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Art Appreciation
Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It took a while for the PHSA alumni assembly to start, Silangan Hall speckled with the few Ibarangs who had willed themselves awake on a nice, nippy Saturday morning, so I decided to pass the time stumbling around the 5th floor of CCP. I only had the nerve to thanks to the high school tour group a floor below, whose din echoed just enough to keep me company down those dark, carpeted halls.

(I hate that paragraph. It’s so R.L. Stein I could fart.)

Anyway, that’s when I saw the Painting again, which I first encountered when I was around 9, and was the reason for quite a few nightmares since. This piece spanned the whole wall across from the little girls’ room, so I had to run past that thing with my hands over my eyes every time I needed to pee. Before last Saturday, I only knew that it featured some sort of horrid humanoid, a part-man, part-beast deal rendered with as much gloom as possible. I had sworn to myself that I would never, ever look at it again; there was something far too sinister about it, something that I felt would fuck me up for good if I braved another peek.

Having seen it again at an age and mindset more impervious to scary shit in all its ways and forms, I still have to agree with that stupid little girl from over a decade ago. The smidge of sunlight available did lend the Painting a more mundane quality—clumpy brushstrokes instead of shadows, a Funny Eagle Man with wings spread all wide and gay in place of the monster in my head—but there was one thing in it that was, really and truly, the stuff of all tortured dreams.

Funny Eagle Man had a huge cock. Huge. Ginormous. Unwieldy, even.

How my exposure to this beast at an early stage of development has affected me is anyone’s guess.

Or not. Who am I kidding.


posted by marguerite @ 11:10 AM

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The Fruit Shoot
Thursday, August 23, 2007


In adherence to the pact between us cousins and our happy triggers, I let Whammy exploit my shamelessness with his Nikon, a Fuji apple, an orange, and a mango. Picking out the juicy darlings at the supermarket was half the fun of the whole deal. There’s nothing like standing before piles and piles of fruit in all their fluorescence. (The dragonfruit and its Petals of Flame was another option, but one piece was just too damn expensive.) Of course, there’s also nothing like screaming at fruit, biting into fruit with rage, letting fruit pulp squelch and slobber all over your fingers, and kissing fruit, among other fruit-related possibilities. A reconnection with all that is organic, perhaps?








Not really. I just like making a mess of myself.


posted by marguerite @ 12:48 AM

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Origin
Sunday, August 19, 2007


“Hay, salamat Lord, at nakarating kami ng maluwalhati!”
- Old Man Cabbie, who sang praise songs throughout last night’s ride home

Hallelujah!

Besides katas, whose crispylicious, juicylicious quality gets me all hot and bothered, two other Filipino words I love are luwalhati and dalamhati. La Belly Labella told us of their etymology back in freshman year, and I haven’t gotten over it. If I remember correctly, the root word for both is ati, a tribal term that refers to the juices stored in our livers (hence the word atay, by the by). And ati is some really bad shit, pretty much the liquid manifestation of all things negative. Thus, the more ati we have, the sadder we are. Dalamhati, which we know as “extreme sorrow,” is the bringing of the ati wherever we go (dala + ati), while luwalhati, which we know as “extreme joy,” is the vomiting of the ati from our system (luwa + ati). Happiness, then, is a matter of how much negativity our bodies allow or reject. Tadaaaaa.

+++

My uncle has moved back into the house as of late, so I am no longer alone on the second floor. It’s been a comforting change. Any energy left in this house used to tucker out by 8 PM, when my grandparents go to bed, so I often go home to a dead zone each night. Now that my uncle’s in the other room, contributing extra sound with his Xbox and DVDs, I feel less alone. Almost like having a big brother around, even though we don’t talk much or do whatever else it is that siblings do.

When I got home last night and heard a bit of movie dialogue from his room, I decided to knock on his door, not exactly sure of why I was doing so, but nonetheless pleased that I was going to see another conscious being on the second floor at that hour. He opened the door a crack, pissed.

“Uh, wala lang,” I said, and smiled like a moron.

He shut the door. I headed for my own room, warm from human contact.


posted by marguerite @ 6:51 PM

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Damage Control
Friday, August 17, 2007


Had a pretty bad fall last Wednesday, an accident I would’ve found hilarious had I not been the sad sack. It was down a whole flight of stairs outside the Shaw MRT, that flimsy metal bridge/stairway leading to the market on the South-bound side of EDSA. Four reasons for the hilarity:

1) I had walked all the way from Metrowalk to the station, enjoying that afternoon’s harsh rain and wind. I have this thing for going down whole lengths of City in horrid weather, and was seriously feeling good about harassing myself.

2) It was just seconds away from the building I was headed for. Was already a tad late to begin with, and had to meet my boss mud-splattered and aching like hell. And where did I ache, pray tell?

3) My ass. I was going down the last flight of stairs right before the sidewalk, when I slipped on the top narrow, slimy metal step, slammed onto my butt, and staggered all the way down to the street as if on a playground slide. That, by the by, hurts.

4) And the best part about the whole deal was that I was wearing a nice little dress. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to blog about the maddening crowd anymore, but, well, there you go. It was far beyond a little upskirt action. Those smarmy pricks had their field day.

A few good-lings did help me up. One particularly distraught old lady even offered to accompany me to wherever I had to go. But since my meeting place was just a few meters away, I just winced for a minute, thanked her and the other good-lings, and stumbled into the conference room all Yagit Chic. My ass was a bitch.

Of course, I got really paranoid that something had happened to the base of my spine, so I had myself checked that evening. But it was just one big, bad butt bruise, apparently. Had to stand in place at home for a while since I couldn’t bring myself to sit or walk. And while I can move around now, the fall had also resulted in some muscle trauma, so my neck and abdomen are smarting as I type.

It’s all mind over matter, anyway. Like everything else.


posted by marguerite @ 1:32 PM

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Alert the Armory
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

As posted by other Ibarangs:

I-ba-rang’ (noun)
Definition: Isang mag-aaral ng sining na nag-aaral o nakapag-aral sa Makiling (Philippine High School for the Arts).

PHSA Alumni General Assembly
August 25, 2007
9 am – 4 pm
Silangan Hall, CCP

Bring P150 for food and registration.

Please confirm attendance through rosariobelinda@yahoo.com

+++

And:

The Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) on Mt Makiling in Laguna, through its Annual Nationwide Search for Young Arts Scholars (ANSYAS 2008), is now accepting applications for a full special secondary education scholarship for the School Year 2008-2009. PHSA conducts a screening of applicants yearly to identify artistically talented children who will be given special training in their chosen art field.

The successful applicant is awarded free tuition, free board and lodging, a monthly stipend, classes with master teachers, plus the chance to represent the country in local and international competitions and exchange programs. The grant is renewable every year for four consecutive school years upon satisfaction of academic and non-academic requirements.

Applicants must be Filipino citizens with outstanding ability in an art discipline, i.e. Music (instrument and voice), Dance (ballet and folk), Theater Arts, Visual Arts, and Creative Writing; graduating from Grade VI or VII this School Year 2007-2008; of above-average intelligence; proficient in oral and written Filipino and English; without any debilitating illnesses; willing to study in a residential school; and determined to pursue a college degree in Architecture, Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater Arts, Journalism or any related courses upon graduation from PHSA.

Application forms are downloadable from the PHSA website www.phsa.edu.ph or the DepED website www.deped.gov.ph. Fully accomplished application forms must be sent directly to ANSYAS 2008 Chair Mr. Reynaldo O. Wong at Philippine High School for the Arts, Mt Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna 4030. Otherwise, applicants are advised to proceed directly and hand-in their application at any of the following Regional Test and Audition Centers (RTAC) on specified date:

RTAC 1 – Misamis Occidental National High School, Bernard St., Poblacion 1, Oroquieta City
Friday, August 17

RTAC 2 – Zamboanga City National High School, Don Alfaro St., Tetuan, Zamboanga City
Sunday, August 19

RTAC 3 – Pigcawayan National High School, Poblacion 2, Pigcawayan, Cotabato City
Thursday, August 23

RTAC 4 – Digos City National High School, Davao City
Friday, August 24

RTAC 5 – Agusan National High School, AD Curato, Butuan City
Wednesday, August 29

RTAC 6 – Iloilo National High School, Luna St., La Paz, Iloilo City
Friday, September 14

RTAC 7 – Mandaue School for the Arts, Mandaue City, Cebu
Sunday, September 16

RTAC 8 – Leyte National High School, Ninoy Aquino Ave., Tacloban City
Wednesday, September 19

RTAC 9 – Ilocos Norte National High School, Ablan Ave., Laoag City
Friday, October 12

RTAC 10 – Isabela National High School, Ilagan, Isabela
Monday, October 15

RTAC 11 – Muñoz National High School, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
Wednesday, October 17

RTAC 12 – Pacita Abad Center for the Arts, Basco, Batanes
Wednesday, October 24

RTAC 13 – Bacacay East Central Elementary School, Bacacay, Albay
Monday, October 29

RTAC 14 – University of Sto. Tomas, España, Manila
Monday, November 5

RTAC 15 – Mariano Marcos Memorial High School, 2090 Carreon St., Sta. Ana, Manila
Tuesday, November 6

RTAC 16 – Philippine High School for the Arts, Mt Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna
Wednesday, November 7

For inquiries, please email Mr Reynaldo O. Wong at yergnow@yahoo.com or call 09175456653 or 09175440013.

+++

This calls for schmaltz!

Of course I had more pressing things to do than make the mini-mini-scrapbook below. But I don't know. A bit of detox was in order.


Photos nicked from Te Di, I think.


posted by marguerite @ 1:35 AM

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Okay, That's It.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007


It’s beyond logic now. I’m chalking all of this up to the faint idea that the Force Greater than We Are has decided to make a mockery out of me. Yun na. I’ll just have to resort to that explanation for the rest of my life so I can stop mulling over this in cyberspace. Because, really, I fear that this blog has taken up a tiring theme.

As I’ve mentioned too many times before, the past few years as a walker/commuter/taxi patron have rendered me as prey to cat calls and wolf whistles, a masturbator, and what could possibly be a rapist. Because of this, I turn my iPod up to max volume to drown out the sleaze, as well as wear more jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and jackets in lieu of tanks, skirts, and sandals as some sort of preventative measure. My eyes are fixed on the sidewalk at all times. I have done all I could to be nondescript and dead-focused on going from Point A to Point B. And still, I find myself the target of scum.

I talked to someone about this recently, and was told it was most likely because I looked every bit the middle-class Filipina that I am. Because I don't look threateningly beautiful--tall, mestiza, refined, gym-toned--to the blue-collar crowd. Because, that person told me, I looked, well, a tad more accessible to them, as opposed to the said knock-out mestiza who’d be too out of their league to be harassed any further.

What that person told me was pretty much racist, sexist, class-ist, etc. and can be disproved. It doesn’t have to be a reason for all of this shit, much less the only one. What that person said had enough loopholes to appease me. I like my Filipina features, and would like to think that having them does not make me or anyone else with a similar look eligible for verbal harassment. Plus, while it's true that I’m not some shapeless, buttoned-up frump, I know I don’t dress like the street corner skank, either.

Still, political correctness aside, I can't shake the feeling that that person had some sort of point. Because of some features of mine (though I'm not sure which in particular), I unwittingly toot some sort of whore horn when walking past certain kinds of men. And, at the risk of sounding like a Starting Over housemate, it makes me feel bad about myself. It makes me feel horrible, though I know it shouldn't.

Take this afternoon, for instance. Besides the random cat call and up-front ogles (their lascivious, grinning faces swoop literally inches from mine), there was this one guy from this large group of construction workers who actually yanked at my hoodie to expose my shoulder while I was walking past. This was in broad daylight along Shaw Boulevard, amongst crowds of other people. The baggy hoodie was zipped up over my chest, and was paired with normal jeans and normal sneakers. I was walking normally, a tote bag on one shoulder and a plastic grocery bag in one hand. I wasn’t looking at his group. I wasn’t doing anything. I never do. But that happened, and all these guys hooted and laughed right after.

I don’t know why I’m subject to this, considering that I’ve done everything to ward any attention off myself. And the fact that these guys aren’t just some sad saps flirting--that they try to get a rise out of me, that they hound me, that they basically make fun of me--makes me feel a hundred times worse. They are lewd and mean, and I can’t figure out why.

Character-wise, I’m no nun. But I’m far, far away from being some shabu-snorting, VD-ridden, ambition-less humanoid clump, either, and don’t go out in public with a For Lease sign tacked to my ass. But since I can’t seem to fathom why all this is happening, and am getting way too tired of trying to understand and dispel it, I will just deem myself a victim of the universe. My, such convenience.


posted by marguerite @ 7:40 PM

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A Cookie
Saturday, August 04, 2007


Taken by Cousin Whammy during our field day at the Ajax ruins. Note how his photographic prowess is indirectly proportional to that of my modeling skills.

Now, it shall complement my entry with all the best pretensions a moody, badly-posed, pa-Goth photograph can offer...

Around 1 this morning, I was in the middle of a YM conversation with a friend (who insisted on the oh-so-odious handle of "Jheremee" for the purpose of this entry) and, as most YM conversations past midnight penetrate the dank, self-indulgent, and altogether hokey regions of our being, the following words were exchanged--

Milkmaid: question: do you get panic attacks sometimes about dying? like when you're reading a story about death, and it suddenly hits you that you're going to die one day, and you suddenly feel claustrophobic and scared shitless?

Jheremee: hahaha
Jheremee: hmm

Milkmaid: shit ako lang ba to?

Jheremee: more of, parang existentialist thingy lang sa akin.
Jheremee: mas tangina isang araw mawawala ako tapos mawawala lanat ng nakaalala sa akin tas walang makakakita ng kahit anong bakas na naiwan ko at potah so bakit pa ako nabubuhay?!
Jheremee: pero scared, di naman. mas takot ako sa multo.

Milkmaid: well, i get that, too. but the more primal fear is what gets to me more often.
Milkmaid: and i start looking for my mommy.

Jheremee: awww.

Milkmaid: as in bata pa ako ganun na ako. id be sitting alone at any given time tapos magpapanic attack na lang ako.
Milkmaid: shit

Jheremee: because of the thought of dying?
Jheremee: maaga ka bang nakaexperience ng kamatayan?

Milkmaid: yeah. the thought that one day, i will no longer be conscious. as in TAPOS.

Jheremee: i mean, sa family ganun?
Jheremee: at di ka napukpukan ng religious shit dati?

Milkmaid: im not sure. i remember going to a funeral or two when i was young, pero parang walang impact naman sa akin.

Jheremee: kasi its a security blanket, a necessary one, i think, the religion thing when you're young.
Jheremee: how's a 10 year old to handle the thought that someday basta tapos na?

Milkmaid: i was bombarded with religious shit from my grandparents. siguro yun.

Jheremee: pag may god, anchor yun, e. okey lang pupunta naman ako sa heaven
Jheremee: or hell.
Jheremee: basta di pa tapos.
Jheremee: so you simply didnt believe them?

Milkmaid: dati, i used to fear hell. bata pa lang ako, i was certain i was going there. tapos suddenly nag-shift to: e ano kung walang hell? ano kung wala, tapos, nothing, you won't be conscious anymore? gademmet.

Jheremee: hmm. i guess panay negative reinforcement ang nangyari sa iyo--
Jheremee: pupunta ka sa hell pag gumawa ka ng bad,
Jheremee: tas kulang sa sabing,
Jheremee: pupunta ka sa heaven pag good ka?

Milkmaid: probably. i mean, my grandmother used to kneel before me, grasp at the edge of my shirt, wield a rosary, and go, "oh god! oh god! margie! ba't ka ganyan! oh please god forgive her!"
Milkmaid: i remember her doing that when i was around 8. the last time she did that, i was 20.

Jheremee: wow.
Jheremee: trippy shit, marge.

Milkmaid: well, um, yun.
Milkmaid: guess that answers my question.

+++

I had that exact panic attack a couple of days ago, one of many various blips of distress felt in the past week. The best I can make of it is that I am lonely. Aside from these online exchanges and the rare hour or two with a friend in the flesh, the most warmth I've received recently was from the staff of the coffee place I frequent. They know my name now, as I always hole myself up in their establishment to read and to drool.

This afternoon, I retreated to this coffee place after one long drift around Ortigas. One staff member suggested that I eat. I bought a cookie. It was delicious.

Oh, capitalism. Your faith in me never wavers.


posted by marguerite @ 1:39 AM

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the girl


Marguerite.
23.
Pasig City, PH.

Damned the man, saved the empire.

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