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Ma. Angela Luz L.

1. Place Effects to Visual Art
How Geographic Conditions Affected Philippine Visual Art
Geographical conditions have always influenced ones culture
and ergo it has also affected ones visual art, since art itself is an
expression of culture (Robinson, 1949). This can be seen how the
subject and the materials used for their art comes from ones
surroundings or nature itself. An example of this is how the primitive
paintings of cave men were mainly about the animals that surrounded
them like bulls or deer and how they used caves as their canvas to
illustrate their subject by using natural pigments.
Geographical conditions did not only affect cave men art but it
also affected Philippine art. Even before the Spaniards colonized the
Philippines, the pre-Hispanic time was filled with a variety of visual art
reflecting the abundance of natural resources in the Philippines. The
Gold Death-Mask from Butuan and the Golden Necklaces from Mindoro
shows that these places were rich in gold (see fig 1). Aside from that,
in Palawan where clay soil is abundant, people there were able to make
Manunggul Burial Jars (Kroulek, 2007). More so, surrounding nature
does not only dictate what could be made but it could also dictate the
pigments to be used. The Ifugao and Tausug tribes both make beautiful
textiles but one can notice that they have different color schemes in
their textiles since the kinds of pigments available are different from
place to place (fig 2 and 2.1). Eventually when the Spaniards colonized
the Philippines some areas were transformed due to Spaniards new
technology (e.g. galleons, new farming method, and political
government) and thus Philippine Art transformed too.
Since the arrival of Spaniards in the
introduced and religious Catholic Art was
may convert more people (Kroulek, 2007).
the Ifugaos were able to preserve their

Philippines, oil painting was

made popular so that they
People in the high lands like
culture and their art since

Spaniards would not dare to the highlands. Furthermore, Philippine Art

continued to change as oppression became rampant all around. The
Philippine landscape was seen as a land of despair thus some artworks
presented this, like Juan Lunas Spolarium (fig 5).
After the Spaniards have fled, the next Philippine Art boom
happened right after the WW2 (1950s and onwards). In this time of
desolation due to the aftermath of war, some artists like Ang Kiukok
displayed themes of sorrow and poverty in his paintings (fig 4).
Eventually in the 1960s, the popular paintings of Botong Francisco and
Fernando Amorsolo mainly depicted the rich history of the Philippines
(Kroulek, 2007). They probably painted such subjects in order to ignite
hope in the Filipinos by showing them that through the year the
Filipinos have suffered but survived. In modern times, Philippine Art is
now a melting pot of different influences and cultures since technology
helped us see foreign artworks. By exploring Philippine Art through the
years, one can learn how the ever changing geographic conditions of
the Philippines have affected their visual artworks.

3 (Ifugaos)


1 (GoldMask,

Figure 5 (Luna)
Figure 4 (Kiukok)

2.1 (Tausugs)
Textile, n.d.

Spolarium by Juan Luna

2. Inverted Pyramid
Japans Aging Population
Preschools and playgrounds are places where you would usually
see children, but in Japan the sight of children in these places isnt so
prevalent due to their low fertility rate. Japan is a prime example of a
country with an inverted population pyramid, meaning there are more
adults than young children to replace them (fig 7). At 2013, their
fertility was 1.4 and this is not ideal (Worldwide Fertility Rates, 2013).
An industrialized country should have an optimal 2.1 fertility rate in
order to replenish the past generation, but due to the current thinking
and culture of the Japanese, majority of the working adults are not
interested in reproducing themselves. If this problem continues on,
they may go from 127 million people to 87 million in the next 50 years
(Fighting Population Decline, Japan Aims to Stay at 100 Million,
Most Japanese adults do not want to participate in relationships
simply because it causes emotional stress that they do not want to
deal with (Metaxas, 2013). Moreover, some men substitute virtual
girlfriends to experience a relationship without the hassle
(Eberspacher, 2014). Aside from that, skewed gender roles have
caused some working women to reject the idea of getting married
since their chances of getting a higher position may lessen and she
may lose her job (Metaxas, 2013). This is due to western influence
which is why the Japanese thinks that once a woman is married she
should not work anymore. Also due to the slow extinction of arrange
marriages, some Japanese men are having a hard time to find someone
to settle with since they do not have anyone to facilitate the marriage
(Eberspacher, 2014).
The reason why there are a huge number of senior citizens in
Japan is because of their diet and lifestyle. Being a country surrounded

by water Japanese folk would often eat fish either raw or cooked (fig 6).
Moreover, Japanese people practice urban agriculture which is probably
why they eat a lot of vegetables and fruits (Moreno-Pearanda, 2011).
Also since Japan is a small country people mainly walk to go from place
to place in order to go to their destination (Koichi). By observing their
diet and lifestyle we could truly see how their environment affects how
long they live.
The effects of this depopulation include a lesser workforce and a
strain to their national budget. If there are more retired senior citizens
there would be less people to work which will make their economy
unstable (Fighting Population Decline, Japan Aims to Stay at 100
Million, 2014). More so, since 40% percent of their population is
senior citizens, this gives a strain to the national budget since they
give a lot of pensions (Fighting Population Decline, Japan Aims to Stay
at 100 Million, 2014). To help increase their population Prime Minister
Abe will give financial incentives to parents that will have children and
they plan to invest in more child rearing facilities to encourage people
have children (Fighting Population Decline, Japan Aims to Stay at 100
Million, 2014). However in order to mitigate the effects of this
depopulation, Prime Minister Abe plans to change the retirement age
to 70 instead of 60 and he aims to create a working environment in

Figure 7


Figure 6 (Bento)

balance work and child rearing.

Places are different from each other because each space has a
different meaning. As said by Yi Fu Tuan, Place is a space with meaning;
each place is different because these spaces have different cultures,
memories and values to each person (Tuan Y. , 1977). Each place has a
certain landscape to them or a characteristic which makes them unique.
More so, places become different from each other not only because of
their meaning but because of their culture. Culture is defined as a set of
ideas and practices which molds people (Robertson, Iain, & Richards, 2003).
Culture varies from place to place which is why each place is unique. Some
cultures though tainted by other cultures, are still dissimilar from their
foreign influences. For example, the Philippine culture has been influenced
by the Spanish, Chinese and Americans but though we have adopted some
of their terms and traditions, the Philippine culture remains entirely different.
Furthermore, one cannot say that the Philippines as the same as America
because they both speak English and they have a lot of fast-food chains. The
Philippines is still a unique place because our culture compared to America is
not totally similar.
History itself makes a place different from others (Tuan Y.-F. , 1976).
The present place is not only influenced by the people who live there at the
moment but the rich history also molds the place. The history gives it a
unique meaning or value because the past events that happened in each
place vary (Tuan Y.-F. , 1976). For example, majority of the Philippines before
had the same religion which is a mixture of Islam and Animism, but due to
Spaniards the beliefs of certain islands became different from other Islands
namely some Visayan Islands like Cebu compared to Mindanao.
The reason why people see a certain place differently is because of
personal experiences, Geopolitics, and personal beliefs (Dodds, 2007). All
people are different but they may or may not experience the same things in
a certain area ergo this affects what the place means to them. For example,
a hospital for most is seen as a place to get better, but for little children they
see it as a scary place due to vaccine injections. More so Geopolitics also
affects how people see places differently. This can be seen how Palestine is
viewed as a place filled with terrorists due to Popular Geopolitics but in
reality they fail to show refugees needing a home (Dodds, 2007). Lastly,
personal beliefs are another factor why people see a certain place differently.

This can be seen how a capitalist and an extreme environmental

preservationist see a forest. The capitalist may see the place as a source of
income by selling the land and poaching some animals but the
environmentalist may see it as place that should be untouched because it is
a home for precious animals. A certain place is like the elephant in the Indian
story of The Elephant and the Blind Men because one thing can be
interpreted differently depending on your perspective.

1. Ano tawag sa maliit na tsunami? Eh di Tsunano! *Budum tsk* sound
epeks oh yeh
2. I would go back to the time my puppies, named Loki and Truffles, were
alive. They were my best friends but I was closer to Loki. He would
poop everywhere and for 2 months my bed smelled like dog pee and
poop but at the end of the day I loved how he would snuggle between
my neck and sleep beside me and sit in my lap peacefully as I do
paperwork. I miss him all the time even though its been a year and a
half since he died. Ill never forget him and I will always love him.

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