Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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There’s always a place to call home.  It could be the place where we grew up, the school we attended, and even the state of peace. Over the last two Saturdays, I like to insert home is also in the company of others. #Belongingness.

The past two weekends I was fortunate enough to attend two events that’s close to my heart: Art.

The DE’s Artroom held two very different art meet-up events called #Artambay. First was in Cebu City last weekend and then yesterday in Maasin City, Southern Leyte.  DE’s Artroom is a distributor of Daniel Smith Watercolors paints and art supplies in the Philippines, and #artambay is not only their promotional events but also a way to reach out and create art communities in the country through meet ups and demos. The DE Artroom is actually composed of Singapore-based Maasinhon couple Dino Dante Pajao and Ethel Pajao, the former is one of the best water colorist I know and the latter is a marketing guru – a very formidable team. We’ve been friends with the Pajao couple for more than a year but I have not really met them in person because of geography. But I’ve been a proud recipient of their generosity and passion for art, may it be from discounts on DS paints and Escoda brushes, and in grass root Debujo events in our hometown.

#Artambay Cebu

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The Cebu edition was held on June 19th at Tazza Cafe and Patisserie. I happened to be in Cebu due to my academic obligations and seriously I didn’t want to miss the event and meeting the DE team.. Bisan pag baktason ang Colon padung Lahug. On the way to the event I rode a bogus taxi and almost got scammed by its fast-moving meter. I had to argue for the fare that’s so unreal, from E-mall to Capitol it was already P175 and we’re not even a third of the destination to Lahug! I probably scared the driver when I was about to call LTO that he dropped me off in the Capitol area for free.

I arrived in the venue 5 minutes past 2pm, a few moments before the event started. I spotted ate Ethel and Dino and was very glad I finally met the legends. I also spotted familiar faces in the Cebu art community like Wee Bong and Joan Florido. It’s a diverse group, most are hobbyists, some students, some full-time artists, youngest is a teenager, two from Leyte, and I believe those are good passionate people. I have to mention also that most brought their A-game brushes and papers. The whole attendees was about 25 artists that somehow perfectly fitted on the fabulous Tazza cafe.

(c) DEs ArtRoom

(c) DEs ArtRoom

by Des Artroom2

The first part of the event was introductory phase of the watercolor qualities by the master himself, Dino Pajao. I cant go on specifics but he did mentioned some key tips. He also performed two demo paintings first in a bond paper and in a proper watercolor pad. The group was tasked also to paint on bond papers to get a fresh grip on the qualities of water and the paints. I painted a sea turtle, and all of us we’re struggling on the spot like beginners. But the thing with watercolors is its a hard medium  to control that one can easily feel like a newbie anytime even if you been painting for many years already (*cough cough*). We were also tasked to paint the same subject boat on the water that Dino painted on his pad. I did picked some of his techniques. He was amazing and fast.

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The snacks, too, were great. After the demo and the individual assignments on the boat scene, it picture taking. And lots of talking and meeting other people. I think something great started that afternoon.

 

#Artambay Maasin

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Last Saturday, the DEs Artroom held another #artambay in our home province in Southern Leyte. Sir Dino and Ethel are both from Maasin City, the capital of the province, where I also took up my accounting course. The event’s target audience are students and young artists from the city. ‘Young’ as in like I’m the oldest. Haha. Unlike in Cebu, the meetup was held early during sunrise at the Espina Boulevard (one of Dino’s favorite inspiration in his paintings). It was a plein air session with pan de sal. Most of the attendees are members of the local art group called ‘Debujo‘ which I co-founded just last year.  I wish I was not elected to lead the group since by the start of last summer until I have been super busy with work and academics (I’m studying at SWU for a masters degree, and this August for an FA certificate in UP). It feels bad not to spend more time with them. Lots of plans but not enough time to devote to the group. #Artambay was one of our rare ‘physical’ meetup.

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(c) Rochelle Gerong/DE Artroom

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For the Maasin edition of #artambay, Ethel single-handedly carried the whole event as she introduced the Daniel Smith watercolors and the importance of using artist grade paints. Dino has to go back to Singapore for work. The goal of the event is not to sell these products but to allow the young people try and to hopefully encourage them to embrace the watercolor medium.

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#Artambay Maasin was a very different setting compare to Cebu. One, we dont have a competitive watercolorist in the group to demo. I’ve been watercolor painting for four years already, and ‘competitive’ is still a distant dream. I did the demo anyway haha. Two, the kids and Debujo people just dont have the materials. We had to share all the brushes, including the Escoda ones, that I brought to the venue. Three, it was a peaceful, laid-back, scenic and joyous learning experience with the young ones at least the space are unlimited.  At the everybody got to taste Daniel Smith and Escoda, and people passing actually stopped by to say hi and check our works. #inspiring

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The past two Saturdays spent in two cities and two very different groups has been a great experience for me as an artist. It gave me perspectives on where I should go, whom I should hangout with, and whom I should strive to help. Being with those great artists in Cebu inspires me to be like them, to try to make use of my time to practice the craft. The need to take that leap of faith in UP Fine Arts was only validated. I have to learn and improve, even if it means years of temporary unemployment. Thanks to #artambay I also met people in Cebu whom I can hangout with on weekends. And lastly, I believe there’s something to be done to the budding artist in Maasin City. They may lack the materials but they were there to meet Ethel, to try Daniel Smith and to really learn the medium.  Also to have fun, lots and lots of it. Their presence means a lot not just as an absentee leader of Debujo but as a fellow student of the craft.  Hopefully there will be more gatherings like this in Cebu and Leyte.

Because #Artambay rocks!

by Tazza Cafe

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It’s really rare for me to be in Cebu on a weekday. Look, I’m Leyte born and based but I like to call Cebu as a second home. I used to work there and fell in love with the place. So it’s an easy decision to take up my masters degree in one of its universities. So Cebu classes and art sessions (I’m still on a running hiatus) on weekends are my escape from the rural landscape at home and at work.  Last Friday I scheduled a trip to renew my passport for long-shot scholarship applications. And of course, to join the first ever Drink & Draw Cebu!

Drink & Draw is a unique event where artists can meet not just to learn but also to bond with one another. The rule is really simple; bring you sketching materials, pay the registration (affordable, just for the drinks), sit back, strike a pose and well.. drink and draw. The event was held at Coffee Prince at Osmeña Blvd and was schedule at night from 8pm to 10pm to suit the hobbyists’ schedules and the night owl artists.

Coming in from a long waiting game at NSO and DFA I was physically drained, much more I don’t know what to expect for the event. I just want to meetup my good friend and fellow water-colorist Wee Bong, get my new Daniel Smith paints and have an even rarer night life (haha).

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Nicole, Me and the mega-focused Wee Bong

Wee Bong and I were the first one to arrive at the event and soon people started to come until we started at 8:20pm. By the look of the crowd, I knew these are my pack haha. It was easier to introduce and talk stuffs because we’re all art lovers. So what really happened during the event?

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We drew. A lot. And fast. In a span of two hours I think I drew at least 50 separate drawings. How come? Because it’s not your typical plein air and on the spot sessions we see on art school and TV. The artists are the models taking their turns on the spotlight (I did not volunteer) and there’s time pressure. People here’s the format; we draw whoever is on the stage and the goal is to capture the curves and basic anatomy of the pose. No details and fancy techniques needed, just plain ‘get the poses right before the bell rings’. If my memory serves me right the entire session was composed of fifteen 15-second poses, ten 2-minute poses, fifteen 30-second poses, ten 2-minute poses, and one 15-minuter. For a guy who draws all my life, I struggled a lot! I never draw that fast and of that volume. I think we all did. But we really enjoyed the challenges.  The poses are really funny, dramatic and downright bizarre.

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I think the P350 registration fee are really worth it. The venue was good, we had good drinks and yummy snacks. So yeah we kind of practically just paid for the food! But the experience and winning new friends are priceless.

Two hours just gone way too fast on us so most of the artist did stayed up until midnight to chat and drink. I really think it was the highlight of the event where we get to know each other, became instant friends and learn each others’ crafts. We sort of just belong to each other and I’m very thankful to hear their stories and see their works. I guess we call it a community. And for that Drink & Draw was a very successful one.

Drink and Draw will surely comeback soon so you guys better watchout!

 

 

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D&D Cebu: First Class!

[Note: Event photos used in this blog are from the event page with express permission of Miss Pia Mercado.]

 

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I am intentionally posting these Christmas wish lists not for everyone to know but just for the sake of posting something this Christmas haha. No kidding, I’m not really comfortable in receiving gifts from other people, thanks God I dont receive much because I don’t know how to thank and react properly when surprised. Let’s just say I’m more of a giver. I find tremendous joy when I give people presents and see them happy.

Look there are two list in this post: one is from the child in me and the other the young man that I am. The former is a materialistic line up that can be bought on malls, but the latter are simple and heartfelt wishes that no amount of money can’t buy.

Ok, lets start with the material things I crave. Dont be surprised they really show the things I’m fascinated and passionate about… except for running since I’m currently injured huhu

1. a BB-8 – There’s been an awakening.. and if you’ve seen the Star Wars: The Force Awakens  you’ll know how cute this ball droid is! This thing stole the best scenes in that movies.
2. Kylo Ren mask – yeah another Force Awaken wish list because I really like it’s villain. They say the movie can only be good as the villain is, so how do we top Darth Vader? The answer is we build one, someone who is not 100% bad yet who can be tempted, imperfect, confused and quite messed up. For that I want that mask badly! haha
3. TDSV book – I’m in love with Vietnamese artist Tuyet Dinh Sinh Vat’s works. Big fan of hers so when I heard she’s publishing an artbook of her works I was like: Can I go to Vietnam right now!?
4. Escoda brushes – it’s the finest watercolor brushes out there. I just wanna try them.
5. Heneral Luna DVD – one of the best local film this year is the game-changing biopic of the Filipino-American war hero Gen. Antonio Luna. It just shook the country on how Pinoy films should be made and made a nationwide social awakening on the problems of the country. We need to support this kind of films so I need to buy that DVD… para sa ikauunlad ng bansa. haha
6. Vietnamese coffee  – the best coffee in Asia (or even the world) are found in Vietnam. OMG! I really need to go there!
7. Rise of the Tomb Raider video game – I do play video games. And playing a strong female character and solving mysteries in brutal environment is my kind of game. (I’m currently playing Star Wars: Force Unleashed)
8. Rappler sweater – it’s cute and when I’m travelling its cold most of the time so I’d love to have that.

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The things listed above makes me happy but they are only material things and in time for sure I can have them in one way or another (like extorting my friends, joke!). However, the items below are the real Christmas list for me. They aren’t much and I have no intention of explaining them on details. I’ll just list them and you guys figure out why they are in it.

1. Parents’ blessings for my next journey
2. Good health and motivation to get back on shape
3. Time and courage to take the Talent Determination Test
4. To have my big sister here this Christmas
5. To go out with friends old and new
6. A successful alumni homecoming this weekend
7. Recapture the magic and love for writing and running
8. To meet and share a cup of coffee with new friends next year! (that includes you Anlee! :p )

There you go; 2 lists, 16 wishes and one big heart humbly wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a fruitful New Year 2o16! God bless!

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Letters are everywhere. If you look closely you’d be overwhelmed. They’re the atoms that make up a book, the characters in your jersey, the end credits in every Marvel film, and if you’re lucky every old-school guy’s weapon for love. Love spoken is assurance, love written is the soul exposed, combine the two it’s #MayForever. Oh letters, why do you have to be so everywhere? You even spell out my balance sheet and SALN. Confession, it’s spelled as: I’m P.O.O.R.

I may be poor financially, but I do believe I’m filthy rich in two things: in Letters and Family. Yes, Letters runs in the family! Lettering has been a common staple at home. For starters, I blog and writes (love) letters manually. Then my Mom is a good writer (I read her thesis and ghost-written publications). To my great envy, my big sister got that really good penmanship that I used to borrow her notebooks in high school because its so damn good to look at.  But most specially my dad, Tatay Dindo, is a great draftsman in our town with kickass skills in writing names in diploma (which we now learn as calligraphy), cutting letters for all occasions, and even copying signatures just to impress his Fantastic 4 kiddos (It’s still technically ‘forging’ right?). He also used prints t-shirts on old-school silkscreen, he draws house designs (including our home!) and do streamers with big letters. I only managed to inherit his talent in drawing. Lettering kept our family afloat during the 90’s because my parents’ salary as public school teachers weren’t as high as it is today. Yeah, I worship my old man, he’s a great man who taught me how to love letters.

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See my name, and that absolutely wicked calligraphy. I wish I could show you samples of Tatay’s silkscreen printing and streamers. Next time!

But I believe, Tatay Dindo’s art in Lettering has seen better days. It’s really dying in our place. For the past few years I’ve seen the decline in demand for Lettering.  More and more people now finds comfort and better price in Tarpaulins. Diplomas are now engraved in printers. It’s faster, cheaper and colourful. But don’t get our family wrong, we’re not bitter in this paradigm shift. It’s more of a hobby than a livelihood for dad (because he likes tarpaulin and still eager to learn photoshop). But what really scares me is the Art. Will it eventually die? Will my generation, and the next, ever pick a pen to perform the crafts of lettering?

And the social media answered; Hell No!     —> Clue: Just type ‘lettering’ in Google Image and click Enter.

Lettering is actually booming exponentially online and in the modern landscape! Many people may view social media as a bane in our culture, but it truly does wonders in the art world and that includes the lettering and calligraphy departments. Look at Facebook and Instagram; quotes are everywhere and more and more of them are written in eye-catching sometimes jaw-dropping ‘hand-written’ fashion. And one of the most popular letterers in the country is miss Abbey Sy (follow her in Instagram @abbeysy). Her artworks are simply impressive and inspiring; always a dose of sophistication and simplicity; colourful and toned; smooth and wonderful.. like a woman or a goddess. It’s hard not to like the style of this twenty-something ‘teenager’. Yup, I met her on her workshop last weekend in Cebu.  (and I have her autograph! :p )

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Enter the Joan and Klaire’s Drawing Letters by none other than miss Abby Sy! It’s the first art workshop I attended and it felt good to be on the other side of the table (it’s usually me either tutoring the youngones to draw/paint or organizing backyard art workshops and contests). To be honest , I don’t really have the budget for the workshop because of my grad school studies and my bisyo in running and painting. But I really want to learn the basics of how miss Abbey do her craft or style. I also want to check out if  I can apply that lifetime watching my father do his crafts. Plus given the fact that I have horrible penmanship, so the confidence for this artform is at rock bottom. But, well, nothing beats learning from the best. Iba talaga pa’g si Valerie Chua or CJ da Silva or an Abbey Sy magtuturo… Mas mahihiya kang di matuto hehe. Fortunately, my dearest sister paid for my slot in the condition that the workshop materials will be hers and we will practice together when she comes home from abroad next month. Fair trade.

The workshop was heald at the Joane & Klaire shop in Banilad Town Center, Cebu. The organizers informed me earlier that I’ll be only guy in the workshop so I wont feel out-of-place. It didn’t matter at all. Because to my surprise it was super fun! My classmates were lovely, accomodating and very friendly (ang swerte ko pala). We had a lot of fun chatting in our table, sharing some laughs and listening our best to the lecture. Special shout out to my new friends Miss Jeah, Miss Kristy, Miss Michelle and to the little and talented one’s miss Leanne and miss Jana.

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Miss Abbey is a great teacher and she really knows what she’s doing. A natural. With only three hours to teach, she has to talk faster and squeeze in the tips and tricks in the trade in between demos and  actual practice. Although like any art workshop, it would be better if it’s done in a smaller group. But c’mon its quite rare for famous artists to drop by and make a workshop in Cebu. Oh, I almost forgot I believe the shop, Joan & Klaire, is a must-visit place in Cebu. There are a lot of travelling and arts stuffs in there. And the workshop kits are just fantastic, sa kits pa lang bawi na.

Yup, that's our kits and more. :)

Yup, that’s our kits and more. 🙂 (c) Joan & Klaire

I am very glad I signed up for the workshop. I really learned a lot, or more accurately I gained a lot of confidence to try out this modern art form. Kaya sya, Les. If there’s a person in that workshop who has the most to loss and much more to gain, that would be me. It’s more than just trying out a new hobby, it’s already part of the family and I don’t want to see it gone. At least in my town in Southern Leyte there will still be letterers 10 or 20 years from now even only in social media. Because I’m certain when dad retire from teaching in a couple of years he will also hang up his lettering days, he’ll probably take up his long-awaited destiny as a painter. I have no plans of taking over, let the Tarpaulins rule. But trust me, I have other plans for this modern art of lettering. I can see years and years of love and practice. It’s my generation’s turn and we’re bringing social media into the mix. It will be awesome. The future looks bright, and there are letters everywhere.

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Somebody just learned from the best. #inspired

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I believe Art nowadays, have become more of a ‘for sale’ business adventure. Not that selling artworks are bad, it’s just even then beginners are trying out Art to earn money and forgot the very essence of Art: self expression and the appreciation of creativity. Business is good, but make sure what we, artists, are selling are truly worth it. A month ago, I have the misfortune of experiencing bad side of this enterprise in the very art group I founded when a member just suddenly went ballistic against all my ideas and principles I have for the group. He just want to sell his works, but he’s a beginner who just got a glimpse of improvement and without informing practically created another group of for hire artists and judging me I’m holding ’em back and abandoned them. It was sickening. Suddenly all the values of Kindness in art gone. What an a-hole.

But at the end of the day, my faith in Art remains the same. It’s all about kindness. Yes, I am not a pro and my artworks are not really that good. But I’m doing my best to improve my craft, for what very limited time I can get after office. I’m doing my best also to share whatever knowledge and resources I have to others especially to my friends. And I think I have never ask for a price in my work not that I’m not a fan of money, it’s just I’m not worth it just yet. 🙂

And then came miss Valerie Chua’s invitation:

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Honestly, how can I ever refuse a favor from miss Valerie, she’s like one of the most influential artists in my life. My fandom for her art goes a long way back and Valerie is one of the people who kept me pushing without knowing it. The goal of the Creativity x Kindness project is to showcase kindness through Art. One of them is for artists to give back to people by making postcards, hand-painted or printed, for others.

And painted, I did!

 

It was total fun! One of the most fulfilling and enjoying thing I did in a long time. 🙂

My goal was to make the maximum of 10 postcards submission, but I only managed to make nine. The last 5 last were done on a cramming mode. But the other best part of the project is that I got to write messages at the back. They are all heartfelt and some are really pasaway haha.

And here’s a view of those postcards. I wish I scanned them for memories sake but I really hope they reach out to other people to inspire and be kind. Pay it forward, whoever you are. 🙂

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Of course, I was not in the Ayala museum last Saturday July 25th because I was in Cebu for my grad studies (and an Abbey Sy lettering workshop!). But I did followed the event through social media! I heard the venue was jam-packed and the postcards reached more than a thousand. What!? A thousand postcards! Amazing. I guess there really are a lot more kind people out there. Faith in humanity restored.

Here’s a few instagram post about how the post card event turned out.

We're wondering what postcard this Little Wonderwoman picked? 🙂 #cute #InspireEveryDay

A post shared by Ayala Museum (@ayalamuseum) on

(c) credits to Ayala Museum and Valerie Chua for their posts. 🙂

I guess this is a case of saving the best for last. I just watch Robin Williams much-beloved non-comedy film called The Dead Poets Society. It was terrific. A true timeless classic. A master piece. And I only just watched it.

Robin Williams died the other day and sent shockwaves to the world on mouths wide-open. Look I’m one of those nineties kids he entertained through his humor and genuine charm with movies such as Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladain, The Bicentennial Man and Flubber just to name a few. Those were good movies sent from heaven from a kid’s perspective. His smile meant the true meaning of life to us. His adventures speak for the unlimited power of courage. And his charm and heroics  in those movies, those were the first definition of what a true love feels like. Robin Williams was, is and always will be our hero. And no amount of negativity and pain about his life and the way he died can ever ever erase those treasured memories.

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Now back to Dead Poets Society: It’s a drama about teenagers and boarding schools and poetry. Things a 7-12 year-old kid can understand and much less enjoy. DPS along with his fine performances on the serious movies  like “Goood Will Hunting”, “Insomnia”, and “What Dreams May Come” came much later when I started to devour movies as an appreciation of art, talents and film-making. He was great in those characters. But not a character is as memorable as Prof. John Keating in The Dead Poets Society. He gave the character a face and a soul that imprints deep into the soul of the viewers. Let us not be cynical, we secretly wish that our teachers and professors are as good or unorthodoxically fearless/effective as Prof. Keating. He’s a dream mentor we never had. Thanks God there’s Robin William to fulfill that part.

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I wont be making much review about the film because I don’t think I can give justice to it using my own words. But mark whatever integrity I have left the movie is beautiful and pretty much as important in our society today. The movie is about education on an elite boarding and of how a single teacher can make a group of boys change their lives forever. Education, education… society view this word as a noun defined as sort of key to a brighter figurative room. While we are supposed to see it as a blessing, a privilege when we should be consuming it like a blessing, like food that should be devoured and enjoyed to make one’s life better. But strip the movie down to the basic core we have these young boys that needs guidance where John Keating came in. It was a kind of unnatural teacher-student relationship that is still debated nowadays if its effective or destructive. I guess it depends on the actor who plays them.

But Prof. John Keating is sure is fun. Just like Robin Williams, he’s always fun and never fails to make us laugh despite his deep sorrow and loneliness inside.. which ultimately got the better of him at the end. The movie pretty much reflected how he come to our lives as a Godsent character and how cruel he has to leave. But one thing is sure  that when he left by the door, I was one of those who proudly stood up and  said: O Captain, My Captain.

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“Everybody wants to be loved. Everybody wants to be in love…”

There was this series of short films release in the YouTube Channel of Cornetto, yeah the ice cream brand. They were pretty awesome and I only just discovered them. Better late than never coz these stories deserved to be heard er watched. I absolutely digged them. I think each of the stories are unique and independently produced but the quality is really great.  It’s really the content that captured my imagination. (I think I wanna do stories and short films like these and perhaps quit my job)

All of the short films starts with the quote I wrote above. They have the same narrative style by cutting out segments of the stories into ‘Acts’. I find it cool to have different international short films follow the same narrative formats even though they have different languages. Oh love, it’s so universal.

Be warned these are heartwarming teenage kind of love stories, well sue me, I’m a romantic. So here’s my Top 3 Cornetto Cupidity.

3. Margot – this one’s shot in Asia, or at least it’s an Asian story with very Asian actors. It’s like a fairytale and probably the most heartwarmingly-hopeless- romantic in the series. It has this killer quote short into the beginning, “It’s funny what the world really love is not a lover but a love story. Journeys of the hearts that inspire us all”.

2. Kismet Dinner – This one is set in Brooklyn New York, well this one started it all. Got this from my facebook wall and it blew me away. It got a catchy premise where a talented singer get ignored by a cute guy every time she performs, and the reason will surprise everyone. Deymn, that’s a short film. I’ll be happy if I can make a good story like this but for now jus “Enjoy the Ride. Love the Ending.”

1. Travellers – for the movie lovers, a tribute to them and their passions in life.  This is set in European town of Polignano on the way to Rome. This will come in familiar as this story blends in a couple of really good love stories like the two random strangers meeting on a train in Before Sunrise and an ending scene that deeply echoed a scene in My Sassy Girl. But this story goes deeply personal to me, some part of it did happen to me.. there were decisions I’ve made, of paths I followed, things I’ve done and did not do, of the never ending questions of what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. Man, it feels so good to be reminded of life and of love and those rare encounters of a midsummer night’s dream. This one nailed it.

I am Cupid, and this Cupidity.