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Joselina Cruz








I write this in the midst of an oncoming storm, a typhoon, a kusikus, a whirlwind. The typhoon is expected to cut through the Philippines, its destruction certain, expected. The yearly rhythm our archipelago goes through is familiar, its spells of searing hot sun, heavy humid days, and rain that pisses for days. This strongest of storms seems like just another pearl strung as part of the backdrop of governments in disarray, a virus gone global.  And as the storm approaches, we gird ourselves to feel the brunt of its wind, the rain beat heavy on our roofs, window panes pelted with drops like those of pebbles thrown,  the trees shake free of leaves, and branches snap. We get ready for power to be cut, for shops to close, traffic cease, advertising tarps rolled down, and flooding in our streets. This… catastrophe… has turned into a hum, a hum of misfortunes, mishaps, destruction, tragedies, of curses. We are stuck in a moment, like a string, reverberating, waiting. When this is all over….. go back to lives we were familiar with: before masks, shields, sanitizers, temp checks, footbaths, the fear of crowds, hugs, kisses. When this is all over.


Towards a future we didn’t even try to, couldn’t even, foretell, or considered. Everywhere we navigate through a rollercoaster of lockdowns. Of jumps and starts. Of inside, then outside…then inside.  Our screens, now our constant companions, scrolling, swiping, liking. Repeat. A thousand more. The storm, when it comes, will be browsed through our screens, and we’ll send messages to friends and family to make sure they are okay, send care packages before the storm hits, and after.  Be safe, and keep well. The mantra of our time.

I scrolled through my phone and found this, a friend, singing a song written in the 70s, originally sung by a Filipino band called The Hotdogs.  And clip of a storm bearing down on Manila in 2018.






Joselina Cruz is the Director and Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila. She curated The Spectre of Comparison, the standout Philippine Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, which showed works by Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo. 


[MAILBOX] For this second series we shared a fragment of a text by John Cage, in which he refers to Oskar Fischinger, a film director, who once told him that “everyone has their own spirit that can be liberated by keeping it in vibration”, to 5 different curators who responded to this idea.



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