Friday, July 29, 2005


These were to be disposed by somebody (name witheld to prevent lifetime embarassment) and earmarked for "donation" to only-God-knows-where.

How could we just throw away books? Sad, very sad.

1.) MGA IBONG MANDARAGIT by Amado V. Hernandez, National Artist for Literature (1973)

2.) STUART LITTLLE by E.B.White. This particular copy, with illustrations by Garth Williams, was printed in 1974.

3.) HISTORY OF SOUTHEAST ASIA by BR Pearn, Professor of History in the University of Yangon. I'm just fond of history books, that's all. This book, by the way, was published in 1970.

Before we throw away books, maybe we should look at them a little closer. We might just realize their value.

Incidentally, National Historical Institute (NHI) Executive Director Ambeth Ocampo has a similar article today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Read it here.


Here are four books you might see beside my bed this month. For re-reading purposes only.

1.) Ramon Sunico's poetry in BRUISE: A 2-Tongue Job


3.) Tony Perez's CUBAO 1980 (Found it in Manila for PHP 35! ; a seminal work!)

4.) Nick Joaquin's MANILA, MY MANILA (I still have the copy which the National Library was giving away free to visitors).


(Source: Iranian Student News Agency)

July 27, 2005
human rights groups condemn execution of iranian teens
By News Editor (

Human rights groups the world over have strongly condemned the recent execution of two male teenagers in northeastern Iran amidst conflicting reports of convictions on “homosexual” charges.

Read the rest here.


...the pestilence (I'm being harsh) going on in the political scene. However,Forbes Magazine mentioned that, like Megawati Sukarnoputri, PGMA might disappear from the list before she knows it. Hmmm...I doubt that.

The Top Ten

1.) Condoleezza Rice
2.) Wu Yi
3.) Yulia Tymoshenko
4.) Gloria Arroyo
5.) Margaret Whitman
6.) Anne Mulcahy
7.) Sallie Krawcheck
8.) Brenda Barnes
9.) Oprah Winfrey
10.)Melinda Gates


(Source: July 29 Issue) Copyright by A.lipin

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


The Reviewer Magazine Editorial Assistant Jesy Flor Alejo sent me this .gif yesterday with a note that said "Just so funny. Some time in my life I actually thought of this already, he he he!"
Well, what can I say. I had a terrible day yesterday (still ongoing at this very moment) wherein my gouty arthritis had me lying in bed for an entire day. I only had my meds late afternoon and three hours after, I was already able to walk without having to cling to the wall or hold on to the banister.
Pathetic sight for a former runner, baseball player and yes, Singkil Prince *groans*.
True to form, I am always able to "intellectualize" my painful experiences and storing them as "lessons to remember". As I always tell my colleagues in the healthcare profession, in order to understand patients better, doctors have to feel the pain as it really is.
No, I am not doing an experiement on myself. I am pretty sure Medicine is already past that stage of downing a test tube of bacteria just to prove they were not harmful (not even the "discoverer" of bacteria, Antony van Leeuwenhoek, did it). Just proving a point here that modern-day physicians need not be callous when it comes to entertaining cases brought before them. We are all tired alright but we never lose our humanity, no matter what.
I rest my case. For the meantime, I can't wait to be home and take my COX-2 Inhibitor.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Dave Brubeck's LOVE SONGS. Tracks include My Romance, What Is This Thing Called Love, These Foolish Things, In Your Own Sweet Way, Somewhere, La Paloma Azul, Audrey, You Go To My Head (previously unreleased), Like Someone In Love and a perennial favorite, Besame Mucho.


Original photograph of, and uploaded by sensible28.

Never mind that Mayor Lito Atienza cannot resist putting the 'LA' in Maynila (as in mayniLA) in italics to remind people of who's responsible for breathing life into one of Asia's oldest cities, at least we can get to enjoy the city most especially at night without fear of getting mugged or something.

I have uploaded a few night photos of the promenade beside the Pasig River here.


We don't have many artworks hanging on our walls at home. In fact there's only one painting, which was executed in 1970. It was a commissioned work by an uncle, then doing his Doctoral in Mathematics at the Ateneo, to interpret a certain theory he had in mind. At any rate, we have yet to find somebody to interpret the formula for us. The painting, however, speaks for itself.

All the rest are recently-framed vintage photographs, a yellowed diploma (not mine), three elephants from the 1995 trip to Patthaya, and film posters in my room.

What, however, is lacking in visible artwork, I compensated for the many volumes of books in our household. This photo is that of the Altar to Literature I "made" a week ago. This used to be full of DVDs but everything has been moved upstairs (see related entry here).

Now, this recess in the wall between the 1st and 2nd floors contains a third of my library interspersed with a plastic image of the Virgin from Lourdes (brought home by my Grandfather during a pilgrimage in the 60's) and photos of myself and my mother. All the rest are small gifts i've received when I was still living in Cebu some time back.

Very nice to look at especially when the votive candles are lighted. I feel its an artwork in itself.


Banner by the Office of the Press Secretary (
Short and swift. President GMA's speech dwelt on our future and not on what brings us down. With chants "GMA! GMA!" resounding all over the hall, the President apparently can look forward to better days ahead. Indeed, ONE PHILIPPINES!

This is what we all should work hard for.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang mamamayang Pilipino!

For the complete text of the 30-minute speech, open here.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

BINONDO c. 2005

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(Photo by Dylan Yap Gozum)
There's nothing like fu dogs against a scarlet-colored column (with the right street sign to boot) to give us an idea of what to expect beyond this gate. While Manila's very own Chinatown continues to appeal to the sense of adventure of Filipinos, visit here to see where we have gone these past few days.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


When a dog stares at you like this, you know there's definitely something wrong.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Art by Erwin Currier

A Farewell Letter

If for an instant God were to forget that I am rag doll and gifted me with a piece of life,
possibly I wouldn't say all that I think,
but rather I would think of all that I say.
I would value things,
not for their worth but for what they mean.
I would sleep little, dream more,
understanding that for each minute we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would walk when others hold back.
I would wake when others sleep.
I would listen when others talk,
and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream!
If God were to give me a piece of life,
I would dress simply,
throw myself face first into the sun,
baring not only my body but also my soul.
My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on ice,
and wait for the sun to show.
Over the stars I would paint with a Van Gogh dream a Benedetti poem,
and a Serrat song would be the serenade I'd offer to the moon.
With my tears I would water roses,
to feel the pain of their thorns,
and the red kiss of their petals.

My God, if I had a piece of life...
I wouldn't let a single day pass without telling the people I love that I love them.
I would convince each woman and each man that they are my favorites,
and I would live in love with love.
I would show men how very wrong they are to think that they cease to be in love when they grow old,
not knowing that they grow old when they cease to love!
To a child I shall give wings,
but I shall let him learn to fly on his own.
I would teach the old that death does not come with old age,
but with forgetting.
So much have I learned from you, oh men...

I have learned that everyone wants to live on the peak of the mountain,
without knowing that real happiness is in how it is scaled.
I have learned that when a newborn child squeezes for the first time with his tiny fist his father's finger,
he has him trapped forever.
I have learned that a man has the right to look down on another only when he has to help the other get to his feet.
From you I have learned so many things,
but in truth they won't be of much use,
for when I keep them within this suitcase,
unhappily shall I be dying.


Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has denied writing this 'farewell' poem. He is currently writing his memoirs in Colombia. He has been suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes or Hodgkin's Disease since 2000.

"The only thing that worries me is that I'll die with the shame that people believe I wrote something so tasteless," he said. "I read it not long ago and what surprises me most is that my readers could believe that it was written by me."

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by sensible28.

Discovered this CD 2 years before she actually came to Manila to perform during the opening of Shangri-la Plaza's STREETSCAPE. Wonderful thing to listen to during really tiresome days.

Can't wait to get her new album.

Friday, July 08, 2005


(Photo by John Pritchett)
Dearest Madame Aquino,
I distinctly remember writing you a letter in 1992, congratulating you for 6 years of renewed and dynamic democracy as your administration's gift to my generation. I just graduated from High School then.

13 years ago today, our nation is once again on the crossroads. In fact, I already am tired of that phrase. Ours is a nation perpetually lost, to say the least. In my 29 years of growing up in the Philippines, I have seen 4 Presidents come and go. The 5th's future is yet unsure at the moment, but I'm leaving her out of this letter. She deserves a break. We all do, actually.

Today, you spoke to the nation again as the benevolent and charismatic leader that you have always been. I was glued to the radio (I was on the road) as I took your every word - with that familiar, reassuring voice we've practically grown up listening to - and tried to digest the discernment you've just revealed to us.

Your son, Benigno Aquino III, said early this morning that you will make a statement on the current crisis, and that you "...will make a call for the President's resignation but it will be phrased in such a way that it is reflective of someone who is religious and prayerful".

At this very moment, a transcript of your statement is before me. First of all, allow me to congratulate you for calling for an adherence to the rule of law. Indeed, nothing will slide us faster into the murky waters of anarchy than a public ruled by a mob mentality. After all, People Power 1 wasn't mob rule and I assume ,since you were part of it, that People Power 2 can be described in the same breadth.

Magkaisa tayo but until when?

In your call for President Gloria Arroyo's resignation, you acknowledged her qualities and worh ethic - things that we haven't seen in her predecessor - and you asked "the President, in all humility and with full awareness of its difficulty and pain, to make this supreme sacrifice to spare the country from the violence that threatens it from those who seek in her lapses of judgment, not a reason for reform, but an excuse to subvert the Constitution, grab power and destroy our country.

The sacred oath that she and I took to uphold that Constitution by every means in our power, and which compels me to speak out today, now urges her to relinquish the presidency."

Let me slow down a bit for you, Madame President. Perhaps you may recall several instances in your own administration, say, the 6 coup d'etats perhaps. Many would call these military adventurism now but perhaps, had it occured to you that these may have been legitimate show of grievances then? Much like the Oakwood now, among other things.

Of course, I must admit you have been very lucky that history - and the Filipino people - have been very kind to you. We have collectively forgotten the following: the Mendiola Massacre, the disappearances of more people under your watch, your family's hyprocitical stance towards the Agrarian Reform Law but were just quiet about it because you were in power after all.

I don't even know if you should be thanked for leading the movement to oust President Estrada. After all, the poor guy hasn't even been given the chance to prove himself innocent in court. Trial by publicity, like we always say it here in the Philippines. He was already guilty before your eyes and the Cardinal's and you took no chance to express this by marching to Makati and dragging the partly-excited, partly-reluctant VP Gloria Arroyo with you in the hope that when she takes over, we can all move on.

People Power 2: still the Virgin's work?

Well, we may have. In fact, I have closely watched PGMA during her first few years in office and although I must admit she did dilly-dally a lot (maybe because you, after all, had always been her "idol"), I gave her the highest respect I possibly could for a President (not that I didn't have the same regard for Ramos but good grief, he was a total spectacle in his own right).

The past few weeks have been rife with noise of all kinds - people who claim to have no ambitions suddenly appear from nowhere and present themselves before the nation as our messiahs. For a while I thought that was Cardinal Sin's role in our lives, Bless his soul. And as the noise escalated to shouts of resignation, who else added their voice to it but you - the mistress of democracy, the mother of all that is good and beautiful in our land.

Somehow, I sensed a rather discordant note in that statement of yours. Although I agree with Manuel Quezon III that resignation is actually a legal course of action PGMA can take, I was thinking that she also has a right to prove herself innocent through the process of impeachment. Of course, it is lengthy. Justice in this country is always lengthy but whether it takes a month or a year, does it really matter? You waited more than a decade to find the truth about your husband's killers but despite what you believe, the truth has never been in your keeping.

Why can't Gloria be given the chance the American people gave to her classmate Bill? America forgave him and allowed him to finish his term - a period of great economic accomplishment for America that is currently being squandered by Bush.

What made you think Opposition, Inc. will not do this same thing to VP de Castro when he assumes office? And if they do, and since his rise to power is also "tainted" with cheating (yet to be proven, too), will you be issuing a similar statement in, say, 2007? At the moment, all I ask God and the Virgin is that may they never tire in helping our nation find its way.

Madame Aquino, you may have missed my point. Besides, I am writing this letter straight from my heart and far corners of my now-troubled young mind. In fact, I may never have the chance to edit it for intellectual clarity whatever but please, may I strongly suggest that in times of grave issues like this, if it does present itself again in the future - can you be less prayerful perhaps and think more?

Just asking. Yours

Dylan Yap Gozum


A dream project is finally born.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005


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Dear Fortunato Abat, your ilk, along with the Estrada family and the three (3) bishops who are allegedly scouting for "leaders" to fill in the transitional government, please spare us your stupid ideas.

It is already very apparent that your actions are driven by lust for power and revenge. Please don't take it out on the nation.

If it's the Presidency you want, there's always a chance for you in 2010.