It’s been a few months since I’ve put up something on my blog. Who am I kidding? It’s been half a year. I either went on a writer’s bloc spree, or my life hasn’t been really interesting the past few months. (I lied about the last part, my private life is really interesting at the moment. Might write about it in the future, I don’t know mate.)
Anyway, the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about my blog and how I should go about it. I’ve been writing about the things that are interesting to me (i.e. Art, Photography, Pop Culture), but I recently started googling how to blog effectively. I found out that the only way to do it is to keep blogging until I find my niche. My blog as of the moment might be all over the place but I have faith that I will find which topic I am most comfortable of writing, and which ones actually help out readers.
Yesterday, karlamaye.com was born! I have been dreaming of having my own domain for the longest time, and I certainly did not have a hard time thinking of a domain name because I’ve used karlamaye with almost every website I ever signed up on the internet. Aside from the fact that it’s my name, it’s also short and easy to remember!
For the next few days, I will be revamping my blog and re-do some stuff. I will also make it a point to blog regularly, on a weekly basis if I can, so my readers (if there are any!) will always have something to look forward to.
You know that art set they usually gave artsy children in the 1990’s and early 2000’s? The one with complete set of oil pastels, colour pens, charcoal pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc.? I can only reminisce the feeling of getting one for Christmas. Seeing the neatly stored colors on that piece of plastic box gave me warm feelings inside as a child.
I am not sure why I had to mention that, but the familiar warm feeling comes back to me whenever I dabbled in art related activities as an adult. This year, I was able to explore dip pen calligraphy, brush calligraphy, water color lettering, water color painting, and planner decorating. Now I am into oil painting.
My cluttered and makeshift work space.
I bought a mixing palette but it was too small so I wrapped some aluminum foil on my clipboard and improvised.
My good old flat and round brushes I once used for watercolor painting.
I got student grade oil colors, an 8″ x 8″ canvass, a charcoal pencil, and a few mixing knives. I used my old paint brushes because I couldn’t find brushes in Jarir Bookstore. As a newbie, I didn’t know I needed a medium and thinner before I head on to painting, so I made do with what I had.
My tubes of colors. How lovely.
I was also not aware of the drying time of oil colors. The blue background was my first layer, and I waited around 5 days until it became dry to touch. It was not completely dry, you could feel that the paint could come off if handled roughly, but it was ready for the next layer.
Within that 5 days of drying time, I had time to think about what to put on the next layer. I know, I recklessly started a painting without actually knowing what it is. I just acted on instincts, I wanted a blue background, so I did a blue background. I couldn’t care less what I would put next until later on that I actually needed to. I was initially thinking of a burning ember to be painted in the middle, but I scratched that idea when I realized this one would appeal to me better.
“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya
I tried my best to act on feelings and emotions, rather than the technical. Sure, you could find similar paintings on Google, but this one is the product of my heart. I am this bird. I can fly anywhere, but I don’t. Soon enough, I will let go. I will stop hanging around in my tree, and I will just fly and let go.
Humans do not need art in their lives once in a while. Life is art itself.
I can still recall the smell of my father’s workshop. It was a small and cluttered space situated on the second floor of our rented home. It is a very memorable area of my childhood for me, because it is the place of my earliest memory. I was four at the time, while my sister, Pamela, and cousin, Bea, were just one year old toddlers. I can still remember how little they were, how hilariously tiny they looked, and how they smelled like milk all the time. Most of the time, they sucked on milk bottles while half asleep, but during the day, they got by with their pacifiers. My sister had two of them, a pink one and a blue one, and no one could take them away from her.
Toddler Pam and Toddler Bea seemingly playing hide and seek. Circa 1998.
I am not entirely sure why I am writing this, but at this hour, I feel really nostalgic of the past. I always catch myself wondering why time seems to fly so fast now, when in the 90’s, one whole day was long enough to do a variety of activities. I could play in the streets with my kid neighbors, I could play Crash Bandicoot and Tekken on the PS1, I could watch TV when Dragon Ball or Pokemon is on, and I would still get bored because I would still have so much time in my hands.
My daily routine as a kid was simple. I woke up, I ate, I went out to play, I came back home to eat again or watch TV or play games, I went out again, and then I came home before the sun set. It was understood that I should be home before it got dark. I don’t remember any agreement on it between my mother and me, but no one wanted to play in the dark streets of my hometown. Of course, it wasn’t because it was unsafe or something. I guess it was because no one wanted to play in the dark, and everyone was tired after a long day of playing.
My sister Pamela, myself, and cousin Bea. Circa 2003.
My baby sister and baby cousin were always at home. They were not allowed to go outside because they were not old enough, like me. I felt very superior. I was the alpha, and everything I did, they wanted to do as well. They were easily my minions, but I get in trouble with the adults whenever I posed as a bad example to the toddlers. I got hit with all kinds of household stuff including hangers, rolled up newspapers, and anything my mother would get a hand on. I would get scared shitless because it would hurt, and I would remember not to do it again. My sister would always see me get hit, and I don’t know what goes on in her head but I am pretty sure she understood what it meant and what it was for.
I took this photo while they were both busy doing school work. One is a business student, the other is an art student, both soon to earn their degrees. Two worlds in one dimension. April 2015.
Today, Pamela and Bea are adults. They are not tiny anymore, I cannot laugh at how small they are anymore, and ultimately, they do not smell like milk anymore. They don’t want to do everything that I do anymore, because they know they can do things anytime they wanted to, even without me doing it first. They are adults. They were once stupid and cute little things, and now they have grown to be intellectual and ambitious women, ready to conquer the world. In a little over two decades, these former toddlers are now capable of deciding on their own, building their future, and doing things no one ever thought possible when you look at them as toddlers, with their messy hair and mixed milk and saliva scent. As an alpha, I would call them nerds. But as a fellow woman, I would call them outstanding.
And I sit here, in front of my computer, writing about how I remember them in my mind, trying to preserve the memory of the toddler versions of them and locking it safe, because these photos do not justify the lost memories that I keep trying to remember. The memories I have left of them, of my childhood, are slowly fading away, and I am terrified. What was once my life, now just a moving and defocused picture in my head, slowly disappearing, slowly being taken from me, and soon will completely disappear as I perish.
But I am glad they existed. I am glad of the memories, and whether I remember something or not, I will continue to believe that amazing things happened in the 1990’s, and I believe that in another universe, far away from here, baby Pamela, baby Bea, and street kid Karla never grew up.
A few weeks into my calligraphy journey, I have decided to finally learn lettering and use watercolor as a medium. I have been craft shop-hopping in various malls in metro Manila, and have also been liking loads of Instagram craft shops. I came to realize that craft supplies are such eye candies to me, and I need to have them and flourish the artistic soul in me.
Then I found out that calligraphy and lettering come along with planning. In mid 2015, I was hopelessly looking for planners because those times were extremely busy and I needed a planner just to organize my activities and beat deadlines. I looked endlessly, but to no avail. Until a close friend of mine, Gab, gave me the Scribble 2015 as a mid-year gift. (Thanks, Gab! Still using it!)
I liked it very much, since it was not dated and I am free to use it anytime in the year, but there were certain details that hindered me from comfortably planning my week:
The edge was not stable because it was not smyth sewn. It was only bound together by a single lace.
The paper cannot hold calligraphy ink properly and bleeds too much.
On a technical note, the cover is dull, at least for me though.
Now, as 2015 closes, Filed.com released the Scribble 2016 planner, and it’s got features that I really like, and ultimately addressed my complaints (that I quietly complained to myself) with the previous Scribble planner. I pre-ordered one in October, and it came in the mail today!
FILED got my name wrong, apparently, because when I got it, “KEKA” was written on the cover. So I did some remedies and wrote my name myself. No hard feelings though, FILED!
The planner came with watercolor instructions and three NEO Fine Liners (see last photo.)
These are the features of the new Scribble 2016, which answered my prayers!
The paper can now hold calligraphy ink because it is now at 100 GSM, and it is also smyth sewn! Ah, the comfort of writing without having to worry about the pages falling off. Thank you, Filed, for this fun and artsy planner.
I am so excited for my 2016. I hope it will be the year of my life, as I am slated to finish college, and start my employment hood in that year. May this planner guide me through tough times, and help me remember the good times!
My toys all set for all the planning that’s coming! Indian Ink from The Craft Central, Nikko G nib from Pensgalore, The ABC’s of Hand Lettering by Abbey Sy, and Simbalion 16-color Watercolor Cakes
You can get the Scribble 2016 planner from Filed.com.ph at P595.00. For more detailes, visit their website at FILED! or their official Facebook Page.
The script that I wrote for my first ever short film “Asilo” of Aura Productions, submitted to the Metro Manila Film Festival Student Division 2013 (I know, grammatical errors pls go away. I wrote this 30 paged script overnight while high on caffeine forgive pls)
When I was in High School, I was always confused about which course I was going to take in College. It was a big deal for me, since I realized early on what the importance of having a degree is. So I savored every moment of the 1-year vacation I had, and then plunged into what they called the “College Life.”
I am now an incoming 4th year AB Communication Arts student in Angelicum College, and currently an intern in GMA Network. Within the past years, I had experienced many things, and I must say that some of it changed me a little bit at a time. I already know that who I am now is not who I’m going to be after graduation. Hopefully better.
Now, I’m going to list down 12 things my mates and I can relate to, and assuming that you are a Communication student as well, considering that you clicked on this, hopefully you too.
1. You have so many writing class that you cannot determine one from the others.
You go crazy during classes because you confuse one home work from the other. You’re lucky when you have different professors for each writing class, but when you are stuck with one, good luck knowing which is which.
2. Your professors give you short film projects as a short quiz, and they make it sound so easy.
“Next week, I want you to submit a 5-minute short film displaying ‘Continuity’. No more extension.” This terrified you all the time, because it’s not the only subject you’re taking! There are tons of others that require your attention too! And you need more time for it, you would always think. But you always figured your way out… the hard way.
3. Every major subject starts with “What is Communication?” and you’re sick of it.
You get asked this question, and you answer with “Communication is the transfer of message from the sender to the receiver.” You know this, you know ALL the words just because you get asked this a million times in a year. But the real question is… is it still considered a “communication” if it doesn’t have a feedback? We will never know for sure.
4. You always ask what the relevance of Math and Science with your program is.
You never questioned this in high school, but when you’re a communication arts student, you’re focused on all the articles and scripts you have to write and films you have to shoot, among others. So when a math or science professor gives you a crap load of work, you just don’t know what to do.
5. When you think you have discovered a new and fresh concept, professors will always prove you wrong.
You’ve watched all the samples they have given you, and told you to create something new. But when you submit them your proposed concept, you learn that it’s been made before. So you go back and improve step one: increase caffeine intake until new ideas come out.
6. You always use Courier New when typing scripts.
It’s never been this satisfying to type like this, print it out, and submit it… like a pro! It makes your script look more legitimate, and gives it a professional touch just because you’ve seen actual movie scripts written on this font. Such pro, much font, wow.
7. Professors of minor subjects always say, “Comm arts ka nga” or “Parepareho kayong mga comm arts” when you’re all noisy and hyper.
The truth has been spoken. Most of us communication arts students tend to be the noisy ones, the aggressive ones, or the ones who are always in for debates. Since our program encourages spoken ideas and creativity, we sometimes overdo it. It doesn’t hold true to the other students though. Some can be very quiet, which sometimes can be deemed as creepy students (no offense if you’re the creepy, I mean, quiet one).
8. You hate it when people misuse the word “media”, like it’s a group of people or a company.
When you say Media, people automatically assume you’re talking about a group of photographers, or reporters, or the actual networks like GMA and ABS-CBN. You’re itching to correct them, because you know that media is the plural form of medium, which means the channel or means that you use to send information (i.e. TV, Radio, Print, etc.)
TV is a medium. TV, Radio, and Print are media. GMA and ABS-CBN use media to disseminate news and entertainment. THERE.
9. Radio shows, TV ads, documentaries, and short films: You’ve done it all in less than a week.
During finals week, yes, you magically transform into Quicksilver and do everything in a mad speed. Sometimes you end up editing your radio show at your short film shoot, or writing scripts while interviewing people for your docu, and even rendering your films a few minutes after the deadline because you too like to live dangerously. You automatically become thinking adults when this week comes, being all mature and responsible just to save your arse.
If you’re a good crammer and you’re able to balance time with quality, then you’ll be fine. But if you’re bad at it, I suggest you start praying.
10. When you don’t have your own DSLR, you always know whom you’ll borrow from. When you do have one, everyone is borrowing it.
There is no middle ground. If you have one, sometimes you wish that you didn’t. And if you don’t have one, you’re wishing that you did so you won’t have to borrow anymore. It’s as complicated as your Politics and Governance case digest. You never know who the real victim is.
11. People who know nothing about your course “Communication Arts” always assume that you are going to be a call center agent or a painter after graduation.
And you can’t correct them because they are mostly elder people. You always had to choose between correcting them and respecting them. So you just stand there, nod like a bobble head vinyl figure and sweat nervously. You cannot unhear it.
12. Finally, you know that you will always survive another day.
The gratification you get is always what makes everything worth the sweat and tears, and maybe a few brain cells. Realizing that you made through everything, you’re proud of yourself and you start to trust yourself more. Your belief and faith in yourself grows stronger, because come to think of it, you’ve done all of them! You never thought you could, but you did! Now give yourself a high-five!
For me, there is approximately 1 year left until graduation. Hopefully the list doesn’t go longer than this after that.
Just finished assembling my new toys. Kidding. This is Quezon Avenue in miniature filter.
The wonders of DSLR cameras still amaze me. Gone were the days when people would have to wait for a couple of minutes to snap their black & white photo taken, get it developed in weeks, and hang it on their walls.
I like miniature photography. It’s like having new toys in photos. It’s like visually travelling to childhood — when everything small was considered a toy, and it’s not a camera if it doesn’t flash.
Having been able to study in Jeddah throughout my highschool days and coming back to the Philippines to pursue college, I have come up with a short list of things people say to us who they call Jeddah Kids.
1. “Eh di nakapang Muslim ka din?”
Oh, because I’m wearing my typical everyday clothes, it’s now called “pang Christian.” No.
First of all, you don’t call it “pang Muslim.” I agree that they do wear it religiously, but apparently, the clothes have names. They are called Abaya, and the headdress is called Hijab (although people in my area in Jeddah called it a Tarha).
And to answer the question, we do wear Abaya, and wear Hijab when reprimanded by a religious police. Most of the time, they don’t really care.
2. “Eh ‘di may nakikita kang camel sa kalsada!”
For the nth time, I lived in Jeddah, and it’s a city. Camels don’t belong in cities; they belong in the deserts (and probably zoos). In my 3 and a half years of life there, I swear to all Gods in all mythologies in the world that I have only seen camels twice.
3. “Mainit ‘dun , ‘di ba?”
This is stating the obvious. Of course, it is widely accepted that Middle Eastern countries are the hottest of countries (not to mention hot-headed Arabs blabbering at you all day), and it is given that when a country has deserts, it is apparently a summer-all-year kind of country.
However, contrary to popular belief, Jeddah does have a winter season. I can compare the city to a PMS-ing girlfriend who could not decide where and what to eat and then blames the boyfriend why she’s hungry. One day the weather is flaming hot, and the next thing you know, you’re shivering under the blankets with horrible chapped lips.
4. “Arabo ka pala, eh.”
I do not have any idea how to explain this part. I may have Arab tastes in food and lifestyle (oh yes we do), but that doesn’t make me any more Arab, and any less Filipino.
Take note that the city has loads of Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other asian restaurants. It has compounds exclusively for American citizens, and for British ones. It has schools, and international ones, that accept mixtures of different decent and ethnicity. So don’t tell me that I am Arab for living in an Arab world (but I sometimes wished I was for some reasons.)
5. “Magsalita ka ngang Arabic.”
Gee, thanks for making me feel humiliated about my Islamic Studies and Arabic Language grades in Highschool. Thanks for the throwback.
My Arabic lexicon only contains words and phrases that can be used everyday, and they’re not even the best ones. I speak like a 1-year old Arab to be honest, or may be even younger. I am always messed up in Arabic language classes (I remember scoring a 9 over a 50-item periodical exam), and I hate being forced to read and write in Arabic.
To impress people with my Arabic language skills, I count from one to five in Arabic. That’s the only thing I learned in all my Arabic language classes. But people fall for it. All the time.
I never thought I’d ever venture into film making.
This film is entitled “Papa” by Flying Solo Productions (basically only me), and set in a little town. Our professor kept on reminding us that a film must have a “what if” logic in them. I figured, if worded properly, all ideas and concepts certainly will have a “what if” logic.
Truth be told, I had fun making this despite the fact that I work alone. I would like to thank everyone who tolerated my amateur skills in film-making. This is the first, and hopefully the worst.