Juan Elani Tulas: Painting his own path

Styro Art

While tons of styrofoam have clogged  the world’s landfills and waterways, artist Juan Elani Tulas has created used styro containers as a medium for his art. The results of his experimentation with polystyrene, gasoline and tinting colors have produced numerous intricate mosaic paintings, exhibited both here and abroad. His latest solo show, entitled “Kadilian”, is ongoing at Samtoy Books at the La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center.

Kadilain, the Ilocano term for coral reef, never leaves his imagination. Born to Ibaloi and Bontoc parents, Juan was raised by relatives in the coastal village of Ricudo in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, where he paints 8 hours a day at his “bodega” of a studio. He says he dreams landscapes even in his sleep. I can imagine how deep Juan’s imagination is. He’s been painting for seventeen years and he says he still enjoys it even if his semi-dead fingernails say otherwise.

The ArtistMeeting JuanPeace Pond II by Juan Elani Tulas

“You may see it differently, but I know what it is,” Juan says enigmatically.

Picture 902Picture 893-02

Two particular paintings I like are Peace Pond I and II. He wants to show the richness of the coast up north, he says. Lovely art. I will definitely have to see Juan when my own dream of owning a house by the beach comes true.

ArtSamtoy Books

Ten styro fruit boxes went into the painting in the background. One artwork takes one month to fully dry.

Many thanks to Juan Tulas and Gee Foronda Dianos and Mabeth Macayanan of Samtoy Books for the nice and cozy Sunday afternoon.

Juan Elani TulasCoral ReefSunday AfternoonSamtoy Books "Kadilian Exhibit
Photos by Gee Diaros and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Nakitaripnong diay Samtoy

photo by Samtoy Booksimage via Samtoy Books

Samtoy Books at the La Tabacalera Ilocano Lifestyle Center gathered 40 young mannurat (writers) from the different schools in the province for a naisangsangayan a taripnong (first-of-its-kind gathering) that tackled the art of writing and blogging. Along with the country’s top male fashion blogger/endorser/stylist, David Guison, linguistic anthropologist Dana Osborne, young and talented Ilocano graphic and blog designer Vince Canlapan, I was given the honor of sharing my know-how.

The young writers seemed engaged. Hoping to see more Ilocanos in the blogosphere.

Dave GuisonVince CanlapanDana Osborne

Angeleno Dana Osborne talks about her study on the Ilocano language, sprinkling words like kadiay, nakare-red, nabangsit. Her grasp is amazing!

Sirib Express

Jun Arvin Gudoy, communications and media department head of the PGIN reaches out. He speaks about the SIRIB Express programs that address the educational needs of the youth. Stella Gaspar (in the photo below) facilitates the wonderful event.

Taripnong at Samtoywith Dave Guison

Dave Guison is really as nice as he looks!

Taripnong 2013Dana Osborne and Gee Diaros

Dana and Gee Foronda Diaros.


Former Miss Pamulinawen Festival Jada Maltezo looking sultry in her new ‘do.

Jennifer Tagavilla

Ilocano writer Jennifer Tagavilla asks tips on how to sign up for a blog.

Taripnong 2013

Congratulating Samtoy Books for a job well done!

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013