Recently | 02

aI had been procrastinating (as usual) on so many things for these past few months and writing is definitely one of them. To be honest, I just didn’t have much to write about. Anyway, I got myself a job that doesn’t swallow too much of my brainspace, allowing me to pursue several things that I had always wanted to do on the side. An office that’s literally 20 minutes away from our apartment, surrounded by weird Korean supermarkets and cafes, without the possibility of bumping into anyone I know. I kinda like it that way. The anonymity. The solace. My own comfortable personal space. It’s not always crowded everywhere here, mostly because of my shift schedule. I can finally breathe. ❤

R E A D I N G

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Probably, the most aesthetically arousing book, that I am partly certain was written for me. Lol. The privilege, the obsession for beauty and philosophy, the constant need to prove a point. Friendships built on like-mindedness. Deep, intellectual conversations.I don’t know how to explain just how beautiful this book is. Honestly it deserves it’s own Netflix show. And right now, it’s certifiably top one for me.

“And if beauty is terror,” said Julian, “then what is desire? We think we have many desires, but in fact we have only one. What is it?”

“To live,” said Camilla.

“To live forever,” said Bunny, chin cupped in palm.

― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

This next one brought me out of my unemployed slump, it picked me up, shook me awake and pushed me into the corporate life again: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I found out about this book when I finally acame around and played Bioshock: Infinite -because, unemployed. To sum it, amazing game, very confusing ending. Apparently, the city in the game was a dystopian version of what Ayn Rand had created in her book. I found it fascinating how a game presented the idea of Objectivism and turned it on it’s head.

“What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish.”

― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

W A T C H I N G

Kinda loving this little YouTube series I’ve been into recently: Cracked – People Watching.   Specifically the first episode, where Candy basically summed up the whole idea of dating into one beautiful sentence:

“Maybe the entire focus of dating should be to get a greater sense of self-acceptance, and then maybe that’ll make you attractive to the kind of person who finds that attractive “

L E A R N I N G

I have taken up sketching again. But this time, a little more seriously. With schedules and lessons and workshops and all that. Also, pottery. Although, I honestly don’t know how to get started with that. Time management, dear heavens, how do you even?

Getting started to be legitimately smart with my finances too. Just making sure that I buy the things I need, that will last longer instead of buying things just out of impulse.

P L A C E Sa

I traveled nowhere. Hiked nowhere. No events. No reunions. I lived the months alone with my family, doing my best to develop a rich inner life which I had been craving for. Saturdays spent on study. Sundays are movies with the family. I dined out with work buddies whose company I enjoy and are continuing to be my light source in an otherwise gloomy workplace. Such a quiet existence, unlike the one I had last year. All noise, no spunk. So empty and boisterous. I am learning to forgive and love myself in between the silence and athe stillness of my lovely simple everydays.

P E O P L E

I am slowly, slowly, slowly starting to reach out to people. First to the people I left in my previous job. I have made plans with them this coming November and I am very excited about it. We’ll be launching and working on a secret project soon. Will update here on the blog once it’s up and running.

Thinking of deleting my Twitter account too. Been using it for nine years now and I suddenly felt the need to rid myself of one social media account just so I have less distractions. Plus, I’d want to remove the instinct to constantly want to document everything and post it online almost immediately. I need to face shit now. As an adult, it’s part of the fucking deal.

*Note: Might make this whole “Recently | ##” a monthly kind of thing. It’s so therapeutic and sort inspires me to sketch more and take more photos. *

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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.