Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Transformer

Try walking with a stick for a leg, that's how it feels now with the knee mobilizer (or immobilizer)? Had my twisted knee check and good thing there are no fractures. The doctor still wants to make sure there are no torn ligaments or something. So this is what he advised me to wear to lessen the stress on the injured part for two weeks. But me thinks I'm not going to wear this for long. Hikhikhik 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Marooned (Again)

It's a fucked up day today; lost my sdcard (and 8 years worth of contacts) and twisted my knee. But once again, Maroon 5, came to the rescue with their music. It always does as it did before. Listening now to "Call and Response: The Remix Album" and I'm suddenly better again, never mind the limping and the fact that I've to build up my contacts again. 

Let's just say, we're starting the new year afresh. ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas! :)

Christmas is around the corner and I thought all of us need some reminding. Found this one on www.postsecret.blogspot.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

Disneyland? Try Josephland! :)

This is the cutest online gift I've ever received. This is from Ate Linds, you have to see it to believe.

And I've never been to Disneyland yet. 
Hehehehee


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas from All of Us


Watch us dance here. Nelson couldn't join us again for the dance because he's up north with the chest and nuts (chestnuts) eheeheheh

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To You


I lost you then but I have you now. Stay near. I bask in the sunlight of your presence, while not like before, it nonetheless warms. I need you while I figure out this darkness. You have been another's. Like you were mine before. But I don't mind. I, too, have been somebody's. Though differently now, we have each other once more. The heart understands what the mind doesn't. Your kiss didn't change at all (or was it my idea of you?). It is the same caress I used to know. When I rested you on my shoulders, instantly it felt as though the world has not moved since the last time I held you. I was again along that highway, in a cab, with you and all our drunken worries and passionate kisses some four years ago. I lost you then. But I have you now. You have not died and all these years I have been wrong. You will no longer die. Because you live in me. I have not lost you. And will never.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blissful Hiss


Please come to the group exhibit entitled "Blissful Hiss" which a friend, Dada, invited me to participate. Punta kayo ha? :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Happy Place

I've always been afraid of the past, preferring to leave it as I left it: questions unanswered, puzzles unsolved.

But I guess I was partly right to avoid it. It has, anyway, a way of coming back. Coming back and resolving itself.

Had a talk last Sunday morning (hmmmm I can relate to Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" soooo much better hehehe) with P.

First off, past is past but it felt good to revisit it. In between bottles of beer (and pansit for him), while the early morning sun rose, we talked about what had happened between us.

There were, suffice it to say, issues within me that were resolved. Misconceptions, mostly mine, that were corrected. For the longest time, in a flashbulb moment, I've been living in one.

I have trust issues I told him.

And then he proceeded to ask why my last relationship didn't work out.

I refused to tell him (in my mind I knew what the answer was) and asked him instead if he were to be trusted that time.

Yes. He said. Never mind if that could have been more of a justification, an excuse.

Like the Sunday morning sun, a light shone on the deepest darkest corners of my mind.

And every thing became clear.

I saw myself as I used to be. I remembered how I was at a time when love was really love and was not a matter of convenience.

For the first time in several years, it felt that that person is never out of reach again.

I could be what I was before.

I am excited to meet my former self.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

R.I.P

I was right in not loving you. 

There was a murmur in my heart and I instantly knew. It was too good to be true. 

Now I will not name, nor write about what has happened between us. I will not give you a name, a circumstance to dignify you. Let this be, a tiny tombstone that the months and years will cover with grass. I shall forget you sooner than the worms have eaten your cadaver in my mind. When we meet again, it will be as though nothing between us has existed.

Recede


Clenched Soul
 
 We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues. 

Pablo Neruda
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesdays

I'm excited about watching "Tuesdays With Morrie" on December 2. Wasn't able to watch it when Repertory opened it last year because of an ex who had little interest in theater. Now I have my second chance at it and I'm not going to miss it.

I read the book some two or three years ago and I remember not going to work because I couldn't put it down and I was, uh, crying. I thought then that I needed to savor the wisdom and think long and hard about it in the comforts of my room. 

Now the time has come for "Morrie" to speak to me again. And the juncture is perfect. Some old man's wisdom to a, uh, kid in a quarter-life crisis. Hehehehehe.

Incidentally, my Dad Marcelito's nickname is Morrie. I don't know if subconsciously I'm seeing (or maybe wanting to see?) "Morrie" in my Morrie. (Morrie from the Mitch Albom book, "Tuesdays with Morrie", is a real Morrie- his college professor Morrie Schwartz).

Bought two tickets, delivered to my office at no extra cost (awesome Rep!). I think with this ticket delivery, we're seeing here some extra effort to promote theater in the Philippines and we should support it. Art is, after all, our nation's soul. 

So if you have the time, watch too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

F*ck Office 2008

I hate it when technology fails me. Today, I wanted to liquidate but when I opened MS Word and attempted to save a new file, it crashed. It wouldn't save. Instead it asked me to report the crash to Microsoft. Tried re-installing it via those help tips you find on the net and it's the fucking same thing. I wish I know what's completely wrong with it. Spent (more like wasted) half a day trying to figure it out but to no avail. I'm left with the same problem. 

Uh, help? 
Hehehe.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Letting Go

I've to learn to let go. I just got my newly framed graphite drawing and upon seeing it, I had second thoughts of selling it. I'm selfish. Hehehehe. Or maybe because that drawing is a part of me (my memories, my soul) and I don't want to let go. But I have to at one point right?

The picture on the left is of my acrylic painting entitled "Lovers". Feel free to contemplate :)
See you guys tomorrow during the artfair at the UP College of Fine Arts. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

No Regrets

Edith Piaf
NO REGRETS


No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the grief doesn't last
It is gone
I've forgotten the past

And the memories I had
I no longer desire
Both the good and the bad
I have flung in a fire
And I feel in my heart
That the seed has been sown
It is something quite new
It's like nothing I've known

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things that went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the seed that is new
It's the love that is growing for you

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday Wishlist

(got the idea from Nerz ahehehee).

Well, let's visualize these for my birthday. Malay mo. Heheheh

1. external drive for my Mac
2. digital slr camera
3. a new earphone for my ipod nano
4. trip to batanes or palawan? 
5. oil paints (grumbacher or van gogh)
6. oil brush
7. canvass
8. a zara jacket
9. 4 gb flashdisk
10. speaker hahaha for my laptop 

simple lang naman mga pangarap ko sa buhay, Lord. 

Hehehehehe

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Invitation

The opening exhibit was a success. Thanks to those who came out to support us. Thanks to Sir Jonathan's dad, Sir Romulo Olazo, Dean Colayco, Sir Malto and all those who were there. 

My personal shout out to Gab and her pet toy Labry (Lavigne?) eehheehehe, Tina, Kara, Aubrey, Randy, Midas, Bebeng and Mike (congrats in advance on your wedding!), to Glenn (hmf :P), to Ron and Andra (beer pa new found friends ehehehehe) and to class Y! As Jo would say it, rakenrol! :) 

For those who were not able to come, I'm posting a jpeg version of the essay that accompanied the exhibit yesterday :) 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

:P

The heart never forgets, however, it moves on. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Survivor

I've always been a fan of the Survivor series and now we have our very own version. There's nothing compared to seeing our own undergo the challenges -- and the scheming! the scheming ... already there are a few characters that I'm beginning to hate (I think). But there's also one who I'm rooting for thus far: Zita. Was impressed, first night, naglala ng bubong galing sa dahon ng niyog ang Zita. Bigyan nyo lang ng lagari at pako yan, makakagawa na yan ng dampa ehehehehhee. 

Watch Survivor: Philippines daily at 9:30pm on GMA-7 (of course, where else?)
Really hoping this comes after 24 Oras but then that'd be too early for me. hehehehe

Punta Kayo


Art is a persistent muse. Sometimes she is a haunting ghost; she appears and grabs and 
possesses. 

In this debut group exhibit entitled "Invitation", fifteen artists, all in their first year in the 
UP College of Fine Arts, meet with the muse and present the product of this engagement. 
Forming the framework of this exhibit is the challenge to interpret the poem "The 
Invitation," a prose poem written in 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer who is an author of 
inspirational prose-poem and international best-selling books, The Invitation, The Dance 
and The Call: Discovering Why You Are Here. 

In accomplishing this task, each of the artists have to drawn on their knowledge and skills 
so far acquired and honed under the Visual Perception class under Thirteen Artists 
Awardee Jonathan Olazo. 

Perception is a crucial skill in tackling the challenge, specifically in this context and in art-
making in general; one poem but fifteen different ways of interpreting it, fifteen different 
ways of seeing the world. 

Fifteen different manifestations of the muse. 

Invitation runs from September 23-26, 2008 at the Corredor Gallery at the UP College of 
Fine Arts. The opening cocktails start at 6pm, September 23. 

Never Stop Dreaming

Hers came true for Charice.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trial Sketches

This weekend is officially acad mode? Hehehehe. Doing another artwork for the exhibit. Need to get the plates done to free up two days. Exhibit is on the 23rd hehehe

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Self ...

portrait. Dermatograph on black charcoal paper. 2008.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Oktoberfest in September

I. "facebooked" me and asked if Oktoberfest was meant for us, being both born in October, we'd like to think that the beerfest was scheduled for us. But we both, and we all do, know that it is not. But whatever.

A local beer company here in the Philippines have set up tradition and staged a similar feast.

I was lucky enough to cover the event last night in Pasig. A. was orignally scheduled to cover it. I didn't think I would go but I must admit I had planned on going despite having a work sched from 4-12mn ahehehehe. But A. fell ill and promptly the desk deployed me to replace her. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So there I was, I made it through the throng of people that lined up the street at the back of SM Megamll all the way through Julia Vargas St. and San Miguel Ave. where the main stage was set up.

Loved Rivermaya.

And Third Eye Blind.

Man, the last time I remember listening to their songs was when I was in early college. Good to hear their songs again (after being sidetracked to other music preferences in the years that followed).

The band debuted a new song, forgot the title but the first few melodies sounded a little bit like Maroon 5's "This Love" which I LIKE! hehehehe.

Will post photos soon. R. hijacked my cam to her weekend getaway. Dang. :(

Hehehe.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Summons

A really bad cold forced me to absent from work today which is not necessarily a bad thing because I have things to do for school. Our sem-ender group exhibit is scheduled on the 23rd and I've only finished one of two drawings (on 30x40 inch illustration board). 

I've been summoning the muse so to speak for the next drawing, short of lighting up incense and playing weird music (might actually do it hehehe), but she is nowhere to be found. I've done rough sketches and nothing is coming up. 

N. observes (and correctly so) that I write only when I'm on the extremes, either super depressed or super happy. The same could be said about drawings. There was a time when I filled canvass after canvass. This was in March when I have just broken up with J. 

This time, it's different which could mean that I'm neither sad nor happy. 

Or maybe empty? 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

September 16,2005

Three years. That's how this post is. Dug it from my other blog to check my progress. Apparently, not very succesfully. 

Erased

Iyon na marahil ang pinakamalungkot na pag-iisang dibdib. Sa altar, solo akong humarap sa paring pagal. Nagmamadali pero hindi niya alam ang sasambitin.

"You may now kiss the bride?," sabi n'ya, palinga-linga.

"Trick question ba s'ya father?" tanong ko. Kung hawak ko lang ang bulaklak ay naihampas ko na sa kanya.

Walang bulaklak. At wala ring ibang tao sa simbahan. Dalawang kandila ang nakatirik sa magkabilang tabi ng pari. Pero para sa akin 'yon.

"So ano'ng gagawin ko sa 'yo?" naiinis na tanong ng pari.

"Hindi ko rin alam," ang nasabi ko na lang.

"Bumalik ka na lang 'pag may kasama ka nang babasbasan ko. May burol pa akong pupuntahan," pakiusap ng pari.

Tinitigan ko lang siya.

"Maghanap ka. Huwag 'yong magdadrama kang pupunta dito ng mag-isa," naiinis na niyang sabi habang sumulyap sa relo niyang ginto.

Tinitigan ko lang siya.

Tumitig lang siya pabalik.

Tiningnan ko lang siya ulit. Ang kanyang mga labi. Ang matang nagniningning at sing-itim ng aking dilim ng pangungulila. Ang kanyang makapal na pilikmata.

Dumausos ang aking titig sa leeg niyang may butlig butlig na pawis. Sa parte ng kanyang leeg kung saan nag-uugnay ang dibdib at leeg. Minsan na akong nakatulog doon.

Tumungo siya.

Muli, pilit ko siyang tiningnan.

Umatras siya. At naglakad palayo sa aking kinatatayuan. Inihatid ng aking pananaw ang paring tumalikod. Hanggang sa nagsara ang pintuan ng simbahan.

Dilim.

Paano ko sasabihin na pinakasalan ko na ang aking nakaraan. At nabiyuda na rin ako nito.

Pag-aari ako ng aking nakalipas

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reminder to Myself

Walk Away lyrics
What do you do when you know something's bad for you
And you still can't let go?

I was naive
Your love was like candy
Artificially sweet
I was deceived by the wrapping

Got caught in your web
And I learned how to plead
I was prey in your bed
And devoured completely

And it hurts my soul
Cos I can't let go
All these walls are caving in
I can't stop my suffering
I hate to show that I've lost control
Cos I, I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need to walk away from

I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

I should have known
I was used for amusement
Couldn't see through the smog
It was all an illusion

Now I've been licking my wounds (licking my wounds)
Woke up in love and seems so great (deeper, deeper)
We both can't subdue
Darling you hold me prisoner (prisoner)

I'm about to break
I can't stop this ache
I'm addicted to your lure
and I'm feeling for a cure
Every step I take
Leads to one mistake
I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need...

I can make it
It's some state I'm in
Getting nothing everytime
What did I do to deserve
The pain of this moment
And everywhere I turn
I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need to walk away from

I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

Everytime I try to grasp for air
I get smothered and this sky, it's never over, over
Seems I never wake from this nightmare
I let out a solid breath, let it be over, over

Inside I'm screaming
Breaking, pleading the world
Ahh...

My heart has been bruised
So sad but it's true
Each peep reminds me of you

It hurts my soul
Cos I can't let go
All these walls are caving in
I can't stop my suffering
I hate to show that I've lost control
Cos I, I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need...

I'm about to break
I guess I missed it
I'm addicted to your lure
And I'm feeling for a cure
Every step I take
Leads to one mistake
I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need...

I can make it
It's some state I'm in
Getting nothing everytime
What did I do to deserve
The pain of this moment
And everywhere I turn
I keep going right back
To the one thing that I need to walk away from

I say...
I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

Only thing I need to do is walk away

I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

I need to get away from it
I need to walk away from it
Get away, walk away, walk away

ARMM Elections Class Picture

Tomorrow we will walk with the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as they make history in voting in an automated elections. Whatever happens here will show the pathway to a nationwide, fully-automated elections in the country.

The Paths to Peace

Are we ready for an automated elections? 


The answer to this question will be known tomorrow, when the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM get out of their houses to take part in this historic elections - the first automated elections in our country. 


Maguindanao will use a technology which is called direct recording electronic election system or DRE. This technology will be the fastest in all of ARMM since the other areas will use the optical mark reader or OMR.


The difference between the two systems is that the DRE will have a voting pad where the names, faces and the positions being sought by a candidate. All a voter should do is press the name to vote for a certain candidate, much like getting a can of soda in a vendo machine. The COMELEC says a voter should be able to do it in less than 3 minutes. 


The OMR which will be used in areas like Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Shariff Kabunsuan, still uses the ballot but unlike in previous elections where a voter should write, legibly, a candidates name, he or she now only has to shade a an oval which corresponds to a candidate's name. After voting comes a face of the "old" elections, the ballots from precints will have to be transported by the Board of Election Inspectors from the precints to Cotabato City, specifically at the Cotabato City Polytechnic College where the municipal and provincial counting and canvassing centers are located. 


There will be counting machines which will tally the votes from the "electronic ballot" which will be easier and relatively faster than what we're accustomed to when teachers would painstakingly record in "taras" the number of votes on the blackboard. 


All the election returns will be consolidated in a municipal canvass and then in a provincial canvass. The results of which will be transmitted online to the regional canvassing area which is in COMELEC-Manila. 


The results will be known almost simultaneously in ARMM areas and Manila. 


Tomorrow is a historic day for all of us and it's taking place amidst the tension between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government over the botched signing of the memorandum of agreement that would have paved the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).


If one takes a long hard look at these two events happening in Mindanao -- one can see a similarity: both the elections and the clamor for a BJE have one objective: representation; the right to be represented by a leader voted by the people in the case of the elections and the right to be represented as a people, unique with tradition, culture and history in the case of the BJE. 


These are two different but nonetheless intertwined paths to peace. 


We cannot take one at the expense of the other. 

The Path To Peace

Are we ready for an automated elections? 


The answer to this question will be known tomorrow, when the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM get out of their houses to take part in this historic elections - the first automated elections in our country. 


Maguindanao will use a technology which is called direct recording electronic election system or DRE. This technology will be the fastest in all of ARMM since the other areas will use the optical mark reader or OMR.


The difference between the two systems is that the DRE will have a voting pad where the names, faces and the positions being sought by a candidate. All a voter should do is press the name to vote for a certain candidate, much like getting a can of soda in a vendo machine. The COMELEC says a voter should be able to do it in less than 3 minutes. 


The OMR which will be used in areas like Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Shariff Kabunsuan, still uses the ballot but unlike in previous elections where a voter should write, legibly, a candidates name, he or she now only has to shade a an oval which corresponds to a candidate's name. After voting comes a face of the "old" elections, the ballots from precints will have to be transported by the Board of Election Inspectors from the precints to Cotabato City, specifically at the Cotabato City Polytechnic College where the municipal and provincial counting and canvassing centers are located. 


There will be counting machines which will tally the votes from the "electronic ballot" which will be easier and relatively faster than what we're accustomed to when teachers would painstakingly record in "taras" the number of votes on the blackboard. 


All the election returns will be consolidated in a municipal canvass and then in a provincial canvass. The results of which will be transmitted online to the regional canvassing area which is in COMELEC-Manila. 


The results will be known almost simultaneously in ARMM areas and Manila. 


Tomorrow is a historic day for all of us and it's taking place amidst the tension between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government over the botched signing of the memorandum of agreement that would have paved the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).


If one takes a long hard look at these two events happening in Mindanao -- one can see a similarity: both the elections and the clamor for a BJE have one objective: representation; the right to be represented by a leader voted by the people in the case of the elections and the right to be represented as a people, unique with tradition, culture and history in the case of the BJE. 


These are two different but nonetheless intertwined paths to peace. 


We cannot take one at the expense of the other. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Alicia Keys!!!!!

Monoblocks notwithstanding, it was a great show. Looked like Alicia Keys enjoyed it too, she came back for two encores: "No One" and my ultimate favorite, "If I Ain't Got You."

In a segue to "A Woman's Worth," she said: "If you love someone, make sure he knows what you're worth."

True. 






Monday, August 04, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"You Can't Always Get What You Want"

A ghost re-appeared. And the feelings have not changed. But the Rolling Stones said ...










... and it pains me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hayskul Life (este College Pala)

Klasmeyts at the UP CFA. Hehehehe. (Nenok galing ke isaac na multiply account). The difference in years between me and them is roughly 10 years hehehehe

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Boses"

Saw Ellen Ongkiko-Marfil's film "Boses" yesterday at the CCP. Beautiful, beautiful film!
Wanted to see it to compare it with Achero MaƱas' "El Bola" (The Pellet) which I've seen some years back. Both films deal with the subject of domestic violence, specifically child abuse, a subject close to my heart.

The two films may be years apart and made in the context of two different countries and cultures, but the language of pain (and consequently healing) is nevertheless the same. 

"Boses" manages to tug at the heart of its viewers, as "El Bola" did, because the film's circumstances are familiar --- at one point, one becomes Pablo (El Bola's protagonist) or Julian ("Boses" lead). 

(more on the subject in a later post). 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Catching Up With My Plates

Tons of plates to do since I was away for two weeks. But I'm getting by. Here's one.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Can't Let Go - Landon Pigg


Well youre the closest thing I have
To bring up in a conversation
About a love that didnt last
But I could never call you mine
Cause I could never call myself yours
And if we were really meant to be
Well then we justify destiny
Its not that our love died
Just never really bloomed

Well I cant let go
No, I cant let go of you
Youre holding me back without even trying to.
I cant let go
I cant move on from the past
Without lifting a finger youre holding me back.

And then we saw our paths diverge
And I guess I felt OK about it.
Until you got with another man,
And then I couldnt understand
Why it bothered me so.
How we didnt die we just 
Never had a chance to grow.

I cant let go
No, I cant let go of you
Youre holding me back without even trying to.
I cant let go
I cant move on from the past.
Without lifting a finger youre holding me back.

And it might not make much sense
To you or any of my friends
Though somehow still you affect the 
Things I do.
And you cant lose what you never had
I dont understand why I feel sad
Every time I see you out with someone new.

I cant let go
No, I cant let go
No, I cant let go of you.

I cant let go
No, I cant let go of you
Youre holding me back without even trying to.
I cant let go
I cant move on from the past
Without lifting a finger youre holding me back.

I cant let go
No, I cant let go of you
Youre holding me back without even trying to.
I cant let go
I cant move on from the past

Friday, July 04, 2008

San Diego Ink (tehehe)

Today, I fly. Finally was able to get my Mercury wings tattoo done. Frank and I went to Lefty's tattoo shop in Chula Vista to get my tattoos. Good thing they had all the designs up on the wall and I just had to choose which one I liked. I got a wing on each of my ankle for $80. Hehehe. 

I've wanting to get one since I figured I liked traveling and what better way to remind me that the world is for one's taking than two wings on my feet. We don't walk, we fly. And like what Macy Gray said: "I'm the sky baby, I'm never coming down!"

They still hurt especially because there's not much flesh in the ankle area, it should be alright though in a few days. Will post it here once I get the cover out :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Universal

Went to Universal Studios today. Just got back. Here are some photos. Wonderful place! I'm like a kid again. Well, always been. What is it that they say, don't lose your sense of wonderment? Hehehe :) 

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mama MoMa

Second task: MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)!

MoMA is very near the hotel where we were staying so I immediately went there when I got the chance and it didn't fail me. 

Saw some VanGoghs, Picassos and Pollocks. 

This particular painting spoke to me, and I don't know why I could relate. 

Anyway, there is a yellow room there where everything looked black and white. I was a bit disoriented when I got into the room , had to get a couple of seconds to take in what was happening hahahhaha! Loved it. 

I'm wrapping up my coverage here in New York (will miss it. I think I can totally live here hheeehe). Going to San Diego and will stay there for a week. My TIta was generous enough to pay for my ticket to San Diego hehehehe. Will go back to New York though to take my original flight schedule as arranged by the office (I just moved the flight date). 

Big Apple

To get to know a city, you walk. Along its veins of roads, one can feel the heartbeat. New York is alive (compared to Washington). Got to the two of the three things I set out to do here and more. 

Last night, tired out of my wits, I decided to reward myself to a trip at a local pink bar. Looked it up on the net, marked it on my map, and off I went.

Our hotel is on Lexington Avenue on 51st St. The bar says it would be on 52nd. On the West side. So off I went, map on hand, armed only with an explorer's heart. First I backed up and looked for 50th. I don't know why I did. Turned left and was hoping, some seven blocks down, I'd find it. After three blocks I found myself on 1st Avenue. Looked up the map and found out I should've have been on the West side (I was walking towards the East side). 

I decided to go by cab, I didn't want to be tired before being drunk hehehe. Found the place finally. It's called "Therapy Bar". At the front door, they were showing their IDs. When it was my turn, I told the bar staff that I didn't have any of those IDs the others are showing because I wasn't from here. He instead just told me to show any picture ID. I said I have my office ID? Hehehe. "You're fine. You can go in," he said. 

Went it. The place is loud (compared to bars in Manila) and it looked like I came a little too late at 2sh because the comedy performance was over and all of them looked drunk already. Hehehe. So I finished 3 Coronas and went home. Walked all the way to my hotel. Passed by Broadway hehehehe. 

Task No. 1. Get drunk in New York, done!



Thursday, June 26, 2008

NYSE

I'm writing from the inside of the New York Stock Exchange where the President is scheduled to ring the opening bell of the trading. Tight security yeah. This person who ushered us in told the Palace people the official in house cameraman couldn't bring the camera because the camera was too big for the trading floor. Said he couldn't move around and stuff. I butted in saying he wouldn't mind lunging that camera (no.1 it's RTVM's?). Moving around is going to be HIS problem not the NYSE people. Thing with this people is they think they could just order us around not understanding and speaking English and stuff. Duh? They finally gave in. And I'm enjoying their free Wi-fi hahahahah

New York Ranting

This is not my idea of spending my first day in New York. Arrived here at 3:30 am from a four hour drive from Washington. Almost immediately I had to voice for 24 oras. Then afterwards, write a script for News on Q and voice the story. It's 5:22 am right now and my camerman and I haven't had a decent sleep even while we were in Washington. And I have a 7:30 am coverage later. 

Where is God?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Need Rice and Vodka

I'm experiencing my own little version of a rice crisis here. America does not have rice! Hehehehe. For the past so many days here, I've been subsisting mainly on sandwiches and hamburgers. I think I got to eat rice only twice at a Chinese restaurant called "City Subway" or something (where I got the fortune cookie written about in an earlier post).

Today I heavily multi-tasked: covering, writing stories, dubbing and converting the video, then uploading it. Made all the more challenging because I work in a different timezone. Right now it's 3:58 PM in the Philippines and it's 3:58 AM here. :(

Uploaded voice over clip for 24 oras before we went out for our super late out dinner. It was too late to find out that everything closes at 2 am in DC. Except for 7-11 where we got our dinner: a burger and a hotdog sandwich AGAIN!

Covered PGMA's meeting with Bush today. Subject of another post later. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lesson from A Cookie

Washington, DC -- It's funny when a cookie speaks to you. And this one perfectly made sense to me. Sometimes we don't know what we want. We think we want something and when we're finally doing it, we don't know anymore. What the cookie seems to offer as wisdom is we have to enjoy what is given to us. 

Luckily I can say that I have my freedom. I can work on the happiness part. Hehehehe.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flying Drunk

At the airport now for my first US trip (yey!). Will cover PGMA in Washington and New York. Hopefully work will be light so I can set aside some time to take in the sights. Will meet with a friend who works as a teacher in New York. 

Three things I must do while in NY: 
1. Watch "Lion King"
2. Go to the Museum of Modern Art 
3. Get drunk in New York

Speaking of drunk, since we're leaving at 6 am and we should be at the airport two hours before, I decided not to sleep anymore and spend the night awake. Met up with Ruth at Greenbelt where I had a vodka and two San Miguel Light. Was with Alex who works as a Peace Corp volunteer in Mindoro. Ruth was with her boyfriend Peter. 

Left at 1:30 am. Was on the road to the airport shortly after. Before 3 am we were already at the airport and the check in counters for Cathay Pacific have not opened yet!!!!! The few minutes that I was early could have been another bottle of SanMig Light. Damn. Hehehehehe <<<----- drunkard. 

Transferring in Hong Kong and we're off to Uncle Sam's tralalalala land. 


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sex Video Addict?

Beware.  There is a house bill filed at the House of Representatives that seeks to punish the distribution and possession of sex video.

Hala. Hehehe. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Day

Missions in life springs when you least expect them. Maybe you have a vague idea. Maybe you have a hint. The clues may come from the things that happen to you (or don't).

Today it dawned on me. 

An art foundation for underprivileged kids. That's what I want to put up when I have all the resources I need. So that kids may be able to paint their dreams, color their hope, and live beautifully inspired -- one paintbrush at a time. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Prodigal Love

Some may say that they have learned to sing first before they could actually talk, or dance before they could walk but I have learned to draw before I knew the colors of the rainbow. (read the rest of the entry http://blogs.gmanews.tv/joseph-morong/archives/5-Prodigal-Love.html">here.

I Am




"I'm the sky, baby, and I'm never coming down" -"get out", macy gray

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Noise Inside My (Or Our?) Head(s)

is quieted by a phrase I read on www.lookonline.com which goes: 

"There was only one Yves Saint Laurent and there will never be another. While there are talents and visionaries to be sure (and a new generation of promising torch bearers), sadly, too many of today’s ‘designers’ don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Yves, Unfortunately, some are little more than overly hyped pretty boy (or girl) posers, egocentric control freaks with no talent (emphasis mine), and blatant copycats with no original thoughts of their own (but who have at their disposal powerful publicists with lots of muscle)."

No talent.

;)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

So I called up CFA and learned that I'm in section Z. Joan from the secretary's office asked me to view crs online to check the schedules. I did. And now here's the problem. 

Since it's a second degree I'm taking, I would have a regular sked except that my GE subjects are credited and I'd be taking majors. There's a Tuesday-Thursday, and Wednesday-Friday schedule. Yikes. 

I hope there's a way around it.  I'm sure there is. I hope.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Damien Rice


Fool


How I know

Go bow end send mend bend pretend

Shut your face again

Bleed seed need read breath on my knees

If you leave me now

It's not that I can't take it

It's just that somehow

I think you'd break it

So much beyond repair

Like pulling out my hair

And poisoning the roots

A gun that never shoots again

And if you leave me now

And take him deep within your throne

Like you did when you were coming home

And you did again in Mexico

And again before you go

And I believed your lies, your lies, your lies



So turn and walk away

I've overspoken

Said all that I can say

I know that I can kneel

And I could cry

And I know that I could show you how I died

But what good would it do?

Give the world another fool

If you're gonna stay

Don't just say it

Stay, really stay

I don't want any more goodbyes

Any more disguise

No more tossing coins

Or him between your loins

And if you're gonna stay

I'll place you high upon a hill

And with my hands 

I'll build a tower in your name

And you will do the same

Won't you my love?

Won't you my love?

Won't you my love?



Or just turn and walk away

I've overspoken

Said all that I can say

I know that I can kneel

And kiss your feet

Walk ahead and clear the street

So you don't have to meet

But what good would it do

Give the world another fool



Turn and walk away

I've overspoken

Now what more can I say?

I know that I can kneel

And I can cry

I know, I know

That I can show you how I died

Now what good would it do

Give the world another fool

Just sitting on this stool

I'm close to giving up on you

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Sun Is Shining

Yey! The sun is up. Perfect for my nth swimming session. Last week was a bummer cuz of Cosme (?). Hopefully today will continue to be sunny. :) 

P.S.
Hopefully too, I don't see the lola who mistook me for a swimming instructor hahahahaha. 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Internet Shop

... na kami sa bahay hahahahaha. Just installed a router, now we can log on anywhere, anytime. Goodluck sa pagtulog hehehe. Download to the max hehehehe!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lost Time

Once you've wasted your time, you can't get it back. I'm in the process of recovering 8 months of my life. 

I can sleep again. Run after my dreams again. Be myself again. 

Bitter, Ruth says. 

No. Wiser. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Child

I am a child of many mothers.

 

My mothers come in many forms, in various shapes and personalities, but all sprung up in my life in periods that they were needed. True to form, a mother recognizes a hurting child without hearing him cry, and nurtures him.

 

You may perhaps recognize some of them too as your own: the mother hens in our group of friends, the flamboyant mudra, the wiser (not necessarily older) bestfriend, even a former college professor and of course, our very own, whose wombs birthed us into this world.


http://blogs.gmanews.tv/joseph-morong/archives/4-A-Mothers-Child.html

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You Lost Me Already

If You Forget Me
 
 I want you to know
one thing. 

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 


If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

But 
if each day, 
each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine. 

---
Goodbye. Gave my heart and you threw it away. Now, just give me back my freedom. 

Spot the Difference

Ahahaha. Had a kick doing this. What a boring weekend. Hehehehe. These photos are 21 years apart. The one on the left was taken when I was 7. The one on the right was today. Hehehehe.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tide Shifting

Hindi ko na natapos yung isang painting na ikatlo sana at pinakahuli sa isang serye na may isang tema. Just found myself starting a new style. I may be in a different plane away from where I used to be. That's good right? Yeah. 

College Student Again

I'm so glad I passed the talent determination test (TDT) at UP fine arts. Got the docus already. I just need to hit the ground and apply. Yay. College student all over again. Hehehe.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Waltz (Or What Boredom Can Do To You)

To and fro, from forgetting to remember so suddenly. 

I know this path very well, soon enough I'll be over this. Maybe later I'll go back and flung myself at its cobblestones again.

Or maybe not. 

I may be too old to remember. Too unfeeling perhaps. Or just tired. 

I don't know. Maybe I do but don't want to. 

If we break our hearts so often, will it learn not to break again. How does one break something that is broken?

---
This is for you. For the things we've said and not; the things done and should have done. Remember that I did, no matter how much you deny it. Perhaps, too, you will, to and fro -- forget me now but will remember later somehow. Have a happy life. You know who you are. 

Crossroads

Sa Ayuyang Bar ko nakinig ito kagabi na kinanta ng isang folk singer. Tumagos ang mga salita, habang tinitigan ko ang maliit nyang tattoo sa daliri. Minsan sumusulyap sulyap ako sa singkit nyang mata, at pakiramdam ko nalulunod ako. Nakatingin ako sa kanya kahit iba ang iniisip ko. 

Nasa transition period ako. Crossroads kung tawagin ng iba. Masaya na malungkot. Masaya na malungkot ang pumili ng tatahakin: dahil bagaman may bagong patutunguhan. Mayroon ding iiwanan.

"You'll Think Of Me"


I woke up early this morning around 4am
With the moon shining bright as headlights on the interstate
I pulled the covers over my head and tried to catch some sleep
But thoughts of us kept keeping me awake
Ever since you found yourself in someone else's arms
I've been tryin' my best to get along
But that's OK
There's nothing left to say, but

Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me
And take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me, you'll think of me

I went out driving trying to clear my head
I tried to sweep out all the ruins that my emotions left
I guess I'm feeling just a little tired of this
And all the baggage that seems to still exist
It seems the only blessing I have left to my name
Is not knowing what we could have been
What we should have been
So

Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me
And take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me

Someday I'm gonna run across your mind
Don't worry, I'll be fine
I'm gonna be alright
While you're sleeping with your pride
Wishing I could hold you tight
I'll be over you
And on with my life

So take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need'em
And take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me

So take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need'em
Take your space and all your reasons
But you'll think of me
And take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we got nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me, you'll think of me, yeah

And you're gonna think of me
Oh someday baby, someday

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sleepless in Baguio

Baguio is cold, and fluffy and nice and relaxing unlike Manila which is very stressful. 

But I'm still up at this hour, couldn't sleep. If I do, I wake up uncharacteristically early like 8 am. Weird.

<<-- Grrrr. Need to sleep! hehehe.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Good Ol' Cordi Lovin'

In the Cordilleras, during the olden days, couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child goes to a fertility hut such as this one.


Where they will stay for a month with a shaman who will perform rituals. 
But prior to entering the hut the wife has to rub the belly of a pregnant bulol.

But what happens if, after a month, the couple couldn't still bear a child? 

Find out here">http://blogs.gmanews.tv/joseph-morong/archives/2-Fertility-hut-of-days-gone-by.html>here.





Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cold Summer Nights (And Days)

Didn't realise Baguio will be this cold at this time of the year. I was told it was warmer here so I just brought two sweaters. Too bad, it's cold at night and even during the day when it would drizzle. But I'll take this anytime over Manila's scorching temperature. (Picture: At the Supreme Court Compound in Baguio. l-r: Erel, ABC-5; Ton, ABS-CBN; Joseph, GMA-7. And uh, the guy wearing shades at the back? He's from the SCPIO)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Work In Progress



On my third painting in a month's time. One day, I will look back at this period in my life and thank the pain for these. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Covering the 2007 Bar Exams Results





"Abogado na ako! Abogado na ako! (I'm a lawyer already!)," an examinee shouts amidst the nervous crowd waiting for the results of the 2007 Bar Examinations at the Supreme Court.

At another side of the hall, an old man calls who could be his brother or a family member and announces the good news: "May lawyer na tayo," he says.

Pride filled the august halls of the Supreme Court. At that moment success almost feels tangible you could taste it, and happiness is not just a concept but a real feeling. One could almost see a whole new world of possibilities open.

If only for that one singular moment of victory, I would want to take the bar.

But not for now. Right now, I am an observer, a reporter covering it.

Covering it for quite a couple of years already did not make me immune to a wide spectrum of emotions from pride, to quiet defeat, to a steadfast optimism.

The Supreme Court initially announced that it would release the results Friday but postponed it to Saturday.

It was my day-off but Vic, my senior desk asked me Friday to cover it since I'm the one responsible for the justice beat.

My sources told me that we could expect the results to be released after lunch so I was at the compound at around 11 am.

Already, there were examinees outside the Supreme Court awaiting the results.

I did an advancer for Balitanghali where I reported that a source said that the results could be released at 2 p.m.

But 2 p.m. passed and still there were no results.

The waiting and growing number of examinees were impatient. They tried to enter the Court's lobby where the LCD projectors were put up. The projectors would scroll the names of the country's new lawyers. But the doors unfortunately had to be shut for fears of a stampede.

Inside, my fellow reporters from print and radio spent the idle the time chatting and taking photos. Or when these became tiring, we just sat there and listened to music which the Supreme Court PIO piped into the stereos.

While waiting, Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Jose Midas Marquez sent a staff to ask how many mediamen were down in the hall -- so he could send over some merienda.

Feeding waiting mediamen means one thing -- the wait will be longer.

Which was what happened. Those of us who smoke, smoked outside, striking idle chatter with the guards and the examinees. At one point, an old man, most probably a father of an examinee saw one of the projectors scroll names. That particular projector had "List of 2007 Bar Examinees" as a heading.

"Ito na! (This is it!)," he shouted. Almost immediately, the crowd gathered towards the door. Some shouted. I had to tell him it was just a test run to paciyfy him, and the names were from a previous bar exam result.

After a couple of minutes more, Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna emerged, accompanied by Atty. Marquez. We positioned our cameras, the print reporters, their recorders and the radio guys alerted their respective stations for the upcoming announcement.

Finally, Justice Azcuna spoke. "Congratulations!" he said.

He announced that 1,289 out of the 5,626 examinees hurdled the bar examinations. That's 22.91%.

He confirmed however that only 5% originally passed the exams but the bar committee decided to lower the passing rate to 70% from the traditional 75%. He attributes the low passing rate to what he terms "unusually strict corrections" made by some of the members of the committee.

After answering questions from the press, he then orders to let the projectors scroll the names of those who passed.

I had to rush to our live camera set-up to break the news. I did not anymore prepare a script but instead relied on bullets: topnotcher from Ateneo, Mercedita Ona; lowered passing rate from 75% to 70%; 5,626 examinees; 1,289 passed.

I could hear the shouting in the background. From where I was standing, I could see examinees jumping and hugging. While some cried in the shoulders of their friends, hugging.

I was overwhelmed, I had to breathe deep to avoid cracking my voice in the middle of my report. Moments like these, show tangibly the demarcation line between the hardships of six months of preparing for the bar and the bliss that comes after it.

After my live report, I went around to take in the euphoria, though not mine, it nevertheless felt good to stand in a celebration.

Not far away from me was a group of friends. They were very happy and they were cheering someone. I approached them and asked a girl who turned out to be a passer.

"How do you feel?" I asked, however obvious her disposition was.

"I'm so happy! Thank you for all those who prayed for me," she said.

I asked for her name for my report's chargen later on. "Caroline Exconde," she said.

"Atty... Caroline Exconde?" I repeated, stressing the new title she has acquired, and wished her luck.

In the crowd, an elderly couple, who must be in their late 60's stood out. They could not be bar takers, I thought to myself. I asked my cameraman if they had shot a video of them. He said yes, and told me they were there for their grandson who did not pass the exams.

In the office I previewed the tape and saw their interview.

The old man's name was Felipe Mariano. He said they had been waiting at the Supreme Court since 1 p.m. But when the results finally were announced, their grandson's name was not there.

Still it did not dampen the old man's spirit. "Ganyan naman yan talaga anak. Try and try until you succeed. Baka sa susunod, makuha na n'ya, (That's the way it goes, son. Try and try until you succeed. Maybe next time, you'll pass)" he said with a sparkle in his otherwise tired eyes.

Such wisdom, such hope, in the midst of chaos and jubilation.

It seemed like what he was saying was that life is a lot like taking the bar exams: we encounter defeat, once in a while. But it should not be a reason to surrender. Experiencing defeat makes victory a lot sweeter.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where The Sun Is Shining

That is my Sun Cellular phone taped on the computer. For all its unlimited texts and calls, I still could appreciate a stronger and wider signal. But I guess one cannot have everything. Hehehehe.

So I'll make do. Funny thing is, the cellphone has to be facing a certain direction (as shown in the photo) to receive a signal, twist it another way and it's gone. And it has to be taped on this particular PC ehheehe. It's fun actually to hark back to the early days of cellular phone signals.

I'm enjoying the unlimited texts and calls though. Not complaining hehehehe.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Age Or Something Like That

Age affords one the ability to not take the world seriously; to be non-chalant is another way to describe it.

K. gave me a shirt that said "It's hard to show I care, because I don't". Maybe I already am showing off that vibe but more and more I notice that I am not what I used to be three or five years ago.

Let's just say, I've learned to simplify and follow that old adage, "choose my battles."

Now, I can afford to pause, take a step back and think if something is worth bothering about. To see an incident in terms of its gain as far as I'm concerned and the ramifications in the general scheme of things. If bothering about it would actually be more tiresome than helpful then I don't give it a thought. Instead, I take a puff instead or enjoy a cup of coffee.

Jay thinks I'm the sort of person who don't care. On some level I think what he is saying is true but I always tell him that I've learned to choose the things I should worry about and check if the effort is actually worth the final outcome.

Because life has so much more to offer and what we take from it depends on how we see the world.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hop-py New Year

I guess I'd be hopping on my way to work tomorrow. Turns out there are two cuts in my left foot. One long and slightly deep gash and a shallow cut below. The smaller one is all dried up. The other one is taking a little while to heal. But it doesn't hurt anymore. Putting my weight on it and walking normally is a challenge. It's like walking on high heels. Only, it feels like I'm wearing a shoe. Hehehehe.

Back to work again tomorrow after the weekend and the PGMA coverage in Cagayan de Oro. Back to my old life, as usual. I kinda miss it. I still haven't asked Sec. Gonzalez about the rationale behind the alleged warning to media people obstructing justice in crisis situations (supposedly he has information of an ouster plot on January 22). The results of the investigation into how convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos will have to wait until the formal hearing on January 16 is concluded.

So many things to go back to. But first, let's figure out walking on one foot. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Wedding and Some Holiday Cheers

A Wedding and Some Holiday Cheers

Jay and I went to Lucena for the holidays. After initial hesitations, I was finally able to convince him to join me, hehehe. It was an effort for him considering he's not into crowds ehehehhee so I was thankful.

Prior to that, Jiji, a colleague in the Justice and Court Reporters Association (JUCRA) - people covering the DOJ and the Supreme Court got married. I sang Jiji's favorite song, "Knocks Me Off My Feet" upon her request. I hope that didn't go badly hehehehe.

Now back to my Lucena stories. In hindsight, I realised that it was my first time for my WHOLE family and I mean WHOLE, cousins, titos and titas included -- to come across that kind of situation, seeing our kind of a couple. Hehehe. But they were very nice. Soon enough, I know, this kind of relationship will lose their novelty (or shock factor for some) and be seen as any other relationship. But we take one careful step after another. And I guess that's the way to go. Ease them in and conquer the world. Hehehehe.

Mom, upon our arrival at our house, fried us some shrimps. I'm not a big shrimp fan and neither is Jay but we finished everything in one sitting. That was a nice welcome. Jay met some of my cousins the day after and on January 1st. Both of us got really drunk. The weather was unexpectedly chilly in Lucena. But news kept the holidays warm. My cousin, Maila, is getting married this year and they had a pamanhikan. My nephewJM, is having a baby.

The holidays, overall, was filled with the warm company of family and the comfort of loved ones. It could not be better.