Showing posts from January, 2015

Men of Manila Pays Homage to “Harana” Tradition

Men of Manila, which debuted in the country's music and concert scene in July last year, has finally released the much-awaited music video of their first original song in Filipino aptly titled "Gwapo Lang Naman Ako." The song is about a young man's plea to the young woman he loves, who seems unreachable because of her beauty that could easily win for her a Ms. Universe crown. Award-winning composer Joven Tan penned the lyrics and the music of the easy-on-the-ears mellow love song. "Gwapo Lang Naman Ako" pays homage to the Filipino tradition of the bygone years when a man courts the woman he loves by singing songs that profess her undying love beside the window of the maiden's house, preferably under the moon light, accompanied and supported by his friends. The tradition, which has sadly disappeared from the modern man's dictionary, is called "Harana." The love song also pays tribute to the joys of the "Kundi

a flood of ironies

won't the country ever run out of amusing and not quite amusing ironies? i am not talking about the fact that after the pope's visit in the country and enjoyed four days of peace, order, and spiritual revival, a lot of anomalies were uncovered related to his visit -- the biggest of which were the allowances for the policemen who made sure that the pope was safe during his stay in manila that were allegedly pocketed by senior officers, one of them was dismissed from service. consider the following: - the pope visited the country to be one with the poor people and what did the government do? whisk some of them away in some expensive resort so that the pope and his delegations won't see them. then the rich and the powerful had a chance to be with the pope, talk to him face-to-face in the palace, while millions of the poor and underprivileged (well there were some who came from the rich and middle-class too) had to line up on the streets, or gather in luneta park, w

the unlamented demise of the malate of my youth

it was five o'clock in the afternoon and i just came from an anti-corruption rally in luneta park, a most apt venue since that's where the hero jose rizal was shot dead, and it was only but proper that in the sacred grounds where he died, thousands of heroes should spring back to life just when the country needed them the most -- to fight the worsening corruption in public offices. cafe adriatico in malate is housed in an ancient (spanish era) two-storey building converted into a restaurant serving mostly home cooked filipino and spanish food, and a coffee shop that has among its offerings favourite filipino merienda fare such as suman sa lihiya served with a brewing coffee or ginger tea, puto at dinuguan, hot pandesal stuffed with carne norte, etc. the place has so much stories to tell, so many ghosts wandering around. in my case, so many memories. because of these, i wouldn't exchange it for any starbucks shop anywhere in the world or artisanal coffe

the houses of strangers

like a restless soul searching for home, i have probably lived in a dozen or two houses that were not my own, nor owned by my parents.  i found out that houses were like lovers. they too can be the  jealous type, cold and uncaring, nurturing, noisy, quiet. they too had their own distinct smells (food, body odor, cigarette smoke, freshly-laundered clothes, baby's breath, a flower in spring, the first rain in june), characters, and nuances. like men. the first house was in cebu. it was nineteen eighty four and i was fourteen, a freshman at the university, when i started staying at a strangers' house, surrounded by strangers (who became like family to me later on) all the time. it was an all male dormitory (though the owners decided to accept female boarders later on) and i was rooming with five other freshmen at the same school that i was enrolled in. i was a virgin. that is, at living in strangers' houses. on my first night, i could not sleep. i was not used to sl

and so it is: a fresh start

as the madness that always greets the arrival of the new year subsides, as firecrackers settle and end up into dusts after a shower of fiery lights into the otherwise dark, grey sky, and as silence slowly envelopes the city after several hours of war like bangs of noises that remind everyone how it is be trapped in a battle of global proportions, the mind gradually contemplates on the year that was and what the next twelve months will bring. moving forward ultimately requires a refection on what the last twelve months have been. so that by evaluating what happened, what went wrong, what worked, where did it get lost, where it was most joyful, where it was the saddest, where it lost control, the soul can finally find its own path, settle on a new direction towards the future. as usual i am blabbering. it's a quarter to three in the morning, nearly three hours into the first day of january and the new year, and i am quite drunk. after a meeting with an international fashio

what writing should be all about

typical of his generation, and of his profession, he writes to impress. not to express. he lets his ego rule, not his brain. he does not care about his reader. he's beholden only to himself. he uses big words that require a thick thesaurus to understand.  drops philosophical ideas without bothering to explain. elaborate. or give any background about them. too the sentences are quite long and winding as though he wants the reader to go get lost. this is not writing. it's name dropping or brand whoring.  it's more like trying to impress a lover, who doesn't return the affection. writing should be simple. clear. direct to the point. superfluous it's not. short, simple, easy to understand words abound.  it impresses with the depth of the thought, or the idea, or the issue being discussed. the beauty lies not in long and winded sentences.  but on the straight and narrow path that even aunt agatha can understand. call me old school, but