Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Yet, while I moved on, cruising along C5, I realized, I could have been hasty in pointing an accusing finger. Her parents, I'm sure, were forced by circumstance. What parent, in his/her right mind will deprive a child of happiness? of a stable life? of education? Although I am not rich, I have a stable job, I manage to pay the monthly mortgage on a small house, eat three square meals a day and merienda, etc. My children have the luxury to play internet games which they can easily turn off when they grow tired of the game.
Truly, I have a lot to thank for.
Girl in rags
My heart bleeds
for a little girl barely eight
who finds the heat
of the sun her enemy.
She goes from car to car
stopped by the light,
to peddle her goods of rags
instead of just begging for alms.
Sun’s rage finds its way
To her nape and shoulders.
Burdened by the trouble of what
Food can be had for the day.
It will be raining soon.
Torrential monsoon flow
She may not succumb
to flu for she’s immune to the elements.
She can't stop to gaze
at the clouds to dream,
see that it forms a mighty
bird soaring high up above.
Work is all she does
be it sun or rain
light or dark.
No dolls to play with
in a cute little house.
My heart bleeds for this child
for what shall she do
when she grows up?
No books read, no toys
played, no fond memories
when she was a child.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Taken last night at the Meralco Theater. with Rhea Patti and Tuck. See how happy Tuck is to see me in person at last. hehehe
I can't believe it! I actually made it to the concert last night! It was AWESOME!!!
Tuck and Patti didn't fail me. And to think I have been waiting all these years to see them play. It was a spectacular night worth remembering. I have never seen a duo that was really meant for each other.
The stage was simple. Nothing except Tuck's gadgets on the floor, his amp, a stool which neither of them used, and a bouquet of flowers. When Tuck and Patti finally went onstage, they played practically every song that I know. Patti's voice was so unique, it seemed like she sang only-Patti-can-sing songs. Tuck's guitar works were marvelous. I thought I could have a glimpse at his chord progressions and de-mystify him, but no way! The voicings he made with his guitar are those which a would-be guitarist like myself can sit for days figuring them out and still come out with nothing. Well, maybe rob the surface but that's as close as I can get. His alterations, extensions are perfect, the guitar sings on its own. He played a running bass and melody simultaneously like no other. He would slap the guitar and at the same time, produce artificial harmonics no end and one can only guess how he did it. At one time, Patti removed her shoes and started telling a story with a tune. Soon, we were listening to a blues song - a capella. If my hunches are correct, it's called "High heels blues".
When Patti left the stage, I said to myself, this is it! The one I've been wanting to hear him play. And just like I figured, he introduced it as: "The next number is a Michael Jackson song" and everybody went wild. His album Reckless Precision, where the song is, is just how one can describe the way he played it - looked like reckless but precise.
They ended up singing Time after Time where Patti urged the audience to sing with her in three parts. The song was mixed with another and I didn't recognize it immediately. Naturally, the people gave them a standing ovation. They gave in to the request for an encore. Patti, a master scat singer, started the encore with percussion sounds then Tuck eventually joined in.
When we went out of the theatre, the queue to the autograph signing was very long and packed already. But what the heck, I don't know when this will happen again. So, I took out the CD I bought and joined the queue. Some people even brought their guitars to be signed. (If only there was a guitar vendor...)
Anyway, as I was waiting for my turn, I was thinking of something intelligent to say to Tuck..."It's so nice to see you man!" or "How do you make your Les Paul sound like a Strat?" or "What were your settings?"..."I was hoping you'd play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/If I only had a brain".... Guess what? When I finally reached him, this is what I blurted out! "Hi!"
Tuck and PAtti: "Hi, how are you?"
Me to Tuck: "Can I shake your hand?"
Tuck: "Oh, please!" Firm handshake then,
me: "My God, you're human!"
Friday, May 21, 2004
Joan's wedding a few weeks back.
My friend Joan left Manila to marry her beau of two years, Fred Barmes. Great things are happening for her. She's a jolly person whose raucous laughter is sorely missed at the faculty room. We sang together with Ms. Panaligan's faculty chorale, smoked, drank, ate... practically a sister to me. I'm happy for her as she's now living with her loved one and enjoying every minute of it. Here's to Fred and Joan: "Champagne wishes and caviar dreams"
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I still recall the time when I wanted to join a religious group called "Legion of Mary". The leaders of the group went to ask for my parents' permission to join them. They were all astonished when my dad said, "I think my son is old enough to decide for himself." And I was only 10 at the time.
I also remember that everytime I would hold my guitar and start playing classical music, which I was trying to learn, he would sit in front of me and listen, not saying anything, but just listened.
He worked hard, even going to the office on Sundays just so I could have the best education available.
My only regret is that my father never knew what became of me. Yes, he died when I was already working for several months at De La Salle University as a Graphic Artist, but he never knew that things progressed and that I have been teaching for twenty years now. A lot different from that crazy young teen-ager he knew who kept giving him headaches, at one time contemplating to stop because of wanting to work and be independent, etc...
I also regret that he never got to meet any of my kids, or even my wife, who I believe he would have been fond of. He treated all my friends well.
After his death, while we were sorting out his papers, I noticed a letter to someone we visited in Pangasinan when I was three years old. The letter started with an introduction from my father and it stated something like this: "Dear _____. I am the father of the family that stayed in your place to celebrate your town fiesta. My son, Rolly, is in Grade three and is learning how to write a letter. If you could spare a few time and encourage him by responding, I shall be indebted to you. Below is his letter which I copied verbatim. Please don't fail him. Thank you very much" Well, something like that. And the woman did reply. I know I kept that letter although it will take sometime before I find it. Needless to say that while I was reading this letter, I was crying, longing to feel my father's arms around me once again, the same way he did upon my return from my first camping trip in Baguio.
Happy birthday dad.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
I wonder who will be willing to go with me. I have talked to Redjie but he doesn't seem to be interested. Other than him, nobody from my circle of friends know the music of Tuck and Patti. Not even Kraiganne, who I asked first, is interested. I couldn't blame her. She's just 18 and wouldn't know how to appreciate jazz or even magnificent guitar work. TO think I shall be hearing Tuck perform "Man in the Mirror" live... man, I want to go... Hmm, do you think Nitz would want to come with me? I'm sure she'd show some appreciation but only for my sake. I know deep inside, she'll say "Mas maganda pang nanood na lang ako ng tv" LOL!
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Fishing had always been fun, or so I thought. Yet, one of the unfortunate changes is that this year, Kraiganne refused to join us as she is going to have her exams in Accounting 2 on Tuesday.
My eldest daughter is now shying away from our family activities. I know this would happen sooner or later but was not expecting this soon. The children are growing and are having their own activities with their friends. To think that there'll come a time when it would be just Nitz and me again. Makes me somewhat sad. I have to enjoy the children while I still can.
Friday, May 14, 2004
And then, I proceed to the other links in my own search engine (if that's what it's called) to see if there are new postings. With all these things going for me in the morning, I think my retirement (although it's still a long time coming)is assured. I don't have to bug my apo's in the future or anybody else just so I can have "kausap" during my spare time. Nice no?
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
These private organizations are supposedly the watchdogs of the elections, right? Let's take NAMFREL as an example. Okay, they had shown that there had been cheatings in practically all the elections conducted in the country. But all they have are counts based on partial returns. It does not guarantee that there had been no ballot switching, no vote-buying,intidmidation, etc. To my simple mind, if they wanted to safeguard the actual counting, why not just keep watch as the COMELEC does its count? Why conduct its own? If at all, this only shows that the COMELEC doesn't know how to count. I have yet to see a count conducted by both institutions match. In fairness, I don't know what the actual mechanics are, so I may be missing something very important.
About exit polls and surveys, how accurate can they be? I have been voting since I was eighteen and I have not been approached by any of these surveyors. Exit polls... how are we assured that what the respondents answered are their actual votes? Maybe I'm being too skeptical but I have long given up with Philippine elections.
If you happen to read this and would like to enlighten me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or put your comments below. (Hah! I finally made it!) Either way, I would be happy to hear from you.
Monday, May 03, 2004
Sunday, May 02, 2004
I have written another concrete poem, my third. This shows the sorrow of a would-be poet, unheard of, and probably scared witless as to when that break shall come. i don't have a title for it yet.
speak to nameless,
faceless people like
talking to an empty wall.
I hope today is the day
when my words and
my name shall forever
be etched in memory
of those I try
sweat on my
brows way down
to my lips. And yet,
these are all for naught,
Yes, all for naught it seems.
Alas, when shall my pen
and my paper bleed? Let
it be now, my Lord, for
I am running out of
Air to breathe.