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Love In times of silence In grave times Is a cinder Against wind Nursed by breath By embrace A keepsake exchange Among friends

Love In days of spring Is the unfurling Soundless song Of gratitude From old cracks in the ground

Love In my flesh and blood hours Is a token of hope Kept close A ward against time A glimmer of eternity Love is you Love is me Sometimes vulnerable Always unyielding

We are love. Jubilant Possibility

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Love. Love. Love. (I say this in the tone of Ben Stiller in Heartbreak Kid)

money) isn't there, the love keeps an artist going.

Last issue, we started off from a new beginning, a clear slate. That’s how we ended the year and if you’ve read our last issue now you know what we are, a space of infinite possibility.

But I've got to admit…though there is always the bright side, sometimes we can be very cynical. What was it the Eraserheads wrote?

As a team, the Spark Online Magazine staff discussed what we choose to fill that space with. When the word, "Love", was put into the air, there was an immediate consensus that it would be one of the best ways to start our year. So we put it out into the world through our Facebook and Contribute page. And one thing I noticed is that when it comes to love, everyone has something to say. Like our last issue, everyone had his or her own definition. But one thing I really noticed was the excitement and passion involved in every pitch. It was like love was so easy to talk about. People threw in ideas about self-love, romantic love and even the love in what you do.

"In a world where everybody hates a happy ending story, it's a wonder love can make the world go round." And there's nothing wrong with it. That's life. That's how we see it sometimes. But it's a whole different story to be resigned and choose not to live life with a smile. What we've chosen to create for this issue is a space for everyone to share his or her love (whatever that may be) but most of all it’s a space where love really makes you move forward. So here's to love! But more importantly a love within all of us that gives us the power to make our lives bright and gives us the opportunity to be the difference and transform the world.'

So much of art is the love you find within it. I guess that's why even when the money (or the food that you buy with the

What caught my eye this issue:

Gayuma is back… the power of youth in local arts! A great sixteen-year-old musician representing Bag Love Martial Arts is making a difference!

I really liked "Playing with space" article. The possibilities are definitely endless! - Chrissie Anne Legaspi (Manila, Philippines) Thanks for the kind words! They reassure me that my words aren’t going on unheard and I’m not just talking in my head making up that I wrote an article. And I feel you… the possibilities are indeed endless. What possibilities do you see in your life and what are you taking on? ! Good stuff! What inspired you to start this online publication? -Wainwright Yu It may sound idealistic but for me personally I did it for social change. I’m tired of seeing Filipino artists only being recognized when they are recognized abroad. I was tired of artists not getting paid properly. This is one of my actions. And it wouldn’t be possible without a team that didn’t help and nurture that spark into what this magazine is today. I love my team and I love all of our readers! You make all of this possible! “Spark Online Magazine is a great way for artist (sic), writers, poets, photographers and the like to express themselves freely without certain boundaries. It is not like your typical jobs where you only need to meet the requirements of the client. Where it is all about what the client wants, what are they vision, what they want to portray. Artists are just given the task to translate those requirements or expectations into Art; whether in the form of poetry, songs, graphic designs, or photographs, artist (sic) are bound by the requirements of their client. This is not what I saw in Spark magazine. Where artist (sic) are free to express they (sic) own visions, express what want to portray (sic), express how they view the world. Spark magazine is a noble way to show appreciation to all artist (sic) and to art itself.” - Aj Baretto Thanks for acknowledging what we are doing! We really work to make the magazine a space for full self-expression and a place where there are not many restraints in the possibilities others are creating for themselves. And more than anything, it is for the world to see that everyone is an artist and anything is possible. Share the love!

Send your comments or questions to

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{ spontaneous collaborative poetry } BY: CORINNE CHING AND FRIENDS








Richard W. Dacalos Editor-in-Chief / Renaissance Man-in-Training

Smarla Angtuaco (External Contributor) Tina Arcilla (External Contributor) Corinne Ching Anna Escay-Cortez Marco Dinglasan Kara Escay Isabel Garcia (External Contributor) Cobbie Karagdag Erica Villanueva Yosu de Erquiaga (External Contributor)

Monique Tolentino Managing Editor / Contributor Erica Villanueva Copy Editor / Contributor Nica Hechanova Creative Director / Contributor Kenneth Alonso Graphic and Layout Design / Contributor Anna Escay-Cortez Creative Consultant / Contributor

My Masterpiece Movement Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines mail to:

PUBLISHERS IndieART Inc Media Publishing and Management San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines 2 mail to: new beginnings +63922 8822325

With your heart you touched mine, You gave it faith, hope and love. With your soul you searched for mine, You called me yours bow you are mine. Through your mind goes everything that’s in mine, You loved me first. In your strength I found mine, And you have made me glad You love with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength; the very same way you called us to love you.

So the sun and his light lay to rest while the moon and her beams rise from her slumber nest lost in time and infinity's quart the star crossed lovers play their part never together in a single moment their hearts, dreams, and wishes left bent emotions spiral while spirits let flight star crossed lovers doomed in their endless plight the sun shines bright, hope and faith with his light and sky and she, he will bathe his love carried to her by the stars "and star crossed as they may be", said Mars the bodies that twinkle whisper to her carrying his love boundless, ever fonder

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And we’re back… Last issue, I planted the seed of trying on new things and letting the world surprise me as I surprised myself. I even suggested the next activity might involve a pole. Though I considered the idea, I felt I would spare the girls in the pole dancing class from the sight of me in Speedos hanging upside down (revel in my imagery). Also, I used my budget on other things. The more economic route (and more challenging one) led me to something I love just as much (I need to clarify. I love dancing and not, in particular, dancing on a pole). It’s not something I love per se (well not yet, I’m unfamiliar with it) but it involves something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid… dressing up. I took on becoming an apprentice with another My Masterpiece Movement Teacher-Artist, Meli Bantug. I chose to learn how to sew, cut and assemble clothing. It was a means to an end in the beginning. I take any themed celebration as an excuse to come in costume. It’s quite obvious with all the pictures in this article, that I’ve been enjoying myself. Also, it might serve well in a zombie apocalypse (read my last article and you’ll get the reference) Conceptualization, innovation and understanding the elements needed to create a costume has never really been a difficulty. I even had some experience in sewing by hand. In my Megaman costume, I sewed on the blaster and gloves to the supporting materials (though, I admit I was compelled to use a glue gun for some parts). For the most part I left sewing the hats, shirts or in the case of my Megaman costume, tights, to

the “professionals”. The world I’m creating for myself now though is that, if I really do love myself, I’ll give myself the opportunity to expand no matter what reasons or excuses I might give. I won’t get into the intellectual arguments behind the difference or lack of difference between art and craft (my philosophical training would serve me well there). Regardless of what one might think, I will be a stand and say that it takes a lot of art, aesthetic and skill to assemble clothing. I have a new found respect for whom newspaper classifieds call “sewers” but, because of my aversion to associating people to canals, whom I call tailors and seamstresses. I entered, and my first task was to accustom myself with a high-speed sewing machine. It was not something I was natural with. I felt like I was killing the practice paper and putting my Lola to shame (my grandmother used to sew me pajamas). The same heavy foot (that I told myself I had) was creating a very uncomfortable situation for me. An uncomfortable situation where excuses start bubbling up, excuses like: “Why am I doing this?” and “Someone else can do it for me”. Excuses similar to those that may have stopped me from learning how to drive (Yes, I’m a renaissance-man-in-training who doesn’t know how to drive). But I realized uncomfortable is good. It pushes us to make breakthroughs. And excuses are just excuses no matter how good they are. By the end of my first session, I was able to move from scrap paper to scraps of cloth with thread (considering that in my view that’s three levels up from no paper, no cloth, no thread, I was doing pretty great). I learned how to stitch curves and spirals and was left with a sense of accomplishment that is hard to describe and

hard to come by when living a life of excuses. I had several more sessions. The gap between them was a bit of a challenge. Every time I returned to the machines (I also learned how to use an edging machine), the same fears came back and my foot got heavy again. And, every time, all I had to do was just acknowledge it and move forward. But I must say that it didn’t help that I was also practicing the drums. Being the genius I am, I was confusing the pedal work. So far, I’ve learned how to make dress and pant zippers (I’m more used to breaking them than assembling them). I also learned how to make pockets. The last thing I did was learn how to make a pattern for shorts because I’m going to be creating my own pair. I’m pretty damn excited about that. Does doing all this make me a “better” person? Honestly… how should I know? All I can really do is be my own barometer and commit to being happy, loving and expansive.

Here I am, now. No better, no worse. But I know how it feels to love myself and allow myself to expand without holding on to excuses and reasons that may have stopped me in the past. So here’s a challenge I pose to you, the reader. When you are doing something you really want to do (may it be art or even approaching a person you think is interesting), and you hear the voice in your head say, “Don’t do it” or “Forget about it, let’s just have a smoke/drink.” Say to yourself (I don’t suggest out loud because people might think you’re crazy), “I hear you but I’m doing it anyway because I’m committed to doing it.” Take the reins. No excuses. Love yourself and let that love change the world. If you have questions or want to share your experiences, e-mail D-cal at

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what is una poetry? una poetry was discovered by my friends jourdan, lina & me, one lazy afternoon by the bay, near CCP. we appropriated the concept from a common exercise used in acting workshops called one-word-story. each person throws a word and another person responds by adding another word until the group is happy with the story they created through this surprising spontaneous collaborative exercise.i've collected around 200 pieces of our version of this exercise, una poetry, randomly made with friends, acquaintance & sometimes strangers from 2001-2010. here are some of our masterpieces... p.s. i'll be coming out with a collection of this fantastically bogus poetry soon so watch out for it! enjoy our succulent organic poetry! LOVE, OH MY GOD


serenity eludes me right now

does nothing remind me of long lost transitory despair?

my perception of passion, wholeness is complete.

birds sing songs of whim while wailing wide, crying within aloud

close... but now, just detachment...

we are a family of longing, wandering, timing beings

but maybe...

for now,

pining compassionately for something absolutely delicious yet popping /


because i believe everything ends magically and is pure rebirth. rest my heart, my spirit, my being.

liberating a trapped generationfree at last

rosanna lopez, mimi sanson & cc

all belongs to you, my love. spring seema & cc november 13, 2006 boracay

AGAPE we dance until our souls breath deep – fieryfor thousand will fall but tomorrow will present a better future. alternative music- funkified. everlasting groove- explosion! escalating dreams becoming reality! love should, be perfected. individuality denied. blue dumilon & c.c. may 17, 2004 starbucks, rockwell

Be one of the first 3 to send in the right answer and WIN A PRIZE! Email us at

JALOUSI GLASS 6 new beginnings

For purchases and inquiries email:

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gleaming up lights of love


Gemini There are greater Things I seek    In time, I thought I Could      Count less        The numbers From when I Departed   But the lesser I Have to count   The weaker I Count on hope      For greater Things like        Distance           and maybe love I count on numbers For hope   To hold hope    But the less I have,         The less I have           For us

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fruhlein ECONAR

date night

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Anna Oposa refuses to call herself an environmentalist. The general misconception is that environmentalists are extremists; a group of annoying tree-hugging fur-hating picket-sign holding fanatics. But Anna is not like that at all. If anything, she's just a girl in a fully-functioning relationship with the Earth. Her father, Tony Oposa Jr., pioneered the practice of Environmental Law, so it's a relationship that looks like the result of biological destiny more than anything else. "I guess you could say that my exposure to the environment began when I was still a fetus," Anna admits. But in truth, she didn't plan on following her father's footsteps. At the time, her heart was fully committed to musical theatre. It was during a cleanup dive in 2007 that destiny finally had its way with her. "It was one of those Aha! moments," Anna shares in an online interview. "I saw all sorts of crap underwater. Diapers, plastics, car parts. I was disgusted and disappointed. I was like, ‘Okay. I need to do more.’� Gradually, she began letting go of her theatre dreams to make room for the dawning of a new life goal. "I miss it sometimes, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be." she says. "Passions change. Passions change all the time, and that is not a bad thing." Anna Oposa has been in love ever since and like in any relationship, it takes hard work,

commitment and compromise. "What I've learned over the past few years is that being an environmentalist is a spectrum," she shares. "I don't think I'm a hardcore environmentalist in the sense that I still drive a car, and I still eat meat. I don't think I can ever give up my lechon and pritchon. But when I am presented with alternatives, I always make the better choice. I weigh the options and choose what has less impact to the Earth." Undoubtedly, it is a relationship that mirrors all human ones, save for the fact that this one is probably so much more encompassing. It is the one relationship we are all called to be in. It is the one relationship so few dare to respond to. With that, one thing must be said: Anna has chosen well. And this steady devotion of hers has taken her places. "When you follow your heart, all these things will open up that you never even imagined," she says via e-mail. This particular truth is reflective of her life.

A member of the official Philippine Youth Delegation, her love for the Earth has sent her all around it -- with travels to Japan, Thailand, Bangkok, Vietnam, Indonesia and most recently, Cancun, Mexico. She has gone as an ambassador and a leader of conventions that address climate change and Earth action. "These trips have taught me so much about people, cultures, and life in general. I am so blessed to be doing the things that I do, and I try not to take my opportunities for granted," says Anna. "I'm only 22, so I have a lifetime ahead of me." Anna considers herself a planeteer. And to be one is not a personal but a global responsibility. It's a destiny that falls to all of us and it is for that same reason that Anna doesn't see what she does as anything extraordinary. "I've received lots of nice letters over the years from strangers all over the world," she tells me. "Like, 'I stopped eating shark's fin soup because of you.' Or 'I now use eco bags because of you.' That's amazing because I don't see myself doing great things, yet people recognize the importance of taking care of the Earth."

These days, she is involved in the waste segregation system of Rizal Park, Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig and next month, she will be in Bangkok for a shark convention. Yes, it's a tough job taking care and loving the Earth (while encouraging others to follow suit) but Anna is sure that she's in it for the long haul: "Well. Let me tell you one thing: the Earth and I will never breakup. Boys will come and go, but the Earth and I are stuck with each other forever." When she's not busy doing her part in healing the world, she writes, acts, dances, hosts and sings. Maybe the thing about Anna is that she's really just a natural lover of life dressed in an active planeteers' clothing. She gave up one art, theatre, in favor of a golden commodity: time. She has accepted that our Earth is slowly fading away yet she refuses to live with a death sentence. Her efforts are for all of us: the painters, the poets, the singers and all music makers. She's buying time for every dreamer to continue building worlds in this tired little Earth. And her fuel is the most natural resource known to man: "Always go forth in love," she says. "That's the only kind of GPS you need.".

"For me," she shares. "I see it as doing something I love and pursuing something that is greater than me. And when other people recognize that love and say, interview me for a publication, or invite me to speak in a school, that's what's most meaningful because I get to share my love to [sic] other people and hopefully infect them and make them think. Not necessarily make them think like me, because not a lot of people think like me, but I just hope people are encouraged to ask more questions and see things differently."

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When it comes to the links of Brazil and the Philippines, one might immediately come to the image of Brazilian models in our TV and print ads. Obviously, that’s a surface level observation. I only became present with the commonalities when I started practicing the Brazilian Martial Art, Capoeira (read our article on GK and Capoeira for more info (PAGE 30). I’ve been doing Capoeira for about six years now. My love for Capoeira has moved me to research about its history and the culture behind it. My love for the Philippines let me see how much we really have in common. Though we’re antipodes (if you don’t know what that means don’t worry, I didn’t know what it meant either. We’re on the exact opposite side of the globe), there is a lot we share in our history and culture. Back in the 1500’s when Spain and Portugal were dividing up the world amongst themselves, Spain claimed the Philippines while Portugal claimed Brazil. That put us pretty much in the same boat but in a different ocean.

Overtime, fiestas and festivals became a tradition in both of our cultures, from our Sinulog and Masskara to their Carnaval. Our love for music and dance is evident in our celebrations and noon-time shows (Theirs have even more bikini-clad women dancing randomly. I honestly didn’t think it was possible.) We are also both famous for our production of sugar cane and rum (mmmmmm… rum). These were commonalities that all of us that played Capoeira saw. These commonalities inspired our teacher, Professor Fantasma of Escola Brasileira de Capoeira – Philippines (EBC Philippines) and the rest of the advanced students to create a celebration to highlight the love and culture we share. That celebration was aptly called Brasilipinas. It started in 2007. EBC Philippines took the first steps to unite all the groups that have loved Brazil. We had our first event with Brigada, Futkal, Eileen Sison and Guarana, and Nyko Maca. Even Planet Zips, a group that does poi (the traditional

Maori fire dance), joined in the revelry. The Brazilian Embassy has also played a vital role in ensuring the success of the event. Over the years, the celebration has become larger and larger. In 2009, we not only had Capoeira workshops but incorporated Portuguese Lessons, Samba and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (led by local schools). Last year, we even brought in a professional Samba dancer from abroad to teach a workshop.

It has become evident that the Philippines is quickly becoming the hub for Brazilian/Capoeira culture in Asia. With guests from all over the world coming just for this event, we are connecting the world with love. Check out last year’s footage prepared by Also check out for more info about the event.

So, what are the plans for this year? We are having around 10 guests from all over the world to teach various Capoeira and Samba/Afro-dance workshops on March 2-3. Together with Rockwell (who has been supporting the event since the beginning), on the evening of March 4, we will be having our own Carnaval celebration at the Rockwell Tent. And to cap it all off we will be having the EBC Philippines’ Batizado (Capoeira graduation ceremony) on Sunday morning.

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Getting That Kind of Mood

By Marco Dinglasan and Monique Tolentino

“I think I have multiple personality disorder because I can be quiet and soft-spoken, loud and obnoxious, sweet and romantic, brutal and mean, slow and idiotic, witty and intellectual at whim.” –Itos Ledesma (http:// Sixteen-year old, Augusto Xavier Ledesma or Itos to everyone else, is a singer-songwriter. Over the past three years he has drawn a following in the underground music scene through shows in quaint little clubs and the launch of his self-titled E.P. in 2009 under GroupHug Recordings. His music resonates a kind of depth and caliber that reveals a brilliant and questing spirit beneath a young and brooding exterior. Intrigued and inspired by such a young artist, who according to him was never professionally trained and just “figured stuff out on his own”, we were lucky enough to have chanced upon him at a gig somewhere in Katipunan and he was gracious enough to indulge us with a quick interview: Marco: What made you start out a career in music? Itos: When I was really young I was compelled to write and pick up the guitar. (I don't really know why…)

M: Was there anything else you were interested in before music and poetry? I: Music and Poetry have always been my dominating interest. M: What is it about music that you love so much? I: It’s overpowering. M: How does it feel for you to play on your own? I: It used to feel pretty sad. You get a little lonely but, over time people would come up to me after sets so I'd say it’s alright. M: What are your influences? I: Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, the Cure… M: What kind of aesthetic would you say prevails over your music? I: It’s just mostly dark stuff M: What do you want people to get from your music? I: That kind of mood I guess.

M: How old were you when you started to play and write?

M: If your songs had a color, what color would they be?

I: I was eleven. M: How have you been getting your music out there? I: I am currently collaborating with Ryan Villena from Techy Romantics, who acts as my producer. We've been coming up with electronic-kind of Radiohead-ish music lately. I have a MySpace account as well.

I: Purple because purple is a gloomy and mysterious color M: It could be a pretty happy color, too. Can this aspect reflect your music too? I: Sure. Sometimes.

When asked what kind of advice he could give to other aspiring musicians his age, Itos summed it up in three words: “Just do it.”. Other than playing, writing or composing, Itos spends his time listening to A LOT of music, reading books/ graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, George Orwell, Chuck Palahniuk and Anthony Burgess and watching films. He also writes poetry in Filipino and believes that he falls under no stereotype. Though he does thinks it would be easier if he did. For a sixteen year old, he is fiercely passionate and devoted to his crafts. His sullen disposition cloaks the intensity and turbulence of a romantic. He does what he does because it’s what he does and I wouldn't be surprised to hear his name from the mouths of many by the time he hits college, whether for his songs, his character, or both. For more info on Itos, you can check him out and his music at

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ayuma is back, in a new

location but its old customers are still coming back. After all these years, who knew we would still be under the spell of the family behind Gayuma? Demand has always been mysteriously after the Aguilar family. Carmen Aguilar’s great love for food and cooking has generated invites for catering here and there. However, it was a feature written by a celebrity family friend about Carmen’s Pavlova cake that catapulted the family to establish their own restaurant, Gayuma. “Gayuma”, translated as “love potion”, is as magical as the Aguilar residence. Decorated with Carmen’s very own romantic decoupage art and personal collection, Gayuma truly serves as an extension of the house run by the entire family. Originally nestled around the Katipunan community, their rich “Better than Sex” chocolate cake formed a cult-like following among Ateneans. Carmen took full charge of the kitchen while her husband, Arthur, entertained the guests. The children also helped out with the marketing and financial side of the restaurant. However, after a fire incident in 2001 and seemingly endless road works, the Aguilar family was forced to close down Gayuma in 2006.

Four years after, Gayuma has returned and is now situated along Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. It was Eirene, the daughter of Carmen, who resurrected the restaurant with her own savings and with the help of other investors. Retaining its old love themed ambiance with warm pink and purple hues and snippets of love potions all over, the restaurant continues to cast its magic on couples. However, as it reopened in July 2010, the binding magic has seemed to spill over to the members of the Aguilar family. Now renamed as “Gayuma ni Maria”, Eirene claims that the reopening came at a perfect time for their family. All of the children were already too busy with their own lives. Admittedly, they were also undergoing family problems at that time but the restaurant organically drew them closer again. Without the need of clearly defining their roles, Gayuma ni Maria continues on as a family affair. Eirene now takes the lead as the overall manager but continues to let her mom’s creativity take control of the kitchen and the restaurant’s interior. The youngest, Kadee, currently a culinary student, also acts as a food consultant to Carmen. Taking off from her job in a leading publication, Eirene’s sister, Zo, is in charge of the restaurant’s communications and marketing. Arthur, a natural conversationalist, continues his role with the guests. Despite the stark differences in career paths, every member in

the Aguilar family adds a unique flavor to Gayuma ni Maria, which in turn, brings them closer to one another. Gayuma ni Maria, as Eirene envisioned it, serves as Carmen’s outlet for her creative energies. It allows her mom to become young again instead of being eaten away by the drudging empty nest syndrome. The restaurant, as Eirene puts it, is her parents’ new baby. Eirene provides Carmen with her creative space in the kitchen through the Gayuma 69ers. Every Wednesday, limited diners can opt to put their complete trust in the chef with mystery meals for only Php69. Carmen can then let herself go crazy in the kitchen without the pressure of replicating the dish. Kadee, being a culinary student, also uses the restaurant to practice. She’s able to inject and exercise her knowledge of kitchen management and food handling. Furthermore, the restaurant allows Eirene to focus on her advocacy work without sacrificing her financial wellbeing. Later in the year, she plans to bring in and sell products of social enterprises. In line with the restaurant’s magical charm, Eirene also plans to fix the garden to accommodate small wedding receptions or debuts. Currently, the restaurant has three main rooms: the indoor dining area, outdoor area for smokers or large groups and the 2nd floor Japanese room which also serves as a function room. They also plan to inject live music, game nights, art exhibits of local artists and seminars or talks to further liven up the mood. Her mom and her sister are currently in the works of coming up with a special Valentines menu and Valentines themed events for February.

love books, naughty toys, and potions available in the restaurant. On certain nights, a fortune teller also comes in the restaurant to do a reading on willing customers for a certain fee. Of course, this is all in the name of good loving. After all, Gayuma ni Maria is all about the celebration of love. This love naturally translates to their menu, aptly named, “Gayuma Love Story.” With menu sections coined as different romantic stages such as “Attraction”, “Temptation” and “Commitment”, Eirene and her sister had even more fun giving dishes their quirky names. Some of their best sellers include “Broken Promises”, a kitchen accident but delicious crinkle cake, “Please Be Careful with my Heart”, a generous serving of twice-baked chicken and “Rock Me Baby”, an intimidating huge slab of tender hickory barbeque ribs. Their famous chocolate cake is now called “Beats Sex any Day” while their award winning light and fruity meringue cake, “Twisted Pavlova.” Though a lot of their previous customers return to reminisce in their old date restaurant, Eirene noted that they are also catering to new faces. They have more yuppies, UP students and NGO workers dining on weekdays. The couples are always there but the resuscitated Gayuma ni Maria is also attracting families on weekends. The love among the Aguilar family seems to be quite infectious. After all these years, Gayuma ni Maria mysteriously continues to command a strong following. Blame it on the food, ambiance or heck, even the love potion, but whatever it is, the restaurant certainly casts its enchanting binding spell on its customers and even the Aguilar family. No wonder it’s called Gayuma ni Maria.

In the mean time, customers can enjoy their meals with board games, fun 27 love

Driven by the Love for Music By: Monique Tolentino

Almost nine years ago, while musing and sitting on the steps of a famous University of the Philippines (UP) canteen called CASAA, five young, inspired, bright students of the University of the Philippines, namely: Mike Sacramento, Nella Ferreras, Tripy Montebon, Aya PalmeraMontebon and Ivy Palmera-Alexander, put up a non-profit student organization whose ultimate objective was the formation of a peaceful, just and free society that is appreciative of all forms of music. They built this organization based on three main beliefs: respect, music and brotherhood. That 21st night of September in 2002, the UP Underground Music Community was born. Their aim: to foster musicians and music lovers by always supporting independent, original Filipino music. The organization has thirteen batches to date. The latest batch of applicants has recently come up with a campaign, which they call SLIM (Support Local Independent Music). Their aim? For more pinoys to, well… support local independent music! The promotion was launched on January 29, 2011 in ROUTE 196 along Katipunan extension with live performances by UP Underground bands and friends: The Brew, Ivan Theory, Stomachine, Reese and Vica, Extrapolation, Specterull, SlickFinger and Ulirat. This event also launched the first line of merchandise, which include shirts, button-pins, stickers and tote bags that showcase designs

that help promote local music. I was granted an interview by the head of UP Underground’s Batch 13, April Hernandez, and we got to talk more about SLIM and what it can do for young independent artists: 1. Who came up with the idea of SLIM? How did it come to be? “SLIM wasn't SLIM when we first conceptualized it. It started as a project of batched applicants from the UP Underground Music Community. The original idea was to produce a merch line for the org. We eventually decided to reach out to a wider audience and so we opted to sell it as its own brand (instead of having the org’s name as the brand). The name came up when we were reviewing our designs. One particular design read "support local independent music". It was then we realized that we could turn the project into a full scale campaign and so we adapted the design’s file name as our brand name.” 2. Why choose this advocacy? “There’s no arguing that today’s local independent music scene lacks the support structure that it needs to bloom. A lot of people nowadays are not aware of what it really has to offer – some don’t even know of its existence altogether. Thus, this project has two coinciding goals: to promote local independent artists/ music (as individuals and as a whole), and in that way get people listening.”

3. Who does this feature specifically? “As of the moment, the project features a few of our org’s bands (Ivan Theory and The Brew). However, a bigger part of our line is geared at pushing for the support of local independent music as a whole. This being said, we also do intend to extend the line to other artists in the future.” 4. Does the advocacy only cater to bands from UG? “SLIM is a project of The UP Underground Music Community and so naturally it will start with artists and bands from the said organization. Perhaps in the future, as the merchandise following picks up, we'll branch out to more bands and artists.” 5. How will you continue this advocacy even after the gig and when all the products have been sold? “SLIM will continue to come up with more merch. This is just the beginning and we will be doing more in the future to consistently rally people behind our campaign and grow a following for this advocacy.” 6. What possibilities do you see for the org when this promotion takes off? “One of the goals of the UP Underground Music Community is to promote and rally support for local independent music. We will be able to achieve this by selling band merchandise and sharing music (like the UP Underground LoFi compilations) to help their promotion and we’ll be holding events for

exposure of the local bands. If this takes off, we will have been able to take a big step toward that end; which is to bring back the love and appreciation for local music. Right now, we are selling 5 shirts (the brew, ivan theory, 2 slim shirts and 1 Underground shirt), canvas bags, button pins and stickers *all prices are on the website They can buy through the Underground booth at the UP fair and meet ups can also be arranged around the up campus area. Just follow the instructions on the fb page :) UP Underground Lofi: SLIM To say that the SLIM launch on January 29 was a success would be an understatement. Hoards of people from all walks of life came to support local independent artists and take part in this great campaign that the UP Underground Music Community has jump started. They continue to push forward with no sign of slowing down. As almost all UP Underground events, this one was filled with so much good vibes, love and appreciation that at the end of it all, even if you’re not part of this organization, you can’t help but leave with the feeling, essence and the same beliefs as the members of the org itself. Going home with the belief that with enough love and passion and by being grounded in three simple words: respect, music and brotherhood, you can get far and help so many people along the way.

29 love

steadily growing group of capoeiristas continue to share Capoeira in its fullest form through their regular classes at the Manila Polo Club, De La Salle University Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, the Raya School and even in Bacolod. They also wow the crowds at public demos and events with their incredibly fast exchanges of kicks, high-flying acrobatics and intensely compelling music. The enthusiasm and energy a single game of Capoeira generates can be felt even by spellbound audiences outside the roda or circle.

Have you ever noticed how falling in love seems to transform how you experience the world around you? It keeps sneaking into conversations with friends until even your best friend gets sick of hearing you talk about it. It alters your established routine and changes how you plan your weekends. It slowly seeps into every aspect of your life until everything around you holds reminders of why you feel unusually ecstatic. If you’re lucky, it helps you discover yourself and grow as a person. When it comes to Capoeira and its practitioners, “love” is certainly an appropriate word to describe the allconsuming fervor characteristic of longtime capoeiras or capoeiristas. In 2003, Cookie Pido was one in a small group of people interested in learning more about the Brazilian martial art that “combines the movements of martial arts with the graceful flow of dance.” They took their passion to the next level by helping Escola Brasileira de Capoeira bring the first official Capoeira school into the Philippines straight from its headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil. Today, EBC Philippines, Professor Fantasma and the

“Capoeira is a passion, an energy in me that you can't shake off,” says Cookie. “I have a love-hate relationship with this passion but it's always there. And I think it'll always be there, only because we've been through so much together.” Because of this shared love for Capoeira, the spirit of community within the group is astounding. In 2009, Cookie decided to spend her birthday with the kids of the Gawad Kalinga Molave Community in Payatas, Quezon City. As one would expect, she brought along her family, friends and a considerable amount of food. Of course, with Capoeira so ingrained in her life, she and her friends from EBC did what came naturally to them, incorporating Capoeira into the games and entertainment. When asked about the reactions to what must have been a strange and novel experience, Cookie enthused, “the kids loved it! So I asked if we could come back and play with the kids at least once a month… It was a different activity for the children and the volunteers were excited about the doors that would open for the program and for the kids because of this.” Things snowballed as Cookie’s idea was met with much excitement from all around. With the support of GK, the Molave Community and the Ateneo Alumni Association, EBC Philippines began holding

basic Capoeira classes at least once a month. The group grew in number as even the "siga" kids joined. (Although they were initially hesitant to accept teenage brutes and bullies, they later found out that “sigâ” meant "to give light" and that these were teens from GK’s SIGA Program !). The children are even included in the yearly graduation ceremonies where they participate in various activities. They also learn about Brazilian history, language, music and culture from their “big brothers and sisters” from EBC Philippines and even get to meet Capoeira teachers and students who fly in from Brazil and other EBC schools in the region. The GK Molave Community is now considered as a special extension of the school.

are at Capoeira, not just the movements but the energy and the passion in their eyes, how well-behaved their they are and how easy to teach. That just keeps us going.” Ultimately, Cookie shares, “I want the children to open their eyes to endless possibilities and give them enough confidence to have big dreams and enough passion to work towards them.” She and the rest of EBC have certainly set a great example for the GK kids. As Cookie affirms, “when your heart is in it, you can work wonders!”

The experience has been rewarding for all involved. Her young son, Sancho, who shares his parents’ love for Capoeira, has been tagging along with Cookie and her capoeirista husband, Roman, since he was little. He even celebrates his birthday with the GK kids whom he refers to as "my friends, the capoeira kids." “There are many small success stories to share - kids celebrating after conquering a difficult move, kids learning Portuguese words, and behavior improvement at each session.” Cookie reveals, “I guess it really dawned on me that we had something that we and the GK Molave Community can be proud of when I brought the Capoeira Masters, teachers and students from other countries to meet the kids for the first time. These children oozed confidence in interacting with and warming up to the guests, even trying out some Portuguese words. Their Capoeira wasn't bad either. They clapped, sang and even played with people twice their size! Top all that off with feedback about how great the kids 31 love

Leona Art Restaurant. The name already attracts you. At least that’s how it got me interested when I saw this quaint place opening up in the village where I have practically grown up. The name gets you hooked especially because it’s in contrast to all the other noisy bars and restaurants opening in the same area in Teacher’s Village. Leona Art Restaurant is located at the corner of Magiting and Matimtiman Streets. It’s really hard not to fall in love with such a charming place. It’s not only a restaurant but also a home to Leona Javier and her children. The place reminded me of my tita’s old house in Las Pinas. It gives the feeling of warmth and coziness with its orange lighting, doilies and old trinkets all around. At the same time, it still lives up to being an “art restaurant”. Leona features antique-looking furniture, art

pieces and sculptures, some of which are even for sale alongside with accessories by local artists. Their menu is pretty standard: pizza, pasta, quesadillas, burritos, soups and rice meals to name a few. Yet, you can tell how much love was put into the preparation of the dishes by the way they are served and how the rich flavors fill you up, leaving you with so much satisfaction. Prices aren’t bad either. Dishes range from 150-300 pesos. What made me adore the place even more is their bottomless brewed coffee for 50 pesos and the exquisite Spanish wine that they offer at 150 pesos for three glasses. One more thing that made this place so attractive to me is that they DO NOT have WiFi. And they choose not to. They actually encourage people to talk and not face a computer screen during their stay.

The first time I went to Leona, I went home so happy and pleased that I didn’t even want to tell anyone about the place that I had just discovered. I wanted to keep it all to myself and only tell really close friends or those who I felt were “deserving” of such a great find. On my second visit to the place, just before Christmas of 2010, my sister noticed a medium-sized crate by the kitchen counter with a sign saying they were accepting clothing and toy donations. The donations were to be sent to orphanages around the area. But the crate was empty.

your second home. So share it with your friends and loved ones. Spread the Leona love! For more info, reservations or delivery, you can reach Leona Art Restaurant at: +639154503045 (02) 9297490

My sister and I then walked one block to our house, gathered all the old clothes and toys we could find and soon enough, the crate was overflowing with our old stuff. It made me realize that a place so filled with love and a place so willing to extend that love on to others should be known and acknowledged for the work and happiness they give to people who come their way. Leona Art Restaurant is an amazing experience all together. It’s the kind of place you keep coming back to and, eventually, feel so comfortable in that you consider it


35 6 new beginnings love

Be BIG LOVE What’s your view on love? Consider that… how you view your relationships shapes how you experience your relationships... how you view love is how love “is” for you. Do you view love as a goal – to get or to give? Let’s take a look… - it doesn’t work to try to be loved or try to get love when you come from the view that you are not loved. No matter how much others love you, you will doubt their love when your view is that you aren’t loved. Consider that when you come from that view, you may hear, “I love you”, yet you tell yourself, “they say they love me but if they knew the real me they would reject me” or “they say they love me but do I even deserve that?” - it also doesn’t work to try loving another when you come from the view that you aren’t loving. No matter how much love you give, it will appear to you that your love isn’t enough. Consider, again, that you may be doing something and saying “I have to be nice because I love them” and you tell yourself, “they aren’t getting me, why is trying to love so difficult?”

“When love is where I’m at, it shows up all around me!” (Now I get why I was born on Valentines Day.)

Love is not about trying. Love is not about having to. Love is being with – yourself or another – without judgment.

Be willing and courageous to share yourself from love.

When you are with someone, creating time to see them for who they are, instead of complaining about them or trying to fix them, something happens… Where you used to feel constrained – suddenly there is space, there is freedom – the other person has the space to just be. (The same goes for yourself!)

Come from love. See from love. Listen from love. Speak from love. BE BIG LOVE.

Love is. Yet love becomes invisible to those who forget that it’s there. If you take your judgments out of the way, if you let go of pretending, if you set aside your view and your expectations, if you give up withholding your love… all you have left inside you is love 100%. You are whole and complete the way you are. Everyone else is whole and complete the way they are. Inside all of us is love 100%. Love is not reaching out. Love is letting go of your walls and inviting others in. Give yourself the space to be the masterpiece that you already are. Love yourself. Your experience of love is as deep as the love you grant yourself.

L Let go of expectations. Listen from a clean slate. Live fully in the moment. O Open your heart. Own your life. Opportunity dances with uncertainty. V Voice out your heartsong. Value what you’ve got. Viewpoints are valid. E Embrace who you are. Expand yourself. Enjoy the adventure. Visit

www. welov emymas t erpiece. c om

join our facebook group: My Masterpiece Movement (MMM) like us on our fanpage My Masterpiece Movement (MMM)

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Spark Online Magazine - Issue 2