Sunday, September 23, 2007

Different worlds

Avenue Q. The title itself I found intriguing. Is there really such a place? The synopsis seemed interesting. A young man just finished college and was about to enter the real world. On his own. Many of us have passed through the same initiation. It would be worthy to see how others faired in their experience.

It was remarkable how the creator pulled off the mixture of puppets representing people, puppets as monsters and people as people. I love best how the people holding the puppets are themselves demonstrating the emotions and body movements that the puppets are supposedly showing (if they could do so). I’ve gotten used to puppets being controlled by unseen hands. This style is refreshing.

The computer screen at the side of the stage was a walk down the memory lane. I did not grow up with Sesame Street nor with Batibot but the recitation of letters, the shouting of kids, and even the flashing of drawings were all derived from that style of television showing.

Admirable are the talents of the singers. Especially those who played two roles. The swift changes of tones and personalities. The sudden shift of movements and steps. The alteration of the facial expressions. And most of all, the changes of the voices. I think Rachel Alejandro really did a great performance in playing Kate and Lucy. Not really an expert in the musical scene, I don’t really know all of the cast but each one demonstrated great talent. I enjoyed the show.

I have to say though that I was kinda shocked with the content. A friend mentioned that somehow, it destroyed her memories of her childhood puppet shows. It is the same with me. I associate puppets with innocence and pure learnings. The show was clearly not. True, it could have been based on real life. These events could have happened to any one among us. It showed one possibility of how a young man (or woman) could experience and what he could get out of life.

I am thankful that there are other possibilities. It may not always be like that. There are various worlds. I like my world.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reality According to Hollywood

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place.

The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds—unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.

All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they will go off.

It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.

Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

—Brett Kays,

Thursday, September 06, 2007


When asked for his ticket, the man seated beside me loosely waived his left hand in the air. Asked by the ticket inspector for the second time, the same man answered, “I am a policeman.” Showing no emotion to such a declaration, the inspector proceeded to checking the next passenger’s fare tickets. Me, on the hand, had a different reaction, albeit it was all inside me. Hearing the policeman’s confident announcement, I can’t help but feel two distinct emotions.

The first one was fear. Growing here in our country, I imbibed this instinctive fear that our society normally endures when faced with their kind. This shouldn’t be the case. They are meant to protect us. Instead, we are trying to protect ourselves from them. We have become accustomed to hearing about corrupt and perverted versions of this group whose members were meant to serve the people. That is why, even when in a foreign land and I see those who are in uniform, I make it a point that there is a certain distance between us.

Revolt was the next thing I felt. How did carrying such an appellation ever mean that you get free rides on a public transportation? How can anyone trained to be in a uniform declare without shame that he is demanding as a right a service that must be paid? Pity, he was even carrying a hard-bound copy of the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

On the other hand, I have to lodge my own defense for them. They are underpaid and overworked (those who really work, anyway). The challenges they face are not rightly remunerated. Many of them have to live in squatter areas for lack of enough money to stay in pleasant neighbourhoods. Thus, I read somewhere, they absorb the culture of criminality of such locality.

I do not like hearing and seeing such wrongful practice. I hope I won’t be a witness of another one. I prefer to think, even if only on my perfect world, that they are in fact the models of our society.

Monday, September 03, 2007


For what amount of loss would you be so willing to be run over by a bus? Five million dollars? Five million pesos?? A million? Three hundred thousands? Or much less than that? How much do we value our savings that we would be desperate enough to end our lives?

A few weeks ago, I witnessed an old man as he tried to stop his wife from flinging herself in front of a moving bus. She was crying uncontrollably. She was in despair.

I knew the couple by sight. I see them every morning on my way to work. She sells candies and cigarettes while he minds the newspapers and racing bulletins. They were always there, rain or shine. I later learned that someone got away with all their money while she was buying some stocks for her little store. P800 as payment for the newspapers. P2,000 that she has been saving to buy plywood for the little house that she was planning to build. And another P1,000 for her medicines and their food.

For a loss of P3,800 she wanted to end her life. It seemed so small to us who are earning more. For some, it is just a small percentage of the monthly taxes that they pay. It may mean just a whole day’s shopping spree for a lady. Yet, this amount of money represented her whole life’s savings. To her, its loss seemed like the end of the world.

For many days, I saw her cry. Though she tried to wipe them away, tears were streaming down her eyes. One could see her utter sadness as she looks into nothingness.

I couldn’t help it but be disturbed by her situation. And of the many others who just try to survive on a daily basis. How do they last in this miserly world?

I am thankful that though my resources are not big, I can be one who is confident that my needs will be provided. The storehouses of my Father has endless supplies and He will meet what is required and even surprise me with wonderful gifts. I need not wear a blank face of hopelessness for I can look with expectation to my Jehovah Jireh.

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 (