Extraordinary moments

The flowers smile at the sun.

Here in Baguio, I am reminded once again that in ordinary things lie great mysteries and sheer beauty. Here, I have learned to look at flowers again, explore their details, like the way they smile at the sun.

I have learned to enjoy a cat (a very naughty and aggressive cat at that!) even if I have always been a true-blue dog-lover. Meet Baguio’s Garfield: he is the adopted cat of the house (the first one where we stayed two weeks in late March & early April) who meows, wails, shouts, and kicks like a little girl who just lost her favorite baby doll whenever she is hungry (which is like 8 times a day!). I also suspect that “she” is gay because she enjoys curling up her body with the legs of MY fiancé! I swear she never did that with me!

He sure knows how to throw a tantrum ;D

I have enjoyed simple card games like Black Jack where I always won against JR. Whenever I shuffle the cards, I would always make some voodoo-like whispers and gestures to the cards as well as some hand and arm movements so as to bring me luck and true enough, I always won most of the games. JR thinks I am really a witch. The more amusing thing is, he also started doing some hand and arm gestures which even looked funnier and crazier coming from him! The laughters we shared are so heartfelt that sometimes, it seems that tears of joy would be rolling down my face any moment. Ahhh…being together with someone who makes you laugh at yourself and at life is really one of the greatest gifts of the universe.

We promised to grow old together. :)

Armed with my digital SLR, I have learned to look more into the details of things. I was able to take a nice shot of the lowly “pang-sipit ng sinampay” (clothes clips) and again, felt grateful that I have two eyes that allow me to look not just at the big picture but appreciate the details that are often taken for granted. Aren’t we all guilty of this sometimes? Faced with problems and challenges, we forget the “small things” around us that truly matter.

There is beauty in the smallest details.

And there was the full moon! I have always been a moon-watcher. I try to keep track of the phases of the moon. In Baguio last April, we were there when the moon was at its fullest. And it was also a double-blessing because the moon was directly facing the room assigned to us. We gazed at her and took pictures…and was probably even “moonstruck” on the second night of moon-watching because suddenly, after an hour or so of watching, JR and I just simply collapsed in bed, feeling like our energies were totally sapped by the moon and yet, wonderfully, strangely, the following morning, we felt like we had a very long, deep and completely restful sleep.

Moonstruck in Baguio.

It is May now and we are back in Baguio. I am sure that there will be more nice surprises and yes, challenges along the way. I continue to sit still, be in total awe of the moment, contented that the river flows and I am alive.

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This is not a paid blog.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin

Si Pacquiao, Hatton, Bebe G., atbp.

With Pacman’s recent victory, I am very sure that there will be many more articles, blogs and commentaries which will be written about him. I swore to myself before that I will never write about him. Truth is, I didn’t like him before. To me, he is “mayabang” and has a penchant for walking around surrounded with more-than-I can-swallow army of bodyguards. But that was when I knew so little of him and his fights.

Hard to admit, I am now a Manny Pacquiao fan. Not yet hard-core, but yes, enough to write something nice about him. (wink!)

I will not bore you (and myself) with how good his punches are and how precise his timing is. I am sure that we are getting heavy dosage of that already.

Let me tell you why I like him now:

1. He is so prayerful and God-fearing. Ok, we are not 100% sure if that is just for show but hey, it’s hard to perfect that “act” right? So I am pretty sure he believes in the Almighty and gives Him honor, respect and gratitude. I am always moved by the way he prays very fervently in one corner before his every fight and for me, that is very inspiring. Whenever he does that, I also want to kneel down and pray with him.

2. He loves his mother fiercely. Again, we cannot be too sure of that but for me, the act of bringing his Mom there to be with him in Las Vegas, and the way he allows her to be with the press and be seen by the world, is enough proof of how much he loves and honors his Mother, warts and all. I am sure now that this hard fighter has a soft heart inside, putting family first despite all the titles and the accolades.

3. He is a true sport and fights fairly. He is not “magulang” like Hatton. Sorry for the term but this is what I heard spoken by a sports analyst when I was watching the news last night. It was obvious from this latest match that Hatton has to learn many things from Pacquiao in terms of sportsmanship and playing by the rules. I have seen how the referee was already giving warnings to Hatton with the way he fights (i.e. yayakapin si Pacquiao pagkatapos, susuntukin sa tagiliran at ulo…man, that was really “madaya” in my amateurish eyes! Suntukin ba ang kalaban pagkatapos mo syang yapusin kasi matutumba ka na?!).

4. He is so makabayan. I felt like soaring myself when, during his entrance to the ring, the organizers played his patriotic song with lyrics that go, “Para sa ‘yo…ang laban na ‘to…” Was it his idea? I am not too sure. But that is his song! He sings through our hearts and the record company is happy. But the message is clear: Manny is for the Filipinos. He embraces his countrymen and never forgets to tell the world, “I am a Filipino”.

5. Finally, he is not all “hot air”. As what Mr. Tim Dahlberg wrote, sports columnist for the Associated Press, “The road to greatness now runs through a fighter who truly does let his fists do the talking.” I think pwede namang maging mayabang si Pacquiao. Kumbaga, meron syang “K”. Pero sa mga nakita ko, he is just being honest when he says he is a good fighter. But in so doing, he never trash-talks and never puts down his opponents in ways that others have succumbed to do. Need I say more? Pacquiao is truly the people’s hero and not just because he truly makes us all feel like winners but more importantly, for me, he is all human, not too perfect, just real, believes in God and prayers, values his country, and loves her Ma devotedly.

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Ang Aruba Bar at si Bebe Gandanghari

These days, I keep track of what’s going on around me, even if they are about showbiz. This seeming fascination with showbiz news started when I was in Cambodia and realized that the only Filipino channel available to me was TFC. Back then, I would wait for Sundays so I can watch “The Buzz”.

When I came back to Manila, I thought that I had enough of showbiz. I was wrong.

I still survived weeks of not watching TV (we didn’t have TV for the first weeks in Baguio) but admittedly, it’s still tempting to have those bits of tsismis every now and then. Wag na tayong mag-deny. Masarap malaman ang mga bagay-bagay sa mga taong napapanood natin sa TV or sa movies, right? :) Aminin!

Anyway, one of these latest showbiz happenings that really caught my interest was the sad incident at Aruba Bar when Bebe Gandanghari was denied entry. I pretty much felt agitated too.

For one, I feel that that kind of arrogance is soooooo “Stone Age” na. Hello. In this age of silicone boobs, hormonal injections, and glutathione, we cannot even be too sure na if the girl beside us is really a girl. But that’s on the lighter side.

The saddest thing there is that ‘who are we to discriminate between a man and a woman or a gay and a lesbian for that matter?’ For me, as long as a person is decent-looking enough to enter a bar or restaurant (read: wag naman masyado nang vulgar ang suot na damit or wala na halos damit!), he should be allowed entry. It shouldn’t matter anymore whether one is a man, woman, lesbian, bading, “cross-dresser” or whatever terms that people use nowadays to “brand” someone. I honestly don’t even like putting people in “categories” as if merchandise tayong lahat na pwedeng ikahon na lang at sabihing, “ok, si ganito, bading, kaya dito lang sya.” I have friends who chose to live the alternative lifestyle (teka muna, politically-correct ba ito?!) and I think they are some of the best reasons that I have such a fun, full and inspired life.

So, Aruba Bar, I really really think you should review your dress code again because frankly, it leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Sayang, ang ganda ng bar-restaurant nyo. I have always planned to go there. But with this incident, I swear I will never patronize you (and I hope my friends, too!) UNTIL you begin to realize that in this world, we are all equals, kahit ano mang damit ang isuot natin.

To you, Bebe G., go go girl! You don’t know me and we may not even meet in the flesh but I hope this piece will reach you and make you smile a bit.

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(Warning: this is a sort of blind item)

An appeal to award-giving bodies in Philippine Cinema

Bakit, oh bakit…nanalo si Ms. K ng Award recently for her acting (daw) in the movie “For the….”? I mean no disrespect sa award-giving body na ito or kay Ms. K. The body seems fair enough in their other choices. And K seems a truly a beautiful, smart, generous, and loving person. But an acting award at this stage? Hmm, medyo sablay yata.

It’s obvious that she seems working hard at her acting and we should give her the pat on the back and encourage her more. But her performance in this film (and in her first TV projects?) are, at its best, still mediocre. (Again, please do not crucify me for this opinion.)

I was able to watch this film on DVD and honestly, I really looked forward to watching it kasi curious ako sa kanya and always thought of G as a travel destination in the future. I was not disappointed sa cinematography (the views and shots were magnificent!) But for me, K’s acting is quite a downer: it is (still?) OA, o kaya, “acting” na “acting” (read: pwede siguro sa stage plays kasi dapat exaggerated ang mga movements or gestures), o kaya naman, kulang, or minsan, di appropriate. Take the time when she said, “Ok, I am not perfect!” in the scene with R. It is so pathetic. Parang pilit, medyo OA na ewan, may awkwardness.

So sorry, Ms. K, I wish I can say this in person, na tayong dalawa lang ang nag-uusap pero siempre, di naman tayo friends. Sana huwag kang magalit ha. Consider this na lang as an unsolicited advice perhaps? You have tremendous potential. I think you really can be a good actress someday. But I hope you can watch more films and learn from the great actors and actresses, attend workshops, experience life more, and perhaps read more blogs like this?

To the award-giving body: Please be more circumspect in your future choices for this category. It’s not just about being fair. However, you are giving young awardees the wrong messages. K is now thinking that she can act pala. Can you imagine having false notions about yourself? She fell asleep that night thinking she is a now a good actress. How can she evolve? How can she learn? In this life, dapat maging totoo sa ating mga kaibigan or to anyone. If we simply give awards to people who don’t even deserve them, or say “you are a good actress” to someone who is not, we are giving out false hopes. And that is sad for the people who receive them. Kasi hindi nila makikita ang totoo. Pardon the cliché, but “the truth will set us free.”

(Still, and in all fairness, I like K for her charitable and volunteer works lately. Kudos to her for being such a good role model for the youth! And I sincerely wish her all the best, maybe even win an award that she will truly deserve in the future.)

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This is not a paid blog.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin