By Kyla Estoya
Photography NATH YBAÑEZ
Grooming CHADY PANTALEON
Locale CRIMSON MACTAN RESORT AND SPA
This story is taken from our archives. Originally published in Zee Digital Vol. 1
“I’m probably the friendliest graphic designer you’ll know,” PJ Ong says as we were wrapping up after the shoot at the villa of Crimson Mactan Resort and Spa. I had asked him what it was that he felt made him stand out from other artists, and he’d replied his character.
Definitely easygoing, PJ is the man behind Indoro, his creative signature that had received widespread recognition
for being the Filipino artist featured in a Uniqlo collection. “It was a great pleasure collaborating with Uniqlo for their Feel the SEA campaign,” he said smiling. “I’m still overwhelmed with the positivity that a team of highly esteemed curators chose me to represent the Philippines.”
PJ Ong grew up exposed to art, having always been interested in the subject for as far as he can remember.
His father was a businessman, but spent his free time dabbling in painting and photography. “They are the reason
I was led to this industry,” he shares about his family. “Aside from their highly supportive nature, there was always
a thirst for creativity and adventure in the household. we love to travel and to explore new things in general. My parents have always been advocates of keeping an open mind and nurturing curiosity.” And those factors have all contributed to who he is a person and as an artist.
Like many artists, it takes time, effort and probably a pinch of drama to finally find your place in the scene. During the journey, he came to the conclusion that he had always been drawn to the so-called underground art industry. Laughing, he randomly mentions that he dropped out from college, where he was studying Information Technology. “It wasn’t for me, so I took a ten-month certification in the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto,” PJ shares, continuing that he had went on to finish the course at the top of the class. Not bad for a college dropout. “I will always be proud of that.”
The rest is history, and Inodoro was born.
It’s not unusual for someone to ask why PJ had chosen Inodoro as his brand name, considering it is the local word for a toilet. ì”I wanted a name that had Filipino-Spanish roots, with hints of controversy and humor. Embracing the punk ethos, my moniker naturally has a streak of rebellion and non-conformism. In short, a Fuck You attitude. Plus, it’s hard to forget.”
Inodoro is entirely abstract and experimental design. PJ stressed that each project is a unique endeavor, but
he always tries to stay true to his design DNA. His work emphasize his principles, which are rooted in being forward-thinking, thorough-driven and dynamic.
This is probably one of the reasons why Uniqlo chose his work for the collection. ìI was prompted by a business contact to send over a portfolio link, and after a few days, a representative from the Uniqlo HQ in Japan got in touch with me,” he recalls. “I was overwhelmed to find out that they had strong preference for my work, which they expressed during the initial communication.”
According to him, the main directive was to create designs in three colors. They were given creative freedom in
terms of execution. “I was inspired by the Japanese’s constant pursuit of the avant-garde, the experimental and the
unknown, while keeping the overall look minimal, clean and polished. At the same time, projecting a positive message
since that was one of Uniqlo’s core values as a brand.”
The most significant thing that interests me about PJ’s view in the art industry is that he values his integrity and
brand, much more than being popular or mainstream. he thinks it would be silly of him to change his style just to gain an audience. “To me, the name wouldn’t even matter. As long as you’re able to produce brilliant work for some people, then that’s enough already,î he says. That goes to show how authentic he treats his art, and that his passion for graphic design is no joke. ìClients come to me because they already know my style. I won’t force someone to like my style—if they do, then that’s good!”
Cebuano Pride: The National Museum of Cebu
Pride of Cebu
By Eva Gullas
photos courtesy of DOT
The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos
By Allain Dumon Fonte
The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.
As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:
1. IT IS NOT ON THE 31st OF OCTOBER
Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.
2. THE RITUAL
Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.
3. FLOWERS INVITE SPIRITS
In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.
Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.
4. THE LEGEND OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.
5. A PICNIC IN THE GRAVEYARD
Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.
6. FOOD FOR THE DEAD
In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.
My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.
What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.
MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
HMUA/DESIGNER: Hazel Ocaba
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing
Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+
Rating: *****/ *****
The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows. Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach. In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans. Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.
The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner. You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+