Khervin Gallandez: Nurtured by Art

Khervin Gallandez

Twenty-two year old Khervin John Gallandez is one of the kids who at a pretty young age have already figured out what they want to become later in life. He remembers — “As early as seven years old, I would fill the back of my aunt’s thesis draft papers with doodles and cartoon characters.” Back then, his fascinations were Dragon Ball Z and the work of Philippine Star editorial cartoonist Rene Aranda.

Khervin's Studio

Khervin went to the Laoag Gabaldon Elementary School for his elementary education and for his secondary education the Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades. Among his frustrations are the lack of a fine arts school in the province and the little availability of art supplies locally.

The young artist has the full support of his parents, George and Cristy. Darwin Co, the owner of Topside Marketing, who has given him space inside the custom framing store says of Khervin, “He is talented and his artworks are very detailed.”

I went to visit him at his shop this afternoon.

Khervin's studio

Q&A with Khervin Gallandez

Describe your art?

Random. I draw what I like. I can’t be stuck in one genre.

What inspires you as an artist?

The cultures of different peoples. Rembrandt and Michaelangelo, I also like classical.

What colors are you drawn to?

Vivid colors. And monochrome.

Paint Brush and Palette

Describe how it is to be a struggling artist in the province.

It is an independent thing. If only there were more art events and venues to promote local art. I’ve joined the Sama Summer workshops by the city government in the past. Samtoy Books has displayed some of my work which include an acrylic painting in memoriam of Robin Williams. I am hoping to be able to have my own exhibit in the future.

How have your clients discovered your art?

The social network is a big help to promote my art.

Madame Imelda

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

I was commissioned by a client to do an artwork of Mrs. Imelda Marcos as a gift to her for her birthday.

Did she like it?

I heard she liked it.

Khervin G. artworks

What is keeping you here in Ilocos? Have you ever considered moving to another place for greener pastures?

There is no place like Ilocos. I prefer to live here.

What other things interest you?

Photography and reading books about the culture and politics of other countries.

What other things are you passionate about?

Animal welfare and animal rights.

Khervin's artframed work

Khervin shares some of his memorable moments…

Artwork by Khervin GallandezArtwork by Khervin GallandezArtwork by Khervin GallandezIn memoriam of Robin Williams by Khervin GallandezKhervin at Samtoy Books

and photos from his phone.

Photo by Khervin Gallandez 2Photo by Khervin Gallandez

Khervin Gallandez does tattoo design, portraits, abstract expression, illustration, colored pencil design calligraphy, logo design and more. Find him at his space at Topside Marketing, General Luna St., Laoag City or contact him through his numbers: 0916 7988904/ 0923 1227058, or his Facebook page (here).

All photos of Khervin Gallandez at his Topside studio by Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Alvin Cariaso, the man behind Lente Iloco

Alvin Cariaso 1

Something wonderful came up. I met this guy on the phone ‘coz I had to inquire about a hexacam, and then a beautiful inspiring story started to unfold. I was up on the computer the whole afternoon, talking to him about life and his newfound passion for photography.

Not enough to ruin his spirit, his unfortunate first break more than a year ago led him to strive hard to be one of Ilocos Norte’s sought-after photographers and videographers, though he still calls himself a newbie.

Alvin Cariaso was born in Apayao. His dad passed away when he was still a small boy. He and his mother moved to Laoag in the 90s. As if trying to tell him something, he also eventually lost his mother and a sister, making him a complete orphan. In his own words, he says, “I used to be happy-go-lucky.”

Alvin Cariaso 2

He has a masters in information technology from the St. Paul University in Tuguegarao. Trying to make both ends meet, before his current teaching position at Northwestern University, he worked as merchandiser, and then supervisor at a gas station He now finds inspiration from his two children, a boy and a girl.

Q&A with Alvin Cariaso

What sparked your passion for photography?

I started photography in Sept 2012. I had difficulties in setting the camera because I don’t have formal education in photography. I bought a camera for personal use. I’m a hobbyist. I used to play with remote-controlled helicopters and planes. My cousin, who was doing photography, brought me along to his wedding shoots until the time that I was given my own chance to shoot, but without pay. I always got laughed at by my cousin, so every time I would go home from school, because I also teach at Northwestern University, I stay on the net to learn from YouTube tutorials. I mustered courage to ask one of my students if we could shoot. That was the pilot testing of the photography skills I gained from YouTube. I didn’t even know how to edit  back then. One of my relatives was getting married and offered to hire me as photographer. Minimum charge lang and a collaboration with my photographer cousin. I consider it a failure. I didn’t finish the layouts ‘coz my cousin lost the files. After that, I decided to move on and told myself — it is time to stand on my own two feet. I hired talents with gadgets, ‘pag may offer, til I was able to invest in new equipment.

Alvin Cariaso 3photo by Lente Iloco 21

What is Lente Iloco all about?

Lente Iloco is a photography and videography group that caters to any occasion for Ilocanos.

Do you enjoy your work?


Do you always have a camera with you even on ordinary days?

Yes, especially when I travel.

Cape Bojeador

Portraiture or landscape photography?


What can you tell photographers who are just starting?

Be creative, be yourself, be a natural. Never stop innovating. Be a warrior. In everything we do, dapat may tiyaga.

Alvin’s Work

 photo by Lente Iloco 4photo by Lente Iloco 19photo by Lente Iloco 24photo by Lente Iloco 23photo by Lente Iloco 22

photo by Lente Iloco 5photo by Lente Iloco 3photo by Lente Iloco 2photo by Lente Iloco 16Santa Monica Churchphoto by Lente Iloco 20photo by Lente Iloco 7photo by Lente Iloco 8photo by Lente Iloco 12photo by Lente Iloco 13photo by Lente Iloco 14photo by Lente Iloco 15photo by Lente Iloco 10photo by Lente Iloco 9

Lente IlocoLente Iloco booth

Contact Alvin Cariaso via the Lente Iloco page on FB (here), or call him —  +63 917 731 9668 / 0949 844 5605

All photos courtesy of Alvin Cariaso
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Style File: Ericke Tan, marketing director/fashion blogger (redux)


The house feels empty without Ericke’s clutter. Let’s try to dissect her life (and closet) in a new home.

Describe your new home.
It’s new, but it’s good that it’s still very familiar to me. LA, unlike other metropolitan cities, can still offer you an escape from the city — lots of hiking trails, waterfalls and the beach is right there. I like that it’s a melting pot of different cultures, there’s always something exciting going on and there are always interesting people you meet. LA is so much different now than how it was the last time I was here 5 years ago. There are so many more areas that are gentrified, with little hole in the wall gems. The best part about it is the accessibility of authentic ethnic food from Mexican to Mediterranean to Japanese to Ethiopian to Filipino food to whatever you can imagine.

Describe the new Ericke in three words.
Constantly creating and exploring.

What’s it like living on your own?
I’m used to living with my big family, so I miss the noise sometimes and having other people to rely on. I’ve learned how to take care of myself better. I’ve always been self-reliant but now I have to figure out my weekly budget, clean after myself, and pretty much be more realistic with my expectations. It’s also nice to have all the time in the world and not having to answer to anyone.

What do you wear to office?
I’m the laziest person in the morning, so I usually throw on whatever is within reach. My office does not have any restrictions when it comes to clothing, so I can get away with pretty much anything. For client meetings, my go to outfit is a mid-length tight dress and black heels, but everyday I usually just wear a circle skirt or a tennis skirt with a crop top and a nice pair of sandals or sneakers.

Ericke Tan (profile via Fox Dealer Interactive)profile via Fox Dealer Interactive

What’s the best ever marketing slogan?
I love Grand Theft Auto V’s slogan: “Live in your world. Play in ours.” I think it’s very smart for what it is because GTA is people’s form of escape. It’s very simple. I also love Coke’s “Open Happiness” and the way they market it, when you buy coke, you don’t care that much about the actual taste. You buy Coke because of the fun memories you associate it with.


What’s in your makeup bag right now?
Urban Decay’s Naked basics, NARS blush in Orgasm, YSL Rouge Volupte #9, Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Sandwash Pink, blush brush, a sample size eyeliner pencil from Make Up Forever, Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette, 2 Goody Hair Ties, Tide To Go, mints and EOS lip balm.

What do you do on weekends?
Is it boring to say that I sleep in til 3 pm? That has been very consistent for the past 2 months. I work Mondays-Fridays so I only have the weekend to catch up on sleep. I jog on Saturday afternoons if I’m in the mood. On Sundays I like to go to the flea market, even if I don’t buy anything — it’s a very good source of inspiration. I also typically do my grocery shopping on Sundays and catch up on all of my TV shows with my boyfriend; very mundane things. My friends love good food, cheap drinks and good music, so when we get together on weekends we usually go out and eat at our favorite spots, then go drinking at a show or at a dive bar. We frequent Silver Lake dive bars.

Ericke Tan

How many pairs of eyeglasses do you own?
I have 3 – one very quirky 2 toned frames I got from a bazaar. I also still have my very old tortoise frames I keep on my desk in case I forget to bring my black Tom Fords which I use everyday.

What’s your festival look?
Usually music festivals are held in muddy or dusty areas, so I just wear boots or very comfortable sandals paired with shorts. I like to wear fun print co-ords too. It really depends on what music festival it is, for something that has more indie acts, I would just wear denim shorts or a vintage dress with ankle boots. For more e.d.m. acts or hip hop acts, I like to be more funky with prints and colors. I also try to avoid looking very bohemian, I don’t want to drown in a sea of elaborate flower crowns and crochet tops. I’m usually the girl in giant sunglasses, bare legs and an Instax camera on her hand at a music festival.


What’s your favorite burger?
In-N-Out: double double with caramelized onions, always and forever. If I feel like eating something more special, I go to Eden Burger Bar in Glendale for their Black Label burger —- it has truffle cheddar, black truffle shavings and potato strings topped with truffle garlic aioli – it’s perfection in between buns sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

Starbucks or The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf?
I like Starbucks because there’s just more options. I order a Passion Fruit Lemonade almost every morning and a White Chocolate Mocha if I need something stronger.

What’s the latest movie you watched?
I think it was The Wolf Of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, nothing but great intense acting from Leonardo and an overall great movie by Scorsese, but Jonah Hill pretty much stole the show. It’s not very new. I need a movie buddy, but I digress.


What are your splurges?
I splurge on classic pieces that go beyond the seasonal trends, because these are the ones I would use and abuse. My latest splurge is a dark purple Givenchy Lucrezia satchel and a pair of Celine Audrey sunglasses. They’re both very simple that easily match a lot of things I already own. I also splurge on skin care products, I had an acne breakout last year, so now only organic cremes and Kate Sommerville scrubs touch my face.

What do you miss most about home except us?
I terribly miss the food, I randomly crave sweet empanada near PLDT, miki, tuyo, dinardaraan, sinigang and tinuno with papaitan. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know how often I talk about these things. Haha.

Photos by Greg Hector
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014