Have you ever read the book or watched the film based on the book called “Flipped”? It’s one of those coming-of-age stories that I really love because it is quirky and light but very insightful. Anyway, there is this part in there that I love, the part when Juli was talking to her father and he used a painting analogy to explain about people being more than the sum of their parts. Okay, let me quote it.
‘A painting is more than the sum of its parts,’ he would tell me, and then go on to explain how a cow by itself is just a cow, and the meadow by itself is just grass and flowers, and the sun peeking through the trees is just a beam of light, but put them all together and you’ve got magic.
I don’t know where I am going with this but as I was writing my first draft for the TFIOB 3rd Meet-Up, I reached the fact that I met 12 different people that day. Twelve different people from different places, with different backgrounds, and different thoughts, and different personalities. Twelve different people leading twelve different lives but when mixed together; something really special was created. I mean these people are already awesome as individuals. Each one of them is already greater than the sum of their parts. Each one of them is already magical. So just try multiplying that ‘magic’ by twelve. Sounds pretty cool, right?
When I found out about the third-leg of the TFIOB meet-up and that it would be held some place which is merely an hour away from home, I was truly excited about the prospect of meeting some of the humans behind the blogs I’ve been reading for almost a year already. I really wanted to come but somehow, I couldn’t convince myself to actually go. I don’t know why I was so hesistant to show up. I think it was because of this worry about how I would fit in, or if I would even fit in. I had so many reasons and excuses not to be there. Yada yada! Daming arte ni ate mong girl. But somehow I ended up being at Festival Mall Alabang that day. Not to go the TFIOB Meet-Up exactly but for another reason. I had to meet a friend but even though I was with her, there was this nagging feeling that I had to be somewhere else. At around 1PM I just thought, potek ga naandine na rin naman makapagpakita na kaya. So I sent Kuya Jheff a message to ask if I could still catch them and he said yes and proceeded to tell me that the meeting place already changed but that it was still around the area.
So, at around 2 PM (yep, two hours late) I went to Yellow Cab to find them. I totally forgot to inform Kuya Jheff that I was already going there, I just suddenly showed up without warning. Haha. Tapos bigla kong naalala na hala, hindi nga pala yata nila ako kilala. So I just stood there by the table where they were all gathered and I smiled awkwardly and waved a little hoping that they would notice the small girl that I am. Tapos inassume ko nalang na makikilala nila ako. Haha. Mej tanga ako sa part na yon pero well, napansin din naman nila ako eventually.
I have always been more of an observer but I was an extra observer that day. I didn’t really talk much unless a question was thrown my way. And I honestly didn’t mind. I am awkward and not really good with small talks in nature so I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their seamless exchanging of thoughts. Most conversations which concerned me though revolved around my art. And it was really so heartwarming how these people support me so much.
It felt really strange to be sitting (which soon turned into singing) with people whom you feel like you know already but really don’t. It was so weird to actually hear the voices behind the words which just used to fly around this little corner of the world wide web. It was all so overwhelmingly bizaare. I was like, is this really happening? And I was trying to be really there because I have a great talent for spacing out too much. I spend way too much time inside my head that it’s hard to be mentally present in every situation. That takes a lot of effort from me so social situations normally leave me drained. Surprisingly, when the day ended, I was still feeling great. Wonder of wonders.
Anyway, I was thinking of how to write this experience when I realized that my watercolor set contains 12 different colors and thought why not represent the 12 different people I met that day through those colors since they all seem to be very interested and supportive of the kind of art that I make. It just seemed fitting. It’ll be like a tribute or something for them because I was seriously overwhelmed with their support. Di ko pa na-experience yun before.
So now, let me share with you my observations on that third day of June.
Disclaimer: I have a very limited palette and I’m sure these people are more than just these colors so forgive me for confining them in the colors that will be mentioned. Haha. And I tried to drop the ‘Kuya’ and ‘Ate’ because I’m not sure if it is okay with them to be called ‘Kuya’ and ‘Ate’. But oh well, I tried.
James (Nostalgic Quest)
This guy is so animated. Kung magkwento sya wagas. Kung tumawa sya wagas din. Kaso medyo bingi sya. Haha. I am not sure if you guys know the term “galgal” but that’s the word I can think of if I were to describe him. I don’t know the exact translation of it pero parang “luko” sya ganon. But he seems like a fun person to be with. If he is one of the colors from my watercolor set, he’d probably be Cadmium Yellow Hue for he is vibrant that way. Awuw.
Maklein (Maklein Adventurer)
I am sad to admit that among the group, ate Mak was the only one I didn’t know. It’s not like I know everyone else, geez I was meeting them all for the very first time that day, but I haven’t stumbled upon her blog before. Nevertheless, she had been nothing but warm to me that day so if she is one of the colors from my watercolor set, she’d be the Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue. I love adding a glaze of that color in my paintings for that extra warmth.
I’ve always had this idea at the back of my mind that he is a quiet guy who’s contented with watching other people from the sidelines. And on the first few hours I thought that I was right. But when we moved on to the next venue and after he consumed three bottles, parang bigla syang nag-iba. Sobrang kulit na ni Kuya. Haha. So if he is one of the colors from my watercolor set, he’d be the Burnt Sienna. In its natural state it is a yellow brown color and is called Raw Sienna but when heated it becomes a reddish brown color which is called Burnt Sienna. Parang after three bottles lang, biglang may transformation. Haha.
She is unassumingly pretty and really approachable as well. I like how she was able to easily talk to me like she felt no awkwardness at all. I like to think that she’d be the Ultramarine from my watercolor set. An intense color as intense as her passion with learning photography.
JC + Jonalyn (Say Cheese)
I don’t know what was up with me pero hinding-hindi ako makalapit kina ate at kuya. Haha. I was so shy. I wanted to ask about Ate Jonalyn’s pregnancy but I couldn’t. I wanted to ask about their bagets but I couldn’t. I wanted to ask about life in general but I couldn’t. Such a wasted opportunity. So I’d say they are the Viridian Green and Sap Green in my palette because those are the colors I haven’t really explored that much yet but which I know to be really lively colors.
Lhory (Anon ka ba? Di ko alam kung ililink ko blog name mo! Haha!)
She was the one I was most comfortable talking to. I’m not sure why but it’s probably the age thing. She is way too polite though. Di ako sanay na pino-po ako. Haha. I’d say she is the Burnt Umber in my palette. Umber is said to have a range of different colors and I’ve had a glimpse of her different personas that day. She can be really, really polite and then she would suddenly throw some hugot here and there. She’s fun.
Rhea (Exhibit A)
Is it just me or ate is a human hugging machine talaga? She’s pretty quiet as well but she exudes this kind of warmth that just really draws people into her. She’d be the Cadmium Red Pale Hue in my palette. Cadmiums are known for being vibrant (see James and ate Mak) and the world would be dull without these bright colors.
Jheff (Shades of Wanderer)
He was super attentive to everyone. He could relate to the conversations happening at the opposite end of the table while there was me who couldn’t even keep up with the conversations happening beside me. Haha. Anyway, he’d be the Payne’s Grey in my palette. It is normally used as a mixer which can easily create the right kind of shades. Because it is not as intense as the color black it’s not going to make the other color muddy or too dull. But it’s also a wonderful color on its own.
Jonathan (Aux1 Traveler)
What I noticed was that he was asking a lot of questions. Very inquisitive but not in a nosy kind of way. Just the curious kind. It was really amazing how he can really talk to everyone. So he’d be the Cobalt Blue as it is a color that is said to be stable and lightfast and is compatible with all other pigments.
Amielle + Wel (Love, Amielle)
These two are OTP. I enjoyed just watching them because they both have their own charms and they just really look good together. And their singing voices sound so good. Teach me your ways! I’d say that they would be the Alizarin Crimson Hue and Yellow Ochre in my palette. Both colors are very rich on their own but with the right amount of water, they can be mixed well together to create a really nice skin tone.
I feel like I barely scratched the surface. It was so weird because the few minutes before I parted ways with them was the few minutes which felt like I was starting to somehow connect with them. How I wish I am a bit bolder and a bit lesser of an introvert so that I could have engaged more with everyone. I feel like I bored everyone who came near me. Haha.
Anyway, it was a really nice experience. It was really awesome meeting all of those magical humans and I am hoping that that wouldn’t be the last time that I will get to spend time with them. Pero kailangan ko ng matinding pep talk with @ self bago ulit ako makapagpakita. Haha!
THANK YOU TFIOB FAM FOR THE EXPERIENCE!
*Ang tamad ko mag-isip ng title patawarin ako
**Featured image is a tweaked photo from Kuya Jheff
***Ang corny ata ng pagkakasulat ko but whatevs. Dami kong time kanina habang nakapila sa BIR at NBI eh.