Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: September 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy and the Filipino Bayanihan Spirit

It has been a difficult past few days in Metro Manila and the surrounding areas.  Last September 26, Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) brought record rainfall of almost 18 inches in 24 hours (the previous record was 13.2 inches in June 1967).  This caused severe flooding in so many areas, resulting in  lives lost and thousands of people homeless.  Everyone here has a story to tell about someone they know who has been affected.

Rich and poor were not spared.  One of my friends has a brand new house in a gated subdivision.  But there is a river nearby.  The flood in that area reached up to the ceiling of the first floor.  And all their brand new furniture, curtains, and everything else on the ground floor was left with a thick coat of mud.   The flood rose so quickly, and for many there wasn't even time to bring their things upstairs or transfer cars to higher ground. Others we know lost all their belongings as the flood just washed them all away.  So many people who lived along the river banks lost not only their belongings but their homes as well.  And all along the roads, expensive cars and SUVs were submerged in the flood, sometimes ending up one on top of the other when the floods subsided.  And yet, those who lost their material possessions have still been able to be thankful that they and their families have survived the typhoon.  So many others lost their lives.

Difficult times can bring out the best in people and the Filipinos' Bayanihan spirit has been evident during this time.  The origin of the term "Bayanihan" can be traced to the tradition which used to be very common in the rural areas.  When a family was going to move to a new place, their neighbors would volunteer to help them.  They would use a strong bamboo frame to lift the house stilts from the ground and men positioned at the poles would carry the whole house to the new location (the house was made of bamboo and nipa).  The word "bayani" is Filipino for "hero".

And so, just as everyone has a story to tell about someone who has been affected, it is heartwarming to see how so many have also done something to help.  The Bayanihan spirit, where everyone lends a helping hand to those in need, is still very much alive in the Filipino.  We have seen how so many have helped clean up muddy homes, clear the streets of mud and debris, pack relief goods, and donate money, food, blankets, clothes and other goods.  So many companies and individuals have done and are continuing to do their part to help out. There are drop off points for donations all over and people have been volunteering to pack and distribute goods. There are medical missions for those affected by the typhoon. Even students have volunteered to help in relief efforts.  There are even ways for people to donate to Manila from abroad.

All over the world, not just in times like these, there are so many people in need.  Let each one of us do whatever we can, wherever we are with whatever we have. Let each one of us, Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike have the "Bayanihan" spirit and be a "Bayani" to those in need.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blog Candy

FOR WOYWW, PLEASE GO TO THIS POST (I made a mistake in posting the link)

Once in a while, while taking break from making artist trading cards, I like to go blog hopping and looking for blog candy. My, there are some wonderful craft supplies, papers and all sorts of goodies being offered by bloggers around the world! It's nice to imagine those wonderful goodies in my mailbox!

Stamps, Paper, Scissors and Donkey Smiles - til Sept 26 
jodi's scraphaven - til September 29
Scrapping Mommy - til September 30
Artsy Fartsy Scraproom - til October 2
Boots Blog Spot - til October 3
Blodwyn3's Night's Drem Blog - til October 5
Inky Impressions Challenges - til October 7 
Cards n Greetings - til Oct. 9
Kristine - Lost in Creativity - til October 10
Bizzy Becs Blog - til October 11
Skaperglede i Anne's Hobbyhile - til October 13
Crafter's Kitchen - til October 29

Friday, September 11, 2009

Blog Candy from CraftyCat957 Designs

Surfing around crafters' sites, I came across some blog candy. Get a chance to win some wonderful craft supplies!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Artist Trading Cards: Turkish Women

A predominantly Muslim country, it is common for the Turkish women to wear headscarves in all sorts of different colors and fabrics. 

Researching in Wikipedia, it says "The term hijab, as commonly used in the English-speaking world, refers to the types of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women, but can also refer to modest Muslim styles of dress in general.

Travelling to a country far different from my own, seeing traditional styles of dress of different peoples makes for great inspiration for art.  The Turkish women, with their various scarves, make great subjects for artist trading cards.

On my trip to Turkey, I brought with me some pre-cut cards (2.5 inches x 3.5 inches), already coated with a layer of gesso, a pencil, an eraser, a pen and some colored pencils.

The waiting times in the airport, and the long bus and airplane rides are usually so tiring but with these materials in hand, these times became wonderful opportunities to make those small art pieces.   Never did the waiting times seems so short! What? Time to board the plane already?!

Here are some of the ATCs I made both while I was in Turkey and after I got back home.

Turkish women are beautiful, aren't they?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a fascinating place to visit. Wikipedia describes it as "a region of exceptional natural wonders and a unique historical and cultural heritage." When we planned our trip to Turkey, this was one of the places I was most interested in seeing. And I must say, I was not disappointed.

The first place we were scheduled to visit was the Goreme Open Air Museum. On the way, we caught sight of the unique rock formations. Amazing! So many, many formations which seem they belong out of this world. Looking closely, here and there, we saw windows and doors. People still live within these rocks! Our tour guide told us these rock formations are the result of ancient volcanic eruptions. There are areas where the soft rock eroded with time, forming tall thin pillars called fairy chimneys.

The Goreme Open Air Museum is just a small part of the large area of rock formations where you will find many of the soft rock carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Goreme became a monastic center between 300 to 1200 AD.

The Chapel of St. Basil.
The first chapel we entered was the Chapel of St. Basil. It is a very small chapel with simple frescoes on the wall. It was amazing to think of the early Christians who worshipped there in early times. Because there were so many of us in the small chapel, taking pictures and marvelling at the experience, it was a challenge to be there as a Christian and not just a tourist.
The Apple Church
The next church we entered was just amazing! Hmmm, seems like I can't stop saying the word amazing! Well, it was fantastic! The frescoes there are so beautiful! The designs and the colors are wonderful! In Goreme, the many chapels and churches have depictions of the Old and the New Testament stories because these were used to teach people about the Christian religion.

Sadly, many of the frescoes were damaged during the iconoclastic period, when there was the the deliberate destruction of the religious icons because some people believed it was a sin to paint these icons.

The Dark Church
The most well preserved church in Goreme is the Dark Church. Here, there are still some frescoes that are intact. Apparently, since the churches are hidden inside the rocks, the iconoclasts did not find the church right away. As I looked at the fresco of Jesus above the altar, I marveled that the same recognizable face we see in churches today was depicted in the painting of so long ago. In the frescoes, all Christians are painted with haloes and Jesus is identified by the cross in his halo.

The Tokali Church
Here, there is a small underground chapel and a large fully decorated Church over it. There are so many bible stories depicted in this church. The Last Supper, the Annunciation, the Nativity, Lazarus and many other bible stories. There is also a Madonna and Child that has been often copied by other artists.

Visiting Cappadocia reminds me of Jesus' promise to Peter, "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The Christians of Cappadocia had to hide in their rock homes and churches to escape persecution. They even lived in underground cities. But Christianity managed to survive such hardship and although Christians are a minority in Turkey today, Christianity continues to remain strong and vibrant in many places, even in far off countries like the Philippines.
Related Posts with Thumbnails