Today is World Refugee Day!

My colleagues, especially Robyn, have been working very hard for the past few weeks for the event organized with UNHCR and the Department of Justice. June 20 marks “World Refugee Day” and our NGO has put up an exhibit of artworks done by refugees near the fountain in Shangri-la Mall . It was my first event and I even had to borrow Mon’s blazer because I realized I had none. LOL I have a barong from my graduation rites two months ago, but that would have been too formal for something that requires smart casual.

1 family torn apart by conflict is too many

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Furniture adventure: a day in Paco, Manila

Furniture Adventure- A Day in Paco, Manila - BRYOLOGUE





I’ve been writing a lot lately about our apartment, and what we have been doing to make the place feel more like home. We began by changing the color of the walls from yellow to mint green, as well as bringing in the essentials such as the sofa bed (which I read as a good small bedding idea), exhaust fan and a mirror (lol priorities).

Mon brought home a couple of acrylic paints and blank canvases when he went home last Wednesday, and he had painted two colorful bunch of swirls, which I put on top of that mirror for the obligatory pop of color on the walls.

Mon had fun with acrylic paints and blank canvases, and came up with this colorful pair of abstract paintings

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My colorblind art: blue irises

Until now, I’m reconsidering what things to put in our apartment in order to personalize the space, but I was pretty sure I wanted framed things inside. Aside from a framed silk scarf fantasy from last week, I also recalled that I wanted to frame this painting of irises I made on a boring summer about thirteen years ago. I had leftover poster paint bottles and a sketch pad from the drawing/drafting class of the school year earlier, and I thought it would be such a waste not to use them. I had copied these flowers from a children’s book I got from my grade school library:

My beloved poster paint 'Irises' painting from thirteen years agoSo when I thought of framing it at the same time with the silk scarf, I also began to question whether I had the color right. Again, I am colorblind and I have a curious problem of identifying and confusing colors from one another. Before I bring this painting to the framing store, I reconsidered whether it was done correctly. So under the pretense of curiously asking Faye about the color of irises, I was stunned to hear that they are normally purple/violet/lavander. I was dumbfounded. All my life, I have deluded myself that irises are blue and I really loved them for that. I have never thought of them as blue. I was living a lie.

My colorblind interpretation of irises --- I had copied the wrong color from a children's bookWell, a quick Google image search informed me that there are really true blue irises. The catch was I have copied my irises from a children’s book that I loved so much because it was one of those general knowledge textbooks that one can just read on and on. I was recently informed that the iris on top was violet, and the one below was on blue violet. I don’t remember ever using violet in my painting because I only had the basic (labelled) poster paints. My irises painting is still existent in the natural world. But if we were to consider its provenance, then it would be another story because the flowers in the book had different colors.

Faceless sketch of Huckleberry Finn and Tom SawyerAn incomplete drawing of Geri

So aside from the irises painting, I was also surprised to see other things I have made in the same sketch pad. It was evident that I have a tendency to draw faceless figures because it was something I was unable to do. But come to think of it, it is still something I cannot do. LOL Look at the gay overtones of the two: Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were definitely having a moment (and whose author, Mark Twain, was also incidentally colorblind!).  Meanwhile, Geri is clearly a gay icon, with that iconic Union Jack dress on from the Cool Britannia period of the leate 90s. It was really funny and nostalgic at the same time to peruse old drawings from more than a decade ago. That irises painting might be no Van Gogh, but it deserves its own spot inside my new place. In the bathroom, perhaps? LOL

Off to UPLB!

It was a fine Monday and we can’t be thankful enough of the overcast weather because we had to go to UP Los Baños and submit the requirements for Lot’s dormitory application. After leaving our things and the office and the collared shirt I would be wearing for work, Mon and I went straight to the Taft area to ride a bus going to Los Baños. To our surprise, the JAM Liner terminal there did not have any bus departing for Sta. Cruz, the route passing by College, to UPLB. One of the drivers there told us to go to Green Star’s terminal few meters away, and we had barely missed the bus because it was already in the highway, about to leave.

Welcome to UPLB!

An hour and a half, we already arrived at our destination. I was really excited to go there again because I haven’t been to UPLB for a very long time. I have extremely fond memories of the place and seeing the familiar environment brought the feeling back. When we were about to disembark, I remember checking the people online on Facebook to see if some of my friends from Elbi were online. Good thing, Russel was available and I messaged her immediately so we can meet up with her. But we first had to go to the University Housing Services to submit the application requirements.

University Housing Services in UPLB

The University Housing Services is located just behind the College of Development Communication, near the Carabao Park just after the university’s entrance. We thought there was a long line of students waiting to be entertained but they were actually queueing for something else. We just entered that door above and was entertained by the lady in charge after finishing a phone call (and from what I’ve heard, I inferred that it was an inquiry in sending the application via mail). If only we were not hoping to secure a good room slot for Lot, we could have just sent her application via mail as well. However, it was a first-come, first-served application and every moment counts. In less than five minutes, then, we were done with our ‘mission’ and we had to do something else.

I called Russel and she was in a library near BioSci, just behind the University Registrar. So we had to walk from the Housing Services and passed by the Humanities building. We also saw a group of people in the Registrar, looking at two sheets of paper containing information about the wait listing process in UPLB.

Oblation in UPLB, in front of the Humanities building

Flow chart of application for wait list and wait list criteria for UPLB for First Semester 2013-2014

 

Then just as we reached the parking area in front of BioSci, I immediately saw Russel waving from a distance and I was so happy to see her. =) She was busy finishing her graduate thesis and was hoping she’d finish it in time, thus graduate this semester as well. Good thing the library was quite lax and did not require us to present our ID. After a few minutes of catching up, we eventually left to walk around the campus because of the impending downpour.

With Russell

 

The nearest attraction was the Pegaraw in front of the Main Library and I wanted Mon to have a closer look at the peculiar sculpture.

On our way to the UPLB Main Library to see the Pegaraw

 

Pegaraw in UP Los Baños

 

 

There were a lot of students walking past and it was difficult to get a good shot with it. We also had to stand behind the sculpture because the sun was shining behind it and we did not want to showcase our silhouette with the Pegaraw. This explains why Mon’s picture below had the bum shown in full detail. LOL

Mon with the Pegaraw - UP Los Baños

 

We then scrapped our walking-for-leisure pace because we still had to travel back to Makati. We wasted no time going to the Freedom Park to have a look around; and we also had a great time having our pictures taken, albeit quickly. Just an hour earlier, we were so worried that it might rain but the moment we set foot in the Freedom Park, we realized that we stressed ourselves out for nothing. In true UPLB fashion, the weather was unpredictable.

Mariang Banga - UP Los Baños

 

Mon  and I in the Freedom Park - UP Los Baños

 

Freedom Park and the Fertility Tree - UP Los Baños

 

In the Freedom Park, with the Fertility Tree and the  Carillon Tower in the background - UP Los Baños

 

Mon also wanted to get a good picture of the Men’s Dorm, which we will be showing to his sister. Hopefully, her application to that dorm gets approved, so we can all cross out the accommodation problem out of the list. If that happens, she will be getting an email from the Housing Services and will have a week to confirm her reservation — and we will accompany her back to UPLB. ^_^

Men's Dorm - UP Los Baños

 

 

We left UPLB at around 4:30 PM but it took us almost 20 minutes to reach Olivarez again, as the traffic was horrendous. Contrary to what I’ve expected, there were also few buses bound for Manila passing by and we had to wait for 15 minutes just to catch one. We rode an HM Transport bus with ‘Cubao’ signboard and we asked the driver if we could get off in Ayala. But to our dismay, they won’t be stopping there so we just opted for the Magallanes stop. We also paid about Php 95 each, more than what we paid from Taft to Los Baños using Green Star liner (i.e. about Php 73 each). But I guess we were still lucky because the bus driver told us an hour and a half after (yes, the flow of traffic from Los Baños to the entrance of SLEX was ridiculous), just as we reached Magallanes, that they would be dropping us off to Ayala instead. Yay! No more MRT!

Kim n' Chi goodness

 

We then had a good dinner at our favorite place in Glorietta’s Food Court, Kim n’ Chi! We were so hungry because all that we had eaten during the whole trip was two pieces of butternut doughnuts, a can of iced coffee, a pack of Piattos and a liter of bottled water. I initially wanted to suggest eating dinner in Los Baños but we would have definitely arrived much later given the slow travel back. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to going back to UPLB next week in the happy event that the dorm application turns out well!