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

Inside a hall of DotA players

Laoag Cyber League DotA 2 Challenge Season I

At 8 AM in the Laoag City Hall, the auditorium was getting filled with more and more boys. I didn’t see any girls except for the guest speaker who was seated right next to me.  What was I doing in a DotA tournament? No one at home plays DotA, so I went to see why the online battle is getting to be the archenemy of a lot of parents and girlfriends.

Laoag Cyber League DotA 2 Challenge Season ILaoag ABC President Mikee  Farinas

In  her message, 22 year-old Mikee Fariñas (the President of the Association of Barangay Captains and the youngest member the city council has ever had) said that DotA is “not intended for pastime only, but a test of the agility of the mind.”

I went around the hall. I asked one gamer, what is it about DotA that he likes? “It is a game of strategy and teamwork.”

I asked 13 year-old Alvin Daquioag if his parents knew he was a challenger in the Laoag City Cyber League. “Yes,” he said. But he also said, he plays on his laptop only after school for about two hours as a break before making his homework assignment.

Ronel Razon, an Information Technology student spends more time on the net than Alvin, four hours of DotA in the morning before going to school. “It’s basically a good balance of both,” he said.

I went back to the hall four times within a span of 13 hours and no two teams yet were in the final defense.

Laoag Cyber League DotA 2 Challenge Season ILaoag Cyber League DotA 2 Challenge Season IThe Potchie Gaming team.


The first ever live DotA tournament in these parts, the Laoag City Cyber League DotA 2 Season One, was hosted by the Laoag City Hall IT division, headed by Mr. Franz Felipe.

Marc Nicolas, head of  the  organizing committee shared that the coveted shield was made by tattoo artist Janer Santos and Alfredo Ronquillo of San Nicolas.

At city level (for the fiesta), it was quite an exhausting battle of battles. The brownout was causing some delays. By 9 PM, the room was half-filled. I didn’t get to see who among the 44 participating teams was handed the Aegis shield.


If there is something I earned at the DotA challenge, it is the first-hand view into DotA — that it is a better way of spending time on the net than, say, stalking, bullying other netizens or simply slacking. But just like any other thing in life, too much of it is trouble.

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

“Sandboarding AHAdventure sa Ilocos” video is out

Here’s the video of GMA Kapuso Network AHA!’s 100th episode, Ilocos AHAdventure of Drew Arellano at the La Paz Sand Dunes, aired last Sunday. Enjoy the cool episode about the science of sand and more.

View the behind-the-scenes shots with Drew, Doorah and the LEAD Movement here.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012