Archive for 2008|Yearly archive page

Con Simpatia

In Books on December 7, 2008 at 9:56 am


I got an early Christmas gift from Italy, which my Mama showed me just as I woke up this morning (what a way to start the day huh?). It was a parcel from my new friends Carlo and Paoletta Viale whom I met months ago when they toured the museum. The parcel contained “the little token of appreciation” they promised to send me after I did them a nice favor (as well as a memorable tour). It was all a happy obligation for me because I saw they were such interesting people and a beautiful couple.


Carlo and Paoletta

While they have a home in Turin, Italy and run a textile-selling business there, Carlo and Paoletta love to travel to discover new places, new cultures as well as find interesting textiles wherever they go to buy and bring back to Italy for sale in their shop. They have travelled the whole world together and have been to Asia countless of times and have gone around in Mindanao. They said they love it in Davao.

I thought they’d send me a little keychain or a piece of beautiful Italian cloth. But when I opened the parcel–


I saw this–


The bookwrap which had the  seal of a bookstore named “Libreria L’Angolo Manzoni”

Then this!


A coffeetable book featuring the beautiful sights of Turin, Italy

When I opened the book, I saw and read:


Carlo and Paoletta’s message

If I should write to them now, I would say:

Dearest Carlo and Paoletta,

Thank you very much for the beautiful book. I long to visit your beautiful city and your home.

Someday, I will.

Note: The main photo is of The Bull, Turin’s heraldric symbol.

Dali Uncyclopediad

In Website on December 6, 2008 at 7:46 am


More like it

Dali, a master of Surrealism is in for a surreal reinvention of facts about him when he visits Uncyclopedia (But then, he’s too dead to care.) So whoever stumbles upon this site may miss their sanity a bit when they discover that they just came upon a Wikipedia’s anti-thesis.

Uncyclopedia boasts of a melting Wikipedia world as its logo coupled with the tagline “The content-free encyclopedia”. While passers-by may be fooled by site’s seeming similarity in layout with Wikipedia, any visitor who dares read on and check the site’s articles will find that it is practically the land of farce. The site exults in cradling misinformation in its pages provided of course that it is only in the spirit of tongue-in-cheek fun.

So a search about Salvador Dali led me to this site and there I found a fitting memorial to him. Consider the article’s introduction of him:

Salvador “Big Man” Dalí is a mutant with fantastic superpowers, including the ability to melt objects with the power of his mind. Dalí did not do drugs, because he was drugs. He is also the father of Señor Spielburgio and George Clooney.”

Then check out the first two paragraphs of his Uncyclopedia biography:

“Born Salvador Ana Lucía Pedro Chupacabra El Hombre Melenudo de Paella Dalí, 1st Marquis de Mústachia in Monte Carlo, Monaco (or maybe a cave somewhere in northern Spain) in 1904, Dalí was like any normal person. He worked on the farm with his father, where he learned the values he holds today of eating your vegetables, drinking your milk, saying your prayers and taking vitamins. He did this, like everything else, very much better than Picasso.

It wasn’t until one morning at the age of 14 that he discovered his amazing powers and that he was gay. His alarm clock went off, like any other day. Dali, however, did not want to wake up, and just stared at the clock.”

Now compare that to the first two paragraphs of his biography at

“Early life

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, was born on May 11, 1904, at 8:45 a.m. GMT[6] in the town of Figueres, in the Empordà region, close to the French border in Catalonia, Spain.[7] Dalí’s older brother, also named Salvador (b. October 12, 1901), had died of gastroenteritis nine months earlier, on August 1, 1903. His father, Salvador Dalí i Cusí, was a middle-class lawyer and notary[8] whose strict disciplinary approach was tempered by his wife, Felipa Domenech Ferrés, who encouraged her son’s artistic endeavors.[9] When he was five, Dalí was taken to his brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was his brother’s reincarnation,[10] which he came to believe.[11] Of his brother, Dalí said, “…[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections.”[12] He “was probably a first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute.”[12]

Dalí also had a sister, Ana María, who was three years younger.[8] In 1949 she published a book about her brother, Dalí As Seen By His Sister.[13] His childhood friends included future FC Barcelona footballers Sagibarbá and Josep Samitier. During holidays at the Catalan resort of Cadaqués, the trio played football together.”

Now, which biography would Dali have liked reading?

Vampire becomes Dali

In Films on December 6, 2008 at 4:37 am


Speaking of young punk Dali, there’s another young punk actor, who’s now flying in the box-office as a vampire (yeah, you know who it is, Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen), who will do a different flying and staring when his other movie  Little Ashes gets out in the theaters (no release date yet but looks like this won’t be a worldwide release). In Little Ashes, Pattinson plays the young Dali in his wild university years during the time of Fascist Spain. The film focuses on Dali’s  unusual friendship with aspiring filmmaker Luis Buñuel, especially poet Federico Garcia Lorca who as it was later known fell deeply in love with Dali.


Is that the Dali look or what?

I saw the trailer yesterday (thanks to Julienne’s link) and somehow I became more hopeful that the movie could actually be good, despite my misgivings for Pattinson’s effective performance in doing a young Dali.

Punk Dali

In Artist on December 6, 2008 at 4:06 am


Before the antenna mustache

To my surprise yesterday I found this photo of a young Dali (or someone who looked like Dali) in a mohawk haicut while searching for Dali images on Google. Clicking the photo’s link transported me to Mark Vallen’s blog entry on the rare Dali photo. He reported that he found it published in an issue of an obscure punk rock scene, which he unfortunately and regretfully did not buy. Years passed and he developed an obsession and frustration of finding that punk Dali photo until in June 2005 he checked out a a local library, picked out Writers on Artists from the bookshelf and found Dali’s elusive snapshot.

Now my questions are, could the photo really be of Dali? Could it be just a punk prank? Or is it really Dali’s own gag when he was still young since after all he was a punk in his youth? (Although the term punk only emerged in 1970s, the attitude has existed before it. So it’s exactly “In the beginning was the Word…”)

But that mischievous stare is just so Dali…

Mentally flossed

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:14 am

1126Flossed my brain by visiting My brain feels sharp and funny.

Click on each word in the past two sentences to check out what I’ve read. Click here and here and here and here too.

Johnny Busting Keaton

In Films on December 3, 2008 at 4:26 am


Buster Keaton enjoying his time behind bars.

Some years and memories:


Twenty-seven years after Buster Keaton died, Johnny Depp channeled his spirit through his memorable performance (one of his most memorable) as idiot-savant Sam in Benny and Joon.


Fifteen years after Benny and Joon was shown, seen and loved by many in the 90s, I finally saw it. Thanks to Youtube and another Johnny crazy gal.



In Music on December 3, 2008 at 12:50 am

It’s good to wake up in the morning with songs I like playing in my head.

When I wake up, yeah I know I’m gonna be/ I’m gonna be the man that wakes up next you…But I would walk 500 miles/ And I would walk 500 miles more/ Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles/ To fall down at your door…

I can walk 500 miles withThe Proclaimers’ 500 Miles

and 1000 more miles thinking about Johnny Depp (as idiot-savant Sam) and Aidann Quinn (as big brother Benny) in the music video for the 90s movie Benny and Joon.

Womanizer-Britney Spears

Womanizer, woman-womanizer/ you’re a womanizeroh. womanizer, oh/ You’re a womanizer, baby…

So far this is the only Britney Spears song that I really appreciate and which music video I can watch all throughout, over and over again.  Britney has finally landed in my planet. (A belated Happy Birthday to her.) 😉

Bergreen’s Edge

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 8:55 am

Smooth sailing read

Smooth sailing read

I am almost halfway Laurence Bergreen’s book “Over the Edge of World”, a historical account of MAGELLAN’S TERRIFYING CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE GLOBE and boy, is it good! It is very well-paced. Bergreen built the context of Magellan’s dangerous journey to a pitch. This book makes up for the many years I have stayed ignorant of Magellan’s importance to world and Philippine history (not just because he was killed by Lapu-Lapu).

More later.

And thanks to Dominic for letting me extend my book loan. 🙂

Bomb + plant =

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 3:36 am


The bomb.

I don’t think I can get over this find. Although I’ve already posted this in my Multiply photo gallery (the Curiously Strong album),  I would still bother to post this here. I think this is one of the best recycle projects I’ve seen.

A bomb-tail turned plant pot.

Who would have thought of that?

Only the wittily perverse. (Well, good to know there are several existing in my city.)

Anyway, I caught a glimpse of these unusual plant pots on my ride home to Lasang which immediately struck me as looking like bomb tails. The seemingly bomb-tail plant pot stood inside the main gate of an old house turned office of a known Davao-persona and resort. As my jeep sped by, I vowed I’d return asap to take a closer look and some photos.

So after two days, on my early morning ride to work, I got off the jeep in front of the old house to take a quick inspection of my interesting find and snap some pictures. I found there were two on each side of the pathwalk’s head. And they did look like bomb tails (most likely WW II). When I looked ahead, I found standing in front of the old house, most likely the head of one of the tails. Here’s a photo:

the head

While I have yet to check what WW II bomb model I have found, in the meantime, it is good to know that somebody put an instrument of destruction to good use.

Stand-up poet

In poetry on November 24, 2008 at 6:58 am


I never thought I’d do it. But there I was last Saturday, standing in front of the mic before a crowd of thirty inside Wings and Wedges, MTS, telling them (and myself) that I’m going to make a poem on the spot. if I would have been sane at that moment (or perhaps any moment in my life) I would have thought it a  totally unnecessary circumstance to get into. Why would I grill myself on the spot? Why would I push myself into a situation that has a large probability of showering embarassment on myself when I could have just sat down in my seat at the back row of the audience and watched the poetry readings in silence?

I had only intended to drop by, really. Check out a bit of the poetry readings and some of the ol’ guys. Show support to Dominic, my ever-energetic friend and persevering young mover of the local lit scene who organized the poetry reading night with Sir Mac Tiu. But no, just when things turn comfortable, when I’ve spun a nice coccoon about myself, I say “Hey! No time to snuggle. I need some adventure!” So when Ma’am Jhoanna, the emcee, announced the readers and the free spots for reading on stage, I couldn’t help but fidget in my seat, taking out my notepad and pen and thinking maybe I could write a quick poem. I haven’t written a poem in months. I actually haven’t written anything decent in months, but only phrases for shirts and some lines for possible unfinished comic strips. So I told myself, “Scrap it. You can’t write anything now.”

But I still had a bullet in mind. I approached Ma’am Jhoanna and asked her if I could recite a poem on stage. I have one poem that I could recite with all my heart because it was only 5 lines, 16 words-short–Izumi Shikibu’s “Even if I now Saw You”, which at that point I forgot the title.  She happily obliged but asked me if it was my poem or not. I said no and she told me with a smile that I had to read my own poem. So I went back to my seat, laughing at myself and thinking “Try harder, fool.”

Then my adventure genes kicked in (I think I got them from Pippi.) And I thought, “Ok, what the heck. Why don’t I compose a poem right on the stage? I just have to focus on an image, a very potent image, and go from there.” I needed not think long because right then I remembered an image of a painting I saw in a borrowed book which just struck me I would keep looking at it.

This is the image:

Birthscape II, Martina Hoffman, 1988

Birthscape II, Martina Hoffman, 1988

(Pardon me if the scan isn’t so clear. It’s a bit frustrating because the most important detail which are the shots of lighting spurting from the woman’s breasts are only faintly seen in this scan.)

So I just thought about the image and called Ma’am Jhoanna’s attention again and signalled her to fix me a spot.

After several more readings, she called me up (giving me a long introduction which I must have deserved after disappearing from Davao Writers Guild for some time without notice) and I took the stage. I did not feel nervous, only warm. It was the surge of blood going up my head, the surge of excitement and impending embarassment. I couldn’t remember how I introduced my pieces to the audience, only that I was going to recite a short poem first from Izumi Shikibu of which title I forgot and that I was going to improvise a poem in Bisaya (because I felt I wouldn’t have much of a hard-time scrambling for words if I used my first language) since I did not bring any stock poems. And I started.

The Izumi Shikibu piece went fine. The audience were all ears. I saw in their faces they were anticipating the strike of lightning. I said the poem slowly, hoping that they wouldn’t miss a thing and I won’t. I felt like holding my breath while telling the poem. When it was done, I breathed a long sigh of relief as I heard the audience’s polite applause.

What I can remember with my introduction for my improv poem were that I was going to improv one because I didn’t bring stock poems and that I was going to do it in Bisaya (I felt I could better deliver in Bisaya in speech than English). I also could not remember my poem exactly. All I remember is that it was a halting creation. There were times I scrambled for words that they would sound like a question (like I was asking the audience for affirmation if my Bisaya term was right). But I knew its flaws were part of it like all things made. I was pulling it out of thin air and I can’t always expect to pull out something that I needed.

Before going to the reading spot, I had already determined my beginning and ending words. They were “Mama” and “Dugay pa”, respectively. But I knew that the spontaneity of the spot could trample my little plans. I crossed my fingers that I would nevertheless begin and end well no matter the words. I thought, whatever will happen would just be a surprise.

So, my poem (as I remember it):


Naa koy nakit-an ba

nga imahe.

Nindut kaayo!

Unta makit-an pud nimo.

Ang imahe kay usa ka babaye.


ug nakaluhod.

Ang babaye kay nagkaduko,

nagtan-aw sa iyang tutoy

kung asa nag-agas ang gatas

sa wanang (?)

Pero kung tan-awon nimo ug tarong,

makit-an nimo

nga dili diay gatas

ang ninggawas sa iyang tutoy,

kungdi duha ka kidlat.


Unta lagi makit-an gyud to nimo!


nakit-an naman to diay nimo.


dugay pa.