Books & Art

Artists Rodel Tapaya and Marina Cruz Celebrate the 'Everyday' With Their Offspring

This family of creatives has flourished being together 24/7 in quarantine.
IMAGE MM Yu
ILLUSTRATOR Bianca Papa
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Artists Rodel Tapaya and Marina Cruz first met at the UP College of Fine Arts at the turn of the millennium.

They became friends in 2000, began dating in 2003, and then were married in 2007. They are now parents to a brood of three, and they have all been living, learning, and working side by side every day since the start of the lockdown six months ago.

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The two-artist show Everyday running at Artinformal Makati celebrates the little moments the family has been encountering in their everyday life in this new world.

“The last time we did a show together was a good 10 years ago, so when we got the opportunity during the pandemic, we thought, why not?” says Tapaya. “It’s a looking back, a celebration of our 20 years in 2020.

“We were reminiscing about our grade school days when we used to eat these chips called Araw-araw, every day. Back then, it was one of the cheapest brands of junk food at the sari-sari store,” says Cruz. “What made it different from other chips was that it had a prize inside, sometimes a small toy sometimes actual money, the highest prize being a five-peso bill. Of course, we didn’t get that prize every day, but when we did, we felt it was our lucky day!”

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“We were laughing as we remembered that feeling, and thought that could be the theme of our exhibit,” says Cruz. “Each day, each week, we go through the same routine. During this pandemic, it’s these everyday routines and rituals that have become our backbone. Each day, each week, is an assessment of how we are able to cope and thrive.”

“Because we are together 24/7, more than ever we have gotten to discover a lot of things and have fun. The kids are homeschooled and so we have the flexibility of time to have our kids initiate projects. They love playing chess, doing word games, and other things,” says Cruz.

She proudly talks about her second son, Keon, who created his own board game.

“He made a prototype first using pipe cleaners, then when the rules were established, all of us in the family helped in making the actual boardgame,” says Cruz. “He called it ‘Immunity Community, a Containment Game.’ The goal of the game is to protect the people, lessen the infected ones, put up walls or lock down some territories to contain the virus.”

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Prototypes made of pipe cleaners for the "Immunity Community" board game.
Photo by Marina Cruz.


Game pieces for the "Immunity Community" board game.
Photo by Marina Cruz.
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Rodel Tapaya and his sons playing the "Immunity Community" game.
Photo by Marina Cruz.

 Here’s a video showing the family playing Keon’s board game.

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“We do hope that pandemic will soon be over. But nobody knows when that will happen,” says Cruz. “We know life is not as simple as a board game, but we do know that what we can do is make every day special. Celebrate the ordinariness of the everyday and maybe one day we will realize there is a good prize after all.”

Here are some of the works currently on display at Artinformal Makati.

Marina Cruz for Everyday at Artinformal

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"Everyday" at Artinformal Makati.
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Marina Cruz in her workshop.

Rodel Tapaya for Everyday at Artinformal

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"Everyday" at Artinformal Makati
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Rodel Tapaya at his workshop.


Everyday runs through September 26 at Artinformal Makati. The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Ext., Makati. artinformal.com

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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the editor in chief of Esquire Philippines.
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