Category Archives: Uncategorized

Paalam, 2016.

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Mabilis lang ito. Salamat, 2016. Hindi ikakaila, naging mahirap ang unang kalahati tungo sa kalagitnaan ng taong ito. Muntik nang bumigay at sumuko sa pagkilos. Naging mabigat ang ilang mga bagay at relasyon, hindi lamang tungo sa mga kasama kundi pati sa pamilya. At kung noong 2015, marami ang isinilang. Ngayong nagdaang 2016, marami naman ang namatay — kamag-anak, kaibigan, mga hinahangaang personalidad.

Pero sa kabila ng lahat ng mga sakit ng loob, mayroong mga kabanatang naisara, natasa at sa wakas ay nagbigay ng kapanatagan. Ang taong nagdaan ay taon ng mas marami pang pag-aaral, pagsusuma at paghahalaw ng mga aral mula sa mga nakaraang maraming taon ng karanasan. May mga proseso ring naumpisahan at may mga bagong bagay na inaabangan at eksayted na harapin.

Ito na siguro ang taon na sukdulang sinubok ang damdamin at ang pagiging obhetibo. Kinailangang pangibabawan ang napakaraming emosyon at suhetibismo. At dahil sa mga ito, sa huli ay muling napagtibay na ang kilusang masa at ang pagkilos ay tunay na mas malaki kaysa sa sarili, at na higit pa sa sarili ang pinanataang paglingkuran nang buong buhay at tapat sa loob ng mahigit isang dekada ng pagkilos.

Nasaid yata ang luha sa taong 2016. Naging mahirap, pero muli, kinaya. At ang mahalaga, nandito pa rin at kumikilos. At sa puntong ito, siguradong-sigurado na talaga, panghabambuhay na ito.

Para sa 2017 at para sa mas maiigting pang laban, sakto lang. Eksayted pero chill. Sulong, hanggang tagumpay. πŸ™‚

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Para sa recap ng mga pampulitikang kaganapan ng 2016, bisitahin ito: https://natoreyes.wordpress.com/201…

“Fresca and Their Left Fist Up”

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So I said I was gonna paint last night. And so I did. Whew. Haven’t really done this in a while. Not really a watercolor person but it’s a start. Would like to explore this some more. So if you have any tips to share, pls send them my way. Would really appreciate. 😊

Plus I don’t have black in my watercolor palette so that’s quite a challenge. So pls don’t judge. πŸ˜†

“Fresca and Their Left Fist Up”
Watercolor on 138-lb paper
5.5 x 8.5 in

On Trump, as the new U.S. President

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Let us not forget that Trump is a cunning businessman. He knew his target market well and made sure his marketing campaign made them buy what he offers. If there’s anything I’ve learned from advertising in college, it’s that a business thrives on anything, and will do anything, to win against a competitor and to make their sales go up whatever and however it costs — even if that would mean fooling people with their advertisements. That’s what ensures their success in sales. Trump did just that, and he did well.

The challenge now is how a united front will emerge from these conditions and go up against the ‘movement’ that Trump has built — capitalist/imperialist, profit-driven, racist and sexist in nature, at that. Clearly, we have a lot more educating, organizing, and mobilizing to do ahead of us when a person like Trump just won president of the #1 imperialist country in the world. Imperialism has just consolidated its machineries the perfect way possible. And so we must also consolidate the peoples’ forces who are oppressed and exploited by imperialism, and expand our reach to other oppressed and exploited communities and nations all the more. As imperialism continues to build its empire around the world, so must the scores of people join in building an international mov’t that will genuinely address the peoples’ social and economic needs — something that imperialism definitely does not address and even threatens to, and has actually been, trampling on, for the past decades.

This is a time to join forces, not blame anyone for not voting Hillary vs Trump, because even if folks did not vote for third party, I honestly think Hillary would still have lost. Trump is a cunning businessman and I bet he definitely had his mind set on winning — whatever and however it costs.

 

 

“Allegiance”

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Today, I watched my first ever Broadway show (I know, I’ve been living in NY for many years now and sure, I’ve seen off-Broadway shows, but never really made the time and never had the money or even saved up for those real ‘Broadway’ shows all these years). But today, I finally watched. Salamat, Mama Renz, for the tickets (she gave it to my mami as a gift and I got tagged along — well, that’s another story so I’ll just let my mom tell hers). As for me, though, thoughts were already running through my mind all throughout the show. My love for theater has once again been fired up and my dream to direct a play/show or even act in one resurfaced once more. Theater arts was actually my third choice for college (after Fine Arts and Journalism, as my first and second, respectively), and I’ve always said that had I not been active with the student council in college, I would have joined the UP Rep. I guess it also helped that it was “Allegiance” and Lea Salonga and George Takei were the main performers. I especially loved Lea’s character, her husband in the play, Frankie, and her father. I won’t spill any more, but I do recommend for folks to watch. Aaaanndd.. I’d have to admit it was a good one for my first Broadway show. πŸ™‚

PS: Plus the production design was also amazing! Looks simple, but amazing. πŸ™‚

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Tito Boy

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Every Filipino clan, they say, has its own version of Tito Boy. Ours just passed away last night due to heart attack. Tito Boy, Alfonso Bagtas, is my mom’s youngest sibling (my mom is the eldest of 8).

Tito Boy had been the most ‘malambing’ tito, always the emcee at family reunions and one of the tito singers of the family but one who would always join singing contests and, as I remember, would always have duets with my mami. The total performer, as they say. I would have to give him the credit for instilling in me that one has to always be at performance level when singing/performing (although sometimes, I’m not at par).

He was also one of the 2 most visible titos while I was growing up (I only had the chance to know most of my relatives from my mom’s side, and by ‘visible’, meaning aside from family reunions), since both our families lived in Mandaluyong at the same time. And even when we moved to Pasig, and they, to Laguna, we would still see each other at school retreats and functions since he was teaching at the Dominican School of Sta. Rosa Laguna and I was studying at UST High School, which is also run by the Dominicans.

I can just imagine how hard it would be for an eldest — the panganay — to lose her youngest sibling — the bunso — who treated her like his second nanay after my lola, that I had to travel 3 hours back to upstate NY on a weeknight, on peak hours, also having to miss work the next day, and be with my mom when my eldest sister delivers the news to her. That sacrifice, though, is minuscule as compared to my mom not being able to come home for her youngest brother’s — her original bunso’s — wake or funeral, for obvious reasons that she’s thousands of miles away and that scarcity in resources is something that migrant workers also have to contend with (contrary to what kababayans in the homeland might think that ‘OFWs’ have a lot of money in hand). In her absence, all she hoped was for some of the contents of the balikbayan box that was meant to be for my tito could have reached him in time for Christmas, especially since she reprimanded him a few months back for something he was not able to deliver. But that won’t happen now.

Standing in front of the house where my mom takes care of an elderly (mind you, she, herself, is turning 70 this month), waiting for her to open the door knowing she wasn’t expecting me and that I just had to be by her side when my ate tells her the news, was probably one of the longest seconds of my life. But more than grief, this propels me to ask friends, and everyone, actually, to think of a future wherein millions of Filipinos would not have to go through something like this again. This may sound too preachy or cheesy, however you would like to take a look at this. But I really do hope millions of Filipinos would not have to learn about a death in the family this way, stuck in the thought that nothing else can be done and that we can’t see family members one last time before they’re sent to their resting place. Let us please change this and let us not allow this to continue. Our OFWs, our migrant workers, our families, deserve better.

Salamat, Tito Boy, sa lahat. Pasens’ya na rin at naging reflection post pa itong post ko tungkol sa iyo. Pero pahinga ka na. At tuloy ang kantahan kung nasaan ka man ngayon! Salamat din sa huling comment mo sa post ko last week. Mami-miss ka namin!