Thursday, December 30, 2010

Was that good for you as it was for me? ...


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


I must admit that for a book that has at least 500 page, this was the book I read as quickly as I could. It broke my previous record. Reading from the first chapters, it was obviously written by a man and is a book that’s probably made to be on film. Which gave me the impression that it’s a sell out, let’s see… 21 million copies sold world wide… I thought so.

Reading the book was fun, it was gripping. It was as though the book grew tentacles and wrapped me, pulling and tugging then making me fall with my face flat on the pages. Then getting up and walking away.
After reading the last page, I had that feeling when one wakes up next to a girl whom you try very hard to remember the name, then it hit you that you didn’t bother asking the previous night. But you know only too well that what happened was thrilling while it lasted, as a matter of fact it was amazing, then you wake up with that awful taste in your mouth. Getting up and wearing your clothes the right way suddenly became a tedious task.
To make it simpler, reading the ending was a headache. After opening all the mystery boxes what’s there left? You’ve devoured the main dish and the dessert is just too bland. Should I continue reading only to find out that the protagonist hadn’t changed a bit and is still boning one of the women casually?

The book may be described as dark, twisted and “insert macabre suggestive word here” but let me assure you that this book is nothing more than pure entertainment that was wrapped with a sweet happy ending.

Perhaps having the book translated from its original language made it seem as though it was written by a ghost writer. Since I don’t know how to speak or read Swedish, then I would never know the difference or even know Larsson’s writing style.
Mikael Blomkvist is the product if James bond had a baby with Sherlock Holmes (I know, Nancy Drew is also a detective but I’m a Lesbian and I want it that way)
The frustration perhaps of every geeky writer, computer programmer etc embodied the protagonist of the book. A writer with investigative journalism as major and someone who seemed to be the boy toy of the women in the book. In his book, there are no women who were conservative but women who indulge themselves in casual sex whenever they feel like it and women who crawl into Blomkvist’s bed, deliberately. The protagonist had it very easy that he doesn’t even have to wink at all.

Gripping true, at least when I was at the middle of the book, putting it down was the last thing I want to do. But reading the last few pages? Not as satisfying…

My rating: One-night-stand. However since it’s a trilogy, Occasional-lover then, given I’ll be able to purchase the next book. Hopefully someone would be kind enough to give it as a gift just as the same with this one. Yes, it’s those nights where after waking up and finding yourself to the door, you ask her number despite the fact you won’t ever call her for dinner and a movie. You didn’t ask for her name but she will be remembered by the evident image of a dragon on her back.

Final rating: One-night-stand that has the potential to be an occasional lover, if I buy the next book then the rating would change to Whore for Kronor, which is very unlikely.

Since the book is making its way to film, who should play the characters?
Mikael Blomkvist in my imagination could be Clive Owens.




I have no idea who they're casting but if it were up to me... I thought Clive Owens, he seems like that writer guy who can pull it off.



 
I was also thinking about Daniel Craig







Mikael Blomkvist must be a sort of rugged writer with a bit of sex appeal since he was one of the women's walking vibrator in the book.






For my Lisbeth I would like to see




Because I like her, despite the fact she's getting married now and is pregnant. You betrayed me Natalie!!
On the other hand, she's a great actress and I think she can give life to Lisbeth Salander.





 I'm also thinking about Neve Campbell or Selma Blair... Either one of them if not Natalie.
Neve


I think I would go with Selma on this one, she seemed almost perfect for the role of Lisbeth, at least in my imagination. Neve seemed a sweet compromise for the role.
Then again I'll wait for the film to surprise me. Right now I haven't checked who will be the cast and I don't want to...










 I don't want to describe Lisbeth much since it will spoil the book but I imagined Selma as Lisbeth.
Selma



*Spoiler* If you haven’t read the book and would like to, then please skip this portion.

Rumor has it that the writer was a feminist. The title of the book is not exactly as it were translated from its original language. Larsson has named the girl with the dragon tattoo Lisbeth, the same name of the girl he had witnessed to be gang raped but failed to help out. I don’t understand why would a writer name one of his main characters (that was also raped and molested in the book) after a girl who was gang raped. The girl was already violated in the most violent way and he wanted to immortalize that as well in a novel? It’s so Carlo J. Caparas if you ask me.
I believe frustration has something to do with it, in the book, Lisbeth fought her tormentor back in an interesting manner. I suppose it’s a way of saying that the writer had wished the girl fought back, taking justice into her own hands or it’s also a way of saying that women can fight back and should fight back.
Revenge maybe sweet but the satisfaction of prevention is beyond taste buds.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Veronica Answers a Roommate AD online…




There was this roommate ad I saw online, it was rather short but seemed sincere. Since I’m quite the adventurous type I tried answering the roommate ad and well, the one who posted the ad responded immediately and we set up a date to meet after work, so I could check out the place.

Yes, I know I should be afraid with these ads online and I should be careful. The thing is, fear is not exactly in my vocabulary and if things get weird and out of hand, I suppose it’s something good to write about. For some sort of reason I actually felt fine meeting this woman and didn’t feel anything suspicious. Although the ad seemed a bit too good to be true, I didn’t expect much but still was willing to look at the place. Of course, my sanity also has something to do with it.

Moving on, I went to the place. It was easy looking for the place but the woman said I should look for a white gate and there I was, standing in front of a house where the address pointed me with a maroon gate… I walked away from the house and tried to hang out for a bit.
I saw a girl who welcomed 2 other girls in the house and when I saw that girl, immediately my gaydar detected a lesbian to where the girl was located, the XY coordinates do not lie.
They went inside and I was left outside looking exactly like a creep. Then I saw a girl in an office work attire approaching.
She said “…Veronica?”
I looked at her and smiled “Hi” I said as I extended my hand for a greeting.
“Is this the place?” I asked as she led me to the maroon gated house.
“Yes, this is it” she replied. She sounds decent I thought.
Coming in there has a huge dog on the porch and a 4x4 vehicle parked in the garage.
We had a bit of a small talk and I felt her ease up on me. She seemed a bit superficial and reminded me with women who baby talk with good English to back them up.

We went inside the house, it looked old but seemed nice. I saw the girl whom my gaydar certified as a lesbian sitting on the sofa in the living room chatting with her friends. Then from the stairwell came down a young lady, not tall, fair skin, short nut brown hair and my gaydar again detected the presence of a lesbian, though this one the sniff-o-meter seemed weak. She was really cute and nice, I thought.
We were introduced by the woman and we shook hands.
“So, what do you do?” she asked.
“She’s a writer” the woman said as I was about to open my mouth. I simply smiled at the cute girl.
“Woah! Wow!” she said and she almost jumped, I don’t know why but the only thing I did was smile and look at her. She said wow for about 5 times, what’s with writers??
We talked for a bit and she asked me questions all the more, it seemed that she’s a student in UP Diliman, though I didn’t ask what she was taking and she’s 20 years old.
Later on the other girl, the one sitting on the sofa who was also approved by my gaydar as a lesbian came and we were introduced, I forgot her name but she has long hair and was wearing a tank-top that was so gay. Again the question of my profession and surprisingly, she too was rather astounded. She said she wanted to be a writer too but more on Travel writing, I told her that’s not exactly my field.
The woman who posted the Ad asked me to come with her to the room. So we went upstairs, she had forgotten to clean up so I stood outside the room for 5 minutes and was let in finally.
The room was decent, it wasn’t that big but good enough I suppose. She showed me the cabinet and everything else. I sat on the empty bed across from her as she asked me questions. She asked if I have a boyfriend, some details about my job and other stuff I don’t think she should be concerned about. I was nice enough to answer most of them.
She said she’s single, not so happy with work and other things I have forgotten about since I was on the verge of falling asleep.
I told her about my parking concern since I have a car and going home in the dead of night, she said it was fine.
She was showing me the other parts of the house. It was as though she’s trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner and since I don’t want to hear anymore of her explanations, I said “When can I move in?” of course I gave her a knowing smile.
Suddenly she stopped and looked at me, her eyes gleamed with delight and she jumped with her hands together as though in prayer. “Really?!” she said and she held both my hands, “I’m so happy!”
For a second I thought we’re getting married, since her reaction seemed like she just won the lottery. “That’s great!” she said, thinking about it she was really happy at that moment. We discussed when I could move in, which was the coming Saturday.

Finally we went back down, since I removed my shoes at the bottom of the stairs, I sat on the last step and put back my shoes. The cute girl was at the top of the stair case and called up to me “Do you like it?” she asked in a jolly manner. I said yes it and that it was decent.
“Are you taking it?” she asked and then I smiled and looked at her “Yes, I am” I answered.
Her smile widened “YES!” she excitedly said and jumped a bit. “Oh wait I have to dress up,” and she hurried back to her room.

I saw the cute girl exit the house, she was dressed differently and seemed as though she’s going somewhere. She was wearing a gilded blazer and top I usually see hipster lesbians wear, a pair of skinny jeans matched with boots.
The woman was talking to the caretaker and seemed to be arguing, there seemed to be a misunderstanding.

It seems that she had mislead me with the information of the rate and she was now confused on what to do.
We went outside and luckily the cute girl was still standing outside the gate. I saw her and she smiled. “Still here?” I said as I stood next to her on the side of the main road.
“I’m waiting for my dad’s car, are you going?”, we had a bit of a conversation and told her I was moving this Saturday.

“Where are you going by the way?” I asked
 “Just dinner with my dad…”
The next thing we know, her dad’s car was before us and she carried her luggage and walked towards the car.
When she was about in the middle of her walk I said “See you later! … Oh wait no, I mean see you-“ she stopped and looked back “See you ummm” she said
“See you tonight?” I replied.
“See you Saturday!” she said and she went in the car. It sped off and got tinier in the horizon.

It was sort of obvious I was happy and I turned to the woman, she seemed troubled.
“Listen… we need to talk” she said
And that was the end of our beautiful relationship… just kidding.

Apparently she had given the wrong information about the rate and changed her mind about getting a roommate. I was astounded and didn’t say a word. I left the place and thought about it for a bit. I didn’t ask for the cute girl’s number since I was seeing someone at that time and I have taken monogamy to the next level.
Too bad, even the other girl who was wearing a tank top called me “Future Housemate” when I left. A week later I took the place at CGS…

I’ve never heard from that woman ever since and I never went to the area again.
The area is in Maginhawa and the house is along Grill Queen, I’m not sure if they still have the Maroon gate since it has been months after all.
I invited the woman to the Pride Parade and told her to ask the other girls to come along too. Alas there were no respond whatsoever from her.

Perhaps I should hang out around the place, there is a cool coffee place nearby anyway.Who wants to have coffee? Hit me a message. :]

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The landlady from the colder regions of the earth.

I know I shouldn’t be writing about this, but I’m a writer. I can write whatever I want to, let’s assume this is an exercise shall we?

Much to my disdain to spill information about myself, I just have to let perhaps a leak and hopefully some of you would find this entertaining. I do not wish to evoke negative feelings, at least not on this one.

I must say that as a starving writer, I have limited myself from activities that would drain my bank account (which recently refused to cough up money for some unknown reasons). Therefore I cook for myself, go to the market and choose ingredients that wouldn’t hurt my pockets as much. I’m vegetarian so food is rather more expensive and harder to get by than the average omnivore.

Let us move forward to the subject at hand. My land-lady, or the one who owns the unit I’m renting in Mandaluyong is quite young, she’s only 24 after all but I’m not exactly sure when she will turn 25 and I don’t want to know. I stay in one of the condominium communities in Mandaluyong where the mental asylum is in our neighborhood.

I have been staying there for a couple of months and I have no complaints. Though interestingly enough there were events I find as an anomaly to my well-being.
In the unit there are three rooms, I stay in one and share it with a roommate I barely see since she works at night. Me? Work by day? No, I don’t work… I hang out at the office and surf the net.

Before, it was just me, my non-existent roomie, the landlady and her sisters (who barely stay there) perhaps destiny had a hand in this. I can tell from the beginning that my landlady seems pretty lonely and depressed. I was never the one to really care what she’s doing but a few months ago she has no work and simply watches TV the whole day and night drinking cola until she passes out. She’s talkative and complaints a lot, we used to have a maid and she complaints about her a lot.
One thing I noticed was that she’s incurably dishonest, such as telling potential tenants in the other room that there is no more space left but one, when in fact the room was empty.

One time for some unknown reason, she used our bathroom, she has her own so I don’t understand what she’s doing in our bathroom. She didn’t lock the door and it was one beautiful morning. I got up and went straight to the bathroom to wash my face. I knocked in case someone was there. No one answered so I figured it should be clear, but then when I opened the door I was surprised to see my landlady on the throne smoking. She closed the door immediately and I went back to my bed thinking it was just a dream.

The next thing I know was, our maid telling me I could use the bathroom upstairs. I suppose it wasn’t a dream after all.

I forgot to mention we also had a dog back then, eventually she was neglected and my roomie couldn’t take care of her so she has to go somewhere else.
The dog was unleashed and is pretty much free to roam around the place. My landlady has a love and hate relationship with the dog. There was a time where she really liked petting the dog, she kneeled on the floor and scratched the little puppy's fur. I was standing and the moment she knelt, since her neckline was quite huge her puny breasts (as I would like to call them) were exposed, just perfect for my angle. Quickly I turned away. She should really wear a bra… Eventually I realized she doesn’t care whether her tiny jugs were seen.

I thought that was the end of it, there was another time that she even bothered to put on a see-through shirt and her teeny weeny tits were just as seen as if she weren’t wearing anything.
I don’t really mind if she wants to walk around our place naked, IF… IF and only if she has the body and a face to match, she’s very skinny with a rather fair complexion, bulging round eyes and lips as though taken from a trout.
I noticed her arms were somehow covered with thick curly hair, explains her half-Egyptian blood.
So the sasquatch, I mean my landlady, despite the Egyptian lineage has a very Filipino, mediocre appeal and personality. She doesn’t like to read, she mentions “nose-bleed” each and every time, claims she’s spiritual (Even if she doesn’t even know what it really means, I must say she’s giving spirituality a bad name), talks and gossips a lot, has no taste for art, blames her parents for what happened to her life, she's a bit homophobic too etc.

I can live with that, I don’t really see her a lot and I don’t have to bother her. However there was a time that she came down to my little space. Comfortably sat on my bed, I don’t really mind, and then lied on it while talking about something that’s enough to put me in a state of comatose.
I was sitting on the foot of my bed as a Native-American would and was holding the book I was reading, while this snoopy landlady of mine who’s seriously needing a friend invaded my bed.
My room then was slightly lit, just enough so I could read a book. So there she was trying to tell me things of no importance, she was so comfortable that an Eagle would have nothing to say on how she had spread her legs before me.
She was wearing a pair of boxer briefs for women where the leg hole was a bit bigger than normal.
I looked out to my window and looked back at her place. I sort of noticed some weird image between her legs. I was wondering if it was just some weird underwear design but much to my surprise and confirmation. My landlady must have never heard of panties and bras…
There before me, was the mouth of the volcano covered in sasquatch fur. It stared back at me for the next thirty minutes. I dared not say anything about it so I pretended I didn’t see it. She kept on talking and complaining...

I suppose it’s good that they don’t really know much about me. Since I keep to myself but it was rather unnecessary that my landlady would go that far to let her anatomy known…

First part ends here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pride March was just wonderful, it was really a memorable day since it was also the day of my birth and I witnessed all my friends’ support. All the gays and lesbians and even those who don’t label themselves (but were there) enjoyed the event.
I also spent the next 24 hours of my 23rd year of existence in a room filled with lesbians. I wonder what that has to say to my year.

Details of the Pride march are here.
Weekends from then were filled with activities. I went home Sunday morning from the Pride event and exclusive party,  so I slept most of the time during Sunday then woke up to hand-wash some clothes. Even my weekdays were occupied.
I went to UST to get some notebooks wire-bounded.
Surprisingly the Chinese lady who owns the art shop in P.Noval Street still remembers me, she also mentioned how my hair have grown longer.

Last weekend I spent the day hanging out with a friend and on Sunday with my dad.

After the consecutive weekends I’ve been going out and stuff (even on weekdays) I’m starting to feel like I need time for myself… I felt this sudden pang of wanting to be alone and have all the time for myself. I should grab coffee for myself this week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Love March with Pride!

The Task Force Pride Philippines had a meeting last November 6, about the most awaited event this year, the Pride March for LGBTs. Which I might add must be the biggest event for the LGBTs in the country.
Met them in Cubao, in a coffee shop where my friend Jacob said that the coffee sucks, in which in my account have taken his advice and didn’t order. I wouldn’t spend so much money on designer coffee where it fails in comparison to instant coffee. Not all popular coffee shops in the country have great coffee. I trusted his advice since I’ve tried a lot of coffee from different shops and was gravely disappointed.
The previous plan was to hold the event in Malate, Manila. Same as last year but for some sort of reason, which unfortunately I’m not sure of, the event location, will be held in Quezon City, they have said that the Quezon City Government had taken an interest with the event which I am yet to confirm. Tomas Morato will be blocked to make way for the fabulous event, the stage will be there where several talented LGBTs will unleash their gifts of entertainment and other announcements.
The theme this year is “One Love: Stop AIDS, Promote LGBT Human Rights, Keep the Promise”. It’s also the HIV-AIDS awareness day, so it’s Pride and HIV-AIDS day all wrapped up into one with my birthday on top! Yeah, my birthday is so gay…
Nothing is more exhilarating than having all the lesbians and gays in the country celebrate on my birthday as they parade on the streets in fabulous clothing, donning myriad of colors that are so alive they make you want to jump up and down. Perhaps it’s just me.
On November 27th the pre-assembly meeting was held in Quezon City Hall, I arrived about an hour late but luckily they haven’t started yet. Delegates were given a can of cola and cheese burger. Much to my disdain I had to give the burger away to a friend. I no longer indulge in eating meat so I drank the cola.

According to the meeting, Dingdong Dantes among with other stars will have a speech of some sort to promote LGBT rights and increase AIDS awareness.
During the event, one can get tested for HIV-AIDS for free. So better take advantage of that.
Closet will be parading in the LGBT Pride March under a new look. Individuals who want to join closet will get freebies to take home. A tent will also be available for Closet’s LGBT merchandise to be displayed and sold at special prices.
The Closet booth will be located near the information booth, surely no one would ever miss that.

There are more than 50 groups who will parade on December 4, this Saturday. The event is expected to be really huge therefore the Quezon City state will deploy an army of 150-200 Police Men. I’m actually more afraid of the Police men to be deployed since it’s the Holidays, they might extort money from the gay people instead of protecting them which is often the case anyway.

The anti-gay protesters are of course expected again, some foreigner would probably pay people from the slums again to follow the parade carrying sign boards with statements such as “Gay people are demons”, “You will go to hell” etc. If that wasn’t enough, they were also paid to shout homophobic slurs to passing gays or lesbians.  I believe the foreigner, who’s the mastermind for this, is a self-proclaimed Christian.

What ever happened to the Christian value of unconditional love, acceptance, we are all children of God shebang Christians are always yapping about??
They are only giving Christianity a bad name.

Danton Remoto, writer of Ang Ladlad and other Gay books, during the meeting said it wouldn't be exciting without them so they are also welcome to attend the parade. See? That's genuine acceptance.

We are inviting everyone, whether you are Homo, Bi, Trans, Pan, or whatever, as long as you support equality and diversity with HIV-AIDS awareness then please do March with us. This is open for everyone!

Post Script: The first LGBT PRIDE March in Asia was held in the Philippines on the year of 1994 having approximately 60 people marching as one and celebrating diversity and equality. 
On December 4th 2010, the biggest LGBT Pride in Philippine history will be held in Quezon City.

Friday, November 26, 2010

When I want to get away...

When I really want silence and peace, I go to a special place in Tagaytay to meditate and forget about my modern concerns completely.

Brahma Kumaris is a Spiritual University and has at least 8,000 centers all over the globe and several in the Philippines.
The retreat center is located in Tagaytay City and luckily it was near my town of Sta. Rosa.

The place emanates of peaceful energy and I felt really at ease in the center. The garden made Sonia's garden look like a jungle.
 
I have been going to this spiritual class and I’ve been attending the classes for months now and I suppose I like it. I am happy to announce that I am in the intermediate level and I am quite looking forward to more classes.
I only have a few classmates where they, I believe, are over 30 years old. I noticed they are good natured people and are fun to be with. I’m glad to have met them, so sometimes we get dinner and simply hang out.

I’ve also made friends with the people I met during the retreat.

When staying for the retreat it is likely that one could be mixed with someone else to share the room. 
Since I went alone of course I shared a room with someone and I don’t mind at all. My roommate was nice and I guess we didn’t find it hard to get along well and up to this date we still talk to each other, hang out and have dinner among   the others we have met in the same place.

Funny thing to note about the center was that meat is not allowed to be taken in the center. From then on it was rather easy to switch back to being a vegetarian. I've been cooking again, which is good news.

I wasn’t exactly a spiritual person and honestly before, I never really gave it a thought. I wasn’t lost or anything but a certain illness compelled me to look for alternative medicines and I discovered the spiritual class in Quezon City. A friend said perhaps yoga can cure my illness and so I went to attend the class. To my surprise it was more than what I bargained for. 
No, this is not the type of yoga where one stretches and do several poses. Here we are taught the ways of Raja Yoga, a form of meditation and spiritual living though it is not exactly a religion as what most people think of.
It seems that the series of events lead me to this path and I am quite thankful. It taught me how to get peace of mind wherever I go.

The retreat was a 2 day and 2 night’s period where one will have accommodations comparable to hotels and have vegetarian diet for the duration of the retreat, Yum!

The retreat’s rate is only P1,800 which is really cheap if you think about it. If you want to know more about the spiritual class and the spiritual retreat then visit their website

Om Shanti

[Photos are from Jen Juan]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Persia in her eyes...

Persepolis Book I & II
A few years ago I read Persepolis book I and II. I discovered the wonderful book when I was ‘blackling’ ebook sites and much to my surprise I really enjoyed reading it. Written and illustrated by the author Marjane Satrapi, there was also a movie adaptation, which I watched the trailer on youtube over and over.

A child grew up in war conflicts though good manners and right conduct wasn’t exactly instilled in her system, for good reasons she was sent to Europe. With the character of the protagonist subtly delusional in the beginning, the book gives an interesting angle to look at Iran. Although the comic book tends to annihilate any gloomy emotional response perhaps because the author didn’t want it that way, perhaps she wanted really for it to be a book remembered by its comedy, which is tragic.

Read the book. Learn a bit about Iran, formerly known as Persia.
Since I read the book online I would like to really get a physical book since I like the illustration and the book colors. Included in my wish-list.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spiritual University Philippines


I wonder if it’s time to write about this… It’s been quite a while since I’ve been attending Spiritual Classes in QC. It was a rather long story why I decided to go to the class.
For one, I know very well I wasn’t the spiritual kind and was never really interested in the sort of things.
I grew up in an agnostic lifestyle. Of course I was introduced to the Catholic, Christian and other religious group in which I never paid any attention. I didn’t want to follow the Catholic groups since a large percentage of our population are Catholics and where are we now? When you ask a politician what book he or she reads they will say (9 out of 10) the Bible (The most outdated book in the face of the earth)
Christians on the other hand are ok but are too closed minded at times. I have in my life observed a lot of people following these religious groups and have seen them numerous times commit heinous acts. I know these religions are great but I just don’t get their followers.
Religious groups tend to divide people and in turn create sorrow, I want none of it.

So for years I roamed the earth and woke up every single day to define the new sun rise and bridge the abyss of purposelessness to the side of meaning. Striving everyday to accomplish something worthwhile, leaving a mark no matter the significance.
I don’t believe in supernatural phenomenon like ghosts or the science of Astrology but I found them interesting. I am a watcher of “Penn & Teller Bullshit” so perhaps you may get a hunch on how this brain of mine works.
However despite the sometimes sadness experienced in my life and the hardships, bitter hard work and often times chaotic state of mind, my life was on track. I knew what I wanted and was driven by it. I found beauty in tears and the sometimes heart-wrenching events in my life and at some point have appreciated drama.
The uncertainty and knowing there were a lot that boggled my mind wasn’t the reason why I went to study spirituality.

It has to do with my physical condition and a rather unexpected inspiration and influence from someone I barely knew. I thought meditation can heal my physical condition so there I was, knocking on an unfamiliar door.

As a writer, it is also added material to know and study a few things so I didn’t mind learning it. This isn’t a religion so I can stick with what I believed in, which is absolutely nothing. I guess I got more than what I bargained for.

Every Tuesday I attend a 2-3 hour class about Spirituality held in Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University in Quezon City. Classes are free and often students are those who were searching for something in life, to fill a gap or locate a lost puzzle piece. They teach Raja Yoga meditation and how to achieve a peace of mind.

You are always welcome if you want to learn how to meditate, check them out here Brahma Kumaris.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The attack and endless cycle of bigotry

Honestly, I have a rather strong distaste at passing judgment to others. Although I know a lot of my friends who judged others on a whim without thinking twice.
I can’t change them and neither will I try and for one, I can only frown upon it and nothing more. I don’t judge others if I can help it. We can only judge ourselves. 

Judging others will always turn out irrational.

I have a friend(Let’s call her Suzie) and we went to the same university, however she transferred to another university in Manila. So from De La Salle University Dasma she transferred to Adamson University.

A lot of students (coming from the top 3 universities in the country) regard my university, DLSU-D, as nothing better than the schools located in Ubelt, wherever that is. I wanted to be offended but it would take too much energy. La Salle Dasma is a nice place, filled with trees, a football field that actually have grass surviving, wide open space away from polluted air and others. In any case it is incomparable to those universities in Ubelt.
As for me, I don’t care what school you came from, as long as you pursue your dreams no matter the circumstances are and you are trying to be someone. Not some dreamless wretch who lives and breathe purposelessly.

My friend, Suzie, who transferred to Adamson, told us “Students in Adamson University don’t know how to speak English”. Like any rational being I didn’t believe her, not everyone’s good in English in this country despite it shoved to our faces everyday. I know, how can someone not learn English? It’s being choked down our throats since the beginning of time.

I know someone from one of the most prestigious University in the country who says “Open the Tv, Close the Tv, Open the Electric Fan etc” and don’t know what’s wrong with the sentence.Tragic First Language Influence.

One time I left my shoes at Suzie’s place and had to get it back. So I went to her place to discover her Adamson University classmates hanging out in her living room. It was fairly late and decided to stay in for the night. Isn’t it a good chance to see how these students fare?

So there I was sitting in a corner, observing and listening carefully at what they were talking about. There was Roy, Len and Mike(Not their real names, I made them up) and they were talking about how awesome and intelligent their professors were, aside from their profound amazement at Suzie’s place. Roy said I should join in their conversation. I simply smiled in the corner.
Roy said he’s smart and open minded and he speaks great English. He also pronounces sauce as “so-ws”. He said that Boys are for Girls and Girls are for Boys nothing more to it, I applaud his open mindedness. He totally forgot there are gays and lesbians existing in the planet.
Mike on the other hand talked a lot less than Roy, because Roy talks 90% of the time. He said if he weren’t a Catholic he would really like to be a Buddhist.
Len has an evident interest with horoscopes and perceives people as “You are what you’re zodiac sign” approach.
Also all of them, including Suzie (who’s a lesbian by the way) said that homosexuality is a choice.
I told them that it’s not and they all disagreed, because they had a subject in AdU that said so.
“So, those gay people chose to be gay so they can be abused, assaulted and killed by homophobic maniacs?”
Unanimously they all said “Yes.”
The horror, I have never been so appalled by the display of bigotry in my entire life. But I kept to myself. No use arguing with people with false convictions.
I remember very well that Suzie was transferred to another school because of her homosexual relationships… hmmm. I suppose it’s to her design? She probably knows that and chose it to be that way, believing homosexuality is a choice.

Roy also said that I should study philosophy and what ever subject was being taught in their University. Clearly he has no idea what cultural, historical, art, intellectual etc background I possess and how quick was he to judge and tell me what to do. I won’t be an inch convinced even if he learned to speak English on how it should be spoken.

The next day, Suzie asked me if her classmates were "Okay", Okay as friends. I found it interesting that she asked me that question. I choose my friends very well.

Truly the Apocalypse is nigh. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Movies and Psychopaths


I just saw the movie, The Orphan, last night since it was aired by HBO and I was nailed in front of the television. I already knew the plot that some adopted kid was despicably an evil entity out to wreak havoc and destroy the family who took her in.
There was this girl I dated before who loves horror and gross out movies as much as I do and she told me to watch The Orphan, I guess that encouraged me. Too bad we don’t see or even talk to each other anymore, would really love to tell her what I thought of the movie.
Nonetheless I liked it, it was entertaining and it gave me a few laughs while watching. I liked the girl who played the orphan, she was cute and had an interesting accent (And I love Russian, German etc. accent when they’re speaking in English). That was also the reason why I watched it ‘til the end. I have no patient watching predictable movies. In a show or movie I seek for content, art and execution etc. so I can appreciate it more. Although at times, I simply watch for the stars but how rare of this to happen.

Also before that I saw “Enemy at the Gates” with Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Loved it. I love movies about war and holocausts. I’m quite excited about the upcoming Saw 3D movie and would really go to the theatres to see it, sigh… gut wrenching terrorized screams. How relaxing…

Alright then, back to my writings.

The orphan’s behavior was psychopathic but as much as I would love to discuss her behavior, psychopaths in our modern society are not necessarily like her, the orphan.
Psychopaths could be your boss, your friend, your mother, your father, your child or the one you sat in the bus with. Psychopaths aren’t always driven on such extreme levels like the orphan or the guy in the popular movie “Psycho”.

Of course in the movie, it had to be driven to such extent to be entertaining however in real life that is not how psychopaths play it. They are not necessarily anti-social and most of the times can get a long well with people. They are not always evil, there are psychopaths who didn’t have to kill just to achieve what they want like con-artists.

And psychopath does not exactly mean they are mad geniuses roaming our land.
Psychopaths are completely devoid of feelings and would stop at nothing for their desires since they lack guilt and conscience that the weight of responsibility and obligation is unknown to them. Since conscience is something that can’t be seen and in a na├»ve’s world, conscience is something thought as universal, psychopaths can easily hide the fact that they are conscious-free with not so much an effort lifting a hair strand.
If a psychopath is a genius it is probably he or she was surrounded with intellectuals and if they’re rich then they are pretty much pre-disposed to it. Like Dr. Hannibal Lecter, now that is one evil genius, he was well educated since he came from a rich family more so.


What makes other psychopaths smart or geniuses is of course their desire to gain knowledge or money just like the next guy. It’s just that they would stop at nothing to gain it. And there are those dimwitted psychopaths who were hill billies roaming around with a gun.
The dumb chainsaw wielding maniac in the Movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a psychopath. It’s not genius when he used other people’s faces as mask, it’s just that he didn’t have the necessary feelings that would complete a morally bounded human being. Respect to life, an original quality of a soul, is missing. Therefore he’s pretty much only limited by his imagination. Which to my opinion is pretty dull, his family has a vast amount of land he can farm or sell and get education or a plastic transplant if he really wanted a pretty face. Then again what was on the movie was nothing more than an exaggeration, something to get the audiences at the edge of their seat. He was too obsessed, too exaggerated to play the role of the psychopath, yet the movie, in one of them, made him look like he had feelings. Think back, a scene where he sees his face and at the sight of it threw a fit of sadness, hatred, disgust and he threw objects and wrecked his place, he even let out a scream or maybe it was a grunt?

I love the franchise though, saw at least 4 movie versions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, some were hilarious and worth a few laughs.
Most psychopath movies were American Movies, because they have a lot of psychopaths in that country.
Psychopathic movie here in the Philippines: Sigaw with Iza Calzado and Richard Gutierrez, no he wasn’t the psychopath in the movie. I don’t think he can act the part.
Apparently, I think the Philippine Cinema don’t know the profile of a psychopath that is why evil villains here lack the character of one and one can’t exactly diagnose them as psychopaths. The villains here are always portrayed as borderline evil and confused.

More talk next time on Psychopaths, I’m going back to work.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are you the roommate from hell? How to help the Philippines survive with you walking around: A young Filipino guide to living in modern times

Are you the roommate from hell?
How to help the Philippines survive with you walking around: A young Filipino guide to living in modern times II

AKA "Stay away from my cheese!"
At least if you’re from the lower to middle class citizens of our dear forsaken country then at one time or the other, you would have experienced sharing a room with perfect strangers.

Just like family, we can’t expect them to behave as we want them to and most of the time we don’t choose them. I remember very well having different roommates in college since I’ve lived practically in the campus dormitory guarded by nuns and middle-aged women who lacked sex. I lived with the dreaded 9PM curfew and strange to insane roommate and dorm mates.

That is why in our modern lives, now that we are working and have to deal with other people who shares our room, we need to draw the line on how far we can go so as to appear well behaved and didn’t spawn from hell.



Your guide to leaving your roommates alive and in one piece.

Cleaning won't hurt
Food
If you notice that the oranges in the fridge now have an image of a skull with crossed bones and a word “poison” embedded on its skin, it means you better stop eating your roommate’s food and get your own. Your roommates can’t help but notice a sudden decrease on his or her food supply and your roomie knew you’re the culprit. This is also a nice way to avoid confrontation.


Pets
We know you love your pet very much that there are times you just can’t part with them. If you don’t want your pet to end up as pulutan then keep them somewhere else, they may be cute but they are awfully annoying most of the time especially when they poop everywhere and you don’t even pick up or clean after them. Never keep pets even if they are rodents or fishes.

Vermin
Yes we hate them and though we are trained to squish and kill those little critters on the spot, spraying insect killers when your roommates are in the same room is just crass. You might as well slit their throats when their sleeping.
Bug Sprays are fatal to humans to and it is very well indicated on the can that these sprays should be utilized in a closed room with no humans around.
People died this way so unless that’s what you want then spray when they’re away.

To be continued…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Artists Starve in the Philippines

By nirmonculus

“Ever wonder why there are no Filipino Nobel prize winners?” Asked Alvin Buenaventura, Executive Director of Filcols(Filipino Copyright Licensing Society Inc). We were all there, young writers, painters, performance artists, the creative youth all huddled up in Espasyo, listening to Alvin saying that a country the size of Mindoro and a population of 1.5 Million has a Nobel Prize winner to their name.

In the Philippines, being a writer, a novelist, a poet, book writer, rarely were ever full time jobs. If a writer wants to survive in our harsh economy, one has to take another job and do his or her writing on the side. There are little to no full time writers in the country, it is a cruel fact that a full time writer cannot clothe, shelter, feed oneself on the career alone, what more a family? Therefore others take a job like BPO jobs, waiting or crew jobs and others completely out of the writing range.

Or worse, one artist will totally be buried in debt. I have a painter friend who owes people money, he owed me too. I believe it’s almost a year now and he hasn’t paid me back and it wasn’t even much. But since I believe in supporting artists who have the talent to make it in the industry, it is nothing to help in every way I can. However I’m not rich either, I’m just as broke as he is and though I want to be a fulltime writer, I need the money back. I want to dedicate every facet of my being to writing my novels, poems and stories and whatnots! Not some article my boss wants me to write…

And I am nothing more than a victim of reality. So I work as a writer for some company, writing something else and my novels, stories, poems had to stay on the side for my fear of literally starving. I receive absolutely nothing from my family, no support whatsoever and can I blame them? I could also take a higher paying job, but at least what I have now is still under the writing department.

It is very true what Alvin said, artists who take jobs not connected to their talents and skills will render them dull and not be able to reach their full potential.

Death to the artist at heart.


Alright, a writer’s life is harsh and full of hard work and what does consumers or readers, whom writers pretty much depend on, can do?

Photocopying and reproducing their works without permission, is a great way to render them bankrupt and put an end to their passion and poor existence.



Ever wonder why school textbooks sucks? Because students do not buy the book, they photocopy it so they can get what the book offers for a huge fraction of the cost. If brilliant writers can’t feed themselves they would probably starve to death and fail to write books that would shape young minds, leaving the Filipino youth ignorant.

Don’t tell me that books in the Philippines are expensive! We are the only country in the world that sells the cheapest books, with imported books having a special edition just for our country.

Alvin spoke with Bro. Armin Luistro about the photocopying of books in De La Salle University Taft Library. That these students should pay the authors whom they copy materials from. These payments will be collected by Filcols and be distributed to authors when their books or works were reproduced in any way. It’s not even going to cost much, perhaps 0.05c to 0.10c per page for the starving authors. Miserably to hear it was of course denied. However if we look at it this way, students can afford it. Students pay for some “internet fee” per semester and were all of them able to utilize it? One would have to take his or her laptop to campus, and how much is the fee? A whopping P500, enough to buy two books and a piece of turon. This fee can be seen on our miscellaneous fee, at least on mine when I studied in DLSU-D. Since I’m frugal, I consumed the internet access I forcefully paid for, wisely. Can they really not afford it?

Photocopying a part, maybe a chapter or more of a book is stealing and yes according to a religion one may go to hell for that. Although back when I was a student, I did photocopy a few pages but never the whole book. They said in France, it is free to photocopy only five pages of a book. So I guess it wouldn’t hurt to copy one page of a book if not, I’m very much willing to pay back the amount it cost to photocopy all those books (I photocopied) in the library.

As of the moment I’m writing a novel which I’m planning to submit to one of the publishing houses in the country and when people find out, the first thing I hear after “Wow, really?” is “Can I get a free copy when it’s out?” and I’m extremely nice to say “Sure, you can!” however sometimes in my heart of hearts, I wish I could say “Why don’t you just pick up a knife and please stick it to my throat? That way I wouldn’t have to work my ass off writing a book to simply give it away for free.” It sounds hostile so I don’t say that, I don’t want to appear like Dr. Gregory House. Although I wish I could give the book to my friends for free, I’d be giving it for free on my own expense. I would have to buy it for them, which is pretty much similar to getting a gun, putting it to my mouth and pulling the trigger.

If a book costs P100 in a bookstore. P50 goes to the store, P35 goes to the publisher and a measly P15 goes to the writer who toiled, stayed up all night and probably starved writing the book.



A Filipino writer’s future is bleak, but one thing is for sure, writers will make publishers richer. Truly, intelligence and talent can never be weighed equal to currency.

I understand, perhaps I won’t be a millionaire through writing, however I don’t want to starve doing what I passionately love. I wish to feed myself, buy new clothes when the current ones are worn out, I wish to be able to pay for my date’s meal, pay for movies and our hotel reservations. Is that so much to ask?

If you feel like supporting starving writers such as myself, then you can start with dinner, coffee and driving me to work. But of course there are other ways, I’m just citing examples.

There are no Filipino Nobel prize winners since they can’t dedicate their efforts on their skills and talents alone due to poverty. Budding writers, struggling artists, mad aspiring scientists and others have to in one way or the other, must eat first. Leading to talents and skills be set aside, eventually neglecting their potential. Perhaps abandoning the potential to be a Nobel Prize winner too.

Also read Starving writer struggle

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Houses in China comes with free Wife!

I was doing some research when I stumbled an article claiming that Real estate in China sells properties with a bonus for a wife.
What a blow to women and to humanity. A flamboyant display of women as nothing more than mere objects. What's sad is these women “agreed”, were they really not forced?? Hm...

Statistics said according to the link, that there are 120 men to every 100 women in China. So men have a tight competition, not to mention how many of those women are lesbians? Totally steeping up the competition for these male seeking partners. I have an idea to that problem... Homosexuality.
If men would just take each other as partners then it would definitely help the economy of China even more and they wouldn't have much problem abiding the “One-child policy”, they can also help the population's control greatly. If everyone wants a happy ending then they better change their views on LGBTQs.
P.S: I also saw a book on display in some bookstore entitled "Sold for Silver" then a Chinese woman was on the cover. I thought selling women or slaves in China was ancient history, now they give away Chinese women for free.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Poking on the Rubble of my Dreams

I'm not very spiritual, honestly, in my whole life I just thought dreams were nothing more what my subconscious can pull up from nowhere and are insignificant but amusing nonetheless. Maybe a sort of psychological explanation is apt so let me just “blackle” that one moment...

The reason that made me interested in dreams lately is because the subject of my obsession has been appearing in my dreams as of late and it's quite disturbing, not disturbing as in nightmares has been recurring but it's always a “sweet dream” truthfully, I rarely get sweet dreams. Therefore I thought I should look it up...

Sigmund Freud (Not a fan) said that dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious”. I have reasons as why not to believe Freud since he was the one who interpreted that if a woman dreamed of something long like a pole or a snake it means that person is desiring sex. A sort of unimaginative reference to the male sex organ.
If in turn a man dreams of something oval or furry like a hedgehog? Or something round and cave-ish, translates to man desiring sex, references to the female sex organ.
In which eventually he gave up this initial idea that all dreams have underlying sexual content. Yes, like maybe sometimes a dream is just a dream.

Then there are modern scientists who claim that dreams are nothing more than images resulting from random electrical activity in the brain as it “housecleans” itself during the night.
Is one idea about a dream, there are more ideas like of Freud's and that they are important wish fulfillment of some sort.

Another explanation from Zeus when we had a convo about souls. He said that dreams are memories of our past lives, reference to rebirths and reincarnation. In dreams we relive them, is that it?
That sounds really sweet and positive...
All these were quite hard to digest since I wasn't exactly a believer on anything spiritual, not until recently when I've been going to the Spiritual University in QC, not because I wanted to know about Spirituality. I went there for another reason and I suppose I got more than what I bargained for. I liked it anyway, I am not intellectual in a lot of things so I stuff myself with information, necessary or not.
I study and I try discover a lot of things believing I don't know enough.

Dreams will remain a mystery. I probably shouldn't think about it too much since they were just merely dreams. However the subject of my obsession remains the same and I am starting to think I'm going bonkers yet functions normally in society.

Still on the process of grasping the concepts of souls and dreams...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The 5th Power, Art for Fashion exhibit and etc.

I went last night to “The 5th Power” Art for Fashion exhibit in Shangrila Mall, since my friend, Zeus Bascon's piece was there. The one he was doing when I stayed til 2am at their place.
After work I ate Baked Mac for dinner at my dorm in Mandaluyong and dragged one of my roommates to oggle some paintings hanged on walls. I'm not quite sure if she's into paintings or art but I dragged her to Shangrila anyway.

http://www.shangrila-plaza.com/shop_talk.php?id=55
It was a 15-20 minute walk from California Garden Square but it was fine, it wasn't so far. Since I didn't have a camera, I never get to take a picture of the exhibit. I did however with my phone, but what use is that? If I can't transfer it in anyway to a working computer?
It was on the floor nearest the fountain and there, mannequins in their branded clothes stood where the painting-that's supposed to be inspired by the clothing line, cling to the installed wall.






Zeus Bascon's piece was titled “In Bloom” where on the canvas depicts a woman as though wrapped in cocoon, seen almost to the middle of the painting in a dark subtle flower garden, being swept by swift gusts of wind. The sky showed a hazy fusion of colors and trees stood isolated dither and hither.
In an almost chaotic world portrayal where havoc seemed brought by whispers of the wind, the woman (who has the signature face of Zeus's paintings) defies enfolding and almost on the verge to release itself from its trappings.

He said he wasn't in the mood to explain the painting so I made my own explanation. I'm starting to think it's leaning rather on the feminist side, who knows maybe he had a better explanation. The shop that was assigned to him, to get the inspiration from was “NAF NAF”.

Other remarkable pieces were on display too and is worth a glimpse. Other works coming from the artists who did Maldita, The Row and a few others struck me as “Huh?”.

The piece on Maldita created by an artist I-forgot-his-name was an image of two young women perhaps on their early 20s, standing next to each other with faded legs and they were walking in obviously-Maldita's clothes.
Where in my opinion clothes can be seen anywhere else. If its a bonus, the two ladies had different hairstyles. The one on the left wearing a yellow-gold blouse-dress's hair was long, the classic style in a pony tail and on the right was a girl in short shorts in a blue blouse fit for the ladies and her hair was the modern short hair, but not similar to Twiggy, maybe the hair I usually see being sported by lesbians.

My explanation for the Maldita piece: A lesbian couple walked in, a fair distance between them is very evident along the abyss of confusion (the background painting was in turd color) it can be seen on their faces that they weren't happy. The tension was totally powerful that their legs suddenly vanished! It seems that the one with the longer hair was upset and the other with the short hair have no clue as to what's making her girl upset. I will now rename the title of the piece “Regla” or “It's our monthsary and you totally have no idea that it's also my period!”
Maldita is a shop, with women who are slightly older and who are professionals, for their target market, with women who are powerful and the boss of men. I didn't see that in the painting.

Other paintings looked like it was made by an artist who has the technique but has the imagination of a 5 year old(I think 5 yr olds have better imagination actually). I'm not going to go and write down what I thought of the other paintings here. Interesting works by Mica Cabildo, two of them were on display. I've met her through Zeus, she made a yarn sort of necklace in the combination of brown (I don't remember much) and white for the shop “Yhansy”.

The exhibit was arranged so that if one would look from the upper levels or a bird's eye-view the number 5 formation is unmistakably evident.

Maybe the few artists, simply worked attaching the quality of their work to the amount they were paid. But that shouldn't be the case.

After that, my roomie and I walked around and saw another exhibit of “News in Pictures” a notable collection I remember was from Christina Sevilla... Was it Cristina? I don't even remember.

The exhibit is still open this week. Go ahead and take a look.