he first month of the year proved to be a little less inspiring than expected, yet in spite of the enervating moments there is so much more to be fascinated and titillated about in life that can pretty much be handed to the humanities to take care of. It’s the cliché, “the little things.’’ And if you ask me, I don’t believe in the cliché being too sordid. Look at me, this student architect attempting to live the ultimate dream of being a writer and a budding artist, yet is stifled by life itself, the many responsibilities caused by society’s expectations, and too many prying perceptions of people. That’s cliché. It is difficult to merely brush these off one’s shoulders especially on one who is involved and swims in an unavoidable sea of humans, humans we supposedly care about and have to deal with. Yet, a line as this comes to mind, “The world is filled with a lot of difficulties, but it is also filled with a lof of overcoming it.’’ And I do not mean difficulties that other people, the media, and society imperils on one, it too can be the difficulties one imperils on one’s self.
TABLE of contents
it comes in threes ART
The Sound of Art
Blu plus Blak
Art Trip, Trippy Art!
ILLUSTRATIONS: Raw & Small
A Wrapped Up Gilly Bean
DOWNTON DOWNTON DOWNTON
All Hail the Stupid
3: CINDERELLY, CINDERELLY
Befriend A Person Who Travels
Culled Out: Refresh
Dine in the Dark
LIVE PLAY: ENCORE & Feeding the Soul
DISCOVERY: Crowd Surfing
Kuwentong Kabataan Coups de High
ILLUSTRATIONS: Mornings & Afternoons & Evenings
it comes in threes Art begins it. Imagination is sparked to prod color and texture and unimaginable purpose to greet life gleefully with its strokes, frames, and abstractions. Here comes Film that moves and moves those that wish to be part, or not, in realms that could only be captured by some lenses, vignettes, and beautiful people, withal the sharp Music that belittles the very divine invention that is the human race. And the words, syllables that flow through each of the aforementioned, and the attempt to describe their meaning are for Literature. Oh, holy literature whose words cannot be fathomed, and whose commitment is to fill the soul, to fatten the heart, and to suck away at your emptiness.
A R T (n.) the discovery of who you are and why you are who you are
1 The Sound of Art Popping in local museums is to be a little more interesting and substantial with this initiative
o learn more there’s got to be a better way of learning, and to absorb a mighty tide of highfaluting paintings clad in expensively hung canvases, cordoned off for preservation, is more than unfriendly to those who are afraid to see beyond these. Art is for everyone, and no one is exempted from seeing and understanding the basic knowledge one can be given of it, even the blind – who for a shallow person may believe traditional visual art is as impossible a chance to see as a male’s chance to give birth. Tunog Sining, makes this possible, for anyone who is willing to know more about artworks that may mean to say something about the Philippines’ history, society (then & now), and of the nation’ s future. Basically, it is a website that offers a map of a museum and along with the locations of each artwork, the audio files are readily available to be listened to, at home, or even the museum itself. Currently, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is the first institution to subscribe to this innovative initiative and its existing displays are now available to be heard. Discover and be riveted. And yes, there is actually a “Met” here in the Philippines.
Art Trip, Trippy Art! Passionate and divergent Rachel Halili’s art and photographs – whether infused or independent of each other– would please and tingle the nomad within each of us.
wander around and see for yourself
Raw & Small a little watercolor can go a long way
2013 was gypsy year
Seeing one of Zaha Hadidâ€™s amazing structures in the flesh was more overwhelming than the city of Canton itself. (Guangzhou, China)
I think this is the most beautiful sunrises I will have ever seen in my life. Highest Peak of Luzon. (Mt. Pulag, Philippines)
The debilitating roofs atop one of the old structures in Intramuros was too picturesque to leave unnoticed. (Fort Santiago, Manila)
This woman in bustling Asakusa had such a classy outfit, I couldnâ€™t resist. Japanese women know style. (Tokyo, Japan)
From the Tibetan Mastiff to its stray dogs, Tibet has the cutest canines roaming around. (Lhasa, Tibet)
The first meal to one of the most exciting food trips was this. (Kathmandu, Nepal)
FILM (n.) that world we wish we were born in instead
photo from Sweet Lemon Mag
DOWNTON DOWNTON DOWNTON
With all the Austen novels down the drain of my brain, this British series has revived my penchant for the drama and follies of old English sensibilities and country life. And dammit, I want someone to call me “m’ lady”.
et in the Post-Edwardian era, spanning different moments in history, and such affecting the characters, the plot, and your feelings all at once is bloody impressive. It’s just that I love the way they talk, the way they dress, the set, the fact the mother is an American heiress, there’s a revoltuionary, there’s a feminist, MAGGIE SMITH, the cameo of Virginia Woolf, MAGGIE SMITH (again), the evolution of dress, the evolution of technology, the many deaths one will be shocked and not get over with for a while, Lady Mary’s eyebrows, and there’s so much tea!
zeal What makes a film touch me is the beauty with which the words evoke themselves in every scene and especially in the actors. These two films are so impassioned, so filled with zeal one cannot shake off the words that will hang inside your ears.
Into the Wild (2007) “HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.”
Dead Poets’ Society (1989) “CARPE DIEM. SEIZE THE DAY, BOYS.”
Cinderelly, Cinderelly At 19 years old, I still hold dear my Disney Classic film, Cinderella. That and still is one of the best animated history. For a film released at 1950, filmography was magnificent, Ah, the fit.
favorite below was momentsin its perfect
MUSIC (n.) life in beats
CULLED OUT: O
ne of the little things that fence a sane mind in a world as this is to create a selection of music; sometimes even based on a theme, based on a period in life. Whenever I write or create a piece of art or even while drafting, a certain playlist comes to mind, and it creates itself. Every month, I create one too. Here’s for the beginning of the year. Here’s to a clean slate. Refresh.
ys e k n o m ic t c r A s k c o s knee
-IN TO URIS T – BAN D OF HORSE S
i - Phoen
R L OVE
IT - rich aucoin
- T OM
ALL FALLS UN DER - KANYE VS, THE STROKES
ULDING O G IE L L E TS HEARTBEA Constant Conversations - PASSION PIT
CH F O OT
ES W IT
Brand New Day - Kodaline
OW E A R
ladly would I give my heart and soul... kill for this band. It is true that a certain savage fanaticism exists in me, and only for these French boys. Phoenix could well be the band whose lyrics shall escapre my lips and move my throat when I will have grown ancient and rusty. This foursome, or quintet – because I’ve already blessed Thomas Hedlund as one of the greatest drummers of all time– ensconced an irretrievable world of bliss and melancholy only their music can bring back. All the stars were not aligned the night I was to watch their concert. My shuffled playlist merely had to lay its blind hand upon Lasso to make me purchase a ticket, without any inch of guilt nor any qualms no matter if was going to be on a Tuesday. Yet again, the stars weren’t aligned that damned day – January 21st– and a super massive black hole of traffic was swallowing me up, not to mention an overheating Opel on the way to a very far place called the World Trade Center. I was almost losing hope in seeing them, but it couldn’t be. Once there, helped by the kindest of men, I parked anywhere I could, sprinted to the entrance, and cried at the very sight and sound of Thomas Mars. It was too much. Almost missing the concert was one, but having gotten there just in time before they may have left was a little too substantial for me. They didn’t leave and instead asked me, “Do you want more?” And yes I did. They sounded better than any recording or any recording of their live shows. It was a dream come true (the purest of pure dreams come purely true), as cliché as it is, ça ne me fait rien pas (I don’t care) . This is a band I would kill for, and I will see them again and again and again. And I will definitely not be late.
Feeding the Soul by A.B.
photo by Eddie Boy Escudero
have always looked up to Kate Torralba as a designer ever since I was a tween, and all my praise for her for rapidly reaching her life’s optimum level when I watched her perform during Tori Amos night in a garden café and bar called Conspiracy. While I was sitting on a quiet corner with a cold drink, she caught my attention as she set up her keyboard and performed her favorite Tori Amos songs with two songs from her first album, Long Overdue. Her melodies gloriously entered my ears and fed my soul. She was just oozing with pure musicality, and everyone was dazed with her quirky antics and extraordinary talent. She ventured out of the fashion world to her ultimate passion – music. She has been working on ‘Long Overdue’ for more than 5 years, making the album a collection of sad memos and unvented heartbreak. Her songs give off Marcy & Zina Cabaret Sampler feels, sedating you with melancholy and joy at the same time. Her song Pictures instantly became my favorite with its beat (it will make your head tilt from left-toright repeatedly) and its bittersweet message. With her gigs in the USA and a few countries in Europe, she has been giving out eargasms universally. She finds looking at the number of her followers/fans worthless, which adds to the making of a true musician. She transformed those bright colors in her designs into sunny tunes that will make your heart melt.
Discovery: Crowd Surfing
OPM is now on track more than ever. No more wracking YouTube for indie local bands.
usic festivals are hovering about every corner of the nation, yet when it comes to news about local gigs right near where one may live, it’s pretty difficult getting the details, right? Or how about wanting to dive into the wondrous and deep sea of obscure OPM, yet you don’t know where to begin? Ever heard of a social-networking site for artists and fans alike? This fresh and auspicious website created by Sophie Lizares is meant to sew the tear between local musicians and fans, and moreover flat out lasso the local music scene into your hands. From the budding to the fully fledged, this is the place where musicians and its rabid population Filipino followers can cross paths. Entirely linked to the artists and bands’ SoundCloud, Instagram, Twitter, and FB accounts, updates are definitely more organized and accessible to Filipino musicophiles any time, any where. Check it out and get bitten! www.soundbite.ph
LITERATURE (n.) the source of most things, if not everything
eggie Oh is quite the visionary, and a wonderful craftsman at that. Rubber mat backdrops, carved so intricately seemingly for mere display purposes, yet the loveliness of the idea is actually very revolutionary. She thought of teaching Filipino children one of the most important classical literature of this country, Noli Me Tangere through a puppet show and an interactive story book, wall of which she crafted with her bare hands. Much effort is manifested in the output, and it will definitely revolutionize the way teaching these supposedly sardonic lessons in the age of diminishing focus to the next generation. Too brilliant. http://oh-mg.com/
COUPS de HIGH by
creating these pieces is highly proportional to her incorrigible affection for cheese; riddle-like and daunting, these haikus will look for and find a spot in your gooey little heart
mornings & afternoons & evenings subsumed, we lie with these.
As we are aware in our turn of being swallowed by the serpent that digest us all assimilated ceaselessly... in
the universal cannibalism that leaves its imprint on every amorous relationship and erases the lines between our bodies.
That is such crap. How dare you be so fraudulently flirtatious, cowardly and dysfunctional? I am not interested in emotional fuckwittage. Goodbye.
itâ€™s just my generation trying to destroy the existing culture by spreading our own contagion.
r e d l o s i t a h t g n i h t y n a n w do you oyears old? ME. than 50 is the government too conservative in the way it supports the arts? I wish I had the interest to answer.
a n e e b e v a h t o n d l u o c e Ther e n o n s a w e r e h t t u b t h g i s lovelier t p a little boy e c x e t i e e s to who was staring in a window. H t t h e e h a d ecstasies innumerab can never k le that other child r n en o w ; b u looking th t h e was r o u g h the wind the one joy o f r o m which he mw at for ever ba ust be rred.
blu plus blak
photographed by LUNA FERUM
a wrapped up
confabulation Here we find a series of articles strapped together to possibly cause an inception of ideas, to be chewed at by your very mind, and be discussed with those who breathe the same intellectual airwaves you do. Chew, swallow, or even throw up. These are discussions, and you better be engaged. Confabulate!
All Hail the Stupid
by Tiny Chung
The world is now in reverse as the stupid run the world. How much brain power does it really take to be stupid?
o unsettling is this age of booming social media and the amazing Internet. I mean, it is so difficult to pick out those who are truly aware of something. Everybody’s stupidity seems to be veiled by the riled up ominiscience and support of a robotic friend. A campaign photo I have stumbled upon says this. “You’re not deep. You’re not an intellectual. You’re not an artist. You’re not a critic. You’re not a poet. You just have internet access.” It made me laugh and saddened me that it rings true for most, and I would not hold it against anyone who is internet-educated because the Internet is really an absolute tool for information, but not knowledge, and more over not wisdom. I remember my mom’s reprimand, “Do not always believe what you read.” Anyway, the point of this article isn’t about that, but how a culture of stupidity has created a platform for tolerance of stupidity. Observations of this kind could be more salient in the realms of everyday life and heard-about politics (I am no politician, yet I’m an active citizen of the world, moreover this country). I’m guessing it does take more mental effort to be stupid, and not the other way around. First of all, what is stupidity? Let’s flip the pages of a dictionary and it simply tells me that it’s “behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment; lacking intelligence; and intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge.” So it’s basically the acquisition of knowledge and/or good sense and applying them. And if you can’t
apply, then you’re probably STUPID–pardon the lack of a better term, because there is no euphemism nor a better term. Essentially, stupid is as stupid does. Exihibit A: Noynoy Aquino, the president of the Philippine Republic. I was seated amid my colleagues (a bunch of college students) when we discussed his being a shameless slug during and in response to the most NEFARIOUS tragedies that has befallen the country in 2013 and until now I guess, oh and how we threw in the righteous sidekick, Mar Roxas. The former fires a police chief who has been to the site of destruction for merely stating the gravity of the blow is a count of 10,000 dead, and where was he? As the havoc wreaked in Mindanao, where was he? Boxing with Manny Pacquiao, the sidekick confirms? Lack in intelligence (good sense), lack in application. Exhibit B: Junjun Binay. His recent stunt at the Dasmariñas Village was very crude, especially for a mayor. He is servant to the people, and those security guards he ordered to be detained for merely asking him to follow village rules should be his bosses. It was so simple to have just used the other gate, just spare a little more gas of your 4-SUV entourage to back up get your asses out of there and leave the place in peace, but no he had to make his pride ooze and stink bomb the place, threatening no one. NO KNOWLEDGE, NO APPLICATION. AND OMG WHY DO PEOPLE VOTE SO STUPIDLY. STUPID VOTING, STUPID RUNNING THE SYSTEM, THUS, STUPID IS ELECTED. So plain and simple, yet it isn’t, because, well, STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.
All Hail the Stupid by Tiny Chung
These disgusting exhibitions are that of stupidity’s need to complicate things that could be resolved quickly and simply. One merely needs to forget certain things in order to avoid these mad shows of daftness, like pride, maybe. Even if it kills you, simply doing tasks that are right seems to be a little more efficient than muddling things and appearing stupid. Just do what’s right, because the wrong way can be a path that can be uglier for you. Forget about your pride or you’ll end up looking stupid. Look at Noynoy and Junjun, repeating names, repeating stupidity. Stupidity arises from doing mental shortcuts too. Even conventionally smart people – relatively good in math, maybe even summa cum laudes – fall into the trap that is mental convenience and they rather choose to go the easy way, than the right way, which then leads them to stumble into a pit of complete folly. A small example could be this: I’ve been asked a question in a Psychology class regarding a candy and doughnut and that they total an amount of 20.50 php. The doughnut costs 20 php more than the candy, how much is the candy? I was so swift, so sure of myself, “0.50 cents, duh.” when in fact it was wrong. Try doing it mathematically. Such indolence. A bit of deductive reasoning might have done the trick, but carrying over that sense of self-assurance only led to a petty feeling of dimwittedness. Lastly, in support of these are the most taxing of all efforts; to hide unintelligence. Feigning knowledge is too common and so imperceptible anyone could be fooled. The blind leading the blind leading the blind... It’s a chain, and we have our trusty robotic friend to help us hide everything. A passage from Chuck Palahniuk’s book Lullaby seems to have captured this: “There are worse things you can do to people you love than kill them. The regular way is to just watch the world do it. The music and laughter eat away at your thoughts. The noise blots them out. All the sound distracts... Any more, no one’s mind is their own...
“You can’t concentrate. You can’t think. There’s always some noise worming in. All these little doses of emotion. Someone’s always spraying the air with their mood...With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind.” This can only go so far, and the contrivance only until the public eye. Do these stupid people ever pause before sleeping, and ruminate on what they have done during the day? Do they even personally reflect and see their folly is only going to lead back to themselves? I’d rather be truly stupid, work at it, try to have a better brain, than stay stupid while sheathed by an armor of intelligence (smart phone, internet). Anyway, how can I be worried? These people will crash into a wall someday, somewhere, somehow. Why should I be worried about them? I guess a wonderful opinion from the New Scientist magazine can cap this off. ‘If we want to avoid making similar mistakes in the future (be stupid), everybody – especially the most intelligent and powerful – would do well to humbly acknowledge their own weaknesses. To quote Oscar Wilde: “There is no sin except stupidity.”’ Amen.
Befriend a Person Who Travels by Sean Castro
They’re the best –and worst– in the world of friendship.
od, it irritates me. Versions of ‘‘Date a girl who... (writes, teaches, bakes...)’’ are increasing by the second. Originally stemmed from the satirical piece You Should Date an Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke, a surfacing of Date a Girl Who Travels and Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels has provoked a sharing craze and ranting craze. Both very interesting reads, and with everything that exists there is an opposition, so let’s accept that fact and get on with the situations given us. Nonetheless, looking at it from a farther angle, it boggles one how it should always be an imperative to date and not to befriend. It’s implying that every meeting (whether by kismet or of volition) with someone from the opposite sex is an immediate precursor to affection, and that of... love. Does it always have to lead to that? Cannot we be mere friends with these girls... or guys? Being a traveller myself and knowing these personalities, I’d have to say travellers are the kindest, could be the most condescending, yet no matter what, they’re the most interesting and the coolest of buddies. A friend who comes home to sunny Manila is a treat, whether from Scandinavia or India, there’s always a visual and insightful conversation. A rendezvous days, even months after an arrival is always exciting, because it’s too much a delight to hear what’s on his/her mind. The descriptions and reactions are far more enticing than the pictures already posted on Facebook or Instagram. Looking at the factors relayed on those articles, traveller friends are the best. And that’s no hyperbole because, in turning out those squalid biases regarding thos articles are very much applicable to friends, and that’s much better because one learns, withou any strings attached.
Imagine a friend who isn’t taken by surprise and sees all the disgusting things as life’s reality because she’s seen a corpse burning in a Hindi Temple, and Nepalese kids fishing for the same burning man’s gold on a supposedly holy river. An appreciation for life and our very own culture evolves out of this. Those tortures during holy week at the provinces are rad, and they put to rest ecstatic cries of abhorrence over gut-wrenching sights, even delusional. They’re not so keen about getting lost and even more so this galvanizes their spirits for a late night road trip or adventure. Sometimes it could even be very worrying that they talk to almost everyone, and that at least gains one more friends or more stories to tell. It feels more than heart-warming that sharing their travels seem more like an offering of themselves; of who they are. Travel tales reveal more of a person like them telling their day-to-day activities. A downside to the wonderful and down-to-earth friend are those worse than the snooty, self-absorbed friend. It’s the snooty, self absorbed friend who travels. Don’t theyjust love to rub the sand surfing in Dubai and the diving with whales in your face like you’ll never experience it in a million years. They think they’ve seen everything and will most likely pass on the chill nights at someone’s house or maybe even go to it, only to gloat. Indeed hard to please, yet why try to please them? Snooty friends, I love to compete with. There will always be people like that, and maybe one must take those pompous stories a way to be a better person, be inspired, top that friend at talking about places you’ve been where he/shesurely hasn’t. Either way, one will never be bored and with a jetsetter friend, life is a treat even in small doses, at least in this kind of companionship. Travelling is such a luxury not
Befriend a Person Who Travels by Sean Halili everyone can afford – at least the ones that take a thousand mile voyages, and across oceans. The travels experienced and SHARED by these friends are as valuable to one as the travel itself, or even a pasalubong. I’d pick the stories and tales alongside subzero beer over any present.
Dine in the Dark
by Lian Dyogi
Sometimes, it’s more fun without seeing what you’re eating for dinner.
could feel my heart beating against my I felt as if I was falling, my insides taking chest. Sweat was clinging to my palms and on a dive of a cliff to nowhere. The tug of my the soles of my feet. What’s going to happen? arms, which were still--stiffly--clinging to my mother’s shoulders, anchoring me to “Hi, is this your first Dine in the Dark experi- the present moment. I feared that my arms ence?” said the server kindly would be pulled out of their sockets if my mother were to walk fast. The weightlessWe all nodded our heads in fervor, my nod a ness started to consume me, feeling like it little more timid than my companion’s. With was leaving a whole in its wake. Before it a confident smile and a flourish of her hand, could fully consume, we were guided to our she began to explain what we just signed our- seats and as my bum hit the cushion of the selves up for. chair, it was as if my center of gravity had returned to me; like a star that had exploded Before we knew it we were being ushered up now imploding, springing back like a rubber the stairs into the darkness that was to be the band. dining room. I was safe. I was seated on a solid object. Holding onto each others shoulders, my sweaty palms now clinging to my mother’s shoulders Praise the lord. who was walking in front of me, we ascended the stairs. The dark was eating away at the Our server told us that we would be having light as we put one foot after another. When three meals: appetizers, the main course, we reached the landing it was pitch black and and dessert. We should be careful not to you could hear the darkness give an almighty spill anything on our clothes and to place burp, as it swallowed the last of the light. the saucers back where we found them. But of course that would be exaggerating because there was no sound. It was quiet--very quiet. The silence and darkness were battling for dominion over my hyper-aware senses.
Each of courses were served one after the other, in small square porcelain containers which were arranged in a diamond shape on a platter.
Of course all of this we had to feel and only guess. My nervousness settled in and mixed with excitement as I brought each dish close to my mouth and smelled and tasted as I had never experienced before. With the sense of smell and touch, an experience is immediate, intimate, and infinitely more personal. Without the ability of sight, I was able to truly enjoy my meal. I felt each piece coarse down my throat and move around in my mouth. I also didn’t have to worry about where I needed to go next or what came I after. It was wonderful. I rediscovered the joy of eating for the sake of eating. I rediscovered what it was to just be; savoring each morsel, letting the textures of the food coat your tongue. If we were not eating, it was silent most of the time. Funnily enough, not being able to see made the silence comfortable. Without the distraction of images, I didn’t feel the need to punctuate every beat of my existence with some sort of chatter. I could just enjoy my food and the presence of my family. ***** Breathing in, breathing out, my nervousness had long since left my body. I was relaxed and felt incredibly peaceful. The experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact it was far better than I ever imagined.
by RJ Dimla