2015 Series/Volume





Uploaded April 26, 2015



Manny Garibay's
5th Artletics
a diskurso.com coverage


A diskurso.com crew, consisting of our editor and painter Simkin de Pio, covered the fifth Artletics meet held this year at De La Salle Lipa

". . . it's likely you also know that Garibay has been holding that other brainchild of his, the Artletics, for five seasons now."



Manny Garibay at our interview with him before our departure from the 5th Artletics venue


by Jojo Soria de Veyra


PAINTER Manny Garibay has already put up a gallery of his own, led some cause-oriented initiatives, and earlier this year launched an ambitious environmentalist art festival on the University of the Philippines at Diliman campus (never mind that there seemed to have been a confusion between environmentalist art and not-necessarily-environmentalist environmental art at the said fest which he called the Bakawan Festival). So, what else has Garibay been at?
     Well, it's likely you also know that Garibay has been holding that other brainchild of his, the Artletics, for five seasons now. While someone else would have thought of gathering artists in an artists' cafe or bar, Garibay has gone in the opposite direction, gathering fellow artists, mostly younger than him, in a sports meet where there's this recurring talk about health and wellness (never mind that the food would not always be low in sodium).

     This year, diskurso was invited to cover the 5th Artletics meet. We were told it's a sports meeting for artists to participate in, which this season would be held at De La Salle Lipa for the third year in a row (the first two---in 2010 and 2012---were held at the Philippine School for the Arts campus in Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna).
     So, diskurso.com's Simkin de Pio brought along with him his two teenage kids and a kid nephew. We boarded the DLSL bus at the south gate of De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, along with the rest of the artist- and cultural worker-attendees who didn't have or didn't want to bring their cars.
     Now, for those who haven't been to any of the Artletics event, be warned, though, in case you plan to go to the next, that it's not all athletics at the Artletics, for it also has its traditional artists'-welfare talk as well as sharing forum during its first day's night hours and a guest artist's talk in the morning of its second day. This year, stage comedian Mae Paner from the Artists' Welfare Project, Inc. (a thrust currently managed by prima ballerina Lisa Macuja) gave her speech to enjoin artists present to register with the refurbished program. Meanwhile, the guest artist for the morning talk was another artist we've covered in our last issue, Alwin Reamillo, who discussed two art projects of his (and other projects during the Q&A portion of the talk).

     As for the sharing forum, diskurso.com would rather it was another sports event; a debating contest, perhaps, on the issues and positions raised by the artists. But, anyway, it still turned out to be fun as fun could be, so. . . .
     The following video shows images from the first hours of the meet, starting with the bus and van waiting at De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila, for participants to trickle into and be transported to the De La Salle Lipa venue in Batangas, followed by brief camera shots of the journey, a longish treatment of our arrival at the DLSL campus, the opening ceremonies, the team formation and first parlor games, the first basketball game, and a puzzlement discussion among bunk neighbors. :) Help yourself to it:


AND here's the talk of Artists' Welfare Project, Inc.'s Mae Paner:

"...Intellectual Property Office gagawin yung, uhm, talk on intellectual property rights. That's on May 4, that's a Monday, 5-9 p.m."


AND here's the sharing forum:

"...paalala ko rin lang...kasi nung mag-decide akong mag-full-time magpinta, buntis yung asawa ko e."


MEANWHILE, here's Alwin Reamillo's artist's talk in the morning of the Artletics' second and last day:

"...sa Australia, I wanted to build this piano in collaboration with Filipino piano makers o craftsmen.... Hindi successful ang application on the ground that ang magbebenefit daw nun is Philippines, although I'm an Australian citizen collaborating with Filipino craftsmen.... So pumunta ako ng NCCA, nag-apply ako for a grant for this project in Manila; hindi rin successful, on the ground na, being an Australian citizen, although working with Filipinos, ang magbebenefit daw Australia."


AND, before our bus departure for Manila at the front of the DLSL gym , we had to seek Garibay's clarification on a thing or two we couldn't help but notice, mainly to do with mentioned regrets about the first, and a vision for the next, Bakawan Arts Festival.
     We contacted the party Garibay alluded to in the interview to get his side on the matter, but he refused to offer a public retort prior to talking it out privately with Garibay himself.

"...when you work with people, or you ask them to work with you...you don't force your ideas, your position, your agenda on them, kasi yun yung ethics ng coming together and working together."


HERE'S our final question. What motivates a Garibay to want to do all these initiatives and events? As for the participants in this year's Artletics, it's likely they don't care to know. They came here to play, which is probably the same motivation Garibay has had for his Artletics.
     It's also possible some came here to win. And this year, it was Pink Team, my team (though I didn't play), that won overall, awarded the trophy minutes before our departure. (There were other fun prizes, "loudest snore," for instance; for which there were modest but classy imported-brand prizes).

     When I shook his hand and thanked his assisting family, I thought Garibay must have been the happiest man on the DLSL grounds that very moment of farewells and thank-yous and looking-forwards-to-the-next-Artletics. Perhaps it's just in the nature of Garibay to be father or brother to young/old artists willing to join him, as he---as it is said---tries to share the fruits of his commercial success. [ d ]




© 2015 diskurso art magazine online. Photos © 2015 Simkin de Pio. All rights reserved.
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diskurso is an independent, Philippines-based online magazine on art aiming to veer away from a present mental landscape replete with the customary peacock and weasel words that continue to service the art industry.