Bare & Unaccompanied

Just when I thought I got nothing else better to do, I suddenly found myself setting up a SoundCloud account. Yes, I finally got SoundCloud! Somebody told me that apparently, there’s an unwritten law that if you’re a muso, you gotta have it.

And because I’m in exploratory mode (and actually pretty bored) at the moment, I thought I’d sign up. But I have one important note about how I’ve approached it.

I call all my recordings “Bare & Unaccompanied”. They are all sung a cappella to capture the raw sound of my voice–messy and untouched. No high-tech, professional equipment is used to record the songs but my ever loyal and diligent MacBook.

This is all to help promote and encourage honesty in showcasing and developing raw, unsullied talent; that artistic greatness can be achieved even without the use of ‘digital enhancers’. I see myself as one of those artists who eschew such elements like autotune and caustic musical editing just to make flimsy, mediocre stuff sound like ‘actual’ music; not to mention the people who lip-sync, to which Lea Salonga says, “Unless they’re on their deathbed, I have no respect for that.”

So anyway, here’s the link to my SoundCloud. It could have some of your fav tunes. Have a listen to some of them:


Rie Manaloto


The Grounds of Alexandria: not quite a review

Just by looking at this signage, I already knew that I was going to enter something special and out of the ordinary.

The title’s said it. This is not a resto review, or an Urban Spoon entry. I almost did not share this on the Artiste, but because of this place’s “unspeakable wonder”, I thought I’d put something up about it anyway.

Came here on a pretty extraordinary Friday, not to mention it was the first (and maybe the only?) Friday the 13th of the year. I had a very fun and reflective time with a very good friend and Ate, Ate Aileen. We thought we’d call it a “pre-valentines Fri-date”!

You might notice that I did not (or was not able to) take enough photos of the place, simply because I was literally awestruck I was almost gawking the entire time. It’s like everywhere I looked, there’s something flabbergasting to appreciate. Also, I don’t think I can write enough about it so I decided to simply share with you a few photos I took when I was there.

I am so not over this place. I’m definitely coming back.

Rie Manaloto

I got something to tell you

I’m weird. I guess that’s one fact that not a lot of people know and realise. I actually am.

And fine, I know that that ‘word’ has been overly used, even misused, maybe misrepresented; or perhaps resorted to by people who simply want to be listened to, understood and respected.

Well, I think that word, for the lack of idiosyncratic terminologies, is somewhat enough to depict my nature. I give a nudge to the people who actually know and understand this.

So after that introductory nonsense, you’d be surprised to know that again I’m onto something peculiar, perhaps, for a lot of people.

Tonight, my second night in my new home where everything is still in a state of acquiescent chaos, I was in the middle of putting things back into order—fixing stuff here and there, learning how to be better and smarter every time I’m given a new space to ensconce myself in.

Then, out of the blue, I found my art book, which I purchased back in 2013 to use as a scene prop in a mini film project I did with a colleague about visual artists during my Expanded Practice days. I had to make random, artsy, colourful doodles in the book to make it look like a portfolio, or an ‘art journal’ in the scene. Some looking well thought-of, some really looking erratic. Eventually, I actually used it to create more weird, personal stuff.

And so I had a flip through the book, and found my many random drawings, sketches, unfinished paintings and more weird stuff. It felt good, brought back lots of memories, and retold some cool stories of the past year.

Later during the night, I sat up on my bed, thinking, reflecting. It’s me in my own cerebral mode, which is very normal by the way. I was thinking about heaps of stuff, feeling so many things that my logic couldn’t even explain and synthesise any more because they’re just that overwhelming.

All of a sudden, my eyes were pulled into my art book that was also sitting on my bed with me. And then I thought, wow, okay, I could use this right now.

What happened just got to happen and here I am writing this blog post because I needed to unload some of my thoughts and feelings. If you’re actually reading this right now, thanks.

Look, I’m not an artist nor a painter, but I like to draw. I like to paint. I like the thought of dipping a semi-clean paintbrush into a palette of colours, splodge them on a blank canvas, and paint whatever I want to.

I have no professional training and/or education in visual arts and the like, and I got zero knowledge about the histories, cultures and entities enveloping art.

All I know is that drawing and painting, just like singing, is an effective and liberating way of expressing yourself. And saying what you want to say without the fear of being judged and criticised (maybe sometimes). You just let the colours and the strokes do the talking, and you don’t need to back it up with tons of explanations. The finished picture will justify you and answer for you. And it doesn’t matter if people understand it or accept it. Once the work is done, you’re done talking. You’re done venting.

Venting. That’s it. Call it an artistic venting. “Artistic” because it involves paintbrush and some colouring (?). See, I don’t even know if that’s even politically correct, but that’s how I want it to be. I feel, therefore, I paint. (Wow, that sounds so quotable!)

Now that I think I have somehow made the context clear and established, I am venturing to explore my abilities and natural propensities further through art. I know that sounds like a very worn-out cliché but I really wanna do it with tangible equipment “in the flesh”, and put more “flesh” on my thoughts and ideas. Many of you knew that I’d normally be using a drawing software to create my stuff (Take the 21 project as an example). Now I want it to be more authentic, more real. Literally.

I know it’s nothing really special and spectacular, but I guess it is a “creative” move. I think I’m an artist who is always open, loves to explore and experiment a lot, and loves to try out new things. This is just one of the many.

I just feel like I’m at my most honest and free and when I’m sketching or painting because it’s the emotions and the pictures in my head that drive me. It’s genuine, it’s real. There’s no obstruction, no inhibition, no fear and no prejudice. It’s just a full-on, spontaneous outpouring.

So in the next few months expect my “visual journals”, which are just paintings, drawings and sketches that reflect and convey some significant and interesting issues, impressions, perceptions, stories that are all very personal and impressionistic.

I’m sure a lot of them will come out pretty vague as my main artistic style and language is abstract. But they’re merely expressions, and the people who will care to see it and analyse it are allowed to develop their own feelings and perceptions of the work. Of course, no one could ever understand it the way I do.

There would be times when I wouldn’t even provide a description or explanation of what the work is about. Don’t be bothered. It just means that I don’t need to elaborate.

And so, that’s what this entry is about. I’m pretty excited about this and I can’t wait to share with you a small part of my complex dimension.

So here’s what came out tonight.

By Rie Manaloto

When Colours and Whites Mix by Rie Manaloto. Oil paint on paper.

Rie Manaloto


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