Sunday, August 19, 2012

eating italy.

my pesto
Everyone is destined to be someone and I am not to be a chef. But I love food. I love to eat. Food unites everyone, literally. There’s this time of the month, two to three days before the 15th or 30th, that I and my housemates usually gather to share what is left of our supplies. A period of scarcity bordering poverty. A time when your budget has reached its tolerable limit. A time for sharing. And we always laugh about it. Abundance is always preceded by scarcity. It’s inevitable. And we still laugh about it.

While supplies last, or shall we say while money lasts, I try to taste “good food”. Good food means it is prepared exhaustively and not commercially in some known or unknown restaurant. But when you’re tired and lazy, you can’t be choosy. I sometimes satiate my hunger with the instant satisfaction from the oily fries and a pretentious meal which nutritional value is mediocre when compared to your food supplement. I suggest you go home and swallow the pill of your choice. Your vitamins. Or your sleeping pills, it won’t matter though. My point is that fast food chains become our refuge when hunger and laziness collide. To cook requires a lot of patience, and good taste. Experimenting is good but taste buds can also experience trauma. We don’t want our friends to eat our food for friendship’s sake. That can be fatal. Kidding.

Today, I choose to eat good food. Of course, prepared by me. Cooking, for an amateur like me, is like experiencing writing for the first time. Your inexperience becomes a great factor. First time experience means “food in danger”. Everyone can be a cook, at least, after you pour that Dead Sea-like broth you made after a multitude of practice. Cooks are made. And I am making one out of me. Hahaha.

I choose to cook pasta. I love pasta. Every time I eat pasta, I feel like I’m a step away from Italy. Italy means gastronomical delights waiting to be relished. Though I have not been there, eating pasta always transports me to this lovely place. My Italy is food and imagination combined. I cook pesto with tuna. It was like six years ago when I first tasted pesto and I realized I love Italy. The feeling was like “unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe.” There’s a sense of wonder how the mixture of oil, leaves, nuts and pasta could make such a miracle. It makes me utter “bon app├ętit” a couple of times. And I am uttering one now. 

Ms. Ching, a colleague, shared her secret in cooking: to cook an exquisite meal, just mix everything. Well, after tossing everything in the bowl, I toss also all my hopes to be a good cook with it. The first batch is a little bit salty but somehow considerable for someone who's really hungry. The second one is an utter perfection, enough to let me say all the Italian words I know while eating. Hehehe...

Good food comes with a price. And I pay it all while I eat my pesto with gusto. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

subtle dementia.

picture from here

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to write. With the music drowning me from the noise around, I felt compelled to produce something since I am within the arena of my own world again. This is what is beautiful when my head is empty: there’s an ample space for the thoughts that I can think about. Though my mind can hold tanks of ideas but my memory seems to take ounces only. It is like a funnel. There’s the big mouth ready to absorb good and vile thoughts but only some of these can pass through the other end. Maybe I have a good kind of Alzheimer’s. Good, since most of the time, I think humanitarian. Occasionally, my mind brings out ignominious thoughts that I don’t even know they exist. I think in volumes but I produce ounces. They just slip away from my mind. What remains are egregious thoughts. What I deliver are domesticated ones.

I think caprice. I am volatile. I always submit to the subtle whims of my id. I am a brat of my inner urges. I always play with the inner me to see the consequences or the outcome. I like walking in tightropes with my inner self. I don’t know if there’s such that exists but I feel secure when I am attuned with myself than when I am with the outside world. I feign absence to feel my presence. I become one piece when I am scattered. There’s a part of me that wants to get hold of my lunacy. There’s a part of me that controls it. I am a coin. I am where the side is up but I am always both.

I am always intrigued by the lunatics or the “crazy” people. They own the pedestrians and the world is their playground. They are tax-free and no one seems to bother their misbehavior. It is always charged to their derangement. Are their worlds as colorful as we claim our surroundings to be? Or are their worlds as complicated as the labyrinth of our ignorance? We find them funny, repulsive and unacceptable. But when they talk to an unseen comrade, I am always at awe. Have they had destroyed the portion of their brain for sanity or have they finally tapped on their inner psyches? I want to reach that inner psyche. I want to converse with my inner self. Without appearing crazy, at least.

I haven’t had a close encounter yet with someone crazy of the literal sense. However, I have met several people suffering from metaphorical insanity. They deny the fact that they live in two faces. But their actions are reeking with the smell of their sanity in trouble. Man is an ugly creature if one wills him to be so. He can also be ruthlessly beautiful. Man is always a two-way conduit. And I admire it. I don’t admire though, the thought that most people adhere to the idea of simplicity or singularity, albeit the idea that living in complication is their twin.

I am a complication masked by my being a simpleton. My ignorance is my scapegoat. I am still unable to tap on my deepest psyche. I want to touch that realm. I know everyone has his own insanity, though properly in placed. I have a safe for my own dementia.

How does it feel to be crazy? How will you know if you’re already one? How is the world in a crazy man’s mind? Are you already one?

Friday, July 27, 2012

cups of insanity.

It was one of those afternoons where in a kick of coffee was not enough without a dose of conversation. I was with my Mom who I think was as drunk with boredom as me. She was on the bed while I was on a chair toying the idea of either sleeping or reading. My Mom and I conversed a lot about anything, from the most banal things in life to her most complicated problems like past pregnancies, business and old age. She never ran out of stories. I never ran out of ears. I love listening, don’t I?

It was one of those afternoons as I told you: a mug of coffee and a book covering my face. I finally decided to kill a book. She was on the bed feigning sleep and I was there waiting for the moment she ignites the start of a conversation that knows no ending. Unless she ends it, or someone shouts “It’s cooked!” I am a light conversationalist. A lot of it will make me drool or utter inaudible expletives. “Mike?!”, she said. “Hey, Hitler!”, I nearly shouted out of surprise. I never expected she could be that enthusiastic.

“What book are you reading?”, she asked me nonchalantly as if we were not in the room for an hour already. Peeking on the edge of the book, I looked at her, “A book of a crazy author.” I thought I heard a cricket peed. My Mom was silent for a century.

Earlier this morning, I was watching Sybil, a film about a woman having multiple personality disorder. My Mom was there walking to and fro throwing questions about the movie. Answering them while watching the movie (let alone understanding it), for me, was like sleeping in a Kafkaesque dream. But God gifted me with patience even He, could envy for. I still listened. And compelled myself to answer her questions. 

I sipped my coffee. “You’re reading that?! Why do you like crazy stuff? You watched something crazy this morning and now, you’re reading “crazy”!”, she bashed like she’s a member of the JBC  (Judicial and Bar Council). I sipped my coffee again. “Nakakaaliw kasi eh at nakakagaan ng isip.” (It is amusing and it lightens my mind.), was all I could muster.

“Birds of the same feather talaga kayo (You’re really birds of the same feather). You flock together. Nababaliw ka na rin (You’re going crazy also).” And she left her bed.

I sipped my coffee and smiled. Mother knows best.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

hang in there: eiga sai 2012.

What would you do when the misfortunes of life seem to connive with fate to twist your destiny into a distasteful one? Eiga Sai 2012 echoed the answer ,"Hang in there." From the first movie that I watched until the last one, there's a message that was clear in each character, the need to persist, to survive, to "hang in there".As I watched the stories of mountaineers, pilots, doctors, flight attendants, boxers, samurais, ninjas and even criminals, I realized one thing: Life is real. Everyone suffers. And everyone fights to survive. Eiga Sai 2012 reverberated the need to survive amidst the tragedies of life.

Peak: The Rescuers

The Eiga Sai opened with laughter and tears in the Peak: The Rescuers. It showcased the beauty of Japan's cold mountains that highlighted the blue skies. I always see mountains and snow. I said to myself, "Japan, even on ice, is still breathtakingly wonderful."

The story revolved around the characters of Shiina and Shinpo, both mountaineers of different perspectives. Shiina was a neophyte while Shinpo was a mountain compass, an enthusiast. The story circled around Shiina's struggles in the art of mountaineering under the tutelage of her own fear, doubt and courage. Without struggle, she would not discover the will to survive. Shinpo, on the other hand, became her scarf against the coldness of life. He became her redemption.

I love the film. I spent more than two hours trying to subdue the seemingly unappeasable cyclone of emotions inside me. The audience could attest to that. I tried to hold a tear.

Happy Flight

I always admire pilots whenever I see one. I remembered the first time I rode a plane. I spent most of the time listening to my own prayers while the clouds played peek-a-boo with me. But the Captain's voice soothed those worries away. Since then, I was always fascinated by pilots. Was it really that hard to fly and to land a plane safely? Questions. Questions. Questions.

Happy Flight laid the answers on a silver platter. It was never easy. Trying to fly a thing that big and that heavy was not a layman's work. That's why, soon-to-be-Captain Suzuki was both a hero and a survivor in this movie. I was deeply moved by his words, "I want to land a plane wherein the passengers could barely feel that it landed already." Security and comfort. 

The struggle started when a small part of the plane got destroyed and, thus, cascaded into a series of plane exhibitionism, airport drama and unwanted humor. I always like how the Japanese made their movies: there's always humor.A problematic plane is serious. But Japanese humor is more serious. I always pocket out a laugh from time to time.

The movie ended just like its title: Everyone got a happy flight. And so was the audience.

Ninja Kids

Two words for this movie: Eeww and Funny.

Based on a manga, the movie captured the audience through its colorful costumes, handsome casts (the girls' screams were still fresh in my ear canal) and slapstick humor. Stepping on a dog's poo, nose with gooey mucus, weird faces like Madame Auring's and a big head. Just plainly weird.

Rantaro, a ninja kid, was sent to a school to learn the ways of a ninja. Together with his bunch of sleazy, cunning and faithful friends, he managed to overcome obstacles and conquered his own life's tragedies.

My humor is somewhat shallow, so I always find myself laughing at the film.


Colorful was the animation of this year's Eiga Sai. It was a film about a soul that was given a chance to live again but in another person's body. He would forfeit this chance unless he found the reason why he was sent back.

He lived in the life of Makoto Kobayashi whose family issues he deeply resented. He discovered the complicated life that was left behind by Makoto.The first half of the film was a shade of gray: dark, gloomy and dragging. I nearly strangled the person next to me. Kidding. Hehe.

The other half of the movie went into shades of pastel as "Makoto" discovered the joy behind meeting friends, or shall we say a friend. His life became colorful when he discovered what he lost due to his indifference to the world. I was a bit curious about the reason behind his suicide. Through the guidance of another soul, he was prompted to realize what was his mistake.

The whole film dragged me for almost two hours to find out what his mistake was. His mistake was that he killed someone. He killed Makoto. The soul that returned to Makoto was his own soul afterall. Complicated? Watch the movie 'coz I don't want to spend the whole day here reiterating the film.

Tomorrow's Joe

I thought the idea of boxing as an escape route to sudden wealth was a Pinoy mindset. I was wrong. Even Japanese had this, or at least in the movie.

The film would bring us to the slums of boxing dreams where Joe was discovered by, perhaps, a former good boxer. All I could say that Joe definitely lived a hard life having violence as his staple food. He loved brawling. His life changed when he met Rikiishi, a pro boxer, in a fight inside the prison. This opened him to his purpose in life and started his "boxing career". Joe won all his match for one sole purpose: to fight Rikiishi someday on a ring. I don't know why they became smitten with each other's punches.

Among the films, I ranked this as my best. Though not a fan of boxing, I liked the whole flow of the story. It's just that I don't get it why they injected the story of the girl's poverty to the plot. Found it not interesting. So what if she came from the slums? Her issues were not resolved, even at the later part.


Being the featured film of this year's Eiga sai, I expected a lot from this film. I was a bit late so I missed the first few parts. Just like the other films, I noticed the first part before the title was shown could mean a link in the chain. It can make or break the story.

I felt empty and dumbfounded after watching the movie. Though I understood the logic behind the character of Yuichi, I was still stupefied by the depth of the story. I was drowned with my own ignorance. Each character faced their own villains in life. Either they encountered outside forces or they came face to face with their own selves.

Among the films, this belongs to my To-Watch-Again List. Though the film did not disappoint me, my perception and understanding of it puts me in the frontier of frustration. 

Eiga Sai 2012 dismisses the idea of an easy-going life. The basic struggles in life punches their realities through our guts. We either throw a haphazard punch or block it with our own countercross. We either subjugate ourselves to a KO or we emerge a winner, someone who "hangs in there".

I definitely love my Eiga Sai experience this year, though I still miss the company of Elna Furio. I miss seeing her cry and laugh at the same time while watching. I watched 7 films out of 10. Hope to watch it with you next year. Hahaha. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

why blog?

Dear Reader,

Writing is not my passion, though I really try to force it in my system like forcing an amino tablet in one's mouth. Ask the bodybuilders how big it is. I don't feel the Cloud 9 experience. What I feel instead is like putting Hulk in a "bartolina" (small cell). I can almost smell the steamy sweat of pressure and the throbbing pain of the inevitable stress that follows. I just love to share my ideas, my thoughts, my fears. I just love to tell you what's in my puny mind. I just love to show you the strength of one's thought if exhaustively used. I just want to share me.

I know anyone can read this and so I know I can tap on anyone's mind. See the advantage? I can stay in your mind for quite some minutes. You are basking under my short-lived power. I am a power-tripper. That's why I like to share ideas because I know you will spend time agreeing and disagreeing with me. You become intertwined with my ideas. This experience is familiar because I become one with the characters when I read a book and I always become the alive audience when I read one's work. I am always overpowered when I do such things. It's just like conversing with someone over a cup of coffee. Warm. Candid. Casual. True. Irresistible.

This brings me to the idea of blogging. I like the idea of being anonymous to the world yet felt in presence. It's like sitting in the Congress. You know what I mean. I know that somewhere out there a pair of prying eyes or a curious mind is reading my thoughts. And I want it. To you my dear reader, I'm talking personally and I'm not convincing you to believe what I wrote. They are either products of imagination, of tantrums or of boredom. Although I don't equate them to nonsense pieces, I still don't encourage you to value their thoughts. But it will be flattering if you do so.

Why do I blog? I am always asked by my conscience. Way back 2008, I had the thought of blogging as a safe for my insane thoughts. Because of a friend (you know who you are, or were), my blog now is a toxin-dispersing machine. But thanks for being my short-time publicist. Currently, it is either spreading epiphany of thoughts or planting insane ideas. I am not a cynic, though, I like to play with my cynical mind. And I blog to plant my insane thoughts here in cyberspace. I am the other side of the coin. I blog because I want to express. Period. Express what? Anything. Even things imagination has not reached. Life is short and I am running out of it. My blog is not a hobby, it is my memory. It is my memory safe.

To you my reader, I keep them safe here.

Yours truly,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

would tomorrow cry for me?

O Muse, your words are music to my content,
The fortress crumbles, my soul's bent
To unravel the rust of this wretched body,
Devoid of existence, the temple of malady
For I hide beneath the mask of Apollo
And flaunt gaiety with face unbarred
The tears not seen under the veil,
For my pain is just a dust on the scale.

If I die tonight, would tomorrow cry for me?
Would the world shed its heavy plumes?
And dust my ashes to the winds?
Or would I crumble like the ruins
Or my memories fade under faint skies?

If my soul trembles, what would've become of my body?
If my fate is laid, what would my future behold?
Unrivaled woes and grievances,
Would tomorrow be uncertain if Death be its gain?

If I die tonight, would tomorrow cry for me?
Or would I be just another tombstone?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am bad with parting. I am usually caught between the idea of "not reacting at all" or "the feeling that is almost there". I usually let everything pass. I let the time pass. I let the emotional side of each situation pass. I let the feelings of guilt and grief pass. Basically, I become frigid like a senile man. This time, however, it is different.

Today is the last day of school. The excitement is so overpowering that everyone forgets the real score. Parting is supposed to be a momentous event for tear-jerking experiences and emotional goodbyes. Or is it only real during my younger years? My students are hollering around with excitement. I still don't know how to react. Will I be happy that the school year has ended and that stress has reached the safe level? Will I be sad for the fact that I'll be seeing them after two months? Or will I be delighted that I can lavish myself with stress-free days later? Blank.

Maybe it is just the effect of lack of sleep. My mind is groggy and my emotional reflexes are anesthetized by coffee-less morning. But as I have told you, this day is rather different. I receive this card from one of my students (see the photo). And I said to myself, "What a wonderful world." Kidding aside, I am deeply touched by my student's token of affection. Each word is like a golden trophy. To tell you honestly, this is the nth time that I have read the words and I am still seized by the same feeling. Three years is just as short as his message but is as meaningful as the words used. To that dear student of mine, "Timmy, spending three years again with you would be delightful." 

This time, parting for me is meaningful. And I react knowingly.