Saturday, December 16, 2017

November In Review: Art, Books and Music (1 of 3)

Catching up on blog worthy activities and experiences I had last November. Here goes!

Ang INK Workshop at ARTS ABOVE 

Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan kicked off November by conducting the annual INKFest Capsule Workshop, a series of art workshops for free. I signed up Zoe for basic sketching and we ended up in a quaint and avant garde venue in Arts Above, West Avenue, Quezon City.

Zoe enjoyed the workshop and she went home with sketches to show her art teacher in school. It was her first time to attend an art workshop. What made the experience enjoyable was the actual drawing session sans lecture. It was a learn by doing exercise where the facilitator, Kevin Roque, advised, gave comments and feedback to workshop participants. Besides, it was participated by artists and art enthusiasts of all ages. In this learning environment, participants, young and old, learn from each other.

Another interesting thing was that the workshop was held at Arts Above. Owned by Roeder Camanag, Arts Above is home to his theatre group, Artists Playground. Located at the Penthouse of the building, it has a theatre that can accommodate 150-200 people, a workshop and performance area and a cafe where crafters and artists have a corner to sell their art and crafts.

How lucky we were that day because we met Roeder Camanag! Back in the 90s, Roeder broke out into the local music industry as an OPM (Original Pilipino Music) artist. I like one of his songs, Sana Naman, where one longs for love to be reciprocated. At present, Arts Above welcomes artists, students and seasoned ones, to use their exhibit space, theatre and performance space for all artistic pursuits.

Visit their Facebook Page for inquires if you are looking for a space to use for events and artistic activities:

The Settlement by Mark Justiniani, presented by the Ateneo Art Gallery and CANVAS (Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development)

Zoe and I were in Ateneo De Manila University thrice last month and while there, we capitalised in enjoying the campus where traffic is well designed and there are paths to walk on. Since the Arete is the new home of the Ateneo Art Gallery, we made sure to pass by.

It was the installation art of Mark Justiniani that captivated us. I have no words to describe it and I recommend you go see it. Sadly, this blog post about Justiniani's public installation art ends today. Do check the website and blog of CANVAS, as well as the Facebook Page ( for news and information on the next public venue of The Settlement.

Here are two photos we took inside it.

The dinning table that mimics the one in the Aguinaldo Mansion in Kawit, Cavite
is one of the mesmerising art pieces inside The Settlement. 

Inside The Settlement are windows and mirrors that illuminate or confuse the viewer
into thinking and perceiving truths and lies of past and present events in Philippine history.

The Guy Simondac Studio's Homeward Bound

Mid-November, the fambam watched a benefit concert of the Guy Simondac Music Studio (GSMS). Master Edgardo "Sir Guy" Simondac is father, uncle, teacher, mentor and friend to many musically gifted and talented students. He was my son Nico's piano teacher after Teacher Cess Galicia taught him the basics for a year.

From Sir Guy, Nico learned not just playing the piano, but life skills and lessons to bring with him through life. Sir Guy and Teacher Cess were both instrumental to Nico's acceptance in UP Diliman and St. Scholastica's College. Choosing the former, Nico is now a third year student at the College of Music majoring in Music Education. He joined the concert as a guest beatboxer of the studio's resident acapella group.

Sir Guy Simondac at his best and in his element
Zoe, on the one hand, attended violin classes in Sir Guy's Music Studio under the tutelage of Teacher Dean Giron. Zoe has taken a break from violin lessons but her interest in music remains. From Teacher Dean, she has learned to be patient not only in learning new patterns of notes, but also in ways of thinking.

Back in 2014, I attended voice lessons under Sir Guy's coaching. I had a wonderful time knowing myself and facing my fears. Sir Guy helped me gain my confidence in reaching the high notes, placing my voice and breathing exercises that help me calm down and strengthen my vocal stamina. I will never forget my first performance in the summer presentation of the GSMS in St. Scholastica's College. On days when I need to sing again, I go back to him and we rekindle old times, old lessons and make new discoveries together.

The Guy Simondac Music Studio is currently raising funds to fully establish itself as the leading music studio and talent centre in these parts of Southern Tagalog.

Nico and Zoe with Sir Guy, teacher and mentor in music and life.
More power to, you Sir Guy! We keep you in our prayers! Visit the Facebook Page of the Guy Simondac Music Studio through this link:

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