“The day I started becoming successful was the day I stopped trying to be successful.
“Don’t chase the fame and the fortune and the adoration. The only thing you chase after is your love for music. You make music because you love it. The moment you stop trying to be successful and chase music because you love it, everything will happen.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be Taylor Swift or Coldplay, but you’ll enjoy your life more because you’re making your music. I stopped wanting to be famous, I stopped wanting to get signed and all that, I was like, fuck that, I was going to make music I want to make. As soon as I did that, everyone was getting interested. I think you just do it for yourself and not for anyone else.”
Revisited the album of Dong Abay entitled “Flipino” which I bought in 2006. Its CD had molds already after being stored in the shelf for so long so I wiped them away with a wet paper towel. Was craving for some angry music and I thought this one was it. Dong Abay’s voice is angsty by itself, transparent, no pretentions. Songs telling you about social ills, personal issues, or simply about Jollibee or Mcdo. “Kukote,” “Dyad,” and “Segundo” are favorites of mine. Most especially “Segundo” which I love to play, listen to, or sometimes, sing along with over and over again. “Segundo,” I like the beat of every instrument, especially the drums part, its lyrics so simple but piercing to the soul.
Kung sa isang iglap makalimutan ng Diyos
Na ako ay isang manikang basahan
At kanyang pagkalooban ng kapirasong buhay
Hindi ko sasabihin lahat ng iniisip
Sa halip ay iisipin lahat ng sasabihin
Itatangi ko ang bawat bagay-bagay
Hindi dahil lamang sa kahalagahan nito
Kundi sa kung ano ang kahulugang totoo
Ako’y matutulog nang kaunti at mas mananaginip
Mauunawaan na sa bawat minutong pagpikit
Nawawalan tayo ng animnapung segundo ng liwanag
Liwanag, liwanag, liwanag
Maglalakad ako kung ang iba ay ayaw humakbang
Mananatiling gising kung ang iba ay maidlip
Makikinig ako kung may magsasalita
Kung ako ay may puso, isusulat ko ang poot sa yelo
At maghihintay sa pagsikat ng araw
Ang aking luha ang didilig sa rosas
Sa kanyang tinik dadamhin ko ang kirot
At ang pulang halik ng kanyang talulot
Ipababatid sa lahat ng minamahal
Na minamahal ko silang lahat
Mabubuhay ako nang nagmamahal sa pag-ibig
Pag-ibig, pag-ibig, pag-ibig
Marami akong natutunan mula sa mga nilalang
Ngunit ang katotohanan wala itong pakinabang
Kahit pa ingatan ko sa loob ng maletang ito
Malungkot ko pa ring lilisanin ang mundo.
*Hango sa anonimong sanaysay tungkol kay Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
From 22-27 February 2015, I was out of the house for 6 days for an out-of-town work. We stayed in Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel in Antipolo City where the Writeshop we were organizing (I was part of the secretariat and a documentor for day 1) was held. It was tiring, and I missed the company of my dogs.
Not to waste my moment there, I made a conscious effort to just enjoy and appreciate what was around me, which includes mingling with other participants during our brief meaningful trip to Hinulugang Taktak when the Writeshop ended. It was meaningful because it was my first time to be there. It was also meaningful because it was so sad to discover that the waterfalls stinks. Antipolo, a former province now a city, despite its progress still has a lot of things to do with regard to nature conservation.
After our disappointing trip to Hinulugang Taktak, where some participants still took some snapshots because of its nice appearance (it must have been so wonderful in the past), we went to Mystical Cave which was called as such because of rock formation that appeared to represent stories from the Bible. Like the Noah’s Ark. An image of Jesus Christ praying and so many other stuff that was, as told by our guide, thought of by the priests who discovered the cave many decades ago. Frankly, I must say that those ancient priests got imaginative minds to think of those rock formations, those crystals, those shadows to be holy images. And strangely, those discoveries did make sense because we were like children in a Science Museum excited at what we were seeing.
It was just sad that some low breed of human species vandalized a portion of the cave, even stole rocks. It was my first time to be inside a cave. It wasn’t hot, as I discovered. What really made us perspire was our climb of many steps up to the mouth of the Mystical Cave. Inside, it was breezy. And I bet totally dark, well, that’s for sure. We could see things inside the cave because of a few lamps placed inside. We paid P40 per head for maintenance just to get inside the cave.
Then we went to the market to buy pasalubong. I bought kasoy or cashew nuts as pasalubong to my family. Ang mahal pala ng kasoy! Bought two small containers for P400! I need not buy too many kasoy since, as told by one of our participants, it can perk up your uric acid and provoked arthritis. I don’t have that yet but I have an old man so two small containers of kasoy were enough. However, what pissed me off were sellers both old and young (children, to be accurate) begging me to buy their items. An old woman was selling to me a scapular, she said she needed money to buy food. I refused. Then as me and my companion left, the old woman said “Walang hiya ka!”
During our last day, while the rest of the participants left already while some remained in the hotel since their flights were scheduled on another day, I had a pleasure of exploring Cristina Villas all by myself. It was my second time there and I would say that there are so many beautiful things to see in Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel. These pictures did not give justice to how wonderful the place was but still, let me share with you a glimpse:
Well, Welcome to Cristina Villas!
“We’re always taught that God wants us to always only say, ‘I can’t do this without you God,’ ‘Whatever your will is God, that’s my will too.’ But God says ‘He is a father and there is no good father who wants his children to have no will and to think that they can’t stand on their own two feet.’ So maybe what you should be saying is ‘I can do it’ and ‘I have a strong will, I know what I want.’ When you think God’s left you and wants you to be sitting like a duck, maybe he’s actually believing in you, teaching you how to fly.”
–C. Joybell C.
Purebreed dogs from abroad come in so many varieties and names: Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Japanese Spitz, German Spitz, Chihuahua, Pitbull, German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, Beagle, Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, Boxer, Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dalmatian, Alaskan Malamute, Great Dane, Bulldog, Collie, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier and so on and so forth.
I wonder why when it comes to dogs in the Philippines–whatever shape, personality, size, and color–they’re only simply called as askal or asong kalye, which I find quite an abrasive, negative, lowly word. Now I hear this word “aspin” or asong pinoy to gently refer to all different types of dogs that aren’t imported. In other words, local. Askals/Aspins, I believe they, too, should have a name.
Anyway, if I’m going to follow the norm in name-calling, my family and I have two aspins. I used the word “aspins” because we don’t let them roam the street so they’re not technically askals (asong kalye), they just stay at home or if they need exercise, to make poopoo, they can go outside since we have a fenced yard. We named our two aspins Bea and Douglas. Bea’s six months old while Douglas just turned three months. Bea’s the hyper, high energy one, athletic, while Douglas is the low energy, inggitero/envious one. He likes whatever Bea has. But both of them are intelligent and loving in their own kind of way.
Old dog, new dog, thank God they’re living together in peaceful co-existence. Just sharing that I am a proud owner of two aspins/dogs who I love spending time with and learning from than some people I know.