One of my monster pamangkins (nephew) recently shared this in his Facebook page…
It may have some good points but I’m sorry because I find this video-message seem to border on egotism, arrogance and conceit. This is my personal stand on this clip after me and Nengkoy had difficulty looking for a greeting card. Hahaha! I felt sadness while inside the National Bookstore (the leading books, stationaries and greeting card store in the country). It is because the availability of greeting cards have dwindled in the stores where it is usually available.
Nengkoy wanted to send a Thank You card to one of her best friends who is based in the United States because this sweet longtime friend sent her a package of American-made presents. Unfortunately, National Bookstore no longer seem to sell Thank You greeting cards and what is so evident is that greeting cards are now positioned at one lonely corner of the store with very limited themes and varieties to choose from. Gone are the days when almost half of National Bookstore is filled with various types of colorful greeting cards.
And I am blaming the millenials for this turn of events. It is because the generation today no longer send greeting cards via post or snail mail. Millenials may love to travel and go on an adventure but gone also are the days when travelers around the planet would get a postcard from a local store of their destination and send it home via postal.
Today’s generation can easily send a recycled, reused and secondhand digital greeting to a friend’s or relative’s social media account, which for me is a little cold, stony and unfeeling. It is unlike receiving a greeting card which is more warm, tender and congenial because you know that it took quite an effort on sending such a tangible greeting.
Yeah millenials are fast, smart and proficient but I just hope that classy and classic Greeting Cards remains available for the likes of Nengkoy and those who were born before this seem-to-be-conceited generation. I hope today’s fast paced generation would acknowledge that the likes of Nengoy and the older folks are the precursors to the development of delightful living for today’s young population to enjoy.
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.
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.
A visit to this gorgeous piece of architecture is one memorable highlight of my SF adventure.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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 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,
And fall in love with me.
Fall in love with me,
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.