my friend sourced me!
ahahahaha... "sourced" means that a writer used a comment you made in your conversation with him/her/them in their article. like this:
"It’s a work of fiction... and [being read by millions] is clearly one mark of a good fiction." from Not a sin to watch ‘Da Vince Code,’ says priest [ more ]
para pala sa article, ahahaha. i congratulated my friend and thanked him for editing my daldal, for choosing to talk to me, AND for mentioning muntingtinig. the following are the comments i left for him, to be edited by the philippine news editors:
i forgot to say: i think one of the reasons why the da vinci code sold so well is coz of what santos said - it was entertaining. it could compete with today's internet world.
finishing a book these days just for fun no matter how fast one reads is a feat simply because it takes a lot of time. that the da vinci code - and the harry potter books - managed to hold audiences and media is accomplishing the near impossible.
it's great, and vital, because as kids the majority of us still had to learn the world through books. i don't think that's going to change anytime soon. i hope it will never change.
shameless plug: muntingtinig is online at muntingtinigchicago.blogspot.com. please feel free to leave comment. if you need to email us privately, please use firstname.lastname@example.org. maraming salamat.
After 15 years of successful dramaturgy, longtime Filipino theater troupe Pintig Cultural Group is remounting the musical, "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical," the story originating from the town of Balangiga, in the island province of Samar, east central Philippines. Playdates are April 27-30, and May 4-7, at the Light Opera Works, 1420 Maple Avenue in Evanston. For tickets, call 312-222-1551.
It is an event every Filipino, every person living in the United States, should not miss.
Balangiga is one of the southernmost towns in the province of Samar. A quiet Philippine province known for taking the first brunts of Pacific typhoons, Samar itself is historic because of Homonhon Island, the first island where Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed. How ironic that one of the first islands to be settled by Catholic Spain would also be one of the last symbolic sites of colonialism in the Philippines.
The play depicts Balangiga townsfolk fresh from the leaving of the last Spanish Catholic friar, and thus, the last symbol of colonialism in their town. When the U.S. soldiers landed on their shores, they immediately recognized a new colonizer, and determined to fight back using wits - until a resident girl is raped.
Whether the rape historically happened or not, residents still had cause to fight back using force. The U.S. soldiers had disrupted their way of life, often violently. Like the Spanish before them, residents met in secret and plotted their uprising. Needless to say, with only bolos, sharp knives and hands and punches, the residents fell heavily under gun and artillary fire.
The new colonizers, the Americans, took a Filipino town's most prized possession, the church's bells - a Spanish influence they had turned uniquely their own. Company C installed the bells in FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they remain today.
Groups in the Philippines and the U.S. say the soldiers took the bells as war booty. They and the Philippine government are lobbying for U.S. officials to return the bells to their rightful owners.
The play should be viewed in light of the larger history of the Spanish American War, and in turn the Filipino American War. "Bells of Balangiga" takes place in the middle of the former, when the United States had just entered the world stage and begun to follow patterns danced by former European colonizers, such as Spain, Portugal, England and France. One could see how unhappily history truly repeats itself, especially when this small incident, not even set in any big city such as Manila or Cebu, mirrors incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From battles in Cuba and China, battle-weary U.S. soldiers came to Samar to follow President William McKinley's Manifest Destiny ideal already executed in the western U.S. against the Native Americans. They were burdened by homesickness and racism, and had been convinced of their superiority by a president inexperienced in imperialist sentiments.
McKinley's Manifest Destiny thinking is that U.S. expansion of their form of freedom and democracy is not only good, but it is obvious and inevitable, and divinely inspired.
"Bells of Balangiga," written by Rodolfo Carlos Vera and directed by Louie Pascasio, is an imporant reminder that not much has changed in over 100 years of U.S. thinking. In the 2004 Republican National Convention wherein President Geroge W. Bush accepted his second nomination for president of the U.S., he gave an address that could have been said in 1901, with resounding echoes:
"The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics - and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world."
That paragraph was taken verbatim from the White House Web site's collection of presidential speeches.
"Manifest Destiny is now unilateral preemptive strike, and [as in Spain] Christianity is now freedom," 1970s martial law activist Baltazar Pinguel said, during Pintig's 15th anniversary where the Bernard Stone documentary, "Two Bells/Two Worlds" was shown. He said that even the U.S. forgets - or worse, ignores - the lessons of history.
Balangiga is now a large municipality of 13 smaller barangays. The town plaza is surrounded by a playground, a stage, municipal buildings and city hall. Each September, residents and tourists gather around the plaza to participate in several days' festivities; the highlight is a reenactment by teenagers of the battle between their ancestors and the Americans. It is the town's largest tourist draw.
A basketball hoop stands in the middle of the plaza when it is quiet. One wonders what effect the bells would have on a simple fishing town like this, should the bells be returned. To a near corner stands St. Anthony Church, squat and elegant, painted a creamy white, its belltower whistling in the wind, waiting.
--- this piece was supposed to appear in the april issue of the fil-am community builder, but missed its deadline. oh wells. :-( it's ok. the editors said to tweak it for may. yay!
¶ 4/21/2006 10:17:00 PM0 comments
mashimaro is another korean character aiko sent me. he's cute, cuddly white, and best of all, irreverent! ahahaha -
this is my cousin bong's daughter, emily. he wanted to call her millie. and then i told him about millicent from harry potter, and he never mentioned the name ever again. hehehehehe. ninang has such influence.
woohoo! happy easter, everyone! i couldn't think of anything to text out, so i used sarah's great quote. thanks to everyone who sent greetings! :-)
(on black saturday) Let dis season of LENT remind us al that dis life we hav & d material posesions we hold r just bein LENT 2 us. We r al pasin by. We r not imigrants hir. We are all pilgrims n d road. We bring nothing wen we die but we can leave bhind d luv we have shared, d hope we have given & d goodness we have done. God bless us. :)
(easter sunday) Happy Easter!!! Take care and God bless!
Let our wounded, muted voices sing again: Christ is risen! Life is very good! Happy Easter!
Happy Easter! May the Risen Lord pour out His Grace & Blessings upon U & Ur loved ones!
and my most favorite: In d palm of hs hand god has written ur name, 4 u r loved not 4 what u are 2 others but 4 who u are 2 hm.Hve a meaningful easter. god bless!
¶ 4/16/2006 11:36:00 PM0 comments
chicago is under a tornado watch tonight until midnight. i find that hard to believe when it's hot and sunny and peaceful and beautiful outside. *sigh* i'm hella happy. sunset isn't until 8 p.m. and it's FRIDAY!
yesterday, there was no class coz of jewish passover. i think the u of c is founded by jewish people, that's why it's hella rich and "ivy." ahahaha.
i am almost halfway into my 594-page edith wharton, "the custom of the country." it's supremely good. woohoo! i need to finish it by wednesday. ha!
today, i'm going to text a writer who seems to have given up communication of all sorts for lent. talk about penitensya. ahahaha. but he cheated coz you're supposed to give up something since ash wednesday. hehehehe!
and then i'm going to run to starbucks and make sure kevin makes me my green tea blackberry frapdrink again. oh la la. yum.
tomorrow, black saturday, i'm going to meet a friend for coffee. if she doesn't show up, imma subsist breakfast, lunch and dinner on pastry and coffee. mmmmm.
but i won't think about tomorrow yet, which looks like another crazy day. instead, i want to think about sunday, when i get to go to mass at a lakeside church, and let the waves tell me my fortunes.
the reason why i loooooooooove anthropologie skirts is coz of their unique fabrics, their generous laying thereof, their earthy colors, and their embroidery. things machinemade that are made to look handmade like embroidery's all the rage now, and i am more than happy to be willing zombie consumer. hehehehe.
in grade 6 we were taught embroidery as a craft. i liked it, and miss it right now. embroidery thread and needle wasn't that much more expensive than regular thread and needle. one stitch that i remember is a technique where you overlap stitches. i can't remember its name now. that technique is most effective in rainbow thread.
the thing that resonates most with me is that it's incredibly time consuming - but well worth the time and effort. :-)
lookie that cute purse made of lace and embroidery.
see how well it goes with your partner's, i mean, your boyfriend's shirt. hehehe ;-)
i wonder why they chose blackberry to pair with green tea? hmm. could it be in relation to the popular wireless crackblackberries?
kevin the barista always gives me a venti when i've only ordered a grande. and then he pours half the squeegee bottle of blackberry sauce into my drink. he tops the drink with a little whipped cream, and then more blackberry sauce.
you'd think he had finished. but he places a domed cover over my frap, clicks it in place, grabs the whipped cream, and then effectively covers the space with immaculate white stuff. and then he tops it with more blackberry sauce.
this movie is all about hawaii. and that it's only already less than 2 months, and i am headed that way for the first - and possibly the only - time. WOOHOO!!! ;-P really need to stop eating and save money NOW. ahahaha -
"to you sweetheart, aloha" is a documentary of incredible and wonderful bill tapia, a jazz artist playing the ukelele. right now the web site doesn't list any playdates for june; i'll just visit the web site again.
it opens at a local senior center, with a roomful of adults learning to play the ukelele. they strum in unison to... i think it's "to you, sweetheart, aloha," by harry owens. a soloist absently picks at his ukelele, responding to waves of melody. from his expression, he looks like he's wondering when things will pick up. at the end of the song, the host calls the young part of the program, and asks bill, possibly the oldest in that room, to play for the room.
i knew, while picking at postcards at asian american showcase, just looking at a postcard of this film, that i would like it. it just took turns in ways that i didn't expect. it begins shortly after the deaths of his wife and his daughter, and like a true legend, he becomes unexpectedly wildly, widely appreciated and popular, carrying on a demanding schedule headed by his 26-year-old manager turned muse, alyssa.
when family members noticed that he seemed to be spending more time with her than his family, they begun to suspect alyssa of taking advantage of bill. alyssa had no choice but to break from what she calls her friendship with bill.
bill, on the other hand, cried the one time the filmmakers asked about alyssa. "i don't want to talk about this," he said. he also said that if alyssa were his age, he would marry her in a second.
when alyssa took bill to his old home in hawaii, his voice shook and his eyes watered. he said he had a lot of happy memories in that house. he also said "but that's how they got to be," about the house, the memories, his wife and daugher, and alyssa.
before screening co-director and producer marcedes coats (worked with leo chiang on this film) said she called tapia to let him know of the show and to check up on him. he is now 98 years old. she said a shade of the inevitable, that he is slowly loosing eyesight in his other eye.
the film ends with alyssa reconciled with the family and bill, but not at the level as before. alyssa is saddened, but visibly thankful - "it takes a lot of patience," she said, of working with someone as old as bill. she says the yearlong hiatus has allowed her to take care of other things in her life.
the film does not end sadly, instead it ends with his 2002 sold-out concert at the historic hawaiian theater, a place under renovation. the film ends by mention of his sold-out concerts all over hawaii and california.
¶ 4/09/2006 02:57:00 AM0 comments
from this essay, and some comments, i think all that philippine lit needs is someone to sell. with story mag out, selling stories is appearing lucrative. marketing, PR, advertising and business majors should realize that there is money in stories, the nonjournalism kind.
the people with the most disposable income are the fresh grads with the first jobs. after giving some to their parents, paying bills, and romping the city and countrysides with friends, they haven't a clue what else to do with their remaining cash. the other group are the kids still in school, from every level, those dependent on allowance given by parents. they should be wooed to spend on lit.
and don't try too hard, coz lit is already trendy without help. notice the coffeeshops and pastry cafes that have sprung up like mushrooms and picturesque sunsets. those who say otherwise belong to the hypnotized disney crowd. ;-)
it has finally happened. and it was already in the supple rubber consistency that i wanted. it snapped suprisingly just as when i was relying on it to be durable, at work. ahh, need one of those stressball thingies.
yes... my friends... the great typical globalization-ushering company sbux made it possible. it tastes all right too... so long as you ask for "light on the whip" and slurp it while it's hot.
that way, you don't think about your drink being green. ok, i'm showing my ignorance here - i once had really good warm matcha ahaha, so i think mixing it into a latte is the next logical thing. o, the things i better learn. ...
¶ 4/05/2006 07:15:00 PM0 comments
One-Word Poem by David R. Slavitt from William Henry Harrison and Other Poems
Is this a joke? And, if so, is it a joke of the poet in which the editor of the magazine (or, later, the book publisher or the textbook writers) has conspired? Or is it a joke on the editors and publishers? Is the reader the audience of the poem?
It is regrettable not to have a mother. Is the purpose of the poem to convey an emotion to the reader? Does the poet suppose that this is the saddest word in the language? Do you agree or disagree? Can you suggest a sadder word?
The Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary gives an alternate meaning from nineteenth- and twentieth-century Australian slang as an intensifier, as in “stone motherless broke.” Can you assume that the poet knew this? Does this make for an ambiguity in the poem? Does this information change your emotional response?
If the assertion of the single word as a work of art is not a joke, then what could it mean? Is it a Dada-ist gesture, amusing and cheeky perhaps but with an underlying seriousness that the poet either invites or defies the reader to understand?
Even if the poet was merely fooling around, does that necessarily diminish the possible seriousness of the poem?
If we acknowledge that this is a work of art, can the author assert ownership? Is it possible to copyright a one-word poem?
In writing a one-word poem, the crucial decision must be which word to choose and to posit as a work of art. Do you think the poet spent a great deal of time picking this word? Or did he simply open a dictionary and let his fingers do the walking? Does that diminish the poem’s value? Or is it a kind of bibliomancy?
Should the word have been in quotes? Or is it quotes even without being in quotes? There is a period at the end of the poem. Would it change the meaning of the poem if there were an exclamation point? Or no punctuation at all? Would that be a different poem? Better or worse? Or would you like it more or less? (Are these different questions?)
You can almost certainly write—or “write”—a one-word poem. But it would be difficult for you to get it published—almost certainly more difficult now that this one has been published and staked its claim. Is the publication of a poem a part of the creative act? Had the poet written his poem and put it away in his desk drawer as Emily Dickinson used to do, would this make it a different poem?
Some poems we read and some that we particularly like, we memorize. You have already memorized this one. Do you like it better now? Or are the questions part of the poem, so that you have not yet memorized it? Will you, anyway? Do you need to memorize the questions verbatim, or is the idea enough?
the first film i saw for asian american showcase 2006 was "only the brave," the world war 2 tale of the rescue of the army 100th regimental combat team, a team of texans, by the 442nd regimental combat team, made up of u.s. soldiers of japanese descent.
in short, the film was written by lane nishikawa, a critically-acclaimed playwright, so it had the feel of a play - there were times when really touching dialogue was choppy because the camera had to follow the actors as they said their lines.
nishikawa plays sgt. jimmy takata, the highest-ranking officer remaining in the 442nd, whose father, a buddhist priest, had just passed away just as he was about to be deployed to france. after completing one assignment, his unit is sent to rescue the 100th, trapped on all sides by the germans. severely injured in the last battle, the army doctor orders him to stay behind and rest.
there is a searing scene of the other sergents commanding each of their units and passing by him. one by one his injured soldiers return, and when they die, takata collects personal items, at first to remember his soldiers by, and then later, to return to their families.
nishikawa expertly weilds the lives of japanese-americans in this movie. takata is shown to take care of his troops less like a commanding officer and more like a substitute father, brother or friend. during the rest he takes the opportunity to get to know his soldiers, and in the process learns about the fiance who asked one to marry him, the engagement ring tucked in an unused lighter; the other who left behind a beauty queen; the next whose mother speaks only japanese and whose two sisters won't cease crying. his mother circulated a white cloth to hundreds of women who each embroidered a red knot on the cloth.
his mother said it's an old tradition - each knot represents the prayers of a loved one. i forgot just how many knots there were, the film says so, but i think it's 1,000 knots. if he wears it, the wearer has 1,000 people praying for his protection. the son given the cloth was killed in the battle to rescue the texans. my mind whirled about iraq, and all the other things that war kills.
nishikawa said he first got involved in the 100th/442nd story because he has an uncle who served in the 442nd. he found out that by marriage, he gained two more relatives who had served in the 442nd. it's part of his family's history.
hawaii resident nishikawa visited the chicago screening and despite the finished look of his film, he described other plans for it - such as photos of the awarding ceremony and the current lives of veterans. eventually, he said, he would like to release a DVD for the film.
i was asked to review this film almost two years ago. i never turn down assignments, but i didn't follow-up on this anyways. my editor was gracious enough to let it slide. i couldn't review it because i hadn't seen the film yet, but also because of the violent history of the japanese on filipinos, also during world war 2.
the prevalent role that the military japanese, vietnamese, italians and the germans play in world war 2 films is that of the enemy. i had blogged about this topic before, regarding another world war 2 movie, "the great raid":
the mother of a friend of mine recently visited the philippines for a tourist tour she was never able to take while still living there. among the stops was a site in memory of the japanese invasion of the philippines. my friend didn't specify where, because i don't think her mother knew where as well. but he said she returned with much avarice against the japanese for 1) invading the philippines and, in exaggeration, 2) for brutally ransaking everything in sight. my friend said his mother's behavior surprised him so, but what topped it was that she went as far as calling the japanese the three- and four-letter J word - a label considered on a par with the N word here for blacks.
i was shocked, but i wasn't sure if the J word was derogatory, and my friend, born and raised here, making him a full-fledged jerzee boy migrant to chicago, confirmed that the J word is highly derogatory. "here," he emphasized, meaning the u.s. it's the same as "asiatic" and "oriental" when you use those words to describe a person.
asians here in the u.s. realize they're all lumped in the same boat, and there's already enough racial baggage around here as it is. groups have to choose which issue to tackle first. and within the groups, baggage brought in from the homeland by the newly-arrived is considered laughable if you fail to see how it relates to your current life.
essentially, my friend said there's nothing wrong writing about the a japanese american story if you're filipino american.
and that's essentially why i didn't write about the story. i still can't write that article, even as i completely understand what the 442nd went through. i still have to clearly see why the u.s. rounded up the japanese americans and the german americans during world war 2. i think my mind still can't wrap itself around the concept of prejudice and ignorance: there's absolutely no excuse for such.
¶ 4/03/2006 07:39:00 PM0 comments
the priest - it's always the same one even when i attended there, and i never got his name - gave a new slant to the story of lazarus and his two sisters. he focused on letting go.
he told of one of his mentees, a woman who lived in san francisco and holding on to her dying mother. the priest said that as soon as her mother readied to settle down to die, the daughter, molly, kept on crying for her, barbara, to come back. so barbara always came back.
(i'll call the priest fr. joseph. i'll find out his real name next time.)
fr. joseph asked molly barbara's status. molly cried over the phone telling him, and said she can't let go of her mother yet.
fr. joseph sympathized, but realized something very important. he said molly needed to let her mother go. molly cried that she can't.
"whose needs are being met here?" fr. joseph said as gently as he could during april 2's homily.
her mother can't leave her yet, we have such a good relationship, molly told fr. joseph over the phone.
fr. joseph just reminded her, "but she needs to go home now."
jesus told the crowd that he waited for two days after receiving word that lazaus was dying because it was meant that the he would die. "and I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe," jesus told the disciples.
while i'm reminded of the many more things i need to accomplish in this world, i focused on the homily's theme, letting go. i realized i've maintained some long distance relationships for years now. i learned it isn't a big deal; everyone is in some sort of long distance affinity with someone close to them. but i've also broken, or let brake, many friendships all because i let distance and misunderstanding get in the way. in some instances, it's regrettable.
with that gospel, i learned one more thing that could keep those kinships strong and true, a simple lesson on friendship that i've forgotten.
dr. nagasura t. madale of capitol university in cagayan de oro city showing off the malong. he is in chicago for the "access: philippines" program, a monthlong exchange program with northern illinois university.
dr. madale teaching filipino american youth the traditional "mano."
later he also taught the youth present that after shaking hands with another, one should bring the hand to their heart, "so the energy does not [waste]. when you shake someone's hand and bring it to your heart, the other person's energy transfers to you."
that way, madale said, the person's intended goodwill for you will not merge with the wind.