A few days late, but yes, its that time of the year again.

I wanted 2023 to be a year of learning. Because even though my main priority when creating art is for personal reasons, I think there is still a desire to improve and meet with other people. There was a resolve within me that “I’m gonna join all the events that I could possibly attend, even if I’m alone“. I was tired of the missed opportunities back then because I was waiting for other people. I should have gone alone. That type of regret. With the loss of my future mother-in-law last March, I felt like I shouldn’t have any regrets anymore and do everything that I can to have that kind of life.

I joined two open calls this year from PhilBas – one is the Flora of South East Asia Botanical Exhibit, and the second one to the National Musem of National History exhibit. Both of these needed a really long mental and physical preparation. I didn’t pass the Second Round of FSEA jury deliberation, but I’m proud that I applied in the first place. I did however, got in the NMNH Exhibit. I could say that this is one of my proudest moments this year.

I also finally applied for membership for the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists. I also renewed my membership for 2 years! They had a lot of events every other month that I feel that the membership fee is worth every peso. I also won around 4 raffles just by participating in their events lol. The raffles and discounts were the things that made me renew my membership. Hoping to participate again in the PGW Convention! The nude art tambay, convention opening, and on-the-spot painting competition were some event highlights of PGW for me.

Urban Sketching – while not really my thing, is still one of the interesting events this year. I joined events from both Manila and Quezon City chapters. I got to bond with friends and meet with new people. I hope to do more in the future, even if its not really my thing (yes I’ll repeat it every time until I’ll like it), I feel like I can learn something from pursuing it.

It was also my return to conventions- mainly StickerCon MNL 2022. The post is not yet up on this blog, and its going to be another long series of posts. I made new stickers and finally, washi tapes! I joined with my January Makers PH group once again. After the convention though, there is this feeling that its finally time to move on – either to go solo or to make another group. It feels… one-sided, I think. After StickerCon, I also had the opportunity to design some new products courtesy of a customer. More on that soon.

I didn’t create a lot of artworks this year, less than 60 based on the files in my folders. But it feels like it still had the same impact as the other years.

Our office created an art club back in 2020. This year, Trisha and I both participated in the open calls I mentioned above. We did an inktober contest. We also did the blackboard design for the office anniversary and the halloween decor. Will blog about this soon. The club will finally become legit and have some funding this 2023. Hopefully. I planned some events for this year as well.

I participated in two fundraisers this year. One was for Ruth’s father and another one for my officemate. There were also instances that I became Hannah’s assistant on her mural projects. I’m pretty happy that I got to help some people this year.

Non-art related, I got to play more games this year – mainly the Pokemon franchise. We bought the 9th generation games Scarlet and Violet. Since I also won some money from our office raffle, I also bought Pokemon Legends Arceus. Ah, I also won the raffle from our department party lol. It was a lucky year.

There were some splurges this year, because I think I deserve to be happy. A new phone, clothes, VIP tickets to the Bini concert, pre-order of the Alamat album, art materials, to name a few.

It really was an eventful year.

Even if I’m alone” was what I was really thinking back then. I’ve experienced so many people who came and left the art community. But I think this year, I’m happy that there are still people who were with me on this adventure. Inggo was there on most of the events. Art tambays with close friends are still a thing. The USK events I always had Inggo and a friend with me. The only time that I was alone was at PGW events, but I didn’t really mind because I made new friends and the community there is so welcoming.

What about 2023? I hope to continue what I started last 2022. More learning, more experiences, more events. We’re planning on moving. After that, I’m planning on opening an online store. Let’s, again, hope it will come true.

Urban Sketchers Manila & Kyusi

Last year (2022), I also participated in Urban Sketchers Manila and Urban Sketchers Kyusi events. What is Urban Sketchers? Their mantra can be found here.

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There are two groups that I know of here in Metro Manila – Urban Sketchers Manila and Quezon City. But the sketch locations are not locked within their areas. So we try to participate in events that are nearby.

It was actually Hannah (@hmb_urger) who wanted to join these types of events. So when I heard that they’re active again, we went to Binondo for their Binondo church sketch crawl. USK had permission to paint/sketch inside the church. We wanted to paint the church architecture but sadly it was raining that day.

They gave us a free watercolor paper. We could sketch on it and submit the painting to be included in their Chinatown Museum exhibit, I think? I sketched the church’s intricate column. Sadly forgot to take a photo of the finished piece. My second painting was one of the doors with dramatic lighting. I tried my best. This was done on my strathmore landscape watercolor pad. One of the members also made a video about the event:

Next up is the Quezon City, or Kyusi event at Quezon Memorial Circle.

Most of their events usually falls on a Sunday morning. Hannah was not available for this event due to the morning schedule. She’s not a morning person haha. Shine (@tingeofshine) was available, so we went to this event. Inggo also accompanied us because he wanted to jog.

I used pens for my work because I was too lazy to set up my watercolors. I also prefer this location since I got to draw trees. I’m not really an urban sketcher, but I’ll try everything! It just feels like college plates all over again if I only draw architecture. Instead of drawing the iconic memorial, I drew this local coffee shop.

Overall it was a fun experience. I especially love the latag time, where everyone will display their works on the ground. You could see different styles and techniques which is always interesting. The next thing that I love are the stamps lol. I LOVE getting the stamp whenever I finish an artwork. ♥ I actually got to join another one recently, but that will have a separate post.

See you in another sketch walk this 2023 maybe? ♥

PGW Art Tambay

I finally joined the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists last year (since its already 2023, oops!). The first event that I participated is the August PGW Art Tambay at Art Whale Maginhawa. It is a nude sketching event partnered with Sunday Nudes. It was an event with many firsts – antigen swab test, meet up with PGW, and painting a nude model.

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The order of my paintings are from the beginner up to the end. I think it is a bit obvious on how comfortable I got to painting the last one. I am not used to painting the human figure. (I paint 90% florals, 5% food & 5% fauna). This was a new and welcoming experience to PGW. Everyone was friendly! It was nice to meet everyone there. I’m excited to join future events .

Also can I just put a disclaimer here that I was NOT the nude model. Someone on IG asked if I was the model since we had similar hair. Ugh!

Art whale also had a discount for PGW members so I couldn’t resist buying some art materials for myself . I bought a Strathmore Series 400 Landscape watercolor pad and a Hahnehmuhle watercolor pad. I’ve been using the strathmore watercolor pad in future events (aka Urban Sketchers events – in future posts).

After the event, I met up with Inggo at Old Baguio Cafe so we could finally tick it off the “to eat” list. I also wanted to take reference photos of the desserts because of –Stickercon MNL 2022. More posts to come!


I assisted Hannah (@hmb_urger) on her mural projects this year. One was in Tagaytay, and another one was just in Metro Manila. The Tagaytay one was an experience. Inggo accompanied us and offered his cooking skills for the trip. We stayed at Hannah’s client’s house over the weekend.

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We were planning on having bulalo, but surprisingly we couldn’t buy beef at the grocery. It seems like you have to buy from the butcher or palengke, but this was a few towns away from where we were. Actually, I’m not even sure if we were in Tagaytay?! The landmark was Twin Lakes, we were in Amuyong, Cavite. Huh.

It was a whole day of painting for us. We first sketched the design using colored chalk and started filling in the colors one by one. We both had one wall each to sketch and paint. Thankfully Hannah gave me a cheat sheet/print out of the design. Also since we couldn’t find any beef we took a picture with a cow instead:

The Metro Manila one was a quick mural. I assisted once again painting the flowers. I should also note that we attempted to do a mural last April, but went to Starbucks instead due to the heat.

Overall it was a fun experience. Will definitely assist again! If you want to check out the finished murals, please check our her instagram page @hmb_urger

White Nights

May 2022.

Inggo advised me to buy everything that I wanted since the dollar value will increase in the coming days. I bought one of the watercolor brands that I’ve been coveting for a while now-White Nights. We bought this at Deovir SM North Edsa. White Nights is a Russian watercolor brand. They have full pans with a reasonable price point. Below are some of the artwork that I did with it.

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I first tested it out using cheap watercolor paper. My go-to brand is Berkeley watercolor pad. This was my beginner paper back then. And even though most of my friends hated this paper, I love it because it can take a lot of paper. But the quality is so-so, and the artworks that I have using this paper have deteriorated over the years. Oh well!

Above: Katmon Megalantha workshop by Cynthia Arre! I used another leftover Arches paper for this one. I like that its square shape though. Then I painted a bird on baohong paper because why not? I had a hard time painting the feathers because it had to make sense. I need to sketch these some more in order to get it right!

I find it funny/interesting that I finally bought most of the brands that I coveted before in my post watercolor ramblings way back in 2016. I still don’t have a 45 color W&N set, but I don’t really want it anymore. Over the months I’m pretty happy with my White Nights set. I love the full pans and transparency of the colors. One thing that I would like to do in the future though is to use more of the blues.

National Museum of Natural History

May 2022 was a busy month.

Our exhibit “Natural Heritage in Focus: The Philippine Flora and Fauna Art Exhibition” at the Upper Courtyard of the National Museum of Natural History ran from May 24 until October 3, 2022. This is in partnership with Philippine Botanical Art Society and Philippine Fauna Art Society in celebration of National Heritage Month and International Day for Biological Diversity. We went to the exhibit opening last May 24, 2022.

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I went to work in the morning that day and bragged about the exhibit opening to almost everyone in the office HAHA. I was proud of myself and my officemate Trisha as we both got accepted in the exhibit. This was a juried exhibit where 3 botanists judged our artwork based on accuracy and talent. After work, Inggo fetched me from there, and we both went to NMNH in the afternoon.

Hello to Lolong! One of the largest crocodiles in the world.

It was our first time to visit the NMNH after renovation. National Museum visits are now free to public for a long time now, but we didn’t have a chance to visit because its too far from us. When we got there, we were treated as VIPs in the exhibit opening. It was a wonderful experience. Ms. Bing’s speech, even though I’ve heard it numerous times already, had more impact at that time because it felt like all of her hard work came into fruition with this exhibit. I also got to finally meet Sherilyn again! Here are some photos of the exhibit opening. Thank you to Inggo for being our photographer!

Definitely one of the highlights of this year! ♥

Mental and Physical Preparation for exhibits (Dec 21-March 22)

I will probably write about this in past tense as it is already December 2022. I joined 2 open calls by Philippine Botanical Art Society last November/December 2021. One was the Flora of South East Asia Botanical exhibition and the other one was at the National Museum of Natural History exhibit titled “Natural Heritage in Focus: The Philippine Flora and Fauna Art Exhibition“. It was a good thing that the announcement was months ahead. I had plenty of time to prepare. ♥

After a long break from creating any art, it felt like my skills were getting rusty. So I had to practice. A lot. You could also think of this post as a compilation post of sorts as well. Picture and lengthy post ahead!

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The rose painting above is the my artwork for my first ever art tambay with Aira and Hannah after lockdown. There’s still covid, but at least we finally had our vaccines so it felt a little bit safer to meet up. It also felt right that they were the first people I get to art tambay with again after a long time. Our last art tambay was around March 2020!

Physical preparation

From January to March of 2022, I practiced a lot. Just painted and painted so I could get out all of the bad art in my system. The rose painting is part of my art trade with my officemate for our Christmas Art Trade. The middle one is a periwinkle. I got the reference from one of my friends I think? The last one are daffodils I painted in my Strathmore watercolor notebook. I still have a lot of paper because of hoarding through the years. Hoping that I get to use all of them soon! I churn out a lot of paintings to get used to painting again haha.

Next up are more practice pieces on different papers. Above: Cattleya practice on baohong paper, Queen of the night on Strathmore, and a Rose painting on Canson 200gsm paper. We used to have a queen of the night in our family home. They would wake me up at night to watch this flower bloom. I didn’t really liked the rose painting, hence the color pencil layers.

Below: Sunflower painting, Poppies, and a pink rose. I could not remember what paper I used for the sunflower painting. This was also supposed to be sold off for a fundraiser, but I couldn’t find the original anymore so I gave another painting with the same reference photo used. The right poppy and pink rose are more practice pieces. The middle poppies I’m pretty proud of! ♥ I gave the middle painting as my art exchange gift during PGW’s Christmas art trade.

Above: I tried practicing white flowers again. Gardenia (left) and roses. The left one is reserved for an art trade with a friend. I’m not happy with how I rendered the roses. It looks like a mix of cool and warm tones. Its all over the place. I need to practice some more.

Below: More practice works. I’ve been wondering why I kept on painting on Canson 200gsm paper when I wanted to paint detailed backgrounds. These paintings took a beating with too much water.

Mental preparation

It is now April 2022. The painting above is my Hoya Blashernaezii ssp siariae piece for the SEA open call. The sketch (for review and approval), progress, and final piece. Its just an A4 piece so it felt like I didn’t get to express and show the details of the flowers compared to a bigger paper. This one was hard. Because of what happened last March, it felt like nothing really mattered anymore. But I had to push through with both deadlines. I didn’t get to do a warm up sketch and painting for the SEA open call. I knew from the start that I didn’t do my best here. So it didn’t really hurt when I learned that I didn’t get accepted into Round 2 of the jury deliberation.

Feeling a bit guilty with the SEA open call, I did a warm up painting for the NMNH open call. This is so I could test out the colors that I want to use for the painting. And to get the “feel” of the flower shape this time around. I had to do this painting in two rounds, a first for me. Day one was the paper prep, sketch, and base colors. After that I didn’t continue working on it after a week. Day two was all about the details and polish. I knew it took me a long time to paint this. I started around 4pm and ended at around 3am. There was also a Day three but that was just scanning and submitting the painting for jury deliberation.

Can I also just write here that I have a love-hate relationship with the NMNH painting? I knew I did my best working on this piece. It looks beautiful and it accomplished the goal. But I really hated it. During the painting process there were times that I really wanted to tear it apart. Because it felt like painting, or whatever this hobby is, didn’t really matter. I felt like it wasn’t important to others, there were a lot of distractions, and it just…. sucked. My memories of painting and submitting this piece were all negative. When we got back the painting, I wanted to burn it lol. So it is now in safekeeping in Inggo’s relatives’ place.

It feels good to finally write about this. To finally let it off my chest. I still have 18 drafts left and 3 days to go before the year ends. Let’s do this!


We did a fundraiser for Ruth’s father last February. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodkin’s Lymphoma. We started a commission drive to help with the expenses for chemotherapy. For every 500php donation, Hannah or I will make an artwork.

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I’m glad that there were people who were interested! The artworks above are for the following: my practice hoya pubicalyx piece for a fellow botanical artist. A portrait for someone who saw Hannah’s tweet. After these commissions, I did a pet portrait of Nori (black american cocker spaniel below) for my mom. Then a high school classmate, Jake, donated for worth 4 pet portraits. He even added more for these to be framed. Thank you so much!

In total, we raised around 8.5k for Ruth. ♥ I really had fun making these pet portraits. I looked at our commission excel sheet and noticed that some donors didn’t request their artwork subjects yet. Must follow these up!

Another break and winning a contest

This post has been sitting on my drafts for more than year. I had to go back to Instagram to check my posts so this title would make sense again. Anyway, this was after Inktober 2021. After successfully completing Inktober for the 2nd time in my life, I was burned out. I thought that I deserved a rest, and so I took a break. Here are some the few artworks that I did on this break.

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The painting above is a sunflower painting that I did with a scrap arches paper that I cut out from the huge sheet that I did for my katmon painting. Its still unfinished though! And I doubt that I’ll finish this. The ink artworks below are for Kathleen’s @deartoourhearts ‘ birthday giveaway where you need to create an artwork of an endemic plant or animal from the Philippines. I made a Katmon Dillenia philippinensis and a Tawilis Sardinella tawilis. Katmon because her name is “Kath” hehehe. And tawilis because for some reason I know some facts about this fish. Tawilis is a freshwater sardine only found in Taal lake! This species is now endangered due to overfishing and other illegal fishing activities

I also participated in PNPCSI’s symposium botanical art workshop. The recently discovered Begonia beijnenii was the subject. I did this using prismacolors and surprisingly won. ♥ Happy for this achievement!

CET Designer Entries

I’ve mostly finished uploading most of my 2021 works in my print on demand sites. I felt like I could finally tackle this blog. So I’ll start with my lowest draft post.

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The program we use in my work is Configura’s CET designer. Our company participates in the CET rendering contest every year, hoping for another win. I previously participated last 2019 and was a finalist. Last 2021 I participated again, but sadly did not get into the finals. The photo above was my render. I was basically going for a luxe tropical office vibe. Pretty happy with the results even if I didn’t get in. I didn’t get to participate this year due to my schedule. But maybe next year?

Also blogging feels so weird again after a long time. I don’t mind having no readers. This is just a diary or a journal of sorts to look back on memories anyway. Okay. Let’s tackle the rest of the drafts.