Post Secret
Martin Yambao (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines –  Who doesn’t love receiving handwritten holiday postcards? For this YStyle holiday special, we asked six artists to create their vision of a festive fantasy to sum up our season’s greetings. Jel Suarez dreams up an escape from the city; Mano Gonzales interprets “the warmth and coldness” that fits the season; Tokwa Peñaflorida paints a woman’s mane worthy of a Christmas Tree; Raf Banzuela draws his version of “naughty and nice”; Soleil Ignacio captures our love for glitz and all things glamour; and Arlene Sy imagines a bucolic vision of mirth.

With holiday plans, Yuletide traditions, and notes on what inspired their postcards, be inspired and rediscover the lost art of a handwritten postcard with our YStyle card commissions. Send a heartfelt thank you (or an invitation or two) to you and yours.

Jel Suarez

Run Away With Me, Cut and paste

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

It’s basically my dream of teleporting somewhere else for Christmas. I’d give this to a friend with the note “Hey, hermit! Get out of the house, it’s a holiday.” Run away with me and let’s all leave the city!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

Say it with me: traffic!

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

I believe it’s when you grow out of some traditions that you truly begin to value the holidays. Christmas can get pretty chaotic when you have to commit to different obligations; I don’t like it when these traditions start to determine what’s important.

What’s your favorite way of spending the holidays?

I love spending it away from the city. Going somewhere else, or getting closer to nature makes me feel melancholic, but at the same, I find myself being more connected to myself and to others.

Tokwa Peñaflorida

Frootcake, Pencil,

watercolor, digital

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

I started with watercolor and colored pencils, then I scanned and digitized it — and then, I just went pa-art -crazy. I haven’t had anything to eat that whole day when I made this.

What inspired you to create this piece?

Apart from the design brief, I just went with what I felt like doing at the time — something between post-Internet kawaii and glam but still with a hint of Christmas. Making festive things isn’t really my strong suit but I tried!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

The food, the cool weather, the choosy cab drivers — but mostly the food.

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

Not having to wake up super early.

Arlene Sy

Mirth, Watercolor

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

I love making botanical art, but I wanted to use flowers that aren’t normally associated with Christmas. I painted a collection of hydrangeas in deep, rich berry and wine hues.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

Nostalgia.

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

I make it a habit to be reflective and thankful at the end of the year, and to express my gratitude to the people who became a part of it.

What’s your favorite way of spending the holidays?

In my opinion, the gift of self is still one of the best things anyone can give, Christmas or otherwise — reuniting with people who matter most to me is what makes the holidays special.

Mano Gonzales

Untitled, Mixed media

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

I chose to draw a woman with a bird and an acorn. Not as festive as the usual Christmas card but I felt like I captured the same spirit.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

This might be the lamest thing you will ever read but Christmas for me would be a nice mixture of coldness and warmth.

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

One of the things I’ve done consistently since I was a kid is to watch Home Alone and It Happened at the World’s Fair every Christmas.

What’s your favorite way of spending the holidays?

I like being home.

Soleil Ignacio

Untitled, Pencil,

watercolor, digital

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

I wanted to do something bold and contrasting using bright and dark colors. Nothing too Christmas-y but still having that holiday feel.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

Lights!

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

I do, but I’m always for experiencing new things.

What’s your favorite way of spending the holidays?

Not going to the malls. Oh, and appreciating all the things that light up the city.

Raf Banzuela

Holiday Sprite, Graphite on paper

YSTYLE: Tell us about your piece.

I drew something reminiscent of the whole Christmas notion of “naughty and nice.”

What inspired you to create this piece?

Making a list, and checking it twice — Santa and his elves.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

Thoughts of home during the holidays. My little nieces and nephews running around with their gifts.

Do you believe in any holiday traditions?

Noche buena definitely and the whole concept of giving (and receiving) money.

What’s your favorite way of spending the holidays?

Being home definitely plays a big part in our traditions. That, and gobbling up my Mom’s macaroni salad.

ACIRC ALIGN ARLENE SY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HOLIDAYS LEFT QUOT STRONG TRADITIONS YSTYLE
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