ELEMENTAL EQUILIBRIUM    [Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD]

Reflections on the often uneasy relationship between humanity and nature are nothing new to Modern Philippine Art. Most memorably, in the 1950s, Hernando Ruiz Ocampo depicted the consequences of humanity’s urge to transform nature into a horrifying image of its own modern power through his Mutants series. Then there is Galo Ocampo’s Catholic reflections of humanity’s fall via atomic annihilation in his 1982 painting Nuclear Ecce Homo.

However, the predominant trend has been to harness this realization of environmental and human existential interdependence to reiterate a strategy of redemption and promise, refusing the air of alienated despondency that oftentimes afflicts Western Modernism with a determination to both right wrongs, as well as hope for a more positive future where progress and preservation are measured in both environmental as well as human terms. We can see this in Jose Joya’s lyrical abstracts of Asian landscapes; or Jerry Navarro’s chromatic paeans to the beauty of a tropical Eden; or even Lao Lianben’s assertion of kaon-like riddles in black and white that emphasizes the process of enlightenment rather than the fatalistic acceptance of the Void.

Part of the reason is the cultural dimension of Asian thought that traditionally accepts nature as part of the human condition and not separate from it, a space where spiritual forces are configured to assist humanity in the goal to the total realization of its potentials. Grafted with the modern abstract ethos introduced through Western cultural imperialism in the mid-20th Century, this has resulted in what is called Asian Modernism, where the aesthetic emphasis is towards social and cultural integration of the artwork to society rather than alienation resulting from the split between conservative communities and self-appointed prophets of the avant-garde.

It is in this spirit of social and aesthetic integration using Abstraction as a poetic visual device that Karl Roque follows in his Elements series. Developing from his previous Quintessence series, the works of Elements explores the dynamic of hope from despair in addressing environmental and human catastrophes. Implicit within its mental construction is the motific exploitation of painted forms as palimpsests that register one’s experiential reflections on the condition of human life on earth not as an a priori condition that cannot be changed, but as a tapestry half-woven, and to be completed in the way that its collective of weavers best desire to preserve themselves.

A significant part of this strategy is to show the sometimes-seamless boundaries that exist between modern art and science. Indeed, most of Roque’s Elements paintings, especially those painted in a circular canvas like Crimson Morning, Homeward Bound, Rain of Tears and Rainbow Land, evoke poetic comparisons with micrograph slides filled with fluoroscopic dyes, illuminating crystals, fungi-like growth and fully articulated bacteria swimming in a miniature universe. Other works, split into four square panels like Lomograph shots such as The Womb of Dawn, and Flaming Fountain; or single panels like Manna and Summer Breeze, the opposite scale is suggested: of telescopic photographs of vast galactic cores in ferment, quasars emitting incredible columns of super-heated gas equivalent to millions of stellar masses; and roiling surfaces of suns with coronas blooming stellar flares.

To those intimate with the latest developments of contemporary art, it is a welcome Asiatic reply to the scientific installations of Damien Hirst and Odra Noel. To the layman, they serve as reminders that art can still cast a spell of beauty in a time when beauty is either seen as a bad word, or that there is so little left of it. In its heart, Karl Roque’s Elements talks of the human propensity to alleviate the emotions to a point of rebuttal against the oppression hurled against it, or to inspire one to imitate the middle way, reconciling one’s consumptive desires with the long-term goal of material preservation to assure the continuity of the species.

- Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD


Nature soothes as well as nature wrath's. These and some are effervescent features that define Karl Roque’s new  works  as he opens his latest exhibition titled “Elements” on October 15 at the Renaissance Gallery in SM Megamall. The artist continues his voyage into the realm of contemporary Filipino abstraction after taking the big leap from the footholds of clean cut-figuration amidst a surrealist inspired background that characterized his early works. Roque has since channeled his energies into the gesture-motion process of painting and what are revealed in his canvas surface are often distinctive and ubiquitous merger of color, texture, and contours  with suggestive reference to the Rorschach and marbling techniques but only more definite and clean.  The artist has admittedly retained the environmental concerns and life optimism that articulates much of the content of his previous collections.  These are now freshly depicted in such works as Summer Breeze, Flaming Mountains, Lullabies of Aquarius, and Manna. The artist also pays tribute to the shape of the sphere, employed here as an accent to the composition or the shape of his canvas. Consistently utilized by the artist in a variety of ways throughout his career, the motif is also celebrated in the works of the late Jose Joya with whom the artist had affiliations with. In essence, the artist wants to evoke a feel-good experience and attain a certain degree of tranquility, security, and belonging or its equivalent aesthetic response from the viewer.   He wishes to involve the viewer by allowing them to interpret his works based on their reaction to it, eliciting from their own memories or experiences, thus completing the cycle of his process. This latest exhibit re-affirms Karl Roque’s commitment to discovering new forms and processes that also characterize both the artist's life and art.  As the saying goes “what nature ends, nature also begins”.

- D. E. Montera, MFA


an exclusive preview of what you’ll see…

TITLE_Manna MEDIUM_ Mixed Media SIZE_ 122 X 122cm. YEAR_2010“Manna” (Mixed Media, 122cm X 122cm)

TITLE_Summer Breeze MEDIUM_ Mixed Media SIZE_122  x 152 cm. YEAR_2010 “Summer Breeze” (Mixed Media, 122cm  x 152 cm)

TITLE_Flaming Fountain MEDIUM_Mixed Media SIZE_60.96 cm. per panel YEAR_2010 “Flaming Fountain” (Mixed Media, 4 panels 60.96 cm/panel)


J. Karl P.-Roque, Jr.

J. Karl P. Roque is a graduate of the Fine Arts Program at the University of the Philippines Visayas Cebu College, earning his Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 1987.

The artist has had a number of one man shows and numerous group exhibits in Cebu and in other parts of the Philippines. He has been a recipient of several awards and accolades both as a student and as a professional artist. As a student, Roque was a consistent awardee of the National Artist Jose Joya Awards, and as an academician, is a multiple recipient of the Jose and Asuncion Joya Professional Chair Grant. 

J. Karl P. Roque joined the University of the Philippines as a faculty member a year after his graduation, and is now an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Program of the Humanities Division where he also served as the Division Chairperson from 1998-2001, and from 2004-2007.

ELEMENTS will run from October 15 to 24, 2010
at the Renaissance Gallery, 4/F SM Megamall, Bldg. A
For further details, please contact Renaissance Gallery at 02-637-3101

My MAC Venomous Villains Wishlist!

I’ve felt this way for only one other MAC Collection, and that’s the Hello Kitty line they came out with in 2009. (Yes, I’m juvenile like that..) It just totally brings me back to those days when I’d prance around at home pretending to be a Disney Princess while watching the movies on BETAMAX!!!!

[Random story that comes to mind: This happened when I was, I don't know, 7 or 8 maybe…I was at home alone one day watching The Little Mermaid, with just my grandma sleeping up in her room. So I’m watching the movie right, singing to Part of Your World, sitting at the edge of the bed flipping my legs ala Ariel like there’s no tomorrow… And then BAM! my ankles hit and BREAK the top of our electric fan --- u know those square/ boxy ones that have the switches on top? OUCH. There was blood all over my right ankle, and that just about cut my little fantasy short. Grandma to the rescue with betadine and bandaids, LOL]

Anyhoo, here are the items I’m eyeing on…. ;)


  • Heartless Cherry red (Amplified) (Limited Edition)
  • Innocence, Beware! Light yellow pink (Cremesheen) (Limited Edition)


  • Revenge is Sweet Light yellow purple (Limited Edition)
  • Hot House Deep raspberry with pink pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Strange Potion Soft coral pink (Limited Edition)
  • Devilishly Stylish Light nude with gold pearl (Limited Edition)


  • Bite of an Apple Soft coral pink (Matte) (Limited Edition)mediahp_venomousvillains033


  • My Dark Magic Deep pink with pink pearl / Deep plum with purple pearl (Limited Edition)

  • Formidable! Teal green with pink multi-changing pearl (Limited Edition)

     The Maleficent mini collection is probably the one that excites me the most among the four (Cruella De Ville, Evil Queen, Maleficent, Dr. Falacier). I super love all the deep dark purples! Violetta lipstick looks awesome, but I don't know if I’d ever really wear it out so I think I’ll pass on that. Hmmm, I guess we’ll just have to wait for October and see…

It’s finally here!! =)

…the new vanity we had custom–made is finally here! The design is inspired by the Dots Lilac model vanity from Pottery Barn Teens:


We had mine made in a sleeker, more modern variation of the PB vanity…and of course, it just had to be in black!! =)

Here’s a first look at my new makeup corner..(eeek, excuse the bad lighting)


IMG_2571 IMG_2574

Nothing in the drawers yet, I have A LOT of organizing to do!


Hair Inspiration: Nikka! =)

People who know me know that I’ve worn my hair straight pretty much my whole life. I’ve had it both super short and super long, one length, layered, and in just about every haircut imaginable (no joke, I’ve even had a boy’s haircut before!), but it’s always been straight. And even before i had my hair chemically treated to  exaggerate the straightness even more, my hair never really held curls well. I’d have to use so much hairspray, but within minutes the curls would still fall loose. So I’ve always stuck to wearing my hair pin straight.

But that got boring. So I recently decided to get out of my hair-rut. And since I promised not to cut/dye it for the rest of the year, I figured I just needed to find a new way to style it.

Took my cue from my little girl’s hair, et voila!

Nikka  IMG_2530

Left: Nikka with her naturally curly, and naturally brown hair

Right: Me with my fake curls that seriously take FOREVER to do since i have so much hair!!

What I used:

- CONAIR 2 in 1 Instant Heat 1½" Curling Iron/Straightener (heavy and kinda sucks, but whatever)

31JJ97AR66L._SL500_AA300_ 31W623YMANL._SS400_

- Pantene Curl Lock Hair Spray (which sucks too. ugh, it makes your hair hard and crispy. i had to comb out my hair to soften the curls. smells nice, though!)


The end result: Curls that were good enough to last me through dinner out, and chasing Nikka around the restaurant. =)


[Room Rehab] 004: Letting Go…

..is one of the hardest things to do. But at some point, you just have to do it.

Our room is almost there. At least now we can actually live in it. I think the hardest part of this whole process was sorting through all my things deciding what things stay, and what things had to go.

A few items are going to my Closet Sale, but for the most part I’m too lazy to photograph things and sell them online, so I gave 3 big bags of clothes and shoes away! Some other really old stuff went straight to the garbage. At this point, I ‘m left with maybe 2/3 of what I had to start with, and I’m still a bit sad about having to let those things go, but I’m positive that getting rid of all the material clutter in my life will do me a lot of good. (PLUS, more space for NEW STUFF, too. LOL)

I’m still patiently waiting for my vanity to be completed. It was all ready to be delivered but Mama found a black spot INSIDE one of the mirrors, so she sent it back to the shop to get the mirror replaced. boohoo.

I think things will start falling into place better once I get that vanity in here, that way I can start organizing my things. Right now, they’re all in temporary storage boxes and what not. Also, I think I’ll go through a second round of closet purging right when I start moving things back into the room.

Here’s our updated to-do list:

  • repaint the walls
  • put in new flooring
  • install shelves for more storage space
  • buy storage baskets
  • get some fabric to sew basket liners
  • get a new bed frame and mattress (might have to downsize from a queen to a full so that the room won’t be too cramp)
  • put decorative headboard shelf thingy
  • get new curtains, maybe some blinds
  • finishing touches like picture frames, candles, decors, etc…

I know that seems like a lot, but apart from the bed, i think the rest are pretty minor things.

♥..My Cupcake..♥

I finally came around to moving some of the thousands of pictures I have on our PC to my laptop. Going through the all the pictures, I couldn't help but get sentimental. Man, does time fly fast!

My Cupcake will be turning 3 this December! I have her party theme all planned out already. (excited much? yeah, that’s just how I am.)

Anyhoo, I just wanted to share these pictures of the one being that has made my life so awesome and so worth living for the past 2 years and 8 months…

00this picture was taken on December 01, 2007, the day Nikka was born! 

1 month old, with the Piglet I bought her… that Piglet means a lot to me ‘coz I was pretty broke at that time, but I bought the stuffed toy for her anyways.

38 2 months old. i love dressing up in matching outfits. hehehe

193 months old…

36 4 months old…

17 5 months old… I love this little collage of pictures. You can tell, she loves smiling for the camera. =)

39 6 months old…

02 7 months old…

17 8 months old…

559 months old…she couldnt walk yet, but she already knew how to dance (or bounce) hehehe

6564  10 months old…

31 11 months old

DSCN0091 on her 1st birthday party. It was pink, black and zebra print. I made everything from cakes, cupcakes, invitations, giveaways… Yes, I looove DIY.

some pics taken for her 2nd Birthday which was Black, Red and Skelanimals Themed.16634_1294194432573_1161676226_30939923_4902337_n



and a recent photo of her taken late last month…IMG_2017

Cupcake is THE best thing that has ever happened to me, no contest. (I seriously don’t know where I’d be if I never became a mom.) She has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined…but she changed it all for the better. =)

Special Delivery! MAC Winnings from the Makeup Snob!!

I got my prize from The Makeup Snob’s Blog Birthday Contest!! This was the perfect treat after such an exhausting week of our DIY home improvement!! (read about our bedroom makeover here)

  • MAC Opulash Mascara  [Bad, Bad, black]
  • MAC 266 Brush
  • MAC Cremesheen Lipstick [Creme D’Nude]
  • MAC e/s [Humid]
  • MAC e/s [Shroom]
  • MAC e/s [Satin Taupe]
  • MAC e/s [Soft Brown]
  • MAC Pro Colour x4 Compact

 Opulash Mascara in BAD BAD BLACK

inside the quad, clockwise from top left: SHROOM, SATIN TAUPE, SOFT BROWN, HUMID

I love everything! A few items were even on my to-buy list for our upcoming Manila trip! Now I wont have to buy them anymore!! =)

Thank you, and much love to Sara of The MakeUp Snob!!

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