Thursday, 26 April 2012

"Little miss Riot" and other related "Coloured works"

"Little miss Riot" and other related "Coloured works"




On The Verge Of Collapse







An interview from FHM

An interview from FHM 

One of the pictures not featured in the April issue of FHM. 


This interview was made two months ago by one of FHM's writers, Michelene Lagdameo. The interview tackles about the scene as well as its relation and comparison to the usual cosplay that is anime related. It was quite nice for this writer to be a part of that discussion to think of it as primary and the pictorials involving this writer, rather as secondary.

However, that said interview was simply not entirely shown in the April issue of that said magazine except for a snippet said from the discussion. And somehow that article also includes the writer having a "hand" full of circuits and stuff, but obviously he's not a cosplayer to do that kind of work.

In fact, long before that pictorial and interview session, this writer was simply compelled by his late friend's friend for the interview. URC Compound, wherein Summit studio is located, is entirely a purely industrial complex (that is, specialized in flour, while others for coffee and potato chips) compared to the studio that supposedly should be in a commercial district like Ortigas and Libis; but one of the URC's warehouses wherein the shots done also served as its studio for FHM. 

This writer even smelled wheat too, and even looked at the barge (via the bridge of course!) carrying it before vacuumed for the mill. Indeed, that made him created an article about the status of factories in Pasig.

Quite weird for this writer to get involved in a Man's Magazine. In  fact, he's not even a cosplayer but rather as a writer who, as a friend of one of the early progenitors of "Steampunk" scene in the Philippines (sadly he died a month before that),  being compelled by the latter's pal (whom this writer thinks he's attention getter) to join both as it's model and primarily for the interview alongside that pictorial.

With the people behind the camera of course!
Perhaps, that was the first time he became a model...for once, and last. And perhaps, to start it all, hare the questions given to Ms. Lagdameo to yours truly. 

ML: When did you first get involved/interested in Steampunk?

PS: Well, to a History and Art enthusiast, I am easily acquainted to the scene out of reading novels and illustrations depicting alternate scenes especially those using 19th and late 20th century scientific discoveries and inventions just like Jules Verne's works "Man on the Moon" and "Journey to the centre of the earth." But personally, I am much into the Dieselpunk scene (that is, a variant of steampunk) since it is much applicable to the Filipino setting due to the American occupation with its legacy of art nouveau and deco architecture.

ML: How would you best describe Steampunk?

PS: Steampunk, being a subgenre of Science Fiction and Alternate History, means effort to replicate the past using imagination being put into practise such as fashion, music and visual art. But most people, especially the youth tend to look the genre as purely fashion due to cosplays. It's not even a purely fashion sense that commonly thinks of, but rather a genre that everyone, whether it is cosplayer or not, understand and appreciate the arts and history within it. Personally, I am not a cosplayer but I appreciate the genre itself by other means such as writing and art.

Seemed that the construction workers in URC Compound in Pasig also enjoyed that "Mechanical Hand."
ML: Please detail how your group was formed. 
How many members do you have? 
What are activities or projects your group do or get involved in?

PS: If I'm not mistaken, it was founded by my friend, the late Reyson Sanchez (who likes steampunk very much); and I was chosen primarily to administer the site, known then as "Pinoy Steampunk" in Facebook. Lately, there are 93 members according to the site (last February) And what I also remember was that Mike (Reyson's friend who usually scorned due to his naivety) and Reyson(+) made a bicycle that was earlier featured in FHM I think?

Mike (the naive friend of the late Reyson Sanchez) tend to popularize the scene
 as he insisted this writer to be a part of it and also to serve
as a speaker for the interview;  in fact, this writer thinks of him as too obsessed
with publicity and perhaps still doing so "for old time's sake."
ML: How do you see Steampunk affecting the usual anime cosplay scene? How are you different?

PS: Well again, I am not really a cosplayer; but what I see is that some, if not most cosplayers would entice to do steampunk aside from the usual anime and gothic lolita. Some even done cosplays similar to movies such as hellboy, anime like steamboy; or even done 19th century and WW2 military uniforms and the like, therefore they would likely relate unto it.

ML: What's next for Pinoy Steampunk?

PS: Perhaps the group will collectively decide on further matters to be done in the future. For now need to maintain the site and also promote steampunk and its derivatives in my blog, not just entirely about fashion and mecha, but also the idea that emanates from it. (Perhaps, the page remains the same as this writer, also one of the administrators of the page focused much in his work as a writer and artist.)


In fact, this writer somehow loved the scene for quite some time the way he loved History as his subject, but perhaps he's rather more into writing and sketchwork than what he once did so on that issue. First and foremost, he's not much (or rather, not) of a cosplayer to done attires similar to anime and other sorts; but instead as a writer and an artist who enjoys his talent most instead of what he once had that time.

Anyways, he's currently had a lot of work to be done.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

"Trying to get concerned over this near dying Earth."

"Trying to get concerned over this near dying Earth."

It was yesterday when this writer made this strange writeup out of events concerning about his environment.

Ranging from the earthballing of trees in Luneta hill to reckless sand mining in the seashore, cutting of trees in forests all over the archipelago. These actions taken, all in pursuit of development, progress, and future, rather laid risks over benefits that everyone took entirely as a greater challenge all in pursuit of survival in this near hell of a kind planet.

Yes, and it somehow meant that man, from being exploiter of everything for an illusory progress and benefit, end up revisiting something that this being itself at first tend to disregard. Polluted rivers, heavily quarried mountains to uncontrolled growth of the megalopolis, such once-successes turned failures brought by reckless use of technology compelled humanity to control or reuse its knowledge of such gadgetry this time to revive what makes man living, if not youthful.

Obviously, due to these kinds of actions of a bipolar being and its institutions belonged such as companies, it is kinda weird to see and hear that to those who encourage reckless consumerism seems that they also have the guts to speak of conservation and getting concerned about the environment. That most companies involving in manufacturing and retail are focusing entirely on how to lessen clutter and improve living; yet most are rather too focused on mere production that would cost waste then masking mistakes with policies "all in pursuit of taking care of the environment."

Everybody would ridicule over about companies "preserving the environment"
yet at the same time churning greenhouse gases.

That, as everyone expected, makes everybody becoming pessimistic about rather than getting concerned about the state of planet Earth nowadays. Yes, that planting trees, conserving water, cleaning surroundings, everyday recycling lessens global clutter and waste; while others tend to device ways to replace something that would create waste with those that can decompose or reuse for everyday purposes or even trying to revive architectural and engineering wonders that are also made to lessen electrical and water use.

But then, despite such projects and proposals all made out of revisiting environmental concerns, most of it are rather made to appease people whose problem is a need for sustainability, improving human welfare and preservation of environmental integrity such as those of mountains and forests; and somehow these actions guised as "Corporate Social Responsibility" also meant mockery of those who painstakingly trying to conserve everything and getting concerned about what goes on in its community, all ranging from opposing wars, animal testing, malnutrition to environmental destruction in the name of interest; such serious issues rather made this writeup also becoming pessimistic the way this writer thinks about how come they speak of progress and at the same time conservation, which is which?

Yes, everyone tries to get concerned over this planet Earth over and over again. And some dare to exploit the idea out of convenience. Pessimistically speaking, if they do so are they committed to the cause of upholding environmental integrity such as reviving and conserving natural resources, who's also thinking about creating a global clutter-that caused disasters as everyone tries to resist of? For sure most would confess that it is not their intention to throw garbage outside for there's a collector to collect in it; that they use plastic for everybody uses plastic, that mining is beneficial and using technology is man's greatest victory.

"Man's ultimate objective is to conquer Death." 

If man has the so-called inherent right to exploit, may as well have the will to preserve the way it creates wonders that end up written in the annals of history. After all, one of man's greatest objective is to be triumph over death-as what Rizal made in his artwork.

But still, as time goes by, of building names and calling it as presitge, of designing beautiful crap out of craps and tangible 'PR policies', here lies modern day barbarism: Savagery with gadgetry, exploiting no one even nature "in celebration of 'technology' and 'progress'".

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The side effect of "Rapid Urbanization"

The side effect of "Rapid Urbanization"

Reflections on the recent riots at Silverio compound and other related events
involving urban poor communities and reforms for urban renewal

It was early morning when these people stood defiant against the police.

Armed with sticks, stones and bottles, they man their barricades and burn tires in the thoroughfares in Sucat Paranaque, all in pursuit of defending their community against the ones who simply enacted a demolition order that would affect their houses and their livelihood in that said compound.

To these illegal settlers, or squatters as most think of, it was a life or death situation that they are eager to defend their belonging in midst of the order issued against them-especially those who had the gut to carry stone and bottle to throw against the ones in truncheon and tear gas.

And as expected, a riot occured. Just like in the sitios of San Roque in Quezon City as well as Kadiwa in Navotas, these people in Silverio Compound were stubbornly defending their communities around-throwing sticks, stones, bottles, plastics full of excrement, all responded with shots of tear gas and eventually direct attacks by policemen that resulted to 33 arrests, 8 of them are minors.

However, on that same incident laid 4 protesters died fighting for a need for a "decent living" as they said so. One of them was shot in the head, while 2 were minors; GMA news even showed a policeman with an armalite in hand fired directly at the protesters with a reason of having a "warning shot", is there a "warning shot" that is pointed to everyone? Or is there a need for a gun during a riot? Quite questionable so to speak.

Such incidents like in Silverio Compound, San Roque in Quezon City and other urban poor communities may end up having a series of reprisals as expected.

And it seemd that this writer ridicule how come there should be a demolition in a compound that was donated by the local government to these inhabitants? They even paid it coin by coin in order to live as residents, the way "Libertarians" speak about freedom of communities and other sorts they tend to vent over.

 This writeup doesn't speak much entirely on behalf of the urban poor, but rather it speaks about a need for assessment in regards to the growing problem involving urbanization in the metro that made the urban poor compel to stay in Manila, hence be described by many as squatters.

Quite weird to think that im midst of rapid development the urban poor are seldom heard unless during elections with the promises of housing and development. For sure the ones on high would say that most of them are tardy, yet these people are mainly the ones who worked in the factory or any other establishment with minimal pay to support their basic needs. Evictions can be justifiable such as real and conducive settlements with organized employment and some local government support as a start over. Quite nice to think of that idealized view, yet most are rather taken that clause as a mere promise, a propaganda to be spread out especially to those who dare to promise that they'll return with new houses in same property they lived around for years.

Otherwise, instead of just evictions and unjust resettlements without any planning, perhaps a gradual urban renewal would be fitting for the urban poor communities especially those stood on government property. Step by step as this writer would say such as Paranaque's Mayor Bernabe, before that said incident in the compound once said that the compound hath been "Donated" to these "Squatters" while the latter hath to pay coin by coin in order to own their lot; but how come the situation reversed that made these settlers rage? 

Well, perhaps this writer would think and say everything is provisional, temporary despite everyone's pleas needing a concrete, permanent plan for urban renewal, including resettlement of urban poor in planned surroundings or gradual renewal of communities donated. Obviously, many scorned these "Squatters" simply because they are subjectively considered them as "Lumpen" and their houses as "eyesore." If so, instead of scorning them and treated as outcasts, the way white people everyone adore scorn the black that everyone dared to imitate most of the time why not help them help themselves? Most of them are even their drinking buddies, maids, carpenters, even playmates. 

It's just that they are plain and simple POOR PEOPLE that some think of them as devoid of self -improvement.

After all, in these kinds of incidents occurred involving these people living in Philippines very own "Ghettoes", "of what good is Democracy if it is not for the Poor?" as Marcos said before. To think that most of them are rather scorn, not all poor people in every urban area are mainly consists of raggedy lumpen-proletarians who thrived in stealing and prostitution. Development in the Philippines is somewhat good at first  such as those of sprawling buildings from Makati and Shopping Malls such as SM; yet becoming unrealistic as it emphasises mere foreign investment and consumerism over domestic development that utilizes total manpower and productivity that requires the need for a strong national light and heavy industry, genuine agrarian reform and progressive fiscal social policy.  These needs rather shape and improve the desired productive force in lieu of an existing one such as today. In fact, frankly speaking, call centres are not even enough to call it a showcase of modern industry the way factories had done centuries ago; nor the usual subdivision type of "Mass housing" that endangers arable land. Why not for a condominium the way everyone see the infamous Pyongyang in Juche Korea (or North Korea)?

Well, urbanization lays benefits and risks as expected. 
It simply requires concrete planning than thinking of it as a rapid threat such as this.

Pictures from Tudla productions and

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Growing TREND...or growing THREAT?

Growing TREND...or growing THREAT?

A writeup concerning  foreign cultures
and its effect on today's contemporary culture in the Philippines

Today, we have seen a culture that is gone popular nowadays.

From Apl de Ap and Charice Pempengco for music to television shows like Showtime or Wiltime Bigtime, these examples are rather became a showcase of Filipino contemporary culture that others may think of as a legacy of looking over foreign cultures as modern and pleasing to the Filipino psyche, that uses Filipino artists and using Filipino language and setting-that somehow this writer also think that it carries a showcase of pride at the same time seeing a culture gone  too far: inorganic and escapist in character as everyone comes contented in canned, imported, repeated and usual.

How come? In fact, everyone is for sure thinking that most Filipinos, especially the youth are mainly listening to RnB and Rap, dancing to the tune of "Teach me How to Dougie" and other related stuff, thinking entirely as a never ending trend all over the year that led to everyone's ire about repetition of what goes on in TV and Radio.

However, few would think of it quite strange that it sees a society in need of rebirth by breaking the flow produced by the influx of imported goods in the archipelago. That, as noticed that the present generation seemed to be looking really toward whether to the Afro-American and Latino west or Koreo-Japanese east as their examples of contemporary culture in the Philippines due to rampant flow of imported stuff without sorting which is good or bad in it-and as expected, Filipino contemporary culture, all ranging from music, fashion, dance, even cinema and television shows such strain of influences had gone greater than ever before especially from the Afro-Americans nowadays instead of the White, Anglo-Saxon that the Filipino lean upon as its inspiration in the past. A shift so to speak.

Sorry to say so as this writer would say upon, but in analyzing such these also somehow made others quite concerned about Filipino contemporary culture tha is in need of innovation that is organic and advancing. For sure they are thinking there is a need for another Ryan Cayabyab in Music, Manuel Conde for Cinema, Locsin for Architecture, Tolentino for Sculpture, Amorsolo for Visual art, and others that genuinely showcase Filipino pride without overtly imitating from East and West and instead creating something that is modern yet Filipino without basing much entirely on the Nipa Hut and Barong Tagalog.

This writer, to think that Filipino culture rather limits its own in Nipa Hut, Barong Tagalog, Bahay na Bato, Old Churches and Rice Terraces, how about its contemporary heritage such as Escolta and the old standalone theaters that most end up threatened or demolished in pursuit of building box-type edifices with mere "elegance" and "modernity" as its pretext? Same goes in other spheres that dew tries to revisit and innovate further.

Indeed, few may dare to follow this idea, as most rather cling instead to the usual imitation of all things foreign and subjectively modern regardless of meaningless significance all for the sake of trend and perhaps, profit. This writer, also working in a cooperative that specialize in the making of Varsity Jackets, rather putting emphasis that since the cooperative is making Varsity Jackets, also let the customer ought to design it for themselves, -that in every form they write which kind of cloth, size, colour, letter to be written in it, even other add-ons to add in order to show that they are also involved in designing with the cooperative as its guide  in order to realize those Jackets for days or a week; yet most of the customers rather wanted those jackets out of trend, yet how come they ought to express creativity that undermines trend as its main cause of buying it? Obviously the want quality as they wanted customized Jackets as this writer would say, instead of buying a ready made yet questioning about the cloth if worn after bought in a stall situated in malls somewhere in Makati or in EDSA.

Same goes in the need for a modern Filipino culture. For sure this writeup would make a negative reaction out of it, thinking rather as a slur or anything that is clearly subjective without any recommendation at all; yet not thinking that since they themselves are contented in imports, how come neighbors such as Japan, Korea, even Indonesia and Malaysia had its cultures modern yet organic in character? That the Batik and the Wayang Kulit coexist with the use of machinery and modern visuals? Quite thinking that their patriotism, deeply rooted as noticed made modern culture indigenized and fitting for the setting. Yet how come most Filipino merely reduce patriotic sentiment into "Three Stars and a Sun" or the tricolor, national heroes acting as "Stickers" for tshirts and jerseys yet most lean upon to the Afro-American example that predominantly plays in everyone's lives nowadays?

No offense as this writer would think upon in this writeup. But, as realistically speaking, being contented in imports meant neglecting its roots. To think that Filipino culture is rather focused about Nipa Hut and Barong Tagalog, Three Stars and a Sun and the tricolor, Jose Rizal and Heroes that students usually memorize for a long time, how come few dare to modernize it? Is Filipino symbols acting as stickers enough as modern patriotic sentiment? It's like reducing into a mere aesthetic that carries little or no significance at all except for invoking escapism. To think that most imitate without innovate, of sorting what is productive and what is not, it rather negates the idea of building a modern Filipino culture the way Teodoro Locsin and Victorio Edades dealt upon in the past.

That made this writer think are those foreign imports being a growing trend and inspiration for others also a growing threat as it negates Filipino culture at the same time? In fact, there are more artists that can make something better than the ones they based and took upon; yet most dared to act unnatural, from the way singers tend to impose themselves singing in high decibels to acting like Afro-Americans in everyday life, why not break the flow and start thinking about "themselves?" Does everyone accept the Philippines as a Ghetto what African-Americans tried to get out of it? 

After all, that's the problem of having a contented culture as experienced nowadays. Less chances of renaissance would be unless a need for a Patriotic, Progressive and genuinely Popular culture is to be encouraged thoroughly and widely accepted-the way the customers design their Jackets and the cooperative assist in their creativities. 

That somehow this writer, like Eduard Limonov or Egor Letov,  in seeing the usual setting that is full of craps, made him compel to write criticisms and reflections concerning what goes on in his surrounding-including poetry and other related matter that is, "popped up" from his barren mindset.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Reflections on last week's issue on the uprooting of trees at SM Baguio

Reflections on last week's issue on the uprooting of trees at SM Baguio

Pine trees cut or uprooted in SM Baguio
before the imposition of TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) laid by the courts

Last week, everyone is talking about this "hell of a kind" matter after shown in every news report and as an article in every newspaper.

As most activists, as well as environmental enthusiasts protested, "Occupied" every SM mall all because of this: cutting, earthballing 182 trees.

This matter, at first would say that is desperate how come activists also involve in environmental and heritage awareness other than social consciousness like those of opposing repressive regimes? Or even thinking that those actions, like any other matter those radicals done to as counterproductive and against development in Baguio.

However, There are rather some that would greatly sympathize with the matter out of nostalgia, to think that Baguio, being a City of Pines meant more trees for a cool setting; and if to be cut, or moved, may rather cause worse effects triggered by climate change and global warming. That their protest is justifiable regardless of being violently dispersed in a private, controlled, public place.

In fact,this writer would say that here comes another wave of moves against the system most would likely to oppose.

bagiou pines hotel Pictures, Images and Photos
Pines Hotel
The original building situated in Luneta hill before occupied by SM.
For sure those Pine trees in Luneta hill served as its legacy, why to be cut or earthballed for the sake of extension?

Once the site of renowned Pines Hotel, SM Baguio is one of the sites that tries to feature "Green" architecture and design, as well as mirroring the Cordilleran setting in the modern times.

However, it seemed that in pursuit of reducing road parking and the alleged soil erosion as the management complained about, they simply took the blame on, or rather say raising the cause of its intention to set their move, to the age-old pine and other trees situated in the site, that most of it were rather a heritage that made Pines Hotel prominent and Baguio City itself a City of Pines.

Trees in SM Baguio before the uprooting attempt

Quite considering at first on earthballing trees, of moving it in another area cautiously not to harm the tree's health: but on the other hand, such actions may also meant thinking too hastily and not noticing that some of those trees are too old to be moved hence will die if being placed another spot? Pragmatic as this writer would say. And to think of about that matter, of uprooting age old trees in pursuit of extending Shoe Mart in Baguio? This writer would say that yes, that is part of improvement, of modernizing Baguio, of justifying it as SM property and has the right to do in that property; but then they simply not noticing Baguio is situated in a mountainous area, thus development ought to be sustainable and limited-recalling the earthquake years ago that one of its causes were mining and reckless development in Cordillera; or earlier, the Chico Megadam project and the actions made by Cellophil Resources Corporation that end up scrapped due to complains that involved flooding of rice terraces and traditional sites in Kalinga-Apayao and other provinces in the Cordillera Region.

After all, at first that property was and is supposedly for the Kaigorotan, specifically to the Ibaloi tribe. That Luneta hill is part of their heritage, from the brown soil, green grass and the pine trees planted and grown, it is rather their property handed over by their ancestors, that despite the building of later edifices it ought to be in accordance to nature hence be in symbiosis and sustainable. How come Pines Hotel before became known if not for the pine trees situated there?

The proposed expansion of SM Baguio that involves uprooting of trees

This writer would say that this writeup is meant for others to get critical, if not entirely to oppose SM's further moves in the name of commercialism, of sacrificing ancestral heritage of every people as sovereign in the name of superficial development with the alibi of foreign investors would come and go, invest and create markets in every corner of the archipelago; most of the news reports today are tackling about Spratlys, Panatag, Balikatan exercises, Chinese and American interference in Filipino affairs, but how about also this serious domestic matter? Does everyone remember Cellophil and Chico Dam? The earthquake in Baguio that involved a thousand deaths?

Or rather say should everyone wait for another earthquake and see that the place in Luneta Hill end up condemned and not to be built again?

In fact this is not even a purely activist matter as most would think of much. In fact is everyone go to Baguio only to go to SM? How about the ukay-ukay stalls in Session Road? The specialty shops in the market? The ones situated near mines view park? In fact such superdevelopment made by SM, frankly speaking reduces local business especially in the highlands. Secondly, pessimistically speaking, why not that site rather being built in Camp John Hay instead of Luneta Hill? The former is much developed being a Once US military site as this writer would say aside from seeing a city proper full of clutter made by commercialism.

One commentator, named Percy Reyes even said that:

"Baguio, considering its delicate, ecological character, does not need big development projects and opportunistic over should be remained as a compact, and ecologically balanced community."

Indeed, as most rather preferred seeing Baguio rather as a purely City of Pines that gives a natural appearance as a respite from a warm, lowland lifestyle. This writer, in fact went to SM and simply found common with other SM-owned malls in the metro. The commentator is not even an activist to speak something that opposes SM's moves out of heritage and perhaps being a purist, regardless of SM's intention that theirs as "green" and supportive of the environment.

Speaking on the environment, is that matter should be commercialized? Like Earth Hour or planting trees and other sorts that requite too much advertising and PR work? Isn't it supposed to be a policy of the people, through the state to impose stricter sustainable environment-related decrees such as awareness and programs made in pursuit of advancing sustainable development and ecological improvement? In fact most programs nowadays are rather made out of charity than a policy to undertake, sorry to say so but it makes a matter limited for a year, month or week, even a day.

For sure this time it is another phase of heritage versus commercialism in the land that the Sys should pay something to the Carino clan. In fact one of the members of the Carino clan opposed the move taken, As Councilor Richard Cariño, according to SunStar Baguio, then filed last February 27 a proposed resolution to bolster opposition to the planned redevelopment project of mall retail giant ShoeMart Development Corporation at Luneta Hill.

In fact, what Carino stated means further action if not to be stopped, the earthballing of trees meant to be a starting point for that major serious matter such as building a mall in an entirely forested area. Who's desperate to think upon a move such as extending in a forested area and justifying it by saying this is for development, for modernization, for improvement, or even its features as symbiotic to the Cordilleran environment, it rather shows desperacy as this writer say so.

SM tend to hid the attempt by placing temporary, high walls.
And if the moves continue to persist, regardless of the extended temporary restriction order made by the courts, expect a warlike setting would reemerge.

And to the people of Kaigorotan, in the City of Baguio who kept on resisting in the name of heritage and environmental awareness,

Agbiag ti Cordillera!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

"The day I left my heart at Botica Boie"

"The day I left my heart at Botica Boie"


Sorry for the title.

Supposedly this should be a part of the writeup about this writer's visit to the Escolta Museum, but in seeing photos from la Botica Boie, it would be nicer if this should have a separate writeup about it.

Knowing that Manila's very own elders remember an old drugstore that also served as a soda fountain for a thirsty youngster and a place for lonesome guy in need for a sweetheart, la Botica Boie served as its "den" until the war-yet never been revived entirely nor its building been rebuilt despite being a manufacturer of generic drugs such as glycerin for intestinal problems.


However, as this writer took some pictures of these memories of the past, especially those from la Botica Boie, it made him not much likely to create a short fiction out of it.

Sorry for some inaccuracies if there is.



A reminisce by Paul Guevara

I was sipping soda when I saw a beautiful girl buying a glass of soda float from Mr. Boie's Soda Fountain.

While waiting, I was quite fascinated by her brown, Indochinese-like beauty, that perhaps fit for a someone to be with; but at the same time pessimistic to think that she's beautiful to be considered as "single" and perhaps she had a guy to be with.

As I finished sipping my soda float, I saw her leaving the soda fountain away hastily, that she left her handkerchief in the table; and I, perhaps being a gentleman so to speak, hurriedly got away from the chair then went out seeing that girl waiting for a cab or a calesa, at first, I am quite so shy for I thought she would snub me out, but then I approached and asked:
"Is this your handkerchief?"
"Oh!" the Girl said, "thanks for returning it, by the way, I'm Gia Valencia, and you?"
"Me? Paul, Paul Guevara."
Then she offered her hand for a handshake, well, I ought to as she pleased. I also called a taxi instead of a caritela to drive her home, again, she bid thee thanks and bye, that perhaps made me quite glad to think will she see me again in Botica Boie.

The next day,
While at work at Lardizabal's, owned by a friend of mine Sir Ricardo Lardizabal at the Crystal Arcade, I was designing something when I saw her, this time looking for a jacket to buy, I, then called her and she was quite surprised that I am also at the shop, she then asked me:
"So you are working at this shop?"
"Ya, I am one of the designers of jackets and dresses here."
"O I see," Gia said. "I am looking for a green and white varsity jacket, how much is that?"
"Ten Pesos, if you want I will persoeralise it for you."
"Really?" Gia said. "sure!"
Along with a smile.
Then my boss seeing the two of us talking, then came and said:
"so you are entertaining one?"
"Ya. By the way Gia, this is sir Ricardo, my boss."
"Nice to meet you." gia said, along with a handshake with sir Ricardo.
Then Sir Ricardo asked her:
"So where do you study Gia? Seems that you are intelligent."
"Me?" Gia said, "I am from the University of the Philippines, taking up Psychology."
"Psychology? U.P.?" Sir Ricardo said, " Paul, you're also from U.P. right?"
I simoly nod on what my boss hath said to Gia, then I said:
"But I am finished fine arts there."
"Oh I see..." Gia said, That's why you are drawing. I mean designing here?"
"Yes, but sometimes I also make poetry and some writeups; Sir Ricardo likes to read it sometime, but he liked my designs most."
"Nice" gia said. "Oh! i need to go, I'll return next time."
"Sure! Come again Gia!"
And Gia left away, my boss then asked me:
"So seems that you know her ha? Inspired?"
I simply smiled in what my boss said to me, and said:
"Yes, and I am making her a jacket. Amd perhaps I will give it to her for free."
Sir Ricardo then smiled and said:
"Seems that you're something after her. Are you in love with her?"
"Me? I just simply met her yesterday in Botica Boie, so why should I easily fell in love afer returning her handkerchief to Gia?"
"Sometimes," Sir Ricardo said, "There is something that perhaps made to be with her together, just continue being with her as a friend, I'll support you for that."
Then he returned to his desk as I continued my work.

At home, I am seemingly thinking that am I inspired by her beauty and friendliness that compelled me to design something that is for her's? In fact, I had met beautiful, friendly women and most of them are quite inspiring and lovable, yet they have their own respective relationships that I simply tend not to think of such matters seriously except advising them in regards to their suitors or boyfriends as of these days, but, Gia seemed to be much inspiring different fron the others I had met before; yes, she is indeed beautiful, friendly. admirable, yet at the same time pessimistically thinking if she had a man or none?

At work, I was simply focused on designing what Gia hath requested, and at the same time listening to the songs played in the gramophone, Sir Ricardo that time was absent that made me guard his establishment; well, there's noting to maintain over except sweeping floors and looking over the place. Gia then came over to the shop and again, quite fascinated over the dresses, coats displayed at the shop; then as she looked at my designs I am doing, she then asked me:
"So are these designs similar to the ones in the shop?"
"Not really, in fact, I am simply one of the designers here; but my boss had me for now as a shopkeeper."
"Oh I see." Gia said. "So what else dresses you are trying to design for?"
"If you want, I'll make a dress fit for you."
"Really?" Gia said. "Why?"
"It would be nicer that I'll made something fit for you, I'll pay for it."
Gia, at first tend to deny my offer for a dress for free, yet since she sought the designs I made, quite interesting as she sought so, then gave way:
Along with a smile.

Because of that, I became serious in designing a dress fit for Madame Gia Valencia!

A flapper-inspired dress, in dark red and white, with a red French beret, perhaps would be fit for her; straight and loose, leaving the arms bare (sometimes no straps at all) and dropping the waistline to the hips similar to the girls from New York and Paris, all designed by mine plus an alternate dress of white knee-length dress and a red vest for her. Perhaps I was simply inspired that it was made quite swift and end up in the hands of a tailor.


The next day,
I was walking on the sidewalk when Gia sought me. Well, I simply stopped then greeted her a pleasant afternoon. However, her mood was seemed to be quite sad that time, and  I don't know why she became like that such as having a problem that can't be bearable; there we simply walked together and at the same time asked her:
"What's wrong Gia? Boyfriend problem?"
Gia simply nod on what I was asking. "We broke our relationship yesterday, 'twas the eighth time I and my boyfriend broke together."
Quite concerning isn't it that she told me having eight times having an on and off relationship with her boyfriend, not because he came from a distant place but rather a lack of commitment that a serious relationship hath to do with it. Well, I simply replied:
"Well, some can't explain it further about that matter. Coming from a distant place, having miscommunication, much argument, less commitment, some, if not few tried to endure and resolve, scared of risk as I would say; otherwise it may be having less intention to get serious to love you."
Gia then looked at me, and asked:
"Perhaps, he had less time with me."
"I think so. How come having a relationship that is come and go if he had less time with you?"
Gia simply nod, and asked:
"So where are you going?"
"Just to buy Pizza."
"Oh I see." Gia said. "May I join with you for a moment?"
"Sure! I want someone to be with for now."
Then we went together in a pizza parlor where I waited at a quarter for a New York-style Pizza. While waiting, we simply talked together about our childhood days, and it was quite nice to hear that Gia as a daughter of a Japanese and a Filipino with German descent, whose features imbued to her are rather European and Asiatic combined. That, she also loves to swim and dance the swing, listening to jazz in the gramophone, quite compatible as I would say-I also love jazz, dance the swing, yet sadly, I seldom swim.

And as the pizza served, I simply gave some to her. She simply smiled and gave thanks as we start enjoying a hot pan pizza served with Cervesas Suaves Royal in Avenida Rizal.


It was Christmas during that time.

As everyone was visiting Crystal Arcade, Aguindaldo's, La Puerta del Sol and Estrella del Norte for jewelry and up-to-date fashion accessories, toys and cosmetics, as well as Botica Boie for a good soda float and sundae, I was wondering that since Escolta was bustling with people to buy some luxuries similar to New York and Paris was the dress I had designed for Gia.

...only to have it been finished upon request.

Meanwhile, Gia went to the shop, quite exited for the gift, then sought me with a box. There I simply said to her:
"Here's your gift dear...and have an advance Christmas to you."
And as I gave to Gia her christmas gift, she seemed to be amazed that she sought an actual version of the sketch I am making of for her. She then smiled at me and said:
"Thanks for the gift Paul."
"Always welcome."
Then she went to the dressing room where she tried for the first time the dress I hath designed for her. She was quite lovely when she went out of the room and had me and my boss look over her appearance.
"Is this the dress you've designed?" Sir Ricardo said.
"It fits for her." Sir Ricardo said. "especially that she's slim, fair skinned, but what she needs is a good appearance."
I simply nod on what my boss said to her, then I asked:
"What else do you want Gia?"
"Um...nothing." Gia said. "Again, thanks for the gift Paul."
"Always welcome."

She simply smiled at me as she carried the paper bag with that gift I had given to her inside. Quite nice isn't she that how come she's newly separated from her then-boyfriend? Worse, eight times they come and go based on our chitchats while walking in the sidewalk. Perhaps, I was quite inspired though, and willing to be with her regardless of my pessimism that she may had another man to stay with instead of a humble man like me.

But, before she left, she approached me and asked:
"Paul, why not join with me for a dinner?"
"In Silver Dollar." Gia said.
"Silver Dollar? Isn't that expensive other than Chocolate Kiss? Why not in Captain's Galley?"
And Gia replied:

And with a permission from my boss, I and Gia went out for a dinner in Captain's Galley at Plaza Goiti. We even looked for Bata and Ang Tibay shoes also on that same day, I paid to the counter a pair of Bata shoes as another gift for Gia...and perhaps for me since my boss gave me a good salary, and a bonus!

In fact, during those months we've been together, rather as simple comrades, buddies rather than the usual "in a relationship" matter as others may think of us. Companionship involving sipping soda and eating sandwiches or ice cream at the Botica, lunch or dinner at Captain's Galley or Silver Dollar, buying some of her essentials at Aguinaldo's or at the Crystal Arcade, watching movies at Capitol or at Ideal, even taking care of her if she's sick at her dorm (with permission of course!) Gia perhaps was a perfect girl than those I dealt upon before-that somehow I think they are likely to be as friends or rather as mere acquaintances since they had boys better than I to be with...especially when she wore the dress I had designed in one of the "Dinner Dates" and friendly affairs to remember.

However, it turned different as our amity, or rather say my feelings over her seemed to become useless as I earlier felt so in regards to her.

Since I heard from a friend of her's that Gia had a relationship with a new guy, I felt saddened since why she chose him over the one whom being with for quite some time? Who gave a gift and even cope with her personal problem? I tried to disregard and think of it as a minor matter, but then instead made me driven to tears that I couldn't explain why I ought to shed tears for Gia. Isn't it because I like her yet I can't convey it over?

And yes, it was proven. As Gia went to the shop and I simply approached and asked:
"Seems that you seldom visit these days."
"Yes." Gia said.
"Oh I see. I know you're busy this time studying."
Gia simply nod, then said:
"How about you?"
"Not much. So you have boyfriend already?"
"Yes." Gia said.
I simply nod and replied:
And I returned to my work. Gia sought me quite with pessimism that she tried to ask some question, but instead she ought not to. Yes, I tried to hid my feelings that end up really useless since she had another.

She simply bid thee goodbye, and I simply closed my eyes and wave my hand goodbye as a reply.

Later, as I continued working, Sir Ricardo was looking at me trying to disregard the matter with eyes pointing at every design and sketch to be done; he simply approached me and asked:
"Paul, it seems that you are quite so sad today. Is this all about Gia?"
"No, it's not about Gia."
"If not," Sir Ricardo said, "then why are you trying to forget something? Are you denying what goes on with Gia?"
"in fact...I am trying to disregard that Gia had a relationship with another."
"What's wrong with it?" Sir Ricardo said. "Are you in love with her? And this time trying to forget something that entices you to say somthing over her?"
"Yes, I am in love with her. I don't know why I became longing for her, she is nice to see and meet, quite admireable as she approach me, In every problem she says I tend to understand and comfort over, she even enjoy the pleasantries that perhaps a lover would have known over, perhaps if this is my mistake to be with her well, so may it be then."
"Paul," Sir Ricardo said. "There is nothing wrong in befriending and admiring someone, perhaps Gia would understood what you are trying to convey to her. It takes a matter of time if she may ought to rethink and come to see you back. Love is sometimes unintentional and unexpected, the way that you got inspired over her and this time trying to convey something that you are worthy over the one what Gia been with."

I simply nod on what my boss said to me, and as I looked at the designs of the dresses I am designing, I even ought to stop shedding tears and instead venting my emotions in my work. Yes, I was trying to do so as every sketch is being done to, stroke, erase, just to make a perfect dress that it was supposedly made to the one I consider as special.


Even at home, despite trying to forget and disregard, my feelings over Gia is as if blossoming over and over me. I tend to resist emotion yet the music being played in the gramophone made me shed a tear, isn't it weird that how come I am longing for her yet she had someone being with? Perhaps I was thinking that she would foget me and treat a minor matter regardless of wearing an attire I had made and gave months before. I even looked at every bill from the Botica wherein I spend some for medicines prepared by Dr. Paul Sartorius, during the time Gia was sick, quite remembering including the time I gave a Ylang Ylang perfume that was also made for her by the chemist.

And as I revisit the Botica, I simply took an order for a glass of soda; there I simply think that why Gia chose that guy her friend to me over the one whom she befriended most, quite sad isn't it that while sipping soda, the owner, Mr. Reinhold Boie, quite concerned, approached me and asked:
"Seems that you are sad, is there anything wrong?"
I looked at him and said:
"Yup, I just remember someone."
"Who?" Mr. Boie said. "The girl whom you're with a month ago?"
Then I asked him:
"Why do you know about it?"
"Well," Mr. Boie smilingly said. "I use to look at both of you enjoying soda in my soda fountain. And I just thought you are both lovers."
"Yes, Lovers." Mr. Boie said.
"Not really, we're just friends but...yes, I like her most."
"So why are you sad then?" Mr. Boie asked.
"Well, she had another guy to be with. I don't know why of all the weeks we're been close enough end up as mere acquaintances. She's quite friendly though, I even gave her a jacket from Mr. Lardizabal's shop yet it seems that we're just mere acquaintances than close ones. Perhaps I am thinking that am I in love with her or what?"
"Paul," Mr. Boie said. "There's no need to worry about that girl. There are other beautiful ones better than her, so why not stop being sad and instead take another glass of soda float? I'll make it free for you."
Then I hand over an empty glass to Mr. Boie and refilled another. However, despite his message I felt that of all the girls I had met, she's the one who made me inspire enough to do something greater than ever, yes, she may be the one unless someone would be greater than her's.


And as I finished drinking and reminiscing, I tried to pay Mr. Boie for the soda but instead he returned it rather; quite lonesome as this guy would say after months of being with her. I may still try to detach myself from the past, but perhaps instead of forgetting her as someone that remained special in my whole life, it was much likely to have my heart be left there unless she'll come, take a look, reminisce, and bring it back to me.


Monday, 9 April 2012

"A visit to Escolta Museum"

"A visit to Escolta Museum"


It was last month when this writer simply visited this museum in one of the financial arteries of Manila.

With a fee of 50 pesos being paid, this museum showed relics and memories of a glorious past, when Manila was known for its Art Nouveau and Art deco buildings, especially those from its financial centre, Escolta.


Quite nice so to see such memories that end up rather in pictures in magazines, textbooks, in recollections of elders; otherwise in seeing such edifices rather left rotting and eventually to be demolished in favor of tasteless ones with "modernity" as its alibi, unless it is protected by law with a plaque from the government recognizing it as a site of heritage.

In fact, this writer may have no grudge entirely with modern day living, but forgetting the legacy of a proud past in favor of mere contemporary living made "for sake" creates dull people who lives in order to join the flow and consume; for sure some would think that is everyone live only to work, earn, buy, consume and die? Weird isn't it?



That even these products like Goody root beer, Mission or Imperial Beverages were deemed to be forgotten regardless of its popularity due to cheapness or what, and if asked, what everyone knew is Coca-Cola or Royal Tru-Orange. Thanks to San Miguel who nearly monopolize the soda industry as Cosmos Bottling also had Cosmos soda (then Pop Cola) as it's competitor.



The museum also feature advertisements made centuries before. Like this RCA Victor Gramophones and Radios, quite rare to see such radios that most are merely displayed in prominent houses or in museums, otherwise being used sometimes during social events due to those who took time maintaining it carefully in order to make it " in a movable condition."

Yes, "a Splendid gift for the whole family" to see such these memories upon seeing these in the museum, that elders would say that during those times everyone was simple yet prices were quite cheap or require a good saving just to buy such luxury like phonographs and sewing machines, that most would eat Panocha (Sugar) as their "Candy", yet the buildings during those times were edifices that somehow applicable to tropical, Filipino setting other than the lowly Nipa Hut and the Bahay na Bato.

So were the bottles that once carry gin or softdrink, or medicine.




Or rather say softdrinks that others took it vigorously as medicine due to its curative properties. Sarsaparilla perhaps and tonic water would be.

And last but not the least, the reciepts coming from once prominent stores in Escolta. Heacocks, for example, sold imported goods and also served as the main office and studio of DZRH before the war, FYI: RH means Radio Heacock.



Anyways, to those who may take interest in revisiting the past and perhaps our dreams history as its subjects, in a sum of 50 pesos, for sure you will have a journey to the past in this museum other than going to every edifice in the once financial centre of the Philippines: Our Escolta.

The museum is to be found at the second floor of Calvo Building, 266 Escolta Street, Sta Cruz, Manila. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Is everything ought to be religious or secular?

Is everything ought to be religious or secular?

Last week, we heard about news on the students of St. Theresa's College in Cebu being barred from getting graduated all because of a minor action taken: posing in bikinis in the internet.

It is quite weird to think why to bar these students involved away from getting graduated? Yes, to others it may be ridiculous to see these girls wearing bikinis and enjoying the summer heat and one of them carrying liquor and cigarette; but does not mean that they should be barred from the ceremony regardless of what they achieved like having grades passed and considered to be graduated.

However, on the other hand, there are clauses that involve school and religious policy.  One commentator said that it is a school policy to impose morals even those from outside such as social media, and disobeisance to the said policy would affect student's record such as those students being barred from entering the ceremony.

Obviously, this controversy done weeks ago perhaps involved questioning free will and morality; it may also involve which morality ought to be observed, is it Judeo-Christian or Secular morality? Since the Philippines is a secular state that obviously controlled by established religion though tradition and morals, it is quite useless to think that there is freedom of thought and action to the extent of showing their summer life via bathing themselves in bikinis or whatsoever is against morals said so by the school. In fact, it makes no sense at all that the photos may affect their grades and class standing like the way these people on high would make their high grades in Science and Math null and void?

Well, this writer made him think that the ones involved in that matter were simply enjoying their last days as high school students by enjoying summer. It was even their free will to take pictures and post it in their sites for their friends to look in it; but to overlook their personal matters in the name of morality and school-related matters is simply invading their lives as well-especially in a non-curricular, non-religious medium such as Facebook.

That, UP College of Law's Raul Pangalanan assessed the matter as invasive:

In other words, they (the STC administrators), despite doing their actions in the name of morality, was simply invading private matters that is protected under secular law; that matter isn't even involve drugs nor any illegal substance, they (the students involved) were simply enjoying alcohol socially and even enjoying summer though bikinis, that somehow isn't even bad at all! Others may think of it "what's wrong in wearing bikinis and enjoy summer? Does it mean excommunication in the pretext of disobeying morality even in a democratic state that espouses secular, laicist law?"

"The problem is that not all girls want to be St. Theresa." As what Marie Yuvienco said in a writeup in TV5's Umaksyon.

However, one commentator tried to justify the actions taken in a conservative standpoint:

Kinda right to say that kind of standing that STC is doing their actions in the name of morality and observance to School Rules, but that matter, as what Atty. Pangalanan said "Is outside of School henceforth not a School matter to be discussed."

Another even tend to say that it is imposing "Discipline" as one reason why STC administrators tend to "teach these students a lesson" by barring them from the ceremony under the pretext of violating School policies.

Quite confusing though to see such comments as using "freedom" or "morality", "School rules" and the "Civil code," obviously to the radical minded it means religion dominating secular matter as everyone sees of it and ask "Why to get involve in such activities like going to the beach and enjoy summer?" or "why to interfere these people being young, wild and free?"

And speaking of religious matters, this writer would say that Jesus Christ loves unique people. He had followers consists of poor, sick, destitute, his companion was once a prostitute, and he himself died on the cross, acting as a sacrifice as he, trying to purify the faith of his forefathers and the society ridden by corruption and repression, perhaps most rather forgot their faith's humble yet meaningful beginnings.

Been an observant in regards to both sectarian and non sectarian matters, it is much likely to think that this matter ought to be minor not because of the administrators overlooked and justify their actions in the name of morality that undermines academic work that served as foundations of their standing. And as expected further, that matter also questions which is to be observed, especially in regards to outside-school matters: Is it from the school these students studying and now finished after four years of burning their midnight oils all over? Or the state whose rights are been protected under the constitution?

This means Sectarian, if not Religious Dogma over Secularism so to think of- and obviously, this writer may disagree about the school's action taken, but religion over secular matters? This means confusion which is to be observed-especially that the preamble speaks of Almighty God. In fact, invading secular matters made Mustafa Kemal Ataturk disband the Caliphate (under the house of Osman) and depoliticize religious matters in Turkey during his rule-that includes emancipating women and the right to wear western clothing and enjoy pleasures as equals of men or the sublime paralytic Apolinario Mabini, in his efforts to overturn Paterno's plea of making Catholicism the Philippines' "National Religion" and insist separation of Church and State.

Is everyting ought to be religious or secular? That is the question. But then, in the end, as one commentator said:
True to say so that in the end most rather deal on how to have a good-paying job as graduates after College.

And at least those photos aren't made "for sake" like those who artlessly and unreasonable posing in bikinis in front of the mirror and describing themselves all of their lives in their posts as "Delicious", "Yummy", or any other narcissistic idea in pursuit of describing themselves as "eye candy" or what,  and somehow that is obviously immoral  and gone too far than those who enjoy their last days of school and of the starting days of summer.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Christ has died, but he paid our debts...

Christ has died, but he paid our debts...

People as of this day fell silent as they celebrate the day of the execution of the Lord Jesus Christ. To others, that crucifixion, an act of capital punishment served to subversives, also served as a sacrifice as he himself, being a son of god ought to take away the sins of the world and an upbringer of hope among the people.

But we usually think of it as "nothing", especially to the crucifix, the face of the suffering Christ as an idol to be worshiped, a memory to be remembered, yet there are still longer debts to be paid by the people, not spiritually but socially. As the people, suffered by the growing socio-political and economic crisis ought to carry the cross and to suffer the consequences very much whilst those with enough everything just simply watch and see and took pity on them. To the extent that His death reminds of the plight of suffering people.

Once, someone recalled in a rally, dubbed "the poor man's calvary" shown how the toiling masses, both rural and urban marched to the city in the middle of the lent in pursuit of venting their grievances against a system who is playing deaf. The church may have both ridiculed and sympathized with that action as it was made in the season of lent, but then on the other hand it showed how the toilers, in carrying their cross and marching despite the strong heat till noon reminding of their sacrifices that is not enough to provide their daily needs. Of doing such actions not just to vent rage against those who oppress but to speak of realistic change-like a real land reform program, industrialization for employment, a progressive fiscal social policy, and everything that a toiler speaks of based on its experiences as individuals the way he also tries to repent for his mistakes, shortcomings, sins what he have done all of his life.

Quite weird to think that is Christ simply died for our sins? Or also died trying to purify the faith of his forefathers, and the society he and his people lived from corruption, repression and degradation? Taking a bitter cup of sacrifice is necessary for everyone, not just those who seriously profess the faith in order to liberate themselves from the cycle and the society they belong to; it is not enough to think that everything is based on individual's intention but these are socially related such as why they are enticed to do stealing nor taking illegal substance. It can't be entirely because of self-gratification and be resolved through imprisonment and mere "rehabilitation".

Otherwise, to the ones on high, including the Church as well, it is obvious that some trying to act beyond simply because they are "on high". One writeup even said this:

"We tend to be beyond everything upon understanding things in life, we wanted a better world yet the conditions, relations of everything (especially production) failed us to do so. Yes, we tried to become Ubermensch as Nietzsche said so but only to be fulfill through collective action and consensus. Contrary indeed to what Nietzsche said but in actual it takes too long time for an individual, alone to succeed in creating a realization. Otherwise we are merely creating sand castles than of concrete ones.

Sorry for taking Nietzsche as an example but obviously most people unconsciously wanted to be "above normal" so to speak and create a model that is perfect and appealing to the senses and minds of others. But will that last long? Like the time famed quest for immortality?

Well...this is really man's very own foundations of faith other than from his creator's."

Quite right to say that acting collectively in every sphere of production, of being one in heart and praxis lies the foundations of the future, but others tend to think as a mere sand castle effort and reducing the idea of the future into an individualistic wishful thinking. Yet they themselves are trying above normal whose objective is to be immortalized, how about those who really worked for it? Yes, this is really man's very own foundations of faith, to become immortal and supreme other than from his creator's, but still not enough as the rotting stench of the society continues to sweep and prevail in everyone else. 

Well, To sum all these, It is for the system to pay their debts to the people not the other way around since most are paying taxes, direct or indirect; national or city-centred ones everyone paying for. And to think that not all poor people are like hobos or solvent kids sniffing solvent nor thieves living on thievery. The people are sick and tired of repression and poverty that continues to prevail nowadays. And since Christ also died resisting the order, it is for us to continue the struggle-to repent, follow his footsteps and serve the people, not just a simple forgiveness of sins that usually vent upon to us.