"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Monday, January 29, 2007

looking for war

"It is well that war is so terrible;
else we would grow too fond of it."

-- Gen. Robert Edward Lee

i blame stephen crane's the red badge of courage for heightening my level of interest in war. i finally got around to reading the book last week and it left me thinking about war so much.

now, i'm like an addict clamoring for war-related stories, war movies, and even stories and movies that are not exactly about war but with war as a backdrop. got something in mind which you'd like to share?

sure, war is ugly. it doesn't matter whether it's fought so primitively with teeth, bare hands, sticks and stones, axes and swords, or with guns, missiles and bombs. it's ugly. it is a monster that scars not just fighters in the war zones but even mere spectators and generations yet to exist as well. it displaces and disrupts not only populations but philosophies and psychologies, too.

although ugly, although terrible, war is exciting. i'm not saying this because i like war. i don't. i'm not an advocate of war. i already said it's ugly. nevertheless, i'm interested in it. i'm interested in the way it changes people and dictates the affairs of men. ain't our history in this planet highlighted with stories of war? ain't most of our technological development directed by war -- the preparation for and/or prevention of it? i'm interested in the way war defines our "past", "present", "future", and our humanity.

war is ugly. war is terrible... and there's something about it that keeps me thinking.

as i was reading crane's book, i got the impression that every war, no matter how big or small, makes a gazillion stories. however, due to the complex nature of humankind, a lot of these stories would always be left untold. a story (or stories, for that matter) could either die or live with every war victim -- whether officer, soldier, family, descendant -- without being passed on.

i remembered my grandfather who died of complications due to old age a few months ago. during his burial, a gun-salute was done in his honor. he was a war veteran. he fought during the second world war. but we never got to know what the war meant for him because he never spoke about it so openly.

i remembered, too, a line from the "speech of surrender" aired from corregidor during the fall of bataan on april 9, 1942: "men fighting under the banner of unshakeable faith are made of something more than flesh, but they are not made of impervious steel."

war is really something. i... okay, cut. i have no wish to make a thesis out of this. i rambled on and on when all i intended was to ask for titles of war stories and war movies i might have missed. haha.

aside from war, i'm also currently interested in:

fruit carving -- because i saw paolo bediones giving it a try in thailand's carving institute no less. speaking of paolo, i'm glad he and miriam quiambao are together in one show again.

spywork -- detective work, whatever you call it. intellectual stimulation. mental challenge. something for the adrenaline. what else? i think i have the knack for it.

stupid movies -- they're no-brainers. they're fun. and i'm sarcastic.

a passport with a red jacket -- why red? because i am ambitious. you could say diplomat-ic thinking (and my equally crazy friends could say, "in preparation for world domination"). plus, it's free to dream.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

day 86

"Be on your feet, don't just exist!"
-- Love and Live

i feel compelled to mention the virtual overpass again...

my friends and i created it a few years ago over yahoo! messenger. its construction started rather vague. it was conceived out of juvenile fun but it came to exist anyway -- at least, in our conversations.

constructed in good humor. a grand by-product of long-time friendship. a buffer and comfort zone. our virtual overpass. an overpass connecting philcoa and cagayan de oro. an expressway for hopeful people spending time away from home, yearning for home and hometown friends. the great bridge connecting our metro manila and our mindanao.

in the early days of its existence, one of my friends reported that she fell through a hole in our grand structure and had to go back to where she started instead of reaching her destination. i figured then that it was just a 'glitch in the matrix' -- something we could very well fix considering the potent combo of our talents.

fast-forward to 2007, i don't know if we ever got around to pooling our talents together to fix the glitch -- what with our busy schedule and all. perhaps the glitch fixed itself, who knows? what i do know is this: our playful imagination brought to life the virtual overpass which, to this day, continues to exist because my friends and i have not lost the capacity to imagine and enjoy with child-like delight -- even just for a fleeting moment -- what we imagine.

i'm currently walking on the virtual overpass that, once upon a time, only connected philcoa and cagayan de oro. the virtual overpass connects a lot of places now. if i keep on walking, who knows where i'll end up standing? who i'll end up meeting? or, if a glitch would manifest itself, where i'll end up falling?

hmmmm... what adventures will i end up having?

Monday, January 15, 2007

2006 year-ender, 2007 year-starter

candid shots courtesy of the trickmeister

"life is beautiful.
always strive to look at it from the right angle."

she tagged me, so i have to do this...

What did you do in 2006 that you’ve never done before?
dragon-boat rowing. tinikling. whitewater rafting.

What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
normal weight.

What date(s) from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
january 8, 2006. clear affirmation of a regained friendship. i was so taken by surprise, i almost fell off my seat.

february 5, 2006. ikot ride misadventure. painful and embarrassing.

february 12, 2006. bisaya bloggers' get-together in sta. mesa. we went inside a brickhouse sooooo grand that we ended up thinking we've reached europe via LRT and jeepney!

may 20, 2006. dragon-boat rowing and amazing (race) saturday adventure with the bisaya bloggers.

august 19, 2006. white-water rafting. high five!

october 15-16, 2006. corregidor trip with malinta tunnel nighttime exploration.

september 29, 2006. milenyo experience.

december 9-10, 2006. higgle-haggle adventure in divisoria and greenhills... with a sidetrip to mall of asia.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
productive juggling... juggling work, acads, books, movies, travel&adventure, family&friends...

What was your biggest failure?
i lost my cool and had a really nasty word fight with my sister last november after she complained about the shadow that i cast on her / on them.

What was the best thing you bought?
for myself, an iPaQ with biometric analyzer at a bargain price (yey, eBay worked for me!) and a nice pair of black tribu sandals.

for another person, 1:10 F1 RC race car.

Did you suffer illnes or injury?
kaayo! i fell off the ikot jeep, remember?

Whose behavior merited celebration?
mine... (how self-absorbed, eh?)

What did you really, really get excited about?
white-water rafting and malinta tunnel nighttime visit... unparalleled thrill factor!

What songs will always remind you of 2006?
seasons of love (from the musical RENT, the movie version of which was released last year). it's more-than-a-decade-old song with beautiful lyrics and lively melody.

sarangeengayo (OST of goong a.k.a. princess hours, in korean at that). blame my goong addiction for this!

boom tarat tarat. pffft! enough said.

Compared to this time last year, I am…
more relaxed.

What do you wish you’d done more?
traveled home more times than i actually did. acquired and read more books. watched more movies. wrote more.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

How many one-night stands?
ewwww... i don't engage in such things.

What was your fave TV program?
only you during early part of 2006. princess hours during the late part of 2006.

What was the best book you’ve read?
this is hard. i can't choose among love in the time of cholera (gabriel garcia marquez), one hundred years of solitude (gabriel garcia marquez), by the river piedra i sat down and wept (paulo coelho), and eleven minutes (paulo coelho).

What was your greatest musical discovery?
that it's possible to sing both anak and theme from a love story in a rough way and they'd still sound good.

What was your fave film of the year?
march of the penguins. i adore those penguins.

What did you do on you bday, and how old were you?
party with the clan. i turned 24.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
more of the usual... except that they were mostly in pink and yellow.

What kept you sane?

Which celebrity figure did you fancy the most?
shin-goon! he's a fictitious celebrity figure. again, blame my goong addiction.

todo na 'to!

at first you won't root for him because he's damn cold but, as he starts to suffer pangs of jealousy and his sensitive side unfolds, his character starts to grow on you.

and, well, if you see him beaming that way, you get reminded of "happily ever after" possibilities for him and his princess. kilig! what more if you throw in his teddy bear... awww, very cute.

What political issue stirred you the most?
raul gonzales. he is a political issue himself. gawd, why is he still in the payroll?

Who did you miss…in Manila?
this question confused me. when i was in manila, i kept missing my family and some friends. when i came home to iligan, i missed the friends that i left there.

Who was the best new person you met?
kuya edward, the one who guided us through the laterals and sub-laterals of the malinta tunnel in corregidor... in the sense that he had this aura of being down-to-earth and very accommodating.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:

What was the nicest thing someone told you about yourself?
weng: "all of the universe conspired so you'd have something to fight for. you can, that's why"

The most touching experience you’ve had this year?
i can't decide which of these tops the rest:

getting an unexpected call from my mother last july because she missed me -- she called at a time when i was also thinking of calling her.

a good friend took time off from work just to attend my thesis defense -- it was unexpected because i didn't ask for it.

a shower of unexpected kindness from people i encountered in my most dreaded place, the airport.

notice that the experiences which i consider touching are all unexpected.

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2006 and change something, what would it be?
if i could go back to that time when i got so drunk that i couldn't remember a thing, i'd manipulate circumstances so i could have an independent recollection of my most bangag moments.

What are your plans for 2007?
secret! that will do.

How are you different now that the year has ended?
older and wiser and stronger... and crazier?

What are your wishes for the new year?
a new work environment. more happy doses. world peace?

wanna be tagged? worry not, you're tagged! you have to do this, too. ;-)

Monday, January 08, 2007

my happy holidays

"When all dust is settled and all the crowds are gone,
the things that matter are faith, family, and friends"

happy new year, everyone!

let me show you glimpses of how my holiday season has been...

eventhough some of us weren't around for the annual christmas party -- some are currently out of the country, some are somewhere else in the country -- my christmas day was warmly spent with titas, titos, cousins, and family friends on my mother's side.

because christmas ain't christmas enough when spent far from the company of people who truly matter, come high or low water... we always spend it together.

12.25.06 christmas day with the family circle:
some of my cousins and i

the days after that...

12.28.06 foodtrip, joyride, and videoke with the gal pals
rose, travel buddy, cinema buddy, i: kami na naman??

12.28.06 our high school's grand alumni homecoming

12.28.06 ids99 peeps at the reunion

12.28.06 a just-before-midnight trip

12.29.06 revisiting buhanginan

buhanginan is a hill and is the location of iligan city's seat of government. as an elevated area, it provides a good view of the city proper's physical layout.

i went there with my friends and godson kenj to inspect my future office. i'm running for mayor this coming election, you know. it's time for me to challenge the incumbent. uhm, what am i saying?! nyah, nyah, i'm only kidding.

12.30.06 yeah, timoga!!!

12.30.06 ids99 peeps in timoga

12.30.06 enjoying water that's flowing, icy cold, and crystal clear!

just so you know how i'm doing: i'm home, happy, and enjoying my well-earned bum-time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

i think i got it bad

"If you stay beside me, I might break your wings."

i can't believe i succumbed to goong addiction. what can i say? with princess hours, resistance is futile!!!

goong a.k.a princess hours
with joo ji-hoon (JJH) as crown prince shin
and yoon eun-hye (YEH) as chae-gyeong

goong (palace in english), which is also popular as princess hours, is a high-budget korean teledrama and is based on a popular comic book series of the same title. its story revolves around a 19-year old korean crown prince and a young-and-bubbly common beauty who find themselves in an arranged marriage they both did not want but nevertheless agreed to. the tv series had its successful run in korea during the early part of 2006 and has since created a huge following in other countries.

so what's with goong?

is it the confusing romance between the main characters, prince shin and chae-gyeong? his indifference? the way he hides his true feelings? his disarming smiles? her eccentric but charming ways? her free-spirited personality? the love triangles they find themselves in? the intrigues? the cutie cute cute portayals? the elaborate sets? the musical score? the comic twists? the colors? the sights? the dressed-up, cuddly teddy bears? i say, all those... and something more.

when i first saw the princess hours teaser, i got interested in the series right away and i decided not to settle for the dubbed version. my sisters and i must have noisily conspired about it one day because the day after that my father brought home a dvd copy of, yes, princess hours!!! ain't my father cool?

...and so it happened that my sisters and i ended up spending much of our time in front of the tv set, watching a marathon of princess hours. we became such goong addicts, our dvd player gave up on us twice.

i became such a goong addict, i resolved to start my own teddy bear collection. in fact, i soooooo want to own a replica of prince shin's alfred teddy bear. i don't care if it's expensive and has to come all the way from south korea, I WANT IT. i want to get hold of the manwha, too!

p.s. i'm far from getting over my goong addiction. last night, i started with episode 1 of 24 again; i watched with my mother -- i think she's our new recruit to goong-camp. yiheee!
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