Light waves of fresh air that flicker the senses, urging a person to see the complex art that lies beyond the simple environment. Trekking, swimming and throwing stones, nature truly is a gift that can offer something more.
A person can add a spark of their imagination to nature’s bounty. Bringing out their inner artists, one can create masterpieces in mediums from earth’s natural rubbles.
From the ground up
When art connects with the environment, nature and art lovers dwell in their sanctuary once more. Interests alike, they come together in the home of rock balancing and biodiverse hideaway known as Daranak Falls, the 14-meter high falls in Tanay, Rizal.
“I formed the group Rock Balancing Philippines with the help of my co-founder Ildefonso Vista. We decided to take it out by teaching the community about balance in life and nature to reconstruct and protect the environment… that we need to balance ourselves to help others and always think positively,” Leandro Inocencio, founder of Rock Balancing Philippines, said.
Tools are important to create art, but rock balancing is different from the others. It is a form of sculpture and performance art wherein stones usually found in rivers and forest are arranged in gravity-defying compositions without the need of any tools.
“Yung rock balancing hindi siya yung isang simpleng art lang na pinatong mo lang yung bato, may pagkakataon talaga na kailangan mong kunin yung center of gravity niya (Rock balancing is not a simple art where you just place the rocks on top of each other, there are times that you need to get the center of gravity),” Ildefonso Vista, Rock Balancing Philippines co-founder, said.
Despite the doubting looks from its viewers, rock balancing does not only defy gravity but even a person’s wondering eyes and mind to think beyond that they, too, are all life’s artists.
Seeing these balancers work their magic, one may think that only few selected talented individuals can make the rocks suspend with one another. But as what balancer Donmark Gerones advices, “Kahit sino pwedeng mag-try. Hanapin niyo lang ‘yung center of gravity tapos kusang kakapit ‘yun. (Anyone can to try it, you just have to look for the center of gravity then it would work on its own)”
Rock balancing is one thing mistaken to be as easy as piling up UNO Stack-Os, but for those who has devoted their time into developing what has become of it today, it does not only brought something new to art, but to themselves as well.
“Patience, hindi ako pasensyoso eh.. (I’m not really patient..) kasi you have to find your right rock, para ma-balance ‘di ba, tapos para makita ‘yun, maghahanap ka rito. ‘Yun yung kailangan mong i-consider. (so you can balance it.. right? and before you find it, you have to look for it, it’s one thing to really consider).” Jay Trio, a rock balancer, mentioned.
These balancers dedicated their efforts into pulling off something out of the ordinary. Having one common interest, they believe that patience is the real key into performing this kind of art.
“Dapat patience, para kang nagyo-yoga kasi body and mind.Nakaka-relax din. (Patience, it’s like doing yoga since body and mind is involved. It’s also relaxing.)” Gerones added.
This performance art turned out not only as an escape from daily stress and release from routinely schedule; not just creating masterpieces out of nature’s gift, but also honing one’s individual character as well.
A person creates their unique masterpieces out of their own artistry. The release of self-expression creates a trance of involving oneself to their surroundings. All are artists waiting to be discovered, not just by other people but by their own self.
“’Yung rock balancing para sa iba imposible magawa… pero hindi yun yung nature para samin, hindi imposibleng maibalik natin yung balance sa nature (Rock balancing is not impossible to do… that is not what nature is for us, it’s not impossible to give the balance back to nature),” Vista added.
Coinciding with giving nature its balance through this art is also nature’s way of affecting the artist’s mind and soul. The equilibrium is not just for the nature and its artist, but what’s more important is becoming one with the environment.
“For us, we believe that rock balancing and balanced rocks have therapeutic effect in the balancer and also affect the audience because of meditation and curiosity… It relieves stress, depression, normal blood circulation, breathing etc…. but important thing that we want people to learn and realize the meaning of this art form…. Our principle is that, rocks represent nature, balance represents responsibility, gravity represents our connection. That we are one with nature… We want people to be an advocate,” Inocencio stressed.
Just like rocks, people come from all shapes and sizes. They form as solid elements that stand through the test of time. No matter how hard and heavy are the stones that life throw, one must learn how to build a castle.
Collaborative article with Angelica R. Porciuncula
Published in the first volume of FEU Advocate’s TAMERA, the photo magazine of Far Eastern University’s official student publication.