Sino si Pepe?

Sino ka ba, Pepe?

Pinanganak June 19, 1861 Calamba Laguna Namatay December 30, 1896 sa Bagong Bayan na ngayon ay Luneta Dito nanumpa ang maraming mga pangulo at binabaril minsan ang mga turista Ang dami mong sinulat pero sino ba ang nagbabasa? Kabayanihan mo’y nasa aming ugat pero tunay ka ba naming kilala? Mula kapanganakan hanggang kamatayan kasama namin ang iyong pangalan Nalimutan na namin kung sino ka talaga

Sino ka ba, Pepe? 

Pero naku, ang dami naming tanong. Talaga bang ikaw ay para sa rebolusyon o assimilasyon? Talaga bang binawi mo ang mga sinulat at sinabi mo noon? O ikaw ba’y isang dakilang ilusyon ng panahon? Sabi mo noon gusto mo ang libingan ay simpleng hukay. Isang bato, isang krus sa paanan ng bundok. Walang anibersaryo, walang seremonias, walang palabok. Pero Pepe, wala kang magagawa, paminsan-minsan masabi lang namin, may kalahi kaming dakila.

Sino ka ba, Pepe? 

Pero tignan mo naman ngayon, Pepe.
Hindi ka lang pinag-aaralan, dinadakila, Ikaw rin ay dinadasalan, sinasamba na parang Jesus Christ lang. Kaya idol talaga kita Pepe. Kahit ano pang sabihin nila hindi na bale. Dahil wala kang katulad. The first Filipino. The great Malayan. The Pride of the Malay Race. Tagalog Christ. National Hero. Sobresaliente. Kahit ang mukha mo ay nakikita lang namin sa piso na nawawala na nang halaga.

Sino ka ba, Pepe? Sino ka ba talaga, Pepe?

Who is Pepe? Who is Jose Rizal?

I was then a cute and talented grade one student in my former school (the adjectives may be unnecessary but trust me, it’s essential for this article). You know how things go along on schools during the celebration of its foundation. there were programs, parties, field demonstrations, and other things that our teachers forced us to do. I was the candidate of our class in the usual mister and miss pageant/talent show/whatever you call those contests. During the question and answer portion, the host asked me what will I do if ever I got the chance to meet Jesus. Yes, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Now most of the kids my age would probably ask the God about material things, blessings, and other kiddie stuff (you know, he’s omnipotent) but did you know what I answered? I told the host that if ever I got to meet Jesus, I will ask him to tell me a story. Not the usual stories or parables of Jesus but the life story of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Guess what? I lost the competition and did not even place. I think I got one special award but it was too unessential to have a place in my memory.

Do I have any regrets answering that way? Maybe a little. Because my parents – with their high expectations for the said competition – repeatedly taunt the way I answered. (But for the record, I did not hate them for that. It’s actually funny to remember those things after all these years.)

As I grew up, I had other chances to meet Dr. Jose Rizal. I was in grade three when I first visited his house in Calamba, Laguna. I was in grade four when the biopic Jose Rizal starring Cesar Montano came out at the Metro Manila Film Fest. I was in High School when I studied his life and two novels – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. And in college, I took the required Rizal subject and looked at him in a deeper perspective. I studied his life, works, his escapades, his women, and the controversies surrounding his life.

I thought I already knew Jose Rizal. I was wrong. It turned out that I would learn more about him after finishing college.

This may sound ridiculous but although my favorite subject in school history, I had a tough time dealing with bookish teachers who seem to know nothing about the subject. I suffered from poor teachers teaching bad history and apathetic classmates (i.e. “Huwag ka nang magtanong. Aanhin mo ba yang history sa trabaho?”). So I resorted to my own effort to know the subject more.

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Of course, we learned who Dr. Jose Rizal is, his achievements, (some of) his works, the number of women whom he allegedly went to bed with, the number of places he’s been to, and the number of languages that he can speak. But are those enough? Is that the way Pepe wants us to remember him?

I think knowing and understanding who Pepe is is a continuing work (or a struggle, if you may permit). We live in the world where everybody seems to be speaking in behalf of a great person; where history can be manipulated; and the stories heard are from those with a loud voice.

I am no expert when it comes to history nor have a sufficient knowledge about Dr. Jose Rizal but let me share with you the things that I have learned after graduating  from school: Do not be contented with your teacher’s history. Read other books. Compare. Ask questions. And do not be gullible.

As we celebrate and commemorate Pepe’s 151st birthday today, I hope we all make an effort to know him more and to really understand his legacy and message. Let us not let the man’s noble efforts and sacrifice die in vain.

Ikaw? Ano ang pagkakakilala mo kay Jose Rizal?

Elsewhere:

  • Rock Rizal – The song above is Sino si Pepe? by Radioactive Sago Project. It is included in last year’s Rock Rizal compilation featuring original songs inspired by Jose Rizal’s life and works. Check out the other tracks from Ely Buendia, Gloc-9, Ebe Dancel, Jett Pangan, Peryodiko, Aiza Seguerra and many more. 
  • Reflections on Rizal-Three Thoughts – Sir Nik’s piece about how we Filipinos view Jose Rizal, how he grew up with him, and how we should view his works. This is a must-read. 
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My Journey in Space with Paul McCartney

It was a boring weekend sometime last year. I was lazily browsing music videos and concert footages of The Beatles on YouTube when I came across this amazing video – Please, Please Me performed by Sir Paul McCartney and his band during his The Space within US concert tour last 2005.

I hate doing comparisons when it comes to music but I thought to myself that Paul’s performance of Please, Please Me in this concert is better than the original recording on the 1960 album of the same title. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of the four Beatles – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Starr – and their music but I think, this performance brought the song to a new level. Maybe because of technology (musical instruments, gears, effects, production) or maybe because of the diverse crowd that the song became livelier. I may be wrong but I think Paul and his band made this 1960 song apt for his 2005 audience and listeners.

After repeatedly raping the replay button of the abovementioned video, I searched and watched the other videos from the same concert that were uploaded by the same user. I got goosebumps when I heard the head-banging guitar riff of Helter Skelter (which, they said, is the best live version of the song); I felt that I was with the crowd when I watched the opening song Magical Mystery TourI felt like floating in the air with the love anthems I Will and Till There Was Youand I immediately went in front of my piano and play the song a la McCartney after I heard Penny Lane.

After seeing the videos, I told myself that I should wath the whole set of that concert. Unfortunately, the YouTube channel didn’t upload the other songs from the concert. So I find a way to obtain a copy. It took me more than two (2) weeks before finally getting myself a clear copy (you know, connection and seeders issue, if you know what I mean) but it was worth the wait. After repeatedly watching the whole concert, I never looked at Sir Paul McCartney the same way again.

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The Space within US is a concert DVD by Sir Paul McCartney released in november 2006. It is composed of the footage from his ‘US’ tour in 2005 in the United states in concurrence with the release of his chaos and Creation in the Backyard album. Joining him in the tour are his band members Rusty Anderson, Brian Ray, Paul “Wix” Wickens, and Abe Laboriel Jr.

The DVD gives us a close and personal view on what Paul McCartney’s 2005 tour looked like. It showcases his music, behind the scenes (backstage, the soundcheck, trips inside a private jet and a touring bus, and his surprise visit to a family whose three generations are fans of his), and interviews with some prominent persons such as Jay-Z, Paul Stanley of Kiss, former US President Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Cameron Crowe, and Steve Jobs.

The song opened with the Beatles classic Magical Mystery Tour and Paul played his his other hits – from The Beatles, Wings, up to his solo career – throughout the whole set of 28 songs and ending it with a bang with the abovementioned video Please Please Me.

Paul McCartney is a great and talented musician – there is no question in that. But what struck me most is how his influence spanned almost three (or four) generations of fans and musicians. Watching the concert video, I see families watching his show. There are also teenagers and young kids who were born long after Paul’s heydays in his stint with The Beatles and Wings. One writer remarked that the same audience who went screaming at The Beatles’ performance at the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960’s (during their first visit in the US) were also the same audience watchin Paul’s 2005 tour – together with their children and grandchildren. A musical career spanning for almost fifty years? That is just, wow.

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My other favorite part of the concert video was when they did a live broadcast at the International Space Station. Yes, a live broadcast miles above the earth when Paul serenaded two astronauts, William McArthur and Valeri Ivanovich Tokarev, with the song English Tea as their ‘wake-up call’. One of them even described Paul as an ‘explorer’ just as they are because all of them are ensuring a bright future for all the kids of the earth.

I may have not watched the concert with the crowd at Anaheim, California but watching the video felt like being one with them, traveling in the vast space with Paul’s great music. Watching and listening to his concert felt like being carefree and floating peacefully in outer space.

This concert changed the way I view Paul McCartney. Yes, he may not be my favorite Beatle (it will always be John), but his music and legacy puts him on a certain, special place for my musical heroes.

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And today, on his 70th birthday, I salute the ‘greatest composer of the millennium’, the ageless Beatle, the Knight, and the other half of the Lennon-McCartney musical tandem. Thank you for the music. Thank you for the great anthems. I salute your legacy, good Sir.

I will always be a fan.

Ecce cor meum.

______________

Let me share you a personal experience on why we should teach today’s generation the difference between great music and crap. During one of my classes with my third grade students, I showed them a picture of The Beatles and asked them if they know who the Beatles are. After a few seconds of silence, one of them raised his hand and asked me,“Sir, are they trying to copy the hairstyle of Justin Bieber?”

The Letter that Changed My Life

I have already shared this letter before but allow me to do it again for today’s occasion. I was a rejected writer way back in High School. My articles were literally crumpled and then thrown into the trash bin (I saw my teacher did that heart-breaking scenario inside the faculty room). My superior said that my articles were “not good” and “unreadable.”

I think most of us knew the feeling of failing and being rejected. I thought of myself as a failure. A total failure and an embarrassment. I almost gave up. I lost faith in my own skills.

But as in all tragedy, there is a hero, a redeemer, an inspiration. And I saw that person in my father. He wrote this open letter when I was in second year High School and have it posted on the Francois Corner – a bulletin board/literary board in the seminary for the written works of the seminarians (talk about “pambabraso”, I think that term is more appropriate).

 

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This letter changed my life. Since then, I have been writing articles after articles, stories after stories, essays after essays, taking into consideration his messages and advice written on this letter. This letter became a major turning point of my life. The Juan of today will never be the same had he not written this letter.

November 27, 2002

Sorry son, I beat you on the draw this time. Time and again I have always urged you to write something for the Francois Corner. I want you to express yourself, your views of life, of family, of human relations, of growing up, and whatever heaven-may-care concerns you think worthwhile. Write them as they are gestated on your mind. Don’t wait until you may only have to recall the precious moments, when life is already filled with misgivings for the things you’ve done and those you chose not to do, when you may already have to contend with the biases of your own reasoning, whan all things have their good excuses and alibis…the very way I do now.

You have read better books than I did and your vocabulary has improved considerably in your almost two years in the seminary. Nevermind if I tell you that the words as you define them have awkward meanings. As you go along life’s path, you’ll realize the words and gestures alike are interpreted in appropriate contexts, not just they are portrayed in the dictionary. The best poetry of literary piece is something that depicts noble intentions, of truth, of justice, of virtues, of writer’s characters. Avoid flashy and ostentatious adjectives, grandiose adverbs, and dangling modifiers..they often end up in lies.

You are so lucky son. you have found freedom within the confines of the walls of the seminary and I want you to write of this. Freedom is not just doing what you want. It is also getting rid of the things that would otherwise prevent you from doing what you want. Most of us outside are virtual prisoners of our own means, of both obsession and indifference, of curiosity and apathy. Put no envy or remorse for being sheltered from the world, just have it that many would have wanted to be in your place. Talk to your brother seminarians, your formators, and every people you meet and you may learn the reason. Whatever reason it is, take it with humility and reticence. Read a lot, keenly observe things and improve your sense of disrection. Seek wisdom in prayers and let faith be the pillar of judgement.

Write, son, write. Hearten others with the might of your pen. When I held your hand when I first thought you how to write, I had no further intent for you but to learn to inscribe your name. After a few summers, reams and reams of paper, and buckets of ink, I urge you to make a turn around.  Let not your name be prominent but God’s. In your own modest way, lead your readers to Him. Let those words be your hook and line as you brace yourself to be a fisher of men. With God’s grace and a few summers more, (And this, me and your mother pray for) you may already have been an adept articulator of his words. I hope that by then, you will remember this day that I encouraged you to write.

I hope that you will not fail me son. I expect to see your paper tucked in the corks of Francois Corner. We love you.

It has been almost a decade since my father wrote this letter but from time to time, I still look at it for inspiration, guidance, and something to look up to. I see this as an oasis of an honest words of advice from the man whom I consider a hero, a model, an idol.

 

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It has been ten years since he wrote this letter. Times and circumstances have changed.He may have not written a follow-up for this letter but from time to time, he talks to me, man to man, about life’s little tricks and lessons. Since we are open to each other, I think a letter is no longer necessary to give his message to me. But who knows? Maybe when the circumstances need it, he would give me a better and more dramatic father-to-son letter.

I know that I still have a lot to do in order to reach my dream to write and to inspire pople. But I am proud to say that I have taken the few little steps to reach that journey. Thank you to all who read my posts here in my little blog.

I have learned from my Psychology and Human Development classes that a good image of a father is vital to a child’s (especially a son’s) development. I thank my  Tatay Juan for being a good model, a friend, and a drinking buddy. And thank you for being my inspiration, for being my Maestro. I will always be grateful. I love you.

Happy Father’s Day po Tatay. Inuman tayo mamaya. Padayon!

Pinoy Alternate History

Last Wednesday, Independence Day, I joined RocketKapre.com’s Twitter discussion/trend/story telling about the alternate Filipino history. By means of the hashtag #RP612fic, Twitter users shared their tweet-length stories about our country’s alternative history and realist micro fiction.

The discussion started on the eve of the independence day and I can’t help but laugh my ass off over the creative, insane, and funny tweets about our country’s alternate history. And being one of my favorite topic is history, I decided to joined the discussion and created my own stories.

I decided to collate and post my #RP612fic tweets here in my blog because eventually, these stories will be covered with other stories, opinion, and whatnots on my timeline. Ladies and gentlemen, I am presenting you the product of my love for history, pop culture, conspiracy theory, and TV shows.

  • ‘Ibong Adarna’ was replaced by ‘Amaya’ as a required reading in Middle School Filipino subject by DepEd Secretary Marian Rivera
  • Tiyang Amy, in Face to Face’s 25th anniversary, proved that J.Rizal was the real father of A.Hitler. And Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Bimby Aquino-Yap became the Supreme Chancellor of Ladlad Party List, His Ninong, veteran TV host Boy Abunda was very proud of him.
  • During WW2, Jose Rizal went to Germany and told Hitler: “Adolf, this is how I met your Mother”. That led to the Fuhrer’s suicide.
  • Tyrion Lannister helped the KKK to defeat the Spaniards with wildfire. Unfortunately, Aguinaldo ordered his men to kill him.
  • Jon Snow is the real hero of Tirad Pass. Unfortunately, he fell in love with an Igorot who later betrayed him and had him killed.
  • Unknown to many, Ferdinand Marcos sung ‘Careless Whisper’ in his sex tape with Dovie Beams, not ‘Pamulinawen.’
  • After the successful murder of Kingpin Asiong Salonga, the Soviet Union and the CIA recruited Erning Toothpick to kill JFK.
  • There is a hidden passage in Malacanang Palace that leads to Divisoria (just like the hidden Hogwarts-Hogsmeade passage).
  • Andres Bonifacio did not die. Since all of the members of KKK are infected, he became a walker and ate Aguinaldo’s guts and brain.
  • Since he cannot afford the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, Juan Luna resorted to canvas and blood to paint the Spoliarium.
  • Asiong Salonga was imprisoned for violating the Anti-Epal Law. Lawmakers did not want his picture plastered all over Tondo.
  • Antonio Luna and Andres Bonifacio are laughing their asses off over the failed assassination attempt by Emilio Aguinaldo.
  • Last known tweet of Andres Bonifacio: “Having a good time with my brother, Procopio here at Maragondon. Aguinaldo’s men are Lulz!”
  • ‘The Rains of Castamere’ was played during the declaration of Philippine independence due to the persuasion of the Lannisters.
  • The lead role for the movie ‘Casanova’ was originally given to Gregorio del Pilar. He turned it down and gave it to Heath Ledger.
  • Gregorio del Pilar failed to send the tweet of a distress call for reinforcement. Globe’s 4G signal was very poor at Tirad Pass.

I could have added other insane stories on my tweets but I didn’t want to flood my followers’ Twitter timeline. And I am planning to use them in my ambitious, long-overdue, personal project. (It has something to do with political satire/parody and books. There, I said it.)

It is said that there are no ifs in history. We cannot dwell on the past and try to change it. But we can always learn from its lessons. As what George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

But we can always use our imagination and think of a good and creative historical fiction. And have a good laugh.

Padayon!

Cradle of Noble Heroes (‘Duyan ka ng Magiting’)

It may look like real bloodstains on the front page of today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer but no, they are not.This is the broadsheet’s way of saluting the heroes who offered their lives for the freedom of our country.

They further explained this catchy way of expressing their advocacy when I opened the broadsheet and opened the real front page.

Filipinos have made the ultimate sacrifice to win and protect the freedom we now enjoy. Let us continue to uphold it with brave, responsible journalism.

I first saw the image of this front page from ABS-CBN’s Niko Baua’s tweet earlier this morning. And because I am fond of memorable and artistic front pages and covers, I immediately went to the public market and grabbed myself a copy.

But this was not the first instance that the Inquirer did this Independence Day gimmick. Last year, they created a ‘false cover’ as a statement of press freedom press in lieu of the independence day. [You can check that issue by looking at my last year’s post here.]

Kudos to the Inquirer for your catchy way of showing to the younger generation the meaning of heroism and freedom! Long live our heroes! Long live the Filipino people!

______________

Side notes and other stuff:

  • Today is the 114th Independence Day of the Philippines. Let us thank our heroes and forefathers who fought for the freedom that we are enjoying today. (Special mention to my wasak na wasak idols Juan Luna and Graciano Lopez-Jaena. Tagay sa langit – o kung saan man – mga pare! and to the macho guwapito Gregorio del Pilar.)
  • Much has been written about the celebration and non-celebration of the Philippine Independence today. Some are jubilant, others are apathetic. There are those who care for its essence and there are those who care for the holiday. You may not feel it, you may not celebrate it, or you may not care for it, but you are still one of the beneficiaries of the victory of the war of our fathers. Smile. And be thankful even just for today.
  • Rp612Fic 2012 (#RP612fic) – If you are following some of our local journalists, bloggers, and policy makers on Twitter, then you may have seen this hashtag (But I guess not since you are busy kissing the ass of the Twitter famewhores and sucking the updates of Pinoy Big Brother). It’s the project of the blog RocketKapre.com. For today’e celebration, they have come up with tweets of alternate history stories (Most tweets are funny, entertaining, and out-of-this-world!). I am inviting you to join the conversation, stretch your creativity and imagination, and have a good laugh. I have already made some on my Twitter account, you may want to check it out.
  • Lupang Hinirang: The Philippine National Anthem Animation for Independence Day 2012(Animated by Arnold Arre and performed by Radioactive Sago Project) – NHCP and RockEd Radio’s gift for the Filipino people to mark our 114th independence day. This is probably the best music video of our national anthem that I have seen – no self-gratifying politicians; no artistas who do not memorize the lyrics of the song. Just pure artistry and music. Check it out!
  • I have already written and said this last year but let me repeat again:  We are celebrating independence day but I believe that we are not really that free. Press people are killed and information are kept hidden. Support the Freedom of Information Act! Pass the Freedom of Information Bill. NOW!

I suck at concluding my posts and articles so let me just share my favorite line from my favorite Sugarfree song, Los Baños:

Kalayaan sa ating lahat!

Twelve Rounds

Much has been said about the controversial Pacquiao-Bradley fight yesterday. It is written all over the blogs, news portals, tabloids, and broadsheets. It is the content of almost all the local news programs and I expect it to last for at least one week and another week after Manny Pacquiao’s homecoming.

I am writing this not to sound as an aspiring sports columnist. Or as a sports writer/blogger. Or some expressive bandwagon rider who writes his opinion on almost every issue.

I am writing this as an ordinary viewer who tried to keep focused on watching the fight despite a nasty hangover brought by an inuman session with his friends the night before the match. And as an ordinary Filipino boxing fan who, together with his fellow countrymen, felt robbed of a good and clean entertainment.

Please take note that these should be taken with a grain of iodized salt.

  1. Pacquiao was undefeated for the last seven years (fifteen fights) of his boxing career – until the tragedy came yesterday. Perhaps we are just always accustomed to his victory that’s why we were all shocked by the tragedy. How about that?
  2. Karl Marx once said that ‘Religion is the opium of the people’. Well here in the Philippines, it’s showbiz, television, social media, and the fights of Manny Pacquiao. In a country plagued by tragedy, corruption, impunity, and crime, there must always be something to uplift our spirit and temporarily escape these tragedies and Pacquiao’s fights are one of them. So I understood our grief. It is like taking away from us our painkiller.
  3. But of course, you will argue that yesterday’s fight was a clear victory for Manny Pacquiao. First, you are not the judges (who happen to have the final say on that match). Second, some boxing analysts saw a ‘relaxed’ Manny Pacquiao during the last, crucial rounds of the fight and they would have called it a draw. And third, as what Pontius Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written”.
  4. The  tragedy of Manny Pacquiao yesterday reminds me of the same boxing tragedy of Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also robbed of what would have been the country’s first Olympic gold medal. What happened? Did we create the same noise? Did we support Onyok’s protest? Maybe I was just too young then to know these things. And times are different now with the age of social media. (The last time I saw, Onyok plays as a co-host and one of Pacquiao’s sidekicks on his shows. But that’s another story.)
  5. Some (including my Erpats) said that Manny’s loss was a justice for the supposed victory of Juan Manuel Marquez during his third fight with the former. Plausible? (Maybe we should call the Mythbusters to test this.)
  6. Another conspiracy that came out yesterday was Bob Arum was behind all of these. He wants a more hyped rematch for Pacquiao and Bradley which will only mean two words for the boxing promoter – Kaching! Kaching! (With these, I suggest that Manny Pacquiao’s entrance song on his next fight would be ‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J and not the overused and Rocky-ish ‘Eye of the Tiger’.)
  7. With yesterday’s aftermath of the match and most of the people’s reactions, I have once again proven that the word ‘loser’ (or ‘talunan’) is not in our dictionary. We use the equally synonymous terms dinaya,niluto, and  pinagkaisahan. They are commonly used during the election period.
  8. One of the most retweeted tweet/joke yesterday was ‘Niluto ang labang Pacquiao-Bradley. Sa sobrang luto, nasunog si Bradley!’. Wow! Just a few days ago, most of us went berserk on the alleged racism of the Bayo advertisement. I admire our inconsistency. Mabuhay!
  9. I felt bad for Manny Pacquiao’s sons. It was their first time to watch their father’s fight on ringside. Some moron may look at this as a bad luck but hey, Daddy Manny would still go home with Money Many Prizes. Kaching! Kaching!
  10. And yes, win or lose for Manny, Mommy Dionisia would still get her Hermes bag. So the ‘No Hermes’ trending topic yesterday is a blasphemy against Manny’s riches.  Kaching! Kaching! (After all, Manny has already bought Mommy D. a new van for her birthday last month).
  11. As what Jessica Zafra said on her column today, it is natural for us Filipinos to look for someone or something to blame – his new-found love for God, Politics, show business, and the people around him. but let’s just leave it there. After all, Manny Pacquiao, despite his loss yesterday, will still (and always) be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest boxer of all time.
  12. Comic artist Gerry Alanguilan (Komikero) tweeted this yesterday“I think we all need to lose once in a while. To keep us from being complacent. To keep us hungry. To have some humility.” Boxing is a game. There are winners and losers. Manny may have lost but this is not the end of him. And I think his new-found faith in God will help him deal with this loss. Or maybe this is the proper time for Manny to pass the torch to the next generation of great Filipino boxers.

Elsewhere:

Movies + Books

 

I was late for the 4:30 PM Sunday Mass yesterday at our Parish (because of the heavy traffic caused by the diaspora of new students/dormers – and theirkutsons – to the UPLB campus) so I decided to while away the time at the mall in front of the church and wait for the next, 6:00 PM mass.

 

I went to the bargain books shop (not Booksale) at the ground level and I came across these books. I was suppose to buy Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon only but since was placed in the ‘buy one, take one’ shelf, I grabbed William Shakespeare in the Movies as the other half of the purchase.

 

And believe it or not, I bought these two books for just ninety-nine (99) pesos:

 

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

 

I came across the idea six degrees of separation last year after watching the trailer of the movie, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay. “Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.” [source] (Though I am familiar with the game of connecting one people to another by means of relationship, I do not know that there is a term for that until last year.)

 

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a game based on the concept of the small world phenomenon and rests on the assumption that any individual involved in the Hollywood, California film industry can be linked through his or her roles to actor Kevin Bacon.

 

This is a trivia/game book that measures one’s BQ (or Bacon IQ). It contains 118 items that ranges from Hollywood’s greatest actors and actresses and television stars to the most obscure monsters and fictional characters. I have already browsed and read some of the items written and I was amazed at how the seemingly irrelevant names and things can be related to Kevin Bacon – in less than six steps. Kevin Bacon is indeed, ‘the center of Hollywood universe’.

 

Unfortunately, the book was published in 1996 during the height of the game’s popularity and Kevin Bacon has made more films since then. How about I update it personally? Not a bad idea but I think I should watch his previous movies first before doing such an ambitious dream.

 

Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Today

 

Honestly, I am not fond of reading the works of William Shakespeare (even though some of them were required readings during my Literature classes back in High School and College). But I am a big fan of the movie and theater adaptations of his works.

 

I first watched the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey when I was in third year high school and it became one of my all-time favorites (well, probably because of Olivia Hussey’s big heart – if you know what I mean). During the course of my years as a student, I have watched the movie adaptations of some of his works (including the fictional Shakespeare in Love) and when I was a freshman in college, I had the chance to watch The Taming of the Shrew by Repertory Philippines.

 

“Shakespeare in the Movies is a comprehensive and entertaining study of the many memorable film versions of Shakespeare’s timeless plays. Arranged in the order the plays were written, this extremely readable guide allows readers to follow Shakespeare’s development as a playwright (and screenwriter), and to compare the filmed versions of the play side by side.” [source]

 

I love the movie adaptations of Shakespeare’s works so I thought this book will be a perfect companion to know him better. But after reading some of the book reviews online, I was disappointed to know that this book contains errors and there’s even a request that this book be pulled out of the bookshelves. Well, at least, I have a good place to start and it is up to me to find out what those errors are.

 

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Movies and books are two of my favorite past times and form of intellectual procrastination (Nuks!). I guess after reading these books, I have to dig at the archives (read: torrent files) of some of these classic, great movies.

 

Now if you may excuse me, I am saying goodbye to my social life for now. Because epistemologically speaking, books are necessary evil.

 

Au revoir!