Sunday, October 15, 2017

Maxwell, His Silver Hammer, A Psychopath And A Common House Gecko




      I had a strange dream last night…
      In my dream, I was inside a train,   and then a woman  asked me if I knew this certain building. I said, “Yeah, I know that,” and accompanied her to the building.  There’s a canteen at the ground floor of the building and she invited me to have lunch with  her.  Strangely, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” a Beatles song, was playing inside the canteen while we ate, and she commented, “Such a nice, happy song.”
      “Not really,” I countered.
      “Why?”
      I told her that the song was about a student , Maxwell Edison, a serial killer who used a silver hammer to murder people.”
      “Oh,” she said, aghast,” that’s bad. It’s not nice to kill.”
      “Of course,” I agreed, "except..." my dream switched before I could finish and I found myself sitting in front of a big-screen TV, listening to the ramblings of an obviously psychopathic president from I-don’t-know-what–godforsaken-country who evidently reveled and who was almost frothing at the  mouth in delight in the daily massacre of his countrymen.
      Then, I woke up and thought about those people who felt guilty for days for accidentally killing a common house gecko.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Girl With A Skull Tattoo On Her (Bleep!)




      Few weeks ago, I saw a viral Facebook post of a Filipino woman (in her early twenties) showing  her tattoo on her genitalia. It was a tattoo of a skull which covered her private parts and which size was just a bit smaller than a regular skull, with her vulva as its mouth. (I never thought I'd be writing a sentence like the previous one.)  She  seemed proud (her reaction is one you see on someone who  just learned that she will be her school’s summa cum laude) and was smiling as she sat with her legs wide open on a chair, sitting in front of her was the equally proud tattoo artist (who was taking the very unusual selfie). The tattoo artist’s reaction is similar to a professor of a student who is going to be her school’s  summa cum laude.

      To each his own, yeah. Maybe, she wants to  surprise her future husband on their first night.

      Wife: Honey, look, I’ve got a surprise for you!

      Husband: Oh, I love surprises! (looks down) (then, a ghastly scream,) EEAAAARRRRGGHHH!

      But that’s actually one of the purposes of having a tattoo: for showing off. You don’t acquire one so you could cover it with clothes and hide it. Although I doubt if she’s going to walk around without any underwear. I know someone who's stopped wearing shirts with sleeves after getting a tattoo on his biceps.

      So it boggles the mind when a tough-looking man ( a prominent politician, a vice-mayor from a city in Mindanao) vehemently and adamantly refuses to show his back tattoo after admitting he has one.  Until now, after weeks of public clamor for him to display his tattoo, he scowls and rejects it.  His more prominent father  and his sister and friends have gleefully displayed their tattoos. See, it's not a difficult thing to do. Is he hiding something? What is on his back? A Tinky-Winky tattoo? Or something a bit more sinister that will drag his whole family down to damnation?

      So we have a girl who gets a tattoo on the most delicate part of her body and who has no qualms showing it and a man who has a tattoo on his back who violently refuses to show it although displaying it will definitely clear his and family’s faltering reputation. It's clear who's more astig between the two.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Failed Adventure At The 38th Manila International Book Fair



"There is no friend as loyal as a book."
                                             Ernest Hemingway

      A sense of gloom quickly pervaded inside our car while we were approaching the parking area in front of SMX Convention Center in MOA yesterday, 16th of September,2017—we could see a throng and seemingly endless queues (yup, that’s plural) of people in front of the convention center, all trying to get inside, eager to be part of Manila International Book Fair. We were there for the book fair, too.

      We walked towards the convention center, we already had some complimentary tickets with us, it was already a little past two in the afternoon, and trying to find the start of of a queue was already an arduous task. Still, we found it and we lined up. But after thirty minutes, two of my companions complained of getting dizzied by the crowd and the thought of encountering a larger mob inside (we didn’t expect it to be that huge; didn’t they say it’s the era of e-books now?), so we gave up (temporarily). (We sometimes suffer from enochlophobia.) We called my sister who was on her way (together with her two-year old son and seven-year old daughter (who was eager to buy books) and told them to just turn back and go home.  Then, we went inside the mall (which was quite crowded, too), entered a restaurant and ate.
  
      We tried to enter the book fair again at six PM, the seemingly endless queues were still there, and when the lady in front of us complained about the queue not moving for an hour and the guards admitting they couldn't do anything about it, we gave up again and decided to just go home.

      “Ano ba meron diyan (sa book fair), ba`t ang daming tao?”  we heard one of the guards commenting as we were walking away. 

      Wisdom, I thought. We went home empty-handed, but I was quite happy with the thought that a lot of people still wanted to read books. I hope they (the younger crowd) weren’t just there out of curiosity and were just looking for something to post on their Facebook accounts (“Look, I was at the MIBF, I’m a bookworm and I’m smart!’). I noticed that many people coming out of the fair held nothing in their hands as they walked out.

      Anyway, we got home, and I slept and dreamt of the books (and those Game of Thrones action figures I saw posted on Facebook) I could have had bought.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Today Is September 1 (And It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas)




       Today is September 1, officially the start of Christmas season in the Philippines. Yup, that’s how excited we are with Christmas and that’s how long we celebrate it. Go to a mall today and your ears will be greeted by carols (most likely a song by Jose Mari Chan), turn on the radio and and your favorite station will be playing your favorite Christmas song, look at your neighbor’s house and she’ll probably be hanging a parol at her window right this very moment.

      Actually, I already have been reminded that Christmas is just around the corner last week. I was with my sister and while drinking a latte (we were inside a coffee shop ) she suddenly blurted out, “Hey, Christmas is near, don’t forget your gifts for these two.” She was referring to her two-year old son and seven-year old daughter, the two-year old son was currently grinning at me, eyes twinkling, like he understood what her mother had just said.

       I had to remind my sister that one of my favorite activities was to buy her kids gifts, albeit cheap ones.

       The two year old son then started walking and running inside the place, giggling, screaming, laughing, reciting the alphabet, counting aloud, reading every words he saw printed on the shop’s walls (he still can’t read, though; he’s actually reading it letter by letter),  disturbing the peace of other coffee drinkers. I decided to have a stroll with him outside so as to quiet him. And as we were walking at the sidewalk, he continued to read (or dissect) every sign he encountered. The little guy, incidentally, is quite talented, he can recite the alphabet in reverse.

       Then, while we were still walking, he stopped and stared at something, nay, someone, and he wouldn’t budge no matter how I tugged at him. What caught his attention? A fat man standing at the sidewalk, with white hair and and white beard that resembled, yes, Santa Claus. I didn’t know if he’s already aware of Santa Claus, but he was grinning as he looked at the old man.

       Indeed, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, maybe that  old man is really Santa and he’s already doing  reconnaissance on whether who’s been good or bad.

       "Always be good," I told the little guy, and he grinned at me and we continued walking hand in hand, and we started singing the Alphabet Song, starting with the letter Z.

     

Friday, August 25, 2017

Great Movies Require Great Songs




      I watched two films, Okja and Free Fire, two nights in a row, and “Annie’s Song” (a song John Denver wrote for his wife) figured significantly in both movies (both released this 2017), helping them unfold dramatically. Like they say, great movies often include, nay, require, great songs to be, well, great, and memorable. Oftentimes, a song originally made for a movie outlasts the movie. Everybody has forgotten the movie but everybody 's still playing and singing the song. Although “Annie’s Song,” obviously, wasn’t specifically written for the said movies. But who’s complaining? And most great songs, often, are written and dedicated to somebody, a real person. 

      Okay, Okja and Free Fire aren’t classics but they’re both good.

 You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like a mountain in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again
Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
            "Annie's Song," John Denver


Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's A Sin To Tell A Lie




It’s a sin to tell a lie, they say, and I believe them
Lie, and you’ll go to hell
Or if you’re lucky, to purgatory, where you’d do nothing but wait
Victims of cruel lies shed oceans of tears,
Endlessly they cry, endlessly they suffer
Yanking their hearts out, they utter
“Oh, look at us! Look closer!” their eyes fixated on heaven
“Undone, unnerved, now unwilling to bend
May the gods pity us
End our miseries, end our distrust
Let their tongues fall from their mouths, and throw it to the fire…”
And I will persist to wonder why people lie
It’s kind of cathartic to tell the truth.