creating the republic of diliman
Students and professors yesterday declared the University of the Philippines as a state of emergency-free zone, saying their academic freedom would not be muzzled by Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017. [ more ]

so like, freedom exists only in diliman, i'm wondering if los banos, iloilo, baguio, tacloban, mindanao and the other forgotten UP campuses can hop in on the fun? we'll sleep under an acacia - the ones without higad.

sorry i just had to do it... hehehehe
  bye bye berghoff

i'm annoyed at myself.

i texted a friend if she wanted to go out eat at this place, and she said ya, but she never said when she was available. and then silly me forgot to follow-up on it. worse, i never thought of asking anyone else.

apparently the pull of a historic restaurant closing, one that's just blocks from my own office space, isn't strong enough to remind me.

i'm superannoyed because i've always wanted to eat here! grrr!

bye bye, berghoff. you close tomorrow, feb. 28. :bummed: too bad i never got to taste your beer and sausages and cream cabbage. mmm. ...

  shiela's wedding

shiela and melissa
Originally uploaded by

sheila is getting married! woohoo!

pink roses
Originally uploaded by

... coz her theme color is red. even though her favorite color is pink. coz her parents paid for most everything. but it's all good... mix red with white, her other theme color, and you get pink. yay!

breakfast for shiela
Originally uploaded by

we didn't get a chance to plan a bachelorette party for the bride, so we threw her a breakfast instead. ahahaha... those plates stayed there until way after the reception. ...

at st. hyacinth's basilica
Originally uploaded by

this beautiful church built by european immigrants - mostly polish - just got elevated to basilica status a couple of years ago. many former cfc youth for christ members got married in this church. this is where friends and i played music for mass once upon a time. it's even more spectacular after recent renovations.

joe and shiela
Originally uploaded by

i was there when sheila took her first youth camp! ack! i'm so glad things turned out so well for her at present.

making an entrance
Originally uploaded by

this is how you do it... ahahaha!

congrats, joe and sheila! thanks for the lovely bash.

  bea's housewarming

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

i had always only known one EDSA revolution: the one in 1986. the philippines had done the impossible: oust president marcos with minimal bloodshed and install the clear contender, president aquino. she would be the country's first female president. i think i was ten years old.

on its 20th anniversary, i went to a housewarming party with friends. woohoo!

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

shortly before catchphrase.

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

shortly after first and second drinks.

bea went around and showed everyone the barrelman. she made everyone stop talking and lifted the barrel. everyone laughed. she came to the side of room where joanne and i took to the food table and started picking at it. she was a little tipsy and everyone was still ruminating the meanings of such trickery.

"oh, you already know this," she said before i could be poked.

everyone laughed. she was drunk with happiness, just being on her second beer, and joanne and i resumed talking about life in america. she was born and raised here.

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

from the 40th floor of a condo near lake michigan, events in the homeland take on a greater meaning, especially if you talk about organizations to save frank lloyd wright's buildings put together solely because their founders were looking for something to fill their time with.

the girl's father did just that for his retirement and looked at her boyfriend, "why are we talking about this?"

i read them bea's poetry instead.

click HERE to read bea's poetry... or at least, the only one i asked of her, so far. hehehe.

the boyfriend scrammed after my finishing, running to bea to talk to her, and leaving me to his girlfriend.

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

these are the books that bea reads, the ones on the top shelf of her small bookcase. furnishing her condo is unfinished, and she has books piled inside a closet above the brooms, ironing board, mops, winter boots, summer sandals, winter coats and jackets, the incidentals invisible until you spill vinegar on the kitchen floor or when snow builds in twenty degree weather outside.

bea's housewarming
Originally uploaded by

i had to leave a little past 2:30 a.m., just after eric and andy's entrance from the asian coalition formal. andy said, "what are you doing here?" because i normally shouldn't show up at parties. i wanted to say i responded to an invitation. i wanted to say i didn't want to leave yet. my huge messenger bag is fat with boots, a skirt, shirt, my wire bra and bulging journal, whose pages are sparse but filled with many a person's cards, stickers, movie/show/speaker/play ticket stubs, the labels of spirits, CDs, DVDs and books.

tomorrow i would acquire three roses for my room, but i can't fold them into the journal. they're long-stemmed and still budding.

i left with my messenger bag at around 2:30 a.m.

thanks for the party, bea! congrats again! :-)

  you are all invited v2.0
Saturday, Feb. 25:
20th anniversary of EDSA I

9 a.m. till noon
Couples for Christ Illinois
ANCOP Launch
Lone Tree Manor Banquet Hall
Milwaukee just north of Howard
7730 N. Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL 60714

CFC Youth for Christ is also conducting day 2 of their weekend camp. Camp is scheduled until Sunday. Since YFC are minors and I could get in trouble for giving out their phone numbers, please either contact SFC or go to the ANCOP launch to find out where they are. Hehe, sorry!

10 a.m.
Committee on Pilipino Issues Workshop.
The offices of Albany Park Neighborbood Council
Kedzie and Lawrence, third floor, in Chicago.

3 p.m.
Pintig Cultural Group, Committee on Pilipino Issues, the Association for Filipino-American Protection of Immigrant Rights and the Illinois Veterans Equity Committee workshop, "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: Confronting Contemporary Issues: Immigration, Veterans Rights and Gender Issues."
Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave., Chicago.
Contact: Pintig, 773-973-1521.
  munting tinig

i had mentioned that friends and i have started a book club. our first meeting was just this last saturday, feb. 18. six people talked for six straight hours, from 6:30 p.m. till almost 1 a.m. if you're talking about "america is in the heart," then you have reason to talk for six hours straight. and it was our first meeting. (and it was at anna and nina's beautiful 45th floor riverfront apartment, two blocks from the house of blues... ok nevermind.)

there were several other book clubs in the past, but what we liked about this club was that we all already knew each other, and the ones we just met jumped in and participated.

what we didn't anticipate(1) is just how widespread the news would become regarding the book club! first of, ed tumlos rules coz he broke the news first by including it in his weekly e-mails. and then "thoughts on transitions" and "mamazilla" blogged our announcements. a reporter from fil-am media outside of chicago had also somehow gotten wind of our club, and had e-mailed me about info. *thanks so much!*

... sorry, though, that it had to be the same night as battle of the bamboo @ uic(2). heehee! we didn't know. we weren't included in those e-mails. boo. ahahaha, anyways.

and then the queen of all chicago filipino organizations asked us if we could hold our club in their center.

normally, this is an organization's dream come true - a solid, stable venue so all we have to worry about next is a date and who's going to bring food. everyone, even nonfilipinos, knows where this venue is. you think chicago + filipino = this venue.

my partners and i decided we should keep it at anna's house. we'd like to keep the club independent of any affiliations. that first meeting, we already learned a lot about being filipino in the u.s. just by sharing personal experiences.

we could totally learn a lot more if there were more voices present.

i told the friend who offered the center and its vast resources to us that we'd like to discover what themes are in the pages that actually reflect our lives here. we want to assure writers that we are reading their works - not just buying their books. i'm sure they don't mind the buying part, ahaha. but if i know writers, they often prize the read part over the buy part.

and then i thought we must be really high, or on to something, if we turn down invites to assured comfort, fame and glory. ahaha.

but... yanno. we'll see. we understand what it means to band together in a society where you're considered the minority. we have yet to accomplish meeting no. 2.

the next meeting of MUNTING TINIG will be march 11, 6:30 p.m., at anna rosete's place, 345 N. LaSalle, Suite 4504, Chicago, IL 60610.

we will remain with "america is in the heart," with contributions from pintig cultural group. the theater troupe had performed carlos bulosan's autobiography some years ago, they're sure to provide valuable insights.

you are more than welcome to join our yahoogroups, or peep our blog. and we'll update that blog... soon. ahaha. if you have questions, please email me, ulanmaya@gmail.com.

thanks for reading!


oOoitslesLie (9:13:36 PM): antisipated
ulanmaya (9:13:41 PM): anticipated
oOoitslesLie (9:13:45 PM): thanks!
ulanmaya (9:13:48 PM): sure!

University of Illinois at Chicago
  the vagabond - colette

Alone! Indeed one might think I was pitying myself for it!

"If you live all alone," said Brague, "it's because you really want to, isn't it?"

Certainly I "really" want to, and in fact I want to, quite simply. Only, well... there are days when solitude, for someone of my age, is a heady wine with intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison which makes you beat your head against the wall.

This evening I would much prefer not to say which it is; all I want is to remain undecided, and not to be able to say whether the shiver which will seize me when I slip between the cold sheets comes from fear or contentment.

Alone... and for a long time past. The proof is that I am giving way to the habit of talking to myself and of holding conversations with my dog, and the fire, and my own reflection. It is an idiocyncracy which recluses and old prisoners fall into; but I'm not like them, I'm free. And if I talk to myself it is because I have a writer's need to express my thoughts in rhythmical language.

Facing me from the other side of the looking-glass, in that mysterious reflected room, is the image of "a woman of letters who has turned out badly." They also say of me that I'm "on the stage," but they never call me an actress. Why? The nuance is subtle, but there is certainly a polite refusal, on the part both of the public and my friends themselves, to accord me my standing in this career which I have nevertheless adopted. A woman of letters who has turned out badly: that is what I must remain for everyone, I who no longer write, who deny myself the pleasure, the luxury of writing.

To write, to be able to write, what does it mean? It means spending long hours dreaming before a white page, scribbling unconsciously, letting your pen play around a blot of ink and nibble at a half-formed word, scratching it, making it bristle with darts and adorning it with antennae and paws until it loses all resemblance to a legible word and turns into a fantastic insect or a fluttering creature half butterfly, half fairy.

To write is to sit and stare, hypnotised, at the reflection of the window in the silver ink-stand, to feel the divine fever mounting to one's cheeks and forehead while the hand that writes grows blissfully numb upon the paper. It also means idle hours curled up in the hollow of the divan, and then the orgy of inspiration from which one emerges stupefied and aching all over, but already recompensed and laden with treasures that one unloads slowly on to the virgin page in the little round pool of light under the lamp.

To write is to pour one's innermost self passionately upon the tempting paper, at such frantic speed that sometimes one's hand struggles and rebels, overdriven by the impatient god who guides it - and it find, next day, in place of the golden bough that bloomed miraculously in that dazzling hour, a withered bramble and a stunted flower.

To write is the joy and torment of the idle. Oh to write! From time to time I feel a need, sharp as thirst in summer, to note and to describe. And then I take up my pen again and attempt the perilous and elusive task of seizing and pinning down, under its flexible double-pointed nib, the many-hued, fugitive, thrilling adjective.... The attack does not last long; it is but the itching of an old scar.

It takes up too much time to write. And the trouble is, I am no Balzac! The fragile story I am constructing crumbles away when the tradesman rings, or the shoemaker sends in his bill, when the solicitor, or one's counsel, telephones, or when the theatrical agent summons me to his office for a "social engagement at the house of some people of very good position but not in the habit of paying large fees."

The problem is, since I have been living alone, that I have had first to live, then to divorce, and then to go on living. To do all that demands incredible activity and persistence. And to get where? Is there, for me, no other haven than this commonplace room done up in gimcrack Louis XVI? Must I stay for ever before this impenetrable mirror where I come up against myself, face to face?

Tomorrow is Sunday: that means afternoon and evening performances at the Empyree-Clichy. Two o'clock already! High time for a woman of letters who has turned out badly to go to sleep.

pp. 13-15


*sigh*. ...
  bells of balangiga 2006 - first workshop

bells of balangiga 2006 - first workshop
Originally uploaded by

culling from memory: explaining what the small town of guinsaugon in leyte is like.

it's a little difficult trying to piece together stock knowledge of the war in the pacific and the present war in iraq, especially if you involve about 20 different minds from three generations and several different working backgrounds. try adding the latest from leyte, and you have quite a session, a lot more fun than flipping through a textbook or reading online.

along with staging the play, "bells of balangiga," pintig cultural group has scheduled three workshops to give the play's historic background. the first workshop this past saturday is titled, "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: History of the Philippines and U.S. Relations."

actors, support crew, and anyone interested in the philippines gave it a shot. they sat in a circle and took pieces of paper and wrote down questions regarding the play, the second world war, the spanish rule, the bells themselves - anything about philippine history.

from the circle, they took a chair out.

the person standing recites his question. everyone answers. this is where most of the knowledge is shared - and this is why the workshop was also a little confusing. expertly executed, but because everyone had to rely on stock knowledge, the end result resembles the underside of a quilt - messy, confusing, tattered, but if you step back and don't try too hard, the distinct pattern presents itself.

the play begins shortly after the spanish leave the town of balangiga on the island of samar, after the u.s. had acquired the philippines, puerto rico, guam and cuba for $20 million. president mckinley had just executed manifest destiny for the philippines, sending troops. u.s. soldiers were weak from war in china, homesick and rationing supplies. town leaders knew a little spanish, and did not hesitate to use this language to pretend they didn't understand the u.s. soldiers' motives in setting up shop on their coast town. this is the setting at the time when american soldiers seized the balangiga bells.

we went a little further - why did the u.s. go to the philippines? we thought the u.s. wanted a solid base in asia because they needed the untapped economic powerhouse, china. to do that, they needed to stop japan from raiding asia, another reason to take the philippines. poor philippines, so decimated and colonized by the u.s., she has a hard time digging in the landslid mud for buried relatives. she has a hard time saying no to corporations who would give them a little income at least for now. she still clings to her u.s. ties up until now, depending on remittances from relatives overseas. the estranged relatives (not all live in the u.s.) in turn swallow shame and ridicule and scrub floors or work nights and weekends and live on books and rock bands and food and culture and news and memories of home.

if i had to personalize the workshop, it made me consider a certain joint graduate program at berkeley even more. (now, how do i pay for that program again? ahahaha. ...)

as soon as the current question is satisfied, the person standing continues the game by yelling "GO!" everyone then plays musical chairs. i knocked down a person, yelled "YOU CHEATED!" three times to three different people, and laughed and panicked everytime. there's justice in my actions coz someone had to play madwoman. hehehe.

we played until we ran out of time.

the next workshop is scheduled this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 25: "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: Confronting Contemporary Issues: Immigration, Veterans Rights and Gender Issues." 3 p.m. Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave. Contact: 773-973-1521.

leyte is known as the birthplace of the philippines' most notorious female icon, imelda marcos. it is recently the site of the latest landslide - one town is wiped from the map, and a mountain's side has been flattered. more than 1,000 people are still missing. the landslide happened friday night.

the side of the mountain that gave had been logged illegally for several years. leyte was once known for its thick, impenetrable rainforests. in order for the peasants to earn a living, they worked for companies that needed lumber. the rainforests are all but gone now. prime riceland, the valleys and flat land further inland, have gone to rich landowners and corporations.

crews have no choice but to dig by hand. the new mudplain is too soft to bring in heavy equipment such as buldozers and construction shovels.

relief centers, scientists and officials have set up temporary shop near the site.

i'm unhappy. all i can do is blog and pray. it reminded me why residents chose to stay at their small towns of guinsaugon, liloan, san francisco, maasin, agusan and surigao - the land is beautiful at the foot of the mountain and the coasts.

please attend and donate at the vigils and gatherings, if you could.
  photoalbum #313

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

mass produced scarves rule!

vanilla daisy cupcake
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

it's the most adorable thing i've ever seen, on a par with "charlie and the chocolate factory." *sigh*

text-send a close-up of cupcake, receive photo of an office calendar thingy.

burgie girl reads bulosan. now there's a prospect -
  america is in the heart

friends and i got together for our first-ever book club meeting. our first book is "america is in the heart" by carlos bulosan.

and what can we say. truth is, only one of us had finished the book, the one eager person hadn't read it, the other didn't care at first, the married couple hadn't read it either, and i had only gone till chapter eight. i kept reading coz i realized i was still romanticizing the countryside. hehehe. i somehow can't get it into my head how hot it can be in the fields, how backbreaking farming can be, no matter how modernized it's evolved.

but i had an arsenal of articles about the seminal demi-god of filipino activists in the u.s. rereading the articles, i found a couple interesting quotes:
In 1944, he came out with "Laughter of My Father." Reviews said the book was written in the comic spirit of Mark Twain and other humorists, but Bulosan said he was full of anger then. [ "Remembering Carlos Bulosan" by Frank Cimatu]
and also:
"I want to interpret the soul of the Filipinos in this country," he told her. "What really compelled me to write was to try to understand this country, to find a place in it not only for myself but for my people." [ "Revisiting the life and legacy of pioneering Filipino writer Carlos Bulosan," The Seattle Times ]
which made me realize just how misunderstood filipinos are in this country. maybe that's why no matter what version of immigration act the senators debate right now (currently, it's HR4437), it'll always come across as wrong to all immigrants no matter their ilk.

to the government, this is the best, most accomodating deal they can come up with that will make everyone on their side of the fence happy. to the immigrants, not one letter of that law is fair. i'm exagerrating, of course.

i'll bet mark twain was also seething when he wrote "huckleberry finn," i don't think anyone one can write about an incomprehensible injustice if they didn't understand it well enough to make fun of it. twain, i read somewhere, was a member of a group of writers and artists that opposed the u.s. buying the philippines, cuba, puerto rico and guam from spain for $20 million. not sure if he and bulosan ever met. it would have been quite a meeting.

i'm on chapter 26, out of 49. i'm actually blogging this at about 1:30 a.m. monday night, i can finish this tonight!
  you are all invited
hi, all! just wanted to announce filipino-interest events:


a friend and i have started a book club. our first selection is the seminal autobiography "america is in the heart" by carlos bulosan. our first meeting is tomorrow, feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. please meet me at the house of blues restaurant on 329 n. dearborn at 6 p.m. if you don't have plans yet for early evening saturday, please join us! email, ulanmaya@gmail.com.

[ one hundred years of disregard ]


pintig theater group is staging the popular play, "bells of balangiga" to mark 15 years of production. they are holding a workshop, also on saturday, feb. 18.

to give history of brass bells taken by american soldiers from the town of balangiga, pintig has teamed up with other filipino-interest organizations to hold the following workshops:

Saturday, Feb. 18: Pintig Cultural Group, Committee on Pilipino Issues, the Association for Filipino-American Protection of Immigrant Rights and the Illinois Veterans Equity Committee workshop, "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: History of the Philippines and U.S. Relations." 3 p.m. Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave. Contact: 773-973-1521.

Saturday, Feb. 25: Workshop, "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: Confronting Contemporary Issues: Immigration, Veterans Rights and Gender Issues." 3 p.m. Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave. Contact: 773-973-1521.

Saturday, March 4: Workshop, "Revisiting the Bells of Balangiga: Filipino Diaspora and Global Issues." 3 p.m. Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave. Contact: 773-973-1521.

insight arts is accessible via the morse stop of the red line.


pintig's productions is also looking for a stage manager. please find below the duties entailed - mainly, one has to be at every rehersal and every show until closing.

What are the duties of a stage manager?

Briefly, the duties and responsibilities of a stage manager in theater vary with each job, as they do on non-theater jobs (events, business theater/industrials, dance, opera, readings, etc.). It depends on how each production is staffed, what the hierarchy is, what the director and producer expect of the stage manager, whether it's a union or a non-union production, whether it's a touring production or will sit in one theater only.

Once rehearsals begin, the SM is the eyes and ears of the production, keeping notes about props, costumes, blocking, and such, and making sure every note or new idea that comes up in rehearsal gets communicated to the appropriate departments. Also, the SM is responsible for maintaining order in rehearsals, keeping things running smoothly and on time, insuring that people are where they need to be at the appropriate time, prompting when actors are off-book and need a line, taking line notes, calling breaks when appropriate, scheduling rehearsals so that everything gets done and people's time is used efficiently, posting notices and schedules, maintaining contact sheets, writing up and distributing rehearsal reports, etc.

Once the production moves into the theater, the responsibilities expand to include maintaining safety at all times, keeping the crew informed about what's happening and what they need to be ready for (starting with paperwork prepared as rehearsals progressed and resulting from conversations with the director, the designers and the technical director), maintaining the prompt script with cues for lighting and deck moves, etc.

In performance, the stage manager will "call" the show (lighting, sound and deck cues), and be responsible to taking and distributing notes for actors and for each production department via performance reports. Rehearsing understudies and replacements, holding brush-up rehearsals as necessary (with the dance and/or fight captains, as appropriate), posting sign-in sheets and performance schedules, etc.

Taken from the Stage Managers Association (SMA) website

if interested, please let me know, i'll let the director and producers know: email, ulanmaya@gmail.com.

thanks for reading! :-) hope to see you at any of these events.
  gloomy city

gloomy michigan avenue bridge
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

it rarely fogs in chicago. today is one of those rare days.

gloomy michigan avenue
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

a sharp contrast from yesterday, when it was 50s and patches of blue managed to peak in and out of silver cloud cover. sunset comprised of a perfect disk of gold flitting between skyscrapers. it was a great day to be outside.

today, today just reminded me of seattle, and how they said it rains so much out there, it seems like that's the only thing the city does. how nature and sunlight truly do affect people - thus the illness seasonal affective disorder.

s.a.d. :-(

gloomy tribune plaza
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

today was totally batman city day. hehehe. what perfect recompense for the brave, dateless and loveless on st. valentino's day.

they came crying, "life is pointless! life is cruel! stay on the phone with me! else, what's the use! there's the friendly window! good bye!"

i thought, today's the day! i'll be waiting for them at street level. i'll be texting them as they fall, "dude, lookin' good. what's it like?"


  grandma recommends

saw this dress at the nordstrom's today... the sandals are hot but maybe if the dress were in brown or black... and wear knee-high leather boots... and it's halloween... now that's a party dress. yum. ;-)
  happy valentine's day!

hello, people i love! candyUSA estimates that more than 35 million boxes of chocolate will be sold today. all the guys know that girls are supposed to give them the stuff and the girls are more than happy to indulge their maternal instincts. that increases risk for obesity in men, already at 58 percent for those aged 20 to 34, according to data by the american obesity association.

but the really cute part is that surveyors for candyUSA have somehow managed to get guys over 50 to admit that they want to be given chocolate and flowers for a change. what a sweet gesture for daughters and wives for their fathers and husbands. the men need dessert, especially if the women go buck and decide to eat out.

the national restaurant association in washington d.c. estimates that 28 percent will dine out tonight, increasing the chances for fights and date rapes. the good thing is that the rape, abuse and incest national network (RAINN) estimates that more than 74 percent of college men would intervene to prevent a sexual assault.

pharmacies have stocked up on bandages, contraceptives and condoms, in equal parts for both male and female. o, would that illinois wages were equal between the sexes for once. it would give feminists more leeway in making fhm and penthouse vanish into thin air.

the deal with a baby is a tricky one. what do you do when you realize you don't want it? can't a woman be trusted with her own decisions nowadays? isn't she entitled to her own opinions, especially when it concerns her future? don't people make her do that with choosing a college degree and career anyways? so... she can't be trusted to protect herself when it comes to relationships, and this is why abortion is kept illegal?

the guttmacher institute reports that overall abortion in the u.s. has decreased by 11 percent between 1994 and 2000. an abcnews/washington post opinion poll says that that 57 percent of americans oppose abortion if it's solely to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. of that 57 percent, we don't know how many are women, women who have had abortions, women who have never been pregnant before. or women who are just watching and are so sure that if they get pregnant, they're absolutely sure they won't have it terminated anyways.

a man's physical size is intimidating, and the mixed good/bad thing is that they're often not aware of this. collating data from eight u.s. universities for an advertising campaign, RAINN estimates that 90 percent of college men really do stop the first time their date says no to sexual activity.

fifty-nine percent of men and women prefer wine over chocolates, according to the wine market council. good wine and chocolates cost a shade under $100, plus dinner at a place like coobah on southport in chicago might set you back another $100: no holiday is complete without the usual expenses.

if you missed today, it's always more romantic to dance to your own beat than tread the tide. heehee. but no, i will not go out with a guy whose face registers confusion-jealousy-rage whenever i spend time with his target girl-audience, or a guy who texts six times a day using CHIKKA or a guy who laughs at the sound of a girl's name, someone we both know and who had admitted loose ends with her. ahahahaha.

but we can all go out together with their intended girlfriends. i don't mind. hehehe.

happy valentine's day!
  chocolatey monday

it's called the zebra mocha and it's utterly wrong.

it's called the chocolate caramel muffin and it's even worse.

  how to spend a four-hour layover in chicago

ate love at o'hare
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

i met ate love at a cfc-singles for christ conference in new jersey in 2004. we were in line for food. when i learned she lived in london, i asked her all about the city!!! ahahaha. oh. and then she told me it doesn't beat actually going there. *sigh.*

well, i met her again for a few hours at o'hare airport during her four-hour stopover here. yay!

francis and tita in minneapols
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

this is the house and the hosts that ate love stayed with. ate love's cousin francis also stood in line with us for food. he successfully masked that he was bored to tears with all my yammering, ahahahaha.

francis and i texted back furiously to make sure ate love was ok because united airlines, ever the diva airline, had problems connecting flights.

"if in two hours your flight still hasn't been posted, then you should really panic," an agent with the airline told her.

so when i sent that photo to francis' phone, he sent me back this photo. AHAHAHAHA.

i *heart* my phone!


striped ravioli
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

ate love and i ate lunch at hilton o'hare's andiamo italian restaurant. and boy... mmmm... was it ever so worth it! ahahaha. appropriate for her name, i LOVE, love love this ravioli.

i thought it was appropriately girlie, along with ate love's bow-tie marsala. oh la la. ;-) *sweet!*

  opening ceremonies
hehehe... the turin 2006 olympics are bombastic as ever. of course it's still interesting, with the great effects and dances. wish they used more italian music, though, ahaha, now the world won't know about the great dance/electronica coming from that country anymore, ahaha.

they used a lot of u.s. 80s tunes, and only a certain type person appreciates those... ahahaha... i'm sure many u.s. people groaned. but the biggest consumers and delegates of such games as the olympics come from the u.s. anyways. ahahaha.

bronze goes to great britain... whose overcoats look a lot like france's! ahahaha and whose parade lines were so organized; the men sported black overcoats while the women beige ones, just what you'd expect from this country.

silver goes to the italians - for always seizing front and center with fashion!

gold for the coolest gear goes to canada!!! ahahaha i think that gear goes well with frigid temperatures in the polar cities... but also here in chicago!!! ahahaha - too bad roots doesn't sell them like they used to sell gear from other games!!!

most colorful goes to spain and germany! spain for their yellow pants and germany for... well... their confetti of color! ahahaha

most white goes to the koreas for trying out what it means to be united, and for japan - coz of their generic-looking winter gear, so much like japan and yet not so much like japan, they're so cool!!! ahahahaha - ok bye.

more pix
plans almost never come true, especially if you plan them the night before. *sigh* i'll just sing a song.

Magda-drive ako hanggang Baguio
Magda-drive ako hanggang Bicol
Magda-drive ako hanggang Batangas
Tapos magsu-swimming do'n sa beach

Isasama ko ang boyfriend ko
Isasama ko kahit sinong may gusto
Kahit may kasama s'yang aso
Basta't meron s'yang baong sariling buto

Magdadala ako ng pagkain
Burger, fries, tapsilog at siopao

Originally uploaded by

Magda-drive ako hanggang Visayas
Magda-drive ako hanggang sa Mindanao

Magda-drive ako buong taon
Magda-drive ako habambuhay
Magda-drive ako hanggang buwan
Please, please lang turuan n'yo akong mag-drive

Gusto kong matutong mag-drive (kahit na wala akong kotse)
Gusto kong matutong mag-drive (kahit na walang lisensya)
Mag-drive, drive, drive


names changed except You-Know-Who coz this is my blog, dangnabbit





  putting a story to bed
i'm steadily getting tired of all these reports about what ABS-CBN is planning to do to fight lawsuits and their efforts to compensate victims and families of victims, and politicians' and writers' musings on why in the world did the tragedy of 73 and 600 injured happened.

airing out theories and making amends is all good. it's getting real and trying to clean up the tragedy's aftermath. speculating on why 30,000 flocked to a stadium with a 17,000 capacity all for a slim chance at a new house and P1 million makes sense, even those who waited in line made sense.

a friend of mine mentioned that experience in the philippines is primarily communal - everyone is happy about the same thing all at the same time because there's only so many things to focus on: and that saturday, it was television. so it's not suprising that about twice the amount of people that the philsports arena could hold showed up with hopes to participate in wowowee and win or just merely see the celebrities heading the show. everyone knew what wowowee was. everyone wanted that one chance to be on TV and possibly win some prizes.

everyone is blaming the network for not anticipating record crowds, not distributing tickets beforehand, not hiring law enforcement to control the crowd. they're blaming the network for holding a benefit entertainment show without asking for donations but for accepting advertising anyways (maybe it's to raise funds for the anticipated record settlements and lawsuits).

ABS-CBN isn't scared of declaring they'll face any lawsuits because they might not expect that many suits to be filed in the first place, much less suits to be won by the victims and families of victims: most of them are poor, and their money will dry up long before they could see the inside of a courtroom with any level of ABS executive. whereas, we can say that the revenue of the philippines' largest television network is almost limitless.

how do you fix what's already broken? glue it together with settlements. fix the law for shorter stature of limitations. by the time that victims' son graduates from law school, he'd be too late to avenge his mother who died trying to win them some money or who died just following her whims for a cute host, for once.

how do you fix what's already broken? by more news conferences. more appearances. more advertising-riddled, collectionless, song and dance benefits. more tasteless entertainment. we all need the distraction. the entertainment isn't all that empty, after all, it's reflection of philippine urban society.

i'm sure the networks have returned to regular programming by now. the good, too-late thing that i think is happening right now is that every filipino has stopped and assessed their own lives. after all, we should all start from there. where else can we start?

meanwhile, the networks will come up with something to patch grief - they'll invent a new show, maybe no longer a game show, at that particular time slot; they have to, because the benefits and special reports can go only so far.

people in mecca have died for following religion. people in the u.s. have died for overcrowding nightclubs that have only one exit and entrance. people in manila have died for following a dream.

there are some stories that deserve to be interminable. others that come to a neat end. and then, there are stories whose ends are hidden, and the only appropriate action is to shave from them momentum, to let them shed speed, let them slowly tell themselves out, until they've finished, concluded not by some external force, but by themselves, on their own.

shhh. a story is tired. it's resting a moment, just for a moment, because it's not yet done telling. it's going to go to sleep.

Philippine stadium stampede kills 73
  the draw

[ spoilers ahead! ]

my first murakami and i saw a theater rendering. ahahahaha. but, again, i do intend to read the 160-page book. because i sincerely believe it will make all the buzzing smoke in my head go away.

i can't begin yet another obssessive following of someone's work, the way carolyn keene and sweet valley high and jesus christ. ok, so maybe murakami is comparable to christ. coz like jesus, i think murakami is worth it. yay!

in the play, i first stumbled on that the collections agent katagiri first met frog. i could totally relate to the actor's dumbfounded expression. he didn't move while frog made several assurances that he is real, and that he's not there to harm him. i stumbled again several scenes later when frog outlined to katagiri that there is going to be an earthquake that february, caused by worm, and to stop it, he'll have to descend underground with frog so frog will have someone to help him fight worm. i stumbled a third time when katagiri got shot, woke up without injuries at a hospital, and the earthquake had already happened.

after the show, the cast gave a short forum. the moderator asked if frog was real - and does it matter?

the audience decided in the end was that frog is real because he occurs in someone's imagination, and imagination itself exists. everyone else in the audience (some hardcore murakami fans, some curious and have read the book) seemed bored by the concept, but to me, surrounded by too much real day in and day out, it was quite a shock. i realized that on the surface, it might seem that my everyday tasks exclude imagination, but it's only really renamed "creativity."

cooool. i thought i made myself feel much better then. hehe.

and then an audience member mentioned the box. a container. among the last scenes featured little sala saying that the earthquake man told her to tell her mother sayoko and her friend the short story writer junpei that he said he had an open box, waiting for them three, its lid off.

i thought it really interesting that an audience member equated box with coffin - death, containment as evil, as stifling. instead, my friend stipulated that the box could actually be neutral - it does not stifle, it isn't a prison. a box is a neutral object that one could easily get in and out of. it's a frame where you are free to use at will.

but i stumbled back to katagiri and junpei. it was decided in the audience that these two characters are parallel in that there hasn't been any major earthquakes in their lives until the kobe earthquake, until sayoko married takatsuki, until katagiri got shot, until frog showed up in katagiri's life. did it matter if the frog were real?

no. even if frog just jumped out of the agent's imagination all along. he didn't matter because he's served his purpose - given him a dreamless sleep. super-frog of junpei's creation also served his purpose - he saved the writer from making the wrong choices yet again.

the idea of a draw - frog didn't defeat worm, worm was chopped into various unmeshable pieces whereas frog exploded into bits - is alien to a u.s. audience. to the u.s., there could be only one winner who must take all. a draw immediately expects a rematch. it could not end in a peaceful equality. this equality is not a settling for; it's a winning of both sides.

i think this is murakami's message in "after the quake." written after the massive kobe earthquake and the bombing of a subway in tokyo, murakami wanted to capture how tokyo coped after these disasters, and possibly offer a new way of looking at things.

the draw is the kind of resolution that makes a u.s. audience uncomfortable, but contrary to fantasic, animelike frog and worm, as the world shrinks further and faster, it seems to me that no conclusion could ever be any more convincing.

[ spoilers ahead! ]

my first atwood and i picked up a retelling. hehehe. but i do intend to read "the handmaid's tale" and "blind assassin" hopefully someday soon.

what i liked best about this book - playful penelope, funny suitors, silly and suprisingly wise water queen mother - are the 12 maids. they punished penelope and odysseus for their murders equally. penelope said that odysseus cannot stay for very long in the afterlife because he gets restless. the maids make him restless.

so he reincarnates himself into the waking world, leaving penelope waiting for him again in the after life. the maids keep them separate for odysseus killing them off. they were killed when penelope was asleep... and of course she won't fully divulge why she fell asleep while her maids were being slaughtered.

who could sleep through such carnage? she herself admits that what she and her husband say to each other doesn't always match what they really mean in their hearts. or their words did, they just didn't last for very long that way.

penelope's joy at seeing odysseus again after 20 years gone was more obvious than her mourning her murdered 12 maids. odysseus wanted to make sure he asserted his kingship in case he needed to leave penelope again (and he did leave). the best way to assure that is to strip penelope of her most trusted allies - the 12 maids.

this book just reminded me how tiltillatingly complex the adult world is. it reminded me why i put off joining it for as long as i could. i don't have time or energy to waste on smoke and mirrors. even if i end up learning, i know i'll regret it. if i grow up at all, bitterness is a fruit i don't ever want to be accustomed to.
  in their own words

in their own words
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

filipino american council of greater chicago town hall meeting, "in their own words: the plight and circumstances of today's filipino healthcare workers." history, personal anecedotes, statistics and law were offered and spelled out to attendees, mainly interested parties and yes, nurses.

like many meetings, organizers lured participants with food (pork and chicken adobo, pancit bihon, vegetables and rice... mmm), and a really cute souvenier item:

little rubber stress dolls. hehe. so if you're a nurse and there's a fellow filipino you cannot get along with in the hospital, you can pretend you're squeezing them to a pulp, instead of staging a drama scene for everyone to see.

the town hall meeting was seeded by a report on NBC5. to describe a suspect found guilty of rape at the alden village health facility in bloomingdale, unit 5 reporter renee ferguson not only broadcast a photo of raynaldo brucal jr., but described him as an "18-year-old filipino."

the tone of her voice as she said it made it obvious - to me - that ferguson doesn't know much about filipinos in chicago. she's one of many, even among filipinos, who don't know their own community.

ferguson did not aim to accuse. but it is unethical in journalism in all forms - print, broadcast, internet - to mention a suspect's nationality in a story, unless nationality is the point of the story.

a story on american indian reservations would require stating which tribes are at odds with each other and the government. a story on a fairly common crime done at a nursing home - rape by a healthcare worker to a patient - does not require the suspect's background mentioned, especially if a photo of that suspect is already aired, posted or printed.

NBC quickly executed damage control, removing the video clip from their web site the night of the broadcast and sending general manager and chicago president larry wert to meet with community leaders.

(i find it interesting that the community leaders went after NBC but not WGN, who they said also mentioned brucal's nationality. as far as i can tell, like NBC, WGN - channel 9 - also said brucal was filipino during only one broadcast. the AP story made no mention of brucal's nationality at all. yay!)

the town hall meeting then shifted to within. why is it that a report of ferguson's caliber still thought it important to mention a suspect's nationality? she would never do that if the person were chinese or south asian. the meeting then cited census data - of all asian groups in chicago, filipinos number the second largest but rank only fourth in visibility.

the reasons for that could be culture. jean paredes shared her experience as part of the first wave of immigration of fully-trained professionals coming to the u.s. in the 1940s. baby abella then told of her experience as part of more recent immigration waves.

it was a great opening for the open forum session. unfortunately, it seemed the meeting branched off to so many points like a thousand islands trying to communicate with each other.

nerissa nabua, an activist and civil engineer in the region of lanao in the southern island of mindanao, offered a slice of her story as a caregiver and nursing aide. she mentioned that the meeting hadn't yet even addressed the ramifications of remittances sent by nurses to the homeland, especially in the countryside. politicans and staff of politicians attended - forrest claypool gave a campaign speech, staff from judy baar topinka's office gave words. politicial views were asserted, such as support for president bush. moderators finally reigned in political views because the event was sponsored by the non-profit filipino american council of greater chicago.

the meeting had to be brought back to the center, that is, the experiences of filipinos in chicago. a nurse recruiter was brought to speak, and that brought out the many horror stories of young nurses being recruited from the homeland to the u.s., but upon plane's landing disappear or decide to work elsewhere.

i was embarrassed, confused and saddened that nurses from the homeland would treat recruiters this way. a speaker said that the trend now in the philippines is for recruiters to pay for everything that the worker will need - plane ticket, papers, lodging, food. recruiters have knowledge of why they want to leave the homeland. the practice of recruitment has become so commonplace that nurses in the homeland identify a fake recruiter if they ask for money up front.

my mother and sister are nurses. my mother made good on her contract to stay at a nursing home for a year and then took an exam to license her to work legally in the u.s. she had to travel from quezon city to massachusettes, and then to her brother in texas, before she took the exam in wisconsin and decide to settle in chicago. my sister went to loyola university chicago. ahaha.

there were stories of a hospital decked out to welcome a new filipino nurse, and they waited, but the nurse didn't show up at the airport. it could be that he or she made sure they avoided their recruiters at the gate. the speaker then said that that particular hospital now does not recruit filipino nurses at all, and tells other hospitals to do the same.

there's another story of a girl who said she didn't know a soul in chicago. the recruiter paid for her plane ticket and papers, and upon arrival, she did meet with her recruiter, but also by a surprise guest - the nurse's aunt, also a nurse. the nurse said she changed her mind, and would like to work with her aunt instead.

the recruiter said she's experienced this several times, but chose to drop their breaches of contract because that's cheaper than to file lawsuits - and that she said she felt sorry for the nurses. she understands their desire to find a better life for themselves.

the meeting then took a personal turn. there were no attacks, however, rather speakers and participants actually communicated with each other. the words sounded like a passionate elder sibling admonishing an adult younger sibling. i remember elder cousins and brave friends taking that tone on me. "have the grumption to say, 'hey, do you think that's right?' you know, when you see something bad," moderator rose tibayan said.

it was totally cool - not to mention refreshing. here is another meeting, no doubt organized by one family, that tries to give assurance to kababayans in chicago that dissolves issues of whether one was born in chicago, or had immigrated there. to the organizers, there's no difference between whether you had just arrived "fresh off the boat" or if you were born and raised here.

they think that way, because like the NBC broadcast said, the suspect was "filipino." no matter where you live, you can't trade or hide your heritage. the meeting painted a community ready for dialogue. it's totally great that, like many families, there are irreconciliable issues but there are also countless ways to make up for differences.

but... and this is really wicked... i left before that image of the community tarnishes in my mind. hehehe.

a version of this piece is scheduled to appear online at the filipino american council of greater chicago web site.
  karaoke @ midori

birthday boy in the middle with tambourine
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

midori's karaoke bar. oh la la!

wish i knew their names
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

mmm... at midori. some time ago, i learned that there's a different name for different types of japanese sushi, like ones that have the seaweed outside, and ones that have rice and sesame seed, like this one. all the same... mmm. hehehe -

also, it's a good idea, if in a group party where everyone orders their own dinner, to order late, or be one of the last to order, with express purpose of sharing. everyone gets hungry two hours after the big dinner. hehehe -

plum wine
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

dunno what type, but after months of elusion, i finally gotcha! ahahaha.

hardcore jazz group
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

umm... well... not all of us are musicians, though. salcedo is the fourth one from the left, standing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SALCEDO!!! :-D


welcome, and thank you for boarding the ulanmaya transit express. tickets, please. mind the gap as you depart. have a pleasant experience.

05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 /

gromit is curious

Powered by Blogger