Saturday, October 22, 2016

№ 293. A Prayer for the Odd and Even Days

From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book
by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)

Sunday Mantra

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

№ 291. In the Beginning was the Word

What is that which we call a "word"?

Calvin and His Logic
A word, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, is a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed.

Why do words matter?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

№ 290. Tomorrow Land

"The implementation of the Goals must be underpinned by a strong and active civil society that includes the weak and the marginalized. We must defend civil society's freedom to operate and do this essential job. On this International Day of Democracy, let us rededicate ourselves to democracy and dignity for all." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Sunday, August 14, 2016

№ 288. Questions about Power

"Trade liberty for safety or money and you'll end up with neither. Liberty, like a grain of salt, easily dissolves. The power of questioning - not simply believing - has no friends. Yet liberty depends on it."

Monday, August 1, 2016

№ 285. Friday Dipped in Poetry 2

It is the moment when you can look back on your life so far and see it with different eyes. Hopefully you’ve built up some wisdom, which, as the psychologists define it, means seeing the world with more compassion, grasping opposing ideas at the same time, tolerating ambiguity and reacting with equanimity to the small setbacks of life.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

№ 283. Reading for Wisdom and Folly

"Deep reading cuts into your soul and shapes you like real life experiences. Few of us have deep experiences but we can all read about them and thereby experience them; in my view better—with the wisdom of those who actually lived them and the luxury of reflection."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

№ 282. Tradition and Prejudice

"The bird that would soar above the level of plain tradition and prejudice must have strong wings."

Kate Chopin

I watched Michelle Obama (FLOTUS) speak at the Democratic National Convention. Inspired, inspiring and hopeful! Just what the world needs, just 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

№ 281. Palate Wonderland

Toilet door at VASK

Two Sundays ago, we had fun dining in this feast-of-the-senses, molecular-gastronomy-inspired bar and restaurant in the quiet side of the Bonifacio Global City.

Because it was drizzling that early evening, we missed out on the al fresco night view of Makati. No matter. The snappy service made up for that missed opportunity. And both the edible and non-edible art pieces more than satisfied the senses.

Scallop and Black Ink Risotto: Squid Ink, Tinawon
Heirloom Rice, Parmesan Chips and Green Asparagus

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

№ 280. Thursday in the Desert

Oil Lamps at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum
Flagellation Monastery (Via Dolorosa)

“Those who saw so dimly could be further blinded by the light of full revelation. Jesus, therefore, does not reveal with complete clarity the true nature of the messianic kingdom which is unostentatious. Instead he filters the light through symbols, the resulting half-light is nevertheless a grace from God, an invitation to ask for something better and accept something greater.” Living Space

Thursday, July 7, 2016

№ 278. Mad World

From An Atlas of the Difficult World
Adrienne Rich

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains’ enormous spaces around you.

Atlas of Prejudice

Thursday, June 30, 2016

№ 276. Wind, Sand and Stars

Western Sahara

“....I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks.

I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny.

Friday, June 24, 2016

№ 275. Geopolitics and Exit Strategies

Empires crumble, unions divorce, monarchs fade and historicities recede into forgotten myths. It is really just a matter of time --- in days, months, years, decades, centuries or light years (distance is a measure of time, because of the continuum).

Thus passes the glory of the world....

Monday, June 13, 2016

№ 273. Confession

Woody Quotes

I confess.
I tell him all things.
He nods, eyes closed.

A turn of phrase
Catches him.
He smiles, eyes still shut.

I ask for
And penance.

He grants me
He sends me off

To work on
Bach's Preludium
After Hanon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

№ 272. Dog's Death

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog! Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.

№ 271. Looking for Nakata's Keystone

I'm narrating in reverse as I recall the trips to Kyoto and Nara last March. No rules. No words.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

№ 270. Mt. Inarii

"Myths are like a reservoir containing every story there is." - Haruki Murakami

Old LPs & Keystones 

Here we stand: Backpack
Stuffed with metaphors;
Talismans to ward

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

№ 267. Crucify Your Mind

Was it a huntsman or a player
That made you pay the cost
That now assumes relaxed positions

And prostitutes your loss?
Were you tortured by your own thirst
In those pleasures that you seek
That made you Tom the curious
That makes you James the weak?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

№ 266. Kiss

“Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again - the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world's greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding”--- Saul Williams

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

№ 265. Awake and Asleep


I lay on a dune and slept,
Sharp grasses by my head:
While armies far-off warred and wept,
I joined the earth instead. . .
Until I moved my hand
And was awake again
And shook myself out of the sand
To the cold wind of men.

Harold Witter Bynner
From A Canticle of Pan, 1920

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

№ 263. Celibate

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church, by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

№ 262. Palawan

Palawan is the Philippines's last frontier. It's the island of 1,001 beaches or maybe even more.

Here's why....

Bento Box: 

Start from topmost part of the island and work your way downward to end in Puerto Princesa, the capital.

(a) Coron, Calauit and Culion
(b) El Nido and the islets and coves
(c) The stops in the long land trip between El Nido and Puerto Princesa
(d) Puerto Princesa and other spots.

Go. Now.

Friday, April 8, 2016

№ 261. Babette's Feast and the Joy of Love

Babette's Feast after the lottery win.

"The joy of this contemplative love needs to be cultivated. Since we were made for love, we know that there is no greater joy than that of sharing good things: “Give, take, and treat yourself well” (Sir 14:16). The most intense joys in life arise when we are able to elicit joy in others, as a foretaste of heaven. We can think of the lovely scene in the film Babette’s Feast, when the generous cook receives a grateful hug and praise: “Ah, how you will delight the angels!” It is a joy and a great consolation to bring delight to others, to see them enjoying themselves. This joy, the fruit of fraternal love, is not that of the vain and self-centred, but of lovers who delight in the good of those whom they love, who give freely to them and thus bear good fruit."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

№ 259. Osaka, Kyoto and Nara Through Square Lenses

7*C on average, 7 days and 7 am wake up time to rush to the subway commute.

NAIA 3, Manila, Philippines

Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong

Saturday, March 19, 2016

№ 258. For When You Travel....

May the road sing with your song.
May it confound, bruise and bless you.
May it embrace your shadow as you walk.
May it shelter you as days fold into nights.
May it be

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

№ 257. Plastic Grenade

Plastic is a material consisting of any of a wide range ofsynthetic or semi-synthetic organics that are malleable and can be molded into solid objects of diverse shapes. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, but many are partially natural.

Lifecycle of Plastic Water Bottle

Monday, March 7, 2016

№ 256. Urbi et Orbi 2


"Trump becoming president of the United States is no laughing matter. It is the height of irresponsibility for the people of a country that insists on leading the world to even consider foisting on it a dangerous, trigger-happy gasbag whose every pronouncement so far fails to pass the test of seriousness and maturity. If conservative Americans still have not taken leave of their senses, they should rouse themselves from this nightmare and fire Trump for his fundamental unfitness to be Potus."

Friday, February 19, 2016

№ 255. I Do Not Love You....

Xvii (I Do Not Love You...) - Poem by Pablo Neruda

To wait in vain is to wait and expect no arrivals.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

№ 254. The Reading Club

Here's a good Friday find:

If you put all the books you own on the street outside your house, you might expect them to disappear in a trice. But one man in Manila tried it - and found that his collection grew.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

№ 253. 21st Century Songs of Fire and Ice

Twenty-first century appears to be mirroring its predecessor period. From a bipolar world that emerged during the Cold War after the realignments of nations in the Second World War to the disintegration of the Soviet bloc in the 1980s and the 1990s, we are once more getting more fragmented and multi-polar.

Ball games are not safe with live ammunition and
civilian exposure.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

№ 252. Solo Travel

Solo Travel Tips

Maybe it's time for a new adventure. Ticking off undone, unfinished businesses is exhausting.

№ 251. Homey

"When I first got pregnant, I was a smart-arse corporate lawyer, used to getting my own way. What I really needed was someone to tell me the following: “You know your worst ever client? The guy who calls at 2am just to tell you how terrible you are? The one who suddenly, urgently needs an obscure spreadsheet, so you move heaven and earth to find the spreadsheet and when you do he gets furious because that isn’t the one he wanted, even though that’s the one he asked for? Congratulations! Now you live with a tiny, incontinent version of him. Sadly, nothing you have learned to date is of any use with your new client."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

№ 250. Paper History

Bank Note

"My interest in bank notes is related to the history printed on them that supplements textbooks, classroom history, and civics because it expresses something about the past: the founding fathers, significant events and personages.

Bank notes attempt to tell a story, or part of a story, regarding a nation and nationhood. Like classroom history, a bank note is both informative and formative when the past is utilized to situate citizens in the context of a nation. While a bank note tells a story on a small sheet of paper, what people do not see are the reasons behind its design: For example, the use of particular historical personages and the exclusion of others are a decision that underscores the contested nature of history especially when it is handmaid to nation-building and nationalism."

Monday, February 1, 2016

№ 249. The Thorn Birds

The Art of Plating

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth.

№ 248. Awaken; Live

"If you are fortunate enough to be awakened..., you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done, and the finest change is the one that is not willed." --- Anthony de Mello.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

№ 247. Urbi et Orbi

CNN reports about the Trump Phenomenon and this got me thinking.

The U.S., as the lone superpower, sets the agenda for the world. Like it or not, if Trump wrests his way to Washington DC, the ripples of his pompadour will be felt in this far corner of the world. Shouldn't we, at least, take notice and somehow be heard, as well?

Here's a shout out:

The U.S. President is, to be sure, the de facto leader of the world. That means Trump's policy will affect me--- an Asian, a non-citizen and leaps of miles across the Pacific lake (yes, it has shrunk). And I don't get to say or do anything?! There ought to be a law.

Urbi et Orbi

Monday, January 25, 2016

№ 246. Tuesday Find: Calligraphy

Interesting Tuesday find: Calligraphy!


№ 245. North Face Access Pack

Just saw this on Facebook streams.

It looks promising enough because of the easy access compartments and the streamlined look. It doesn't appear bulky especially for the urban commute. Read: MRT pressing and canning ordeal.

It's about time something new, more functional and, hopefully, less expensive than Tumi comes up. Please hurry up.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

№ 244. I Prefer

I prefer
to breathe ungoverned
like the furnaces
contained yet defiant against EDSA's clots.

I prefer
to move unobserved
like the strays
stalking a wounded maya.

Poets in the Wild NYC

Sunday, January 17, 2016

№ 243. Bento Box: Kiwix

Monday's Bento Box: Kiwix

Kiwix is a free and open-source offline web browser created by Emmanuel Engelhart and Renaud Gaudin in 2007. It was first launched to allow offline access to Wikipedia, but has since expanded to include other projects from the Wikimedia foundation as well as public domain texts such as Project Gutenberg.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

№ 242. Manila, a Final Frontier

From the 1500s to the 1800s, the Philippines had been a frontier at the western edge of the Spanish Empire.

Because we were so far away from the throne of the empire--- two oceans away to be sure--- we were governed remotely and indirectly through the viceroy in Mexico. 

Global Map

Mexico, almost midpoint from Spain, was an accessible foothold to the New Worlds because it sits in the middle of the two maritime expanses of the Pacific and Atlantic. More importantly, it's geography was strategic. It served as a land bridge that facilitated the transshipment of people, information, culture and goods between the two oceans (Panama Canal was completed only in the early 20th century). Mexico's relative proximity to the Philippines not only cut down administrative challenges to the overextended Iberian royal power. It also trimmed down the time and costs of projecting the delegated power to the subjects in the Asian colony.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

№ 241. A Canticle Today

The Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Canticle of the Creatures or Laudes Creaturarum (Praise of the Creatures), is a religious song composed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in an Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages. It is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language.

Today's Gospel reading: Mark 6:34-44

Altissimu, onnipotente bon Signore,
Tue so le laude, la gloria e l'honore et onne benedictione.

Ad Te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentouare.