Andrea Cervantes is Beruna Girl, designer & illustrator from Laguna, Philippines.

  • July 4, 2013
  • Filed under Blog, Books, No comments yet


People don’t get why I love Foucault’s Pendulum. And understandably so, because it’s a very hard book to read – with footnotes, offline blog entries, and a retelling of the history of Western esotericism (and an alternate view of Western history). But if only for quotes like these, for heartbreaking stories about the pains of creation, and for how words and symbols have lives of their own.


It’s July, and suddenly everything falls into the category of “things I haven’t done,” because I certainly haven’t done anything relatively big and structured, and it seems that way for the first half of the year too even though I made really great stuff. The 6-month mark really does get to me, especially when the only thing I can remember doing is sitting through the first seasons of Hannibal (as a person who read Thomas Harris while growing up, OH MY GOD everything is beautiful and everything hurts) and Person of Interest (so far it’s a crime-of-the-week sci-fi show/commentary on national surveillance and AI but Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson are MAGNIFICENT) after work. Haven’t even finished Game of Thrones season 3 yet (I’ve read the books so I know, OK?). Heck, even work was testing my ability to open eyelids. June was ultimately lazy, guys.

I can’t wait to have more exciting things soon. It will be hectic and crazy again, and I hope I’ll be ready to face it.


A very long, overdue post, guys, but I finally made it! And with a new layout too! I AM SO HAPPY WITH IT.

During the start of the year, I was itching to blog about stuff that happened last year. I have a lot of backlog right after I got out of the hospital. But whenever I open the site, I can’t help but notice things and re-evaluate. Do I need an intro page like that? My About page is so long, lulz. I don’t feel like clicking the Portfolio page, eh. Internally, WordPress’s gallery was tiring to maintain – it was too cluttered and powerful for what I need.

Also, I was starting to use my logo into forms, invoices, and other media, and I noticed that the asymmetrical shape makes it hard to layout. I tried modifying it a bit… but it’s still not it.


Also, it became too swirly! Hmm.

So I decided that I needed a complete overhaul, which was good but tiring. Pretty soon, instead of updating my blog, I just sit and nitpick about things I didn’t like about it. That’s it, blog layout, I love you but I need to move on.


A last look – I’m listening to The Great Gatsby soundtrack while typing this, and I can imagine my blog singing to me: will you still love me, when I’m no longer young and beautiful. Of course bb I will, I’m just changing your layout, that’s all. 🙂

It took me a really long time to start, and to figure out what to do – it was what I was doing site-wise during that long downtime. I grabbed little bursts of free time to work on the things I wanted to change, mainly my logo, colors, and layout.

I modified my logo first. There were too many loops and elements in the old one, so I decided to tame it down a bit.


Also, I’ve been reading more on grids in design, so I used grids FINALLY after forgetting all about it. GRIDS, THEY ARE IMPORTANT. Now this variation has the personality of the old one, but more structured. LOVE IT.

After the logo, I wanted to define elements I want to use around the blog. Initially, I just wanted to make do with my ribbons and make a pretty “inspiration board” post. But I found Braizen‘s branding boards and realized that I needed to sort out my site stuff with that kind of clarity.


With all the keywords, fonts, new icons and everything! I changed Museo and Caslon into Tisa and Minion because they are better suited for web.

This got me really excited about diving in and doing a complete layout overhaul. I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at various WordPress templates and themes, but I never found what I really wanted. I got overwhelmed while working on Em’s website too, so I developed this love-hate relationship with WordPress.

Fortunately, I found Stacey App CMS from Tin & Ed’s and Kara Villaseran‘s sites. Reading through it sounds complicated, but I figured out things by looking at templates. It’s easy! I found out that I can still churn out a decent website from scratch (still, please don’t hire me), and use it on Stacey. (It’s kind of a throwback to that time in my life when I made (really bad) websites, haha.) WordPress does lots of things for you and sometimes you can’t keep track of files you want to modify – but with Stacey I know where all my files are going! Genius.

WordPress is still great at blogs though, so I chose the simplest theme to modify and made a seamless blog page.

I was so addicted to making my site from scratch, I spent my birthday doing it! No really: it was Election Day and I couldn’t go outside after voting, so I chose to do this instead.

I’ve still have lots of work to upload! But here’s the site for now. This means I can finally go on with my life, work properly, ship orders and watch Hannibal episodes on repeat do more productive things.

Check out the portfolio and about pages (the contact thing works!!!), and finally linked my shop and social networks on the menu. How do you like it so far? 🙂

So onwards to another update! I’ve been happily balancing things around my life, and although it takes a toll on me on some nights (aka I didn’t notice I was asleep for 12 hours!!!), I’m just glad I’ve been really creative and driven. Or at least I’ve been planning things. 🙂

But I digress, here’s the rest of March and April! (Also, I’ve been adding “yo” to everything because I’ve been watching too much Breaking Bad, sorry!)

Heima’s Brixton Block Party!

You know this was coming, guys who follow me on Tumblr. Bong and Rossy of Heima Store just opened their newest branch at 3 Brixton St., Pasig City, and commissioned me to make another set of Paper Club Prints for the opening, based on my typography exercises and my notebooks. They gave me free reign of what I can do, and sometimes too much freedom can be nerve-wrecking. But I love working with the Heima team because they give me so much inspiration, that I whipped most of these pretty quickly!

Keeping with the tradition of offering uplifting design prints (since the Keep Calm posters they introduced at Cubao X), the team gave me various words of wisdom to interpret. I picked out my favorites among them, and tried incorporating them to the new store’s aesthetics, which is industrial/masculine but still very Heima. Here are the results:

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Fave is the uppermost top-left, can you tell that I have a bias for C. S. Lewis? Narnia kid all the way, yo! Also, one print became the door sticker!

They liked it so much that they gave me another project to work on, which was to design merchandise for The Brixton Block Party – their opening event AND the vinyl soundtrack launch of Marie Jamora’s film Ang Nawawala.


Of course I was so excited to be part of it – I may not be the target audience of this film, but I think it looks so good, it’s on a right step ahead for Filipino films, plus the soundtrack is great (I like to listen to it in the morning). And I remember spazzing out when I found out that Cynthia Bauzon-Arre made the illustrations for the cover!


Guess who bought one because they have a new record player? GUESS. 😀

Bong liked my Pond Feels notebooks, and decided them to be the main inspiration.



Took some playing around with the colors, balance and the arrangement.


I particularly like this one, because it wasn’t as predictable as the last ones, plus I saw a connection between the twin characters here: Gibson is a little bit earth-bound while Jamie is on a different plane, but they still have a connection.


Turns out that Marie and I were on the same train of thought! She told me later that she liked it because “Jamie’s coming out of Gibson’s head!” which is how it is in the movie!


Took us a couple of days exchanging emails with almost everybody and the final design was DONE. 😀

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Afterwards, I was invited to the party! And let me tell you, it was so much fun – but not as fun as I’ve expected! I met the Heima team (all the bubbly people), Marie (I love her energy), Jess and Jill from my old office, Eldzs and the Thursday Room people, met Valerie on the way home, and had another spazzed-out moment when I saw Cynthia (I am so sorry for freaking you outttttt!!!). I went with my blockmate forever, Boombee, and we had a little heart attack when we were reunited with Pat and Rik of Proudrace! College friends! I MISS YOU! <3


That’s Boom and Me, from Hannah Salla’s gallery.


From Ang Nawawala’s tumblr (that’s me and Marie)

We were by far older than the rest of the people (and we didn’t know most of them haha), and to paraphrase my brother, “that was so hipster of you,” but it didn’t stop us from having a great time with friends. 🙂

The Kwento Project

My friend Tintin just graduated from BFA Information Design, so go congratulate her! I helped her out by illustrating a story for her thesis, The Kwento Project, which encourages families to read Filipino folk stories together, through old (print) and new (tablets) ways.

I got a challenging one from her, a story from Bicol called Monkeys and Dragonflies.

The challenge was to reinterpret these stories in your own way but would suit the narrative. Being somebody who believes that she lived in the turn of the century until the 1930’s, I thought about The Godfather (think Part II, with De Niro)! Gangsters! Art Nouevau and Art Deco! Let’s do this!


Monkeys are hard to draw yo, but super satisfying to cut.

Check out more stories and more illustrations from friends and other artists on The Kwento Project website!

#friendless SHH

I’ve been meeting really lovely, talented, and awkward people around for quite some time, and we got together as fans of BBC’s Sherlock. We call ourselves #friendless, and until we come out, we can’t divulge our secrets to anyone.

But I think I can tell everyone that our secret society enjoys our meetups, that we are currently loving Subspace Coffee House‘s Taro Coffee (with Doctor Who coffee art!!!), and that we’re gonna launch something big soon.

And I can let it slip that we’re currently obsessed with NBC’s Hannibal.

Aaaand… that was the Months That Were!  I’m just so happy to get those stories out in my blog. I hope you come back for more, and by then I’ve taken the huge step into revamping this site. It has been a year, wow it has been a year! 😀

Hey guys! I know, I’m pretty much delayed with updating this blog! Believe me when I say I really, really, REALLY want to update… but because I started out the year with fixing my friend’s site up, I’ve been itching to update this site. Plans have been at the back of my mind and I really want to sit down and do this well… and until I do, I just don’t want to see this old layout. I’m suddenly so impatient with this!

But really good things have happened these past few months, I’ve been bursting with stories to tell!


“Busy” is an understatement during those days. I’ve been designing giveaways and bundling them up by myself at work, we’ve been visiting relatives and it’s pretty hard to do while commuting, and I’ve been trying to start a small store.

Because of my former jobs in graphics, I get dibs on designing stuff for company events. When you think about it, internal company events can run with things designed in MS Powerpoint (I hate Powerpoint with a passion, guys) and get away with it. I tried so hard to go against it, even if I’m given a really short deadline and a last-minute brief. So I’ve been making event tarps, shirts, and what-have-you’s ever since I got this job.

Here are some things that we did during the holidays, minus the usual Christmas cards (I didn’t take a picture of those because once I was done I was SO TIRED):


CAT CALENDAR. Bask in the cuteness of these felines, while keeping with the dates. I had SO MANY CLIENTS requesting for these when people were giving them out, which was good for the company… but I was the only one assembling the stuff so YAY ARMY OF CATS. :O


Cut-out Christmas tree that we gave away with the cats. And… our only photo of the truck that we dressed up as Santa Claus for the annual CSR Christmas outreach program, because after we finished this we all passed out. This was A PAIN TO DECORATE, as it is a huge-ass 20-wheeler truck. Thankful that I didn’t have do this by myself ! *high-fives D&T team*

And… after this I just go directly to bed. Good times?

Jake and Joy’s Wedding Invites

Jake is one of my blockmates in engineering, and I’m pretty flattered when they remember that I design things, because these engineering people are not to be messed with. CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRIES, YO. Anyway, he got married last January so I’ve worked on his and his wife Joy’s wedding invitations.

I tried to design an invitation for another couple in the past, but I guess I didn’t capture the bride’s tastes, and I learned early on that it’s a very important thing; otherwise, let another artist do it. I was hesitant to make another one (“maybe I’m not really for weddings, huhuhuhuhu”), but I love how Joy sent me her inspiration board that I got into her state of mind pretty quickly!

At first they wanted to change the typefaces and add some accents to an existing design


And then they told me that they like mine so much that I should consider a redesign!


The final thing!


Things were so hectic and problematic that day that I didn’t make it to their wedding (Who loses her stuff on a jeep? Me.) and I’ve yet to see the invite printed out, but I’m so glad I made two beautiful people happy!

Fandom Jots

I confess: I was eager to have this giveaway last October, partly because I wanted to know how to ship out stuff abroad to clients. The experiment turned out to be a success because I learned how to send stuff internationally!

I signed up for Etsy a long time ago, just in case my friends and I revive our accessory business. Seeing the demand and the feedback I got from the Tumblr community, I plucked out the courage to use that account and try selling stuff! And this is how my Etsy shop, Beruna Girl Papers was born!

Right now I’ve been thinking of expanding to other fandoms and geek-related activities, as well as putting out some badass quotes and drawings in the future, as well as new bindings and materials. Gonna experiment with cards, posters, and other stationery too! Right now, here are the new things! 🙂

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I’ve also added a small widget of my Etsy Store on the right side of the blog, check it out! 😀

Wired Feature! WOOT!

To celebrate Fringe’s final season, Gallery 1988 at LA held Fringe Benefits, a show featuring gorgeous Fringe-inspired artworks and posters. When Wired Underwire featured the exhibit, they went out of their way to feature Fringe fanart from around the world… and they picked one of mine!blog-inbetween2

Super thanks to Jon Ginn (who is probably one of the cutest guys in Tumblr, and check out his contribution as well) and Hugh Hart for discovering my work and featuring it on one of my favorite sites!

Em’s Site

My friend Em, who collaborated with me here, asked me to revive her portfolio site. Being Em, I know she loves minimalism and clean working spaces because her works are so colorful and playful, that they don’t need any additional accents.


Now, here is a study in humility: I failed to deliver on time because I realized I couldn’t code fast enough. I am so glad that Em still accepted my work, and we’re still talking, but there should be no excuses. I realized that I am pretty rusty on coding, and that I should always have a backup when things go wrong! When things were going wrong, this piece by Jessica Hische came into mind. I stepped onto the challenge because Em had been a great friend and I thought  I could muster something as easily as I did some years ago, but I keep on forgetting that I chose to develop and enrich another talent – that I can’t do everything.

But I step back, and I thought I did pretty well!


Lots of lessons learned, and I’m glad that things got to be better. Also folks, don’t give me coding jobs yet!

Well. This is a long post, it needs a part 2! Will come up shortly!

Happy 2013 – wait, it’s MARCH already?

Sorry for the lack of updates, guys! I’ve been super busy the past few months – I’ve been in charge of all Christmas/New Year stuff at work (lone artist at work, lulz!) and we’ve had so many projects. I’ve been busy with freelance work too, and right now I’ve just been catching up on sleep. (Thank you holidays!!!!)

Onwards, though. Remember the goals I’ve encircled last year? Here’s a look back on some of those. I didn’t do some of them, and some of my plans and personal projects have been shelved, but I’ve managed to fulfill more and still learn new things this year.

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Tried keeping it simple this time. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of stories to tell about my new projects. I’ve been more active in tumblr, and after erasing my initial account (created for following people, deleted when I decided to give up on mobile photo-taking), I reopened my Instagram account this month (trying to make use of my new camera phone: photo quality is still cringe-inducing but hmm, let’s give it a chance).

The past few months turned out to be challenging but fun! I hope it stays that way, although I don’t mind some vacations in between. <3

Because Tumblr is great and my followers are the best, I’m giving away free stuff! I’ve printed out some of my Fringe covers that I made and some exciting notebooks (more about them later!), and decided to give them away to 3 lucky people.


This is exclusively for people who have tumblr blogs but I’m feeling really generous, so if you happen to scroll through this blog and have a tumblr blog, you have 2 more days to like and reblog my post! Visit my tumblr for the rules and prizes, reblog and like, and cross your fingers for good luck! <3

  • October 21, 2012
  • Filed under Blog, Books, 2 comments

So my brother got a lot of books from the MIBF and although technically they’re his, I can still borrow whatever I like! Also, I’d like you to say hello to my maneki-neko coin bank, which I found in a discount store and is uber cute (ububububububuuu).

October Books

  • I don’t know why I didn’t start on Trese early on, because I’m a fan of this Pinoy comic genre – the crime-solving/procedural with the help of supernatural beings from folklore (however, I’m not a fan of Grimm and OUAT). But it’s surprisingly good and I’m glad that I’ve started it! Also, I’m really happy that most of these writers and artists are still inspired by local folklore and myths, and I’m glad that they never tone them down. Alexandra Trese reminds me of stoic superheroines in scifi whom I love, but I’m more interested with the Kambal, her bodyguards.
  • About a year ago I tried picking up my brother’s favorite book, The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet, but I felt that the lead character is too much like him, and reading more from the book seems like an invasion of privacy. I’m trying to read it again and I hope I can get past that and focus on the story.
  • WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT LOVELY EDITION OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It’s one of my favorite books growing up, and I’m just all grabby-hands at this book.

I’m proud of the fact that I get to read more this year. I hope I can go back to reading plenty of books next year – I have a long list of ebooks to read and nothing to read them with (except my laptop, but that’s too heavy to take anywhere).

  • October 19, 2012
  • Filed under Blog, swag, No comments yet

Pretty excited to share these to you guys! After some weeks of getting lost in the mail, look what came into the office yesterday:


My Moo card samples have arrived! Haha, as you can see we’re not too shy to open the packs at all!

 A few months back, I signed up for an account with my brother, and we both saw Moo’s free business card promo. I’ve wanted to make my business cards myself so I didn’t think much about it, but my brother signed up immediately. After some months, he received his cards. I was impressed with the printing and the paper quality so I had to sign up!

Moo can also send you free sample packs, where customers can choose from the various products they offer before ordering. I wanted to know how the luxe cards and stickers on the sticker books would look like, and I’m so giddy when I finally had them in my hands:


I am so tempted to order more cards and more items from them! But for the meantime: here are my cards!


I love the finish and the crispness of the printing. Also, these samples are absolutely free! Imagine how your actual orders would look like!

Moo lets you play around with your layouts and upload your own images for business cards, stickers, mini-cards, and more. If you can’t make layouts by yourself, you can choose from various layouts they offer. Also, you can print different images on each card! These will be shipped in beautiful boxes and booklets, so you can carry them on the go. It’s pretty straightforward and very convenient if you don’t have the time or software to make cards at all.


A bit of advice: if you’re shipping to Manila and you’re on a budget, it’s more affordable to ship using the UK website than the US, but you would have to wait longer for the package to arrive.

Personally, I would prefer making my own cards with an offset printer – something that Moo’s not offering yet. I would like to experiment with printing methods and other techniques with paper. But Moo has colored me impressed indeed, and would think about them for other projects and needs. Will definitely recommend these to friends, and I can’t wait to send these new ones out! Thanks Moo!

Hey guys! I have an ongoing collaboration with my friend, makeup artist and photographer Em Smith.



Em Smith is a makeup artist and photographer based in Houston, Texas. She grew up in Marinduque and Manila, Philippines, and I met her when we were both artists for a local fashion brand. I’m always floored by her photos and her conceptual and “no-makeup” makeup, so it’s an honor to be working with her! So excited for the next ones!

  • October 17, 2012
  • Filed under Blog, Books, No comments yet

I’m back! Again! Haha, I miss this blog so much, it pains me not to have so many updates that I planned. 🙁

I’ve been admitted to a hospital during the last week of September and went home during the first week of October. Initially, people thought I was having appendicitis; the pain turned out to be really bad gastritis. It had been painful for some days but I’m just happy that no surgery was involved, I recovered quickly, and very thankful that I didn’t have to pay so much.

I was never afraid of hospitals, and although the thought of having surgery made me nervous I was relatively OK with the experience. I got to try a lot of tests – MRI, ultrasounds, the works! – which would make other people run to the hills at the thought of it, but it had been all very interesting to me. I guess that was just the inner geek talking. I was aware that I’m missing the final season premiere of Fringe, so those tests reminds me so much of Massive Dynamic (although third world hospitals are the last things that would remind you of Massive Dynamic) and Walter’s crazy experiments.

Staying in the hospital made me read my September reading list faster. These are the things my brother picked up at the last Manila International Book Fair (Doraemon appears because these are his books, hahaha):

September Books

  • I fell in love with Roberto Bolano’s Amulet that I’ve read it thrice (while waiting for checkups and test results) last month. I fell in love with the premise – the non-linear story of a woman trapped in a bathroom in a university under military occupation for weeks – and upon reading it, realize that it’s basically who I wanted to be in college before I went full-nerd again.
  • Mom and I read all the Ocampo books while I was in the hospital. I’m happy that my mom still had a thing or two to learn from history, and I’m glad to see that she got to enjoy some books again. I’m relieved that Ambeth’s recent columns are published in book form, because it’s a pain to look them up in the Inquirer Opinions archives online.
  • It should be stated that I haven’t seen a Manuel Conde movie in its entirety (mainly because obtaining copies is next to impossible), but the clips and archival pictures shows how gorgeous his movies are. I’ve read The Cinema of Manual Conde in my uncle’s house Baguio years ago and I’m glad that we have our own copy too.

Health issues. Sigh. I guess this year wasn’t so good to my health, despite of me living in better conditions and having better meals and HMO – but then again, maybe they’re the accumulated stress and problems of the years I lived in the city. They do take a toll on me emotionally, but I always remind myself that I have lots of things to be thankful for. I’m more productive and active, and I learned to let myself get over some disappointments and worries. I guess my body is still adjusting, but I am still liking the change, and I hope everything syncs together harmoniously.