My previous work as a journalist and producer at a television news network involved story-telling in creative ways. To me, every in-depth interview is like falling in love – filled with anticipation and excitement over a meeting of minds, as a rollercoaster of emotions surrounds the unravelling of multi-faceted stories behind the subject’s passion, purpose, search for meaning and happiness. It’s a thrilling adventure of exploration, delving deeper into the heart of the human experience. It’s always my hope that sharing their stories may titillate audiences to broaden their minds to think again about commonly held beliefs or preconceived notions. I call these powwows– dancing, singing, and feasting with new ideas and new ways of seeing the world.
My love affair with the Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI) goes even way back, over a decade ago, as The Mind Museum was taking shape. I was one of the designers of the multi-media exhibits. There were regular design meets or “powwows” as Maribel, the curator, called them, bringing artists and scientists together in coordinating how all the exhibits could come together to tell The Mind Museum's story of wonder. That was my first mindful taste of the sciences and the arts "dating". That same year, Maribel and I localized the Café Scientifique movement (now known as Better World Café) to promote a public engagement with science – part of efforts to whet the public’s appetite for the science wonder to come through The Mind Museum. And while I was with a TV network, I also gravitated to telling the fascinating stories generated by the science projects of BAFI, like the Manila Mini Maker Faire and landmark performing art projects like the Pinoy Playlist Music Festival with National Artist, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.
Fast forward to 2020 and I was invited to another set of powwows, virtual this time, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to get Mind S-Cool TV off the ground. Working with BAFI as director and executive producer of the show gives wings to my imagination and creativity, letting my other selves take flight. There’s more room to play and dream, celebrate weird, crazy ideas, beyond the limits of the news network world. Every powwow with the team – be it for script reviews, production, or post-production work – is a learning adventure. Leaning on science and art to navigate these uncertain times towards a better normal brings much-needed light to the powwows that be.