Saturday, July 28, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Last Saturday of the month! And we know what we usually see here on Saturdays.

Sunrunner. Her frustration with media, gun-buying, and the death of someone she once knew is palpable in her post.

Debo Blue. There are people who curse the rain and there are those who embrace it. Debo's introspective post about trying to hear God's voice in a thunderstorm was moving. A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now (that's from a song that just came to mind. Odat, I know YOU know this one.).

Odat. You know how in some languages nouns have genders? For example, a table is female in Spanish (la mesa), but it's masculine in Italian (il tavolo); friendship in German is feminine (die Freundschaft). Asshole, on the other hand, can be either masculine and feminine all over the world. Odat tells us why photocopiers are female and trains are male, among other things.

Michael C. He has a new feature called Q and A Tuesday, in which he answers questions about almost anything. Such as: "What are your views on the current global warming crisis?", "Can you dance as well as Sammy Davis Jr.?" and "Betty or Veronica?"

Ian. His 400th post is up and he's asking for input on which of his posts we think are the best. Ian's book, The Milkman is available at bookstores near you. Well, not literally. But everything's just a click away online.

Diesel. Speaking of books, Robert Kroese (also known lovingly as Diesel) will be releasing his own book, Antisocial Commentary, and it can be pre-ordered now. If you want to learn about Harry Potter's slide into Satanism or how James Blunt came up with the hit song "You're Beautiful," you can find out from his book (if you're too lazy to delve into his archives). He and the missus are also celebrating their anniversary and he's given us all permission to raid his fridge.

Blankestblank Blog of the Year. Created by Bobby Griffin, who's also behind Bestest Blog of All Time. Bobby was kind enough to include me in the list of people in the running for the award. I'm in great company; so many of my blog buddies are there too: The Dragon, Sanni, Bond, Irene Tuazon, Morgen, Matt-Man, Bud Weiser, and Mimi Lenox. Voting seems to be a bit difficult, but head on over there for a look-see anyway.

Have a kickass, devil-may-care weekend, everybody! Stay randy...but sweet.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's close to midnigiiiiht...hee hee!

The novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite Stephen King stories, and the film adaptation, starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, wasn't bad at all, in my opinion. I really liked that movie.

The following video of an unusual aspect of prison life probably won't win any Oscars, but that doesn't take anything away from its WTF factor and its ability to induce a few hiccupy giggles.

A few things I should probably mention:

  • I would've titled this post "Thrilla in Manila," except that this didn't happen in Manila. The correctional facility in the video is located in Cebu, which is in the southern part of the Philippines.
  • I don't know why the heck they did this, nor do I really care. I just thought it was very funny! I couldn't help laughing -- after picking my jaw up from the floor.
  • Impersonating zombies sure seems like a welcome change from the usual prison activities, such as making picture frames, wood carvings, and shell handicraft. Oh, and beating each other up.
  • Yes, she is really a he.
  • Grazie mille to Gumby for letting me know about this video!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cool times

Spent a few days with the girlfriends (and the gayfriend) in Tagaytay City, located a few hours south of Metro Manila. Tagaytay is famous for its lovely volcano and lake, though we didn't go anywhere near them. We just enjoyed the sight from afar.

What we did was laze around in the gayfriend's house

tagaytay house

which had a nice view of a pineapple grove in front.

pineapple grove tagaytay

Went to market because certain people really needed to have fiber in their diets THAT DAY. Fruit is so cheap in Tagaytay.

We also made a quick trip to the mall because certain people just had to get their hands on the last installment in the Harry Potter series (which I thought was a good read, by the way, despite the mucho cheesy epilogue).

Here's Marnie enjoying her book.

And here's Irene enjoying hers.

And here's Rudy in dreamland. Our host, cook, and resident comedian -- who has no qualms at all about grossing us out with his farts. I think he takes perverse pleasure in it, actually.

Tagaytay during the day can be a bit warm but at night it's markedly different. Once the sun sets, the temperature drops, the winds start to blow, goosebumps appear, nipples harden, jackets come out. Conversation and laughter flow unabated with the beer and chips. One by one the company goes to bed until only two are left standing. By that time midnight is already a distant memory though dawn is still out of reach. We look beyond the gates and see a most amazing sight, something we don't see in Manila nowadays: the fog coming on little cat feet, though it doesn't seem to sit on silent haunches looking over harbor and city. The pale streetlights become an ethereal glow, transforming the streets into a cozy cocoon in spite of the chill. It's visual cotton candy, but without the sticky sweetness. Everything is silent save for the murmuring of the wind through the trees and the occasional ribbit ribbit of creatures that give me the heebie-jeebies. Communing with nature, it surely is a magical, timeless moment.

Until a certain someone, whom we'd kill if we didn't love him to bits already, lets out a rip-roaring fart, breaking the stillness of the night. Sigh.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Break time

Well, no, not really. In fact, not at all. But I will be taking a few days off. I'll catch up on all your blogs next week. Stay safe, have fun, and have a good weekend!

Raspberry de-lish

"You're not going anywhere."

That's what my reflection in the mirror says, she, this stranger who strangely looks familiar, who stares back at me in all haughtiness even while my 3-D self's mouth is all frothy with toothpaste.

"You aren't going anywhere."

So says the reflection I see in the pale gold liquid in front of me before it touches my lips and swirls around my tongue. A different taste from the usual, a foreign taste. But one that's most savory -- a most reassuring sensation, like getting re-acquainted with an old friend, one you know who's always been there but keeping his peace in the background; a silent, stolid presence who unexpectedly emerges into visibility with something as simple as the word "cheers." Such a welcome, comforting feeling -- yet one that's tempered with anxiety because sometimes it's hard to tell when it's going to disappear back into the woodwork again. Ah, well. Toasts can be made to reflections too. It isn't that hard, when you're used to it. And getting used to it is quite easy. Sometimes drinking alone is more convivial than drinking with a group of people--which can be a very lonely experience.

"You aren't going anywhere."

The multitude of reflections in an amusement park's hall of mirrors seem to mock me. Gaunt, hollow-cheeked reflections that bear only the barest resemblance to the image of me that I have in my mind; she who looks at the world in wide-eyed wonder is a far cry from the smirking, cynical bitch I see cackling, pointing her finger accusingly at me, in the glass.

But then...

A certain song plays on the radio, or
Sunlight strikes in just the right place, or
The right person says the right thing at just the right time

Then I grin at the woman in the mirror or wherever it is I see her, and blow her a big, fat, wet one.

"You aren't going anywhere."
Oh yeah? Bitch, I already am.

And I say that in sisterly love.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


schmooze. "To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” ( To gain advantage? I don't know about that. To converse casually, make a social connection? Most likely. Taken in the latter two contexts, we are all schmoozers.

The knowledgeable and sexy CS, author of Another Tangential Thinker, says I have the power of schmooze. Thank you, CS. I hope you are as forgiving as you are smart--because I'm breaking the rules here by passing the Schmoozer award to not just five but eight other bloggers. I'd like to nominate lots more, but these terrific people (among others) will do for now.

H. I didn't want to crop the picture because little girl H and Sibling look so adorable together. This woman had me at, well, H--and all the other letters in the alphabet. The way she weaves words, sentences, paragraphs together is an art form, which is uniquely hers--and it never fails to take my breath away. I'm abashed but greatly honored to be called her soul sister. I'd love to get cozy under the covers with the boons/banes of her life: the two halves of her brain.

Houseband00. It's a privilege to call this man a friend, both online and offline. Behind the boyish naughtiness lies a sensitive soul. I appreciate how writes about the connections between music and his thoughts, his stories about his son, other family members, and friends, and of course, memories of his beloved wife M. Posts about M are real tear-jerkers.

Nunu's Mum. Nunu's mum is a Filipina who lives in England with her family. She's on hiatus now, having fun with a friend. Her blog covers topics from family to life in Barnsley to travel experiences to silly stuff. She's funny yet poignant, well-traveled, and a food lover. I can't wait for her to come home so I can sample her cooking--and embark on our one-on-one drinking showdown.

It's the Little Things. Marlayna's posts run the gamut. She is a thoughtful yet fiery person. Her thoughts about her life and life in general can certainly be thought-provoking: her interest in the paranormal, the trials and joys of being a single mom, lessons learned from past relationships, to name a few. Read her blog and if you like it, please vote for her here. She'll post nekkid pics if you do. (Kidding!!!) But she will appreciate your votes.

Yaxlich. There was a time when this Englishman made multiple posts a day, until he went and got himself a job. Though he posts sporadically now, he's still a joy to read--notwithstanding the fact he specializes in poo and farts. He's shared so much about his life, such as the status of his underpants and socks, an Agoraphobic Peruvian's impact on his toilet habits, and the things that make his Beefy McManstick twitch.

Matt-Man. His sense of humor over at Bagwine Ruminations is irreverent, to put it mildly. With a bottle of Wild Irish Rose, a roommate called Schmoop, a cat called Corky, a boy nicknamed Ryno, and a crazy-ass mind--there's no telling what he'll come up with next! Matt's always been a comforting (though sometimes mildly disturbing) online presence in my small circle of blog friends.

Nursemyra. Hardly a day goes by without something interesting (and usually hilarious) happening at the Gimcrack Hospital, where the nurses are pretty and the doctors are pissed--and the patients are in all colors interesting. The Good Nurse is not only a credit to her profession, she's going to have an unbelievably perky attractive chest abdomen soon, too.

Penfold. Also known as the Papersurfer and spawn of the one and only DaddyPapersurfer. I enjoy his droll sense of humour, through which he can make even the most mundane things laugh-worthy. Except when it comes to surfing. Which can be funny. But mundane? Never. Once in a while, though (or when he showers) he comes up with a profound post that stops me in my tracks. Also, he's such a sweet thang.

There you have them, my eight schmoozers. You people can pass the schmooze love to others or not. Do whatever you like; just don't forget to shut the door and pull down the blinds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Of gracefully fleet feet

Customs can be beautiful things, and dance surely is one delightful custom that every culture has.

Certain dances are physical expressions of ancient or modern legends -- legends about conflict, survival, love. And because I'm such a terrible dancer, watching people do it so well is such a pleasure. Especially when the dance tells a story.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the singkil, one of the numerous, utterly lovely folk dances of the Philippines. I get major goosebumps whenever I watch it.

"Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the Singkil recounts the epic legend of the "Darangan" of the Maranao people of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies or nymph of the forest.

The rhythmic clapping of criss-crossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers wearing solemn faces and maintaining a dignified pose being dancing at a slow pace which soon progresses to a faster tempo skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. The dancers weave expertly through criss-crossed bamboos.

When performed by ladies of the royalty of Lanao, the dancer is usually accompanied by a waiting lady, who holds a beautifully decorated umbrella over the Princess' head wherever she goes. Royal princesses to this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult and noble dance."

The grace and dignity -- and sensuality -- that the principal dancers exude are remarkable indeed. I have yet to see a live performance of this dance. It's pathetic; I have access to my own country's wonderful culture but I haven't experienced much of it.

Not that I'd dance the singkil. It requires upper- and lower-body coordination, and when it comes to dancing, my body is a sorry tale of two cities, cities that might as well be located in opposite parts of the world. It's an unholy mésalliance; they not only speaking different languages, but take perverse pleasure in the fact that they never will. Except maybe when it comes to sex.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Manic Monday #20: Marble

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (of course you know I exaggerate slightly) there were several silly teenage girls who formed a fast friendship during their high school years. (Of course you know I was one of them.)

They did lots of things together, were involved in a few extracurricular activities together; each was part of the others' everyday school day. One of the fun things they did was to write notes to each other during the day (when they should've been concentrating on things that their parents were paying for them to be in school -- notably, schoolwork).

The notes were nonsensical, but they were hilarious. Each one would pretend to be something she was not: a business magnate, a world-famous writer, a contessa. The writer of the note would disparage the recipient in not-so-subtle ways.

For example:

Note 1: Darling, you simply must visit my milliner in Paris, when you scrape up money for your airfare. She makes the most delightful peignoirs! We sure as hell didn't know then that milliners, Parisian or otherwise, did NOT make peignoirs, nor did we care. It just sounded so snooty to use the words "peignoir" and "milliner" in the same sentence.

Or it went something like this:

Note 2: The new bath oils Philippe gave me are simply divine! It was so difficult to try not using it all in my marble bathtub. Naturally we took it for granted that no Philippe existed in her life. But we were a tad chagrined to see for ourselves in time that the note-sender DID have a humungous marble bathtub at home. We knew that her family was loaded and that she lived in a mansion, but somehow it never entered our minds that she was telling the truth when she mentioned having a marble tub.

We outgrew the derisive notes, but not the friendship. One of the girls in the group, with whom I've been friends since we were seven or eight years old, and who's godmother to my son and I to one of hers, is particularly special.

She's marble: perfect, imperfect; malleable, sturdy; cold, warm; classic, modern; silly, profound; fragile, eternal. She is soft and sensitive, yet possesses extraordinary inner strength.

When we were younger, she was many things that drove me up the wall. We went through much of elementary, high school, and college together (we were dormitory roommates in college too). Still, I wouldn't change anything about her if I could. She knows much of the inner me. She used to be my nemesis in addition to being my friend; today she's my nemesis no longer. I love her dearly, and one of the myriad reasons for this is because she doesn't make fun of me when I'm this close to peeling from beach UV ray overexposure syndrome.

I'm no sculptor, but the memories of times with her (and I'm sure memories to be made) will be forever engraved on my consciousness.

Visit Manic Monday maestro Morgen at It's a Blog Eat Blog World to read other uses of this week's theme word, marble.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

Saw the new Harry Potter movie with the kids on Thursday. Meh.

Blogworld Saturday today. In staccato. Enjoy!

The Rising Blogger. Collection of great posts. Many of my blog pals there. Yay!

Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Blog. Examples of how English is murdered. Informative site. Funny. Fun.

Natalia. Pro-choice. Doesn't want to have little Natalias. Speaks (writes?) her mind. Powerful writer.

Glamourpuss. English pole dancer. Ex-teacher. Terrific writer. Excellent, excellent, breathtaking post about the heaviness of love. And of trying to let go.

Mist1. Vacationer par excellence. Shows off her boobs at the beach. I wonder why, since she admitted to having no boobs to speak of show off. Hilarious post. As usual.

Diesel. Had an epiphany. Jesus Christ has returned as a hero. In the form of Peter Petrelli. Who is my second-favorite Heroes hero next to Hiro. Another funny writer. (Diesel, not Jesus. Or Peter. Or Hiro.) Funny as in ha ha, not funny weirdo. On second thought, maybe that too.

Robert. Testing the waters of Internet dating again. Prolific travel writer/photographer. Living in Buenos Aires and loving it. American. Gay. Hot-hot-hottie!

A lively weekend. My wish for everyone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Last Song Heard Syndrome...

...sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots. You know what I mean. You hear a certain song on the radio or in an elevator or in the doctor's office and it won't leave your mind no matter what you do. It's especially excruciating when it involves a song you don't like. I had a Last Song Heard Syndrome episode some years ago, one with the Titanic theme song by Celine Dion. Hearing it unwittingly everywhere caused me to memorize the damn lyrics, and it made me want to commit hara kiri because I liked neither the song nor the movie nor the artist.

But Last Sound Heard Syndrome, I can live with.

The sound of rain.
The sound of my girls' belly laughter.
The voice, wisecracks, and chuckles of a dear friend who'd had one drink too many.
The tune Stand By Me -- played by my son.

Yep, I can not only live with these things, but thrive on them. Because I love 'em.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday #19: Seven

In the Paradiso part of Dante's Divine Comedy, heaven is made up of nine spheres; the seventh sphere, or seventh heaven, being known as the sphere of Saturn (no, NOT the spear of Saturn, you smart alecks). Though it's interesting to contemplate just what this Roman god of fertility's spear would look like. Hmmm...


In the Paradiso, the seventh sphere is one of contemplation, a silent heaven. It sounds kind of boring when compared to the other heavenly spheres, which are either romantic, heroic, or intellectual. Even the so-called "sweet symphony of Paradise" is missing in seventh heaven. But there's a reason for this silence: mortals like Dante would be overwhelmed beyond his capacities if he were to hear celestial music or be subject to other sensory stimuli this far up in heaven. Such pure glory would be beyond a corporeal entity's ability to receive: it might kill him outright.

We have intimations of the odd effects of this sort of purity in our flesh-and-blood world, the world away from oral or written literature. Diving using pure oxygen can be hazardous; the claims of a person that she or he has only the purest intentions towards something or someone might best be taken with a grain of salt. Seeing with one's own eyes the unbelievable beauty of a landscape or seascape can leave him feeling like he's about to implode from the sheer beauty of it. Feeling utterly loved or loving someone utterly, being in a state of "perfection" -- however short the moment (which sometimes feels like an eternity) -- can be overwhelming, and the exquisite pain/pleasure that it brings can make one cry out for respite. Such can be the consequence of allowing one's thoughts and feelings to run untrammeled. Thank goodness there are other states of the heart and mind that complement/atone for the sometimes overpowering feelings that seventh heaven can bring.

Thanks for reading thoughts brought about by lack of sleep because of watching too much of MSN Live Earth last night (salamat, ZeroImpact, for the heads-up!).

Visit Manic Monday head honcho Morgen over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World for other interpretations of this week's theme word: Seven.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Blogworld Saturday

I would never disavow a friend because of a lame joke. Unless I was really, really sober. But I thought this one was funny. Happy 07/07/07 Blogworld Saturday, everyone!

Daddy Papersurfer. Eviction is within sight for him because of things he does which he pretends he had no idea he was doing. :-D I never thought DaddyP had it in him to become an unknowing flasher and an unwitting molester of venerable ladies. I dissolved in laughter at the thought of him in the scenario he described, imagining what he was doing in real time.

Mr. Fabulous. I like reading movie reviews sometimes, but his fabulous review of an abomination of a movie of years ago made me laugh. I really disliked that movie (unfair of me, I suppose, since I never saw the whole thing. But the bits and pieces that I did see didn't make me think I missed much.). I like a good love story; my heartstrings are tugged on easily, but this movie? No thanks. I'd rather lie naked on an iceberg.

Silverneurotic. It doesn't take much to make another person feel better. A sympathetic gesture can bring precious results in return, feelings that have no price tag, through words that warm and uplift.

Iz. Anyone who says romance is dead should go read her post. There is romance even when death is involved. Her brand of romance transcends the flowers and chocolate stuff.

It's the Little Things. A bit of fun teasing, revisiting old memories all in good fun, and knowing that a friend from way back is still proving to be a good friend -- these are all good things. Marlayna has had her share of challenges, but she has a wonderful support network. Best of luck to you! (She'll be posting nekkid pics too?? In addition to the preggy pic she posted a few months ago.)

Scott. He has a series of stories posted, and Part 12 is in pictures, among them a most fine-looking canine, a younger Scott looking like he's contemplating jumping off a somewhat high place, and the same younger Scott almost showing off something. Oh, okay. I won't tease. There's a pic of his younger self nekkid. A nekkid pic of a male blog buddy, finally! Haha!

Jenn. What does it take to get a consumer's attention? The quality of the product itself, of course. And packaging. And it doesn't hurt if the person selling it is also eye candy. Jenn loves cheese where she's at, and the side benefits she gets whenever she buys it!

Dan. From cheese, we move to buns. Dan departs slightly from his regular blogging fare to show off his good-looking buns. Asanas done well and regularly result in one fine, firm ASS-ana. Yep, yep, they surely do. Dan has always had a gazillion readers and I'm guessing his foray into HNT (Half-Naked Thursdays) will rocket his standing in blogworld even more! But even if he doesn't show anything else, his readers will remain steadfast because he always tells such wonderful stories. Ladies, stop salivating now! He doesn't show his buns in the buff in that post anyway. He's such a tease.

It rained a lot yesterday, and I'm feeling all cool and warm at the same time, but peaceful and happy. Have a beauteous-buns weekend!

Friday, July 06, 2007


People talk about how important it is to make a good first impression, especially in the employment and dating scenes. I guess there's some merit in that. But sometimes first impressions aren't cast in stone and are subject to change. A positive first impression can transform into a negative after-impression and vice-versa.

Take, for instance, me and the girl in the hat. (Yours truly is the one in the red-and-green striped shirt. Pardon the hair -- this was in 1988 after all and I was too young to know better.)

For some reason we disliked each other on sight. We were staying in the same dormitory when we were college freshmen. There was never any obvious hostility between us, but the snide comments we exchanged whenever we encountered each other were probably more toxic than open, outright warfare. But (and I don't remember how) we grew to like each other as the days went by. So much so that we chose to become roommates the succeeding years. She's in many of my happiest memories of those days long gone. We'd go to class together and cut class together; she'd cry on my shoulder and I'd cry on hers (teenage female hearts were so easily bruised by male teenagers, the bastards); she'd hold my head while I was throwing up because I'd had one beer too many, and I'd be puking along with her when she'd had one too many; and the laughter, the side-splitting laughter we couldn't help indulging in over everything and nothing. Happy times. We still keep in touch, and I see her whenever she comes home (she lives in the US now with her family). If I had stuck to first impressions, I would have missed out on those experiences.

Then there's this guy. I wouldn't say I hated him with a passion, but I really, REALLY disliked him when I first came to know of him. His live performances (the ones I saw on television anyway) sucked, in my opinion. All he had going for him were his looks and some sound studio magic. It'll be the end of the world before I could ever get to liking him, I remember thinking.

But after years of intense dislike, he's grown on me. Now, much as I would like to deny it, I can't help admitting that I like him. How it happened, how the hell should I know. I just hope this isn't a signal that the Apocalypse is upon us. Good Lord, please, no! I haven't even been to Europe yet!

(This song is for Nunu's Mum. Not saying I disliked her on sight, on the contrary! She's a fab lady and I liked her from the get-go. But this song just reminds me of her somehow. I wonder why, PinB? ;-) Haha!)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I'm an Addams Family cousin again

Tagged by life-loving Last Minute Lyn.


Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

1. The Buzz Queen
2. I Was Born2Cree8
3. Skittles
4. Last Minute Lyn
5. I Am Woman, See Me Blog

Next select five people to tag:
1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You
5. You

Then answer the following questions:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

In July 1997, we were living near Clark Air Base in Angeles City, which is located about 60 kilometers from Manila. My son was just starting school then. I kept house. It was a good experience.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

In July 2006, I started this blog! The year sure flew. Party time! Cake is over there, drinks are on the table beside the buffet, balloons and party hats are by the door. You can leave your gifts there too. No strippers, sorry. But I won't stop you from doing a pole dance if you're so inclined. And then I'll gatecrash my American buddies' 4th of July celebrations.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1. Chocolate (dark)
2. Roasted peanuts (with garlic)
3. Beer Match Cracklings

4. Grapes
5. French fries (sweet & sour cream flavor)

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

1. Happy Birthday
2. The Philippine National Anthem
3. Beer, by Itchyworms
4. Love Song, by The Cure
5. Spanish Eyes, by Madonna

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Build a kickass public library.
2. Scoop up this sexy, powerful baby (the big one) and hug it and kiss it and call it George.
3. Travel.
4. Get my mom whatever she wants.
5. Buy property.

Five bad habits:

1. Smoke too much
2. Drink too much
3. Procrastinate too much
4. Bite fingernails too much
5. Daydream too much

Five things you like doing:

1. reading
2. writing
3. talking/listening to friends
4. visiting new places
5. see bad habits above

Five things you would never wear again:

1. a tutu
2. anything reminiscent of the punk era
3. my prom dress
4. school uniform
5. an air of innocence

Five favorite toys:

1. computer
2. digital camera
3. playstation2
4. raindrops
5. hmmmm...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Manic Monday #18: Independence

Ang pagiging malaya ay isang nakatutuwang bagay. Makalipas ang mahigit sa isandaang taon matapos makamit ang kalayaan mula sa Espanya at maraming dekada mula sa mga Amerikano, nagpapatuloy magpasahanggang ngayon ang pagtatalo kung ang Pilipinas nga ba ay totoong mlaya na. At isa sa mga pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang paggamit ng wika.

Independence is a funny creature. More than a century after gaining independence from Spain, and decades after independence from the Americans, debates rage to this day as to whether the Philippines is really independent. And one hot topic involves the use of language.

May mga pahayag na naaayon at kumokontra sa pagturing sa wikang Kastila bilang isa sa mga opisyal na wika (bilang karagdagan sa wikang Filipino at Ingles). May mga tao na kumokontra sa pagtatalaga kay Gat. Jose Rizal bilang pambansang bayani ng Pilipinas sapagkat (ayon sa kanila) hindi niya gustong magkaroon ng kalayaan mula sa mga Kastila. At sa kadahilanang mahilig siya sa mga babae. At dahil isa siyang miyembro ng mga matataas na tao na tinatawag na “Ilustrados” (the Enlightened Ones). At dahil siya’y sumulat sa wikang Kastila.

There are arguments for and against establishing Spanish as one of our official languages (in addition to Filipino and English). There are people who decry the designation of José Rizal as the national hero of the Philippines because (they claim) he didn't really want independence from Spain. And because he was allegedly a womanizer. And because he was a member of that elite class called Ilustrados (the Enlightened Ones). And because he wrote in Spanish.

Isa sa pinakaprominenteng pahayagan ng rebolusyon ng mga panahong iyon, “La Independencia”, ay ginamit upang makamit ang kalayaan mula sa mga Kastila, at sa kalaunan, sa mga Amerikano. Hindi ito nakamit ng lubusan (“ibinigay” ng Espanya ang Pilipinas sa Amerika, kasama ng Guam at Puerto Rico bilang pagsunod sa Kasunduan ng Paris, at matapos magbigay ang Amerika ng $20 milyong dolyar bilang “regalo” sa Espanya) ngunit ang pahayagan ay nagpakita kung paano ang pagiging makabayan ay mainit at nananatili sa loob ng mga makabayang Pilipinong kasama sa pagbuo at pagpapaandar nito. Sina Antonio Luna, Apolinario Mabini, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Rosa Sevilla, Jose Palma at marami pang ibang kasama sa pakikibaka. Maisip lamang ang pagsasama-sama ng mga malalaking tao sa likod ng kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ay nagbibigay sa akin ng kakaibang pakiramdam. Lahat ng bayani, lalaki at babae na nakibaka sa kung paano ang bansa ay pinagpasa-pasahan mula sa isang mananakop patungo sa iba pa, “binili at ibinenta na parang mga kabayo at bahay.” Masasabi bang ang pagsusulat nila (at ni Rizal) sa wikang Kastila ay magiging basehan ng pagkawala ng pagiging makabayan?

One of the most prominent revolutionary newspapers of the time, La Independencia, was instrumental in efforts to achieve independence from the Spanish, and later, the Americans. It didn't quite achieve those goals (the Philippines was "given" by Spain to the USA along with Guam and Puerto Rico in accordance with the Treaty of Paris, and after the US gave a "gift" of $20 million to Spain) but the newspaper showed how nationalism burned hot and bright within the hearts of the nationalists involved in its creation and operation. Antonio Luna, Apolinario Mabini, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Rosa Sevilla, Jose Palma and many other luminaries. The thought of these historical giants of Philippine history in one place together gives me goosebumps. Heroes all; men and women who were outraged at how the country was passed from one colonist to another, "bought and sold like horses and houses." Does the fact that they (and Rizal) wrote in Spanish make them any less patriotic?

Ang pagsasalita at pakikipag-talastasan ba nang maraming Pilipino sa iba’t ibang wika, bukod sa Pilipino/Filipino, ay basehan na nababawasan ang pagiging makabayan? May mga ibang taong nag-iisip nito. Para sa akin, wala akong nakikitang masama sa kagustuhang matutong makipagtalastasan sa ibang wika. Hindi ko iniisip na kinakalimutan ko ang aking pagiging Pilipino, at hindi ako hihinto sa paggamit ng sarili kong wika sa pang-araw araw na pamumuhay o kaya’y mawalan ng paghanga sa ganda ng wikang Pilipino (na mayroong mahigit isang daang diyalekto). Ngunit hiwalay sa potensiyal na benepisyo nito sa ekonomiya, sa aking palagay, ang pag-aaral ng ibang wika ay isang magandang oportunidad na maibahagi sa iba ang istorya tungkol sa aking bansa, kababayan at kultura sa wikang kanilang maiintindihan.

Does the fact that many Filipinos are presently capable of communicating in languages other than Pilipino/Filipino make us any less nationalistic? Some people think so. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with wanting to learn to communicate in another language. I don't think I'd be neglecting my Filipino-ness, and I'd never stop using my own language in everyday life nor cease to marvel at the beauty of the languages of the Philippines (we have more than 100 dialects). But apart from the potential economic benefits, I think learning a foreign language is a good opportunity to share with others stories about my country, people, and culture in a tongue that they'd understand.

Bukod dito, sa aking palagay, ang pag-aaral ng ibang wika ay isang simpleng bagay lamang, at magaling para sa pagpapalawak ng pag-iisip. Mag-aaral ako ng wikang Italyano sa halip na “sudoku” anumang araw.

Besides, I think language-learning is just plain cool, and it's great for stimulating the brain cells as well. I'll take learning Italian over sudoku anyday.

Visit Manic Monday creator Morgen's site, It's a Blog Eat Blog World to go to other Independence posts. Advanced Happy 4th of July to my American buddies!