Laoag at 50 waste to art exhibit: Art from the heart

Laoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibit

The Laoag City 50th Charter Day Anniversary was the perfect venue for the just concluded “naglabas, agdama, masakbayan [past, present, future]” eco art exhibition, inspired by “basura ti naglabas, tignay ti agdama, para ti narimat a agsapa”. To borrow the words of Francis Kettering, we should all be concerned about the future because we have to spend the rest of our lives there.

Seasoned Ilocano artists and rising local talents pooled their efforts to draw attention to environment issues such as the global plastics issue, environmental degradation through tree cutting, dynamite fishing, irresponsible consumerism, among others. Guests were appreciative of the art created from everyday waste such as styro containers, packing materials, empty bottles and cans, used motor oil, and space-eating trash such as abused skateboards, scratched vinyl, old toys,  galvanized iron sheets and so on.

Laoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibit

Garnering good reviews and requests for a rerun, the zero waste art exhibit was a worthy show of local artistry. Juan Elani Tulas’ art installation from styro and 400 pieces of wood scraps, entitled “Poetree”, was inspired by Joyce Kilmer’s “Trese”. Each enigmatic piece can stand on its own. Janer Santos, a tattooist by profession, infused humor into his compositions. “Pagfiesta-an” with recycled junk is rather provocative. UP Fine Arts graduate Margo Rae Alesna had a winner in “The Heart of the Matter” in mixed media on old wood. Young artist Gerome Malbas put to good use his predilection for pop art by turning used spray paint cans as his canvas. His “Mandala” inked skull was unexpected. Khervin John Gallandez put life into rusty galvanized iron scraps. To convey his message of anti-dynamite fishing, MMSU student Marvin Xavier Vea incorporated his intricate doodle art into an installation. Carl Martin Aragones and Dexter Robiñol highlighted the wonders of nature with vibrant colors while Rizaldie Altuna used heritage as the subject of his mixed media work. Reluctant artist Marc Nicolas made his debut via his scotch tape sculpture.

Styro Art - Juan Elani TulasLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas with LEAD member and City Hall IT department employee Marc Nicolas.

When styro artist Juan Elani Tulas messaged me for a possible collaboration with LEAD Movement, I didn’t think twice even if it meant I had to bypass protocol within the organization (LEAD is a NGO, btw) and work double time, with barely two weeks preparation. By happy chance, Laoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas was open to community involvement. A proponent for a clean environment, the City of Laoag hopes to sustain its initiatives and efforts in environment management, among them the banning of plastic bags.

Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitThe Heart of the Matter.Laoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitMixed media artist Janer Santos.Laoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitfacesRiknakem columnist and blogger Herdy La Yumul.Laoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitLaoag at 50 Zero Waste art exhibitZero Waste art exhibit in LaoagZero Waste art exhibitWith me from left to right are Marvin Xavier Vea, Janer Santos, Juan Elani Tulas and Khervin John Gallandez.

LEAD Movement would like to extend its gratitude to the City Government of Laoag for allowing the use of the city hall auditorium, Mayor Chevylle Fariñas for her invaluble help and for welcoming artistic freedom as a tool for change, the artists, the staff of the GSO and mayor’s office and those who viewed the show and continue to share the advocacy.

Photos of author by Khervin Gallandez and Marvin Xavier Vea
Photographed by BlauEarth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Photos From Silver Lake

Bates Motel

Here’s a one last look at LA’s Sunset Pacific Motel aka Bates Motel (a pin on Hollywood filmmaking and the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Psycho).

Limewashed by French artist Vincent Lamouroux, the environment-friendly, ephemeral public art, entitled Projection, is symbolic of the calcification of the effete structure.

Demolition for mixed use redevelopment starts soon. Until then passers-by down Sunset Boulevard take pictures of the whitewashed The Bates in Silver Lake.

Photographed by Ericke Tan (Surprisingly Kitsch)

Bates MotelBates MotelBates Motel
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

A piece of sculptor Ben-Hur Villanueva’s heart

Ben-Hur Villanueva, Sculptor

“We are all born artists.” Only an inner-directed artist will say otherwise.

A born winner, the creator of “Ang Supremo” (the Bonifacio sculpture in Bonifacio Global City) is vivid. Character and soul shine through the patina of his years, resembling one of his maquettes. He says, “Walang mali sa art.”


Ben-Hur Villanueva, grade school art teacher for three decades at the Ateneo de Manila moved up to Baguio in the early 90’s to devote his time as a fulltime artist and fulfill his advocacy of sharing his art. Joining fellow artists, Santiago Bose, Kidlat Tahimik and BenCab, they etched the Baguio Arts Guild, which brought that certain energy to an already highly cultural place. He made Arko ni Apo (Ark of the Lord) fronting the Tam-awan Village his home and studio. He shares his life with wife Dolores, or Lolit to him. They are blessed with eight children. One of them is his junior, Bumbo, also a visual artist, an awarded poet and an environment advocate.


During the Villanuevas’ revisit to Norte, I meet sir Ben-Hur and tita Lolit, Bumbo and his wife Arlene and their two children, Baba and Baguio, through my niece Lesley and her husband Architect Jeffrey Acob.

It may sound far-fetched, but the sculptor teaches unsighted people art. He closes his eyes while teaching, perhaps helping put tactility into eloquence.

There will be times in your life that a falling feather will touch your heart. Ben-Hur Villanueva, that one big bundle of talent, left me nothing but words to live by.

SandBeach GreeneryLightArtBumbo Villanueva's nature and artMothers and ChildrenFather and SonBeach DreamJazz For You and Pas De Deux by Ben-Hur VillanuevaJazz For You and Pas de Deux are just two of Villanueva’s 3D creations of varying sizes, marked with sinews and quasi-movement (at least to me).An artwork by Bumbo VillanuevaArtwork of Bumbo.Bumbo, Arlene, Baba and BaguioThe VillanuevasBaguio and BabaFather Bong LampreaChancing upon parish priest, Fr. Bong Lamprea, of the St. Augustine Church in Paoay.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014