“I hope that someday I would come to know what true love is. The same thing I wish for everyone. I pray that the love you had given away would eventually find its way back to you.”


IN LOVE? is part of Mark Maliwanag | Color Series which serves as the White Artwork.


I could no longer remember what inspired me to create this piece and if I was indeed in love then. But, it’s where my journey of colors began. From where I started is where I will end. I remember that I dared myself long ago to tell about my encounters of love when I publish this entry. I had hesitations because I’m not used to sharing about this part of my life, especially this time. But yeah, I’m putting them all down here and I hope you could have something worth to take away from my 13 stories of experiences in love.

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Featured ARTMARK: Plain But Label-Free


 “Freedom to love. Reason to live for. The usual ordinary dreams. Peace of mind. Simple life. What I wouldn’t be willing to give up just to have these essentials in life.”

ARTMARK Title: Plain But Label-Free

Plain But Label-Free is part of Mark Maliwanag | Color Series which serves as the Gray Artwork.


This was my 2nd entry that I made for this Color series and it was where the whole idea of wearing plain shirts in different colors actually came from. One color for each concept artwork/shoot.

But putting the shoots aside, there’s a deeper story behind it. At a certain point of my life, I got fond of collecting and wearing plain colored shirts. I suddenly want things to be that plain and simple. So, for a period of time, I refrained from buying shirts with prints, styles, designs and labels on it.

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Featured ARTMARK: Kape O Alak?


 “Kape o Alak, ano ang pipiliin ko?

Pareho kong karamay sa malamig na panahon”

ARTMARK Title: Kape O Alak?

Kape O Alak? is part of Mark Maliwanag | Color Series which serves as the Brown Artwork.


I’m a coffee lover. Like in chocolates, I prefer it dark. Too bad, coffee hates my tummy now though. So all I can enjoy is just its addicting smell. Late bloomer drinker here as well. I once hated alcohol but now it’s what I run to whenever I’m down and in need. It usually takes me too long to get drunk even though I’m not a hardcore drinker.

So, as I tried creating simple vectors in this artwork, I also tried writing a poetry in my native language out of the blue entitled “Kape O Alak, Ano Ang Pipiliin Ko?”. Maybe I was inspired to make one by my literature classes back then. The poem, for me, is just simple and I didn’t take it seriously. But, here in this poem, I present a comparison between coffee and alcohol which serve as an analogy to the two choices I had at that time. I leave it up to you what these choices specifically are.

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Featured ARTMARK: C_mplete


 “So, we hide our vulnerability and we do it by faking. Fake smiles to hide our brokenness. Fake laughs to hide our true feelings. Fake yes to not disappoint others. Fake okays to not bother them anymore. Because by faking, we think that we can protect the ones we love from our destructive selves.”

ARTMARK Title: C_mplete

C_mplete is part of Mark Maliwanag | Color Series which serves as the Pink Artwork.


With this artwork, I want to touch on the subject of vulnerability. To be vulnerable, as how society define it and I once saw it, is appearing weak, being too emotional and letting yourself enslaved to your feelings.

People usually take it as a negative attribute because we are expected to be strong and resilient at all times. We are expected to deal life with a robust stance despite how hard it is. You have to be tough or else you will not survive.

And if we can’t handle these “simple” challenges/curveballs life threw to us, we are called weaklings, judged as having little faith and too dependent who can’t stand on his/her own.

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WOL #002: The Beauty of Death

I wish life is like a game where you can have multiple lives, revive people or just hit restart. But the sad reality is death is a painful, uncertain, inevitable and irreversible gameover. It is a fact of life that even though we don’t want to accept, we have no choice but to do so.

In this journey of my life, I lost many people along the way: family members, friends, teachers and, just recently, my last living grandparent. However, even though the idea of losing someone dear forever is soul-devastating, death can teach and/or remind us of these important lessons in life:

Challenge yourself to take chances.

Death is uncertain. Young or old, wealthy or poor, man or woman, healthy or with no vices or disease, careful or reckless, when your time is up, your time is up. We just have no clue when but death reminds us that we all have a deadline. And that reality should propel us to live in the moment, to leave our fears and inhibitions behind to grab every opportunity we can enjoy and, ensure ourselves that we will collect more good memories than regrets.

Choose to live.

Whenever I feel I’m losing my will to live, I just have to think of my departed loved ones… How much did they desire to live longer if given the choice?

I believe that more than being present in the wake and funeral of the departed and praying for their souls, the best way to honor the dead is when someone makes a decision to live life truly and fully in their stead.

Back in my high school years, I lost a very dear friend. She was young, optimistic and full of spirit. And, I know her greatest dream was to enter in an art school and become a graphic artist. I knew back then that we shared the same dream yet I chose a different path.

I studied engineering but right after I graduated, my heart’s calling to embrace my true dream grew strong. That sudden career shift was scary and risky, but the thought of having to live out the dream my friend and I shared gave me the courage to take that leap of faith.

Thus, by appreciating the time and opportunity that the our late loved ones lost but yet still being given to us and continuing their good works, we can add meaning to their death.

Cherish what really matter.

They say that people who were on their deathbed did not look for their wallets with money and cards, proofs of their honorable achievements, keys of their cars and mansion door, expensive clothes and jewelries, etc. The first thing that dying people always yearned for are seeing and holding their loved ones beside them.


It only goes to show at the end of the day, people still matter more than material things. We maybe alive now but no one can tell if the same goes for your parent, your sibling or your friend today or if they will be still around the next day.

Whenever I have hesitations in expressing my love for someone, I just ask myself, “What if this will be our last meeting? Have I said what I think that person needs to hear from me? Did I make him/her feel loved enough?”

Is there beauty in death?

Though scary and paralyzing when we overthink about it, death, if we accept it as part of our life cycle, can push us to dream, live and love in the best way we can as soon as now. The beauty of death is it continues to remind us to appreciate how short yet precious life is that it should not be wasted and taken for granted every single day. Everyday is a second chance; let’s begin living our lives meaningfully.



Warrior of Light Journal is a category under ARTMARK – Life Blog that features retelling of inspiring real life stories and/or tackling relevant issues with the aid of my childhood heroes in their action figure forms. 

My mind is open to any ideas so be free to share your reactions, feedbacks or questions in the comment section below. I would love to hear them and discuss them with you.


WOL #000: Depression Can Be Defeated: How I, a Victim, Became a Warrior of Light

My dear friends, this is my story…

I’m Mark Maliwanag, a witness and a survivor of the chaos caused by this daemon called depression. I had serious recurring random encounter with this daemon since I was 15 years old and even later on when I turned 20s. The darkness that I went through at that time was overwhelming. It almost paralyzed me to move, drained all the life force I had, poisoned my faith in humanity, silenced what my heart truly yearns to do, broke my connections with my loved ones, stole almost all my reasons to live and blinded me of my purpose in life.

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#MayForever ~ Didache Youth Reflection

This is my reflection article on Mark 16:9-15 featured in Didache Youth book for April 22, 2017.

#WalangForever #NothingLasts. It’s funny how people comment with these hashtags whenever they see photos of couples #sohappytogether or observe a pair on the street #HHWWPSSP (Holding Hands While Walking, Pa-Sway-Sway Pa). Did I just hit someone here?

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