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 ellalama.tumblr.com Charisse Reyes behance.net/cmtreyes Carla Chua carlacochua.com
REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Koni Esteban candidlypretty.blogspot.com Anna Graham
CONTACT US For submissions, advertising opportunities, and other inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.
‘TIS THE SEASON TO SPEND... ...but not on material things, or so we hope to think. Though there’s no denying that it is a great time to show our loved ones how much we care about them, we’d like the focus of our holiday issues to veer away from the usual buying frenzy that this season is known for. Last year, we celebrated the joy of giving and receiving, and this time, we thought it would be nice to make it about the people we hold so dear. We’d like you to think about those special in your heart. Have you ever wondered about what makes them so? It’s this thought that made us decide on ‘Kindred’ as our latest theme. The word is defined as (1) as one’s family, or (2) similar in kind. But aren’t these definitions are one and the same? Aren’t families about more than just blood, as there are stronger ties that bind us together with others? It’s this fascinating idea that made us look for creatives who have worked together to make something beautiful to share with the rest of the world. Some of them have been together since birth and have been able to discover something they all love. The others are those who have been lucky enough to find the yin to their yang, with whom they can share their passions with. We hope these stories inspire those in the same boat. And for those who have yet to find their fellow kindred spirit, Anne of Green Gables said it best: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” As for us, as we’d like to think that everyone who has worked with us in Katha is part of one big, happy family, and for them we are thankful for. Happy Holidays everyone! Cheers, The Katha Team
GREAT BALLS OF FUN
THE SIMPLE LIFE
THE POWER OF THREE
WELCOME TO THE HOOD
WE ARE FAMILY
I’M STILL LEARNING
IT COMES IN THREES
TWO OF A KIND
A SURPRISE FOR MAMA
CHEERS TO THE YEARS
GIFTGIVING FOR CRAMMERS
T HI S I S S UE â€™S CONT R I B U TOR S JUNE DIGAN is a 26-year old graphic artist from the University of Sto.Tomas. Art is her passion, and it was in college when she started creating things with pens, brushes and watercolor. She is currently employed in the creative team of a multinational company, but still manages to find time to do what she loves most. She loves doing letterings and quotes that relate to nature, as it reminds her how wonderful life is. She hopes to produce a book compilation of her works in the future. June is the artist behind this issueâ€™s lovely cover.
PAOLA (@paola_koala) is a preschool teacher who likes hoarding art materials and has a pile of unused notebooks. CELINE (@ascobiceline) is a happy mommy to Kellin Cloud and loves collecting sneakers. SYDNEY (@seedknee_) is a multitasker high school student: a varsity student, student publication photographer and a violinist. She likes reading Wattpad stories during her free time. The three of them share the same interests such as cats, drawing, book hunting in Booksale and colorful stuff.
JACLYN of tenthousandthspoon.blogspot.com is a food photography and homecooking enthusiast. She is a self-taught cook and photographer. She homeschools her two girls and is an advocate of Filipino food.
LET US BE BOUND TOGETHER BY MUSIC Songs that may or not be about going back, friendship, and the ties that bind us. 1. With a Smile Eraserheads 2. Brothers Tanlines 3. It’s Cool To Love Your Family Feist 4. Something Better Ransom Collective 5. Come On Sister Belle & Sebastian
6. The Mother We Share Chvrches 7. Number One Son Camera Obscura 8. Cousins Vampire Weekend 9. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 10. Nefi + Girly Asobi Seksu
P INK TEAC U P SH O PPE pinkteacupshoppe.com
S C R E E N TIM E Here are some of our favorite movies about family, sister/ brotherhood, and friends. Watch one (or ten) today with a fellow kindred soul. (Warning: This film contains both happy and not-so-happy films, choose wisely according to present company. )
Ina, Sam, and Elle Battung are three sisters who, together with their mom, team up to create artsy and craftsy masterpieces ranging from baked goods to papercuttings to zines and other handcrafted goodies. They even hold unique workshops and craft parties filled with DIY activities for a unique bonding session.
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The Parent Trap Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion The Perks of Being a Wallflower Practical Magic The Virgin Suicides The Royal Tenenbaums Clueless Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood My Girl Thelma and Louise Stand By Me Beaches Goonies
HANDMA DE W H I M SY FO R YOU R H OM E
HANDS LOVE PAPER facebook.com/handslovepapers Papercut enthusiast Ebony Paguia transforms beautiful works into intricate papercut pieces of art that certainly deserves a spot in every home. Ebony is on a mission to spread happiness, one papercut art at a time and we’re pretty certain that she’s doing a great job.
WALLOH DESIGNS facebook.com/wallohdesigns Need a quick pick me up? Lady Santelices’ designs will surely motivate you to carry on and push through the day. Framed in black and white, her quirky designs are most of the times what you need to hear and/or tell yourself. So, gorabells, push mo yan teh!
CHALK & CLOUD facebook.com/chalkandcloud They create one-of-a-kind chalboard decors utilizing chalkboard and tons of hardwork. ou’re not only beautifying your dwelling, you’re also doing mother nature a favor. Chalkboard crafts are boundless and chalks, according to Timmi Cabana, are always forgiving.
K IS S A KO UJ I M ATC H A C A F E Enjoy the nice cold Christmas weather by having a warm cup of green tea at Kissako Uji Matcha Cafe. They serve authentic Japanese tea and coffee. Also if you are into Matcha, then you will definitely like their Matcha ice cream and Matcha shortcake. The cafe is located at Ground Floor Pioneer Center Supermarket, Pioneer Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
F ROMWHEREI RE AD instagram.com/fromwhereiread
P i l i & Pino piliandpino.com
This gift is perfect for your health-conscious friends. This yummy granola goodness is made of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits and coconut syrup. We love the combination of Banana and Cacao, and Mango and Pineapple. You can order Pili & Pino granola at Human Heart Nature and ECHOstore.
S IS T E R H OOD IS G LOB A L We’re loving all of these feminist zines and sites devoted to empowering, educating, and entertaining women of all ages. Here are some of our picks (click on the logos to visit them!) Allison J. or Jamie Allison Navarro is a self-confessed bibliophile. It may seem ordinary to some and she’s got her instagram account to show her love for reading. Reimagine and travel with her as she takes photos of places that reflects and or depicts the book that she’s currently reading. It may take a while for her to post, but it surely is worth the wait. Are you excited to see what book she’ll read next?
D REA M.BI G 2 0 1 5 CAL E N DA R aireescreates.com/shop/calendar
Looking for a unique calendar for 2015 that will make you get up and go for your dreams? Airees Rondain of aireescreates ultimate dream was to paint and she did that and more in less than a year with her dream.Big 2015 Calendar. Filled with her watercolor paintings of women and a motivating quote each month, you’ll surely be inspired to follow your dreams every single day of the year. Order your own copy today and start dreaming!
GREAT BALLS OF FUN! w o r ds a n d ph ot og rap hs b y C ac hi R e y e s
MATERIALS • crepe paper in different colors • small gift items • clear tape or glue • scissors • ribbon 10 | MAKE
STEP 1 First of all, choose the small items that you want to place inside your surprise ball. These can be different types of candy, rings, buttons, erasers, stickers, and other small toys. The more random your items are, the more exciting it will be for the person to unroll the ball. STEP 2 Choose the colors of the crepe paper that you will be using for your surprise ball. In my case I chose metallic colors because I want them to look like shiny Christmas balls that you can hang on your tree. Cut the folded crepe paper into about 1” to 1 ½” strips. STEP 3 Start wrapping the first item with a strip of crepe paper. To fully cover the toy be sure to wrap it in a rotating/crisscross manner. Once you are done with the first strip, use clear tape or glue to seal it.
STEP 4 Add another item on top of the ball and wrap it with crepe paper in a different color. It’s okay if your ball is not round. You can wrap it with more crepe paper to make the shape well-defined. Keep going until you’re done wrapping all small items into the ball. STEP 5 Once you’re done, decorate the ball with ribbons. I used gold crepe paper and yarn on all the balls. You can hang them on the Christmas tree, or place them in stockings, or give them as party favors. It’s that simple. It will be really fun to watch your friend unroll the ball and discover unexpected gifts from you!
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DOING SOME LAST MINUTE GIFTWRAPPING? Maybe these handmade ideas from our Instagram idols can help you out!
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For more daily doses of creative inspiration, click on their photos to go to their Instagram pages and follow away!
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T h e E s te r o n s is te r s te a m u p to c r e a te th is tu to r ia l w h ic h w il l h ave y o u w r it in g b e a u ti fu l w o r d s in n o ti m e !
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watercolors round brush (no.2 or 3) paper a cup of water
1. Wet brush in water and dip in color. Create a pool of watercolor in a palette. 2. Hold the brush in 90 degrees position before start w riting.
3. Do drills like these!
4. To create muscle memory, always remember: Downstrokes = thick lines (put pressure in the brush) Upstrokes = thin lines (slightly lift the brush)
5. P ractice w riting the letters! Keep in mind that when w riting letters, w rite them stroke by stroke (in the case of small letter â€œaâ€?, you have to make letter c first then and the loop on the right side of it).
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To connect letters, always start the next letter by connecting the end of the stroke of the previous letter.
pen S a il o r b r u s h a M a r v y Uc h id s h Pen L e Pl u me B r u ush Ko i W a t e r b r B e rk el ey s h Round B ru 16 | MAKE
7. Donâ€™ t be afraid to add flourishes or swirls in your work!
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23060 “Hello! I’m Kath Mitra and I am the Owner and Designer at 23060.” Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kath? A typical day for me would involve, either CAD work or sourcing/site visits for my other job. Then when I have idle time, I usually style & shoot my products so I have something to update 23060’s Instagram and Facebook page later on. When did you start crafting or making things? Since I was young, I already enjoyed making stuff. So before, school projects were usually a big deal for me, especially those where you need to be extra creative. What was your first crafting project and how did it go? I can’t remember the very first, but my favorite thing to craft are notebooks. What made you decide to create 23060? Cos I noticed that there are so many notebooks with covers featuring the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben or Empire State Building available in the market, but not a lot featuring the buildings in the Philippines. We have alot of beautiful buildings, so I guess that motivated me to come up with 23060. What made you decide to name your brand 23060? The reason behind it is very geeky, thats why sometimes Im embarassed to explain why. It was from the two 30-60 deg. triangles* that made up the logo I used to have in my old tumblr page. The two triangles formed the letter K, hence the name 2-30-60 (pronounced as two-thirty-sixty). *to those who might be unfamiliar, a triangle is a kind of ruler.
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What made you decide to focus on Philippine architecture, sceneries, and elements as your main design idea for the brand? Philippine Architecture is a topic close to my heart. The addition of designs celebrating other local topics sort of became a natural path to go, as it complements the local buildings that I already have. Are you working on a secret project for 23060? I was tempted to come up with a planner for 2015 due to the requests, but changed my mind midway as I dont want it to look forced and rushed. So maybe in 2016, we’ll come up with one. What’s your long-term goal for 23060? Do you see yourself having your own store or gallery? My main goal for now is to make as many people own/recognize a 23060 notebook. Can you give our readers some advice for craftrepreneur friends like you? You should always make sure that your current craft/ work is better than your previous one.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! Kath is giving away a Manila Theater Set to one lucky ducky! With the Manila Set, you can remember the popularity of local entertainment through the classic theaters of Manila designed by famous local Architects. It includes three notebooks (middle photo) and five stamped postcards (last photo). Here’s how to join! 1. Answer this question: What is your favorite local building? 2. Instagram a photo of the building you like. (It doesnt have to be your original shot) with #23060thisbuilding. 3. Include a short reason why you like that building. 4. Follow @23060_ph. 5. You can join until January 11, 2015. The best one will win the giveaway!
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CRE A TIVE N O O K
d u ma s b rot he r s
Five boys in the same house can be quite a handful. We, Nikko – an architect, Bullet – a folk singer, Lian – a Multimedia Arts student, Brikko - a freelance artist, and Seal – a student blogger taking up Literature, are the five boys of the seven Dumas siblings. Since we have quite similar needs for our different professions and we all badly needed a dedicated workspace, we decided to convert the maids’ quarters into our workspace. The small space worked nicely as we did want something compact. Our workplace is simple and linear. We made a fixed counter to accommodate our equipment - computers, cameras and paper materials. We also added a mini counter for laptops. It can be a workstation by day and a gaming area by night. It’s the space where we can fully express ourselves—write a song, cram for assignments, post-process videos and photographs, among others. WHAT WE LIKE MOST Nikko: It helps me easily discuss important design concerns. Architecture is basically about people, how they interact with those spaces. It is easy to ask, to counter check and get ideas from the “non-arki” mind. Bullet: I experiment with my songs. I play with the richness of my language. Translating songs from one language to another can be a lot easier with five minds, not just one! (chuckles)
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Lian: You got an audience! You got critics! I don’t need to get outside to know the good and bad points of my new project. Brikko: If I need some help with words or catchphrases, I’ll just turn to them and ideas will definitely come out! Seal: It’s very convenient to discuss topics that you need to know. And play DOTA with them afterwards. WHAT WE DISLIKE MOST Nikko: Messy! Especially when we have the same deadlines! Bullet: Noisy! If I need to record a song, I would politely ask them to leave the office. Lian: You can’t concentrate if you’re on the initial stages of the ideas development! Brikko: Peer pressure. We really can’t resist DOTA! Seal: No alone time. (You know what I mean) OUR FAVORITE PART Nikko: The turntable! We got a new stash! And I’m adding a crate for our vinyl collection. Lian: The turntable as well. I’m hooked with the Star Wars soundtrack! Bullet: I guess the high chair. It is very useful when I make my tutorial videos that I post on YouTube. Brikko: The industrial spotlight and the lighting
effect. It really sets the mood of the space! Divine intervention, maybe. Seal: The Library. From the classics to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from F. SIonil Jose to Murakami. Glad our eldest sister is a bookworm. I don’t need to buy those books for my schoolwork! HOW IT KEEPS US INSPIRED Nikko: Iba talaga pag may suporta ka sa bahay palang. Kung maganda, may automatic kang fans, kung pangit, may automatic kang kritiko. Gawa ka lang ng gawa. Bullet: Masaya lagi. Mas gaganahan ka lalo magsulat ng kanta! Lian: Since mom died, we got really close with each other. Your family will be your support base, your inspiration. With our common space, we get to bond more often! Brikko: For now, the space is just enough for us to do our day-to-day work. Hopefully, in the next few years, we get a larger space for the whole family. Seal: Makita ko lang sila, inspired na ako!
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THE SIMPLE LIFE We chat with the folks behind the concept store Craftsmith. int e r v ie w b y And r e a d e l a C r u z
p h otos b y J el i to d e Leon f or C r a f ts m i th
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Tell us about Craftsmith. What is the concept behind it? Craftsmith is a concept store born out of our love for simple, honest and down to earth approach to design and that is reflected in everything we create and sell. The products on our shelves each have a story to tell and most of them were slowly made by hand among other well curated, artisanal and utility objects, furniture and art that help promote simple, everyday living. Our Lost and Found area carry things we discover in our grandmotherâ€™ s old chest or treasures that have lost their sparkle. Our Homework line are things we use everyday to help us work better. Butter line makes anything taste good and our Butter shelves carry objects that add richness and flavor to your everyday ordinary. How did the founders of Craftsmith meet? The co-creators of Craftsmith are Mia De Lara and Kitty Bunag. Mia and Kittyâ€™s husband are first degree cousins. Mia started out as a graphic designer where she created brand identities for startup businesses and hand illustrated designs for accounts big and small
for the past 12 years. She also has recently built her own line of paper products and fabric accents under the brand, Mobu Days. Kitty has always worked as a photographer and interior stylist before she ventured into unique handmade accessories that eventually became an international brand, Kitty & Bee. We carry items that Mia and Kitty design and create themselves such as tea towels, aprons, pillows, paper products, macrame planters, bags and accessories. We also have items from their travels abroad, as well as locally sourced well curated products. For the furniture, they collaborate very closely with the manufacturers in terms of design and product development. We also cater to requests for customized pieces. We are working on expanding Craftsmith product lines to include candles, hand soaps and other items for the home. Little by little, we will also bring in other local and global brands that are aligned with the Craftsmith philosophy. Craftsmith is currently working on its black label items wherein certain products may be sponsored by people who wish to support a particular cause, project or organization. Though still a work in progress, we feel most proud to be a channel through which positive change begins.
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Mia and Kitty: How did you get started working together? It all started when we were both tasked to work on an interior design project together. Our clients sent us to a province in Indonesia to source furniture and accessories. We felt so little amidst hectares and hectares of beautiful furnitures and one of a kind handmade items. It was such a humbling sight to see hundreds of hardworking, disciplined Indonesians in factories. We were inspired beyond our imagination. We never planned to become business partners nor did we ever talk about it. But after that trip, we just knew that we’re destined for more than what we were currently doing individually. Like a calling we needed to follow. In our decision to collaborate & share to others the things we love to make and do, we felt peace that transcends all understanding. So here we are.
What made you decide to open a store? It has always been our dream to build our own brick and mortar. Though our (separate) online presence was thriving, we felt it was time to expand and be physically available to our customers who needed more tactile appreciation for our products. We’d like to think of Craftsmith as our playground - a space where we create freely - unbound by rules, where we share, collaborate and ultimately make a difference in the lives of those around us as well as organizations both environmental and humanitarian who are aligned with our philosophy. Can you share with us your creative process? How do you curate the items in your store? There’s really nothing methodical about our process, we create as our hearts lead us. Oftentimes, we find
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ourselves gravitating towards various Nordic design influences and lifestyle thereof. We explore far and wide and in the most unassuming places and events, we find inspiration. Tell us about your style and aesthetic influences. We explore far and wide and in the most unassuming places and events, we find inspiration. Perhaps we’ve reached some sort of a tipping point in our lives and we are drawn to simple, organic living. We find ourselves more and more inclined to designing backwards as we remake things that are long forgotten like postcards, apons, poetry and literature on tea towels and gift wrappers. Old school is what others might call it but for us, it is living simply and consciously away from the urgency and momentum of modern day living. What are your future plans for Craftsmith? In the near future we will promote the concept of “shared spirit” by holding workshops and sharing everything we know and learn with people who crave for slow living. In the process, we hope to inspire and uplift others by moving towards simple, down to earth, mindful and purposeful way of living. We are working on a couple of commercial interior projects and will definitely let everyone in the know as soon as we’re close to completion. The interiors of Lugar Bonito Boracay and The Wholesome Table restaurant are recent Craftsmith projects.
Craftsmith is located at 21 Crown Toer, 102 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. Follow them on Instagram via @craftsmithliving.
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THE POWER OF THREE These three pieces are timeless a nd versatile enough to be worn for various occasions (for work or for play)--we can almost imagine that theyâ€™re the BFFs of our closet! w o r d s a n d i l l u s tr a ti on s b y C a r l a C h u a
THE WHITE SHIRT This wardrobe staple is perfect for our tropical weather. You can pair it with colorful and printed skirts to work. Or wear it with a playful circle skirt and flats for a casual weekend look!
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NEUTRAL SLACKS Neutral Slacks - Slacks can be worn outside the office for a chic laid-back look. I like to pair my cropped slacks, preferably fitted, with loose sweaters or tops.
SHEATH DRESS Sheath dresses flatter many figures so this is a must-have in every girlâ€™s closet. You can wear a belt to emphasize the waist or wear it under a denim jacket.
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The ‘zizters’ of the Katha Magazine team share their story. How long have you known each other? E &G: We met at work. We worked together in Lomography for 3 years. What was your first impression of each other? E: I thought we’re not going to be friends HAHAHA. Although we were both new to the company, Geli was already friends with older staff members. #judgmental G: I thought she was one of our bosses because she was very tall and her name sounded foreign haha. Tell us 3 things most people dont know about Ella/ Geli. G: Ella is a vegetarian but she loves to eat anything with cheese, so that’s one and two and number three, she’s an ultimate crammer. E: Three things about Geli: Geli is the organized one because she’s always had this dream to be a visual merchandiser. So when we join bazaars, she’s OC about the display. Geli is also very “other peopleoriented” (is there a short term for this? Aha! Selfless!). She makes sure to attend to people’s needs aside from her own and does not hesitate to share her blessings. And Geli becomes extremely disappointed when Friuli runs out of mozza stixxx. What first comes to mind when Ella/Geli’s name is mentioned? Or What your most unforgettable memory of Ella/Geli? 30 | S TO RIES
G: An image of her curly and fluffy hair comes to mind. There are a lot of unforgettable memories with Ella. But I will never forget walking with her and an officemate from Philcoa to the end of Maginhawa because she told us that it’s near. Yup. I trust her that much. E: Not just Maginhawa, but Sikatuna Village Maginhawa! Hahahaha! Between the two of you who’s... The bossy one: Both, because we’re stubborn, sometimes. The funny one: Ella The talkative one: Both, we never ran out of things to talk about from ideas to random knowledge to chismis. The sabaw one: Ella How did you start working together? E: Our office used to be located in an area far from restaurants and convenience stores so we decided to put up a sari-sari store in our office. We sold old-school candies and chichirya as well as instant noodles and other snacks. Eventually we were able to save up enough capital to form Pop! Pins. G: We also had mini projects in between, from handling a fan page and making donut videos to organizing fun and random activities at the office. Through those little things, we were able to learn each other’s strengths and weirdness.
What was your first bazaar/event together? E: Pop! Pins was launched in December 2011. We had an event in the office and concessionaires were needed so we volunteered even though we don’t have any products yet. I came to the office one day with a tansan pin and I made and we thought that would be a great products to sell at the event. Since then what other events/collabs have you worked on together? E: We’ve joined a lot of bazaars as Pop! Pins and eventually launched our separate product lines. We still join events together like the 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair, Global Pinoy Bazaar and Type Kita. We also worked on the first ever face-off for Katha Magazine and now we have a Lettering x Calligraphy Workshop and Kit. G: After I resigned at our office, I stepped back from the arts and crafts scene for quite some time while Ella became very visible in that scene. It also inspired me to slowly reunite with what I love to do. It was fun to experience the thrill of getting to meet new people and just talk about what you love to do. Do you ever get into fights because of work? E: Hmm not really fights but misunderstanding? We’re crammers so before an event the stress levels are really high. G: Haha yes, no fights. I think that is the number one factor why our friendship works. We’re not afraid to
voice out our concerns as long as they’re reasonable. Tell us about your workshops and what makes them different from others? E: What makes our workshop different is we don’t put too much pressure on students to be good on their first try. It’s not like you need to have an output after the class; the lesson we want to teach is that nobody starts out great and anyone can be good at lettering and calligraphy with constant practice and study. G: We also try to make things as casual as possible. I know that people expect to learn a lot from their first workshop, but we want them to feel that it’s okay to make mistakes because it’s part of the learning experience. We learn from what we experience and the way we do it is we teach them the basics and then we allow them to do what they feel like doing. We also try to incorporate more laughs in between the workshop. E: We also want to communicate that lettering and calligraphy are different disciplines. In the age of Instagram and hashtags, it is easy to get caught up in labeling your work inaccurately. Even though many concepts overlap, it still pays to know the difference. How has your friendship evolved thru time? We have become zizters!!!
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How has your (business) partnership evolved thru time? Even though we are now managing our own product line, we have become each otherâ€™s sounding board and brainstorm buddy. Any advice for friends who want to start a business together/go into collabs? E: Make sure your friendship is really strong because when you start a business together and you realize you donâ€™t fully trust each other, your friendship and business will both fall apart. Also when doing collabs, you want to work together so you both show your strengths. Collabs are not for people who want to prove they are better than their friends. G: Be prepared for the unexpected. Friendship and business are both fragile things and you should understand and support each other. Know when to step in and voice out your concerns and handle issues like adults. We often laugh off problems but there are some things that we have to sit down and talk about it. Also, always remember; do not let the money be an issue. Business may fail but make sure that your friendship remains.
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b y I o r i E s piri t u
SOMETHING (S)PECULIAR We chat with the talented women behind the craft group Speculiars as they each interpret this issueâ€™s theme. 34 | S TO RIES
Can you tell us more about Speculiars? Contrary to popular belief, it is pronounced “spekyo͞olyars”, not “spe-kyo͞o-la-yars”. We are peculiar, not liars. Haha! There are five of us in the group. We each have our own creative specialties, with illustration as our common ground. We make and sell art, postcards, cards, accessories, ceramics, dolls. Our products are a reflection of our quirks and sense of humor. How was it formed? What inspired you to start this group? We all met at Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) just a few years ago, and discovered we all had the same love for arts, crafts, and weird stuff. We formed a bond spending (too) much time together as Ang INK officers. Some time last year, we found out the 10A Alabama Handmade Arts & Crafts Fair was coming up again. We all wanted to join but didn’t think it would be practical to join as individuals, so we formed a group. What do you like most about working with a group? The world gets bigger. You get to see from different perspectives, and the different insights from others enrich your own as well. What are some of the challenges when you’re working with a group? Accounting. We are so terrible at it! Also, space (in bazaars) is always a challenge for us because we have to share what is typically a table for one and fit all our merchandise in it. But that’s what creativity is for, right? From our understanding, you each have your own creative style and products when you join bazaars/ art fairs. However, have you encountered instances where you’re required to come up with a singular output? Can you tell us more about this, and the process behind it? We were recently commissioned to do the souvenirs for a special event. They wanted a family set made up of five members, so we simply divided the characters among ourselves. We were lucky that the client already had a very clear direction for us-- the sizes,
color palette, the whole look-- so it wasn’t difficult to make the final product look “one”. We sourced materials that were within the client’s budget, waited for the approval of sketches, then went to work individually. After that, we got together again to assemble and package everything. What do you think sets Speculiars apart from other art collectives/groups? Our varied interests contribute so much to our group’s character. It’s fun to work with people who like the same stuff that you do, but it’s also exciting to discover new things from others. That, plus having a good and sometimes irreverent sense of humor. Any dream scenarios for our local creative scene? A Renegade Craft Fair-like event would be great! Also, more government support and consideration for small businesses in the art and creative industry, art collaborations with different groups not limited to crafts; more parks, less malls and coffee shops; people from all walks of life learning to appreciate and support the local artists & makers; more sustainable materials available What are your dream projects? Speculiars group exhibit and that dream art book! Getting published as a group, why not. Travel to different places and learn crafts from the original masters. A store window concept & design. And since we’re in the topic of dreams, Fran wants to have a farm maybe similar to Casa San Miguel, with a giant library and a park. She wants to run a place where the community can be exposed to, take part in, and learn more about art. We also have this collective dream of living in a nice house by the sea, with a beautiful garden or farm and a studio space, far away from the chaos of the city. Any tips or inspiring words for makers or those who want to create art/crafts? Who said it first again? “Work hard, stay humble.” Also, it’s important to learn from others, but don’t compare yourself to other people too much. You’ll just end up making the same things as others, or that you’ll get too discouraged to make anything at all!
b y A nge la Tagu i a n g
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by F ran Alvare z
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WELCOME TO THE HOOD We interview the women behind the new blog, Peralehood, on how it is to start a blog with your family. int e r v ie w b y ay a d a l u m p i n es
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p h otos f r om P er a l ej o F a m i l y
Rica, Paula, Chesca, Maggie, Nica and Alex are from two generations of Peralejo women. Rica and Paula are sisters and Chesca, Maggie, Nica and Alex are their nieces. Recently, they started a family blog, Peralehood (link www.peralehood.com) featuring posts from each of them, as well as feature posts from other members of their family. We had a short chat with some of them on this new family affair.
RICA: No one person managing but all pull their weight for it. Though I would have to say Nica does the dirty job- the technical stuff and we owe her much for it.
How did you come up with your website, Peralehood? Whose idea was it? CHES: I think the idea of creating a family blog was from Taryx (Rica). We’ve always wanted to do a family-something. We discuss so many things but we usually end up sa kalokohan kaya ito pa lang yung natutuloy. “Peralehood” started as a joke, too.
CHES: If along the way we see something we can improve on, we discuss it, then implement it.
RICA: I always pushed for it, I think. Only because since the very beginning, way before blogs became a popular form of entertainment, I’ve always believed that my nieces were so artistic that everyone should see their works. Haha. So anyway I finally convinced them to start one together. PAULA: We were just blabbing possible names for the blog. Achi (Rica) has been pushing this for years but somehow, with our busy schedules and fickle minds, it just didn’t happen as quickly. By the way, it was Chesca who thought of the term Peralehood. She’s good with wordplay! Who manages the blog? CHES: We all do. But if it’s something super techie, we rely on Nica to figure it out. PAULA: For design, we leave it to the artists like Maggie, Nica, or Ches. We have general rules that we follow such as a general theme or days for posting for a particular person.
Does someone get the final say? RICA: All of us contribute our ideas, suggest, and we consult and support one another.
PAULA: No one has higher say - it will lessen our strength as a “hood” if we do that. How would you describe your relationships with one another? NICA: Complicated! It’s a mix of motherly titas who we grew up with their nieces and act like cousins, sisters even. Basta when we say (immediate) family, it doesn’t mean mom-dad-siblings, for us it always means lolo-lola-tito-tita-apo-pinsan-kapatidmagulang -- kailangan extended version talaga. CHES: Grabe Nic, hirap na hirap ako sagutin kasi hindi ko ma explain! Hahaha. PAULA: Ches, only Nica can explain weird things, like our relationship hahaha. But Nica is right, we do feel like we’re all sisters. My mom and dad “created” 2 batches. The first batch’s youngest is 13 years older than Rica, who is the oldest in the second batch (yes guys, this is a word problem hahaha!), and they all married young and had kids in their early 20’s, so our nieces (3 of them born on the same year ) are younger than me for only about 5 years. Then we all grew up in one house, so, yes, our immediate family includes our nieces (they think their Lola whom they call Lols is their mom, too!). Do we fight? Not really. We just tease each other a lot. STOR IES | 4 1
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RICA: Well, let’s just say I am glad we’re family. We can all be pretty direct and harsh individually and I think blood knows how to overlook little arguments here and there. But for the most part, I’d say we are a happy and crazy bunch. We almost cannot finish anything when we are together because we can actually laugh all day if we wished to. How does Peralehood reflect your relationships in real life? PAULA: Well, it does give readers a glimpse of our different and common interests. It also shows what we do when we’re together, how we bond, or what activities we all enjoy! RICA: Not really sure since we are just starting this blog thing. Maybe it’ll be more defined later on? Has this website changed your relationships with one another? PAULA: Well, it’s new. But in a way, yes, cause it also keeps us more up to date with each other now, especially for our nieces who are now based in the US. We talk on Viber a lot and Maggie, who loves music and gives all the cool playlists to listen to on the blog, always finds a way to incorporate our personalities in her posts and playlists so we get to talk about that a lot, too. We didn’t really talk about music as much before. Little things like that works better for us, cause we get to update each other with our new passion, interests and chapters in our lives. My sister and I are now married; my nieces in the Philippines are living on their own, my nieces abroad live in 3 different houses, so this blog really helps not only us, but our other family members to keep up with each other. It’s funny cause we end up commenting on each other’s posts! We are our fans. LOL! RICA: We haven’t been blogging that long to say for sure that it has changed us so much. But I do know that we’ve learned to be more honest to one another and I have learned how to phrase my words in a better manner when talking to them since we aren’t just talking opinions over here but something for real publishing. We’ve got readers to think about now. What should we expect from Peralehood in the near future? RICA: Honestly, I don’t know yet but I personally want us to do more travels together and to really get to know who we are on the web before anything else. NICA: Our travels, maybe? PAULA: We haven’t really planned far ahead. With six different personalities with an array of interests, handling a blog can be difficult and complicated. But with six different personalities who are family, handling a blog becomes less work and more play, and there can never be too much or too many to offer.
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int e r v ie w b y G e l i B a l c r u z
p h otos f r om I a n a n d P a t R u ed a s
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“Hello we’re Ian & Pat and we work as a team to create beautiful things at Paperthread Studio” Kindly describe your typical day as a couple and how you find a way to include creativity on a daily basis. As husband and wife, typical day is we prepare breakfast together. Since we got married we haven’t skipped the most important meal of the day :) After breakfast Ian prepares to go to work in a digital ad agency and Pat, as a full time freelance graphic designer, finishes all her deliverables to her clients. We spend our free time at night watching movies, listening to music, doodling and doing typography projects. Can you tell us the story on how did you guys meet? We met back in college ten years ago through a friend and some text messages. As a couple we both love music especially punk rock. We also both love going to gigs, Booksale to find cheap art books, magazines and graphic novels. Our passion for music and art is what attracted us together. How long or what made you realize that you were made for each other? 6 months after we met each other and from there we were able to know each other really well. We were in a 9-year relationship before we got married on May 2014. How have your lives change since you tied the knot, what differences and discoveries have you made along the way? We were able to accept each other’s flaws and weaknesses and turning them into a positive and healthy relationship.
You guys are both in the creative industry, do you share the same design vision or do you guys have different taste in design? We share the same vision and design aesthetics. We also share the same inspirations. Who and what are your design inspirations? What comes to mind when you create? Random things in our daily lives. The usual subjects are the couples that we help in telling their stories through design. As a couple we easily connect with our clients since we also got married recently and we understand the whole process of the preparations. We really enjoy what were doing especially when we are given the creative freedom by our clients. What inspired you to start Paperthread studio? Our own DIY wedding :) Telling stories through our creative passion. “PaperThread Studio” because we start our process through sketches in paper and we “thread” ideas together. What are your roles in paperthread studio? We both exchange ideas and brainstorm together. After that, we divide the work load equally. What is your dream project as an individual or for Paperthread studio? Nothing in particular, we just wanted our clients to be happy. And we love to meet new people and couples. Any future goals? To continue working with fun and lovely couples. Help them to tell their stories through our work. Can you share some advice/s for couples who want to tart a venture together? Just do what you love.
In what year did you start delving into the creative world? What hobbies or activities sparked your interest in your chosen craft? Both of us started early. Pat started watercolor and oil painting at the age of 9.While Ian is really into Saturday morning cartoons and comic books which got him into drawing and creating his own characters.
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WE ARE FAMILY The members of Orig.Kami share how crafting for them is a family affair. Int e r v ie w b y G el i B a l cr u z
Who are the members of Orig.Kami Handmade Novelties? Mary Elizabeth Alejo- Aytin (39 yrs old) a full time “nanay” to 2 year old and 11 year old boys; caregiver to 1 senior ;) all around housekeeper/handyman and full time painter/ craftsman. Worked briefly in NGOs for almost 2 years. Andrew Banuelos Aytin ( 41 yrs old), works in a non-government organization as advocacy and communications officer Prairie Fire “Diklap” Alejo Aytin (11yrs old) grade 5 student of Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School in Quezon City, a consistent honor student (top of his class) from grade 1 to present (may yabang ang nanay pagbigyan nyo na) - can delete this ;) Candelaria Belloca Alejo (63 yrs old); she passed away January 19 this year, mother of Mary Elizabeth, and Diklap’s Lola. The above mentioned are the mainstays of Orig. Kami. One time we asked reinforcement from my painter sisters Mary Ann Alejo–Burgos to help paint on wooden objects and Mary Jane Alejo for managing our FB Page from time to time. What are the craft specialties of each member? Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Alejo- Aytin - paints on different objects, mainly on real birds’ eggs and glass bottles, then objects of the common Filipino folk household like chopping boards, wooden/bamboo spoons and forks, bilaos and palu-palo, and washing board, banigs and “palengke” mirrors. Andrew Banuelos Aytin ( 41 yrs old) is the origami “folder”. Skilled in miniature origami.
P h otos f r om O r i g .Ka m i
Prairie Fire “Diklap” Alejo Aytin (11yrs old) prolific “doodler” of his signature monsters and is now developing his own kind of humor and wit – “ comic book” creations and characters. Has so far sold handdrawn stickers and 1 painting at 10A Alabama (first), White Space Sunday Pop Up and 98B Escolta. Candelaria Belloca Alejo (63 yrs old) passed away January 19 this year, she was the one who made dolls out of old socks, thus we labeled the dolls “sock dolls by Lola”. She also made, from time to time, origami foil curtains and taught herself by sheer will on how to weave a bayong. Did you grow up to a family of crafters or did curiosity made you try new things? Betsy: I grew up with artists in the family (painters). One (deceased) taught fine arts in a university, and she was a lover of things beautiful. Andrew: It is a combination, sort of. The love for folding papers was imbibed by my grandmother who folded paper flowers for the departed during All Saints’ Day and for the sagalas during Santacruzan. Origami tickles my imagination and curiosity. It also gives me a sense of relief. Diklap: I grew up seeing my tatay and nanay transform ordinary objects into works of art. At an early age, I developed my love for drawing through their example and encouragement. Can you tell the story on how the family became a family of crafters? I.e. who started with origami and how did it emerge into decoupage, painting etc. Actually t’was the other way around, I started with painting, that is why early in our “art fair ventures”, our name was simply “ Egg art/Betsy”.
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It all started with the love for finding odd but beautiful things in “obscure” shops in Metro Manila. During one of our “treasure huntings”, I saw decoupaged eggs in one shop in Cubao. I became interested in making them that I immediately signed up for a workshop the shop was offering with an intention of combining decoupage with painting. That shop in Cubao sold chiyogami papers ( Japanese handmade papers) for the decoupaged eggs making. When I purchased the chiyogami papers for my decoupaged eggs, origami came to mind ( just so you know, I am a lover of Japanese Art and Crafts ). When I later realized that it was expensive to buy the chiyogami papers for the decoupage, I decided to paint the eggs. I soon found out that it was easier for me to paint them than to glue chiyogami cutouts on them. Thinking of something to make out for the unused chiyogami papers, I asked my husband to make me origami cranes out of the chiyogami papers. He learned folding the origami crane from a friend a long time ago but has since been drawn into origami as a form of stress relief. One day, I saw an origami art exhibit on the internet featuring miniature gold cranes. Then, I got an idea they could be made into earrings. InitialIy, I just asked my husband to make some really small ones to make them into earrings. During the next bazaar, we were surprised that the origami earrings clicked among young and old, locals and foreigners alike. We then tried to learn more about making origami jewelry: how to make the papers sturdy and water-
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proof, how to fold origami flowers and animals and turn them into jewelry and how to make them even more “cool and cute” as one of our “suki” describes them. Then, we realized that if we could transform papers and eggs into works of art why not try it on other objects like used bottles, used wooden ladles, paint brushes, mirrors and even winnowing baskets and chopping boards. Our table during bazaars then became a smorgasbord of art works from ordinary objects. Lately, Diklap added his merchandise on the table: his stickers. At what age Diklap started drawing? What are the inspirations behind his works and why did he decide to sell his stickers? Diklap started “making istorbo” my painting sessions when he was 2. We have now in our living room his first 2 paintings which he did when he was 2, acrylic on canvass ( doodle brushstrokes). He did his first self-portrait when he was 3 (you can find it in one of his albums on his FB page). From my memory as a mother, his early drawings were of monsters (cute ones), perhaps it was inspired by Sesame Street and Sponge Bob characters: his favorite TV programs back then. Right now, he draws inspiration from Marvel Comics characters and Japanese B movie monsters and Kaiju. He is also obsessed with comics. The sticker inspiration was “borrowed” from a French woman who sells in 98B Escolta the art and crafts of one community she helps. I found it genius of her to let the children draw on sticker papers.
His doodles sell like hotcakes because it’s obviousthey’re neat, skilled drawings and made by an 11 year old. He can even customize right in front of the “thrilled” customer. It’s a great way to keep him busy and make him learn to love the way we make moneyout of blood, sweat and tears- nah, there’s no blood, just sweat maybe and lots of fun and excitement to create. And this is nanay’s secret- I give my 100% trust in them; that they are talented individuals, each one unique. What made you decide to sell your artworks? We were confronted with a very challenging reality- I and my husband should earn to survive the difficult economic situation in the Philippines. But I couldn’t afford a yaya, and I grew up without yayas. Mothering is a top priority for me. I asked myself then “based on my experience, what was it that I was able to make money?” The answer: the visual arts. So I have focused on the art deco line: not so expensive, not so cheap either. It is actually a compromise of some sort for a painter like me. I want many to people to acquire and appreciate my works, but I also know that art aint cheap. That the artist needs to be compensated justly. I just maintain a personal philosophy that I’m going to be close to the people as much as possible, and just do- harnessing my painter skills and at the same time feed my family. Because of my miniature illustrations and paintings on eggs, bottles and glasses and having “unique” works, I can say that I don’t have any competition. My visibility in the arts and crafts fairs has earned for me good patrons for my paintings. My canvass
maybe odd and difficult, but that is what I’m striving for: rare + beautiful = money . Because of this uniqueness in my art that people are taking notice of my work. In 2012, I was commissioned to make the trophies for Hildegarde Awards (St. Scholastica College): a mother and child wrapped in yellow malong painting in 3 ostrich eggs. My glass paintings on vintage windows (an idea by and in collaboration with Ressurection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery ) were always sold out at Makati’s Art in the Park. What made you decide to name your group Orig. Kami Handmade Novelties? Orig.Kami is a play on two words, origami and original: kailangan di masyadong seryoso, dapat Pinoy, at dapat eksakto. But essentially, these two words can best describe the spirit of our atelier: the crafts are made by talented members of my family, we help each other out. Personally, it is also my mantra - to be yourself no matter how odd/different you may seem to be for others. Being true to oneself is the key to beautiful work. Much to my surprise, when I researched the word origami later, I found out that it came from two words: “ori” (to fold) and “kami” meaning paper and also “god” ( “kami” becomes “gami” when combined with “ori”). Galling no? We came upon the origin of origami unawares. Our logo (an origami crane and was drawn by Diklap) was intended as such to represent simplicity.
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How did business affect your family relationship? Art is a weapon, I was taught and I used it on myself to battle my own “monsters” and when I saw that it was “good”, I decided to share it with my family. It brings happiness to the spirit. And it is indeed more fun when we do things together; it naturally binds the family. Di ba ang mga katutubo pag nagtrabaho sa kaingin naka-sling ang baby sa katawan ng nanay? Ganun rin kami, kasama sila as much as possible, because that is our situation, and I can say our way of life.
Technology and the hand-made movement should work hand in hand. Technology, actually, has done a lot to advance /revive the traditional arts as exemplified by ETSY and others. Let us take technology to our advantage.
What other crafts would you like to delve into? We’re still studying the following :“resin” jewelry (miniature origami encased in resin), fabric origami and fabric manipulation, gilding (applying gold leaf ) for my other painting projects in the near future, and paper sculpture of some sort. (not exactly paper mache), with Diklap’s designs in mind. For the “far” future- designing origami inspired furniture/ foldable cardboard furniture and lamps.
We will always have a market, no matter how small, so don’t give up easily. My advice to families and individuals who are into handmade and crafts (from things to food) - we will survive even if the y2k bug were true! Haha. We don’t want our country to be known for knock-offs and substandard creations. In my opinion, we are not in danger of being wiped out of civilization.:)
Do you have any future plans for Orig.Kami? I dream of a shop with an atelier, and a garden beside it. In this day and age where everything is digital and every craft has an app, what are your advice/s for individuals or families to nurture and protect the handmade movement? That is a hard one, because I don’t even know what an “app” is and how it is used exactly haha. Our mobile phones are ancient, we call them dinosaur phones.
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In this age of mass production and instant everything, there is a thirst for things handmade- people complain all the time that they don’t have “time” for many things- so I make it my business to put time into an artwork or craft, so they sell well.
The challenge though is for the government to maximize our countrymen’s talents, cause right now, we are doing a job far better than what it is doing in utilizing our creative talents.
You can find out more abour Orig.Kami by visiting these links. • facebook.com/OrigKamiHandmadeNovelties • facebook.com/pages/Egg-Art-by-Ysab/ • https://www.facebook.com/diklap.a.aytin
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I’M STILL LEARNING as interviewed by Geli Balcruz
Photos by June Digan
Some works of art demand bold reactions and daring interpretations. But other works of art require quiet appreciation, such as those of June Digan.
I started delving into the creative world in my elementary days, but it got serious when I decided to study fine arts in college. I blame my coloring books for this. Bit I was self taught until I entered college
Art is my passion.
HER WORK I paint positive quotes, and it is usually based on how I feel on that specific day. Because I don’t know how to use oil paint, I decided to use watercolor instead. Plus watercolor is my favorite medium, I like how you can control everything by using water.
I was in college when I started creating things with pens, brushes and watercolor. Up to this day, watercolor is still my preferred medium when I paint. I am currently employed in a multinational company where I am part of a creative team. With our very busy schedule, I still manage to find time to do the things I love the most --- to paint and do letterings. If you will notice the themes that I love to pursue are nature and beautiful quotes. I do this to remind myself how wonderful life is. I actually never imagined that through my work, I will be able to inspire others as well. In the future, I am hoping to be able to produce a book with a compilation of all my artworks. But until then, I will continuously enhance my craft by practicing. Like the old saying goes: Practice makes progress. HOW IT STARTED When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and an astronaut.I grew up in a typical Filipino household, where I was surrounded by people who love music more than art. So I always thought that we don’t have this artistic blood running through our veins but I later found out that we have some distant relatives who happened to be painters/artists.My inspiration would be my parents. They were the ones who pushed me to be who I am today.
I create to practice, and everything I write is about how I feel. I do it for the passion, not for the likes. I feel honored and overwhelmed [about being recognized for the work I do]. But the truth is, I really don’t know how to react whenever people say something about my work. FUTURE PLANS I wanted to publish my works in a form of a book, like a compilation. I was [also] supposed to create something for Christmas but I got busy, so no series for now. But I’m planning to do the 365 artwork project next year though. Wish me luck! NUGGETS OF WISDOM People can easily find instructions on lettering/ painting in books but one important thing they should know is that art requires a lot of patience. You need patience to find your own style, and even to finish one piece of work.
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IT COMES IN THREES words by Anna Graham
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photo from Baihana
Two heads are better than one. So imagine what you get when you’ve got three. Three different, unique (and slightly crazy) heads. They say three’s a party, and we would happily attest to that. Baihana comes from the word “Bayhana” which means “woman”, or a more accurate translation would be the phrase “that woman”. A sort of naughty/ sassy kind of connotation is associated with the term, which we felt worked well for what we wanted the group to be. A little naughty, sassy and surprising in a way. We formed the group back in 2008, and what I thought would be a hobby or a sideline, eventually turned into my main “job”. We’ve been blessed to do bar gigs, corporate gigs, weddings, birthdays; thrilled to have guested at concerts of artists we idolize like the APO Hiking Society, Noel Cabangon, Richard Poon, and recently at the 60th birthday concert of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, where we got to sing “Mamang Kutsero” which he rearranged especially for us; and extremely overwhelmed we’ve been given several opportunities to participate in different Jazz festivals in Malaysia and Indonesia. To be given the chance to perform in front of Jazz artists from other countries has been so enriching and exciting. It’s always nice to be able to perform and showcase our music, but it’s even better when you come home more inspired and driven by all the talented musicians you get to watch. Baihana was formed back in 2008 when Krina Cayabyab and I were still in college. Krina and I were classmates for one Music literature class, and she knew Mel Torre from the choir they were part of. Inspired by the album of the Puppini sisters, we were further drawn to the tight vocal harmonies of the Andrew sisters, the Chordettes, the Swingle singers, Pentatonix, the New York voices, the Manhattan transfer and the Real group. We were in love with how the Puppini sisters sang new songs arranged in the Bebop swing style of the ‘30’s-‘40’s, and knew that that was the path we wanted to take. From doing classics like Mr. Sandman, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and Java Jive, we do our own arrangements of more contemporary songs like Say My Name by Destiny’s Child, Lady Gaga songs, 90’s pop hits, Sunday Morning, Firework, etc. We find joy in singing our own arrangements of songs, or what we like to call
the “Baihana-nized” version of songs, all arranged by our own music genius that is Krina Cayabyab. When we’re not rehearsing or performing, we keep busy with our own endeavors. Krina is an instructor at the University of the Philippines Diliman - College of Arts and Letters. She teaches Art Studies while taking up her Masters degree in Musicology at the College of Music. She also teaches Voice and Music theory at the Ryan Cayabyab School of Music, and does freelance work as a composer and arranger. Mel is a Yoga and Barre 3 instructor, does freelance work as a voice talent, and sings with the long running Blues band, the Blue Rats. My husband and I opened Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe last year, and own a franchise of The Burger Project. I also do freelance work as a back-up singer, but when I’m not performing I try to spend as much time at the Cafe, manning the counter or chatting with customers. A lot of people ask us what our secret is in staying together as a group for 6 years now. It’s quite simple: We love music, we have the same goal for Baihana, we’re all willing to work extra hard, and we’re friends. Three women in one group, so yes, we have had our share of fights and misunderstandings, and I’m sure we’ll encounter some more in the future. But we always try to talk things out because at this point we do consider each other sisters already. So it’s no surprise that half of the rehearsal time is spent chitchatting. Funny how different our personalities are, and yet we seem to have the craziest and best of times together. We’ve been through a lot and have always been there for each other, helping each other through bad times, and celebrating milestones together. I am blessed to have found a little family in our band. And I can firmly say that they’re all kind-hearted, loving and extremely talented people, which makes it so easy to make beautiful music together. Please do watch out for our first ever album, because once it’s finally out, we can assure you that we’ve poured all our hard work and love into it, and hope that you’ll love our music as much as we do. Checkout their some of their youtube videos! • 2012 medley • Firework • Ako Nalang • 90’s Cartoon medley
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TWO OF A KIND We talk to Kat De Jesus and Patty Tiu from the DJ duo Deuce Manila about how they got started DJing and their creative process. interview by Andrea dela Cruz
How did you two meet? We met back in 2011 in a DJ Competition where Kat competed. How did you get started working together? Kat was already a starting dj when we met. I learned the basics of dj-ing from Kat and the rest of the people in Looper Beat Academy (DJ School where Kat learned). Do you still remember your first gig? How was it? Our first gig together was back in October of 2011 in Masskara Bacolod. This was the time we discovered a female dj duo would work in the clubbing industry. What’s your most memorable gig? We have been Deuce Manila for almost 3 years, and all of our performances are very memorable. Especially when we get to perform representing the Philippines in another country-or get the chance to share the stage with local legends and international acts/djs. How do you go about creating your mixes? Who decides what songs to play? Every set is spontaneous. We decide what to play, when to play a specific track depending on the energy of the people in front of us. Since you work together on a single stage, how do you go about splitting tasks between the two of you during gigs? Being a dj duo isn’t easy. We become one on every performance. Us being a couple before being a dj duo also takes part, because of the chemistry we have for each other. What is the most challenging part about working together? Pros: We get to do what we love, with the person we love, (each other ). Cons: We can’t think of any! Who are your musical influences? Patty - Tiesto, Kaskade, Chicane Kat - The Beatles, Steve Aoki 58 | T UNES
What is your earliest memory involving music? Kat: Learning to play the guitar and piano in grade school, being a drummer in a band back in highschool, making mixtapes using a cassette tape for cheer dance mixes in school. Patty: In my early childhood, I constantly played around with the equalizer of the radio. I also play the guitar and know how to use the piano and drums. How does your dream gig look like? Looking back when we first started as Deuce Manila, all we wanted was a regular club gig in Manila. But weâ€™ve gotten so much already throughout the years, and I guess most of our dream gigs already came true. :) What is your proudest moment or greatest achievement as a musical duo? Debuting Deuce Manila and winning in Manila Mix Off 2012. Getting the chance to open for David Guetta on his Manila tour and launching our careers. Having a billboard on Edsa for Human PH last year and proving that DJâ€™s too can be models, and not just the other way around. Apart from music, what other things do you like doing together? We donâ€™t always get the chance to do as much because weâ€™re always both so busy with our schedule. But we like going to the mall, playing video games. One thing we like to do is talk with each other. We have out of this world conversations that are very entertaining (way better than watching the television! ;) What words of wisdom can you share to our readers who would like to get started dj-ing as well? As for technicalities, if they really wanna learn, they have to learn the right way. There are a number of studios now such as Beat Project Manila and Bounce Electronic Music & DJ School where they can enroll and learn. Our answer for this would always be the same: Do it for the right reasons. đ&#x;˜ƒ Follow them at facebook.com/Deuce.Manila for gig updates.
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Let’s CELEBRATE words and photos by Jaclyn P.
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What I love about going home for the Holidays is the general feeling of cheer, warmth, love and hopefulness. It’s during these months that we shelve and forgive the year’s hurts, disappointments and failures. And gear up for the year that’s about to come. We are still a very optimistic breed, us, Filipinos.
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A SURPRISE FOR MAMA Cachi shares with us tips and tricks on how to make simple DIY party decor on a tight budget. Here’s the backstory: Our mother never had a “debut” when she was a teenager, that’s why she wanted all her daughters to have one. Now that my sisters and I are past 18 years old, we thought that it was our mom’s turn to have a fancy party. I was assigned to do the decor for the party, and I’m going to share with you what I did and some few tips that you may find useful.
Theme and Colors Just like a sweet sixteen party, our theme was floral and the colors I chose were peach, cream, mint, and gold. These colors go well together as peach is comes from the family of red, while mint green becomes a complimentary color. Cream serves as a neutral color, and the gold is added as an accent for texture. The party invites, the powerpoint presentation, the cake, the decor, all of those
things had to stick to the theme. Even the birthday candles were spray painted to fit the color scheme. Divisoria Finds and Saving Trash If you’re planning a fancy party on a tight budget, we all know Divisoria is the go-to place. We got Geena cloth in five different colors at Ilaya Street for P20.00/yard. The gold spray paint was bought in 168 Mall for P80.00 a can. Along Tabora Street there are plenty of party accessories and craft items at a cheap price. The 3D paper mache letters about 8 inches tall are at P18.00 per letter, while small mason jars and bottles range from P8.00 to P15.00. You can also use items from your home. You’ll be surprised by how much money you save if you start collecting those mayonnaise jars, old glass candle holders, and those Vitamilk bottles (they look really pretty when spray painted).
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Table Centerpieces Table centerpieces can be under the caterer’s services but I wanted the party to be more personal so this turned into a DIY project. First I sprayed the bottles with white spray paint before spraying the gold paint. The white paint will serve as a primer, making the gold color pop out more. But unless you want a sheer gold effect, you can skip the priming. Then you can add different flowers in the bottles and jars.
The size of the sash was about 6 inches wide by 90 inches long, enough to make a bow at the back of the chair.
Objects look good together when grouped in odd numbers. So group your mason jars and bottles in three, five, or seven per table. It would also look nice if they are of different sizes.
Paper Decor When it comes to last minute party decor, paper is your best friend. For the buntings, I cut triangles with wrapping paper and instead of sewing the triangles on to the ribbon, I just used double sided tape. And for the stage decor, I just made tissue paper pompoms that were made the night before.
Signages We decided to have chalkboard signages for the party, just like the cute wedding signages that I saw on Pinterest all the time. I used old black illustration boards that I found in our storage room and they worked just fine. I’m not a pro at calligraphy so I had to lightly write on the board with a pencil first before finally using chalk. Here’s an awesome tip: once you’re done writing with chalk, spray the whole board with hairspray to seal it and it will prevent the chalk from smudging whenever you’re packing or setting up. Chair Sash For the chair sash, I asked for extra help here from our seamstress. I didn’t want to cut them myself because the fabric will have loose threads so I asked for help to seam the edges of the sash.
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Usually chair sashes in parties that I attend are in only one color. But I tried a little experiment by using five colors that match the theme. At first my sisters thought it would look too messy when I brought up that idea, but if you pick the right colors, it will look beautiful.
Keeping this party a secret was the hardest part. It’s because my mom always asks us what we’re up to. She even caught me one time when I was up late at night making the pompoms. I told her it was for a Christmas party, and she asked me if she could have them after. That was a close one. But despite getting caught, I could say that my mom was surprised on the day of the party. She knew there was a special family dinner for her that night but she didn’t know that it was going to be fancy and that her close friends were going to be there. Organizing a party for our mother was one of the best things that my sisters and I did together.
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CHEERS TO THE YEARS
We interview the founders of Elation Buffet about the key to their successful business, plus they share some of their own cocktail recipes for the holidays to boot. interview Aya Dalumpines Whose idea was Elation Buffet? Aina: Back when I was still in college, ate Veron and I would always talk about establishing our own business. Issa: At first, we didn’t know what it would be until my birthday came and we wanted to have alcoholic drinks for my party. From there, ate Veron came up with the idea of having a mobile bar business. The following day, we researched, bought all sorts of alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic mixers from the grocery, and then started experimenting our own concoctions at home! Aina: With research, creativity, our personal touch, and our parents’ support, we’ve come up with our signature flavors and own look for our bar set-up, and arranged a launch party in just a span of 6 weeks. Before, we just wanted to start something that would make us earn, but everything just fell on its proper place. Until now, we’re still continuing to provide high quality drinks and service to all our clients. Who manages the business? Is there a hierarchy you follow? Veron: No hierarchy. Each of us has her own assignment. We also consult each other when making decisions. Aina: Ate Veron and I, being the two eldest among us five, mainly manage the business because 6 years ago, when we started, Issa, Joyce, and Tine were still young. Since then until now, ate Veron and I do all the work from meeting and booking clients, managing our website and other social media accounts, purchasing our ingredients, mixing our drinks, and supervising our events. Issa, Joyce,
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photos Abesamis Family and Tine help us with sales, talking to prospects, and operations, mixing drinks for all our events. Issa: We’re proud to say that up to this point, we still personally mix our drinks and we never hired anybody else to do it! Veron: We’re also very lucky to have hardworking, dedicated, and loyal bartenders who help us operate and bring fun to our parties! Hello to our bartenders! Special mention to our Supervisor and Head Bartender, Joey de Guzman, who has been with us since day one! How would you describe your relationships with one another? Veron: We’re extremely happy because we’re very close and intact. We celebrate each other’s triumphs, but we also strongly depend on each other during difficult times. Tine: We complement each other. Some of us can be very serious, but some of us bring humor to the relationship. Some can be very systematic or logical while some can be very eclectic and spontaneous. However, together, we bring out the best in each other. How does your Elation relationships in real life?
Joyce: Our business is all about putting different alcohols and flavors into one bar that will make a difference in an event. Just like our business, we all have our own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, but these put together is what makes us successful in what we do.
Has having a business together changed your relationships with one another? Veron: Younger sisters became more responsible and learned the value of hard work. They learned that if they want something, they should work hard for it. Tine: Our relationship is much stronger because throughout the years we’ve managed our business, we’ve recognized each other’s strengths and weaknesses, may it be work related or not. It made us more appreciative of what one can or cannot bring to the table and we’ve learned to try and work on it as a team. What should we expect from your Elation Buffet in the near future? Aina: We were known as a mobile bar for teens and young adults, but we gradually transformed to being a must- have in a wedding, debut or corporate event. Joyce: As we enter our 7th year, we’re passionate to continue serving not just delicious flavors of drinks, but also signature ones that we can call our own. As long as somebody supports and loves us, we will continue to give our dear clients parties that will bring them to high spirits each and every time! Veron: Our business may seem small and simple, but it gives so much fulfillment because we become a part of other people’s milestones in their lives – we become a part of a couple who will start their life together, a teenager who will enter adulthood, a company who will celebrate a year of hard work and a student who will finally graduate from school. More than that, we’re able to give work and a source of income to our bartenders and their families.
Turn to the next page for some fun holiday recipes by Elation Buffet! NOM S | 6 9
by Lando Cusi
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The mix of berry flavors will surely pack a punch and make a Merry Christmas. YOU WILL NEED 1⁄2 bottle (750 ml) vodka 1 bottle (750 ml) raspberry vodka 1 liter cranberry juice 250 ml Sprite or 7 Up or any white soda 1 cup ice cubes Chill all the ingredients in the refrigerator overnight. Place the ice cubes in a punch bowl and pour in all ingredients. Stir gently and serve! TIPS • Add lime slices in the bowl to add a pop of color • Use crushed green candies as garnish. Moisten the rim of your glass with vodka or lime juice. Dip the rim into the green candies to frost.
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by Lando Cusi
CHRISTMAS COOKIE COCKTAIL
Reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie, this will bring nostalgia and warm fuzzies all over. YOU WILL NEED 30 ml butterscotch schnapps 25 ml Bailey’s Irish cream 15 ml cinnamon schnapp Fill a shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add all ingredients. Shake well and strain into the glass. Cheers!
TIPS • Top the drink with chocolate chips and/or cinnamon powder to complete your Christmas Cookie. • Butterscotch schnapps can be substituted with butterscotch syrup . • You can also substitute cinnamon schnapps with homemade cinnamon syrup. To make your own cinnamon syrup, make simple syrup of equal parts of water and sugar and add cinnamon extract.
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by Lando Cusi
The spiked version of hot cocoa, chocoholics will surely love this creamy, indulgent drink. YOU WILL NEED 45 ml crème de cacao 30 ml vodka 15 ml crème de menthe 60 ml heavy (double) cream Fill a shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add all ingredients. Shake well and strain into the glass. Enjoy! TIPS • Top with shavings of chocolate. • If you couldn’t find crème de cacao, you could use chocolate milk or syrup as substitute. • If you prefer pure chocolate, omit crème de menthe from the recipe.
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by Ella Lama
OUR NEXT ISSUE’S THEME IS
NOURISH We don’t just mean food here. We’re talking about all things that enrich the body, mind and soul. If you have a wild idea, you can email us at email@example.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!
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We’d like you to think about those special in your heart. Have you ever wondered about what makes them so? It’s this thought that made us de...
Published on Dec 21, 2014
We’d like you to think about those special in your heart. Have you ever wondered about what makes them so? It’s this thought that made us de...