Recently| 01

Lately, I’ve been working on a draft of a supposedly six story saga about the Filipino nation. Honestly, I have yet to choose which literary medium will suit it best and actually try to write it. It’s an ambitious self-imposed project that I am definitely not ready for. It extends way beyond my capacity as an artist; and perhaps, that’s the reason why I take it to heart so much.

recentlyAs to why I’m writing a blog post that is definitely out of my distinct aesthetic, well, as Edie Sedgwick once said: “When you start at 20, you have a lot of nonsense to work out of your system”. So here I am, in a rampage of verbal diarrhea. In the hopes, that I might be able to clear half of the bullshit swimming in my head on a daily basis.

R E C E N T L Y

R E A D I N G
Earlier this Thursday, I read this philosophical paper by Song Jingjing about the “Modernist Aesthetics in the Films of Wong Kar-Wai”. Let it be known that I’ve been obsessed with Wong Kar-Wai these last few weeks and had been scouring the net for his movies (In the mood for Love, Chunking Express, My Blueberry Nights). There’s something inexplicably intimate about the way he depicts his characters. It’s almost as though, you’re watching a story -like an unwelcomed and comfortably ignored guest- unfold right in front of you in a glorious cascade of colors and shaky camera shots.

To summarize, Wong’s characters are always self-contradictive. On one hand, they
are longing for the true love and sincere relationship. But on the other hand, they are
afraid of being hurt. In this way, they are always in the process of searching, escaping,
and rejecting, which finally lead them to the extreme loneliness and tough situation.

“Modernist Aesthetics in the Films of Wong Kar-Wai”

Not to mention, it is in his aesthetic that I found beauty and inspiration in the Manila urban underground. The daily commuters, the street vendors, the starving students. etc. The way he had captured his Hongkong, is similar to the way you can see the grittier parts of Manila -incandescent, isolated with a incessant, unshakeable feeling that there is something missing in the picture.

The thesis also alludes to Wong Kar-Wai poetically stating that:

Time is the main reason why people do not meet:
they occupy the same space, but in different times

W A T C H I N G

So I came upon this video on YouTube which almost resembles an earlier version of a travel vlog of Pre-War Manila.

Comparing modern-day Manila to the pre-World War 2 Manila in the video, you can see just how much the Filipinos had lost an integral part of our history by replacing these old Spanish-era buildings with the then chic art deco buildings after World War II. Perhaps, the trauma the city withstood was far too much to handle; that they stripped the remaining concrete of old Manila to make way for a new Manila -under the American influence. Perhaps, that’s the reason why Filipinos tend to have difficulties in terms of patriotism. The colonial mentality, as they call it. Praising the foreign while remaining apathetic to the local. Simply because the beauty of the old was torn down to make way for the shiny and new. Simply because the masses had forgotten the beauty of what we had lost in lieu to the devastating grief and loss.

It’s not fair to simply try to fit the Filipinos into one singular box that can portray the country’s heritage/culture as a whole. After all, we are the melting pot of all melting pots even before the Spanish came. We find no need to celebrate our diversity. Our diversity has always been a part of us. There is no distinct Filipino look, only an essence reminiscent of a pipeline country where the West seeped into East, and the East into the West. However, this lack of facial distinction and apathetic regard to heritage sites creates a cultural vaccuum. A cultural vaccuum that has yet to be acknowledged.

 

Advertisements

You start to live in the comfort of their existence.

The intermingling sweetness of love and being loved

is much sweeter when tasted closehand. But —

the heaviness remains while you dance in the

softness of clouds laid rest on your toes awaiting

grey dull rains on Thursday evenings amidst drinking

beer and cocktails. Awaiting January movie nights

-nodding heads of lamplit hair

03.13.16

aeIronic how most of the time I find myself quite frightened of decisions I have yet to make, of places you have yet to be, situations you have yet to fall into. As though worrying about them as early as now will make any difference when I actually come upon them. It’s frightening how life can stretch onwards, far beyond me. All these possibilities. And so many of them too..

We are never entirely sure what happens in the end and it’s such sweet comfort. Ignorance is bliss. Knowing where one should be without knowing exactly where one will be. Grey office cubicles, the dizzying technicolor of parenthood. 

Right now, it doesn’t matter. 

We can live off booze and a few kisses here n there. Maybe meet new people along the way. Making sure to stop at every sign post but not truly making way to any destination. Incredibly vibrant with an unquenchable thirst to experience so much of everything. Biting off more than we can actually chew. Self destructing because it’s somehow romantic. Reconstructing for the same reason we self destruct. 

But some days are no adventure.

Some days you wake up mouth dry, aching for more sleep. Trudging across tuna fresh marble floors. Sighing at your emails. The tedious task of keeping sane. Earning money to buy things you’re convinced will make you happy. Mistaking every toxic romances for bittersweet love affairs. 

For youth, life is a series of innumerable days. 

We never count tomorrows because they are sure to come. We have too little yesterdays to regret any ongoing to-days. And so we spend it. Our fractured weekdays to build an uncertain future. Allowing ourselves to be gears in a machine that won’t stop for us. Becoming an employee number. Losing our weekends to sleep and reckless feats of deprivation. Because only youth can make any form of self ruin beautiful.

After all, we have countless decisions we have yet to make, untold places we have yet to be, innumerable situations we have yet to fall into.

Again, time to start anew.