Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fisherboy (8 of 11)

March 30 to April 5

Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (8 of 11)

The sun was mercilessly hot, like a malignant, ancient fire god. Jay and Temyong were in the middle of the sea, the boats of other fishermen within sight like specks around them. The far-away shore seemed to be a mirage in the shimmering air.
"Time for lunch, Jay!" said Temyong, opening the wrapped banana leaves. "How nice!" he exclaimed, pleased. "You'll love Miling's galunggong paksiw!" He looked up at the sun directly over them. "With this weather," he joked, the soup should still be hot!"
"Oh, look, Tata Temyong!" said the boy, happy because he's secretly ravenous. "Nanay Miling even wrapped us some salted eggs and tomatoes!" Jay was quick to learn to eat without spoon or fork. He washed his hand in the ocean and began peeling the violet-purple salted egg. "Tatay Temyong," he asked, "I heard that the catch is getting fewer lately." He took a bite of tomato like an apple.
"Yeah," nodded Temyong, expertly separating the galunggong flesh from the fishbone. "Not like before. That's why sometimes, we're forced to raise our price by a peso, or even two." He took a handful of rice, egg and fish, shaking his head as he chewed. "I remember when I was your age," he continued as he swallowed. "Our boat would almost sink because of the heavy catch!"
Jay would eat a piece of egg and a bite of tomato, like a tequila ritual. "How did you become a fisherman, Tatay Temyong?" he asked.
"How did I-?" Temyong seemed amused by the question. "My father was a fisherman, so was my grandfather and his father before him." He chuckled. "How did I became a fisherman?" he repeated. "I didn't know any other life!"

Their catch took over half the boat. It was little, Temyong said, regaling Jay with stories of the post-War golden age of fishing as they paddled to shore later.
 "Are you tired, Jay?" Temyong asked. "Want to rest?"
"I'm fine, Tatay Temyong," Jay said, exhausted but trying not to show it.
"What's going on?" murmured the fisherman, squinting in the late afternoon sun at the shore.  Jay, almost slumped at squiggling mass of netted fish, looked up and saw the other fishermen at the shore forming a circle around something they couldn't see. Their voices, not sounding friendly, drifted in the wind.
"I hope it's not trouble," Jay said nervously.
Temyong looked at him. "You're with me, Jay," he assured the boy. "Nobody here would dare lay a hand on you!" The fishermen saw them and waded to meet their boat and help pull it towards the sand.
"We've all been waiting for you, kapitan!" said Sendong, a fisherman who looks like Ketchup Eusebio in Rakenrol. 

"You know Lucio, right?" he added, gesturing towards a prosperous-looking man on the shore who looks like Christopher De Leon in When Love Begins.

To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts
(Photos courtesy of,,

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 18, 2013
12:02 a.m., Monday

I believe in living simply. In simplicity there is truth, beauty and power. Beginning today, there would be only 7 major activies in my life. The only minor thing is my blogging. Everything else would orbit around my ONLY SEVEN

The second is my work as a freelance writer: my latest publication is today, a timeless story on Albert Einstein that appeared in Philippine Panorama

The fifth, sixth and seventh are personal projects that will transform yet again my ever-changing, forward-charging, totally unconventional life. After my expected outcomes, by itself and by extension, I will be "where I belong..."

"...And I won't look back
I can go the distance!
And I'll stay on track!
No I won't accept defeat!
It's an uphill slope,
But I won't lose hope!
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete!

"But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero's strength is measured by his heart..."

~Michael Bolton
Go The Distance
(Theme from Hercules)

(Huggybear's photo taken March 18, 2013 in Lahug City, Cebu)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fisherboy (7 of 11)

March 23-29

Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal

A Story by Jonathan Aquino (7 of 11)

That night, they found Orlando, the young assistant of Bugoy's father, in front of the boy's nipa house. Orlando, who looks like Sid Lucero in Tambolista, was sewing their net under a gas lamp.   

"Kuya Orlando, it's dark already!" said Bugoy, concerned.
"I need to fix this rip before it gets bigger, Bugoy," he replied.
The gas lamp was hanging from the lowest branch of a kamachile tree, where Orlando was leaning, sitting on a driftwood. Jay sat down on a log in front of him. Bugoy carried a rock and set it on Orlando's right and Jay's left. The young boy sat on it, and they can see the black ocean on Orlando's left. Cicadas were singing along to the chorus of the waves.
"By the way," Orlando looked at Jay, "thank you for helping us with the net."
 Jay smiled. "I enjoyed it!" Even from the weak light, he can tell that Orlando is a good person but his eyes seemed...haunted.
 "Kuya Orlando helps my father, "Kuya Jay," Bugoy said, overjoyed at the meeting of the two people he wishes were his true brothers. "He lives in the next barrio," he added. "But," he continued in jest, "once he buys his own boat..."
"Don't worry, Bugoy," smiled Orlando. "I have no plans!" He turned to Jay. "You're with Mang Prudy, right?"
"Yes," Jay nodded. "But kuya," he asked, "isn't that the dream of all fishermen? To have his own boat?"
"That's for those who are contented with their lives," Orlando said softly, nearly a whisper. "You know, being a fisherman is decent work. But," he sighed. "The truth is, I don't want to be like this forever."
"But why?" asked Jay, confused. "I even asked Tsong to let me stay here so I could be a fisherman!"
"You can say that now because you haven't experienced it yet," Orlando told him kindly.
"But it looks fun," said Jay weakly. "This afternoon, in the aplaya, it seemed like a fiesta..."
 "Everything in life is both happy and sad, Jay," said Orlando. "You'll understand that when you get older. Besides, I think it's only human to try to find where we'll be happy. Me..." Orlando shook his head. "This is not what I want. That's why, you two, the best you can do is to finish school! Don't be like me! I'm nearly thirty and I've never even finished elementary! So there, I can't find work! You're both too young to understand, but nothing is more painful than looking back and seeing that you have wasted your life..."

At dawn the next day, Temyong, who looks like Eddie Garcia in Deathrow, was waking Jay.

"What's the matter, Tatay Temyong?" the boy moaned sleepily.
The old fisherman laughed. "I thought you said you'll come fishing!"
"Oh!" Jay exclaimed, sitting up.
"Okay," chuckledTemyong. "Breakfast is ready!"
Jay followed him to the kitchen groggily.
"Here, Jay," said Miling, fussing about the kitchen. "There's tinapa and fried rice!"
"Thank you, Nanay Miling," said Jay, using a dipper to get water from a large clay jar. He gargled over the sink made of criss-crossed bamboo slices. Water sluiced through it to the ground below the house.
All the while, the roosters in the backyard were crowing.
"Here's your coffee, Jay," Miling hovered over him maternally as he sat down.
"Let's eat together, Nanay Miling!" said the boy. "Oh, you go ahead, don't mind me!" said the spinster, packing some food in banana leaves.
"Still sleepy, Jay?" asked Temyong, amused. He was eating with his hand, one leg up the stool. "Want to go back to bed?"
"No, no, Tatay Temyong!" the boy protested, laughing. "I'm wide awake!" he declared, suppressing a yawn.

To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts
(Photos courtesy of,,

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 4, 2013 
1:01 p.m., Monday 

I'm on floating status. The exhilarating sense of freedom makes me giddy. Apparently I can still join the enhancement class when I get my NBI clearance. Today is supposed to be the earliest release date. I went there earlier but they said it now takes 12, instead of 10, business days. The earliest will be Wednesday. Now I have free time. Not much cash but I'll get by. I have a lot of personal projects to do anyway. I now also have the option of applying in another company but the advantage of being in my present company is the daily allowance which they give three times a week. So I'm losing income 

But I will definitely maximize my sudden short, though not exactly unexpected, vacation. I'll do stuff that will bring me fulfillment that money can't buy. Everything that happens to me is good. I'm a child of the universe!

"You are a child of the universe!
no less than the trees and the stars!
You have a right to be here..."

© Max Ehrmann 1927.
Narrated by TV icon Les Crane,
music by Fred Werner.
Best Spoken Word Recording 
Grammy Awards 1971.
Desiderata is Latin for
"Something desired as essential"

10:10 p.m. 

Just got home after filming the first of the Huggybear's Travels documentary series. I will post it on YouTube as soon as I upload and edit them tomorrow. It's on the Cebu Capitol, the public library and the museum

I had dinner in the sidewalk, like, literally. Actually its on the road. There was a vendor of fried chicken innards and pu-soh rice across JY (the locals pronounce it as GY) mall and I was on her only stool. Her son's dogs are friendly too 

I did not feel the least bit embarrassed. I was focusing on the experience itself, detached from the audience, which is an exercise in Method acting 

Example of Method Acting Exercise

Yup, just like Marlon Brando

Top 10 Marlon Brando Performances

Besides, as they say, when in Rome... 

One of the nicest things here in Cebu are those vending-machine-style water dispenser. You drop a 1 peso coin and you catch the water in the little plastic bags in a little compartment. Saves you a lot of money

Here's the thing: I forgot my coin purse at my other pair of pants so I ran out of coins. I tried to change a 5 peso coin in a store but the guy there said he has no change. A habal-habal tricycle driver who was there drinking softdrinks magnanimously gave me a peso coin. I deeply appreciate it but I graciously refused. But I'll remember his face and I will hire him to take me to Tops 

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 3, 2013 
8:09 p.m., Sunday 

My article Forever Jung: Study of Jungian Psychology in Pinoy Pop Culture, appears today in Philippine Panorama, the weekend magazine of Manila Bulletin. As I wrote on the cover letter:

Carl Jung, with his revolutionary insights and formidable intellect, had dedicated his life in finding that elusive, primordial link between the individual and the collective consciousness of humanity. His revolutionary insights has become the template in the development of modern psychology

Jung Documentary

"Death Is Not The End"

"We Are The Evil"

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 2, 2013 
8:11 p.m., Saturday 
Cebu City 

I'll be making documentaries. Wow, that's a awesome opening! But I'll talk about that in the future. Today, rest day from work, I went downtown. I took some videos in Magellan's Cross. Some of the local women would perform the Sinulog dance for free if you buy their multicolored candles as prayer offerings. 

Then I went to Fort San Pedro, built during the Spanish-era, in Plaza Independencia behind the Santo Niño Basilica 

In one of the side streets downtown, I found literary treasure: Superbeings by John Randolph Price, a guide to your Higher Self. Then there's W.E. Butler's How To Read The Aura. And then there's The Human Aura by Nicholas Regus. 

My most prized acquisition is the rare The Silva Mind Control Method For Getting Help From Your Other Side by the legendary Jose Silva. You can never find these in bookstores or even Amazon anymore.

Silva Method Videos:

Jose and Laura Silva Explaining The Basics of The Silva Method

Jose Silva Method of Mind Control

Silva Method - Mind Mastery Training Session by Laura Silva & Jose Silva

The Silva Centering Exercise Meditation - Silva Method

Learn How To Manifest With The Silva Method

Silva Life System Exercises Overview

The Silva Method's Reality Architects Explained!

Jose Silva's Ultra Mind 9 Lessons Free

John Randolph Price - Message of Hope for 2012 and Beyond

I lost my original copy of the Silva book during the Ondoy flood of 2009 when I was still in Manila. My entire library was destroyed including some 1960s vintage editions of Reader's Digest and a lot of out-of-print books with authors ranging from science fiction god whats-his-name to George Kennan, the architect of the Marshall Plan. Having a copy means a lot to me, one of the many reasons why I know I did the right thing in coming here. I got my 4 Cebu books for only 25 pesos, or less than a dollar, haggling all the way although Cebu is not a bargain haven. I imagine I would be very happy bargaining my way in those famous flea markets in Hong Kong and Thailand when I go there. 

And I will, all around the world, "if the fates allow, hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now..."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2Rivers Celebrates "The Secret"

(Photos courtesy of and 

Fisherboy (6 of 11)

2Rivers March 16-22

Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (6 of 11)

The ocean was serenely glistening with the noonday sun. Jay and Prudy were sitting on the papag wooden bed beside the window overlooking the ocean, eating pili nuts. Prudy wanted Jay to continue his studies when they return to Manila. But the boy refused. 

"I'd rather work so I can help you, Tsong,” Jay said.“Truth is," he added, gulping fresh buco juice, "I already thought of a way! Well," said Jay, not knowing how to begin, "I hope we can stay longer here. Uh, maybe a week more? By the way, Tsong, Bugoy told me about that municipal councilor, who used to be a fisherman? Then there's this guy who lives in the next barrio? He's also a fisherman, and he was able to build a concrete house!" 

"I think I know where you're going," said Prudy, keeping it light and looking out the window.
"Tsong, I want to be a fisherman!" There, he said it! "I want us to live here!"
"You don't want to go school?"
"Let's do it this way," said Prudy. "You can stay here and be a fisherman. If you think this is the life you want, then...well," he shrugged. "But if not," he added with a smile, you go back to school! At least finish high school, Jay! Fair enough?"
"That's fair, Tsong, but," Jay nodded and shook his head at the same time. "I want us to be together!"
"I need to take care of our house in Manila," explained Prudy, "but I'll always come here, of course!"
"That's it?" asked Jay, incredulous and a bit indignant. "We'll be separated and it's nothing to you?"
"Someday you'll understand," said Prudy with a sad smile.
"Meaning, I'm giving you my blessing," said Prudy. "You can stay here and be a fisherman!" 

Prudy left the next day, taking fish to Manila. Somehow, he and Jay said their goodbyes without any suspicious show of emotions. Sensing his sadness, Bugoy took Jay to watch the fishermen return to shore. The aplaya was full of people, mostly waiting to take the catch to market. A couple of make-shift stalls had been built to sell the fresh aquatic harvest. 

"It's like a street party!" Jay exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear, as they walked slowly.
"You know, Kuya Jay, you're very lucky!" Bugoy told him. "Tiyong Prudy allowed you to fish. My father doesn't want me to!"
"Why not?" Jay asked. "There's nothing wrong with being a fisherman!"
"Of course there isn't," replied Bugoy, stopping. "My father wants me to finish school and find a steady job in Manila when I grow up."
"What do you want to be, Bugoy?" Jay asked.
The young boy was embarrassed. "I want to be the manager of an office," he admitted shyly. "Wearing rich clothes in an office with air-conditioning. I have a cousin like that in Naga."
"Why do you have to work in the city when you can live here and fish?" asked Jay, wondering why anyone would leave a place like this.
Bugoy shrugged bashfully. "There's my father!" he said exultantly, pointing to a fisherman who was dragging the wide, half-submerged net to the shore. He looked like Robert Arevalo in Gulong.

"Let's help them drag the net, Bugoy!" Jay said excitedly. The two boys raced down the aplaya.

To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts

(Photos courtesy of,

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 1, 2013 
9:14 a.m., Friday 

I woke up this morning realizing that I need to transfer apartment again. Its my third day here in Lahug and I need a bigger space. But I'm still establishing myself so I can't afford a dance studio yet. (What?!) 

Besides, I have a neighbor who plays his MP3 too loud. Only idiots do that. Yesterday was one of those days where nothing will be the same again. I'm currently in training in a call center. I was hired last Valentine's Day, my fourth day in Cebu since I arrived Feb 10. Class started Feb 18, Monday. We are 15 in class. Only two of us are profiled for a 3- week training; the other is Reyn, a Filipino-Malaysian who will act as the source of my contacts when I have saved up enough to go to Sabah and Kuala Lumpur. The rest are for 6 and 9 weeks. We are all still on allowance. Once certified, the next step is a job contract with full salary and benefits, a certification bonus, and endorsement to product training. 

It's a unique set-up and especially helpful to me because I have no one who I can rely on here. Also, one of the most painful experiences in my life are those times when I've been forced to ask for help. As much as I have shown my appreciation to those who have lent a helping hand, I don't want to be in that position ever again. 

There's another strange phenomena in my "career" as call center hopper: when I get close to someone, they disappear. In my present classmates, there's Mac, Polly and Mikkhael. Mac's mother was in a hospital with no one to take care of her so Mac, who looks like Harry Potter, had asked last week to be re-scheduled to a different class. Also last week, Polly had texted our trainer that he'll be late for class because of a family emergency. When he arrived, everybody saw on his shirt the applicant sticker from Stream, another company. It was comedy, but he was terminated for lying. Mikkhael, a dance club studio DJ from Butuan who looks like Gerald Anderson, had double whammy bad news. Yesterday, he lost his phone in class. Hair-raisingly, I got a flash of who took it but there's no way I can prove it. Mikkhael has already been given a final warning for tardiness. He was even planning to move in to the vacant unit next to mine so he could be nearer to work. But he arrived late yesterday so he was terminated. Imagine losing your phone and your job in a day. 

Yesterday was the result of the call simulation certification. Only 6 of us, including Reyn. So we'll be in an enhancement class for a week or two while waiting for the job offer. Two other classmates whom I already consider friends didn't certify so they'll continue training: Hanani (who looks like Miriam Quiambao) and Rich (who looks like Chito Miranda of Parokya Ni Edgar) who was, coincidentally, a former local rock band vocalist in high school. Another classmate Ken, Rich and I did a production number yesterday in front of three classes. We performed because we are the loser in a parlor game while we are all waiting for the certification results. We did I'll be by Edwin McCain. 

As I posted on Facebook: "I gave one hell of a performance. With emphasis on 'hell.' " Those late in class would perform. Within the last two weeks, I did Beautiful In My Eyes by Jericho Rosales

Ken did Payphone by Maroon 5 

Mikkhael did Hanging By A Moment by Lifehouse

Rich did Unwell by Matchbox 20

Hanani did A Very Special Love by Sarah G. 

Another classmate, Jazz, did Fame

I remember Polly, Mikkhael and I found a restaurant with a Tagalog owner in the market. Ken and I once had one of those buy-1, take-1 burgers. Hanani and I went to McDonald's for dinner once. Rich is one of my unofficial teachers on the native dialect. I'm now in a situation where I have to bid them all farewell. As I posted on Facebook earlier last month while cruising the Alabang Skyway for what may be my last time: 

"I have long ago mastered the art of letting go. But it doesn't get any easier. I hate goodbyes." 

9:25 p.m. 

I'm in one of the benches in Fuente Osmeña Circle rotunda park as I type this. In front of me is the fountain. I can see on my right the office of Sun Star, the most highly circulated English daily here in Cebu. Behind me is the Rajah Park Hotel and Casino. I just came from work, our class' last day together. We all went to 7-11 for sundaes and had our pictures. I'm planning to buy some clothes and go swimming this weekend. From Lahug, I went down in the Capitol. I was there in the courtyard admiring the magnificent architecture. I took this photo: 

Then I walked here. I was arrested yesterday for jaywalking in front of Gaisano mall in historic Colon Street. The cop was really nice, we were laughing like pals. I was impressed (and I rarely use that word) because he even gave me a receipt for the P50 ($1+). That will never happen in Manila.

For me, the most significant aspect of that encounter is that I handled it without even an iota of nervousness. It seems I'm always at odds with authority but that's okay. The predominant emotion is bemusement, and the remaining ten percent is curiousity about how I will react. I was smoking and I told him that if I threw away the butt he might arrest me for littering. He laughed. I would too: I admire people with moxie. 

I'm very satisfied with that experience: I still have my touch. I'll be assigned to a different trainer on Monday. 

My trainer, Adrienne, who looks like a young Rosa Rosal, is one of the best ever I've been under. She sings in a local band and she let us hear a raw studio version of her catchy, radio-friendly composition, You. She and a Japanese-Filipino trainer, June, conducted the call simulation exam. We have another trainer, Peter, who was our speech coach. The word "beach," apparently, is pronounced with a long "e" sound. 

Peter reminds me a lot of a good friend of mine, Victor, who was a teacher of Koreans learning English and would give me students. That was 2002 in the Harrison Plaza area in Pasay. My communication skills achieve a full flowering in that phase in my life. That gave me the skills to work in a Korean school in the Ever Commonwealth area in Quezon City in 2003 when Victor left for Seoul. Ah, memories.

Can't get Metro Manila radio stations but the local stations here have the same format although the deejays speak in the native dialect. They have a lot of drama serials, reminding me of my stint last year as a scriptwriter for the DZRH daily drama Sa Kanyang Panahon. I would go to the MBC station besides Star City then jog around the Cultural Center complex. Maybe I should resume that, sending my scripts via courier coz they want hard copies. Yup, I think I'll do that. Oh, look, a group of teenage boys are practising a dance number on the other side of the fountain!

Gee, almost forgot. Earlier today, Magic Man, a young popular Cebu-based magician, was at the office and did some tricks for our class. His real name is Thomas Pua and he used to have a show at one of the local TV stations. 

~He hypnotized Jazz while patting Pepsi on the left shoulder. Then he asked Jazz where he touched her. She said on the left shoulder. But he never touched her at all 

~He divided a deck of cards in two and asked to Rich to pick a card and keep the other half. Rich got a 10 Hearts. Magic Man would need the card with the same color and equal value. He showed us 10 Diamonds 

~He asked Preach to crumple a hundred peso bill and give it to him. He put his hand behind his back. The bill is im which hand. Preach guessed wrong thrice. Magic Man returned it, telling him the complete serial number on the bill. He was right

~He showed Cat and Reyn a list of things on his phone. Reyn is supposed to choose an item listed on an even number, and Cat, an odd number, or is it the other way around? 

Anyway, Magician guessed them. He probably read their minds. And of course he was right Just like I posted on Facebook last night: 

"I believe in magic!" 

A friend of mine from way back, Sally, posted on my wall, asking me how I am. I said I'm fine and "I still believe in magic. If you don't, you got2believe!"

Got to Believe in Magic 
(from the movie Zapped)

(Got2Believe is one of my favorite Filipino movies. Here's a behind-the-scenes video I just found)

Full Movie: Once Upon A Time In China

Once Upon A Time In China


Full Movie


Saturday, March 09, 2013

Fisherboy 5 of 11

2Rivers March 9-15

Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (5 of 11)

The waves splashed playfully at the shore. Jay saw the ocean spread before him all the way to the horizon. It was his first time to witness such grandeur, to feel that indefinable, overwhelming sense of peace. Time stopped, and the outside world has been swept away by the breeze.
"Kuya Jay?"
His reverie broken, Jay came out of trance. He turned around.
A young boy who looked like Zaijan Jaranilla in May Bukas Pa was standing behind, smiling shyly. "I'm Bugoy," he said. "Tiya Miling asked me to keep you company!"

"Thanks!" smiled Jay. He turned again to the ocean. "It's really beautiful here, Bugoy," he said softly."
"That's what everybody says," said Bugoy proudly, walking up beside Jay on the right. "They call it paradise."
"It is," agreed Jay. He looked at the little boy. "Do you live with Aling Miling?"
"I live in the next house," replied Angelo, gesturing to the trees beyond the shore. "You can walk there in five minutes."
"How old are you?"
"I'll be thirteen next month!" declared Bugoy. "And I'll be graduating from elementary on my birthday!"
"Really? Congratulations!" said Jay, sharing the young boy's excitement. "Advanced Happy Birthday too!"
"Thank you, Kuya Jay!" Bugoy smiled bashfully. "My father said we'll roast a small pig if we get enough money! I hope you and Tiyong Prudy will come!"
"Of course! I'll tell him!" said Jay, patting Bugoy's shoulder. "I want to come back here!"
The two boys stood on the shore, watching the seagulls cavorting over the endless, deep blue ocean. 

That night, after dinner, Jay's feet took him to the shore again. He sat on the coarse sand, never having seen the stars so brilliant. 

"I knew you'd be here!" chuckled Pruding as he walked up and sat beside the boy on the left. He put his arm around Jay.
"I really love it here, Tsong!" said Jay, laying his head on Prudy's shoulder.
"I can see that!" laughed Prudy. "But, you know, the people who grew up here, they tend to take it for granted. That's why they love visitors. It reminds them how lucky they are to be here instead of the city."
"Have you ever thought about living here, Tsong?"
"I thought about it," said Prudy, rocking them both softly. "But I've gotten used to living in Manila. My friends there, well, there's just a few of them still alive!"
"Tsong, don't speak that way!"
"Besides, I have a Senior Citizen card!" chuckled Prudy. "I get a twenty percent discount! But I won't be able to use it here!"
Jay looked up at him. "Or maybe there's another reason?" he smiled mischievously.
Prudy laughed out loud. "Now what do you mean by that?" mock-strangling Jay and mussing the boy's hair. They were laughing, almost sprawling in the sand. "And besides," Prudy continued, "I'd miss our house. I don't want to rent it, no way! And it's good to have a place to stay in Manila." He looked behind them. "Oh, look, Temyong is making a bonfire!"
"Oh, wow!" Jay said, impressed. He's never seen a real-life bonfire before. They got up, brushing the sand from their shorts.
"Jay, if I had stayed here," Prudy said seriously, "I would have never met you."
Jay put his hands on Prudy's shoulders. "Tsong," he said, looking straight at the old man's eyes, "you're the best thing that happened in my life!" 

To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts

(Photos courtesy of,

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

February 26, 2013 
10:20 p.m., Tuesday
Lahug City, Cebu

This is my first night in my new apartment between the magnificent Mormon church and Waterfront. There are some things that I just realized I've been subconsciously searching for that I found here in Cebu. I'm happy here in the same way that I was happy when I was in Alabang. I've always had an affinity with the sea, and my recent discovery that I love swimming added a new dimension in my life. Then another discovery made the trip worth it: a hillside park with a grand view of the city below and the mountains beyond it. It's not Tops, which is one of my target destinations along with Moalboal and Mactan. When I eventually leave, I want to go deeper south like Palawan, then up north like Tuguegarao. I have a good friend who always go there for business trips. I hope we can have coffee there

I have a new goal: Complete financial independence. I'm an artist, a traveler. I know I don't fit in the corporate world; anyway I don't want to be an employee for long. I also know that I'm not business-minded like Donald Trump although I want to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. What I'm looking for is a way to finally pursue my passions in life without having to work in call centers in different cities. I'm searching for a way to finally break free from that cycle. I'm even now gradually severing my ties with what conventional society expects me to be. There's a way to once and for all break the chains of having to worry about my daily needs and future goals. I will find it. Oh, definitely I will. Just watch. I'm in a strange state: between a sense of urgency because I feel that time is running out and serenely enjoying the moment

This is my diary so I'll have to take note of stuff, like yesterday I watched The Adventures of Tintin on HBO 

Everytime I go online, I watch the new Aquaman and Lincoln trailers on YouTube 

I have always admired Abraham Lincoln. My tribute to him, The Art of Leadership, appeared in Philippine Panorama in 2009. That was based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin 

On another published article, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Celebrities, on 2008, I wrote that Steven Spielberg was set to direct the book's movie version. I thought Liam Neeson would play Abe: he was perfect in Scindler's List. But I'm glad it was Daniel Day Lewis, who, as I wrote in a recent Facebook post, is one of my inspirations in acting:

My Left Foot

In the Name of the Father 

The Crucible

The Last of the Mohicans 

Gangs of New York

There Will Be Blood

Yup, I also want to experience being in the theater and movies but not as a career in pursuit of stardom. I just want to experience it. I want to experience a lot of things

Huggybear photo taken Feb 2013 in Talisay, Cebu