Australia, here I come!

AUSTRALIA

This is what freedom feels like.

Well, this was unexpected. My brother qualified for the Srixon International Junior Classic in Sydney and when we found out all expenses were paid for, I was the only one in my family that could take him up on the offer! Brentt is definitely my little reason to travel the world. He is so ambitious and committed to his practice that he’s constantly offered to compete in international tournaments. Recently, the Guam Pacific Daily News published an article on his golf journey. I’m pretty proud of my baby bro.

This trip will be just as long as the last one. Honestly, I’m stoked to put two new countries on my list for the year. I’ve never had the freedom to travel so much. Now that I do, I have to enjoy it. After Australia, we’re heading to Saipan for our cousin’s ordination as a priest. We’re so Catholic it’s not even funny.

Anyway, I believe we have two days to explore Sydney in addition to the time we have after the tournament days. If you have any suggestions about what to try or see (on a low budget), please leave them in the comment box! Thank you. – Di

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An insta-summary of the past four months

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I know I haven’t been blogging in the past few months. A lot has happened. If you read my post about my job at Easter Seals Hawaii, here’s why blogging on Island Bohemian hasn’t been my priority. I’ve been blogging for ESH since I started, in addition to public relations, marketing, events and designing. All blog posts (unless a contributor is noted) are by yours truly. I’ve fallen completely in love with what we do at ESH. We help people with disabilities or special needs through therapy, coaching with social/financial skills, making sure these individuals (who are just like us) meet their goals. They need every bit of help they can get.

As a result, I’ve neglected myself. Island Bohemian is truly my creative outlet. Although I may not be a true bohemian, but I am in a sense where art sometimes consumes me. I can spend hours designing for a project without sense of time, figuring out ways to improve and market it. My Aquarian tendencies prevent me from creating some sort of personal balance, when I give something my full attention, I end up giving it my everything and start to neglect my own needs (like my never ending battle to lose weight, live an active life and saving for my dream trips to Spain, Colombia and Brasil). I’m an impulsive being and sometimes a lazy one. Seriously, I come home every day mentally drained – I haven’t even the slightest clue about what TV shows, fashion trends, music artists are popular anymore. Miley Cyrus twerking…what the hell just happened?! Pop culture is a blur to me. Politics and the news are a bit more clear. I guess that’s a good thing. Although I’ve still kept up with my art feed on Flipboard and insightful Facebook posts on culture and indigenous rights via Sue Haglund and Craig Santos Perez. I need to keep my sanity somehow.

I’ve made a simple collage (above) to kindly fill you in on what has been going on in my head lately, which are skincare (I’m approaching the 28th year of my life), remembering some of my happiest moments this year, scarves for fall, friends/co-workers and most importantly my family. This year has been rough, in my small circle of friends, four out of the five of us have lost a grandparent…this year…2013…all in one year. It’s pretty unreal. I lost my 87-year-old grandmother in Saipan in July. I was heartbroken for a bit, but our family coming together to say goodbye to her meant so much to me. I truly feel she is in peace.

On a positive note, I’m looking forward to blogging more often. It is like therapy for me. Plus, I have a reason to photograph more people and post more work from artists that have inspired me. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @islandbohemian

Aloha,

❤ Di

Banzai Cliff + Pau Pau Beach

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Banzai Cliff, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

While I was back in Saipan last week, I did some sightseeing for fun. The photo above is of Banzai Cliff, where defeated Japanese civilians and soldiers jumped to their deaths during World War II. It’s a beautiful view yet bears a sad reminder of the lives lost during the war.

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After Banzai Cliff, I ended up at Pau Pau Beach. Years ago, this was the beach our family spent the day, swimming, celebrating someone’s birthday, snorkeling, etc. My dad actually tried to take my then 2-year-old brother and I on an unsuccessful yet memorable “fishing” trip out here about ten years ago. Back then, the clean, bright, white sand extended out towards that rock out there. Now, it’s just a strip of sand. Erosion is just inevitable in the islands.

Mi abuelita

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Visiting my grandmother last week was emotional and heart-warming. I was so lucky to visit her and see my family back home in Saipan. She’s a bit stronger (physically) now and still full of jokes and laughs. She taught me a lot in the very few days I spent with her. She spoke about how she used to travel and attend various schools across Micronesia and in American Samoa. The U.S. used to provide the children of Saipan and Guam with scholarships and travel opportunities so she and her many siblings traveled all over the Pacific. We share some similarities. She believes in learning about other cultures and traveling abroad when the opportunities arise. She says that you should travel as much as you can when you are young and strong. I completely agree.

She’s a smart lil’ cookie.

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It was fun to catch up and joke around with her. She’s so tiny but she has the biggest heart. I miss you already abuelita! I’ll try my best to see you again this year. ❤

¡Feliz Navidad to my family & friends in Saipan & Guam!

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Today is Christmas day  in Saipan and Guam! Merry Christmas to my family and friends back home. I miss and love you guys so much! Here’s a silly photo of my best friend Abbey and I fooling around at Walmart. After the tenth take, people started to stare at our sudden fascination with this one Christmas ornament, but we were actually posing…we’re just awesome at awkward moments.

Going back soon…

IB TUMON

I’m flying out to Guam and then to Saipan on the 4th. I’m kind of excited about it because I need a change of scenery, people, life, etc. The thing is, my main reason for going back is to visit and spend time with my grandmother. She’s a strong Chamorro/German lady who’s having a few health problems and I’ve missed her terribly.

It’s going to be interesting to see what Saipan is like right now. It’s been almost a year since I’ve visited. From what I hear, the island is becoming scarce. Resources are not as fresh and abundant as they used to be. Traffic lights are out and some locals can’t afford to pay their electric bills.

Everyone tells me that it’s depressing to go back but I’m anxious to see what my old home looks like. I plan to rent a car and drive around. I want to see my old home in Kagman, my best friend Annabelle, who teaches elementary school, and visit my grandfather’s grave. The only thing I know I won’t enjoy would be attending mass. Haha! But I’ll do it for my grandma. You can always count on her to wake you up at six in the morning to pray.

Francisca Pageo >>> Murcia, España

I’m pretty stoked about this semester. Classes are going to be interesting, plus it’s the start of art classes at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. I’m taking Side-by-Side: Creative writing and painting because I probably have a cluster-bomb of ideas in my head that needs to be released, even if it’s through multiple mediums. I’ve been designing little projects here and there, but I think it’s time to start writing poetry, painting, drawing, sketching, anything that my uncoordinated, awkward hands can do.

I remember a while back in grad school when Barcelonese muralist Josep Minguell visited our class. He asked me what type of art I did and I proudly said, “graphic design,” which to my surprise, he chuckled and replied in Spanish, “But you don’t use your hands, you don’t feel the art, the earth, the beauty that you’re producing. You only see it through the computer screen.” That’s true. I don’t really touch or feel the art that I create; although it is sometimes drawn from emotion, there is no physical connection. It’s obvious that art evolves as technology provides new mediums of art, society becomes used to seeing photographs and graphic design. 

Well one thing I really like about some designers is that they mix mediums to create multiple dimensions within their work. Take Spanish artist Francisca Pageo, she uses drawn elements, photographs as well as computer produced graphics to create prints that showcase texture as well as depth.

You can see more of Francisca’s work here or visit her blog para sus imagenes de inspiración o interés.