Exhibit Number One
Exhibit Number One
Words escape an hour before the official opening of my exhibit to make room for anxiety. It feels like it’s my birthday and I’m scared no one’s going to show up at my party. The endless what-ifs and the countless heaves that support them extend its metaphoric hands to crush me. I’m choking. I dread to face my closet. What do I fucking wear?
I wear a mask. I hide this sleepless, insecure face. A shield to reject arrows of negativity. And hello, for fashion.
I step out of the car with the perfect shoes and the perfect date. The letters that spell my name welcome me with Christmas-y enthusiasm. I inhale the lights that they emit. This is when every cell in my body is in congratulatory mood. It’s like patting myself on the back. Things don’t usually come exactly as you imagined them. Sometimes it’s just so much bigger. I am finally launching my first star in the sky.
I left Trilogy for just an hour and it already looks and feels right. It’s like looking at a new constellation that Lotho realigned. This is it! The culmination of many years of being “the next big thing.”
Melvin Mojica noticed the photo pinned on my shirt. It’s a picture when I was about 4-years old. It’s there to remind me how far I went to get to where I am now.
I look at each piece and crack my last uneasy bone. I was afraid people won’t be appreciative of my unconventional way of presenting photographs that is close to the works of a third-grade student - Frameless, masking tape, illustration boards, shoe boxes, etc. What Wifey told me the night before lingers in my head. He was telling me about Andy Warhol. The fear subsided.
It’s 8PM. The muscle in my chest is getting bigger and bigger that my sternum is aching. At one point I saw Robbie Carmona being interviewed by Stylebible and saying nice things about me. The butterflies in my stomach wanted to free themselves. The universe just gave me the signal to look up and see where it had placed my star. I hug Wifey. The butterflies exit my eyes as liquid love, gratitude and longing for Ivan. The mask is serving its purpose. The hug was long and tight enough to make my heart stay in place.
Live interviews aren’t for me. My grammar teachers would burn me at the stake. There’s something about being shy/timid that blocks the right words that are supposed to slide through my tongue - the reason why I’m also socially awkward. Oh well, I’m neither a writer nor a speaker. I do visuals!
More and more guests arrive - the people I look up to, designers, photographers, editors-in-chief, stylists, bloggers, writers and friends. I’m overwhelmed by the attendance! I look at them from a distance outside Trilogy and more liquefied emotions leave my eyes. I just cannot contain the love everyone has been making me feel. The heavens drop a cherry on top of this whole experience for me to savor and it’s covered in golden fairy dust.
Rajo Laurel said the pieces are very emotional. Michelle Pestaño said the exhibit is honest and the truth is always awesome. Like what I said in interviews, the exhibit is a celebration of friendship, creativity and love. To have the core of my works be felt by the observers warms my heart. I’m accomplished.
My guests are being poisoned by Future. Poison is abg’s secret drink. Thank you, Future for making it happen! You should’ve seen my face when I found out you’re giving me that drink! Love, love, love!
The food being served is a major hit! Dale Adriano with his team, Kristian Ocampo and Remjie Doronila did a fantastic job! Thank you! I love you! Food list: shrimp with cream cheese, paprika, garlic and spring onions on tart shell, duxelle mushrooms with cheese on tart shell, salmon crostini with sour cream, chives and mustard, pepperoni with bruschetta and parmesan and truffles!
Exhibit Number One soundtrack is by the Melvin Mojica (or Mickey Mojica?). Thank you for playing our favorites! The music goes well with the celebratory atmosphere and reminiscences. Thank you, love!
To Lotho, who made my works like a newly born constellation, thank you! Your creative spirit always inspires me! Wala ka talagang katulad! Hearts to you!
Wifey. The one who I flew with when the wings on my ankles grew. The one who kept my heart from messing up the floor. The one who pushed me to do what I do whenever I feel rotten. I love you. Thank you.
To Trilogy, Vicky and Rosario! Thank you for believing in me! From the start pa lang when we met, I already felt the love! Thank you for hosting! My angels of gratitude are singing for you with trumpets and confetti! Here’s to more! *cheers
Shahani… How do I start with thee… I’d plant a flag of love and thank you on the surface of the moon if I could so you’d remember the gravity of sincerity every time you look up. You were beside me the whole time during this fun and sometimes grueling process. The support and love you gave, the way you’ve always believed in me, the extra spine you shared with me to keep my head up… shet, that’s just the purest form of friendship anyone could ever experience. Salamat! Mahal na mahal kita! You sent the best morning after text: "Good morning, big thing"
Love, love, love…