Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Of Swords and Saints: The Sword in the Stone

This picture maybe familiar to you.

Disney’s version of the story of the sword Excalibur and King Arthur. According to popular British legend, the Excalibur, the sword in the stone, will only be pulled away by the true and rightful king of Britain, that is Arthur.

One research led me to another and I found out that there’s a sword embedded in a stone and can be found somewhere in Tuscany. But its story is kind of told in reverse.

There was a ruthless and worldly knight who goes by the name Galgano Guidotti. According to some records, it was said that later on in life, Galgano had two visions. In his first vision, he saw Archangel Michael telling him that he, the angel, will protect the knight himself. In his second vision he saw the Creator and the twelve disciples. After seeing the visions, his horse took him on top of Monte Siepi. There he decided to plant a cross but could not find any wood to cut so he plunged his sword into the stones in the ground, a gesture of his pledge to live a holy life dedicated to the Lord.

I am not sure of the story’s authenticity since the Church at the time had to fabricate certain stories of saints. But the relics found there are quite awesome, and many people in the past have claimed to have experienced miracles and healings.

But I was wondering. We Filipinos have a famous saying- itaga mo sa bato. Pilipino kaya si St. Galgano?!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

San Galgano Abbey: Touching Heaven, Changing Earth

I went to one of the most peculiar places of worship in Italy- the San Galgano Abbey. It is in the province of Chiusdino.

Construction started in 1220 and was finished six decades later. In the Middle Ages it was one of the finest work of architecture and was one of the centres of power and wealth in the territory of Tuscany as the abbey allied itself with the Republic of Siena. Tragic events brought the end of its magnificence. All that’s left of it are its arches and walls and an open ceiling. Nevertheless, one can still see the remnants of its glorious past.

From afar the idyllic Tuscan background gives the church a very quaint image.

As you step inside the ruins, you will be amazed to see the clear blue sky from the roofless abbey. 

Such spectacular view would make you think that this church can be holy grounds again, even if lightning and earthquakes struck it down, even if greedy men and wars despoiled and desecrated it. This place can still be holy as long as the faithful witness God’s glory and dwell there to worship the Creator.

The Chapter House

The cloister, and that's my sister...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Good reads so far...

Works by my favourite writers…

Sherds by the illustrious F. Sionil José

It has the same old favourite theme of F. Sionil José- class struggle. But you can’t get enough of it, simply because it’s a story that is truly happening in the Philippines.

Peter Gregory Golangco, an artist, academician and a hacendero who belongs to the old and wealthy Golangco clan, meets the feisty and bright student, Guia Espiritu, and was mesmerized by her native beauty and wit.

The rich guy is frustrated because he couldn’t decide whether he wants her as a mistress, or as his protégée, or as his daughter. The author has always rich DOM’s in his stories. LOL! But that’s fine with me. I don’t want to be judgemental.

So the girl will be an inspiration for him, but will she be his ultimate downfall?

The book poses the questions about the Filipino artist and its role in the struggle of the poor and the end of the rich’s supremacy.

Very interesting and insightful to read.

after the quake by the literary drug Haruki Murakami

after the quake is a collection of stories that revolve around the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Six stories written in Murakami’s distinctive and addictive style. I honestly don’t know how to expound on that. Nevertheless it is a wonderful book. I always consider his works as drugs and my ultimate source of psychological escaper from my dreary personal life.

Get high on this book, not on drugs.

Twisted 7 by The Universal Potentate, Her Imperial Highness, Grand Empress Jessica Zafra

Her rants and raves about the great, the noble, the squalid, and the mediocre will make you laugh out loud, and realize that she is the ultimate diva that would change your life, or at least brighten your day with sarcasm and irony. Not to mention her crusade against the stupid.

Read Twisted 7. Pledge your fealty to Her Imperial Highness the Grand Empress. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Of First Ladies, First Queridas and STD's

After many years of hopelessness, finally, Malacañang will be illuminated, not by the new president. No. I wasn’t concerned about the presidency at all. I was talking about the “Office of the First Lady”. Yes, the country has urgent need of a First Lady, and by God’s grace, He granted us Davao’s mayor, the beautiful and kick-ass woman, Ms. Sarah Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio.

We sometimes disregard the importance of the role of the veiled power-player behind the throne. In the past, First Ladies were just the presidential consorts and principal hostess of the Palace. But that was not the case when Imelda Marcos assumed the role which she totally revolutionized after becoming an influential power-player herself. She wasn’t only the Palace’s hostess, but she was also the late dictator’s alter ego, and at times, one of the many political rivals. Imelda proved herself as an important political weapon when she became First Lady- she was a public charmer, humanitarian, and the president’s envoy.

Enough about Imelda. My point is, since Imelda, the First Lady’s role has changed and evolved in many ways.

After Imelda, there was Mrs. Ming Ramos who was very active in her role as the presidential spouse, advocating issues for the environment, going around the country promoting and helping charities and many other foundations, even sports events that promote her sport badminton. 

And then we had the Martyr First Lady, former senator Loi Ejercito-Estrada who renovated the Palace and making it the grand splendour of Manila (I presume).

Of course, First Ladies wouldn’t be interesting without their antitheses, the First Queridas.

I wouldn’t discuss Imelda’s rivals here. That’s another entry. Believe me, I can write a book about it. I just need the right sources and do some more research.

As for the Ramos Administration, there was The Hidden First Lady who was allegedly the hostess of a powerful political group who “counselled” President Ramos and was said to have an overwhelming influence on the President’s policies. This socialite had a very peculiar relationship with FVR. I won’t say anything further. I might end up committing another presumed cyber-crime, or worse, assassinated for being too chismoso.

On the other hand, the Martyr First Lady Loi Ejercito-Estrada, well she had to share the President with other 12 Unofficial First Ladies, allegedly; each living in her own splendid palace in the capital, allegedly.

The last decade we had Presidential Spouses who are too glamorous, too scandalous, or too irritating.

The fall of Estrada paved the way for the Gloria days, who gave us the first ever First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo- a huge pig, ugly, and perhaps guilty in all levels of corruption and plunder. He represented the Philippines in various business meetings, perhaps with the Chinese, and many other dark lords of corruption.

And then we had Kris Aquino, the lady whom I fondly called STD First Lady. She graced the Philippines with her super white skin, wide mouth, annoying accent and laugh, tactless bitchy manner, and her STD. I hated every moment of it, of having Kris Aquino as First Lady. I really don’t know what she has achieved and I really don’t care.

But now we have Sarah Duterte-Carpio, The Kickass First Lady. I will never forget that punch she gave to their local sheriff in Davao. And her compelling campaign to push her father to run for the presidency. And of course, the fact that she bears the name Carpio makes it imperative for me to raise up my banner and support her.

Obviously, of the two de facto First Ladies, I choose the First Lady with balls over the First Lady with crabs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Charming Prince of Malacañang (and a sub-entry on political fan-girling)

I've always said that politics is the showbiz of the ugly, by the ugly, and for the ugly; for I see more ugly faces that charming and beautiful ones.

There are only perhaps a dozen of people I could think of in 30 seconds who are truly handsome or beautiful. And they are doomed to fade away, or they really never increase in number.

The usual focus of the public is on the candidates, on the politician himself, and on his opinions. The usual shit in politics.

But the 2016 Presidential Race was spiced up when media covered the most useless and frivolous issue of the election season- the candidates' sons and presumptive heirs. And by the looks of it, their offspring possess the glamorous and panty-dropping, enchanting, nakakaloka looks (finally, thank God!).

In the era of beauty-deprived politics and mental mediocrity, the media has discovered something that will give us hope, or better, a break from the random male-celebrity bullshits we watch in porn, in television, and from looking at all those familiar faces and crotches in EDSA billboards that have bogged down our taste and appetite for substantial male beauty.

Thank you media. You really know what the people fucking need. So they featured this roster of young men that I like to call the new Princes of Philippine Politics.

My personal pick is Brian Poe- the "pang commercial" smile, flawless skin, pretty face, and an impressive family background.

But this was way before the general elections. And out of nowhere came out this photo.


And I was like:
The Stages of Evolution from Political Observer to Slutty Fan-Girl

Stage 1- Reads the name Sebastian Duterte. Hmmm… *click*

Stage 2- After two photos. Furious clicking and typing of key words in various search engines.

Stage 3- Giggling like a schoolgirl at the sight of another photo

Stage 4- Hormone overdrive. Lost all reasoning capacity. Libido takes hold of every piece of one's humanity.

Stage 5- Gets back to reading and searching for Sebastian Duterte while raving on the phone about the guy with gurl bestfriend.

Stage 6- Speaks of Sebastian Duterte with friends, calling him by his first name like they are in a real relationship.

Stage 7- Shrieks and giggles and speaks in wild tongues whenever Baste's photo appears before him. Undergoes therapy.

And that's how I became Baste's secret paramour. LOL!

 To end this worthless entry, here's a photo of my new beau.

Don't you just want to become a soap and lather that body all over? LOL!