Crowded Baguio City Drawings

September 9, 2004
3:22 AM

I finally found my Yellow House art journal!  The last entry is from 3 years ago.  I guess that's because I lost this notebook and that's also the last time I did some serious art pursuit.

I just finished an acrylic on a small canvas board a few minutes ago.  It's a set of 3 violet flowers [now hanging in Ma's bedroom in Bicol] I copied from Feye's calendar.  I just declared this "finished" otherwise this will just be another one of my never finished works.  I'm fairly happy with this piece considering it's supposed to have started as a mere practice work.

I just moved here in Manila last June and I'm so happy I'm almost finished with the white house I started in Baguio a few months before I moved.

I also took time to check my old sketchbook and nothing there indicates anything scribbled during my last 3 years in Baguio.  That's such a waste since although I couldn't afford to buy oil or acrylic paint I did have enough room for a studio.  Law school, office work and personal ministry might well be the greatest reasons for this unproductive period.  I think I did one or two drawings on loose sheets during this time but can't seem to find them.

Now I'm looking at 7 pen drawings I made on yellow and blue letter-sized papers.  These were all done in Upper Quarry and at Jollibee Terminal in 2000 and 2001.

I'm just so pleased with these works because they evoke joy and excitement despite the contrasting crowded Baguio City theme.  I doubt if anyone other than myself will be able to appreciate these because of the hasty, fluid lines.  I love them for they immediately call to remembrance the joy and spontaneity of making them -- the long, flowing lines are so unrestricted it's almost impossible to copy them again and to believe that some sort of identifiable forms could emerge from such scribbles.

The crowded Baguio scenes are replicated through these works.  They are but a reflection of the disaster that the city is headed.  These are all views of the Cathedral, Naguilian Road (St. Vincent), City Hall, University of Baguio, and Aurora and Quirino Hills in the distance.  Two of them prominently show the huge never finished building at Legarda Road.  I am so delighted with these that I want to frame them to exhibit in my own house in the future.

I remember 3 beautiful small oil pastels based on these drawings that I lost during my move from South Drive from Upper Quarry.

What also fascinates me about these drawings is that they were happy pursuits and outputs during a period where I was at the saddest, most disillusioned, tired and hopeless state in life -- when I was going home every night from school on foot and eating P5.00 worth of pandesal for dinner.

My year at Upper Rock Quarry was the most difficult in everything but art life and life with student housemates and friends.  These were afternoons spent on the roof gazing at the blue sky above and drawing bits of a 180 degree vista of a rapidly overcrowding mountain city below it -- an inevitable scene that I may not be able to stop in the City's halls but I can at least keep still and hold on paper.

Buildings at Legarda Rd., Session Rd, Cathedral, Porta Vaga building under construction, condemned hotel in Pacdal

Baguio City Hall, City Camp, Camp Allen, Legarda Rd.

Buildings from Kisad, Legarda, University of Baguio and Aurora Hill in the distance

The Baguio Cathedral, BPI bank and Post Office steps at Upper Session Rd.

Houses at QM and the unfinished building at Legarda Rd.

Naguilian Road (St. Vincent) with Quirino Hill in the background


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