November 1, 2009

quixotic dreams

this week, i heard a story from a friend about today's local politics and how guns, goons and gold still prevail. my heart aches at the thought that my vote might be useless in the face of widespread cheating that will possibly occur.
i look at the sorry state of our country and how it continues to deteriorate because of the sheer greed for money and power by the very people that we ourselves put in their respective positions.

i look at my candidates for national and local positions. there are very, very few in politics i trust. i can count them with one hand. but these people give me hope because they voice the same distrust and disgust for the officials that are currently in power.

but when my candidates succeed, will they really change my city and my country? are we going to finally taste a sense of change and progress? or will they just be like the people they replaced? lured by new riches. blinded by power. 

i've been voting for a long time already. and as a citizen of this country, i am beginning to feel again the excitement of having in our midst a new breed of politicians who can effect real change. but this friend of mine just pricked this bubble of idealism in my head and painted a picture of a dirty, dishonest elections in the philippines. now and forever.

it makes me want to cry. but for now, i choose not to shed a tear just yet. i choose to look at the world with rose-colored lenses. i choose to believe that the people will not allow dirt and blood to taint their ballots. i choose to believe that the people will remain vigilant and will protect their votes. i choose to believe. even when others have stopped believing.

God bless Pinas. 

September 19, 2009

rediscovering yoko ono







a lot of people do not really like yoko ono because she supposedly caused the split up of the greatest band of all time, the beatles. as a john lennon fan, i must admit i am one of those who do not think of yoko kindly. and yet, i can't help but be immensely impressed by her whole persona. she is obviously brilliant (not just intelligent, but brilliant) with profound and unconventional views and insights on things. she is obviously a good person, who constantly advocates the idea of loving the world we live in. and yet she does not impose her convictions on people who do not care to listen. 

looking at her pictures and videos with john lennon, she looked dispassionate beside her intense husband. but rediscovering yoko through twitter and her blogs, i realize she is like john lennon himself- -a deep thinker who believes in the basic goodness of people and who constantly dreams of a better universe for us all.

no wonder john fell head over heels in love with her. i've fallen in love with yoko as well. when i grow up, i want to be like her.

here are some of my favorite lines from her yokoq&a blog.

Why did you split up the beatles?
I didn’t.

When will there be surcease of sorrow? 
Don’t avoid sorrow. Sorrow teaches you. And the tears make you stronger and more beautiful.

If you could relive one day over again, what day would that be?  
The day John and I met the first time. I just want to know what was happening. it must have been some miraculous day for us. We knew it, and we didn’t at the same time…

What’s more important: knowledge or faith? 
Integrity.

In your relationship w/ John that was filled w/ so many pleasant moments, what one of those moments stands out to you the most? 
Every day we were together was very, very special.

What do you find most puzzling about the world? 
Things are puzzling only when you don’t understand them. All things are clear and waiting for us to understand.

What is your perception of time? how do you perceive the immediacy of the present moment with the long view of history? 
I don’t separate the two. The present moment can be an eternity in time. History can be a blip in your memory.

How do you deal with the passing of time. I miss being young. And miss people and places too long gone. Your thoughts? 
They are not gone. You are now carrying them in your thoughts. They give you pleasure each time you think of them.

How fast must you move before you reach your top speed and achieve stillness? 
You don’t have to move at all to achieve stillness. Do you?

What kind of food do you eat when you’re depressed / happy? 
I think of eating chocolate, when I’m depressed. And I try not to eat it, because I have enough wisdom to know that it would depress me more if I did. Oh, there’s something I do to get out of depression. I walk about 80 city blocks. That gives me a real high. When I’m happy…. do you want to eat anything when you are really, really happy? I don’t.


Do you feel like you’ve come full circle with the release of this album and working with Sean?  I don’t know what you mean by full circle – sounds like you’re talking about the end of the line. I think it is more like we came to the top of the spiral together- to start again from the bottom.


http://imaginepeace.com/news/archives/7703

September 16, 2009

beijing

VIEW FROM THE PLANE. Smog. All smog. But the tourist guide who picked us up in the airport said it was….fog. Now how is it possible to have fog on a hot day like that? Somebody explain this to me.

PEOPLE. Charming. Wonderful. Sometimes, the sight of half-naked old men on the streets, in the bus, and even in reverential tourist spots, can jar you. But otherwise, I find them Chinese friendly and beautiful.




FOOD. Peking duck was of course the piece-de-resistance. But the rest of the food we ate was just as divine. You can really taste the difference between the real Chinese cuisine and the so-called authentic Chinese restaurants here in the Philippines. And the food is unbelievably fresh. The restaurants we went to- from the neighborhood hole–in-the-wall to the mall-based fastfood restaurant to the exotic Chinese restaurant- all rated 5-stars to me. To think I’m not even a big fan of Chinese food.

TRAFFIC. Makati-ish. On a payday Friday. Prepare for long walks.




TOUR DESTINATIONS: FORBIDDEN CITY. Magnificent. Although I can’t believe the emperors will go through all the trouble of moving from one building to another for office work, socials, rest, etc. when the distance between buildings is hundreds of steps long!

Don’t go there without a tour guide or a tour bus. Never ever.



GREAT WALL. It is so long you wont be able to appreciate it in its entirety. So the pictures that show the breadth and depth of its scope will always look better than the real thing.




TIANANMEN SQUARE. I just collapsed and settled myself comfortably under a tree in Tiananmen as we went there straight from several hours of traversing the Forbidden City. So I never got to appreciate this much.




THE BIRDS NEST AND THE WATER CUBE. My jaw just dropped at these modern architectural wonders. It’s a shame we have no pictures drooling beside it.




MUSEUMS. We went to the jar museum, jade museum and the silk museum, all showcasing the impossibly meticulous way by which the Chinese do their craft. I left the museums amazed at their handiwork and their tremendous patience.

LAST WORDS. I tremendously enjoyed Beijing because of the rich food and the rich culture. But don’t go there during the summertime. Spring is probably the best time to visit. And brace yourself for the long walks and the steep climbs. You should probably train for it as if you’d be training for your first marathon. Or you’d end up like me, wrecked by a vicious flu strain for two whole weeks after my visit. But all in all, it was a magnificent experience.

star cinema's "in my life": a kind of anguish you've never experienced before

i just had to watch it on day one, at lunchtime, with officemates and clients willingly playing hooky with me. after all, this is ate vi's movie. and with john lloyd yet. and with a gay theme. so this is one movie i cannot not see.

and it did not disappoint. luis manzano is a revelation. you'd really believe he's a pinoy gay in new york. that descriptor alone is hard enough to embody in a film. but to do it while acting with the likes of his mother and john lloyd make it even more challenging for a relative neophyte like him.

let us not even talk about ate vi. she's expected to act well in any movie. she's expected to deliver supremely. so yes, you just have to let her take you along for an emotional ride. and what a ride it is. prepare to experience anguish like you've never experienced anguish before.

now john lloyd. wow. this guy is unbelievable. brilliant. world-class. i walked out of the theatre still in shock at the kind of acting he can wield, even in the presence of a super-actor like vilma santos. 

it's not everyday that you are treated to an extraordinary pinoy film. so i hope this movie makes a lot of money. it sure makes playing hooky worth it. every minute of it.

August 25, 2009

random things about me

1.   i’m a crybaby.
2.   i love all the fire colors: red, orange, vermillion.
3.  my fashion style is funky, quirky. but I also like wearing classic cuts on days when i have to look “responsible”.
4.  i take my coffee black, without sugar.
5.  i don’t like going to the malls.
6.  i’d rather pay in credit card because counting money is difficult for me.
7.  i love beer, cigarettes and long conversations. wine in-between days is fine, too. i love to par-tey.
8.  i eat slowly.  i have an almost zen-like attitude towards food.
9.  i laugh easily and i’m happy and stable most days of my life. but my once-in-a-while drama fits can be wow, spectacularly cinematic.
10. you can only bring me to the cinemas or get me to watch a dvd, if the movie is really, really great, or at the very least, beautiful. i can also go to out-and-out-stupid-funny but well thought-out movies. or light but decent films. actually, i can dig any film, for as long as it does not shortchange and insult me as a viewer.
11. i am such a book vulture. i always end the day reading a book, no matter how tired I am or how late it is.
12. i don’t know how to cook but i love reading cookbooks.
13. i love reading maps especially of provinces or countries that i get to visit for the first time. but more to have an understanding of the city’s urban planning than getting directions (for i am a direction-moron). obviously, manila’s urban planning really, really sucks compared to other cities in the world.
14. i taught myself how to play the guitar at 10. and i taught myself how to read notes and play the piano at 12. sadly, i never progressed from the basics. what a waste of the miniscule musical talent i have.
15. i’m a big fan of john lennon and the rest of the beatles, and bruce lee.
16. my heroes are rizal, ninoy/cory (yes, a singular entity, as far as i'm concerned) and gandhi.
17. i love my country. fiercely.
18. i love my family. fiercely.
19. i have radical views about organized religion.
20. i love my advertising job and it’s something i’m willing to get up in bed for for the rest of my life.
21. i want to learn how to write and paint.
22. i want to learn how to sew and crochet. and i couldn’t care less what my friends will think nor say about this lola adventures.
23. i am a black and white person. grays, fence-sitters, spineless creatures do not sit well with me.
24. i value my weekends, my breaks, my privacy. the world owns me mondays to fridays. the rest of the week, i'd rather keep sacred.
25. i live below my means. 

August 24, 2009

smarties

i just can’t believe my kids who are aged 6 and 5, can have a vocabulary wider than most 40-year olds I know. i have listed a few of their usual mutterings here and you be the judge:


unna
  1. after getting her shots, “i’m still quite shaken.”
  2. looking at an old picture of her tito ves, “he looks roguish.”
  3. “that’s preposterous.” when I asked her what she meant by preposterous, her sister said matter-of-factly,  “ridiculous”.
  4. “i’m exhausted.” 
  5. "i had a horrible dream."
    laila
  1. “it just vanished!”
  2. “mom, please help me with my diabolical plan against rats.”
  3. “you crazy little munchkin.”  
  4. "holy mackerel!"
special thanks to disney channel and nickelodeon. i wouldn’t have done it any better.

gates of heaven

it was our second day  in beijing, china. we went with a tour group and the first stop was the ming tombs.  on our way out, the tour guide, justin, brought to our attention an arc called "the gate of heaven".  he gathered us for a short huddle and in an almost breathless fashion, bellowed:  


"1. when you get past the gate, never ever look back or you will bring bad luck with you from the tombs;  
2. as you cross the gate, the men should step with their left foot first and ladies, with their right;  AND 
3. if you're with your husband or wife, hold hands, as the chinese people believe that when you do that, you will still end up with your spouse in the next life."  


at this point, a chinese-american guy in his 50's  suddenly cried, "uhm, i'm not sure about that!" to the delicious laughter of our group. 

"oh, one more thing", justin added, "you have to shout- i'm coming back!!!-while you're passing through."

and so i looked at jake and muttered, "hey, it's your choice." the subtext being, "well, it's up to you if you still want to end up with me in the next life because if you do decide to hold my hand as we cross that gate, you better be prepared for two lifetimes of dealing with my laziness, my yakking around, my drama shit, and all the things you constantly hate about me." jake then put his arm around me in his usual rough way of showing his affection. subtext, as i imagined it being, "fine, i'm here for the long haul."

we did hold hands when we crossed the gate, didn't forget to step with the proper foot, and screamed, "babalik kami!!!".  but as we walked a few steps, we heard our other couple-friend yell "we're coming back!" and jake did the forbidden act of looking back! so i guess his bad luck is, he's stuck with me for the rest of his life and the rest of his after-life, if we were to believe this chinese superstition. 


wow, what a sweet thought.

May 2, 2009

stalking exes


it was the morning just after noche buena, about two or three years ago. jake and i were very much awake, savoring the wine and the moments that had just passed-- with the happy din of our daughters’ laughter, the buzz from the TV set, the clinks and clanks from the kitchen and in the midst of the noise, the sense of happy quiet within that marked all our christmases past.

in a sense, it should have been an ordinary christmas celebration except for the fact that that day, when jake and I conjugally stalked our exes.

it started innocently enough, when i opened my laptop and surfed on multiply, friendster and facebook, wandering aimlessly. then Jake sat by my side and by the force of red wine led my fingertips to google on the names cris, norman, jay, justine, trixie, jasmine etc. etc. etc. names that we have long buried in the past and names I never heard of before until that moment (aha!).

it was surreal doing ex-stalking with your husband. but I guess it is a testament to how safe and secure we are as a couple and how comfortable we can be as friends to even consider stalking as a joint venture.

i looked at jake as he rattled off more names of people once connected to me or to him. and I thought of the many beers and wine bottles we shared and the years of drunken stupor, the boisterous laughter or quiet joy that permeated all our drinking sessions.

we’d probably still be drinking many, many years from now. more than the shared love for wine and beer, i think it is also our common love for good conversation, laughter, friendship, and sheer nothing-ness that make this relationship well-oiled, so to speak.

that christmas morning, i thanked God for the wonderful man I married. because had I ended up with any of my exes, I don’t think he’d ever agree to stalk exes with me. 

April 10, 2009

First

Can't even understand why I decided to create this blog when I'm too lazy or too busy to post pictures and comments-- or at the very least, visit my Multiply, Friendster, Facebook, Plurk accounts. Well I guess I just have to do this to establish my presence in the blog universe. I'm here, therefore I am.