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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.

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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…

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Sometimes we grow up with images of a place thinking we’ll never see them in real life.  But when you finally get there, those images are just as magnificent as you expected.  The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco CA is one of those places.

i love this shot

majestic!

overwhelming!

There has been voluminous magazines, journals and publications in my younger years that this popular tourist attraction has been featured.  There are even lots of foreign movies wherein this place is the location shoot.  One in particular is a 1995 Filipino movie starring Lea Salonga and Aga Mulach entitled Sana Maulit Muli.  (Hahaha! Of course I remember that!)

And when I finally and personally got to see and feel the whole majestic beauty of the Palace of Fine Arts, the feeling is just but surreal.  I can’t actually remember how many times I sat on various locations of benches scattered around the park.  I even sat under a tree!  Maybe it is because I was too overwhelmed by the experience, I had to stop and breathe so as to sink all the prodigious feelings in.

smile!

pikchur muna

A visit to this gorgeous piece of architecture is one memorable highlight of my SF adventure.

Akalain mong makaraing ako dun?!

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I did not miss the Philippines when I was in San Francisco CA.  Aside from the copious presence of Filipinos everywhere in SF, there are bounteous existence of Filipino dishes around.  The mere fact that at the back of my mind there is a Filipino whom I can easily approach while in SF and there are Pinoy dishes around, I never have to suffer the looney craving for my home country.

During my early stay in San Francisco I had an unfaltering decision of not eating any Filipino dish during the whole length of my stay in the City by the Bay.  And at the same time will munch on a big and heavy burrito, a seem-to-be-staple for the locals.  This decision however was easily modified when I saw a food truck named Señor Sisig parked along the corner streets of Powell and Ellis at downtown San Francisco.

it must be the filipino in me that i just have to fall in line

pabili!

popular choices…

sisig burrito

gone in a couple of minutes

Since there is a queue of people on the said food truck, out of curiosity, I quietly fall in line and looked unto the menu board that the food truck offers.  To my surprise, Señor Sisig offers a variety of Filipino fusion dishes.  This therefore made me decide to violate what I have earlier promised yet will achieve what I intend to eat at the same time.

I ordered the surprisingly large and heavy “Señor Sisig Burrito” – a Filipino-cum-San Franciscan dish because it is a fusion of Sisig (a Kapampangan dish) presented in a San Francisco burrito way.  And what’s my verdict as to how this dish faired? Let me just say I gasped on my first bite and the large burrito was gone in a matter of minutes!

My experience of chomping on Senor Sisig Burrito can therefore be summarized as a promise that was broken yet a fantasy that came true wrapped into one.

Sarap!

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What’s the worst and stupidest thing a first time tourist in San Francisco USA would do?  That would be… not seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and shoot photos of it.  I apparently is not that person.  I saw, I touched, I smelled (and even tasted it) and had uncountable selfies!

daytime

yey!

kamangha!

view from the top

one lucky dude

I actually went and see the Golden Gate Bridge twice.  One during a sunny afternoon and second was at an early evening when the sun is about to set.  I went twice just to confirm and re-assure myself that the first red orange bridge I saw was indeed the freaking Golden Gate Bridge! Hahaha!

I love the bridge.  It’s elegant and mild from afar but absolutely robust and mighty when you got to step on it.  And as I was walking along the sidewalk, I kept on pinching myself to validate that I am not dreaming and that I really am stepping on one of the Wonders of Modern World.

nightime

happy!

And when I reached the mid-part of the bridge, I tried looking down at the frigid water of the San Francisco Bay.  All I can utter was, “This freakin’ b!@#ch is high!”  After seeing the bridge twice and marvel at the beauty and strength it possesses, I smiled and proudly told myself that I indeed is one lucky dude!

Ang taas ng pota!

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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!  

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The expensive Coldplay concert was recently concluded in Manila.  It was not surprising that it was jam packed and very successful.  It was Coldplay!  But I did not watch.  The reason is because I would rather see and listen to Elbow than Coldplay.  And like Coldplay, Elbow is a British band.

elbow (filipino translation: siko)

Elbow is one of the most underrated bands on the planet.  The difference between Coldplay songs and Elbow songs is that in the former, the songs would have to grow in you before you start liking it. But for the latter, while listening to their songs, you would instantly fall in love and instantaneously adore their music.

Elbow is the kind of band that sings lyrics and utter phrases that I thought would never be though abd uttered.  The notions of their songs are the type of thoughts that I would like to express that I can’t seem to construct inside my crazy and inadequate brain.  And because Elbow seem to possess such an amazing talent, I therefore like them.

Here’s a couple of songs of Elbow which for sure you would instantly fall in love with…

And while in the middle of the “famousity” of cloudfront.net in Facebook (which everyone seem to have downloaded so as to check who’s their celebrity look-a-like), here’s a hypnotic music video for the song Gentle Storm.  I was entranced watching the video, I thought I saw my face in it!  Hahaha!  And by the way, I so loved the lyrics especially the line,

Gentle Storm,

Range away

And fall in love with me.

Fall in love with me,

Every day

The song is so me!

I hope one day Elbow would be as successful as Coldplay because they indeed deserve it.  And I hope and pray that one day they would perform in Manila.  That would be one show that I would definitely gonna pay for.

Ito ang sikong gusto ko!

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.