There will come a point in our lives that we would fall in love with a song in which the lyrics are written in a foreign language not familiar to us. I have been feeling this for the past weeks. I have fallen in love not with one but with three songs. And what is so consistent with these songs is that these are all sang in Portuguese language.
There must be something special in the Portuguese language when sung. I don’t understand a single word of Portuguese but the emotion and sentiment of this language evokes something special. It’s romantic, it’s amorous, it’s passionate!
The expressive phonology, the sensual structure of words, the voluptuous syntaxes and the almost nostalgic vowels accentuates the feelings of passion and romance. Apaixono, cafune and saudade are examples of quixotic-ly structured kind of Portuguese words! People say that the unrestrictive airflow of spoken Portuguese words makes it ideal for singing songs of love and longing. Maybe these are the reasons why I easily fell in love with the following songs…
- My nephew Luis was dancing to this tune the first time he heard it. Efemera by Tulipa
- I first heard this song in a superb Brazilian movie. Vagalumes Cegos by Cicero
- The 2017 Eurovision winner from Portugal. Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral
These are the only foreign language songs in my Spotify playlist. Some say its French, others say its Spanish, but for me Portuguese is the sexiest and most romantic language on the planet. Obrigado!
Bakit kasi walang letrang X sa wikang Pinoy? Ayan tuloy di tayo kaseksihan.
I am a big fan of art that are commonly found in museums. The forms of art I often marvel about outdoors would be magnificent architectures and massive infrastructures. But while having a walk along the Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, one massive piece of sculpture struck me. It’s the humongous bow and arrow monument in the middle of Rincon Park.
Upon google search, I learned that the title of this masterpiece is Cupid’s Span built in 2002. The artists who created this gigantic piece made reference to Eros, the Greek God also known to the Roman’s as Cupid who shoots arrows into its would-be-victims.
Unexpectedly discovering this cool piece of art was great! Perceiving and understanding the statement that Cupid’s Span makes – like any other piece of art – can be very subjective. It is open to the personal interpretation of the individual. You either like it or you don’t. I happen to love it! It blends well and stands out pretty impressive with the surrounding location. You can actually view Cupid’s Span from different angles, backgrounds and perspectives at different times. And this unique attribute of this masterpiece gives you different opinion and feeling every time.
It is one unique landmark in SF which I guess celebrates love and how an SF visitor’s heart can actually get stuck and held immovable by the beauty of the sights and culture of San Francisco. For me, it is an unflinching representation of the famous line, “I left my heart in San Francisco”.
And while taking photos of this massive masterpiece, I was gleefully unashamed singing Rachel Alejandro’s song, Mister Kupido! (click the LINK to that song) Hahaha!
Ba’t hindi panain, ang kanyang damdamin ng ako ay mapansin…
I am in San Francisco. And in keeping with my personal tradition of visiting a museum every time I travel abroad, I went to SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts). Like what I personally do in the past inside a museum, I let those pieces of art feed the cultural facet of my soul. And the one that most moved me will be featured in the Nengkoy blog.
one of the iconic works of andy warhol
I thought that it would be the works of Andy Warhol that will most fascinate me. Though seeing his works is one of the highlights of my San Francisco adventure, it was actually this that nudged a silvery spur into my little brain:
traveling in strange circles by william allan
great shot by the equally entranced lady
I was easily entranced by the work of William Allan. This big piece of acrylic painting on canvass is entitled Traveling in Strange Circles done in 1973.
An old lady who was with me inside the gallery, I guess saw some glow spilling out from my body, she involuntarily volunteered and asked if I would want a photo with the piece of beautiful art. I of course obliged. She too was so impressed by the works of William Allan it took quite a lot of time before both of us left that specific section in SFMOMA.
Before I left the William Allan gallery, I told the old lady, “I want that piece in my room!” while pointing to the great piece of art. The lady then smiled and told me,”You then need quite a lot of fortune before you can own such an excellent piece of work”. Both of us laughed and bid each other goodbye.
Traveling in Strange Circles though made in 1973 is very modern and is very on with the times. It is a happy painting. I never imagined liking a piece of painting that centers a pair of sneakers in it. Or maybe the painting in a way represents me, a person who loves to travel.
Akong ako ang peynting na ‘to. Kalyehero!
I have one seem-to-be-odd and old-fashioned question.
I won’t be asking you what your wishes this Christmas are. Neither would I ask where are you gonna spend it. I won’t inquire whom your gonna spend it with or what look are you gonna don with on that joyous day. My question would be: Do you remember when was the last time you sent a Christmas card to a friend or a relative through the classic postal mail?
With the advent of the internet, convenience of the social media and the availability of modern day apps, I’m pretty sure you cannot remember. Or maybe, if you’re really young and part of the millennial generation, I guess you haven’t even sent yet a letter through snail mail.
I have sent a couple of merry Christmas greetings already via social media for the past few days, but Nengkoy still settles for the classic and traditional mode. Just 2 weeks ago, she showed me a bunch of envelopes filled with Christmas cards to be sent to relatives in USA and Canada via old-style and old-fashioned postal mail. And while taking photos of these classic form of greetings, out of nowhere, I suddenly wanted to receive a Christmas card sent via snail mail. It would be one earnest feeling, I guess.
nengkoy’s snail mails
3 generations: neil, nengkoy and my nephew gabby, a millennial who I guess has not yet sent a letter via classic postal mode
Though I no longer remember, I have sent letters and greeting cards via postal mail in the past. And I know how much time and effort that is poured in handwriting as well as the time and effort of going to the nearest postal station.
Handwritten letters and classic greetings cards for me is a beautiful thing. Merry greetings received through this mode, I guess, is warmer, sincerer and more heartfelt. It is one art, culture and tradition that is unfortunately on its verge of extinction.
But going back to my question if you happen to remember when the last time you sent a snail mail was. Nengkoy for sure can easily answer such an odd and old-fashioned question.
Klasik ng lola mo!
One of the beautiful highlights of my recent Seoul trip was something unplanned and unexpected. Me and my colleagues were lucky enough to be at the right place and at the right time when we happen to experience one traditional South Korean ceremony.
bonsingak: a totally different belfry
During the Joseon Dynasty, the Bosingak Belfry was used to keep time. In the very old days when Seoul was still enclosed by 4 main gates, the bell of Bosingak would ring 33 times at 4:00 AM so as to signify that people can be allowed to enter Seoul. And by 10:00 PM, the bell again would ring 28 times to alert the public that the gates to the city are closing.
On our way to Insadong (one shopping capital in Seoul), just outside Jonggak subway station, we happen to pass by one oriental-looking structure. Being first timers and tourists of South Korea, we of course were lured to take photos of the massive building. When we were called to step in at the rather old compound and was informed that entrance for free, we temporarily suspended our shopping itinerary at Insadong and instead marveled at the beautiful structure in front of us.
i love the colors…
ring my bell… hahaha!
While taking photos of ourselves, the buildings and the guards in traditional and colorful Korean clothing, we were told that we can participate in the day’s ringing of the bell ceremony. But before we were allowed to hit the bell with a massive wooden log suspended from the ceiling, we were told to first change into Korean traditional costumes. The changing into colorful Korean clothes even made this awesome experience more unforgettable.
And at 12 high noon, we were hitting the massive bell of Bosingak to alarm the whole Seoul, South Korea! And after this awesome experience, we were so inspired, ended up buying lots of traditional South Korean goodies at Insadong.
Kampanerang kuba ang peg!
Being emotionally moved and warmheartedly touched is a handsome feeling. It is one way for people to realize how beautiful it is to live.
There has been uncountable number of times that I have been moved by a song, stirred by a movie, melted by a speech, enthused by a book or touched by a video clip. But never can I remember that I have been so emotive about a dance routine.
This is until I saw J.T. (the cutest dancer ever) and the equally cute Robert strutted their jazzy moves in So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. These couple are the most graceful male dancers I have ever seen on TV and on Youtube. The emotions that both exudes are so uncommon. Their movements seem to possess poetic words that would directly hit your intense passion and deep sensation.
J.T. Church in particular was such a joy to watch! He’s seems like a genius poet on the dance floor. This little young man can rock the wits out of every viewer with his dance moves! I’m a fan!
jt church and robert roldan… (photo captured from the former’s instagram post)
I don’t watch or follow this year’s SYTYCD series, but the dance routine J.T. and Robert in this video, which came as a surprise recommendation by Youtube in my laptop, can already be adjudged as the best performance of the season.
Grabe ang swabe!
hunter’s moon 2007 by jim dine
With the rich and complex history and events that took place that resulted to a worldwide belief, culture and conviction, Israel in itself can be revered as a living or breathing museum. Every street corner seem to have a history connected either to Islam, Judaism or Christianity. Every crook, bend or junction seem to have something interesting to tell.
And when I was in Israel, I thought visiting a museum seem no longer noteworthy unlike the way I would usually require myself to visit at least one museum every time I got to go to a foreign country. The feeling of being in Israel itself was like being in a museum 24/7.
But when I got a good window of a time to go to an actual museum, I was hesitant at first but nevertheless, pursued with my commonly known “cultural day”. I did visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The vibrant mix of pieces featured in Tel Aviv Art Museum are poles apart from the arts and artifacts seen in the old streets of Israel. The art pieces were not of a biblical, dogmatic or spiritual in nature. Instead, featured art were more of an intense personal expression, more of an eclectic retrospect and view and more of a strange emotional articulation. Its novelty-ness, freshness and innovation are awesomely high!
super pop art entitled “shit boy showers” part of the rosenfeld gallery collection
cool ink works by justine frank. i want these printed on shirts and wear it!
my personal favorite entitled: “construction workers” by moshe matosovsky
the hallways of the museum are already a modernism form of art itself
the massive entrance hall along with some of the awesome art pieces!
The modernism are so breath-taking I could not control myself from saying “Wow!” The visual art pieces were so cool and fresh, I want it printed on shirts and wear it! Tel Aviv Museum of Art indeed is a remarkable representation of modern Israel.