Thursday, September 23, 2010

LIBRARY: a possible dream

please visit for more details on how you can help :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

dancing for peace with my bestfriend of the 80s

manila began the celebration (in asia) for earthdance 2010- a global peace festival celebrated in over 500 locations in 80 countries. sept.18th, sun-down to sun-up, Earthdance Manila broadcasted to the world (live via EarthdanceTV) the hours of non-stop dance, music and live art. there were wellness and dance workshops, an eco-bazaar, showcase of indigenous rituals and healing ceremonies too. the event culminated with the Global Synchronized Prayer for Peace at 7am Manila   (4pm California - 8pm Sao Paulo - 12 midnight London - 9am Sydney)...[the whole world (of every race, and religion) prayed at the same time, that's good!]. bantayog ng mga bayani memorial center was the chosen venue (somehow to rekindle the fire of a nation united in its desire for peace, justice and democracy). themed “Embracing All Traditions,” artists of various genres from world music to techno, electronica, jazz, and hiphop fused their styles in jamming...

that night, i was reunited too with my bestfriend in elementary school- marlyn (she went there with her 15-year old son)...the three of us enjoyed the company and the beat as we ate our all-time favorite 'chippy' and as we danced along with the fire dancers, the participants from all over, the pangalay artists circle, and other traditional and ethnic dancers. it's a delightful collision of cultures, faiths, art forms, music and dance! kadangayan, nyko maca with DJ robby sanchez of peace pilipinas, and joey ayala head the stellar line up of performers (including tapati) and sponsor representatives like epi quizon for the dolphy aid. the event has become a convergence of advocacies too... SEARICE promoted their No2GMO with a free feast of eggplant dishes from all over the country; hare krishna demonstrated labor of love in its truest as they (pray and) chant while cooking vegetarian dishes to fire up the artists’ energy for the whole event, and, bagong lumad foundation, partners up for the ISAling Lahi Project- books and audio books of the various tribes and indigenous communities documenting their culture rooted in a deep connection with the environment through songs, stories, and values.  these, and many others were also made more fun-filled with free informal workshops in pangalay, poi dancing, belly dancing, and tribal drumming.

we went home just before midnight (cinderellas-in-the-making), bringing with us memories of the once-in-a-blue-moon event: the friendship reunion in a dance-for-peace drama. whew!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

from me to me: congratulations!

you made it! see?
 i was right, you can do it without loosing your grip.
i know you'd do well but... you just don't believe in yourself
the way that i do (belive in you)
why is that?
when you know that you have prepared for that
and did your best (as you always do).
has the world been so unkind that you just can't trust it fully anymore?
keep on believing sakura.
keep on doing your best and keep on wanting to
make a difference in this world
the way you knew how.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i teach best what i most need to learn

on the 16th i'd be presenting my paper in a national conference. i have been teaching for 12 years now, but still i can't help but feel nervous everytime  i speak. others say they hardly notice my nerves when i speak---pft! that's because they can't feel me shivering and sweating, they don't see me vomitting the day and a couple of hours before, thay don't hear me asking the moon to take me or the earth to swallow me...

if i'd have the chance to talk to me today, here's my script:

stop those negative thoughts sakura! negative thoughts will kill whatever confidence you have left in that weird system of yours. what negative things you say to yourself, about yourself, inside your head is probably worse than anything else other people say to you. STOP! it doesn't help you thinking that way. STOP! those things in your head---they are not real! your audience are people too. they are just curious. if one is sarcastic, just think that he/she may have had a rough childhood/or may be having a midlife crisis. if one is irking you, smile and politely answer him/her what you know. you know more, you know better 'coz that's your work. goodluck and hey, if you come out alive afterwards (i'm sure you will), have an icecream and dance as if no one's watching...blah blah blah.

Monday, September 13, 2010

when equal IS NOT fair

you divide the electric bill by equal parts
so each of you (housemates) pays the same amount
regardless of the electric equipment used and the hours of usage.
bang! that's when 'equal' isn't fair!

you divide the day's allowance by equal parts
so each of you (siblings) gets the same amount
regardless of the fare and the physiological needs of each.
bang! that's when 'equal' isn't fair!

you give your students the same high grade (academic score)
so each of them gets to get good marks
regardless of their research output or efforts in class.
bang! that's when 'equal' isn't fair!

bang! bang! bang!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It's nothing but a circle
and a cycle on and on and on and on
you - being born, you-living, you-loving, you-hurting
you-giving up or you- loving/living some more.
you are there, they can see
they can feel 'coz you are there...and then you're gone
you aren't there, they can't see
they can't feel 'coz you aren't there even if you know you still are there
you are gone, even if you are not
gone gone gone
and the cycle goes on and on and on and on
you, and that circle have become one or... nothing.
Ah, nirvana.

Friday, September 10, 2010

found this some-where...some-time... felt some-thing...some-how.

few lines from...

by Cathy Denny

Hearts and souls heal slowly
Silently recalling fractures of long ago.
Weighing the risk of letting anyone know
What lies deep in his heart, what he's buried in his soul.
Patiently waiting for the one to help him see
How good it feels to set his heart free.
To trust her enough, and so completely,
He tells her those things he was once afraid she would see.
Mending his heart one fracture at a time.
As he comes closer to this I find;
Mending that fracture in his heart,
Is the key to mending mine.

Monday, September 6, 2010

despicable me @ RWM newport 3D cinema : semi-emo fun fun movie night

THE MOVIE : gru (voiced by steve carell) wanted to prove the world that he can perform the biggest burglary known to man : STEALING THE MOON! the plot revolved around gru's competing with a younger villain vector and adopting three girls- margo, edith and agnes. the minions (i have reason to believe their dialect resembles that of 'mahal': hardly understandable, high-pitched, fast paced tagalog- lol) are wonderful to watch too especially the part when they asked gru to kiss them goodnight the way he did to the kids at one point. and that minion who had the anti-gravity serum and keeps on popping at odd moments surely made me laugh (reminded me of the ice age movie too).
THE CINEMA: posh! yeah yeah, if that word isn't enough, try- wow! it's a state-of-the-art theater with the latest dolby digital audio technology (meaning, sound is at its best!). the seat viewing is like a stadium (read: unobstructed- like like like). legroom was oh so spacious, i feel like i'm just at my living room (oh well, minus my uber-old footrest). thank you resortsworld through ever-dynamic manila blogger azrael coladilla (    for this major major nice 3D experience! the cinema lounge is a nice place to meet other bloggers too- glad to see my online friends offline!

THE ME-PART: yes, i was directed to my semi-emo mode during the screening. it's a movie about someone despicable turning to be a good dad. (i keep saying to myself that having no dad is better than having despicable dad, but the truth is: i guess i'd really never know). it's heartwarming seeing a man trying to fight off his caring nature to keep up his supposed- (believed to be) natural 'badness'. i also think some may have found themselves in gru as he grew up just trying to please his 'deadma-mom' (who in the end told him she was proud of him, aaaw). oh what funny ways to put the human side of a supposed funny cartoon!
"One big unicorn, strong and free,  thought he was happy as he could be.
Then three little kittens came around and turned his whole life upside down.
They made him laugh, they made him cry.
He never should have said goodbye.
And now he knows he can never part from those three little kittens
that changed his heart."
(a bedtime story, as told by gru)

[many thanks to wanderlustful ria of
for the pretty pretty pretty pictures- yes, that's pretty written 3 times]

Sunday, September 5, 2010

braving the rain for the bestest-ever pancit and fresh lumpia

i can't even remember when was it. but i have clear memory of the heavy rain pouring that sunday afternoon. after my usual sacred time (at my cell), sorting things both physically and spiritually, friend irene called- asking if i still am up to our plan of having authentic chinese 'merienda' at binondo (manila), the rain then is showing no signs of stopping. without further thinking, i said 'yes of course, give me 10 to 20 minutes and i'd be at the meeting place'. she was quite worried 'coz the place was somewhat unfamiliar to me, hence she decided to meet me at the church where i have less probability of getting lost, it's an old famous church in manila (name that church) anyways.

paying 50 php (a little more than a dollar), i asked the driver of a tricycle to bring me to that church. he didn't hesitate to bring me there passing by flooded streets (only on rainy days do they get to ask for higher fares. on normal weather, a ride from dapitan-where my cell is-would just cost 10 to 15 php). and so i arrived. irene was waiting and somewhat amused by my go-go attitude. we walked the streets of binondo and found her favorite restaurant (name that restaurant) after several blocks. we have umbrella (each) but well, streets are semi-flooded so we're practically wet. we were greeted by the restaurant staff and were served with bestest-ever pancit and fresh lumpia in town. beat that!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

thank you...

It must have been cold there in my shadow to never have sunlight on your face. You were content to let me shine, that's your way,you always walked a step behind. So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength. A beautiful face without a name -- for so long, a beautiful smile to hide the pain. Did you ever know that you're my hero, and ev'rything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle,'cause you are the wind beneath my wings. 

It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart. I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it,I would be nothing with out you. Did you ever know that you're my hero, and ev'rything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle, 'cause you are the wind beneath my wings. Fly, fly, fly away, you let me fly so high. Oh, fly, fly, so high against the sky, so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings. 

[yes, those are words from a song, and i know you know why they are for you]

Friday, September 3, 2010

give justice to the victims, not direct anger at the weak

These are lines of a longer article from this page... ... One friend said the identity of the writer isn't confirmed yet (was this supposed impostor this good of a storyteller??? ). Another said, no victim of such name exists. Fake or not, these lines comes really close to what most of us feel recently.

I kept thinking about what turned a former excellent policeman into a cold-blooded killer? Didn't he have any reservations? Didn't he worry about his own family? What drove him to such desperate straits? Why did he have to choose to take hostages in order to force the government to review his case? Is there no way of making an appeal in that country?

I realized finally that even though I had some colleagues from the Philippines, I and most Hong Kong people know almost nothing about that country. There are more than one hundred thousand Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong and they live with our families. But we have never cared about this country and its people who provide us with a large number of cheap laborers. We know that the Philippines is poor and that is why they export domestic workers all over the world. But how poor? I checked and I found out that one-third of its people live below the poverty line. Killings and kidnapping occur on a daily basis. Under such circumstances, why kind of life do the people have? I remembered that two days before the hijacking, our schedule included a visit to a flower car factory. There we smelled a foul odor. The tour guide pointed to the outside of the factory wall. There was a mountain of garbage out there. Many young children were picking through the garbage to make their living. This made us sad and speechless.

After returning to Hong Kong, I learned that there had been quite a bit of anti-Philippines talk in Hong Kong over the past several days. On the Internet, someone proposed revenge by sending all Filipina domestic helpers home so that their country would plunge into economic hardship. I learned that Filipina domestic helpers were insulted in the streets, with the Philippines being referred to as the "nation of slaves" and the "nation of servants." I can understand that the citizens are incredibly angry with the Philippines government and police. I feel the same way myself. But what has this got to do with the people of the Philippines?

Have we forgotten what it feels like to be discriminated against? Hong Kong was a colonized society for a long time, with the Chinese being discriminated against by the so-called "masters" within the system and their daily lives. But now some Hong Kong people turn around to speak like slave-owners that "We hired so many Filipinas so we are their bosses" and "it was an act of benevolence to hire you so how dare you offend your superiors" against the Filipina domestic helpers who had nothing whatsoever to do with the Manila hostage incident itself. This is just appalling.

The Filipina domestic helpers are the victims of their incompetent government, which was unable to provide a decent living for its people. That is why so many Filipinas have to leave their families. They work to take care of other's children while leaving their own children behind. So why should the Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong serve as the scapegoats of their incompetent government? Why are some Hong Kong people angry but also being racist?

Even more incomprehensibly, the Hong Kong government has just announced at this time that the wages of all domestic helpers (including Filipinas) will continue to be frozen. This means that the foreign domestic helpers cannot share the fruits of the economic recovery. Is our government exploiting the situation? Would the government care to tell us about their standards and system for determining wage levels for foreign domestic helpers? Their actions right now carry the impression that the government wants to punish the foreign domestic helpers. This is no help towards relieving anti-Philippines sentiments. A friend quoted the words of Lu Xun: When the brave become angry, they draw their knives at those even stronger; when the meek become angry, they draw their knives at those even weaker. Do the people of Hong Kong only know to draw their knives against the weak?

Over the past several days, Hong Kong has been both angry and sad over this Manila hostage incident. Although I have not discussed with other team members, I am sure that we are grateful for the concern and support of the citizens. But the way to comfort the souls of the dead is not to blame the innocent Filipina domestic helpers and the people of the Philippines. Our focus should be clearly on the Philippines government and its police. We want a fair and proper investigation. We want to an account of the responsibility in the incident. We want to provide for the future of the injured persons as well as the families of the deceased. This is how we show our concern for the casualties in this incident.

In the long run, we should support the people of the Philippines to build a more trustworthy government and a more just society. This is how Hong Kong truly becomes a member of the international community and a cosmopolitan city with humanitarian concerns.