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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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Monday, August 26, 2019

entry arrow1:15 AM | Fight On

Sometimes I feel this conviction that all the troubles we’ve been having right now may really be the product of a conservative, even patriarchal, backlash because people of this ilk are becoming increasingly irrelevant in a world that has irrevocably changed for them. Brazil’s Bolsonaro, for example, dragging his heels on the Amazon fire because he does not believe in climate change. Or macho “Christians” who cannot see a world beyond their old-fashioned ideas of gender. But history is a chronicle of change, including the flailings of those who refuse these changes — and perish in irrelevance. We must remember one of the greatest insights about history from Martin Luther King Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Lets fight on and make their irrelevance permanent.

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

entry arrow1:38 PM | Here's to 44

The stars aligned, the heavens responded. I was hoping for the simplest of satisfaction: to be truly happy during my birthday this year. I still remember the terrors of last year, when I could not bring myself to celebrate because I was dealing with a terrifying problem I needed to face -- although outwardly, I had to put on a happy face, and even threw a dinner for visiting friends. This year, I harboured only wishes. But the midnight salubong was intimate and real, the s.o. taking me out for a walk along the Rizal Boulevard under the light of a full moon, which reminded me of the often overlooked [among the locals at least] beauty of my city. Then he told me while we crossed the street: "Remember, people love you. I love you. Your family loves you, your friends love you." And how he said that, so matter-of-factly, touched something deep in me and peeled away all sorts of bottled up fear and recriminations and self-loathing. To be loved, that is a gift. Then we treated ourselves to a huge ice cream parfait. By Saturday morning, I woke up earlier than usual, early enough for me to receive a text from my brother Dennis. He was inviting me for a family lunch, to celebrate the joint birthdays of my mother and me [yes, we share the same birthday]. It turned out to be a huge family affair at Negrense Food Lab: beside my immediate family, a good number of my cousins, my nephews, my nieces, my grandchildren (!!!) were all there: people I have not seen in months, and so there was delight in beholding familiar faces. And it felt just right, starting the day off with kin, the people of my blood. Our lunch was long, our talk carefree and easy-going, it felt like a gift. Then for the rest of the day, I wanted to do something creative. I had already finished putting in the final touches on two new short stories and had sent them out for publication that morning, and so for my birthday afternoon, I felt like doing something more of that sort: I wrote a historical essay about the Sands & Coral, finishing it over late afternoon coffee at Poppy's when the s.o. finally arrived to take me to our birthday celebration: a dinner for two at Adamo, like we always do. It was a sumptuous meal, and Chef Edison dropped by our table for a spirited conversation that must have lasted an hour. Then off to late-night drinks and midnight dinner with more friends, first at Allegre and then Chicco's. I was offline all day, and that made a great difference, I think. The gift I gave myself yesterday was spending time with people I love, and listening to the cravings of my creative side. Thank you to everyone who shared that day with me. Here's to 44.

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

entry arrow1:45 AM | Salubong

“There are two great days in a person’s life: the day we are born and the day we discover why.” 

~ William Barclay

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

entry arrow4:52 PM | The Griefs of Childhood

Rarely do you find a film that mines fantastically the nuances of childhood. Carla Simón's Estiu 1993 [Summer 1993] (2017) does it with naturalistic flair: it follows an orphan in Barcelona whose parents have died of AIDS as she moves to her uncle's family in the Catalan countrysides. There, she negotiates, in her inchoate ways, many things that can easily break us adults: grief, displacement, subtle prejudices, jealousy, alienation -- all in the nebulous language of one who has no clear conception of the world and its cruelties. A huge part of the film's strengths is its characters: the story is peopled with gentle characters -- especially the adoptive family who embodies grace and love. The film presents tension now and then, but always with the knowledge that we are following good people. The film takes its time and follows almost religiously the day-to-day rituals of childhood, and it is not for those without patience -- but when one chooses to be fully in Frida's world, the rewards are infinite. It will break and make your heart full in equal measure.

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