Monday, January 22, 2018


Going loco over LOMO

PATCHES of rainbow-hued photos mounted on huge white frames could not be mistaken for anything but a lomography exhibit. These greeted mall-goers strolling along Bonifacio Global City during Passionfest 2008. LomoManila, a lomography club, was invited to put up an exhibit showcasing the complex from morning until night. Various scenes were caught in a fraction of a second by eight photographic teams with some 10 members each, and the pictures were made into a collage.

Vibrantly colorful and offbeat shots composed the collage. They were mostly of one dominating color, a trademark of LomoManila. The triangular positions of the pictures remind one of banderitas or festive flags ever-present in Philippine fiestas.

Picturesque memoirs from the Outback

TRAVELLING is a luxury only a few can enjoy, but thanks to photography, one can now tour the world without shelling out a fortune for a high-priced airfare.

Former UST College of Fine Arts student Kleyr de la Cruz provided a photographic tour of Australia to Filipinos who hadn’t been there in her solo exhibit, “Wandering Soul: A Journey to Australia,” which ran May 1 to 3 at the Podium.

The exhibit showcased photographs of Australia’s picturesque landscapes such as the Blue mountains of Katoomba in New South Wales and the majestic Razorback cliffs of Port Campbell. There are also shots of a Mardi Gras, portraits of her young nephews, and a little girl playing with a water fountain.

Parial’s brilliant colors

MANY YEARS of painting has almost taken a toll on Mario Parial’s health. Because he has to stoop every time he paints, Parial suffered from slipped disc and underwent surgery in 2002.

For six months, he had to endure back pains that prevented him from walking and painting. But when he slowly recovered from his illness through grueling therapy sessions, Parial made it a point to take brisk walks and take pictures with his digital camera.

“I’d take pictures of anything I’ve chanced my eyes upon on,” he said.

Unsatisfied with nothing to do, he experimented with Photoshop until the wee hours of the morning every time he could not sleep well.

It was when he conceived his “computer-generated” art—surreal yet sensible artworks done with just a few clicks with the help of Photoshop.

Philippine television’s borrowed reality

WITH the invasion of foreign reality TV shows in recent years, local media networks have been working non-stop in producing their own reality programs or franchising them from international production companies.

“Franchised reality TV shows infiltrate local media for good money; local networks buy these for the same reason; and Filipinos watch these for good entertainment,” said Joyce Arriola, head of UST’s Department of Media Studies.

Media giant ABS-CBN has several franchises out of Netherlands-based Endemol Productions such as Pinoy Big Brother, Pinoy Dream Academy, 1 vs. 100 and Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal. But its top-rated syndicated game show, Wheel of Fortune, hails from the United States, and The Singing Bee, the network’s newest reality show to date, is from UK’s Zeal Entertainment.

Social visions

Melvin Culaba’s paintings often challenge the audience to take a second look at social problems. Photo by PAUL ALLYSON R. QUIAMBAO IT TAKES insight and imagination for one to see art in the grime and austerity of everyday life.

All too often, art is seen as an escape into a world crafted by the artist’s imagination. Reality is sometimes too harsh, after all. Yet for Melvin Culaba, it is this harshness that brings vitality to his work.

Dubbed by critics as one of the Philippine art world’s best-kept secrets, the UST alumnus has had eight one-man shows and more than 30 group shows in the past 15 years, not to mention entering the finals in such prestigious national art contests as the Art Association of the Philippines Annual Competition and winning an art fellowship grant from the Vermont Studio Center in the United States.

Divine fellowship of voices

In unison. Four Thomasian choral groups gather for a night dedicated to timeless songs of praise and worship. Photo by JOSE MARGO S. FLORESFOUR UST singing groups teamed up and with their angelic voices, gave auidiences the sound and taste of heaven.

The Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble, together with the Coro Tomasino, the UST Chorus of Arts and Letters, and the AMV Accountancy Chorale presented “In Communion,” a concert of sacred music, last April 12 at the Philam Life Auditorium.

“Communion means the possession of something in common,” said Cynthia Sy, a senior member of Liturgikon said. “We are choir groups who share the same beliefs and faith.”

Substance and glamour shine in UST’s own filmfest

PICACHIEBRINGING the life back to the dying Philippine film industry plagued by mediocre and very commercial movies was the dream of the second CineVita Campus Film Festival, which ran March 5 to 7 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

Sponsored by the Varsitarian, the three-day festival showcased 22 local and international films with themes relating to life and death, strengthening the family, and urban sociology.

The festival also provided a venue for discussions on the state and the future of Philippine cinema.

Critic urges support for movies with meaning

TORREFILM director and writer, critic, and Philippine Daily Inquirer entertainment columnist Nestor Torre opened the 2008 CineVita festival with a stirring keynote speech.

For Torre, CineVita is different from other film festivals since it screens life affirming, positive-minded, and inspiring films, which, he noted, are a “distinct minority” in the film industry because they lack contentious characters, trendy action, and special effects, which producers insist audience crave.

“Good characters and inspiring themes are supposed to be poison at the box-office because they are bland, predictable, and boring,” Torre said. “Yet they are the ones who would always bring meaningful stories that bear the true taste of life.”

13 Thomasians nominated for National Artist Awards

ALWAYS shining beacons of the arts and letters, Thomasians have again proven they’re the country’s foremost humanists as many of them have again been nominated for the National Artist Awards.

At least 13 alumni have been nominated for the award as of press time, the Varsitarian has learned from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Leading the race for the National Artist Award for Literature is Cirilo F. Bautista, who was finalist in the 2006 edition of the awards (which are given out every two years). At that time, Bautista lost out to another Thomasian, the more senior Bienvenido Lumbera.

Both Bautista and Lumbera were former literary editors of the Varsitarian.

Giant Dominican cross dwarfs poverty

EVER since Jesus’ crucifixion 2,000 years ago, the cross has always been associated with salvation. And for the poverty-stricken residents of Dagat-dagatan in Navotas, only one gigantic cross has lifted their spirits living as they are in times juxtaposed with utter misery.

“I observed that the cross has inspired a lot of people; it’s as if their faith were invigorated,” said Fr. Allan Lopez, O.P., the parish priest of the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Church, whose roof the cross is now perched atop.

The cross was patterned closely after St. Dominic’s staff, but with mammoth proportions. The 12-feet-wide and 18-feet-tall cross is already believed to be the biggest Dominican cross not only in the country, but in the entire Eastern hemisphere.