The Hunt for Chinese Brushes in China Town

Oh the things we do for art!

Last May 15, I had the honor of getting some art advise from Sir Pete Velasquez. And one of his watercolor tips was to get a Chinese paint brush set.

So I went and bought myself some Chinese brushes in Binondo.

But it wasn't easy.  Who would have thought that looking for Chinese paint brush in China Town would be difficult?

Good thing my blogger and photographer friend Tinsley came along for this adventure.
When in doubt, drag a friend along. Getting lost is more fun that way. Lol.
We started at Church of Santa Cruz and took in a lot of the sights as we went about our search.
Belfry of Church of Santa Cruz (L). Interior of Church of Santa Cruz (TOP, R).
Carriedo Fountain (BELOW,R).  
Random scenes along Ongpin Street.
We even managed to squeeze in some food tasting for Tinsley's blog and a visit to an Ongpin historic spot, Guan Sheng Fu Zi Temple.
Elevator Entrance to Guan Sheng Fu Zi temple (TOP,L). Interior of temple (TOP,R).
New Eastern Garden Restaurant (PHOTOS BELOW). Misua Soup (L) and Maki Mi (R).

---------SIDE TRIP NOTE---------
The entrance elevator to the temple made me feel like I'm in some B horror movie flick. It was creepy but the visit was worth it. (Just be sure to press the 3rd floor button immediately. The entrance was creepy enough. The 2nd floor will really play on your imagination. I hope they clean, or a better term would be- purge, that area soon. T_T)

As you can see, we've done a lot. We even made it to the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in our search (that's the other end of Ongpin street) but we still haven't found the Chinese brushes!
Exterior of Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz (TOP,L). An icon inside the Church (R).
Children bathing at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Plaza across the Church (BELOW,L).
After hours of walking and asking people, it dawned on me that I was asking the wrong question.

I was asking for Chinese paint brushes in China Town. It's like asking where Philippine paint brushes are in the Philippines! 

At the next shop, I ask "Meron po kayo'ng brush? Yung pang-pinta? Pang-calligraphy, mga ganun po?" I said this with matching hand gestures for painting.

Then the Chinese lady at the counter asked back, "Popin?" And she said this with the same hand gestures for painting.

I wanted to scream, "YEEES! POPIN! Kung ano man yun- it must be IT!" Pero I kept my composure.  Kunwari alam ko kung ano yun. And said "Patingin nga po nang Popin ninyo."

And there it was.  The hunt for the elusive Chinese brush was over!
The big one is at Php270 and the smaller one is at Php70.  Wala'ng tawad.  Corny.  Alam niya ata na kanina pa ako naghahanap at ayoko na maglakad pa. Hahaha!
They don't have a set so I bought two different sizes. I can't wait to give these a try.

If you want your own Popin or Chinese paintbrush, the name of the general store is A.E.Y. General Merchandise. It's at 820 Ongpin street and is open from 9am to 7pm. You can also buy india ink there. You have to ask for it from the Chinese girl though. It's not on display.

Next week, I'm putting the spotlight on my friend, Jo Balbarona. This feisty lady has been through a lot. I was expecting her art to reflect this.  So it came as a surprise when her exhibit titled "Go With The Flow" shows much more than what was expected. Abangan!

If you're an artist, an art hobbyist, a wanna-be artist, or just someone who thinks you too have much to learn about art- then you're most welcome here. I'd be happy to share my notes and discuss the things I learn along the way.

Next week, I'm checking out the exhibit of my friend Jo Balbarona. I wonder why she titled her exhibit "Go With The Flow"? Stay tuned! :-)