Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Gift Of A Festival

There's something about festivals that I like: maybe it's the spirit of revelry, of reckless abandon in the name of fun, or being able to touch, feel, and taste culture.

Dinagyang in Iloilo was no exception. I didn't mind being sunburned from around 7 in the morning 'til after lunch.

The costumes were fantastic. And the choreography, too. Each troop dressed to the nines so to speak, in all their ethnic revelry. They were like fully-made up armies, each troop surging forward accompanied by what sounded like a hundred drums. And then, each of the dancers would shout on the top of their lungs, or raise their arms in devotion, pirouette, or jump, and run forward; all of these, each one did, with so much power and synchronicity with the others, but each one like a troop unto itself.

And to think Dinagyang started with a simple birthday gift from a Cebu priest to a parish priest in Iloilo. There's nothing metaphysical or mysterious with its beginnings but something somehow tells you, God intervened, to have it reach this magnitude of a celebration.

In 1968, Father Sulpicio Enderes of Cebu gave then San Jose, Iloilo Parish priest Ambrocio Galindez an image of the Sto. Niño. I had the fortunate chance to interview Father Galindez, now 76 years old and is now based in Bohol.

It was during the Fluvial procession which ushered in the start of the religious festival that I finally encountered the man who started it all.

"Were you surprised that it has gotten this big, father?" I asked him, with me being more amused that he was.

"All for the Niño," he smiled.

"Why did you ask for an image of the Sto. Niño?" I inquired.

"I was asked what gift I wanted, so I said an image of the Niño, because at the time, I was thinking of starting a confradia de Santo Niño in Iloilo," Father Galindez said.

Dominador Rivera, was one of those who organized the first-ever Dinagyang Festival. They held it in the town of San Jose, a couple of minutes ride from the city proper.

The reception then was of ridicule.

"We only had bottles to provide us sounds, we didn't even have costumes like they do now. They thought we were crazy," Rivera recalled with amusement.

I first met Rivera at the Sto. Nino parish where they keep the 1968 image of the Sto. Nino. Met him again during the Ati Competition, Sunday.

"This is beautiful," I told him, referring to the tribes performing.

He simply nodded. Already aware of the obvious fact.

In front of the stage, sitted amongst a crowd of VIPs, Father Galindez sat inconspicuously. If I had not known prior the relevance of this man, I would not have noticed him.

"Thank you, Father Galindez, for giving us such a gift," the emcee announced after she had introduced him.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Truth About Truth

Truth shall, and it did, set both of us free.

There's nothing more to say, for now. I always knew it somehow. I cannot afford another of G.'s experience. We enjoy going to places together. And we seemed to have a lot in common, too.
Except that G's married.

I always had that connection with G., but nothing more.

And so I've learned to let go what is not mine. I told a friend once, half-jokingly, that I'm a very jealous "wife" (the term to denote a sense-belongingness, of ownership if you may). Maybe I'm really like that.

I no longer want to share. Because loving, is a currency I sparingly use. And when I decide to do so, it will belong solely to a person.

Contrary to what I thought and hoped, it wasn't you.

Goodbye, I guess. But thank you for the honesty.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

James Morrison 'You Give Me Something'

Song To Memorize

You Give Me Something
James Morrison

You want to stay with me in the morning
You only hold me when I sleep,
I was meant to tread the water
Now I've gotten in too deep,
For every piece of me that wants you
Another piece backs away.

'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, alright,
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try,
Please give me something
'Cause someday I might know my heart.

You already waited up for hours
Just to spend a little time alone with me,
And I can say I've never bought you flowers
I can't work out what the mean,
I never thought that I'd love someone,
That was someone else's dream.

'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, alright,
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try,
Please give me something,'
Cause someday I might call you from my heart,
But it might me a second too late,
And the words I could never say
Gonna come out anyway.

'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, alright,
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try,
Please give me something,

'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, alright,
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try,
Please give me something

'Cause someday I might know my heart.
Know my heart, know my heart, know my heart.

postscript: I will allow this song to say what I can't. :P

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life Lessons No. 2

I guess those questions come when you see someone leave for something better. Makes you question your own motivation for staying.

Had an eye-opening talk with someone today. Made me wonder, really. But I guess, there's no point allowing the issue to continue, to linger in my mind, without arriving at a decision (well, a pseudo-decision, something that will do for the meantime).

It's easy, I guess to find yourself in a rut. To be stuck, in what one may call, a plateau. The dilemma is nothing new, it's prevalent. Makes you wonder what is wrong. If people look elsewhere for inspiration, maybe something is lacking. Can't blame those who made the decision. P., for example, grabbed that opportunity in the embassy. Looks like he's happy. He's got a car now. And less stress (and politics? hehehe) I'm assuming.

When you see people who are walking representations of something you'd rather look away from (like injustice, partiality, or whatever; I just saw one), sometimes, I find myself asking: why I haven't made the same decision?

But the question is not easy to answer. There are way lot of factors to consider. Sometimes, you place yourself in the context of idealism, or fighting for what is right. Sometimes, admittedly, you just want to be practical.

Life is not fair, someone has said. And it is true. People who work less sometimes get more. Those who deserve more, are ignored. Maybe that's why they're leaving.

I've come to this maybe once before. Maybe the solution I adopted will still work. Tough choices are not made, they just come about I guess.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


This is familiar terrain. It's scary to be treading the same pathways and alleys. One has to be careful. Wise.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year

It's looking up a like a good year, that is if my first day of 2007 is any indication.

Haven't drunk that much in my whole life. Usually, I don't survive nine or ten bottles of beer (usually, I'm talking out of head, calling people from the past, laughing hard hehehe - being drunk is a convenient excuse harhar!) but that day was something else.

Went to a cousin's place for lunch. Had videoke and beer, of course. It's not very often that I get to display my singing prowess to my family hahahahha, since I don't go to Lucena frequently so I sang to my heart's content and to the entertainment of the clan. Hehehehe.

That was round one. Round two was dinner at still another cousin's place. Now, this was when I lost count of the beers I was drinking. It didn't help that barbeque was flowing. We had all the pamangkins there so it was fun. Kinda exposing them to adult world. We were dancing, laughing, having a good time.

Round 3 was at a bar where my cousins and I escaped to, as if we haven't had enough? Hehehe. I tried, but failed, to avoid alcohol. I ordered iced tea, but since the waiter took too long to deliver it, I saw myself (hehehe, like an out of the body experience) grabbing a bottle again. And again, then again, and again.

I swear I was numb from all the beer. But I don't mind. It's only once a year that you re-connect with your family. Doing it drunk is not so bad, is it?