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Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

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

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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

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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):

“Mama!

Naa koy nakit-an ba

nga imahe.

Nindut kaayo!

Unta makit-an pud nimo.

Ang imahe kay usa ka babaye.

Nakahubo

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.

Mama!

Unta lagi makit-an gyud to nimo!

Pero

nakit-an naman to diay nimo.

Ako

dugay pa.

I agree

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2008 at 8:40 am

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Street Art on the Map

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:35 am

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Good news for me and those who love streetart. There’s finally a place where we can find street art all over the world and even post our own finds on the digi map for others to find. The haven is www.streetartlocator.com. It “is a community google map mashup mapping street art the world over.” I first visited the site two days ago via an ad link in Multiply and  I could say it was one of those seredipitous moments.

I had long wanted to find a site where I could shovel in my idea of mapping the street art in places I’ve been to, especially Davao, my city. Finding street art has always been my passion and whenever I go around places, riding in jeepneys or walking, I make it a point to find notable street art, no matter the size, and take note of their locations so I could get back to them and take their photos  (Sadly, I still don’t have my own camera. But luckily, I got my own sources.)

So far, I have photo documented a handful not just in Davao but also in Cagayan de Oro City, which were the first ones I marked on the streetartlocator map. They were graffiti done by known Manila-based street art group Pilipinas Street Plan. The locations are in the Capitol University Museum of Three Cultures and Backyard, a small bar popular among Kagay-anon youth.

My posts:

streetartlocator1

The homepage.

You can click and drag your mouse on the map, and zoom in and zoom out by clicking on a spot or scrolling up or down to go places. The gallery below the map shows the recent posts.  The last five posts are mine.

1

Zoom in on a part of the map.

Shown on the image, is a zoomed on Mindanao showing Cagayan de Oro. The red G-mark means you can find graffiti in that spot. Click on the red-G mark and an info balloon will pop out.

2

Click on an image in the recent posts gallery and you can see a street art up-close.

So there. My street art mapping begins. I’ll be posting my next moves in street art mapping in my Proyekto blog.

The Emperor is Naked!

In Fairy Tales on November 20, 2008 at 1:00 am

eye

I could never forget the boy who told everyone to see in the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He is one of the rare and true heroes in fairy tales. Although he was a character in a fairy tale, he broke the mold of the fantastic by seeing what is true and speaking about it shamelessly while everyone else in the Empire, including the Emperor, saw but pretended not to see. Some may refer to him as an innocent, someone who with no concept of tact or shame yet or other codes of formalities. But I would rather refer to him as a boy who refuses to be ignorant, even if being ignorant means a life of glossed-over comfort.

A New Juju

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Good Juju

I’ve exceeded my bandwidth in Multiply.com so I think my Multiply posting-happy self will slow down until I could clean up some space or I could get money to turn my account Pro. Meanwhile, I gotta find other outlets to do my finger and brain exercises and where else must I do them but still in some pieces of Webland.

I’m doing WordPress again!

So I really have to work it this time. ‘It’ meaning ‘blogging’. There are lots and lots and lots of things to write about because I find lots and lots and lots of fascinating things everywhere.

I will be maintaining two blogs from now on. One is this blog, also named “Juju Bag” after my multiply account. It will contain my juju–all things I find fascinating. (Don’t you think the word ‘fascinating’ is fascinating?) The other one will be called “Proyekto” and from the name itself will contain my projects small or big, personal or collaborative.

So welcome to my new Juju Bag and let’s have some fun!