Monday, February 29, 2016

Valenzuelano of the Month: Badz Magsumbol

February is National Arts Month. To be in tune with the happenings on this month, it is then worth fitting to feature a celebrated artist coming from the city. Our Valenzuelano for this month is Mr. Badz Magsumbol, a visual and paper cut artist.

Alberto Magsumbol, or simply known as Badz to many, hails from Barangay Bagbaguin. Pursuing a career in arts, he took up Fine Arts at the UP College of Fine Arts and has continuously honed his craft through many years of practice. He has been awarded with the Natatanging Pagkilala sa Sining Biswal in 2014 - Pagdiriwang Alay Wika, Sining, at Kulturang Pilipino by Global City Innovative College, Makati City and the Grand Winner of the 2013 Rizal Arts Festival - Sentenaryo : Tribute to Two National Artists, SM City Taytay. He also has several citations including those from the NCCA Philippine Visual Arts Festival, Philippine Arts Awards, and the Metrobank Foundation. Without further ado, let us know more about Mr. Badz Magsumbol.

Papercut display at Rizal Park
1. What are your most vivid memories of living in the city as a child? Did you have any experiences in Valenzuela which lead you to become an artist?
I consider myself to be lucky to have spent my childhood in Valenzuela.  Bagbaguin then wasn’t as busy, and as industrialized, as it is now.   During those times, my friends and I can play in the fields.  At  the back of our house is a wide meadow filled with grass, wild flowers, and rice fields where we chase grasshoppers and butterflies and fly our kites in the afternoon.  These memories form themes for the artworks I do today, whether painting or papercut.
Badz Magsumbol draws themes from his childhood memories living in Valenzuela City.
2. Artists have their share of triumphs and challenges. Please share to us some highlights in your career. How has your practice developed through time?
I have my share of triumphs and challenges. Triumphs put you in the limelight, boost your self esteem and give you more confidence in what you do. But the challenges define you. It puts your integrity to the test and ultimately makes you not just a better artist, but a better person as well.

I started my career in art in the Advertising industry. Over the years, I have worked with different companies in different industries. This gave me the chance to use art in another application, where its use is defined more by the client, more so by its intended market. Some of the projects I have worked on include ad materials for print, packaging designs, corporate identity system, even design prints for T-shirts.

But after so many years in advertising, I decided to shift to life in the Fine Arts. This move led to a series of financial challenges as the income of a full-time visual artist is not as consistent as it is in the corporate world. As I confided to my art mentors, “I have no idea how a full-time artist survives.”

But I persisted on, like there was no problem. I continued painting, sketching, and cutting paper even when they’re not commissioned, until friends took notice of my works. One friend even helped put up my very first art exhibit and even helped me sell my works in the United States. 
A scene from past Valenzuela memories. "At the back of our house is a wide meadow filled with grass, wild flowers, and rice fields where we chase grasshoppers and butterflies and fly our kites in the afternoon."
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
From the people I love, and from the thought that we have to make the most of the time that we have.

4. What are your present pursuits? Any in progress works and related activities? 
Basically art making and art sharing (art talks and workshops)

5. Are you part of any artists group? What are your endeavors in the said group?
I am part of many groups but the one I founded is the Papercutters Guild of the Philippines (PGP).

The PGP has members from different regions of the country — from Baguio, Pangasinan, Bicol, Mindoro, Cagayan de Oro, Antipolo, and of course the NCR. It is my desire to promote Philippine culture through papercut art and give exposure to the papercut artists.

6. Where can people, especially Valenzuelanos, view your works?
There is a “permanent” display of my works (paintings and papercuts) at the Cafe Arquiza at Best Western Hotel La Corona in Ermita, Manila. Also, some of my works, the National Heroes Series, can be found on postcards sold at National Bookstore.

For better viewing experience, watch out for my next show J

7. Art is… life.
Mr. Badz Magsumbol together with some kids from Gawad Kalinga
8. Any message that you would like to give to Valenzuelanos on the pursuit of arts? 
To my fellow artists of Valenzuela, let us thank God for the gift of this wonderful talent. Let us continue our never-ending pursuit for excellence and use this talent to inspire people and move them to have a better appreciation of Art in all its diverse forms and beauty.

To those who view our art, you are the inspiration.

To be in touch with Mr. Badz Magsumbol, you may contact him via Facebook here.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Towards Being Healthy Valenzuelanos: Dance-Aerobics-Zumba at the Valenzuela City People's Park

“Health is wealth” is a commonly used saying that highlight the importance of wellness and it will always hold truth. And so despite a tight schedule, it is a must that exercise be included in one's daily regimen. Thus, Valenzuelanos are very lucky to have the option of participating in the Zumba sessions at the Valenzuela City People’s Park.
Other than jogging, playing badminton, and walking in the park, join the regular zumba activity and have fun dancing your way to wellness.
Valenzuelanos at the Zumba session on a weekend.
It is indeed a pleasing sight to see many Valenzuelanos grooving to popular songs like Dessert by Dawin, 1990’s hit songs like Do You Miss Me? performed by Jocelyn Enriquez, OPMs such as Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko by VST and Company, and cool down to the tune of Jessie J’s Flashlight. Even though the floor is still majorly occupied by women, One Valenzuela saw a number of men who regularly dance along. 

Dance-Aerobics-Zumba schedule at the Valenzuela City People's Park
The Zumba sessions at the Valenzuela City People’s Park are free and open to the public. Tara, let us sweat off the excess pounds and stress at the park!