I didn’t travel that much the month of July this year, but I did take on one of the most interesting magazine feature I’ve done so far. Maybe I was looking for a change than the usual destination stories on beaches, hotels or food but more on the people and personalities. The InFlight Magazine assignment brought me around the different towns around Laguna de Bay to discover the creativity, the richness of the culture and the masters of art. I have written them on the blog yet but it’s something to look forward to. Here’s to give you an idea.
It’s the home of criss-cross slippers, espadrilles and women’s wedge shoes. The little town of Liliw has a charming vibe that I think would be perfect for backpacker. I enjoyed strolling through its main avenue leading to its age-old St John the Baptist Parish Church. Of course getting a first hand look of how shoes and sandals are made and into the mind of a shoe designer like Maruth Peñaflor.
I’ve never appreciated the art of barong (embroidered formal shirt) making until I saw the backyard industry in Lumban. It was insightful to see how community takes part in the process.
This is another small town I really like, narrow streets but big on character, especially the rows of wood carving shops in town. I met the Machete man himself, Paloy Cagayat, who sculpted the statue from the first two movies of its name. Alongside him are Luis Ac-ac, known for sculptures depicting the natural beauty of rural life, Angelo Baldemor who produces a wonderful fusion of three-dimensional art from combining sculptures and paintings a slew more of Paete rock stars of sculpture.
Probably the visual arts capital of the country, home of national artist a lot of renowned painters and sculptures. We visited the famous Blanco family museum where Michael Blanco walked us through the realist and highly detailed works of their family. Nemiranda also showcased his mythical paintings to us. Drop by national artist Botong Francisco’s house not only to see his work place but also to meet his grandson, Totong, a visual artist himself who showed a departure from his grandpa’s work with his “organized” abstracts. There’s also Orville Tiamson, the “Wonder Boy” of Angono, one of the most passionate multi-artist I’ve met. And boy you should see his studio.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.