Monday, August 31, 2009

first name and last name, please + women, women, misogynists

If Googling yourself doesn't quite do the trick, Personas has a cloud-like way of telling you what the web thinks of you. This what came out of mine. Click to enlarge.


full name

Since I use my nickname for work, I find this somewhat surprising. The question is, how much of these are actually me and not my namesake?

[via CANVAS]


I just had to share this piece on women in Muslim countries and this one on women artists after the YBAs. Then somebody linked this one on how the writer has been treated by men to her Facebook page. I remember the times I've been harassed as a foreign woman. Then I think of the men who are important to me. They can be judgmental, but they're nowhere as judgmental as others. Whatever happened to equality and tolerance? Or rather, did it ever actually exist?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turumba sa Teresa, part 2

From our vantage point at the top of the belltower, we could see all around town, including the inmates in the municipal jail playing basketball.

When the procession arrived in front of the church, it started to rain. The parishioners seemed ready to get wet. I was told that the same thing happened last year.

But by the time the image of Our Lady passed by, the sun was shining again. The procession continued on to the next barangay until the border of the town before coming back. I just waited in the parish church.

Darkness was falling when the procession returned, with more dancing and frenzied catching of the flowers on the carroza. The Virgin was taken into the church for devotees to touch and kiss.

Watching the whole spectacle, I thought about the pagan rituals our folk Catholicism continues to embrace. And maybe it's not just us here in the former colonies. But these spice up our lives, no?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turumba sa Teresa, part 1

On the feast day of St. Rose of Lima, the patroness of Teresa, Rizal, the parishioners dance the Turumba to honor Our Lady. I don't really know much about the history. All I know is that I have not joined the procession for a long time.

I wasn't even sure if I should walk (or dance, like many others did). It seemed like it would rain soon. But as the people left the covered court of Barangay Bagumbayan, where there was a concelebrated Mass, I thought, it's now or never.

di na uso ang bilog na balloon

of the four marching bands, they had the wackiest costume

my girls A and I joined me in walking

It was like a barangay cheering contest, with pockets of people shouting what seemed to be the turumba song, waving calla lilies, branches of leaves and flags. There were various Sta. Rosa de Lima shirts, too.

From the tail end of the procession, we managed to overtake everyone and arrived at the parish church several minutes ahead of everyone else. We climbed up the belltower and waited for the people to arrive.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is Broadway becoming cooler?

Ne-Yo, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Leighton Meester, Cobra Starship and Russell Brand do West Side Story to promote VMA Side Story for the MTV Video Music Awards.

The Guardian reports that The Who's Pete Townshend is writing a new musical. Even if it's about aging, it's enough proof that there's much less tension between rock and musical theater these days.

[both via Arts Journal]

And oh, Spring Awakening is coming to Manila soon. I haven't made up my mind about it yet.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lunches with Londoners

Two teacher friends, both former London schoolmates, were in town for summer break.

Lunch #1
The gaffe: taking a seat in Mary Grace, then promptly moving to Conti's in Trinoma.
The food: light salad for her, tofu steak (delicious) for me. Pinoy sorbetes and suman later.
The drink: pineapple shake, supposedly a house specialty
The conversation: a bad production at the National Theatre, Romeo and Juliet at the Globe, Overseas Absentee Voting, Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur, travel, travel, travel
Time elapsed: almost three hours, including waiting for photos to develop

Lunch #2
The gaffe: waiting for each other in different branches of Powerbooks. Finally met and settled on Kitchen at Greenbelt 3
The food: Black Eye (squid pasta) for her, clam pesto pasta for me. Our hearts were set on dulong pasta, but it was not available.
The drink: bottomless pandan iced tea (sulit!) for both of us. It's like sago't gulaman with neither sago nor gulaman, but still quite good
The conversation: going backstage at The Phantom of the Opera, Masai Barefoot Technology, Wimbledon, Kota Kinabalu, Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage, travel, travel, travel
Time elapsed: three hours sitting down

After these lunches, I was on a high having these independent women, dedicated teachers and passionate travelers as friends. What a wonderful world we'd have if there were more of them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SM Megamall ISR, 1992-2009

Did you ever skate at that ice skating rink with the post in the middle? If you did, mark this date: Sunday, August 30. The last day of the SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink.

warming up

I watched the ice skating competition last weekend, the last one before the ice skating rink closes. It feels like the passing of a good friend of a good friend. It must be hard to believe that someone who has never skated in her life can genuinely feel sad. But here's the deal: it was a part of my life, too. The rink was where we used to fetch my brother when we would have dinner at the mall as a family. For many years, it was my brother's tambayan.

exhibition number

As with every competition, there are good performances and bad performances, beautiful extensions and awful landings. I saw at least one what-were-they-thinking costume (I cannot even describe it, but no adult would wear it), a Pucci print, an outfit that looked inspired by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and a lot of sensibly sophisticated designs.

I had a lump in my throat when the skaters used dramatic music. This is it. After 17 years, it's time to say goodbye to the country's first ice skating rink. Sure, there are still rinks at Southmall and Mall of Asia, but for the thousands of Filipinos who first wobbled on its ice, the rink with the post in the middle will forever occupy a unique space in their hearts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Redeeming the miles

I've been a member of different frequent flyer programs, but never really flew enough with certain airlines to accumulate a decent number. Except for Asiamiles, which counts Cathay Pacific and British Airways as partner airlines. Thanks to my flights to the UK, I have just enough miles to fly to an Asian city.

As a number of my miles are expiring in October, I knew I had to use them. At first I thought of going to Shanghai because my family had gone there without me and they enjoyed their trip. I thought of staying in a hostel to save on accommodation costs. $10 a night? Possible. But then I found out about the World Expo in Shanghai next year and thought of going there then instead.

Next, I saw Ho Chi Minh City as a possible choice. I contacted a couple of Viet ex-housemates and found that they would be there in June. Perfect. Then I found out that there weren't any direct flights. That which left me with only one choice: Hong Kong.

I wasn't really sold on the idea. I haven't seen a lot of Hong Kong, but I've been there twice. And package tours to Hong Kong are so cheap, I might pay more for accommodation than for flights and accommodation combined. Fortunately, I have a room to crash. My mom is treating my uncle's family to a stay in Hong Kong so that the little girls can go to Disneyland. A spare bed, a day trip to Macau, some time to roam on my own. Perfect.

With 2,000+ miles left, expiring next year, I figured it wouldn't hurt to donate the equivalent of my share of carbon emissions since I can offset it with frequent flyer miles. I doubt I'll be able to use the rest of the miles anyway since there are no rewards available for redemption that are that low. I'll probably donate them to carbon offset projects. That seems to be the best use for them. Now that's a feel-good factor for you.

Two more Asian trips before the year ends. Of course I will let you in on the fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Forever Young at Art Center

There is no doubt that Toti Cerda is a master of watercolor. His children playing with and in the water are competition classics. In Forever Young, children at play are his subjects (as always, so it seems, but who's tired of it?). There at attempts to achieve a more contemporary feel in some of the larger pieces: flat solid backgrounds, fictitious URLs running across the canvas, titles within the composition.

let's play!

But my three favorite pieces (technically 11), to my own surprise, are these square acrylic paintings, with the backgrounds built in very thin layers like watercolor. I felt an inexplicable joy. Wish I could be a little girl again.

Batang Arkitekto


Gusto Kong Maging

Forever Young is presented by Gallery Genesis. Catch it at the Art Center, SM Megamall until September 6, 2009.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

goodbye, purplepaper

I first wrote about the London freesheets three years ago, when the only local counterpart we had was Inquirer Libre. It seemed liked a battle to the death, such an interesting fight that I wrote an essay in class about freesheet advertising.

One competitor is leaving the game. It was announced yesterday that thelondonpaper will be closing next month. That's good news for the environment. Less paper in the bins. But I was partial to thelondonpaper because of its design and I would hate to see it lose out to London Lite, which is tabloid in every sense (or at least that's how I remember it). Of course, the two are similar content-wise, but layout means a lot to me. A pretty page makes for a more decent, well, appearance.

Regarding my question on sustainability of the giveaways of the paid newspapers, I got an answer from a podcast I was listening to: economies of scale. It costs less to give away a whole silverware set than you think.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Instant Pampagising. No Caffeine Added.

Pinoys everywhere will enjoy Facebuko, Jonas Roque's Facebook-style website. I was surprised to find that it is interactive. It's funny without being offensive in the extreme. Hindi ko nga lang matanggap ang mga wall posts nina Armando and Chona. *shudder*

For a site in its second week, it has had a good number of visitors.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Anti-swine flu phone charm?

Or at least that's how I interpret it. This one is free from Tomato for a minimum purchase of P500.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big and squared thoughts

Just as the world is dumbing down, there's an equal and opposite reaction. People are thinking. At least the people in Intelligence2 and Big Think are. And they've got channels on YouTube: intelligencesquared and bigthink. That's good news for everyone who wants to learn something from the experts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

World Theatre Project's Threepenny Opera

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better cast than that of Anton Juan's comeback production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera at the PETA Center. One weekend seems too short for all this talent: Teroy Guzman as the always-cool Macheath, Onyl Torres as a South Asian J.J. Peachum, Kalila Aguilos as Polly Peachum (with amazing legs), Bituin Escalante as the force of nature Pirate Jenny (I still find it hard to believe that Aguilos and Escalante are sisters though both of them have unbelievable voices), Frances Makil-Ignacio as the pregnant Lucy Brown, Cholo Gino as a buxom Mrs. Peachum, and the incredible Ricci Chan as the Street Singer.

The first thought on my mind was: Is this Cabaret? There were certainly elements of it. (Hello, androgynous narrator.) Brecht himself frequented cabarets, says Ricky Abad. Song and dance can make a show entertaining. Maybe a little too much sometimes for the Brecht purist who expects the didactic treatment. It's too "clean", remarked a companion. But if you make it rough around the edges, I argued, how do you make sure it doesn't look unprofessional?

The set is spare, with a padyak (pedicab) put to good use. There is a wide range of accents here, which takes some getting used to. The beggars' poverty is Filipino but the script has names and places a Londoner would be familiar with. Current affairs pop up: GMA, the $20,000 dinner, the National Artist Awards, Michael Jackson--it's a wonder Cory's not here. In the beginning and in the end, when the fourth wall is broken, we find ourselves immune to the device.

What's the musician playing the accordion for? Couldn't the cast change the set themselves? Is Lexi necessary? Minor concerns, really. I will not ask "why this now?" or say "P1000 for Brecht?" That wouldn't be fair. There were instances when I caught myself thinking "now art!" I mean that as a compliment. But I have to say that what I enjoyed most (other than Ricci Chan) are the moments of heavenly singing. It is still an opera after all.

I wonder why they renamed Sunnyside Drive to Eymard Drive. It was fine enough before...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sometimes you don't need all that

Why can't chicken cordon bleu just be good chicken cordon bleu?
It doesn't have to have both mashed potatoes and rice.
It doesn't need to have a creamy pesty sauce.
Extras are nice, but all I need is something crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and filled with good cheese.
Is that too much to ask for?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ukay convert

There's a place where your patience and perseverance will be rewarded: the ukay-ukay, where racks and racks of second-hand clothing from unspecified places are waiting for the cheapo shopper.

My first visit was successful enough for me. Items were on sale. I got two black skirts, a manang-looking one and a super-deconstructed one, for P25 each. Not bad.

Two weeks after I saw that there were new arrivals, I went back for more. I bought two tops for P130 each (discounted from P160) and two jackets for P250 each (discounted from P300). Pwede na. Will spend my savings on art materials.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Manila Design Week 09: Future Design

I let Manila Design Week 09 pass me by. Almost. By chance, I stumbled upon Future Design at Glorietta 5, which showcased student works. These three were my favorites. And no, I wasn't being biased towards certain school and ethnic profiles.

L to R: Make Our Mark by Chelseah Ngo (DLSU), Bukas Na Ang Bukas by Tata Yap (ADMU), Ingat! by Genevieve Go (ADMU)

that yellow sign--brilliant

Friday, August 14, 2009

Use up your bandwidth 1

It's not environment-friendly, but if you need your fill of title sequences (and they can be inspiring), look up Forget the Film, Watch the Titles. Digital agency Bigfish hosts Fest, which has animation shorts (some disturbing). And if you need 1,000 songs, Windows will give you just that at ReverbNation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not just for pricks

Ma pricked herself with a root she was pulling out of the ground. This is the band-aid she put on her finger.

Lesson of the day: "jackass" isn't exactly synonymous to "prick".

Monday, August 10, 2009

Unnoticed textures + studio Saturdays

Your car is more interesting than you think...if you look harder.

IMG_4709 IMG_4711
Align CentreIMG_4706


Sign of a sorry social state: staying in the studio Saturdays working.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pagdadalamhati ng Bayan para sa Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining

Requiescat In Pace
Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining

Lamay sa CCP Front Ramp
Ika-7 ng Agosto, Biyernes

Kung saan nagtipon ang mga nagluluksang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining, mga artista, pangkulturang manggagawa at ang mga nakikiramay sa CCP Ramp

Dalit na pinamunuan ni Virgilio Almario

Habang binabasa ni Bienvenido Lumbera ang Panawagan at Paninindigan ng mga Artista, Pangkulturang Manggagawa at ng Nakikiramay na Bayan

Mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Benedicto Cabrera, Virgilio Almario, Bienvenido Lumbera, Salvador Bernal, at Arturo Luz sa harap ng Korona ng Bulaklak