Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.
from the march 2005 open mic event at sala cafe.Paghihintay
Bea C. Rodriguez
Unang ulan ng niyebe, at ako'y nangangatog sa galak.
Bagama't maginaw at matagal ang pagdating ng tren,
kay sarap pagmasdan ng pagbagsak ng mumunting bulak.
Tila biglang ninais ng Diyos na muling matikman ang halo-halo
at nagsimulang magkaskas ng yelo. Sabi marahil kay Pedro,
magpalamig muna tayo, istilo-Pilipino.
Hindi ko inakalang ganito pala kabilis matunaw sa palad,
tila koton kendi sa dila. Matagal ang pagdating ng tren,
ngunit walang nararating ang hiling na ibinibigay agad-agad.
Matagal akong nakapaghintay sa sandaling ito; sandaling
bunga ng panalangin, biyaya, pagpapakasakit at hirap,
upang makamtan ang bulak-niyebe at ating pangarap.
Sa pagdating tren, umaapaw ang halo-halong kulay ng tao:
ang mga balat nila'y singkulay ng pinipig, beans, gatas,
saging, buko. Sa loob, ako'y naupo at muling nagtaka kung ano
ang ibig sabihing maging Amerikano. Sa labas, iba't ibang hugis
at habi ay kinukumutan ng yelo. Ngunit parating sarado
ang kanya-kanyang pinto; kaunti ang nakikihalubilo.
Walang pagkakaisa ang mga lasa rito. Lahat ay matabang.
Iba-iba, isa-isa. Nais ko sanang sumisid o maghukay sa niyebe,
hanapin ang pinakapusod ng tamis; isang tikim lamang
ang kailangan. Unang ulan ng niyebe, at ako'y nangangatog sa lumbay:
naghihintay na muling matikman ang halo-halong tinitinda sa kanto,
bagama't maginaw at patuloy ang pagbagsak ng yelo.Salamat sa iyong pagtangkilik! Thanks for hanging out with us - sa uulitin!
fresh roasted ice cream and skyscraper
the blue building in back is wayne tower, i mean, wacker drive office space, ahaha.*sigh.*
a year ago several pedestrians, tourists and i gawked at the top of that building, because a strangely painted police helicopter kept on weaving in and out of tower cracks. they said they were filming a "batman
" film. i was miffed because even if i blogged about it, no one would believe me, coz i didn't have my camera with me at that time.
but i know the truth - i saw another film shooting in progress, using some of chicago's glitteringnest
assets: her tall buildings. woot!
oh, and that ridiculously tiny tub of starbucks stuff is a sample of their java chip ice cream. they doled out a mere 4 fluid ounces to people. the line at the madison and franklin starbucks extended to outdoors, ahaha. i was talking to someone on the celly at a table, and marched to the front of line and absent-mindedly grabbed one - everyone else was doing it. i pretended deafness to someone yelling "ma'am! ma'am!" coz i was on the phone. you can't stop ulanmaya from anything free, much less free ice cream!
trilogy of one acts - pintig
's trilogy of one acts
closing show, june 18:
scent of apples
the day the dancers came
the day the dancers came
immigration blues... with a twist
i found my camera. yay! :-)
waiting at kedzie
waiting at kedzie
i lost the camera that i used over the weekend to take pix. my heart and my stomach are twisting because i have some really meaningful pix in there. how could i have lost such a thing? as soon as i find it, i'll upload pix.
sigh. batman just flew all over a stylized chicago of the future - or past. don't my city look damned sexy in goth. yayerz! :)
Ruckus Productions: Save the date Aug 20. BAMBOO. Live in chicago! Noypi Astig! US TOUR 2005. Call or txt Je Cacnio 4 more info.
great bursts of fire
there's this spectacular footage on CNN of a burning industrial plant in north st. louis. it showed burst after burst of flame shooting the sky - the plant made oxygen tanks. a reporter who sat at the far end of the newsroom stolled our way because she says she was hearing so much mirth come from our side of the room.
"just to tell y'alls know i'm here," she said.
we were imagining scenarios for the poor red toyota sitting just beyond flame lick's reach. in order to get to the car, fire had to cross iron fence and about 1.5 yard of sidewalk, and a tree. parked behind the toyota is a black suv.
"will the owner of the red toyota, please move your car," we joked. you hear this announcement in the middle of solemn gatherings where the last thing on your mind's your car, where it's parked, and whose other car it's blocking.
"honey, did you move the car?" we joked. this from the wife of a man who said he parked the car further than usual and said he'd move it later in the day.
gas tanks rapidly exploded one after another. fire seemed to just skirt water firefighters poured into the burning industrial complex.
"hey! that's my car on TV! he said he'd take care it!" yelled a friend who lent his car to a friend he thought he could trust.
ahaha. sigh. yes, we realize the situation's direness. there doesn't seem to be an illinois connection at all. i hope there's no one hurt.
someone just asked me when do i ever sleep. ahaha. and you wonder why i'm cranky a lot lately.
they say the best things always come after a pummeling of the worst. that pressure creates diamonds. that watch what you wish for, girl, coz you just might get it.
usually, as well, when i elaborate before the fact, things fall, as ms. jones has said, spectacularly to pieces around me. mwahaha. so wish me luck monday, june 27. may i be well-rested and have an ironed shirt ready that day, ahaha.
and then there's the rebound friends all around. and just in time for summer, ergkh! can't it be during the gloomy months, like january? one is coming from dallas to get away and the other is, well, here. we should all get together and visit the old youth group and watch how molotov cocktails
are made. yay!
in my ear: "best of you," foo fighters
in my eye: "katipunera and other poems," elsa martinez coscolluela
on my palette: woon sen pad thai, beef, with extra peanuts and greasy as hell. woot!
on recto's play - nick joaquin
A Note on Recto's Play (A Retrospective on Philippine Literature in Spanish)
By Nick JoaquinSubmitted by Alberto Florentino for the Philippines Free Press
June 1, 2005, New York, NY, U.S.A.
In 1917, the Sociedad Talia, a theatre guild, sponsored a playwriting contest. The judges, among whom were Fernando MarÃa Guerrero, Cecilio Apostol and Jose Carvajal, chose Un lio por un retrato by Jose Ma. Garcia Suarez as the best comedy; and Solo entre las sombras by Claro M. Recto as the best in drama.
Recto, then 27, finished Solo entre las sombras as his second play; his first play, La ruta de Damasco, (apparently missing all these years) had been pronounced "very promising" by the critics, who also noted that the young poet-playwright-lawyer from Batangas had been deeply influenced by The Spanish dramatist Benavente.
On June 19, 1917, Solo entre las sombras was performed for the first time, with the greatest actress of the period, Praxedes L. de Pastor, more popularly known as "Yeyeng" in the role of "Gabriela." The day had passed when opening nights commonly ended with the constabulary hauling off the author and his cast to jail; but Philippine theatre was still so ferociously alive that a new play was then apt to excite as much public discussion as politics does nowadays. Recto's prize-winning play (Solo entre las sombas) was no exception.
Recto's Solo was promptly denounced by those who saw it as an attack on the system of education then being imposed in the Philippines and as an invitation to return to the ways of the past. In newspapers, night clubs and tertulias raged an increasingly bitter war over the question of whether or not there was a reactionary tendency in the Recto play.
To Recto's defense came some of the most brilliant minds of the period - Cecilio Apostol, Feliciano Basa, Manuel Ravago, Manuel Bernabe and Francisco Varona - who argued that Recto merely wanted to rectify, to redress the balance, to moderate the "violent saxonization" of the youth. (In those days, sajonismo was the term for Americanism.) What the play advocated, said Recto's defenders, was a blending of the two cultural forces then in conflict, the old and the new, through a tempering of the modern with the classic educational ideals - a synthesis of the Hispanic and the Anglo-Saxon traditions.
Unfortunately, as we all know now, that is not what happened. No attempt at a synthesis, or even co-existence, was ever encouraged. One culture was simply totally discarded while the other was adopted wholesale. And although they did not know it then, Recto's defenders, all writers in Spanish, were actually fighting for their own survival. As it happened, Recto was the last important writer in the direct line of succession from Rizal - "a true sprig of the Great Tree," as Francisco Varona put it - for, surely, not even the most nationalistic among us will claim that today's writers, whether in English or Tagalog, can trace their literary ancestry back to Rizal. In fact, it is very probable that the only reason Rizal's books have not joined the works of Guerrero and Apostol in oblivion is that he happens to be our national hero. As it is, we know him only in translation. The original Rizal is a foreigner to use - and a dead foreigner at that.
Nothing is more futile than to argue over "what might have been" - but suppose that there had been no cultural break; suppose that the literature developed by Rizal and Recto had continued to develop - and there can be no question that it would have continued to develop, if the Americans had not stayed. Those who repeat the trite cliche about the Philippines making more progress in 50 years under America than in the three centuries under Spanish miss the point of our history altogether. By the 1890s, the Philippines had reached a point in culture when it could not but bloom as it did. And such was the impetus of the Revolution and of the Intellectual movement at the turn of the century that, Americans or no Americans, the first decades of this century were bound to be a time of great and momentous advances in the Philippines. The American occupation hastened our modernization and our political development but it was to thwart the full flowering of the cultural trend represented by Rizal and the other ilustrados - a trend that might have led to a richer and more autonomous culture than the one we actually got. The shift from Spanish to English was a fatal blow to our cultural growth; our literary development suffered - and is still suffering - for literature is the very soul of language and we were made to abandon the language in which our literature had developed and to begin all over again in English.
The prime victims of this shift in language were, of course, the writers in Spanish of the 1900s, who, deprived of an audience, either fell into decline or, like Recto, who could have become one of our greatest literary figures, but had abandoned literature altogether.
All these writers had achieved such a superb mastery of Spanish that it stands to reason that the generation after them would have carried this mastery to even greater heights and might have produced a greater literature. What the succeeding generation actually produced were the groping pioneering efforts in English of the 1920s - a labor that was valuable and heroic but which was a radical deviation from the development indicated by our history, and which, therefore, could not - and did not - produce the great literature that the tremendous intellectual vitality of the 1890s and the 1900s seemed to herald. For the Filipino writer in English has suffered grievously, too, from the incoherence of our culture - and here the best example is Jose Garcia Villa.
Logically, and chronologically, Villa - along with all the pioneer writers in English of the 1920s - should have been the further development of Rizal and Recto; he might even have been, so indubitable is the top quality of his genius, the culmination of 300 years of Spanish in the Philippines. If Rizal was the "Marlowe," Villa should have been the "Shakespeare" - if there had been no interruption in the development of our culture. Unfortunately, there was, and when Villa came, he had to manufacture, instead of continuing, a literary tradition. He should have been the flowering; he had to become a seed. Rizal and Recto should have been his fathers but Villa had to start from scratch - and the literary fathers he made for himself were Sherwood Anderson and E.E. Cummings. The result has been "pure" poetry, very beautiful but quite rootless, and which, for all the relation it has with the Philippines, might just as well have been written by an Eskimo. This is not Villa's fault but the fault of history, which cut him off from his true roots; and he, Villa, every Filipino writer can not but suffer from this loss of a tradition; this alienation from the "classic" writers of his own history.
So great has that alienation become that people of the old culture seem to us almost foreigners - or mestizos - and there has arisen in our times the preposterous need to explain that the culture which produced Rizal and Aguinaldo, the Lunas and the Guerreros, and Apostol, Bernabe and Recto, was a culture as truly and authentically Philippine as the Ifugao, the Moro, the Yanqui colonial, or today's enlightened Sajonismo. Whether that culture - if Dewey had only sailed away at once - might not have developed into the Philippine culture (as the Hispanic culture in America developed into the specifically Mexican, Guatemaltecan, Argentinian, etc.), we will never know now. At any rate, this play of Recto's may serve to indicate the potentialities of the literature that we lost.
Nick Joaquin, born 1917, is one of the most respected Filipino writers. For the past half century, he has written novels and edited magazines, and has written definitive essays on Philippine History and Culture. Also known as "Quijano de Manila," Joaquin has won awards in the Palanca literary contests, the Philippine Journalist Award, the Republic Cultural Heritage Award, and many others. In 1976, he was conferred the National Artist Award for Literature.
Orchids for Three Exiles - Sylvia L. Mayuga
First posted 03:52pm (Mla time) May 21, 2005
By Sylvia L. Mayuga
nangingibang bansa para sa pamilya,
dala ang pangarap para sa kanila
sa konting kita, sila’y mapasaya,
sa kalagayan nami’y walang magawa.
sa bansang iniwan di pa rin masilayan
kaunlarang tunay, puros pa ring kahirapan
dahil sa pulitikang parati na lang iringan
nangangampanya na, malayo pang botohan.
ngunit walang magawa pag kami’y inaabuso
baka raw masira ang relasyon sa bansang ito,
magtiis na lang hanggang matapos ang kontrata ko
sa disyertong tinatawag na “lupa ng pera piraso.”
sadya nga bang ganito ang aming kapalaran?
iniiwan ang pamilya para sa kabuhayan
pagod sa trabaho, lungkot ay kinalilimutan
upang patunayang kami’y bayani rin ng bayan.
sa paglipas ng taon marami akong natutunan
sa mga taong nakasama at hirap na nasaksihan
mapalad daw ako, trabaho nila'y di nasubukan
di nila alam: mas mahirap aking ginagampanan.
Two things tug at the heart in these excerpts from two Tagalog poems by Noel Malicdem, an overseas contract worker in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. One is the human condition of seven million Filipino overseas workers in the flesh. The other is the hidden poetry Noel brings to exile, unheard as he bends his shoulder to manual labor, echoed only in the ears of a few fellow exiles till now, on the Web.
Literature by Filipinos abroad has been with us since the 30s. Seven decades and millions of overseas workers later, the Internet makes a quantum leap possible, as light in the human heart scans class, national and global divisions with art’s longing to bridge them all. In real time on the Net, here’s powerful stimulus to healthy new growth for the stunted tree of Philippine democracy.
Who knows what could happen down the bend of this benevolent triangle? On one side is a foreign host country providing soul friction for turning into pearls, on the other two sides new channels of understanding for a nation in diaspora, as much abroad as on home ground. Art is the open doorway into one another’s inner reality, nowhere quicker than on the Internet.
This is eminently true of the Web-beamed stories of Rey Ventura, who left home after years of underground political activism and lived by his wits as a T & T in Japan. Learning a new language, turning chameleon – talent will out with good karma. Today Rey thrives as a professional in a Japanese news agency and wields both freelance pen and cameras, still and video. He’s also married to a Japanese lady and they have a nine-year old daughter named Maharlika.
With all that has come signal recognition at home. A well-received first compilation of his work in the book ‘Living Underground in Japan,’ published by Jonathan Cape, London in 1992, has just provoked a 44-page critique by Caroline S. Hau, in a book released this month by the Ateneo University Press – ‘On the Subject of the Nation: Filipino Writings from the Margins, 1981 to 2004.’ Now a sequel to ‘Living Underground in Japan’ titled ‘Into the Country of Standing Men’ is in the first stages of publication by the Ateneo press, with the possibility of a double launch of both titles.
But far more impressive than Rey Ventura’s publishing success is his artist’s moving window to life, earned in a foreign sojourn that began as a wandering tachimbo (day laborer) in Japan. His peers in a near-invisible social bottom were homeless squatters, Japanese and migrant, found in the crevices of a wealthy, rigidly hierarchical host country. This is how we meet Gabriel in his ”blue mansion”.
Long after Rey found his footing in Japan, he would regularly return to his old fellow tachimbos and wear their skin, share their heartbeat, then later tell their stories as only he can. Meaning harvested from suffering becomes literature and deathless image
Remembering is what it’s all about. Ask Bert Florentino, playwright and pioneer publisher of Filipino literary gems for the majority’s reach – the Peso Books he began in the 60s. Riveted at 75 to computer and Internet in New York City, everyday he volleys a spirit called Filipino to the world and beyond:
“During liberation in a ruined Manila, I was 14 years old. I enjoyed the liberation years because there were lenses and eyepieces selling for only a few pesos on Evangelista St., Quiapo. Out of them I was able to make my own (1) telescope and (2) microscope. I never owned (and still do not own) a telescope or microscope. Necessity is the mother of invention. So I invented MY OWN…
“Like Galileo, I peered through my 2-meter long telescope hanging from the ceiling and saw Jupiter as a disc with ‘brilliantes’ moving around the planet like fireflies. It was the sight that gave Galileo the insight about the worlds out there and the world he, and we stand on.
“I found a way to learn about reality, uncertainty, incompleteness, relativity – from Godel, Neils Bohr, Albert (that where my father got my name?) Einstein to George Gamow, Shapely, Asimov, Clarke (the 2 popularizers), Carl Sagan, Hawkings, Penrose and the rest. When my classmates were reading comics, I was reading the first postwar books on Einstein and his relatives (wife, daughter, ‘illegitimates’), and his theory (ies) of Relativity.
“To man in the time of Copernicus and of earlier and later scientists, the world was flat for all purposes, as suggested by the Church or accepted by it. Maps at the time showed the world as a flat expanse of ocean(s) and seas. Beyond the edge of that mariner's paper map, where ships are shown falling off the edge as on Niagara Falls, the WORLD, WAS, FLAT.
“Instead Galileo the dissenter, having just peeked through his telescope, said no, the earth was a sphere of ocean (water) and earth (rocks or cold magma). For that time THE, WORLD, WAS, SPHERICAL.
“Until we sent Man (first his instruments, then his body) out of the steady pull of gravity into outer space, the earth only was as big or as round as man's vision of it.
“Man's world for eons, millennia, was as big (or as far) as his footsteps or his horse or his carriage could go.
“Man's boat, car, ship, airplane and Concorde made his world bigger. Then Man sent the Voyager rockets to outer space and other outer-space satellites. The more and bigger the earth became.
“Man started sending out radio signals and slowly or quickly the world, the universe, and the cosmos increased with every big step made by Neil Armstrong's actual trip to the moon, Carl Sagan's recording of evidence of life on earth went to the reaches of the ‘farthest throw ever made’ from earth. (It is still going out, the longest cruise to nowhere.)
“Man's reach started to exceed his arm's length and his eye's ken – the telegraph, the telephone, the edges of the ever expanding Internet's www territory… 'Tis right, the universe or cosmos is as big as the sense of sight can make it, the extent of his radio signals, his rockets and radio signals, can reach…”
And here we reach the edges of what religions call “oneness.” Hindus and animists see it everywhere in Nature. Christians call it God’s heaven, Muslims Allah’s paradise. The Buddha taught us to sit still and find its inner kingdom – like Sufi mystics, Christian contemplatives and the tribal shamans who know heaven is here, right now, with all its pain and contradiction, to those who see.
All roads lead no longer to Rome but to a center in a world with many centers, until humans look upward beyond the rockets and inward beyond the visible. And almost always now, there’s a Filipino witnessing it all in a corner somewhere close – marveling and recognizing, crying out, recording and unreeling memories in celebration.
the day *after* the dancers came
and so because ed didn't return andy's calls so we know where to meet them, andy and i called them up at their hosts' house. they were in the boys' house where they were chopping the bamboo two feet less because tiny united airlines express won't take 8 feet poles. it is better that they caught this now than later.
the people who will be doing the chopping are the dancers themselves. no crew, no staff - the dancers themselves.
jennifer told us this. said that the host prepared desserts and a light meal for them after their trip downtown. she said their schedule seemed a tad too tight for dancers - they are flying at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning for a show tomorrow evening. and then they leave washington DC the following day for a show that same evening in virginia. all i could think of is the fundraising and the money involved. it turns out that the show here in chicago is pretty affordable.
and then she gave the phone to jerome. it was with jerome that we spent the most time with. he told us where their offices are, and andy, who had just come from back from manila last february, animately asked him how to get to their offices.
and then andy asked for mylene.
"mylene? she's here - oooh," he stopped.
"lumabas ang tunay na rason!" ahahaha. i should stop killing things like that. that is the most effective way to remove me from future witness protection roles. sigh.
but mylene said that they needed to go now because it was late - and it was
late, 11 p.m., and they had a 9 a.m. flight tomorrow. i am just glad both andy and jerome were fine with my teasing. we hung up after bidding mylene a safe trip.
and then andy sighed. "we didn't get to talk to sophie."
and then i remembered. we were so talkative with jerome, and i'm sure, had there been more time, we would have been able to talk to sophie. and then i could get off the phone and go back to my work.
but all i said was, "i'm sorry." sigh. poor andy.
but how come i don't have anything to say about this? i wonder what will andy do now. i know what i will do: get off this computer and find a train ride back to the house!
it truly is nice to be temporary groupie to the dancers. i'm not too worried yet about disconnecting, because we have each others' email addresses. but the present chickahan
and time spent with them is still the best part of getting to know talented travellers.
's next stop is washington dc, and then virginia. if you go to a major filipino restaurant or grocery store, one you know can dole out the sponsorship for events like this, you'll know where they'll be performing. we didn't ask, ahaha - we were just mere guppies in a pond of goldfish and lionfish.
"it really was meant to be this way, a short spin around downtown chicago. they had a fixed dinner engagement with one of the board members of the filipino organization here," ed said, to tell me the whole story. it's damage control, and what else can you do after the fact. rifts among the younger people, just when things seem to be gelling, are the last thing the community needs right now.
sigh. everything will turn out happy and glowing in the end, the way landmark events always seem to.
today was a really good father's day. it was spectacularly sunny and i spent it with friends. but in a nutshell: i miss my dad. i had another what if my dad were here moments earlier. it was good. i will always wonder that. but the good thing's that whenever i think that way, i know something's seriously up. even when he was alive, i never thought to ask that often for his opinion, although when he would tell stories, i would perk up and absorb every word he said. he told stories so vividly that i could see them in my head - how extremely flooded were the ricefields in the heavy storms that his brother who liked to swin could swim in it. later, he said, when the storm passed, they'd hurry into the ricefields to catch fish brought in by the sea.
his story wasn't just animated, it was fantastic - no storm could bring in the sea, and yummy fish along with it. later, i'd read about an exact, similar incident written by a writer my dad's age had he not died. and then i believed his fish in the ricefields story. only it was too late, because when he told it, i thought it was the ravings of a sick, old man. now, it was too late for him.
but i like to think that it's not yet too late for me. i can still complete tasks he told me do a long time ago, scenes that remain crystal clear in my head. i understand most of it now.
but i still miss my dad. i think anyone who's ever lost a father to illness or other pathways to the eternal will always miss their dads. it doesn't beat him being around.
he used to drive all of us to the philippine long distance telephone office near the quezon circle, so we can spend some time talking to our mom. we lived in a new subdivision near visayas avenue, and phone service wasn't installed yet. to me, going to PLDT was always an adventure, because it meant a ride in the car and several minutes of talking to our mother who worked in the u.s. it meant snow and beautiful reading material and fat spiral notebooks and endless pens and trendy clothes. it meant she was healthy and happy. it meant she still meant something to us. it never occured to me that the phone calls must have been extremely short to my parents. i didn't recall our trips to PLDT being regular, but it seems to me that they always set a date for it. we would call our mother from an outdoor PLDT phone booth, and she would call us back. whatever date it was, it seemed pretty irregular to me.
all these tasks my dad can no longer do because that reality no longer exists. it does us both no good for me to dwell on it, either. and this is definitely a memory i am keeping from my mother. ahaha.
i killed my star - imelda de la cruz
and i wish i was a rainbow
and i wish i was bright
so all the kids could see me
and i wish i was super
so i could bring all the candy
i could in a can
and i wish i was a ghost
and i wish i was a dream
then i'd make everything be what it looked
what it seemed
and i wish that you would know
that i wish i was a kite
the closest thing to heaven
i wouldn't have to die
then i would bring in the rainstorm
and i would take it all away
'cause happiness is just for seconds
but if you're lucky for a day
and i would bring in the rainstorm
and i would summon all the hail
destroy everything you know
and forget what you say
and i wish i was pretty
and i wish i was right
i wouldn't have to be rude
i wouldn't want to fight
and i wish for the best
i'd give it all to you
and i wish you'd never have to be blue
and i wish i was a rose
but that could never be true
just like i could never be with you
and i wish it was a dreamer's land
'cause there i could get away
there i could hold your hand
then i would bring in the rainstorm
and i would take it all away
'cause happiness is just for seconds
but if you're lucky for a day
and i would bring in the rainstorm
and i would summon all the hail
destroy everything you know
and forget what you say
i killed my star
i wished on it too much
and now i've gone too far
and i wish i was a rainbow but no one knows
and i wish i was bright but no one sees
and i wish i was a dream but no one cares
and it gets so hard when you grin and bear
everything you feel and you feel so much
and i killed my star 'cause i wish too much
and i lose everything that i want to touch
'cause i have to go, i want to go
i killed my star
what are the lyrics to *i killed my star*? - ulanmaya
hope that's good - imelda
a dazzlingly well-lived life
life is always beyond the minutiae.
and yet many of the things that make it a good life comprise of small, significant things.
here are some responses from a chicago tribune
suvey on what various people would do if their doctors told them they have a year, a few months, a few weeks, left to live.
- Take a leap of faith: Commit yourself utterly to a cause that is not a sure win.
- Try something you think you can't do. (Climb a mountain? Sing in the choir?)
- Letting go: Teach a child to ride a bike.
- See Venice - or see your Venice. Maybe it's a game preserve in Africa or the Amazon River.
- Buy something really expensive.
- Buy something really expensive - for someone else.
- Get to know a cop.
- Notice someone's loneliness; do something about it.
- Work as a waiter or waitress. Dealing with the American public is instructive on many levels; mostly, you learn humility and how not to abuse people in service jobs.
- Apologize. And mean it.
- Forgive your parents. Because they're not perfect.
- Forgive yourself. Because you're not perfect.
email your thoughts on a dazzlingly well-lived life to email@example.com
with "Living" in the subject. include your name and contact information.
birds - mila d. aguilar
I don't know the language
Of which they speak
As they fly busily about
After the rain.
I can't tell why
After some minutes
Going about their business.
Is it the wind rustling
Gently through the leaves?
Or are they done?
The skies may be gray,
But I share their joy
Over the coming and going
Of the rain, the way
The plants green and preen
Over the end
Of a long withering summer.
August 8, 2005
well, on the yahoogroups she posted this poem in, she said she wrote it 080805... but it's only 061505. hmm - prolly a typo from the future, ahaha.
skyway to indiana
5 a.m. at o'hare airport
hey! there's my sister! woot!
ice cream in a vase
romeo at bungalow
ulan na may araw
aside from blurring names and adjusting brightness levels, i don't ever doctor or "photoshop" my photos. no, i really don't. i can't tinker photoshop well enough to change something in 10 seconds or less, ahahahaha.
revenge of the angry long-haired big girl
goddess alanis morisette has released the acoustic version of the precious "jagged little pill." get thee to a starbucks
and purchase one.
perhaps it was the caffein, but the store somehow mixed her CD with other female artists' acoustic sets, so the 10 minutes i stole to be in that store today is this hour's current highlight. woot!
unfortunately, like many beautiful songs, i don't know the artist and the title. and these are songs you all know. they're like kumbaya, they're perennial like tulips and staple and necessities for the good life. (wait, but you don't eat tulips. you eat rice. just so you know... wait, the dutch might say otherwise. ahaha!)
if you're a lucky person, however, you might be able to log into your XM satellite radio
thingy and browse through which songs played at around 2:20 p.m. central standard time.
and then tell me.
coz mortals like me deserve to know.
if you don't know, then go away.
last friday i noticed, while driving my mother and her colleague to o'hare international airport, the sun made its entrance at 4 a.m. we saw it near the suburb of park ridge. the sky remained this in-between shade of blue, dark cerulean, light navy, or something similar, as if waiting for permission from its western parts if the sun can come out now. it was bright enough to snuff out stars. it was bright enough to outline trees and streets. it was bright enough to light flourescent signs to warn us of newly paved, rerouted streets.
the shady blue blanket stayed until 5 a.m., when the sun finally came. and we all know what sunrise looks like. it's late spring here, so it chased away the chilly, blue blanket.
don't mean to be cryptic, ahaha - it is 4 a.m. central where i'm at right now, and there's always tomorrow, and tomorrow's got more stories. see you again then. :-)
i am ok now
see that brown stuff on the ground outside? oh ok, you're downtown in the concrete jungle at work still.
see the brown stuff in the planters? ya. that's me: dirt. yay!
better now coz i checked email and received a reminder for a party invite for saturday. evite responses are always hilarious! ahahaha if you get to invite people to such things like a houseparty, you should definitely keep the comments box open for all to see. it'll lighten up sullen people like me! :-D
This is, like, so awesome! Like, ya know?! AWESOME!
Yay, it'll be fun!
Can't wait! Now I just need to find some big hoop earings, scrunchies, leg warmers and a Flashdance sweatshirt!
Melissa (+ 1 guest)
Ben has been dying to dress up like Adam Ant, and I have been dying to wear that Pretty in Pink dress that I bought on ebay for $500.
Tracy (+ 1 guest)
Count Eric and I in.
Matthew H (+ 1 guest)
Like totally radical, man. Keri and I will totally be there. Totally.
Gregory M (+ 1 guest)
Sounds pretty fresh to me. We'll be there
Martha I (+ 1 guest)
what to where? what to where? I think Becky still has some parachute pants. ;)
Maura (+ 1 guest)
Bob and I will definitely be there!
Alysia T (+ 1 guest)
Totally tubular! I wouldn't miss it.
80's ???? can't we do a 40's thing! Jorgen does the 80's thing everyday, it's nothing new and exciting for him.
Rock on... I'll have to start growing my mullet back.
I will be there
Mike and I are, like, soooo totally there -- although I'll have to invest in some strong hair spray to recreate my '80s 'do!
Mary B (+ 1 guest)
Hopefully Eddy will be in town for the party.
Chathia J (+ 1 guest)
I cannot wait!! Might have to break out the neon socks!
I'm there! Hmmm, now where'd I put those darned leg warmers ... this "yes" list is getting too happy. let me break it with a few notable "no"s
Unfortunately, I have a wedding that same night. So sad. I was really looking forward to digging out my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt.
melanie, back in the 80s I would this sounds really groovy. shit, that was the 60s. Anyway, there was a time when we would have loved to attend a party that begins at 9 pm. Now we go to parties that end by then. Actually, we are having a birthday party for eleanor. She's turning the big 0-3. Sorry we won't make it. It really does sound fun.
Gonna have to pass on this one, with regrets since it sounds particularly hilarious. Unlike most of your guests, I'll bet, I was there throughout the '80s as a full-grown adult already, man! back to the "yes"s. the party's theme is 80s, so that's why the jokes sound strange to you young pups.
The good ol' days when herpes was scary! I'll be there!
...as long as I get to breakdance (LOL).
Sure! I 'll bring my Breakin' movies and have a slumber party! ulanmaya
yay!... heehee. one word: MENUDO!
now i hafta forget that it'll be a house crawling with potential sharks and employers so i gotta behave ahahahaha. ...
le très négativité/la norme double
i just realized how exasperating vain people are.
fcukin byatches and dawgs! damn. no colorful expletive encompasses how they look. what more how they sound?! they shouldn't be allowed journal space. THEY CAN'T WRITE. (yes! and in this moment of time, I CAN!) they should be dragged by their designer hairdos and allowed to bake on the street, particularly michigan avenue, where both panhandlers and designer clothes exist in this miasmaic cauldron of AC and humidity!
in sweltering midday, so they can see how damned equal under the sun everything really is!
i'm so pissed! this is why all journalists go DEATH TO ALL FLACKS. ahahahaha!
la norme double
if you are a PR agent and you know me, you will be on the floor laughing your damn ass off. go away.
wierdo movie #405: battle royale
japanese movies rock.
i mean seriously. the latest wierdo movie from the cool north asia archipelago we saw was battle royale
. the movie was so bizarre, i took a pix of the people i saw it with:
it was that strange, it mesmerized us all. i wasn't really watching coz i needed to finish a story, but i get the gist of the movie: kids stuck on an island out to kill one another. yay!
and they've reason to - the Millenium Educational Reform Act, so it's not to be confused with senseless motivation a la lord of the flies.
i wish my high school was something like this. why can't my high school have been like this? have more schoolwide games, i mean, not just games within your own grade group? i'm
so someone had to diffuse the tension in that room. after i think girl #12 was killed - i lost count - i went, "this game is fun!" and everyone started lighting up. giggled and then did smokes, i mean.
a few days before, a friend, jessie, invited us all to see it with him. now we know why he can't see it on his own. "you kinna wonder, if the country's normal. i mean, psychologically. i mean, is it normal to cudgel one's brains on how the adults are scared of us, but they have the power, so instead of making them take our lives in their hands, they make us take each others'? i mean, why be scared of change? and then why make an adult spearhead the operation, all coz [SPOILER!!!] he has a crush on one of them
i thought of "spiral
" and "suicide club
" and smiled. awww. so jessie can be concerned about some things, after all, not ruthlessly mock everything in sight. but i kept that to myself coz i think those movies are kewl!
one of my favorite scenes revolves around psychogirl (#11) finally meeting psychoboy (#6) and their killing each other. this was after a supersweet scene involving a girl killing a boy by accident.(ulanmaya picks up lines by memory)
sweetboy (#11): ah! i'm hit!
sweetgirl (#8): hu! hu! hu!
sweetboy: go! run.
sweetgirl: run? why? i'm sorry! i thought you were gonna kill me!
sweetboy: run! they heard the shots. they're coming this way.
sweetgirl: why are you helping me?
sweetboy: i can't ever kill you. i can't ever hurt you.
sweetgirl: (gasps!) but why?
sweetboy: because i love you.
sweetgirl: (falls to the ground) but why?
sweetboy: because you're so cute.
and then sweetboy relaxes, dead - on the flooded warehouse floor.
enter psychogirl who screams bloody murder!
sweetgirl, confused and frightened and scared and emotionally saturated all at once, scrambles from her hiding place and runs. she's shot. she stumbles over sweetboy. she gets shot again. she dies on top of him.
enter psychoboy, and they duke it out for a little longer than the sweet couple. what i really, REALLY didn't like about that scene was that they killed off psychogirl.
what!!! you say.
so did i!
jessie wanted to see the second one, but it was 10:30 p.m., we thought how young were the kids in the flick, so we needed to get our elderly behinds back to our own houses already.
i'm still curious about BR2. they're banned here in the u.s., but thankfully, they've a cool english-language web site
i wish i paid attention more to the film, ahaha. i think, you know, they should have battle royale III: revenge of the psychogirl! coz girls always outlast the guys.
birthday in portuguese
one of the best birthday gifts i got this year was a song in portuguese. it's the first time someone's sang me a birthday song that wasn't in either english or filipino!
Parabéns a Você
Congratulations to you
Nesta data querida
In this dear date
Muitos anos de vida
Many years of life
Hoje é dia de festa
Today is a day of party
Cantam as nossas almas
Sing from our souls
À menina (ulanmaya)
To the girl (ulanmaya)
Uma salva de palmas!
A salute of palms!
it is just perfect!
except for the translation. ahahaha i went online
for that. heehee!
the friday night of my birthday, i met up with just one of my friends at the signature room
- just one! because he is just insane like that.
last monday, may 30, everyone suprised me with cake and a party at one of my friends' houses on the chicago northside. that weekend, the saturday and sunday before, was pintig's open mic
and sunday was a video group meeting, so we were out for like 40 of the 48 hours that weekend.
one of the funnest things we did was just get lost on the northside - after the open mic, we headed to the hothouse
to attend pacifics' CD launching
. i had a sexy drink that night, ahahaha.
i have no clue what it's called. i just said i wanted something light and sweet, ahahahaha. and the same dude who stood vigil with me at the signature room bought it for me and jessie, another video-dude friend. ahahaha.
after the hothouse, we were hungry, but we didn't want to go to the golden nugget
just yet coz it was saturday night, and there might be other places to eat. so we decided to go exploring ahahahaha - i wanted to go north on broadway street and yes, what else would we find along the exhilerating, exhuberant, exciting and amazing lakeview
AHAHAHAHAHA!!! i'm not telling. if you don't know, why should i tell? ;-) but later on, simply by passing clark street at belmont avenue, near club BERLIN and the offices of spin magazine, the joyous catcalling from romeo's SUV and the provocative smiles targeted toward it when we snarled to a standstill in that hoppeningly trafficky, trendy area, subsided. sigh.
for we had crossed into yuppy, silverspoonly lincoln park
: home of depaul university
. everyone else was yuck to it, but i went, hmm, coz both my siblings go to school there and i might consider, if i succumb to the idea that imma get into debt again once i go back for gradschool anyways, why whip myself better by moving away and acquiring lodging burdens? ouch. so the jokes turned back to "let's just go to the nugget!" coz we were hungry!
we spent the night at the nugget. just like d and i did, a week later, saturday from 2 a.m. till 6. ahahahaha.
the man has stamina. grabe. sobra. but the good thing's that he admits that sometimes he's just talking and not communicating, ahahahaha. which is strange coz i think i'm really listening. if i liked the guy, we wouldn't be talking about the things we talked about, actually, ahahaha - if i like a guy, we'd be talking about something else, like, "it's 2:30. in the a.m.
i need to be back in my mother's house. now."
but i don't like d, in fact, i look up to him like a mentor because he risked spending time with me! and just me! ohmigosh! he called people to make sure that he knows at least why they can't make it! and he actually asked me if i wanted to go out to a concert with the crew! and he actually called and texted and left me voice messages at least four times that night to make sure where the hell i was!
he kept that he was chillin with some of the crew and that he could have asked them as well, but by the time i learned that, it was 4:30 a.m.! so i forgave him, because if not, i wouldn't have found out some things about him that not even his best of bestest friends know! HA!!!
the very bad thing about my birthday date is that we spent so much time at the signature room that we closed it, and therefore missed ciso's show. :-( (i'm sorry, ciso! if you read this, next time? i promise! and ack! thank you for reading! ahaha. now go back to work!)
there were moments in this birthday weekend that i truly wish never, never happened - episodes you'll find out soon enough anyways, ahaha - i hate blogging!!! ahahaha - but they happened, and oh wells. i'm just thankful some thing, some one, some memories, were able to tide me over till the next adventure. else, i would not have finally had a chance to go to margie's
for ice cream and sandwhiches with my family! else, i would not have finally had a chance to hear some of the dedications for jen at her wedding shower, and hear some of her concerns regarding what some of the women said to her there, which became food for thought for me!
else, i would not have had a chance to make my mother herself happy by accompanying her at a casino
again this weekend, and her winning more than $300! mom showed a coupon thingy the casino mailed her several weeks ago that she could use that turned out expired, but i tried by telling her it was also my birthday recently. she said that those things are mailed out, they don't have any on the floor they can give me, but happy birthday anyways. it was embarrassing, but sweet anyways! ahahahaha.
and now, it is almost 6 a.m. as i end typing this. i didn't want to go gambling, but seeing the chicago skyway, the tollway bridge,
the south side steel mills, and distant, very blue, lake michigan in the early summer sunset was worth it. my mother and i got lost trying to find the casino, and in the process, we passed by closed BP refineries
they looked eerie, unstaffed on a late sunday. we asked for directions from a security guard, and i was told not to take photographs of the massive steel structures. i noticed the elaborate designs formed by the steel columns, angle after cross-angle, forming a power plant. there was a forest of chimneys, silent sentinels pointing to the sky. there was the usual steel tower at one end of the complex, spewing orange flame, indicating that the refinery was still in use. i thought of new security measures implemented shortly after the 2001 u.s. terror attacks, and why i wasn't permitted to take pictures.
after a weekend with filipino friends, and then this common birthday song, but in portuguese - i was reminded that this was the u.s., and wow. i'd experienced yet another year's turning, and on this soil, no less.
CS is a free, glossy magazine , $4.95 if bought from bookstores and newsstands, free everywhere else. a loyola classmate used to intern for this magazine. "books" - industry term for magazine - like these don't pay interns. but i can see why she would be so dedicated - she would skip organization meetings because she needed to intern. she'd beg off work because she needed to intern. she ran into the pool of interns meeting to report on her work and point out what she did in its pages, and then, like the city campaign manager's intern, run out without hearing us say, "hello, this is what we did today."
i can't look at a magazine right now without immediately remembering how it's put together. that goes for newspapers and other printed material, as well. i used to intern for three magazines, one after another, and then write for them, and then i've had it. i still remember ad executives complain, to a publisher i used to work for, pointing to the cover with the girl's eyes turned down, "what a stupid cover."
later that same day the publisher would ask me, "isn't that a good cover. you don't see that type everyday."
"no, because covers are supposed to lure the reader in. you can't invite someone to look at you when you're not looking at them," the ad exec later told me, away from the office during an event.
and so i learned something about the two sides of the same coin.
social books are the worst, i think. they need to be interesting, informative and punchy without appearing flippant, because no one has time to read. anything - unless you know the writer, or you have some pressing need for information, no one has time to read. anything, or about anything.
but second to the opportunity to write longer stories that hopefully shed more light on the hottest topics, what i liked best about working for a magazine were the full-page ads. i used to collect these when i was in grade school and paste them to school folders, scrapbooks, and the walls of my room.
while living in manila, my family went to a fair one day and passed by a soap company's kiosk that distributed cardboard fans the shape of kidneys. i took all the fans given to my family and asked for a few more. when i went back to my room that weekend, i wrapped my favorite magazine ad tearsheets over these kidney fans, making sure to conceal or paste over any writing, and added toes - the feet walked from the foot of my bed, disappearing into my ceiling. hehe.
just like my old magazine - a bridal magazine for black women, released in the u.s., canada, europe and the caribbean - CS has two different mastheads: editorial and advertising. the ad pages appear at the right side of the page because even though most people read left to right, they hold the book in their right hands, and it's the first thing they see when they turn the page. i remember some stories written so we can get advertising. but ideally, the ads don't have anything to do with the copy.
i chose magazines to intern in college because i thought they were glamorous, ahaha - and they are. the articles are time consuming to write. they pay better than newspapers, but not by very much. the glossy paper is always more encouraging than newsprint. the tearsheets for advertisers are proof to them that you've printed their ad.
and the stories are always more interesting because they're supposedly more in-depth. i think these books are now facing stiffer competition from news web sites - you can update a story and keep its depth at the click of a mouse. when i interned for my last magazine, the web industry actually used magazines to call attention to their presence online - because magazines have the time and the space for web editors to explain their new products. and magazines were hip with their 4-color glossy pages.
at that time, the fatter the book, the more prosperous for everyone involed. i think it's interesting that little did most people know at that time, that the fat advertising in books will turn into competition for adspace online.
later, something even stranger started to evolve in communication world - convergeance. it still happens right now, an even more ignored fact, i think: billboards advertise a web site to go to. a web site has become a destination on a par of a television show; something to spend time and money in (amazon, for example), as opposed to a place where you get information from. television ads point people to their web site for more information on their latest products (cars are big on this).
and magazine ads? happily, and i'm sure this is just for me, i noticed that businesses are still striving to place artful ads into book pages. (have you heard of "gocards"? ahaha. people call them freecards to distinguish them from postcards. there is rampant mailing and collecting of these babies nowadays, especially the star wars movie postcards. ahaha.) they're still at the right side of the books and most still take up the full page. it's still so easy to tear out an ad page to decorate a room, a folder, a notebook - a space where you can frequently see the design and turn it your own. :-)
May Isang Bulaklak - kulas talon
ang pagdaan ng dantaon.
Malaki ang posibilidad
na hindi mamalayan.
May isang bulaklak
na dilaw ang talulot
tulad ng araw,
may bukong bumubukas-
sara tulad ng mata,
mga dahong makahiya,
tangkay na daliri
ng mahusay na biyolinista,
tinik ng rosas,
ugat na nananahan
Hindi ko man kilala
ang dugong dumadaloy
hindi ko man kayang
magtago ng tubig
patuloy akong daraan,
ng buo kong katawan,
sa bawat saglit,
na mabuti ang kalagayan mo.
Nagpapalit na naman
ang itsura mo.
Hindi ako dapat malungkot
ng gabi. sentimental asukal
well... now i guess there's someone i know who'd succeeded in suicide.
what a sweet gesture for friends to remember him through his poems.
but whatever. like my writing "postergirl" two hours before the monthly pintig open mic at sala cafe has anything to do with his friend launching the blog "sentimental asukal" two days later!
the world revolves around me, but not all the time!
if you believe that last sentence you've stronger mutant powers than me. ...