30 January, 2010

when you think the gods are playing games with you...

I chanced upon Javvy at the computer the other day watching this...
I found this quite hilarious and I want to share this with you guys.
This is for the days when you think the gods above are messing with you, and hopefully they aren't.

So, if you feel like it's not your day, just laugh it off like I did with this one.

Thus spake, The Barefoot Baklesa

13 January, 2010

"Were The World Mine" [the Barefoot Baklesa Review]

What happens when an eccentric English teacher decides to stage Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" wherein the fairy Puck, is played by a fairy in the queer sense?

The Bard meets coming-out in this gay journey -and by gay- they literally break into song and dance that is unlike any musical about teenagers doing a musical. "Were the World Mine" is director Tom Gustafson's take on the Bard's most popular play of four lovers getting mixed up by a playful fairy [I just love using that word today]; cleverly blending the dynamics of Shakespeare's characters into the homophobic world in which Timothy [Tanner Cohen] sticks out like a sore thumb -bullied by the jocks, misunderstood by his own mother, and finding solace in the closet -LITERALLY, he retreats inside his room closet. Classic fairy tale, right? [there I go again, hehehehehe...]

But what is a fairy tale without magic? I believe that inside each and every one of us lives something the bard called "love-in-idleness" [if you've read/know the play, you know what I mean; but if you haven't, take it as it is] and it may take a little fairy dust to awaken it -and it's not always a purple flower as Oberon knows it to be. Not to give away anything too much, let's just say Timothy comes upon this magic to which he has the power to simply make someone love another.

"If you could make someone love you, would you?"

Sick and tired of being the odd one out [get it, "odd one OUT"?], Timothy has his way with this newfound power, and does what Puck would, finds himself in the loving arms of the Jonathan the Jock [Nathaniel David Becker], and makes sure he's not the only fairy out there. Personally, I just love the way the wit of Shakespeare's play bleeds into the film's writing ever so subtly.

When the lines of gender are blurred, and social conventions are thrown out the window, Timothy's postcard perfect suburban town finds itself in the midst of the homosexual threat. Trust me, it's not as serious as I have typed away. But it is indeed a mess of Shakespearean proportions.

Yet one wild night of doing mischief in the wood, is just that, one night. And when all else that seems romantic the moonlight submits itself to the harsh light of the sun, some things are better left to the night. But I ask you, not to be discouraged by that last sentence for there is some magic left for our fairy, and Love being the most potent magic of all leaves a few more surprises.

The rest I leave to thee...

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

09 January, 2010

On the Feast of the Black Nazarene...

[the wooden statue that draws millions to the the streets of Quiapo has a devotion that is over three centuries old. image courtesy of Dennis Villegas]

Today, over two million devotees will make their way to the old Manila district of Quiapo where upon those narrow and labyrinthine streets a wooden image of Jesus Christ bearing the cross called the Black Nazarene or Poong Nazareno [Poon translates to "lord"] will be processed on what I personally claim to be the longest a religious image takes to complete an entire procession cycle.

If you are a Filipino and a Filipino Catholic for that matter, you know how these processions are expected to end from anywhere between eight to twelve hours after it begins at noon. The sea of people and devotees in bare feet pulling and tugging at the rope that goes before the carriage [called Carroza in the local Hispanized vernacular], and the motion that seems to explode in all directions as people try to hang on to the rope while moving the procession forward as some attempt to climb and touch the wooden image of Christ, are images immortal to this Feast.

A few years ago, The Barefoot Baklesa absent-mindedly headed to Quiapo on the actual feast day of the Black Nazarene, and he was unprepared for the sight he would behold. Coming down from Palanca Street did I realize that it was the famed day when once a year, that black wooden image would grace the streets of the old Manila district. Why is it black you ask?

Well, there are a few legends associated to the tint of the skin on the statue. Some say it was due to the fires that struck Quiapo Church in the 1700s and some time in the 1920s, others say it was due to the dark wood they carved the image out of, then there's that of the galleon that brought it here having been set fire to, or that one where the Black Nazarene was brought to the country with a Black Seated Christ Crowned with Thorns [Cristo de la Pacencia being the title of the iconography here] which was housed in the nearby church of San Sebastian, which perished in the fires of the war.

nazareno, quiapo Pictures, Images and Photos [one of the many replicas of the Black Nazarene makes its way through the streets of Quiapo; hundreds of such images usually follow the main image throughout the procession. photo courtesy of docarlonasol]

But, I'm getting carried away again...

I guess other that the fact that Quiapo is such a melting-pot worthy of Socio-Anthropological study where contrasting worlds seem to stand side by side with a magic all it's own, Quiapo was the place where I got jolted -so to speak- to a Genuine Spiritual State.

As I stood there frozen, the tail end of the explosive crowd that bore the the wooden image of Christ passing before me, at that moment, there was this humming silence as the crowd moved on; and for what seemed like an eternity crammed in mere seconds, I felt as if God himself had walked the Earth and just passed by in front of me... Still sends chills down my spine a few years on -also this is the first time I am writing about it.

I wish thee all the blessings that come with this day.

thus spake The Barefoot Baklesa