. It’s always a good feeling when you encounter people who appreciate your craft. I’m proud to say that every piece I make is made with love and crafted with passion. Putting that label on every item I make is a constant reminder that it should be of good quality. As of now, I don’t mass produce. I take my time in creating intricate designs.

creative stuff will be in a lovely dream house with a lemon orchard. WISE ADVICE It may sound cliché but my number one advice is to do what you love and love what you do. With lots of patience and hard work, everything will fall into place.


FUTURE PLANS FOR GAWANIFEMI I am now taking a short break from making custommade items so I could focus on creating original pieces. I’m exploring different sides of my passion and different materials I can use. I want to put my ideas out into the world. I want to have my own handmade store someday. The store will probably be located in the city while the workshop or studio where I will create more

Gawani Femi wants to give one lucky Katha reader some of her super cute items! Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for more details.

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n ikki abel ardo

I just renovated this studio last year. I couldn’t really hire anyone to do the revamping for me so I painted the walls and installed the tiles myself (Awww yeah DIY). I’d love to be organized but I believe in creative chaos. Here you’ll find the different things I collect -–vintage & toy cameras, postcards & prints, old working records, random trinkets and whatnot. I have 4 mini stations in my craft room –the sewing table, the beading area, packaging station and the printing corner. I wish I’m the type of person who immediately put things away when I’m done with them but I’m just not. To some people this might look like a scene from the twilight zone, to me it’s just beautiful clutter. I do try to keep tidy in my own way though. I have a bin for my clothes to recycle, a shelf for my ever-growing yarn stash, tool caddies for my printing needs. Besides my space being located near our laundry sink and having a place where I can store all the yarn I’ve hoarded --- I just love being able to craft in peace here. My current favorite thing is my new geometrical bear head from Takatak Project. I’m just so in love with it! My studio houses my curiosities, my beliefs and my passion for making things. When I’m in there I just get in the crafting mood, like I’ve put on a cloak of productivity. SH OW & TELL | 3 1

COMIC RELIEF Angela tells us about her massive Archie Comics collection. in ter v i ew b y Gel i B a l cr u z

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Angela Lorraine Celis Business Reporter What do you collect? I collect Archie comics. Why do you collect them? I’ve been reading Archie comics since I was six years old. I learned how to read because of Archie comics, and it allowed me to see places that I’ve never been to. I’m now 25, and I’m still an avid fan of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and even Reggie. How many of the comics do you have? I’ve lost count. Probably a thousand. What are your favorites from your collection? At the top of my list is the Archie Double Digest No. 77. Actually, there’s nothing special about this issue, but it’s my favorite because this is my first archie comic. This issue always reminds me of my childhood, and how i always looked forward to a trip to the bookstore, because it means that I can buy another archie for my collection. This started it all. Jughead’s Time Police Issue no. 1: I actually found this collector’s item just a few years ago, in an antique shop somewhere in cubao. This is my favorite title, and I get excited every time I see a time police story in any issue of archie comics. Jughead’s Time Police is about Jughead’s adventures with January Mc Andrews, Archie’s descendant from the future. They travel to past and future events and deal with problems that could change and adversely affect present time. How can anyone not love the idea of time travelling?:) The Archie Americana Series isn’t actually a favorite. But I am biased towards any Archie issue published in the ‘90s. I fell in love with Archie and the gang during this decade, and there were a lot of great ‘90s titles that have already been discontinued. Kids and kids at heart have been entertained by Archie since 1941, but the stories published in the ‘90s will always be the funniest and most creative for me. Who is your favorite character and why? Betty has always been my favorite character. Who could not love this smart girl with a kind heart? But lately, I’m more interested in Jughead’s crazy stories. Jughead is a unique individual, he does not follow the latest trends, as he prefers to have his own style. I love him for that. Do you have any dream items to add to this collection? Maybe those that were published in the ‘40s to ‘70s. They are definitely hard to find. Any memorable stories involving an item in this collection? I don’t have a specific memorable story that involves Archie comics, but every now and then, I realize that Archie comics allowed me to explore ideas and learn words which I now use on a regular basis. Archie comics isn’t just entertaining, it’s also educational. I learned a lot of things, the fun way.


Aya shares her musings about memories and why she thinks it’s a double edged swor d. w o r d s b y Ay a D a l u m p i n es

p h oto b y Gel i B a l c r u z

When I younger, I had part of my closet saved for all sorts of personal trinkets and souvenirs. I had it all in there, from my Snoopy diaries and notebooks with my own songs and poetry, to gifts from boys, friends and boyfriends - “remembrance” as we used to call it.

Choki-Choki sticks in here? I disposed of everything - everything that really didn’t mean anything. I threw away the nametags, the ticket stubs, the letters, the brochures and guides, the candles - nothing was spared.

Once a year, I’d clean my closet in more ways than one and throw out the things that didn’t mean as much as they once did anymore. I didn’t throw much. I was,and still, a sappy sentimental and a hoarder, which I admit is a very bad combination. Nonetheless, it was always an experience to rummage through my stash. I would smile and laugh and cry over and over. Memories would flood my mind as if they just happened yesterday and even if I’d dread this day every year, I still enjoyed it in the end.

Eventually I realized throwing them all away meant nothing. I didn’t need any of them anyway because I remember everything. I may not recollect every small detail, but I can easily recall details associated to how I felt at a certain moment in the past if I thought about it. It’s like an archive in my head that plays a video of what happened and I cannot stop it.

But one day, I snapped out of it. I don’t remember what exactly triggered it but I looked at my closet and thought, heck, why am I keeping Kit Kat bars and

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Memory is both a gift and a curse. I enjoy looking back to wonderful events in my life with detail, but it still hurts when I evoke the bad. Sadly, I can’t select what I’d like to keep and throw away. At the end of the day, all I can do is keep making good memories that one day I’ll lovingly reminisce.


Carla Chua revisits the good old days of paper doll fashion. Print it out for yourself by downloading a printable version here!

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JASPER JAY GOMEZ I remember playing Tumbang Preso with my cousins and despite being an asthmatic kid, I was all smiles the whole time. Back in elementary, I tried to shrug off my shyness by joining the other kids play with colorful holen (marbles) and eat Iced Gems. On weekends,I watched 5 and UP and made small watercolor artworks using the Artex watercolor set. When the Tamagotchi took the country by storm, I bugged my Mom to buy me one only to find out that it died in a few days after poorly caring for it. So I moved on to assembling toys, like the Pinoy Lego spaceships and Let's & Go-based mini-4WDs. My love for music began when I listened to pop songs by boy bands and girl groups of the late 90's and early 2000's and proudly bought their albums on cassette tapes. Right before high school when cellphones started to become the craze, I had a Nokia 3315, which is a variation of the legendary 3310, and happily played Snake II, Bantumi and Space Impact on it. 36 | FACEO FF

LAUREN NG One time, my brother and my boy cousin made tiradors for me and his sister, then made us duel. I hit her solid in the face with the biggest pebble i could find. As kids, we were eager to know what lies ahead in the future. So during recess, we would make paper fortune tellers. Although most of the time it was just used for “Would you end up with your crush?” I remember going around school and catching “amamangi” (salagubang) on the low hanging branches of the Talisay trees and drink the nectar from Santan flowers one drop at a time. When school was over, we would buy Mik Mik or bazooka for snacks. Plastic balloons were all about who can make the biggest balloon. At home, we had a gameboy. My siblings and my cousins would gather around the sala and take turns on playing tetris or pong. I’m all grown up and I still have a gameboy.

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TEACHER TEACHER A couple of crafty teachers share the importance of having a well designed classroom to enhance children’s learning and creativity. in ter v i ew b y Gel i B a l cr u z

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JOANNA RAE TALON, Preschool Have you always wanted to be a teacher? No. I finished my Psychology degree back in 2010 and by then, I was overwhelmed by the decisions I had to make. I was sure I wanted to be a child psychologist but I was too excited with the idea of having a job and so I put graduate studies to be decided later. The best option I had in mind was to try preschool teaching, since it’s the closest experience to Child Psychology, and I haven’t let go of it since. What do you love about being a teacher? You are never idle. Your mind is working 24/ 7. As a person, you grow and mature intellectually, creatively, and psychologically. I believe it brings out the best in me, and if I’m successful, the best in me brings out the best in each of my students. I must point out though that I am a progressive preschool teacher, I am not for traditional teaching. Back when you were a student, did you notice the designs in your classroom? Barely during grade school days, but through high school, my classmates and I started to appreciate and/or critic designs and classroom areas. Did you think that this has an influence on you now that you are a teacher? Yes, my experiences as a student influence me as a teacher. I always want my students’ classroom to be better that what I had before.

Do you enjoy designing your classroom? Have you always been the crafty type? Yes, I do, very much! I was crafty ever since, I actually grew up in a crafty family. Can you explain the process of designing the classroom? Designing my classroom is always my summer priority. The first task is to decide the theme - the faculty members brainstorm and then ask for the head’s approval. Then, it’s research all the way - research on how to apply the theme to different classroom areas, instructional materials, and designs. Teachers now are very blessed to have the Internet and various social media so you are never out of ideas and suggestions. Recreating the notes you collected and actually doing the art is the hard part. It requires plenty of time, materials, and helping hands. Do you allow your students to be involved in the process? Yes, I always make sure at least one area is made of students’ art works. For this year, it’s the birthday corner. Why do you think designing the classroom is important? For a progressive and child-centered school, designing the classroom is very important because it plays a major role on our goal of making learning fun. It adds flavor and encouragement to the kids’ everyday environment. It also stands as a teacher’s first gesture of reaching out to his/ her students, even without knowing them yet. With a welldesigned and thought of classroom, you let your kids feel welcome.

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AMIE BACTOL, Kindergarten 1 Have you always wanted to be a teacher? Actually education or teaching never crossed my mind when I was looking for a course in college. At first I took up Psychology, then later on realized that I wasn’t happy with this course so I transferred to another school. The love of kids made me think of taking up education. I was one of those who never really know what I want in life. So far, I love my job and I am enjoying what I’m doing. How long have you been teaching and what made you decide to move to Singapore? I’ve been teaching for 4 years. I wanted a breath of fresh air. I was fed up with my life back home. It was routinary. I wasn’t happy anymore so I decided to quit my job and fly to Singapore. And the thought of “YOLO” made me decide to move here. Sabi nga nila “gawin mo na lahat ng gusto mo habang bata at single ka pa” (As the saying goes, do everything you can while you’re still young and single) What do you love about being a teacher? I love hearing the silliest answers when I’m asking questions. For example “What is a butterfly?” Answer “It is a kind of cockroach”. I also love their hugs and kisses. All the stress from a hard days work will instantly melt just by those hugs and kisses. I also love hearing compliments from parents thanking me that their son/daughter improved a lot, etc. The joy of touching other people’s lives is priceless. Back when you were a student, did you notice the designs in your classroom? Yes. I was a very observant girl when I was young. I liked to see cute designs inside my classroom. It motivated me to learn.

Did you think that this has an influence on you now that you’re a teacher? Hmmm. Not really. Like what I’ve said a while ago, the love of kids made me think of taking up education. Do you enjoy designing your classroom? Have you always been the crafty type? Yes I do! It’s a very meticulous job but very fulfilling. I like putting artworks of my children on our walls. It’s better than just putting stationery designs on the wall. I also get to change the wall decoration every time they have a new artwork. Can you explain the process of designing the classroom? For us we have a checklist on what we need to have in the classroom. Like the alphabet, numbers, weather, teacher’s corner, etc. It depends on the teacher on how she will design in it. I like to have themes, for this year my theme is jungle and each board will have the jungle feel. Do you allow your students to be involved in the process? Yes. I did an owl for the birthday chart and instead of making the owl on my own, I let them glue pre-cut owl body parts, which made their owl unique. I make it a point that most of what I put in my classroom is made by the children. 70% is done by the children. Why do you think designing the classroom is important both for the kids and for the teacher? It stimulates their mind. Children interact with the world through their eyes and their ears so teachers should design the classroom in a way that the children will be excited to learn and play.

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Download all our previous issues, (specially formatted for better screen viewing!) 42 | D WELL

BL AST FROM THE PAST Infuse a whiff of nostalgia into your space with these pieces that are stylish regardless of what generation you’re a part of.


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9 1. Refurbished typewriter from Heima | 2. Bone China Beetle Lamp by Creative Definitions (via Tastecentral) | 3. 1963 Ivory Cream Bakelite Rotary Phone from thelittlebiker (via Etsy) | 4. WakeUp Table Clock by NeXtime (via Taste Central) | 5. Sunny Yellow Vintage Radio from oldflat (via Etsy) | 6. Grandma’s Quilt Throw Pillow by Rachel Caldwell (via Society6) | 7. Crosley Collegiate Turntable from Satchmi | 8. Rewind Desk Tidy Tape Dispenser by J-Me (via Taste Central) | 9. Space Invaders Cutting Board from 1337motif (via Etsy)

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hey you

Kate Pedroso writes a letter to her 8-year old self. w o r d s b y K a te P ed r os o

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p h oto b y Gel i B a l cr u z

Dear Kate at eight, It’s been more than twenty years since I last saw you; I don’t remember much about the year we turned eight – was it the same Christmas we received a police kit from Santa (complete with plastic handcuffs) or was that the year before? Remember when they still made fountain fireworks that lasted for more than 2 minutes? One of the neighbors lit one and then everybody over the age of fifteen started dancing under the embers. It was New Year’s Eve and in the morning we had salbutamol for breakfast. Asthmatics, tsk. You’ll grow out of this eventually. I’ve always thought you were the best student version of our self, if you get what I mean – you were good at math, and generally a polite student, save for that one time we got in trouble for talking back to our math teacher? Pilya, haha. I guess the snark came from birth. Don’t worry too much about it; there will be times when you won’t be able to help yourself, but always just remember to be kind. As you get older, you’ll learn shutting up is usually the better thing to do.

two at all but whenever we stand up for what’s right we will tower like giants. You should play outside more; it will be good for your immune system. You should try developing a sense of humor this early. Fitting in is hard, but you shouldn’t worry too much; kind people always seem to gravitate to you, like a reverse force field. Also: You are not made for politics. Running for student council will never ever be your thing, and that’s okay. Study now, serve the nation later. You’ll see. I know, living with our mother is a pressure-laden thing; she never lets you turn on the television on weekdays, and she never lets anyone stay up past 9 p.m. But you wake up to the smell of breakfast cooking in the kitchen, and in the summer, she lets you hook up the family computer to the old television, and she takes you to the beach. Remember when they say none of this is forever? Without giving away the ending, I hope you could humor our mother with your achievements and keep her happy. It will be the best thing you will do this lifetime.

It was a quiet time, wasn’t it? I can’t believe we both came from a quiet child. Remember how they always said, You should make more friends? Remember how hard it was to be the new girl at school? We were so small so we always sat up front, and everything else just loomed so large. Trust me when I say things aren’t really as big as they seem, and yes, you should make more new friends. It doesn’t get any easier as we get older, but making new friends at all of life’s stages is always a step in the right direction.

All that said, perhaps the reason I don’t remember much about that time we were eight is that we were too busy being eight to overthink it; that was probably the best way to do it, no? I think, if you knew then what I know now – all of it would just get in the way.

Remember that time our religion teacher Mr. Dela Cruz grabbed the boy behind us by his collar because he put an upright pencil on our chair as we were about to sit down? One of these days you will have to stand up for yourself and for other people, too, and pick your own bullies up by their metaphorical collars. We don’t grow past five-foot-

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have all the time in the world.

So yes, eight-year-old Kate – I think you’re generally doing well. Keep your chin up, smile from time to time, read more books, and always remember that finishing first place is not everything.

See you later, 29-year-old Kate

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CRAFTY KIDS We feature creative kids who have started crafting at a young age. wor d s b y C a ch i R ey es

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Carla Habito 6 years old

Carla is the niece of one of the Katha masterminds, Cachi. She is really good at coloring with her markers and her drawings have a sense of humor in them. When she was four years old, Carla would make notebooks out of scratch paper and decorate the cover. And then when her mom introduced washi tape to her, she got so fascinated by the tapes that she would ask her aunts to buy them for her. Carla watches a YouTube channel called “My Froggy Stuff�, which features tutorials on making miniature accessories for dolls. That channel inspired her to make her own fully furnished dollhouse out of old cereal boxes, washi tape, and markers

Keisha Ordoño Aquino 6 years old

Keisha is one of Katha’s youngest fans. She first met the team during the Muni x Moonleaf 2014 Planner launch. Bitten by the craft bug early, Keisha has always asked for crafting materials every time she went with her moms to the bookstore. She started with watercolor, joining Alessa Lanot’s watercolor crafternoon, then participating in craft dates with her mom and other titas. She’s also a fan of the merbirds of one of Katha’s masterminds, Drea. She’s very fond of drawing her most recent favorite Disney character – Frozen’s Queen Elsa. Apart from drawing, Keisha has also tried to experiment with colors, trying to find the perfect combination of the color blue to mimic Elsa’s ice castle. Until then, she’ll be singing her way to new crafts using washi tapes, markers, watercolor pens, notebooks, and more.

Lilou Massebieau 6 years old

Lilou is the four year old daughter of La Pomme creator, Apol Massebieau. Like her mother, she grew up and continues to grow up in an environment filled with fabric, threads and pins. This girl is definitely not afraid work with needles and scissors ‘cause even at the age of two, she already learned how to do a running stitch! She would draw on fabric and use it to make toy pillows. Aside from that, she makes her own play dough with her mom using flour, water, cream of tartar and a little bit of lavender to make it smell nice. Lilou is also a handyman in the making, as she does simple carpentry with her father. They once made a house for puppies and a little sail boat.

p a p er cu t a r twor k by Pe rgy Ac u 単 a p er g y l en ei s m .c arbo n made . c o m

CHILD’S PL AY Elisa Choi shares the art of painting like a child. w o r d s a n d p a i n ti n g s b y E l i s a C h oi

Do you still remember how we made art as a child? I can still recall the days of my childhood when I would sketch and paint with ease and confidence. The doodled characters would spring alive from my own ingenious stories. I was always excited to experiment and take risks. I trusted my creative gut as I painted the supposedly red apple with a bright bluish purple hue. Everything around me birthed new possibilities. I realized then that art is life. American author Ursula Le Guin once wrote, “The creative adult is the child who has survived.” How often do you wish to try your hands on painting only to feel bogged down by your inner critic who whisper you’re not good enough? Do you ever feel stuck just because someone else’s work is “better” than yours? Are you affected by what other people think of your art? I cannot count the times I have been imprisoned by my own thoughts and other people’s opinions. Taking the first step is tough. There are struggles of self-doubt and fear of failure. Nevertheless, do not give up. Start each day with a prayer knowing that God’s grace is our strength for the day’s work. Go

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and paint even if it’s just one stroke. Connect with your inner child. There is no time for negativity but only a large room for creative play, bold discoveries and lots of splendid mistakes! Child’s play in creating or painting liberates the adult artist. It is approaching painting in a new light— fearless. It is not giving up on that one “ugly” piece but rather moving on to the next painting adventure. Are you ready to paint like a child? These gentle ways will help you begin. Paint the background I usually feel a bit intimidated by the blankness of a paper or canvas. Unless I already have a concept in mind, I like to start loose by painting some glorious washes where I would allow the paints to dance across the paper and mix with other colors. This is a time to let go and enjoy the way colors meet and greet each other. I usually make a series of these and keep them for future use so that the next time I plan to paint there will be a spark of inspiration to begin with.

Sketch from life I became a fan of sketching on pen when I realized how liberating it is. I don’t have to worry about perfection by erasing too much but instead just enjoy the process of sketching. I simply use paints or my favorite pen (Sakura Pigma Micron) and begin to sketch the things around me. Eventually, I bring my sketchbook outside and turn to urban sketching (sketching on location). The interesting part is that some of my sketches can eventually turn into a potential painting. Create your own inspiration There are moments when I simply don’t know what to paint next. The trick here is I creating my own cabinet of inspiration. The subjects that excite me can make me feel eager to paint. I take pictures whenever there is an opportunity (i.e. simple walk, travel abroad). I fill my senses with the wonders of God’s creation. From the glowing pink leaf touched by the sun to the melancholic feeling of shadows, I am truly amazed by the boundless inspiration around me. Keep calm and move on I remember when I feel stuck in the middle of a painting. I don’t know what element to put next and my mind begins to wander and doubt. I back away from my table and instead doodle ideas on how to proceed. I try not to censor my thought process and just allow the creative juices to flow. Instead of stressing over the unfinished piece, I move on to the

next task that can help me progress. I also take this time to rest. By the time I return, I feel refreshed and ready with new ideas to try. Play with your inner child I wanted a space where I can comfortably play and experiment. I wish I had my own studio but in the meantime, a large table with all my art stuff is enough. I also bind my own sketchbooks and this becomes sort of my art journal where I test my paints by making color swatches, observe the personalities of colors as they interact, create different kinds of useful brush strokes, take notes on my progress, try out different techniques, and freely make (lots of wonderful!) mistakes. Keep going to get better I am a self-taught painter. I nourish my inner child by reading creative books, learning from online resources and joining activities like art swaps, contests or collaborations with other artists. This year, I challenged myself to paint 500 paintings with the goal to improve and create a daily painting habit. I really like how Canadian artist Robert Genn puts it, “No matter what a budding artist’s background, education, or point of view, he or she must ultimately go to a room and become an inventor. Only in quiet moments of struggle will both success and joy manifest themselves.”

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PLAYING WITH GLASS “Woofsie” is a collaborative piece between Goldie Poblador and Norwegian artist Anders Grönlien.(www.andersgronlien.com) Goldie sculpted this based on a scent by Annick Goutal named “Petite Cherie” which was created in order to interpret a kiss on a young girl’s cheek. The scent was made for Annick Goutal’s young daughter who was leaving home at the time and symbolized that no matter how old her daughter would get, she would always be her little love. Anders used a special camera for taking this photo: A Fuji GX 680 equipped with a 135mm lens (mid format (120)/100 iso/dia-positive film).

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A r twor k s b y G o ldie Po blado r P h oto b y An de rs G rö n lie n

CHRISTINA “GOLDIE” POBLADOR is an installation artist from Manila, Philippines. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2009. She is currently taking her Master’s Degree in Glass in the Rhode Island School of Design. She recently completed glass blowing workshops in Scuola Bubacco, Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti, The Pilchuck Glass School and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. Her works explore the layered relationships between ecology, spirituality, cultural identity and the feminine. See more of her works at work.goldieland.com.

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Get to know how a simple birthday party sparked the idea of hope-inspiring artworks that can paint a beautiful future. w o r d s b y G e l i B al c r u z

p h otog r a p h s f r om P a i n t Som e H a p p y

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Meggie Valdes and Roanna Medina have been good friends since meeting in college in 2006. Meggie is an outspoken tourism advocate and former Advertising Executive, while Roanna is a free-spirited traveler who used to work and volunteer in education policy and research. They both have an appreciation for art, and are inspired by it in everyday places. In 2011, Meggie and some friends celebrated their birthdays by gathering people to paint the Pediatric ward of the AFP Medical Center. It was purely a friends-driven project - Meggie’s friends designed the walls, a co-celebrant provided the paint and tools, and everyone, including Roanna, helped get the hands needed to prime, draw and paint the walls to full color. They ended up painting two walls in two separate floors, and immediately saw the faces of the kids, their parents, and the nurses light up as soon as the walls were completed. After that, it took another birthday and a nudge from the founder of The Spark Project, one of the celebrants in 2011’s activity, that propelled Meggie and Roanna to partner up in early 2013 to move the Paint Some

Happy Project forward to involve more volunteers and reach a wider audience. INSPIRATION BEHIND PAINT SOME HAPPY Walls of Hope, a project by Mai Valera and Ella Ladignon in 2009, inspired the Paint Some Happy project. They painted the walls of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center because Mai recalled that when she was a patient in the same hospital at 7 years old, she found a mural of a storybook on its walls that was therapeutic during her frequent visits for treatment. After 10 years, she revisited the hospital and found it peeling and faded, so she organized a 3-day activity to restore the wall for it to continue to be a reliever of stress and pain to the patients and all who see it. This became the inspiration for the 2011 activity. Since the establishment of the Paint Some Happy Project in 2013, they’ve been drawing inspiration from various artists and ideas that public space can be used to inspire and uplift a person’s well-being, as well as enable people, especially children, to dream and work hard to attain them.

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FIRST PROJECT “The first Paint Some Happy Project exceeded our expectations! It was held for three days in May in Quezon City, and it was amazing since it involved the community. The Principal and teachers were very supportive, and young and old students and working individuals of diverse profiles joined together to create hope-inspiring art, and they didn’t even need to be artists to do so. “ “We encourage just about everyone to participate in our activities since we set up color-guides, and the artists who make the designs themselves assist our volunteers. Through the involvement of the community, we believe that we spread more appreciation for art and empower our volunteers to do good for the well-being of others. The first Paint-Some-Happy Project made us realize that there are so many people just looking and waiting for opportunities and venues to allow them do good.” COME AND PAINT HAPPINESS “To start your own Paint Some Happy Project, you basically need a supply of lead-free paint and tools

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like brushes and rollers, a social network, and the capacity to bring in volunteers! The greatest tool of today for start-up ideas and projects is social media. We started with our own friends and campaigned to make our following grow from them. We also encourage our activities to be open for all where you can bring your family and friends, and a place to meet new friends in a fun and casual setting. After meeting volunteers for the first time, you gain friends since an activity such a painting a wall does bring people together. We feel that we’ve created a community from our volunteers where people not only work together, but share ideas and learn from each other. We’re doing things in stride and organizing either public activities for everyone to join in, or private activities for specific companies and organizations. As long there’s public space to paint on we’ll be painting some happy!”. Art is for everyone. And, just about anyone can spread appreciation for art.

Remember when you played outside all day? Ella Lama recreates some of our favorite floral pastimes under the sun. Il l us t r at io ns b y E l l a La m a

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W or d s b y A y a D a l u m p i n es

The chemistry of gumamela bubbles remains a mystery, but who are we to spoil this lovely secret? STOR IES | 6 3

The santan flower’s nectar was never enough, luckily, the crowns we made needed more than one. 64 | S TO RIES

Before we climbed mountains, we did trees, and the badges on our knees and shins are proud proof. STOR IES | 6 5

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CHILD WONDER We interviewed one of the most popular kids of the 90’s, Shaira Luna, about her childhood, photography, and making plans, or not at all. int e r v ie w b y Ay a Da l u m p i n es

It is past nine in the morning on a Saturday and I am at an empty coffee joint for an interview. She agreed to meet me that day before she starts a series of photo shoots. She is a photographer, and a coveted one at that. Shaira Luna arrives alone with her camera equipment in tow. She doesn’t have an assistant or crew of her own. “I think it’s my personality. I’m a Tiger and Virgo pa so I like to work alone and I’m really not the leader type.”, she tells me later on. THEN Shaira had her share of the spotlight when she was eight. Along with other gifted children, she starred in a TV commercial and ad campaign that made her a household name. I ask how her childhood was with the commercial and she says it wasn’t any different from any other classmate taking taekwondo or violin, “I just happened to be in a commercial. But I used to get teased a lot. I think it was how I looked (in the commercial) and that I talked too fast.” Contrary to popular belief, Shaira’s line was, “The cardiovascular system is the system that circulates blood around the body and transports nutrients and oxygen to the tissues,” which she might have said in record speed. Shaira entered college at the young age of thirteen, and back then really wanted to be a doctor. “My model was Doogie Howser, M.D. Wala pang word na peg before but he was my peg.” But fate took over and she didn’t even finish college anymore. She took up Human Biology in DLSU, shifted courses a couple of times, even started her thesis, took a few breaks in between until she finally dropped out of school. PHOTOGRAPHY It was during those breaks when Shaira discovered photography. She would watch the gigs of her neighbor who was in a band and she would watch alone, as she confesses she didn’t have friends. “During one gig, I was like, wow, this is so nice.. I just really liked the lights and I was thinking, I’d

p h otog r a p h s b y Sh a i r a Lu n a

like to capture this. Wala pang cellphone (camera) noon.” She bought herself a camera using her savings and has been holding one ever since. Shaira is selftaught and tells me she learned from just holding the camera everyday. “I read the manual that people threw away! I tried to understand it even if I couldn’t. I just really kept practicing everyday. I slept beside my camera when I was starting.” Shaira admits she really enjoyed learning how to take photos. “It was something very different! I was learning by myself. I always had teachers and this time it was just me.” She wasn’t sure of what she was doing but she took her time to learn on her own. The bands whose gigs Shaira shot liked her photos and eventually, Shaira started shooting people and events for free. The turning point was when one of them actually handed her money. “One of the bands I shot gave me a tip and told me, “O ganito ha, here’s one thousand pesos. I think you should start saving up for your own camera. That was the point when I thought, Oh, maybe I should do this! This is really fun!” Shaira didn’t become a professional photographer overnight. That was around 2003 and she didn’t buy her first SLR until 2007. Rather than photographer idols, Shaira says she gravitates towards certain styles and has different moods every week or month. She’s also always on the Internet, checking photos and galleries, Googling and researching pegs and ideas which she keeps in mind for future shoots. I ask about her favorite project – “My personal work” and her dream project - “Florence Welch or something, or like go to Iceland or some faraway place”. The revolving theme of both she says, and as other people have noticed, seems to be fairy tales, which could have been ingrained from reading lots of them when she was young. She likes to capture images that seem to have been from a different time or a different place.

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STILL FILMS We then talk about her still films and she explains it started in 2010 when she was given a brief to make the photos look like they’re from a Sci-Fi film. “My photos started looking like they were screen caps. It looked like something that really looks like it was a movie but it was paused. That’s how it started,” At first Shaira had no script at all, she just wanted to get the lighting right. But eventually, she had a story, characters, and even subtitles for some of her still films. Her inspirations come from the most random and mundane. “I really like old things. So if I see like a lamp maybe that will inspire a whole story. Or another one that was inspired by an actual piece was a pair of 60’s glasses, I just found it in an ukay--that sparked a whole series already.” To date, Shaira already has around ten still films which can be viewed in her website, shairaluna.com. For her personal projects, she doesn’t have a crew except for her brother, Von. The clothes, mostly from ukay-ukay, and the styling are all hers. The clothes in her photos are well curated so I ask if she’s ever thought of becoming a professional stylist and she recalls one shoot - “ It’s too hard! Nahirapan ako. I had a shoot with five models in Tagaytay. All the clothes were mine pero di ko na kaya mag shoot and style at the same time. I had to get my friend from a magazine, (and told her ) can you please put the clothes together, di ko na kaya!”

but if I work with a director and he has expectations and he tells me what number of aperture it should be, I might get a bit flustered.” Shaira confesses she doesn’t make measurements, and has never even used a light meter. She just plays it by eye. She wants to learn but doesn’t want to make it hard for the people she will work for. “When I post stuff on my Instagram there are always directors and cinematographers I know, they’re like, pagalawin mo na ‘yan! I’d say, Hindi ko kaya, okay na yan d’yan. Saka nalang.” NOW Looking back, Shaira admits she never saw it coming. “I didn’t like photography ‘cause I did a lot of things when I was young and my mom was a stage mom so every single event had photos and I had albums for everything! I hated the camera. Whenever she would take it out, I was like, ‘mom, stop!’ I believe a photographer was the last thing I ever wanted to be.” She does credit her childhood for her work ethic in her chosen career. “My mom never liked us wasting time. Each moment had to be productive.” Shaira’s always doing something, and can’t sit still. “My mom brought us up that way. It’s difficult to stop but at least it’s productive.” Surprisingly though, Shaira is a perfectionist with everything but her photography. As soon as she gets the flow, she’s good to go. Shaira is not technical when taking photos and keeps it as natural as possible.

Would she ever consider crossing over to moving film? “It’s too technical. I’m not sure. I can probably do it

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I ask her if she still does the things she did in her childhood. “I don’t read anymore which is so sad.” As for playing instruments, she sold her flute to buy a flash before but she still plays sometimes. She doesn’t write anymore, too. Shaira says she could do them all but it’s not natural to her. Her world revolves around taking pictures and besides that she thinks she leads a pretty boring life. In between work shoots, Shaira spends her time planning her personal shoots. Since she doesn’t have an assistant, she does all the coordination and books her own models. She gets most of her them from her previous projects but some of them aren’t even professional models. “There was this one girl, I just saw her at a party...”, she shares. “I literally, it froze. My vision was like, oh my gosh.. I spotted her from the other end of the ballroom. I don’t know how I got her number. I think I asked the girl from the reception of the event. Then I introduced myself.” Shaira’s advice for aspiring photographers? “Always keep learning. Always keep your eyes open and don’t be too focused on the technical stuff. Don’t feel like you have to buy all the best equipment. Learn to make the most from what you have for the moment. Take

your time. This industry is going to change but it’s not going to go away so you don’t have to compete so much. Learn first. Fill yourself with ideas and just shoot. Keep shooting.” I finally ask where she sees herself in the future. “Hopefully shooting outside the country, just for a change. ‘Cause I’m always making my shoots look like they’re not from a certain place, like you know it’s from the a certain time but you don’t know which era exactly. If I shoot somewhere else I’m just wondering what it’s going to look like, if I shoot with other people, like how the workflow will be, how the experience will be..” Shaira reveals that new, and pretty big things will be happening pretty soon and she sees herself taking photos for as long as she can. “It’s really fun and I still get nervous when I shoot. While it’s like that, it’s a good sign.” And after her photography stint? “I’m not sure. Since I was small, my life was planned and that didn’t work out so I’ll just not plan at all.”

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nap, rinse, giggle and repeat Koni shares a fun tablescape that will tickle the kid in us. w o r d s an d p h otog r a p h s b y Kon i E s teb a n

Tick Tock. Deep breaths. Tick Tock. Gasping. Tick Tock. Riiiiiiiiiing! My eyes open. At last, it’s 3PM already! Siesta is officially over! A symphony of laughter starts to echo as one by one kids in the neighborhood come out to play. Excitement builds up in the air and fun is just around the corner waiting to be tagged, “You’re it!”. Looking around I see different groups playing chinese garter, tumbang preso, siyato, piko, and taguan. On the sidewalk, girls are in the middle of a serious competition of jackstones. On the opposite side of the street are a couple of boys discussing their strategy for later’s teks cards tournament. Observing the organized chaos of kids running around, I can’t seem to make a final decision. Whose group shall I join today? What game do I want to play? If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, you probably experienced similar afternoons with the same sights and sounds, played the same games, was busy with the same toys you yourself made like tin can telephones, bubbles from gumamela flowers, soap and water, paper boats, and paper airplanes. Childhood is a time when arguments were settled via bato-bato pik, when wealth was measured by the number of playmates you had, when being courageous meant saving your teammates from your opponents at agawanbase, when being a hero meant saving Princess Peach from King Coopa’s castle, and when fun simply entails playing and friendships. From these images, I share with you a tablescape that paints memories of my early years. I hope that this will stir in you the nostalgia of your own childhood.

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SUMMER SWEETS W o r d s a n d p h otog r a p h s b y C a c h i R ey es

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Brighten up someone’s day with some chocolate and a burst of color! Cupcake Recipe 1 cup butter 1 cup white sugar 4 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup milk 2 cups flour ½ tbsp baking powder ½ tsp salt Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line the muffin pans with cupcake liners and set them aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and together with sugar until smooth. Be sure to use an electric mixer to make the batter light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, then add milk. Once everything is well blended, use an ice cream scooper to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. I know by this time you’re excited to frost. But cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack first before frosting! Now while that’s cooling, let’s make the peanut butter frosting! Peanut Butter Frosting ½ cup butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar 4 heaping spoons of creamy peanut butter 3 tbsp soy milk, or regular milk First make sure everything is at room temperature. You can use an electric mixer for this but a fork works just as fine. Add the powdered sugar and softened butter in a bowl and mix them together until it’s smooth. Then add the peanut butter one spoon at a time. Gradually add in the milk until the frosting is creamy. For the topping, just sprinkle 1-2 packs of NIPS on to your frosted cupcakes to make them look happy and colorful!

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With the hot summer approaching, who can resist a nice, cool stick of ice candy? We made three flavors for you to try. Ingredients (Makes 8-10 ice candy bags) Lemon and Cucumber 1 lemon, peeled and seeds removed ¾ cup diced cucumber 3 tbsp honey Mango 1 mango, diced ¼ cup heavy cream 3 tbsp white sugar Melon and Mint 1 cup diced melon 2-3 drops mint extract (or 4-5 mint leaves) 2 tbsp white sugar Prepare all ingredients and place them in a blender. Pour 1 glass of water (roughly 250 mL) and blend until smooth. You can add more sugar until you get the desired flavor. Insert a funnel into the opening of the ice candy bag. Fill the ice candy bag by pouring the smoothie into the funnel. Leave about 2 inches allowance for you to tie the ice bag. Carefully place the ice bags in a plastic container and freeze them for 3 to 8 hours. Once they’re frozen, you can serve them in an ice bucket or a plastic tray and share the cool treats with your friends!

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Macaron DREAMS A quaint macaron cafĂŠ in Quezon City opens its doors and we enter its world filled with sugary sweets, handmade crafts and big dreams. i nt e r v ie w b y A y a Dal um p ine s

p h otog r a p h s b y A y a D a l u m p i n es a n d J a n D el Ros a r i o

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Cafés have been sprouting just about everywhere, each trying to stand out from the others. In the middle of bustling Quezon City, we found one that stood out not only because of it’s unique offerings and decors made with love, but because of the generosity that gives the café its life. Anna Graham, owner of Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café at Scout Rallos, Quezon City talks to us about her cafe dreams turned reality and even shares the secrets behind her café DIY decor. We just featured you in our Holiday issue and after a few months you already have your own shop! How did Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café start? To own a café has always been a dream and I never thought that I’d be able to achieve that dream so soon! I was dropping my brother at school one day, and took a wrong turn into Scout Rallos [Street], and saw the space which was for lease. I instantly fell in love with the space, but I wanted to inquire about the fee just so I had an idea of how much it would cost eventually. The rent was surprisingly affordable, so I called my husband, Chris, and told him about it. We sat down to discuss things, he crunched the numbers. We did some research on the different cafés in the area. We set down a concrete plan, and when we were all set and confident, we gave it a go. We did our soft

opening on the third week of December, and did our grand opening just last January. How’s it like having your husband as your business partner? Having Chris as my business partner is really working out great. Because we know how we think and act, we know how to handle each other. And since we have a lot of time together, we can meet all the time and discuss what we need to do or work on. Your café’s interior is a hit on Instagram! What are your inspirations for your café’s design and interiors? I wanted it to be cozy, cute, a bit rustic and shabby chic. We wanted to stick to the colors of the logo white, pink and brown, but eventually we included other colors, as long as they fit the theme. I researched on cute cafés around the globe, and pinned down the ones I loved. You did the café decors yourself. What’s the story behind that? I love crafting and DIY projects. So right from the beginning I knew I wanted to make the decorations myself. Being on a budget may also be one factor. Haha! But I like how DIY-ing everything gives the place a more personal and cozy feeling.

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You also sell crafts in your café. What inspired you to put up the craft corner? I love buying crafts as much as I love crafting. The craft corner was something I really wanted in the café to support the crafters, and to be able to buy some for myself as well! Actually, we really wanted to put up a craft café before, where people can craft while they have their coffee. So CreatebyTLF actually has craft kits available (rubber stamp making and calligraphy sets) which customers can purchase and use while they’re here. Your macaron flavors are so unique. We don’t think we’ve come across these flavors before. What are your inspirations for your macaron flavors? The macaron flavors we chose are very biased towards what I like. Haha! I love cookie dough, so that was one of the very first flavors we created. Then came our s’more flavor, which is a snack I’ve always loved as well. White coffee is what I have every morning, and Tequila Rose, Malibu Rum and Baileys are the alcoholic drinks I really enjoy having. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so that inspired our pancake and French toast flavors. Our PB&J [peanut butter and jelly] flavor has been a long time request by my brother, so that’s one of our new flavors for the café. Tiramisu is my favorite dessert, so that was the special flavor we had for my birthday month last year. We also created bibingka with salted egg as our Christmas flavor. We really try to make

our flavors unique and different from other macaron bakeries, so we think of flavors that have not been put into a macaron. Besides the macarons, what other do you goodies serve? We bake Madeleines, Russian tea cakes, chocolate cupcakes, tiramisu cupcakes, carrot cake and Oreo cheesecake. We get other goods from home bakers as well! We have mini mudpies and revel bars from Sugar Stop, Milo cheesecakes, creme brûlée cheesecakes, Chocnut cheesecakes, and Fluffer Nutter (deep dish cookie) from For Goodness Cake!, white chocolate cupcake with green tea frosting and red velvet cupcakes from Swirl. There’s also Midnight cookies, Snooze button cookies and Calamansi muffins from Shoogs, triple decker cheesecake from Kusina Torre and rainbow cupcakes from Lulu’s cupcakes. And we also have cookie cups from Kalookies. Why did you decide to source other sweets from other home bakers? Since macarons take up so much time to make, I don’t really have enough time to bake all the products I want to serve myself. Eventually, when we have our own commissary, and more bakers in our staff, then we can bake more products ourselves. At the same time, I want to give other home bakers a venue to sell their goods.

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The difference this time is that I really had to train more people to bake with me. Before I was the only one baking with my assistant and if I didn’t have time to bake, I had the option not to accept the order for that week. But now, we really need to have constant baking days, and we need to bake a lot more. Which is good because now I have more people who can help me. We now also have a stable place where people can just drop by to buy the macarons instead of having to order and pick them up. What advice can you give to others who want to start their own business? I guess with anyone who would want to set up a business, they should really set a concrete plan, and be ready to put in a lot of time and hard work into the business. It took a lot of planning and researching. Making sure the product is ready and marketable as well. What’s in store for Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café in the future? We are hoping to expand our menu in the near future. We want to include some savory items, and some freshly baked bread as well. We also want to host craft workshops here. We already have a few lined up for March with K]nits and itrydiy. People have been asking if we’re planning on opening another branch. Maybe in a few months or years. Who knows!

DIY HIGHLIGHTS Macaron Lamps I got my friend Aya, who’s an architect, to design and construct the café. We both conceptualized the decorations, the look and the design of the place. We kept sending each other pegs of macaron-inspired decor and we found a macaron lamp on Pinterest but it didn’t look like an actual macaron. We were looking for a lamp shaped similar to a macaron that we can wrap with fabric but to no avail. Aya had the idea that we use electric fan frames and luckily, we had two pairs from old fans at home! I bought the fabric and sewed the covers and we’re so happy they ended up looking just the way we wanted! Wall Art I had this mural peg similar to that of Laduree’s and already hired a mural artist to do it. She couldn’t make it the last minute so we decided to wing it. My brother Paulo and I bought brushes and black latex paint and did the wall art ourselves. 86 | N O MS

Window Display Border We wanted the display window and door to have a personal touch, too. Our initial plan was to order stickers but that would be expensive. We found white chalk markers in the bookstore and I just doodled on the glass and it turned out great! What’s nice is that we can change the border whenever we want to because it’s just chalk marker. Cork Board I was looking for a nice frame for the bulletin board but couldn’t find one that fit the place. So we just bought the cork sheet, cut it to shape, and the border was painted by my cousin, Kara Achacoso. Table Decor I recently just added flowers made out of Japanese and crepe paper for the table decor.

il lus tr ation b y J ami e B au za

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FAIRIES AND TALES w o r d s and p h otog r a p h s b y C on n i e M c D on a l d

These photographs have been made using the 1850’s alternative process of Cyanotype; painting UV light-sensitive liquid onto a piece of watercolor paper, placing the negative on top and exposing it to UV light. Then, the areas that are exposed to UV light turn blue, and the prints can be bleached with baking soda and toned with coffee. The photographs are of Grace and Alice, girls I babysit, in various locations around our home city in New Zealand. These photographs have an ethereal quality which I think relates to their firm belief in fairies.

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Collage and words by Reese Lansangan


C HILDHOOD Reese Lansangan shares her musings about some of her fond memories as a child. I was born in the year 1990, the era when Sailormoon and Power Rangers reigned local TV. I'd say my generation was considerably spoiled, as we were made to have a taste of both the analog and the digital while growing up. I started my childhood playing bahay-bahayan with makeshift fortresses out of cardboard, and I closed my prepubescent years making digital homes for my Sims. Today's generation managed to catch up and build on sophisticated technology, and typical playtime for kids today might include nothing but an iPad and an airconditioned room. Still, nothing quite beats the thrill of embarking on outdoor adventures, screaming Viva while playing Ice, Ice Water with my neighbors. While children these days may have traded mud and paper boats for tablets, I'm proud to look back on my younger days, knowing that I spent most of them going outside and getting dirty, drawing hopscotch lines on the side streets and keeping chinese garters around my ankles.


In case everything in here wasn’t enough, here are some more nostalgia triggers for you to reminisce about. • Bow Biters • Videotape rentals (Betamax and VHS) • Chickadees junk food with toys inside • Playing with plastic balloon • The Flying House and Superbook • Whammos, Fat fingers and Zingies • Glico’s • Waiting for your fave song on the radio and then recording it on cassette tapes • Milk in glass Magnolia bottles • Iced gems • Jelly juice • Jem and the Holograms • Bazooka Joe, Texas, Tarzan and Big Boy bubblegum • My Little Pony and Friends • Glo Friends • Cabbage Patch Kids • Trolls • Orange Swits, Viva candy, Joy whistle candy • Haw flakes • Pogs • BOP, Teenbeat, and other teen magazines • Heaven in a bar ice cream • Lisa Frank • Mr. Bogus • Carebears • Yo-yos

• Sailor Moon • Curly tops and flat tops • Serg’s chocolate • Ice skrambol • Binatog • Crackettes • Candy Brace • Lipps candy to be used as lipstick • TGIS and Gimik • Sara, Ang Munting Prinsesa, A Dog of Flanders, Julio at Julia • Smash Hits • Spice Girls and boy bands • Chocobot candy • Totally Hair Barbie • Cherry balls • Ten twenty • Chinese garter • Sunshine green peas • Fanta softdrinks in different flavors • Nano nano candies • Doktor Quack-Quack game • Waiting for your “kisses” to give birth • Lala chocolate bar • Langit lupa • Takeshi’s Castle • Trapper Keeper • Teks • Zip juice in triangular tetrapaks • The Crystal Maze • Quad • Benson’s Eclair • Choki-choki • Neoprints

• Colorful merengue sold at the canteen • Ring pops • Ringwatch • Slap bracelets • Voltes V • Clover bits • Ovalteenies • Walkman and Discman • Bubble Jug • Bubble Tape • Filofax / Organizers • School fairs • Starla the Star Rider • Sky Dancers • Pokemon • Stork Reisen • Sawsaw Suka • Baby All Gone • GameBoy • Nintendo Family Computer • Kimy banana strawberry rocket ice cream • Stay Fresh • Humpty Dumpty • Sweet Corn snacks • Dear Diary commercial (TJ Hotdog) • Nawawala si Jennifer commercial ( Jollibee) • Mik-Mik milk powdered candy • Haw-haw milk candy • Nerds • Gobstoppers • Dweebs • Nestle Alpine White

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! Help us out by answering THIS SURVEY about what you just read. Or you can email us with comments, suggestions, or just say hi to us at kathamagazine.ph@gmail.com. Thank you for supporting Katha!

OUR NEXT ISSUE IS ABOUT ALL THINGS MAN MADE. We know we’ve been featuring a lot of female creatives in our past issues, so we want to turn the tables a little bit for our next one and focus on the male side of the spectrum. We know there are a lot of creative men out there, so we’re shining the spotlight on them! If you have any ideas regarding our next theme, you can email us at kathamagazine.ph@gmail.com and let us know what you have in mind. They can be articles, photographs, illustrations, music, or something entirely out of this world that we didn’t even think of. We’re on the lookout for imaginative and creative individuals who share the ideals of Katha. If you think that’s you, send us samples of your work with “I’d like to be a contributor” in the subject line. You just might be who we’re looking for!

photo by Geli Balcruz

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