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Friday, August 31, 2007

Jologs ka ba?


This is a feature article I made a couple of years back for The Alternative magazine. I hope you my readers still remember it.


Jologs ka ba ?
Ni Jesus Miguel Agreda


Marahil ay marami ang nagtatanong kung saan nga ba nagsimula ang paggamit ng salitang jologs. Sa totoo lang kung ako ang tatanungin ay hindi ko rin alam. Ngunit ayon sa mga eksperto sa salitang balbal o salitang kalye, ang salitang ito ay nag-ugat sa maraming pinagmulan. Ang jologs ay isang pantawag sa masa, baduy at bakya na grupo ng tao. Kagaya ng mga ipis, ang numero nila sa mundong ibabaw ay dumadami at hindi na mabubura sa ating lipunan. Ang Pinoy pop culture ay lumalakas at tumitindi ang impluwensiya. Sa mga kalsada lamang ay may nabubuong salita bawat minuto pambakla man o pang-istambay. Narinig niyo na ba ang churva, chenelyn o hellouer? Gaya ng salitang jologs ito’y mapapalitan din at malalaos sa paglipas ng panahon at henerasyon.

Jologs: Ang Pinagmulan

Ayon sa librong Jolography ni Paolo Manalo ito’y may apat na pinagmulan. Una, ito daw ay galing kay Jolina Magdangal. “it’s what a fan of hers is called”, ika nga ni Manalo. Pangalawa, ang salitang jologs ay nagmula rin daw sa mga tagalinis ng daan (dahil sa pagsayad ng kanilang mga pantalon) gaya ng Pinoy hip-hoppers na palaging nagsusuot ng maluluwang at malalapad na pantalon na nahuhulog-hulog. Ang “hulog” ay binaybay ng “julog” at sa kalauna’y binibigkas nang “jolog”. Ang pangatlong pinagmulan ng jologs ay galing sa Maynila noong dekada ’80. Ito ay dahil sa notoryus na Jaloux disco, na tinaguriang “squatter’s disco” dahil sa pagpapatugtog nila ng nakakarinding baduy na kanta. Ang mga taong pumapasok dito ay hindi kayang bigkasin ng tama ang pangalan ng disco at tinawag nila itong “jalook” hanggang sa kalaunan ay naging “jaloog” at pagkatapos ay naging “jolog”. At panghuli ayon sa Jolography, ito’y nanggaling sa Dilis, Tuyo at itlog --- ang pagkain ng mga dukha. At karaniwang ginagamit ng mga pasosyal at konyo (karibal ng jologs) na “Ohmigosh, she’s eating diyolog!” bilang pangkutya sa mga kaibigan nilang baduy. Sa paglipas ng panahon ang “diy” ay napalitan ng “j” at naging “jolog”.

Ang mga Jologs

Jologs ka raw kung ikaw ay mahilig sa imitation o gaya-gaya ng mga original na Levi’s, Guess at Girbaud. Sa isang artikulo ng LegManila, isang sikat magazine sa Maynila, ay binigyan nila ng kahulugan ang jologs sa isang akedemikong paraan. Ang jologs daw “can be used either as a noun or an adjective, being a complex word with various nuances. The word, it says, is often used to refer to people in the lower class, but not necessarily limited to them. It refers to someone without breeding, equated with being crass, tactless, potty-mouthed, uneducated and low-life. It also pertains to someone who has poor taste in fashion, music, movies, etc; or to cheap poseurs and those who make cheap imitation of the current trends.” Totoo nga marahil ang mga ito subalit ito’y nagsasalamin lamang ng totoong pinoy. Pinoy na palaging inaapak-apakan, pinoy na galing sa “third-world country”, at pinoy na mahilig sa imitasyon ng orihinal na gawa sa China. Sila’y karaniwan nating nakikitang kumakain ng fishball sa kalsada nakasuot ng bandana sa ulo, naka hip-hop pants at may kadenang mabigat na nakakabit sa kanilang pitaka at sinturon.

Jologs vs. Konyo

“Eeeeewww! I really hate you because you make ‘hawak-hawak’ my Prada bag”, ito’y karaniwang ekspresyon lamang ng mga konyotik na kolehiyala. Kung napanood niyo ang pelikulang jologs ilarawan niyo na lang ang mga konyo bilang ang kabaligtaran ng role ni Assunta De Rossi. Sa pelikulang ito’y ginampanan ng aktres ang isang taong walang breeding dahil ayon sa kanya “She’s not a dog!”. Ang mga konyo ay ang mga pangunahing nagmamaliit sa mga jologs. Nakadamit sila ng Guess, Armani o Girbaud (yung original huh!). Sila ay may mga lahing kastila o kahit konti ay may dugong kastila, tisoy at tisay kung baga. Ito’y dahil sila ang may pera, breeding ( hindi sa aso) at lingwahe (english please…). Karaniwang galing sa mga sikat na paaralan, may magagarang kotse at nakatira sa mga ekslusibong subdivision. Sila’y palagi nating nakikita sa mga pelikulang pinoy na mga kontrabida na palaging inaalipusta ang bidang nagmula sa mahirap na pamilya. Sila yung may mga hirit na “You know like 'shet pare I couldn't play water polo last night. My horse died kasi eh!” o “So kainis talaga my driver. He was making tulog at 4am when I wanted to go home na”. At sino ang makakalimot sa side-kick ng mga konyo? Sila yung mga pasosyal na konyo-kuno na hindi naman makapagsalita ng ingles nang tuwid. Gumagamit nga sila ng taglish pero wala pa ring kalaman-laman ang sinasabi. Para silang mga lintang kumakapit sa mga konyo at konya para man lang mabahiran ng kaunting dugong sosyal. Ngunit sa kasawiang-palad ay halatadong lugmok lang sila sa kaipokritohan.


Masama ba ang pagiging jologs?


Sa totoo lang hindi masama ang maging jologs. Ako ay isang jologs din. Mas pangit naman ang maging ipokrito at pa-sosyal kung wala ka namang binatbat. Ang importante ay kapalagayan mo ng loob ang taong nasa paligid mo at may kumpiyansa ka sa iyong sarili. Ang pagiging konyo ay pakitang tao lamang at mapagbalat-kayo. Sa ating bansa, ay maraming jologs na naging matagumpay sa iba’t-ibang larangan. Ito’y dahil mas madali silang makisalamuha sa kanilang kapwa na walang halong kaartehan. Ang pagiging jologs ay nagsasalamin ng pamumuhay ng mga Pilipino sa ating bansa. Marahil pag medyo umangat na ang ating ekonomiya ay mababawasan ang mga jologs sa lipunan. Hindi na siguro tayo maghahanap pa ng pekeng DVD, sapatos at kung anu-ano pa. Ngunit parang sinabi na rin natin na mababawasan na rin ang mga mahihirap sa ating bansa na sa totoo lang ay malabong mangyari sa kasalukuyan o sa hinaharap. Jologs ka man o konyo ay higit na importante ang pananampalataya sa Diyos, pagmamahal sa pamilya, sa kapwa at sa sarili.

Haruki Murakami and ATM dilemmas



After leaving the school publication office at around five o'clock, I decided to hurry up and go home early. However, I am a little bit cash strapped that I needed to pass by BDO to withdraw my allowance. But alas,the ATM was offline and all the BDO Branches in Baguio City were unable to give ATM services to its customers. I went to SM, Equitable PCI, and BPI to withdraw but to no avail. All of the branches of the bank had their systems down. I decided to wait for the ATM to be able to dispense much needed cash. I went around SM Baguio window shopping and saw new gadgets in the third floor. I also saw some stores on sale. But the major dilemma is for me not to feel sorry after gawking at on sale items I could not buy because I don't have cash. Thankfully, after two hours of waiting for the BDO ATM systems to be able to dispense cash, I was able to get a hefty sum of money for my office mates outing tomorrow in Naguillian, La Union. I also brought Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and his 24 short stories collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Thank you NBS for the 20% discount on the two books. I am bound to a good reading spree in the coming days. I went home at around 9PM happy to see that there are still jeepneys bound for Loakan waiting for passengers. Meanwhile, I was disappointed with the jeepney that I boarded because it has no covered windows making me endure the cold gushing wind hitting my face. Now, I think I have sniffles that will eventually turn to flu (which I despise) in the following days if not nursed. Well, I guess this is it for now.

Off to School and Starbucks


Last Night I received a forwarded text from Ubbog Chairperson Janice Bagawi and it goes like this:

From Ma'am Babeth:
Our Starbucks meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, August 31 at 3pm at SM Baguio Branch.See You Thanks!
-Babeth

Madam J, our ever patient and hardworking chairperson reminded us that the Baguio Writers Group is inviting us to a free coffee in Starbucks. Well, Maybe they need to know the young breed of writers in the Cordillera region.Thanks Maya!

So after my scheduled paying of school fees in the UC cashier(Usad pagong na naman ito), I'll be taking my final exam in Statistics to be followed by the meeting in Starbucks at 3pm. So, if you're one of my Ka-ubbog, see you there!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I Just received another text this morning....CANCELLED Starbucks meeting.

Well, I will go to OMG na lang and eat lot of vegetarian pasta!

Final Exams


Final Exam Cramming

I feel jittery every final examinations. After hurdling all the pressures this past three months I constantly ask myself. Are all these stress worth it? My first exam for the finals will be Statistics (Geesh, I hate Math). Thankfully, a good friend of mine lent me some of his scribbled notes and photocopied handouts or else I would end up with nothing to write on my examination booklet. For now, I will be blogging a little bit less because I need to concentrate on my grades that has been sharply decreasing because of my bouts with influenza. Good Luck to me then!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Tarot Card for August 31


The Four of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in bonding. I celebrate our common connection, success, or attraction and recognize the equal status, protection, or reputation that results in the formation of this union is merely the beginning or negotiation of something new. I am empowered by positive results within the partnership and I transform through teamwork or marriage.

Well, need I say more? I just hope that my fortune and fate will lead me to the right person whom I can share the best moments of my life. For now, I am just contented with the little joys brought to me by my friends and family. Cheers to that!

A Tribute to My Alma Mater



Salivating mongrels flock her crowded block,
Unmindful of every revolution of the irksome clock.

As the misty air snatches the collegiala’s awareness,
A dark cloud of ennui masks her pretentious lucidness.

She slips into the maze that ends in oblivion,
Slowly her constant laziness turns into contagion.

Days of apathy strikes bigheaded coños and coñas,
Drowning every drop and trace of Kailian’s blood.

Insensible lassitude of her sons and daughters,
She cradles them without any hint of hesitation.

Encouragement through the guidance of a moral compass,
She never falters, She never ceases nurturing the lass.

Believing that her constant nagging and pounding,
She will soon bring out the best for the UC’ians.

ABCs of my life


THE A-Z OF MY LIFE...

[A] - AVAILABLE: yes as of now I'm available. How about you?

[B] - BIRTHDAY: December 25th (Christmas Day)

[C] - CONFUSED ABOUT: Probability and my final exams

[D] - DRINK YOU LAST HAD: Coke Light

[E] - EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO: My alter ego

[F] - FAVORITE MUSIC GROUP/BAND: Incubus

[G] - GUMMY BEARS OR GUMMY WORMS:Puwede chocnut na lang?

[H] - HOMETOWN: Bacolod

[I] - INSTRUMENT : Scalpel

[J] - JUICE: Lemon

[K] - KILLED SOMEONE: in my dreams...in my stories...

[L] - LONGEST CAR RIDE: Paakyat ng Baguio this summer

[M] - MILKSHAKE FLAVOR: Vanilla

[N] - NUMBER OF PETS: a pomeranian (1) and two cats (Peewee and Teewee)

[O] - ONE WISH: I wish for a hundred wishes!

[P] - PERSON WHO CALLED YOU LAST:My mom...kahapon

[Q] - QUIET OR LOUD: QUIET!

[R] - REASONS TO SMILE: Sunny Days!

[S] - SINGLE: Yes, and you?

[T] - TIME YOU WOKE UP: 6:21 AM

[U] - UNDERSEA: wow.diving

[V] - VIOLENT: When disturbed. So please dont. I bite.

[W] - WORST HABIT: Self-enforced forgetfulness

[X] - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: Meron ba?

[Y] - YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL: Miming...Cats

[Z] - ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn

Usapang Sentenaryo ng Baguio Live sa Malcolm Square Part 2




Special Thanks to my ENR Instructor Art Tibaldo for the Pictures and the article above.

USAPANG SENTENARYO ng BAGUIO (USB)

Students of the University of the Cordilleras are shown here doing their outdoor TV production using the facilities of the Baguio Media Museum and Animation Studio.
A major activity such as this TV show is equivalent to a major school examination of the Arts and Sciences Mass Communications Department under the subject: Electronic Newsroom-2.

The students were able to put up a two-hour TV Production complete with four sets of talk shows and performances by three bands.

Their production segments were broadcast via Sky cable Baguio as a prelude to the 98th Anniversary of the city's charter.

NEWS:Poetry symposium, jazz concert in Baguio slated



The Baguio Writers Group in cooperation with Baguio Country Club and Smart Communications Inc. presents a poetry symposium on “To Do or to Be: How to Make a Poem” on Sept. 15, Saturday, 2-5 p.m. at the Wolfson Room of the Club.

Panelists include Marjorie Evasco, Sid Hildawa, Marra Lanot, Francis and Priscilla Macansantos, Edgar Maranan and Alfred Yuson.

In the same evening the writers group will host an invitational concert, “Jazz for Tonight,” at 7 p.m. at Par 7 of the Country Club. Featured performers are Jacqui Magno, Gou de Jesus, Richard Cariño, Desiree Caluza, Butch Cando, Egay Buñing, Joanifer Abubo, Enrico Subido, Ivan Cruz and On-Call.

Seats are limited. To reserve call or text 0927-989-0191.

I'll be joining this symposium of Baguio Writers Group (my group Ubbog is an affiliate of BWG)this Sept. 15th. See you there!

ENR Usapang Sentenaryo ng Baguio




This is one of the fruits of my sleepless nights while battling influenza. The 2-hour special USB: Usapang Sentenaryo ng Baguio to be aired on Sky 12 this Baguio Day (Sept.1). This is the Nth time I managed a production. Thankfully, I'm still here.

Rainy Thursday



I really don't like rainy days unlike most of my writer friends (e.g. Janice B., Eki Z.). As the Sheryl Crow song goes "I just wanna soak up the sun...hmmm...hmmm...". I only love drinking coffee during rainy days but not necessarily the rain itself. It's the coffee that changes my mood from gloom to va-voom. The truth is: I EASILY GET DEPRESSED WITHOUT THE SUN'S RAYS HITTING MY EPIDERMAL LAYER. As the Bamboo song goes "Sun is up and I've got so many things to do...Its okay ...Its Alright!" I need to get going now or I'll be late for school.

BTW, My Tarot Card for the day says:

The Five of Pentacles card suggests that my power today lies in defiance. We are willing to reject the sure thing or accept excommunication to try to make it on our own rather than endure the status quo or submit to conditions that assume we are invisible -- in this, we have nothing to lose. We accept responsibility for the difficulties ahead and do not seek pity for having chosen against the grain. I am empowered by mutual support and my assets are self-worth, hope, and pride.

Baguio Day Series


Coffee Musings of a Baguio Settler
By Jesus Miguel Agreda

It was summer of 1991 when my mom and dad in Bacolod finally decided to take the entire family on an unforgettable trip to Baguio (well, at least for me). Bored with their monotonous 8 to 5 job in government offices in the province, my parents would usually take weekend vacations without us their kids in many tourism hotspots in the country but Baguio was an exemption much to my Aunt’s (my dad’s sis) prodding. My aunt who after many years of soul searching in many provinces in the country finally decided to settle in the city of pines to start her family.
Now, back to my excitement in reaching Baguio, a curious child that I was sixteen years ago, I decided to ask my parents on what to expect in Baguio. They did not answer any of my queries for they said I might spoil the adventure that was bound for us. So I just kept mum on the sides and decided to wait for the next few days to unfold before me.
My first trip away from the island of Negros started when I first stepped foot on the ferry boat called Princess of Negros, one of those Japanese car loaders turned into commercial ferry boats of the Negros Navigation. What can I say? A frail child that I was back then, I was bound for a 21-hour-long trip to la-la land much to the complain of my stomach who’s bound to explode because of the strong mid-sea currents, the stench of Texas (high-breed fighting cocks) being loaded in the ferry boats that was a pasalubong for my uncle in Baguio and the equally reeking stinky pusit and danggit that’s my aunt’s favorite . And after spending almost a day of bouts with my sleazy stomach that regularly needs a biyahilo fix, here comes Manila. Yes, the city of smoky mountain. Well, that was what my dad used to describe the big city to me back then. With our maletas and fighting cocks from the province my aunt fetched us from the South Harbor as we hurried to Cubao station for the next trip to Baguio.
I asked my aunt on what to expect in Baguio as my family waited for about an hour in the bus station. She patted me in the head and said “Oh, we have lots of strawberries for you!” I just replied with a hesitant smile. I would remember during my kindergarten years that my aunt whenever she would visit us in the province would bring brownish red bottles filled with strawberry jams from Baguio. That strawberry jam would be the filling of my baon sandwich for the rest of my grade school life. And as a finicky kid at that age, I erased strawberry jam in my list of favorites for the rest of my life.
After an hour long daydreaming about Baguio, a big red and white bus of Philippine Rabbit (Yes, it was red with white stripe paint in the middle) arrived. We boarded the bus with all our pasalubongs bound for an eight hour long trip to Baguio. It was my first time to see provinces in Luzon that I never slept even though my vision is a little bit hazy because of biyahilo and exhaustion after a long sea travel. My aunt would describe every bit of trivia that she knew of the towns we passed by but my mind just kept on thinking about Baguio.
After snoozing a bit in the middle of the road, (maybe because of the view of vast farmlands in Tarlac and Pangasinan that was just relaxing) I was alerted by my sleazy stomach that it was about to erupt again. I asked my mom for a plastic bag and she never hesitated to give me one. My aunt just smiled at me and said to prepare for the zigzag road up ahead. My young mind at that time could not imagine what a zigzag road is for we don’t have it in the province where we are used to straight roads. So when she alerted me that I am bound for long bout of motion sickness, I asked my mom for as additional plastic bags that she could produce.
After more than a day of travel (21 hours of sea travel and 8 hours of land travel) including at least an hour of my encounter with Baguio’s famed zigzag road, my family arrived Pantranco station in Baguio.
We stayed in my aunt’s rented apartment house in QM and rested for awhile. It was dawn already when we arrived and just like a trademark of a traveler in Baguio I donned my Baguio City bonnet and my thick black jacket. I saw fog for the first time. “So this is what they call the summer capital?” I asked myself. Well, I just can’t contain my excitement as the scent of the pine woods welcomed me and a week of exploring the city’s famous tourist spots is opening its doors before me.
The first stop of my Baguio experience was Sunshine grocery. My parents needed to buy grocery items and personal stuff needed to survive a weeklong summer escapade so they asked my aunt to bring me somewhere else to while away my time. My aunt brought me to Maharlika to ride bump cars (it is now the Maharlika food court). After an hour of riding bump cars that would usually make me sweaty and smell like vinaigrette back in the province, the smell was still angelic thanks to my mom’s early splashing of baby cologne and my aunt’s puffing of baby powder all over my body. My parents arrived with a bagful of supplies and we started to scour every nook and cranny of Baguio City.
The whole week we went to Baguio’s tourist spots from Lourdes Grotto, Pink Sisters, Burnham Park, Mines View and Camp John Hay never missing any Kodak moment of our jaunts.
I will never forget my first taste of Benguet coffee that’s my family’s favorite. I would remember that my mom brought home to Bacolod several kilos of Benguet coffee from the market that lasted for a year. I will never forget the taste of it because I blame it for my mountain coffee addiction. My addiction to Benguet coffee started and never ended until now. It became my companion during cold rainy insomniac nights. It also is my companion while writing this piece in between my term paper needed for graduation.
Another experience that etched its way on my mind was food. First was the welcome treat of strawberries and cream (this time it’s real and not strawberry jam preserves back in the province) that my aunt prepared for us when we arrived. The freshly chilled strawberries with cream that was just heavenly ranked first on my list of unforgettable food tasted on this part of the planet. Second on my list was freshly steamed sweet corn peddled along Burnham Park that was rather a common treat for me recently when I finally decided to stay in Baguio for college. I mean, who could resist freshly steamed sweet corn with margarine sprinkled with salt? I bet everyone is salivating as they read this piece and the taste of it was still on my mind by the time we were packing up back to the province.
The third on my list of unforgettable food while I was on vacation in Baguio was rather a bit strange for me. On the last day of my vacation, my uncle decided to cook pinikpikan. At a young age of six, I first experienced how a chicken is butchered the Igorot way. My uncle taught me how to hit the chicken while it was smothered in open flame (their own version of killing me softly). I enjoyed the experience of tasting Baguio sayote and chicken pinikpikan but I deem butchering the chicken in the heart of the Cordilleras one of my most unforgettable childhood experience. Leaving Baguio the day after was a teary eyed event for me because of the weeklong unforgettable spree.
Now fast forward to summer of 2005. After 14 years of not seeing Baguio, I decided to move to Baguio for college. I enrolled in one of the big universities in the region and immersed myself in Baguio’s unique lifestyle. I have to be accustomed to the cold weather, the usual hot showers, the traffic and most of all the people. In Baguio, there is a convergence of different cultures of the provinces. From the original inhabitants the Ibalois and Kankaneys the city has also played host to Ifugaos, Ilocanos, Pangasinense, Manileños, Visayans and Mindanaoans. The city has welcomed them with open arms the way I was welcomed. I only wish that my fellow settlers would learn to take care of the city that took care of us.
For me, I will always pay homage to Baguio City, my new home and for me and my future family. I will always be grateful for the foggy afternoons along Session Road with every stroll with my barkada. Who would dare to disagree that a good sunrise in the heart of the Cordilleras while sipping piping-hot Benguet coffee and smelling the cold pine-scented breeze isn’t perfect? Cheers to Baguio City, the place I now call home.

Book Review Part 1


1. Orosa-Nakpil, Malate
Author: Louiemar Gangcuangco
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Ito ay isang malikhaing nobela mula sa isang batang manunulat na hitik sa saya, hinagpis at pag-asa...dahil sa librong ito ay namulat ako sa katotohanang isang pandemic na ang sakit na AIDS at dapat ay tutukan ito ng gobyerno bago pa ito lumala...maganda ang pagkagawa ng nobela...mahigit sampung tao na ang pinahiram ko ng kopya ko ng librong ito at sila'y lubos na nasiyahan sa kuwento ni dave ...

2. Mens Rea and other stories
Author: Lakambini Sitoy
Rating: 4 Stars

Lakambini Sitoy is one hell of a word-mongler...she uses writer's metaphor that winds the story to a riveting plot...a big applause for this palanca winner...she truly deserves the plum...inspiring!

3. Smokescreen
Author: Lynette Prucha
Rating: 4 stars

The first erotic mystery novel i really3x appreciate! it talks about a haunting tribute to the terminal contours of the night and the hard-boiled women who thrive on the edge...lesbian night clubs yeah they have them! better check 'em out in bookstores coz i think its off-the racks now...hopefully they have a few copies left for bookworms like me!

4. Alipato: Mga Pili at Bagong Tula/Kwadro Numero Uno
Author: Benilda Santos
Rating: 5 stars

I met the author of this poetry collection book in the 1st UP Baguio-NCCA Cordillera Creative Writing Workshop...Thankfully, she gave me a copy of her book with her Palanca-winning poems(with her autographed message of course)...The rest was history...It was superb with crystal clear lines that would move the hearts of her readers(biased *sigh*)...I told myself, she was definitely true when she told me that "Sa ngalan ng metaphor ibigay mo na ang lahat sa iyong tula!". I will never forget how she told me how to improve my one-act play and short stories...(hmmm review ito pero parang blog na rin hehehe)...What I like most in this book was her poem NUDE and ANG PAGBABAY NI ATONG...very simple but the message still comes accross in powerful combinations of imagery...Kudos Ma'am Beni...salamat sa pagpuna sa aking kuwento, nawa'y marami pa kayong maturuang nagsisimulang manunulat...SIYA NAWA!

5. Twisted Travels
Author: Jessica Zafra
Rating: 4 stars

The night before I left Bacolod, I went to NBS looking for a book to read during my one-hour flight back to Manila and 7-hour trip to the city of pines. Voila! I found Jessica's newest installment in her Twisted series...and what a coincidence that I am also travelling back to my adopted city and read it during the course of my trip. The contents are humorous as expected after reading Jessica's insane misadventures in differnt corners of the globe. This book is a good read for people who want to relax and forget their daily hassles.

Just an advice: Reading the book while listening to rock music in your iPOD while in the airplane might make you forget that no gadgets should be turned on while in take-off. Surely, airplane attendants would scream at your face a hundred times while you're still busy traversing through the pages of Zafra's book.

6. Brusko Pink
Author: Louie Cano
Rating:2 stars

I recently encountered this 2005 book by Kingkong Barbie Louie Cano. The pink colored book is a collection of personal essays by the author who accounts a humorous saga of his life being a member of the queer family. The first few essays were fun to read with a few excerpts on his coming out stories and a whole bunch of gay lingo. However, I was disappointed with a few entries of his rantings and banters with other gay guys and his life making the succeeding essays depressing. Although the author did regain his wit and humor in the last essays of the book, his style was still a bit too cocky and informal making the whole book good for a few laughs only. For me, it was a total disaster except for some few noticeable touches of contemporary ideas in the gay millieu.

7. Straight Talk on Everyday Mysteries
Author: Queena Lee-Chua
Rating: 3 stars

This Q&A book is not for the wily types. I never imagined that reading Q&A books would be this fun. One will end up learning more and no feeling of guilt of buying the book will bug the reader. In this installment of Ms. Lee-Chua's Science and Technology books, I realized that brains really count more than brawns. Good read during those empty mood mode (did i get that right?).

8. Stainless Longanisa
Author: Bob Ong
Rating: 3 stars

Marami ang hindi natuwa sa panglimang librong inihain ni Bob Ong para sa kanyang mga masugid na tagasubaybay. Marahil naninibago ang mga ito sa kanyang bagong (bago nga ba?)istilo na tumatalakay sa kanyang apat na naunang libro. Hindi na ito sinalamingan ng natural katatawanan na parati nilang inaantabayanan sa kanyang mga likha. Subalit may mga kakulangan man ito sa paglagay ng elementong komiko sa kanyang librong ito, lubos naman akong nasiyahan sa mga payong ibinigay ng awtor sa mga baguhang manunulat gaya ko. Maraming mga hirap ang pinagdaanan ng awtor na lubos kong naiintindihan dahil ako rin ay dumadaan ngayon sa stage na ito. Kung minsan nga'y di na ako maintindihan ng mga kasambahay ko at mga kaibigan ko kung bakit mahilig na akong mag-isa at magkulong sa kuwarto habang nagsusulat ng aking mga akda. Kung minsa'y (gaya ni BO) ay inuuntog ko na ang ulo ko sa dingding ng aking kwarto para lang mapiga ang kung anumang ideya na gusto kong ibahagi sa aking mambabasa. Ang mga payo ni Bob Ong ay sadyang nakakatulong na maibsan ang aking uhaw na matapos na aking mga gustong isulat. At dahil sa pagbasa ng librong ito ay siguradong mababawasan ang aking mga pag-aalinlangan sa pagsusulat dahil ito'y sadyang nakakapag pawi ng uhaw sa aking inaasam na tagumpay. His folloe-up novel Mac Arthur is worth reading than this one. Go Mang Justo!

9. The Catcher in the Rye
Author: JD Salinger
Rating: 5 stars

There's always this unwritten law that writing a book review on literary classics may get you nowhere because classics have etched their names and amassed great raves from literary circles. But for now, I will break this rule by making one for J.D. Salinger's book The Catcher in the Rye. This book will be one of those few novels whom I will treasure for the rest of my life. I may compare it to Antoine De Saint Exupery's The Little Prince whose words moved the world with its crystal clear lines and plain brevity. Line after line of finely crafted words that will pierce one's soul to bleed sultry blood because of its immediate effect on the readers.(This book was read by the likes of Kurt Colbain of Nirvana fame to kill himself. It also was one of the favorite book of the late Beatle member John Lenon. This was also the bible of the killer of JFK. And this is also the favorite book of yours truly hehe) Simply put, a masterpiece worth reading for the next century or even forever.

10. Birthday Stories
Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: 5 stars

This collection of short stories edited by one of japan's best writers is a must grab for literature fanatics like me. The stories are captivating and the ease of reading it is just superb. Brilliant!

11. Kafka on the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: 5 stars

What can I say? need I say more. Grab a copy and read for yourself!

12. Sa Labas ng Parlor
Author: Honorio Bartolome De Dios
Rating: 4.5 stars

Ito ay isang napakagandang koleksyon ng mga gay short stories na ginawa sa napaka-modest na paraan na hindi man lamang kakakitaan ng kalaswaan o ano mang kahalayan. Sinalamin ng awtor ang mga bakla sa iba't-ibang propesyon at may halaga sa lipunan. Magaling magaling magaling!

Sa susunod ay bigyan ko ng review ang iba pang libro tulad ng:

- Utos ng hari at Iba pang Kuwento ni Jun Cruz Reyes
- Mujer Indigena ni Vim Nadera
- Sleepless in Manila ni Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
- Selected Stories at Man Overboard ni Butch Dalisay
- The Nymph of MTV ni Angelo Suarez
- By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept ni Paolo Coelho
- One Hundred Years of Solitude ni Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Jolography ni Paolo Manalo

Let's dance to this

Do you really know me?

Leaderboard
Create your own Friend Test here


Well, you have to take my test first to me better!

Let's Meditate


Everyday, I always find time to read a poem or a book and meditate on its theme. I believe that meditation will bring us in a place of total serenity and harmony with ourselves and with our environment.

Queer Poetry


I never thought that gay literature as a genre can be quite a challenge for queer guys like me. Hope you enjoy my poem!

Queer Dance
By Jesus Miguel Agreda

Trance music pulsates from speakers
Laser light strobes beam in the dark room
A scene of Saturday night’s revelry
For many men and a few women.

The crowd gyrates on the limited space
Between metal tables and chairs
Thick cigarette smoke engulfs the foggy air
As yells of unrestrained gaiety defy the silence.

Aloft the crowded dance floor,
Two strangers candidly approach each other.
One trivial question leads to simultaneous introduction
Paves way to flirtatious conversation.

A scene which has been played
For countless times in that same place.
Characters may differ, styles may vary,
But still, same sexes play the unscripted role.

And when the minutes fly and an hour pass
Two male figures would exit the party.
Both would depart, the revelry would continue
The fast swelling tempo in another venue

Queer Literature



This flash fiction will soon be published in queer anthologies nationwide. Hope my sistahs will like it!

Gang of Four
By Jesus Mguel Agreda

The apartment house in the suburbs of Bacolod City lies in siesta except for Ronald and Bryan who were busy preparing for that evening’s gathering.
Ronald went to the kitchen while carrying four long bottles of Merlot. He scanned the label of the wine. “Harvested and processed in 2003. This wine’s good”, he said to himself. He placed the red wine inside the fridge.
“What time will the rest of the gang arrive?” he asked Bryan while heading to the terrace in the second floor of their rented apartment.
Bryan only answered with a devilish grin.
He went to the terrace and placed the ice bucket on the middle of the glass table.
Bryan sat on the chair and asked his pal. “We should not be doing this in the terrace. People passing by the streets might see us and suspect something.”
“Well, who cares?” Ronald answered and went down to the kitchen.
A few hours passed. Two men in black coats knocked on the rusty gate of the apartment.
Bryan opened the gate. “Ronald! Mark and Kenan are here!” he shouted at Ronald who was busy preparing in the kitchen. “Do you have it?” Bryan queried.
“Of course we have it. It’s in the briefcase”, Kenan answered.
The three men went inside the dimly lighted apartment and headed for the terrace in the second floor.
Mark and Kenan sat on the chairs beside the marble fountain in the terrace while waiting for Ronald to go up.
“What have you got for us tonight,” Bryan asked Mark.
“No, it’s just the usual stuff. I know all of us will like it,” Mark replied while puffing his cigarette.
“Hey Bryan, what about helping me with the stash here!” Ronald shouted from the kitchen.
“Okay, I’m coming,” Bryan yelled back.
After a few seconds, Ronald went upstairs with two bowls of kropeck and peanuts. “Guys, did it took me long to prepare the food?”
“No, its okay, we’re not hungry yet.” Kenan answered.
“Do you have it?” Ronald curiously asked Kenan.
“Yeah, Mark will you show what we’ve got?”
“Certainly, I know you’ll like it”, said Mark.
Bryan hurriedly interrupted the group while carrying chilled wine Ronald placed in the fridge an hour ago. “Hey, aren’t we forgetting something?”
“Forget what?” Ronald retorted.
Bryan swiftly ran downstairs and bawled “Just wait for it!”
After a few minutes of silence, Bonnie Bailey’s Ever After broke the stillness of the foggy night. “Now, that’s better!” Bryan said while dancing barefooted.
Ronald opened the briefcases brought over by Mark and Kenan. “Chushumenelyn kiorva! I love it dearie! Fuschia and cream churvaloo fully beaded long gown. And my favorite magenta synthetic wig.”
“OMG, this is the night sistahs! We will be tectospinal reflex stimulators!” Kenan hollered.
“Say that again?” Bryan asked with arched eyebrows.
“Tectospinal reflex stimulator or in straight slang -- head turner dearie,” Kenan replied with a giggle.
“Sorry, we don’t usually have that word in the barracks. I’m so fed up with all these pamhin-tah effect I’ve been doing the past years,” Bryan grumbled.
“Thank God all my patients are not as insane as you sistah!” Kenan joyously stated.
“Agree to that. Amen! Don’t forget the other briefcase. It’s full of new palettes of MAC eye shadows and the famous Bobbi Brown lipstick! I stashed it from my mama dear’s dresser the minute she went out to work,” Mark added.
“Let’s give a big toast for our dear mamas for raising four beautiful mamitas!” Bryan cheered wile hoisting his glass of chilled red wine.
In wine, there is truth.

My Flash Fiction Musings



This was the result of my workshop in flash fiction with Ms. Rachel Pitlonglay in UP Baguio. Hope you like it! I wrote this for only an hour of loosening up my brain cells and indulging in camote and Benguet coffee.


Change
(55-word fiction version)

The old woman sat inside the jeepney. Her hair was scattered.
The driver gave me coins and I hurriedly placed it inside my pocket. The woman mysteriously stared at me.
I thought she’s an aswang feared by the elders.
I could not move. She held my hand and quipped “You’ve got my change hijo”.


Change
(Flash Fiction version)

It was an ordinary day. I did my daily routine of waking up at six in the morning, taking a bath for ten minutes and eating breakfast before going to school.
After packing up all that I needed for school, I hurriedly ran to the jeepney stop. I went inside the tin can and waited for other passengers to fill in the remaining seats.
An old kinky haired woman was already sitting at the back of the driver’s seat opposite to where I am sitting. Her scattered hair barely showed her face until the jeep started to move to its destination.
The gushing wind passing through the windows blew the spread out hair of the old woman revealing her mysterious gaze.
The driver gave me change and I hurriedly placed it in my pocket. The old woman stared at me as if she wants to swallow me alive.
I would remember the stories of my Lola Soledad back in Iloilo about an old woman with curly gray hair. This mysterious woman is commonly called in Hiligaynon as an aswang.
This mythical creature would have this mysterious stare with blazing red eyes. My grandmother always warns me that the aswang usually looks like ordinary persons during the day but changes into an non human creature usually that of a wild boar or a big dog at night.
By that time, I cannot look at the woman straight in the eye. I concentrated on the book that I was reviewing for my literature class just to while away my time.
As the jeepney approached the stop near my school, I hurriedly fixed my belongings and signaled the driver to halt.
When I was about to leave the motor vehicle, the old lady grabbed my hand tightly. I could not move. My hands were trembling and my forehead was sweating cold.
Then she stared at me and said “You’ve got my change hijo”.

Hiligaynon Poetry



Before I went back to Baguio this summer, I studied Hiligaynon writing in Bacolod under the tutelage of my good friend and mentor Direk Rudy Reveche of Teatro Amorseco. This poem Paghanut sang Lipak was a "disturbing" piece as what my friend Junley Lazaga described. Well, what can I say? Yes, disturbed ang persona ko dito. Unang sabak ko po ito sa Hiligaynon writing at marami pa namang panahon para mapayaman ko ang aking lingwahe sa pagsulat sa Hiligaynon.Enjoy!


Paghanut Sang Lipak
Jesus Miguel Agreda

Garagasa ako pakadto sa akon kwarto.
Dali-dali nga nagpanago sa likod sang
gabuk nga aparador, gapangamuyo.

Hungod nga ginsalapay sang akon
Haras-haras nga siko ang antigo nga panaming
sang akon iloy na Sto Niño, gahibi-on.

Ginapaabot ko ang maitum nga landong
sang akon iloy na magasulod sa kuwarto.
Balhas nagatulo sa akon agtang, gakurug-kurug.

Nagwadang ang akon iloy sa sulod sang kwarto
Wala ko nagihu, wala ko naginhawa−
May tunukun nga lipak sa iya nawala nga kamot.

Handa nga ihanut ang salsalon nga sanga
Matig-a kag mahagpuk kung magtupa
sa akon maniwang nga lawas. Aray!

Daw sa panulay ang grabe nga ka-init
sang akun iloy pag kakita niya sang santos;
buka, kag nagalapta sa tunga sang sala.

Ugaling wala nag-ubra ang akon pagpanago,
Ido nga nagapangita sang kawatan
ang iloy ko sa sulod sang kuwarto. Araguy!

Paghanut sang madamul sa akon nga likod
Wala ko kalikaw, wala ko kapalayo−
Daw balod nga nagpaanod sa tunga lawod.

Usapang Sentenaryo ng Baguio Live sa Malcolm Square



Salamat po sa lahat ng tumulong para maging successful ang aming production na ipapalabas sa Sky Cable 12 at Mountainview Community Channel. Ang Usapang Sentenaryo ng Baguio ay final requirement naming magkaklase sa ENR 2. Bilang UC Mass Communication student lubos akong nagagalak dahil matagal naming pinaghandaan ang programang tumalakay sa mga isyu hinggil sa nalalapit na sentenaryo ng lungsod. May segment rin itong MOS (Man on the Street), Rock-rockan at Talakayan ng Kabataan. Maraming Salamat po ulit! Ako po ang direktor ng palabas.

Maraming Salamat Po! Madamo Gid Nga Salamat sa Inyo Nga Tanan!



I would like to thank all those who visited the exibit of Cuatro Cantos and Ubbog:YCW. Sa uulitin!

Ateneo National Writers Workshop entry

This was my entry for the Ateneo National Writers Workshop.

I don't know yet if I will be accepted for the fellowship slated on October and I am keeping my fingers crossed....

Padyak Nanay, Padyak!

Bawat ikot ng kinakalawang na pedal
sa amoy burak na eskinita na napapagitnaan ng
nagpapataasang marurupok na barung-barong,
Butil ng pawis at nakakasulasok na anghit
ang naghalo’t nag-aalingasaw
mula sa sunog na balat
ng inang kanina pang kinakapos ng hininga.

Hindi alintana nito ang nangangasim na sikmura’t
nanlulupaypay na katawan
mapakain lamang ng dinurado’t tuyo
ang kanyang sandosenang bubot.
Sa bawat kalye’y pisil siya nga pisil sa torotot
“Pooot-poot!” sa bawat madaraanang kanto
Nagbabakasakaling may sumakay sa kanyang padyak.

Maharlika

I.

People disperse inside its muted corridors,
Like ants in a terrarium moving back and forth.

In its chrome yellow tiled floors peddlers scatter,
Selling cheap imitations of rubberized keypads;

Inside aged concrete walls of beige hue,
Meninggo scare lingers in siesta.

Decades ago it’s the city center;
Now, market vendors wolf down its arteries.

Silverware glistens in its lower coves.
Ethnic weaving mounted on its nooks;

Mindless pirates siege the Spanish galleon,
Bringing ashore its wooden handicrafts;

Barrel man showcases his mighty flute,
while changing every visitor’s mood.

Banana shaped ashtrays that give a smirk,
to window shopping naive passersby.

II.

Hours of darkness engulfs its insomniac structure;
Leaf-eaters dance tipsy in its rowdy bars.

Jukebox rhythms emancipate Kafagway,*
while cowboy’ hats float in its foggy ambiance.

Humming hyenas embrace the effervescence,
of overflowing bottles of beer and vomit spills.

Blonde women gyrate in its stainless steel poles,
Welcoming hungry strangers with microphones;

Burned native chicken served in its kitchen;
Customers ask for mongrels’ forbidden meat.

San Miguel drowning its slipshod fathers –
Leaving starving families wait anxiously.

Crisscrossing its dimly lighted passageways,
the snoozing structure endures smelly breaths.

Of happy bastards enjoying last few sips,
countless windings in its pebbled stairs.

III.

As the sun shyly peeps on its façade,
A hush of silence overpowers its grilled entrance.

News stands await the daily rumors,
from welcoming truckloads of early news.

On its walkway piles of freshly pressed paper,
sorted by women and a few sleepy men.

Screaming tabloids overwhelms the good sheets;
Newsboys trade before its magnificence.

Beside used clothes and bags displayed,
Women sip instant coffee in styro cups.

Blue guards open the prison-like foyer,
Mothers pass by from the market stalls.

Sexy parloristas open up their feathery doors,
Waiting for early haggard princess whores.

The Maharlika tirelessly never sleeps
Welcoming and serving its Kailians.**


*Kafagway – is the old name of Baguio
**Kailian – native Igorot term for their fellow tribe members.

The Acolyte

Every stride makes him float
in the middle of the altar.
Draped in white robe,
where neither dust nor dirt tries to fuse
itself in his transparency.

As he slowly swings
the burning incense
reeking with holiness,
people kneel in reverence
to the Holy One.

The priest extends his mighty hand
as smoke disperses
away from the burning ember,
carefully kept aglow
by the trusted right hand.


Akinse

Malalim na ang gabi
Pauwi na ang mga tao
Siguro ay hinog na ang panahon
Para lakarin ang Burnham Park
Akinse ngayon.
Sigurado’y tiba-tiba ang kita.
Kailangan lamang
tamisan ang pananalita
para maraming parokyano
ang muling maaki’t madala
sa matipunong katawan
at mapanlinlang na dila.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sa Ilalim ng Pino


Gusto kong tumanga sa ilalim ng pino.

Habang sipat ng buwan ang aking kamusmusan.

Masamyo ang hamog na dumadampi sa aking pisngi,

Nililipad ang aking kaluluwa sa gitna ng dilim.

Dinig ko ang huni ng naghaharutang kuliglig,

Umaawit ng kundiman habang nagsasayawan.

Bawat bahay sa malayo na aking namamataan,

Umuusbong ang usok ng masarap na pinapaitan.

Marangyang piging ang pinaghahandaan,

Bilang pasasalamat sa masaganang anihan.

Alatiit ng nagkikiskisang dahon ng pino,

Nagpapahimbing ng pagtulog ng mga katutubo.

Sumutsot ng patuya ang rumaragasang ilog,

Bumubulong sa akin ng nakaambang panganib.

Hindi ko pinansin ang paunang babala,

Yumanig ang lupa at nilamon ang handa.

Maugong ang tunog ng gangsa sa di-kalayuan,

Hudyat ng pagdating ng mga kalaban.

Minadali kong hinasa ang mapupurol na sibat,

Bilang pangharang sa mga taong nakaputi.

Walang laban ang aking marurupok na sandata,

Bumulalas ang apoy sa kanilang bunganga.

Wala akong magawa kundi magpaubaya,

Ang magpaalipin pala’y di naman masama.

CORDI SPONSORS

Your Ad Here Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.This policy is valid from 17 May 2007 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.This policy is valid from 17 May 2007