Dreaming Pepe Smith

February 22-28 Edition

Harrison Ford
Eating Vegetables
My Lifestyle
Pepe Smith

Harrison Ford

My story, "The Art of Solving Problems," got published September 15, 2013 in Philippine Panorama

This is the cover letter

Near the end of the 70s, a young struggling actor named Harrison Ford was having a problem.

In between projects, he works as a carpenter, and was fixing Francis Ford Coppola's studio door when George Lucas asked him to read the male parts for the girls auditioning for Princess Leia.

But he realized he'll never get a part because he had been in Lucas' American Graffiti and the filmmaker was looking for new faces.

Harrison grew defiant, showing exactly the kind of swashbuckling attitude that landed him the role of the space smuggler Han Solo.

Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill 
Casting for Star Wars 

A problem, by its very nature, is something to be solved. My new story, The Art of Solving Problems, is about the mindset of effective problem-solving. This is what peak performance guru Tony Robbins shares in his Awakening The Giant Within.

The principles are illustrated with anecdotes of the unforgettable Dr. Seuss, the Ironman 2013 champion John Philip DueƱas, the explorer and myth buster Benedict Allen, President Barack Obama's mother and the true story that inspired the 1963 war classic The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen.

The Great Escape
Steve McQueen's Motorcycle Scene

Lucas and Steven Spielberg, after making box office history with the phenomenal success of Star Wars and E.T. The Extraterrestrial, joined forces and transformed Hollywood forever. They were searching for who to cast in Raiders of The Lost Ark. Indiana Jones is a "scruffy playboy" and "outlaw archaeologist," says Dale Pollock in The Life and Films of George Lucas. They needed a "rebellious" but "gruffly romantic and ruggedly handsome" buccaneer and treasure hunter, someone "like Harrison Ford."

Ford wanted the role but he played it cool.

"They," he said, "could find me if they wanted me!"

Han Solo vs Indiana Jones

Eating Vegetables

December 23, 2013
Monday Morning

I believe flashes of creativity come from the same place as poetry and music.

So I won't claim them as my own.

I'm glad I got an idea on how to get myself to eat more vegetables. I've been practicing food combining for the last three weeks. I felt the huge difference: I feel a sense of lightness and physical well-being just by not mixing starch and protein in the same meal. My main diet now is fruits.

But vegetables is a different kind of animal, pardon the pun. I was never into vegetables. When I was kid, my grandmother tended to spoil me, probably because of pity since my parents died when I was a baby and I was the only child. So I grew up on salami, hotdogs, meatloaf, hamburgers and all the "imported" meat kids love.

If there's one advice I can give to parents, it's this: teach your child to eat veggies while they're still young because it would serve them in good stead throughout their lives. This means letting it be a part of their lifestyle, and not some grim dietary obligation that would really turn them off.

Now it's time to be a leaf-chomper. I admire people who eat all kinds of veggies and I want to be like them too. But there are only a few that I can eat with rice, such as mongo, torta (grilled eggplants omellette) and laing (a Bicol dish of taro leaves in coconut milk). I also like pechay or cabbage when it's mixed with sardines. I would eat all vegetables in chicken tinola, beef nilaga and pork sinigang, like kangkong leaves and stringbeans, but I had to do it with meat. Same goes for chopsuey: I can eat it only with fried chicken or grilled porkchop.

Sad to say, but I'm happy to have known, that eating rice or bread (starch) with meat or fish (protein) is a bad digestive combination. I love fresh lumpia, a mix of half a dozen vegetables inside a steamed lumpia wrapper and lathered with local gravy made from cornstarch and brown sugar. But I can only have it by itself. (The best is from Pampanga, which is, haha, famous for the best processed red meat products in the country: tocino and longganisa sausages). For most of the other veggie dishes, I find them hard to swallow, not just figuratively, with rice.

So I was happy to get an new idea just now: take them instead with pancit (rice noodles), either the bihon or canton variety. I'm talking about the pancit cooked with veggies in all the eateries in the archipelago and not those popular instant products we see in groceries. I just put it into practice just now: as I write this on 6:53 a.m., I just had traditional pancit canton and a separate order of Baguio beans. It's not food for the gods, but it's healthy and compatible.

Speaking of getting more veggies, one idea I got the other week is to eat more pork and beans. I love it with rice despite my radical carb reduction. I also loved it as a kid. I still do, and I guess I always will. In this ever-changing world, I'm happy that some things from my happy childhood is still here.

The All-New Popeye Show Intro

My Lifestyle

December 21, 2013
9:59 p.m., Saturday

I've been reading books all my life. But I also learned about the importance of balance.

So my physical life is very active too: I've spent two hours at the gym earlier after work.

For the past week alone, I've been working out everyday after my shift except for last Wednesday when I helped decorate our office. I'm now in Winter Wonderland with a Snowman behind me and a sleigh full of teddy bears above my station, although there's never been snow here in the Philippines.

When I got home, I continued Harold Kushner's Who Needs God and Robert Pirsig's Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I have books in the office which I read while waiting for my buddies: John Farris' Son of The Endless Night and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

I have a book that I'm re-reading everyday: Food Combining For Health by Doris Grant and Jean Joice. I'm in the transition where my body's metabolism is radically transforming since I started the way I eat. My breakfast earlier is pure coconut water and it's white meat. What I had for dinner last night is an orange and two ripe yellow mangoes. I finished the book on the last week of November 2013 together with L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics.

Then on the first weeks of December, I read Leo Buscalia's The Way of The Bull, Julian May's Jack The Bodiless, William Goldman's Brothers and Sylvia Brown's Phenomenon: Everything You Need To Know About The Paranormal. I'm going to write essays about them, some as magazine articles, some as blog posts, but all of them timeless.

My intellectual and physical life is richly rewarding. There are some things in my personal life that brings me a gratifying sense of happiness. I'm filled with humility and gratitude that I find my life "soaring with joy," in the words of Rabbi Kushner. He's really opening my eyes and giving me greater strength as I continue my quest for spiritual enlightenment and an even stronger connection with God.

Pepe Smith

December 21, 2013

I dreamed about Pepe Smith.

I told him that I just saw the latest behind-the-scenes video diary of Above The Clouds, Pepe Diokno's film being shot in the mystical Sagada mountains with him and young actor Ruru Madrid.

Above the Clouds
Behind the Scenes : Logistics

I really am looking forward to watching it even when they get to finish it, I told the musical icon and "Father of Pinoy Rock."

Pepe's Myth
Excerpt from Howie Severino's Pepe Smith documentary

We were in a men's room. I was fussing with my hair, which I always do in my waking life, and he's in front of a urinal. He told me to drop by the pantry where he hangs out. It seems we're on our first 15-minute break. Apparently we're call center agents.

In another dream scene, I was walking in a extremely narrow corridor of an abandoned building. Huge metal pipes slithered overhead like a dead octopus.

There was someone following me.

The corridor ended. There was a door. I came in. I found myself in a men's room. I made way for the guy behind me to enter so I could use the only urinal, inconveniently placed beside the door.

I'm not sure what's the significance of all this. I got the impression that the guy behind me wanted me to hurry. That's okay, if even dream phantoms need to heed nature's call.

Then he vanished.

What I found remarkable is that I never felt any fear even if I somehow knew I don't know him. I never even saw his face.


4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier

By Eric Barker | February 20, 2014



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Huggybear said…

"My intellectual and physical life is richly rewarding. There are some things in my personal life that brings me a gratifying sense of happiness." This is still treu for me today.

Huggybear said…

"A problem, by its very nature, is something to be solved..."