Thursday, June 10, 2010
Out of all the great new experiences I had during this field school in the Philippines, I would have to say that just being able to immerse myself into the filipino culture and appreciate the new things from an outsider's perspective was the best part for me personally. My time in El Nido was particularly memorable, more specifically during the arts festival that took place during our last week in the Philippines. Art was and still is a very big passion for me, so when I found out that there was going to be an arts festival in El Nido through one of the students, I was beyond ecstatic to go support the local artists, attend the workshops, listen to the live music, and meet more people. The arts festival took place in one of the local bars called Balay Tubay, one of the places that many of us students went to after lecture for drinks, a place rich with history and raw talent, along with being unique in that it had a gallery attached to it. This bar had live music every night, the band playing songs from the Beatles to the Eagles along with filipino songs, and although we couldn't understand the words, the soul and passion that was in every song spoke for itself.
I had the opportunity to go to the gallery opening night at Balay Tubay along with some of the other students. The night started off with a presentation that one of our very talented students gave, Ian Ostericher, on photography. He had put together a slide show of his portfolio, explaining the meaning behind each photo and just about the art of photography. Afterwards we had our very own Professor Victor Paz give a lecture on what we had been doing on our archaeological field school and what we had found so far. As I walked around the gallery and marveled at each beautifully crafted piece, one of our students who was asked to help out at the arts festival, being a remarkable artist himself, was kind enough to introduce me to the local artists. Meeting them was just so incredible, matching the art pieces to the artist, asking them any and all of the questions that I had, and again just sharing one of my life passions with people who felt the same way...it was all exhilarating. I think that the whole experience was so significant to me because I didn't come to the field school with any expectations of meeting artists or being able to experience the Philippines art scene. Art is universal, no matter where you go. Even the styles of art that I saw in the gallery that night were pretty similar to the urban art scene that I'm most familiar with back in Seattle, Washington. It was refreshing to see that no matter where you are in the world, art translates in the same way everywhere.