Monday, November 21, 2011

Splendor in the Grass

Last Friday, for some reason, I copied a poem by William Wordsworth entitled Splendor in the Grass.
Saturday came without a hitch, lazily I watched old Frazier reruns. 

Then came the dawn of Sunday.
 I woke up thinking of angels and souls. Just recently I read Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. A poignant story of young people destined to be slaughtered for their body organs for other people who have debilitating diseases. These unfortunate young people happened to be clones.
The question that arose was, would clones have souls?
Mulling over this quandary, I told myself,
 "Souls like angel's wings should be earned."

I went downstairs, to get my first coffee of the day. I gave my mom some pandisal with cheese and a cup of coffee, and got some cabbage for my rabbit, Baby.
I called to her. But she didn't come to me. Quiet as all rabbits are, I was thinking maybe she just went upstairs or was just hiding under the sofa. My lazy feet dragged my slippers which made soft flapflaps on the tiled floor. It was a cool morning.

Then I saw her and I knew right away that something was awfully wrong. The way her body was splayed at her side. Her face so calm.She died quietly last night.
 It broke my heart.Maybe not my whole heart, but a tiny fracture of my heart has broken away, and I know I will never get it back again. I will miss her so.

What though the radiance
which was so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass,
Of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind…
                  - Splendor in the Grass, William Wordsworth

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Poem Revisited

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

You ghost of poets
Who put your heads into ovens
Sat in closed cars and garages
Or jumped off ledges into hard edges
I understand
I have had hell
Compressed inside my cranium
As tightly as cotton stoppered aspirin.
Yes I understand; but I do empathize
With a Robert Frost or Marianne Moore
Of the staying souls
And take people away from them-
Not that they were saints-only stayers
When you ride a tiger
It’s death to tire of the ride.
- Margaret Flanagan

This poem which is from The Writer is a favorite of mine. I have been looking for other poems by Margaret Flanagan.If you know any, please, tell me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Top Ten Tips for First Time Travelers

Half of the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness- Ray Bradbury

     Traveling. To some people it’s daunting. But at some point in each person's life, he starts as a first timer.
       So explore these pages and let them be a guide to you.

1. Travel with at least one companion.
     When you travel, two or more heads are better than one especially in reading signs, reading maps and sharing food. You can take turns taking each other’s photos. Friends or family, that’s  the way to go. There were three of us when we went to Macau.

2. Make an itinerary
     Plan,plan,plan. Months before you have to at least have decided where you want to go. This is because you have to know the facts about that place, climate, money, food, your own schedule, promo fares in airlines. Write down your plan. You can make changes as you go along.

3. Hunt for cheap air fare
    Always be on the lookout for promo fares in the internet or newspaper. You can book online or call the airline directly.(In my experience, calling is better. A very polite personnel will gladly help you out.

4. Learn how to read maps.
     It’s easier to see which places are near and which direction to take.  If you can cover more scenic spots that are near and walking distance, the better. Don’t be like some people who tend to waste time and money going to far places because they don’t know that there’s another historic spot just near where they are at the moment.

5. Always know how one can travel faster and easier
     Learn the train system in that place. If there’s a train card you can buy instead of using coins or money, the better. It’s usually cheaper. In Hong Kong, there’s the Octopus card which you can use for trains, buses, stores, and the like.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions and information.
     There’s always a Good Samaritan who will be glad to help you.

7. Always bring water and snacks
      Buy ahead of time in a supermarket or the nearest 7-11. It’s cheaper.

8. Bring rechargeable batteries
     Photos are very important. You can’t take the sceneries with you, only memories and pictures to prove it.

9. Budget ahead of time
     That’s the reason why you have to know in advance  how much you will spend for food, entrance tickets, fares etc. The internet is very helpful.

      If you can’t follow your plan religiously, it’s okay. Savor the moments. You deserve it. Happy traveling!

Macau Tower

Top of the Tower

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Macau...Asia's Las Vegas

        Macau is the gateway to China. After being colonized by the Portuguese, it is now a self governed  place which has strict rules even for Chinese from the mainland.
But tourism is promoted here so much so the hotels line up their buses at the airport just to pick up tourists.

       Macau's money is the pataka (MOP). 1MOP is 5Php.
       It is such a small place that you can almost circle it in 5 days. But of course there are little known secrets that can surprise you if you know where to look.
A stroll down the Venetian cafes

The Venetian Hotel                                                                                                                                                                                            

        Dubbed the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau's tourists have tripled these past few years widely due to the new hotels springing up adding to the already wide selection of wholesome and not so wholesome entertainment. For those who have money to burn,the casinos are open, for the simple tourists,there are exciting but cheap thrills!

Senado Square                   Photo by Mona

     Macau is a blend of Chinese and Portuguese influences. The architectural designs of buildings are colonial and it is not impossible to see a Chinese temple side by side with a Catholic Cathedral.

 Macau Itinerary

    From the airport, several shuttle buses are lined up to bring guests to any hotel they want to visit. These are all complimentary. My friends Mona and Mace took advantage of these freebies and visited  The Venetian,               The Galaxy, The Sands, The Crown, and The Four Seasons and The City of Dreams. Some of these hotels are within walking distance of each other so you can just cross streets and meander.
Tip:Hotels and casinos are open 24 hours so if you decide to walk make sure it's morning or nighttime because the sun is scorching at noon.

The Venetian Macau

Gondola Ride
Ticket: 118MOP/adult
Open: 10 am Last Ride: 9pm

What a way to relax.A gondolier will row the boat and sing operatic songs.


Cafes/Food Row

Average price of authentic Chinese noodles 35MOP-45MOP (180-260Php)

Dennis and Cha

City of Dreams

Shows: The Dragon Show/ 30 MOP   The Water Show/ 400MOP

 Mace n City of Dreams

Mace n Me

Macau Tower
You can stay at the top until nighttime. I suggest you go there at 5pm, have dinner and have a daytime as well as nighttime view of Macau.Awesome!
Ticket: 120MOP/adult  View only
Ticket:150MOP/person  View with snacks

snack at Cafe on 4


mona and me

photo by mace
Extreme Sports at Macau Tower: Bungee Jumping, Skywalking, etc.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Landscape Blue

My hair stands up, something picks at my brain,
The atmosphere touchy as empty lair;
Death is a lovely lady in the rain.

I prick my thumb but I can feel no pain
I hear my voice but there’s nobody there
My hair stands up something picks at my brain.

Sensitive sky cries on the world mundane
Sketched a pallid figure, a glint in stare
Death is a lovely lady in the rain.

My landscape blue I paint and raze again
And turning white I curse the lady there
My hair stands up something picks at my brain.

I see the landscape blush on bud and grain
One minute inched to gold what once were bare
Death is a lovely lady in the rain.

Blood rose, electricity in my vein
Ink spread on paper catapults in air
My hair stands up something picks at my brain
Death is a lovely lady in the rain.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Tonight I fall headlong
Down into that abyss
The yawning cauldron,
And then calm
Before the water
Hits the rocks.

I crawl with jointed limbs
On the crags and on the cliff
My aerial shudder as I feel
The ancient craving
And inundation of your lip.

I am Raggedy Ann hurling
Into the eye of the cyclone
Perspiration freezing my bones
Traversing the deathly silence
Of the stone.

Tonight I fall headlong
Deep into that abyss
The moon mask looking on
Black iris of the sky,
I rise seaweed tangled
Your memory clinging to my hair
Like a barnacle.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lost Words in Old Newspapers ( the Rain is Here…)

          I’m the only person I know who reads old newspapers. My friends often tease me and ask me if have a history quiz.

          I find it fascinating to read week old and even month old newspapers as if they were magazines. I mean isn’t it why the concept of the written word was invented? Something meant to be recorded should be recorded and enduring. Although the newspaper’s lifespan was not really meant to be extended, on my part, I miss the old days when with the newspaper comes a batch of piping hot pandesal and melting Anchor butter or Dari Crème.

          It’s been raining in trickles, but just this morning, the rain poured and woke me up.

          Everybody was quiet in the house, as if the pitter patter of the drops lulled them even more to dreamland. So I went about in my affairs, brewed myself some real Batangas coffee((which I declare was much much better than what they serve in 2 Starbucks I went to), read old newspapers and blogged later.

           In the near future, newspaper would just be a memory. For lots of reasons. Trees are getting fewer and fewer. It would be unrealistic to kill trees just so we can read something that would be stale news a day after.

           Someone once told me “Computers are now taking over. Books will soon be outdated.”
I was obstinate, I was a bit antagonistic in defending my belief that books would stand against the test of time, although I was a bit unnerved.

          Am I going to be part of the generation of the last readers? Books have now become pricey that I can only afford used ones. In this times where everything free can be sold like water, television, pretty soon even the air we breathe would be bottled and sold.

          I want to put this query in an imaginary bottle and throw it into space to ask the cosmos at the risk of sounding banal,

          “Where have all the good times gone?”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tuklas Sining: Art in Reposo Street (Life collides with imagination.)

Dubbed as “ Tuklas Sining sa Reposo”, this annual festival boasts of a diverse array of sining or art. such as paintings of artists and would be artists,dance theater, film at its splendor, original Filipino sound, food we inherited from our colonial past which evolved to suit the Pinoy taste, and sculpture that display a series of movements in dance. It is truly a venue for artists to “interact and share visions”, mirroring Filipinos’ love for entertainment, a large and unique part of our culture.

Fascinating murals gazed back at us as we walked under the canopy of dark clouds.

The monotonous sky with chunks of charcoal clouds hovered over the white tents competing with the paintings lined up on the street of Reposo for attention.

The Art Festival was darkened by rain but people still managed to see the show and appreciate the myriad artistic expressions of the ones who participated.

There was a huge canvass being painted by a group of young artists.

As I walked towards the middle of the street, I saw a young painter wielding her magic over her canvass. She was paintin a nude woman, her hair spilling over the canvas, exuding earthiness and mystery.

Painting in all its curious modes

Ferdinand Cacnio’s tenth solo sculpture exhibit at LRI Art Pavilion, 2/f LRI Design Plaza.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Krispy Creme on High Street

Krispy Creme,G/f HighStreet, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Imagine crunchy, crumbling lusciousness that melts without a sound in your mouth. The white snowy sugar that doesn’t overpower the taste of the crusty doughnut. The moan that emanates from you, your senses floating in overindulgence.
You open your mouth like a big O, letting your teeth slowly sink into that sweetness….

Wait! I can’t eat this! This is laden with calories that will surely go faster than a bullet train to my hips and thighs (to haunt me for the rest of my f…. life.)

There’s a buzzing sound in my brain telling me this will never happen again, its only a glitch and my weight will not really be hugely affected .

Well, Krispy Kreme in High Street is a favorite watering hole of mine not only for the sweet stuff which my daughters love but for the reasonably priced coffee served piping hot.

I could write an essay for the great place and the endearing way the crew welcomed us. It was after all a slow afternoon which I particularly am mad about. I crave and moon for days like this when people seem to have stayed away from my proximity.

Modern and retro at the same time, the lay out of shop is well planned and conveys friendliness. There’s a series of stools covered with red cloth reminiscent of the 60’s soda fountain.

Everyday I wake up with a mantra, “Oatmeal is the best meal. I will eat oatmeal and it will taste like … pizza. “

Is there really such a thing as shortcut to dieting?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chasing Books (and Angels' Thoughts)

Celestial reckoning… that’s how they go… by the stars…
-Robert James Waller

Time and again I have an affair with books, waking up mornings with sunlight and specks of sun dust in my hair, my arms straddled on the bed with a book that just that night was a stranger to me.

One lazy Friday afternoon I goaded Alvin and Mace to go to a bookstore specializing in old and used books. It is the start of summer and we try to regenerate our brain cells after being fried everyday by the tropical heat. We dabble in works that give mind that matters.

What started me on a wild goose chase was an article in the Sunday Inquirer about small bookstores. As a self confessed bookaholic, I usually scout for quaint out of the way bookshops that cater to my atypical bordering on the absurd taste. The latter remark, compliments of a friend of mine who obviously is much younger and has a different perspective when it comes to books. The bookstore I was seeking was named “Angel’s Thoughts” or so it said in the article. It was situated in the then Marikina Shoe Expo which was now called Cubao Expo.

Cubao was the place to be in the late 1970’s.It was where I found Pancake House and San Mig Pub which was designed like a British pub. But now Cubao is transforming and has yet to find itself and its place under the sun.

Small bookstores are not as ubiquitous as we want them to be owing to the fact that mega bookstores are the Holy Grails where people flock and enjoy their cappuccinos while browsing the newest blood sucking juvenile hardback saga or meet their dates.
It reminds me of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks flick (You’ve Got Mail) where two book owners fight it out for a much coveted supremacy in the business.

Back to that afternoon in Cubao and the sweltering heat-it was about 3 pm- that left patches of sweat in my armpits and what have you, my two friends and I braved the humidity and unfamiliar locale. Alvin and Mace, book scavengers both, were hopeful that maybe this jaunt would give them serendipitous finds.

What we first laid our eyes on was Zeitgeist bookstore. It was not an inviting place though we saw some books lined up on the walls. We skipped that for the more alluring “Reading Room” which we found out to our amusement was where your fortune gets read by a spiritualist.

The mystical air was palpable that we moved on knowing that our sensibilities were unprepared for esoteric pursuits.

We noticed that most shops were closed and were to open later at 5pm. The façade was incredible. Old-world but unassuming, it was a blend of avant-garde and bohemian art.Definitely an artists’ haven.

At the cul de sac was an authentic Italian restaurant called Bellini’s.

We entered the restaurant wanting to taste coffee and Italian ambience for the elevated mood that we were in.
We saw the restaurant owners busy with some people. Lights surrounded the place. There was a television crew in the restaurant and rumor has it that Jessica Soho was going to appear anytime that moment.

The luscious cakes looked so decadent. The entire place exuded a relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, they couldn’t serve us since the restaurant was going to be featured on a TV show and was actually going to be closed for a while. We escaped at the side door but not before we could take a glimpse of the memorabilia that was paraded on the walls interspersed with tendrils of painted grapevines. It was particularly difficult to wrench Alvin away from the door. He was already imagining the quiche in his mouth.

Out in the afternoon sun again we moved next door, Libreria, to the elation of the book chasers, meaning us.

An eye-catching room filled with books spilling on the floor, on the walls, on the coffee table, and the ledges and other spaces available was on view. But we still had to wait for 5pm for it to open.

The glass that separated us from the books turned misty by the heavy breathing of my companions who were looking at the array of tomes and the coffee brewer. Oh, to be able to reach out and touch those pages…

To fulfill our hunt we went back to Zeitgeist, where Mace found a series of science fiction books and I bought a previously owned Wuthering Heights for my daughter, Bronte, yep, named after the famous sisters.

We ended up in the vintage shops where one can buy trinkets, antiques and ukay stuff. One shop was called Karma, which meant fate, and I guess this trip wasn’t so bad after all, because although we had not found what we were looking for, we found a small corner of this world worth discovering.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time

Found word:
Zeitgeist – a pervading feeling or mood of a certain era or generation

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vast Oceans, Small Boats

It wasn’t a particularly spectacular body of water
With boats like half wings springing to sea
It wasn’t even a river with canoes or bancas slithering to a waterfall

Actually, it was only a creek
The width I can easily span with a jolted jump

It had its share of rainbow boats
Steamed by our breathing.

Now I see the ocean the endless blue
Skydiving horizon melting the hue.

I do not know which is the more
Exhilarating of the two.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trying to Save the Sunlight

This is a series of photos I took just because I love sunsets. In The Little Prince, the character, a little boy lives in a planet where there’s more than one sunset. In fact, there was a day that he was able to see forty four sunsets!