Monday, 30 March 2009

I Am The Hermit

No wonder I feel so old. LOL

Seriously, I've been thinking about this since last week and I think I badly need to take a breather. I've stopped updating most of my social networking accounts already (started with my Multipy, that eventually lead to photography hiatus).

From Finding Eben to Hibernating Eben. I might leave the blogosphere for the meantime...


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You are The Hermit

Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.

The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.

The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.

The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.






Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Night Photowalk Part I: Pagbabalik-tanaw

Isang gabi ay sinipag akong kumuha ng litrato. Naisipan kong magpagala-gala sa siyudad at ilibot ang aking mga mata kasama si Candice, ang aking camera. Aking binisita ang Esplanade at ang pamosong si Merlion, na noong nakaraang Pebrero ay kinailangan ayusin dahil sa sirang natamo mula sa tama ng kidlat.

"The Merlion's Backside"


"Esplanade Bridge"


"Singapore's #1 Kodakan backdrop"


"The Business District"


"Theatres on The Bay"


"Durian and Flyer"


"Blue Orbs"


"Enter the Durian"


"Bluer Than Blue"


"Find Me"

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"Bagong buhay, bagong blog. Kasalukuyang nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa, para lang matupad hindi lamang ang aking sariling mga pangarap, kundi pangarap din ng aking pamilya.

Ngayon lang ako nahiwalay sa kanila ng ganito katagal. Dati, ayos na ang isa hanggang 3 araw na hindi ko sila nakakapiling. Noon, dahil sa mga pagsusunog ng kilay sa pag-aaral, kailangan mag overnight sa bahay ni classmate para mag-aral. Minsan naman, para lang makapagpahinga at makapag-unwind ay aalis ng lungsod kasama ng mga kaibigan at magpupunta sa mga lalawigan.

Ngayon, malayo akong muli sa kanila, pero hindi oras, araw, o linggo ang dapat kong bilangin kundi taon.

Akala ko, hindi ako iiyak. Ang akala ko, malalampasan ko ang mga susunod na araw dito sa Singapore na hindi ako nakakaramdam ng lungkot. Dahil kung tutuusin, minsan ko ng pinangarap na mapag-isa. Sa tatlong taon ng paghahanapbuhay sa Pilipinas, may tahanan akong inuuwian, tahanan na nasasandalan, tahanan na napagkukunan ko ng lakas. Sila rin ang aking pinagsisilbihan. Naisip ko noon, gusto kong maranasan ang nararanasan ng iba, ang maging independent. Mag-board? Mukhang masarap subukan.

Ni sa hinagap hindi ko naisip na ganito kabilis ang makapunta sa ibang bansa. Swerte daw na maituturing, dahil ayon sa iba, walang mangyayari kung sa Pilipinas ka magtatrabaho. Lahat na yata ng negatibong tungkol sa Pilipinas ay narinig ko na, ang ilan ay naranasan ko pa nga. Ang ideyang maging independent ay natupad, pero hindi lang basta-basta pagbo-board ang nangyari, lumabas na pala ako ng Pilipinas. Milya-milyang layo mula sa mga taong pinakamamahal ko.

Narito ako ngayon, nakikisalamuha sa mga taong hindi ko kalahi, hindi ko kaamoy, at hindi kaparehas ng wika. Pero pinipilit mabuhay. Gaano man kahirap, gaano man kalungkot, isang bagay na lang ang pinanghahawakan ko. Habang nananatili sa aking puso na mayroon akong magulang, mga kapatid at mga kaibigan na patuloy na naniniwala sa akin, hindi ako susuko.

Anuman ang naghihintay sa akin sa mga susunod na oras, araw, buwan, o taon dito sa kinalalagyan ko ngayon, Dios ang magiging patnubay ko.
" - Bago, isinulat ni Eben ika-4 ng Setyembre, 2007


Monday, 23 March 2009

Four Minutes Aftermath

Practice makes perfect. But nobody is perfect. So why practice? – Ai Ai de las Alas in Ang Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat

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"The greatest fan of your life.
...greatest fan of your life."

I did my best sans enough preparation and practice. But regardless, a day and a half of practice can still make a difference as compared to not practicing the piece at all. I just kept in mind what I’ve learned from my high school glee club teacher, “understand the song, relate to it, and convey the message”.

Though there’s still a hint of stage fright, the good thing was that I didn’t forget the lyrics and I was able to finish my act. I took a bow, said “Thank You” and then gave the microphone back to Mr. Emcee.

The rain stopped, the sky started to clear up and the sun was about to bid farewell. The results were not yet out until one and a half hours later when all 34 performances finally wrapped up. While the judges are on deliberation mode, two production numbers from previous “Idols” entertained the impatient audience. It’s like watching a basketball half-time show.

The first “Idol” is a lady at her late twenties. She’s about 5 feet 6 inches tall, dark brown-coloured short hair and a facial feature reminiscent of the actress Aya Medel. She was a bit hesitant to perform at first because aside from it being an impromptu act, she was delightedly eating her Pancit Palabok at the judge’s table when Mr. Emcee surprised her that she’ll be singing for the audiences’ delight. But since no one can escape Mr. Emcee’s power of persuasion, Ms. “Idol” gave in. She sang her own interpretation of Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be” from the movie Pearl Harbour.

The second “Idol” was a power belter, a class act. Her looks reminded me of Marissa Sanchez and her voice is comparable to that of Frenchie Dy. She awed the audience with her rendition of one of Whitney Houston’s classics, “The Greatest Love of All”. Because of her wide vocal range, she was able to hit the high notes with ease. She doesn’t even need a microphone to amplify her voice! During the last few minutes of her song, the cordless microphone ran out of battery. “Hala hindi kinaya ng mikropono ang boses nya!”, I said. But because she’s a total performer, she sang all the way to the last and highest “Find your strength in love”. The Pinoy audience meanwhile, known for being the hardest to please and the laziest to give standing ovations, gave her a thundering round of applause.

Ten to fifteen minutes were spent acknowledging the presence of the sponsors who helped made the event possible. For the nth time Mr. Emcee enumerated the prizes that awaits this year’s Pinoy Idol.

...Some thousand Singapore dollars and a Philippine TV guesting in Unang Hirit, S.O.P. and Master Showman (Airfare sponsored by Cebu Pacific…It’s time everyone flies.)...

At last, the votes are in. Deliberation is now over. The judges, in spite of their differences and personal biases, finally came up with the list of 12 grand finalists; the elite circle of Pinoy Professionals with hidden agenda talent in Singapore.

Aside from our top 12, the judges decided that we should include two wildcard finalists”, it was the surprise announcement of Mr. Emcee. He mentioned this “twist” during his opening spiel.

Aba talagang ginaya nila sa American Idol, may wildcard wildcard pang nalalaman.”, I said to myself.

The wildcard finalists will serve as ‘reserba’ kung sakaling bago ang Grand Finals ay may umuwi ng Pilipinas mula sa ating top 12. Halimbawa, may emergency at kinakailangang umuwi o kaya naman ay natanggal sa trabaho...Recession pa naman ngayon, mind you.”, explained Mr. Emcee.

Ah.. kaya naman pala...Okey...”, I was convinced. Is Mr. Emcee some kind of a Legilimens?

And now, our top 12 in random order”, Mr. Emcee continued.

*Cue suspense background music, heart-pounding sound effects ala Starstruck.*

One by one, the names were called:

One...

Two...

Three......

Seven...

Eight...

Eleven...

And finally, number twelve. Two wildcard finalists left, a boy and a girl. The girl was called first and then, completing the circle, the last human to join the pack, the last piece of the puzzle, the missing link. He is no other than...

...that other guy.

IT’S NOT ME.

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Yes, I never made it. For me it was curtains down, lights off. Happy feeling’s gone. My shattered dreams and broken heart.

Well, not really. Of course I joined because somehow I was hoping to be recognized and be able to reach the finals. Who wouldn’t want that? First of all it’s a competition and the thing about it is that there will always be winners and ‘better luck next timers’. There will always emerge as the best among the rest. I gave my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough (thanks to James Ingram). I thought, not winning in my first time of joining a talent competition should not stop me from doing what I love the most. I guess I’ll just have to charge it to experience. Learn more and strive to be better. Two things that I’ve learned from this experience is how to conquer your fears and believing in yourself. Before I joined the search, these were the things that I’m lacking.

So do what makes you happy and share even the smallest of talent that was given to you.

Kanta lang ng kanta. Ilabas ang boses kahit saan manggaling. ^_^

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The grand finals will be on the 29th of March. I say good luck to everybody and break a leg!




-FIN-



"Lion City"
Taken last January 10, 2009
-No photo editing-



Saturday, 14 March 2009

At The Current Moment

Hello blogosphere! I haven't updated my blog recently because I'm caught up with a lot of work related stuff. Today is Saturday but I'm still in the office rushing some tasks because project deadline is just a stone throw away. The month of March is one helluva week for me, I badly need a vacation!

Meanwhile, before I post the next installment of my ambitious as in "abisyoso ilusyonada" attempt to superstardom, I will respond to a tag made by enhenyero. (Thank you sir!)


The basic premise is this – answers should all be “at the current moment.”

1. Where is your cellphone --- on top my cubicle's divider. It's the only place where I can get a signal.


2. Your hair -- "mahangin ba sa labas" hairstyle, dark brown


3. Your father --- In the confines of the gambling table playing "tong-its".


4. Your favorite thing --- silver white winter that melts into spring these are a few of my favorite things...ayan kantahan na lang kita ala Fraulein Maria.

5. Your dream last night --- I'm with somebody. Off we go to Dasmarinas riding a roach-infested Jasper Jean bus. *cue intro Maalaala mo kaya*


6. Your favorite drink --- Water! I'll be needing gallons of it for my Bikram class later.


7. Your dream goal --- Pumayat! LOL


8. The room you are in --- Singapore Airlines Slavery Room I.T. Department


9. Your fear --- Cockroach.


10. Where do you want to be in 6 years --- Back in the Philippines I guess...


11. Muffins --- I'm not fond off. Anything can! *spoken with a Singlish accent*


12. One of your wish list items --- A Fish-Eye Lens for my DSLR


13. Where you grew up --- Sa malinis at disiplinadong lungsod ng Marikina!


14. The last thing you did --- Eat 1 cream puff, 1 mushroom bun, and 1 egg bun.


15. What are you wearing --- Yellow shirt, jeans, rubber shoes, eyeglasses, Bvlgari Blv


16. Your TV --- I don't have a TV set.


17. Your pet --- 2 Shitzus: Kuchie and Kirby


18. Your computer --- Dell Inspiron 1420


19. Your life --- work! bahay! bikram! blog! photography!


20. Your mood --- coping still


21. Missing someone --- hmmm...


22. Your car --- I don't have and no plans of buying.


23. Favorite store --- SM! I miss SM!


24. Your summer --- At the beach, watching sunset.


25. Your favorite color --- green and blue


26. When was the last time you laughed --- just a few hours ago while watching The Simpsons episode: "Eternal Sunshine of the Simpsons mind".


27. When was the last time you cried --- 2 weeks ago.


28. Last person who emailed you --- My college buddy Lambert, nagpapa-add sa facebook.


29. Your favorite food --- Ginataang Puso ng Saging.


30. A place you would rather be right now --- outdoors, taking photos. I miss photography so much...


I'm tagging gillboard, jinjiruks and friendship reign.


Monday, 9 March 2009

How Do People Change? My Two Cents

As this is going to be my 150th post, I will try to write my own interpretation about my previous post. Goodluck to me...



One of the central themes of Angels in America is about change and how it affects people.


Harper Pitt is a Valium-addicted agoraphobic who’s trapped in a failing marriage. To escape her troubles, she hallucinates and invents imaginary characters. Ever fearful, Harper obsesses about knife-wielding men and the ozone layer as a subconscious stand-in for her own difficulties. However, through an inexplicable dream, she learns that her husband is gay and begins to take control of her own destiny. Of all the major characters in the play, Harper ended her act the farthest from where she started: as an independent, confident woman newly in love with life and setting off to build her own life.


In Act Three Scene Five of Perestroika, Harper asked a question to the Mormon mother, “In your experience of the world, how do people change?” The Mormon mother answered her question thru searing and painfully intense words. “God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that.


She used these words to describe change as something painful and destructive. As what the Angel said, man’s constant motion and change have driven God to abandon creation. “Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice.” Change is never easy to deal with. Some are against it that they would rather remain in stasis. However, the Mormon mother also pointed out that change is inevitable. It is a process that cannot be avoided rather it must be endured. The point is not how people should change but how they must live their lives afterwards. “It's up to you to do the stitching.


And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn.” In change, nothing is taken away or added. People does not miraculously transform out of nothing or from without. What people must do is to make the most of what they are born with, rearranged and restitched, but still very much intact.


And then get up. And walk around.


Just mangled guts pretending.


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You breakdown and cry, but you can’t stay in despair for the rest of your life. You stumble, but you need to stand up regardless how painful the wounds it may have caused you.


Stop for a while, cry, let it pour, and feel the pain. But remember to take a deep breath after doing so. The world won’t stop to sympathize with you. People are so damn busy with their own biddings they will never look back at you. Even those who might have hurt you will keep on laughing out loud enjoying what they have, while you’re all alone doing your best to go back on your feet. It’s all up to you and you alone.


Just keep moving. If it feels so heavy in every step, then it means you have to leave some of your baggage behind. Free yourself from the burden of your past, and live in the present. Your scars will become a symbol of courage. To remind you that in every downfall, you have managed to stand up with dignity and that you have learned from the experience. Remain intact...put yourself together.


Change starts when you decide. You know deep inside you, you’ll going to win this race if you will just keep on moving.


- Keep Moving! by Eben, written on March 19, 2008


Sunday, 8 March 2009

How Do People Change?

Harper: In your experience of the world. How do people change?




Mormon Mother: Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice. God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that. And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn. It's up to you to do the stitching.




Harper: And then get up. And walk around.




Mormon Mother: Just mangled guts pretending.

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One of my favorite scenes from Tony Kushner's play, Angels in America.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Kaleidoscope World


So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin' round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can't talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don't ask me how don't ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin' round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

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Dedicated to the Master Rapper, Francis Durango Magalona (4 Oct 1964 - 6 Mar 2009)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Four Minutes To Pseudo Stardom

It was an ordinary rainy Sunday afternoon inside a Filipino Restaurant. As early as twelve noon, my fellow countrymen started to occupy the tables, preparing themselves for the upcoming show that will begin in a matter of minutes. The host of the event was busy memorizing his spiel in one corner while the sound engineer “Check-sound-check” the microphone and prepared minus one CD’s that will be used by the thirty-five semi-finalists. The restaurant crews were as busy as ever as Filipino food touch landed in every table.

It was the search for the next “Pinoy Idol in Singapore 2009” and the featured merienda of the day was Pancit Palabok.

Somewhere in the corner of the restaurant is a table for four. I sat there peacefully together with Eloisa, Jheng and my fellow semi-finalist, Raymond. I was leaning on the glass window beside me watching raindrops rolling down the pane. It was a heavy downpour. I was tempted to perform a raindance but I dropped the idea. "Feeling mo naman ikaw si John Lloyd!", Jheng objected.

The show opened with the host thanking the sponsors. He then introduced the four judges, one being a local artist-slash-businessman while the other three were past winners of the coveted title. Without further a do, one by one the finalists were invited to go on stage. Each one dared to strut their stuff to impress the not so impressed judges. All were vying for the “Idol” stature, some thousand Singapore dollars and a Philippine TV guesting in Unang Hirit, S.O.P. and Master Showman (Airfare sponsored by Cebu Pacific…It’s time everyone flies.)

The room temperature’s dropping but I was sweating profusely as if I’m swimming in my own excrement. There’s a fluttering sensation in my stomach and a lump in my throat. In my head was a merry-go-round of the lyrics that I’ve been trying to memorize since the day before. The words “Don’t forget the lyrics!” kept on touting my mind. I can’t speak. My tongue shrank. My heart was about to jump off my chest. It was at this moment that I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, locked my palms and uttered, “So help me God”.

Finalist number twelve Raymond has just finished singing his piece. It was Ariel Rivera’s “Sana Kahit Minsan”. The audience gave him a round of applause as he took his leave. Moments later, when the instrumental ending faded completely ("...sana kahit miiiiinsaaaaaannn..."), the host was back on stage to introduce the next perspirant….I mean aspirant.

“And now, our 13th finalist, please welcome Ms. E-be-ne-zer Dominguez!”, said the bald, vertically challenged, unfunny host.

“Ayos! Lapastanganin daw ba ang pangalan ko”, I said to myself obviously disappointed by the way this mongrel introduced me to the public as a she. I mean, I can understand that my name is not common and that some people find it difficult to pronounce. Fair enough. But seriously, does it sound like a girl’s name? Ever heard of Mr. Scrooge? A Christmas Carol?

Moving on, I took it as if it was pronounced correctly. I stood up, walked through the barricade of tables and chairs until I finally found my way to the stage – the room’s center of attraction.

“Sorry akala ko kasi pangalan ng babae yung Ebenezer”, the host’s way of welcoming me, whose apologetic tone isn’t worthy of my pardon.

I just smiled anyway.

Then a conversation between the two of us commenced. Maybe it’s a standard operating procedure for the hosts to ask questions so that the guest may feel more comfortable being on stage, or so I thought.

“What’s your profession?”, - I.T. po.

“How old are you?”,
- 25 po.

“How long have you been staying here in Singapore?”, -
one year and three months po

“Are you Single? Married? Separated?”,
- Single po.

“By the way, you’re cute!”, -
ah...eh...

“Oh you know computers? That’s great! Maybe you can fix me? Err, I mean my computer.” - ahh...sige po.

Finally the host ended the chat and introduced me once again to the audience.

So there I was, standing in front of the crowd. My eyes wandered one hundred eighty degrees and took a panoramic shot of the space in front of me. A space that is now occupied by hundreds of heads, each head with a pair of eyeballs staring at me, probably scrutinizing my brown Springfield long sleeves or analyzing my faded jeans or lambasting the white striped Lacoste shoes I’m wearing. There must be some kind of a fashion police hiding somewhere in the crowd Geiger countering my appearance…talking about paranoia.

But there were also some who doesn’t seem to care about my existence. I saw a few people busy with their mobile phones; some are still enjoying the scrumptious pancit palabok on their plates while others were engaged in conversations with their amigos and amigas. There was a guy talking in whispers to the lady on his left while looking at me… they both giggled like teenagers.

On the other hand, the judges were all smiles. I saw the local artist-slash-businessman scribbling something on a piece of paper lying flat on the judges’ wooden table. I thought that was my scorecard.

I was waiting for the floor to crack open and devour me whole into the abyss. This is why I hate coffee.

But there's no time to back out. I’m here. It’s now or never. My one shot, one blow.

The music started playing. The guitar intro of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll be” began to stimulate my auditory nerves. I took a deep breath, looked down; eyes closed and then whispered, “Lord sing with me.”

So was the genesis of my four minutes…

It’s show time…




To be continued…