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Friday, July 16, 2004

Me and Rollan were chatting last night over the YM and while talking about the Artists' Den we reminisced about the old days when we would have those late night meetings in Perk 21 some four years ago. Me, Rollan and another friend/churchmate Jo, founded the support group last 1999 since we noticed then as now that there are only very few artists' groups who're into adopting artists from different backgrounds and getting them together into one group. The purpose of the group was to mentor artists by helping them find their identity and true calling enabling them to do powerful artworks and repeating the cycle all over again with the next generation of artists. Initial members of the Artists' Den composed of theater actors/actresses and singers a sprinkling of musicians and visual artists. We would usually hold our meetings, discussions in different coffee and art houses in and around Metro Manila. The original group broke up near the middle of 2001, Rollan planed out of the country to work in the Middle East, I concentrated on my comics and dayjob, while Jo concentrated in the theater arts. A small number of us like Ryan, Lyndon, and Az kept in touch regularly through the internet but mostly whenever they dropped by the internet shop I was managing. Eventually Az revived the group by establishing the mailing list and calling for another round of regular Friday meetings in the summer of 2003.  

Rollan only recently joined the mailing list after a very long absence and he's excited to see the large number of artists involved these days as opposed to the older group. He's now working as an Art Director in one of the ad agencies there and in wanting to meet the others in the group, even online, he suggested that we post pictures of the new members. That's when I remembered I had a group picture of the group's core members in my hard drive: 

 
Standing from left: Nelz, me, Divine, Lyndon, and Rollanseated from left: Janet and Jo

This was taken last February 2000 during VCF's Singles Valentime Party at the Makati Sports Club. Sporting a goatee hadn't yet entered my mind nor dyeing my hair blue. Anyway, in the course of our conversation he opened his idea of having his short story illustrated, published, and sold locally. In order to pick the right person to illustrate his short story he opened the idea of holding a contest exclusive to the group. He was nice enough to leave the details of the contest to me and Az and Lyndon to work on. I don't have a clear idea how to go about it as of now but I'm really excited about the whole idea of proposing a project to showcase the talents of the members of this group. He also sent some screen captures from one the old meetings in Perk 21 that we taped on camera:

 
Ojie (left) signs out while Janet (right) sings her heart out for the camera.

 
Nelz and Lyndon (left); We always took a long time saying our goodbyes after the meetings (right).

 
Fluxx with a new haircut (left) while Az laughs at his own bisyonen joke (right)

 
Ryan (left) wonders if the images would be used in a hentai site; Lyndon gives a thumbs up to the meeting.

 
Me with a thin mustache and goatee (left) and Rollan's semi-kalbo head (right).

Also among the pictures he sent were a bunch of pictures of their band Dyip. The band was an early pet project of the group and the members composed of Rollan (bass guitar), Jo (songwriter/vocals), and Agong (songwriter/accoustic guitar) did original songs that defy categorization. Well except maybe for the general term indie or underground music. These shots were taken right after the meeting and in it they were talking about what the group was about, its goals and its music. They plan to get together again for a short while to cut a limited CD album. That is if things go according to plan.

 
Presenting....

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