Living from the EartHeart


Thank you for visiting. This site holds space for insights about living from the Earth's Heart.We are mirrors of each other. Whatever brought you here and whatever brought my words to you is part of a sharing of presence; an affirmation that we both exist in embodying our own journeys side by side.. an affirmation that we are One.

The EartHeart Journey is a sharing of my experiences from earth, heart, and art. My reflections have evolved on so many levels since I started journal writing when I was 11. What used to be a blog for my art projects and some public musings is now becoming a portal for sharing about consciousness, creativity, sustainability… of light, life, and love. Everything here is part of a sacred journey to oneness within and everywhere. However you resonate, may it reveal to you you inspiration, intuition, or insight for your own life journey.

Note: My new blogs can be found on my Portfolio Site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ode to Lolo

Art is not palliative, nor an ambassador with a portfolio of goodwill, nor a distraction from persecution. It is incendiary and properly so. It sharpens us, makes us vulnerable, frightens us. All of which is to say that the practice of true art is the practice of knowledge unseduced by its own beauty. We should understand it as rational because whatever its origin, mask, or style, it is memory, it is perception, it is imagination, and it is knowledge. There is no combination more powerful than these four, and there is no void more dangerous to the human project than their loss.

Certain kinds of trauma visited on peoples are so deep, so stupifyingly cruel, that - unlike money, unlike vengeance, even unlike justice, rights, or the goodwill of government - art alone can translate such trauma and turn sorrow into meaning, sharpening the moral imagination. 

- American Author Toni Morrison at the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival 2006

Finally, a small post about my study in arts and peacebuilding! 

....if I could really be fully present in sharing my thoughts with little time involved as I swim in more and more work! Well...I have no one to blame with so much work because, I just added more work for myself! Ok I'm being sarcastic ... but... sigh...I'm currently working as coordinator for the Mindanao Week of Peace again after doing it last year ( but unlike all the work last year (with additional effort on pushing for the campaign Kapwa Tayo Mindanao), this year, I am weaving through creative and cultural activities.

But can art save the world? ...maybe Mindanao at least?
But where is my sleep? and how to pay my next rent?

Sometimes I wish I was just one of those biennale hoppers or exhibitors with regular patrons or performance artists who get to travel for free, get awards and get paid to do art that I feel sometimes never make sense or meaning. ... but that's me when I'm bitter as I work in internet cafes while my laptop is down for 3 weeks because funds have not yet arrived for the non-profit I work for. I can't blame them, its just part of the work of people who do so much for the earth. 

So before I go into the direction of bitterness, I wish ground myself and connect to why I'm really doing this.

I placed that quote by Toni Morrison to reconnect. One of my Professors under the Expressive Arts for Peacebuilding program, Carrie MacLeod shared this in class last summer.

I post this especially today, my grandfather/ Lolo Samuel's birthday.

Captain Samuel Piloten Queblatin and Purificacion Garcia Espeleta, circa 1940's

I am currently weaving in an art action for the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on Sunday November 20 and launching the second action by children calling for the end of armed conflict. This campaign was inspired by stories of peace workers' experience of running with their parents when attacks take place only to find themselves doing it again with their own children this time. 

The Manila action’s main call will be children calling for the end of armed conflict and to mainstream children’s issues in the Peace Agenda particularly:

  • Their care and protection in the Internally Displaced People’s Protection Bill (currently pending in Congress and Senate for review)
  • An official commitment by the rebel groups in their non-hiring of children as soldiers in their troops (The Philippines is still in the US watch list of countries with child soldiers)
  • To fast-track the peace process to find accord for lasting and sustainable peace in the present generation (currently the 4th generation experiencing the conflict since it began in the 1970’s.)
During the ceremony, we will ask children from migrant families in Taguig under Anak Mindanao and children from the Dar Amanah Children’s Village Foundation in Cavite who were orphaned from the war in Mindanao. We will ask them to burry toy guns and plant seedlings at the ceremony site.

In the afternoon, I will share a short workshop from my training in Sri Lanka last August using the Learning to Live Together Manual, a UNESCO and UNICEF endorsed set of modules on interfaith and intercultural education for children. Afterwards, together with artist and friend Michelle Ting, I will share a mural activity called Isang Habing Mandala para sa Kapayapaan/ One Weave Mandala for Peace. This will be a collaborative mural using the Islamic, Christian, and Lumad mandala patterns of the faiths and cultures of Mindanao using stencil designs and paint. We intend to have these painted on the LRT Central Station Pillars in front of the Arroceros park where the ceremony will be held. 

Of course, this work with integrating creativity in peacebuilding is also personal.

Apart from my own experience of healing  through the arts for my own childhood abuse traumas that have repeated throughout my youth and early adult life --- its also a bridging with my ancestors.

My Lolo Sam was the Captain of a platoon during World War II and he passed away because his lungs failed from years of alcoholism and smoking. This addiction was a means of coping from PTSD that war soldiers never get healed from during their time. From stories, I learned that he was event sent to the psychiatric hospital. Who could blame him? He was hunted down by the Japanese and he travelled widely on food and on a carabao for his life - for he was a Father and a husband. He witnessed his own soldiers being beheaded in front of his eyes. 

I am posting this maybe because all these terrorism, bombings, and civil wars sprouting around the world today reminds me that this is not new. My grandparents' generation who experienced the World Wars are already leaving the Earth in this lifetime. Will their stories be remembered so peace is something we can value?

Right now, I am like a child again having my lunch with my Lola/Grandmother hearing about Lolo's adventures of escape from the Japanese soldiers. As a child, I was so fascinated by how brave he was after escaping death one too many times especially because Lola told the story with lots of pride and love.... Now as a young adult, I look back, I didn't see that it also was about how vulnerable he was... how fragile a grown man can be in the face of threat and death. This war affected him so much, just as it has transformed the lives of millions... the way we see the world... I wonder, how much we have grown and evolved as humanity considering all the arms and nuclear bombs we manufacture everyday. 

I continue to wonder.'s 5:30 am... back to work.  

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