What’s the next thing to do when you’re too early for a carefree Sunday afternoon snack at the Stone House Café along the Airport Road? Let me think… visit Mike Kairuz who lives around the Laoag International Airport area. Good idea!
Mike Kairuz, who? Mike, a friend from way back, is a half Filipino half Lebanese weekend painter who considers himself an Ilocano. He started painting while growing up in Manila. After college, he moved to Laoag, and he’s never left Ilocos after he met and married his angel, Lita. They are blessed with three lovely Marias, named Denise, Michelle and Nicole, the answer to why he is drawn to “Tres Marias” as his art subject. Not to mention, “Mother and Child” for the plain and simple reason that it is a global culture.
I probed, “Ah, blau, I love blue, in fact my blog is named… But why blue?”
“Like the sky, it brings out all the colors, and it is earthly,” Mike answered.
I told him that we are mutual in that respect, parallel, as it were.
Among Filipino painters, other than Filipino National Artist (Visual Arts) BenCab, he looks up to painter-art teacher Fernando “Nanding” B. Sena, known for nude and stills. Among Mike’s art collection is a nude painting by no less than the master himself.
He admires Pablo Picasso, French artist Paul Cézzane, and art star Jean-Michel Basquiat. The one thing I noticed about the artists he mentioned is the use of vibrant or explosive colors.
Mike has joined about twenty-five exhibits around Manila, Bacolod and Laoag. He has a varied clientele. In Laoag, art-loving politicians and doctors are his usual patrons. His price is 3000 php and up.
Mike and I talked about other things besides art. He looked good and fit, so I asked him to share his secret. “I jog around the neighborhood every morning, and I eat less pork.” Mike is obviously into this healthy lifestyle, so I asked him if he cooks, and he said, “Yes, Mediterranean cooking, like I use a lot of olive oil. I use olive oil dressing for my avocado and onion salad.” I guess, that’s what you call Discipline.
So maladroit of me, I forgot to ask him why he used the very cool Smackwater Jack when he was radio deejaying. He had the hippest playlist, and I tell you, he had a large fan base, but that was way before iPods and other geeky stuff.
“Who’s there?” Radio Ga Ga. “Radio Ga Ga, who?” Your former radio listener.