Untitled — 10.15.2020
The first time I found myself in the T. Gener space was to view “Domestic Bliss”, Ling Quisumbing Ramilo’s 2008 exhibit reflecting on ideas of home: her reestablishment in Manila after being gone for many years was layered with the renovation of the home she grew up in. I really liked that show but I didn’t think then that I’d ever associate Green Papaya with home beyond that.
A few years later I’d be there between film screenings, pirate radios, talks, and performances. I was a sort of active participant of the activities in the space for a while, I guess, as at that time I lived only a few blocks away. Often, I’d show up very early with little care, knowing I’d be alright even with just observing preparations. Before, during and after the activities I’d converse with both the same faces and new faces but even supposed strangers weren’t strange, pre-warmed by the recognition of community.
For most of my life, I lived between the zip codes 1103 and 1104. With long commutes not well-set in my system, we moved somewhere more distant as traffic in the metro got worse and worse. I recall going to only one GP event each in 2016 and 2017. I went to Catch272 once in 2018 but the friends I shared drinks with had no idea what Green Papaya Art Projects even was.
On the first Monday of this year, I found myself in the space after a long suspended catchup meal. I had been there for a talk just a few weeks before but the feel of that had a teeny-tiny prodigal child tinge to it. This time was more comfortable as I savored reading a book in silence as my company did work.
We were so naïve about how the year would turn out, I said going back to that a few days after the fire. Blissfully naïve, was the reply I got.
The space is missed but we remember that it is in other people that we find home.
Iris de Ocampo
September 12, 2020