Roosters for Pele

25 02 2009

Well if my heart’s soaking wet, boy your boots can leave a mess
Hey Jupiter, nothing’s been the same
So are you gay? Are you blue?
Thought we both could use a friend to run to

Tori Amos, Hey Jupiter

Although Tori Amos sounds like the last thing one should listen to when depressed, her songs can actually be therapeutic for anyone willing to go beyond the apparent opaqueness of her kooky lyrics. Tori’s (arguably) best work is Boys For Pele, her third release with a title that alludes to offering boys to the Hawaiian volcano goddess. First impressions tell us it is an angry album. Tori is angry at many people: at boys she wronged, at boys who wronged her, and at girls who took boys from her (Along with Mary Magdalene, Courtney Love seems to be her favorite female subject. See Professional Widow, Mr. Zebra and Taxi Ride for perfect examples). As the seemingly man-hating record progresses however, Tori reveals her vulnerability. From a screaming, angry woman, she becomes sympathetic, pathetic, needy, guilty, remorseful, tender, and hopeful. Apart from Hey Jupiter, other Pele highlights include Caught a Lite Sneeze, Father Lucifer, Marianne and Putting the Damage On.

One of my favorite lines comes from the deceptively sweet Doughnut Song. God forbid I’d be channeling this in the future:

You told me last night you were a sun now
With your very own devoted satellite
Happy for you and I am sure that I hate you


Here comes the sun

23 02 2009

Since ‘summer’ is almost here, some beach recommendations! Seven best destinations within 4 hours of Manila.

7. Botolan, Zambales. Deserted, quiet beaches if you know where to look. (3.5-hour drive)


6. Nasugbu, Batangas. Nothing but fond memories here, although it’s been 5 years since my last trip. (3-hour drive)

5. Subic Bay, Zambales. Accessible, if a bit crowded, white sand beaches. (2.5-hour drive)


4. Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental. Peace and quiet is still present here if you stay away from White Beach. (2-hour drive and 1-hour boat ride)


3. Anilao, Batangas. Best diving in Luzon. (3-hour drive)


2. Laiya, Batangas. Laid-back beaches and some good snorkeling. (4-hour drive)


1. Anawangin Cove and Capones Island, Zambales. Stunning describes Anawangin, a place where the mountains meet the sea and where pine trees grow on white-sand beaches. Capones, meanwhile, is a rocky island with serene white sands, grassy hills, and a picturesque lighthouse. (3-hour drive and 30-minute boat ride)



In less relevant matters, summer haiku!

Let’s (#51)

sunsets melt on sand
where simian eyes stare back.
brown hills are pretty


Laiya (#53)

silent westward drift
I watch deep blueness pass by.
a boy dreams awake

Ate Anne’s Bibbo Billboard

22 02 2009

You know my heart it beats for you
It beats for you, so in time we beat
Your thoughts align so in time with me

My Morning Jacket, It Beats For You

A wonderful weekend wedding at the beach courtesy of Dave and Yo. Best wishes to you both! Photos of beautiful people here.

I think I’ve accepted the fact that my dove of hope is nothing but a paper bag. And strangely, this does not bother me a bit. I know the silliness will continue (because that cannot be avoided) but I’m sure it will be of the more rational type. I’ve been impatiently waiting for the day when, with objective detachment, I would scoff at the embarassing things I’ve done and thoughts I’ve entertained over the past couple of months. I could finally smell this day in the air. Can’t wait to be a productive citizen of the world again.


20 02 2009

Quick predictions in time for the Oscars.

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire > Milk > Frost/Nixon > The Curious Case of Benjamin Button > The Reader. Thin line-up but Slumdog Millionaire is the most exciting and entertaining.

Director: Danny Boyle > Gus Van Sant > David Fincher > Ron Howard > Stephen Daldry. It’s sad to see Daldry, responsible for the sublime The Hours, stoop down to the level of The Reader.

Actor: Mickey Rourke > Frank Langella > Sean Penn > Richard Jenkins > Brad Pitt. Deserving nominees except for Brad Pitt.

Actress: Kate Winslet = Anne Hathaway = Melissa Leo = Meryl Streep > Angelina Jolie. I’m a Kate semi-fanboy but this is a tight race with equally great performances from the four nominees. Also secretly rooting for a Hathaway upset.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger> Philip Seymour Hoffman > Robert Downey Jr > Josh Brolin > Michael Shannon. No surprise here.

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis = Penelope Cruz >Marisa Tomei > Taraji Henson > Amy Adams. Davis stole Doubt from Meryl and Penelope was wonderful on many levels.

Original Screenplay: Happy-Go-Lucky = Milk > WALL-E > Frozen River (In Bruges not yet seen).

Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire > Frost/Nixon > Doubt > The Curious Case of Benjamin Button > The Reader.

Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir (Israel)

Animated Film: WALL-E

Documentary: Man on Wire

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Score: Slumdog Millionaire

Song: WALL-E

Costume: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight


18 02 2009

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
Oh I would still be on my feet

Joni Mitchell, A Case of You

New seasons of geek favorites The Amazing Race and Survivor returned recently and they are welcome objects of distraction. It’s awkward to see nerds (e.g., me) becoming obsessed about things that are beyond the usual realms of geekery (e.g., people). At the very least however, I’ve realized that I’m actually flesh-and-blood human. As one action starlet once put it, “saging lang ang may puso.” So there you go.

In other news, Sabah jump shots killed my left leg again. Goodbye jogging!

Kangkong belacan

17 02 2009

From the trip to Kota Kinabalu I bring home shirts, magnets, Malaysian grocery items, eight haiku and a potential flu. Malaysia may be too sanitized for my taste but the four days were very enjoyable. Food was excellent every meal (especially the seafood!). The ubiquitous presence of warm Filipinos (Sabah is Philippines after all) made things a little less stressful. Sabah may not be particularly picturesque but it has its unique charms. Mt. Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia and the youngest non-volcanic mountain in the world, is unspectacular at first glance but has a magical aura that grows on you. The white-sand islands were relaxing and well-managed. Everything in Malaysia is well-managed. I like order but I love chaos.

The clogged nose and heavy lungs are killing me. Maybe a haiku or two would help me feel better. Methinks I need some good old mwahugzzz right now.

Maps (#44)

Prophecies have drawn
Neural maps of my wasteland
Cruel April will pass

Whys (#47)

Freeways and airspace
Clog with a traffic of whys
City ignores me

Well, that was cheery.

Soldier down! Soldier down!

12 02 2009

I’m gonna be lonely for the rest of my life
Unless you come around.

Rhett Miller, Come Around

So I guess today is one of those days. And no one can really do anything. Except maybe join me in heaving a deep sigh. Haaaaay.

The flight to KK is tomorrow but I haven’t even thought of beginning to pack. Because I’m cool. And stupid. And I can’t find that damn ID. Fate toys with me yet again.

I know Leopold would disapprove but hey it’s almost the 14th so it’s excusable to roll out some verse.

Moon (Haiku #36)

Full moon casts beams of
Longing that I shoot out to
Wherever you are

Cheesy neurotics of the world, unite!