Bitter Gourd Monologues is so Me

It’s been uncounted number of years since the time I last finished reading a book written in my native language, Filipino.  This long streak of non-sense convention is finally over.  And I am glad to announce that the Filipino-language book I finished is sooo me.  Its entitled Ampalaya Monologues written by “spoken word” genius, Mark Ghosn.

Ampalaya Monologues is so me!  Ampalaya for those who don’t know is Bitter Gourd in the Filipino language or metaphorically defined as “bitter”.  There are 27 characters in the book that features varying idiosyncrasies of heartaches, heartbreaks, eccentric longing, quirky hopes, emotional struggles and of course romanticized bitterness.

This I guess would be the very first book written in Filipino that made me cry and laugh out loud at the same time.  I literally was laughing at a lot of lines and thoughts in this book for I am so bitter, I can totally relate. Here’s the top six monologues I loved and totally enjoyed!   

 

I haven’t see or talked to the writer yet Ampalaya Monologues seem to have entered into my realm.  It was as if Mark Ghosn has entered my cranium and cerebral cortex and wrote what he has seen inside.

According to some write ups, Ampalaya Monologues (like The Vagina Monologues popularized in the past in the western side of the planet) are actually staged and performed by actors in front of big audiences.  But I guess reading the book would be a totally different experience.  It was as if the character was merely talking to the reader and no one else like in a big crowd.  Thus, reading the book I guess would be more intense and can definitely hit you right at your very core.

I love every piece of the chapters/monologues yet the last part was actually the most fitting for it makes you realize that for every tear, every heartache and bitterness a reader felt and experienced in the past, such sufferings will eventually make a person fervently mature and emotionally stronger.  I believe in the ultimate message of the book and that is for bitter people like us, there is still a chance to move on and some freaking flicker of hope is awaiting for all of us. 

Ang sabi nga sa libro, mas mabuting maging bitter kesa fake!

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Major Major Major

Strange yet true, the Filipino language is one of the unique languages on the planet that duplicates the same syllables so as to produce a word or a name.  I am so used to knowing a person with the following appelations: Cheche, Ging Ging, Gly Gly, Ton Ton, Lotlot and Jon Jon.  And I am not a bit surprise to hear and use these Filipino words: hakahaka (speculation), singsing (ring), guniguni (hallucinations), gabigabi (nightly) bubukaka (will spread the legs widely) or lokoloko (loony).

Looney_1
this post is like this, baliwbaliwan at ang saya-saya!

Other Filipino duplicated-syllable words that I don’t intend to translate are pekpek, titi, kiki and bulbul! For those people who don’t speak the Filipino language you would just have to google the translation.  While for the Filipinos, I’m pretty sure they are now laughing out loud while reading this.

From my readings, one reason why my Filipino language is so used to duplicating syllables to create a meaningful word is because Filipino language as a whole seem to be composed of only simple and uncomplicated phonologies.  Also, my Filipino language lacks the composition of 3-lettered consonant clusters (like using str or psy in the beginning of a word and the use of gth or rch to end a word) to make it somewhat complicated.  Because of these limitations and to compensate so as to broaden the language, Filipinos unconsciously decided to duplicate simple utter-able syllables so as to create different words and meanings.

Filipinos are so accustomed to duplicating syllables as words it unconsciously spills out from our train of thought when we even speak the English language. Remember Ms. Philippines (Venus Raj) during the final Q&A round of the Ms. Universe pageant who replied that she never had any “major major” problem that she has done in her life during the 21 years of her existence.  This was a top trending topic then in the twitter world during that time.

I myself would sometime unintentionally utter doubled/repeated English words as if I am suffering from palilalia especially when I am so so very very happy!

20170730_065729
smiling though i am so na-wiwi-wiwi-na!

But what is even more strange is that Filipino language does not only duplicate syllables, it even triplicates it so as to even relay a different meaning for such usage of syllables.  Filipino words with triplicated syllables are actually words in future tense form.  Take these as examples:

  • Lalala (will worsen)
  • Dadada (going to spread a word or spill the beans)
  • Bababa (will descend)
  • Nanana (going to develop into a pus)
  • Papapa (will eat)
  • Yayaya (will invite)
  • Dododo (will suck from a nipple of a baby bottle)
  • Pupupu (gonna defecate)
  • Wiwiwi (gonna urinate)
  • Nganganga (will wide open a person’s mouth)

I was about to type hahaha which means laughing out loud! Hahaha!

Kakaloka!

Justice for Kian

kian delos santos
kian delos santos

This is the face of the 17-year old boy whose last text message to his mother is a request for a bicycle who ironically according to the Justice Secretary possess Php 16,000 worth of shabu in his pocket on the time of his death.

This is the face of the 17-year old boy who was right-handed yet his body was found holding a gun in his left hand.

This is the face of the 17-year old boy whose dream is to become a policeman man someday yet it is the police who ended not only his dream but his young dear life.

This is the face of the 17-year old boy who represents the present type of sadistic justice system and brutal killings now rampant in my country.

This is the face of the 17-year old boy who according to the police retaliated but whose autopsy report says that the fatal gunshots were shot from behind his ear.

20170820_191239
no child deserves this (sad)

I am obviously outraged!  And it is unfortunate that killings like this will continue until a new Philippine leader will be put in place.  I just hope that something sane, and logical, and sensible and compassionate and judicious will come out from this tragic and terrible event.  The shape, position and situation of Kian Delos Santos is the state of the Philippines today.

Hustisyang mailap para kay Kian!

Hardships of a Filipino Passport Holder

20170814_142412I want to travel to Japan (again) but my visa has expired.  That is why I am so busy trying to collate all needed documents and requirements for me to re-visit the Land of the Rising Sun.

While trying to fill out the Japan visa application form, I realized that it is hard to be a citizen of a very weak passport.  Humongous preparations are needed to be undertaken for earthlings like us so as to venture into having to experience the joys of travelling.

For other citizens with very strong passports, their first step when they want to travel out of the country is to scout for a good-priced airfare.  For Filipino passport holders, scouting for a bargain airfare would be pretty much at the latter part of the multitude of complex steps that we need to hurdle, overcome and accomplish.

Photo of specific size and background, bank certifications, tax certification, employment certification, birth and baptismal certifications, approved vacation leave certifications and correctly filled up confusing application forms are some of the obstacles that we have to undertake.

Thank goodness, Japan embassy need not schedule me for a one-on-one interview with an embassy consul.  Other embassies would even add up more requirements like a face-to-face interview, a digital photo, a biometric fingerprint record, a medical vaccination/s certificate and a good coverage of travel insurances to name a few.

Aside from being so confusing and time consuming, being a Filipino passport holder is more expensive.  On top of all these time consuming collation of necessary and obligated documents, breathing Filipinos like me needs to pay for the expensive non-refundable visa fees!

The amount of visa fee application can already be a supposed additional budget to a sumptuous dinner in a posh restaurant or a night’s accommodation rate to a first class hotel or the total train and taxi fares of the Filipino traveler to the country of his destination.   And the only assurance for Filipino passport holders applying for a visa is that they are guaranteed to pay for a visa fee, may their visa application is approved or denied!

It’s hard to be a Filipino passport holder.  We are unlike other citizens of this planet, who would simply buy their plane ticket, pack their bags, bring their powerful passport and proceed to the airport so as to catch the flight to a country of their preferred destination.

Josmiyo!

Still Majestic & Magical in Bagac, Bataan

It’s been 5 long years after my return to Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar.  Five years ago the resort located at the edge of the Philippines radiates a feeling of how majestic and magical Filipino culture is.  And with my recent visit, five years later, the beautiful resort in Bagac Bataan has massively expanded offering more Filipino architectural wonders of the past.

In my second visit (this time with Beth, Wlillie and JB), I was again at awe on the richness and beauty of the Filipino culture and architecture.

beautiful
the building where we were billeted
my personal favorite… casa la drillo
the bagac gang selfie
still majestic… the former hotel where i and travel buddy karen was billeted 5 years ago
serene…

There has been some arguments on whether Filipinos are Pacific Islanders or South East Asians, but when one visits Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, one would realize that Philippines has a different character that is unique and of its own.  The architectural wonders along with the culture and customs linked to it as featured in Las Casas Filipinas are uniquely Filipino and could not be found anywhere in the Pacific Islands neither in the neighboring countries of south east Asia.

The best thing I like about Las Casas De Acuzar is that there is no ugly photo that we have shot.  One need not be a professional photographer to obtain an excellent photo.  Because of the beauty and stylishness of the place, every photo is Instagram worthy!

sunset… one of my instagram entries
a new thing near the lobby
strike a pose muna
magical! (with beth and willie)
will be back…

I don’t know if Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is a popular foreign tourist destination.  I have yet to realize that because when we were there, all I could see are domestic tourists or Filipinos living abroad doing a short vacay in the Philippines.  This place has yet to be tapped by the foreigners.  And in case I would have a foreign visitor, Las Casas De Acuzar would be one awesome option for a destination!

Grabe! Ang ganda!

A Retro Party Video That Deserves 680 Views

Does a person who signed-in or owns a YouTube account can already be considered a YouTuber or does it take a certain degree before someone be considered as one?  I for one owns a YouTube account and I have signed-in my account for more than 5 years already, but still, I don’t consider myself as a legit YouTuber.  For me, a rightful YouTuber is someone who has at least a couple of hundreds of subscribers, posts videos on a regular basis and the number of views of their videos are in thousands (if not in millions).

I have high regard and admiration to these group of internet geniuses.  I am continuously boggled by the fact that these YouTubers were able to tap and has been consistent in tickling the interests of the video viewing public. I have yet to grasp and discover their seemingly elusive formula.  And I’m clueless on how the hell they do it!  Like a pathetic old fool, I have been doing YouTube but one video has yet to reach a thousand views!

Anyway, let me post the latest YouTube video that I did with the help of my officemate (Rey Ferrer) who introduced me to a new world of video editing.  This video is about the recent company party that I organized.  With the hardships and challenges of organizing a company party attended by 680 people, this video I suppose deserves to reach at least 680 views.  Enjoy…

peace!
peace!

Kapag ang bidyong ito naging bayral, maanlilibre ako ng miryenda! 

The Best and Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant

It is a common notion and a customary aspiration that if you are in a foreign land, you would want to taste the best and most favorite that such locale or country has to offer.  Meaning, if you are in France you would normally want to dine in the best or most preferred French restaurant.  Or if you are in Italy you would of course aspire to eat at the best or most popular Italian restaurant.  But when in the Philippines, has it been determined which would be the restaurant where to taste the best and most preferred Filipino cuisine?

The Filipino cuisine is experiencing a renaissance in the world cuisine stage. The world is now discovering that the Filipino cuisine is not just the exotic “balut”.  Thus, it is essential to determine in today’s generation which Filipino restaurant in the Philippines is the best and the most favorite.  Here are two trusty basis for this.  One for being the best while the other for being the most favorite.

One would be based on the selection made by MBKRS which is short for Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret award.  MBKRS is a biennial awarding body considered by a lot of Filipino foodies and food establishments as the most prestigious award that recognizes excellence in city dining scene.

Two would be based on the honor given by the recently concluded Choice Awards 2015.  A new food-scene recognizing body which was established and organized by popular and “powerful” food bloggers in the Philippines.  This award does not recognizes the best of the country’s food and food establishments but instead honors the most commonly preferred and most favorites.

These two recognizing bodies has bestowed honors to food establishments in various categories – best or most favorite: buffet, Italian resto, Spanish resto, burger joint, coffee shop, steakhouse, Chinese resto, and a lot more.  But these recognizing bodies being based in the Philippines, I would personally consider their choice or their award for being the best and most favorite Filipino Restaurant would be the most prestigious.  It’s like bestowing the Best Picture award during the Oscars or the Golden Globes of Philippine dining scene!

Few people I guess knows that there is one Filipino restaurant (in the Philippines) which has received and has been awarded by both these recognizing bodies.  MBKRS in 2012 awarded it as the “Best Filipino Restaurant” while the first Choice Awards held this year (2015) chose it as the “Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant”.

That restaurant is Abe.

at the trinoma branch
at the trinoma branch
at the serendra branch
at the serendra branch

Award wining!