I recently went to Siargao Island in Mindanao, Philippines to cover the Carrera Habagat adventure race for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Here is the story:
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I got an invitation to go down to Siargao to cover an adventure race.
Being the easy going, happy-go-lucky guy that I am, I figured I'll find out soon enough. And, what can go wrong spending four days on a small tropical island with beautiful beaches. The moment I did find out what I was getting into was when I noticed that the ten people I shared a room with in Surigao City all had sleeping mats, flash lights, rain coats, canned fish and all the kind of stuff you usually don't associate with a easy weekend at the beach in a cosy hotel. I had none of those things. It was also shortly there after that somebody explained the whole thing to me which didn't make me feel any better. "You mean, those guys run, bike, swim, kajak, climb and hike for 300 kilometers through jungles, hills and from island to island over a period of 4 days - non stop, without sleeping? That's totally crazy." The image of me sitting at the beach in the sunset with a cold beer in my hand slowly dissolved in front of my eyes like a fancy cinematic trick. Once the 14 teams composed of four mates each consolidated at the start line in Surigao CIty the initial shock and disbelieve had slowly transformed into curiosity. We, the press were loaded on an old open-air ambulance and to the sound of the starting shot echoing through the streets of Surigao we chased those guys on their bikes like the madman on an old ambulance that we were. Soon we left them behind and arrived at a pier where we suppose to wait for them. I got real comfortable not expecting the bikers to arrive anytime soon. After all we just drove in a car for one and a half hours. It will take them at least ... wait, what was that. Damned, the first team had already arrived. I barely had enough time to dig out my camera when one team after another kept rushing by me.
Basically from then on it was a three day desperate attempt to catch up with those guys crossing oceans in the middle of the night (them, not us), rappelling steep cliffs, hiking towering hills and kajaking through treasurous waters. That alone would have been easy because we were on motorbikes and bankas. But combine that with my almost religious determination to find a reliable source of cold beer at each of the 25 check points (where the teams had to register at) and it becomes a major challenge. But with some minor set backs we succeeded. Well, not all of us. Out of the 14 teams at the start only 9 made it all the way to the finishing line. The glorious winner were team Davao Eagles and of course I, who finally happily sat at the beach with a cold beer in my hand. And since we are the sporty kind let's not forget to mention the first and second runner up Cebu based Kalit-Pepsi and Kalit-Plantation Bay respectively.
December 26. 2007
Halloween party at the Palawan center
Click on the picture to see the whole series.
I know it's a little late for Halloween.
But it's never late for some fun pictures
See if you can guess as what I was going to the party.
December 26. 2007
Martin Arnaldo's birthday party
Click on the picture to see the whole series.
Martin Arnaldo's birthday party at Martini Bar in Manila. Also in that series are: wirter Jessica Zafra, photographer Wawi Navarroza, advertising's David Guerrero and Manny Del' Rosario and more.
December 26. 2007
Media Magazine Agency of the Year Awards
hopeful contender Graham Kelly Click on the picture to see the whole series.
I shot that a few days earlier but was too busy painting cars and beautiful models to post it. The cocktail party just before the Media Magazine Agency of the Year Awards.
Is it a bad sign?
I need an online computer in my presence to make me feel comfortable like some kids need the light on.
The last step of the 3 week program at the Windsor House in Hong Kong.
A car paint job.
The great thing about that was that I had to paint a similar design on the body of a gorgeous model. mmmmhhh.
Right after, I had to run to China and the best job of all fell to an artist friend of mine - whiping the model clean.
Creative people run on enthusiasm.
If you suffocate their fire with cold sprays of conformity and boredom,
You won't get much heat from them.
Although people compare my style of taking pictures to dancing I categorically deny that I dance. I would rather chew my own foot off before I would dance.
Well, ok if it is the last possibly thing I would need to do to get laid I might move a little, but that's it.
If I ever become a dictator in a country I would throw all figure skaters, ball room dancers and mimes into a dark dungeon. Maybe I even torture them a little too.
An artist friend of mine asked me if I would join her on a shoot of some dance event. We both kinda expected a small experimental event somewhere in a bohemian hotspot. It turned out that it was a huge ball room dance event with guys in glitter and tight asses from all around the world.
I was so outta there within minutes.
Somehow Christmas has lost a lot of it's appeal to me compared to when I was six years old.
Two years ago one of my dearest friends bought an artwork from me.(see above)
His then 9 year old son liked it very much, went to my website and checked out all my Oeme paintings and he became my youngest fan.
Last year we painted one Oeme together and I gave him an Oeme T-shirt. That made me the most famous artist in grade six at the Kaethe Kollwitz high school in Munich, Germany.
Now Raffi (my friend's son) set up a website dedicated to Oeme.
I feel very honored.
I have to put 2 to 3 posts a day otherwise my blog isn't a blog but a website somebody told me. I will try my best, promise.
Click on the pictures to see some more. The sign reads: Keep of the grass.
Hong Kong is plastered with signs.
Every little detail is laid out, explained or mostly not allowed.
I would not be surprised to find instructions on how to whipe your behind in a public toilet. Actually I am pretty sure I saw that one before.
Every day I go through my commute in Hong Kong I encounter thousands of signs and I wanted to document those since years. And I never did.
This time I was able to get three. I know that isn't really impressive but it's a start.
And there is this one
It is in the men's toilet in a brand new mall in Hong Kong. I mean if the text was only in English I could have excused the Chinese craftsmen who put it there. But they are also in Chinese and have pictures as well. WTF
I was talking to a Canadian friend of mine yesterday.
At some point the conversation turned towards curling.
And although I had to admit that I did some curling when I was small, I have to point out that I didn't sweep.
And then we discussed the merits of uphill curling.
Think about it, no walking to get back your rock.
It would be brilliant except after a few minutes they start to slow down and when they start going the other direction you better get outta there fast. Those stones are really heavy.
This is particularly true with it's related sport for the younger generation - half-pipe curling.
As part of the overall project I had to come up with 8 sculptures based on manequins.
Once I started to work on them it kinda turned gay pretty fast.
By the 4th sculptures I was wearing leotards and by the sixth I was listening to Broadway musicals on my ipod.
It's too easy to slip into a world dominated by stress and anxiety
that makes your life meaningless and without purpose.
And the worst part is that you mostly don't even notice.
Don't give people too many days vacation in a row or they suddenly might notice.
If you want to keep them docile.
Having my camera always with me I took a series of pictures while having dinner at a small street restaurant in Causeway Bay. That evening one of the art students was with me and she had the idea to film the people closing their shop opposite the restaurant. She filmed it for her art homework and I took stills.
Click on the picture to see more.
Quote from a friend:
My wife doesn't believe much in housekeeping
and even if she did, she is in prison.
I designed a series of futuristic Christmas trees for the Windor house as well. They had them manufactured in China and I must say that I am impressed. On display at the Windsor house it turned out that they were actually designed by some of those below mentioned "idols" and not by me.
Man, those guys are good :-)
Click on the pictyure to see them all.
December 8. 2007
Windsor House Mural part 3
I added some more pictures of me and my students painting.
Click on the picture above to see them.
December 8. 2007
Windsor House Mural part 2
The mural in it's full glory. Better pictures coming soon. I couldn't take a picture of the mural because of all my fans blocking my view.
The mural is done. It took me 8 days to paint it but I guess it beats working in an office. Yesterday was a big event. The PR agency invited a bunch of so called "Idols".
Idols are basically cute, young girls who are famous for something.
With me at the mall to reveal the mural was Krusty and Elanne. Krusty is consisting of two girls. There were about 50 die-hard fans in the audience. Actually only those fans and about as many photographers. The fans looked like they are usually required to be confined special places and only allowed out once and then to see their idols.
For reasons of public saftety I was required to wear a hat covering my blue hair. Actually no real reason was given but I assume the didn't want to risk any of those fans getting out of hand. Probably blue hair is something that get's them real mad.
Try googling me under "andymaluche krusty". Actually "andymaluche elanne" should get even more hits except they spell here name in Chinese and I don't know which of all those milions of characters are the right ones.
The big fat artist with his cute little idols.
The big fat artist teaching his cute little idols how to paint gigantic murals.
The big fat artist dfying the blue hair ban and is amusing himself with some cute little santas.
December 6. 2007
Windsor House Mural
I am in Hong Kong for the month painting a giant mural for the Windsor House Mall. The mural is 2 meters by 20 meters and I would never finish it without the help of some students from the School of Creative Media. Thanks guys.
December 6. 2007
About a year ago a journalist from Germany and I did an interview with Imelda Marcos.
Through the help of some friends I was able to arrange the interview for a German magazine called ParkAvenue which at that time positioned itself somewhere near to Vanity Fair. Imelda was at that time about to launch her jewelry line and we supposed to talk about that. It was agreed by all parties involved that the interview will be basically about that and friendly in nature.
When it was about to get published there was a major overhaul at the top management team of ParkAvenue and the article got shelved.
Now a year later I received a copy of the magazine and it had the story in it.
Actually not the story we submitted. It was the most childish and aggressive tear-down of Imelda Marcos I have ever seen. And what was even worst, it had the writer's and my name on it.
I complained to the man responsible for it but as to be expected he turned out to be a total jerk.
For my friends in Germany, please don't buy ParkAvenue magazine. It has reached the level of sophistication of the lowest tabloids.