Tuesday, November 23, 2004
From my right, I can see one colleague of mine dozing off. In a few minutes, I can forsee that he'd be slipping off of his chair and onto the floor.
I'm downing mugs upon mugs of warm water to keep me awake. Coffee has no effect on me and yesterday, the espresso I had with my Chef's salad gave me chest congestion. Not ordinary palpitations, mind you. Congestion. I had to take a sublingual quick.
Things one does to advance a "career". Vita brevis. Life is too short. I badly need one.
Who in the hell is he?!
Okay. If you, while getting lost along Taft Avenue or was crossing the Luneta towards the National Museum complex happened to notice this sign and wondered what it was all about, you are not alone.
I first saw this sign while crossing Estrada Street and Taft Avenue towards La Salle from my Spanish class at the Mayflower Building and sabay kamot sa ulo, knowing too well that this University is Tsinoy Heaven, I was wondering why this dear city headed by one who is of Chinese-descent would name a non-existent street in honor of Ped Xing.
Who is Ped Xing, exactly?
"It's Pedro Xing-Hua, from a wealthy Chinese family," Manila Mayor Lito Atienza said in jest in one forum at the Westin Philippine Plaza, after one of the guests asked him to reveal once and for all who Ped Xing was.
So who is Ped Xing? He is Chinese, he is Filipino, he is every nationality when he or she crosses the street. Ped Xing simply means "Pedestrian Crossing." (Source: www.inq7.net by Tarra Quismondo).
Look here: PEDestrian Cross(X)ING. I learned that the first time while reading Micheal Tan's column in the Inquirer.
Dan Simeon, an architect at the City Development and Planning Office, said the installation of the Ped Xing street signs began early this year as part of an on-going project called Lighted Street Sign and Multi-Traffic Signals. Mr Simeon said, "I think Manila is the only city in the Philippines where the Ped Xing street sign has been installed".
True and in fact, it can be found in many areas in the US, too. There was even a 'study' of sorts regarding this street sign in New York. (See below)
An Interactive Binaural. Audio Environment Produced by Lynda Williams and Christopher Seguine
Technical Direction: Christopher Seguine. Installed at VR 91 and The San Francisco Art Institute.
PED XING is an interactive binaural audio environment. Standing on a street corner in New York City, you have to decide blindly when it is safe to cross. When you think it is safe, you step out onto the "smart street" and hear what happens! Audio recorded in 3D binaural sound. The smart street is embedded with pressure sensitive triggers which detect when the step occured during the sound track. Will you get hit by a cab or mugged?
So there, dearest friends. Smile when you see Ped Xing, our new and dear friend on the road.
See related blog on BEING JEROME DACLISON. See CONTRIBUTORS list.
Monday, November 22, 2004
No, wait. It's not what you think!
Anyways, I just had lunch with a colleague of mine when posters of Jay Manalo all over the canteen caught our attention. Suddenly, images of gritty dark Pinoy films flashed infront of me. There's this huge sign that said, "Mola ka na ba?!" in bright red against a yellow backdrop which made my companion Alex grin.
MOLA here is actually a new generation energy drink designed for men. Alex said na palaban na daw ulit ang mga lalake kasi puro na lang for females ang mga energy drinks. Au contraire, there are still more energy drinks for men than for women in the Philippine market.
As to the Mola question, I would like to refresh your memories that Mr Manalo starred in such a film entitled TOTOY MOLA. Googling only gave me a wide array of topics on the subject: from Manalo's new career directions to a eunuch page (egad!). To make the story short, the film was about a boy whose Dad was so freaking obsessed with horses (betting? Taking care of them in stables? I've forgotten already) that his son Totoy was born with a (forgive me) cock that was as big as a horse's (Uh, I bet when he was a kid, his was just as big as a pony's because after all, he wasn't named Lam-Ang, was he?).
Back to my topic. Anyway, Totoy goes from farm boy to stripper to hooker to married man. There's a scene near the ending when one of his former lovers (Aya Medel? Dindi Gallardo?) makes her vengeance and slices his cock off with a blade, and she runs around the street screaming about what she did.
So knowing this "mola" background and juxtaposing it against this Mola Energy Drink made me shiver.
To drink or not to drink, that was the question. I'm happy with my mola right now, no need to take more enerygy drinks but heck, what's there to lose? (Eh paano yung mga hindi or worse, walang mola? One drink of this straw-colored fluid is enough to turn them into walking Jay Manalos?)
*downs an entire sample cup*
Hmmm. Lasang Extra Joss but heck, just think of what being a mola can do to your ego! Ego plus equipment to boot. It's a happy day.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
In fact, blogspot.com has been a complete blessing because not only does it afford me a chance to write again but also allows what I write to be read by friends, and then some.
What I really miss doing most though, is poetry. I've done this stuff since I was kid, jotting down senseless things while waiting at the airport lounge for our delayed flight to be arranged. I wrote more when I was in Don Bosco, driven by this religious fervor that made mad boys out of us (so okay, masturbation was a sin so we might as well be preoccupied with something else).
I can say that I truly matured as a poet (uy, hebigats pare! -> this expression is so 80's!) when I was in Cebu under the "tutelage" of one who was far crazy over writing than I was.
Unfortunately, I cannot share with you even one of those pieces. You know, my old laptop was on its way to me from Cagayan de Oro and Mom decided to check it in. No thanks to the PAL ground crew, the whole thing got stacked along with the other baggages so, voila!
An old laptop with a huge crack, enough to render it useless forever.
I wouldn't have minded it much, you know. I have two new PCs at home but man, oh man! A Why-did-you-allow-this-my-God moment swept over me because 20 of my select poetry are saved in this freaking laptop!!!
I just sat on the floor, staring at my dead 486SX. 5 years of Cebu experiences immortalized (supposedly) in the form of short stories and poetry are now gone. I can almost see them come out of this machine in the form of ether soul, spilling over its faux leather case, finding its way out of the aircraft cargo hold and out into the free air, mixing with deadly oxygen and emitting sparks - their last hurrah, because they shall never see recognition on land.
The Carlos Palanca Award for Poetry has to wait.For now, I'm trying to recollect
my lost soul, hence this new blogspot.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Wait, the last time I said that line to an HRD Manager during a job interview, I didn't get the job. Baka akala niya presko ako masyado when I was just stating a fact.
I still shake my head whenever I am reminded of that day. Shucks! Stupid, stupid, stupid me for quoting Jostein Gaarder during an interview. That wasn't the fucking Mr Universe Pageant, Mr Dylan Yap Gozum!
*bangs head on wall*
Monday, November 08, 2004
- Orson Welles as played by Angus Macfadyen,
THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1999, by Tim Robbins)
May Bayot steps into Nora Aunor's shoes as Elsa
Saw HIMALA The Musical last friday with friends. As usual, courtesy of the Japan Foundation, which has virtually sponsored 90% of the shows i've seen at the CCP (Rudy, take a bow, pare!).
Directed by veteran Soxy Topacio, written by Ricky Lee (who also wrote the original screenplay for the film in 1982), and music was by Vince de Jesus.
I was blown away by the set! It was an ingenious take on Cumpang, the town that Elsa and her visions turned into a holy frenzy. Since i've designed sets myself for a couple of other productions, I wouldn't have thought of this.
All the actors were amazing, and while May Bayot was praised to high heavens as Elsa, my heart goes to Chayong played by Cynthia Culig-Guico. She has just the right temperament and character to suit the very difficult role of Chayong, Elsa's best friend, shadow and eventually, the symbol of her very failure (as a person? as a visionary? Could be both).
My friend Jerome was right in saying that what makes this theatre version just as amazing as the film was, it was bristling with disdain for the hypocrisy of the religious, as well as the tendency of the Filipino people to take advantage of certain circumstances to benefit themselves.
Veteran Soxy Topacio directs
Lars von Trier's DOGVILLE (Nicole Kidman,Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall) comes to mind immediately when i think of HIMALA. This film, now a play, really is all about the Filipino society in the same way that DOGVILLE is a mirror of America as a society. HIMALA is everything that we are, capable of being or funny enough, it's something that we are afraid to become, even.
Writer Ricky Lee
It is very interesting to note that Cumpang's pre-vision status is something akin to what we have now - wisespread poverty, hunger (imagined or not), lawlessness, people losing hope.
Is the time ripe for another Elsa?
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Here's a preview.
Peach halves!!! Fresh from the can!
I miss surfing through www.airliners.net! My den used to be my "cockpit" while I manuever over thousands upon thousands of aircract photos and information. This one's the soon-to-be-launched A380, soon to take over Boeing's 747-400 as the largest commercial airliner in the sky.
I miss hearing Mass at Cebu's Basilica Minore. I attend this 11 AM service because of the all-male Holy Ghost Choir. Chilling, to say the least.
I miss fried fish with fresh tomatoes, deep fried aubergines and fresh mangoes!
I miss Bohol! Walang tao, hindi mahal, yummy ang pagkain at higit sa lahat, mga 'tol, WALANG COLIFORM BACTERIA ANG DAGAT!!! Wapow!
Sigh. So many things to do, so little time.
Skin and sex sells, but does the storyline get to you?
Okay, so I did go to see it BUT only because it was a birthday treat by a very dear friend. I eventually became curious if this play can hold its own candle to Eve Ensler's more famous work. Second, I wanted to see what Ricky Lee has to say about men that we don't know yet. Third, I wanted to eat at Pasto, that eclectic restaurant right beside the Music Museum.
One hour into the show, I realized that my attention was going somewhere else ("Where are the waiters? I need water."). My four companions were either asleep or texting. Two hours of penis stories later, over Lavazza and cakes, J described the script as "contrived". I did notice too many loopholes and all I can say is that it needs focus. With a motley mixture of penis stories like this, it is easy to get lost. I wonder how it would have turned out if it were written by a straight male writer? Malay natin, 'di ba? Baka iba ang attack sa story. (Say, is Ms Ensler lesbian?! Just curious).
I am saddened that majority of the stories centered on, or almost always involved homosexual experiences. Sinasabi ko na nga ba, eh. Say for example the story of the sexually-molested boy played by Luis Alandy. I mean, the Dad not only rapes his daughter when the wife's not looking, he also rapes his son! Duh?! Is there actual Philippine statistics available to give credence to this story?
"Closer to burlesque", says Andrew Paredes of Manila Standard, who probably gave the most objective review I've read about the play.
Many writers have engaged in ass-kissing in order to please the venerable Ricky Lee but you know, talent isn't free from error. Bad things do happen, even to the best of us. I can't wait for Saturday! I'm finally watching HIMALA The Musicale. Ricky Lee definitely redeems himself in that.
"Never a dull moment", says one writer. He probably was seated within crotch-grabbing distance, I'd say!
All in all, short of becoming an owner's manual of their equipment, PENIS TALKS can be a liberating experience for those who connect to the individual stories. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, this isn't all about men and their penises. The height of this show being the 10-second kiss between Luis Alandy and Christian Vasquez (yep, I told you it's too gay.), I doubt it if this show will be remembered for its stories. Wanna bet?
I am bothered though by a tiny evil thought that most people who came to see it didn't come for the story. With the entire cast coming on stage in outfits that left nothing to the imagination, I can clearly see what made this play sell. No need to elaborate. Go figure.
While I must admit I did enjoy parts of it, thanks to predictable Pinoy humor and theatrical antics by Ricci Chan (who was the only gay guy in the cast), the whole thing fell flat on its face.
The great pasta dinner, coffee and conversation all made up for what could have been an interminable excruciating evening.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Very interested in 'birth', Cummings used the Latin word nascitur in at least two of his works.
While my Mother favors Robert Frost more - she, the faithful disciple of Romanticism, I have always found e.e. cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) more to my liking. Known for his eccentric punctuations, he often dealt with the antagonism between an individual and masses, but his style brought into his poems lightness and satirical tones.
Cummings believed that modern mass society was a threat to individuals. "Progress is a comfortable disease," Cummings once wrote. He was interersted in cubism, and jazz, which had not became mass entertainment, and contemporary slang, an unorthodox form of language - a true revolutionary who, funny enough, painted for Vanity Fair magazine.
Allow me, dearest friends,to introduce you to samples of his work.
[i thank You God for most this amazing]
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
By e. e. cummings
The next work, of course, is something most Filipinos actually know by heart courtesy of Beauty and the Beast.
[somewhere i have never travelled]
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
- e. e. cummings
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Pablo Neruda. Photo prise le 20 juin 1966, lors d'une séance d'enregistrement à la Bibliothèque du Congrès américain, à Washington, D. C.
États-UnisSource : Library of Congress, Hispanic and Portuguese Collections,
Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, Hispanic Division
Chilean poet, writer, diplomat, political activist and exile, Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Pablo Neruda is also called the "people's poet," a senator, and one of Chile's gifts to the literary world (also Isabel Allende, one of my personal favorites). He joins the ranks of Rainer Maria Rilke, Dylan Thomas, and e.e. cummings as one of those who provide the words to my every life experience.
"Si Tu Me Olvidas"
Quiero que sepas
Tú sabes cómo es esto:
de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe:
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.
Si de pronto
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.
Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en esa día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.
si cada día,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.
"If You Forget Me" (English version of the above)
I want you to know
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists:
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loveing me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
I was so angry, distressed, confused last Sunday. I've never felt so bad in one day.I've made very drastic decisions lately because circumstances demand that I dissociate myself immediately from these things before I get pulled down, as well.
I'm okay now. I've just realized my capacity to get a grip, get away from the bad and the sad, and move on.
I am calm. I want to be a new person. Like the sunflower, I face towards the sun and pray for a better day.
"For verses are not as people imagine, simply feelings...they are experiences. For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men and things, one must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which little flowers open in the morning."
-Rainer Maria Rilke