Thursday, October 27, 2005

Kabakaba ba ka?

I've been busy the past few days helping some friends put up "Kabakaba ba ka?" Cebu's first ever gay and lesbian art exhibit. The opening was last night in Kahayag and there was a poetry reading, where I read my first ever Cebuano poem! I loved it. Even made it "interactive", with audience participation. haha So much for art! When a crowd calls, I guess you give them what they want.

It was also the first poems I've ever written about gayness. I steered clear of the "erotic" : too many bathroom ever gotesco massage parlor gay poems going around so why add to that? Mine was set in the garden, with flowers of course, and biblical verses floating around. Makes me remember that a hidden wish of mine was to become a visionary.

Anyway, the night went well (my brother and sis-in-law came along, which was great! Didn't have the guts to invite my mom and dad,though. Although there was a table of doctors who I'm sure knew my dad, so patay ako.) , the photographs and paintings were great. It was all-in-all a good collaboration (my first) with the visual arts. I think I want to work with painters and artists some more!

Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

one one one

I don't mean to turnthis blog into an exercise diary but yesterday I had a one-on-one session with the instructor. No, the instructor was a she so this isn't one of those stories that follow one of those soft porn plots. But it was just hillarious that a whole class (it was supposedly called boot camp) didn't push through because there was no one there! and because I was the only one (chipper of me), she (the instructor) wanted to push through with it even if it was one-on-one! Punyeta. haha I almost collapsed! She wanted to try out all the new gym equipment: so there we were jumping on those "jump boards"(?) in time to some J. Lo song I swear. It seemed like a scene out of chorus line. I made it out of the class alive (although slightly embarrassed), with calves and thighs the size of a horse (or they felt as heavy as a horse). Boredom makes one do things you would otherwise not even THINK of!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

jogging familiar

Yesterday, I enrolled in a new gym here in Cebu. I had heard that the old gym I had enrolled in was closed, so I decided to try out the new one. It may seem like I'm going in circles in this story, but really it is about going in circles. Because when I got to the new place (Holiday Spa), I recognized half of the instructors. And the other half of the sweating matronas were from the old gym that I used to go to. Apparently almost everyone in the old place decided to follow their gym instructors to the new place. Either something was happening between those matronas and their trainers, or everyone was just running on some weird sense of loyalty. So there I was trying the new treadmills surrounded by familiar faces. Realizing that here, people follow their gym instructors (and not their gym memberships) to the ends of the earth.
People wonder what kind of place cebu is.

I guess Cebu is THAT kind of place.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

now boarding

I'm in the airport now--- using the computer terminal to while away the time. Even if I have easily four or five things that I've lugged over back to Cebu for this supposed vacation and finish by tomorrow. I guess this is payback time for the past few days of pretty much not doing anything. There's a thesis I need to check, an article I need to write on Ateneo Poetry, there are some poems I need to write for the exhibit that I just found out yesterday was going to be set up on monday na di-ay for the show that's going to be on wednesday na pala .

I've been reading Czeslaw Milosz for the past week. It's probably taken four serious attempts on his poems in the past four years for me to finally like him. I can't get enough of him. Last night, in the middle of galleria with Ina, and with the background music of some band singing John Mayer through a terrible sound system, I was reading one of his essays on exile. I know that much has been said about the state of the writer-in-exile and the nature of writing AS exile and I can't help but remember how I used to go nuts over this topic in college but reading about it again has made me realize just how much I am shaped by these concepts of distance, space, time, nostalgia and memory (because these two are different), exile and travel, movement and stasis, translation, translation, translation.

More entries on this as I spend the next three weeks in Cebu trying not to be a brat and finish what needs to be done, and start on what needs to be begun.

bon voyage!

Friday, October 14, 2005

two movies

Watched two more new movies the past few days and I think I must be meeting my yearly quota of films in the past two weeks: Life Aquatic and Crash. The first one reminded me of a picture storybook: for ages 3-6, with some parts scratch-and-sniff and the others pop-up and color-coded. Needless to say, I loved watching (and listening) to it. Music was great. David Bowie translated to Portuguese was a nice surprise. Even the story itself was... wanting. Or maybe it was because I had spent the whole day out of the house trying to: check, not eat too much in Heaven n' Eggs, smoke less, and look for Christmas gifts (already), and keep myself from buying things for myself.

Crash was also great. This was more my type of movie. Pa-social message. Pa-shift in shift out from one life to the next. Almost like a collection of short stories, that's really a film, that's really a novel. Something like House on Mango Street, or one of Anne Beattie's books, or Things you can tell just by looking at her. These mini-crossovers of different lives always always get me. I was in tears.... I think four times during the whole film. haha It was a bit too clean although I didn't mind it at all. I like it when events take the cleaner safer form of their plots: makes you think you could actually achieve the same sense of wholeness in your own days.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Definitive tv shows, movies, books

To echo neva's list:

Here are the TV shows, movies, music albums and books that are to be blamed for who I am:
  • Wonder Woman (Linda Carter of course. And she always beat Knight Rider on those Wednesday night scrambles with my brother for control of the television. It is only proper that I start with this. :) )
  • The Wonder Years (An episode is never complete without a short speal on memory at the end.)
  • Ben Okri's, The Famished Road (Made me realize I wanted to sing/spin words. Even if (and especially) if they didn't make sense. To be able to say it in a sentence must be (must be) enough reason it CAN be said (and MUST be)).
  • Nancy Drew and the Bobsey Twins (I knew I'd spend a lifetime spending my guts on books.)
  • Margaret Atwood's "Death by Landscape" ( What's missing, what shapes us. An endless fascination with what was not there, but THERE. You know? You know. Whatever.)
  • Adrienne Rich's The Fact of a Doorframe. (She made being a woman, not only wonderfully complex, but also POWERFUL. Now, since I'm no woman.....)
  • The movie version of the broadway play Chorus Line. (Nuff said.)
  • Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude (The height of father issues. Love love love this rambling book!)
  • Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink. (Piano! Piano! Piano! And my short-lived career as a silver medalist in piano.)

Of course it goes without saying that my cabinets were filled with He-Man figures (Men-at-arms was... hot), that I loved Super Mario brothers (and I used to go to my neighbor's house in the afternoon to play. Even when he was asleep, and I would order his maid to prepare merienda for me. Kapal. ), that I would forever remember high school to the background music of Lisa Loeb, and that somewhere in the middle of all of this I would discover that I enjoyed talking to people, and asking them the strangest (most intimate) questions.

It is continually a surprise to realize that one survives the contradictions of one's time.

Call me Fergus

Watched "The Crying Game" last night. Didn't realize that (1) eighties hairstyles went straight into the early nineties, (2) sunday nights are probably the best nights to watch old movies, and (3) Neil Jordan is an AMAZING director and writer. I hardly watch movies, so I'm relatively easy to please. But this movie just caught me, shook me, and wrangled a few startles (of terror and of beauty) from me. Dil singing "The Crying Game" at the Metro bar reminded me of the complexities of all performance (and of 80s hairdo). Dialogue that spins from speaker, to middle-man bartender of messages, to intended listener drinking margarita at the other side of the bar was both dizzying and intriguing. What we keep and what we don't keep secret. How we are forever changed by what we know. What is impossible for us to evade because it is in "our nature". Scorpion and Frog! Story of the scorpion and the frog. I'm telling you the story of the scorption and the frog. Even if it's already been told.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Favorite Poems (One of)

Here's one of my favorite poems. It's by Robert Creeley, and one of the reasons why I love it is (more than anything else) its ability to surprise me. After so many years.


As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking, -- John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, but a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for
christ's sake, look
out where yr going.

Again.... What's YOUR favorite?

Friday, October 07, 2005


Consultations with creative writing majors have made me realize that the best advice anyone can give anyone else who wants to improve as a writer is : READ. Many of the problems the beginning writer faces stems from an incommensurate love of one's writing over the love of reading. If you can't imagine losing sleep over a book of poems, or spending an afternoon surfing the net for ALL the poems of your favorite writer, or having the necessary gall to, if not be better, then at least MATCH one's favorite poems, then maybe you should stop writing. Only a rabid sense of appetite will ensure an equal obsession with making and creating. Above all else, PLEASURE. If we do not know what makes us laugh, how can we ever EVER even think of eliciting the same kind of riotous laughter in other people.

To find oneself, one must erase oneself.

What's YOUR favorite poem?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Crash and Burn

My laptop just crashed. Thank god I was able to save all my important files a few days ago. More pleasant news some other day.

Monday, October 03, 2005

art art arte

Just checked out Made me realize that if everI did eventually want to explore issues of sexuality I'd probably want to do it through the visual arts. Much of gay poetry is unfortunately just a lot of mush. Although in gay art, one does have to plod through a lot of androgynous bodies, and pink cliches. Not to mention advocacies of a "liberated gay" lifestyle which are really just the latest versions of capitalist propaganda and heteresexual false-permissiveness.

I want art that shakes.... or swishes. hehe

Also watched a BBC special on Renaissance art. Topic for a future blog entry.

Good night!