Sunday, January 30, 2011

With Fellow Poets of Kaliwat ni Karyapa

It seems like I haven't blogged in a while.  Well, it's about time.

Yesterday was a very exhausting day for me.  Have you ever had one of those days when you had so much fun despite being deprived sleep the previous night?  Yes, my day was a lot like that.  No, wait.  It was actually that exact situation.  I didn't sleep at all Friday evening.  I watched a musical along with two cousins and tagged them along to see a live band perform.

Following that, I had a ton of work waiting for me on my desk.  I didn't even know where to start.  I fumbled through the pile paperwork for something interesting, but everything seemed bland.  Imagine:  I had to drown myself in coffee just to stay awake.  I told myself, "This is what you get for procrastinating so much!"  I know; I know.  I'm the master of procrastination.  There isn't a need to remind me about that anymore.

I was so immersed in the shining, shimmering, splendid colors of my notebook's display monitor that I didn't realize the sun was up.  I didn't even bother to check the system tray to know what time it was.  The next thing I knew, my grandmother was already standing behind me, curiously looking at what was keeping me busy.  Consequently, she asked me to eat breakfast with her, but I aptly declined in favor of work, work, and more work.

To cut the story short, I went to bed at 10:00AM, got up at 1:30PM and left the house at exactly 2:00.  My companions, who were my fellow members of KaKa (Kaliwat ni Karyapa - a Boholano Poets' Organization), and I headed to a Catholic Nun-run retreat house somewhere in Alburquerque.

In that vast bed-and-breakfast-like place, we picked a small hut that could accommodate our small number.  There, we ate and chatted like mad.  We didn't mind that we were in a place crawling with nuns and crucifixes and statues of Christian saints.  We talked wholesome; we talked green!  We read poems of various kinds--of love, of the ridiculous, of children, of courtship, even of sex.

To note, there was this one particular dish that my companions--in their chronological advancement--were so amazed by the presence of and I wasn't able to relate.  It wasn't unfamiliar as I had seen it on a number of occasions peddled by street vendors near my old grade school, but it just amazed me how they went all "ooh" and "aah" at it.  It was, I guess, the Filipino equivalent to a crisp-fried chapati.  It came with a coconut cream and sugar-based ultra-sweet dip that my grandmother would probably scream at the sight of.  It induced a sort of reminiscent trance in each of them.  It led them to speak of their elementary school years and how their mothers would cook it on afternoons as a snack.  It somehow made me miss the old days when we still lived near the beach and my mom used to cook.  Well, times do change.

Anyway...  The going home part of that endeavor was pretty uninteresting, so I'm not going to write about it anymore.  Check these pictures out, instead!

Cheese-Filled Egg Rolls

Ate Mitzi

The dish that drove everyone crazy

Sister Mitzi (a skinny Mitzi)

si Vera ug ang Lapay

Mom Vida ("Mom" because she's with the Order of the Eastern Star)

Me, reading

The hind part of the retreat house

Sister Mitzi reading

Dad, singing

Ate Mitzi reading about Yoyoy

Mom Vida singing

Me, reading

Vera, reading

Breathing the Breath of a Dragon

Laughter: a priceless part of the session

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Old Entry #8: My Tribute to Hospitality Workers and Mary's Story

Okay, don't be fooled by the writing style I employed in this old entry.  I didn't feel very seasoned when I wrote this.  This was intended to be more of a rant for my best friend back then.  Along the way, I decided to turn it into some sort of short story.  I forgot why, so don't ask.

This was originally posted on Oct 2, '08 1:43 PM on


"The customer is always right."

Xander ponders on this supposed motto the night before another shift in his job as a busboy at Gaddi's, a restaurant at The Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong.

Jared, who worked as a receptionist at the Ritz Carlton in Chile, was attending to a grumpy customer who wouldn't stop complaining about the smell of Gorgonzola cheese lingering in the hall on the way to his room.  He maintained a perpetual "yes, sir, I understand; we will attend to that immediately."  And while listening to the seemingly endless palaver of superfluous statements, the motto lingered in his head.

Mary, a fill-in waitress at Il Ponte, a posh bistro in London, suffered the wrath of a German customer who falsely insinuated that the spilling of a soup bowl was her fault.  She knew very well that it was the fault of the customer, but then again, the perpetual motto prevails.

The motto in quotes above has been thrust into their heads since the beginning of hospitality school.  Since time immemorial, it has never changed.  There have been no such mottoes as "the customer is always right as long he/she follows house rules" or "the customer is always right if he/she is reasonable."  And over time, customers have learned to use this clause in complaint of dissatisfaction—usually in a manager's office scenario.

It's an agonizing reality that hospitality workers are forced to live by.  Yes, the field of profession is a choice but the motto that comes with it is a locked freebie.  It will become your prayer, possibly to ultimately replace the good old Our Father.

There is an increasing number of brilliant minds who opt for such profession.  It's not that I'm demeaning it.  It's a very noble line of work, but I'm rather sympathetic at what they each have to deal with throughout the course of their lives.  Let us take these three examples above, for instance.

Xander belongs to a middle-class Filipino family of part-Chinese ancestry.  He is an only child.  He bested all others in grade school and graduated valedictorian.  In high school, he was the grand orator.  He was sent to different parts of the country to be pitted against the so-called best.  He proved triumphant each time.  Then again, he has always had a passion for cooking and serving.  He found unparalleled satisfaction whenever people would praise him for his food.  So, in college, he decided to take the hospitality management degree program offered at the University of Santo Tomas.  He graduated with flying colors, got a few job stints in local hotels—either as a receptionist or as a junior manager—until he was finally flown to Hong Kong.  It was an opportunity that he regarded as his big break.  Until now, he works there—still as a busboy.

Let us look at Jared this time.  The second child of a lawyer and his wife—a politician, he belongs to an elite Chilean bloodline.  As a boy, he would often visit the Chilean capital, Santiago, with his older sister.  Each time, they stayed at the Ritz Carlton where the boy befriended the manager who was apparently pursuing his companion.  Since Jared did not have an older brother, the manager became his role model.  He vowed that, one day, he would become the manager of the same hotel.  When he reached the right age for career-preparation studies, he had the same aspiration he had during his childhood.  His parents, being surprisingly liberal, allowed him to choose whatever path he wanted in life.  And so he did.

After graduating, Jared was instantly accepted at the Ritz where he first worked as a butler.  Only recently has he been promoted to being a receptionist—a step closer to the office his eyes gaze upon.

Mary, on the other hand, is as mentally capable as the two gentlemen.  She is of Celtic descent.  She is an only child.  Her father died of bone cancer when she was only 3, so she barely knew him.  She grew up with a single mother who never remarried.  They lived in Essex, England where she finished her preliminary education.

She pursued a bachelor's degree in business management with a specialization in hotels at the University of Manchester.  Studying under the aid of a student loan, she worked part-time as a waitress in a nearby place.

When time came, Mary graduated with distinction honors and got an instant job referral by the school.  A couple of weeks after graduating, she found herself working as a supervisor in a well-known restaurant in London called Il Ponte.

A year and a-half later, Mary’s manager, who was also the owner of the bistro, asked for her hand in marriage.  She popped out a big yes.  So the story goes on and they got married.  For a while after that, she underwent continuing education and earned a master's degree in business administration.

Then came a life-changing tragic turn of events.  Mary's husband met an accident at sea and disappeared.  Since they had no children, she was left to take care of their entire fortune.  This included the restaurant, a winery and a grape vineyard in France, and a huge cheese factory in Derbyshire.

Amazingly, she was able to do so very flawlessly.  She was even able to buy another already-established restaurant in London.  It’s called the Chino Latino, another trendy restaurant with a view of a bar.  Such restaurant operates up to now under her ownership.

Despite her busy schedule, Mary would fill in as a waitress in her restaurant from time-to-time.  It still gives her the satisfaction of working from humble beginnings.

On one occasion, when an ill-tempered German customer and his family were dining at her restaurant, one of the children pulled her apron while she was serving soup.  This outbalanced her and caused her to spill the contents of the pot all over the table.  The "father figure" went ballistic and blamed her for what had just happened.  Everyone else in the restaurant saw it transpire and was sure that she was entirely blameless.  However, the man insisted and yelled for the manager.  Since she had hired a different manager—who at the time was not around—she said that the manager was not there.  The German man persisted and called for the shift supervisor, so he came to attend to him.  He demeaned Mary in the supervisor's office, calling her a 'good-for-nothing clumsy woman'.  "Who owns this place, anyway?"  he asked.  The supervisor very innocently responded, "she does," pointing at her.

The German customer did not believe this at first.  Only when she took the argument to her personal office did he finally believe.  And when it struck him, he left in haste and sheer embarrassment.  Poor man.

Yes, the customer is always right.  But when you're right, you're also right.

This whatever-to-riches phenomenon is not uncommon.  This happens a lot.  Several stories in record have been written about them.  One does not even need to get married to someone rich for this to happen.

The plus that Mary gets here is not that she got married to the owner of the restaurant; it's how she added bricks to turn the tower into a skyscraper after her husband's demise.

Right now, her company produces one of the best brands of sparkling grape wine in all of France.  Her brand of cheese has also surpassed its quality since her husband's management.  It's one of the most purchased in the entire Europe and the rest of the world's cheese-eating population.  Her restaurants have never lost popularity as her unique marketing schemes do not allow a loss of even a single spark.

Mary, today, remains an inspiration to those who seek success in business—both men and women alike.

Kudos to you all who wish to take the same path!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Banana, Banana, Banana

Contrary to most people's beliefs, there is nothing purposely symbolic about this photo.

[What?  My right hand on my crotch?]

Okay, about that...  That isn't supposed to be there.  I was actually already about to stand up from leaning on the banana trunks since I thought the shot had already been fired.  It turned out that the photographer had set the camera to take fast multiple shots.  This is the second of three stills and it turned out better than the other two.  I like my expression 'cause it's not staged.

Happy photographs are truly better taken without stopping to pose.

Anyway, I wonder what would happen to me if I go ahead and plant rice wearing this sort of outfit.  Leaches would probably feast on my legs.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Companion to the Forgotten

It isn't like me to follow an entry immediately with a new one, but this just can't wait!

I made a new Facebook friend today named Letecia.  She clicked "like" on my profile photo.  Yes, the same one two entries down.  I added her as a friend because, in principle, anyone who appreciates efforts for peace is a friend/brother/sister to me.  When I asked her if she was with URI, it turned out she was actually part of the organizing group.  In other words, she's a key figure in URI's existence.  Wow!  It's such an honor for me to call her a friend--even if it's just on Facebook.

So, anyway, a feed of a video she shared popped up in my main window.  It had the caption, "This video blew me away."  It was something I couldn't allow the night to pass without watching.

And true to its caption...  I was blown away, too.  Even more than that, I was reduced to tears.  Narayanan Krishnan, the man in subject, is truly one for the masses to emulate.  We should stop saying that we need more people like him to come into the picture.  We should be the ones follow the same path and fulfill a greater purpose!  Whatever little things we're capable of doing to help, they matter.

Saying that he's a good man, saying that he's a benevolent force, and praising his work would be for naught if the one saying it has no contribution of his/her own for the good of the Earth.

I really feel the need to share this video with everyone.

About Being a Witch

About being a Witch, let me clear everyone's mind.  I know some readers may still be stuck in the dark ages thinking that Witches are inherently evil and all that.

The truth of the matter is for you to now learn by reading these next few paragraphs.


A Witch, in a religious context, is a person who embraces and professes a spiritual tradition that utilises Magick as a primary practice.  Magick essentialy means energy manipulation.

Whether Celtic, Welsh, Gaulish, Norsk, Romanian, American, Greek, Roman, Asian, or otherwise, the general English term is Witch.  The address is applicable to both men and women.  Sorcerer, and Warlock are masculine terms, while Sorceress and Enchantress are gender-exclusive to women.

These days, the term Wizard is not very widely used anymore because of fictional and fantastic connotations--even if it is, in every sense, valid.

There are many other terms specific to each tradition.  I'm going to orient you on ones specific to traditional Celtic Witchcraft and an indigenous tradition from Bohol called Binol-anong Baylan.

For the Celtic tradition, specifically Irish, from County Westmeath, the terms are all gender-dependent.  An ordinary Sorceress is called a Cailleach, while an ordinary Sorcerer is called an Asarlai.  A High Priestess or a female Druid is called a Bandraoi, while a Priest or male Druid is called a Draoi.

Take note that the word Cailleach has a colloquially derogatory connotation for Irish people who don't practice Magick -- the same way the word Witch is, for people who don't understand.

For the Binol-anong Baylan tradition, the terms are a bit more complicated.  The word for a non-adept practitioner, regardless of gender, is Mananambal, a term which has been presently relegated to mean medicine man/woman.  But ask someone who actually practices antient Baylan and you may get that word or the word Mamamarang.  This latter word is now presently relegated to mean an evil Witch.  Barang, a northern Cebuano-Visayan term for Baylan was understood by invading Spanish friars to mean something evil because, well, they were Roman Catholics during the period of the inquisition who thought anything that wasn't part of their belief system was evil.  Does this sound familiar?  Other than that, Witches also did unspeakable things to them to try to drive them away.

A more advanced Baylan practitioner would be the hermit low Priestess/Priest called Tumanan.  He/She is more advanced than an ordinary Mananambal/Mamamarang and lives his/her life in solitude, isolated from community while perfecting the practices and meditating.

As for the high Priestess, the term is Babaylan.  It should be noted that all Babaylan in the various Baylan traditions of the Visayas Islands were women until the late 1700's during the tradition revival and collective rise of the resistant forces -- over a century after matriarchy was forcefully abolished by the Spanish.  During the time of the matriarchy, however, a male counterpart in the Bohol tradition was the Biki`.  They were sometimes called high Priests, but they were still obliged to bow down to the Babaylan.  They constituted a large number of men who assumed the title Babaylan after the abolition of the matriarchy.  Contrary to what most people believe, the assumption of the title was not done in defiance.  It was done out of need because they knew that the only way they would get the whole land's full attention was if they bore the title.

Men from the Visayas who are historically named Babaylan before the 1700's were not genuine Babaylan, but merely lower ranking practitioners dubbed with such a title by historians.  This statement, however, excludes the Luzon traditions as they are known to have had a few male Babaylan throughout pre-Hispanic history.

Here's a fun fact:  Up to the 16th century, in the Visayan Baylan traditions, while mostly men led the politics and military activities during the same time the matriarchy was happening, the tribal matriarchs had the final word.

A little bit of history for you:  In the Island of Bohol, the high Priestess during the onset of the Spanish conquest in 1521 was Babaylang Karyapa.  Twelve years before that time, however, in 1509, she had already foretold the destruction of the Baylan tradition and of the ways of the people of Bohol by a foreign force.  It was Datu Sikatuna's defiance of her advice against befriending the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, that led to the proliferation of the invasion and mass coercive conversion throughout the island.  Thus, her vision came true.

Modernised Traditions

The 20th century Neo-Pagan religion called Wicca is a modern derivative/combination of the antient European pagan traditions.  The term Wicca (a word which means a male Witch in Old English), for them, is the name of the religion whose practitioners are called Wiccans.  It is emphasised as a positive spiritual craft that openly shuns evil.


There are Magickal traditions that do not recognise a supreme being and only put faith in the intermediary gods and goddesses that their pantheons follow.  Our two examples, however, both do.

Antient Celtic Witchcraft recognises and Unnamed Divine Spirit, while Binol-anong Baylan tradition names the Absolute Being, Bathala`.  This is a very essential similarity between the two traditions.

This being cannot be prayed to -- only recognised.  This being is without gender and form, yet it is the source of everything in existence.  Thus, it is also of all genders and all forms.  This being lives at the centre of our spirits, yet our spirits are entirely part of it.  This being is the ultimate cause, thus it is also present in every consequence.  This being is everything itself, and likewise nothingness itself.  This being is acknowledged as present in every single being and place and is recognised as neutral.  This being is perfect.

Basic Principle

The only worded principle in our two examples of traditional Witchcraft is The Law of Return (which, in other religions, is called The Golden Rule or The Law of Karma).

   The Law of Return :
      Gàidhlig: "An rud a chuireann tú amach, tiocfaidh sé chugat ar ais."
      Old English: "What ye send forth comes back to thee."
      Bisaya: "Unsa'y ihatag mo, mobalik kanimo."

This means whatever energy you put out into the world will be returned to you.


In Magickal practice, prayers are called spells.  There are two kinds: blessings and hexes.  The former is self-explaining and obviously positive, while the latter needs to be clarified a little.  A hex is, most often, negative.  However, if it is done to put a subject in a formidable predicament for the purpose of teaching a lesson, then it may still be considered a hex even though it isn't evil.  In which cases, Witches would call them blessings in disguise.

Spells generally require only energy emanating from the self.  However, there are cases that call for the help of intermediaries.


Intermediaries are beings whom some traditions like to call lesser gods and goddesses.  They are not nature itself, but are nature-based and nature-dwelling, leading to the colloquial term nature-spirits.  Nature itself is neutral and therefore exempt from being labelled good or evil.  These intermediaries are, however, not exempt.  Thus, it is understood that there are good forces and there are evil forces.

Another great similarity between our two examples is the fact that the deities are not anthropomorphic, only named.  While most Celtic traditions have their gods and goddesses illustrated and given human forms -- even elaborate life stories -- the tradition of County Westmeath refused to adopt this.

During the earlier days, as in before the Irish Iron age (before 1 C.E.), all of Great Britain and Ireland (Celts, Welsh, and Gauls) sought aid directly from nature spirits.  Although named, these spirits did not have human images.  It wasn't until the entry of Greco-Roman influence into their cultures that they began giving their deities human forms and mythical stories.

On the other hand, the Philippine Baylan tradition, seen as a whole, had already largely adopted anthropomorphism long before the Spanish came.  The influence of other Asian religions led to nearly all deities being given humanoid forms, thus the replacement of the unnamed and formless nature dwellers with the anthropomorphic Diwata (derived from the Hindu term p. Devata or s. Deva, meaning guardian spirits, which, ironically, have a formless origin).

There is nothing inherently wrong with it, except for the development of human misinterpretation over the course of time, which then led to the creation of supposed origin stories for the deities and the rise of idolatry.  Most Baylan traditions have even given the Supreme Being a life story of its own, leading to the destruction of the concept of absolutism, which it was originally supposed to have.

Bohol's Babaylan, however, strongly rejected the growing national trend of anthropomorphism.  Thus, while some spirits have names, the authentic Binol-anong Baylan tradition never gave them stories and faces.

The Concept of Duality and Certain Beliefs

Celtic Witchcraft and Baylan, being very similar, are not exclusively emphasised as benevolent, unlike the Neo-Pagan Wicca.  It is given as a choice to every practitioner whether he/she chooses to do good or evil, in acknowledgement of the fact that whatever you do will inescapably happen to you in return, no matter how much you try to compensate.  Your positive deeds will be returned as blessings, but you still will not be able to escape your negative debt.  There is no principle of cancellation.  And, yes, reincarnation is held belief in.

Although there is no benevolent emphasis, it is understood in the way the saying is delivered that one should use his/her powers for good.  Who wants bad things happening to them, anyhow? The difference is that there is no dictation to do good or otherwise.  It is ultimately a matter of personal choice and exercise of freedom.

On the other hand, it is emphasised as a Witch's duty to protect his/her family.


What are called "curses," are fruits of passionate negative human emotions which are unleashed by an angry person.  One does not need to be a Witch in order to make a curse.  However, Witches are more accustomed to releasing their own energies when doing things, so it generally means that the effects of their curses are more potent and more destructive than that of most people.

.     .     .     .     .

More things to learn:

            - The greeting "Blessed be," is a Neo-Pagan derivative from the old Irish parting blessings that say, "Bheannacht De ort," which means "May the gods bless you," and "Mo Bheannacht ort," which means "My blessings on you."  The Binol-anong Baylan equivalent is the age-old greeting that says, "Pagabuwahan ka," meaning "Blessings on you," which has presently been Christianised and changed into "Pagabuwahan ka sa Diyos" or "Pagabuwahan ka ni Kristo."  Diyos means "the Lord," while Kristo means "Christ."

            - The word Magick, spelled with CK is the Old English spelling of magic.  It is used by practitioners to distinguish the antiquity of the tradition.  The M is always capitalised to denote its use in the context of religion.

            - The word Witch is always began with capitalised W when used to refer to a person or a group of people who practise a religion based on Magick.  In another religion's context, for instance, what is appropriate is to refer to a practitioner of Buddhism as a "Buddhist," rather than a "buddhist."

            - The Pentacle (five-pointed star/pentagram in a circle), according to the County Westmeath Celtic Tradition, represents the union of the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Soul matter/Æther) with our own Spirit (centre) and the Absolute Being (circle).

            - Most Witches who are not practitioners of any denomination of Neo-Paganism generally do not appreciate being called Wiccans, especially if they practice antient traditional Witchcraft like Celtic Witchcraft or Baylan.  It is because Wicca is a new-era pagan movement and a lot of people like to hold on to the pride of being antient Witches.

            - Like in all religions many Witches are good.  Likewise, many are also not.  There are definitely evil Witches, but Witchcraft itself is NOT evil.  It is neutral.  I already mentioned this.

            - Talking about the Witch trials and the inquisition should be done with caution as it is a sensitive topic for most Witches who come from Traditional backgrounds.  Their ancestors may have been victims.  Most will not turn negative, but some will certainly get hurt.

            - Some Witches have familiars, or brother/sister spirits.  They are not servants or slaves; they share a special bond with the Witch.  Thus, the Witch and the familiar protect each other.  They usually inhabit small and agile animals.  In the Baylan tradition, they are called sigbin.

            - The way media programs such as Harry PotterCharmed, and Sabrina portray magic are totally UNREALISTIC!  They have good values to teach people; they have good poetic justice themes; and they are good for entertainment purposes, but real magick just doesn't work like that.

            - Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Witches do not bite!


Fearlessly and Lovingly

Witch, a Universalist, a Muslim, a Sikh, and a Roman Catholic Christian fearlessly and lovingly embracing brotherhood/sisterhood...

Because we are all brothers and sisters.

I actually posted this a while ago on my Facebook profile as my profile photo because I was so deeply moved by it.  This has been in my hard drive since I came home from the URI regional meeting last November and I never really gave it that much attention... until now.

I love the smiles on Kristine's and Ate Jamel's faces.  I love their sisterly hug.  I love my brotherly gesture, putting my hand on Ishilta's shoulder.  My only regret is the fact that I didn't give the same gesture to Kuya Eric, but even then, he doesn't look left out because he wasn't... He isn't left out... and he never will be left out.  Nobody will be left out.  Nobody should ever be left out.  Each one is a brother/sister to everyone else.  We should all accept this fact and live peacefully.

Wow!  No matter how many times I look at this, it never fails to make me smile.


Friday, January 21, 2011

There Is Nothing Awesome About The Idea of Getting Myself Braces

...and the sad thing is I've been told I actually need some!  What?  I'm completely not ecstatic about the whole idea of putting barbed wire inside my mouth!




I can't imagine what kind of smile I would have after allowing an orthodontist to install a metal fence-like structure on my teeth.  It'd probably scare the hell out of people.

I mean no offense to the people who do have braces.  Certain people could carry it with complete grace.  People like Adrienne and Patrise don't have any issues regarding braces.  They still look awesome with them.  Me on the other hand...  Well, I just don't think I'm cut out for it.

I've always thought they're not for me...  And all of a sudden I'm going to get myself some?

Thought A:  When my partner kisses me, how might he/she feel?

Thought B:  When I smile, is it going to be appealing with the shining, shimmering, splendid metal on my teeth?

Thought C:  Am I still going to be taken with as much seriousness?

Thought D:  Is this going to cause me to resort to my signature locked lips smile?  And if I get used to it too much, will I be closed-lip smiling even if the braces are no longer on?  Or maybe forever?

Thought E:  How long will the braces be on?  Will I still have them when I'm 27 and have kids of my own?

Omigosh!  I should seriously stop now!  I can't handle all the questions coming in.  I should take care of my search for marketed HGH first.  Wait...  That's a completely different issue.  I'd rather not discuss it right now.

I need to go eat dinner.  The maid just knocked on my door and called me down to eat.

Wait... Another thought!

Thought F:  Will I be able to eat properly?

Thought G:  How do I floss properly if there's metal?

Thought H:  Won't the bristles of my toothbrush get stuck between the wires?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For Love and Faith and Devotion

I thought it was a good idea to write things in another language because of the advantage I had over people who didn't understand.  The problem with Google Chrome is that it automatically detects what language is being used and it suggests translating it to your colloquial tongue.  How lame is that?  Well, it's beneficial to those who are interested (but know not a single drop of Gaelic), but what about for the writer whose primary emotional outlet is through writing?

Let's also not abandon the fact that Google gives you lamely broken English from the language it flipped and tossed and tore apart to squeeze meaning from.

In any case, enough about that.  I don't want to give myself too much stress about something digital.  It's not good for the spirits and forces around me.  The last thing I want is them getting the wrong idea and finding my notebook busted the next morning.  NOOO!  Please, don't.

So, yes, let's move on to the next thing in mind.  I danced again earlier.  This time, we danced barefoot and we all sang.  Last time, it was just the leader who sang.  Today was different.  It was very brief but still awesome!  The sugar was awesome, too!  It was a like Sans Rival Bakeshop Silvanas on a late Tuesday afternoon.  Can you imagine?  We all had a good time!

I guess you could liken our passion to charismatic Christian groups on a Sunday morning.  Have you ever noticed how they get so emotional and so utterly passionate about their shared faith that they start to sing very loudly until they end up crying and kneeling down?  Afterwards you'll notice them starting to dance waving their arms around like sea anemones--eyes closed and all.

Our dance earlier was a lot like worship.  It was similar in many ways as it involved trust and faith and love and devotion and passion.  The primary difference was that ours was done with our own songs and none of those like One Way Jesus or Lord I Lift Your Name on High.  Why sing someone else's songs when we're more than capable of making new ones then and there?  Get it?

I was just a little disappointed in myself.  I entered the trance ahead.  I wanted us to get into it together.  Nevertheless, I didn't stop singing afterwards.  I sang while waiting for them to make like the ending of Rocky Horror's The Time Warp and let everything go.  It was still a very good experience--as always.

The best thing about it was that we all came as we were without regard for personal restraints.  We also exited the same way.  The only thing that mattered was that we were all passionate about what we were doing and no one was proselytized into participating even if nobody expected it to happen again this soon.

So, yes, that was it!  I need to fall down and pass out now!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Mo Chuisle

Tá rudaí sách deacair dom na laethanta seo, ach tá mé ag láimhseáil go bhfuil go maith go leor. Níl sé cosúil Tá mé ag fáil bháis nó aon rud mar sin. Níl ann ach go bhfuil rudaí crua. Sin é díreach é.

Mar sin féin, is féidir leis an gcruatan a glaoch Táim ag fulaingt mar praiseach an-álainn. Chun siúd agaibh nach féidir a fháil cad atá i gceist agam, fhortún maith leis ag iarraidh a fháil amach.

I gcás ar bith, tá áthas orm. Nach bhfuil rudaí imithe ar an mbealach ag súil agam orthu dul i dtús báire. Tá siad go bhfuil siad imithe i bhfad níos fearr, go deimhin. Tá mé ag áthasach ag casadh ar an gcaoi ar rudaí amach. miongháire liom gach lá a fhios agam go bhfuil duine áirithe a cheapann faoi dom an-fiú amháin más rud é go grámhar é nach bhfuil muid in iúl chomh minic agus is mian linn araon go. Iarraim an duine seo Mo Chuisle. Cumhacht an duine seo mo chroí le buille chun críche grámhar.

Tá an grá agus an-an-adh rúnda. Is féidir aon duine ar an eolas faoi seo sa bhreis ar an dá linn. Is é sin an fáth a bhfuil mé scríobh sa teanga Gaelach. Tá a fhios agam go mbeidh an iontráil seo an-neamhfhoirfe teacht amach agus cuma liom. Tá mé é seo, ní do mhuintir na hÉireann agus na hAlban, ach le haghaidh an dá linn. Tá mo Chuisle léamh roinnt de mo chuid scríbhinní Gaeilge roimh agus a fhios go maith conas a aistriú dóibh más mian leo sin a dhéanamh. Beidh mo Chuisle fhios cad atá le déanamh.

Mar sin féin, dar liom, ba chóir dom a deireadh sé anseo. Saol taobh amuigh den seomra leapa ag glaoch. Is mian liom a chéim d'aon ghnó as an confines mo bhaile. Bhuel, sílim go mbeidh mé ag dul go dtí an áras Mo Chuisle anois. Mé a bheith ag fanacht.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Old Entry #7: So What if You're Both Men or Both Women?

Here I am again.  And if you're going to ask why I'm posting an old entry so soon after the last, I'm going to answer anyway so don't go gasping!  The reason is simple:  I just want to.  It's not like the preface text doesn't have any present-time content, so relax!

Well, I danced today.  I had a whole lot of sugar followed by a vehement and oh so scorching series of non-choreographed body movements.  It was a party in every sense of the word.  I was on sabbatical and I never even expected that to happen before February.  Imagine!  It was totally spontaneous and completely awesome!  It was close to perfection!  It was a dance that I could safely say I'm willing to do every single day.  To say that I loved it would be an impertinent understatement.  My gawd!

I never thought my night would recover from what seemed like an apparent hopelessly doomed ending while I was at Victory Hills celebrating the fiesta.  Had it not been for my dogs and the presence of mom's two best friends, I'd have died of boredom.  I mean, hello!  Too much political talk is too much political talk.  Enough said!

Nevertheless, it got an unexpected ending.  Thank the heavens!  Thank fate!

Here's the old entry thingy now.

This was originally posted on Sep 29, '08 2:32 PM on


Being raised in a heavily conservative Roman Catholic environment has certainly become a hindrance for homosexual couples.  Don't you think so, too?

Human as they are, members of the LGBT community are capable of genuine love that stretches miles beyond the typical perception of the general public.  They have the same basic needs that every other human being has.  And one of these is to love and be loved in return.

But why do the religious institutions have to smite these gay and lesbian couples when they're just going about their business loving each other?  They aren't harming anyone or anything!  Why does there have to be a predefined bracket for human love?  Why do they (religious institutions) feel that they are obliged to take control over what they perceive to be wrong?  Why can't they just swallow reality?  That they don't really have a say in these things!  That these things really do happen!  And that LOVE drives it as much as heterosexual couples--or possibly even more than them!

Furthermore, why do they insist that God despises these things when, in fact, they are the very institutions telling us that God loves unconditionally?  And God really does love UNCONDITIONALLY!

What an outlook!

My good friend Sr. Sandra Clemente of the Religious Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus once told me:

"When our physical bodies die, God will not ask who and what we loved.  The only question God will ask us is 'how much did you love?'--'gaano ka nagmahal?'"

What about you?  What do you think?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Every Dog Must Have His Day

This candid shot was taken by my cousin last Thursday when we took Janggo for a walk at Plaza Rizal.  I don't know why he didn't watermark his signature on it.

It's a simple shot, but I've somehow derived some sort of story behind it based on the characters.  That girl isn't supposed to be there, but it's a blessing that she is.  It's also perfectly timed that she was caught by the shutter in that sort of sitting position.

The story would have a frame like this: She's my female companion--with me on a date for the first time.  The dog is her own.  She brought it along thinking I'd be happy because I already told her that I love dogs.  Indeed, I was glad.  She initially thought it cute that I was playing with the mutt, but after a while she started feeling less-than-nice.  I chose to ignore her and I played with the dog throughout most of the date.

Well, it's kind of sad on her part, but things like that actually happen in real life.  I'm not saying I'm encouraging such insensitive demeanor.  It's just something I came up with while staring at the photo.  What about you?  What are your ideas?  What story can you make out of it?

Anyway, my cousin has such an awesome eye for beauty.  He loves his camera and I could tell that it loves him, too.  He could highlight vivid emotions from the most ordinary situations without having to make the viewers feel like they're squeezing something for a few drops of art.  He's a true artist in this field, I must say.  He's as awesome a photographer as he is an awesome person.  Moreover, Janggo likes being around him.

So, yes, my dad and Kristine have met him.  He attended that very same day's Theosophical Society study session.  He didn't sponge up at first, but he told me that it became interesting when it all settled down and became at wave with ideas that he was able to relate to.  Nice!

Afterwards came the usual dinner.  And since we didn't have much of a choice.  I mean it was already past 10:00PM when we left the session hall.  We actually ended it at 9:59, so go figure.  We settled for Andok's--the same place he and I ate at two nights prior.  He and Kristine and dad bonded.  There was food and a long clean humorous conversation.  Moments like those define family.

Anyway, I need to go watch DVDs now.  Toodles!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Old Entry #6: The Perpetual Battle Between Originals and Good Covers; Covers Against Other Covers

Well, here's that day, folks!  It's the day I'm going to post another entry to follow the 5th of my Old Entries Series.  How long has it been since the last?  Three months?  Oh, it's been too long!  I know you miss reading about my old self and I know you want to read more.  Strangely enough, so do I.  It's time traveling in a unique and realistic way.

These past few days have been  filled with poetry and what not and I'd like to break away from all that for a while.  I've had an amazing week, to say the least, and my readers probably miss young adult anger so that's just what I'm going to give.  The entry we'll be revisiting is one filled with reckless swear words written by a young man angry at YouTube.  Well, you can't get mad at YouTube--just some of its users, actually.

So, yeah!  Here goes!

This was originally posted on Sep 28, '08 1:10 AM on


Imagine:  I go surfing for good Musical theatre videos on YouTube.  I click on something entitled Don't Cry for Me Argentina by Elaine Paige.  I finish watching the video.  I think to myself, "Such amazingly powerful performance," so I scroll down to type my comment but then I get distracted by something that goes, "she's absolute nothing compared to Patti LuPone."

Another scenario.  I post a video of Lea Salonga's version of As If We Never Said Goodbye.  Two days later, I get a comment saying "Elaine Paige is way better than this piece of crap!"

Again with Dreamgirls, I listen to Jennifer Hudson's version of And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, but then some pathetic-lowlife-ne'er-do-well blurts out a big "she sucks compared to Holliday."

Finally, the stroke that pissed me off.  A video of Lea Salonga and Sharon Cuneta's duet of Sana Maulit Muli.  Some a**hole commented, "only an egotistical person like Sharon would think that she is better than Lea."

God!  Some people are just complete idiots!

One, why would Elaine win an Olivier and a SWET if she were nothing compared to Patti?  Come to think about it, LuPone was awarded the role as a worthy performer after Paige had garnered considerable acclaim for Evita.  For that matter, Patti became a legend without trying to bury other performers and demoralize people.  She's a star who got to where she is now by being exceptionally good - certainly without the help of the likes of you!

Two, not considering the fact that Elaine actually held the role of Norma Desmond in Broadway's and The West-End's Sunset Boulevard, we all know Elaine Paige is better than Lea at singing the song since she's been doing it her whole life.  However, Lea's version is not some piece of crap!  As if you commenting could do a-hundredth as good!  Who ever argued that Lea's was best?  Dumba**!

Three, Jennifer Hudson wouldn't be awarded an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe or a SAG if she sucked.  She's got talent that's why she got picked to play the part in the movie, you pinhead commenter.  Yes, Holliday owns the song.  She made a name for herself with that song.  Nobody could do it like her.  Nobody else has the same fire as her when performing the song.  But nobody ever posted in the video blurb saying "Hudson's is indubitably the best version!"

And, please, don't even start talking about Charice Pempengco!

Four, Sharon never said she was better than Lea and Lea never said anything like such either.  Yes, Lea has garnered worldwide acclaim.  She's won a Tony, Olivier, and what have you--but to utter demeaning comments comparing her to Sharon simply because they sang a song together is downright obtuse.  Why can't you just say "I like Lea/Sharon better"?  Or maybe something like "Sharon's/Lea's voice has a better appeal to my ears."  Why do you have to use trashy terms?  Are you as up-there as Leonard Bernstein?

And five, finally, what sort of authority are you to make such remarks, anyway?  Who the f**k do you think you are?  Ryan Cayabyab doesn't even say that!  And if you're a Simon Cowell fan, do a little reality check!  You're not Simon Cowell!  God!  You people really get to my nerves!

If you like an artist, then like him/her!  And if you don't, then by all means don't.  Nobody's forcing you to!  Close the friggin' tab.  You'd do your karmic vibes a little good by doing so.  Go eat a cork like it's a marshmallow, poke your right eyeball with a needle, jump off a window of the 79th floor of some skyscraper, chop your leg off with a spoon or peel off the skin on your face with pieces of a broken incandescent lightbulb!  Don't go demoralizing people just because they don't appeal to you.  Why bother?  Either way, they'll die rich not ever hearing about your names.

So bug off, losers!


The Bite

You have bitten me,
So hard, so strong,
But it is lucid I see,
That THIS is not wrong.

I ache and I fear,
In utter agony,
For how not it is clear,
The picture I see.

We've treaded THIS lane,
So shortly and tranquil.
And here we've befallen,
On a fate so delightful.

In your thoughts you found jest,
And saw nothing but oddity.
Yet bound we are for the best,
Armed with but passion's fury.

For the eyes of the meager,
What we do is but wicked.
In two ways we beleaguer,
Laws the Fathers alleged.

We fall foul of tradition,
Known since time unknown.
But we move forward and on,
For THIS knows no ration.

I succumb to your bite,
To your potent poison.
You, too, yield to the might,
Of my heady submission.

'tis bumpy our road,
And dangers we face.
For turns shall unfold,
In THIS crazy maze.

Courage be tested,
And strength be maimed.
But as it is said,
The wild can't be tamed.

We shall see how we fare,
In our endeavor.
We face fire for we dare,
But sweetness we shall savor.

So cheers to us two,
As we drown in our space.
We shall walk to and fro,
THIS joyous craze.

You have bitten me,
And I you.
A single destiny,
We have fallen to.

I have hit ground fast,
And hard as hard be.
You have blurred the past,
Now it's just you and me.

My greatest fear is you,
As has always been.
But nothing is more true,
Than what I have seen.

Venom runs in me,
And, in you whom I have wounded.
No wrong can I see,
If with THIS it is founded.

THIS is Life!

THIS is an Offering!

THIS is Vibrant!

THIS is an Embrace.

THIS is it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011



You are one of sheer beauty.
I am swooned by your presence.

I need naught know what kind you are,
Or from whence you come.

I, myself, am like you.
I, myself, am a bird, too.

We have so much alike,
Having shared so little.
From that time we met,
'Till the eve that passed.

You are so close to me now.
You're in arm's reach.

Yet I can feel the distance.


Why do you clip your wings,
And ask me to clip mine?

I want to fly to your side,
And be with you--just that.

You fear so much,
That you'll fall off.

I know you want to fly,
I can feel your yearning,
I can feel your desire,
I can feel you.

But you fear the branch may,
Not hold both you and I.

Why, Bird, oh why?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brand New Friend

Yes, this is me.  He took this.

There's this guy...

[Okay, before you freak out and go all what-?-?-?-he's-gonna-talk-about-a-guy-?-?-?, do hear me out!]

So, yes, there's this guy I met online who happens to be my paternal cousin whom I've never personally met (or known of) before January 7th!  We're really good friends now.  He's cool company; what can I say?

It started off with an innocent attempt by him to know if I knew any Quirog from Dimiao.  Well, I had to tell him I knew myself.  "I'm from Dimiao," I replied.  Before I knew it, he was naming my aunts and uncles and my grandparents and, to my surprise, he was calling them all auntie and uncle as well.  It turned out that, to some close degree, we happened to be cousins so we decided to meet that evening at a coffee shop.

We talked and talked and talked about family and life and life and family.  It was like we'd known each other all our lives--and we should have.  We've been family from the very beginning, after all.  He didn't just become my cousin last Friday.  It's not like some other mountain was the tallest before Mt. Everest was discovered by the English scientists.

After coffee, we went to Martin's where we met my very good friend, Bienna, upon whose whim we were tagged along on an impromptu trip to a beach in Panglao Island.  Awesome!  It was because of that trip that I violated my own resolution of sleeping earlier in 2011.  There were 9 of us who boarded Bienna's boyfriend, BJ's van and had ourselves rocket-shuttled right to Libaong beach.  It was an awesome evening!  We all gazed at the stars while drinking ice cold soda and talking senselessly.  Like my friend, Farrah, says, "we all have the right to be shallow sometimes."

We headed home at about 4:00AM and I arrived home at half past that hour.

This is turning out to be a beautiful friendship.  Everything's clean and brotherly and I like it!  He said he'll be joining this Thursday's Theosophical Society study session.  He'll have to meet my father and Kristine.

Well, that's basically all I have to say for now.  I'm pretty sleepy for some reason.  I just came home from dinner and coffee with my father and I'm mysteriously unaffected by what I had just consumed.  This is a good thing, I guess.  He probably cast some sort of go-to-sleep-shortly-after-you-get-home spell.

Bye now.