February 18, 2018, 7:11 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07035 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01543 Euro
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01366 Falkland Islands Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.89866 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.37548 Guinea Franc
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1 Philippine Peso = 3.9364 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14982 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45019 Honduras Lempira
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1 Philippine Peso = 20.41552 Korean Won
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1 Philippine Peso = 25.42146 Myanmar Kyat
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06025 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 106.68774 Paraguayan Guarani
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07198 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.08044 Russian Rouble
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07184 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14875 Solomon Islands Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01367 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4254 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.16858 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.76628 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 378.35439 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16762 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.86552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.22276 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59923 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04546 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04238 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07167 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12904 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55669 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.02682 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51715 Ukraine Hryvnia
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01916 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54521 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.47509 Uzbekistan Sum
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1 Philippine Peso = 434.75095 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01916 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04802 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05172 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.11303 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81628 Pacific Franc
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‘Mandirigma Ng Kalawakan’

THE paths we choose to take and explore ultimately define who we are. These paths initially instill a sense of fear of the unknown and an excitement of the things yet to be learned. However, in popular cartoonist Manix Abrera’s fourth solo exhibition, the idea of the “unexpected path” is presented in a comic-like narration without the speech bubbles. It leads into a jungle of emotions and questions that ultimately revert as an optimistic view of the foundations of our choices and what we make of them.

Continuously heralded by a singular prominent character amidst an engulfing overgrowth, his pieces from this latest installation portray a wonderful sense of balance between solitude and chaos—two factors that decorate the state of human mind when choosing. 

The name “Manix Abrera” (sometimes completed with a smiling icon or a jumping figure at the end) has resonated as a popular reference in the comics industry and rightfully so. For more than a decade, he has produced thousands of comic strips appearing in a daily newspaper, magazines, a dedicated section in a news website, and even on junk food packaging.  His Kikomachine Komix’ immense following has materialized in 13 book compilations under Visprint. He also even produced two silent comic books “12” and “14” to back up his publication repertoire. Strongly influenced by the likes of Hergé and Moebius, he deviates a similar sense of philosophy and heart in his works, cultivating his storyline with prevalent Filipino quirks and antics.

For his fourth solo show (his second in Galerie Stephanie), this UP Diliman graduate seeks to narrate the wonders of making choices visualized as paths. Mandirigmang Kalawakan is vaguely reminiscent of one of Robert Frost’s famous poems, with a harmonious echo of human sentiments.

Unlike his previous exhibits, the artworks present in his fourth showcase are all exclusively done for this endeavor. Manix says he enjoyed this dedicated work process as it revolved on a central theme, and even had the absence of his popular comic strips. However, the artworks still hold independent stories and deviates from his usual comic series setup. Take for instance his “Dalingsil” and “Unang Ulan ng Mayo”. The first artwork presents a lone figure in the middle of a dense cluster, further exuding a dreadful yet exciting feeling of being lost or going astray; whereas the second artwork manifests the popular belief of being blessed with luck during the first rain of May as seen in its animated alien-like foliage receiving the faint droplets. These two seemingly unrelated artworks, however, prevails with a common denominator—welcoming the wonder of ambiguity. This warrior-like characteristic is evident in most of the other stories “suggested” by the artworks, since Manix emphasizes that the message of these works is still dependent on how his audience connects with them. 

Since it is already evident that his ability to conceptualize meaningful themes is admirable, it is also good to recognize his equally commendable execution and process. Having been fond of patterns, Manixfound it enjoyable to be able to integrate very detailed and seemingly organized squiggles. His process begins with ink on paper, which is later on painted digitally. By incorporating creative digital trends, he puts gravity on the digital art scene. Though his works’ genre is quite difficult to pinpoint, this mere fact makes his style standout as if he is establishing his own. 

When asked what artwork best reflects the exhibit’s concept, Manix cites “Mandirigmang Luwal-hati” as the flag bearer. This piece indeed spells well what Manix has been trying to narrate—a lone character looking at an “entrance” to another world, whatever kind of world it may be interpreted as. It bombards us with emotions of fear, anticipation, curiosity, and self-discovery—all pivotal elements of classic adventures. This digitally rendered artwork presents a stark transformation in scenery with the forest combusting in cool, quiet shades of blue and purple, and energetic accents of red, to amplify the passage to a new chapter from the pale green landscape.

His works take on an aesthetic array of geometry, playing with shapes and negative spaces. Some pieces like “Sentrong Kosmos” take a collective narration of three pieces framed into one. Most of the artworks are done in ink and graphite on paper, where most of them have digitally-colored versions printed on archival papers and canvases.

Manix also recalls that one of the “unexpected paths” he took was making comics and storytelling his full-time career. Likewise drawn from the idea of spacemen, Manix takes his audience to a vast sanctuary to reflect on the paths they traverse in their lives. He quips, “Yung iba malinaw. Yung ibamalabo. Yung ibahindi pa nahahanap. Yung iba umaalis sa beaten path…Para tayong spacemen na nag-eexplore.”Indeed like a warrior in space, we continue to discover an unfamiliar realm symbolizing a future we cannot predict, but only influence. 

Mandirigmang Kalawakan will hold its artist reception on February 3, 4:00 PM, in Galerie Stephanie’s new location at the 4th Floor East Wing in Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong. Various prints and publications will be raffled off during the reception. 
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