Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Feb. 21: The Writer's Bar at Raffles Makati

Pre-event selfie with the lovely bookshelf and its even lovelier collection of books.  

Well-done chandelier. Though I've seen better in my years spent with magazines, coffee-table-books, books, etc. 

National Bookstore's host conversing with Mitch Albom. I was seated way at the back, in front were society-elites.  

Mitch Albom with "Lola Socorro"

Selfie with Janine, who was kind to everybody who asked for one. 


Stolen selfie with Mitch, and the beautiful series of artworks in his back.

Selfie my way to the perfect selfie.

Obviously, I'm wasn't the only one who was doing it.

Took this for it's lovely background, Janine and "Lola Socorro" conversing intently. 

The rapport was magnetic. Hard not to notice. 

I was trying to find something in my Camera Roll when I discovered this cache of photos I forgot to share with you, my readers. It happened way back, on a lovely day, I saw Mitch Albom, with his wife Janine, and the one-and-only Socorro Cancio-Ramos, the co-founder of National Bookstore-whom I just adore for her passion, determination, and work-ethic. Seeing the visionary who created the country's bookstore conglomerate wasn't initially in the itinerary, or at least how I was lead to believe.

For those of you who might not know who Mitch is, and for whatever reason feel like not google-ing him, he is the internationally-bestselling author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven (sold at least 35 million copies and translated to 35 languages)Tuesdays with Morrie (14 million copies sold so far and has been published in 41 languages)For One More Day, and Have a Little Faith

In the private book-singing event (which was meant to promote his newest book yet, The First Phone Call from Heaven) he shared with the audience anecdotes from his career, his love for his wife-Janine, the power and necessity of hope, his best-friend and fellow international best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club (love the film, soon will read the book) Amy Tan, his love of music, and the value of hard-work, the importance of appreciation, and shared quips of his writing habits, lastly, he talked about how he ended up where he is now.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Transcendent Life of Second-Hand Books

As a big fan of second-hand books, I occasionally stumble upon gems, and I'm not talking about a book's content-well sort of. Indications of its past owner, used as a bookmark, mostly, but rarely, also more personally-revealing ones, such as notes, and actual names are prizes given by the universe to the present owner as a way of giving gratitude for having saved valuable resource by recycling-what? 

I frequent bookvana, in the form of Booksale. I don't always buy, but my weekly pilgrimage there, feels very much a necessity for someone like me. My love affair with books have been long-running since I can even remember. A book can take you places you've never been. A book can make you realize things you thought you never have to ponder on. A book can turn a depressive into the most opimisitic person in the world. A book can help you escape the travesty of living in a Third World country. A book can help you move out of that Third World country. A book can save a life. A book can help you formulate your dreams. A book can do a lot of things, but on a rare occasion, when you thought its mere existence was enough, it surprises you further.

I have never had problems buying second-hand books, although the typical antique dilemma give you the occasional fright. What if the last person who used this was this or that, what if, basically a long list of what ifs. But I have always had the conviction that money and books were exempted from this spiritual questions, which quite frankly, I never thought was part of my decision making process inside second-hand bookstores. What about old libraries? What about paintings? Objet d'arts? Basically, it's not an issue. The books in themselves are enough to lift my spirits, minus the existential angst of hoping not to commit tsundoku, and to manage the desire of the bibliophile in me, is enough of a piece of heaven. But still it never stops giving gifts. The occasionally hints of its previous owner provide a romantic opportunity to imagine its past.

I don't take for granted the ability of second-hand books in giving a sense of sentimentality because a clue from another person's life is enough to make one wonder how amazing it is that it's in your hands now. Granted, you don't know that previous owner, whether you even like them if you'd known them. But isn't it nice to know that in spite of that, a feeling of gratitude leaves you humbled by the idea that thanks to heir trash, or perhaps intentionally redistributional acts, I posses a book costing only x-amount instead of x-amount at the same time I also inherit a memory, a story, it becomes an antique in itself. A conversation piece. There it is, the power of books to give comfort, a sense of belonging, to an experience commonly shared. Per se, the content is another magnificent matter which calls for a lifetime of tribute. 

My first encounter with book-with-bookmarks, but this one was very revealing, as you'll see in the next picture. I got this book way back, Spring 2012.

Was it purposely put in the book for the future owner to know who owned this book previously?A subconscious-evolutionary-slip? A great idea would be to create an app or site where people can be reunited with books (previous and current owners), as a proof they'd need to provide details and the content/s left inside the book. Quick! I need someone to help me realize this! 

"What a wonderful book, a must-collect type!" 

Taadah! I wonder what he's/she's like?

Nice, modern classics! Little did I know, a pleasant surprise was in-store.

One of my favorite thinkers. "Let me read my favorite paragraph."


I'm guessing she was on a "European-trip" and read this while transiting in stations and airports. I mean the receipt's from Spain. Backpacker? Medical-tourist? Business-y type?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

De-Stressor of the Day

Discovered its magic during my internship.

So therapeutic! I highly recommend it!

For a one-time fee of $10, you'll save yourself from ever having to de-stress via binge-drinking or eating again.

My Dionysian spirit has been recently resurrected. Went to this store for some major re-stocking. The11-years hiatus is over. I'm officially re-participating in the production of "art for art's sake." 

How cute is this place, no?

Major retail-theraphy :-)

The picture doesn't do justice to the beauty and charm of the place, one sort of gets the feeling of  the people who've shopped here before, and the spiritual passion left sort of rubs on you.

So many variants, thankful to Ate for guiding mich.

Look at the price of this sumptuous Weber brush, justified for the artist who definitely needs it, but for me, at least at the moment, I can settle for something from China.

Yes, the nation-state, the thieving collectivists in the form of corrupt bureaucrats securing their interests and the oligarchs stole what could have been my taxi fare with their VAT of 12%!

After watching a 4-hour documentary on the Cultural Revolution, realized how wonderful this Madame Mao ballet is, love the song from this scene!

My other favorite scene, I mean just look at the way it was delivered, so significant, I feel that way about the American flag.

Look at the beauty and manufactured-sincerity of her expression, so alienating!

Her passion and the melody of the music leaves you breathless.

The trailer for West End's most awaited revival (and a personal fave of mine) of 2014 has been released, hallelujah! 

I love American soldiers! They're so hot! Fuck the people who kicked-out the bases in this country! If not for their stupidity, my chances of fulfilling my Asian-girl fantasy of being rescued by a GI would have been higher. 

I fell for the folly of believing that sans Lea Salonga it wouldn't be as nice, but by god how I was so terribly wrong. See for yourself how impactive (emotion-wise) this performance by Rachelle Ann Go is.

We had the same reaction.

"The movie in my mind." That's one hot soldier in her back!

It's official! I wanna be the wife of Alistair Brammer, he is so hot! But he'd have to wear his GI outfit all the time. Meow!!!

"Because every Asian girl's dream is to be swept off her feet by a white guy." -A close wise friend over dessert once said.


Sexual tension on stage=No actual sex off stage -Joey, Friends.

I wish I was Kim in this play! Damn! I'll audition for the role of Kim next time, I'll affirmative-action my way to the top role, LOL

"I'm getting you out!" What every Third World subject longs to hear! Ohhh yeah daddy, please do!

Rescue me from this failed utopian undertaking! :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Opening Reception Part I: Brave New Worlds:My Utopia in Your Dystopia

That night was awesome, saw the usual mix at a Museum opening in Manila, intellectuals, students, artists, social climbers, wealthy bored patrons, expats, bourgeois bohemians, tourists, journalists, celebrities, senior and mid-level bureaucrats, diplomats, photographers, and evidently, among others, but that night I saw a penis, albeit, accidentally while in the bathroom, but this dick isn't just your average dick, this human reproductive organ, particularly, was presented and given an Agrément and carried your country's Lettre de crédence  to our head of state, he was an Ambassador, but I'm not gonna tell who. As it turned out there was more than one ambassador who came that night, but did so, incognito, perhaps, due to this he didn't ooze majesty, maybe that is why, perhaps, I wasn't even able to do my whole mandatory-courtesy-routine around this person. So what does a diplomatic penis look like? I expected a bang, but I got a whimper. :-p

Fabrice Hyber questioning my artistic positionings

Australian-born Manila-based artist David Griggs, one of the exhibited artists 

"I'm yet to see and explore the Manila art scene."

Manuel Ocampo, L'exhibiteur extraordinaire

One of my favorite pieces, so interactive, and truly functional

Caught in the Act

Another interactive piece, visitors, kids in particular, are encouraged to play around with the pieces, and hopefully in the process discover their hidden talents

Me being shy

Me figuring out how to be "creative"

Meh, I just love the angles

The Director of the Met with the French Ambassador

H.E. Gilles Garachon, Ambassdor of France to the Philippines

Agnes Arellano singing Dream a Little Dream of Me (Les Yeux Ouverts)

Some of the artists of the globe-trotting exhibition