Bloom Arts Festival 2012: A Huge Success!

When in Manila and looking for a place packed with arts and artists, Cubao X is the place to go! The Bloom Arts Festival 2012 held last Saturday was definitely a milestone for the Philippine art scene.



Bloom String at Today x Future


Intricate String Art on Display at Today x Future—This is the same piece that appears on all Bloom Arts Posters!




Bloom Arts Festival is an event which aims at celebrating creativity.  Around ninety plus artists joined.  By artists, we mean photographers, painters, illustrators, musicians and the like.  There were also motion videos and live art sessions! It’s just amazing how the number of participants just kept on increasing as the day of the event approached to the point that it was hard for the committee to pin down the ever elusive number of participants!   

Since this is a huge event, I shared this assignment with fellow WhenInManila writer Erin Emocling & asked the help of Ponggo in taking pictures!

Atop PenPen’s, Heima, Sweet Ecstasy, The Clothing, Today X Future, Escobar & Fred’s Revolution were displays of artists’ works.  Bloom Arts Festival has indeed lived up to its name.  Cubao X was just teeming with people! 



Cubao X is Packed!

A very good turnout in Cubao X! (“Very” is an understatement though.)

Above: the view from the second floor of Today x Future




Below: Inside Heima’s Ground Floor


Lazy Head Afro by EJ Dalupang

Enter Today x Future & you’ll be greeted with a wall of art each with its own unique style & medium.  Above is a digital art Lazy Afro, one of the trio of works by EJ Dalupang.




Today x Future Wrapped in Craft Paper

Look to your right as you get to the the second floor of Today x Future and you’ll see most of the furniture pieces and fixtures wrapped with Manila & craft paper.  Genius!  This surreal and fun set-up is a collaboration among the artists assigned here.  Staring at these just wants to make me buy paper & change things up a bit at home! 

 Tof Zapanta's Marking Dots & Colored Pencil Work on Watercolor Paper

These are pencil works by Tof Zapanta,  one of the organizers of the Bloom Arts Festival .

Above: The texture that the watercolor paper gives is fetching. 

Below:  The fact that this and another artwork of his was drawn from a notebook cover is just lovely. The marking dots definitely accent this piece! 




Sweet Ecstasy




We met up with a couple of kindred spirits: Hey Kessy’s Mansy Abesamis & Paul Imbong and took a break from checking out artworks and stumbled upon this milk & cookie place, Sweet Ecstasy.  The place has so much to offer: We were torn between staring at the cutesy doodles, having warm cookies or milk chocolate in tiny carafes that you can actually pour into a slanted-yet-upright glass.  The comfort food Sweet Ecstasy offers definitely made us feel nostalgic!  After touring the place, we actually had to go back for a second serving!  Our favorites are: Cranberries & Cream and Nutella & Choco Chips.


Jen Horn




We walked up the second floor and we get to do some catching up with NomadManager’s Jen Horn with her watercolor works. 



Non-Sweetener - Non-Sweetening by Celina de Guzman




I’m personally attracted to anything with a hint of neon on it as well as bold lines.  These are the Tempera & Graphite playful characters on paper of Celina De Guzman.  Such an interesting way to consume ice cream, don’t you think?



Isip by Gaby Cantero



Isip by Gabby Cantero is definitely enchanting!  I’ve never seen subjects so alive behind the frame.  Stare at the portrait and it literally stares back at you.  The way she lighted her subjects is a riddle.  You almost expect her portraits to move.  I don’t think this photo we took of her work even justifies her work.  You have to see her works in the flesh!


Binding Mai Evangelista Watercolors & Pencils

This piece by Mai Evangelista is entitled “Binding”.   The the thread plays around the subject and how the subject fades at the edges to make it seem backlit is brilliant.  




It's All in Your Head Little Read by Gigi Lapid, One With the Forest by Mai Evangelista, The Truth About Lovely Wong by Wiji Lacsamana,

Above: It’s All in Your Head, Little Red by Gigi Lapid, Acrylic on Canvas

Below (Left): One with the Forest by Mai Evangelista, Acrylic on Canvas

Below (Right): The Truth About Lovely Wong by Wiji Lacsamana, Watercolor & Acrylic on Paper





The above illustrations just make me daydream that I had the skill to draw more complex and detailed drawings.  Oh, if only I could buy all of them! 



11 Heima MJ, Bunny Joanna Jotojot, TokwaP & Soleil

We started & ended the night at Heima. Clockwise: MJ Salenga, Heima’s Retail Manager, the adorable Heima bunny, Joana Jotojot Heima’s Marketing & Business Development Manager, artists Soleil Ignacio & Tokwa Penaflorida.




“It’s like Fete dela Musique but this time, more towards (visual) artists” as MJ Salenga, Heima’s retail manager describes.  I believe she said this at around One o’ Clock in the morning and I wouldn’t have guessed the time because of the merry mood of the crowd in Cubao X.  I’m thrilled to have finally met Soleil Ignacio & Tokwa Penaflorida.  It’s also nice to see that artists, after having graced their posts also go around Cubao X to support the works of their fellow artists.  The energy and spirit to create & collaborate at the Bloom Arts Exhibit is just different and is definitely inspiring.


 12 Soleil's Illustration IdKids' Nice Buenaventura

Left: One of Soleil Ignacio’s Illustrations

Right: ½ of IdKids’ Nice Buenaventura posing with her artwork aptly entitled “Owel”




I will never get tired of Heima Cubao’s fabric pastel buntings and the gold poka-dotted walls.   I find it amusing that after I was briefly introduced to Owel Alvero, the other half of IdKids, I see an artwork named after him.  I found out later that this is how Nice sees Owel when she’s vexed.



Anjo Bolarda, Valerie Chua, Celina de Guzman, Aleyn Comprendio

Left: One of Valerie Chua’s Paintings (with Heima’s Christmas lights playfully reflecting against it)
Right: Speaking of artists going around to check the rest of Cubao X, I also met  Anjo Bolarda, Valerie Chua, Veronica Chua & Aleyn Comprendio.




Until the day of the festival, I actually only saw Valerie’s artworks through her blog where she would posts vignettes and work-in-progress photos.  We were all in awe of her  How to Brew a Storm watercolor work (not in the photo above).  The level of detail will makes you wonder how she manages to paint such minute details–not just outlines but complete with color & depth.

All in all, Bloom Arts Team did such a great job.  Just imagine the effort everyone had to put into this from organizing, coordinating and the number of hours each artist had to put into their display pieces for the exhibit! 



TokwaP Post Cards Badge from Today x Future x Frankie Issue #49

Stuff I took home from Bloom Arts: Signed TokwaP postcards, a badge from Today x Future (I wish I bought more of this so that I could give it to my bookworm friends!) and Frankie Issue #49 from Heima.




Kudos to the Bloom Arts Team!  Can’t wait for what will be in store for us next year!  Ahhh, exciting times!



Bloom Arts Festival Logo


 Bloom Arts Festival

Twitter: @BloomArts






Bloom Arts Festival 2012: A Huge Success!


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