Friday, March 31, 2006

Gingoog City

Gingoog city. This is the place where I grew up and spent most of my childhood before I went for university in the Visayas and later on settled down in Cagayan de Oro before moving here in Singapore. I have so many memories in this place including adventures you cannot do in a big urban area. My parents and some of my siblings are still there and it's still the place I'd like to call HOME.

Below are photos of the Gingoog experience.

Tiklas, a big high falls in the area of Balantian mountains. It has a big, high waterfalls and a pool where you can dip to a flowing, natural river water. It's just too damn hard to get there... Hope mobilization there has improved since it's really a great place to commune with nature.

Vintas with Gingoog Colours on it at Gingoog bay

The summit of Mt. Lumot, a favourite distination of local and regional mountaineers.

The "pahayahay", an old ship dock now made into a makeshift pasyalan where you can just relax with a friend or fish, if it's your hobby.

A surfing contestant showing off his stunt. Surfing has now incresingly popular in the city, with annual contest participated by entrants from all over the archiphelago. The waves here are not as big as Siargao, but it has pretty consistent and descent runs that made it attractive to pinoy surfers.

The annual Surfing contest with contestants waiting for their turn and spectators flocking the beach. Mt. Bantaawan lake, located like a valley at the mouth of Bantaawan mountain.

Then Badiangon Spring, the favourite beach in Gingoog. This beach has no white sugar-fine sands of other beaches. But it's attraction is the ice-cold spring water merging into the sea water.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

World cup Heroes

These men, aside from having enormous weekly salaries, are their country's best ammunition this coming World cup in Germany.
From top clockwise: Brazil's Ronaldinho, currently world player of the year twice in a row and also European Footballer of the year; England's Wayne Rooney, one of the best natural strikers to emerge from Big Ben's folds;
Michael Ballack, Germany's captain and midfielder extraordinaire and France's Thierry Henry, arguably the world's most feared striker.

This mid- May, World cup will commence and if you're in Asia, don't be surprised if you notice a number of men looking gloomy and really tired everytime they go to work. Don't be alerted. They're normal. It's just hard to keep a straight face when you're watching games every night at 2:30 in the morning 15 days in a row and still have to get to work after. OLE!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dreaming Nirvana

Imagine a place
Where everything is free
You don't have to work
For you're just looking for a job anyway

Envision a time
When everyone share
A common goal
Of goodness amongst men
Where crime and hatred a distant memory

Visualize a moment
When government is no puppets
Where corruption has faded
And food is in every table
No one suffers for hunger

Dream of a perfect world
Where there's no capitalism
And livelihood is parted
Equally amongst all

Picture out a society
Where there's no arrogant presidents
Or any wolfen leaders in sheep's clothes
Just ordinary common men
United in harmony

Envision a red flag flying
And my hand holding yours
Brother, we will make this future together
...and it's coming near.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sportsman's Creed

The world cup is coming this May and there's a lot of buzz and advertisement about it bombarding the television every now and then. I don't know if you heard this creed being spoken by a voice as a background with slow-motion football in the foreground. I've heard this before the run-in towards the 2004 olympics and it still touches me within, as these few words, reflects not only sportsmanship but also of life.

"Sportsman's Creed"

You are my adversary

You are not my enemy

Your resistance gives me courage

Your strength gives me will

Your perseverance gives me the drive to defeat you

And if I may succeed to,

I will not humiliate you

Instead, I will honor you

For without you...

I am a lesser man.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our Battles within

A page of an offline journal I've had written in 2003.Maybe some of you can identify with this since most of us has our own battles within ourselves anyway, and has been confused to the things we wanted to do some time in our lives.

"It's really hard to find yourself when all you've done since graduating was based on responsibility and cause. So much of it that the real interest that you had when you're younger has become vague because it has taken a back seat of the things you have to do to survive. When I was younger I used to love reading a lot of books on literature and mythology. Books that most of my friends and playmates just ignore in the library bookshelves. I love reading these books becasue i'm fascinated with mythical adventure and heroism. Some of the characters has really intrigued me more than the others-- Hercules, Beowulf, Sigfried, Galahad, Roland, Theseus… And Hamlet-- my favorite of all Shakespearean plays. They had one thing in common: They were all troubled heroes--waging wars with their own demons. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not imagining myself as a hero. Though I am waging a battle too… within myself.

Eight months ago before I retuned back here in Singapore, I went home to my parents' house and went to my old room, I saw some of the drawings and stories (in comics form) I've made when I was younger (around elementary to high school). I smiled as I saw the amateur drawings and the crooked English printed in the cheap bond paper and colored in low-priced colored pencils. But there's no tawdriness in the way it was drawn. Because I can still remember that each of the pages were made out of conviction -- just for the cause of passion for the art itself. Not thinking of monetary exchange… A far cry for the person that I have become now. As I flipped over the frail, weathered and almost torn pages, I saw the signature below with the name "Reybronx" written in there. Reybronx wasn't only a pen name. It's an entity. An alter ego. He was the person I've become when I was in this "different" dimension. A person who was oblivious to the real world when he start to create all these heroes in his mind and put them into ink and paper…His hero, like the works of his idolized comic creators was an underdog, always struggling for the impartiality of his cause, going through tribulations that ordinary men find impossible to accomplish. Of course in the end he emerged triumphant, his aspirations achieved, the villain defeated, and the overall evil has been forever perished. It doesn't matter if he's drawing stories about a ninja making a wrong straight, a samurai defending his honor, a knight making his quest for a lost birthright, or a Viking fighting monsters along with Odin. It's just a different high being in this state. Far different from the ones that pot and stones provide.

Then came 1993. Reybronx, the self-acclaimed author (kuno) and artist, suddenly stopped his comics works to give way to a busier me. Architectural Plates, apprenticeship and all the hordes that come with being a third year architecture student took over. Though I still write and drew cartoons (for the student paper, since it's the one paying my tuition), it was never the same after that.

After my graduation, the comic creator that was Reybronx suddenly was nowhere to be seen. It as if that fountain of creativity in my youth had stopped giving forth its precious fluid, and exhausted itself and gone dry. Then work, more work and the aspirations to be better in my field being a new architect has corrupted my systems and buried more of the memories that once, I can just sit in a quite room with a table and chair, as well as some empty sheets of paper, a pencil and drawing pen and I’m off to never land--drawing my way to places where kingdoms and castles stand. To the realm of Khans, Shoguns, Sultans, Czars, and kings.

Though in the span of time since I stopped doing comics for my own, I still see Reybronx's reflection once in a while--In the eyes of the people I came to love. It's like a bolt of electricity coming when that happens. And I came to really see him often in the eyes of the women I feel deeply amored with. Then I came to realize--Reybronx is the passion that is in me. It's real love. He was there all my growing years when I was creating all these comicbooks simply because it was what I love doing all those years. And I did not realize it but he was there when I first fell in love, he was there when I first broke my heart, he was present when I fell in love again with my wife, he was there when I lost steem of myself and decided to just throw it all, but most of all I felt him most when Jean told me she was pregnant. Yes, Reybronx--the artist, the author, the true manifestation of the rawest passion within me--my inner self, was there in the highest and lowest points of my life.

And now I'm staring in a computer monitor blankly and confused. I can't help but ask if is my inner self being a comic creator still relevant to the life I'm living now? I'm creating buildings and landscapes now and designing things with precise caliper-measured technicalities that is directly opposite from the free-flowing artwork of comicbooks.

I paused for a long while and then I thought... As long as there is passion inside me, the artist in me will always be relevant. Reybronx will always be relevant. As long as I appreciate the air that's breathing my lungs, as long as I find happiness in inking a white clean paper in my free time… As long as I believe that I have never made people feel that they are not loved when they are. Yes, I think it will be. Not just for me or the satisfaction of my soul, but for those people who in one way or another became a part of me and never really left me emotionally--the people I've loved and never stopped loving. People that caused me and have been caused by me some amount of hurt, pain and tears. Some of them left me brokenhearted when I was young for greener pastures, and some I've left for some reasons. Friends, lovers, real people. Most of them may have ceased to think of me, but never will I stop thinking of them. For my life with them, no matter how brief, has, collectively, made me the person that I am now. A better, more sensitive and more appreciative kind of individual. And that I will forever treasure. As long as I have passion, my art will always be relevant. It's the only breath my soul knows. The only window my heart shows. The only release my feelings can explicate. Each smear brush of paint is a part of me. Each pigment of graphite and drop of ink is my blood. Each word that I share is the being that I am. And the only way I can show to people that I cared for most in life --my family and closest of friends-- that I had, have and will always love them... Come what may."

RNV, 12th June 2003

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Photographs and Memories

Pictures indeed paint a thousand words. In old pictures case, brings back faded memories. I just found out days ago that Jean has kept pictures of the both of us-- taken when we were both kids. I guess she asked my pictures form my mother and didn't tell me anything about it, and to think she had it for years. Boy, it's fun to see old pictures. And the best thing about it is that you can remember what's the ocassion when the photograph was taken and what you did that moment.

These pictures (below) were posted side by side in the album. They were taken on the same year, and has only a difference of about two months. The first one was taken March '84(school closing ceremony-- I was fininshing grade 3) and the second picture was taken May '84(they were in 'Flores de Mayo' or 'Flowers of May' costume). First picture has four persons( me and my younger borthers), the second has five (with Jean and her sister ans cousins). In both pictures we wore uniforms (the only thing is that me and my brothers wears different colour of shirt but the same kind). The first one was shot with the statue of Sto. Nino (the child Jesus) as backdrop, while the second one was shot in front of an altar.

It's amazing to see these pictures now laying side by side in Jean's album. and to think they were taken 10 years before I came to meet my wife.

Me & my younger brothers at our old school

Jean (extreme right) with her sister and cousins

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Tyke's Day Out

My mother in-law had a chance to visit us here in Singapore for a month so we did take some time to show her around. We took her to the zoo, which was also Fergus' chance to come face to face with the animals he've known only from the books and television.

Entrance to the Singapore Zoo.

Some of the new attractions at the zoo carpark. These polycarbonate animal figures glows at night.

Alfresco are near the entrance. We eated first before entering the zoo, and had a shot with the prop cow there.

e big circular deck fronting a big are that mimics a real jungle. You can see monkeys and urang-utans swinging, crocodiles, deers, and other wildlifes when you're in this deck.

Camels!!! They're kinda shy.

since the animals are not caged in this zoo, you feel that they roam freely with you. Barriers in form of water and pits are cunningly designed and veiled with shrubs and planting.

This Baboon is a bit shy and protective of his little one. Turned around when I started to snap pictures at him.

Entrance to the Aquatic area where Penguins, Sea Lions, Dolphins and Manatees are housed.

Up close with the Lion's Harem in the glass viewing deck.

The Lionking sits majestically in his throne.

Posing with the Zebras...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Baby/kid jokes

Some of the circulated jokes on the net centering on a kid's innocence about sex. A good fill for a hearty laugh. And the good thing is there's no cholesterol, preservatives, msg, and sugar. A bit green though.

A baby was born so advanced in development he could talk. He looked around the delivery room and saw the doctor.
"Are you my doctor?" he asked.
"Why,yes, I am," said the doctor.
The baby said, "Thank you for taking such goodcare of me during the birth."
He looked at his mother and asked, "Are you my mother?"
"Yes,dear, I am," said the mother, beaming.
"Thank you for taking such good care of me before I was born," he said.
He then looked at his father and asked, "Are you my father?"
"Yes, I am," his father proudly answered.
The baby motioned him closer, then poked him repeatedly on the forehead with his index finger.
"Hurts, doesn't it!?"

A three-year-old walked up to a pregnant lady while waiting with his mother in the doctor's office. He inquisitively
asked the lady, "Why is your stomach so big?"
She replied, "I'm having a baby."
With big eyes, he asked, "Is the baby in your stomach?"
She answered, "He sure is."
Then the little boy, with a puzzled look, asked, "Is it a good baby?"
She said, "Oh, yes. It's a real good baby."
With an even more surprised and shocked look, he asked, "Then why did you eat him?"

In a kindergarten class, the teacher ask the class to describe "
heart". The 1st girl raise her hand and stood up and said " heart is red in color". Teacher praise the girl.
Teacher: " Anyone else can give me another answer? "
Another girl raise her hand and got up and said " heart pumps blood".
Teacher praise the girl.
Teacher: " One more answer? "
A little boy got up and said " heart has legs" Amused and puzzled, the teacher ask the boy why he said heart has legs.
The boy said: "I was outside my daddy's room last night and heard my daddy said 'Sweet Heart, Open Your Legs ' You see, heart got legs!!

A little boy and his dad were walking down the street whan they saw two dogs having sex.
The little boy asks his father "Daddy, what are they doing?"
The father says, "Making a puppy" So they walk on and go home.
A few days later, the little boy walks in on his parents having sex.
The little boy says "Daddy, what are you doing?"
The father replies, "Making a baby."
The little boy says "hmmmm, can you please flip Mommy around? I'd rather have a puppy instead!"

A Primary School teacher decides to teach sex ed. to her class.
She starts out by drawing a penis on the chalk board and asks the class,
"Does anyone know what this is?" And little Johnny says, "Yes, my dad has 2 of them!"
And the teacher says, "Are you sure about that?"
And little Johnny says, "Yes, he uses a small skinny one to go to the bathroom, and a big long one to torture my mummy with."

Little Tim was in the garden filling a hole when his neighbor peered over the fence. Interested in what the cheeky-faced youngster
was up to, he politely asked, "What are you up to there, Tim?"
"My goldfish died," replied Tim tearfully, without looking up, "and I've just buried him."
The neighbor said, "That's an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn't it, Tim?"
Tim patted down the last heap of earth and replied, "That's because I couldn't get him out of your cat."
At school, a boy was told by a classmate that most adults are hiding at least one dark secret, and that this makes
it very easy to blackmail them by saying, "I know the whole truth".
The boy decides to go home and try it out.
He goes home, and as he is greeted by his mother he
says, "I know the whole truth." His mother quickly hands him a $50 >note and says, "Just don't tell your father. "
Quite pleased, the boy waits for his father to get home from work, and greets him with, "I know the whole truth."
The father also promptly hands him a $50 note and says, "Please don't say a word to your mother."
Very pleased, the boy is on his way >to school the next day, when he sees the mailman at his front door.
The boy greets him by saying, "I know the whole truth."
The mailman drops the mail, opens his arms, and says, "Then come give your FATHER a big hug."

A mother took her little boy to church. While in church the little boy said, "Mommy, I have to pee."
The mother said to the little boy, "It's not appropriate to say the word'pee' in church. So, from now on whenever you
have to 'pee' just tell me that you have to 'whisper.'"
The following Sunday, the little boy went to church with his father and during the service said to his father, "Daddy, I
have to whisper."
The father looked at him and said, "Okay, why don't you whisper in my ear."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Kinetic Pulchritude

Funny how many things you find when you search through old things. Lately i'm posting things that are newly excavated. so I guess this has now become a series. Only this time it's not an artowrk. Found this one when I was browsing thru my old files looking for a document. It's a poem i made on the eve of my wedding in 2000. of course i don't need to say who it was meant for. It's a bit mushy though. But I remembered penning it with much passion, knowing I'm going to give it to a woman I was born to love forever.

"Kinetic Pulchritude"

Imagine her as a painting
More dazzling than the one at Sistine
A moving Mona Lisa
Surrealistic than an Obra Maestra.

You've been moved by Titanic
Or the magnum opus Gone With The Wind
But for me nothing really compares
By the mere touch of her skin.

Milkshakes and cup cakes
You've tasted it all, yes
Yet how can anyone be sweeter
Than this duffledove's kiss.

Compare her to Beethoven's classics
Or Mozart's music
To a troubadour's serenade
Even Jimi Hendrix
If Blues is what you like.

She can charm you like Cleopatra
Enchant you like a Nymph
But she can be caring too
Sympathetic, tender and affectionate.

She can be fragile as a flower
And can easily break to tears
But she often takes a good stand
In everything she cares.

She got a free spirit
And do everything she desires
She never surrender to problems
And sure is stubborn sometimes.

You can call her "Morning Dove",
"Stuffed Toy" or "Shine"
But the most marvelous thing is that
This lass is MINE.

...My own Helen, Aphrodite's kind.

Friday, March 10, 2006


One of the few paintings i've made during those tomultous months of my life in 2002. I think it helped that I've released my daily frustrations through art and poetry. It greatly avoided me (with Jean's unfathomable understanding and love) to fall into depression and keep me sane. this piece clearly reflects what I'm feeling that time. It's titled "BROKEN HANDS".

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Popping pills and a kettle

I was cleaning my drawing desk yesterday when I found some old stack of sketches and this is one of them. I remembered drawing this one during my self- imposed 8-month isolation in 2002. I went AWOL from my job in Singapore that time and went home to my wife in the Philippines and didn't work. I think I felt a plateu in my life at that time. Burnt out by my job and felt no meaning with my existence, I packed my bags and just left it all. For eight months all I did was sleep, watch TV, draw, paint, drink booze with my brothers (we are 5 boys, mind you) and guy friends, sang karaoke and feel sorry for my miserable life while my wife worked to feed me.

Until one day I woke up and as if God smiled on me. I found a new hope that i can hold on to. A new beginning and reality to grow with. And this was because of the news that Jean brought to me-- I was going to be a father. Before the baby came out, I decided then to go back here in Singapore and did what I do best, while at the same time pursuing my dream to be a comics artist bit by bit, taking some work from an indy US comics studio. After my son was born they followed me here and these are how we are currently.

Funny how a single peice of paper let you recall so many memories. Here it is anyway. Pen and ink. 0.5 and 0.2 Fabre castell disposable filt-tip pens on bristol paper.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Simple heaven

I used to frown at the saying that "Some of the best things in life are free". I thought nah, you always have to shell out dough if you wanted the best things and the best service. I remember how I save allowance and grab at any chance of sideline work when I was still studying just to have money for dates and to buy a new pair of Levi's or a new Nike sneakers. Now that these things are not a problem anymore, they stopped existing as "the best" and my thinking moved on to a better house or acquiring a car.

I was wrong. There are things that are more precious yet, you don't have to spend a dime. Things that are intangible yet means so much-- like time with family and vert close friends.

Below is a video I took while my son played with his toys. He's the only child in the house and because of work we cannot get him to the playground always. So he gets by with playing in the bedroom. and it's just amazing how he gives me new lessons in happiness each passing day.

Related post:
A walk in the clouds
Into the River

Monday, March 06, 2006


I was never a fan of Pinoy Big Brother. But i have nothing to those who are religiously watching it like it's their daily(or nightly) fix-- like Jean. And bacause of her I watched how Rustom Padilla made known to the world that he is gay-- totally shaterring the myth that the Padillas are all about true blue machismo. And I admire him for that. Since I know how hard it is for him to hide it for all these years and finally letting it out even with the fear of rejection by his family. Your sexual preferences don't make you as a person. It's the thing that you do. It's just sad that in the Philippines, many people are still insensitive and at sometimes cruel to people who have preferences to same-sex relationship.

I am not gay. i've never felt being gay not even once. But I have no problem to be associated with friends who are. Some of the best friends I've known are gays. One of the best friend I have (and one of the most talented individual I ever have previledge to be associated with) revealed his sexual inclination when we were already in our twenties and already working-- and it set him free. It made him happier and more optimistic about life. And i found out that being gay is within. It was never about having to look like a drag queen, work in a beauty parlor, voice like a woman or applying makeup. You can be gay even if you're as chiseled as Lou Ferrigno or the opposite. It's all about decision and truthfulness.

After all, (it's chessy but I'll say it anyway) truth sets one free.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Third in a RIO!

My younger brother Rio, an editorial cartoonists of daily sheets Sun.Star Cebu won in the national editorial cartoon contest on the centennial year of Filipino migration in Hawaii.

His entry titled "Hand in Hand"was adjudged second prize, besting 21 other entries from newspapers all over the country

--including Philippine Daily Inquirer, People's Journal, and Manila Bulletin-- and other community newspapers from all over the country. The contest theme was "100 Years of the Filipino Legacy in Hawaii."

This award is Rio's third national prize in five years. In 2001, he bagged the grand prize for editorial cartoons in the competition of the National Aids Society of the Philippines, which won him $500 and a trip to Thailand. Last year, Rio won first prize in the national cartooning contest celebrating the 38th founding anniversary of the Asean (you can see the article i featured in my blog months ago here).

Just posting this to say I'm proud of you, bro. And having inspired you to take up drawing and made it as a career only feels so rewarding.

Full newspaper article as it appeared on March 02, 2006 is HERE.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another Dayjob done

I've just finished designing this courtyard for Changi General Hospital here in Singapore. It was inspired by leaf (life) and the sprawling natural contours and mounds of countryside hills. I want to give the courtyard a clean yet interesting look. modern yet habitable and functional. My colleague Von helped me with preaparing the presentation boards. And these boards will be presented by my boss to the hospital bigwigs today. I used Sketchup 3d software for this model (click image for bigger resolution).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sequential Art

This is a page for a Philippine gig I am currently doing. Infact this is the first gig i'm doing for my home country. The rest are almost finished with pencils but yet to ink (click the image for a bigger resolution drawing).