‘Starting over again’

Every start of another year, I have this urge to revisit an old blog, which has been sitting idle for almost two years, and do some writing exercises.

The enthusiasm, however, immediately starts to vanish once I sit down in front of the computer monitor, open the browser, check the email, and read the Facebook messages and notifications.

The first challenge is to remember the password of my blog account. When finally the site opens, the ordeal of writing the first sentences comes.

(There’s also a new editor format for WordPress that one has to familiarize with.)

What to write during the first working day of the year when the spirit is still willing, the hangover is still fresh, and the mind blank.

I’ve noticed many times friends, colleagues, and even oneself describing New Year as a “new beginning.”

I felt “smart” when I woke up this morning and realized, while looking for my pair of slippers and deciding whether to have coffee or turmeric, that a new year is a continuation of the previous year.

It took me 52 years to realize it. It took the joint pains, the pain on the lower back, and the reluctance to get up early for me to finally realize that 2019 is a continuation of 2018, and we’re not “starting over again.”

I finally decided to have coffee, and I’m getting the hang of the new WordPress “block editor.”

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Watch ‘Heneral Luna’ and ‘be part of the revolution’

Heneral LunaIf you plan to watch a movie, watch “Heneral Luna” and learn about history from those who fought in the trenches.

Heneral Luna is as timely as today’s politics.

“Negosyo o kalayaan. Bayan o sarili. Pumili ka!”

In a scene where some members of Aguinaldo’s cabinet argued to enter into a deal with the Americans, one moviegoer said:

“Kaya pala ganito ang gobyerno natin ngayon dahil sa mga tarantadong yan.”

In another scene when Luna was about to be executed, somebody in the audience said:

“Tara na, ayokong panoorin yang mga taksil na yan.”

Every time Heneral Luna in the movie delivers his lines, people would say: “Tama!”

“May delegado ba tayo sa Treaty of Paris, o tagapagmasid? Wala? Para kayong mga birhen na naniniwala sa pag-ibig ng puta!”

When Aguinaldo or one of his men speaks, people would mutter “gago” or “ulol”.

Waching “Heneral Luna” was an interactive experience.

The last time I remember when moviegoers were so involved in a film was when I watched a Fernando Poe movie in Mindanao in the early 1980s.

Watching “Heneral Luna” was like looking at a series of well-crafted still photos. The cinematographer painted light on screen like a master.

The movie is poetry on screen.

“Nasubukan mo na bang hulihin ang hangin?”

“Digmaan ang iyong asawa, ako lamang ay iyong kerida.”

“Kailangan nilang tumalon sa kawalan.”

“Mga kapatid, meron tayong mas malaking kaaway kaysa mga Amerikano. Ang ating sarili.”

Watch “Heneral Luna,” be angry, cry for our country, and “be part of the revolution.”

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Thank you for everything, Tiya Sensyang

IMG_2283It was 1:58 a.m. and I was reading an interview of Dom Pedro Casaldaliga, a former bishop of Sao Felix do Araguaia, when the call came.

“I always say, God will take care of us after we’re dead – we have to take care of now until death!” I finished reading the paragraph and uttered a silent prayer before answering the phone.

There must be something wrong back home, I thought. Nobody calls me at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Tiya is gone,” my sister said after I punched the answer button on my mobile phone.

“Just now?”

“Yes,” she said. “I told her to just go to sleep and rest, and she was gone.”

“It’s time,” I said.

Tiya Sensyang was 85 years old.

She died as the last ripe lanzones fruits in her beloved Tipsong fell on the ground. It’s the tail-end of the lanzones season back home.

Last Sunday my sister sent me a box of lanzones and mangosteen. And I remembered my aunt.

When we were young, Tiya would always bring us to Tipsong on her small boat to harvest lanzones and mangosteen.

It was Tiya who taught us the best way down to the waterfalls where we would spend the whole day enjoying the water.

It was her who taught me how to paddle the binigiw from the mangroves in Lombog, through the river, and into the streams of Tipsong. It was her who taught me how to brew coffee, prepare puto, binubodsikwate, and cook canned sardines with odong and malunggay leaves for lunch.

She was the strict aunt who would tolerate our childish escapades and who would secretly give us coins to buy tira-tira and “cotton candy” during fiesta.

Even when we were older, Tiya Sensyang was always there to offer whatever she have.

Tiya Sensyang was always there to offer whatever she has.

When we were in college, Tiya would never forget to hand us (secretly so that our parents would not know) 50 pesos as baon to buy pan so that we would not get hungry during our trip either to Manila or Zamboanga.

She was the aunt who never forgets. She will not be forgotten. Tiya can now rest in peace. She took care of us, now God will take care of her.

Indeed, she can now go to sleep. Daghang salamat, Tiya.

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So where’s the power of Philippine social media?

If the result of the senatorial race is only based on FB posts, Teddy Casino and Risa Hontiveros would have won with a wide margin. It is indeed time to look into how effective is social media, at least in the Philippines, in influencing voters.

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MMJ Day 1 – Additional notes

Done with the first interview. Back to base at 8 p.m. after a motorcycle ride to and from the village of San Nicolas.

I used a lapel mic during the interview. I hope it lessened the sound of the rain, the birds, the pig that cried in the middle of the interview, and the passing motorcycles.

I used additional light to highlight the subject because it was already about to get dark when we reached the village.

Still downloading the video.

I have charge the batteries and reformat the memory card in preparation for early morning shoot starting about 6 a.m. tomorrow.

It’s getting to be exciting. I hope the weather will cooperate. It’s still drizzling.

Categories: JOURNALISM / MEDIA, MMJ Journal, MULTIMEDIA CLASS, z-others | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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