@your SiRVis... Simon Francis Blaise R. Vistro wants to be known as SiRVis (an amalgamation of his name, profession and penchant for service). He is a polymath wannabe in the fields of training and education, civic voluntarism, sports, arts, travel, photography and social networking. Born and raised in Dagupan City, he is a staunch advocate of the preservation of Pangasinan language, arts and culture. Follow me on: Twitter. Facebook, Tumblr, Plurk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Toy Making Workshop: From Painting, Customizing Toys to Helping Children

I came all the way from Dagupan City just to see and experience what the Toy Making Workshop with Pilipinas Street Plan is all about. I reached Ortigas at around 7:00am and this gave me a chance to try the food at Banchetto. I was the first one to arrive at the Lopez Memorial Musuem.  

Renz, a "mommy blogger" (who I met for the first time), came in next.  Since we came early, we were able to have a quick tour of the museum thanks to Ms. Mary Ann Pernia, the museum's education consultant who ably assisted us and made us feel at home. As it was my first time in the museum, I was in awe when I discovered they had a lot of Luna's and Hidalgo's. I'll surely feature the Lopez Memorial Museum in a separate post. 

The workshop participants
It was also my first time to meet Teacher Ria Tirazona and Mark Cerbo the Toy Photographer and his famous toy, Optimash Prime. Other participants include DigitalFilipino.com's founder Janette Toral, PR Professional Rosan Cruz, jewelry designer and gemologist Tara Soriano, Martin Vargas, Bettina Go 0f Cathay Drug Co., Eloisa San Juan and Karen AngSome of us tweeted via foursquare as soon as we had access to the museum's wifi:

 Simon Vistro 
 by Lopez_Muse
at the toy making workshop (@ Lopez Memorial Museum)
 Janette Toral 
 by Lopez_Muse
at toy making workshop (@ Lopez Memorial Museum)

 Renz Alcantara 
 by Lopez_Muse
At toy workshop at lopez museum.
 rosan cruz 
 by Lopez_Muse
At the  workshop @ Lopez Museum w Pilipinas Street Plan's street artists Whooop,Wed, FJ. 

 Karen Ang 
 by Lopez_Muse
Toymaking Workshop (@ Lopez Memorial Museum)

It turned out that the original plan of having public school children as workshop participants didn't push through and the Gawa/Laro Toy Making Workshop became a toy customization  workshop instead. The facilitators of the workshop were Wesley Valenzuela, Whooop (it should be with three O's according to him) and EpJey Pacheco, members of Pilipinas Street Plan.
Pilipinas Street Plan explained
Wes Valenzuela
Whooop and EpJey (partly hidden)
The participants

Wes explained what the group Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP) is about, the street wall art or graffiti movement, toy customization and it's historical connection to Philippine culture- the colorful jeepney! He also gave out instructions on toy customization. I found out that we are both alumni of UST. We graduated from college on the same year. You may check the youtube videos:

Whooop specifically explained further about the customized toy, where DIY toys can be seen and bought, and how the customization is made. He shared to me how PSP was formed. It all started individually in 2006. Artists who delved into stickers, graffiti and street art posted their works in the internet and soon they found common ground among themselves. A "conference" was done by gathering the artists until the whole concept was formed. There are about 10 active members of the group.  

I livestreamed the workshop via the http://livestream.com/whatsupdagupan account which I use exclusively for What's Up Dagupan. The link was tweeted by @Lopez_muse, the official twitter of the Lopez Museum and @digitalfilipino:
 Lopez Museum Manila 

[Video Update] Watch the Toy Making Workshop at the Lopez Museum 

 Lopez Museum Manila 

Ongoing at Lopez Museum now! 

 Janette Toral 

livestream of toy customization workshop by @

Sarah Meier - Albano dropped by the workshop she mused:
 Sarah Meier-Albano 

Love is wandering around a museum by yourself. Bliss is when there's a graffiti/street art installation when you go. 

And of course I had to take advantage of a photo opportunity. Starstrucked me!
@SiRVis and @sarah_meier Photo by: Mark Cerbo

Bettina Go named her work of art "Bad Hair Day." Rosan Cruz thought of giving the name "Satisfied Clown" by dyosa but eventually settled for "L'amuse bouffan." Bettina praised the work of the PSP artist particularly Epjey's and likened it to Tim Burton's style. She used the words "very cute." Rosan is glad that the artworks will be included in the fund raising event for children. 
Bettina Go and Rosan Cruz
L'amuse bouffon by Rosan
Janette Toral made a "Blogger Car" who likes to tweet, digg, like, meme interesting stuff. Love and kisses all around. Imperfect but real. 
Blogger Car by Janette Toral
Renz's Wronged Mickey laments the way Mickey Mouse has been wronged many times on video created by individuals tainting Mickey's wholesome image.     
Wronged Mickey by Renz Alcantara
I liked Tara's "Martin 10.0" which was most likely named after his friend Martin Vargas. The work was clean and had nice color combinations. She designs jewelry so she's practically an artist. The concept for her work was just "winged" and she had a lot of fun according to her. She'd be glad to attend another workshop like this. 
Martin 10.0 (front view)by Tara Soriano
Martin 10.0 (rear view)by Tara Soriano
Tara, the real Martin, Martin 10.0 and Astroboy
Eloisa and Karen were so engrossed with the craft that they were the last ones to leave. The museum staff were also prodded by Ms. Pernia to try toy customization too. 
Karen Ang
Eloisa San Juan

Teacher Ria's work
The toy I chose to customize was an orange "Titanic" view-master rip-off. I peered into the eyepiece and saw a nude Rose. For a kid's toy, this is offensive and inappropriate. With this in mind, I am naming my customized toy "how the film lost its innocence." It is reflective of what movies have become- politicized, corrupted, too much mumbo jumbo, and forgetful of its fundamental purpose.

A toy is chosen.
It is wiped with alcohol so latex paint will adhere to the surface

Painting materials are prepared
Toy is base paint, usually white.
Put on a thin layer at a time so it will easily dry.
You may now apply dominant paint color.
Add appropriate design.
Blue lines show the industry have forgotten their primary role-
to tell stories 
Red lines represent the cancer called corruption and immorality

A look into the eyepiece reveal a worst situation as
colors clash and muddle the picture

Filmmakers and artists become unwitting accomplices
(Photo by: Mark Cerbo)
And the public consume the poison.
(Photo by: Mark Cerbo
We all become monsters and slaves to the ills that plague movies. 

Here are sample works of art by the Pilipinas Street Plan:

The Gawa/Laro Toy Making Customization Workshop was organized by Lopez Memorial Museum with the art collective Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP), Knowledge Channel Foundation and Boysen Paints. Some of Toys here will be sold on  February 19, 2011 in Art in the Park in Makati. Proceeds will go to Knowledge Channel Foundation’s programs for Filipino schoolchildren. 


  1. Awesome coverage and story. Definitely a winner with the kids.

  2. Great post!It was nice meeting you and knowing your blog. I love how you wrote your story :)

  3. I like the photos and I want to see the toys. Above all I like playing toys


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