1989-Imelda

I am posting these pictures because of the beautiful story behind the discovery of these drawings. In 2007, I have finally embarked after years of planning and collecting magazines and books about Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, to write a musical about "Imelda", which remains unfinished, and at present I decided to shelve on its 3rd draft.

Just before I started on the task of writing the book for the musical. I had requested my sister-in-law (Delia) back in Manila to send to London my magazines and book collection on the Marcoses and the Philippines.











As my sister-in-law was going through my old books and magazines to have them ready for shipping, she has discovered these drawings among the magazines on Imelda. She then told me about this and to my surprise did not really remember of the existence of these drawing and that I had drawn this back in 1989. I thought the mice or termites that terrorizes our home every now and then back home would have eaten them just like what happened to some of our stuff. I also thought that this would have been thrown away too when the family does general cleaning every now and then. If this were the case, then there won't be any memory that will remind me of my beginning. It would have been a case of charging it to forgotten memories. However, this particular memory does now want to be forgotten hence its discovery.

In the process of a journey through life and even when I started painting in 2002 in London I completely forgot about these drawings, I didn't really knew of the existence of these drawings of mine. I didn't really realize anyway and that I never knew that I would end up pursuing painting two years after I move to the United Kingdom. My introduction to painting was incidental really after I had been released from confinement in a Hospital that year, and then I found myself pursuing painting afterwards. Before this, I was expressing myself a lot through dancing and performing arts with the Lahing Kayumanggi Philippine Cultural Dance Group headed by its Artistic Director Ronnie Del Barrio and are based in London. I still do dance of course if only to promote the culture to which I spent most of my formative years.

Delia sent the parcel out to me with a date of October 19, 2007 via DHL along with a dried mango that I loved of course. Thank you Delia and Kuya Ricky.

The funny thing about this is that, little I have known that in 2002 I will start painting after I was released from the Chelsea and Westminster hospital for an illness. Painting was not one of those that tickle my mind. What inspires me and what I had been involved mostly are performing arts like singing, dancing, acting, choreography, writing lyrics and poems, stage play and directing. Nevertheless, I really thought that 2002 was the beginning as it was a beginning in terms of the medium oil on canvas. Additionally, I was moving on to create new works and completely does not recall about the beginning of my discovery in the world of Art through which I found myself expressing more and more of my thoughts.

The drawings show a raw and inspired moment in time when I wanted to express my feelings about that particular time and history of the Philippines. Moreover, I have wholly failed to remember about this involvement too. I totally overlooked that this expression through these drawings is to honor a woman who is a victim of circumstance just like the neo-colony that is the Philippines. Of course the same woman is also accountable for the many sins that befalls the age and eon of that era. Regardless of who hates or loves this woman with a thousand shoes and with a thousand sins, regardless of who were hurt or who benefited from the fall from grace of this period. I find it important to note that the inspiration is because she was a massive "Patron of Art" and I have always loved Art. As a person who loves all form of Art, I suppose I pursued it because there was a lady practically feeding that consciousness into the Philippines society. I can look back now and say this is for you madam.

I completely forgot that I have drawn these pictures in 1989. Almost twenty years later, the discovery and this made me realize and remember that I have enjoyed drawing back then. It just did not cross my mind that I will be expressing myself more in drawings or rather recently in colors.

This discovery is my eureka in 2007 that after all, however I repress myself from painting, drawing or colorings, this is meant to be and I am now little by little finding the evidence coming back to me, the very evidence that tells me who I really am.

Of course, along with this discovery are memories coming back, of I, drawing nature and friends on any piece of paper I can hold on to. Exactly the same habit I do when I want to write lyrics or poems or express my thoughts and I can't wait to go back home to Manila soon to look for my old stuff to share to all of you my beginning or should I say my calling. Furthermore, this brings back memories of when I won a place in an Art competition in High School. Memories that becomes important in the present time because of what I have become.

The medium I used on these set of drawings is a pencil on computer print out paper.

The word "Imelda" on the drawing dates back when I draw it in 1989 on a piece of computer paper print out, which of course are the very paper I used along with my brothers and sisters while I was studying as my family can not afford pretty much anything really at that time. That's how poor we were.

I decided to affix my signature to these drawings in 2009 to finalize it and pronounced it finished. Although several of these drawings are clearly unfinished, that will remain that way as this was the past and we all have moved on. I have moved on as well and widened my horizon and learned new things and discovered knowledge that were there after all but was not available in the environment when I was growing up.

Written in London on the 18th of February 2009.
Francis Tanseco