If there's anything that the deaths of friends and relatives and the spate of calamities that hit the country have taught me, it's a certain kind of detachment to things once considered precious--those objects with sentimental value that one doesn't want to release to the archives or give away to nearest kin and dearest friends as gifts.
I've kept these works for several decades already. When I checked the back of the drawings or the front and corners, I was more daring in signing my name. These works are all from the year 1969.
I was then a seventh grader at St. Paul College Quezon City (SPCQ). That was the year when Sister Glyceria became our art teacher--she had just attended the Philippine Art Educators Association summer workshop that year or the year before. Art education became a required, but minor, subject, just like music. (Needless to say, I had a stint in Glee Club-bing, too, as a soprano.)
Between visual arts and singing, these days I just sing along to my YouTube collection of songs from the '30s (when my parents were children) all the way to 2013, the year I discovered Adele.
I've kept going with the painting and occasional drawing. I still use dry media sometimes. Oil pastels were my fave medium in the '60s and'70s.
Let me confess something I know in my gut: I was bolder in '69 than today. I guess part of the boldness stemmed from youthfulness. I was fearless about committing mistakes, and I was proud of my works. Otherwise, why would I have stored them this long? When I think about it, art, unlike like-or-death medical surgery, allows for mistakes. That thought can certainly embolden a 13-year-old girl.
Tomorrow most of these works are going to a friend, who must have been a sister in a past life. She has always been appreciative of the things I do with my hands.
Meanwhile, some batchmates from that SPCQ Class of '73 met up with the school's alumni association prez, Verge Gepuela, for lunch to turn over two separate checks, one for the Bohol quake survivors, the second for Yolanda's orphans, all from the collections made from our silver and ruby jubilees. The amount ain't much considering the magnitude of these twin tragedies, but what's important is the donations came from the the hearts, not just the pockets, of surviving members of Class '73.
Happy and grateful, at last, to be a Paulinian.