30 Days in Japan: Dialog With Trees Exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Founded in 1926 by coal businessman Ketaro Sato, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum originally known as Tokyo Prefectural Art Museum is Japan’s first public art museum that houses special art exhibitions by Japanese and foreign artists and art groups. Because of the rather quick deterioration of the original building since its establishment, the museum was reopened in another venue in 1975. Around 3,000 artworks have been included in the original collection however, all but 48 pieces were moved to The Museum of Contemporary Art which was opened in 1995. In April 1, 2012, the Metropolitan Art Museum was reopened to the public after a major renovation that lasted two years. Today, unlike most art museums, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum does not have a permanent […]

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30 Days in Japan: Himawari (Sunflower) Festival, Kiyose

After my last visit to Japan during the hanami season, I was on the lookout for more flora finds in Nihon town. Together with lilies and peonies, sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers as they just give out the happy and cheerful essence of mother nature. The sight of bright yellow sunflowers on sidewalks, at parks or even private gardens gets me every time. Kiyose Himawari Festival 2016 One Sunday morning, Jim and I hopped on the train from Futamatagawa Station to Yokohama as usual, then to Shibuya where we got our Tokyo Metro 1-Day Open Ticket for 600 Yen. This ticket allows travelers to unlimited rides within the Tokyo Metro lines, and since we were planning to check out the Jamaican and Carribean […]

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30 Days in Japan: Coastal Crashing in Cape Irozaki

Summer in the Philippines has come and gone and I knew I missed my chance at a beach trip this year. The first half of 2016 has been all about work and side hustling that I missed family outings altogether. Despite going to other Southeast Asian countries this year,  Malaysia in February and April, then Thailand in June, none of those trips involved the sand, salt and sea. It never really occurred to me that I will get another opportunity to explore some coastal areas in Japan, but it turned out our adventurer friend Neps of The Open Notes was planning to go on a day trip to check out some girls in bathing suits a nearby beach called Tatadohama and squeeze in some photo […]

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30 Days in Japan: Matsumoto Castle, Nagano

In my attempts to get the blog up to speed with my life, I’m writing a series of posts about my Japan trip. This may be my last overseas trip for the year, so I’d like to document the sights and insights on this trip as best as I can. There’s a slight difference between this Japan trip and my last vacation. We went during Spring on Golden Week and there was a definite agenda for each day so that we can explore and cover as many places as possible. The result was  an almost Amazing Race trip where we ended up literally plopping on the futon out of exhaustion at the end of each day. That’s not to say we didn’t have fun–of course […]

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Mash up Travels: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Bangkok

A big part of why I love traveling is because of the fact that I get to discover local art and artists. During my visit in Bangkok, I had one free Saturday to explore the city. The weather was terrible that particular day and I was tempted to stay in my hotel and sleep in. I worked the weekend prior so I kind of gave the weather a middle finger for raining on my last Saturday in Bangkok. Not wanting to waste my remaining time in Thailand, I decided to go to the MOCA or Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok. Are we there yet? The place is not reachable directly by Skytrain, so we decided to take an Uber to get to the Museum. […]

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World Watercolor Month 2016

In 2013 when I started my personal art blog, I have taken up watercolor again after going on hiatus for several years. It was through Alessandra Lanot’s Life After Breakfast that I rekindled that love affair with watercolor and I never looked back since. These past couple of months have been exceptionally productive for me as I continuously tried to improve on my skills as an artist and illustrator. I watched youtube videos, invested on better materials and made it a point to practice even for just a few minutes a day. That’s not to say I’ve gotten really better (still a loooong way to go!), but I am more determined than ever to get better at what I do that I have gained a […]

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Mash up Tools: Holbein Artist Watercolors Review

My Prang watercolor set was on the brink of complete consumption, so one day, I decided to do some online shopping for pigments. I’ve been hearing the Holbein brand from a few of the popular art/creative bloggers and  makers in Manila so I decided to get a set of gouache and watercolor paint sets together with a travel painting palette. I bought my Holbein watercolor set from Amazon for $24.75. Before researching on the Holbein brand, I initially thought it was a European company taking after Hans Holbein from Germany. Turns out, Holbein was established in Osaka Japan since the 1900’s. That explains why it’s cheaper in Japan. I realized it too late when the set was brought by my sister from the US and […]

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Mash Up Travels: My Top 5 Places for Flower Inspirations in Japan

Konnichiwa! Been wanting to write about my awesome trip in Japan last May and it’s high time for me to share some snippets from that vacation. Even if it was my first time to go to Japan, all I could really look forward to was seeing Jim after being apart for 6 months. I had no expectations prior to this trip, but I have to say that I just fell in love with this country after staying there for 10 days. There were so many highlights in this trip but one of the the most notable of all were our garden and park runs in Yokohama and Tokyo. We filed for leaves during Golden Week (May 1-7) so that Jim could also go around with […]

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On finding balance

Surviving this week meant so many things. We did it! My project went live, finally after a year and a half of hustling. That official Go Live email made me mighty proud of my team from Manila, Amsterdam, KL and SG. These past 1 and a half years of traveling for work, spending wee hours still working, skyping with Jim while working, eating while working, sleeping and waking up with work the first thing on my mind was unlike any other year in my whole IT career. Perhaps because I started in the Project knowing close to nothing and acknowledging my lack of skills meant making up for it through hustling. Perhaps because I was thrown into a role that I was not immediately prepared […]

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Watercolor Process: An Ode To Chlorophyll

It’s summertime! Flowers have started growing in our garden and this got me thinking how much I love being surrounded by plants. I’ve taken for granted living in a home where flowers and plants abound. Now since I’m already living in the city, I have started marveling at my mother’s ability to grow a beautiful garden! I took photos of the flowers that I found near our front porch and our backyard, and here are my favorites. I don’t know the name of the flower on the upper left side of this photo, but the others are pretty common: Haleconia (Birds of Paradise), Hibiscus (Gumamela) and Ixora (Santan) I have yet to take photos of the yellow bells, the orchids, bougainvilleas and the poinsettias when […]

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