Johnny Depp: My Biggest Influence

August 10-16 Edition

Johnny Depp 
Tony Robbins 
Men In Black

I just got some useful tips from Tony Robbins, whom I consider one of my mentors. I will proactively stop negative thoughts for the next ten days, replacing them with positive reinforcements.

The idea is to create a new, more powerful mindset.

I already have a list of what I want, and another mental-conditioning tip I got is to give them a time frame.

I'm about to perform a fine balancing act between being realistic and being audacious. Sometimes I'm the latter, sometimes the former, sometimes both, and sometimes neither.

I got these techniques while leafing through his Awakening The Giant Within when I was in National in Ayala Cebu on June 2, 2013. 

What I do now when I'm in bookstores is to browse a couple just a little. I find this is better than information overload followed by amnesia. And I always make it a point to get practical ideas which I can apply to my own life. 

Thanks Coach!

(See Huggybear's Virtual Life Coaches on our Playshop Page).

Johnny Depp is one of the biggest influences in my life. Huggybear's Idol Johnny is always authentic, unmindful that he totally defies expectations. He's not swallowed by the system because he transcends it.

I find it so empowering because I can relate in my own more obscure unconventional ways.

Johnny's long-time friend, Nick Tosches, writes a very illuminating portrait for the November 2011 Vanity Fair cover story.

Johnny Depp is now a bonafide global superstar. "And yet he is the same old Johnny, his circumstances changed, but not his nature," writes Tosche. "Ive never found it hard to imagine him still pumping gas with a cigarette dangling from his lips. And I've never ceased to wonder at the rare range and intelligence, knowledge and interests: from Baudelaire to Beckett to Burroughs; from insights into Ch'an Buddhism that pick up where The Transmission of The Lamp leaves off to observations on the nature of things that pick up where Lucretius left off to a connoisseurship both wine and Mountain Dew - a range and depth even more rare among actors." 

In between the Pirates blockbusters, Johnny would do a project close to his heart. For his then latest film, he got the cult filmmaker Bruce Robinson out of semi-retirement to direct the Casablanca-like Rum Diary, the cinematic re-imagination of a lost novel of another good friend of Johnny: Hunter S. Thompson. 

Hunter, the outspoken, controversial and radical journalist, is the author of another novel, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, which Johnny had also made into a movie, directed by another Hollywood maverick: Terry Gilliam

Johnny doesn't mind if fans would ask him to have their pictures taken with him. But studio pictorials are dumb because they're essentially insincere. "You just feel like you're being raped somehow," he tells Tosche. "But whenever you have a photo shoot or something like that, its like - you just feel dumb. Its just so stupid."

Who is my favorite celebrity, Adrienne, my trainer in ePerfromax, asked me in front of the class last February.

I still remember my answer: "The Hollywood celebrity that has the greatest influence on me is Johnny Depp, and this was even before Pirates."

A classmate, Ian, mentioned 21 Jump Street.

"Yeah," I nodded, "ever since I was kid!"

I said my favorite Depp movie is Benny and Joon, from one of my personal favorite directors, Jeremiah Chechik.

"Johnny is totally out of the mainstream, plays characters that a lot of people think are weird," I added, "and he just doesn't care!"

Then somebody mentioned Edward Scissorhands

I'm glad they got the point

(See also my story on Johnny Depp on our August 25, 2012 edition)

Herman Hesse's Siddharta is semi-sacred to me. I feel a certain kinship with Siddharta, his quest a mirror of my present journey, as I write this at 11:46 p.m., Sunday, June 16, 2013, Fathers' Day, in Cebu. I saw and reverently browsed the slim blue classic in the bookstore earlier, after all these years.

I still remember the profound effect it had on me in 1990 when I first read it in Morong, Rizal. But I was too young to fully grasp the deeper mysteries it reveals.

Since then, I have lived and traveled to different places; and I've lost count of the many people I have encountered from staggeringly diverse cultures and walks of life.

I have also experienced the full spectrum of human emotions which had stretched my soul beyond my capacity to understand.

I like to think that I have gained a degree of wisdom, even if sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the towering waves of cynicism about human nature.

"You are different from other people," Siddharta tells Kamala, the courtesan, a sort of high priestess in the sacred art of sex. "You are Kamala and no one else, and within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself, just as I am. Few people have that capacity yet everyone could have it."

They are lovers, but of a transcendent kind. The bond they share is profound, not as fragile as the chaotic passions of the masses, but no less ephemeral.

"I am like you," Siddharta tells Kamala. "You cannot love either, otherwise how can you practice love as an art? Perhaps people like us cannot love. Ordinary people can - that is their secret."

Siddharta has seen the hidden mysteries of existence. But he finds himself once again living in the ways of the world he had left behind. Then, slowly, "The bright and clear inward voice that once awakened in him and had always guided him in his finest hours, had become silent."

They were five of them, and there can be only one. "We are looking for the best of the best," said Zed. A hand was raised. Among the elite from the military and intelligence agencies, he was was the only cop.

"Why exactly are we here?" asked Edwards (Will Smith), the maverick from NYPD.

As with most classes, there will always be a smart but insecure student, sucking up to the teacher and trying to impress everybody with their intelligence - inadvertently showing how shallow it is. Here, it was a young crew-cut Marine.

He instantly raised his hand and answered: "Sir! Because you are looking for the best of the best of the best! Sir!"

The young cop is laughing.

What's funny? demands Zed.

"Captain America here," says Edwards, imitating the Marine. "He hasn't got a clue, either!" That, he says, is funny -- and it truly is.

They are seated on egg-shaped chairs, trying to answer a questionnaire with a broken pencil. Everybody is struggling, doing all sorts of acrobatics to write down their answers. Finally, Edwards got up, and as the rest are shocked into silence, drags the lone table to his seat. 

"That boy has a problem with authority!" Zed tells the mysterious K (Tommy Lee Jones), who is, unknown to them, is closely watching everything.

K replies, dismissing the idea as trivial: "So do I!"

The only way to let people lead normal lives is to keep secret what we know, K tells Edwards. You have to say goodbye to your family, to your friends, to all the people you ever cared about, K tells him. You won't have any identity-- you will cease to exist.

"Is it worth it?" Edwards calls after him.

"Yes," K answers, walking away. "If you're strong enough!"

Edwards stayed where he was, trying to come to decision that will change -- indeed, erase -- his life, thinking about K's stunning revelation, in a park bench in Manhattan overlooking the Hudson

Jonathan Aquino's Journal

July 28, 2013 
5:18 a.m., Sunday 
Lahug City, Cebu 

It's dawn as I enjoy my second day in my new apartment, my fourth place since I arrived in Cebu last February. I can now see the light of a new day as I look out the French-style window to my balcony and the nice view of the famous castle-style Waterfront Casino.

A new day. A new beginning. It's gonna be good. I just got home from my call center work in I.T. Park, a five-minute walk from here. Earlier was our call simulation exams for our second-level technical troubleshooting training.

While waiting for our turns, I was enjoying pockets of conversations with my classmates. Elgina was looking for a new apartment too. Then Harvey, who's from Cagayan De Oro, and Caroline and Almira, who were both from Iligan City, were telling me about their personal experiences during typhoon Sendong, which I wrote about in January 7, 2012. I can't imagine the tragedy of seeing so many corpses on the street, some of them babies.

Later, I was in the corridor with Kat, Jake, Harvey and Mico, talking about anime, martial arts, dancing and lots of stuff. I'm now texting Chad, who had left day before yesterday. I'm also having a cigarette and a cup of hot chocolate while chilling and waiting for sleep. It's my favorite multitasking activity.

I got to the office early last night, enjoying White Chicks on cable

I'll go to bed in a while, after reading a couple of fascinating stories 

4:31 p.m. 

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I was into parliamentary debates. I would debate anybody in any subject. Maybe it was intellectual arrogance: wanting to show people how smart I am. When two people are contradicting each other, I used to automatically assume that one of them is lying. But not anymore. 

Now, I think the best way to deal with close-minded people is to avoid them. When I see two people with opposite views, I see a failure to communicate, with neither of them strictly right or wrong. In fact, I have gotten rid of dichotomous black and white mentality. That is one of the greatest lessons I learned from Wayne Dyer, one of my "Virtual Mentors." 

As I write this, two of my friends are having an issue. I told them that I really hope things would be okay again soon. The last thing I want is to exacerbate the problem by meddling. Just let it flow and go with the flow. The way of nature is healing

July 29, 2013 
7:36 p.m., Monday 

I just woke up an hour ago. I guess my body needed more rest than I realized. Now about to go out to get dinner and a pack of Luckies. I'm supposed to go downtown and meet up with my buddies Harvey and Chad but all the stores would have been closed by now. I think I'll drop by Capitol then look for a tailor downtown.

One reason I woke up late is I stayed up late with my classmates Joanne and Sharaiza watching House of Wax at the pantry. Everybody was screaming. But my favorite scene is the Paris Hilton seduction. Then again, if you're a billionaire heiress, you don't really need talent

July 30, 2013 
2:12 a.m., Tuesday 

I just got home from downtown where I bought a leather wallet and three pairs of socks. My barber's shop is already closed and I didn't find the night bazaar, partly because I really wasn't looking for it and partly because I got lost again. In Jones Avenue, I bought a jacket and two shirts. I found a tailor before that, in Luz across the overpass.

My last stop is an Internet shop where I set up my blog edition for August 3. I also finished my first of two montages of my 2011 photos. I already have my montages for 2013 to 2012 on my blog's Huggybear Page. Then I'll post the 2009 and montages. My next video is the collection of my personal videos, which I'll call Huggybear's Corner. I have to finish my screenplay tonight.

As a student of history, I'm also enjoying the current book I'm reading, The Rough Guide To Conspiracy Theories, which I'll write about in a future edition. Yup, aliens have been abducted in Roswell..

It's not the first time I heard that Apollo 11 was never in the moon, that Elvis is still alive and that Bill Gates is the Anti-Christ

July 31, 2013 
6:00 a.m., Wednesday 

I just meditated, trying to awaken the kundali energy in my chakras, to establish communication with my Higher Self and to achieve union with Infinite Intelligence. I was in the middle of my apartment, with my back to the glowing dawn outside my French window and balcony. After that, I tuned in to the radio. I was looking for some folk rock music and I caught Let Your Love Flow

Here's what I wrote about it on my Facebook on November 24, 2012 : I've taken this song, Let Your Love Flow by the Bellamy Brothers, as one of my own, a long time ago, and it always takes me away from the things that takes me away from where I should be. 

"Just let your love flow!
Like a mountain stream!
And let your love grow!
With the smallest of dreams,
and let your love show! and you'll know what I mean!
It's the season…!”

Then, from start to finish, the great classic American Pie by Don McLean, one of my special favorites. This is one of the songs I want to perform live before I die in this lifetime. 

"Did you write the Book of Love
and do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so;
Now, do you believe in Rock and Roll
Can music save your mortal soul..."

Yesterday, I published my newest blog Page: Rock Legends. Earlier, I was watching the campy but star-studded Mars Attacks on cable.

Jack Nicholson is the President of the United States and Glenn Close is the First Lady. Their daughter is Natalie Portman. Martin Short is the Press Secretary. I'm not sure who Pierce Brosnan is, but his head is taken from his body, while Sarah Jessica Parker's head was transferred to her dog. The Martians zapped Danny De Vito, Jack Black and they were singing It's Not Unusual with Tom Jones

I love Annette Bening, who's a New Age hippie, ever since I saw her as Sidney in the American President

Just the other day, I saw Skyfall. I want to see it again. When I watch movies, I really suspend disbelief. I live in a world full of grim, serious people, so why stress myself? That's why I was impressed when that mysterious hot lady knew Bond has a Walther. Of course he also knew she had a Beretta. The rogue secret agent, Silva, was caressing his thigh

"There's always a first time," says Silva.

Bond, James Bond, says: "What makes you think it's my first time?"

August 1, 2013 
6:17 a.m., Thursday 
I.T. Park, Cebu 

Robert, Harvey and I were at the pantry after shift. Joanne was signaling behind one of the glass walls that they're going to McDonald's. We stayed but since the food were mostly leftovers, we decided to eat out. When we got out of the building, we saw Mayes and Jake, so all five of us went. I took them to a restaurant in Salinas Drive where I'm a regular.

When we're all about to go home, we saw Carolyn, who just came from McDonald's with Joanne (from whom I bought the kojic soap I'm now using) and Elgina (who had taken my photo on stage at Tonyo's bar a few days earlier). Carolyn and I went to our respective apartments going in the opposite direction.

Spur of the moment, we went back and had ice cream from a convenience store under Calyx building, then I asked her to take my photos from her phone. This is one of them. 

Shortly, Almira and Josann saw us. I took a photo of the three girls. I love my buddies in my class like brothers, so I tend to think of the girls as my sisters. 

"I'm rich," I told Carolyn as we began walking home. "Rich in friends!" 

During my lunch break earlier, I went downstairs for a cigarette. The band at the Ilaputi bar was doing their version of Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon, one of my many favorites. 

"It's time to bring this ship into the shore, 
and throw away the oars forever..."

August 4, 2013 
7:26 p.m., Sunday 

Yesterday, everybody in our training class has been endorsed for production. We were all scattered to various supervisors, who are all newly promoted because the company recently fired 200 supervisors and agents. There are talks that 100 more will be fired this month. Qualfon is consistent with how badly they treat their employees. Our lunch is only 25 minutes and there's always some unnecessary activity where we had to go overtime without pay.

My only reason to stay is my buddies, then we're separated so to hell with the company that doesn't deserve loyalty and their officials who don't deserve respect. I'm writing this while texting a friend from a different company and we're arranging how he'll get a referral bonus once I transfer there. 

After shift, I was in Route Stop in Salinas Drive in Lahug with Harvey, Robert, Mico, Jake, Kath, Almira, Jam and Carolyn. It's the last time I'll be with them.

Carolyn and I went to her apartment after that. I was toying with her phone, getting used to touch screen, realizing that my own original Nokia non-bulky ordinary keypad phone (with MMS that works) which I've had for four years, is already perfect for my lifestyle. 

Her phone has MP3, and happy memories flooded in when I played Weekend In New England by Barry Manilow. I remember singing it at the CCP in Manila. One of my friends who were with me was Gilbert. He's the one who took my sidebar photo, where I'm wearing a red shirt. That was in 2009, shortly before he died. 

"Last night I waved goodbye, 
now it seems years; 
I'm back in the city 
where nothing is clear..." 

There was another song in that MP3 that's really special to me, more personal. Bread's If is part of the soundtrack of my life

"If a picture paints a thousand words
then why can't I paint you?
The words will never show
the you I've come to know..."



"Once, mankind accepted a simple truth: that they were not alone in this universe. Some worlds man believed home to their Gods. Others they knew to fear. From around the cold and darkness came the Frost Giants, threatening to plunge the mortal world into a new ice age. But humanity would not face this threat alone. Our armies drove the Frost Giants back into the heart of their own world. The cost was great. In the end, their king fell, and the source of their power was taken from them. With the last great war ended, we withdrew from the other worlds and returned home at the Realm Eternal, Asgard. And here we remain as the beacon of hope, shining out across the stars. And though we have fallen into man's myths and legends, it was Asgard and its warriors that brought peace to the universe."

"You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest, he's doing just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teaching him how to play ping-pong. He's really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He's so smart, Jenny. You'd be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can't read it. I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away."

~Forrest Gump
Charles Xavier - Womanizer
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder.'

~Aldous Huxley
"Sex is full of lies. The body tries to tell the truth. But, it's usually too battered with rules to be heard, and bound with pretenses so it can hardly move. We cripple ourselves with lies."

~Jim Morrison
"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."

~John F. Kennedy
"Is it worth it?" Edwards calls after him. "Yes," K answers, walking away. "If you're strong enough!"