Thursday, October 30, 2008

Of Coffee and Crushes

            I became a Starbucks coffee aficionado when, one fateful day two years ago, I was forced to buy one of their special drinks to justify parking my derriere in one of their seats. It was one of their Christmas specials, their Toffee-nut Latte. That was the beginning of a continuing love affair with that most delicious of drinks... veritable ambrosia from Olympus, I swear!

            Now I join the thousands of people who are eagerly counting down the days til Starbucks offers this year’s selection of specials. But unlike the others, who are content to order any random drink as long as they fill up their card with enough stickers to claim the much-coveted planner (which has become a status symbol, it seems), I specifically come to Starbucks for my Toffee-nut Latte.

            If I were a poet, I’d write a poem in the drink’s honor. If I were a composer, I’d have written an art song. If Bach had his Coffee Cantata, I’d come up with a Toffee-nut Latte version.

            “Toffee-nut... toffee-nut... toffee-nut latte muss ich haben!!!” to paraphrase from Lieschen’s aria.

            I love toffee-nut latte so much, I’d drink it every day if I could afford it (and if only it were available the whole year round). To tide me over for most of the year, I make do with a hazelnut latte instead. It is a poor substitute for something so delicious that it’s hard to believe it is man-made, but it’s the closest thing they’ve got to the ideal toffee-nut.

            And I thought ... perhaps falling “in crush”, and becoming infatuated with someone, is pretty much like ordering a hazelnut latte in the absence of toffee-nut. These minor affairs of the heart (and aches of the heart, if you are apt to be a silent admirer like myself) serve as preparation, as enlargement procedures, so that when we finally meet our Intended one, we can love unconditionally, unselfishly, with the breadth and depth spoken of in epic romances. Indeed, one can even go far as to say that these crushes are miniature love affairs by themselves, despite their one-sided orientation. I’ve noticed that, as I grew more mature, I came to “fall in crush” not so much because of the person’s looks, but because of other fine qualities such as kindness, intelligence, and a God-fearing nature. Hmmm... come to think of it, I got teased by those closest and dearest to me for having rather “unattractive” crushes back then! Using conventional standards of physical beauty, of course. To which I always replied with a list of their accomplishments and qualifications... usually a very comprehensive and LONG list, hehe. “Looks may fade but the qualities I hold dear will remain,” quoth I, with a matching melodramatic pose.

            And this is why I cannot condemn the young girl who always has a new “flavour of the month,” if in her girlish infatuation her heart is tutored and enlarged, if in her innocent adulation she loses most of her tomboyish ways and becomes more womanly as she discovers her femininity. Indeed, with each and every new crush, she has a clearer and better idea of the kind of man with whom she will dedicate her life to... to his happiness she will devote every waking hour, to rearing his children she will sacrifice her all.

            “To all the girls I’ve loved before... I dedicate this song,” goes a ballad by Julio Iglesias. Given the sentimental and sappy mood I’m in, I think I’d like to dedicate this blog post “to all the boys I’ve crushed on before.” J (Aside: I use the term “boys” instead of men, and I look forward to the time when I meet them again, maybe a decade or so hence, and see the fine men I’m sure they will become... glimpses of which I was fortunate enough to see, so evident in their youth.)

            Okay, enough with the “emo-ing.” Gotta go and finish off my checking. I’ve got grades to compute and submit by Tuesday.

            *turns resolutely away from the computer*

Rebirth

           It was around this time last year that I received a “wake up call” of sorts, a renewal of my faith. Some might call it a rebirth. Ah, but mere words cannot do justice to such a life-altering event. How to explain the unexplainable? It was like being given new sight, or rather, a brand new mirror to view one’s soul in.

And so it was that a man grew up all his life wearing sunglasses, thinking that the world existed only in shades of gray. One day he bumped into a wall, the shades shattered into smithereens, and he saw all the colors of the rainbow with piercing clarity and screamed, “But I never knew!!!”

Good thing, too, for it came at a very opportune moment in my life... a time when I was crossing over from one chapter of my existence to another. A certain philosopher might call it the transition from the aesthetic mindset to that of the ethical/religious, and he wouldn’t be far from hitting the mark.

            I spent several hours of the sem break last year poring over the Bible, a tome which I had pretty much left alone as an adult after my Catholic school girl upbringing. I recall how, last year, I let the simple holy words wash over me, and fully let them enter my consciousness. As the same philosopher stated:

            “It is very upbuilding when someone humbly manages to be satisfied with the scriptural word instead of busily making new discoveries that will busily displace the old, when someone gratefully and inwardly appropriates what has been handed down from the fathers and establishes a new acquaintance with the old and familiar.”

I was very grateful for my favourite Christmas present last year, a Bible Diary given to me by my mum, and up to now I faithfully read from it and record my prayers every day. Going through my “Prayer Journal”, I was amazed at how most of my prayers have been answered, in ways I could never have expected!

            The past week in Baguio was the answer to my prayer for a cure for my weary body and a heavy heart. I slept a decadent eight hours an evening, went on food trips with my food-loving family, and got to finish some books from my to-read pile. Here’s a passage that makes for a beautifully heartfelt prayer:

            “What matters is to find my purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth that is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.

            And it is wonderful that even a “run-of-the-mill” Hollywood movie like High School Musical 3 can preach this same message: the importance of finding out what one is to do in life. I’m sure we can all relate, at some level, with Troy Bolton ... the basketball star who loves theatre with a passion. I won’t spoil the ending for those who are interested in seeing the movie, but let’s just say that, like Troy, I used to be conflicted about balancing my passions in life. I am lucky that, like Troy, I am able to balance them, and remain true to myself... recognizing, of course, that I am merely an instrument, continually being bent out of shape and perpetually striving to be aligned with my Maker.

Things are much simpler up here. Time passes more slowly, and thus I am more able to savour every conversation, linger over each hearty meal. I feel closer to the Infinite, to the Divine, up here in the city of clouds where I feel as if I might be able to touch the sky if I tiptoe and reach up high enough.

But then, God is present everywhere, and I am rather ashamed of what I wrote above because it speaks of a defect in myself when I confess my need for the physical trappings of mountain views and nippy breezes to feel the Omnipresent One in every fiber of my being. Someday I hope to become so close to Him that my will and His are no longer two separate things, but one indivisible entity, regardless of my surroundings or circumstances.

And this is why I think that semestral breaks are necessary and of vital importance, for they allow us the opportunity to step back from the clutter that is our daily life, and focus on the more important yet (more often than not) overlooked things like our relationships with God, with family and friends. We are able to scrutinize our priorities and the pointlessness of our anxieties, as compared to the sheer volume of blessings that we are given despite being undeserving of such munificence.

And though I feel rather melancholy during this last day up in the Highlands, a part of me is eager to do battle as I go forth into the valley of temptation (haha, the drama!!) that defines my day-to-day life (I’m also eager to have the opportunity to work off the pounds I’ve gained, tee hee).

I pray that, as the sem break draws to a close and as we enter the jungle that constitutes our normal routine, we may keep these happy golden hours of the sem break fresh in our memories as a guide and a shield against the many trials and potential sources of despair that we will encounter.

Contemporary Issues in the Philippine Book Industry

http://www.geocities.com/j117_likeabook/index.htm

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sem break in Baguio

            I want to freeze time. If Time were a chocolate bar, it would be locked deep in the inner recesses of our refrigerator.

            I am in Baguio, spending the next several days breathing in the fresh mountain air and recuperating from the sem-that-was, restoring mental and physical health for the sem-to-come. I daresay I am, at this minute, the happiest twenty-one-year-old in the planet. J

            This is not to say that I do not have anything on my to-do list. On the contrary, I have piles of checking waiting for my autograph in red to adorn their pages, as well as a transcription of the Purcell opera DIDO AND AENEAS and what little I remember of our blocking waiting to be typed (this is to aid our Stage Manager, so he can help whip us into shape with our three remaining rehearsals before showtime on Nov. 7 and 8), and a syllabus for Diction 2 (MuPC 111) just begging to take shape (in order to do this, I need to plow through two entire diction textbooks). OOooooooOOOoooh and I also have to compute the grades for my grade school and high school students (thankfully got to finish the college ones before leaving Manila, and thankfully, Montessori CASA students are not graded).

            But on this, my first day in Baguio, I declare that this is NO WORK DAY!

            What a beautiful thing it is to wake up at the ungodly late hour of *gasp* SEVEN O’ CLOCK! And not have to hurry up with breakfast nor one’s bath because there is no appointment to rush off to. Such decadence, such luxury... I feel almost guilty.

            Whenever I go to Baguio, I am not driven (like some more adventurous types) to rush off and have my picture taken at the see-and-be-seen tourist attractions. On the contrary, all I want to do is hole up in our humble abode and plow through my non-academic reading list, preferably with a cup of coffee or a bit of chocolate to nibble on.

            This morning I read Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” which was surprisingly deep and at the same time, utterly enjoyable and light-hearted. It is a mix of Sophia Kinsella and Frances Mayes. It also contains some of the best written food descriptions, which reminds me of “The Food Of Love,” another “appetizing” book by Anthony Capella . No wonder I’ve consumed inordinate amounts of food already, given the short time our family has been up here.

            There is one simple truth about Baguio: Everything tastes so darn good in the highlands! The vegetables are so fresh and crispy, the hot soup makes for a beautiful contrast when taken slowly against the nippy breeze, the coffee is more flavourful, and the tomatoes and fruits are every so much more JUICY. If I wasn’t wearing glasses while eating breakfast this morning, my eyes would have been baptized by a healthy dose of tomato juice which erupted like a mini fountain from a particularly ripe red specimen.

            I have already resigned myself to the fact that I WILL gain weight in Baguio. It is inevitable. But who’s to say that this is necessarily a bad thing?

            Elizabeth Gaskell phrased it well:

            “I came to Italy pinched and thin. I did not know yet what I deserved. I still maybe don’t fully know what I deserve. But I do know that I have collected myself of late – through the enjoyment of harmless pleasures – into somebody much more intact. The easiest, most fundamentally human way to say it is that I have put on weight. I exist more now than I did four months ago. I will leave Italy noticeably bigger than when I arrived here. And I will leave with the hope that the expansion of one person – the magnification of one life – is indeed an act of worth in this world.”

            Substitute “Baguio” for “Italy,” subtract the implied existential angst, and that’s pretty much my battle cry. J I have a camel metaphor I like to use for sem breaks such as this: we are like dromedaries, and sem breaks are our precious opportunities to eat well and store fat in our humps, to prepare for the long stretches of desert that constitute a working person’s life. I’m being melodramatic, of course, but you get my point.

            Am supposed to read Rainier Maria Rilke but I’m feeling too lighthearted to delve too thoroughly into his dark genius, though I must say that the several pages I skimmed made me sigh in sheer awe. I wonder how incredible an experience reading Rilke would be if I actually spoke German, given that I'm already in raptures reading him in Stephen Mitchell's English translation.

             I do not think I can afford to blog here everyday, given that WiFi is a rare and expensive commodity here in Baguio. So here's a shout out to all of my fine Internet friends: Will post comments when I get back to Manila with free wifi! :)

            Have a blessed sem break, everyone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Master Class with Maria Callas

                     Maria Callas

              Cherie Gil as Maria Callas

This is the amazing thing about art forms like music and theater... they have the power to evoke powerful emotions, serve as catharsis, and help organize abstract emotions into coherent plans of action.

POC's "Master Class" did all the above, for me. It was the second time that I've seen the play (the first one being several years ago, as a high school student), but its impact on me was nonetheless forceful and visceral. It reminded me of several truths about singing, about Music, that I'd nearly forgotten. The past several months, living as "Teacher Gabi," I nearly lost sight of my other identity... that of musician. Seeing this play revived that other essential part of me, and I cannot describe the elation I felt after leaving the theater that evening! It was like finding oneself, all anew.

Here is a brief summary I found online, and which was included in the souvenir program as well:

Maria Callas is teaching a master class in front of an audience (us). She's glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny. An accompanist sits at the piano. Callas' first "victim" is Sophie, a ridiculous, overly-perky soprano, dressed all in pink. Sophie chooses to sing one of the most difficult arias, the sleepwalking scene from La Sonnambula—an aria that Callas made famous. Before the girl sings a note, Callas stops her—she clearly can't stand hearing music massacred. And now what has started out as a class has become a platform for Callas. She glories in her own career, dabbles in opera dish and flat-out seduces the audience. Callas gets on her knees and acts the entire aria in dumb show, eventually reducing the poor singer to tears. But with that there are plenty of laughs going on, especially between Callas and the audience. Callas pulls back and gives Sophie a chance to use what she's learned. As soon as Sophie starts singing, though, Callas mentally leaves the room and goes into a sprawling interior monologue about her own performance of that aria and the thunderous applause she received at La Scala. Callas wakes up and sends Sophie off with a pat. The next two sessions repeat the same dynamic, only the middle session is with a tenor who moves Callas to tears. She again enters her memories, and we learn about Callas' affair with Aristotle Onassis; an abortion she was forced to have; her first elderly husband whom she left; her early days as an ugly duckling; the fierce hatred of her rivals; and the unforgiving press that savaged her at first. Finally, we meet Sharon, another soprano, who arrives in a full ball gown. With Sharon singing, Callas is genuinely moved, for the young singer has talent, but Callas tells her to stick to flimsy roles. Sharon is devastated and spits back every nasty thing you've ever heard about Callas: She's old, washed up; she ruined her voice too early in her career; she only wants people to worship her, etc. Sharon rushes out of the hall, and Callas brings the class to a close with a beautiful speech about the sacrifices we must make in the name of art.

Seeing "Master Class" made me rethink the basis of my adoration of a longtime idol, Maria Callas... she who redefined the word "diva" and set the standard for generations of sopranos to come.

Hers was a difficult and unhappy life. She devoted her early years to her career, but fell in love with a man whose regard for her was unequal to her devotion to him. She sacrificed her career for him, in eager anticipation of the day that she would become his wife. But in the end, he chose Jackie O. over her, and Callas lived out the rest of her days loveless and voiceless... a fate worse than death for any singer, especially for one such as her, who sacrified everything for her art.

We can learn a lot from Callas, from her devotion to excellence and single-minded pursuit of her goal. But we have to ask ourselves as well... is fame and fortune all that we truly want in Life?

Callas grew up deprived of the finer things in Life. She had to fight tooth and nail to reap the benefits of success that she more than deserved to get. But then there came a time that Callas the woman dominated over Callas the artist, and that brief period was what the play gave us insight to.

I was sobbing silently when Cherie Gil/Callas mourned the death of her aborted baby, and felt her pain as if it were my own. It is to the credit of the actress that she was able to bring Callas to life. I swear, Cherie Gil WAS Callas, for that evening! And when she remembered her triumphs, my heart soared with her. When she recounted the loss of her love, my chest ached and my eyes shed copious tears. And when the play ended, I was no longer the same.

Scratch that. I was never more fully myself than when I exited the theater, after seeing the play.

I cannot recommend this play highly enough. It is not only for musicians, but for everyone who wants to learn the true lessons in life.

"The world WILL go on without us. But I would like to think that we have left this world a better place, that we have left it richer, wiser than had we not chosen the way of art." -- Maria Callas

MASTER CLASS is still showing in the RCBC Plaza, Makati, this weekend! (Oct. 23, 24 and 25, 8 pm) For tickets, please call Philippine Opera Company at 8928786 or visit www.philippineoperacompany.com

The View from My Balcony




Being a teacher has its perks... one of them being the weekend I spent in Days Hotel, Tagaytay City, for an overnight seminar for English teachers sponsored by a publishing company. (Yup... an all-expense paid overnight trip to Tagaytay!)

This is the view from my balcony. *sigh* Imagine waking up to all this grandeur, every morning!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Separation Anxiety Part 2

I spent the past several days offline as a result of a virus that infected my precious laptop (whom I've unoriginally nicknamed "Lappy Toppy"). I survived on five-minute internet doses by begging for mercy from my siblings, who graciously let me use theirs.

I've had an eventful week!

I went to an all-expenses-paid overnight seminar in Tagaytay City for English teachers, and experienced two days of independence (which was both exhilirating and eye-opening).

I watched the Philippine Opera Company's production of MASTER CLASS, starring Cherie Gil as Maria Callas (For pictures, go to THIS page).

I met up with a friend and had a marathon four-hour catching-up session over coffee.

I read an extremely heartwarming book, Josh Grogan's "Marley & Me" (which was made into a movie already, I understand), in one sitting, and developed a bad cold as a result of the sob-fest that followed.

I panelled for two voice recitals as well as for the voice exams.

A friend told me that I'm living a full life, and indeed, I am. :)

Separate blog entries will follow, reflecting on a couple of the past week's experiences. But for now, I just want to share my joy at having my beloved Lappy Toppy back to normal (yeeees, she's A OK!), and share my excitement at the sem break that is to come starting Saturday.

Here is my sem-break to-read pile:

* Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

* Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

* How I Believe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

* The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy

* Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

* Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination by Robert Jourdain

* Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainier Maria Rilke

* The Essential Kierkegaard by Howard and Edna Hong

That's not including the German and French diction textbooks I need to peruse (wait, make that, cram into my brain) to prepare for the 2nd sem of Diction class. *gasp*

Aaaaaaaa sem break... It's so near... I can TASTE it.... (The irony of life... kung kelan ako naging teacher, saka umikli ang sem break)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Walking Contradiction

What Gabriela Means
You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.
 
 
 
 
Hmmm my little profile seems to have contradicting parts. :)
What's YOUR name's hidden meaning?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ten Little Pimples

That's what I have growing in my chin area, as a memento from the hell week that was. (I would like to thank Maxwell House 3-in-1 coffee for helping me get through the week...)

I used to think that I was majorly stressed out as an undergrad. Ha! How wrong I was. I wouldn't say that I've completely gotten the hang of juggling work with studying for my MA, but at least I survived the first sem. :) I hope that the second sem will be easier.

My voice box, too, had to undergo major adjustments as a result of talking non-stop for an average of 4-5 hours a day... something I never had to do in my life, before I started teaching. Often, I'd arrive in UP CMu with my voice too tired from talking, so I would illustrate certain musical effects to my voice students by singing one octave lower. I'd be too vocally tired to even vocalize.

But when all is said and done, I don't want to give up teaching in the classroom. :) I'm learning so much. I had to exchange my high school English class for the Asian Civilization (AP) class for the 2nd quarter, and I'm having the time of my life reading history books and discussing the events that shaped Asian history. It's like taking History as another course in college.

However, a dangerous thing about teaching is the temptation for hubris. When you're in a position of absolute power day in and day out, sometimes it can get to you.

That's why I'm really grateful for the chance to BE the student once again, during my MA classes. Being put into a subservient position, as a break from the dictatorship position of the teacher in the classroom, is a welcome and much-needed paradigm shift.

Two weeks to go before sem break. Awoo!

~ ~ ~

Something I read from the peyups multiply page:

"Ang Pag-aaral sa 'Big Three' maikukumpara sa pag-aaral mag-swimming:

Sa La Salle
, aalalayan ka mula simula hanggang matuto kang lumangoy.
Kahit marunong ka na aalalayan ka pa rin.

Sa Ateneo
, aalalayan ka sa simula hanggang matuto kang lumangoy. Kapag marunong
kana, papabayaan ka nang mag-isa.

Sa UP
, itutulak ka sa tubig, papabayaan kang malunod hanggang matuto kang lumangoy."

-Roderico de Armas (Math 17)

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Couple of Recital Plugs

Happiness is getting to finish all the papers required for the most terrible of subjects one day in advance (all that remains is for me to get around printing them, easy-peasy!).

Happiness is resting secure in the knowledge that the dreaded finals for the aforementioned "most terrible of subjects" is OPEN-NOTES (Though there are some who would hyperventilate at this, thinking that it certainly means an exam of the hardest calibre).

Happiness is having a couple of minutes free to type a quick blog post in the middle of the week.

So! Today I sat in the panel for the special voice exams (for the recitalists this sem). Regular voice exams are scheduled next week, the list was posted in the Voice Dept. bulletin board this morning.

It was my first time to do so, and it was... an eye-opening experience. Let's leave it at that. :)

It was more tiring than I expected, but I really enjoyed myself especially when I watched Zuri Valbuena's recital audition.

Calling all Sir Eudy fans! Sir Eudenice Palaruan (yup, the one and only Sir Eudy) will be performing as Dulcamara in Donizetti's opera, L'ELISIR D'AMORE. He stole the limelight for me, I'm afraid. What a superb actor/singer Sir Eudy is!

Sir Eudy and a wonderful cast of singers will be performing for one night only at the SOLAIR Auditorium, UP Diliman, on Oct.14, Tuesday next week, 8:00 PM.

These great singers include sopranos Anna Migallos and Maricris Joaquin, baritones Noel Azcona and Eudenice Palaruan, the UP Concert Chorus, and will be conducted by Camille Lopez-Molina (who is a diva soprano herself, as well as an accomplished accompanist... in short, an all-around musician). :)

Oh and did I say that Sir Eudy Palaruan will be singing in the opera?

Hahaha it was the highlight of my day. Just recalling it makes me grin broadly.

Tenor Eric Ferrer will be having his graduation recital on the same day, it is a production of "LA TRAVIATA" (for production photos, please go to this page). It will be at 7:00 PM, at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium in CMu, UP Diliman. Soprano Alegria Ferrer will be performing, along with several other excellent singers.

If only I could halve myself in two, so I can attend both recitals. :)

Whether you choose the comedic opera or the tragic one, I assure you, you will be in for a musical/visual treat.

'Tis recital season once again, and oh! Ain't it grand! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Vita Brevis

"Life is so short!" I read this phrase many times while reading Jostein Gaardner's novel in between cramming sessions for work/ MA. I read Augustine's Confessions about the same time last year, and reading Gaardner's companion novel (purportedly a letter to Augustine from his concubine, Floria) was like reading the Bishop of Hippo's autobiography again, only this time, through more critical eyes.

While I am trying my best to live up to my Christian/Catholic beliefs, I still do not concur with the extreme views that some fellow Christians seem to hold on to. I do not mean any offense against them, I am merely voicing out my own personal beliefs when I say that while I acknowledge that True Joy cannot be found here on earth, I do not believe that it is a sin to find happiness in things like spending quality time with one's family (never mind if it entails watching a movie with some violent scenes... something that would be frowned upon by a few). Balance, I think, is the key. While we must take care not to mistake the good for what is best, we do not sin by taking pleasure in worshipping God by appreciating His Creations. Despising this life, the one He has given us... isn't it a sin of ingratitude?

Floria, the book's narrator, said it best: "We should not try to live as something other than what we are. Would that not be to mock God? We are human beings, Aurel. We must first live, and then -- yes, then we can philosophize." (Context: Augustine loved this women deeply, and even had a son with her, but he left her because he believed that loving this woman was threatening to take over his love for God, and therefore damning his soul)

Augustine was a great man, yet at the end of it all, he was just... a man, frail and weak like the rest of us. In his weakness, he blamed his beloved for his shortcomings... unrightfully so.

~ ~ ~

"Life is so short!" I had a greater appreciation of this in the past week, when I attended the birthday celebration of our beloved arnis teacher, Sir Bot Jocano. I still remember his birthday LAST year, and the speed with which time seemed to pass was a blink of an eye.

A year later, our little organization has grown. Some old members left, but new ones have replaced them. I was happy to have the chance to meet the newbies, and even got to see old familiar faces. I foresee great things for this merry band of stick-toting academics/artists... wonderful people, all.

"Life is so short!"

Never mind that my to-do list is a mile long. I grabbed the chance to have dinner with a couple of friends Thursday evening, after work.

"Life is so short!" It is too short to waste time getting stressed over a finals exam that I have not the time to sufficiently prepare for. (Aside: By some twist of fate, I had no choice but to enroll in the hardest subject for my MA... Ed 202, Statistics for Teachers. I only found out that this was "THE" terror subject a couple of weeks ago. No wonder I've been mentally pummelled, it seems, all throughout this past sem!)

Life is too short to waste time ranting about the fact that I had to spend Saturday afternoon cramming MA papers that are due next week, instead of going to the CCP to watch "La Boheme." (I'll make up for it by watching POC's THE MASTER CLASS instead)

Life is too short, and each experience is precious, each day is a gift. May we all embrace Life, its joys and tribulations, its trials and torments, its beauty and its brevity, with the gratitude and wonder of a little child opening his present on Christmas Day.

(Speaking of Christmas, it's just around the corner!!!! And so is the sem break!!!!! *cartwheel* )

Friday, October 3, 2008

DZFE Classical Live

http://www.dzfe.febc.ph/classicallive/
98.7 DZFE's blog, where the latest classical music events in Metro Manila are posted :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

After-Work Dinner




With Christian, Nicole, Richard, and my clone at Red Ribbon (love their choco mousse!!!)

Nothing like dinner with friends to make post-work stress go away :)
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog