Friday, October 31, 2003
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
That fish and mussels thing was based on a newspaper article that reports this weird scientific finding. Just how "scientific" it is way beyond me. I think it's just one really big hooey.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
The story that is the Sacred Romance begins not with God alone, the Author at his desk, but God in relationship, intimacy beyond our wildest imagination, heroic intimacy. The Trinity is at the center of the universe; perfect relationship is the heart of all reality. Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversations, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. Like the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are the reflections of the love that flows among the Trinity. We long for intimacy because we are made in the image of perfect intimacy. Still, what we don't have and may never have known is more often a more powerful reminder of what ought to be.
Our story begins with the hero in love. As Buechner reminds us, "God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself love happens."
And yet, what kind of love? There are selfish forms of love, relationships that create closed systems, impenetrable to outsiders. Real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away--a sunset, a waterfall, the simple song of a bird--and you think, If only my beloved were here. The best things in life were meant to be shared. That is why married lovers want to increase their joy by having children. And so it is with God. "Father," Jesus says, "I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am. I want to be with me, right where I am. I want them to be one heart and mind with us" (John 17). Overflowing with the generosity that comes from the abundance of real love, he creates us to share in the joy of this heroic intimacy. One early mystic says we were created out of the laughter of the Trinity. (pp. 73-74; God The Ageless Romancer)
This is but part of the treasures written inside the pages of this wonderful book, something that bypasses the mind and speaks directly to your heart. Choice quotations from the book that left an lasting impression in me will still be copied and posted here in the coming days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much it was all I could do to read a few pages at a time to prevent an early end in my reading. I so much enjoyed this one that I'm thinking to give a few friends copies of this book for Christmas.
Monday, October 27, 2003
ariel is caged at the pillars (is this a freudian thing?)
ariel is singin' the blues (nobody knows the trouble I've seen...)
ariel is up from under by greer fay cashman (tufferin' tuccotash!)
ariel is an albino bunny (no! really?)
ariel is de twaalfde van de satellieten van uranus (Yaah!)
ariel is faintly visible from the earth through large ground based optical telescopes (only on clear nights)
ariel is a mischievous airy (go figure)
ariel is made from some of the best premium grapes grown in california (no wonder everyone acts weird around me)
ariel is registration number "gov 132" (got it)
ariel is above age level (now what's that supposed to mean?)
ariel is an "imaginary" friend (boo!)
ariel is flat (preposterous!)
ariel is not your average 18 year old (oh yeah! bring it on!)
ariel is good for white clothes (don't forget the black ones too)
This only proves there are still a lot of things I don't know about me.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Everybody's happy, more so the groom.
Have I ever recounted the dreaded moment in all weddings for me? It's the throwing of the garter and every one's eyes are fixed on you as you go and make a complete fool of yourself. I even planned my escape to the restroom once I hear the call for all single women to start lining up and catch the bouquet. But the organizers were wise to the schemes of guests like me. The emcees asked the bride and groom to start calling their friends to the front for no apparent reason. Once us doomed people are gathered they bring out a bouquet tied with lots of purple and yellow ribbons. Then they asked the girls to pick one purple ribbon and the guys to pick one yellow ribbon. My heart was racing like crazy when I realized it was a trap. One of those ribbons was rigged to make one (un)lucky couple stay in front to do their bidding. Guess what? It turned out to be me and an officemate of Andy! I looked back at the table to see my friends laughing at my predicament. Surprisingly what I anticipated to be a total nightmare turned out to be something of a good experience. They just asked us to lock arms and drink the champagne from a glass and for me to start pecking the girl on the cheek for a full ten seconds. It was ok. Wish I had a shot of myself onstage though. That would have been nice souvenir.
* More pictures can be seen here.
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Someone or something has romanced us from the beginning with creek-side singers and pastel sunsets, with the austere majesty of snowcapped mountains and the poignant flames of autumn colors telling us something––or someone––leaving, with a promise to return. These things can, in an unguarded moment, bring us to our knees with longing for this something or someone who is lost; someone or something only our heart recognizes. C.S. Lewis knew this longing well:Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of––something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it––tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest––if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself––you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, "Here at last is the thing I was made for." We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends, or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
Excerpts taken from the book The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge; pp.20-21
Timmy was a little five year old boy whose Mom loved him very much. Being a worrier, she was concerned about his walking to school when he started Kindergarten. She walked with him the first few days, but he came home one day telling her he did not want her walking him to school every day. He wanted to be like the "big boys." He protested so loudly that she had to find another way to handle it.
She asked her neighbor Shirley if she would surreptitiously follow her son to school at a distance, but close enough to keep a watch on him. Shirley said yes, since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise. The next school day, Shirley and her little girl set out behind Timmy as he walked to school with his friend Ronnie. This went on for a whole week.
Timmy's friend noticed that this same lady was following them every day. Finally Ronnie asked Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady following us all week? Do you know her?" Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yea, I know who she is." Ronnie asked, "Well, who is she?" "That's just Shirley Goodnest an' her little girl Marcy," Timmy said. Ronnie inquired further, "Well, why does she follow us every day like that?"
"Well," Timmy explained, "every night Momma makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers cuz she worries about me so much. And in it, the prayer says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life.' So, I guess I'll just have to get used to it."
Friday, October 24, 2003
Imagine the horror... que horror!
This month's edition of Fusion magazine carries this strip in its pages. I haven't got my complimentary copy yet so I have no idea how it turned out. Hehehe... I also have no idea if Wayne Isham directed any of the two Nelly's video.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
All of us have had that experience at one time or another, whether it be as we walked away from our teachers, our parents, a church service, or sexual intimacy; the sense that something important, perhaps the only thing important, had been explained away or tarnished and lost to us forever. Sometimes little by little, sometimes in large chunks, life has appropriated the terrain meant to sustain and nourish the more wild life of the heart, forcing it to retreat as an endangered species into smaller, more secluded, and often darker geographies for its survival. As this has happened, something has been lost, something vital.
For what shall we do when we wake one day to find we have lost touch with our heart and with it the refuge where God's presence resides?
Starting very early, life has taught all of us to ignore and distrust the deepest yearnings of our heart. Life, for the most part, teaches us to suppress our longing and live only in the external world where efficiency and performance are everything. We have learned from parents and peers, at school, at work, and even from our spiritual mentors that something else is wanted from us other than our heart, which is to say, that which is most deeply us. Very seldom are we ever invited to live out of our heart. If we are wanted, we are often wanted for what we can offer functionally. If rich, we are honored for our wealth; if beautiful, for our looks, if intelligent, for our brains. So we can learn to offer only those parts of us that are approved, living out a carefully crafted performance to gain acceptance from those who represent life to us. We divorce ourselves from our heart and begin to live a double life.
Excerpts taken from the book The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge; pp.4-5.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
I leave the mall at around 9 pm and got to the place a little before the appointed time. I wait for 15 minutes and I send another text message to Robin asking where they are, when he answered "nasa 0ffice" I thought what the-- was there a secret communication between the two of them to deliberately leave me behind? I took a cab to the place and about a block away I got a text message from our common friend saying that he was already at the place we talked about and he was asking where I was. I texted him back to meet me at the McCafé in Greenbelt (here was another what the-- and a smack on the forehead). We met after a few minutes and proceeded to the venue. The party was in full swing with lots of pulutan and booze. Almost everyone who's everyone at the wedding reception was there. The funny thing about this too was the fact that most of the guests were Jorge's friends and those friends Joel invited from Ateneo did not appear. Another funny here is the fact that at some random point during the celebration someone would start singing the tail end of the birthday song "HAAAAAAAAPPY BIIIIIIIRTHDAY TOOO YOOOOOUUUU!!!" and we would start toasting. This happens whenever it gets too quiet or Jorge would fumble his words during one of his brotherly advices. All in all it was fun, I got a few more projects for this week and in the coming weeks ahead. We were all toasting to Joel and his ex-girlfriend who was also present in the place. His two older brothers can't over the fact that they broke up and they keep asking for them to get back together pronto! The party broke up a little before midnight and we went straight home. Wonder when the next gathering would be?
I finally got to go to Len's wake after the driving lesson. I got to meet her brother who's also a member of the online community. It's ironic that I only got to meet her this first time when I'm no longer able to talk or exchange ideas with her. After viewing her remains inside the casket I sat down on one of the pews with her brother and he told me what happened. I also opened up and told him about the should haves and the could-have-beens. The silence after those talks opened a floodgate of tears on my part. Since I didn't have any handkerchief or paper tissue at hand I wiped them tears on the sleeves of my polo. With the bottled water they gave I also managed to "distract" any more tears from falling. I thought it a waste for someone so dear and beautiful should die without making peace with God. I refused to be consoled, burdened by this fact that I even shrugged off even the text messages of another friend commenting on how peaceful she looked lying there and that she's in a happier place now. I thought it stupid how he could come up with such a conclusion given her particular beliefs. I never knew this girl aside from her thoughts and opinions posted online and here I was feeling so much pain at her passing. An errand called Eric away for a while so I watched other mourners and tried to pass the time reading a book I brought with me. Other friends of hers took their time in front of the casket reflecting and wiping their tears. A couple of friends soon arrived after an hour and a half and we got to talk for a while before taking my leave.
I woke up around 8 in the morning today when the same friend sent me a text informing me that Len's brother Eric posted a message on the boards:
thank you to all the people who came to the wake and for those who texted. for those who came, i am sorry if I wasn't able to stay and talk with you that long.
for those who knew my sister personally and those who debated with her here in RoT about god, religion, etc., we knew that she really never believed in god or religion. she had so many questions about religion and god which would be impossible to answer. I for one saw her as an ally and partner when it comes to these types of debates and talks since i always believed that we both had the same type of view regarding god and religion.
i find it kind of ironic that my very own partner would be the one who would change my view of religion and god. God knows how many people have tried to convince me to believe.. God knows that my gf switgerl likewise tried very hard to convince me to believe. It's only now that i've started to think that maybe there is in fact a god.
my main reason is that during the morning before elaine passed away, she talked to my mom. my mom being a religious person, asked her if elaine has asked God for forgiveness. elaine's reply was: "yes i did. and he told me everything will be alright."
when elaine asked for something from my mom and went into the C.R., she came out empty handed. my mom asked her what happened to the thing she gave elaine. and her only reply was: "I gave it to God." by then i was told that she looked calm and troublefree.
for others who never really knew her, maybe this talk about God wouldn't be a surprise. however for those of us who really knew her feelings toward religion and God, her type of personality, her beliefs.. this came as a huge surprise. (10-22-2003 08:35 AM)
It was narrow minded of me to think that God could not come through for Len. How could I even entertain my previous thoughts on her condition? My mourning turned to dancing over this piece of good news. Btw, RoT stands for Realm of Thought the forum I moderate where philosophies, religion, and science is discussed. Here's another post by Eric on the subject Can people really change? :
I was told by my uncle that there is a chinese saying which goes: "it is easier to flatten a mountain, than to change a person"
he told me that it is very hard to change a person.. so hard that it is close to impossible.
when my dad talked to me just yesterday morning, he told me of his conversation with a priest 30 years ago which he still remembers now.
my dad questioned religion and what was written in the bible. he said "so many miracles are written down in the bible.. how come we never see any miracles in our lives today?" the reply of the father was: "we know how hard it is to change a person. if a person suddenly changed for the better, then isn't that a miracle?"
so as for the question: "can people really change?" my answer is yes. because i myself suddenly had a change of view regarding religion and God.. wherein i felt that all my life, no one can change my view of religion or God.
I'm like... WHOA!!! Remind me to never doubt you again Dad and sorry for even entertaining them thoughts and a thousand apologies to my friend, you're right.
Monday, October 20, 2003
Another artwork by my friend, the irrepressible Lyndon Gregorio chronicling the recent Artists' Den meeting last Friday. There's me again and this time the one in the spotlight (or hot seat, which as far as how seats go under spotlights for a period of time) is the brownie girl with the origami dreams: Camy!
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Sacrosanct just passed away. Aspirin overdose. Her remains at Paz Araneta
I felt really sad about the whole thing. I don't personally know this girl but I got to interact with her online starting from way, way before I was promoted to being the forum moderator where she was posting quite regularly. She was one of the most interesting and colorful characters in that community. Though we didn't really see eye to eye in some matters (she didn't believe in God) I smiled at her wit and marvelled at her ability to engage even the best theologians in a doctrinal debate. I had some chances to meet her during two major EBs that were held a year apart (and I heard that she wanted to meet me too) but I blew it. We also had some common friends and most of what I know about her came from them. As an artist and a poet her works also intrigued me. It said a lot about her pain and loneliness and I wanted to reach out and take the time to listen to what she really wanted to say. I don't know if she wrote this on the day of her death or some days prior.
I always have questioned my personal worth
in each day that passes me by.
And wondered why the weak inherit the earth
while strong men are sent first to die.
I wanted an answer but now look at me,
lonely and sad to the core,
for the world had passed by far too quickly for me
and left me not one open door.
I tried to believe in the one the call God
but hopeless is now all I am,
for in searching I'd chosen the wrong path to trod
and no one had lent me a hand.
Abandon my life, abandon my faith,
abandon the ones i call "friends",
for no love can grow in a mind filled with hate
and hate is on what I depend.
I want to say sorry for things I have done
I wish I could turn back the time.
The world would be glad had I not seen the sun
I have lived, and now I shall die.
You were worth more than you could ever realize Len, both in the eyes of your friends and the God you desperately tried to believe in...
Saturday, October 18, 2003
I left the house around that time on the way there. At first I mistakenly thought that he was at his parents' house and I even told him that I was waiting outside. Good thing his house is near their place. On the way home I dropped by the mall to buy a pair of leather shoes and have my watch fixed too. I even fixed the final design of the reunion invitation before preparing for the event, good thing I finished everything (including the bath and dressing) before Robin dropped by to pick me up. His being invited was a last minute thing and he needed help in going to church. We got to the place right on time, the ceremony promptly started at 1 pm and finished an hour later. Funny thing too, the priest kept on pronouncing Jorge's name the traditional way (Hohr-heh). Here are the pictures I took using the digicam function of my phone (Yeeeeee!):
They were about to go to the car when somebody mentioned that we forgot to give them a grand exit by throwing rice or something. Robin found a bag of rose petals lying on a table near the door.
So we asked the newly wed couple to go back and walk back to the door while we threw the petals while the cameras were rolling.
This was before the line to the buffet table began. Robin and I congratulated the couple, having missed the welcome by the door. Jorge was asking if we could accompany his MBA classmate who came alone, sadly it seems she didn't proceed to the reception. Did I mention that Sheila's a much, much younger than us and that her eldest brother is actually a long lost batchmate of ours? Before this, we had no idea who Jorge was talking about. Memories get a bit hazy with some classmates who're too quiet. By the way, the reception was held at the brand new Army Club House in Fort Bonifacio.
Each and everyone was also called to give their thoughts and advice to the couple (except me since I hid from view to avoid being called). Jorge's Dad has this to say to his son: Stop smoking! Seems that he gave up smoking a long time ago and he's scared for his sons for doing the same.
For those who're not familiar with this one, doves symbolize true love between married couples because they mate for life and actually help each other in raising their chicks unlike most other birds.
At least they're more cooperative than those birds in front of the camera.
Now that I'm seeing it again, that cake looks downright good.
Just a nibble and a taste there.
Here's the obligatory champagne toast before the cameras. By this time almost all the senior guests have already left leaving them to perform these ceremonies for the video crew and us friends.
They were not familiar with the locking of the arms while drinking from the glass so they passed it. Besides it looked too hard to do.
Robin here's putting the garter on Jorge's sister-in-law, former San Juan councilor Grace Ibuna. The catch-the-garter game is the most dreaded part of the reception for me, it was a good thing that there weren't that many people around anymore. Us single guys let the garter fall to the floor, unfortunately it landed near Robin's foot so he got picked.
The reception was officially finished around 4 pm and Jorge asked (nay, commanded like a true bully) us to stay around to have some drinks. They brought out bottles of scotch and brandy including the really big ones. We gathered around two tables along with some other friends, friends of his brothers, common friends, and some client/friends of theirs. I just took teeny-tiny sips since I really, really hate the taste. I preferred the taste of champagne and I held on to my glass for hours. Laughter and fun was the order of the night as 80s pop and new wave music blared in the background. Some got drunk a bit faster than the others and they brough the house down with their jokes and deadpan humor. When the brandy ran dry, beer was served. It felt good being accepted in their company, a far cry from the days of high school. Joseph (Jorge's oldest brother) even gave me a high five. We also continued our talk with Sheila's brother and Dad and got to know him a little better.
We all ribbed Jorge and Sheila that they still didn't have the first dance as husband and wife. Joseph started it when a slow song started and he was feeling really good about the whole thing.
"Side by side with your loved one, you'll find enchantment here. The night will weave its magic spell, when the one you love is near! Oh this is the night, and the heavens are right! On this lovely bella notte!" (Composed by George Givot from the "Lady and the Tramp" OST)
After they retired for their honeymoon in New World Hotel we still continued on with our bonding sessions. I never had this much fun laughing, I was almost rolling down on the floor. We all had so much fun, Joel (Jorge's youngest brother) invited us to come back on Tuesday to celebrate his birthday at their place. Awright! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that almost all of us in that place bonding were Bosconians although coming from different batches. There were other girls there too and they so enjoyed laughing along with us they complained their face were starting to hurt.
We broke up the party around midnight (8 hours after the reception!) when the bar closed. I went straight home while the others continued on to a bar in Ortigas to watch a friend perform. What a night.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Strangely enough some people do get what's being said.
I got the idea during breakfast when my Dad was asking his secretary to call someone. It's a wonder that some Filipinos can understand what's being said just by implying. Is this something unique to us?
* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers, and carrying a $600 Gucci Bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Medium size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Large people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation, and input should be directed elsewhere.
Have a nice week!
I go up, I come down and I'm emptier inside
Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I'm missing
And why can't I let it go
There's gotta be more to life...
Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...
Trippin' out thinkin' there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... There's gotta be more
Than wanting more.
I've got the time and I'm wasting it slowly
Here in this moment I'm half-way out the door
Onto the next thing, I'm searching for something that's missing
There's gotta be more to life...
Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...
Trippin' out thinkin' there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... There's gotta be more
I'm wanting more.
I'm always waiting on something other than this
Why am I feelin' like there's something I missed....
More to life
There's gotta be more to life (more to life)
There's gotta be more to life (more)
More to my life
Stacie Orrico, "There's Gotta Be (More To Life)"
Monday, October 13, 2003
And oh, how we yearn for another shot at it. Flip with me for a moment through the photo album of your heart, and collect a few of your most treasured memories. Recall a time in your life when you felt really special, a time when you knew you were loved. The day you got engaged perhaps. Or a childhood Christmas. Maybe a time with your grandparents. I remember one birthday in particular. My wife planned a surprise party and kept it a perfect secret. All day long, I thought everyone had forgotten me; I was thoroughly depressed. I have a hard time with birthdays anyway--the longings they rouse. I had a pretty much killed my desire for something special by evening when we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. There were all my friends. I was stunned, humbled, delighted all at once. It was a wonderful evening of laughter and conversation--for me, to celebrate me. A simple event, but I recall the feelings I had even still.
The second part of the book deals with waiting and never compromising those dreams and wants for shiny baubles (like Jack's magic beans). The author likes to call these "impostors":
I've had a nagging sense I was m ore pleasure-oriented than might be good, but I didn't see the function of pleasure in my life until I had to face intense grief and loss. I tried every drug I could, and nothing worked. No t food. Not sleep. Not work. Not reading. Not even sex. I could not get away from the pain. And then it occurred to me: If I am trying to use pleasure as a drug in this case, how many of my so-called enjoyments are merely the same thing on a lesser scale? Reading Pascal, I found he'd already hit upon the same thing. Unable to get out of the dilemma of desire, we've found a powerful drug--distraction.
Like all created things it's original all good and the problem comes in when we let our desires get the best of us and settling for something way too early or we misdirect our yearnings to something lesser rather than something lofty. This is often brought about by laziness, our view blocked by various disappointments, or pride. This book is really something else, it really changed my life and my outlook on what my real priorities should be. Thirsting or hankering is not in itself bad, just as long as it leads you to that Someone who could fulfill it for you.
In other news...
I also did a search on my name using Google and aside from the some friends' pages and a lot of spanish sites, I came across a pleasant surprise here in KOMIKASA
- More info on creators like Ariel Atienza, Ernie Chan, E.R. Cruz, Fred Carrillo, and Vicatan.
For the life of me I don't remember submitting my name to the list. Now I wonder what good samaritan did? To you, good sir or ma'am, I'm indebted. I shall strive to contact them the soonest time possible to see what else can be done to help promote my work.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
We still pushed through with the meeting and I got to present my homework before the group. I was put in charge of making the invitations and I managed to snag some figures and costs at the last minute. I know I shouldn't do it that way and I promised myself it would be better the next time. We still haven't nailed down the final venue for the event (it was either at a brand new port behind Manila Hotel or the new Army Officer's Club House in Fort Bonifacio we're still waiting for the final arrangement for that Port thingie). During the updating of the status of our batchmates we were happy to find out that one of them is in charge of selling some badminton equipments. This news, with it being the latest rage to get people off their bums and start exercising, was met with great enthusiasm.
One of the funny things I observed in that restaurant, Pantalan Maynila was the serenade made by a groups of instrumentalists dressed in typical Filipino costume. The songs ranged from the inane to sappy, including the closing song of Meteor Garden: Penny Lai's Ni Yao De Ai. It was a sight to see the female singer dressed in baro't saya singing "Wo ming bai Wo yao de ai, hui ba wo chong huai, xiang yi ge xiao hai Zhi dong zai ni huai li huai...". But aside from that nothing really memorable happened tonight. We convened the meeting at around 11:30 pm and since most of the guys had wives to go home to we decided to call it a night. Jorge volunteered to bring me to the bus stop in Makati so that I wouldn't have any problems in going home. On the way there we talked about the meeting and the problems that cropped up. We also talked about why some of our batchmates didn't like going to reunions and seeing the others. He was really mad at the reactions of some of those he got to talk to. I went down the bus stop and he went on to fetch his fiancée in Laguna. Went home without a hitch. I'll be dropping by his office on Monday to pick up some stuff.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Here's a rough sketch of the characters for the flash animation. I based the style mostly on Mr Bean - The Animated Series and Kim Possible, and a little on Dexter's Lab, and Dumb and Dumber cartoons. The thing I noticed about the way the characters look can be summarized as thus, they really look their age.
This character's not part of the animation project but I experimented with it a bit and I like the way it turned out.
Friday, October 10, 2003
I also finished the last of the seminars for driving and I'm scheduled to go behind the wheel in two weeks for an hour's worth of lessons. I'm really upbeat on this driving lesson thing and I do hope the driving instructor's got a lot more patience than the last one.
I believe it's absolutely correct to protect the children from adult excesses, but my four kids have taught me a great deal about this world and, in doing so, have helped me remember what I enjoyed as a child. They've been my guide and I've gained more from watching them paint and draw than I ever learned at art college. Children are smart, and they understand fantasy far better than we. They know farting crocodiles are more pleasing than politically correct parrots." – Nick Bantock, THE ARTFUL DODGER; p. 44
This is but one of the wonderful gems that Mr. Bantock wrote in his wonderful biography. There are also other authors who are calling attention to the need to return to innocence in a world that's getting more and more skeptical and blase with each passing day.
Picture of a letter written by the mysterious Sabine to her ardent epistler, Griffin.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
"The practice of using earthly happenings to clarify heavenly truths is no easy task. Yet, occasionally, one comes across a story, legend, or fable that conveys a message as accurately as a hundred sermons and with ten times the creativity. Such is the case with the reading below. I heard it first told by a Brazilian in São Paulo. And though I’ve shared it countless times, with each telling I am newly warmed and reassured by its message."
The small house was simple but adequate. It consisted of one large room on a dusty street, its red-tiled roof was one of many in this poor neighborhood on the outskirts of the Brazilian village. It was a comfortable home. Maria and her daughter, Christina, had done what they could add color to the gray walls and warmth to the hard dirt floor: an old calendar, a faded photograph of a relative, a wooden crucifix. The furnishings were modest: a pallet on either side of the room, a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove.
Maria’s husband had died when Christina was an infant. The young mother, stubbornly refusing opportunities to remarry, got a job and set out to raise her young daughter. And now, fifteen years later, the worst years were over. Though Maria’s salary as a maid afforded few luxuries, it was reliable and it did provide food and clothes. And now Christina was old enough to get a job to help out.
Some said Christina got her independence from her mother. She recoiled at the traditional idea of marrying young and raising a family. Not that she couldn’t have had her pick of husbands. Her olive skin and brown eyes kept a steady stream of prospects at her door. She had an infectious way of throwing her head back and filling the room with laughter. She also had that rare magic some women have that makes every man feel like a king just by being near them. But it was her spirited curiosity that made her keep all the men at arm’s length.
She spoke often of going to the city. She dreamed of trading her dusty neighborhood for exciting avenues and city life. Just the thought of this horrified her mother. Maria was always quick to remind Christina of the harshness of the streets. “People don’t know you there. Jobs are scarce and the life is cruel. And besides, if you went there, what would you do for a living?”
Maria knew exactly what Christina would do, or would [I]have[/I] to do for a living. That’s why her heart broke when she awoke one morning to find her daughter’s bed empty. Maria knew immediately where her daughter had gone. She also knew immediately what she must do to find her. She quickly threw some clothes in a bag, gathered up all her money, and ran out of the house.
On her way to the bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself. With her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janeiro.
Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the reputation for streetwalkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place she left her picture––taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo she wrote a note.
It wasn’t too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.
It was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her dream had become a nightmare. A thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too far away.
As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina’s eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling invitation. “Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn’t matter. Please come home.”
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
I would have learned the necessity of this... sport much earlier if it wasn't for a couple of grouchy driving instructors who snarled and growled at every mistake that I made. It was a long time ago and besides I got a lot from walking way before I learned it was a great way to exercise. Though I'm looking forward to finally being able to bring my own car and ferrying some friends and returning countless favors to them for bringing me home, I'm thinking that this could bring additional stress to an otherwise peaceful time. Hmmm... I could be counting the broken eggs along with the chickens here.
* drums fingers on the table *
Yeah, could be, but... Naahh! I'd rather be positive about it than anything else.
Guess what she picks out in the end?
Jay’s sister, Marie is the weakest character in the whole strip. I haven’t totally fleshed her out so I’m sending her off to college to lay low for a while. She’ll be staying in a dorm and won’t be making further appearances until she’s well and ready.
* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Flowers In The Window
When I first held you I was cold
A melting snowman I was told
That there was no one there to hold
Before, I swore, that I would be alone forever more
Oh, wow, look at you now
Flowers in the window
It's such a lovely day and I'm glad you feel the same
'Cause to stand up, out in the crowd
You are one in a million
And I love you so
Let's watch the flowers grow
There is no reason to feel bad
But there are many seasons to feel glad, sad, mad
It's just a bunch of feelings that we have to hold
And I am here to help you with the load
So now we're here and now is fine
So far away from there and there is time, time, time
To plant new seeds and watch them grow
So there'll be flowers in the window when we go
I left his office after half an hour and went straight to Megamall. My mind was a blank my way there, I felt like I was just going through the motions of walking to a very familiar place. Upon arrival I immediately mapped out my journey to the end of the mall and back. I viewed some art exhibits at the fourth floor stimulating my mind with the imaginative expressions of these artists. I examined their works and wondered what it is that went through their mind when they were creating their works. I dropped by Powerbooks on my way down and looked at a couple of art books, advertising books, and graphic design books. I finally figured it out while listening to some soothing lounge music sampled from different artists it was all a lesson in beauty and passion. Hearts respond to strains of music, wake up to the smallest hint of art, and in bringing me to a quiet road full of paintings and photographs, graphic designs and music I heard His voice. Nothing’s too far or too hard for me, he says, where do you think I’ve been all this time? The fact of the matter is that I’ve been speaking to you all this time, you’re just too caught up with your problems to notice.
That’s when I realized I found what I’m looking for.
Monday, October 06, 2003
It was a bit of challenge to try and make faces before the camera
Yesterday’s activity was a blast and I really enjoyed bonding with three good friends (and surviving members of the original Artists’ Den members): Lyndon Gregorio, Azrael Coladilla, and Ryan Orosco (he scored some tickets to the Enchanted Kingdom). We met right after lunch and took a bus to Pacita, Laguna, a jeep to somewhere near Sta. Rosa, and a tricycle right to the gates of the amusement park. We wanted to try out the bumper cars when we first got there but there was a long line so we settled for the kiddie roller coaster ride beside it. Then some stomach churning swings at the pendulum-like Anchor’s Away. It was fun at first but after some up and down motions I was already beginning to feel a bit queasy. Then it’s off to Log Jam for some wet fun (that’s the first 2 pictures above). Then we went halfway around the park and tried out Stan Lee’s 7th Portal. I got more queasy and afterwards bought an anti-dizziness medicines at the souvenir shop across the ride. We even got ourselves some souvenir mugs! Then we deposited it in the lockers for safekeeping, and we tried the revolving swings. After a few turns the medicine doesn’t seem to kick in but I was still alright. We ate pizza, tacos, and had softdrinks (the drinks did the trick of eliminating the dizzy spells). After a bit of walking they tried the roller coaster but I wasn’t up for it since I almost threw up the first time I rode in it. The sun was already setting and while waiting for them I took some shots of the huge ferris wheel in the distance using my phone. The shots turned out great and hopefully I would be able to upload it as soon as I’m able. We had the most fun and laughter at the Rio Grande rapids, we were also sopping wet after the ride. You’d think that we would move to other rides for a change but nooooo we had to ride it some more! Hehehe… we didn’t really care if it means catching pneumonia because of the chill wind. We even caught a couple more rides at Log Jam since we were already wet. We also rode the other rides in between and the bump cars were a big hit (pun unintended) with us too. We had so much fun we almost didn’t catch the last bus home that night. Before heading back home we ate some donuts and discussed the day’s activities and next week’s sojourn back to the park to try out the other rides we didn’t get to ride.
* In connection with this you have to check out Lyndon strips for next week.
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Say you don't care who goes to that kind of place
Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight
Too many runaways eating up the night!
Can you spell frustrated and tired in swimming against the tide? I'll be logging in to Friendster sometime in future when all this hoopla dies down.
Friday, October 03, 2003
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
And just this afternoon a really hard rainfall fell pummeling the earth and all the people with huge drops of water. I bravely walked right through it with only an umbrella to cover me (I had an appointment and I hate being late). I was tempted to bring out my phone and take a snapshot of the whole adventure since I was the only one brave (or foolish) enough to walk through it. I passed by some people who were safely under some canopies looking at me, there's no second guessing as to what they're probably thinking. I could only look back at them and think Where's your sense of adventure? The rain soon stopped as sudden as it started.
We definitely have to have Tattoo stand beside the runways shouting "De plane! De plane!"*
We're such suckers for entertainment that most of the TV viewers had to wait through Meteor Garden just to catch the latest gossip on the Kris and Joey affair. I just watched the first couple of broadcasts but I got tired of it, why involve the rest of the country in the results of their tryst anyway? And though stranger things have happened I don't think we've seen or heard of the strangest of them all. Check out Lyndon Gregorio's version of this news called The Frog Mayor. I'm surprised Philippine News published this earlier than expected.
* To those who are too young to remember that was a reference to an 80s show Fantasy Island starring Ricardo "Nativity Stones In a Cross Pendant" Montalban.