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Showing posts from 2007

If you thrive on silence and love your lungs

... you will need these two essentials to survive new year's eve with your insanity intact. Although I would really much rather have this ALL TO MYSELF, without crowds, firecrackers, gunpowder smoke, or karaoke (how un-Pinoy somebody said)... May the new year bring us something wondrously new (though this is doubtful for as long as GMA is in power). Don't be a bore with a mobile phone when the midnight hour strikes. Be a person among loved ones. Look into their laughing (drunken) faces -- not into the screen of your mobile phone!!! And remember, make eye contact when saying cheers and clinking glasses. Cheers!


What stands out the most in the re-photography of Baguio in the Then and Now exhibit? The billboards of Juday, Robin, and other pale-faced matinee idols of the Philippine entertainment industry, enticing you to buy clothes, sunglasses, and tsinelas. Baguio people used to pride ourselves in being immune to the shallow fame of Manila's starirays. But now, theirs are the faces of Baguio as seen from the air. Our Mayor, Peter Rey Bautista, no longer needs to spend millions of pesos on another one of his stellar ideas: to make Session Road into a local version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The city as seen from the sky is already as baduy as it can get. But before we declare that there is no way Baguio can get any uglier, let us not underestimate the capabilities of our imaginative city government. Sao Paolo recently did things differently, but people can't seem to agree on whether the removal of billboards uglified or beautified the city. What do you think? Don't miss the

Church Powah!

I went to church today for the baptism of my inaanak, Armstrong. At the sermon during the mass prior to the baptism, the priest preached against divorce, contraceptives, and abortion, because "God wants all Catholic families to be just like the Holy Family." He said, "Even if 300 congressmen say that divorce is good, God still says that divorce is bad! Huwag natin pansinin ang mga conressman-congressman at senador-senador na yan!" Be afraid. Be very afraid. I felt a burning sensation in my skull, early warning signs of an oncoming migraine. I left early, thereby blowing my cover. Now everybody knows I'm the evil fairy godmother.

Next Christmas

Or the next time you wrap a gift, consider furoshiki ! Image credit: Ministry of Environment, Government of Japan. Follow the links! Look at Japan's Minister of Environment in 2006 , having a go with furoshiki. Oh Atienza , you've got a lot to learn about your post, baby!

Change Christmas Consumerism!!!

Is a Christmas without presents and all the accompanying garbage so mind-boggling? The only thing I really wish I could buy for xmas is a ticket to a country where xmas isn't forced down every orifice of the human body. There is something strangely liberating about this thought: Consider the possibility. These people did. If a Buy Nothing Christmas is too much to ask, how about a Zero-Waste Christmas then?

Baguio Then, Baguio Now

The exhibit could just as well be called, "What we have lost, and what we have replaced it with." But that's too wordy for an exhibit title. The show can be viewed in SM from today until January 30, 2008. For inquiries email:

Would you like some science with that?

Could we do this in Baguio? Would people be interested? I'd love to give it a try. My first guest would be the Nashman, who could tell us all about unanotechnology ! But first I have to get my life back from this #xxxsblgr@%*#grrr dissertation. Photo credit: Cafe Scientifique (first link above).


The Champion raced in full battle gear: pancake make-up and jolens-sized pearl earrings. So who says kikays can't kick ass on mountain bikes? She sure did! But does that mean I should start wearing make-up when I ride? Eeeeeewww. I'll leave that to those who can carry... MEEEOWWRRR! Photo by FGSLP. Thanky!

Dispatch From Coron

A text message came out of the blue today. Kumusta na, padma? regards mula sa coron island. And so I replied... Good a.m. po! Kumusta na po kayo dyan? Kumusta na ang coron island? And so I got this text dispatch from Coron Island: Mdjo ok lang kami d2 sa coron island. Kulang nalang ikaw at ang regalo ko sa pasko. hehehe. Mdjo malaki ang improvement ng coron kaya lang mdjo talamak ang bilihan d2 ng lupa. Grabi lalo na mga pulitiko. Kung d2 ka lang dami ka masulat sa news. bigas d2 ng NFA rice 23 ang kilo. Wala ka pa mabili kc ginagawang commercial rice. Ganun pa rin ang nangyayari kahit ancestral domain ang coron island? Ang coron island d nila kayang galawin kc napa title na namin kaya galit mga pulitiko. Inggit sila sa coron island. Ngayon ay TTCIA name ng coron island. Tagbanua Tribe Coron Island Association. TTCIA. At registered na rin kami sa SEC. Mdjo lumaban kami kaya titulo na buong isla padma. Buti naman. Naalala ko nung bumisita ako CADC pa lang po at hinihintay

Kamus Indonesia Inggris

Reading a dictionary as material culture can tell you a lot about a society. karya means 'work' or, depending on the context, 'opus' in Bahasa Indonesia. One of the root word's affixed forms is dikaryakan . It means to use a possession as a means of earning money. The example of usage in the Indonesian-English Dictionary by John Echols and Hassan Shadily goes like this: Mobil dinas mereka dikaryakan. Malam-malam dipakai sebagai taxi . In English: They are earning money with their official cars. They use them as taxis in the evenings . In conversations with Jakarta taxi drivers and Kalimantan villagers I was often told, not without a hint of pride, that in 2003 Indonesia was the Number One corrupt country in the world and the Philippines was only Number Two. (I wonder where they all got the figures from.) When I ventured that things were just as dire in the Philippines as in Indonesia, they countered that nothing could be as bad as korupsi in Indonesia. Apparently

The polite language of the new rule

People don't get arrested anymore. They get "invited". And then they get "processed", like canned meat. What exactly do the officers of the PNP mean, when they say that people are being "invited for processing"? It sounds so benign, it's got to be a lie. Meanwhile, in Shoemart, a sign at the entrance asks us to kindly "submit" ourselves to the routine security inspection. And we are only too willing. What the hell are we coming to?

Cordillera Youth Eco Summit

Organized and funded by the Cordillera Green Network December 1 at the Baguio Convention Center 2pm Lecture on Environmental Education by Dr. Syusaku Minato, The Kiyosate Educational Experiment Project (KEEP), Japan. 5pm Ecological Community Theater Festival AANAK DI KABILIGAN (Children of the Mountain) Teatro Kabbakab (Hapao, Hungduan, Ifugao) Aanak Chi Kabilbiligan Abra Amdec Cultural Ensemble (Bucloc, Abra) 7pm Planet Love concert by KURI (Japan) Playbacktheatre Rashinban (Japan) and Agi (Kabayan) December 2 at Baguio Convention Center 2pm Lecture on Sustainable Development by Mr. Takao Okemoto, KEEP, Japan 4pm Ecological Community Theater Festival AANAK DI KABILIGAN Kalinga Treasure (Pasil, Kalinga) Tanghalan Niyal ni Kabayan (Kabayan, Benguet) Obon di Malayad (Lubon, Tadian, Mountain Province) Guest Performers: KURI (Japan) and Playbacktheatre Rashinban (Japan) December 9 at 1pm in VOCAS, La Azotea, Session Road Impromptu theater workshop for living with nature by Playbacktheatre


A post From the Boondocks about child abuse has prompted me to share this striking poem on a difficult subject, by Chinee Palatino of Ubbog: TAGU-TAGUAN tagu-taguan wala pa man ang buwan Pumanik kami sa hagdanan Dahan-dahan. Lumalangitngit Baitang na dinaraanan. pagsapit ng tatlo nakatago na kayo Doon. Doon kami nagtungo Sa may banig at kulambo ‘Di pa naliligpit ng lola ko Isa… dalawa… tatlo! Apat. Apat na taong gulang na’ko Si tito, dise-otso Siya ang kalaro ko. Mata niya’y nakaluwa Payat. Humpak ang mukha Nangingitim ang labi,Nanggigitata Nganga. Subo. Kasama po ba ‘to sa laro? Parang malabnaw na sipon Sa bibig ko naiiipon Nakakaduwal. Nakakasuka. Buka. Buka pa. Kumikirot na po. Pilit na isinusuksok ‘Di naman kasya. Namamaga na. Papanaog na sa hagdanan Tapos na tagu-taguan Sa araw na kainitan Bakit ‘di ako natagpuan? CHINEE PALATINO, along with fellow Ubbog members Junley Lazaga, Rachel Pitlongay, Rommel de Guzman, and Clifford

Re-think pink

I can't explain why I chose pink for my blog. I have hated pink ever since the day my grade one teacher told me in front of all my classmates that blue could not be my favorite color because I was a girl. She insisted that my favorite color had to be pink. We had a small debate about this. I don't remember who won, but I decided that "pink-for-girls" and "not-for-girls" had to be two of the stupidest rules of the adult world ever and I was going to break them every chance I got. "Pink, pink, you stink," became my favorite taunt for girls that I thought were "too girly" because they followed the rules. On my 8th birthday I went to school in a blue, glittery disco suit that might have landed me a spot as an extra in Staying Alive. (I was in love with John Travolta.) As I grew up, I consistently rejected and passed on every pink gift I ever received. But now! Now I have a pink blog. By choice! My tatay is sure that I chose pink just to irrit


In lieu of last Saturday's full moon, which was hidden by Mina's storm clouds, here is a wonderful pomme de terre written in Ilocano by Junley Lazaga, a member of Ubbog. Patatas Ket patatas nga naukisan iti bulan daydi umuna nga lawas ti Oktubre, sibubuo ket amarilyo; Ken dagiti kudilna nga nagalip-sina ket ti daga nga taltalunen kadagiti bakrang ti bambantay; Patatas ket iti bulan idi diak makaturog rinabii, Ukisna ket idi iti daga di adda kadagita sadya; Kas iti patatas iti bulan tinaripatok ket inug-ugasak sakbay isab-it iti langit ti arapaap; Patatas ket met ita nga tinubuan kadagiti mata iti bulan nga puson iti pagbalinanna. The Tagalog translation, by the poet: Patatas At patatas na nabalatan ang buwan noong unang linggo ng Oktubre, buo at dilaw; At ang mga balat nitong nahiwa-hiwalay ay ang lupang sinasaka sa mga tagiliran ng mga bundok; Patatas ang buwan noon di ako makatulog gabi-gabi, Balat nito noon ang lupa noong nasa iyong ta

Ribbed, Dotted, Strawberry or Durian?

One of the most memorable things I ever saw in Jakarta was a bus with a condom ad emblazoned all over it's side. In bright pink, green, and yellow letters it promised pleasure and variety in its line of different shapes and flavors of rubbers. (Nash, don't chastise me. I know rubbers are erasers in Oxford.) On this particular bus, the highlight of the ad was The Durian Condom. A giant durian was painted on its rear end. I couldn't figure out from the ad whether it was a durian-spiked condom, a durian-flavored condom, or both, and whether the condoms were available on that bus line. Much to my disappointment, the durian condom was out of stock in every drugstore, grocery, and warung in which I looked and asked. It is either extremely popular, or a total myth, or I was hallucinating. By the way, unlike the Peelipins, where we are still sooo 19th century about sex, Indonesia has a policy of two-children-only per family and this is kept in place by the easy availability of birt

Mariannet Amper and Vachel Lindsay

He could have written this for her . The Leaden-Eyed Let not young souls be smothered out before They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride. It is the world's one crime that its babes grow dull, Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed. Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly, Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap, Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve, Not that they die, but that they die like sheep. by Vachel Lindsay


I don't seem to have anything original to say these days (did I ever) so here is one of my most favorite poems ever, plucked out of my bible, Staying Alive: Real Poetry for Unreal Times. For a Five-Year-Old A snail is climbing up the window-sill into your room, after a night of rain. You call me in to see, and I explain that it would be unkind to leave it there: it might crawl to the floor; we must take care that no one squashes it. You understand, and carry it outside, with careful hand, to eat a daffodil. I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails: your gentleness is moulded still by words from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds, from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed your closest relatives, and who purveyed the harshest kind of truth to many another. But that is how things are: I am your mother, and we are kind to snails. FLUER ADCOCK

I finally did it

When I started working on my bloody dissertation, DearD warned me that I would be asked a thousand times: "So what are you working on? What are you writing about?" Her sage advice was to think up three simple sentences that would sum it up nicely. For the first time in the past six years (SIX? WTF?!), three sentences came out of me effortlessly when the dreaded questions were addressed to me by a friend I hadn't seen in years, who, he updated me, now grows chemical-free, non-gmo, traditional rice varieties in Tabuk. Ashamed somewhat of the seeming uselessness and pretensiousness of what I do by comparison, I said, while squirming: "I've been looking at what happens when indigenous peoples' rights are combined with environmental issues in protected areas. My basic questions are, what happens to indigenous peoples' daily lives, and what happens to environmental problems when you put the two together? That's it." Actually that's just two wh

Random Diss Excerpt #8

"Our work depends on nature. If it floods, then we can build canals and float logs out. If there are no floods then we have to build a jalan kuda [which is a handbuilt railway made of hardwood, over which logs are manually dragged out of the peat swamps].” -- Indigenous logger in Central Kalimantan To any environmentalist, this statement may seem like a contradiction. How can one speak of interdependence with nature, and yet destroy nature by cutting down trees? For the Ngaju however, there is no such contradiction. Environmentalists may label certain aspects of the current livelihood repertoire of Ngaju Dayak as destructive, but Ngaju Dayak in the village of Baun Bango consistently describe their work and their livelihood as being interdependent with nature. "When I'm in the village I get restless. But I'm happy when I'm in the forest because that's where my work is. When I'm in the forest, i don't feel uneasy. I always know exactly what to do. I feel

Self-Professed Antipatikos

If you're in town, it's worth climbing the six flights of stairs in La Azotea to see the works of these two antipatiko artists and to have a cup of brewed coffee in the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space. The show hangs til November 21. If you're lucky the artists themselves may be hanging about and they might even let you buy them a cuppa. Mark Dungaw has found religion. Demi del Rosario, proud to be pagano.

Creative journal writing workshop offered

THE Baguio Writers Group will conduct a creative journal writing workshop Nov. 23-24 at the Episcopal Church in the Philippines Mission Center's conference hall on 356 Magsaysay Ave., Baguio City. The workshop, which starts Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m. and resumes on the 24th at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., is open to college students and adults who would like to learn the discipline of keeping a journal and drawing writing and other artistic ideas from it. Facilitators are Prof. Grace Subido, who teaches literature and writing courses at the University of the Philippines Baguio, and Merci Javier Dulawan, a teacher-writer enrolled in advanced studies to enable her to teach the Ira Progoff method of journal writing. Twenty slots are open for participants. Workshop fee of P1,200 covers handouts, snacks, lunch and certificates. To reserve call or text Babeth Lolarga at 0916-242-1637.#

Bon Voyage!

Baguio boy photographers Ruel Bimuyag and Dave 'Kulot' Leprozo have flown to Arizona to participate in the exchange program of Through Each Others Eyes , an organization of Arizona-based professional photographers that promotes cultural understanding through photography ek-ek. They will spend two to three weeks there getting trigger happy (with their cameras, of course!), hosted by local photographers. Next year, two photographers from Through Each Others Eyes will come to Baguio where Ruel and Kulot will host them and assist them in shooting our beloved dugyot city. When the exchange is completed an exhibition of the photos will be shown in both Baguio and Phoenix. Yipppeeee! Something new to look forward to! Here are my favorite mug shots of da boys Ruel at play in Sadanga, 2006. Yes that is a human jawbone. Kulot at play in Baguio, 2003. Yes those are his horns showing.


Everybody's talking trash these days. It's a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, but I must, lest I be "sunctioned" by our barangay chairperson, who issued an administrative order with instructions for waste segregation last month: Tie a red ribbon around garbage bags containing "nabubulok". Tie a blue ribbon around garbage bags containing "biodegradables or garbage that can be sold". (Ha? What part of the 3 R's did I not get?) Tie a yellow ribbon around garbage bags containing "residuals or di nabubulok". Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree. At last! At last! At last! Baguio is implementing a serious waste management program! (But I can't help but wonder, what's the barangay going to do with all those ribbons?) At last! At last! At last! All the waste segregation my mother drummed into our skulls since early childhood will actually mean something beyond the gates of our home! But the all or nothing style of

Baguio Poor?

My post on Stand Up Against Poverty unexpectedly got a debate started on whether or not people in Baguio are poor! Are we or are we not? Are they or are they not? Are you or are you not? Lisa wrote a long piece on her blog, re-examining her definition of poor , and explaining her own attitudes towards 'it'. Be sure to read the comments too! Here is what Stand Up Against Poverty is all about. I think it's a little bit more than just a worldwide whine. I've read several relevant posts by Bill Bilig, that may not deal with the definition of poverty directly but this post on vegetable farmers and this post on hunger, for example, add on more dimensions to the way we could approach a debate on 'poor or not'. Comments on Bill's blog are also well worth the extra minutes. My own piso-mind shall remain in the comments boxes. I do not feel entitled to speak on the matter at length, although I know people who could speak from experience and I wish they wo


I love that word. In the market today I checked out the Stand Up Against Poverty concert organized by Baguio's Primary Eventologist for Socially Relevant Events, Frank Cimatu . It took a long time for the sound system to be set up to the satisfaction of the musicians, so for a long time every one was just on Stand By, not knowing what they were Standing Around For or Against. When the sound system was finally ready, emcee Choy explained that they were there to make a statement against poverty and to demand that the government take concrete actions to make poverty history in the Philippines. At first there was no reaction from the men and women standing in the crowd in their aprons and rubber boots, who had just taken a break from scrubbing carrots. But when the petition was passed around people readily signed it. The crowd applauded when the band Binhi took the stage, made of several comboys' karitons. The party against poverty began. Elsewhere, Environment Secretary

World Pwetry Day

One of my most favorite poems: Wild Geese You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles in the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things. by Mary Oliver

World Blog Action Day

"This year's theme is the environment." "On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future." Yeah right, says my cynic voice. The environment is not just a day's theme, or a month's theme, or a year's theme, or a decade's theme, or a theme park we know as "Nature". It's the atis I had for breakfast. It's the stench of the neighbor's burning garbage every evening. It's the sound of rivers rushing and cars roaring. It's the triumph of getting what we want, and the anguish of losing what we love. Ashes to ashes. It's you. It's me. It's all of us and we're all of it and we're full of shit.

World Idiots' Day

Almost daily.

Panagrenga 7

One last, in case you aren't already tired of all these pine-scented rengas. This one was started by Alfred Yuson: Revive the scent of pine A scent of love and life The pine's scent, mundane yet surreal The scent covered by buildings Yes revive, revive the conforting fragrance of years gone past Pillars of spirit feed the spring Let the trees contort Joyce Kilmer into spring Misty pines, shadowless Rise up once more and embrace us With your warmth, with your protection Live, O Great Pine Much more than a tree It's this mountain's spirit. Contributors: Arci, Charity, Chinee Palatino, Bianca Santos, Karla Delgado, Frank Cimatu, Rishab Tibon, and Peter, who wrote two stanzas instead of just three lines.

Panagrenga 6

This one begins with a line from Ed Maranan: (Hoy Nash, kilala ka daw nya.) the short fuse sputters, the days are dire but still my hunger for learning's desire and thirst for drops from the skies to clear heaps of grey, hurry to the west! lean fields of silenced myths grow desire For mists in the middle of the day, despite the sun. despite the moon, it's dry in the middle of the night. The contributors: Justine Jovero, Jette Dumpayan, Freda Dao-ines, Junley Lazaga, Rachel Pitlongay, Melvin Magsanoc.

Panagrenga 5

This one was started by Priscilla Macansantos, mathematician, poet, Chancellor of UP Baguio: In summer I dream of water There's the bride's veil flowing in Kennon Where a dip reminds of laughter and childhood And a native lass numbly walks eyes all ablaze in the morning sun The water kisses her feet But she would rather choose to be abandoned in the sun. The contributors to this poem: Annaliza Lopez Nauyac, Melisa Therese N. Malingan-Sapdoy, Marilyn Cayabyab, Ida del Mundo, Chanelle Kim.

Panagrenga 4

This one was begun by Francis Macansantos: There is only one river or one tree The words make you shiver voices that are free While spirits are laughing, And thunderbolts a-crashing The heart shuddering, that day, remembering Remembering that ring of fire Where no one knows what's low or higher I love the way you pronounce "intertextuality" Far in a land where stars are low doan How you clucked your tongue unshivers me. The contributors to this poem: Raja Shanti, Solana Perez, Mercy Hong, Frank Cimatu, and Rishab Tibon.

Panagrenga 3

This one is from Marra Lanot: A scent of pine passing through the wind Just like lost loves fleeting with time Or like gentle lips that kiss the edges of my nostrils Memories spill from the cup of my thoughts, swirling away like steam A scent of pine piercing through the mist like a ghost drifting in the wind A stone drops from a tree Upwards to be free. Second to third lines are from: Baboo Mondoñedo, Solana Perez, Feliz Perez, Tann Arvisu, Raja Shanti, Kai Yulo.

Panagrenga 2

This one was started by Sid Hildawa: You come to me like scent of pine Hoping to leave the armpits of Manila And expecting a feast of sun-dance picnics And inebriating spirits emerging from misty conversations. A scent I'll be, a scent of me To return again, knocking at your door To turn to fragrance the acrid score. Second to seventh lines were written by: Frank Cimatu, Merci Dulawan, Grace Subido, Rishab Tibon, Abigail Torreliza, and Junley Lazaga.

Panagrenga 1

Nope, that is not a typographical error. Panagrenga it is! A celebration to rival the Panagbenga's frivolity and utter uselessness! At the poetry symposium held two weekends ago ( hardest hangover to shake off ever -- so far!), we had a renga experiment. A renga is a Japanese form of poetry in which the first three lines are composed by one person, and the next two lines are composed by another. We broke these rules of course. We asked the seven poets to start one renga each on seven sheets of paper, and we passed the sheets of paper along through the audience asking them to write a line or two each. Thankfully, we ended up with seven rengas with seven to ten lines each, instead of seven rengas with 50 lines each. (We had about 50 participants in all.) Here is the one begun by Marjorie Evasco: Pine, the word to name the tree and a longing Pine, so much more than a scent; it is our being Pine covered up by wires and walls Pine slowly enveloped by mounds of rubble Let your cool nee


Corinna came into town and left me with gifts: a conversation stretched across three days that covered the ten years we didn't see each other, laughter, news of old friends I'd lost touch with, thoughts on writing, and home-made pesto and buttered mushrooms in the fridge, and a link to a story she wrote that made my day. When everything is polluted beyond redemption, memory-evoking scents in sachets will be the new addiction.

Living Dangerously

Photo by VJP. Thank you! To Do or To Be is Done and I have decided that proximity to poets is dangerous, especially when you put at least seven of them (let alone 60) in a room. Every Thing that holds the fabric of daily life together falls away, one loose thread after another. Quotidian necessities and glad responsibilities -- the bed, the toilet, the child, the breakfast with coffee, the lover, the roof, the bulb, the oven -- cease to matter and sweet dreams of writing poetry, fiction, and single act plays attain a once-forgotten gravity. Illicit affairs and anguish become nearby possibilities and irrevocable departures no longer seem fearful. The steady plod of a life of calm, contentedness, and reason becomes untenable all over again. That was the promise of Saturday. But I refused to let go. Instead, I drank whisky and I danced. These two coupled are easy, temporary escapes. Sunday came with a hangover that was pleasurable for all it signified about the day before. Monda

Missed Call

Smart and Globe probably make millions a day from hundreds of thousands of text messages flying through the networks that say nothing but "YES" or "OK". What a waste of 300 alloted characters per text message, and what a waste of millions of pesos. If enough of us cellphone-dependents were to agree that 1 missed call without follow-up means YES or OK (instead of just texting 'yes' or 'ok'), we'd deprive Smart and Globe of profits they don't really deserve because when you get down to it their service sucks and they subject prepaid users to highway robbery. But even better than that, you might just save enough pesos to buy us a beer a day, and that would make us very happy :o) Spread the idea!

Poetry gig

Poster designed by Baguio-based artist and arnis teacher, Rishab. The poet-speakers will read samples of their own works and talk about how they get their creative juices going, how they write their poems, or how the poems happen to them. TWENTY PESOS ONLY! SEATS STILL AVAILABLE. If you're interested, text the BWG number above.

Jazz gig

Poster designed by Baguio-based artist and arnis teacher, Rishab. This came in the mail today. An open invitation from the Baguio Writers' Group to a night of good music in Baguio! It's scat time. "Jacqui Magno, known for her incredible range and versatility, is the main act in the Baguio Writers Group invitational concert “Jazz for Tonight” on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Par 7 of Baguio Country Club, South Drive, Baguio City. There is never any doubt that Jacqui is going to hit that note or weave through a trill. Taking music as an art not to be compromised, she used to be concerned with lyrics and melody. But now she has broadened her perspective, she creates music or just jams along. In the words of one journalist, “Jacqui’s style is fiercely individualistic.” Today Jacqui and jazz are practically synonymous. Mellowed by her years of search, she scatted her way into her real love: jazz. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Magno) The other pe

Random Diss Excerpt #7

Spoken by a Kalanguya elder at a negotiation on the ancestral domain boundary between Kayapa and Kabayan: "Sometimes all these debates we have here are just caused by politics. Now, if we were to speak of ancestral domains... if we were to speak of Huyucto, this is where my grandfather, Ubbang, is buried. His kinnaba (fallowed swidden fields or former camote swiddens) are here in Gisgisan and Pallunan. They did not reach Yutuyot. It makes me sad that people who are far from these places are trying to dictate on me and tell me that what I am saying here is unacceptable. So hopefully, those of us who are living here and who are affected, wherever it is we want this [boundary] to go, that's where it should go."

Good Muzak

Music to match your mood ; any mood. Spot on almost every time, except for when you click somewhere in the vicinity of energetic and choose the genre funk and it strings five Michael Jackson songs in a row. What the funk?!? Three songs that never fail to make me smile 1. I don't wanna grow up by Tom Waits 2. Blister in the sun by The Violent Femmes 3. Wild thing by Jimi Hendrix

Not yet Nightfall

This came in the mail today, from tita Babeth Lolarga, President of the Baguio Writers' Group. For whatever it's worth, I'm posting this here. If you happen to know sir Nap, or if you know someone who knows him, please pass this on. Please help NAPOLEON JAVIER, Nap to us in Baguio and former general manager of DZEQ, Radyo ng Bayan. Three weeks ago he was felled by a stroke and has been at the intensive care unit of the Notre Dame Hospital on Gen. Luna St., Baguio City, since then. A few days ago his vital signs started to stabilize, but he's not yet out of danger. Meanwhile, his hospital bills are mounting and his daily medicines amount to almost P10,000 a day. Nap is a friend of artists and writers. He helped organize the visual artists' group Tahong Bundok and is a founding member of the Baguio Writers Group (BWG) along with Cirilo Bautista, Luisa Igloria, Butch Macansantos and Gabriel Keith. When the BWG was revived last year, he took it upon himself to

Trés cool

No wait, it's tres bizarre... No wait... I can't decide whether this is utterly cool or utterly bizarre. T.S. Eliot almost sings... to the music of Portishead! We likes it though, yes we do!


What Bali can do with cement... Baguio can do too!!! Three cheers for Baguio! (That's all I have to say. Making up for previous, wordy, picture-less posts.)

This will probably be the only Tagalog post on this blog ever

So this is what my writing looks like in Tagalog... A synopsis written with high school teachers in mind, translated from English by Karlo Altomonte, for a play directed by Karlo Altomonte, staged by Open Space Productions. A play by Paul Dumol featuring Ferdie Balanag, Jojo Lamaria, Mel Sabado, Roman Ordoña, Joenas Galinato, Syrel Amazona, Ana Degollacion, Eunice Caburao, Candice Degollacion, Wow Pidlaoan, Joel Genove, Shunjen, Jun Balitan, Rhoda FIangrayan, Jaja Lamaria, Charlene David, Hanna Camiring. The play premiers on August 23, at 6:30pm, in the Bulwagang Juan Luna, U.P. Baguio. ANG PAGLILITIS NI MANG SERAPIO Isang dula ni Paul Dumol Sino si Serapio? Bakit siya nililitis? Ano'ng paki-alam natin? Sa unang limang minuto pa lang ng paglilitis ay tatambad na sa atin ang krimen ni Mang Serapio. Ang pagkakasala niya ay pag-aaruga ng bata. Oo, ang pag-aaruga ng bata ay isang krimen. Unti-unting magkakaroon ng liwanag ang akusasyong ito sa pag-usad ng kwento. Si Serapio ay is

Food plug

THIS is the best lettuce to be found in Baguio and La Trinidad, grown by the farmers' cooperative known as the La Trinidad Organic Practitioners, or LaTOP. THIS is how to turn a perfectly healthy, organic bunch of pako or wild fern into junk food. Fry your luncheon meat to a crisp, then stir-fry the fern in the fat from the luncheon meat. Luncheon meat available at your neighborhood sari-sari or "convenient" store. (The latter, spelled just like that, are sprouting all over the place.) Red wave lettuce, romaine, arugula, talinum, spinach, pechay, wild fern, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, cherry tomatoes, lemons, lemon grass, basil, oregano, and lots of other scrumptious, healthy, farm-fresh, chemical-free, fiber-rich goodies available at the Organic (mini) Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, at the Cafe by the Ruins Gazeboo. LaTOP also has a stall in the La Trinidad public market. (Sige na nga, they also set up the mini-market in Mario's on Wednesday and Satu

I flex my formal letter writing muscles

Dear Mr. Bandonill, Warm greetings! Please allow me to comment on your column of 29 July 2007. In it you stated that the Ambuclao Dam is one of the few remaining pristine parts of the Philippines, unaffected by global warming, and that "It is a place where nature truly preserved itself from the destructive actions of man." I simply wish to point out that a large dam IS one of the most destructive actions of man. Of all the energy-producing technologies available to us today, dams are the most damaging to humans and the environment. If you will recall, many families were displaced by the building of Ambuclao dam. They lost their land and their homes. To add insult to injury, it took a long time before the communities that remained around the dam received electricity, years after the dam began supplying power to the lowlands. The river has been destroyed and the siltation of the dam is evident to the naked eye. I ask you please not to allow the proliferation of the idea

In Memoriam

Today is Tihani's birthday. What I remember vividly of her is her laugh, a sharp staccato. On fridays and saturdays we'd start the night at Rumours with a double vodka tonic each. Then we would trek over to the now-defunct but still missed bar called Perk and guzzle several beers, yakking and cackling the night away. She was convinced that I was a witch, and I was convinced that she was psychic and not entirely benign herself. As a lark one valentine's day we booked a table at the Cafe by the Ruins and boisterously laughed our way through dinner, which made the mushy couples in all the other tables squirm uneasily in their seats and send dagger looks in our direction. We were oblivious. We were comfortable. Screw valentine's day games, we said. I also remember the pained look that would cross her face when we got to talking about life's biggest trials -- the families we were born into, the income we didn't have yet, what we really wanted to do in life (we didn&#

Excuse me?

Guillermo Bandonill Jr. writes in his column, Circumstantially Factual, in this week's Midland Courier: "The talk of global warming has everyone at the tip of their sensitivities. With the unpredictability of the seasons, brought about by the sudden change of weather conditions, the world is truly alarmed at the rate the environment is being disturbed by man-made activities. Yet, despite the advent of climate change, there remain some pristine areas in this part of the world, which, so far, have remained undisturbed and unaffected by the phenomena of global warming. One such place is the Ambuclao dam located in the municipality of Bokod, Benguet." There's more. This one's the clincher: "It is a place where nature truly preserved itself from the destructive actions of man." Ummm, what part of "global" does he not understand? And what part of the history of Benguet in particular and the history of dams in general has he conveniently glosse

The Kibungan Quilting & Patchwork Club

This group is the result of a serendipitous meeting between Lars Kjaerholm, a visiting anthropologist from Aarhus University in Denmark, and Mayor Benito Siadto of Kibungan. They decided to organize a modest "Benguet Symposium" in which different people could get together simply to share information on what is known and what has been written about Benguet, and what we don't know yet. It was a small and relaxed gathering. Mayor Benito Siadto came with five members of his LGU, including daughter Bren, a UP graduate who is now working as his secretary. Academicians in attendance were Lars, Professors Myrna Sison of Benguet State University and Ike Pikpikan of St. Luis University, both of whom are also members of Maksil ni Ibaloi (MAKNIBA), Professors Caster Palaganas and Letty Tolentino of U.P. Baguio, and yours truly, phd wannabe. The local media was represented by Chi Balmaceda-Guitierrez, Jack Carino, and Dave Leprozo. Prof. Ray Rovillos, Dean of the UP Baguio College of