Friday, October 28, 2011

a treat on Philippine folklore

it's Trick-or-Treat season again, and a long weekend in the Philippines (yay!). we don't really celebrate Halloween in the family, but my son and i will be trick-or-treating this weekend. and just to share with you, there is more to Philippine folklore than encantadas (fairies) and higantes (giants). most creatures from Philippine myths are actually evil, and they plagued my childhood. here are some of the creatures which were used by our parents to scare the wits out of us.

Aswang - they are entrail eating creatures that disguise themselves as humans, but can shape-shift into a big raven or bear-like dog. they have long tongues and like to feast on unborn fetuses (ewww). i remember during the peak season of the aswangs was in the '90s where tabloids were even spreading news that there was a captured manananggal (see below) in Manila. but it was never proven. my lola (grandmother) has often said to encounter an aswang close to their house when my aunt was pregnant. a huge dog was standing near their house but when she scared it away, it leapt on a high wall which was impossible for an ordinary dog to leap for. then when my lola looked at the other side of the wall, the dog was no more and a man was walking away from where the dog could have landed.

Manananggal - this is like a variant of aswang, usually a lady who can separate her torso from her lower portions and sprout big bat-like wings. they were also in vogue during the '90s and favorite meals also include fetuses.

Tikbalang - if Greeks had centaurs, the Philippines has tikbalang, a man with a horse's head. they are also said to be entrail eaters. my great grandfather once saw a tikbalang while going ome from the rice fields, though the creature did not harm him.

Dwende - we also had elves, and they were called dwende. black and red meant evil dwende, and white meant good. evil ones often meant harm and/or bad luck to humans, while whites were said to bring good fortune.

Syokoy - a humanoid fish, or fish-like human, whichever you prefer to describe it, the ugly male counterparts of mermaids, they drag men to the sea to eat them.

all illustrations by Ea of Popkingarb

Kapre - hairy giants who reside in balete (indian rubber tree) or other big trees and smoke tobacco. they sometimes kidnap maidens to wed them or play pranks on people, but are generally shy creatures. a wife of a friend was once introduced to a kapre, and she said he was indeed tall, and that he made and recited poems.

these are just some of the creatures of stories i have grown up with. i'm proud that i got to know them, though only from afar (i don't think i'm ready to mingle with them), and i will also pass the stories to my son because it's part of our rich yet endangered culture.

Monday, October 24, 2011

now loving: couture by Michael Cinco

the Philippines has been home to talented and creative artists and artisans. i'm glad that more and more Filipinos are being well-known internationally for their unique crafts and artistry. take Michael Cinco (of America's Next Top Model fame), for example. you only have to see his collection during his debut fashion show in the Philippines to agree with me. and the warrior-like godess is just right up my alley.

all images from
i love the Ifugao-inspired number (last photo). c'est chic!

Friday, October 21, 2011

some WIPs

here are some WIP (work-in-progress) artworks i have posted recently. the colors are a bit dull, i have no idea what happened to the scanner, but i do not like the scanned versions. the colors came out too pale. the second image did not turnout into anything at all and i had to rework the contrast, hues etc. that's a nereid, by the way. 

all artworks done and yet to be finished by EaBrea aka me
i'll be sure to take photos instead the next time i post artworks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Craftpreneur Files: MQuin

there will be a new section on my blog called Craftpreneur Files, where i will be featuring very talented crafters in interviews. i've discovered that there are a lot of undiscovered talents, both in the Philippines and abroad, and this is a way to spread the word about their beautiful work. As debut of Craftpreneur Files, I've decided to interview one of my team members from Etsy Pilipinas and seasoned sellers on Etsy, Milka of MQuin.

hi, Milka! welcome to PopkinGarb. Please tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Milka, I am wife to a wonderful husband for 8 years and we have a 2 year old boy. I started fashion design a little bit late than most when i turned 30. Before that I was a banker and also managed operations for a call center. I stopped working and decided to pursue fashion design and studied at Slims Makati.

I now have a one-woman shop in Etsy. I design and make the garments I sell online. I also am trying to go into the wedding clothing business here in the Philippines.

seems like you've been through a lot before crafting. how did you start your crafting business?

I started residence in Madrid, Spain in 2008. My husband was working there at the time. I wanted to start my fashion experience fresh from graduating so I decided to put up an online shop. I chanced upon Etsy from an article I read from a blog and everything started from there.

where do you find inspiration for your work?

My design inspiration comes in every aspect of my everyday life. From interesting pieces of furniture to enticingly arranged meals, I get some ideas. I am also inspired by books I read, and movies I watch.

looks like we share the same muses. how has it been selling on Etsy? how about locally?

It has been and is still a GREAT experience. I am still excited to know that my pieces travel all the way around the globe to a customer I haven't even seen and turns out that the clothes I have designed and sewn for them fit perfectly. I have not tried selling my clothes locally, though.

wow! it does feel good when others appreciate one's work. however, have you encountered drawbacks for your business? any lessons learned from them?

I haven't encountered any major drawbacks when selling on Etsy. Minor ones include time constraints and problems with customs, and like any other problem, we learn our lesson from them. Adjustment is the key.

what has been your most memorable project?

My first designs. I was excited but more nervous when I started making clothes for my shop in Etsy since I do not have a vast experience making clothes for others. I had the notion that no one would buy clothes online since most want to fit the dress before buying. I was ecstatic when I had my first sale!

any tips for aspiring craftpreneurs?  

Do not be afraid to dive into business. Remember that doing the thing you love brings out beautiful work that everybody will appreciate. Welcome criticisms and learn from them.

Thanks for the great insights, Milka! We hope you continue creating more of those wonderful dresses of yours and be known for it.

you can also visit Milka's website, for her past works, her Etsy shop or become a fan of her Facebook page here.

images from MQuin shop on etsy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


i admit i haven't been drawing a lot lately. :( there have been some WIPs but i left them as is, what with my son's exams. i make it a point to create a mock exam for him for his review, and he does love answering questions, which leaves me exhausted at night. but i shall be posting an artwork, hopefully by this week. i just wish i had more time!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Human Nature Read the Label Campaign Part2

image from
want to know whether ingredients in your favorite shampoo/facial wash is safe? Human Nature now has an app for smart phones/apple derivatives which shows you exactly the effect of these ingredients to our bodies.

log on to and download the app for FREE and you may win a trip to El Nido Palawan for two (valid for Philippine residents only)!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free Shipping in my etsy shop!

the holiday season is just looming around the corner. honestly, i have been scouting for Christmas presents to give to my friends and relatives since July. and i have eyed a few gifts worthy of my budget. i know people will be stressed on what they will be giving out this Christmas what with the Western markets teetering on its toes.

so starting today until the end of October, PopkinGarb will be offering free shipment (to anywhere!) on selected items! drop by PopkinGarb on etsy to check out these items! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baby boxes

no, your baby wouldn't come in a box, but think of a goody bag with all your baby's basic needs for a year. and this is what it would look like.

image from
i chanced upon reading about 'baby boxes' in Finland on etsy. i wish that every country could be able to provide this for their new citizens, especially those who need them most. too bad the Philippines has yet to develop this kind of program, but i hope we'll get there.

you can read more on baby boxes here and here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Human Nature Read the Label Campaign

i was able to attend the Human Nature magalogue turnover last Saturday. despite the rains, a lot of people still turned up. they are now launching a new campaign, which is very much apt with the times, what with all the sickness and ailments arising from the use of hidden chemicals prominent in commercial personal care products. 

did you know that our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it? these compounds go straight to our blood vessels and may result in certain cancers, hormonal disorder, and other sickness. but we can all prevent that by simply educating ourselves into what are in the products we use, and by READING THE LABEL. below are some toxic chemicals commonly found in your regular personal care products, risks that may occur from using them, and their natural and safe alternatives. do not be deceived by the word "natural" in commercial products because they can use the term on their products even if they only use 0.99% of a real natural ingredient.

i swear by Human Nature products, as they have a heart for the people who make and use them as well as the environment. their products are 100% natural and free of harmful chemicals, and are safe to use even for babies. i have definitely made a switch to using these products instead of products readily available in the market, and my son and i are enjoying the benefits. and now, i'm sharing them with you! :)

for more information about Human Nature, please ask me. :)
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