the storm settles

Whew. I’ve been back in the U.S. for 5 days now, and I’m still in something of a state of arrival. I think that getting over an amazing trip is akin to the supposed timeline for getting over a break-up: fully half the length of the relationship has to pass before one gets over it. That means I’ve got about a week and a half to go.

Lest my last ominous post have anybody wondering, yes, I’m fine, Manila survived. Typhoon Egay blew things this way and that: I was holed up in Malate, just watching the rain and wind go from vertical to horizontal, and back again. The windows in the Living Room were chained shut, to boot:




Kind of beautiful, really.

The storms broke here and there long enough for me to go out and see a few friends one more time, and to take care of Galleon Trade closing business.

Peewee had to leave town unexpectedly, so I went out to Green Papaya to say goodbye and talk about a few things with him (hello: world reading this blog: Peewee is the BEST. Such an honor to work with him, and to just enjoy his general awesomeness), and all the usual suspects showed up, as serendipitously as always seems to be the case here.


MM, Lena, Maria, Rita, Renaud


Lena, Marta, Poks, and that one guy I like whose name escapes me Jun! Jun Sabayton. Hi, Jun. Sorry ’bout dat.


Even though Renaud Proch (visiting from the U.S) was scheduled to come out to the Living Room the next night, of course he showed up with everyone else, which was a nice pre-emptive introduction. Got to see him again less than 24 hours later in Malate, for a rollicking long night of debating, art talk, general tsismis, and the usual revelry:


Ramby, Renaud (who’s working that pillow!), Carlos, me, Romeo (looking very suspiciously at something)

Aaaand then back to Green Papaya a day or two later, to officially deinstall the Galleon Trade works that were there.


Apeed and I took everything down. Most of Megan’s panels stayed behind with Green Papaya, for Peewee to distribute however he sees fit. Reanne’s tape was all delicately removed from the wall, and packed up for Italy (she starts a residency program there in September). Apeed’s patching became its own ghostlike artwork:


The show compacted down quite easily, all things considered. It’s always a little sad looking at packed bags, but somehow, since I had to take care of shuttling all work back to the U.S., I was pretty happy to look at a small pile:


That’s everything: Mike, Reanne, Stephanie, Christine and Megan’s works, all reduced down to two suitcases, a duffel, and two glittery, empty balikbayan boxes wrapped in plastic. The glitter from Christine’s project has now trailed across half of Metro Manila, down the hallways of the Sy-quia apartments, in and out of multiple taxis, an air cargo facility, and Philippine Airlines, and now my own living room once more.

Since taking down Rick Godinez and Enrique Chagoya’s works at Mag:net High Street had been blissfully easy (basically, Rock and his staff took care of everything, because they’re cool like dat: I showed up, and Rock and I went out and kicked it over coffee) earlier in the week, the last Galleon Trade show to take down was Katipunan, which was also reasonably easy.

I couldn’t carry all the work back to Malate in one cab in stormy weather, so I went back out to Katips the next night to pick a couple more boxes up, and say my goodbyes as the crew hung out during Gerry Tan’s install for his follow-up show:


Gerry, Rock, David Grigg (a painter from Australia who’s done exchange shows with Manila folks, too):




Rock, David, Woff, Gerry, Lena, __, Ringo, Jayson, Manuel, ___ (my bad, sorry bout missing names).

I got seriously choked up, leaving Katipunan that night. The warmth and hospitality everyone showed us was just too wonderful: even though on some levels, I haven’t gotten to know folks that well these past two summers, I can honestly say that it’s truly rare and wonderful to encounter people who bring such unselfconscious warmth to a situation. I get attached!

Most Americans, and certainly most folks I know in the Bay Area, have lost this art of being genuinely hospitable and relaxed. I could attribute it to how busy we get here in the U.S., but that’s really not much of an excuse. It’s just not a priority to simply spend time with others. It is harder here, to be sure, but I also feel like people have just stopped seeing hang-out/social time as useful. Oy. (I’ll ruminate on this a bit more, and get back to you with some thoughts on the matter.)

Still backlogged on posts and reminiscences: I give myself until the get-over-it deadline of one and a half weeks from now to finish up my Manila posts, and move back into the present tense.

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2 Responses to “the storm settles”

  1. John Says:

    “Most Americans, and certainly most folks I know in the Bay Area, have lost this art of being genuinely hospitable and relaxed.” Sadly, I have to agree with you. We are lacking in warmth. Chill out? I felt this more acutely in the contrast of returning to the U.S. from 11 months in the Philippines. Hopefully we’ll get to work on this problem soon over a meal and more discussion.

  2. admin Says:

    Did someone say MEAL?
    Yup yup. The only way to remedy this terrible condition is to EAT. What days/nights are good for you and the R?

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