Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Song About Painting

This piece won 3rd Prize in the poetry-writing contest of Me(d)moirs, the literary competitions of Culture Week, organized by the Medical Student Council's Culture Committee. The theme was "Greener Pastures," about the doctors to the barrios - those selfless souls passionate about bringing medical care to the underserved of far-flung 'barrios'. Guess who the youngest contestant was? =))

Think how it is to be a sparrow:
flitting from cloud to cloud,
soaring through sky and space in search
of branch, or tree, or something,
only to find nothing, not even
the garden or the fallen apple of scripture.

Si nanay, sumasakit yung sikmura.

We could have chosen to swim through
rivers of wine, drown ourselves in
oceans of booze, hopping from island
to island, door to door, party after
party, wasted man after wasted man.
But the choice was ours to shun.

Si tatay, sumuka ng dugo kagabi.

Darkness creeps through the bamboo walls,
shaping shadows that dance on the pearly gaze
of moonlight bathing the wooden floor. Outside,
is uncertain as within this tiny room, where
my dreams have been, for fortnights, vague
and void, so unlike the revelry beyond my bed.

Si lolo, namamaga yung tuhod.

Yesterday, I met a man who has tilled the
soil for seventy years. A mother of fifteen
barely older than myself. Lovers of music
who know only of the rustling of leaves, the
chirping of birds, the roaring of the rivers,
and not Mozart or Bach or Sondheim.

Si lola, doble ang paningin.

You may claim it to be the error of youth.
Or you may look at me eye to eye, and
gaze at the depths that my vision has
conquered: passion, but not fame;
love, but not lust; happiness,
but not hearts of hatred.

Si ate, pataas nang pataas ang lagnat.

I could hardly sleep, lest the shadows
stab me with their swords. But in my solitude,
the silence sings, telling me to let the
soft breeze carry me to distant shores. You have
helped so many souls, it sings, and their
minds are now at peace. So should yours be.

Si kuya, sasabog na daw yung ulo.

Sometime in the future, I would gaze at
a fiery sunset and hum this part of my life.
You could listen to me, in my song about
rustic towns and helpless people. How I
used my own humble brush to paint an Eden
for the sparrows and create more colorful
pictures. Or you could very well be
singing with me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


If you haven’t watched this movie yet, and are planning on doing so, be prepared for a roller coaster ride. Literally. There are more than a dozen names from Hollywood, cross-stitched into probably the most complex story I’ve ever come across with after 2006’s Babel. At least Babel worked out just fine.

Having received mostly negative reviews, Valentine's Day is surely not for the easily-lost. I read somewhere yesterday that when it comes to this film, it’s either you like the complex web of the story, or you totally hate it. Well, I like it. But that’s not to say there weren’t any ups and downs.


*** Jessica Biel. I think I have quite some affinity with neurotic characters (think Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds, Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men). Or at least, those who choose to be different and stand up for what they believe in (as in Meryl Streep in Doubt – you hear that, Oscars committee?). By going against the flow of Heart’s Day, she provided a bit of contrast to an otherwise mushy silver screen. Until a log in the form of Jamie Foxx hit her and carried her down the river.

*** Anne Hathaway. At the start of the decade, a princess; at the end, a phone-sex operator. Quite some progress there. But then again, she and her dirty little secret worked out all right.

*** Julia Roberts. Yes, I love Julia Roberts – smile and all. Forget her out-of-nowhere subplot – she did her part well. Well, well enough for me.

*** Taylor Swift (???). Well, I have to say, she was convincing as a dumb blonde. An extremely DUMB blonde. Maybe she should abandon those Grammys and VMAs for more dumb-blonde roles. At least Kanye won’t be on set to grab her fan or something.


*** Taylor Swift (!!!). To some extent, I agree with majority of American critics. She was distracting. I mean, sure, she was crassly funny and all – but a mess, nonetheless. Though I can’t really say that I hated her performance, there’s just something about her in that movie that wasn’t good.

*** The OLD COUPLE. Definitely and obviously unoriginal. Oh look, here’s the executive assistant of Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries as the wise grandfather. Surprise, surprise, granddaddy knows best – except when it comes to grandma’s secret love affair in the past. And grandma was just as eeew.

*** THE CHILDREN. Be it the main star (whoever he is), to the little Indian girl, to the cameo appearances. They’re all brats!!! And why on earth are these children busying themselves with hearts and roses on Valentine’s Day??? It’s this sort of thing that’s destroying the minds of the little children and society's brain. They should be studying for their future - all those lovey-dovey things can come later. Which reminds me: Why on earth was Jennifer Garner's schoolteacher talking about moles (as in 1 mole = 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd particles) in fifth grade??? Either Philippine education is totally behind, or it's all one minor film faux pas. Happy Chinese New Year!