Monday, March 29, 2010

Brave New World, The Book (and How It Made Me Shake With Delight); Also, Palm Sunday

It is somewhat surreal, the feeling I had when I saw him somewhere in the 2nd Floor of a corner shop at the UP Shopping Center, my favorite haunt for the past 15 years or so of my life. (Aaaaaaagh! I nearly revealed my age!)

He was just self-absorbed, trying to be discreet, in a dimly-lit area of an otherwise bright room. But I was too sharp for him. Maybe because, ever since I have seen him once many years before in my youth, I never got to see him again ... until that very moment.

I am just too glad that he was not too jumpy, even as I was nearly shivering with excitement.

We meet again, ALDOUS HUXLEY. It is time to re-read BRAVE NEW WORLD.

More insights about the book later. Meanwhile...


Yesterday's Linggo ng Palaspas (Palm Sunday) ushered in the start of the Holy Week in the Christian World. This makes today a "Holy Monday". I had a bit of fun taking photos of the salubong in a parish church nearby. You can read about it HERE.

Holy Week happens to be one of my favorite times of the year. It allows for a period of reflection (seriously though, one can choose to reflect any time of the year), the city suddenly becomes decongested, and that it takes place during summertime.

This year's Holy Week is particularly special for me. Je's 1st Death Anniversary takes place on an Easter Sunday...

...and for me, no commemoration can be more beautiful than this uncanny instance of serendipity, a juxtaposition of death and eternal life. Je must be really happy out there....

Special, very special, indeed. :) I am happy, and no amount of words can express this. Truly happy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Existence Of Dark Energy Proven?

Appropriate theme, yes?

I stifled a snicker when a friend (Xtin again! Grrrr...) provided a link to an article stating that a group of young scientists have proven Albert Einstein's previous proposal that dark matter and dark energy exist.

The team is headed by astrophysicist Reinabelle Reyes. Reinabelle is an alumna of the Ateneo De Manila University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Physics. She did this study while completing her Ph.D. studies at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Reina, together with her team, also identified a hidden population of powerful black holes in the universe, putting her in newspapers in 2008, according to another article.

I frankly do not know to which I would say "WHOA!" first: Whoa because Reinabelle made these studies, or Whoa because the existence of dark energy is being studied and proven?

(Of course, nothing beats reading the actual study to reasonably say that the existence of dark energy has indeed been proven.)

But this certainly has implications in the living world, the so-called yin-and-yang, the balance of opposites. For we all know that the world that we live in is a loose microcosm of the world outside the one that we know. Everything is somehow linked to one another.

For instance, would it still be prudent to say that all creations are by nature, good?

Is the human being really inherently good?

More questions???

To ask questions about our immediate surroundings, sometimes it takes us to look way beyond ourselves and our environment.

Hmmm, can I go back to reading about Orlando Bloom instead?

My sources are this, this, and this. Photo from the Wiki site.


If you are a non-resident of Manila and are thinking about going there and about, you can take a look at my post about the Metro Star Rail System in my new blog, Manila and Beyond. Click on the link HERE!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Family Visit

It was a very hot Friday afternoon when we arrived at my father's and aunt's place somewhere in a province north of Metro Manila.

These are anticipated visits for me: this is the place where I used to spend my summers every year as a child.

Much has changed indeed, but I still feel that this is one of the many homes of my life, and this is one of my most remembered places of abode.

I certainly miss the warm afternoon sun permeating through the large windows.

And for some reason, it feels a lot better now, than before, to be here.

My aunt and sister: two beautiful and strong women, in so many ways.

(Like I always say, friends may come and go, and at the end of the day one always finds himself going back to his family....)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Blog: Manila And Beyond


After several months of deliberation I have finally decided to start a blog called Manila and Beyond.

You can read my introduction HERE.

The blogsite is a little bare as of yet, but I will add to it quickly in the next few weeks or so. But ideas have been pouring in, both from my own experiences as well as some of my friends who are excited to help me with this project.

I am giving credit to a good friend Hilboy of Bisikleta Productions for my banner. He is one of my preferred graphics artists whenever we have to produce posters and similar needs, specifically for gigs. Check out his Bisikleta Production blogsite here.

Again, I would love to have you guys join me. I think it is true that writing should be, more than anything else, an expression of oneself, a release, but it definitely gives the writer joy when he/she knows that some people are reading his/her works and are actually finding them enjoyable and helpful.

The road trip will not always be smooth, but it is the lessons that are picked up along the way that makes a worthy, memorable trip.

So, hop right in with me if you dare. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. " - Alice Kingsley (probably my most favorite line in the movie)

Alice In Wonderland is currently being shown here in Manila. Just a few blocks away from my place is a quiet mall with a moviehouse showing Tim Burton's new film on 3D. Cool, I thought on a not-so-busy Wednesday afternoon (wait, that was yesterday, I lost my sense of time there, sounds familiar?), I am going to relax and see it. It is, after all, The Alice In Wonderland, directed by The Tim Burton.

I would not want to do a "review" in its strictest sense. While I certainly love watching movies, I do not profess to be as knowledgeable about it as compared to, for example, music. I do say, however, that I have a keen interest in Tim Burton's works which are dark and intriguing.

Fairy tales have always been said to be intended for grown-ups. I think Alice In Wonderland is not an exception to this. The film, released by Disney, was shot to capture the young audience. I can therefore understand why Burton cannot go all-out dark on this one. The mere fact that the film is released by Disney is enough reason for me to lower my expectations a bit. (Sorry to Disney fans, but Disney does sugarcoat most of their movies like the originally tragic "The Little Mermaid" and "Anastasia".)

The animations were nearly seamless: Alice growing up and shrinking down, the Cheshire Cat disappearing and appearing while flashing that all-familiar smile, Absolem the blue caterpillar smoking his huka. Seamless, but not as riveting. I was hoping that the fall in the rabbit hole would be exciting on 3D, objects flinging into my face and such (remember, I was watching the film on 3D), but no excitement there. Ditto with the combat match on the chessboard: it did not look too much like a battle as it seemed to me a lame face-off between the two queens.

Don't ask me also about the resolution at the film's end, I did not like it at all; it is all forced to make this one a feel-good movie. Don't ask me specifically about that one particular act that The Mad Hatter (played by Johnny Depp) did after the battle, it was pretty horrid, and I would rather that you see it for yourself. Simply put, yuck!

The film has some cool moments, though.

I have always love the Cheshire Cat character and I am glad that he appears cute and charming in this film.

I am always hesitant about liking Johnny Depp all-out (damn, blame it on 21 Jump Street), but I have always respected his offbeat choice of roles, the role of the Mad Hatter included.

The actress who played Alice is competent, exuding both innocence and feistiness.

And as always, the animations are superb, though I wish there was more darkness to them. But hey, this movie is not for a jaded adult like me.

Anyway, just watch the film: it is not that bad. It IS Alice in Wonderland, and it IS Tim Burton's movie anyway. I will suggest, however, to make your expectations a little, well, realistic, to enjoy the movie more.

Finally, forget about watching it on 3D - a waste of money. Totoo ito. I walked out of the moviehouse regretting that I saw the film on 3D. Is it just me?

"It is not impossible to like this film ... just a little difficult." - not Alice Kingsley (may have been said by a Lewis Carroll/Tim Burton fan, one or the other)

ALMOST ALICE: What do I think about it? Find out HERE.

Monday, March 8, 2010

To Heaven, And Back, To Hell, And Back...

With more than 50% of my lifetime spent (granting that I will die before the age of 60, the average life expectancy of the women of our family), I can say that I have by far traveled well enough. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

I have been to heaven ...

... to hell ...

... to heaven ...

... to hell ...

... to heaven ...

... to hell ...

... to heaven ...

... to hell ...

... to heaven ...

... to hell ...

... guess where I am right now ... ?

No clever words this time, just images, and more images...

[Photo of flatline from
this site, original photo of telephone booth from this site]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


[I am lazy to transfer text. Find the link here...]

Now all colors are awash...

[Yuen Chau Kok Park, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, 2007]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moon Over Enriquez St.

***The full moon almost always takes the blame for human madness. Could be true in some cases, but many of man's madness are actually of his own doing.***

It would have been nicer to view the full moon on the beach, or by the hills. I thought of staying home and taking this photo from my window instead, because I was afraid that I might meet some werewolves along the way.

I was wrong ... again I was reminded that I am never too safe even in my own house, as long as the moon is out and shining in its full lunatic glory.