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Showing posts from February, 2019

Happy birthday, Nay!

Nanay celebrates her 63rd birthday today. After having been diagnosed with cancer, she did not think she would last this long. She had clear instructions to Tatay as to how her funeral service was going to be, which flowers we were going to pick, which songs we were going to sing, and so on. Tatay wouldn't have any of it, as he could not imagine life without my mother. God's plans turned out differently: He called my father home first. I texted Nanay on the way to church after making rounds at the Cancer Institute, just in time to catch the 9 am Sunday worship service. I wrote that she is the best mother I could ever hope for. Because she never says "I love you" back (it makes her cringe), she replied, "[I'm] Always happy because of the four men in my life. You are my joy, my pride, my satisfaction next to Jesus." It occurred to me that she has never called us her babies but has always treated us as men, even when we were little kids, giving us respons

Homeland, Season 7

I am a fan of Homeland, largely because of Mandy Patinkin who plays Saul Berenson. I dress like him most times—rolled up sleeves, dark trousers, leather shoes, glasses—this I now realize. Clare Danes is spectacular as Carrie Mathison, her child Frannie now already grown up. I have loved this series and has streamed this even before the advent of Netflix. Season 7 is about the Russian interference in US politics. President Keane is being removed from office by a well-orchestrated narrative perpetrated by social media, to which opposition politicians fall hostage to . It is fascinating, almost like a commentary of the present day. In the final episode, the US President addresses the nation and cites the Philippines (the last in her list) as one of the countries where democracy is dying.

The purity of God's Word and its impact on my life

I had the privilege of sharing a short testimony during the church's anniversary. I'm sharing it here. There is so much suffering in this fallen world. Just this week, I met a 19-year old girl with salivary gland cancer, a 30-year old man with an advanced facial tumor, a 50-year old single mother with stage IV breast cancer, a 60-year old farmer with prostate cancer who could no longer afford his medications. These, and many more. It is exhausting. By four o’clock in the afternoon, my mouth is dry, my throat is painful, my hands are numb, and my heart is tired. There have been times when I would rather have just walked out and gone home to sleep it all off. But it is during these moments of exhaustion when the neediest patients arrive, and the urge to become distant and mechanical is the strongest. It is, after all, easier to think of them as pieces of DNA that have undergone mutations or as human bodies whose cells have become dysfunctional, instead of as human beings wh

Big boys at our class for master's

Roger, Fred, and Rich: fresh out of lunch, listening to a lecture on behaviorism.

Feeling ebook.

via Instagram

The hassles and joys of printed books

Last Saturday I came across the Powerbooks book sale at the Upper Ground Floor of SM Megamall. I got three hardbounds for less than Php 1500! The acquisition of too many books (the Japanese have a word for it: tsundoku ) poses a subject of conflict between Manong and me-- probinsiyanos  who live in a small rented space in Metro Manila. Before going home I could almost hear my brother ask me in a serious tone, "Where will you store those?" He wasn't too pleased when, a few days ago, I brought home five volumes of De Vita's Oncology textbook, 11th edition, and stacked them on the dining table. The lack of space is the main reason why I've mostly turned to Kindle for my leisure readings and my iPad for my academic readings (journals, textbooks, and so on). Most of the books I've accumulated since 2004 have been shipped back to Koronadal, where my mother had an entire cabinet installed to house them. (My late father carefully packed them in neat boxes, some of whi

Follow the leader

A herd of geese. Photo by my mother during her trip to Auntie Cecil's farmhouse in Banga, South Cotabato.

Over-sharing

I met my friend Paul, now a citizen of New Zealand, over lunch yesterday. The subject of my blog popped up, Paul having seen me in 2004 start mini-website at an internet cafe near the UP Shopping Center. (There wasn't internet connection in Kalayaan Dorm yet, and this was the time when only Paul Balite and Luther Caranguian had laptops, which made them extra-cool.) "I'm sorry I sometimes forget to check it," he said, issuing what I still feel is an unwarranted, misplaced apology. Some friends think I oblige them, wherever they may be in the world, to read this little space of the web. I told him I'm glad my phase of over-sharing--which included taking photos of all the food I've eaten, writing about how I felt about this or that film or movie--is of the past. I was, in a sense, social media savvy even before social media gained traction in Filipino culture. The closest thing to a social media in 2004 was blogging, now considered dead by some, but something

Multiple corrections

This was the menu of Mr. Poon Restaurant in Ermita, Manila. To conserve paper and avoid plastic lamination, the managers decided (I think) to use white correction tape.

Fishing

Along a beach in Hong Kong (2016), where Minori N. showed my brother and me around. At the male restroom at Café Breton, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Too bad the branch at Robinson's Place Manila is now closed. It used to be the place where I did some leisurely reading, where I picked up a French novel whose author I now forget, and where I almost always ordered the mushroom burger (perhaps the best in town, second to Trisha's beside SMRAA in Koronadal), and cafe americano plus sugar and butter with lemon crepe for dessert.