Huggybear's September 2013 Diaries (Part 3)
November 16-22 Edition
Jonathan Aquino's Journals
September 8, 2013
I have a phobia about expecting anything from people.
"It's just that I recall," just like in the song, "back when I was small, someone promised that they'd catch me, and then they let me fall..."
I came to a point where I only hope that a person is fair. That's it. I don't ask for loyalty because I would eventually be gone anyway. I don't ask for special treatment because there's a price I can never pay.
"I don't want to be tied to anyone's strings," just like in that New Wave ballad. "I'm carefully trying to steer clear of those things..."
We all want love, of course. I believe the best way to receive love is to give love, showing that you deserve it. When I was a kid, I thought everybody loves each other, and you don't hurt the people you love.
"I don't care what they, I won't stay in a world without love," just like in that old classic.
World Without Love
Peter & Gordon
"Please lock me away
and don't allow the day
where I hide
with my loneliness..."
I try to understand why some people insist that you have to be always with them to show that you love them. If a relationship is special, then it will transcend time and space. I think that if you really love someone, you should never take away his freedom. You won't want him to come to the point where he has to choose.
"I wanna be free," goes the song I might have written myself. If we're meant to be, then we'll be together again someday.
I Wanna Be Free
"I wanna be free,
like the bluebirds flying by me
like the waves out on the blue sea.
if your love has to tie me,
don't try me, say good-bye..."
My story, "What Philosophy Can Teach Us," got published today in the Panorama Sunday magazine of The Manila Bulletin. I got some books from National Bookstore in Ayala Mall near noon. All the books I've read for the past weeks will be part of my magazine articles. I want everything in my life to be in perfect sync.
"What makes the lion special is the combination of his genuine power with an image and related behavior that effectively communicates that power to the world," says Harrison Monarth in Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like A CEO. The point is not to be the king of the corporate jungle but to learn how to radiate that commanding presence. The lion is not the smartest nor the biggest animal, but the others have this perception based on reputation and track record. His actions speak for themselves and he doesn't need a publicist. But she doesn't toil in obscurity either.
"Eliminate, don't prioritize," is my favorite take-home insight from Rich Real Radical: 40 Lessons From A Magna Cum Laude and A College Dropout by entrepreneurs and motivational speakers Jan McKingley Hilado and Hanz Florentino who are also from Cebu. It's a cool book. I might have been a heck of a lot richer now if I haven't been so disdainful about the ways of the world and the games that normal people play. For me, the proverbial Joneses aren't even relevant to my life. I'm genuinely happy for people who achieve their dreams, like Jan and Hanz, and more power to them.
But after reading so much about material victories and financial achievements, I needed to ground myself so I won't lose focus about my real purpose in this lifetime. I searched for the slim "glorious bestseller" that made me who I am, that showed me who I really am. My true nature lives, "as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time," in the words of the wise Chiang in Richard's Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the story that changed my life.
"It works!" says Jonathan.
"Well of course it works Jon," says Chiang. "It works, when you know what you're doing"
"I'm a man who has found peace," says the young telepath Elijah in Paulo Coehlo's The Fifth Mountain, the third book I got today. "I can live in the desert, provide for myself, and contemplate the endless beauty of God's creation. I have discovered that there resides in me a soul better than I ever thought."
"Every man has the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time," says the Angel to Elijah in one of my favorite scenes. "But what he must not do is to forget it."
Here's my mental movie version:
Paulo Coehlo's "The Fifth Mountain"
The Widow: Glenn Close
The Shepherd: Donald Sutherland
The Governor: Hugo Weaving
The High Priest: Brian Cox
The Levite: Michael Sheen
The Israelite Soldier: Russell Crowe
The Commander: Brad Pitt
The Assyrian Soldier: Ron Perlman
The Assyrian General: Henry Cavill
The Angel of The Lord: Chris Hemsworth
"I'm in the desert, as before I was in a carpentry shop, because my soul told me that a man must go through various stages before he can fulfill his destiny," goes my favorite line, spoken by Elijah in one of his Jedi talks with the crow beside the brook of Cherith on the road to Akbar.
September 10, 2013
"I see dead people." I said that in class today, just one of the many times when I'm too open for my own good.
I couldn't possibly write down everything that happened. Well, I can if I want to. But I don't. Still, some stand out. One of my newest buddies, Jeric, also comes from Manila. I find it heartwarming that he and his brothers and their dad are so close they even drink together. I never had a father nor siblings, and I would have loved to experience that.
"I have a friend whose father got disappointed when he first came home drunk," I told him. "His dad was hoping his first drink would be with him." I want my son's first beer to be with me too.
Our classmates are from London, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States and all around the Philippines. They form an eclectic cross section of the professional field: from managerial to fashion design, from events organizing to dirt biking. One is a psychiatrist, Fatima.
"You mean being neurotic is normal?" I asked.
She was explaining the difference between psychosis and neurosis. The latter, she said, is something that all people have in different degrees. Being obssessive compulsive, apparently, is also a form of neurosis.
"That's good to hear," I said.
Psychosis, on the other hand, is when a person cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy anymore. Some of them can be quite dangerous, she said, having worked in a mental asylum before. But she said, in answer to one of my questions, that mental health disorders are not contagious like the flu.
"Do you interpret dreams?" I asked.
"No," she laughed. "I can't tell your future."
"But what I have seen are mostly from the past," I told her. It just came out: my question about dream interpretation was meant to be a joke. "I see dead people," I went on. "There were times when I was floating above my body, very vivid." I didn't tell them about those scary creatures floating after me.
"It's called an out-of-body experience," said Yssa,an executive from an international business outsourcing company.
It's gratifying to talk to people who can discuss these sorts of things without saying they're the works of Satan. There are those who'll pull out a Bible verse like a mugger would whip out a gun.
"That's parapsychology," said Fatima.
I'm glad she didn't say schizophrenia. I think it's a positive sign that mainstream doctors are now seeing parapsychology as a legitimate field of science, not like how they treat feng shui, alchemy and astrology. I wonder, though, how they would've reacted if I said I hear voices?
The facilitator, Jang, said she loves watching horror movies, reading horror novels and exchanging horror stories. But, she said, she still hasn't come across a movie that had kept her awake.
"Have you seen Insidious?" I asked. That film gave me the creeps. I was especially spooked because I tend to wander around when I'm asleep. I saw the film on DVD when I stayed with Greg, my best friend from high school, in their house in Moonwalk, Las Piñas around the middle of 2012. I wrote about it in our September 29, 2012 edition.
"Yes, I've seen it," she replied, "and I love the movie."
The music playing in the scene where the father goes to find his son in the Further, she says, even became her ringtone. That's so cool. The Further is one of the lower regions of the astral plane.
"Why do you like horror stories?" asked Shi, a regional director for a multinational pharmaceutical firm and a women's and children's rights advocate. She's also a wedding singer, and she has her own band, she told me, when I asked her if she brings a videoke machine to the church.
"I find it cathartic," said Jang. When you see all these terrifying things happening to the characters, she said, it makes you feel grateful that they're not happening to you. She has a point: try to imagine demons in your kitchen.
I love that word: cathartic. I never thought of it that way. I think that's a very refreshing insight. Thank God I've never been trapped in the Further.
"Not much to tell, really," I said when it was my turn to introduce myself. I told them I came from Manila just so they'd know I can't speak the native dialect fluently, though I understand what people are saying. Mostly.
"Why did you come to Cebu?" someone asked.
"Heartbreak," I said, getting a reaction. It's true, but it's not the only reason. "You know how it is when it seems that the powers of the universe are conspiring to bring you somewhere else?" I said. "It was time to move on." I promoted my upcoming eBook and told them about the YouTube video I made before somebody stole my video camera. I didn't tell them that the guy who did it got into a car accident and spent months in the hospital.
Cebu: City of Angels
(A Short Film By Jonathan Aquino)
"I believe in angels," I continued. "I have always felt that there's a Higher Power guiding me. Even during those times when I really needed help, somebody would always come along." Then I drove it home: "And angels brought me here!
Angels Brought Me Here
"It's been a long and winding journey
but I'm finally here tonight,
picking up the pieces
and walking back into the light..."