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

Food at Cafe Bonita

Cafe BonitaNorthwestern University President Ferdinand Nicolas, wife Mich and Isaiah.

As guaranteed, I reached the occasion to remark about the food at Parklane’s Cafe Bonita. Firstly, the morph-ication of that tired length along Bacarra Rd. (now Gen Segundo Ave.) is the real deal. The food should match, and indeed Chef Alvin Lao, who I heard is leaving town soon to broaden his horizon in America, is doing a great job of sharing his culinary skills and knowledge. I was a fan of his carbonara with white truffle oil, his Caesar’s salad and steaks, and so on.

The dinner last night was thought-provoking. It’s a recurrent, hahah, spasmodic blogger or foodie thing. Studying oeuvres like crispy succulent bagnet on a bed of peeled pomelo speckled with recognizable Asian flavors or the Ilocanonized version of the Peking duck skin wrap, which was clever with chilied hoisin sauce, was like being absorbed in an art museum. A food experience can range from hostile to orgasmic. I like eating more than looking, but sorry to take your time if you are eating with me. Hah, the hyperphotoactivity disorder of the new millennium.

Pomelo-Bagnet Salad

I give this a very high rating.

FriendshipOne of my closest friends, the beautiful Marla Luis. I mean close as in we tell each other what’s wrong with us and kiss.

Bagnet Wraps

Bagnet (Ilocano crispy pork belly) wraps could have been perfect if the wraps had more body like less tightness in texture. The siling labuyo lent more oomph.

The prawns and mussels with lavish herbed curry sauce was provocative. I took out rice from my diet, nonetheless the potential perfect ulam was not overwhelming.

Prawns and Mussels in Curry SaucePanna Cotta and Flambeed Pineapple

Hmnnn, the panna cotta, with flambeed pineapples (I’m not sure), was a nice finis with a tropical touch to the Asian fusion medley.

UntitledMara Manuel, the make-up artist of the smart set in Ilocos Norte, and in-demand wedding and glamour photographer Marianne Pasion.

More here. Check out Marianne’s Cafe Bonita post also.

Cafe Bonita is opening its doors on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

UntitledAs always, Dr. Pia Luis looked pulled-together. She was happy receiving her Pia shopper tote from MODi.

Marianne and MaraPicture 377Texture Play

Last photo by Reny Tan
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

What is the MAMMOvan?


Have you seen this van going around town?

Recent studies by the Department of Health show that breast cancer has become the most common cancer in the Philippines. The incidence rate of breast cancer in the country is also the highest in Asia and the 9th highest in the world, according to reports.

Besides heredity, there are other risk factors linked to breast cancer like exposure to hormones and lifestyle.

MAMMOvan (3)

According to Ilocos-based Breast Cancer Imperative (BRCAI) Inc, a non-government volunteer organization, founded by Delia Cachola Baquiran, “Early detection is the cornerstone of cancer control and offers the greatest promise of survival, thus reducing the mortality from breast cancer. ‘Downstaging’ of breast cancer which occurs with early diagnosis has shown a higher potential for cure because more curative treatment options can be offered at the early stages of the disease than at its advanced stage which is happening now among Filipino women.”

It is for this reason that BRCAI, in partnership with the Timoteo and Luisa Cachola Fund, Toyota Motors Philippines Foundation, the Philippine Foundation for Breast Care, Inc., the Philippine College of Surgeons-Northern Luzon Chapter and other kind donors, has initiated the MAMMOvan, the Philippines’ first, providing free or subsidized accessible mammogram services for disadvantaged women.

MAMMOvan (2)

Designed for detection and screening cancer at different stages, the MAMMOvan, in close coordination with the local DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, goes around the Ilocos provinces on schedule. DSWD-certified women can avail the services of qualified radiologists operating the portable mammography machine (inside the van).

BRCAI will assist qualified patients from start to finish, meaning detection to referrals and chemotherapy.

Aimed at reducing late cancer detection,  they also conduct breast cancer education.

MAMMOvan (4)

Breast Cancer Imperative, Inc., 187 JP Rizal Avenue, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines Tel Nos.: 077 770 2162 (Philippines) / +63 077 770 2162 (International) Website: Email:

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

Cakes by Arlene


I met someone who could possibly help you with your party food needs in Laoag. Not the big time caterer kind. Arlene and her daughter just love to bake cakes. She also makes fondant cakes, toasted siopao, empanaditas and more. Alexa loves her chocolate cupcakes, a telling sign ‘coz you know the little girl loves chocolate cake, and yet she’s choosy.


For inquiries, contact Arlene Lim-Añonuevo 09082021949 / 09153624352.

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