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

Tattoo de Iloco expands its wings to Manila

“He who moves not forward, goes backward”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“No, I’m not leaving Ilocos,” says Janer Santos, Ilocos Norte’s premier tattoo artist, and owner of Tattoo de Iloco. “I’m just putting up another shop in Sucat, Parañaque, which means that I’ll be shuttling back and forth between Laoag and Manila,”

So, well,  there you have it, folks. We’re not losing one extremely talented guy just yet.I’ve seen Janer grow as an artist. In fact, I did a lengthy interview with him way back when I was a newbie blogger. I’m happy that his new studio (in Laoag) is four times bigger than his old space just a few doors away.

“I worked for a brief period at Wildside to occupy a slot vacated by my good friend Michael Angelo Bayot, but I felt I wasn’t given enough opportunities to practice my craft,” Janer says, matter-of-factly. Wildside, I came to know, is the studio where Pacman had himself inked. Knowing how Janer loves work, that stint at Wildside must have been tough for him. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.

Janer says that it is not enough to be skilled as a tattoo artist. He joins competitions from time to time to enrich himself. “I like the challenge it brings. Seeing the works of other artists here and abroad is a learning experience in itself. The new breed, they are really very good.”

In his more than four years as a tattoo artist, Janer has won numerous awards. His most memorable competition — he took the ninth  spot in the front/back category of the Dutdutan Festival, the country’s grandest tattoo exposition.

Janer’s ability to remain humble is the best thing about him. At Tattoo de Iloco, he shares the stage with two young artists — Gerome Malbas and Mark Benedict Torres. I asked him what advice can he give to striving tattoo artists. He replies, “Proper hygiene — safe practices should be foremost. And they should apprentice under professionals.”

About the current cool, he says, “Traditional icons are coming back, but the treatment is new school.”

In his free time, the tattoo artist skates, skimboards, goes around town on his chopper bike or shreds the dunes in La Paz.

Tattoo de Iloco opens on October 1 in Sucat, Parañaque, right across the Olivares College and Hospital.

Janer Santos CP#: 09203466607

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved