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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.


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Saturday, February 26, 2005

entry arrow12:32 AM | The Luce Sometimes Rises

I like the songs of Lito Camo and his ilk. Unlike the very vocal minority of people who have somehow missed out on the whole spirit of irony and the humorous rewards of pun, double entendre, and other poetic ka-ek-ekan, I can appreciate the subtle and sometimes in-your-face implications of these songs.

"Bulaklak," at once familiar and playful, never fails to tickle our fancy, despite the sometime public protestations about "pornographic message." But when you hear the recent radio hit "Basketball" these days, it strikes you: no matter the skimpy get-up of the singers, the songs are nonetheless hummable, often unforgettable.

Novelty songs have their place in the pop cultural banquet and, like the music of Yoyoy Villame, Camo's music may, in time, gain a kind of respectability -- perhaps even be dissected by cultural pundits for its sometime impact on what Rolando Tolentino has called the Filipino's "sexualized culture."

In the long run, however, one seeks ultimately for meatier music. Something that transcends the banal, and makes us see that message matters even more than the instant gratification of pop favorites.

That is why it is always refreshing when you get to hear Joey Ayala perform live. His rhythm, his distinctive sound -- at once tribal and postmodern -- gets you going, and then, by the end of the performance, you are surprised to know that you have learned something substantial about life, too.



It is exactly that kind of musing that keeps you grounded even after the last notes have been played in Ayala's one-night concert, the aptly titled Kwentuhan, Kantahan, Kalikasan, Atbp., at the Luce Auditorium last February 19.

Heart is key to the concert's success, and more so the tidbits of surprising trivia and what-not you gain from hearing the musician rack his head and comb over his years of experience, to give us something to think about.

We learn, for example, showbiz tsismis, about Lea Salonga and Aga Muhlach in Sana Maulit Muli. Or about biodiversity. Or about the fandanggo set to rock music. Or about Chinese pirates in the Philippines early in the last century. Or how the Assumptionista colegiala accent really originated from the Visayan twang of yayas transplanted in rich households in Manila. Or about the sights and taste of Camiguin Island, or how eagles sound when they are mating. Or about power relations. Or about dialectic materialism, "Whatever that means," Ayala intoned.

Eric Caruncho has written of Ayala as a true music revolutionary, having incorporated into his sound indigenous elements, especially in the use of folk instruments, like the T'boli lute hegalong, and the Maranao kulintang. He is somebody who "creates music that plumbs the depths of the Filipino spirit, radiating a rare authenticity and making such epithets as 'ethnic,' 'alternative,' and even 'folk'."

But what I like most about Joey Ayala are the stories that he tells in giving us his repertoire. In an age where a typical song has no meaning anymore, it is refreshing to listen to music that talks about us, and our world. It is gentle didacticism, with heart -- and, on the side, sliced green mango dipped in spicy vinegar and oyap.

There were his signature songs, including "Walang Hanggang Paalam" and the iconic "Karaniwang Tao," as well as the crowd-pleasing "Maglakad" and "Tabi Po." In "Agila," he talks about the environment through the metaphor of the Philippine eagle. "When we no longer see eagles flying, that means there are no more forests to sustain them," Ayala informs us, before he segues to the song.

"Organik" is a kind of novelty song, rendered in colegiala speak, this one focusing on our identities, on "sari-saring buhay," on biodiversity. In "Batangbakal," his first Manila song, a man in the middle of traffic finds laughter and sadness in the lives of the batang bakal. Here, he talks about street children and the effect of the environment on the artist, and plays around with his main metaphor, which at once presents us with rich ambiguities of meaning -- the image of metal coins, or the street children themselves toughened by life. This is punctuated with a knowing estimation of the country's plight, as indicated by the refrain, "Ang kapal naman ng trapik na ito."

"Classroom 101," a song written in anger, has its roots from Ayala's visit to Marawi, and from his conversation with a teacher from that place who teaches in a classroom with bulletproof doors. In "Mindanao," he turns hopeful, and makes a kind of invitation to visit the beleaguered island. "If I sing about peace often enough," he said, "maybe it will come true." In "Little Brown Man," he tells us it is no joke to live in America, as most of us dream of doing. "She doesn't like our kind," he sings.

In "Kung Kaya Mong Isipin," Ayala hits his stride, and gives us perhaps the very theme of his life of music. He sings, and we learn: "Kung kaya mong isipin / kaya mong gawin / Isa-isang hakbang lang, ikaw'y mararating / Tulad ng puno na galing sa binhi / Ang mga dakilang gawa'y mula sa guniguni."

For the supposed Cultural Center of the South, the Luce Auditorium -- once the premier venue for top, no-nonsense, and groundbreaking cultural acts from around the country, and even from around the world -- Joey Ayala's concert may be the sign of better things still coming for a city growing alarmingly accustomed to ho-hum cultural fares, reined in by a disastrously conservative (nay, quasi-religious, like the Taliban's) climate. True artistry, especially one that has something significant to say about the way we live now, will prevail. And that gives us much hope, at least culturally.

On March 3, the British actress Linda Marlowe, courtesy of the generous and far-seeing souls in Silliman University's Cultural Affairs Committee and the good folks over at the British Council, comes to town with the latest of her acting showcases, this time in No Fear.



Here, Marlowe portrays a 100-year old circus artist looking back at her many careers, while performing a high-wire act on a trapeze.

Now that is definitely something to see.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow12:32 AM | The Luce Sometimes Rises

I like the songs of Lito Camo and his ilk. Unlike the very vocal minority of people who have somehow missed out on the whole spirit of irony and the humorous rewards of pun, double entendre, and other poetic ka-ek-ekan, I can appreciate the subtle and sometimes in-your-face implications of these songs.

"Bulaklak," at once familiar and playful, never fails to tickle our fancy, despite the sometime public protestations about "pornographic message." But when you hear the recent radio hit "Basketball" these days, it strikes you: no matter the skimpy get-up of the singers, the songs are nonetheless hummable, often unforgettable.

Novelty songs have their place in the pop cultural banquet and, like the music of Yoyoy Villame, Camo's music may, in time, gain a kind of respectability -- perhaps even be dissected by cultural pundits for its sometime impact on what Rolando Tolentino has called the Filipino's "sexualized culture."

In the long run, however, one seeks ultimately for meatier music. Something that transcends the banal, and makes us see that message matters even more than the instant gratification of pop favorites.

That is why it is always refreshing when you get to hear Joey Ayala perform live. His rhythm, his distinctive sound -- at once tribal and postmodern -- gets you going, and then, by the end of the performance, you are surprised to know that you have learned something substantial about life, too.



It is exactly that kind of musing that keeps you grounded even after the last notes have been played in Ayala's one-night concert, the aptly titled Kwentuhan, Kantahan, Kalikasan, Atbp., at the Luce Auditorium last February 19.

Heart is key to the concert's success, and more so the tidbits of surprising trivia and what-not you gain from hearing the musician rack his head and comb over his years of experience, to give us something to think about.

We learn, for example, showbiz tsismis, about Lea Salonga and Aga Muhlach in Sana Maulit Muli. Or about biodiversity. Or about the fandanggo set to rock music. Or about Chinese pirates in the Philippines early in the last century. Or how the Assumptionista colegiala accent really originated from the Visayan twang of yayas transplanted in rich households in Manila. Or about the sights and taste of Camiguin Island, or how eagles sound when they are mating. Or about power relations. Or about dialectic materialism, "Whatever that means," Ayala intoned.

Eric Caruncho has written of Ayala as a true music revolutionary, having incorporated into his sound indigenous elements, especially in the use of folk instruments, like the T'boli lute hegalong, and the Maranao kulintang. He is somebody who "creates music that plumbs the depths of the Filipino spirit, radiating a rare authenticity and making such epithets as 'ethnic,' 'alternative,' and even 'folk'."

But what I like most about Joey Ayala are the stories that he tells in giving us his repertoire. In an age where a typical song has no meaning anymore, it is refreshing to listen to music that talks about us, and our world. It is gentle didacticism, with heart -- and, on the side, sliced green mango dipped in spicy vinegar and oyap.

There were his signature songs, including "Walang Hanggang Paalam" and the iconic "Karaniwang Tao," as well as the crowd-pleasing "Maglakad" and "Tabi Po." In "Agila," he talks about the environment through the metaphor of the Philippine eagle. "When we no longer see eagles flying, that means there are no more forests to sustain them," Ayala informs us, before he segues to the song.

"Organik" is a kind of novelty song, rendered in colegiala speak, this one focusing on our identities, on "sari-saring buhay," on biodiversity. In "Batangbakal," his first Manila song, a man in the middle of traffic finds laughter and sadness in the lives of the batang bakal. Here, he talks about street children and the effect of the environment on the artist, and plays around with his main metaphor, which at once presents us with rich ambiguities of meaning -- the image of metal coins, or the street children themselves toughened by life. This is punctuated with a knowing estimation of the country's plight, as indicated by the refrain, "Ang kapal naman ng trapik na ito."

"Classroom 101," a song written in anger, has its roots from Ayala's visit to Marawi, and from his conversation with a teacher from that place who teaches in a classroom with bulletproof doors. In "Mindanao," he turns hopeful, and makes a kind of invitation to visit the beleaguered island. "If I sing about peace often enough," he said, "maybe it will come true." In "Little Brown Man," he tells us it is no joke to live in America, as most of us dream of doing. "She doesn't like our kind," he sings.

In "Kung Kaya Mong Isipin," Ayala hits his stride, and gives us perhaps the very theme of his life of music. He sings, and we learn: "Kung kaya mong isipin / kaya mong gawin / Isa-isang hakbang lang, ikaw'y mararating / Tulad ng puno na galing sa binhi / Ang mga dakilang gawa'y mula sa guniguni."

For the supposed Cultural Center of the South, the Luce Auditorium -- once the premier venue for top, no-nonsense, and groundbreaking cultural acts from around the country, and even from around the world -- Joey Ayala's concert may be the sign of better things still coming for a city growing alarmingly accustomed to ho-hum cultural fares, reined in by a disastrously conservative (nay, quasi-religious, like the Taliban's) climate. True artistry, especially one that has something significant to say about the way we live now, will prevail. And that gives us much hope, at least culturally.

On March 3, the British actress Linda Marlowe, courtesy of the generous and far-seeing souls in Silliman University's Cultural Affairs Committee and the good folks over at the British Council, comes to town with the latest of her acting showcases, this time in No Fear.



Here, Marlowe portrays a 100-year old circus artist looking back at her many careers, while performing a high-wire act on a trapeze.

Now that is definitely something to see.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow12:32 AM | The Luce Sometimes Rises

I like the songs of Lito Camo and his ilk. Unlike the very vocal minority of people who have somehow missed out on the whole spirit of irony and the humorous rewards of pun, double entendre, and other poetic ka-ek-ekan, I can appreciate the subtle and sometimes in-your-face implications of these songs.

"Bulaklak," at once familiar and playful, never fails to tickle our fancy, despite the sometime public protestations about "pornographic message." But when you hear the recent radio hit "Basketball" these days, it strikes you: no matter the skimpy get-up of the singers, the songs are nonetheless hummable, often unforgettable.

Novelty songs have their place in the pop cultural banquet and, like the music of Yoyoy Villame, Camo's music may, in time, gain a kind of respectability -- perhaps even be dissected by cultural pundits for its sometime impact on what Rolando Tolentino has called the Filipino's "sexualized culture."

In the long run, however, one seeks ultimately for meatier music. Something that transcends the banal, and makes us see that message matters even more than the instant gratification of pop favorites.

That is why it is always refreshing when you get to hear Joey Ayala perform live. His rhythm, his distinctive sound -- at once tribal and postmodern -- gets you going, and then, by the end of the performance, you are surprised to know that you have learned something substantial about life, too.



It is exactly that kind of musing that keeps you grounded even after the last notes have been played in Ayala's one-night concert, the aptly titled Kwentuhan, Kantahan, Kalikasan, Atbp., at the Luce Auditorium last February 19.

Heart is key to the concert's success, and more so the tidbits of surprising trivia and what-not you gain from hearing the musician rack his head and comb over his years of experience, to give us something to think about.

We learn, for example, showbiz tsismis, about Lea Salonga and Aga Muhlach in Sana Maulit Muli. Or about biodiversity. Or about the fandanggo set to rock music. Or about Chinese pirates in the Philippines early in the last century. Or how the Assumptionista colegiala accent really originated from the Visayan twang of yayas transplanted in rich households in Manila. Or about the sights and taste of Camiguin Island, or how eagles sound when they are mating. Or about power relations. Or about dialectic materialism, "Whatever that means," Ayala intoned.

Eric Caruncho has written of Ayala as a true music revolutionary, having incorporated into his sound indigenous elements, especially in the use of folk instruments, like the T'boli lute hegalong, and the Maranao kulintang. He is somebody who "creates music that plumbs the depths of the Filipino spirit, radiating a rare authenticity and making such epithets as 'ethnic,' 'alternative,' and even 'folk'."

But what I like most about Joey Ayala are the stories that he tells in giving us his repertoire. In an age where a typical song has no meaning anymore, it is refreshing to listen to music that talks about us, and our world. It is gentle didacticism, with heart -- and, on the side, sliced green mango dipped in spicy vinegar and oyap.

There were his signature songs, including "Walang Hanggang Paalam" and the iconic "Karaniwang Tao," as well as the crowd-pleasing "Maglakad" and "Tabi Po." In "Agila," he talks about the environment through the metaphor of the Philippine eagle. "When we no longer see eagles flying, that means there are no more forests to sustain them," Ayala informs us, before he segues to the song.

"Organik" is a kind of novelty song, rendered in colegiala speak, this one focusing on our identities, on "sari-saring buhay," on biodiversity. In "Batangbakal," his first Manila song, a man in the middle of traffic finds laughter and sadness in the lives of the batang bakal. Here, he talks about street children and the effect of the environment on the artist, and plays around with his main metaphor, which at once presents us with rich ambiguities of meaning -- the image of metal coins, or the street children themselves toughened by life. This is punctuated with a knowing estimation of the country's plight, as indicated by the refrain, "Ang kapal naman ng trapik na ito."

"Classroom 101," a song written in anger, has its roots from Ayala's visit to Marawi, and from his conversation with a teacher from that place who teaches in a classroom with bulletproof doors. In "Mindanao," he turns hopeful, and makes a kind of invitation to visit the beleaguered island. "If I sing about peace often enough," he said, "maybe it will come true." In "Little Brown Man," he tells us it is no joke to live in America, as most of us dream of doing. "She doesn't like our kind," he sings.

In "Kung Kaya Mong Isipin," Ayala hits his stride, and gives us perhaps the very theme of his life of music. He sings, and we learn: "Kung kaya mong isipin / kaya mong gawin / Isa-isang hakbang lang, ikaw'y mararating / Tulad ng puno na galing sa binhi / Ang mga dakilang gawa'y mula sa guniguni."

For the supposed Cultural Center of the South, the Luce Auditorium -- once the premier venue for top, no-nonsense, and groundbreaking cultural acts from around the country, and even from around the world -- Joey Ayala's concert may be the sign of better things still coming for a city growing alarmingly accustomed to ho-hum cultural fares, reined in by a disastrously conservative (nay, quasi-religious, like the Taliban's) climate. True artistry, especially one that has something significant to say about the way we live now, will prevail. And that gives us much hope, at least culturally.

On March 3, the British actress Linda Marlowe, courtesy of the generous and far-seeing souls in Silliman University's Cultural Affairs Committee and the good folks over at the British Council, comes to town with the latest of her acting showcases, this time in No Fear.



Here, Marlowe portrays a 100-year old circus artist looking back at her many careers, while performing a high-wire act on a trapeze.

Now that is definitely something to see.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Friday, February 25, 2005

entry arrow11:14 PM | Stumbling on Casocots

So, okay, my surname's not exactly common. I used to be ashamed of it. Casocot. The whole thing sounds made up. Father used to tell us they coined this strange family name because the Murillos -- our supposed old family name -- were being hunted down by the Japanese kempetai during World War II. As to what offense or guerilla honor, I have no idea. Father was fond of tall tales.

Casocot. It sounds dirty sometimes, and when foreigners do try to pronounce it, they say "Casket" instead. Like "death" itself. Even the great poet Eileen Tabios once called me Ian Rosales Scott. Because, well, there's just no spelling it correctly, especially the first time around.

Kasukut. Casukot. Kasokot. I can go on, and on.

Just now, I tried Googling the whole damn surname, to see if I could get anything beyond returns with my name in them.

I did get some.

But who the heck is Danilo Casocot Brucal? Rodel Castor Casocot? Jesebelle Casocot? Maria Ruena Casocot? Sirelo Casocot? Florencio T. Casocot? Nestor Malalis Casocot? Are they relations?

Worst of all, who is Flordeles Casocot?



And why does she have an online dating profile for a site usually reserved for mail-order brides desperately looking for white, dirty, old men? And why does she look like an overly Block & Whitened tsimay? And does the same blood course through our veins? Oh. My. God.

I feel particularly nasty today, if you've noticed. Hehehehe.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:14 PM | Stumbling on Casocots

So, okay, my surname's not exactly common. I used to be ashamed of it. Casocot. The whole thing sounds made up. Father used to tell us they coined this strange family name because the Murillos -- our supposed old family name -- were being hunted down by the Japanese kempetai during World War II. As to what offense or guerilla honor, I have no idea. Father was fond of tall tales.

Casocot. It sounds dirty sometimes, and when foreigners do try to pronounce it, they say "Casket" instead. Like "death" itself. Even the great poet Eileen Tabios once called me Ian Rosales Scott. Because, well, there's just no spelling it correctly, especially the first time around.

Kasukut. Casukot. Kasokot. I can go on, and on.

Just now, I tried Googling the whole damn surname, to see if I could get anything beyond returns with my name in them.

I did get some.

But who the heck is Danilo Casocot Brucal? Rodel Castor Casocot? Jesebelle Casocot? Maria Ruena Casocot? Sirelo Casocot? Florencio T. Casocot? Nestor Malalis Casocot? Are they relations?

Worst of all, who is Flordeles Casocot?



And why does she have an online dating profile for a site usually reserved for mail-order brides desperately looking for white, dirty, old men? And why does she look like an overly Block & Whitened tsimay? And does the same blood course through our veins? Oh. My. God.

I feel particularly nasty today, if you've noticed. Hehehehe.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:14 PM | Stumbling on Casocots

So, okay, my surname's not exactly common. I used to be ashamed of it. Casocot. The whole thing sounds made up. Father used to tell us they coined this strange family name because the Murillos -- our supposed old family name -- were being hunted down by the Japanese kempetai during World War II. As to what offense or guerilla honor, I have no idea. Father was fond of tall tales.

Casocot. It sounds dirty sometimes, and when foreigners do try to pronounce it, they say "Casket" instead. Like "death" itself. Even the great poet Eileen Tabios once called me Ian Rosales Scott. Because, well, there's just no spelling it correctly, especially the first time around.

Kasukut. Casukot. Kasokot. I can go on, and on.

Just now, I tried Googling the whole damn surname, to see if I could get anything beyond returns with my name in them.

I did get some.

But who the heck is Danilo Casocot Brucal? Rodel Castor Casocot? Jesebelle Casocot? Maria Ruena Casocot? Sirelo Casocot? Florencio T. Casocot? Nestor Malalis Casocot? Are they relations?

Worst of all, who is Flordeles Casocot?



And why does she have an online dating profile for a site usually reserved for mail-order brides desperately looking for white, dirty, old men? And why does she look like an overly Block & Whitened tsimay? And does the same blood course through our veins? Oh. My. God.

I feel particularly nasty today, if you've noticed. Hehehehe.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow5:27 PM | For Someone Wearing a Skirt, He Sure Says Some Awfully Funny Things

As a lapsed Protestant but full-time Christian and humanist, I considered it a point of pride that I looked up to this man as a towering symbol of spirituality, muscular intellect, and integrity. He was a man usually unfazed of tiring traditions, ready to embrace necessary change to reflect the spirit of the times. He wasn't like that primitive Pope who once forced Galileo to recant his astronomical sacrilege. I considered him a good man.

Not anymore. (Click that to find out.)

There are no words to explain why, and I will let my good friend, and extraordinary logophile, Dyames to say the things I want to say, but can't:

Poor us. With the Vatican's hateful opinion of homosexuals everywhere, we have officially been lowered to the level of the banal, the perverse, and the debauched. To say that we are evil is to justify the Larami killing and a host of others before it. To tag us as un-Christian is to animalize faith. If there was anyone in the world who should bestow sympathy on us, it should be the Pope himself. After all, he personifies God and embodies his soul. Is bigotry of God's? It's of the devil's.

No truer words, James. And thanks for that, despite the sad implications it brings. Here's more.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow5:27 PM | For Someone Wearing a Skirt, He Sure Says Some Awfully Funny Things

As a lapsed Protestant but full-time Christian and humanist, I considered it a point of pride that I looked up to this man as a towering symbol of spirituality, muscular intellect, and integrity. He was a man usually unfazed of tiring traditions, ready to embrace necessary change to reflect the spirit of the times. He wasn't like that primitive Pope who once forced Galileo to recant his astronomical sacrilege. I considered him a good man.

Not anymore. (Click that to find out.)

There are no words to explain why, and I will let my good friend, and extraordinary logophile, Dyames to say the things I want to say, but can't:

Poor us. With the Vatican's hateful opinion of homosexuals everywhere, we have officially been lowered to the level of the banal, the perverse, and the debauched. To say that we are evil is to justify the Larami killing and a host of others before it. To tag us as un-Christian is to animalize faith. If there was anyone in the world who should bestow sympathy on us, it should be the Pope himself. After all, he personifies God and embodies his soul. Is bigotry of God's? It's of the devil's.

No truer words, James. And thanks for that, despite the sad implications it brings. Here's more.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow5:27 PM | For Someone Wearing a Skirt, He Sure Says Some Awfully Funny Things

As a lapsed Protestant but full-time Christian and humanist, I considered it a point of pride that I looked up to this man as a towering symbol of spirituality, muscular intellect, and integrity. He was a man usually unfazed of tiring traditions, ready to embrace necessary change to reflect the spirit of the times. He wasn't like that primitive Pope who once forced Galileo to recant his astronomical sacrilege. I considered him a good man.

Not anymore. (Click that to find out.)

There are no words to explain why, and I will let my good friend, and extraordinary logophile, Dyames to say the things I want to say, but can't:

Poor us. With the Vatican's hateful opinion of homosexuals everywhere, we have officially been lowered to the level of the banal, the perverse, and the debauched. To say that we are evil is to justify the Larami killing and a host of others before it. To tag us as un-Christian is to animalize faith. If there was anyone in the world who should bestow sympathy on us, it should be the Pope himself. After all, he personifies God and embodies his soul. Is bigotry of God's? It's of the devil's.

No truer words, James. And thanks for that, despite the sad implications it brings. Here's more.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:45 PM | Distraction for a Friday Holiday

Wet Men.

'Nuff said. (Not exactly work safe, but who cares?)

[link courtesy of cooking contessa]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:45 PM | Distraction for a Friday Holiday

Wet Men.

'Nuff said. (Not exactly work safe, but who cares?)

[link courtesy of cooking contessa]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:45 PM | Distraction for a Friday Holiday

Wet Men.

'Nuff said. (Not exactly work safe, but who cares?)

[link courtesy of cooking contessa]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:56 PM | Penance

There's no denying this anymore. I admit it now. I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. (Yay!) I secretly bought a copy through Amazon.com a few months ago, read the whole thing in one night, and absolutely loathed its literary ineptness, but was in guilty awe of its power for cheap thrills. (Admit it, it is a page-turner.)



Now I feel like there's asphalt on my skin that refuses to go away. I am so ashamed. Punish me. Pleeeaassee.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:56 PM | Penance

There's no denying this anymore. I admit it now. I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. (Yay!) I secretly bought a copy through Amazon.com a few months ago, read the whole thing in one night, and absolutely loathed its literary ineptness, but was in guilty awe of its power for cheap thrills. (Admit it, it is a page-turner.)



Now I feel like there's asphalt on my skin that refuses to go away. I am so ashamed. Punish me. Pleeeaassee.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:56 PM | Penance

There's no denying this anymore. I admit it now. I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. (Yay!) I secretly bought a copy through Amazon.com a few months ago, read the whole thing in one night, and absolutely loathed its literary ineptness, but was in guilty awe of its power for cheap thrills. (Admit it, it is a page-turner.)



Now I feel like there's asphalt on my skin that refuses to go away. I am so ashamed. Punish me. Pleeeaassee.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:29 PM | Ranting, Because I Can, Dammit

Fucking shit! I'm trying to concentrate and be meditative while I'm psyching myself to write something for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in this God-forsaken Internet cafe, and now there's this super panget guy accompanying his girlfriend in the very next chair, invading my private space! What the fuck? Get away from my bubble, you toad!



But, on the other hand, this is such a wonderful,sunny day...


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:29 PM | Ranting, Because I Can, Dammit

Fucking shit! I'm trying to concentrate and be meditative while I'm psyching myself to write something for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in this God-forsaken Internet cafe, and now there's this super panget guy accompanying his girlfriend in the very next chair, invading my private space! What the fuck? Get away from my bubble, you toad!



But, on the other hand, this is such a wonderful,sunny day...


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow2:29 PM | Ranting, Because I Can, Dammit

Fucking shit! I'm trying to concentrate and be meditative while I'm psyching myself to write something for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in this God-forsaken Internet cafe, and now there's this super panget guy accompanying his girlfriend in the very next chair, invading my private space! What the fuck? Get away from my bubble, you toad!



But, on the other hand, this is such a wonderful,sunny day...


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Thursday, February 24, 2005

entry arrow4:28 PM | From Sideways

The other year, the critical darling of the movie set had been Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, which had left me surprisingly cold despite the warm praises it garnered. Last year, the same thing happened, this time with Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which had most of my friends raving ecstatically, while I couldn't help but tell myself, "This movie could need some better lighting design." Did that make me a cinematically shallow man? But I had enjoyed Gondry's quirky Human Nature, and I get tickled by Charles Kauffman's brilliant screenplays for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. (Maybe I was just hoping Spike Jonze had first dibs on this one as well?)

Which brings me to Alexander Payne's Sideways. All its universal praise had me rattled. Will I, too, hate this movie? Payne had been a remarkable storyteller so far in his short career. Election was brilliant but neglected, and About Schmidt was wonderful, and funny. Will that magic stretch on to Sideways, now nominated for Oscar's Best Picture award?

It took me days to put that DVD on my player, and press play. Today, I finally did it.

And I am most impressed.

Sideways is subtle and wonderful filmmaking. There is no Hollywood bombast here, just a richness full of that often forgotten ingredients of absorbing story, and complex and very human characters. The movie reminds me that the reason I love most of my favorite stories is because of their resonant metaphors. The metaphor here is obviously wine, our bedraggled Miles (the wonderful Paul Giamatti) clearly a bottle of fine Pinot (also my favorite wine), and the happy-go-lucky and irresponsible Jack (charmingly played by Thomas Haden Church) is the Cabernet.

Here's the scene that everyone is raving about...




EXT. STEPHANIE'S PORCH


MAYA
Wow, this is really starting to open up. What do you think?

MILES
My palate's kind of shot, but from what I can tell, I'd dub it pretty damn good.

MAYA
Can I ask you a personal question?

MILES
(Bracing himself) Sure.

MAYA
Why are you so into Pinot? It's like a thing with you?

Miles laughs at first, then smiles wistfully at the question. He searches for the answer in his glass and begins slowly.

MILES
I don't know. It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot's most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

Maya has found this answer revealing and moving.

MILES (CONT'D)
I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exciting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason by comparison. How about you?

MAYA
What about me?

MILES
I don't know. Why are you into wine?

MAYA
I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

MILES
Yeah? Like what?

MAYA
Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

MAYA
No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle its going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your '61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Now it is Miles' turn to be swept away. Maya's face tells us the moment is right, but Miles remains frozen. He needs another sign, and Maya is bold enough to offer it: she reaches out and places one hand atop his.

MILES
(suppressing his panic) But I like a lot of wines besides Pinot, too. Lately I've really been into Rieslings. Do you like Rieslings? Rieslings?

She nods, a Mona Lisa smile on her lips. Come on, Miles. Finally --

MILES (CONT'D)
(pointing) Bathroom over there?

MAYA
Yeah.

Miles gets up and walks out. Maya sighs and gets an American Spirit out of her purse.

See the movie. It will remind you why we love personal movies in the very first place.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow4:28 PM | From Sideways

The other year, the critical darling of the movie set had been Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, which had left me surprisingly cold despite the warm praises it garnered. Last year, the same thing happened, this time with Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which had most of my friends raving ecstatically, while I couldn't help but tell myself, "This movie could need some better lighting design." Did that make me a cinematically shallow man? But I had enjoyed Gondry's quirky Human Nature, and I get tickled by Charles Kauffman's brilliant screenplays for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. (Maybe I was just hoping Spike Jonze had first dibs on this one as well?)

Which brings me to Alexander Payne's Sideways. All its universal praise had me rattled. Will I, too, hate this movie? Payne had been a remarkable storyteller so far in his short career. Election was brilliant but neglected, and About Schmidt was wonderful, and funny. Will that magic stretch on to Sideways, now nominated for Oscar's Best Picture award?

It took me days to put that DVD on my player, and press play. Today, I finally did it.

And I am most impressed.

Sideways is subtle and wonderful filmmaking. There is no Hollywood bombast here, just a richness full of that often forgotten ingredients of absorbing story, and complex and very human characters. The movie reminds me that the reason I love most of my favorite stories is because of their resonant metaphors. The metaphor here is obviously wine, our bedraggled Miles (the wonderful Paul Giamatti) clearly a bottle of fine Pinot (also my favorite wine), and the happy-go-lucky and irresponsible Jack (charmingly played by Thomas Haden Church) is the Cabernet.

Here's the scene that everyone is raving about...




EXT. STEPHANIE'S PORCH


MAYA
Wow, this is really starting to open up. What do you think?

MILES
My palate's kind of shot, but from what I can tell, I'd dub it pretty damn good.

MAYA
Can I ask you a personal question?

MILES
(Bracing himself) Sure.

MAYA
Why are you so into Pinot? It's like a thing with you?

Miles laughs at first, then smiles wistfully at the question. He searches for the answer in his glass and begins slowly.

MILES
I don't know. It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot's most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

Maya has found this answer revealing and moving.

MILES (CONT'D)
I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exciting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason by comparison. How about you?

MAYA
What about me?

MILES
I don't know. Why are you into wine?

MAYA
I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

MILES
Yeah? Like what?

MAYA
Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

MAYA
No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle its going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your '61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Now it is Miles' turn to be swept away. Maya's face tells us the moment is right, but Miles remains frozen. He needs another sign, and Maya is bold enough to offer it: she reaches out and places one hand atop his.

MILES
(suppressing his panic) But I like a lot of wines besides Pinot, too. Lately I've really been into Rieslings. Do you like Rieslings? Rieslings?

She nods, a Mona Lisa smile on her lips. Come on, Miles. Finally --

MILES (CONT'D)
(pointing) Bathroom over there?

MAYA
Yeah.

Miles gets up and walks out. Maya sighs and gets an American Spirit out of her purse.

See the movie. It will remind you why we love personal movies in the very first place.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow4:28 PM | From Sideways

The other year, the critical darling of the movie set had been Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, which had left me surprisingly cold despite the warm praises it garnered. Last year, the same thing happened, this time with Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which had most of my friends raving ecstatically, while I couldn't help but tell myself, "This movie could need some better lighting design." Did that make me a cinematically shallow man? But I had enjoyed Gondry's quirky Human Nature, and I get tickled by Charles Kauffman's brilliant screenplays for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. (Maybe I was just hoping Spike Jonze had first dibs on this one as well?)

Which brings me to Alexander Payne's Sideways. All its universal praise had me rattled. Will I, too, hate this movie? Payne had been a remarkable storyteller so far in his short career. Election was brilliant but neglected, and About Schmidt was wonderful, and funny. Will that magic stretch on to Sideways, now nominated for Oscar's Best Picture award?

It took me days to put that DVD on my player, and press play. Today, I finally did it.

And I am most impressed.

Sideways is subtle and wonderful filmmaking. There is no Hollywood bombast here, just a richness full of that often forgotten ingredients of absorbing story, and complex and very human characters. The movie reminds me that the reason I love most of my favorite stories is because of their resonant metaphors. The metaphor here is obviously wine, our bedraggled Miles (the wonderful Paul Giamatti) clearly a bottle of fine Pinot (also my favorite wine), and the happy-go-lucky and irresponsible Jack (charmingly played by Thomas Haden Church) is the Cabernet.

Here's the scene that everyone is raving about...




EXT. STEPHANIE'S PORCH


MAYA
Wow, this is really starting to open up. What do you think?

MILES
My palate's kind of shot, but from what I can tell, I'd dub it pretty damn good.

MAYA
Can I ask you a personal question?

MILES
(Bracing himself) Sure.

MAYA
Why are you so into Pinot? It's like a thing with you?

Miles laughs at first, then smiles wistfully at the question. He searches for the answer in his glass and begins slowly.

MILES
I don't know. It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot's most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

Maya has found this answer revealing and moving.

MILES (CONT'D)
I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exciting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason by comparison. How about you?

MAYA
What about me?

MILES
I don't know. Why are you into wine?

MAYA
I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

MILES
Yeah? Like what?

MAYA
Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

MAYA
No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle its going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your '61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Now it is Miles' turn to be swept away. Maya's face tells us the moment is right, but Miles remains frozen. He needs another sign, and Maya is bold enough to offer it: she reaches out and places one hand atop his.

MILES
(suppressing his panic) But I like a lot of wines besides Pinot, too. Lately I've really been into Rieslings. Do you like Rieslings? Rieslings?

She nods, a Mona Lisa smile on her lips. Come on, Miles. Finally --

MILES (CONT'D)
(pointing) Bathroom over there?

MAYA
Yeah.

Miles gets up and walks out. Maya sighs and gets an American Spirit out of her purse.

See the movie. It will remind you why we love personal movies in the very first place.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Wednesday, February 23, 2005

entry arrow10:58 PM | Give It to Me, Billy Boy

[swiped from kokak's livejournal, because i could not help it]



Not just the richest. Noooo. Most positively, also the sexiest man alive, circa 1983.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:58 PM | Give It to Me, Billy Boy

[swiped from kokak's livejournal, because i could not help it]



Not just the richest. Noooo. Most positively, also the sexiest man alive, circa 1983.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:58 PM | Give It to Me, Billy Boy

[swiped from kokak's livejournal, because i could not help it]



Not just the richest. Noooo. Most positively, also the sexiest man alive, circa 1983.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow4:51 PM | Rocking the Oscar

Did anyone see Chris Rock on Jay Leno kanina? The Oscar host this year was talking about the Oscar hype, and boy, was he a laugh riot. (Thank God for ETC.)



Some gems from that episode:

On previously saying only gay men watch the Oscars:

"I did not say that. I said only gay people watch the Tonys." But later: "I really don't know any straight men who aren't in show business that have ever watched the Oscars."

On awards shows' significance:

"The awards don't really affect anybody's lives in the crowd. Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize, there's no one there. Nobody cares what the scientists are wearing. What are you wearing Professor Allen? 'Pants!'"

On acceptance speeches:

"Don't thank God. God's busy working on the tsunami, so leave him alone."

Now, let February 28 come, and let Chris Rock rock. This should be the funniest, most insultingly marvelous Oscar in years.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow4:51 PM | Rocking the Oscar

Did anyone see Chris Rock on Jay Leno kanina? The Oscar host this year was talking about the Oscar hype, and boy, was he a laugh riot. (Thank God for ETC.)



Some gems from that episode:

On previously saying only gay men watch the Oscars:

"I did not say that. I said only gay people watch the Tonys." But later: "I really don't know any straight men who aren't in show business that have ever watched the Oscars."

On awards shows' significance:

"The awards don't really affect anybody's lives in the crowd. Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize, there's no one there. Nobody cares what the scientists are wearing. What are you wearing Professor Allen? 'Pants!'"

On acceptance speeches:

"Don't thank God. God's busy working on the tsunami, so leave him alone."

Now, let February 28 come, and let Chris Rock rock. This should be the funniest, most insultingly marvelous Oscar in years.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow4:51 PM | Rocking the Oscar

Did anyone see Chris Rock on Jay Leno kanina? The Oscar host this year was talking about the Oscar hype, and boy, was he a laugh riot. (Thank God for ETC.)



Some gems from that episode:

On previously saying only gay men watch the Oscars:

"I did not say that. I said only gay people watch the Tonys." But later: "I really don't know any straight men who aren't in show business that have ever watched the Oscars."

On awards shows' significance:

"The awards don't really affect anybody's lives in the crowd. Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize, there's no one there. Nobody cares what the scientists are wearing. What are you wearing Professor Allen? 'Pants!'"

On acceptance speeches:

"Don't thank God. God's busy working on the tsunami, so leave him alone."

Now, let February 28 come, and let Chris Rock rock. This should be the funniest, most insultingly marvelous Oscar in years.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:19 AM | Speling. Spilling. Speleng. Espeling. No, no, no. Spelling. There you go.




Steve Hendrix is a reporter for The Washington Post, and he can't spell.

Let's take one example: itinerary.

Iteneriary is one of the dozens of words that bring me to a complete standstill. I can be typing along at a brisk pace when my brain feeds a word like itenirary down to my flying fingers, and they freeze over the keyboard like mummified buzzard claws.

Itinerary. I-T ... E? ... I? Pretty sure it's I. N is easy. Another E? or is it A? ... R ... Two Rs? A? A-R-Y. Itinerrary.

I once spell-checked a 2,000-word article I had written for the Post's Travel section and found I had spelled itinerary four ways, none of them correctly.

Read the rest of the funny stuff here.

[via bookslut]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:19 AM | Speling. Spilling. Speleng. Espeling. No, no, no. Spelling. There you go.




Steve Hendrix is a reporter for The Washington Post, and he can't spell.

Let's take one example: itinerary.

Iteneriary is one of the dozens of words that bring me to a complete standstill. I can be typing along at a brisk pace when my brain feeds a word like itenirary down to my flying fingers, and they freeze over the keyboard like mummified buzzard claws.

Itinerary. I-T ... E? ... I? Pretty sure it's I. N is easy. Another E? or is it A? ... R ... Two Rs? A? A-R-Y. Itinerrary.

I once spell-checked a 2,000-word article I had written for the Post's Travel section and found I had spelled itinerary four ways, none of them correctly.

Read the rest of the funny stuff here.

[via bookslut]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:19 AM | Speling. Spilling. Speleng. Espeling. No, no, no. Spelling. There you go.




Steve Hendrix is a reporter for The Washington Post, and he can't spell.

Let's take one example: itinerary.

Iteneriary is one of the dozens of words that bring me to a complete standstill. I can be typing along at a brisk pace when my brain feeds a word like itenirary down to my flying fingers, and they freeze over the keyboard like mummified buzzard claws.

Itinerary. I-T ... E? ... I? Pretty sure it's I. N is easy. Another E? or is it A? ... R ... Two Rs? A? A-R-Y. Itinerrary.

I once spell-checked a 2,000-word article I had written for the Post's Travel section and found I had spelled itinerary four ways, none of them correctly.

Read the rest of the funny stuff here.

[via bookslut]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Tuesday, February 22, 2005

entry arrow11:02 PM | Manhunt That



It's the second to the last episode of Bravo's Manhunt, and coming head to head, it's Jon -- the archetypal Tarzan hetero -- and Rob -- the quintessential city slicker gayboy. Up for grabs, the title of most gorgeous male model in America.* (Really.)

So, okay. The show's sooooo fucking lame (it makes Tyra Banks' infinitely better America's Next Top Model look like it's a show made of gold), and boring... so why do we keep tuning in at 10 o'clock every Tuesday ba?

(As if anyone needed to ask that question.)

*Jon eventually won.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:02 PM | Manhunt That



It's the second to the last episode of Bravo's Manhunt, and coming head to head, it's Jon -- the archetypal Tarzan hetero -- and Rob -- the quintessential city slicker gayboy. Up for grabs, the title of most gorgeous male model in America.* (Really.)

So, okay. The show's sooooo fucking lame (it makes Tyra Banks' infinitely better America's Next Top Model look like it's a show made of gold), and boring... so why do we keep tuning in at 10 o'clock every Tuesday ba?

(As if anyone needed to ask that question.)

*Jon eventually won.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:02 PM | Manhunt That



It's the second to the last episode of Bravo's Manhunt, and coming head to head, it's Jon -- the archetypal Tarzan hetero -- and Rob -- the quintessential city slicker gayboy. Up for grabs, the title of most gorgeous male model in America.* (Really.)

So, okay. The show's sooooo fucking lame (it makes Tyra Banks' infinitely better America's Next Top Model look like it's a show made of gold), and boring... so why do we keep tuning in at 10 o'clock every Tuesday ba?

(As if anyone needed to ask that question.)

*Jon eventually won.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Monday, February 21, 2005

entry arrow10:41 AM | Room of Spirits

Honestly, I've been remiss with my Philippine Daily Inquirer duties. So, last weekend, I decided to begin churning out the articles expected of me. Here's for this Monday's Lifestyle Section issue.

Click here if you want the real thing.



The pleasant surprise may be that, hidden somewhere in a Mexican restaurant called CocoAmigos -- located along the northern stretch of Dumaguete City's famous Boulevard -- is an adobe-brown dining room, which is increasingly becoming the most important space for art in this city down south, in Negros Oriental.

Here, a kind of wakening is stirring what had always been a vibrant -- although surprisingly low-key -- community of artists. The city had always boasted of artists of impressive rank, with equally impressive voices: Kitty Taniguchi and her Babylonic female abandon, for example, and daughter Maria Taniguchi's prophetic reach. There's the surreal worlds of Jutze Pamate and Raszceljan Salvarita which border on Pinoy Magritte. There's Paul Pfeiffer, whose installations won for him America's prestigious Whitney Prize sometime in 2001.

In their wake come two more names in Dumaguete art that may command considerable attention in the years to come. In an exhibit aptly called "Waves of Worship," artists Susan Canoy and Sharon Dadang-Rafols have finally come into their own, their artistic voices full-bodied in an exhibit that celebrates spirituality in manifestations of outward worship, or inward angst.

Susan Canoy's work -- composed mostly of acrylic paintings on antique narra wood -- is a marked departure from the diwata and sirena motifs that had always characterized her early paintings, not always done successfully. But in these new works, she has achieved that ambitious reach to people her canvass with folkloric elements, and render them with intensity and meaning.



This time around, she takes on the celebrative nature of Filipino religiosity -- the saints' days and festivals of our collective spiritual identity -- and mounts them in the form of calendar dials, each canvass reminiscent of those typical framed installations of kris swords and ancient shields that used to grace many Filipino homes. Set on black tablets, stylized wood panels -- accented on the sides with decorative metal door handles that seem to suggest a welcome to varieties of rituals -- are rendered with scenes from the Catholic festivals of saints, all done in Amorsolo charm, the acrylic finish marking a vibrant quality.

"This worship of Saints," Canoy says, "is celebrated to ask for more bounty and harvest and a good life." For that, she devotes one work to each month of the year, a dial in the center indicating the various festivities set in that month, then highlighting the one celebration that defines the days.

For January, there is "Inahan sa Kanunayng Panabang," the top showing a scene of a young man playing guitar in the middle of a vast rice field, and the bottom with vintas in the horizon. For October, she celebrates the Oriental Negrense Buglasan tradition in "Pagsaulog," with Dumaguete's Boulevard rendered in festive colors on the top, and the provincial capitol on the bottom in an energy of people dancing to the Buglasan beat. The other works evoke the other months: "Viva Senyor," "Semana Santa," "Flores de Mayo," and so on.

But while Canoy's works celebrate the visible and often theatrical rites to commemorate our everyday spirituality, Sharon Dadang-Rafols' works suggest a more introspective tone of worship, maybe even internal struggles of faith.

Hers is a work of miniature tension. The paintings -- or a set of small ones presented mostly as triptychs -- are outer expressions of inner peace and inner rage, canvasses of white with strokes of color, foreboding, and meditation, set against a backdrop of blackness. They are almost like Rorschach ink blot tests, and sometimes what is hidden in the chaos of color are startling forms that resemble phantom faces (done to the most haunting degree in the "Entreaty" triptych), throbbing veins, and palimpsests of forbidden landscapes.

"My work," Dadang-Rafols says, "is much in line with meditation through colors and wave of colors. Simple lines and integration of colors create subjects of imagination that makes the viewer meditate, or simply gaze. Perhaps the blending of the hues captures the eye to a deeper meaning of the almost photographic wash of colors."

Her "Zen Series" is a simple exercise of Chinese water color ink on paper, in a kind of pulled string effect that reaches beyond that. They provide windows. To what? To inner wildness, and to eventual calm? "Vision" and "Gamut" are portraits, perhaps, of the recesses of our inner anatomies, at once organic and ominous. "My Prayer," on the other hand, is a tornado of red and sunsets of green, obliquely revealing a haunting woman's face. "Our Kibbutz" is a set of five panels that approximate a rough sequence of waves and blots simulating fireworks and lava lamps, to end, like the other painting, to a portrait of sorts of a smudged-up woman. "The Works" is a splatter of red simulating palm trees in a nuclear sunset, a theme which bleeds to "Breathe," which shows a stark landscape of the shadows of barren trees and ruined buildings, all shrouded in purple decadence.

Two women with singular views on viewing the numinous, reflecting our individual responses to the ethereal, the ritualistic, and the meditative.

In that adobe room in that restaurant, the spirits loom, bursting out of the canvasses and finally into our lives.

(The exhibit runs until February 24, in CocoAmigos, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:41 AM | Room of Spirits

Honestly, I've been remiss with my Philippine Daily Inquirer duties. So, last weekend, I decided to begin churning out the articles expected of me. Here's for this Monday's Lifestyle Section issue.

Click here if you want the real thing.



The pleasant surprise may be that, hidden somewhere in a Mexican restaurant called CocoAmigos -- located along the northern stretch of Dumaguete City's famous Boulevard -- is an adobe-brown dining room, which is increasingly becoming the most important space for art in this city down south, in Negros Oriental.

Here, a kind of wakening is stirring what had always been a vibrant -- although surprisingly low-key -- community of artists. The city had always boasted of artists of impressive rank, with equally impressive voices: Kitty Taniguchi and her Babylonic female abandon, for example, and daughter Maria Taniguchi's prophetic reach. There's the surreal worlds of Jutze Pamate and Raszceljan Salvarita which border on Pinoy Magritte. There's Paul Pfeiffer, whose installations won for him America's prestigious Whitney Prize sometime in 2001.

In their wake come two more names in Dumaguete art that may command considerable attention in the years to come. In an exhibit aptly called "Waves of Worship," artists Susan Canoy and Sharon Dadang-Rafols have finally come into their own, their artistic voices full-bodied in an exhibit that celebrates spirituality in manifestations of outward worship, or inward angst.

Susan Canoy's work -- composed mostly of acrylic paintings on antique narra wood -- is a marked departure from the diwata and sirena motifs that had always characterized her early paintings, not always done successfully. But in these new works, she has achieved that ambitious reach to people her canvass with folkloric elements, and render them with intensity and meaning.



This time around, she takes on the celebrative nature of Filipino religiosity -- the saints' days and festivals of our collective spiritual identity -- and mounts them in the form of calendar dials, each canvass reminiscent of those typical framed installations of kris swords and ancient shields that used to grace many Filipino homes. Set on black tablets, stylized wood panels -- accented on the sides with decorative metal door handles that seem to suggest a welcome to varieties of rituals -- are rendered with scenes from the Catholic festivals of saints, all done in Amorsolo charm, the acrylic finish marking a vibrant quality.

"This worship of Saints," Canoy says, "is celebrated to ask for more bounty and harvest and a good life." For that, she devotes one work to each month of the year, a dial in the center indicating the various festivities set in that month, then highlighting the one celebration that defines the days.

For January, there is "Inahan sa Kanunayng Panabang," the top showing a scene of a young man playing guitar in the middle of a vast rice field, and the bottom with vintas in the horizon. For October, she celebrates the Oriental Negrense Buglasan tradition in "Pagsaulog," with Dumaguete's Boulevard rendered in festive colors on the top, and the provincial capitol on the bottom in an energy of people dancing to the Buglasan beat. The other works evoke the other months: "Viva Senyor," "Semana Santa," "Flores de Mayo," and so on.

But while Canoy's works celebrate the visible and often theatrical rites to commemorate our everyday spirituality, Sharon Dadang-Rafols' works suggest a more introspective tone of worship, maybe even internal struggles of faith.

Hers is a work of miniature tension. The paintings -- or a set of small ones presented mostly as triptychs -- are outer expressions of inner peace and inner rage, canvasses of white with strokes of color, foreboding, and meditation, set against a backdrop of blackness. They are almost like Rorschach ink blot tests, and sometimes what is hidden in the chaos of color are startling forms that resemble phantom faces (done to the most haunting degree in the "Entreaty" triptych), throbbing veins, and palimpsests of forbidden landscapes.

"My work," Dadang-Rafols says, "is much in line with meditation through colors and wave of colors. Simple lines and integration of colors create subjects of imagination that makes the viewer meditate, or simply gaze. Perhaps the blending of the hues captures the eye to a deeper meaning of the almost photographic wash of colors."

Her "Zen Series" is a simple exercise of Chinese water color ink on paper, in a kind of pulled string effect that reaches beyond that. They provide windows. To what? To inner wildness, and to eventual calm? "Vision" and "Gamut" are portraits, perhaps, of the recesses of our inner anatomies, at once organic and ominous. "My Prayer," on the other hand, is a tornado of red and sunsets of green, obliquely revealing a haunting woman's face. "Our Kibbutz" is a set of five panels that approximate a rough sequence of waves and blots simulating fireworks and lava lamps, to end, like the other painting, to a portrait of sorts of a smudged-up woman. "The Works" is a splatter of red simulating palm trees in a nuclear sunset, a theme which bleeds to "Breathe," which shows a stark landscape of the shadows of barren trees and ruined buildings, all shrouded in purple decadence.

Two women with singular views on viewing the numinous, reflecting our individual responses to the ethereal, the ritualistic, and the meditative.

In that adobe room in that restaurant, the spirits loom, bursting out of the canvasses and finally into our lives.

(The exhibit runs until February 24, in CocoAmigos, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:41 AM | Room of Spirits

Honestly, I've been remiss with my Philippine Daily Inquirer duties. So, last weekend, I decided to begin churning out the articles expected of me. Here's for this Monday's Lifestyle Section issue.

Click here if you want the real thing.



The pleasant surprise may be that, hidden somewhere in a Mexican restaurant called CocoAmigos -- located along the northern stretch of Dumaguete City's famous Boulevard -- is an adobe-brown dining room, which is increasingly becoming the most important space for art in this city down south, in Negros Oriental.

Here, a kind of wakening is stirring what had always been a vibrant -- although surprisingly low-key -- community of artists. The city had always boasted of artists of impressive rank, with equally impressive voices: Kitty Taniguchi and her Babylonic female abandon, for example, and daughter Maria Taniguchi's prophetic reach. There's the surreal worlds of Jutze Pamate and Raszceljan Salvarita which border on Pinoy Magritte. There's Paul Pfeiffer, whose installations won for him America's prestigious Whitney Prize sometime in 2001.

In their wake come two more names in Dumaguete art that may command considerable attention in the years to come. In an exhibit aptly called "Waves of Worship," artists Susan Canoy and Sharon Dadang-Rafols have finally come into their own, their artistic voices full-bodied in an exhibit that celebrates spirituality in manifestations of outward worship, or inward angst.

Susan Canoy's work -- composed mostly of acrylic paintings on antique narra wood -- is a marked departure from the diwata and sirena motifs that had always characterized her early paintings, not always done successfully. But in these new works, she has achieved that ambitious reach to people her canvass with folkloric elements, and render them with intensity and meaning.



This time around, she takes on the celebrative nature of Filipino religiosity -- the saints' days and festivals of our collective spiritual identity -- and mounts them in the form of calendar dials, each canvass reminiscent of those typical framed installations of kris swords and ancient shields that used to grace many Filipino homes. Set on black tablets, stylized wood panels -- accented on the sides with decorative metal door handles that seem to suggest a welcome to varieties of rituals -- are rendered with scenes from the Catholic festivals of saints, all done in Amorsolo charm, the acrylic finish marking a vibrant quality.

"This worship of Saints," Canoy says, "is celebrated to ask for more bounty and harvest and a good life." For that, she devotes one work to each month of the year, a dial in the center indicating the various festivities set in that month, then highlighting the one celebration that defines the days.

For January, there is "Inahan sa Kanunayng Panabang," the top showing a scene of a young man playing guitar in the middle of a vast rice field, and the bottom with vintas in the horizon. For October, she celebrates the Oriental Negrense Buglasan tradition in "Pagsaulog," with Dumaguete's Boulevard rendered in festive colors on the top, and the provincial capitol on the bottom in an energy of people dancing to the Buglasan beat. The other works evoke the other months: "Viva Senyor," "Semana Santa," "Flores de Mayo," and so on.

But while Canoy's works celebrate the visible and often theatrical rites to commemorate our everyday spirituality, Sharon Dadang-Rafols' works suggest a more introspective tone of worship, maybe even internal struggles of faith.

Hers is a work of miniature tension. The paintings -- or a set of small ones presented mostly as triptychs -- are outer expressions of inner peace and inner rage, canvasses of white with strokes of color, foreboding, and meditation, set against a backdrop of blackness. They are almost like Rorschach ink blot tests, and sometimes what is hidden in the chaos of color are startling forms that resemble phantom faces (done to the most haunting degree in the "Entreaty" triptych), throbbing veins, and palimpsests of forbidden landscapes.

"My work," Dadang-Rafols says, "is much in line with meditation through colors and wave of colors. Simple lines and integration of colors create subjects of imagination that makes the viewer meditate, or simply gaze. Perhaps the blending of the hues captures the eye to a deeper meaning of the almost photographic wash of colors."

Her "Zen Series" is a simple exercise of Chinese water color ink on paper, in a kind of pulled string effect that reaches beyond that. They provide windows. To what? To inner wildness, and to eventual calm? "Vision" and "Gamut" are portraits, perhaps, of the recesses of our inner anatomies, at once organic and ominous. "My Prayer," on the other hand, is a tornado of red and sunsets of green, obliquely revealing a haunting woman's face. "Our Kibbutz" is a set of five panels that approximate a rough sequence of waves and blots simulating fireworks and lava lamps, to end, like the other painting, to a portrait of sorts of a smudged-up woman. "The Works" is a splatter of red simulating palm trees in a nuclear sunset, a theme which bleeds to "Breathe," which shows a stark landscape of the shadows of barren trees and ruined buildings, all shrouded in purple decadence.

Two women with singular views on viewing the numinous, reflecting our individual responses to the ethereal, the ritualistic, and the meditative.

In that adobe room in that restaurant, the spirits loom, bursting out of the canvasses and finally into our lives.

(The exhibit runs until February 24, in CocoAmigos, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:30 AM | Here's the Call

I'm tired of complaining that things do not happen in Dumaguete. There's a famous witticism about journalism that goes, "If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody was there to report it, did the tree really fall?"

Exactly.

I think it must be the same about life in general. If you complain too much about how things around you disappoint, and yet you do nothing to rectify anything, are you really just putting your foot where your mouth is?

So, in the next months, I will report on things that do happen in this city. There are exhibits and an art festival that are mushrooming all over. Joey Ayala came over for the weekend and gave us a night to remember. And a British actress is coming to town soon, courtesy of the good folks at the British Council, to give us a one-woman act about a 100-year old circus performer narrating her myriad lives while performing the trapeze. (That I gotta see.) Perhaps reporting on such will awaken people to the fact that they indeed have something to crow about living in the perfect doldrums we call our town.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:30 AM | Here's the Call

I'm tired of complaining that things do not happen in Dumaguete. There's a famous witticism about journalism that goes, "If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody was there to report it, did the tree really fall?"

Exactly.

I think it must be the same about life in general. If you complain too much about how things around you disappoint, and yet you do nothing to rectify anything, are you really just putting your foot where your mouth is?

So, in the next months, I will report on things that do happen in this city. There are exhibits and an art festival that are mushrooming all over. Joey Ayala came over for the weekend and gave us a night to remember. And a British actress is coming to town soon, courtesy of the good folks at the British Council, to give us a one-woman act about a 100-year old circus performer narrating her myriad lives while performing the trapeze. (That I gotta see.) Perhaps reporting on such will awaken people to the fact that they indeed have something to crow about living in the perfect doldrums we call our town.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow10:30 AM | Here's the Call

I'm tired of complaining that things do not happen in Dumaguete. There's a famous witticism about journalism that goes, "If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody was there to report it, did the tree really fall?"

Exactly.

I think it must be the same about life in general. If you complain too much about how things around you disappoint, and yet you do nothing to rectify anything, are you really just putting your foot where your mouth is?

So, in the next months, I will report on things that do happen in this city. There are exhibits and an art festival that are mushrooming all over. Joey Ayala came over for the weekend and gave us a night to remember. And a British actress is coming to town soon, courtesy of the good folks at the British Council, to give us a one-woman act about a 100-year old circus performer narrating her myriad lives while performing the trapeze. (That I gotta see.) Perhaps reporting on such will awaken people to the fact that they indeed have something to crow about living in the perfect doldrums we call our town.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Saturday, February 19, 2005

entry arrow9:22 AM | Big Words for Dummies

Resty Odon is wondering about writers and big words. And how he hates it when people use big words just to impress. I happen to agree, but I also think that all these considerations are largely... well, relative. (There goes a big word!) Take yesterday, for example. Some marmoset in my class complained I use big words she can't understand daw. Words like "delicatessen." Or "symbiotic." Or "introvert." Or "conformity." Or, the worst: "opinion."

Eh? Those are big words? You asinine, anserous imbecile! (The marmoset, not Resty.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow9:22 AM | Big Words for Dummies

Resty Odon is wondering about writers and big words. And how he hates it when people use big words just to impress. I happen to agree, but I also think that all these considerations are largely... well, relative. (There goes a big word!) Take yesterday, for example. Some marmoset in my class complained I use big words she can't understand daw. Words like "delicatessen." Or "symbiotic." Or "introvert." Or "conformity." Or, the worst: "opinion."

Eh? Those are big words? You asinine, anserous imbecile! (The marmoset, not Resty.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow9:22 AM | Big Words for Dummies

Resty Odon is wondering about writers and big words. And how he hates it when people use big words just to impress. I happen to agree, but I also think that all these considerations are largely... well, relative. (There goes a big word!) Take yesterday, for example. Some marmoset in my class complained I use big words she can't understand daw. Words like "delicatessen." Or "symbiotic." Or "introvert." Or "conformity." Or, the worst: "opinion."

Eh? Those are big words? You asinine, anserous imbecile! (The marmoset, not Resty.)


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Friday, February 18, 2005

entry arrow11:43 PM | How Stressed Are You?

The pictures below have been used to test the level of stress a person can handle. The slower the pictures move, the better your ability of handling stress is.









Alleged criminals see them spinning around madly, while senior citizens and kids see them still.

(So, are you a criminal?)

[emailed in by susan lara]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:43 PM | How Stressed Are You?

The pictures below have been used to test the level of stress a person can handle. The slower the pictures move, the better your ability of handling stress is.









Alleged criminals see them spinning around madly, while senior citizens and kids see them still.

(So, are you a criminal?)

[emailed in by susan lara]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow11:43 PM | How Stressed Are You?

The pictures below have been used to test the level of stress a person can handle. The slower the pictures move, the better your ability of handling stress is.









Alleged criminals see them spinning around madly, while senior citizens and kids see them still.

(So, are you a criminal?)

[emailed in by susan lara]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:01 AM | Welcome to LJ-land

I have an LJ, and this is my newly uploaded icon...



And nobody knows where it is. Bwahahahaha!


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:01 AM | Welcome to LJ-land

I have an LJ, and this is my newly uploaded icon...



And nobody knows where it is. Bwahahahaha!


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:01 AM | Welcome to LJ-land

I have an LJ, and this is my newly uploaded icon...



And nobody knows where it is. Bwahahahaha!


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





Thursday, February 17, 2005

entry arrow3:32 PM | Is That a Banana in Your Pocket...



...or are you just happy to see me?

More sexy fruits in Art Connection's Erotische Fruchte website.

[emailed in by clee]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





entry arrow3:32 PM | Is That a Banana in Your Pocket...



...or are you just happy to see me?

More sexy fruits in Art Connection's Erotische Fruchte website.

[emailed in by clee]


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich





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