A fresh start

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE invitation of Sun.Star Bacolod for me to write for its Lifestyle section meant I’ll be back into doing my “first love.” This is something I’ve always hoped for in the past year. My nose for news and events did not die after my stint as a local TV reporter ended.

It’s a fresh start for me, now as a columnist, far from the striking lights of TV. Although not in full swing, I’m now back to my first love—the profession of engaging people in my own words and inviting them to check the realities and stories they sometimes neglect because they lack time to see and hear. But we can always find time to read.

And so, weekly, find yourself in my list of interests and embrace the changes that I offer you. Be part of my growing list of stimulating stories. I invite you to be part of this journey. You are part of my list—you are A-LISTED!



From across our table, my friend’s eyes are glued to the flowers with few wonders: First, how can these arrangements last for three hours now with only very few minimal touch? Second, how come it doesn’t perish slowly or even those small petals never show signs of withering? Are these flowers even for real?

No, I said with such vigor. These are flowers of a different kind. These don’t croak or die under the sun or due to lack of of water. On the contrary, it doesn’t flourish whether its soil is lush or parched. This revelation amazed them.

Actually, these are paper flowers— handcrafted with creativity and ingenuity to please the eyes. In a way, these paper blooms offer a different kind of desirability in whatever fete you throw.

As in the words of its crafter, “These are the no-maintenance kind,” pointing out that apart from dog-ears it may get, it will “bloom forever.”

Each paper petal is gradually cut flawlessly. The twirls and buds are handcrafted with a lot of devotion. The delicate details in almost all corners of the flowers are mastered with hands that only know tolerance.

The mechanism of paper flower is about folding patters and combining colors. The papers are sewed or glued in multiple identical pyramidal units together to form a spherical shape. It may be hang using a tassel attached to the bottom of the decoration or simply assemble it like real flower bouquets in a glass container.

This is called Japanese Kusudama paper models, an ancient cultural heritage that is slowly enticing Negrenses to engage in paper folding. The art is similar to “origami,” as it is actually the precursor of the modular paper genre.

To say that I know a lot about these paper flowers is far from reality. My girlfriend, who currently finishes her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, advanced her “crafty” skills by enrolling in modular paper folding classes offered by crafting stores in Las Piñas City.

Crafters—those who burn their fingers using glue guns and accidentally cut their nails as frequent as possible in the name of art— gather in coffee stations for regular “crafty afternoons.”

Apart from paper flower posies, her group also capitalizes in enrolling for paper shoes, paper enterprises, paper globes and all variety of paper art you can deliberate of. For Daryl Ann, the art of constructing something complex and necessitates a lot of perseverance, “is an escape from the grueling tension,” brought by her relentless efforts to accomplish higher schooling.

In Bacolod, her team will run summer craft camps and teach this sophisticated form of paper art. Apart from this initiative, social entrepreneurs will conduct workshops to stay-at-home mothers and even fathers.

In Metro Manila, paper flowers are becoming alternatives to parties and weddings. Back in town, it is slowly gaining a reputation.

For most, it allows them to explore their imagination; for others, like the increasing number of parents who can’t provide because of unemployment and low income, this is an opportunity to literally “grow flowers for money.”

Now, we are looking at the word “fresh” in a different sense: not watered or even dragged from earth. (Adrian P. Bobe)

For feedback, email adrian_ase@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 25, 2014.


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