ONIEDAZDEUDA

Sounds enigmatic?

Maybe.

17342750_1463576960319766_4974078923498822437_nBut Onie, Ka Onie, Tito Onie among the younger set , and friends, despite the long, grayish white hair and the solemn demeanor (when not smiling, which is rare) is hardly stern nor hard to read. Born with the name Honesto, he is anything but the quite type. Conversations with him can start with one simple thing, and then expound into a galaxy of art, bonsai, gardening, travel and music. There are no boundaries when you sit down with him and just discuss the known universe, and then some that are virtually unknown, punctuated with humorous anecdotes and side-splitting punchlines, there is no boring moment with him.
His creations – Patio Papa, BKD (bahay Ko Din), Ka Boy Grill, Bamboo Grande, Kalye Luna 17504273_1463576466986482_7615291576473567750_oin Baguio City and the two most dear to him Bamboo Giant Malate and Bambu Intramuros – are products of a mind that never cease to discover new things. Driftwood and strange artifacts often find themselves on display in and around these restaurants. And what with his botanical skills (he has designed gardens that has the acclaim of not just institutions, but a queen once congratulated him for a job well done!) Bambu Intramuros along with Bamboo Giant Malate are testament for his love of colorful plants, beautiful music and art. These are his concepts for ingredients of what a good dining experience should be. Indeed, you could call Onie the beating heart of his creations.

His creativity is fueled by music – jazz, classic rock,folk, country, world music and rock and roll. Add to these his keen eye for art in all its forms and disciplines, sulpture, painting, drawings, from the avant garde to the traditional and more of the found-talent types. He has friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, be it politics, public service, musicians, painters, poets, the common man, all are in thrall when the man walks. No, that is not lip service, you have to meet him to know what Bambu Intramuros is all about.

17504488_1463574043653391_1989260255065419780_oFrom concept to execution, choosing the right stuff for the right spot, hanging positive words to engage the diner on what could be just another meal and turn it to a whole intellectual experience, picking meticulously the musicians who perform every night, less electronic, more on acoustic, not just elevator music, these are but some of his passionate hands working. He disagrees with extravagance, but the lushness of the leaves and trees, poetry in music, collecting art and the open arms he extends to those who are looking for work is the unspoken lavishness of the man’s character. His organic farm elsewhere is a foundation for his altruism. His bonsai is the incarnation of his soul.
Enigmatic maybe too heavy to describe Onie in one word. Ambiguous? Far from the truth. Let’s just say that Onie and his creations are free-spirited, cannot be labeled with a single tag, but an amalgam of all the things his passion can visualize. You might chance upon him when you come and visit Manila.

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Tito Onie with the Ladies of Bambu Intramuros (from left – Kim, Via, Grace, April__Joyce, Karen, Menchie, She and Haidee)

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The Man and Me

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Give It Away, Now

“Wow! You did this? Can I have it? What? You’re selling this for a hundred bucks? But you did it in just 15 mins! How about I pay you 25 pesos?”

Just recently, I told people in the interwebs that I am giving away my illustrations for free. And I did. It was a collection of old works redone with a few enhancements, and some new drawings meant to be patterns for coloring.

The obvious question was “Why?”.

And I could answer “Just because.”. But I didn’t. There is a long explanation involved, and so I just shrugged off the question.

Come to think of it, I have always given away my drawings. It started the day someone asked me to draw VoltesV. Or maybe It was because most of my childhood friends know how to draw and it has always been a challenge to one-up the other guy. But I do give away drawings. In high school, classmates often asked me to draw something for them, help out with a project, or a friend who wants to impress a girl.

In college, people offered to pay for my drawings. And I did earn from it.

Most of the time.

People would pay me Php50 to Php150 per piece, depending on what they want me to draw – visual aids for areport, feline anatomy, something for a t-shirt, college stuff. But mostly I get paid peanuts. Specially when it was a beautiful girl.

So I am always giving away my artwork for free.

Even recently, at a mall, I do ink drawings for change. And the guy I’m with insists he is promoting the “industry”, whatever he thinks what industry it is. Turns out that guy’s just living off other artists and surrounding himself with young girls, the perv.

And so I gave away my drawings for free.

Which is the only logical thing to do, since I can dish out new work any time I want. And I want to start fresh. Been giving away stuff as far as I can remember. Heck, I even gave away money to a brother who’s so thick, he thinks I owe him an apology for being pissed off at his non-communicative behavior. My brother and that guy Kit, they are the same kind of leech. And I’m tired of leaving messages and calling numbers that are never available.

I gave away these coloring book illustrations, because they are fit to be given away. And because I am doing something new, more elaborate and worthy of framing, not something cheap like that dreadful noontime show fan art. Or a pattern that people dismiss as secondary to their choise of coloring materials.

My friends may not understand it, but they will, in time. I’m going to register this venture as a business name and I want to start right, by creating new and beautiful illustrations that will go into print and sell so I can earn a living from it. These works will be well researched, better illustrated and well worth the money spent.