Arts and my Father

One of the first KKK events.

Recently, I attended a meeting where we had a workshop on writing a timeline of our life from birth to present. We were asked to list our happy memories as well as painful memories. As I try to recall as many as my mind have kept, I have realized that there were many important positive things about my life that I have discarded along the way and have forgotten for a long time. One of the many things that I remembered was – how much my father gave me and, that when I was in 3rd year high school I have tried painting. Textile painting was one of the projects we had in T.H.E (Technology and Home Economics).

My memory took me back vividly into my first interest in Creative Communication in visual arts. When I was in Elementary, I had a notebook where I put all my drawings. Some of it are my original creations and some are copied from comics and magazines. I drew dogs, horses, carabaos, tanks, guns, robots, cars, houses and even fighting scenes. I also remembered drawing shirt and shoes designs and even portraits. Back then, I knew I was getting near to perfecting my drawing skill.

The first times we performed my original songs in Palawan.

I think that I got the influence from my father because he was a graphic artist. I remembered him receiving modules from the ICI and I believe that he must’ve finished it because I saw his certificate in advertising graphics. When I was in elementary, I often volunteer whenever a printing skill is required. I would take home the project and my father would help me print the cleaner’s for the day schedule, class officers and slogans in a cartolina with a pentel pen. My father also taught me how to use a pantograph which has increased my interest in drawing. He was a craftsman too. When I was in my first year, I got the highest grade in my science project because my father helped me make a simple alarm system. I think that I understood what jack of all trade means because of him. He makes wood cabinets, fixes pipes and motorcycles. He was a carpenter, mason, electrician and a poet. Sadly, I didn’t get to know as much as I wanted to know him now because he died when I was 19. I was in the midst of my engineering circuits class when I got the news. I have realized how much my father gave me and how much I lost.

Anyway, the workshop I had during that night helped me realize the things I possess and have lost and forgotten along the way – My father and his gifts to me and my first creative expression of myself in visual art. The latter however is a memory that broke me. It was a cognizant situation about how other people can change the way you should be. I have stopped doing my visual craft because I felt unappreciated and that I wasn’t given with due rating. I had the lowest grade in our textile painting project in T.H.E. during high school. Those who had the highest grades have drawn cartoon characters and painted it with colored textile paints like a children’s coloring book. I didn’t consider it a painting back then as I compare it to what I did. I painted a natural landscape – an old tree beside a river with a small wooden bridge across and with orange flowers surrounding it. No one was impressed by my artwork except my friend George who had the highest grade for painting a stunning waterfall. My teacher and my other classmates would repeatedly “kiss-and-kick” me saying that my work looks good from afar but a mess when you look closer. It was my last visual artwork since then. It was also one of my great disappointments.

My second climb to Malia.

But eventually, because I seemingly cannot end my creative skill, I started to like and study music on my own. I have to express myself so I tried to learn the guitar and the keyboard. But as I try hard, I can’t seem to exactly imitate how my favorite rock songs are played. Though I would really try hard, I still can’t go beyond the average. Consequently, I started to make my own music. If I can’t learn one, I’ll make one. I started writing and composing songs. I played with dramatic melodies and lyrics about love, rebellion, hatred and the world. Indeed, before I have realigned myself to God’s plan for my life, I was terrible. But to all who knows me but doesn’t know me and reads this, I am a different person now. I surely don’t hold any grudges or bitterness towards any other person though. This is just one of the things I’ve gone through and dealt with long ago. Thanks to the Timeline activity.

Anyway, I knew that I shouldn’t have thought or felt the way I did before. I shouldn’t have allowed other people to change the way I should be nor let their negative judgments consume me. However, as a young person there really are dumb decisions I did before that I can only understand after years. Anyhow, it helped me realize how vulnerable is a teenager’s mind that a big part of his being could be shifted by a single disregardful statement or of not receiving positive response towards his efforts. Teenagers have immature minds that I can’t completely blame myself for being me – whoever I was before my twentieth. Even some of the big decisions I’ve made were because of the influence of other people. I shifted from CE to CoE because of my uncle’s statement that there is no more land left for me to survey. And, I also came to Palawan because of a person that I’ve met when I was twenty years old.

With Kuya Ruben at Cabalen.

Somehow though, my line of work allows me to do graphic designs and I am also an amateur photographer. It’s the closest I can get to who I was. After many years, I have taken the shoe of the person who may have failed to notice me and God willing by His grace, I will not overlook my kind.

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