Friday, December 23, 2011

Of Motions and Words : Of Movies and Poetry

Raya Martin's Buenas Noches España
Shown in the Cine Adarna UP Diliman December 21-22, 2011
In another lifetime, a Spanish couple takes drugs and teleports through their television set. A troubled young man travels through the countryside and meets a lost woman. During the trip, they discover a museum housing the expatriated paintings of the most important Filipino artist of the revolution. Eventually, the Spanish couple disappears toward their colony. Inspired by one of the earliest teleportation accounts, which happened between the Philippines and Mexico during the colonial period.
Facebook Event Here

Romance's Demise by Veronica Laurel

Let me see you tonight,
For tonight this romance will face it's demise
This informal engagement will strike the last toll of the bell
And I'll never be able to touch you again
Nor be able to keep my vows
I knew the end before it all began
But I won't let midnight come to pass
I'll crawl back to the prologue of the day we met
To the previous definition of my loneliness

End of first part out of three parts.

The poem is included in my Sorrow is the Romanticist's Necessary Affliction of the Soul Poetry Collection for 2011.

I saw the movie Buenas Noches España the other day after posting my Selected Poetry (2011) at the Ishmael Bernal Gallery in UP Diliman.
The movie was reminiscent of surreal music videos back in the 90s with a little bit of nostalgic touch of romance. This isn't your typical movie that is shown by local cinemas so it probably won't capture the taste of the masses but it is a breath of fresh air for those who hasn't seen any movie similar to it. Though the taking of drugs here is rather tolerated, we all know that drugs are bad for the health and well being. But people will have their issues and will choose their own poison. We all know which road to take and hopefully, our individual judgments are sound enough on what and what not to avoid and abuse.

My poetry selection are available at the Bernal Gallery til classes resume after the holidays. I cordially invite you to take a look at the artworks made by young artists displayed and also to take a glimpse of my poetry selection this year. Copies of my poetry is available on exhibit and are for sale at a price friendly to the pockets. Giving the wonders of Letter Arts this season will definitely be a breath of fresh air and perhaps a step up to Philippine independent literature. Give poetry as gifts. View my Poetry at the Ishmael Bernal Gallery here.

After visiting the gallery you can easily go to Cine Adarna and watch the film since the theatre is just behind the gallery.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Starving Poet: Thorn Among Flowers?

Poetry on the wall.
The mounted pieces are made of groundwood (Untreated Paper)
and are hand-sewn to keep the leaves together.

Yesterday was the opening of Art at 50 at Ishmael Bernal Gallery where I joined in and added a few copies of my poetry selection this 2011. I also included the prints of the triptych visual poetry collaboration with Zeus Bascon back in 2006.
Most of the pieces are visual arts with little words in them but mine was mostly in literature and very little to do with the visuals.
I do believe F. Sionil Jose when he said that “Literature is the highest form of Art”

Though my pieces may be a bit considered remote in the exhibit, I stand firm in my decision to post poetry among dozens of visual art pieces. I wasn't prepared since I was notified quite late. Most of my art books were sold during the 10a Alabama event and also during Pride March. I didn't have time to replenish my books.

Art at 50 celebrates art pieces that can be bought at an affordable price. If you don’t have a gift for a friend then perhaps a visit to Bernal Gallery in UP Diliman will give you ideas and gifts for your friends and others.

The Exhibit will be open until classes resume next year, probably til the first week of January.

Go ahead and take a look. After that you can head to the UPFI Cine Adarna theatre and watch a film for free.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Go Vegetarian with Daily Veggie N Café

Sizzling Tao Pao Roll

For the determined, there’s nothing hard or impossible. Whether it’s taking vegetarianism for a permanent diet or just swearing off meat, all you need is encouragement and perhaps the right set of friends.
It’s not that hard to be a vegetarian especially if you have a friendly café around your neighborhood.
After my move out of Katipunan and in to Timog, the only restaurant I know I can eat without murdering animals would be a Chinese restaurant near a church. Of course I get tired of eating at the same place so I really need some varieties.
A friend of mine has been meaning to take us to this quaint vegetarian café in Banawe, Quezon City. It was a long day and my friends have decided to eat at a vegetarian café for dinner nearby after our event with Greenpeace.
The horrendous traffic along Quezon Ave was terrible and we were stuck for more than 30 minutes since the cars won’t even budge. One of the rarest times I take the car to the Metro and I was immediately faced with traffic jams. Eventually we arrived at this café in the corner of the street that sort of emanates the feel of a foreign mini-mart.

Daily Veggie n Café is located at 540 Banawe St cor Calamba St Quezon City.
 The place was a combination of café and mini-mart for all your vegetarian supply needs. There were vegetarian barbeque sauce, soy sauce and other health products that are of course vegetarian and vegan friendly displayed on the wall. Amazingly, they have vegetarian oyster sauce – a solution that I’ve been looking for in a very long time.

Yummy Vegetarian Dumplings
There are enough vegetarian supplies in Daily Veggie n Café that could keep you stocked until the end of the world or the near apocalyptic year of 2012. A stock you must have in your fridge is their vegetarian Siopao and vegetarian oyster sauce!

The extensive menu mostly offers Chinese vegetarian meals but there are also vegetarian tocino and tapa so you won't be missing out on your favorite filipino morning meals. Meal prices are very affordable.

We had coffee and dinner however, they do not serve desserts but thankfully there were cake shops nearby where we bought desserts and ate them at the café.
A friend of mine was a friend of the owner so when the owner went to the café by chance before closing time, we had a lovely and interesting conversation.
I asked the owner if she was Buddhist but she said she only follows the path. It doesn’t matter, Buddhist teaching is wonderful and it would be better to follow the teaching instead of saying you’re a Buddhist but stuff your mouth with meat.

According to scientific studies, eating vegetables and sparing animal meat helps the environment even more than not taking the car for work. This is because the green-house gas emitted by producing meat products is more earth threatening than what your gas-guzzling SUVs might produce.

Lessening your meat intake can definitely save the world. It can slow down the progression of Climate Change and perhaps even prevent another Sendong to visit the Philippines. Just a small change in your diet can save the earth.
If you don’t know where to start on your vegetarian diet, visiting cafes and restaurants like Daily Veggie n café is a good start. You can even buy vegetarian products there so you can have vegetarian meals in your own home. 

The restaurant has a cozy and quiet feel though it was weird to be listening  to 2ne1 in the background. The place was clean and the staff were nice and attentive to our needs. It's a good restaurant where I will definitely keep on coming back to for decent vegetarian meals and for my vegetarian supplies.
For more information you can contact the cafe through: (632)711-8209

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wooden Wednesday

All my life I've lived with wood and as a book artisan starting out, to not use wood is impossible.

Was unable to actually put the book on display since it was immediately bought by one of the people of 10a Alabama.
A book with wooden cover in mahogany finish. The wood is marine plywood 3/4 inch thick and has tanguile wood for its edging. The paper I used is raw unbleached ground wood.
The leather latch is from a pre-loved belt that doesn't fit me anymore.
Stitching style is traditional binding mixed with coptic binding for support.

Tanguile is a fine wood commonly used in furniture by skilled carpenters. It encompasses the quality of imported pine wood and since it is considered a hard wood, it can endure the test of time. Today, the use of this wood is rare since the abundance of imported pine or palo china wood is ubiquitous and the average Filipino can no longer afford this type of wood.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Just Sorry I Was Not Sweeter

We don’t forget the sweetness of the past
But the bitter taste of the kiss you left
Remained as a dew on lips
Where your name have never been once again spoken

Our salty tears never fall
They stay suspended
As hearts were frozen in the middle of beats
To leave everything unfinished and in ruins

Perhaps we are sour with pride to apologize
I’m just sorry I was not sweeter...


 This is a book with the size 3x3 & 1/4 inch. Handmade and sewn manually. Leather cover is made with synthetic materials, paper is made out of ground wood and is in its natural color. This book is created in a small size to fit in an envelope to be shipped to another country. I usually create books the size of 5x7, 8x6 and 9x7.

Poems and books are available at my website, which I haven't been able to update recently...
Catch me during the Pride March Event December 3, UP Writer's Night December 9 and 10a Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair at December 10 to 11. After that I would very much love to disappear and be on hiatus.

Monday, November 21, 2011

10a Alabama Arts + Crafts Fair : What a Starved Writer Would Do

Yes, I admit it. I'm a closet book binder. *weeps* I suppose I couldn't keep the secret any longer, since there are event information that need to be disseminated. I've been doing it for a while now and it wasn't really easy to hide. I suppose I was born a book binder and also a writer. Don't hate me...

This coming December is packed with busy weekends. Aside from attending the annual Pride March Parade, the following week I will also be showcasing my hand-bound books, shelves, poetry collection and others on December 10-11 at 10a Alabama New Manila, Quezon City.  

I would appreciate you dropping by to say hi or to take a look at my books and items. Don't miss this once in a blue-moon event that celebrates handmade artifacts in local grounds.

Book Cover for Paper Monster Press (Trip-Hop + Dream-Pop issues) is also available. 

This is only a preview of the Paper Monster Press cover since I'm not done with it yet. It has no reproduction. It is a representation of how I understood its philosophy and essence. I have submitted a poem to their dream-pop issue and it is still included in my bound version. Content is mostly intact.

 Limited Edition Poetry Collection by Veronica

Teaching of Buddha 137th Edition (Content) Cover is mine. I'm keeping this one.
Invisible bookshelves are also available. 
Drop by the place if you haven't found the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones. There are great varieties available, grab your friends and take a tour of the place. Get to meet the ones who create these items and strike up an interesting conversation.

See you there, I'll be expecting you. :) Next post next week will preview the shelves. Abangan!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Of the Soul or of the Machine?

If it were Hitler’s Mein Kampf, I would have been a Nazi convert after reading it.  Fortunately, it’s not.
The book is something that should be kept in every writer’s shelf, not kindle e-book - mind you.
Mark Helprin shares his sentiments against e-books, the poor copyright laws bestowed to writers, loosely degenerating youth and more in such a way as though Zeus, the Greek god, is smiting everyone guilty with his thunderbolt.

Writers are probably the most oppressed, most taken for granted professionals that the world desperately needs.

We are all enamored to the digital revolution that has become a great part of our lives, not knowing that it’s nothing more than “Digital Barbarism” conquering or worse - wiping away our souls.

Digital Barbarism
A Writer’s Manifesto
Mark Helprin

"The new, Digital Barbarism is, in its language, comportment, thoughtlessness, and obeisance to force and power, very much like the old. And like the old, and every form of tyranny, hard or soft, it is most vulnerable to a bright light shone upon it. To call it for what it is, to examine it while playing no heed to its rich bribes and powerful coercions, to contrast it to what it presumes to replace, is to begin the long fight against it.

Very Clearly, the choice is between the preeminence of the individual or of the collective, of improvisation or of routine, of the soul or of the machine. It is a choice that perhaps you have already made, without knowing it. Or perhaps it has been made for you. But it is always possible to opt in or out, because your affirmations are your own, the court of judgment your mind and heart. These are free, and you are the sovereign, always. Choose"

If you’re a writer who wants to publish a book then read this eye-opening book that would reveal the inhumane ways writers are treated despite slamming them with copyright laws. 

I would also like to thank Libreria of Cubao Expo for this wonderful book that I have won back in March this year through a Quiz bee of book geeks which I have had not much of help since I was dead drunk. I know it's very unbecoming of a writer and I am very much ashamed. For those aspiring to be writers, drinking doesn't make you cool. It makes you wake up in someone else's bedroom without any idea why, when, how, where, with whom and  how long. I am not speaking from experience by the way...
And if you have to drink, only drink wine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Poem for Sushi

I picked up the several books on my table and put them in a box. In a month or so I would have moved out of Katipunan to live in Timog or Tomas Morato. Nothing much has changed in this starving writer’s life and I’m very much yearning for a looong vacation. By a looong vacation I mean somewhere remote, where I can leave my gregarious life and make a fetish out of my solitude.

I wanted to visit to Japan and backpack all over the place. I could consider living there as a hobo, hitching rides, sleeping where my tired feet would take me during the day, eat anything except animals and make friends for a brief moment starting with a smile.

For food I will not beg, I would however write a poem or short story for a hot veggie ramen. Perhaps I would even realize that it would beat whatever I have here in this unhappy country. That I would achieve bliss that way, the same as Sysiphus is a happy man despite his curse.

I may even consider entering a Buddhist temple and never return.

But I’ll come back to this forsaken, crime-ridden country of the poor and oppressed. Upon stepping back to my motherland all the bliss I accumulated will be replaced and tarnished by anguish with the ugly sight of my country.
I shall compare the polarities of these two places and mourn for two seconds.
Still, I would return to be very much in love with my country carrying greater optimism of uplifting its hopeless situation.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Saturday was a productive day. I went to a furniture shop in the town proper of Sta. Rosa, one of my father’s childhood friends owns the shop and informed my father that he will be retiring soon. My father told me that there aren’t a lot of great furniture workers in Sta. Rosa as the new comers are nothing more than “Dayuhans” or outsiders and don't know a rat's ass about wood. We went there since I’m working on my sewing frame.

After that I went to DLSU Manila to attend the World Poetry for Peace event and meet an online friend, I also get to meet interesting people, where we shared ideas at McDonald’s.

Stitched shots

The Ffff exhibit will be opening tonight so when evening fell I went to Mandaluyong and see the exhibit where my friend Zeus Bascon was included in the lineup of artists exhibiting their works.
It was an interactive show where guests can write on Zeus’s hand-bound book in Japanese method.
The exhibit is open until October 14th, take a look and interact with the other works available so I don’t have to write about what the other works are like. See it for yourself!

Zeus and I went back to Laguna together and perhaps it was a stressing day for him. On the way he was bothered by an event that happened recently that involved a lady beggar and them in eating in a restaurant. The lady beggar was asking for food.
He said he wanted to give the food because they’re not eating it anymore but a friend of his said that people should work hard if they want to eat. A friend of his who are known to be quite penurious and mean to beggars also wanted to give it to poor woman. He was so bothered that he asked me what he should have done or what was the right thing he should have done. 
So their left overs remained on the table and the beggar remained hungry, happy ending.

Mendicancy is prevalent in the Philippines, that is why there is a law “Anti-Mendicancy” PD 1563, prohibiting and penalizing anyone caught begging and giving alms to beggars. Please people, know the law of your country. Ignorance will only make a bigot out of you, read, go to lectures and explore new grounds.

If you want to follow the law and be a good citizen then by all means be stingy to these poverty stricken creatures. Otherwise, follow what your instinct tells you, help a person in need – if it’s perhaps the thing that makes you human.
There are many reasons and issues why Mendicants are prevalent in the country and yes we want to put an end to poverty and giving them food won't help much in their situation but there are many ways on how we can help put an end to poverty. Support organizations that builds communities, build homes or helps to educate children.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Forlorn Felines

I came across a pet psychology article a few months back and confirmed that animals too have several behaviors similar to man. They can be depressed as well and lose a sense of reality and may even commit suicide.
Laguna is my hometown and I see to it that I get to visit the place several times in a month, I currently own three cats, two kitties and a really old one. 

Marius has lost a claw and it was just recently that I realized he’s depressed. Over his feline life he had his stomach punctured so awfully he had a hole on his belly for a month and I covered it up with cloth from an old shirt my mom bought from Thailand that I hated so much and packing tape. Eventually it healed. I thought of going to the vet, I asked my cousin’s husband who was a vet and said that since time has passed and the wound lining the hole of my cat’s stomach has dried up, I should get a razor, re-new the wound and glue it up with mighty bond or super glue. 

He doesn’t have a hole anymore but he has lost a claw, leaving a wound that never seemed to heal. 

Almasy on the other hand was a kitten that my dad took from my grandmother's place. He said that Marius is dying, I told him to take back the cat because I don’t have time to take care of them and Marius wasn’t dying. Eventually two kitties were added, the last one was Luca.

Luca was the smallest and since I wasn’t home all the time, my dog Cinnamon out of jealousy has murdered Luca in front of Almasy. When I came back, I heard the news and saw Almasy who seem to have lost all hopes in life. He used to be playful and frisky but when I saw him, he was just lying on a rug staring into the cosmos. He hasn’t eaten in days and despite a pile of sardines prepared for him he didn’t dare move. After that he disappeared for a time and came back with the same behavior, he did start to eat a little but he still seemed unhappy. I bought him a catnip for P10, a genius toy that moves on the ground with the help of a thread and a spinner. He just looked at it and gave out a hopeless breath. He has stopped meowing and has stopped doing other activities such as climbing on the car’s roof.

My dad on the other hand took another kitty from my grandmother’s place and again, we named it Luca. Hopefully he would get over his mental illness and soon resume to normal behavior. Otherwise, I might just take him to the vet and have him take prescribed anti-depressants. I wonder how much it is to get a cat to be put to sleep… 

According to this article about cat depression, owners should give cats lots of attention and reassurance so they can regain their normal behaviors. The main reason I liked cats is because they aren't as demanding as dogs... I guess I thought wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Waking by Veronica Laurel

My poem “Waking” is included in the Dream Pop Issue of Paper Monster Press, a small press zine that originated in Cavite staffed by talented young individuals.
The zine includes short stories, poetry and even music, enclosing a music cd in every issue.
Get your copy now! Available in Espasyo Siningdikato.