just an update
Oscar WildeIllusion is the first of all pleasures.
I'm tired. Had a very long shoot at the University Belt. Went around Far Eastern University, University of the East and PSBA (I don't remember what that stands for, I know it has something to do with Accounting) and though it was fun, I'm really tired. I only had 40 minutes of sleep and the whole day I was running on adrenalin. Now that the shoot is over and my body knows that there is nothing to do for the rest of the day, I've begun to slow down. My body is demanding rest and sleep and I'm willing to give in. I don't want to get sick again.
After 4 gruelling days of working hard on my segment for Wednesday; I had my own little victory. The segment came out well and I have the whole team to thank for it. Everyone's suggestions and support and encouragement has helped me improve as a segment producer and the segment came out fun. It was a pretty good segment considering all the factors and I can be happy that I am slowly earning my keep again.
Yesterday, after a stressful start of the week, Berna and I went to Embassy and dance away all the pent-up anxiety that has been building. Though I perspired a little and danced; I didn't let lose as much as I wanted to. The music never built up to a level where I could explode. There was an event at Embassy that was geared towards a Studio 54 theme and that kept the music a little light; a little steady. It was nothing I could explode to. That kinda sucked. There was a small little moment where I really enjoyed and the music got me pumped but it didn't last long. I was satiated (or is sated?)
So, right now, I'll just get a little shut eye to put my body to rest and I'll get back to living again over the weekend. I hope you guys had a very productive week.
excerpt from Journal Oct 2, 2000 -- Mar 13, 2001
John BergerWe only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice. We never look at just one thing, we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.
I opened a flood gate. I've been going through my old journals like crazy. I don't know why. It only serves to infuriate me. How could I have been that way? I don't get it. I really don't. Sometimes, it becomes this little detective game, trying to figure out if there was anything about my old self that even hinted at the kind of person I could become. Right now, I'm coming up emtpy. The two selves are so different. I suppose that's what we call growth; moving forward.
Today, I was totally oblivious to what was going on with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's State of the Nation Address. We don't need to hear it from her lips to know that we are fucked. Things are bad, sweetie. You don't need to tell us that. The question is: what are you going to do about it? Well, maybe she did answer the question but I didn't care to hear it. I had more important things to do. I had work.
I've become rather indifferent with our government but moving towards angry. I don't want to become political because it isn't my forte and I'm too apathetic to have a proper opinion. But I'm getting screwed by all the graft and corruption that it's starting to really piss me off.
But since I don't know what the fuck is going on; I've decided to put a different entry here. I found this strange journal entry in one of my old journals. It was strange but it really happened. There's some level of symbolism that was so strong in how I perceived the experience.
Here's the entry:November 10, 2000It is 10 minutes to 1 in the morning and, after stupendous conversation with Razel, Kacy and Voltz, I find myself disturbed. On my jeep ride home, an older woman -- grandma type, maybe 60 or an old looking 50 year old with no teeth missed the bus to Cainta or Taytay. She needed to go to the Police Station. Her story was very real and very disturbing. And it all started by a simple question in Filipino: "Does this pass the police station of San Juan?"She is/was a traffic cop and she lost out on two salary or compensation pay. She told me how they had no gratitude after her many years of service and not even a "thank you." So tomorrow morning she plans on speaking to Jinggoy about it. She said she knows Erap, probably by campaign or whatever but she does not want to bother him when Jinggoy could do, daw. She believes in him. Gloria is a "traidora" she says and will put this country under martial law, she said. I couldn't say a word. She said she even liked Marcos because at least things were orderly. Things worked. She only joined Cory because she felt sorry for her when she saw the picture of Ninoy dead. I think she mentioned either her husband or father. "And now they want to remove him from presidency," she said, she couldn't believe it. And she even mentioned she was from Negros Occidental.She also said I was handsome and I should be an actor. I thanked her. For the first time, I believed someone when they say I'm handsome. I don't know why.Then, she asked if I had spare change. All she had was in her backpack. She needed to see Jinggoy so she could get her money. She needed it. For some strange reason, I couldn't. I said I had none.When she arrived at the sakayan, no Crame jeep, I told her she could get a ride here. She thanked me and got down. As I watched her go, I thought, "How strange, there are no jeeps."As I got down from the jeep, I realised she had not paid. I walked away, then I thought of her, so I ran after the jeep driver and told him I think the woman didn't pay. I paid him her fare. He just looked at me, then he looked at the coin. As I walked away unthanked, I felt a heavy sinking feeling inside, like if I was robbed. It is so very strange. Until now, what bothers me most is that she has no teeth.
Of course, I don't know if she ever got her money. Now, Erap is in jail; Jinggoy is a Senator and Gloria is on her second term as President and she's being asked to resign by many sectors. Back then, it was bad but I don't think it was as bad as this. I wrote down that I had paid her fare and the driver "looked at the coin." Was the fare just 5 pesos then?
Oh, and Ma'am with-no-teeth, Gloria didn't put us under martial law. Well, not yet. Maybe sometime soon but she didn't do it then.
And how strange that moment; when she arrived at the jeep station, there were no jeeps when there are Crame jeeps at almost all hours of the day and night. There were none for her that night and what bothered me so much was that she had no teeth -- of all the things that bothered me, it was her appearance? Or her hygiene?
I'm glad I wrote it down. Somethings will escape you and you don't know what you could use sometime later on in the future...
this woman's work
Kate Bush from Burning Bridge (written by Kate Bush)Come close to me.
Come cross the bridge.
I need to know what you have to say to me.
(We've been waiting all night long.)
What have you got to say to me?
(We've been waiting all night long.)
Tell me all about it.
(We've been waiting.)
Tell me please.
(We've been waiting.)
Oh, I know.
Kate Bush is probably one of my most favourite artists of all times -- singer and songwriter and musicians. I love almost any song I hear from her and I'm slowly building up my collection as they continue to release re-mastered versions of her old albums.
If you haven't heard of her, that's because she was probably one of the biggest solo female artist that rose from the UK pop scene in the late 70s and the 80s. She has inspired the music of Sarah McLachlan and Bjork and I read somewhere that Coldplay's latest single Speed of Sound
was influenced by Kate Bush's #1 hit Running Up That Hill
. She's absolutely amazing and for me to write about her is actually an invite for my silliness because I'm just going to gush and gush and gush.
Her last album was released in 1993. The Red Shoes
was a hit when it was released in the UK but she never really followed up afterwards and, being quite a reclusive person, had disappeared from public eye showing up in some special event or so, maybe to be honoured for her achievements in music.
But rumours came out in 1999 that she was in the process of writing and recording a new album. This caused a frenzy among the many Kate Bush fans (including me) and we eagerly awaited what her new sound would be like, what motherhood has done for her music and what she has been cooking up since last we heard from her. Year after year, we patiently wait for the album and still, no news came. Being independently wealthy, she really doesn't need to work anymore, I suppose and can take her time with anything. In fact, she doesn't really need to release an album if she doesn't want to. And so her fans constantly wait.
I keep myself updated by checking up on the many fansites that keep track of her and her music. This is where I discovered that she was suppose to release the album this year on my birthday but it was pushed back again to later this year.
She's even in the position to not get pressured by her record company. They know less than what her fans know who constantly keep in touch with her.
I think what's amazing is this woman's effect on people. Here I am eagerly waiting for her next album and I may not even hear a single song from it, I'm going to buy it immediately. I'm in awe of her music and her lyrics and the way it moves me.
And so I'm one of the many eagerly waiting fans for her 8th studio album and I hope for its success in the charts. What do you have to say to me? Tell me all about it. Tell me please.
ask and you shall receive
AristotleWe are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.
Add on by my DadExcellence is not being the best; it is getting used to giving my best.
I thought that things were going to remain bleak and sad and pathetic for the next month or two since that is how long it takes for these depression spells to last. I just have these moods that can't be second guessed. They come and go as they please. So I was already expecting the worse. I asked for some sort of radical shift -- to go back and find some drive to work again and to be happy and perky again. Lo and behold! I got what I wanted.
And today, despite a whole week of tough work and hoping that I don't fuck up this time (and this whole week begins tomorrow), we had to go to Antipolo, Rizal where the team decided to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. It is a program that illicits the help of volunteer to build good housing for a cheap price so that they can sell these houses without interest and on a very fair payment scheme to under privileged families; relocate them into a good neighbourhood with a decent set of walls and a roof on their head.
I've always believed that charity is something one does voluntarily and when one is forced to do it, like for a school activity, it totally defeats the purpose. In that regard, it is the class or your professor who is doing the charity. None of the people who are there who are helping but whose hearts aren't in it are being charitable. They're just completing a requirement. For me, charity begins with sincerity; otherwise, it's just lip-service, really. Sure, some aid has been given, but it does not completely encapulate the act. Charity has a lot to do with intention.
So, with only one hour of sleep, I jumped on the van with the rest of the team to do something that didn't mean much to me. I feel that my life is fucked up enough as it is, I can't help others much if I still need to work on myself a bit more myself. But if I'm going to be somewhere to do something, I'm going to do it. I'm there already. I wasn't going to sit around and make myself a bother. I went there to help build houses, so build houses I will.
So it began, I joined the groups of men and women lifting sacks of sand and gravel bringing it from one part to where we were going to mix it into cement. I lifted sack after sack, pail after pail and brought it to where it was needed. I poured some of the gravel into the foundation myself. I tried my hand at shoveling, trying to mix the sand and gravel together but found myself ineffective and just taking too much time; so I let the more experienced men do it and did more of the lifting which was something I could do and at a fast pace.
What I liked about the people at Habitat is that they seem to know that you are a volunteer. They don't laugh at you for not being able to do so much. They recognise the fact that we are city kids and probably think that we sit in front of the computer the whole day and are totally out of shape (which isn't too far from the truth!). They don't push us to work and allow us to take the pace we need. If we can't do any more and would just like to sit down and catch our breath, we are perfectly able to do so and no one complains. There are no words spoken under their breaths and they don't give us nasty looks. Any one pail of cement that we carry is one pail of cement that they don't have to carry. They were very appreciative of us being there and helping them out. They would even ask to take it slowly and not to rush ourselves. And that really pushed me to do more; more than I could, more than my body was willing to do. My heart soared and did loops in the air. It wasn't at all militaristic. All of a sudden, it really felt like I was helping. We weren't expected to do much. If we were not in their way, then we didn't matter. The mere fact that we were helping meant the whole world to them.
And this made me feel really good. No, this made me feel great. Somewhere between my shirt turning a totally different shade of colour from my perspiration and lifting the 16th pail of wet sand and gravel, it no longer became a chore. I was no longer there because my whole team was and they decided we are all going. I was there because I wanted to help. And so I pushed myself to whatever level I could. My back was in pain, the sweat was stinging my eyes my arms were in pain (actually, make that all in the present tense) but I kept pouring the gravel into the foundation.
We were smiling and making jokes. We were taking our orders from the people who've been doing this since the project began. They offered us food during lunch and we offered ours and we were eating. It was this overpowering feeling of community. We were all there for a common goal and that was to build a community and we all did this willingly. And I can't be any more inspired right now.
All the tension I felt from the past few days is all gone now and this spirit of charity has found its way inside me and is making me proud of myself for doing more than what I could at that moment when these people needed help.
In fact, I want to go back. I want to do it again. And this isn't some fad feeling or some self-righteous stance on the world; no, this is something that makes me feel better about myself. That moment when I poured all my strength, energy and effort for the betterment of someone else totally freed me of guilt, of anger, of self-loathing. It put me in my place. Yes, I fucked up. I move on. I fix it as much as I can, I learn from my mistakes and then I apply what I learned. There is something so simple in the act of working your ass of without expectation of reward except for the gratitude that somehow... I don't know, just redeems you.
And I feel redeemed. Now, all the self-loathing is gone. I asked for this feeling to be gone and now it is. All of a sudden, I want to work harder, want to prove to my team that it won't happen again; that I can pull my weight, that I'm worthy to be a part of the team.
And more over, I want to go back to that site and help them finish those houses. Because our government can screw up royally and steal our money and blame everybody else in office for the same crime but down on our level -- the level of the people who just follow the laws and do not exercise them, do not enforce them or make them; we'll fix this country one by one, house by house, pail of cement by pail of cement. Everything won't be fine after these houses will be built. It won't solve the country's constant problems with graft and corruption and our lack of pride. No, sadly it won't. But maybe one family's life will get better and they will have a roof on their heads and a wall to shield them from the cold night air and keep the insects away from their children. And that's a start. That's a damn good start. The little things count to. And right now, all we need is a one damned good start.
in need of fuel in the fire
Janet Jackson from Free Xone (written by Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis)Love your sister, love your brotherLove yourselfRemember: One rule, no rulesFree XoneIn my many seasons of various emotions, this time I'm in a down-slump. Once again, I'm not in a good place. It's getting rather sickening, if you ask me. Sometimes, I enter into these moods where I am just beating myself over the head for no reason. Everything is fine but I just can't seem to perk up.
Of course, this is not one of those moments. For the past week, I've been desperately trying to catch up since I've been out of commission from that mutant flu. A lot of things changed around me and I wasn't prepared for it. I feel lost now. I screwed up a lot and it takes a lot of pride swallowing to come to meetings. I hate that feeling.
And then, yesterday, after a particularly hard day and realisations that I wasn't meeting standards, I get a text from my Father saying that, once again, our script has been put on hold. He says the movie will push through, he has no doubt about it. But I'm not all that excited over that prospect. This will mark the 6th script/story/movie that we were suppose to work together that has yet to come to fruition. I don't believe in things that were meant to be
or not meant to be
but I'm beginning to think twice about that now. Maybe I was never meant to work with my Dad. *sigh*
No, I didn't need to hear that right now.
Work continues to pile up and these are the days I wish I could just lie down at home and just stay away from the world, hide away until I feel better about myself. But that isn't the most mature thing in the world and nobody gets to have that privilege. We suck in our gut and pick up the pieces that have shattered and move on. We gotta get our act together whether we want to or not. This is one of the reasons why I was never really good at team sports. When I'm cause I fault or a mistake and my team loses a point, I beat myself up about it that it makes me play worse. Maybe I am not a team player like I thought I was. What a horrible thing to realise!!!
Funny how all this seems to come together now that the office decided to celebrate our losing the basketball and volleyball tournament. The office bought a lot of food and decided to give a little celebration to celebrate our non-victory. It's rather sweet -- we applaud our efforts despite not having won. It kind of emphasizes the idea that it isn't winning that is important but the effort.
I wish I could enjoy it as well as the others. But I'm no happy camper. Not right now. I gotta find myself a reason to just be; to perk up, to become more alive, to find some reason for being dedicated all over again. I need fuel in the fire. I gotta to be able to turn this frown, up side down!
This sucks, this really does. I hope I get out of this soon. Even I'm getting sick of myself...
A.L. KitselmanThe words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
I am tired. If what is written above is true (and it certainly does sound true), it can claim me all it wants but I'm tired. Once again my sleeping habits have been disrupted. I can't sleep properly and I can't wake up to my phone or to anyone, for that matter. My head is in several places at the same time, I can't seem to focus. This is disastrous.
After my sickness the other week (or was that 2 weeks ago?) I got back to the office with several procedures changed and they've raised the standard of our production. I was taken off guard. I shouldn't have been but I was. All of a sudden, things that were just so-so would not be tolerated and everything had to be taken to the next level, to a dimension, practically and I was just shocked.
So I had one segment which I had prepared in the "old way" and a shoot that was coming up which I had prepared for in the "old way" and all of a sudden, all these demands had to be met and I was just shocked. I was so out of it during my sickness that I never saw it. The signs were all there but it didn't register. Things were changing around me and I didn't notice it.
This one long disclaimer before I announce to the world that I royally screwed up both the segment for editing/airing and the segment for shoot. If it wasn't for the amazing capacity for saving butts that the rest of the TXTube team have I would've really fucked up 2 episodes. Lucky for me, they wouldn't hear of it and they saved the day.
I hate this feeling -- this feeling of being incompetent or, worse than incompetent is mediocre. I don't know why it is worse but I just feel that it is. I guess if one was incompetent, you should feel sorry for him. But if one was mediocre, it would be even more pathetic. I don't know... I don't ever want to be thought of as either and that's how I felt. And these past 2 or 3 days, I feel like I added extra weight to everybody's usual daily tasks and that feels really bad.
But I've been watching everyone work and I've been taking down notes and I won't let that happen again. They're raising the standards of TXTube? Good. I'm raising my standards for myself.
I maybe out of steam but the engine is still running and is good for a couple of thousands of miles to go. I'm going to catch up and this will be my last fuck up. I don't ever want to do that kind of mistake again.
My tail is in between my legs right now. But I'm glad my team won't bring me down. They know I know I did wrong (or I hope they know) and they'll let me fix it up. I got my beating already. They're not the type to rag on you, thank God!
I consider myself very, very lucky.
bits and pieces of the past
from The Essential Rumi
(translated and compiled by Coleman Barks)It's 4 am. Nasruddin leaves the tavern and walks the town aimlessly. A policeman stops him. "Why are you out wondering the streets in the middle of the night?" "Sir," replies Nasruddin, "If I knew the answer to that question, I would have been home hours ago!"
It was going to be a tough day and I found myself stalling to get to work. What happened instead was I picked up one of my old journals which recorded my thoughts from June 21, 2002 until March 5, 2003. Almost everyday has an entry. It amazes me how much of my life since 2000 until 2004 has been recorded. I've stopped writing on my journal for a long while now. I don't really know why. I just have let the habit go. It's no longer a major part of my being. And I've been running out of steam lately for this blog as well... Maybe there are times in our lives when we feel that we are so bothered with the going ons in our lives that we don't want to record it. We don't ever want to remember it. We just let it go.
I went over some of the journal entries in this particular journal and find so many things that bother me about myself back in the day. I was particularly weak and I was even more of a whiny character than I am today; and that says a lot. Bitterness flows through the pages so gracefully and so are my various bouts of depression and low self-esteem. If I ever met the person that I was then, boy, I would have given him a proper beating. It's amazing how much we've changed as time passes. Well, for that matter, it's amazing how some people never change...
Here is an interesting part which I took from my August 15, 2002 entry:I was walking home from Asia Crest at around 7 in the morning. I found a white feather. I picked up the feather and brought it with me. From now on -- I'm going to fly.
Whoa! Quite shocking! Especially if you read all the entries before that, you wonder, where did this guy find the time and the depth to write something like that... And unfortunately, a few pages later, I happen to just fall flat on my face and end up sounding so stupid and weak all over again. All that poeticism lost on the shallow affairs of the heart. *sigh*
From January 1, 2003:I just finished watching Vanilla Sky. Cameron Crowe is a genius. It is a beautiful, powerful movie. I'm crying right now -- still emotional and filled with so much passion inside."Every minute is a chance to turn it all around..." What powerful words. It struck me so much, tis choice of life, reality or the dream. the Vanilla Sky or what is really out there.Would I have the strength to wake up? Is my life one lucid dream? Am I ready for this?
Then I begin talking about someone who I fell in love with but only really used me for sex. This person texted after weeks of silence and I begin to over-analyze again. Then I write:So do I want my Vanilla Sky or what is really out there? If every passing minute is a chance to turn my life around, does that mean I can choose to wake up just a little bit later?Do I need this Vanilla Sky?
I can't believe I actually preferred the illusion! That is what I wanted -- to take the martyr route, the painful path of having put someone in greater value than my own self, even when I knew that I didn't matter to this person. What was the use of accepting the illusion when I already knew it for what it was? My God! I was such an idiot! I was so involved in my own drama, it was ridiculous and stupid and... I can't even finish describing it. It is just so sick.
Here is one big pity party that I put together for myself. Most of the entry is deeply involved with the drama of my friends, who hates who, what so-and-so thinks of so-and-so, that sort of thing and in the middle of all of this is the person I am in love with and my bestfriend. Then I go crazy talking about my difficulty and the fact that I am being ignored and then I go off ranting about not getting what I want and being so damned poor -- which I was at this point of time.
The end of that entry (dated March 2, 2003) was written:I don't know what I want. I'm too poor to know what I want and too poor to get it if I knew it.Inigo is right -- I don't really belong anywhere.
Inigo is my cousin. A weekend prior to this entry, I had a great bonding moment with my cousin in the middle of a forest in Batangas over beer, right beside a pool where bats would occasionally pass by to drink from the water or pick up dead bugs from the surface. It was an amazing moment and it would have been forgotten had I not written it down.
The magick of the journal, to see how far I've come from then and to see what has passed and what has transpired that made me who I am today.
I'm going to go through all my old stuff and try to find more treasure gems like that. Magickal little phrases that pop up from nowhere. It makes for inspiring quotes and moments, I think...
Marquis de Saint-LambertOften I am still listening when the song is over.
Since my Dad is here in Manila because of work, we decided to spend Sundays together doing something we've been doing since I was 4 years old. We chose to spend our Sundays having dinner together and watching movies. But since there were no movies out in the theatre that we wanted to watch and Dad forgot to bring the DVDs of the movies he wanted to see, we decided to just have this long conversation after dinner. That was kind of cool.
Then my Dad left early and Datu (my brother) and I ended up smoking in my room and talked for almost 4 hours straight. We haven't done that in a while as well. We ended up talking about movies based on comic books and RPG. By the way, our role playing games are not computer games, mind you, but table top role playing games where you determine success through die rolls and everything is talked over and imagined. It requires much creativity, a very high level of imagination and some level of rapport.
We have been playing RPG since I was 10 years old and so, in a sense, my brother had been playing for much longer. We found ourselves playing RPG games even two years ago. We had to stop because our work demanded more of our time and, to be honest, I've quite out-grown it. But there are magickal moments when a great story is conceived out of these games and you get this rush of creativity. It's amazing.
And now that we are older, we are searching for less adventure and action and more character depth. We are more interested in the character's day-to-day and the inner troubles of his personality. It would still be nice to test our character's mettle in battle, of course, but it's not the point of the games anymore. It's making a character and seeing what really makes him a hero. It's a wonderful process when both player and story-teller are in the same page.
Also, comic book movies are really affecting us in a big way because a lot of these comic books we read when they first began and they developed over time. There is a nostalgic quality to them. A familiarity that we can't simply write off. It was a little funny that the target market of these movies are for people who are younger than we are but we are the ones who are truly affected because we read these things when we were much younger and dreaming of the day for these comic books to come to the silver screen. And it's happening now.
It was a nice way to spend my Sunday. I woke up pretty late and very tired from working until very late into Sunday early morning. It didn't require much thinking. It was just floating through the day and it was fun. It was pretty cool.
Yeah, family rocks!
it's in the blood
Dolly PartonThe way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
After finishing up all the scripts that they need from me for next week's studio shoots, I went to Makati and met up with my cousin to celebrate his birthday last Monday. He introduced us to his graceful and charming girlfriend ("us" being my brother, his wife and I
) and we also spent some time with our other cousin. After a rather light meal (which we stuffed ourselves like pigs with since it was so good), we enjoyed a couple of rounds of beer and just talked.
It was a Thursday night and I just recalled that three years ago, I would probably been out, enjoying myself. At that time, I had access to a car, so I'd probably have picked up my friends and we would have gone out to the coolest place to go drinking. Three years later, I'm still drinking on a Thursday night, but this time, it was in my cousin's house and we were really enjoying ourselves. I had come from work, so I was dressed in rubber shoes, jogging pants and a sweat shirt. There was no intention of dressing to impress; after all, it was to be a comfortable dinner with family. And that is exactly what it was.
And what I enjoyed most about it was that we were not talking about the old times like we used to. We've let that go already and we were there talking about things going on with us now and stuff that we've missed, living these lives of ours and no longer capable of really keeping tabs on each other. It's moments like these were we really just connect. And I was so happy and thrilled that my cousin asked us to continue our little Sunday get togethers. Sunday really is a time for family and I think that would be great. I'm quite happy about that.
We also talked about the future -- making little plans for going out of town and just hanging out in a different setting. It's age, settling in and we've lost much of our steam and really enjoy the connection we feel.
It's funny as well, to think that we've all had our wild days at one point in our lives and we've all reached its peak and we are all ready to live a more quiet, a more steady life. It's a family thing. We've always been close and I'm happy for that. We even have a yahoo group of the cousins where we just continue on with our foolishness and crazy antics. I have 2 cousins in Canada and the rest are scattered around Bacolod and Manila. We don't get in touch as often as we would like and like we used to have.
Family is important. I will never let that go.
Aim (featuring Kate Rogers) from The Girl Who Fell Through the Ice (written by A. Turner & P. Vegas)I'm sorry I made you mine...
I got tagged and was asked these questions about how I deal with stress. Rather than talk about my disappointment with regards to watching Fantastic Four
last night or the strangeness of going to a club after almost 3 months in absentia; I decided to answer the question (actually questions).What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play?Funny, but ever since I started working on all my personal issues and the shit in my life last year I've become very self-reliant and quite comfortable with myself. So, if I am in the mood to watch a movie, I'll go watch a movie. I like watching movies alone. I enter the theatre when I want to, I can stay as close to the screen as I want without anyone telling me its too close and all that blah-blah. And I'm sorry, I like watching movie trailers so I want to be in early.I love tripping to music.
I can lock myself up in my room and just listen to song after song. Leave me my cigarettes and the option to raise the volume as loud as I want to and I can spend hours just listening to music. CD after CD, song after song, hour after hour... That's fine with me. I close off the world. Just give me my music.
I suppose since this questionnaire was about stress, it would be silly of me to say something like write and write
because I don't really feel like writing when I'm stressed. Sometimes it is good impetus but not always. And I can't read
when I'm stressed because I am just distracted. It doesn't help. I need to wind down first.What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety levels?Oh, when the blood pressure is up and I'm raring to go into a rage, nothing beats dancing. Just hitting the dancefloor and going way mad crazy losing yourself to the music. When I become one with the music, the whole world just becomes clearer and I realise that things are so much more simpler out there. I tune in to the world rather than tune out. I love the feeling that nothing else matters but this moment and then I just start to lose all that anxiety and stress.
I also love to go wall-climbing or play volleyball
. I suppose, basically, the true answer would be sports. If I can get physically active, it would be great. Since my distance to the wall I climb in makes it hard for me to get the nerve to go wall-climbing, I'd really love to try and get into ultimate frisbee. I'm sure I can get out a lot of anger and anxiety there. But we'll see... I'm not really at my best during competative sports. But I'm sure all that running around will help me get my feelings out in a more productive way.
But that's just me.
Because I'm Not KJ (kill joy)
I got tagged by Kage
in her site so I guess I'm stuck. Gotta do this...
Three names you go by:
Three screen names you had:
1. Jethro Liwanag (when I acted in a movie at 4 years old)
2. Jose Dacanay
3. The Onion Boy
Three physical things you like about yourself:
2. legs (I don't have chicken legs, yes!)
Three physical things you don't like about yourself:
1. height (wanna be taller)
2. hair (completely has a life of its own)
3. stomach (size does matter! I want it smaller and firm!)
Three parts of your heritage:
3. very, very little Arabic
Three things that scare you:
Three of your everyday essentials:
1. cell phone
3. music (gotta be hearing it)
Three of your favourite musical artists:
1. Kate Bush
2. Sarah McLachlan
3. Tori Amos
Three of your favourite songs:
1. Whisper (Slovo)
2. Pedro (Dahlia)
3. Hyper-ballad (Bjork)
Three things you want in a relationship:
Three lies and truths in no particular order:
1. The grass is greener on the other side.
2. Love conquers all.
3. When you can't have the one you want, love the one you're with.
1. Honesty is the best policy.
2. The only constant thing is change.
3. Shit happens.
Three things in the opposite sex that appeals to you:
1. long and graceful legs
2. long graceful necks
Three of your favourite hobbies:
2. watching movies
3. listening and discovering new music
Three things you really badly want to do now:
2. go wall-climbing
3. learn the guitar or piano
Three careers you are considering/considered getting into:
1. teacher (university level only!)
2. documentary film maker for National Geographic or Discovery
3. actor (ha! ha! ha!)
Three places you want to go on a vacation:
3. South Africa
Three kid's names you like:
Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Bungee Jumping
2. Write a novel
3. Ride an elephant
Three ways you are stereotypically a boy:
1. I'll say "I'll call" but I don't
2. I'm never on time (Oh, sorry, I forgot the time...)
3. I've got a messy room
Three ways you are stereotypically a girl:
1. I cry at movies
2. I'm never on time (takes long to get ready)
3. I can talk for hours over nothing or people or things
Three people I would like to see take this quiz:
a visit and a meeting with old friends
from Angels in America
written by Tony Kushner"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers...""Well, that's a stupid thing to do."
Like Lazarus, I'm back from the dead; back in the real world. Walking to the jeepney stop and taking the Metro Rail Transit to work and back in the work force and looking at piled up e-mails and checking up on the work that needs to be done. I'm back in the world of the living, in society.
But I'm glad for that flu because I discovered I'm not diabetic and I'm relatively in healthy shape and that's always good to discover. I've always been afraid I might be a diabetic and I wouldn't be able to handle it properly if I were. And because of all that time were I required rest, I was home most of the time and I was able to watch Mike Nichols' amazing film Angels in America.
If you love moving works that crosses history and messages -- about real people who intellectually cuts through the core and breaks down everything into a discourse, an intelligent discourse, this is for you. It's an amazing film and I'm glad I got to see it.
Now I'm back at work. But during my sickness, I had two visitations. My very good friend DC went to my house to see me since it was not the best of ideas for me to leave the house at night when my fever kicks in. We talked for 4 hours, catching up on each other's lives because we haven't seen each other in months and we had no real inkling about what was going on between us. He has a girlfriend and is very much in love, I have both hands on the steering wheel of my life now and I'm on the right road finally towards my destination. We both reveled in each other's joys and little triumphs and I'm so glad to have got to see him again. DC is one of the few people who I can speak for 2 and a half hours about music with and he would not get bored with me and would probably have just as much to say as I do.
Prior to DC's visit, I went and met up with Brian Vallesteros and Chris Mariano, two old friends from before -- my college days. True artists and great people and it was great to keep in touch with them. We had dinner and then we dropped Chris at her bus because she couldn't miss her bus but Brian could stay with me a bit longer and he did and we kinda took our time because we hadn't seen each other in the longest time and we just got to talking. I've realised, through my conversation with Brian that I've changed so much. When Brian was with me last, I was a totally different person then. I hadn't come into myself and found myself and made myself. I wasn't half as confident as I am now. And I don't know, I was wondering if he thought I was arrogant. I was wondering if he was wondering what had happened and why I had turned into such an asshole. I suppose it is a huge jump from who I was back then to who I am now.
But after everything is said and done, Brian is still my friend and it must be jarring to have to adjust to someone in that manner. Brian has remain steadfast a great artist and a great person. All he is now is older, more mature, wiser but he hasn't changed essentially.
I have, though, by leaps and bounds.
And friends are a great way of measuring how much you've changed. Old friends, especially because they knew you then and they know you know. And I'm very, very happy for these two meetings this week, during my sickness. The time to really catch up and re-establish bonds.
I'm very happy for that. It's time to re-establish connections, re-establish bonds.
Susanna Hoffs from Enormous Wings
(written by Susanna Hoffs and Mark Linkous)it was sadthe rain had knocked him downpeople came to see from all aroundhe was lying thereBeen at home for a while now. Getting cabin fever. Thursday found me at work, trying to get as much work in so that I can go home early before evening falls. It's always worse in the evening; it comes at dark -- the pain, the fever. I feel fine in the morning and the afternoon but the moment the darkness comes, it's there. But Thursday was something else. I was finishing a segment that was to be aired on Friday and one day is not enough time to do a good job but I left early on Wednesday because I couldn't do it anymore. I was in too much pain. By the time I had finished early Thursday afternoon, I was wracked with pain. My face was so hot with fever I felt like I could cook eggs on it. My lower back exploded into such pain that I couldn't stand straight, I walked around like a very old man who never took care of his body. People were calling me Lolo Wanggo (Grandfather Wanggo) in the office because it must've looked funny. Then, it became unbearable and I rushed home.My brother and sister-in-law saw me and instantly brought me to the hospital despite my refusal. In the hospital, they discovered that I had almost 3 times more bacteria in my body than normal. That's not good. I've become a condominium to foreign bodies; low cost housing for tiny micro-organisms. I knew it, I'm too nice. Next time, I'm charging them more. Well, the doctors at St. Luke's gave me a new set of medicines to take; at least cheaper than the first set of anti-biotics and now I'm up to 4 pills after meals. I feel horrible. This shouldn't be happening yet! I should be much, much older than this to be taking that many pills after meals. The good thing about it is at least I am not a diabetic; they discovered that much and I can rest. And I don't have an STD, either (which was an actual worry) and dengue or malaria (which is what my brother feared).So I have been resting at home. One good thing about this is that I'm asleep before 12 midnight and I'm awake by 7 in the morning. Sometimes I wake up at 5 am, coughing and wheezing but I usually can get back to sleep after 5 minutes but definitely, I'm wide awake by 7. This would be great if I could go to work and do some actual work but I can't, so instead, I read a book or just lie there with my thoughts. Suffice to say, I'm getting cabin fever. Sometimes, I sneak in to my brother's room, grab a DVD and watch a movie. I listen to songs I haven't heard in a long time from my CD collection (and pissed off because 1 CD is missing and I don't know what it is and who borrowed it, grrr). I've even unearthed my tape collection and going through some of the albums I've loved back in the early and mid-90's before I started collecting CDs. Some of these tapes I'm looking for a CD equivalent and I'm unable to find -- Susanna Hoffs, The Cardigan's First Band on the Moon, Fiona Apple's Tidal, Tanita Tikaram's The Capuccino Songs (a really gorgeous album) and Shawn Colvin's A Few Small Repairs. There's a lot more, actually but I didn't bother. It was too dusty.I've been smoking less. When no one's looking, I'd taking in a cigarette. I'm down to one cigarette a day, sometimes 2. I might as well quit altogether, huh? The desire is there but I can't take it, my throat is too swollen. And my pack is now empty and there's no way anyone is going to buy me a pack here until I'm better so there goes all my smoking until I'm better. Might as well quit, right?
I wanted to write this entry using the underground cave in Palawan as a symbolic metaphor and use opposing imagery of the wonder of the cave and the absolute mundane existence of merely sitting around at home. Both are in a state of darkness -- one literal and the other figurative; yet both are fundamentally different in all ways. Except all my pictures are in my computer at the office. So scratch that idea! It would have been really clever. Darn!
I'm staying home, trying to get better, working on some stuff in my head and just hoping that the meds kick in and that I'd be back to my old self by Monday. I want to be full-tilt boogie back in business soon.
Now you'll have to excuse me. I'm coughing again and I guess it's best I just lie down and get some rest. I don't want a relapse now...
Meredith Brooks & Queen Latifah from Lay It Down
(written by Melanie Safka; rap written by Queen Latifah)I'd like to take the sunshine right from the skyAnd let it shine on you through my eyesYou see we all in the same boat trying to floatSo everybody grab a oar we can make it to shoreBeen out of commission. Flu hit me so bad the other night and work was unbelievable so despite the fact I was getting sicker; had to stay until really late and went home in the pouring rain. Took a cab to keep dry and went straight to bed. Tuesday found me groggy, useless and exhausted. I slept like a log but I would wake up every 3 or 4 hours, changing my clothes because I was soaked to the skin with perspiration despite my chills. It must've been the medicines kicking in. It seems when I have the flu or a fever and I take my meds, I start to perspire no matter how cold my bones are. It must be the toxins leaving my system. I can only hope. I stayed home all day Tuesday, trying to get some rest. I pretty much stayed in bed and just slept, resting my body. This is so not me; I'm usually fighting the sickness by acting like nothing's wrong but I can't afford to get any sicker and I can't afford to let anyone at the office catch my illness. So I stayed home.Resting, I would enter in and out of slumber. I had this very powerful, realistic dream. I dreamt that I was going on a trip to Italy. It was a great feeling. I was with a couple of my friends: Paolo and Cat, our friend Kage and 2 more people I don't remember anymore (or merely dream characters who are not really part of my reality; dreams sometimes do that, right?) and we were waiting at my house (I don't know why; but then, dreams are never logical) and we were waiting to leave for the airport. What made things even more exciting was that we weren't going to just one place in Italy, we were going everywhere. We would be there for months and we would be going to Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa and maybe even do a stop over to the Tuscan cities. Cat and Paolo were going for some modeling projects, I was going there because I had writing jobs waiting for me there and Kage was for some higher education thingie (I wasn't clear on that). We were to arrive at Rome together and stay there for a week and then separate. We were to meet at Venice after 4 days and stay for 3 days before we separated again to meet at Pisa for 2 days. It was going to be like that for almost 3 months.It was an exciting dream. Paolo and I couldn't understand why we couldn't leave for the airport right away. We kept talking about all the things we were going to see and the things we could do while we were there. The girls were just relaxing and some calm and collected. They were seated on my bed and talking about something they both read recently.The dream went so far as to our boarding on the plane and I got to sit on the aisle seat, my preferred seat on the plane and looking at Kage, seated beside me who had this very knowing look. She could see how excited I was and she told me, Don't sleep; whatever you do, do not sleep.But as usual, I did sleep because I never sleep before I go on a plane ride so that I spend most of the time asleep on the flight. I'm not that fond of flying. When I woke up, I was in my bedroom, throat dry, in the verge of a coughing fit, hair messy and drenched in sweat. I awoke back into reality. Kage warned me and I tried to stay awake but fatigue had kicked in and I never touched down in Rome. I woke up, still in Manila.How frustrating.
The Dancing Sun
Shawn Colvin from Sunny Came Home
(written by Shawn Colvin and John Leventhal)"It's time for a few small repairs," she saidSunny came home with a vengeance
Paolo Soler zipped during the Tropical Depression set at the Baragatan Festival in Palawan. That must've been two weeks ago. It was amazing. When lit, the two flames danced around Paolo's body like suns and all of a sudden, there was this blinding truth; in that moment, it was the sun that revolved around us humans. It was at the mercy of his control. The sight was truly beautiful to behold. The crowd gaped in awe, Tropical Depression kept a steady riff going, not beginning their set; they let Paolo play with the twin suns just a little, gave him the stage. Yes, our world revolved around the sun. But in truth, the sun revolves around us. It is with us that its beauty ends up inspiring. It's a co-existence, really. It provides us with sustenance; with the capacity to live and we provide it with a higher meaning. Time and time again, through mythology, poetry and songs, we've given the sun such a grand stature amongst most natural symbols. It has been worshipped, praised and admired.
I've been out of commission as of late. Last Friday, I could feel the pangs of aches and pains ravaging my body and a cough that is far more violent than my usual chronic case. I was coming down with the flu. I quickly finished all the work that was needed and then I was home and asleep before midnight or right at midnight. I was planning to go to the doctor last Saturday to get a flu shot but I could not leave the house. I was wracked with muscle aches and joint pain. My head was swimming in molasses and I was coughing and sneezing left and right. I stayed home. I slept the whole day. After 4 or 5 hours of deep sleep, I would change my clothes, wet with perspiration and then fall back unto the bed. I'd read more of the book I had begun Descent
by Jeff Long. After a couple of chapters, I'd be back asleep. I woke up Sunday with my whole Saturday spent reading or sleeping.
On Sunday, I decided to do some walking. I was getting cabin fever and I did not want my body to remain inactive for too long a period of time. I did some push ups and leg raises and took a hot shower. I covered myself up completely and went to Shangri-La to pay my phone bill and to see the doctor at a clinic inside the mall. While waiting, I thought of zipping. I remembered how graceful the fire flew around the stage that night and how easy Paolo made it seem. It was truly a magnificent sight. I didn't want to lose any sense of my physicality. While I'm still limber enough and energetic enough, I should stop stalling. I should get myself a pair and begin. Shameless plug -- get your zips only from Planet Zips. They are the best and the original!
I bought myself 2 CDs, Nommo
by Slovo and Marion Raven's debut solo album Here I Am
. Where Marion Raven's album is pure pop/rock ear candy (I love it!), Slovo's album is pure bliss. Dave Randall's guitar melodies are hypnotic. I fell into a trance. I went home with the medicines that my doctor told me to buy (it was expensive) and I found myself listening to music, resting and reading. I finished the book and went back to sleep.
I woke up early today. In my head, I can only think of the dancing sun. I don't know why. Maybe because the book, Descent
, primarily is set in the subterrainean tunnels beneath our world and for almost 150 pages of the book, the two main characters are walking in a labyrinth of darkness, with their only light, that of flashlights and the green plastic candles that they use for diving while underwater. I imagined what it would be like to live underground and to never see the sun again. I imagined fire zipping. I imagined the twin suns dancing around a human body.
We create our own light. We are not at the mercy of this world and of nature. It's what we've been evolving towards all these years. And it is not through technology but reasoning. It is through abstract thought; it is through creativity, imagination and wonder. Yes, that magickal word keeps coming back. The power is in our hands. As our world revolves around the sun, the sun revolves around us, if we are creative enough.
It must be a fever dream. My body recuperating from a battle with an unseen demon, my mind plays tricks on me; making me think of such strange things. Making me think of the sun as something so easily dominated or mimicked. But in my weakened state and in a constant state of slumber, I've made 2 new stories. I maybe foolish but I'm not yet empty.
I'm back at work, completely covered -- sweater, bonnet, long pants, socks; anything to keep the flu inside me. I will be very careful about cups and utensils. I will not let myself become a contagion. I've come from the darkness -- in a constant state of slumber for almost 2 days, resting, recuperating and battling sickness. But I've surfaced back into the real world with 2 new stories and germs of more playing in my head. I did not lose this time.