Wednesday, December 13, 2017

mother! (And God Created The World For People To Destroy)




      I recently watched Darren Aronofsky’s mother! and I quite enjoyed it. It will certainly remind you of the classic Rosemary’s Baby. But looking at the reviews, a lot of people are panning it and actually hating on it, they say that it’s perplexing, confusing, pretentious, there’s a lot of senseless gore, and is an utter bullshit and is nothing but a piece of crap—some are even calling it the worst film of the century.

      If you’d watch it without having an idea of what the film is about, you’d really get lost and would be confused with every scene. It’s an allegorical film and contains lots of symbolism and metaphors. To have a chance of enjoying it, one must know beforehand that Jennifer Lawrence is an allegory for Earth, her writer's block-afflicted husband is God, their strange male visitor is Adam and whose wife, of course, is Eve, and their two quarreling sons, Cain and Abel. The precious crystal is the forbidden apple. The baby Jennifer gives birth to is a metaphor for Jesus Christ.

      The film is like a twisted, wicked, condensed, artsy, irreverent, and reimagined version of the Bible. And of course, not everyone will enjoy that kind of thing.

      But to make sure you’ll enjoy the film regardless of its content and messages, the director put in lots of close-ups of Jennifer’s  glorious face.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Santa Claus And The Gifts The World Needs




I had another strange dream last night!
Santa Claus, with Rudolph in tow, approached me last night, and told me,
“You’ve been good the whole year, my man, a little naughty but good overall…”
He said I could ask for any gift and he would give it
I thought about it and then I said, “This is what I want…”
Maybe, I’ll stop being selfish and wish for a gift that would benefit the world
Environmentally-sound Earth, perhaps, or
Life without war, terrorism and calamities for everyone
And governments without corruption
No more disability for every newborn baby
Is a world with only one religion possible?
End of hatred and every negativity
But this is probably just wishful thinking, and Santa would have no way of giving it
I will probably wish for something much feasible
Probably, a large bag full of cash
Or endless supply of—
Darn, I’m being selfish again!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

KOMIKON 2017, GASI AND THE ALMOST-FADED KOMIKS



       I learned that there’s an upcoming Komikon (November 12, 2017 at Bayanihan Center; click HERE for their Facebook page), and  I found myself rereading my old comics stories, which some pages were almost faded now. I probably wrote more than a thousand short stories and a few novels (probably around thirty) during my writing stint at Graphic Arts Services, Inc (GASI). I was very prolific then (like many of comics artists then, writers and illustrators), there would be times when I would be writing probably five short stories (4-page stories)  a day. My forte then was horror and fantasy stories. I wrote and wrote and wrote that time. I wrote while watching TV or listening to music, I wrote while at work. I would take  a bath and before I could finish, I already had ideas for three short stories. Even a  flea jumping out of my dog or watching somebody cross the street would give me ideas, then. I would even develop a  story while watching a movie or while having a conversation with some people.  I could easily concoct story ideas then that I didn’t mind other writers blatantly (which meant just changing the titles of my stories, the names of my characters and rewriting a few dialogues and captions) stealing my stories.

      And I had the good fortune of my stories/novels being illustrated by topnotch artists, then, like Lan Medina (who works for Marvel Comics now), the late great Vic Catan, Clem Rivera, Toti Cerda (a renowned Filipino painter now) Mar Santana, Rolan Guina (who I think is in animation now), Rey Macutay, Ron-Ron Amatos, Lui Antonio, Ariel Padilla and Mhel Almeda. And I also had the good fortune of knowing some brilliant writers then, some of them I became good friends with (the late Galo Ador, Mars Alvir, Arman Francisco, Jeffrey Ong, Lito Tanseco).

       It has been eons since I last wrote a comics script and GASI may have long been gone now but thank God for Komikon, there’s still an outlet for people (artists and readers) to express their love for Filipino comics, although the last time I went there was 2013, I think. But I was a regular visitor before taking a hiatus, although my love for komiks will never take a hiatus.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Everything Under The Sun Is In Tune (But The Sun Is Eclipsed By The Moon)


      “Eclipse” has been my message tone for many years, it is why I often delay in reading and answering the text messages I receive, I always let the song finish first. The closer to one of the greatest albums of all time, its message, as I interpret it, is simple: all that you’ve worked hard for, all that you’ve achieved, all that you’ve created, all that you own, all that you love could vanish instantly—one mistake, one tragedy, one accident, one sudden deadly illness  and everything would disappear and everything you ever did and the summation of everything you are will be rendered meaningless. No matter how in tune your life is at the moment, there’s always  this strong possibility (or certainty) that it will soon be fucked up.

      It’s nihilism at its best,  yes.  But it’s still a great song.


ECLIPSE

All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet (everyone you meet)
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TWO SCARY TAGALOG HORROR BOOKS FOR THE HALLOWEEN




      Looking for good, terrifying reads this coming Halloween? Something that will give you the inability to sleep at night alone and with the lights turned off? Try these two Tagalog horror books from Precious Pages Corporation (yup, this is the company that publishes those awesome Filipino romance novels) namely, MGA KUWENTO SA DILIM and LIBRONG ITIM. These two books contain Tagalog short horror stories that are guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of you.  My advice: read them in the morning and with a companion to lessen the goosebumps you will get. Mga Kuwento Sa Dilim features horror stories that really happened.

      You can buy these books from Precious Pages Bookstores (they have branches at SM Malls). Or you can check their online store HERE.

      Please click HERE for the Facebook Page of Librong Itim.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Do Cockroaches Have Purpose? (And Do They Have Beauty In Them?)




      I was inside my room, laboring in front of my computer when I was startled by my niece’s screams. I went out and saw that a flying cockroach was terrorizing her. She went inside my room and locked it while I picked up a slipper (as I am wont to do whenever a cockroach decides that he’d be a soaring butterfly for a few seconds inside our house.) I aimed to hit the cockroach while it was flying. But the thing is, it’s so hard to hit a roach in mid-air as they fly like a supersonic jet and they almost always fly high and near the ceiling and they have very unpredictable flight patterns.  I tell you,  it’s easier to return a Pete Sampras serve than to hit a flying cockroach. But it is very satisfying to hit one in mid-air, it’s like hitting a buzzer-beating three pointer on a championship game.

      Finally, the cockroach landed on  a wall, it flexed its wings, ready to fly again, but unfortunately for it—I had been trained in killing roaches—and I hit it before it could harbor illusions of being a dark butterfly again and fly. And part of my training is not to a hit a roach real hard when it’s perched on a wall as it would be very messy. Just hit it with enough force to temporarily immobilize it and let it fall to the floor—and then you stomp on it. Again, you only use necessary force on it so as not to crush its innards and spread it on the floor. Killing them is justified—they bring diseases. And no, don’t use an insecticide. Slippers are the primary weapon for a single, flying cockroach, although some people, like Nicolas Cage, prefer to eat them alive. The bestselling book, The Perfect Slipper To Kill A Roach will help you choose the right slipper to kill roaches.

      But as the roach lay dead and smashed on the floor, an existentialist question hit me: What’s the purpose of a roach?  One that ‘s noble and beneficial to humans. Why did God create them? I know they’re part of a food chain and they’re good in outing closet gay men who act tough in front of people but scream and run and faint when confronted by a flying cockroach. But aside from these, what else? Something that whenever people see a roach, they can say, "Oh, a cockroach, a cockroach once saved my daughter's life! Bless `em!" Did God make a mistake in creating them? Was He intending to create another butterfly species but He was so tired after creating those wonderful things and creatures that He messed it up? But then, they say everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it, and not even a creature as repugnant as a roach is exempted in it. 

      So I stared at the dead cockroach in my feet and look for its beauty—darn, I wasn’t one who would discriminate, but  all I could see was ugliness. Meanwhile, another cockroach inside our house decided that God made a mistake and that it was just a messed-up butterfly and started flying—and I tightened my grip on my sniper rifl--, er, slipper. The search for the beauty in cockroach and its purpose  would have to wait.

      But here’s a haiku I wrote as a tribute to fallen flying roaches and a warning to those who still are living:
      Darling, when you fly
      The whole world panics and runs
      So stay sweet, just crawl