Bring out the old, bring in the new A midnight wish to share with you Your lips are warm, my head is light, Were we in love before tonight? I don't need a crowded ballroom, everything I want is here If you're with me, next year will be the perfect year
Before we play some dangerous game; Before we fan some harmless flame We have to ask if this is wise And if the game is worth the prize With this wine and with this music How can anything be clear? Let's wait and see, it may just be the perfect year
It's New Year's Eve, and hopes are high Dance one year in, kiss one good-bye Another chance, another start So many dreams to tease the heart. We don't need a crowded ballroom, Everything we want is here And face to face, we will embrace, the perfect year We don't need a crowded ballroom, everything we want is here And face to face, we will embrace, the perfect year
Here's wishing you all the blessings the coming year may bring... It has been a rough tumble for me this year, yet I am thankful that I'm coming out of it a better person.
There was once a tiny star; the tiniest star in the universe. He wasn't a popular star, nor was he noticeable, but he was a good star. One day, an angel asks the tiny star to accompany him to light the way of the newborn King; and the tiny star, excited, agreed. For he had seen many a big star herald the birth of great kings. The angel said, "This baby will be the greatest of Kings." And so they went across the vast universe, for the journey was long, and the angel had much to do. The tiny star was led to a tiny town and told to place himself above a humble stable. Again the angel asked of him, "Stay thou here, and give him light. For I will bring this good news unto the people of the world." And the angel went on his way. The tiny star looked down into the stable. He beheld a man, his wife, and a sleeping child kept warm in a manger. At the tiny star's heart leaped and he smiled. He never understood why, but he took a deep breath and mustered all his strength to burn bright; So bright that learned men that studied the stars could see him through the skies, and follow his path. And the bigger stars said to him, "Do not burn so bright and waste your fire. For if you do so, you will die." But the tiny star ignored them and kept on burning, keeping watch of the child in the manger, guiding shepherds to that tiny stable, and later learned men with gifts for the tiny King. The big stars could only look on, as he burned even brighter than the biggest of them. And when he exhausted himself and knew his job was done, he asked the angel to find another star to give the king light for he knew he would not last any longer. And the angel said, "No other star but you will light this king." The tiny star took his last breath and burned to his last ember. But God in his place in heaven made sure that we will remember. And so every year, come this time, we hang a star above us, in memory of the tiny star that burned bright for all of us to know "the King of Kings is born!"
I have seen some pretty despicable behaviour in my time, but none like what I shall comment on here. Yes, I'm back on my high horse yet I shall be strapping myself real tight on this one.
Now, for most of you who have known me or have been reading my blog posts, you pretty much have an idea how I am an amusing contradiction of sorts [Here I go again talking about myself]. Then again, it would not be the swirling mist in my head if it were not so. But for the benefit of the rest, a little introduction.
Some of you may recall that I am passionate about Devotional and Religious Art; and for some years now, have been studying Roman Catholic Iconography in practice and in relation to symbols outside the Christian realm [i.e. Pagan, Pre-Columbian, non-Christian religions etcetera].
Sidebar: A little part of me wants to write this in... As a dear elderly friend of mine once pointed out, "Bakit ang mga bakla habang tumatanda, nahihilig sa mga Santo?" [Why do most gays, as they get older, seem to grow fond of religious images?] As she noted the growing number of homosexuals who own religious images being taken out for processions and exhibitions.
Having said that, I was sort of witness to something that happened at a discussion thread in one of many Flickr groups devoted to the local Religious Arts. At first I found it rather amusing when the exchanges started. But sooner or later there was tension in the discussions , and looking closely at the points of some -which were up for correction- and having responded to it myself to the best of my research and knowledge, I did some investigating and was surprised with what I found.
You see, as much as I have been dedicated to the discussions in Flickr, I never bothered much with the personal lives of the people behind the accounts. When other friends -some of whom I have met through Flickr- would tell me about certain individuals and their notoriety, I let it pass for it's none of my business. But Temperance, being the virtue that it is, reaches its limit; and I have no Patience for the pretentious.
In my snooping around, perhaps the most telling of all is this statement from someone whom I respect the most. And I quote, "Kasi itong mga baklang ito, ginagawang hunting ground ang mga cofradia para maghanap ng kaka-ririn!" Roughly, "These homosexuals are using these religious organizations as hunting grounds for hook-ups!" To which many a pathetic tale have I heard about homosexuals commissioning religious images so that they can join exhibits to see which other image owners they can meet there and who knows what.
WAIT! Let me add another strap on my high horse....
While I am all for the beauty that comes with owning a religious image, however, there are certain responsibilities attached to that beauty. And as much as some of us have been guilty of treating them as life-sized dolls, there are those that advocate a proper aesthetic and the appropriate practice of commissioning and dressing up images. Add to that, I think as owners, we are also responsible for keeping the dignity of our religious images by not getting embroiled in certain scandalous behaviours that would result to ill-repute and destructive rumors about one's person. Case in point, I would not be broadcast as someone who had a naughty few minutes with two more fellow santo enthusiasts at the back of a van performing fellatio, nor should one be known for being caught in a love triangle wherein the resulting tension would spill over at a discussion thread on religious art, nor will i join an exhibition of religious images just to scope out and flirt away.
Thus, I can say, I'm not that pathetic. Bwahahahaha!!!
I'm no hypocrite, but work is work and my personal devotion and study is separate from that. It's no secret I curated a male nude photography exhibit, but I don't think I have compromised any of my other values with that -as I have mentioned, I'm a walking contradiction. Keeping up appearances is crucial and is a mark of a responsible individual, no matter what some may think of it. Because it has weight in the vernacular, I shall say this, "Bigyan niyo naman ng kahihiyan ang mga Santo ninyo."
Before I continue, let me respond to one comment about the way I write. I do understand that it takes some getting used to, and the way I use words -big words to some- isn't the usual brand of writing the majority of you want to read, but the Barefoot Baklesa is not here to write for anyone's approval nor is this blog here to titillate gay sensibilities. There are other blogs that cater to that. Furthermore, I'm not being an elitist about this. Ah well, there goes being unapologetic...
Looking at the members of the Cofradia [Confraternity] seated at the top steps of the Manila Cathedral with their view of the "carrozas" passing before them, I can't help but wonder what was going through their their heads as each of the Marian images went past them.
In typical Filipino festive fashion, the Grand Marian procession is not without its dose of the theatrical; and by theatrical, I do mean beyond the Baroque sensibility that already dominates the folk religious art in this archipelago. Aside from the ubiquitous religious heralds, and escorts, and ladies in attendance, some images of the Virgin Mary are accompanied by a cotery of performers: street dancers, if you may call them such. Dressed in their native and pastoral best, these troupes of dancers come in all ages representing the local festivities associated with the virgin. If the entourage of Our Lady of Turumba was any indication of what is to be expected of others, by the time the image of the Divina Pastor [Divine Shepherdess] emerges from the gate, you will surely get the sense that these people have been waiting for the GMP all year. Thus waiting four hours to emerge from the gate of the fort, isn't really that big a deal.
As we went around the left side of the Cathedral, past the gaze of the Cofradia, and the army of photographers clicking away, the streets of old Manila seemed to give way to the solemnity that was always associated with a procession. And then by some irony which I have often associated with my view of the world, the marching band before us played tune currently familiar. And by the chorus, I knew what it was. I guess it did not hurt that it had been one of the most well received songs from a previous episode of GLEE: "Just The Way You Are". And I could not help but look up behind me and smile at Nuestra Señora de la Salud and thinking, "Yeah, she loves you just the way you are."
I know some of you that know me will go like, "There goes Niki with his spiritual epiphanies while in the middle of any religious ceremony." But whatever anyone may have to say about it, at least I'm glad I still have that connection with my spirituality.
And whoah will I be on my high horse on this one- Yet looking at some people living the alternative lifestyle who think that getting into clubs, partying all night, bouncing from one co-dependent relationship to another, and worse -being self destructive in whatever they will- I'm glad I still have experiences like this: knowing some higher power is still up there, and i'm better for it.
But I'm getting sidetracked here...
Moving on; I really admired Trina for being such a sport, the black high heeled pumps she wore throughout the procession would give the cilice [that freaky thing the Opus Dei like to use? just google it.] a run for its penitential value. I remember humorously having to count the meters leading to the cathedral as I assisted her with her "bara alta" which by manner of keeping appearances would challenge one's poise and bearing with those pumps -especially at the cobblestone streets adjacent to San Agustin church. Applause goes out to her for having graciously seen it through.
By the time we reached the vicinity of the Manila Cathdral, the "carrozas" that went before us were already parked by the piazza. And as expected, the crowds that gathered were asking for the flowers that decorated the "carroza" -which by local belief, was blessed by the presence of the Virgin and is considered by some as a talisman of sorts. Trust me, if you are an image owner and have been taking out religious images for procession, you will dread this moment the most. Trying to control devotees from grabbing what they will from the floral displays would also run the risk of breaking the light fixtures and damaging the carroza -or worse- the image itself.
But thankfully, even with the barrage of devotees waiting to get those white flowers, Djaja's "carroza" survived and found a place to park by the piazza. And to my surprise, the image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, was yet to emerge from the gate. Trina found a convenient place to sit and rest her feet while with "bara alta" on hand, I tried to catch glimpses of some of the many Marian images that have come to rest in the vicinity with camera on hand attempting to capture those that I had missed.
I was glad to catch another friend, Becco [Benjamin Concepcion Esquirres Empleo -you see, I'm not the first to have such a long name] who was to be my company until the end of the evening. As we saw to it that Trina had settled herself in the car and returned the "bara alta" to Djaja's custody, Becco and I went to the gate which the remaining images of the Blessed Mother waited to emerge. It was almost past 7:30 in the evening and the "Festejada" image of the Virgin was still biding her time.
And typical of me and a fellow enthusiast in the local religious arts, we went into our usual discussions about silver "carrozas", gold thread embroidery, ivory carving, and the list goes on. And in doing so, we seem to have lost Djaja and the others. Understandably tired, I knew they had to go ahead and get their rest. So Becco and I decided to catch what was left of the GMP in front of the cathedral. We found a place to sit and chanced upon a fellow Flickr member, Ohmel, who was in town after being abroad for work.
Of all the questions that came from Becco that evening, this struck me the most: "If you had the resources and an image of the Virgin to spare, would you join the Grand Marian Procession?"
And I replied objectively, "It would be nice, but that would be one logistical nightmare for me. Knowing how I get during holy week processions obsessing over the tiniest detail, I don't think I'll be able to survive a GMP. I'll just be happy to see friends take out their images, and help out when given the chance." Ehem, paging Tito Jojo Canlas!!! Hehehehehe.
Remember the commentary I made about the Cofradia a little earlier, about the GMP becoming sort of becoming their amusement, Becco thought the same too. In the vernacular he said, " Alam ko na sila ang Cofradia at nagpapakain sila ng mga kababayan natin, pero alam mo isa lang ito sa mga aliwan nila." I hope I got that right... Roughly translated for my readers from Thailand and the UK [Oh yes, I do...] "I know they are the Confraternity and they have their charity work, but this is only one of their amusements." Having said that, and whatever the GMP may seem or mean to anyone, it's the Virgin Mary that is queen, and her glory in all of this is all that matters. [Oh look, that last one was cannon fodder for the fundamentalist sects out there.]
After the Festejada image of the Immaculate Conception had passed, and the other images have made their way back to the piazza, Becco and I started going around to take photographs of the icons that still had their lights on. It's nice to have shared this experience with friends... Congratulations to Djaja for the "primera salida" of the Nuestra Señora de la Salud, and my profoundest thanks for letting me be part of it. And here's to Becco, I'm praying for thy intentions as well.
I have been a Marian devotee for some time now, but my devotion is very specific and limited. And as much as I love the artistry that comes with Roman Catholic devotion, I was unable to attend the Grand Marian Procession within old Manila's historical quarter called Intramuros [thus named for being “within the walls”] until this year. And considering that every Roman Catholic educational institutional I have attended since time immemorial have always declared the Feast of Immaculate Conception on December 8th school free, I can't really explain why I never bothered attending the GMP.
I have read about it in some book and would always participate in discussions of Marian Iconography, yet somehow people would always seem aghast when I would declare my non-attendance to what they regard as the jewel of all Marian Processions in the country. But by saying that, it would be unfair of me not to mention the side commentary that has always been associated with the GMP at Intramuros; that it was -by default- a fashion show. Upon asking a friend of mine a day before if he was attending, he responded nonchalant, “I don't attend that Fashion show.”
Yes, I know that some of us in the ranks of those that own religious images are often guilty of being “over the top” when it comes to processions in general to the point that we can make finials of ostrich feathers and cherry blossoms from twigs and spangles, I am one that stands by and believes in self-control and constant editing lest I find myself in the throes of the “overkill”.
But it is kind of different for me these past two years, for I have made a few friends that have been immersed in Marian devotions long before that life changing experience I had around four years ago when I could say for certain -for a brief moment in time, in those sacred seconds- that I felt God had walked the earth. Therefore, I opted to attend this year. A good friend of mine, Sonny Djajakusuma, who is also responsible for helping with the repairs of my processional image of Saint Mary of Bethany will be taking out his new image of the Nuestra Señora de la Salud for this year's GMP. However, this will not be the first time he will be joining for he hath taken out another image of the Virgin, the Nuestra Señora de Alta Gracia -which he opted not to take out this year. Also, Djaja was the one who took me to my first La Naval procession last October which I endured with a sprained back supported by a cane. To those of you that know me, I am averse to anything of the Dominican order that I avoided them. But it was an enlightening experience.
But before I proceed any further, I would like to give those of you who are unfamiliar, a brief backgrounder on what the Grand Marian Procession is all about. You see, every year on December 8th, the traditional date of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, The Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception has been organizing a yearly procession of images of the Virgin Mary in the infinite variety of her titles and the many devotions associated with her in the Philippine Archipelago since about two or so decades ago. Marian Images from all over the country are brought to the walls of the historic quarter for an annual procession with the image of the Immaculate Conception as the last to come out in celebration of the Feast. Through the years, aside from the traditional Marian images that are venerated all over the country, many other titles and incarnations of her have joined the procession thus making it a grander display in the years that followed. And this year, I believe that the total images that came out already reached a hundred.
I arrived about 55 minutes late that cloudy December afternoon. They said it would start at exactly 4:00pm, which to my surprise it did considering the cliché of Filipino time not starting on the dot. By the time I made my way to the street that led to Fort Santiago where the procession started from, it was already the 50th image of the Virgin Mary that I beheld. Part of me was wondering if my friend Djaja's image of the blessed mother already passed or was still about to emerge from the gates of Real Fuerza de Santiago blaming myself for moving too slow that day.
Then I felt this energy emanating from the processional line; from afar my eyes could make out an image of the blessed mother encased in a silver baldacchine borne on the shoulders of her devotees locally called an “andas”, being danced and swayed left and right to the music of a marching band. Behind her, a youthful crowd of more than a hundred enticing revelry as they went past us. It was the Nuestra Señora de Turumba of Pakil, a town in Laguna about three hours drive away from Manila. She was a relatively small image of the Sorrowful Mother, that gained the title Turumba which was derived from the local word “tumba” which translates to topple or tumble by the way she is danced as by those who bear her on their shoulders. With digital camera on hand, the hairs on the back of my neck did stand like that time years ago when I stood at some corner of the Quiapo district of Manila during the biggest procession celebrating the feast of the image of the Black Nazarene.
There was something about that congregation from Pakil that kept me mesmerized. There I was recalling the legend why the locals had to dance and incite cheers for the grieving image of the Blessed Mother. It is said that centuries ago, faithful of Pakil began dancing and cheering so that the Dolorous image of the Blessed Mother shall shed tears no more. And in doing so, they attributed many a miracle to this devotional activity. And some people ca take this with a grain of salt, but of all the artistic incarnations of the Blessed Mother there, this was the only one that made me feel she was there with me, at that very moment. I guess it's different for other people...
And true to my luck -which one has attested to be unfair to the rest of the world- my friend Djaja's image of Nuestra Señora de la Salud emerged from the gate of the fort in her stunning tiered “carroza” [processional carriage/platform] bedecked with white flowers. Her visage of carved ivory and hands of the same precious material bore in her hands the Christ child also with head and hands carved of the same; both dressed in rich fabrics exquisitely embroidered in gold thread. I expected nothing less of Djaja who knew the ins and outs of composing religious images from scratch. His knowledge of carvers, suppliers, gold thread embroiderers and other related ateliers would produce no less than excellently finished images that reflected his unfailing devotion to the Virgin Mary.
I would not miss this for the world, so I cut my way into the crowd and made it to the processional line just in time to join Djaja's processional party. Before them was a marching band and altar boys who bore the standard of the Virgin, one burned incense on a censer, and some others lit her way; and just after them the young lady that accompanied the Blessed Virgin Mary, Trina Ballesteros wore a Traje de Mestiza [traditional formal Filipina female dress made famous by Imelda Marcos during her time] in iridescent green and black with a classic faux tortoise shell comb sans the soft mantolin as that of the Spanish fashion; on her right hand, she held a “bara alta” -a metal staff with a finial of pressed or worked metal that held the image of the Virgin she accompanied.
As we turned the corner to the front the Manila Cathedral, each image of the Virgin Mary was introduced to the crowd, recalling the history of the devotion to a particular title of hers, which town or family the image comes from, and the sponsors that have helped them in this year's procession. Kind of like a candidate at a beauty pageant in the simplest sense. Upon the steps of the cathedral sat the members of the confraternity in their formal traditional best and blue and white sashes. They were composed of society's elite, a majority of them with their hyphenated family names so familiar to me in the many times I have been in the same room with them or have heard mentioned in conversation. As we went past them, I could not help but feel as if this was all for their sheer delight and entertainment...
“La beauté de visage est un fréle ornement, une fleur passagère, un éclat d'un moment. Et qui n'est attaché qu à la simple epiderme.”
“Beauty of face is a frail ornament, a passing flower, a momentary brightness belonging only to the skin.” MOLIERE
Curator's Notes: Vulnerability and the Male Nude Form
How does one look at the naked human form devoid of any emotion? In our barest, we are vulnerable; and that vulnerability by sheer sight is transferred to the one that views the image stirring emotions that may last for a fraction of a millisecond or may affect him all his life.
Throughout the ages of man, in their infinite variety, Artists have attempted to capture the beauty of the human form. Our museums are a testament to the many paintings and sculptures that have defined movement after movement in Art History. From archaic forms in pottery, frescoes, to sophisticated Renaissance statuary, and paintings that attempted to capture the fleeting quality of light and shadow, we are given an insight as to the zeitgeist of every age that required Art to be as it is: a reflection of the age.
The human body was glorified and vilified as it was seen through time. The naked body was viewed by the Greeks as the perfect final note of the song of creation, the Romans used the strong male form as propaganda for power and conquest, the early Christians saw an almost naked crucified man as the triumph of salvation while frowned upon nudity anywhere else and saw it as a catalyst for immorality, while the Renaissance Men viewed it as a challenge to represent in their masterworks.
But the fascination with the naked form has always been subjected to the changing morality of the times. In the last restoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the restorers removed the loincloths and covers that were painted over Michelangelo’s naked figures, to bring them back to their former naked glory.
The advent of photography presented the human race with the ability to keep a fleeting moment in time stay as it is for the eyes to behold. And what is most remarkable but most often neglected in their accessibility in the digital age with a click -is that in its earliest days, to take a single photograph took more than just a camera- it required a mastery of light and time by covering and uncovering the lens while counting away the seconds to capture in a thin silver sheet an image that which time may let pass.
The 20th century was the most visual of all the ages of man, anything and everything that can be recorded in still and moving pictures provided us glimpses of history rather than words in a book. But more than history, Photography became a new medium to encapsulate the human form and in itself developed into an art. Technology and the innovations that came forth made photography accessible to almost anyone who can afford it, and as the cliché goes, suddenly just about anyone is a photographer.
But as Thackeray once set in poetry, “Art is long, and time is fleeting”, and this is not an Art History lecture. Yet the point I am making is best presented with that which I have labored to compose here to accompany the exhibition and our choices therein.
I first beheld Ian Felix Alquiros' photographs as an online observer. The sheer number of reactions posted and people that paid attention to his work also had me looking to see what he would post next. Ian's photographs were very simple in their intent, there was nothing too contrived about his subjects nor was there anything too complicated to process. Having taken photography as a requirement in college, a few years before the digital cameras and DSLRs hit the market to the point of over-saturation, I had an appreciation for Ian's style of available light photography for my training was film based [Yes people, it's that thing that comes in a roll encased in a plastic canister that has been replaced by memory cards and sticks.].
While in pre-production for this exhibition, I learned that Ian's preference of subject and the presentation thereof was more of a practical choice in the process of developing his style as a portrait photographer. Time, which he had very little of when he started, was not a luxury he had thus he would opt for shoots that required less prep time. Which meant light, plus model, plus or minus basic articles of clothing, equals photograph.
In this collection, For Your Eyes Only, Ian Felix Alquiros does away with clothing and bathes his subjects with light and the manipulation thereof resulting to a plethora of anatomical forms, a myriad of skin tones, playful innocence, innuendo, erotica [subtle or otherwise depending on the effect], humor, contrast, maturity, stillness, motion, even just plain voyeurism. Therefore the task of grouping and choosing what to feature and what to take away was no walk in the park. My understanding of the male form is influenced by my experience in the aesthetics of painting and sculpture. And still as photographs are, they are stories unto themselves -and stories make for good theater. And by good theater, I do not by any way mean the next nude photo scandal that may surface on the internet which seems to keep the Pinoy psyche entertained by using them as fodder for gossip and cheap entertainment.
What we seek to present here are men who dared to show themselves as they are, as time would have them, in their skin. The reactions it may cause is all up to you.
In the process of choosing which photographs would make it to the final cut, Ian once asked, “Is there something else that you see in my photographs?” -which was surprising but also expected. To which I responded, “Yes.” With a firm resolve that others may be able to see what I see in them; that I am not alone in what I see -or maybe- just maybe, they may see something else.
As a Production Designer by trade, the collection requires a clean sense of theatricality. People may refer to the concept of Zen or Minimalism when one goes about presenting these, but Zen is the least of the initial states of being once you behold these men in their barest. I keep going back to the word Vulnerability, and the transference of it in experiencing these photographs. For it is my firm belief that Art is there to rattle the status quo; but that's just me being noble about it. Plainly, I don't think there's anything wrong about being naked. For in that state of vulnerability, one learns a lot about one's self.
Niki de los Reyes-Torres, PATDAT Production Designer by trade, Symbolist by passion, Curator: For Your Eyes Only
I'm inviting you guys to Ian Felix Alquiros' FIRST ever NUDE Photography exhibition entitled FOR YOUR EYES ONLY on the 10th of December at 6:00pm and the 11th of December at 12:00pm at THE ROOM, 88 Panay Avenue Quezon City
Exhibition Curated by Niki de los Reyes-Torres, PATDAT aka The Barefoot Baklesa
Lately, i don't know if it's a combination of being busy with sudden bouts of procrastination that has been hindering me from posting anything new or maybe i have nothing with any sense to go on about; But trust me, my readership rates at google analytics have been dipping -not that it's much but i do enjoy the clicks... come on, we're not out here blogging just for our personal pleasure to read -that would be too absurd even to the vainest of all of us.
So I leave you with something to think about today, because I have been stuck with certain pages of my book and it's taking a while to write/move on:
"Like are we writing for Art? And is Art a springboard for fame? And will fame give us a paycheck? And will a paycheck mean that we're sellouts? And if we sellout, will they yell out me and you?"
Remember how I often refer to my postings as "the swirling mist in my head"? Well, i often wonder if what i'm going on about here makes sense to some, or if I seem to be blabbering on about random things that catch my fancy, or getting emotional and passionate about -well, just about anything...
Just now, I found a curious message in my inbox... it was a long read, and a juicy one at that. Before I actually make a response to his dilemma, I'm going to ask him if I can feature it in The Barefoot Baklesa blog. I think what he went through and what I have to say about it I reckon is something we can all learn from.
Until then, i leave you with Bernadette Peters singing "Not A Day Goes By" from Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along
I will have to admit, there are days when I can be undeniably shallow... Next to great food, eye candy and the continuous sight thereof keeps a smile on my face longer than the balance of my bank account. Maybe that's why I enjoy 'people watching' from the odd corners of cafes and lounges which i frequent.
Back when we were in training to be writers, we taught the skill of observation: to see what stories people's actions tell. But I'm getting way off topic here, I need to be shallow.
I woke up today, considering the obvious lack of sleep, with what one calls "a spring in my step"... There was something in the air, I sensed.
As i was checking stuff online, I was reminded that five years ago today, a Korean boyband of 13 members strong was launched: SUPER JUNIOR.
[oh yeah, this was from years ago... look at the hair on these boys!]
I have to admit, I became a fan very late in Super Junior's existence. How late? Well, only early this year... That gives me four years I need to catch up on. Trust me, the pretty boy overload wasn't something I came to regret.
So, even with the racist slurs actress Lee Da Hae has thrown my people's way by poking fun at how Filipino teachers speak/teach the Koreans the English language, the very fact that Super Junior still keeps a smile on my face when I watch them trumps the latest uncouth comment from a second rate actress. Thank you, Super Junior [*sigh*]
You see, there's something about SUJU that appeals to me [Siwon and Donghae perhaps? Hehehehe] which I can't really find with the guys from U-kiss, Beast, or 2PM. Although 2PM's Nichkun would make for the cutest cuddle-mate, and I could stare at Eli of U-Kiss for hours on end, they don't have that "lift my spirits" kind of vibe that SUJU has on me.
These guys [SUJU] look like they're having fun all the time. Which is evident when I look at their performance concepts that they have a sense of humor about themselves with the cross dressing and the antics.
The Barefoot Baklesa wishes SUPER JUNIOR a happy five years in the biz; and here's wishing they keep making me -I meant- more people happy.
I leave you with the very first SUPER JUNIOR song I ever saw, "Haengbok" or "Happiness"
"Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death." ~James F. Byrne
I often wonder how I survive ~for the most part... You see, the life of a full time theater artist is not really the most lucrative and most secure of all job options out there. You go by project, by paycheck, and by sheer gumption in getting hired.
The rate of how busy I seem to some does not always equate to peso signs flashing on my way to the bank. Sometimes it takes 90 days -a bit of an inside joke there for those of you who get my drift. When it comes to my career as a Production Designer, I earn and I get by... And it doesn't hurt that I know of many other ways to earn from my myriad of skills; which more often that not, still surprise me. And now that the holiday season hath begun, I reckon the Barefoot Baklesa shall be wreaking havoc on them Christmasy things that would do Martha Stewart proud.
I am not beneath common labor; work is work. My upbringing has taught me the value of a hard day's work, and at the crunch, I wouldn't put it past me that I can be found at the battens of a theater if something needs to get done -I like working with my hands. Trust me, sleeping on plywood in an unoccupied tenant space at one of the biggest malls in the country just to catch some sleep during a bloody three-day set-up is already crossed out on my "things to experience" list.
Maybe what I'm getting at here is, everyday we all must take chances and that we must risk it to get to where we want to be.
I take a chance with what I know, with what i can do, with what I feel I must accomplish... And with every little victory, I am better for it.
I could have easily taken a creative job that requires me to be in an office environment, but I have been there and I was never happy. Then there was the job that paid like the money would never run out, but the hours it took meant my life expectancy would be down a decade.
It takes very little for me to say "I'm quite happy where I am" and even less to say "I'm happy I did" -and that's because I took a stab at it, sometimes blindly...
Add to that, "the book" -Oh yes, the book that is taking an eternity to get from chapter three to four in a collective twelve- plus more than nine excursus still waiting to be written. Manuscript due date: December 2010; Major Photography due date: February 2010 -no publisher yet...who knows?
I decided to start a recipe series since The Barefoot Baklesa was actually cooking lasagna barefoot when his dear friend, Sandro Lopa, called him The Barefoot Baklesa for the very first time. It was a few days to Halloween back in 2006 when that came to be... And just this evening, I experimented on something that deserves to be the first recipe to post.
The Barefoot Baklesa's Three Mushroom and Grilled Eggplant Pasta [serves 3 to 4 very hungry people] You will need:
250 grams button mushrooms, sliced 250 grams straw mushrooms, quartered 200 grams dried shitake mushrooms, rinsed twice and soaked in distilled water for at least one hour, rinsed a third time and soaked again in distilled water two medium sized garlic bulbs, crushed and minced 4 large eggplants, whole 1 heaping teaspoon dried basil leaves, if fresh ones are available, then substitute 1/4 cup minced 1 and 1/2 cups of either vegetable, chicken, or beef broth -fairly concentrated. if not available, dissolve one instant broth cube in a cup and a half of hot water 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons tomato paste [optional] 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Worcestershire Sauce crushed red pepper flakes 500 grams cooked pasta in flavored pasta brodo, Barefoot Baklesa Style salt, sugar, and pepper to taste Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Preparing the Eggplants With a steel tong, take the eggplants and grill them directly above an open flame -the stove is best if you're in a rush, keep a good watch and turn them constantly. once most of the skin is singed to black and the eggplants are soft, take them off the flame and place them in a large container and cover with plastic cling wrap and let them steam for a few minutes. after they have steamed, take a clean damp kitchen towel or paper towel and run the eggplants against it -this will peel of the singed skin cleanly, if not automatically. chop the eggplants into half inch cubes then set aside.
Pasta Brodo, Barefoot Baklesa Style in a pasta cooking pot, add the proper measure of water to cook your pasta, 1 laurel leaf, a pinch of dried basil leaves, 1 whole broth cube, a few teaspoons of salt -or subsitute liquid amino salts if you're watching your salt intake, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, and a few teaspoons vegetable oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. allow to boil and cook pasta the usual way.
TIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THIS RECIPE, sautee only when the water is boiling and you have just put the pasta in to cook.
2. In a deep non-stick pan or skillet heat 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, flavor the heated oil by sprinkling a dash of crushed red pepper flakes and allow to fry for a while; add garlic and sautee in medium heat until golden -take great care not to burn the garlic.
add in the basil leaves and allow to cook a little before adding the shitake mushrooms, the straw mushrooms, and the button mushrooms, allowing some time for each type of mushroom to cook. sautee for another minute or so after all the mushrooms are in the pan. shake in some Worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
Remember, other than the varieties of mushrooms with a woodsy flavor like the shitake or porccino, most farm cultivated mushrooms are bland and in some cases lightly sweet. thus they require some flavoring from the garlic and spices.
3. After that, add in the chopped grilled eggplants and your choice of broth and the 3 tablespoons tomato paste, bring to a boil and allow to simmer in medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. you will notice the sauce thicken due to the grilled eggplant breaking down during the cooking period. add the balsamic vinegar and allow to boil and simmer once again before stirring.
The tomato paste enhances the basil in the sauce while the balsamic vinegar balances the woodsy flavor of the mushrooms. you can add sugar upon what your taste requires.
4. By this time, the pasta will be cooked al dente. Drain the pasta using tongs or a kitchen spider, do not rinse, and mix them in with the sauce -don't worry about some of the pasta water going into your sauce -it's also flavored anyway.
5. Plate and top with grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.
I also discovered cream cheese goes well with this when still warm... hehehehe!!!
I do hope you enjoyed my first in The Barefoot Baklesa Cooks Series
Hello, blogsphere!!! It's been a while... needless to say, The Barefoot Baklesa has been very, very, very, very, very busy. Some people say that coming up with something and posting it on one's blog is easy; but if i had a punch for every one of those m*th@rf*ck3r$ who come up with nonesense and pass it off as an intelligible blog, then i would beat Pacquiao's punches by a thousand units, at least.
I'd like to share something for now, it's nothing that life-altering but it should give some people something to think about. Here it goes:
"Behind all this, some great happiness is hiding" ~Yehuda Amichai
I remember sending this message to someone not so long ago, without any thought as to what it would really mean to the recipient, nor what it would mean to me, for the meanwhile. If you know me quite well, I often love digging for words that would stir peoples' bored countenances to illicit a change of reaction at least.
The thing with words is that they could go either way... they could have profound meaning to some -life altering even, and sometimes they are just another bunch of letters that are ultimately meaningless [if you don't get them, then the fault is not the author's nor mine to begin with]; to use someone's words: "talksh!t yan" -in their understanding at least.
Maybe what I'm getting at here should be best laid out as lessons hereunder:
"Never believe what you initially feel when people say things that would stir your heart even if you are at your most vulnerable. Especially if your gut tells you that they are doing so because they have a lot to gain from you -and that includes money."
~this is when they can take advantage of your vulnerability. when your walls are down, they will find other ways and words for you to believe that their intentions are true and will use revolting sentimentality [pinagsamahan, bonding, shared tears and laughter, moments of value, etcetera] to manipulate you into believing that they are genuine to begin with.
"People are most likely to fail in keeping their words or promises if they have nothing to gain from it."
~the most genuine of friends are those that even in their absence, and without any expectations, would know when to be one. they never have to try so hard, they never have to say too much, and you will know them by their acts through others that will find their way to you.
"Be careful of people who promise that they won't forget and are grateful for your presence in their lives. They are the first ones to walk out the door or the ones that forget."
~they only say those things because they see that they have much to gain if they are kept in your radar.
"IF YOU HAVE STANDARDS, NEVER DATE BENEATH YOU."
~Sounds a bit elitist but coming from experience, it's true... This applies to all of you who have certain expectations from a partner. I, for example won't date someone who can't get my intellect or my humor. I have had the unfortunate experience of dating someone who needs to be told what you mean rather than understand it immediately. I have no time to guide anyone back to kindergarten. NOR TEACH THEM COMMON SENSE.
Soap opera/movie romances don't apply in real life, the 'haciendero' will never choose the 'muchacha' over his family fortune 95% of the time. And you never hear of the 5% now, do you? But that's just me being literal...
Date within your 'gauged' circle, it doesn't necessarily mean within a specific social class, rather within what you have in common like a sense of humor, tastes, interests, friends, intellectual base, level of openness... I can go on forever, trust me.
"People who make a fuss about what you fail to deliver 'as a friend' are usually the ones who keep count of what they can gain from you. When you unintentionally fail, they are the ones who will make you remember what they have done for you or what they have sacrificed, etcetera."
~beware these users; that's what they are. they display signs of their 'user-friendly attitude' by making such a fuss/arguing with you should you not please their brand of friendship, they are not worth keeping. Mahilig silang magbilang at manumbat.
"PEOPLE WITH SECRETS ARE NEVER TO BE TRUSTED ENTIRELY."
~stay away from people who have SECRETS - especially that which you know and have discovered some other way, they are still keeping from you. They are also hypocrites, they make a show of what they are not yet they can't be decent enough to be honest when you confront them about it. you need to steer clear of these people, they are not worth the stress. And people who are ashamed enough not to trust you with their secrets, never really trust you at all. Sincerity is key...
"NOBODY IS EVER THE SOLUTION TO ANYONE'S UNHAPPINESS"
~don't wait for the right person to come and fix your life for you. why don't you fix your life first, and maybe the right person will come along. In Tagalog, "Huwag kang umasa na darating ang nararapat na taong aayos sa buhay mo. Ayusin mo muna ang buhay mo, at darating ang taong nararapat sayo."
I think I have said a mouthful -or more, knowing my mouth. Bwahaha!!! I opted not to edit this least it turns into one of them prim and proper posts. I am in a good place and wishing you guys will be too.
Thanks to my Migs for keeping me sane this rather busy period.
I've been too busy lately that this place hath accumulated more cyber cobwebs than i have time to take them down... I just want to share this with those that may come upon it here. This is for someone who is very dear to me, Have a Happy Birthday -a day delayed, I know...
I'm a little overdue to post something...If you have had the past three weeks that I have, you won't have much time for anything, I tell you. But that's just another excuse to keep the cobwebs around to stick a little longer here.
I would just want to say one thing for now, "There's something about the noise an empty vessel makes that makes you realize that it is empty." or in the Tagalog vernacular, "Maingay ang lata pag walang laman!"
Now that we are rid of this empty can,let it rust and be gone from the earth.
It does take a Mario Maurer update to make raise me from the depths of blogging drought...Bwahahaha!!!
Okay, some people say that Mario Maurer's star is about to implode on himself and fade into oblivion. But the Barefoot Baklesa's loyalty is never to be shaken when it comes to this multi-racial: German/Chinese/Thai actor catapulted to fame by the movie The Love of Siam [just click on the link for my review].
I have read from a fellow blogger Carlo de la Rosa that he has a new movie First Love slated to come out on the 12th of August. More on that from Carlo's Blog. So do click away!
as the title goes, it's been a while since i have seriously posted anything here. the past few weeks have been going by so fast amongst other things -yup, this is a pretty lame way of starting a post after a while, but there are days when you just don't want to bother.
here are a few things from the swirling mist that is my mind:
~ you don't have to ask for something over and over again. heaven knows what you want -above that- heaven knows what you really need. if something is really meant for you, it will be given you. as i have once said, "tama na ang dasal, nabibingi na ang langit baka di ka pagbigyan" [don't pray too much, heaven might say it has had enough and won't be that kind]. i have learned to sincerely ask for something once, and not to expect too much of it. and if by the grace of the heavens you get what you want, then you have to be really grateful for it. gratitude is a reflection of how much good there is you see in your life. if you're grateful for the tiniest thing, you will be given bigger things to be grateful for
~ i may write about the saints, but i have no intention of being one. being burned at the stake is so Salem 1600s. after all, of recent vintage, i have learned that not all who work in the trade of making religious images wear halos atop their heads. some exercise outright fraud and dishonesty, others have tongues sharper than the serpent being crushed under the Virgin's foot, while there are others who have dug holes so deep that they sit beside the throne of Beelzebub. they will damn themselves in this life or the next and i will have great pleasure in watching that unfold before me. you know who you are, you put other santeros names to shame
~ simple as it is compared to it's foreign counterparts, the toy convention at megamall last weekend was the best 100 pesos i have ever spent [this after visiting a sculptor to have my image of Mary of Bethany repaired, as well as going to a painter who specializes in religious statuary, then off to a beaten metal artist who specializes in crowns, halos and religious acoutrements, and a glod thread embroiderer]. Life is amusingly ironic from high forms of religious art to cosplay, who knew...
~ i miss watching the korean drama, Princess Hours... I don't know why, but it's one of those things that i watch to bring a smile on my face. maybe there's a princess inside each one of us -even if you're already a queen! hehehehehe!!! oh yeah, and it doesn't hurt to be fought over by two princes...i know how that feels. *wink*
~ let me tell you something about practicality: not everyone knows the value of it. some people may say they're practical, but when it comes to how their practicality affects other people, they often are the contradiction of that practice. i don't like waiting and being forced to rush. that is truly impractical.
that is about it for now... the Barefoot Baklesa will be barefoot somewhere else soon...until then.
I had a great time during the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua in Pila Laguna this past weekend... I was babysitting my friend's Santa Clara de Asis for her primera salida procession... Pila is such a place that inspires the romance of days gone by, and I fell in love with Pila long before i knew the people that lived within those century-old homes.
I never found Vice Ganda remotely entertaining. And as proud as he is during an interview with Boy Abunda in last Sunday's The Buzz that there may be those opposed to him but is happy there are more that are entertained with him, I find his brand of humor very guttersnipe and cheap. I have been to comedy bars and the culture of embarrassing guests at the guests expense too much. Then again, that is not my brand of entertainment anyway. It's an acquired taste, or no taste at all. [insert condescending laughter here]
It's not as if Tado is without any fault here, but Vice Ganda has been too quick to interrupt the guest judge who is put there to voice his own opinion of the performances. I am the barefoot baklesa after all and i will be quick to raise the rainbow flag when hurled slurs at, but the vernacular has evolved to a point that saying "para kayong mga bakla" is not as heavy to me as it once was. For I even use that sometimes...
I think Vice Ganda has been trying to see how far he can push his brand of wit and humor on live television... and he seems to be getting away with it, and that kind of got to his head somehow.
I'm looking forward to more Tado versus Vice Ganda... Hehehehe
IF I HAVE TAGGED YOU, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS…AND SERIOUSLY TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK… AND IF IT MAKES SENSE, PASS IT ON
I have just finished watching this little known movie entitled AGORA about the siege the early Christians laid upon the Great Library of Alexandria at the fourth century when the Roman Empire had recognized Christianity as the official religion of the empire. And how the female philosopher, Hipatia, struggled to keep the knowledge of the ancient world alive amidst the zealous acts that leave such chaos at its wake.
BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION, THIS IS ABOUT IRONY
Just a few hours ago, I had spent almost a day at the National Library of the Philippines. To those of you who have known me through Jesuit University and that other school across that university along Taft Avenue, if you can’t find me anywhere else, I usually am at the library not to catch a snooze but to explore the stacks and read the rest of the day away.
As I entered that Bauhaus structure along T.M. Kalaw Avenue at probably one of the hottest days of this summer, the sparse lobby gave no impression that within these walls, the people of this nation will behold before them such wonders found only in printed bound parchment that those who have dared contain them there laboured that we may know the tangible and intangible world by ways never revealed to us before.
Truth be told, that last sentence had more in it than what that place could have offered me. As I applied for my reading card which cost me only 50 pesos [almost $1 US], the insufferable heat in that place could not ruin my resolve to gain access to a few books that I needed which were currently out of circulation.
In my quest for reference books for the research on this book I’m developing with another writer, I was led to the online catalogue of the National Library since the rare books I was looking for cost an arm and a leg for $300 on the internet. I’m not a cheapskate, but the contents I needed from pages those books are all up here in the swirling primordial mist that is my mind -I just needed them for footnoting.
As I went into the reading rooms, and through the stacks to look for what I needed, I could not help but stare at the state that place was in. The place was clean as libraries go, but the disrepair, the poorly maintained stacks, and the general atmosphere of the place akin to that of a backwater town that government funding forgot.
As I walked those halls, It did not seem to me that this was the place that held almost everything about the world since the first movable type. What is this place to be for some impressionable youth seeking to fuel himself in the arts and sciences? One could argue that what really matters is what is inside those books and not the place that hold them. But if the place lacks the very books that can take them onto this journey -No, that the one that sends Bastian into Fantasia but you get my drift- then what?
BUT IS NOT THE STATE OF A COUNTRY’S BIBLIOTEQUE A REFLECTION OF WHAT IT IS?
Is this neglect associated with the priorities of every government that came and went? In the middle of my research I composed a text message that I sent to my mentors in the hopes that they may at least help me make sense of the experience.
“Sitting here at the National Library, a week after elections and just before the new come to take office, I wonder what will a new president really do for the Arts? To be specific, what does it matter to my art now that the people seem to have found hope and change in a man who is also of the old order?”
And this was the most disturbing reply
“Anak, ano ba naman ang alam niya sa Sining natin? The Arts have always been the least of any leader’s priorities since I can’t remember. If anything, the Arts to him may be just like tonight’s latest “gossip” that would be replaced with another juicier one by tomorrow. Palibhasa gossip rin lang naman ang alam ng kapatid niyan and I’m afraid they may play the Arts card when it is to their advantage like a badly acted teleserye”
And there I was, sitting on one of the wooden tables at the end of the Filipiniana section telling myself once again, that a place such as this should be the beacon for those wide-eyed youth seeking to be inspired, seeking to understand the world, and be fueled to contribute to the Sciences and most especially the Arts. No matter how disheartening that text message was.
That place must contain the infinite variety of the world as it is seen not by just one eye. For how are we to flourish if we do not at least leave a generation of new thinkers and even madmen that would challenge the way we see the world.
In our little corners, we [the few who still dare] try to keep the Arts alive. But what is Art without the interdisciplinary understanding of it? Are we to entrust that to the fantaseryes and teleseryes on recent vintage? When the fame of our world class performers are all limited to talent within the framework of western material, where is the emergence Filipino Identity in this global melting pot? It’s not there because there is nothing to catalyse it.
A few new computers with LCD screens does not a state of the art facility make.
I fear we are just fostering a wikipedia and “cut & paste” next generation if the very places that should contain the world for them only contain an island; leaving the rest of it to be googled away.
When forced to abandon her quest to keep teaching, Hipatia then says, “Sinesias, you do not question what you believe, or cannot… I MUST.”
I THEN QUESTION THIS HOPE AND CHANGE PEOPLE ARE NOW INEBRIATED WITH.
Because, what is that to me who struggles to create illusion within a proscenium frame to suspend any disbelief? Because what is that to me who seeks to add to that ISBN list with something that I see as uniquely Filipino?
If the mandate of the people is indeed for the good of everyone, what does that vote translate to us? Are they expecting us to be the sacrificed so that the many may be prioritized? Or are they expecting us to run for Party List seats in congress so we may finally be heard?
I may not see the National Library to be the like the Biblioteque of Alexndria any time soon. As it currently fails to deliver that brand of awe that a place where knowledge and things in their infinite variety may be discovered anew. The only saving grace of that place, are its employees. The people working there, under the dismal circumstances, are testaments to the resilience that we Filipinos are known for. That petite lady with the glasses at the special collections gives me a better appreciation of what a civil servant has to endure.
The change that you have been promised is not something that can come overnight. But if you don’t really voice out what needs to be changed, then the priorities just won’t get listed.
I remember something important about the Dark Ages, when the rest of the world falls into this hype of change that often results in chaos, there are those that retreat to the halls of learning and chambers of knowledge translating the knowledge of the old world so that there would be enough of them to spark the Renaissance.
Maybe I’m thinking of gloom and doom too much too soon… But if in six years, that structure along T.M. Kalaw remains as it is, then corruption is really the least of this nation’s concerns.
Go ahead, ask the average Filipino teenager who Idianale, Magwayen, Tungkung-Langit, Alunsina or Lakampati are, and you would not be surprised that they know more about Aphrodite and Apollo. Maybe even you who are reading this won’t even know off the bat.
I will be announcing “eating my piece of humble pie” if anything is bound to change at all.
somebody sent this through text message the other day:
forgive the jejemons, guys...but you will surely find it entertaining...hehehe!
"Ah tlga? kng di epektib eh di mahimlay ka na pinun0ng satan sa iy0ng kawayan at paikot ikot sa higaan mung apoy. Hahaha Para Lydias Lechon ala Satan ang Lbas cnfirmed! Jejeje geh na alis pko eh. Slipwell :-)"
[translated: oh really? if that doesn't work, then mount your bamboo, o lord satan and roll over your bed of flame. hahaha just like Lydia's Lechon (famous roast pig brand) ala Satan, confirmed. Hehehehe, i'm off. Sleep well :-)]
this is just the tip of the iceberg...very guttersnipe, ain't it?
Now tell me, what kind of person is capable of that? tell me... truth be told, I can't believe I lasted almost a year with that...
the photo above is for emphasis..and para mapagbigyan.
here are some things in the swirling mist that is my mind:
~I love theater... but truth be told, I have no love for some people I do it with. The best traitors are found in close proximity. Lesson Learned: just do your job and don't bother with the vampires...
~I hate to be the Grinch, but it's not normal what is going on in this country!!! The message of change and hope may be reverberating across a majority of the voting populace but why does it feel like an Obama scenario all over again? Change that people were fooled to believe in, my a$$...the people around you are the same cast of fools from the last time. I'll be watching you Mr. Male Pattern Baldness... Your Yakitty-Yak of a sister ought to keep her word and rid us of her presence in the archipelago. There's only too much of you guys i can handle on t.v.
~People should learn to pick their battles... that's for you, Senator Jamby Madrigal. Bilib din ako sa fighting spirit mo, teh! Same goes for JC de los Reyes and Nicky Perlas!!! No matter how many votes you said weren't counted, asa pa kayo na inyo yun!!!
~Apparently a baby was born... can someone who knows which baby I'm talking about please check if the child has the "mark of the beast" on his forehead? That's the mark of the Anti-Christ, for you who don't get it. The signs from the heavens were so obvious, the first of which is it rained on Maundy Thursday. Just a precaution...
~Again, kudos to Manong GIBO for fighting the good fight.
~MY Super Junior addiction has leveled-up!!! Spending an hour looking at photos of Siwon and Donghae is not healthy for the Barefoot Baklesa's already befuddled mind...Hehehehe!!! And I thought my Asian-Envy ended with the Japanese...
~I have learned that if you want to buy a book, just get it... Don't wait for eleven years later when you might need it.
I woke up and this song was playing in my head...Hahahahaha!!! Enjoy thy weekend, folks...
You and Me Song
Always when we fight I try to make you laugh Until everything's forgotten I know you hate that
Ba ba ra ra ba ba ba ba Ba ba ra ra ba ba ba ba
Always when we fight I kiss you once or twice And everything's forgotten I know you hate that
I love you Sunday sun The week's not yet begun And everything is quiet
And it's always You and me - always - and forever You and me - always - and forever Ba ba ba ba ba It was always You and me - always
You tell me I'm a real man And try to look impressed Not very convincing But you know I love it
Then we watch TV Until we fall asleep Not very exciting But it's you and me And we'll always be together
You and me - always - and forever You and me - always - and forever Ba ba ba ba ba It was always You and me - always - and forever You and me - always - and forever Ba ba ba ba ba It was always You and me - always - and forever You and me - always - and forever Ba ba ba ba ba Babaroah
I just had to share these exchanges through text... It lifted my mood a little -considering the the week i have been having [having being the operative word], and give or take that the person on the other end was located in central luzon for that matter. Here goes:
Drake: Yehey! Mahal talaga ako ni Bro, ang lakas ng ulan, migs!
Niki: Teka lang, tatawagan ko si Bro ha, baka kasi si Shiva o si Vishnu ang may gawa.
Drake: Si Hades daw. Hehehe!
Niki: Mali, si Horus daw may gawa. Nadapa at nadali yung pitsel ni Santa Martha kaya bumuhos ang ulan.
Drake: Nabitawan nga ni Horus yung jug sa Pampanga. Lakas ulan may bits of ice pa o.
Niki: Nagalit si Santa Martha, best pitcher daw niya yon... Hahatawin yata si Horus ng basket of grapes.
Drake: Ako heto, sobrang tuwa. Sarap pakinggan ng mga kulog at makita Thunder bolts ni Tatay Zeus.
Well, primera lluve de mayo [the first rain of May] is hopefully around the corner... Here's praying to the heavens that this insufferable heat will pass... Soon.
While the rest of Gay-dom had made plans for the hedonism that is to be expected of Good Friday at places like Bora and Puerto Galera -or wherever it is where the well-earning gays of the day are flocking during the holy week break, the Barefoot Baklesa was up to his neck trying to make sure the Niki de los Reyes-Torres Carroza Challenge 2010 was no less than fabulous [it doesn't get any gayer than that, using the word fabulous, I mean]
I remember my friend Sandro [the one responsible for the nomenclature of "The Barefoot Baklesa"] telling me what his grandfather once said, "Oh, you have a gay friend who collects Virgins? You do realize the irony in that?" ~Well, it's one of those things that just confuse people about me. That same friend whom I miss dearly and might leave for the land of the Kiwis soon ~Okay, I'm getting distracted again.
I guess in that list of contradictions that is me, the creature that I become come Lent and Holy Week is one thing that I enjoy metamorphosing into. And thank goodness for my theater background that I am able to achieve certain things which -I think- even at my idle wanderings into the realm of imagination would never have passed my mind. But I miraculously do... Beauty, intention, texture, effects, and awe are but few of the things that sum up a good job come procession time. And I'm thankful to have more than a few hands to help me achieve that. My cousins being my partners in crime, make the experience an enjoyable one ~sans the stress and the last minute crunch.
Lately, I felt as if my year actually begins after the rites of Easter Dawn.... If that is the case, then I welcome it.