Malate Literary Folio’s Convention for the Arts

Sponsored by the Student Media Office, not The Lasallian as I originally thought 

JP Cuison and some of his works (photo taken from here)

Yesterday, I went with my friends Jan and Nikko to the Malate Convention for the Arts at De La Salle University – Taft, a seminar for their frequent Malate Literary Folio. I heard it from Jan and I wanted to go because of JP Cuison, an adman and postermaker I really admire. He’s behind the posters for Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank and the Meiday gigs. His aesthetics are incredibly beautiful and was impressed because he was very friendly and humble. The images above are some of his brilliant works.

Genaro Gojo Cruz, children’s story writer extraordinaire

The second speaker was Genaro Gojo Cruz, a renowned children’s story writer. I had no idea what he was doing there but he was such a dynamic speaker that he managed to convince me to try children’s story writing. I think what got my attention was when he said that the money in writing is in children’s stories, with one piece fetching roughly P35,000 plus royalties. He came prepared, too. Whenever he would cite an example for what makes a good children’s book, he would whip one out. I swear he brought at least a hundred (I’m exaggerating, of course). He won two Palancas already, so he’s good in my book.

The last speaker was Marc Gaba, who was supposed to talk about poetry. He ended up reciting one of his poems and going on a rhetoric with no direction – jumping from water being expensive to rewriting the Genesis. He caught everyone by surprise, though I suspected it was a performance (he subtly alluded to it). It was very strange, but I thought it was fascinating, particularly his melodic and mellifluous voice. He was such a mystery – when no one asked any question (everyone was too surprised), he simply stood up and walked away.

Random shots from the streets of Malate

The seminar lasted until 3PM, and we ended up walking around Malate and taking photos. It was a nice day out but we simply wandered around the streets because we didn’t know where to go. We went to Solidaridad, F. Sionil Jose’s bookshop, then to Robinson’s Ermita. I was really eager to see F. Sionil Jose (who I had met several years ago at Inkblots, UST’s annual journalism seminar), but he was in Makati at the time for a book signing.

The wall by the counter is filled with quirky designs and pieces

Some of the tables were customized 

The decor features doodled paper cups from customers 

The bric-a-brac are adorable
My favorite: pictures of kitties! 

The windows were huge panels, providing ample sunglight during the day and a romantic view at night

For dinner, we went to Noriter, this Korean coffee shop across DLSU. It has that homey and cozy vibe that more commercial coffee places like Starbucks and Coffee Bean are aiming for. The place is filled with the cutest objet d’art: a collection of toys, robots, statues, and doodled paper cups. Patrons can opt to get a table or a mezzanine where you can sit on the floor. It wasn’t that crowded when we came in, but maybe because it was a Saturday and there weren’t that many students around. We just had sandwiches but I’m definitely coming back for the drinks, which many say are really good.


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