Step Up Sinulog 2014!
This is an excerpt from my story, Paulo Coehlo's "Journeys To Enlightenment" which first appeared last October 2013 in Philippine Panorama, the Sunday magazine of The Manila Bulletin
The young wood craftsman Elijah is in mortal danger. King Ahab has declared that the entire Israel should worship Baal, the god of the Phoenicians. The idea came from his new wife, Jezebel, a princess from the Phoenician city of Tyre.
An Angel appears to Elijah to deliver an ultimatum. Jezebel tells the King to kill him. Elijah gets ready to face death but inexplicably survives the assassination. The Angel tells him to go the enemy town of Zerapath, which the locals call Akbar, where a widow will take him in until the Lord tells him to return.
Then the widow's young son dies, and the people are about to kill him, convinced that he has brought a curse. But Elijah brings the boy back to life, and they saw that his God is more powerful than Baal who lives in one of the mountains outside the city walls.
"Every man has the right to doubt his task," the Angel tells him in The Fifth Mountain. "But what he must not do is to forget it."
January 27, 2014
I got up early morning on January 19, 2014 to shoot my film on the Sinulog, Cebu's world famous Sinulog street mardi gras.
That was also when I took my first footage of the historic Santo Niño Basilica since I last went there during the October 15 earthquake that demolished the sixteenth century tower. Then I went making suroy-suroy (going around) from downtown all the way to the Fuente Osmeña circular park to meet up with friends.
I got my shots by climbing on bleachers and concrete dividers, not to mention the footbridge. I try to be as proactive and resourceful as I can. The one thing that I find overwhelmingly appalling is the consistent disregard for the spectators shown by the marshals and accredited photographers. Most of my shots are ruined by somebody blocking my view. They're just doing their job, I know. Still, it says something about the local culture. But then again, it's worse in Manila. So I guess it's human nature.
I only learned after the event that my office colleague R was the lead dancer and choreographer of the Abellana High School contingent so I wasn't able to see him. But I'm glad that I've filmed their group's performance in front of the San Carlos University. (I tagged them as the Yellow Birds while editing.). It's also serendipity that I got a clear shot of the stunning performance of the troupe who bagged the championship two years in a row. They are really spectacular.
My 4GB memory card was almost full so I had to edit during the shoot. I had to delete a lot of scenes including Ironman, Loki and other costumed pop culture figures and corporate mascots. But I got the controversial 2Go float: that was fun. Naturally, I got Darth Vader, Darth Maul, the Emperor and the Storm Trooper. I'm a Jedi so how can I possibly miss Star Wars? May the Force be with you!
My favorite performance is the Pandanggo Sa Ilaw traditional dance which I made into my film's first major dance sequence. My favorite float is the Egyptian complete with a Masonic Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and the jackal-headed Underworld god Anubis.
Step Up Sinulog 2014!
(A Short Film By Jonathan Aquino)
What makes my first Sinulog a bit poignant is that it's probably my last. I sincerely doubt I'd still in Cebu next year. I never even had any idea that I'll be here last year.
This is an excerpt from my story "What Happens At The Hour of Our Death?" It is a weekly winner in the 2009 My Favorite Book Contest of The Philippine Star
Now it's part of my book "Huggybear's Corner"
The pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were held as the incarnations of the myth-god Osiris. To prove worthy, they are sealed in a tomb deep inside the Great Pyramid. They suffocate, die and were revived.
The white-robed priests record their experiences.. All who went through this ceremony tell of the same journey. A pharaoh would leave his body and glide through a tunnel toward a light. There he will face a life review – and a being of pure radiance.
One of the most consistent and well-documented phenomena in the world are the stories of near-death experiences (NDEs).
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a hieroglyphic description of an NDE. The Bardo Thödol, more popularly known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, says the soul will meet “the Radiance of the Fundamental Clear Light of Reality.” The Aztec Song of the Dead is the poetic afterlife of the god-king Quetzalcoatl.
Plato describes the NDE of a Greek warrior named Er in Book X of The Republic. Harvard theologian Carol Zaleski compiled tales of NDEs from different cultures in Otherworldly Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experiences in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford University Press).
St. Paul tells of a Christian who went to Paradise and “there he heard things which cannot be put into words,” in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 (TEV). Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg saw the “light of the Lord” during his NDE. Spiritual leaders who were transformed by their NDEs include Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards, Native American chief Black Elk, and Hindu guru Paramahansa Yogananda.
If these are just fantasies or hallucinations, then recorded history itself would need to be rewritten
This is an excerpt from my story, "Insights From My Virtual Mentors," which first appeared last July 2013 in Philippine Panorama
Now it's part of my book, "Huggybear's Corner"
Wayne Dyer transformed my life through his bestselling classic Your Erroneous Zones. I admire him even more because he cites Jose Silva and Carlos Castañeda. You'll get orange juice and nothing else, he says, no matter how you squeeze an orange. Same with people: our reactions depend on what's inside us.
When we lose our keys inside the house, we don't look in the street, but we look outside ourselves for solutions like forcing other people to change. If we think we are inherently deficient, then we will spend the rest of our lives trying to fill a bottomless void.
Our reality is from our character: "When you change the way you look at things, the things that you at, changes." One who is without "erroneous zones" knows this is a friendly, not a hostile, universe. All creation is perfect, he says, "including you."
The Secret & The Law of Attraction
with Wayne Dyer
A "No-Limit" person believes he already has everything within to find peace. "There is no way to happiness," he says. "Happiness is the way."
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