a-anak (arnel banasan)

(as translated)
precious children, young men and women
hearken as i share what the elders have to say

you have a mind of your own,
please don't talk back to your father and mother
for the life you have
you owe them and Kabunyan.

when you go to school in baguio or manila
persevere in studying and earn a diploma

if you want to marry, think it over five times
it will please the elders so
because it is hard to start a new family

dear children, ladies and gentlemen
listen as i share old men's admonitions
let us learn the pagta and bodong
for they embody kalinga life and laws.

this is a song of advice by elders to children about life. the original longer version of the song includes advice on occasions and drinking.

life has

life has been thinking a lot about me, someone else, and everyone else.

it figured a square but not all sides could be achieved with equal support or equal restraint. it figured a circle though it lost me retracing its steps and planning ahead. life wanted purpose, it wanted meaning but i could not provide fully the needs it wanted to engorge itself with.

she could not bear to accept the budding reality that life did also want her conjoined (because the reality ran too ahead of the thoughts).

they could not see it, praise it or even admonish it, for it hid before they could even lend a bolt to straighten it.

there was no life.

life has been seeing a lot about me, someone else, and everyone else.


sátántangó (1994)

yes, she said to herself softly. the angels see this and understand. she felt serene and the trees, the road, the rain and the night all breathed tranquility. everything that happens is good, she thought. everything was, eventually, simple.

she recalled the previous day and, smiling, she realized how things are connected. she felt that these events aren't connected by accident, but there's an indescribably beautiful meaning bridging them.

and she knew she wasn't alone for all things and people, her father upstairs, her mother, her brothers, the doctor, the cat, these acacias, this muddy road, this sky, this night down here depend on her, just as she herself depends on everything.

she had no reason to be worried. she knew well that her angels had set out for her.

a notably long 7 and 1/2 hour film. completed watching during free time in a span of four days. directed by bela tarr. from the novel written by laszlo krasznahorkai.

that was all.

and for the tender sound of an accordion the spiders in the pub launched their last attack. they sewed loose webs on top of the glasses, the cups, the ashtrays, around the legs of the tables and the chairs.

then they bound them together with secret threads so that in their hidden corners they notice every little move and every little stir until this almost invisible web is not damaged.

they sewed a web on the sleepers' faces, their feet, their hands. then hurried back to their hiding--place, waiting for an ethereal thread to move to start it all again.


riding alone for thousands of miles (2006)

a father's and a son's long wait to forgiveness, it is when takata travels to china to film a masked folk opera "riding alone for thousand miles" for his dying son that takata begins his solo journey to reunite with his estranged son, in allusion to the opera about the fabled story of lord guan's solo journey for brotherly love and loyalty.


a turning point arrives

"have you ever come to that point in a life when you have to make real life choices... that life can't really about going with the flow and the tides, at some point you have to make a life decision to go against the flow and break the waves. break the monotony of playing life safe, living the comfort zone. seems that i have played life safely, with merely a vague direction, almost purposeless. seems an irony when one seeks to seize the days and lose track of a deeper purpose."

"mahirap tumingala at mamingwit sa bituin, pataas kung mangisda sa karagatang madilim."

"have you ever thought of just disappearing, leaving all baggages behind, for such time to come back with a different fresher perspective on life, on the world... i think about it a lot of times, but afraid that what you'll be leaving behind won't be there anymore when you come back. could be part of the sacrifice of emptying life baggages... is to come back with life anew. as though you were resetting life, rebooting the world."

"seems your turning point is nearly there, and when you arrive at that point, you'll have to decide for yourself your life choice..."

"my turning point has always been here. here for already a longer time i can imagine. i have been delaying making that..."

"you can always decide to remain."

"and we all need to come of age, mine is waiting."


burn out

now that i have sent a package flying to the north where awaits, hopefully, a confirmation,

and just when i am gradually feeling myself get sucked in a whirlpool of both the direst and lightest emotions towards the burning underneath the belly, of which i seemed to have denied myself a layer of insanity.

i need to get back in shape.


renewing quality time

maybe it had become part of my unconscious effort to build some sort of a plan for 2009, could be a wish list, not much of a resolution, but more about the what needs to be done... or better, what i want done for 2009... primarily due to the fact that years pass by with an unseamless feeling of "i could have done more" or "i dilly-dallied too long", we are not getting any younger, and growing older demands that life be lived with less regrets, rearranging the mindset from working with "no mistakes" to living "more discoveries" and "more learnings and experiences".

part of this list is to renew my quality time with a lot of facets of my life, which include the others that make me the i that i am.

a seemed to have realized this while spending a few minutes, lying on an old stone bench, while allowing himself to be engulfed by the vastness of the night above him. it was a simple plan... for him to renew quality time, and in that discover the significance of the selves and the others, the solitude and the connections, the steps forward and the learnings of the past.

start with the bookshelves. learn to find himself while immersed with the birthing text.

start with his solitude. look inside himself and find relevant meanings for his way onwards.

start with his sadness, his happiness, connections and relationships, love and a woman.


in creating... from rilke to rilke

...Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

rainer maria rilke, letters to a young poet (iii)



as did in the gone years
shifts and randoms
in the occurrences to come
whether to celebrate
or not
in this new.