The Man Behind The Painter

My husband lives behind a mask of mystery. Out of my gazillion friends, only a handful have ever met him and from that handful, very few have ever sat down and actually talked to him. I affectionately call him Snuffle-a-pagus. If you’re a child of Sesame Street, you’ll know what I mean.

Orley is a complicated man. On the surface he seems very solid, very level-headed. He doesn’t fit the mold of the stereotypical artist. In short he doesn’t have “the look.” No dreadlocks or weird expressive hair (well, kasi no hair na); no surly, brooding, unsmiling, silent and weird personality – only this quiet, and actually quite jovial Cebuano, who’s lived more half of his life in Metro Manila and never lost his “punto.” And he never will. Underneath his “normal” facade is the swirl that powers his art. It’s like a permanent whirpool at sea, always churning, always moving, and its this constant movement under the surface that gives him the illusion of calm and cool.

One thing I had to understand about being married to Orley is this: I will always be the other woman. Art is and will always be his first love. To him it is not a hobby, or something he happened to be interested in and decided to get into – Art is his life, his heart, his soul and his air. In our relationship, Art is a living, breathing entity, and I’ve learned to live with her. Sometimes I’m jealous, because she’s all my husband ever thinks about and is the first thing that comes to mind even in the most important of life events.

For example, when I went into labor, Orley had it in his head to make me sit for an excruciating ten minutes, butt-naked, so he could get nude reference pictures of me and my swollen belly, before he would even take me to the hospital.

We never go on a family vacation to a place where it is not “scenic and paintable.” Never.

When Basti was born, his expression of his joy was to paint. No spouting of flowery words or tears running down flustered cheeks for my husband – a blank canvas and tubes of oil paint will get his blood going more than anything in the world.

I joke about it, but it’s this same drive, this passion for Art that made me fall in love with him. His discipline is amazing. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, being married to an artist is far from romantic. There is no languidly lying around in drapery inspiring him, being a muse, bathed in perfect natural light while soft music plays in the background. It’s hard, hard work; physically draining, mentally challenging but life-fulfilling in so many ways.

We make a good team. We have a good YinYang thing going on. My extrovert complements his introvert, my animation makes up for his perpetual happy-sad-angry-fascinated scowl. He’s not very good with small talk, while for me, it’s an artform in itself. I’ve done his public speaking engagements and I talk to most of his clients and answer most his email.

My husband may not be articulate in words, but he talks to people in other ways. This is the way he communicates struggle:

Ahon by Orley Ypon. 36 x 24 inches, 2008. GSIS Museum.

This is the way he communicates peace:

Sunset by Orley Ypon. 16 x 24 inches, 2011. Private collection.

And this is one of the ways he interprets joy:

Joyride by Orley Ypon. 36 x 24 inches, 2011. Private Collection.

People look at his lack of academic art training and say “It’s a miracle! It’s truly a gift!” Yes, it is, but I believe he was given this gift because the Father knew he was not going to waste it. My husband took this talent and hones, works and bleeds for it, and he will never ever take it for granted. Orley is always studying, studying, studying. Even now, when he himself is a teacher, he will never stop being a student of Art.

For a painter’s family, life is not always the easy road. There is hardly any stability for me and Basti, and I’m talking about a lot of aspects – where we live, the money we earn, the emotions we have to deal with and so on. One thing is strong and stable though: my unwavering support for my husband. I believe in his art and I believe in him. It’s really absolutely disgusting how proud I am of Orley.

Yes, Art. As jealous as I am of you, I know you and I have our own space in my husband’s mind and heart. And I know you like me, too. How do I know?


Magmamais by Orley Ypon. 30 x 30 inches, 2010. Private collection.

That’s how.

New Baby Carriers: The Ruxpin MeiTai, Baby K’Tan and Tickled Moms Pouch

More on baby carriers! I’ve got three reviews of different carriers. The full-reviews will be over at Crash Test Mommies, but I wanted to give you guys a look at these three, wala lang.

The Ruxpin Mei-Tai

I’ve actually had this baby carrier for a while. I’ve used it extensively since I got it months ago. I like the print and I love this for back-carrying. Ruxpin is distributed by Eden, and was conceptualized by Bianca and Buding. Buding is the same gorgeous momma behind our well-loved SaYa carrier. I’ll post a video and/or a picture guide on how I put on the Ruxpin for back-carrying soon.

The Tickled Moms Pouch

This is a pouch by the relatively new player in the local babywearing scene, Tickled Moms. Run by two infectiously vivacious moms, Clarice and Abie, it’s a mompreneurship focused on baby carriers run with lots of love and passion. They also sell ringslings and meitais, but it’s this pouch I wanted to try. Made of meshy, stretchy, lightweight fabric, it could be a good choice for a lot of moms who are looking for something easy to use and quick to wear. Clarice gave me one to roadtest during the FAB Babywearing meet.

Here’s Clarice wearing the pink one:

I got the purple one:

The Baby K’Tan

The K’Tan is also a hybrid, and is the US-version of our beloved SaYa carrier. It’s made of two loops of fabric, joined by a smaller loop, and comes with a band for extra support. Tiffany of Baby Dragon, the local distributor of Baby K’tan here in the Philippines, also gave me this black Baby K’Tan Breeze during the babywearing meet to crashtest. It’s a fantastic carrier made of cotton and mesh, also a good choice for those looking for more double-shoulder support baby carriers.

I’m so excited to post my full-blown review on these baby carriers.

I have another question: The most-viewed pages on my blog are the SaYa carriers. Do you guys want more how-tos and tutorials? Any particular carrier or carrying style? Leave a comment below or leave a message through my Contact Form. Hope to hear from you!

Indulging My Stage Mother Tendencies with the New Johnson’s Baby Facebook App!

Ok I shall confess. Aside from hoping that Basti will grow up to become a painter like his father, I can’t help that maybe, JUST MAYBE, he’ll have a bit of my inclination towards the performance arts as well.

Johnson’s Baby Philippines on Facebook launched an app that allows you to upload your baby’s pics and star in his or her own Johnson’s Baby commercial. It’s quite cute. It’s part of Johnson’s Baby Philippines Complete Care Diaper System campaign.

The app is called “Baby’s First JB Video” and really easy to use. Clicking on the app box on Johnson’s Baby Philippines’ Facebook page will take you to this:

And all you have to do is upload a few pictures of your baby and one of you and your child, and you’re all set!

All the videos are up on the Baby’s First JB Video gallery, so you can share it with all your family and friends on Facebook and show them your baby’s first Johnson’s Baby video!

Basti and I are in the gallery, if you care to check out our video:

Consider it our rehearsal for Basti’s first real television commercial. *avoids pillow thrown by my husband*

Thank you Johnson’s Baby Philippines for supporting The Painter’s Wife.

Celebrate International Babywearing Month with a FAB-ulous Babywearing Meet!

The Filipino Association of Babywearers (FAB) is holding its LAST babywearing meet of the year, in time to celebrate International Babywearing Month.

Join us on October 20, 2012, Saturday for an afternoon of babywearing and bonding with fellow child-toting families. The meet will be held at Function Rooms 1-3 of Renaissance 3000. The celebration begins at 1:30pm. Here’s a map!

View Larger Map
Get special deals on your favorite carriers from Next9, Ruxpin, ergoBaby, SaYa, Indigo Baby, Tickled Moms, Numa (distributors of Boba), and Baby Dragon (distributors of the Baby K’Tan). It’s also your opportunity to get hands-on, one-on-one coaching for any carrier you have and not yet mastered. For babywearing veterans, you’re welcome to join in the fun! We’re gathering up goodies for giveaways, a raffle and whatever other gimmicks we can share to you guys!

Just to get an idea of how many to expect, please do sign up on the form below. If you can’t see the form, follow this link: FAB October 2012 Babywearing Meet

See you there! Happy babywearing!

Once a Beauty Junkie, Always a Beauty Junkie

Warning: Picture-heavy post.

Last week, Grace featured me as her Glossy Girl on her blog, Divasoria.Ph. It’s a weekly feature she does, featuring different types of women and the cosmetics they use. When she asked me to survey my current stash, I felt a sense of shame (shame talaga!). Okay, I don’t have a bad collection, but it’s nowhere near what my lineup was like before.

In the write-up, I mentioned how I had to strip down to basics when Ondoy wiped out my cosmetics and makeup collection, and when motherhood required me to stick to the essentials. Well right after I sent my email to Grace, my journey back to beauty junkie-dom started. I think it was writing the write-up that jumpstarted it. So… my Glossy Girl feature needs an update. Eep, sorry Grace!

One thing I’ve always loved is makeup. The beauty stores and sections of any mall or department store has always been my favorite corner. I’m no makeup snob either. I appreciate the drugstore brands and the more expensive counterparts on the same level. When I was younger, I toyed with the idea of becoming a makeup artist. I still want to take lessons, just for myself! Let me put that down on my list of things-to-do.

So here are some things from my stash before the shopping frenzy:

Top: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, Becca Loose Shimmer Powder, Face Shop Lip Palette, Prestige eyeshadow palettes, Sephora Primer, Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals and Mineral Veil, Avon Loose Powder. Middle: Nars Blush in Orgasm, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream, Shu Uemura eyeshadow palette, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Maybelline lipstick. Bottom Left: Shu Uemura eyeshadow brush, Sephora small eyeshadow brush, Revlon Colorstay eyeliner, Sephora powder brush, Shu Uemura powder brush. Bottom Right: Shu Uemura blending brush, Shu Uemura pony brush, Maybelline mascara, Sephora foundation brush. Far right: Shu Uemura makeup case.

The first thing I bought was this Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette from Multiply store, Stuff In Style.

Love the quality of the shadows, and the range is so versatile for going Nude-NUDE (read: supermarket, lunch with Basti, etc) or going all out smokey-eyes-drama (read: date with husband). Greedy me is tempted to buy the original Urban Decay Naked Palette, as well as this NYX Nude On Nude palette.

Urban Decay Naked Palette. Image courtesy of
NYX Nude On Nude Palette. Image courtesy of

They’re so similar but they make me feel like breaking my wallet open and shaking out all the change. Both are available online from trusted Multiply sellers and merchants. I will say “trusted” so you could at least be assured of its authenticity.

Next, I updated my makeup brushes with these pieces from Charm. Get them from Beauty and Minerals on Multiply.

From top to bottom: A retractable kabuki brush, a flat top brush, a stippling brush, an angled eyebrow brush and a lip brush.

I wasn’t happy with the Avon loose powder I had, so I went to look for alternatives. I bought this super cheap Nichido loose powder and the Skin Food Buckwheat loose powder.

At PhP150, Nichido is a pretty good buy. It has better consistency than the more-expensive Avon powder, for one. And at this price, it can never be a regret purchase! The Skin Food Buckwheat powder smells heavenly and feels so light on the skin. You can find Nichido in Watson’s. Skin Food has branches in Megamall, Mall of Asia and Trinoma.

I also picked this up at Skin Food. Fruits Brunch Lip Box in Cafe Cinnamon. Can you tell I love nudes?

More Korean makeup goodness at Tony Moly in this Party Lover Cake Eyebrow Duo. I love its “dead brown” shade. It doesn’t make my brows look too colored in. Tony Moly products are available in the locations listed here: Tony Moly branches.

I bought these two for coverage: The Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream, and Revlon Photoready Airbrush Mousse foundation.

Pretty good coverage from the Revlon mousse foundation. It lasted even after an afternoon birthday party held outdoors. See my review of the Missha BB Cream at Crash Test Mommies. You can find Missha at SM Hypermart Pasig, SM North Edsa Annex, and Landmark Trinoma. Revlon is ready available in department stores nationwide.

Aside from being a beauty junkie, I’m also an organization junkie. These three things help in organizing all this beauty loot.

Medium-sized Muji makeup case. It’s got space for brushes, lipstick tubes, other makeup and is big enough for my Naked 2 Palette and my cheap standup mirror.

For my countertop, this Muji organizer tray. In it I keep my brushes, pencils, lipsticks and everything else that’s long or rolls. Muji stores in the Philippines are listed here: Muji Philippines.

For when I need to bring more brushes, this makeup brush holder from Fab Manila. It matches my blog, hihi.

And with that, I think I’m all shopped out for makeup. For now. When I think I have too much makeup, I watch videos like this and I don’t feel as guilty:

I admit I’m a little envious.

What’s in your makeup case?


I Lived, Loved and Lolzed

Karrots had me on her show, Live Love Lolz last night. We talked about amag, babywearing, breastfeeding and the possibility of Tita K having a baby girl so she can breastfeed again. LOLZ.

Did I tell you guys I chose Basti’s nickname so he could be azzzteeg like Basti Artadi of Wolfgang? Well guess what.

Basti y Basti


I had so much fun doing the show with Karrots, even though I think I said a lot of stooopeed things during the show. I was so nervous because it was livestreaming, and for some reason I felt the pressure more than a live television show. Maybe because Karrots is so payat and I’m not. Hehe. Pressure to the highest levels! If you dare witness my embarrassment, head on over to the New Media Factory webpage and view episode 11 of Live Love Lolz. *hides under rock*

You may also download this and all episodes of Live Love Lolz on iTunes: L3 The Painter’s Wife on iTunes

Give Up Tomorrow

I first heard of Give Up Tomorrow from Cecile’s blog. Then Rone watched it too then alerted me of another screening, but I couldn’t make it. Finally, a friend in PR invited me and The Painter for the screening last Monday night at Power Plant, attended by supporters, journalists and some political figures. I was really excited and looking forward to finally seeing this movie that documents Paco Larrañaga’s story. He is one of the seven men who were suspected and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for abduction, rape and murder of two young women in Cebu. It was a case that was sensationally covered by the media over a decade ago.



Why should I care about this movie? Why should all of us care, for that matter? Well, in my case, it’s because of a young man that came to visit our house a few times. He was my brother’s classmate and friend. My brother spoke of him frequently and always in humor and friendly affection. This young man was Paco. My brother was one of the witnesses who were ready to testify to the fact that Paco was in Quezon City, with him and their other classmates at the time the crime was going on in Cebu. This is why I care.

This film may be a documentary on the ongoing fight of the Larrañaga family for justice to be served, but more importantly, it will open your eyes to the cracks and flaws of our justice system, and the unknown number of wrongfully convicted people in our prisons today. I think it is a film that every Filipino should watch. Atty. Sandy Coronel said it very well last night: finding scapegoats for a crime does not solve anything, but only adds victims. I empathize with a mother’s loss of two daughters, but wrongfully convicting people for the crime is not the solution. “Amnesty International, the government of Spain, Fair Trials International, and the United Nations are unequivocal in the belief that for more than a decade, Paco has been paying with his freedom for a crime he did not commit. ” (GUT Press Kit)

I was in tears for most of the movie. As a sister, a mother, a human being, it hit me right at the core. When the lights came on, I was a bundle of emotions: sorrow, anger, indignation, and hope were all swirling in me and I can’t stop thinking of Paco and “Give Up Tomorrow” up till now. Most people judged him because of his less-than-stellar reputation in Cebu. But I don’t think reputation is enough basis for suspicion, arrest and conviction. If this can happen to this person who has all the resources and support, what more the normal person (i.e. you and me) or the less fortunate who have no resources at all?

I approached Mrs. Larrañaga after the movie and Q&A and told her I was the sister of one of the witnesses. She was so warm and asked about my brother, and again I was touched by her grace, her resilience and strength inspite of everything that has happened. I’ll never forget the moment.

Metro Manila screenings:

  • October 3-9, Robinson’s Galleria and Ermita
  • October 3-9, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Manila, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall and SM Cebu
  • October 5-7, Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, Alabang Town Center
It is also opening in New York and will be shown on PBS on October 4.
Give Up Tomorrow
A film by Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco
Winner of 15 Major Film Awards
View the trailer:
See them on Facebook:
Follow them on Twitter:
Websites for the movie:,

Also, visit the Innocence Project on Facebook (, an NGO that makes justice accessible to wrongfully convicted persons.

You can sign a petition addressed to the Spanish government to free Paco here: