Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A curse yet a gift

Trying to remember the past is an ordeal for me. Not because of terrible experiences ( I also had those but read on and you will understand), but because I cannot recall that much. I can no longer say if it has always been like that or it was just the result of that fateful night when my life had to change. A vehicular accident forced me to go under the knife (literally) … meaning six surgeries ( or was it five?) under total anaesthesia. Many say that a mother who has given birth through caeserian would have lapses of memory. And so, imagine six times (or five) that dosage and imagine what would be the result.


Add it all up, I can count with my fingers memories of my elementary life. High school reunions bring me surprises because of the stories I could not recall. College life … what happened then? It all seemed a blur. There are other things as well.


I find myself forgeting the name of the person I just had conversation with on the telephone. Memorizing historical dates has become quite hard ( A pity, for oh how I so love hostory!). Ask me a question about the exam I took a week ago, most likely than not, I cannot answer back. Sometimes I stop and try to recall what I was about to do. Even the foreign language I had learned was affected - - - grammar rules went out the door, my store of vocabulary was depleted, sometimes simple words became a little hard to translate. A person I’ve known for so long might be taken aback when I ask for her name again.  Lapses… lapses in my memory. Of course, I learned to find solutions. Jotting down things to do became important. I guide myself with alarms in my cellular phone for appointments and birthdays. Even topics I want to include in my blog I had to write for me to be reminded ( I read my notes this morning, and I saw “friends” but for the life of me I could not remember what to write about friends!).


Can  you blame me if I consider it a curse to have a poor memory? ( But who wouldn’t?)


But all trials bring along a blessing. More often than not though we only see it too late. Mine I have realized early on. For you see, my curse of a memory ( or better yet, the lack of it), also gave me a gift. It has become a picnic to forget little slights that other people have directed towards me. When I leave the office, I leave along with it my apprehensions about workload and deadlines (most of the time, to be truthful). Forgiving a person has become easier ( just don’t abuse it). Even my own worries I have learned to deal with without too much difficulty. I have to admit that there are little aids. Like the television, the movies, books, conversation with friends, etc. etc. But on the other hand, I know from other people’s tales that they get easily distracted by their worries and doubts. While me, on the other hand, I can distract my worries to forgetful beyond.


I know that there will be numerous times that I will cry against this burden of mine. This is true especially for forgotten appointments or important tasks I failed to do. But I will, in a way, still treasure this bane of mine. In a peculiar way, it has made my life easier.  For you see, it is better to forget the past and pains that will not bring you benefits. And remember instead that the bad always brings us good. Just know where to look.  

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Capturing the world

It was with joy that I grilled the salesman. I bombarded him with many questions about the specifications, freebies, advantages and disadvantages over other brands, after sales service, head office of the company. I was thrilled to finally be able to choose among numerous models, inspect the different features, and check out the content of the menu.

- - - - - -

I grew up exposed to art. I dabbled into painting, let my fingers brush through a clay image, cut through thick boards for characters in a shadow play, created laughter with caricatures, executed into glass known theories on color combinations, felt the burning sensation of the drying plaster of Paris, etched into black paper the shapes of nature...

I left all of these behind... awful experiences in a certain art world that should have helped me reach out to my creative core made me instead decide to bid my adieu ... and so I stopped, shifted to another path, not so ver far away from what I felt then was my calling but still it was not the same track.

But for those of us who have once entered the doorway to art may not totally leave it behind. It is within us, forever bound to our hearts. It has always been there. Inside my mind, inside my soul, inside my heart. A pity though that I can no longer recapture the lost art. Many years have passed. I lost with them the skills, the styles, even the passion to capture the beauty of the world, of the creation, the image of man.

But then one day I realized that it is still possible! To once again go back to my art. Not with paints, not with clay, nor with wood. Technology has provided me with another avenue - - - pictures... of the world, of people, of scenic views!

- - - - -

And so today I finally bought my very own, my own camera! It can, I believe, be my passport to the world that I used to love so much. I ask only the it bid me entry. Should I be afraid? I don't think so.

Instead, the world is welcoming me to take her likeness, for me to capture those precious moments, to snatch in her wondrous images. Let me take your beauty, capture your charm, and recreate it all into everlasting art!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Battle between inertia and exertion ( or stagnation and growth)

Imagine: dark heavy clouds, terrible traffic, no dinner, unknown locale, weary eyes and body after a long day of work, crowded transportation system, etc. You get the picture. Makes me want to go home and crawl into my bed and rest all night long. But do these all the days of your life and imagine again: stunted imagination, narrow perspective, and undeveloped mind. Yeah, yeah, exaggerated but this can happen to anyone who will choose not to expose oneself to the finer things in life (…and so the artists may say).

Good thing I decided to brave the dark clouds, fight the terrible crowd, subsist on a small siopao, and just rest my eyes and body for a minutes while waiting for the show to start Good decision to meet my mother at the MRT station instead of at the house since the need for rest might have tantalized my groaning body to just stay home and forget the free tickets my brother got for us. Good thing.

And so I was able to watch the musical “Beauty and the Beast.” The stage, creatively used with three wide screens flashing different images depending on the scene, and moving backdrop with beautiful depictions of the countryside and interior of an immense house, was enchanting. The characters, all in colorful and exquisite costumes, sang with beautiful voices. The lyrics, containing hilarious puns and modern allusion, were poetic yet not boring. The dance creations combined classic and contemporary steps that made the show interesting. The music, done live by a full orchestra, was quite hypnotic ( I am not only saying this because my brother was one of the violinists!). It was quite deceiving because it was quite perfect, making one think that the music was recorded.

Of course, the musical was not perfect. It was a preview show, I have to say. The characters might have been saving their energy for the grand opening the next day. Sometimes a singer did not reach a high note or sustain a long tune. Four sets of characters may not be doing a dance step at the same time. It was not perfect yet it was truly excellent. Especially for someone who has not seen a theater play for quite some time.

It was superb, superb in reminding me that I need to make an effort. It was a love story that admonished me to exert myself. I need this. For my own growth.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

War in Corregidor

My recent trip to Corregidor taught me a lot. I learned a lot of things about how the Filipino and American troops defended Corregidor against the many months of onslaught by Japanese planes. They succumbed 5 months later after heavy bombardment and depleting ammunition, supplies and medicines. The Japanese came with new weapons and relentless pursuit (with Kamikaze and all). Of course they did take over of Corregidor. But later on, the Americans came again to retake this small tadpole shaped land. And the Americans did this within a few weeks. When the Japanese felt their defeat, they (almost all) went inside the Malinta Tunnel and killed themselves together with all their firepower. And so McArthur was able to raise the Filipino flag above Corregidor once again.


The Lights and Sounds show inside the Malinta Tunnel bore witness to the events during II World War. It showed the courage and forbearance of those people who tried to defend their land and freedom. The ruins were preserved as they were. Ruins of the office buildings, housing, battery crock, tunnels, the old canons, the pictures, old flags, and other souvenirs of that time. There were pictures of surrender, of pain, of the wounded, of the death march in Bataan, and so many others. All of them proof of courage but at the same time the futility and senselessness of war. Why, oh why do people go to war?




Monday, June 06, 2005

Summer is gone

Scorching heat, sweaty body, parched throat. All of these are common for all of us who just experienced what was supposed to be the hottest summer ever in our history. Gone is the summer that many people cursed. It sapped our energy, made us eat the coldest desserts, and pushed us indoors where the welcoming coolness brought momentary comfort. Summer is gone. Gone also are opportunities to travel around, to discover new places, to bask under the warm sun while lounging along the sandy beaches of Boracay, to ride to Baguio with close friends.

Rain has fallen again. It brought cooler air. It brought respite. And yet, it also brought obstacles to the adventureous.

I await again the birth of summer.

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)