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  • Bloom Boom

    This February, love is not confined to the fleeting embrace of Valentine’s Day; instead, it extends its tendrils to the entire month, culminating in a spectacular display of floral artistry. On the last Sunday of February, five exceptionally talented visual artists—Deej Amago, Shai Ancheta, Peony on Fire, Prince Logan, and Dan Ivan Sepelagio—will converge at gallery. sort of. in Quezon City for a breathtaking group exhibition titled "Bloom Boom." Peony on Fire - Wanderlings Peony on Fire - Silver Linings Originating from diverse corners of the Philippines, these artists, like skilled horticulturists, bring their unique blossoms of creativity to the capital. Deej Amago, hailing from Pangasinan, presents homoerotic bears cavorting in sybaritic fields. Shai Ancheta, representing Laguna, conjures otherworldly nymph-like faces emerging from tightly bunched bouquets. Peony on Fire, the artist from Cebu, manifests semi-mystical children of the corn frolicking with stalks and spores. Dan Ivan Sepelagio, rooted in the Mindanao capital of Davao, dreams in an almost-cinematic noir atmosphere, blending granny floral wallpaper and dusky rice fields with his enigmatic alter ego. Finally, Prince Logan, the artist from the central island behemoth of Cebu, transports viewers to a plane where cerulean-hued canvases combine the mysterious with the magical. Shai Ancheta - Outbloom 4 Shai Ancheta - Outbloom 2 These artists weave personal narratives into garlands of beauty, using oils and acrylics to create lush and vivid visions. The exhibition promises not just technical skill but poetic sensibilities that elevate the viewer into realms of artistic imagination. Combined, the works of these geographically separated but aesthetically kindred artisans coalesce into one fantastic garland, a smorgasboard of fragrant foliage.  The visual feast is stunning - and literally food for the soul Deej Amago - Introduction Deej Amago - Ang Sayaw ng Talumpanay The doors of gallery. sort of. swing open to welcome art enthusiasts on February 25, 2024, at 4:00 pm. The exhibition will continue to bloom and captivate visitors for three weeks. You can find the gallery at 37 Camaro St., Fairview Park, Quezon City. Don't miss the chance to immerse yourself in the botanical wonderland these emerging artists have meticulously cultivated. "Bloom Boom" is set to be a celebration of love, art, and the boundless beauty found in the petals of imagination. Dan Ivan Sepelagio - Save Me from the Wallpapers Dan Ivan Sepelagio - Searching for That Place Prince Logan - Scitor Prince Logan - Celes gallery. sort of is pleased to welcome five emerging artists of superb artistry to the capital. The show opens at 4:00 pm on February 25, 2024, and will run for three weeks. gallery. sort of. is located at 37 Camaro St., Fairview Park, Quezon City.

  • Molave Community Marketplace: A Creative Haven Revitalizing Cebu's Spirit

    In the heart of Cebu, a once quiet and overlooked street is now teeming with life, thanks to the visionary behind Molave Community Marketplace (MCM). In this exclusive interview, we delve into the inspiration, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped MCM into a thriving hub of creativity and community engagement. The founder of MCM shares the inspiration behind this transformative project, drawing from the dynamic pop-up cultures of Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. The Molave Street, once perceived as a 'dead street,' became the canvas for a unique experiment where entrepreneurs could test and refine their projects before entering larger markets like food parks. The mission is clear - to prepare these individuals for the big leagues while celebrating the community that supports them. Getting all the vibes from the pop-up culture in Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan has been nothing short of inspiring – it's practically etched in my mind. After I got my space for my barbershop which is wworkshop.studio! The vision hit me instantly. Now, my landlord might see the street as a bit quiet, almost like a ghost town with little foot traffic. But, you know what I see? I see potential, I see opportunity. It's a canvas where I can create anything I want outside wworkshop.studio. Besides, the passersby on the street may not be my initial target audience, and that's perfectly okay! Moreover, my confidence is bolstered by the loyal clientele I've already cultivated. With their unwavering support, I'm ready to embark on this exciting journey of creativity and innovation. Rather than a forced collaboration, MCM's growth organically involved the local community. Starting with a barbershop, the founder selected individuals who shared the same passion for creativity and innovation. Today, MCM employs members of the local community as cleaners, security personnel, and parking attendants, supported by the success of vibrant pop-up events. In Molave Street, where there are no residents, I noticed a growing crowd visiting MCM. I worried that my landlord might ask me to stop the fun. Then, there was a moment when I saw him coming down, and I thought, "This might be the day for MCM to stop." So, I approached him, apologized for any inconvenience, and do you know what he said? "I came down to buy coffee, and I like what you're doing because our street is now alive." It's fantastic to witness new businesses driven by passion popping up around Molave Street. We have Mark from Happy Garaje opening his coffee shop "Misfits Coffee," Joel of Urban Shift Studio with his office nearby, Mona of Unosinotra, Rizzan of Revive Shoe Cleaning and Repair Services, a Y2K thrift store, and JD of Banana Pancake Trail. There are also tattoo shops like CoiMax and Dhan Lee Inko, and one of the pop-ups before, Jeremy of Napolitani Pizza. I'm excited and hopeful that more businesses with the same passion will open in our vicinity. Let's keep the vibrant energy flowing! Despite initial concerns about foot traffic, the founder received overwhelming support from the landlord and witnessed the street coming alive. New businesses, driven by passion, have sprouted around Molave Street, contributing to the vibrant energy and fostering a sense of community. MCM offers a diverse array of attractions, including owner-interacted food stalls, handmade accessories, thrift finds, tarot readers, and even analog vinyl DJs. The marketplace doesn't adhere to a strict plan; instead, it embraces the spontaneity of its vendors, creating a unique and ever-changing experience for visitors. Currently, our main challenge revolves around the rapid growth in visitors, attracting both local and foreign tourists. The overwhelming response has been fantastic, and we're now faced with managing a community of over 600 vendors who are eager to be part of MCM. Admittedly, my background lacks direct experience in managing a movement of this scale. However, recognizing the need for extra hands, I've started seeking support from individuals who can assist in handling the increasing foot traffic and managing the growing number of vendors. It's a learning process, and I'm actively exploring ways to streamline operations and ensure that the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere at MCM is maintained. MCM is not just a marketplace; it's a platform preserving and showcasing Cebu's local culture. From vintage items like film cameras and classic vinyl records to collaborations with local music artists and graffiti collectives, the marketplace is a dynamic tapestry of creativity and heritage. MCM has collaborated with local artists, musicians, and graffiti collectives. The founder is open to future collaborations, seeing them as a source of inspiration and a way to encourage similar initiatives in other communities. I have successfully attained my goal for MCM, exceeding my initial expectations. It’s important to underscore that MCM draws inspiration from the punk and hardcore ethos, embodying principles like anti-capitalism, anti-establishment sentiments, a Do-it-Yourself culture, inclusivity, and voluntarism. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to employ individuals experiencing homelessness as street security and cleaners. This initiative is funded through contributions from our regular traders at MCM Having achieved initial goals, the founder sees MCM as an inspiration for others. Future partnerships could bring fresh ideas, contributing to community engagement and vibrancy. The vision extends to collaborating with the government to replicate MCM's success in other areas. Molave Community Marketplace is more than a marketplace; it's a testament to the transformative power of community-driven initiatives. By fostering unity, creativity, and inclusivity, MCM becomes a model for grassroots efforts that elevate the vibrancy and spirit of a neighborhood. The message is clear: when a community comes together, incredible things happen. Molave Community Marketplace stands as a beacon of positive change, showcasing the boundless possibilities that arise when a community embraces collaboration and shared purpose. https://www.facebook.com/MolaveCommunityMarketplace PHOTOS BY: John Rex

  • FACETS: ARTHUR

    In the ever-evolving landscape of creativity, Arthur Tselishchev stands as a testament to the boundless possibilities that emerge when one fearlessly ventures across diverse disciplines. From the glittering runways of New York to the vibrant beats of Manila's nightclubs, Arthur Tselishchev has carved a unique path that seamlessly weaves together interior design, modeling, photography, painting, and DJing. In this exclusive interview, Arthur Tselishchev shares the inspirations, experiences, and invaluable lessons that have shaped a career as varied and dynamic as the artist himself. Your career spans a remarkable range of disciplines – from interior design to DJing. Can you share with us what initially sparked your interest in these diverse fields and how you began your journey in each of them? I always have had big dreams and inspired by big names from various industries. Also ever since I started working in different countries I have always had this fear to loose time, I guess that’s why I try to be as productive and efficient as I can, cuz you never know what’s tomorrow or even next moment. But speaking of the fields, I always was into art, in different aspects. Back in school I was in theater enjoying playing different characters from the stage; I loved music since my parents brought me to the night club where they had a fashion show when I was 7 y.o. and I danced the night away with the girl I had a biggest crush on that time; I always had interest in art, from the time when I was late to kindergarten drawing on the wallpapers to international art competitions, making my exhibits and sharing my knowledge to others through workshops; and I always liked nice spaces, ever since I started traveling I’d observe different styles of the hotels, stores, airports as well as cultural aspect of every country I go to. Throughout your extensive travels and work in cities like New York, Seoul, Singapore and Shanghai, what cultures or experiences have most profoundly influenced your artistic and design sensibilities? I really think it’s modeling which gave me these great opportunities to meet incredibly talented people and opened so many doors to explore all the fields I love working in. I can’t really say which city influenced me the most, because every city and place left the mark in my heart and taught me something. But I know for sure that if not my first modeling experience in New York when I was 20 y.o. than I wouldn’t be where I am now. Long story short, during my time in NYC I met Karen Lee, legendary scouter, co-judge at America’s Next Top Model. She gave me so much lessons in terms of career and life in general. She advised me to explore Asian market, build my portfolio and name over there since that time Asia was already place to be where all big brands and publications are blooming. So I went to Shanghai shortly after I graduated from my university in Ukraine and got my Interior Architecture and Design diploma. Then I got another contract in Bangkok, then Seoul, Taipei, Singapore. And then I came to Manila, place which I call home for the last 8 years. Philippines really got my heart and I can really tell influenced me in so many ways. I met so many talented and creative people who either inspired me to create or even shaped me up in a way. After doing modeling full time for 6 years I realized that I wanted to do something different, perhaps same industry but with another angle. So I was doing fashion photography for magazines, brands, malls and designers; then I learned Djing so I’d perform in the clubs and events; then I was invited to be a trainer in the animation company so I became an art teacher. By that time I always felt like I got full of modeling and fashion in general so I was thinking of the ways out of it. But I guess fashion didn’t want to let me go just yet. Then I was invited to become a Creative Director of one of the local Fashion Weeks here in the Philippines. Was such an incredible experience for me to work with so many creative people and to see the output on such a global level. Then I would still be doing some campaigns and TV commercials and teaching in Modeling School time to time. How do you see the unique characteristics of Filipino culture influencing your creative decisions and projects? And how has your connection to the Philippines shaped your perspective on art, design, and fashion? I really admire Filipino culture, people and traditions. It influencing me every day in many aspects. My first major project with Filipino culture was in collaboration with my friend and fashion designer Ditta Sandico. We wanted to create a documentary featuring weaving process of Hanuno Mangyans of Mindoro. I felt so lucky to go to their villages, speak to them, learn about their craft and support them. It’s always been my dream ever since I’d watch National Geographic and then after some time I released a documentary which was shown in Royal Textile Symposium in Kuala Lumpur and is showing now in the National Museum of the Philippines. Also for the last 2 years I have been working on a series of painting featuring strong women of indigenous communities for my next exhibit. So this process allows me to learn more and more about Filipino culture, history, vibrant traditions and heritage. I am sure I have some sort of magnetism to the Philippines, because it’s only here I’m always full of inspiration, energy and desire to create. As someone deeply immersed in both the art and fashion worlds, how do you see these two realms interacting and influencing each other, particularly in your work? In my own perspective it’s still one thing. I don’t distinguish one from another, I just see them as different tools to create. So for example, I love to do photography, due to my modeling background I find it natural for me to shoot fashion. Of course I can do other genres, like portraits, architecture, commercial, fine art but fashion photography would be something what my eye was trained for years and I’m sure your taste develops with exposure. Plus it’s easier for me to get the brief from the client/designer/brand and deliver it to the model and other members of the team. And in my paintings, I like bodies, faces and ethnicity. Lately I hear from people more and more that my subjects looks like models. Honestly it is never my intention, to paint only models, but I guess that’s just my lifestyle and subconsciously it somehow dictates the look. Your photography is renowned for its distinct style and creativity. What is your philosophy or approach when capturing images, and what do you aim to convey through your photography? I appreciate the complement. I started photography because I was always surrounded by models and designers at a young age. My parents opened “Image Center Model Management” in Ukraine when I was 6 y.o. and I happened to be their first model, so I had no choice. Eventually most of my friends were from the same industry and I had this desire to capture them on camera. So I bought my first used DSLR camera and started to shoot everything, I’m still ashamed of photos I used to take when I was starting, especially the was I was editing it, but all of that was just learning experience. Thanks to the agency of my family I had access to all models, so I kept on organizing my shoots just to build my portfolio and get better in this field. Every year the shoots would be more complicated, I always loved to experiment with lights. Some photo studios I used to rent were afraid of my shoots because they knew they had to pull out all studio lights they have cuz I would use all of them. Then I was trying to do shoots out of town and sometimes out of country and that was the time I started to get clients in the face of not only models building their portfolios, but designers, brands and magazines. Speaking of philosophy in photography, I love doing test shoots when I have time. Test shoots is the process of making photographs of the model showing specifically the beauty of the model, normally natural beauty of the model without so much of a styling and makeup. These photos are being used in models book and that’s how they are selected for internationals contracts. So in such shoots I love working with new faces developing their new looks, characters and styles. It is really exciting to see growth and metamorphosis of young girl or boy into a future star or top model. When I shoot campaigns, of course I have to focus more on clothes and show the pieces in the best “light” delivering the message to the audience or market the brand or designer is catering to. For the editorial shoots, I always think of the story which you need to convey to the reader. I like when viewer can read between the lines and message isn’t always straight forward. Interesting correlation between art and editorial photography I find. I think they have to make viewer think and ask questions. So it is not just about creating a pretty image or capturing moment in time. It’s about creating new worlds or stories. Teaching is a significant part of your career. What do you find most rewarding about mentoring aspiring artists and photographers, and how has teaching influenced your own creative process? I started teaching when I was 14 y.o., I was teaching male models in the modeling school back home in Ukraine. Then after 10 years I was teaching fine art in different schools in Manila, and lately I give workshops to the students at National Museum of Fine Art. So I guess sharing my experience and knowledge is my other passion. I never really wanted to be a teacher, but to think of it, teaching gives me so much joy. First, because I love seeing students learning, growing and becoming better, and second I learn so much from my students too. For example, when I have an Academic Drawing class with 20 students and we are drawing figure. Possibly I’ll see 20 or mistakes they are doing and I’ll apply it on myself too without me working on 20 drawings. So teaching trains me somehow too. But seeing your student getting better than you is priceless feeling. Your role as a DJ adds another layer to your creative persona. How do you blend your artistic sensibilities into your music, and what do you enjoy most about DJing at various events and venues? Music is also art, just in another dimension. I was always passionate about music, to the point that I can’t leave without it. From driving around, to working out, making love, cooking and painting. I tried Djing in Manila after taking some lessons from Djing schools and my friends Djs and immediately fell in love with it. I started from spinning in the night clubs in Manila, then was going around the country doing some big events. But then I had to stop Djing for a while due to Covid-19 because there were no events out there, now all events are back but I didn’t get back to Djing since realized I’m not comfortable spinning on events while there’s war in Ukraine. So I told myself that I will get back to it after Ukrainian victory. In the meantime I’m focusing on other fields as well as initiatives to support my country. But going back, best part of Djing is to see the crowd jumping on the dance floor and genuinely enjoying your beats with smile on their faces. As an artist known for your oil paintings and figure drawings, how do you continuously evolve and challenge yourself in these traditional mediums? Are there any new styles or media you are currently exploring? Of course, there are so many mediums and styles out there. I started from charcoal, ink and watercolor – these were the tools of my comfort zone. I did sculpture back in the days as well, digital art is also very exciting for me. But my biggest passion in visual art is oil painting. I love exploring new techniques getting inspiration from old masters blending it with contemporary approaches. There are so many ideas in my head now, I just really wish there was more than 24 hours in a day. Looking back on your diverse career, what are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned? Additionally, what future projects or ambitions are you most excited about in the coming years? Never stop learning and evolving. Sometimes it might feels like you know or achieved a lot already, but there is always more. Also I recently learned that no matter how much your art appreciated it can’t always be perfect and please everyone. You just gotta stay grounded and focus on your ideas without over analyzing factors such market, value and demand. Art is a very tricky field and in this time and age it’s not easy to stand out. But genuine and unique art always will be appreciated. I’m that type of person who doesn’t like disclose the plans ahead of time. I have a lot of ideas for future projects and will be very happy to share with you when it happens. How do you see the role of innovation in the fashion industry evolving, and what do you believe is the future of creative expression in this dynamic field? Fashion world is really so dynamic and vibrant. Trends are changing so rapidly, hence there’s a culture of fast fashion. But there are so many talented guys revolutionizing approach to cloth and styling. I hope we, humans, will be more cautious choosing the materials for the things we wear and would be more responsible to our land. I think it is very exciting time with new materials and technologies these days. Also trends in presentation of the collections are mind blowing, from all the live shows and digital runways with avatars to my favorite runways in fashion capitals where the show looks like a movie (Burberry, Saint Laurent, Celine) or theater performance (Maison Margiela by John Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens). Finally, for those inspired by your journey and wishing to pursue multiple creative paths, what advice would you offer about balancing and nurturing diverse talents and interests? Keep on growing and exposing yourself to as many fields as you can, you never know what you might like tomorrow and you might become next genius in some areas. Also don’t give up when success seems unreachable, it will come if you are are consistent, dedicated and true to yourself. And lastly enjoy the ride and just play, don’t take life too seriously focusing only on an end result. Journey could be as fun as the destination. Arthur-Ts.com IG @ArthurTsOfficial YouTube @ArthurTselishchev

  • S-A-N-D-B-O-X Celebrates 10 Years with a Star-Studded Spelling Bee

    Celebrating its first decade in the industry, The Sandbox Collective kicks off its 2024 season with a partnership with Star Magic, the talent management arm of ABS-CBN. With Star Magic boasting three decades of discovering, nurturing and transforming artists into the country’s brightest stars, this partnership is sure to inject a fresh dose of talent into Manila’s theater scene and lead a new generation of audience members to the theater doors. Toff De Venecia, The Sandbox Collective’s Managing Artistic Director, shares his excitement: “To kick off Sandbox’s 10th Anniversary, we’re very excited to partner with ABS-CBN, Star Magic, and Teatro Kapamilya—home to the country’s brightest and biggest stars—for our production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This partnership is sure to excite, inspire and propel our creative industries forward as stars of stage and screen converge to bring one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals to life.” In February, the pandemonium begins with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, an award-winning interactive musical about six mid-pubescents who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Much like Sandbox’s most recent productions, Every Brilliant Thing and Bawat Bonggang Bagay, the musical is an interactive production, with each show featuring four guest spellers from the audience and relying heavily on the cast’s improvisational skills. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is sure to become one unforgettable experience. (Music Theater International/MTI). Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, the musical will be directed by renowned actress, educator and director Missy Maramara. A proud member of SPIT Manila, faculty member of Third World Improv, and current President of Philippine Theater Actors Guild, Inc., Missy has previously directed Zsazsa Zaturnnah The Musical...Yun Lang!, Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, Real Life Fairytales, Fame, Urinetown, and Squaddies Shrew 2.0. Theater actor and SPIT Manila founding member Dingdong Rosales will serve as the musical’s assistant director. An actor, stage and production manager, and director for over 20 years, Dingdong also served as the assistant director of the hit OPM musical, Eto na: MusikalnAPO! TOYM awardee Rony Fortich, the founding musical director of Hong Kong Disneyland, will serve as the show’s musical director. Rony has served as musical director for shows such as Company, Footloose, Godspell, Honk, Once on This Island, and The Last 5 Years. The composer of the Gawad Buhay award-winning The Bluebird of Happiness and Aliw Award winner The Quest for the Adarna, Rony also received a Walt Disney Legacy Award in 2013 for his contribution to Hong Kong Disneyland. Giving a quick glimpse into her approach to the material, Maramara shares, “Spelling Bee is about gifted children under the immense pressure of high level competition, precision, and scrutiny. I think this is a great lens to question the effect of social media on the younger generations, especially their mental health.” The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee hails from diverse performing backgrounds, from Star Magic talents making their professional theatrical debuts to young theater professionals making their Sandbox Collective debuts, to theater veterans making their long-awaited return to the stage. When it came to casting, Maramara shares, “We looked for powerful singers who are malleable actors with great chemistry, and who will be able to delve into such questions with openness, courage and skill to navigate the themes sustainably with fun, discipline, and passion.” Making their professional theatrical debuts in the role of Marcy Park are dynamic Star Magic talents AC Bonifacio and Shanaia Gomez. A dancer, singer and actress who has brought her passion around the world, AC has worked with artists like Ariana Grande, and appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Riverdale, Almost Paradise and the iWant TFC series Lyric and Beat. An Idol Philippines alum and multiplatform artist, Shanaia has made appearances in shows likeCan’t Buy Me Love and was a regular on the breakout hit He’s Into Her. She’s also appeared in music videos such as Sam Concepcion’s “Diwata” and regularly hosts iWant ASAP, among other online shows. Alternating for the role of eager beaver boy scout Chip Tolentino are Diego Aranda and Luis Marcelo. Diego made his professional theatrical debut in 2019, starring in The Quest for the Adarna as Prince Juan. He was most recently seen in Twenty Questions by Juan Ekis and Snow White and the Prince, garnering nominations for both roles as Best Performer in a Play and Best Supporting Performer. Last seen in The Quest for the Adarna as Prince Diego, Luis makes his first post-pandemic stage appearance in Spelling Bee. His previous credits include Crutchie in Disney's Newsies, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, Officer Brophy in Arsenic and Old Lace, Hair, Side Show, and Waitress. Almost a decade after her breakout performance in Annie and fresh from her appearance in Silver Lining, Krystal Brimner returns to theater as bright and humble word lover Olive Ostrovsky. In 2016, she won Best Child Actor at the Metro Manila Film Festival for her role in Honor Thy Father, and has since released her debut single “Let Me Be Me.” Krystal will be alternating with singer and content creator Angela Ken. A Tiktok sensation, Angela first gained recognition for her covers and penning her own songs, and in 2021 released her first hit single “Ako Naman Muna” under Star Music. She also made her acting debut in the iWantTFC series Lyric and Beat. A mainstay of the university theater scene, having appeared in shows like Bring It On: The Musical and Zsazsa Zaturnnah: The Musical...'Yun Lang!, Elian Dominguez makes his professional stage debut as the awkward homeschooled student Leaf Coneybear. He will alternate with Shaun Ocrisma. A classically-trained actor, singer, and dancer, Shaun has been working in the Philippine entertainment industry since he was 10 years old, with roles in ZsaZsa Zaturnnah the Musical... ‘Yun Lang!, Dekada ‘70: Isang Musikal, Floy Quintos’ Laro, and Silver Lining the Musical. Returning to the Sandbox Collective after her critically-acclaimed role as Dani Lyons in the musical Dani Girl is Becca Coates. She will be playing the precocious and civically-engaged Loggaine SchwartzAndGrubennierre. Having made her theatrical debut in The Sound of the Music, Becca also bagged a Gawad Buhay Award for Best Female Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Agnes of God. Becca will be alternating with theater actress, host, and content creator Justine Narciso, who was most recently seen in Uncle Jane and musicals like Joseph the Dreamer and The Quest for the Adarna, where she was nominated for a Gawad Buhay for her role as Maria Blanca. Taking on the role of William Barfee, the oddball speller with a unique spelling technique, will be theater actors Joshy Ramirez and Ron Balgos. A member of the City of Voices Chamber Singers, Joshy made his theatrical debut in 2002’s Falsettos, and was most recently seen in The Little Prince. Currently a college sophomore, Ron makes his professional theater debut in Spelling Bee. He was most recently seen in Zsazsa Zaturnnah: The Musical...'Yun Lang! Spelling Bee also marks the return of theater veteran Liesl Batucan-Del Rosario to the stage. With three decades of professional theater experience under her belt, Liesl is an Aliw Awards Best Actress Hall of Famer and Philstage Gawad Buhay Awardee for her performances in Wait Until Dark, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, Sweeney Todd, and August: Osage County. Multi-awarded theater luminary and current president of Philstage Audie Gemora will take on the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch. Fondly known as Philippine Theater’s First Gentleman, Audie has appeared in over 40 plays from Broadway/West End productions to original Filipino works, has won Gawad Buhay awards for his performances in Sweeney Todd, The Producers, La Cage Aux Folles, and in 2019 won Best Actor in a Play at the Aliw Awards for his performance in The Dresser. Alternating for the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch is award-winning director, actor, producer, editor, and writer Robbie Guevara. He serves as 9 Works Theatrical’s artistic director, producer, and librettist. Robbie wrote the book of the smash hit, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, for which he won for Outstanding Original Libretto at the Gawad Buhay Awards in 2018. He also took home the Gawad Buhay for Best Director in 2019 for Passion. A veteran of the stage, Robbie was most recently seen in Stage Kiss, Stop, Kiss, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Rounding out the cast is the “King of Acoustic Pop” Nyoy Volante playing Mitch Mahoney. A multi-awarded singer-songwriter, Nyoy enjoyed a critically-acclaimed run as Lola in Kinky Boots, and has been hailed for many performances onstage, including Jersey Boys and Shrek. Known for his ballad hits, he is a resident judge in Tawag ng Tanghalan on It’s Showtime, the country’s longest-running singing competition. Jordan Andrews will also be stepping into the role of Mitch Mahoney in certain performances. Jordan started his career as Tam in Miss Saigon on the West End. He was also part of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic Batch 15, working on ASAP and several teleseryes. In 2023, Jordan made his musical theater comeback in Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musical and was most recently seen in Tabing Ilog: The Musical. Much like the characters of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Sandbox Collective’s 2024 season is expected to feature a lineup that is all at once exceptional, heartwarming, and galvanizing enough to lead to unexpected discoveries. Stay tuned for further announcements on the full creative team and the exciting partnership with Star Magic, ABS-CBN and Teatro Kapamilya! The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will run from February 24 to March 17, 2024 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Black Box Theater, Circuit Makati. See you at the theater in 2024! #SpellSandbox2024 & #SandboxNowandTen Portrait Photos by: Lorenzo Corro *****For show buying inquiries, you may reach Anna Santamaria at anna@thesandboxco.com For more information, visit our newly launched website https://www.thesandboxco.com/ and our social media platforms below: https://www.facebook.com/TheSandboxCollective/ https://www.instagram.com/thesandboxco & https://www.tiktok.com/@thesandboxco

  • Tales of Madeira

    By Seigar "Tales of Madeira" is a vibrant street photo-narrative, each frame a mosaic of individual curiosities that Seigar has stumbled upon in the captivating landscapes of Madeira. The series is an extension of his broader project, "Tales," where he crafts visual stories by immersing himself in the unique elements that define a location. In Madeira, his lens becomes a conduit for exploring the plastic people in shop windows, religious icons, street portraits, and the diverse array of local cuisine. Seigar's lens serves as a "camp spy," providing viewers with a unique perspective that goes beyond the surface. "Tales of Madeira" captures the spirit of the locale through the eyes of someone deeply immersed in its culture, offering a glimpse into the heart of tradition with a contemporary twist. The juxtaposition of timeless elements and modern influences creates a dynamic and engaging visual narrative. "Tales of Madeira" by Seigar is more than just a collection of photographs; it's a journey into the soul of a place. Through the lens of this talented photographer, Madeira comes alive with a spectrum of colors, traditions, and stories waiting to be discovered. Seigar's ability to capture the essence of a locale is not just about frozen moments in time; it's about unraveling the layers of a destination and presenting them in a way that is both timeless and contemporary. As we delve into the vibrant tapestry of "Tales of Madeira," we find ourselves captivated by the beauty and complexity of this enchanting island. Links: Webpage: seigar.wordpress.com Instagram: instagram.com/jseigar Galleries: flickr.com/photos/theblueheartbeat/albums Blog: popsonality.blogspot.com

  • Mark Weigh: Me Time

    A Fusion of Color, Calm, and Creative Energy Curated by JT Gonzales Color explodes. Color pops. Color soothes? In the world of art, where muted tones often take center stage for their calming effects, Mark Weigh challenges the norm with his vibrant hues that send jolts of visual energy. The question arises: Can color and calm coexist? Can pulsating penumbras lead us into a zen zone? Mark Weigh proposes just that in his solo show, "Me Time." For what is “me time,” anyway, but a nod to the inner psyche? It's a recognition that paying attention to oneself is a valid choice. And part of that choice, according to Weigh, is to immerse oneself in the warmth of glorious, gorgeous colors – to bask, steep, and absorb, thereby nourishing those fatigued from a bleak, grim reality. Splash amidst Mark’s radiant canvases, and you'll quickly realize that not everything about self-care is lazy indulgence. These works infuse invigorating emotions that deliver well-being in every inch. Bubbles of soapy fun. Perky pinks. Frisky freesia. And, of course, the purples and crimsons of youth. These works are intended to wake us up - to make us race outdoors, there to laugh, dance, hum, and sing. It's an invitation to enjoy life with every fiber of our being, as we are meant to live and love. gallery. sort of. Welcomes Mark Weigh for "Me Time" In a distinctive fusion of architectural prowess and a passion for fitness, Mark Weigh is not your conventional artist. A practicing architect and fitness enthusiast, Mark finds his escape from the rigors of his profession by immersing himself in various creative pursuits, from painting on canvas to tinkering with sculptures and videos. Me Time marks Mark's debut solo exhibition, and gallery. sort of. is delighted to host this exploration of color, calm, and creative energy. The exhibition opens its doors at 4:00 pm on January 28, 2024, promising to captivate art enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The show will run for three weeks, giving ample time for art lovers to experience the vibrant world Mark Weigh has created. Event Details: What: Me Time - Solo Exhibition by Mark Weigh When: Opening on January 28, 2024, at 4:00 pm Where: gallery. sort of. - 37 Camaro St., Fairview Park, Quezon City. Prepare to be enthralled as Mark Weigh invites you to indulge in the vivid hues of "Me Time," where color, calm, and creative energy converge in a harmonious celebration of life.

  • All a Blur

    Photographer: Bruno Garcia (@iamgarciabruno) (@blurredbybruno) Model: Beatriz Gomez (@gomessbeatrizz) of Luminary Models (@luminary.models) Creative direction: Nina Eilisa Harmuch (@iamninaeilisa) of ENVY Creatives (@envycreatives)

  • Space Between: Vivoree

    In a world that often equates glamour with unattainable perfection, emerges a luminous star whose beauty transcends conventional standards. Vivoree, a name now synonymous with grace and talent, has not only become a captivating face in the realm of Philippine entertainment but has also woven an inspiring narrative of transformation within the confines of the Pinoy Big Brother house. Photography: Stephen Capuchino using Tamron Philippines Lenses and Phottix Philippines Equipment Make up: Janell Capuchino Hair: Mycke Arcano (@wieldcreatives) using Lynelle Hair Art Direction: Jobo Nacpil Stylist: Cath Sobrevega Kristine Landingin Kamille David Special thanks to: Star Magic Capt. Luz Bagalacsa Tamron PH Phottix PH Sela Gonzales Queen Vinluan

  • Christian In A New Face

    Words by: Mariel Abanes We’ve met actor Christian Bables in different faces—once as Barbs in “Die Beautiful”, another as Samuel Panti in “The Panti Sisters”, even as Max in “Dirty Linen”, and so on. But for this year’s holidays, specifically for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2023, he introduces his new face as Alfred in “Broken Hearts’ Trip”—a feel-good movie that inspires not just laughter, but different facets of humans in pain and love. While most film-goers commend the impressive selection in this year’s MMFF, many have noted that, despite “Broken Hearts’ Trip'' leaning towards the comedic route, it induces more than just laughter in the cinema. And this, exactly, is what the lead actor resonates most about this recent project. “I think as an actor, there’s a need for me to tell this story, to tell the story of my character. I allow myself to be a vessel para maikwento ‘yung istorya ni Alfred dahil alam ko, marami sa mga manonood ang makakarelate and somehow can learn from him,” Christian tells BLNC. It’s not the first time that the 31-year-old actor has played a queer character in a project, but Alfred is unlike his other roles in the past. And by a huge margin, he emphasizes, in terms of the character’s sensibilities—from the way he thinks to the way he feels. The artist also found his off-the-set personality quite opposite from Alfred—where his role finds comfort in being an expressive producer and host, Christian is a self-confessed introvert. When it comes to love, he’s comfortable in his own company and doesn’t linger on what's done and over, unlike the Broken Hearts’ Trip protagonist who chooses to float in the remnants of the past. This didn’t pose problems to the actor, regardless; instead, he welcomed this distinct personality and embraced Alfred from beginning to end, flaws and all, unfolding a twist towards its closing that he savored best among all the moments on the set. He can’t deny, though, bowing to Alfred’s fervor in the romance department. A key lesson from the film? “To be able to find love, dapat buo ka muna,” the lead star shares. “Dapat mahal mo muna yung sarili mo bago ka maging bukas para mahalin ng ibang tao.” And of loving oneself, Christian has been quite fluent for a while—not just personally, but also in his career. Throughout his eight years and counting in the industry, he’s always been generous about allowing himself to grow. He does so by counting each day as a learning day, seeing his progress as he faces each job with genuinity—a trait he’s been proudly wearing from day one. “I am for authenticity,” he points out. “I'm the type of actor whose for being genuine, being in the moment. And I'm the type who always aims for a win—lagi kong gusting manalo sa eksena ang objective ng character ko.” Following the success of “Broken Hearts’ Trip”, the thespian won’t stop short as he faces the new year with a busy calendar. Ahead, Christian will star in two upcoming TV series and three movie projects—just a taste of what’s to come for him. No matter how hectic it gets, however, he makes time for one important thing: to constantly dream. In his future bucketlist? Snagging a dream role as a suicide bomber. “Ang complex ng character na ‘to, so kapag iniisip ko na ako ‘yung gaganap sa ganito, ano ‘yung mga kaya kong ibigay for the character?” the star muses. Moreover, he lists down his dream collaborators. One, to work with Maricel Soriano, one of the remaining local superstars that he has yet to work with. And if given the chance, Meryl Streep. “Kung mangangarap ka na lang din naman, taasan mo na!” he exclaims. We won’t be surprised if it becomes a reality, to be honest—and, we wonder what new face Christian will introduce when it happens. Words by @marielabanes Photo @stephencapuchino Video Direction and Editing @Ianfranciscoph Camera Operator @anghelfilms_ Gaffer @edwardlogarta Art direction @jobonacpil Grooming @jccantosmakeup Hair @iam_iangarcia Styling @ardenstyleph Special Thanks @bmcfilmsinc

  • FACETS: ORIAS

    Navigating the Intersection of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Filipino Heritage in Fashion In a world dominated by fast-paced trends and fleeting fads, ORIAS emerges as a beacon of purposeful creation, blending quiet luxury with sustainable practices. We had the privilege of sitting down with Vin Orias, the visionary behind this progressive slow-fashion brand, to delve into the inspiration, challenges, and aspirations that have shaped the unique narrative of ORIAS. Can you share with us the inspiration behind the creation of ORIAS? What motivated you to start a quiet luxury, progressive, and slow-fashion brand? The approach is actually entrepreneurial; given my background as an industrial engineering and rich experience in several design and business incubation programs in my 20’s (not discounting the multiple rejections I’ve experienced in between) I was able to identify a problem in our community / space – it is the lack of the business know-how of running a Fashion Brand. When I came to realize that building a fashion brand takes time, effort, and huge amounts of money – I had to be realistic. I had to focus on my strengths as a creative and as an entrepreneur, with no proper funding and office to support my goals, I had to (literally) compartmentalize my career. Taking it step-by-step, I registered my first business in 2012, opened a small factory of 4 machines then grew to 25 machines handling around 45 to 55 employees; learning the ropes in production and marketing, I realized that my strength is leaning towards story-telling. And in 2016, I gave birth to ORIAS with a pipeline goal to solve a very common problem (mistake) when getting-married-couples plans out their wedding, ie. when it is time to talk about the style and set that the groom will be wearing the common approach is always “Madali lang yan.” or “Mabilis lang yan.” which basically misses the point of ‘The Wedding Experience.’ I conceptualized a program that directly solves this problem and it was a hit! This special program for grooms become our cash cow! In 2-3 years of promoting and streamlining this program, I was able to understand more about the beautiful art and craft of Tailoring plus I was able to reach a certain market that appreciates my work. But of course every designers goal is to have a fully realized brand that sells fashion products in retail form. On the side, I’ve been doing research and product development for my {future} retail line, sourcing local products, finding the right partners, traveling all over the metro to get connected with what the Filipino market is looking for.. with a stroke of destiny and after 2 years preparation (considering my production and financial capacity), I was able to test our “Hero Product” in 2019 – the iconic SOLIHIYA ROLLER BAG – at The Barracks by Artefino, it was a HIT! Our first batch sold out! Then came the pandemic, developments still on-going, slowly.. once the market opened in June 2020 – I fearlessly launched our retail line with additional bag styles at Frankie General Store in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. Imagine the grit, the non-stop development, the revelations, struggles and rejections in between, and what not. I willingly embraced the pressure that most of my colleagues ignored. The (transactional) experience I gained made what ORIAS stands for today – FILIPINO & GLOBAL . Your brand is described as maintaining a balance of control, sophistication, sustainability, and circularity. How do these elements influence your design philosophy, and how do you incorporate them into your collections? Working with these principles gives me and my team clarity in choosing the right silhouette, fabric, and construction techniques in building a collection; it has always been ‘Tailoring’ that inspire most of our work, it is our pivot-point. Classic = Timeless. By creating classic and quality pieces, I believe it supports sustainability and circularity. ORIAS designs are said to speak both globally and locally. Could you elaborate on how you infuse Filipino design inventiveness into your creations while ensuring they resonate with a global audience? Knowing your brand identity is a key element in how you want your audience to relate with your story; being ‘Filipino’ is essentially being global, Filipinos are everywhere, our culture is a mix of cultures, making a good sense of this makes it relatable. In our design process, we capitalize with our core strength which is Tailoring and we also infuse nostalgic texture or patterns like the Solihiya Weave - which most people correlates our brand with, especially in our ORIAS Essentials (retail) line. I intentionally give a spotlight with the Solihiya Weave pattern for our bags and accessories pieces, for the last 3 years we have focused on growing the connection with the pattern, which I think became a success. Now we are slowly growing the imagery with this pattern in mind – patterns that gives you that sense of home, a sense of calm, a sense of confidence, a sense of identity. It is a continual exploration of the definition of that ‘Filipino Identity’. Given the demands of today's metropolitan lifestyle, how does ORIAS cater to the needs and preferences of individuals living in fast-paced urban environments while maintaining a commitment to slow fashion? It always a wise decision to choose wardrobe pieces that are flexible in styling, pieces that will also give you that extra confidence while wearing it. It is a basic formula of combining ‘High’ and ‘Low’ pieces, as Filipina fashion icon Heart Evangelista would always say. A basic white shirt paired with a good jeans, leather shoes and a statement Filipino designer bag, cant go wrong with this. The brand is known for keeping designs clean and straightforward. How do you strike a balance between simplicity and the desire for uniqueness and innovation in fashion? This is the energy that our patrons reciprocate, it is the confidence that they wear when they carry our pieces. I personally call it ‘Quiet Luxury’, coined it since 2016. Looking ahead, what is your vision for the future of ORIAS? Are there specific milestones or projects on the horizon that you are excited about? YES! FLASGHIP STORE THIS 2024! Hopes up! Plus we are also currently working on our F/W 2024! For aspiring designers who may be inspired by your journey, what advice would you offer to those looking to make their mark in the fashion industry, particularly in the realm of slow fashion and sustainability? Clarity in your intention; make sure that you are here for the long run, you are here because you want to create a safe space for your artisans, communities, technicians, and your team. As for those who do not have proper funding, okay lang yan, law of attraction is real. Believe. Do you have a favorite piece or collection that holds a special place in your heart? If so, what makes it stand out among the rest? Aside from our iconic Solihiya Rollers, it is our PAMANA bag, a special collection exclusive for Power Plant Mall’s Rockwellist. It was a simple device, Victorian style frame with Solihiya as closure of the bag. Then thinking about it again, the word PAMANA is ‘Heritage’ in English – it is something that you pass on to the next generation. Indeed, a eureka moment. Are there any collaborations or influencers that have played a significant role in shaping the identity of ORIAS? How do these partnerships contribute to the brand's evolution? Very much! In the digital space, our first influencer collab is with David Guison’s - his influence gave us a new pulse beat for our brand, we learned a lot in identifying what the market wants, what an specific audience relates to, how they react and what they sort of feel. Our sensibility as a brand grew significantly because of these collaboration with influencers. Meanwhile, our active collaborations with local artisans and communities keeps us on the ground; the raw reality / condition is so far from what we see in posts on Insta. Given this reality, we try to bridge the gap by sharing this experience with our colleagues and clients; by always opening this conversation, we will have a shared consciousness on how to contribute for the advancement of our industry. Profile photos  by Shaira Luna. Runway photos by @_marcdemesa Product photos - on us : https://orias.ph

  • RESERVED: Unwrapping The Love, Christmas Ad.

    Captured through the lens of Mateusz Stankiewicz, Love, Christmas tells a visual story radiating a cozy, communal ambiance, welcoming observers into moments of shared delight and sophistication. The carefully curated images strike a harmonious balance between the festive energy of the season and the polished essence of Reserved's designs. Also directed by Zuza Trukowa, the campaign features a festive video that animates the joyous moments depicted in the overall campaign. This video introduces an additional layer of celebration, enhancing the already lively theme of Love, Christmas. Collectively, the various elements of the campaign blend seamlessly to form a comprehensive and immersive holiday experience, where fashion seamlessly integrates as a central component of the season's festive spirit.

  • FACETS: ANDRE

    In the ever-evolving realm of modern art, where vivid colors dance and feelings speak louder than words, Andre stands out as a bold and unique creator. With his canvas as his canvas, he paints abstract languages that capture the essence of his truest emotions. Unafraid to pour his soul onto the canvas, Andre shares his intriguing artistic process - a journey that began in Cebu and has now mesmerized audiences around the world. Your art is described as painting abstract languages that absorb and release emotions without apology. Can you elaborate on how you developed this unique approach to your work? My artistic approach has evolved through continuous exploration of life experiences and the constant acquisition of knowledge. I transform these experiences into raw emotion, channeling that emotional energy into my creations without reservation. Embracing ambiguity as a powerful tool, I navigate through uncertain feelings, translating them onto the canvas with the intention of creating clarity and connection. My art is my medium to absorb and release emotions unapologetically, reflecting the intricate language of abstraction I've developed over time. Each of your art pieces is said to have its own voice, belonging to a specific person. How do you infuse individuality into your creations, and what significance does this hold for you as an artist? I infuse individuality into each of my art pieces by expressing a language derived from raw emotions, similar to a dance of personal narratives. Every element within my creations represents a distinct journey — not only from the artist's perspective but also in the interpretations of the viewer. The intricate interplay of meanings between the artist and viewer, and the artwork itself, weaves a complex web of dialogues. It is within this dynamic exchange that the realization of our inherent differences emerges, and through this recognition, the sense of individuality is heightened and enriched. Andre, your journey from Cebu to the world of contemporary abstract expressionism is truly captivating. Can you start by sharing how your Cebuano roots influence your artistic expression, especially considering the vibrant cultural tapestry of the Philippines? Originating from Cebu, I find that the pragmatic and feasibility-focused traits inherent in the local culture influence my artistic expression. This has instilled in me a practical approach to creativity. This pragmatic perspective not only shapes the way I conceptualize my art but also adds a unique layer to my journey in contemporary abstract expressionism. With a formal background in interior design, how do you fuse the structured elements of design with the free-flowing, abstract nature of your paintings? Has your design background provided a unique perspective on the way you approach your artwork? Drawing from my formal background in interior design, I integrate structured design elements with the uninhibited, abstract nature of my paintings. The discipline of interior design has equipped me with a profound understanding of flow and organization, allowing me to practice a sense of order into the dynamic movement of chaos within my artwork. This background has not only served as a framework for channeling the explosive energy within me but has also fostered an internal critique that refines my creative process. Your active presence on social media showcases not only your art but also your quirky and unabashed personality. How do you navigate the intersection between your online persona and the genuine emotions conveyed in your big, bold strokes on canvas? What I share online is essentially an extension of my artistic expression. I don't consciously aim to integrate or ponder about the intersection between my online persona and the emotions reflected in my bold strokes on canvas because, to me, they are inherently unified. Whether it's what you see on social media, in person, or in the strokes on canvas, the light emanates from the same source—an expression of myself. Curiosity has played a significant role in your journey as an artist. How has curiosity influenced the evolution of your work and your personal growth as an individual? Curiosity, to me, is the signal to embark on an exploration of information. It serves as the powerhouse for movement and progression in both my work and personal growth. Day by day, curiosity adds complex details to my journey, contributing to the evolution of my art and shaping my development as an individual. As an artist, what do you hope people remember about you and your work? How would you like your art to be perceived and remembered by future generations? I aspire for my art to serve as a lasting reminder that every element possesses a unique and individual identity. That, for me, encapsulates the essence of what I hope people remember about my work. In conclusion, how do you see the role of art in shaping perspectives and fostering connections among people in today's world? What message or advice do you have for aspiring artists looking to carve their own path? In conclusion, I see art as a powerful force that provides context to our existence. It has profoundly shaped my perspective, merging life with greater meaning. My belief is that art transcends conventional venues; it can thrive in various forms and spaces. To aspiring artists, my advice is to avoid relying solely on galleries or publications for validation. Your identity remains unchanged, and the quality of your art persists, with or without external recognition. Stay true to yourself and your unique expression, for that authenticity is the essence of your artistic journey. Andre Chan: https://www.instagram.com/andrechance/ Photos by Wilmark Jolindon

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