I was drinking beer while listening to the music performed by my friend, Loi. Balay Tubay, the gallery where my paintings are displayed, was very young then. The music, accompanied by a bottle of beer, was enough to seal the day after 8 hours of sweating at the office. As usual, I was alone in the table, feeling the blood rushing through my veins as the alcohol and the beat gets faster.
Suddenly, I heard a very disturbing noise, “These are some of the… …’unpublished’ works of Arvin.” It was Bong, my cousin, again, showing off my ‘forbidden’ artworks to an old American couple. I approached the table to stop him from further exposing my secret ‘files.’ But, before I uttered a word, he introduced me to the old couple. I can see in their faces a fulfilled life as a couple as they congratulate me saying, “So, you are the one who made these beautiful drawings.” “Yes,” I replied, “but they are ugly, because I made mistakes in mixing colors and the shapes are horrible.” They said, “So what, if you put color green on the skin and the face looks horrible? The thing that matters is your emotion while doing these pieces and I see you did it well. Congratulations!” The discussion took long that it lasted for 2 more bottles of beer and one more sketch pad browsed.
Days passed, months and even years. I cannot recall their names nor their faces anymore. But their words remained. I just found myself now taking this path, a path where I’m no longer afraid of mistakes, no longer afraid of rules. I am now making dreams and fantasies real and real things as fantasies and dreams. I am no longer afraid of criticism. And I’m no longer afraid of hanging those ugly paintings on wall.