Friday, September 21, 2007


Fourplay: A Multi-lens Exhibit featuring the works of 14 lomographers, using cameras with 4 lenses -- the Supersampler and the Actionsampler, on 4 October - 4 November 2007 at Fili Deli, 5911A Matilde Street, Makati City (along Kalayaan Ave. near Rockwell).

See you there, guys! Thanks, Ruby, for the invite!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Photo by Dylan Gozum (Tagaytay '07)

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.

- Elie Wiesel (October 1986)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Was in Tagaytay City many weekends ago to attend a house blessing. During a lull, I decided to explore the vacant lots around the village and found these pretty little things. It's lovely how even the tiniest of wild flowers can be so beautiful when seen up close.


Alone and bored during the weekend, I decided to revisit the San Agustin Museum and Monastery. For just PHP 80, i lost myself in this labyrinth to which Mom brought me for the 1st time when I was 7 years old.

I recall that at the foyer which used to hold an orchestra of statues of saints, she asked them,"This is my son, Dylan. I'm bringing him here to visit you. Please watch over him all the time."

This re-visit is for you, Mom. On the occassion of your 59th birthday on the 21st. See the rest of the photos here.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Here's my schedule for the rest of 2007 and early 2008. It's work, work, work 24/7!

Septemer 28 - WSI 25th Anniversary Dinner
Manila Peninsula, Makati City

October 27 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

November 17 - Muslim Wedding, The Mango Farm

December 9 - Wedding
Shrine of Jesus (The Truth, the Way, & the Life)
Reclamation Area, Pasay City

December 22 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

December 26 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

January 3 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

January 25 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

May 10 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

May 15 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

May 30 - Wedding, The Mango Farm

August 19 - Double Birthdays, The Mango Farm

Saturday, September 01, 2007


There is something to be gleaned from the seemingly time-consuming exercise of blog hopping. I am not really curious about what others have to say in their blogs. The world is full of blokes dying to get everyone’s attention with their life stories. What I am interested in is how they write it. I never thought of myself a good writer, although if my Mother were alive she would have said otherwise. In fact my writing has been very limited these days, ranging from an occasional essay in our office’s literary blog (which nobody reads) or a letter to clients summarizing the details of our meeting. I wish I could still write poetry the way I used to back in Cebu. The richness of the details, the wit, the weight of every word – my readers used to call my work soul poetry (whatever that means), but the term has always been a source of personal pride.

When Mom checked-in my laptop during a flight to Manila, I lost all my work – poetry, short stories (I have one that I think is particularly good; very Clinton Palanca-esque), everything. I can imagine the “soul” drifting out of the laptop’s ether into the air, mixing with the luggage (with the boxes of durians and tuna, too) and eventually finding its way out of the cargo hold and mixing with the stratosphere. I never got over my loss. I am still grieving until today. My dream of entering the Palanca was lost forever (delusions of grandeur!).

These days, I – unfortunately - head a group that teaches writing (or the attempts thereof) to public school teachers and new writers alike. I laugh at their attempts because there’s still a sense of wonder and excitement. I laugh at their clichés because this only means that they still look up to certain writers as idols and hence are trapped in a certain kind of mold that requires clichés to make sense of a sentence. I laugh, not in a jeering sort of way, but one of amazement, admiration and yes, sadness (how does one laugh when one’s sad? Gawan ito ng isang sanaysay ngayun din!) because their works, when read out loud, remind me so much when I was still starting to write.

It is true. If you stop writing for a long time like I did, you’d stagnate in your own style. Not that that is bad, but when reading the articles of many other writers in the blogosphere, I feel embarrassed and annoyed that I didn’t write it the way they did. Maybe I am not reading enough (I’ve stopped reading, too) or watching enough movies (I fast forward DVDs, as JC loves to remind me) or I don’t talk to many people enough to gather ideas, jokes, or whatever.

There was I time that I loved to eavesdrop into people’s conversations. Honestly, I still do. My facility for language (I speak 4, 3 of which are Philippine) makes for a fun exercise of translating to myself what I hear in jeepneys, buses, and trains. It’s funny how people speak in their language in public transport. They think by doing so nobody would understand them. Mother told me once that if you wish to be not understood when commuting in Manila, you may want to speak in a language like French or Mandarin, both of which I don’t speak anyway. I’m an old dog already. I attempted to learn Spanish (an excuse to watch Spanish movies for free), but Level 4 was as far as I got. I don’t know if I would have survived studying it to Nivel 18 or so. It would have been interesting to find out.

Anyway, back to the eavesdropping. The reason why I do this is because it’s the only way to get into people’s minds. It’s nice to know what other people think, what their problems are, what they are concerned about. Every detail has a story potential, maybe something I can weave into an essay or a script. I usually “write” everything I hear in my cellphone. It’s become my reporter’s notebook of sorts kaya imagine how I felt when I lost mine in a cab. A year’s worth of ideas lost in an instant.

I also am a stickler for signs and billboards. You can say that I am a very observant person. I always have my camera with me because who knows I might just come across a funny billboard (Our Daily Knead is a bakery in Cebu) or a tapalodo (the rubber thingy that protects the wheels of trucks). Once, while searing in a cab on my way to Ayala, I espied a truck whose tapalodo read, “Please Don’t Live Me!” I almost died on the spot.

Writers should be able to observe their surroundings, listen to what people say (a recent guest speaker, Rita Gomez, left us this small piece of wisdom). To twist Ambeth Ocampo’s recent article on art, writing is like drawing water from a well. If you do not replenish it with reading, observation and conversation, the well runs dry and the resulting write up is but mere draftsmanship - devoid of a soul.

In the course of my search for great writing, I came across several that I find outstanding even if they were written in Filipino. I will pass on the established ones like the great Jessica Z (who will hopefully be our guest at the office in November) and others like Gibbs Cadiz whose zeal for Philippine theater is admirable. Oh, wait – need I mention The-Woman-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Sorry, Celine Lopez and Tim Yap don’t count as writers. Besides, they don’t blog.

Here’s a non-permanent Top 10 list of some of the best reads in the blogosphere:

1.) Noisy, Noisy Man
2.) When Excrement Hits the Fan
3.) The Boy Who Warholed Fiction
4.) El Filibusterismo (Grabe, ang long ng hair mo, pare! Pare daw?!)
5.) Diva Coping Mechanisms
6.) Sayote Queen (why isn’t she updating her blog anymore?!)
7.) The Sassy Lawyer’s Journal (I hate it, however, when the readers leave so many hate comments. I get so affected by hate. Wait, I just did a runabout. *toink*)
8.) Batjay: Kuwento ng Isang OFW
9.) ><(;>
10.) Bridget Jones is a man and I am her!

There are so many blogs that I used to visit but stopped doing so because they have stopped writing as well. Sayang ang talent, hoist! Magsulat na po kayo ulit! Also, I used “non-permanent” because I am still in the process of discovering more fantastic blogs. Next time, travel & photo blogs naman. May your tribe increase, people!

P.S. Anybody out there who wants to watch Avenue Q?

I just saw this site from Bridget's. I want to melt.