Garapata Exhibit at the Collective

Garapata Exhibit at the Collective

Every living creature on the face of the earth deserves to be immortalized in art. For the creator of the Garapata Man, the blood-sucking crawler is no exception. This round, multi-legged, puffy-eyed character has become an urban icon.

We were first introduced to the Garapata Man and its creator at the Escolta Saturday Market. When we asked the artist why he chose the garapata as the subject for his art, he directs us to the social reality of Filipinos that like the garapata – ‘kahit saang sulok ng mundo may Pinoy na makikita.’

Garapata Exhibit at the Collective 2013

Garapata Exhibit 2013

We took part in the opening of the Garapata Exhibit at The Collective last Saturday. For this exhibit, the gallery has been transformed into a hive where the crawlers were all over walls and are scattered in random corners as functional stools and wooden pieces of art.

Spectators watched a video showing how the wooden pieces were individually carved.

Garapata Exhibit Collective


During our walks around the city, we’ve seen the garapata icon on bus seats, streetlamps, food carts, and sometimes in unexpected spaces. But while the garapata continues to become part of the urban streetscape, it is gradually evolving into something functional. For now, sling bags, t-shirts, coloring books, necklace pendants or keychain, and wooden stools are available.

There is something to look forward to on what the creator of the garapata will think of next.

Published in: on October 29, 2013 at 2:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Bohol Heritage Churches of Memory

Bohol Heritage Churches

*This blogpost is dedicated to our priceless heritage and to the unbreakable citizens of Bohol.

October 15, 2013 is a sad day for heritage and people of Bohol. We lament mainly for those that cannot be replaced like the hundreds of precious lives loss and the priceless heritage structures toppled down by a terrible 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the islands of Central Visayas.

In less than a minute of catastrophic ground shaking, the majestic churches of Maribojoc and Loon were reduced to rubbles of coral stones. The centuries-old churches of Baclayon, Loboc, Dauis, and other heritage churches and structures were severly damaged.

Santa Cruz Church Bohol

Santa Cruz Church Maribojoc

For those who have been fascinated by Bohol’s cultural treasures before the great earthquake,  we can only describe how we were awestruck upon seeing these heritage churches up close and personal.

Santa Cruz Church in Maribojoc is charming. Its façade has a pinkish glow under the afternoon sun. Inside, the church ceiling covered with beaten-metal and painted with catechetical motifs. The five carved retablos were decorated on the surface with a patina of naturally faded paint and gold leaf. The choir loft has a large metal pipe-organ dating from the 1890s, which was last played in 1975.

Loboc Church

Loboc Bohol

Loboc Church is massive in scale and elegant in design. Carved on its coral stone façade were cherubs, emblems of the Jesuits and the Papal seal. Loboc is the only church in Bohol that has a free standing belfry away from the nave. This is an architectural characteristic common among Ilocos Earthquake Baroque churches.

The convent behind the church was converted into a museum. A room in Museo de Loboc has been reserved for the internationally-acclaimed Loboc Children’s Choir for their practices and voice lessons. These are the cultural treasures of Loboc.

Dauis Church

Dauis Church Bohol

The church of Daius in Panglao Island has a two layer façade and a belfry topped with miniature spires. The frescoes on its ceiling were painted by Ray Francia in 1916.

We can trace the church’s history from a legend. Locals say that when Moro pirates invaded the town of Dauis, the people lock up themselves inside the church until they ran out of food and water. A well miraculously appeared inside the church. We found the well, sealed by trapdoor under the red carpet at the foot of the altar. The water from the well is believed to possess healing powers.

Baclayon Church

Baclayon Church Bohol

The church of Dauis may look younger than the two previous churches we featured for this blog. But nothing compares to Baclayon Church when we speak of age.  For a time, Baclayon claimed to have the first stone church in the country, rivaling San Agustin Church in Intramuros of this distinction. The debate was settled when historians revealed that Baclayon Church was constructed in 1721.

It is said that egg whites were to use as binding agent to seal the coral stone blocks.  This perhaps explains why broas has become a popular delicacy in Bohol since it’s made of the unused part of the egg in the construction of its heritage churches.


This is my share for the PTB Carnival theme Memories of Cebu and Bohol, hosted by Grasya Bangoy of Grasya. Click the official PTB logo for a list of previous carnival themes and hosts.

Furniture and Furnishings in Filipino Ancestral Houses

Furniture and furnishing in an Ancestral House

Entering a well-preserved Filipino Ancestral House is like boarding a time machine. Our generation is fortunate because heirs of these remaining antique houses have made tremendous effort in preserving and opening up their ancestor’s dwellings for us to experience the past and learn from it.

So when traveling back in time through ancestral houses, avoid getting lost by knowing about the things to see in a fully furnished bahay-na-bato.

Bautista House

Rooms in Ancestral houses

Rooms in a typical 19th century ancestral house consists of a caida, the sala mayor, comedor, oratorio, cuartos, cocina, and azotea. These rooms are located on the second floor living quarters.  Some houses have mezzanines or entresuelo that have function rooms like the despacho and a couple of guest rooms. The ground floor with the zaguan that looks like a dungeon serves as parking space for the family carriage and carrozas, and storage for farming supplies and sacks of produce. It also houses the stable or cuadra for the horses.

The following is a list of common furniture and furnishings found in each room of a bahay-na-bato.  Those who want to recreate the look and feel of an ancestral house in their own home may also find this checklist helpful:


1. Caida (Receiving room): A hat and cane rack or bastonero, a grandfather’s clock, framed portraits of the landlord and his lady, a round marble topped center table, an escritorio or desk, and ceramic Chinese stands with potted plants.

The Villavicencio Wedding Gift House in historic Taal has these furniture in the first three steps landing of the staircase called descanso and in their caida.

Sala mayor

2. Sala Mayor (Main living room):  A large crystal chandelier, a marble topped center table, smaller than the one in the caida, oval or rectangular side tables or consolas, small tables or mesitas, a mariposa sofa or divan, a set of caned chairs, lounging chairs like the sillas frailuna and perezosa and butacas, rocking chairs or kolumpyo, Vienna bentwood chairs, a pair of high chairs by the window, a piano and a harp, landscape paintings and Venetian mirrors, porcelain vases and bronze statues on pedestals, and a gramophone, which gives the set a modern feel the equivalent of a LED TV in the living room today.

Grouped in the crowded sala major of the Jose Bautista House in the Kamistisuhan District of Malolos are furniture in different styles.

Bahay nakpil-bautista dining room

3. Comedor (Dining room): Mesa or a very long rectangular table for 10 to 36 sitters with matching dining chairs, a toothpick holder and the epergne cast in silver as table centerpiece, an unusually tall glass fronted display cabinet with for porcelain plates and glassware called the vajillera, display cabinets for silverware called the aparador de platera, a serving table or trinchante, one or two overhead cloth fan called the punkah, wooden divider or persiana where the operator of the punkah hides, and a gong.

The original owners of 1914 Bahay-Nakpil Bautista in Quiapo built a ‘house’ to match the Viennese Secession dining set furniture given to them as a gift.


4. Oratorio (Prayer room): Life-size saint’s statues, kneelers, a mesa altar, a carved altar to enshrine the saint’s statues of wood or ivory, statuettes or a diorama of a biblical scene incased in a virina, a crucifix with ivory corpus and silver trimmings, relicarios in silver filigree with relics of saint, silver candelabras, prayer books in silver frame or casing.

House museums like Casa Gorordo in the Parian District of Cebu and Casa Manila in Intramuros have formal altars in their oratorio.


5. Cuarto (Bedroom): a four poster cama, a massive aparador with mirrored doors surmounted by a crown of fretted work, a chest of drawers or a low two-door cabinet called the comoda decorated with bone inlay, a baul, a ropero for dirty clothes, a lavadera or a freestanding wash basin, a pillow rack or almario, a dresser with mirror called the painadora or a full length mirror with two adjustable side mirrors called the tremor.

See how the descendants of Segunda Katigbak arranged their matriach’s cuarto in Casa de Segunda in Lipa.


6. Cocina (Kitchen): A slatted wooden cupboard or paminggalan, a nivera or ice-chest, a kitchen table with matching plain backless benches or bankos, over-sized clay pots and metal kawas, pans and chocolatera in beaten copper, different baskets, a coal powered flat iron called the prensa, and cookie mold made of wood.

The Casa Villavicencio in Taal maintained their cocina just like how it looks a century ago, complete with a bulbous pugon, palayoks, garapons, etc.


7. Azotea (Service kitchen): Wicker chairs, several tapayan or clay water jars, a cast iron bathtub, and potted plants.

Bahay na Tisa in Carcar, Cebu has charming azotea that is perfect for al fresco dining.


8. Zaguan: Gallinera or bench with a built-in chicken coop underneath or a much longer bench with backrest, resembling a church pew called the capiya

There is a calesa parked in the zaguan of the Leon Apacible House in Taal.

Filipino Artists in their Home Studios

Filipino artists in their home studio

Part of our itinerary when touring around towns and cities is interacting with a local artist in their home studio. Every visit to an artist’s home studio thrills us because aside from spending long hours with our homegrown talents, we get to capture colorful composition set in spaces where they live and create their masterpieces.

It’s really a privilege to listen to their stories over a cup of coffee or hot choco about their beginnings as struggling artists, the setbacks they have encountered on their way to mastering their art and into things that not too many people know about. Here’s a list of our memorable visits to our artists friends in their home studio:


norma at angelito

Norma Belleza and Angelito Antonio. Painters. Antipolo.

Mario de Rivera

Mario de Rivera. Painter. Mandaluyong

marcel antonio

Marcel Antonio. Painter. Antipolo.


Ferdinand R. Doctolero. Painter.  Paranaque City.


Ral Arrogante. Sculptor. Mandaluyong.


Angel Cacnio. Painter. Malabon.


Isagani Fuentes. Painter. Marikina.


Rovi Salegumba. Painter. Quezon City.


Lydia Velasco. Painter. Marikina City.

Luis Ac ac

Luis Ac-ac. Sculptor. Paete Laguna.

Ben Dailo

Ben Dailo. Sculptor. Paete Laguna.

Glenn Cagandahan

Glenn Cagandahan. Sculptor. Paete Laguna.


Nune Alvarado. Painter. Paranaque City.


Don Santana. Painter. Pasig City.


NemirandaPainter. Angono Rizal.

To be continued…

Staycations with TOF


It’s obvious that we enjoy traveling but there are occasions when certain circumstances limit our traveling feet from doing this thing we love. Uncompromising schedules, a dominant priority, budget restraints are just some of the reasons that kept us from having our regular day tours or weeklong sojourns out of town lately.

However, things like these didn’t stop us from having a ‘vacation.’ So welcome to our bahay bakasyunan. It may sound pretentious but really this is just a place where we come home every day from work and school. It is in this home for two, for me and my son where we have invited friends we met in our travels to join us in our mini-vacations at home or how some people call it as staycations.



The way we arranged things inside our house is influenced by the travels we had. We like to hand carry objects so our home is crowded with Travel Souvenirs. We want to come home every day to that look and feel we experienced in the rustic gardens of Ugu Bigyan, Casa San Pablo, Kusina Salud and several trips to Paete and Pakil. We had the most visits to Ancestral Houses the previous years so we arranged our furniture to echo the lifestyle in old Manila and in those charming provincial casas.

Recently, we got into visiting art spaces and Home Studios of Artist Friends so the current theme of our third floor study and library, as some visitors described it ‘mukhang art gallery daw.’ One thing is sure is that our home can never be minimalist in design. Much like of our diverse islands, cultures, and tradition, Traveler on Foot’s home is always crowded with travel finds and at times with friends we share the same passion with –art and travel.

Staycation TOF dining with Pepito and Doctolero


Recently we spent numerous lazy weekend afternoons with visual artists like Celso Pepito, Ferdinand Doctolero, Peter Mamayson, Eric Dy, and fellow travel blogger Karl Ace of Turista Trails.



I like idea that our home is a tambayan ng mga artists. Sometime around the last week of July, we hosted Day 44 of Albert Avellana’s 50-day birthday celebration with artists Mark Andy Garcia, Dexter Fernandez, and CCP 13 Artists awardee Joey Cobcobo.

On that special day, Dexter prepared his flavorful adobo spaghetti and minty mojitos to match the 50 candles in Albert’s cake that lighten up our study room as if it were a bonfire.



I really want our home to be a hang out place for artists and those who love art. We’ve opened it to those who are willing to share artistic talents and perform their creativity. Having artists spent their time with us fulfills my idea of a dream home.

On Ferdinand Doctolero’s visit, he gave one of my red side tables a facelift by painting his art on it. The same thing with metal sculptor Lucky Salayog who went to see us one Sunday afternoon to pick up an armless Sacred Heart of Jesus wooden statue to bring to his studio. He had this idea of attaching his metal sculpture of found objects to make this icon ready to accept our visitors with open arms.



Our guests openly expressed to us their favorite spot in our home. There are those who comfortably spent an entire six hours just eating and chatting up in our dining room. Some preferred chilling in the balcony near the study. But there are also those who find my bedroom as a preferred set for filming an indie movie.

Writer and television segment producer Raymond Dimayuga phone me one day, requesting to use my bedroom as set for a short film. On the shooting day, I was surprised to see veteran film and stage actor, the fisherman in Borne Legacy, Mr. Lou Veloso in the house.


While I find my bedroom to be cozies part of the house but it is also the noisiest because the only window in here opens up to the street below. This large window with translucent capiz panels allow me to interact with the friendliest neighborhood.

The bed with its tall slatted kamagong headboard is a copy of the bed we slept in when we had that restful evening at Room 12 in Casa San Pablo. A painting of the Ibong Adarna, a healing bird created for us by artist Rovi Salegumba holds its own above the bed. Though I don’t spend long hours in my bedroom but for those staycations, I enjoy this space for the respite it provides. This is my favorite room.


This is my share for the PTB Blog Carnival this October, with the theme My Favorite Room, hosted by Eileen Campos of The Super Tourists. Click the official PTB logo for a list of previous carnival themes and hosts.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 342 other followers