Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crossing Over

Huggybear's Stories
June 28 to July 4 Edition

April 20, 2014

My life is full of serendipity and synchronicity. It's a beautiful Sunday evening. I'm in my room reading John Edward's Crossing Over.

I remember my spirit being moved when I read his first book, One Last Time. It inspired to write "Line To Heaven," one of my many magazine articles about what people label as paranormal.

The editor in the magazine where I regularly submit thought that story about a psychic medium who talks to the spirits of the dead is too controversial. 

On the other hand, this is also a message of healing. I find it life-affirming. My story about what happens when people die is a really a celebration of life.

John Edward
Crossing Over

May 5, 2014

One of my core values is being keen on the results of a personal project. Does it give me what I want? If not, what should I do to make it work? 

I've been planning to enroll in a gym in SM mall because the office gym is not giving me what I need anymore: an environment that's conducive to optimal workout. There has a lot of users who keep turning off the air conditioning. Worse, they would burp loudly at the airless room. Stinking disgusting creatures.  I could have done that weeks ago but I felt hesitant because that means I have to go through the mall's rude guards. There is also the factor of going to the mall through traffic and the crowds. I've been in this city long enough to know that the best way to deal with the natives is to avoid them.

Still, I went to the mall just to see how I'd feel, hoping my gut instinct would kick in. I walked past the glass walls of the gym. The place was jam-packed. No way, I thought, feeling horror at the mere thought of being in the midst of that crowd. I guess that answers my question. It's settled, then. 

I feel that I've made the wise choice to stay away. Now that I'm in the mall, I try to buy a cassette recorder but they're out of stock. I think these things are slowly being phased out. They shouldn't be. I embrace change but just because something is deemed already out of fashion doesn't mean there's nobody's left to appreciate it. Good manners and right conduct seems to have became obsolete too.

I've always felt like a stranded astronaut on a strange planet here in Cebu. I found a second-hand copy of Robert Henlein's classic science fiction novel Stranger On A Strange Land when I rummaged in Book Sale after going to the the appliance store. I still have a lot of books I haven't written notes of, so I'll buy it the next time I'm here, probably next week when the crowds for Spiderman 2 have thinned out.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

What I bought for a steal, pardon the pun, is a hardcover copy of Barry Sear's The Zone. By chance, I got a paperback copy of Sears' A Week In The Zone about two weeks ago. I'm trying to incorporate this into my lifestyle without bumping off food combining. Then of course there's one of my favorite writers: Stephen King. I got a copy of one of the few King books I haven't read: Danse Macabre. Now that's something to look forward to.

May 8, 2014

I'm like a Volkswagen Beetle. I know, and all my friends and work colleagues know, that I'm very reliable. I'm sturdy, able to withstand the elements. Old school too, in my taste for music, movies, and I'm of those few remaining people on the planet who thinks that a quiet evening at home reading books is fun. Most of all, I have transcended fashion and will forever remain timeless. 

I'm also like a Ferrari in certain aspects, to take this car metaphor on the road. My mechanism is a bit delicate but full of power just waiting to fire up. You can't drive a Ferrari where even 4x4 SUVs fear to tread, in the same way that you can't put me in a situation where I don't want to, and then expect optimal performance. But given expert handling and maintenance, you'll see the difference from the herds in the highway.

May 16, 2014

Change your thought and you change your life. That was the message of Wayne Dyer, a man whom I never but I consider as one of my spiritual mentors.

I've been watching his Tao-inspired talk everyday for the last four days while I upload my Bogo film. When he was 65, the time when most people are retired and just counting the days, he let go of his material possesions and spent a year studying the Tao Te Ching, the book of wisdom by the great Chinese sage Lao Tze.

Wayne Dyer
Your Thoughts Are Creating Your Reality

Water is softer than a rock yet it can tear down mountains without force. The Tao is like water, gently flowing into everything. Water, like happiness, cannot be grasped. You just allow it to flow.  It's about letting go and letting it be. Allow things to happen naturally, like a river flows into the sea. Allow people to be who they are. Allow nature to be your teacher. Allow the universe to reveal it's secrets. Allow yourself to be one with everything.

That is the Way of the Tao.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Jets

June 25 Midweek Musical 

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From The Jets 

Same Love 


Make It Real 

Somebody To Love Me

Rocket To You 

Christmas In My Heart

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Everyday Wisdom

Huggybear's Stories
June 21-27 Edition

May 4 2014

It's really funny. Just when I've to the point where material acquisitions don't matter to me, I realized that buying a tablet is a good idea.

What appeals to me is that I can watch, and take notes at my own leisure, the videos of my spiritual mentors like Wayne Dyer. I was tuned in again to Wayne's Every Day Wisdom earlier.

Forgiveness, he says, is an act of self love. You forgive those who hurt you not because you love them, but because you love yourself. It means you respect yourself too much to let negativity corrupt your being.

Learning to let go is a way of honoring your being. If people judge you, it's a reflection of their character, not yours.  A heart full of love cannot spread hatred. You can't get apple juice from an orange. You can only give what you have.

Wayne Dyer
Everyday Wisdom

I found a bit of solace away from the maddening crowd. I got a piece of crinkle biscuit and a mango shake for dinner in a quiet corner of I.T. Park.

I didn't go to Bantayan Island though today I uploaded my amateur short film Crossing Lapu Lapu.

I shot it as a record of my travels. It's my own movie postcard. 

Crossing Lapu Lapu
A Film By Huggybear

One of my idols is Michelangelo Antonioni.

The legendary Italian filmmaker is the inspiration for my latest camera technique in my evolving style. .

I want the scene to convey what words don't and what the mind wants to see. 

Michelangelo Antonioni
A Tribute

The end part of Antonioni's L'eclisse (The Eclipse)  is a great influence in my passion for making movies. There's something magical in capturing a fleeting moment in time and giving it immortality on celluloid

A Film By Michelangelo Antonioni

On this day a week ago, I spent a quiet weekend just reading books. 

One of them is about the works of The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan.

 I like how the Coens evoked the feel of Barton Fink. I can relate to the protagonist: a writer battling with his personal demons. 

Barton Fink
A Film By Joel and Ethan Coen

I seldom suffer from this so-called writer's block. I could imagine how frustrating that must feel.

Of course, there are times when I don't feel like writing. But it always comes back. Always does.

I try to avoid prostituting my writing by not working as a staff writer. I tried that once and it was the most constipating hell I went through. Never, ever again. I'll write only what I want to write.

Today, my fiction anthology, Johnnybee: The Stories & Short Novels of Jonathan Aquino, got published in ebook by Smashwords.

I shared excerpts instead of writing a blurb.


“You deaf or something?” she roared.
“Ah, yeah, look who’s talking, yo!”said Blue, gesturing hiphop.
I looked – glared – at him again.
"Hey you!” the Ice Queen was jabbing her finger at my left nipple.
I looked back at her.
“She can’t see us, Johnnybee,” White said.
I looked at him in wonder.

The Huggybear Show

"The soul comes back in another body, like, a robber comes back as a fox?”
“No. A robber comes back as a victim.”
“How come I don’t remember my past lives?”
“It is all in the mind.”
“So how do you get out of this merry-go-round?” asked Huggybear.
“Ye must become perfect.”
“That’s impossible!”
“Is it? It is like solving a crosswords puzzle, Huggybear. Sometimes, thou art right, sometimes thou art wrong. Sometimes ye face a blank. But ye still go on,” said Leon.
“Trial and error?”
“Yes. The scientific method. If ye persevere, ye will come to a place where every letter just falls into place. Suddenly, thou art gazing at what was not there before. But if ye really think about it, it has been there all along,” said the Angel Leon.

They Call Him Legion

"The structure evokes visions of Spaniards, horse-drawn carriages and ancient souls. Even the pavement outside was cobbled, mute witnesses to the footsteps of time. On a large cross on the altar, a life-size statue of the Son of Man gazes across the empty pews with an air of unfathomable sadness, for the redemption of souls is but a myth. And from the walls can be heard the lamentations of those drowning in the fires of Hell for all eternity. The only illuminations in this forbidding place are candelabras discreetly placed in recessed corners. The darkness seem to have a life of it’s own: an amorphous entity, breathing, as if in anticipation for a primitive ritual..."

A Thousand Summers

"I was sitting on the lifeboats at the top deck as the ship began to move. No money can buy my joy. White foams around us, the water churns as we head to the open sea. A short while later, I was at the highest point in front, the sea breeze embracing me like a lover, unseen lands beckoning. I knew then, with absolute certainty, that I would spend the rest of my life this way..."

A childhood friend texted at four past midnight, just like the title of the Stephen King book I read years ago. My friend is now working as a caregiver for his aunt who was paralyzed with stroke. His cousins are not paying him.

"Bro, if you need help, just tell me," I texted back. "I try to avoid giving advice unless it's asked. So I'll just pretend you're asking for it. Here it is: you have to avoid being dependent on people who take you granted. Those people you work for are treating you like a servant and they justify not paying you because you're their relative. I'm not saying they're abusing you. But that's what I'm saying."

I sent my reply but I got an error message. Apparently I've run out of prepaid load. What's weird is that he got it. I looked at my Sent box. Nothing. That's spooky. To think that I was tuned in to the paranormal radio show Kasindak Sindak half an hour before that. I caught the show's last segment, where they're reading text messages and giving the meaning of dreams. I was really curious where they get their interpretations because I don't believe in dream dictionaries. There's a couple of ghost stories and requests for future topics from listeners. My Sent-Unsent text gives me the willies. But I got my message across.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Luther Vandross

June 18 Midweek Musical 

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Luther Vandross 

Best Things In Life Are Free 
with Janet Jackson 
[Theme from Mo Money]

Mo Money

I'd Rather 

Dance With My Father 

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, June 14, 2014

City of Immortals

Huggybear's Stories
June 14-20 Edition

April 7, 2014
Monday, 4:50 p.m.

Text to my childhood friend GD

Ay naku, bro, ang buhay ko ngayon ay puno ng irony. Kailangan magtrabaho para magawa ang mga dapat gawin. Pero di magawa kasi may trabaho. Pwede naman pagkatapos, pero pagod na at kailangan maglaan ng oras para magpahinga. Eh, mukhang di na ako sanay sa buhay na rumarampa kasabay ng mga bampira at mga pokpok. Para bang hinahanap ng katawan ko ang tulog sa gabi. Kaya ngayon, di ako makatulog. Dun na ako aantokin sa trabaho mamaya.  

April 21, 2014

Dream Journal

The school corridor is like in the film Sixth Sense where Bruce and the boy were saying goodbye.

I didn't see dead people, at least not on that scene.

I was walking alone. Along came a girl I'll call Lucy, a coworker in my waking life. She came up from behind and walked rapidly ahead, obviously in a hurry.

 "Go," I told her, urging her. I was being sarcastic, thinking about certain people who are always in a hurry just to meet their perennially recycling daily errands, not having time for things that could mean a lot, like quality time with true friends. 

Lucy ran up the stairs. I went up leisurely, not following her nor interested where she's going. I went out. I didn't look at the building but I knew it was over a century old, like the 17th century University of Santo Tomas in Manila. The school grounds were empty. It looked like the Sunken Garden at the University of the Philippines, Diliman in Quezon City. On my left, around the corner corner of the building and out of my sight, I saw Lucy with some people I didn't care to meet. So I went to the right, strolling along the empty park-like campus grounds.

It was night in another scene, I was on the countryside. I was walking along an unpaved trail like in the Filipino modern horror classic The Road. I came upon a police mobile on my left. There are people but they were shrouded in darkness. The pulsing lights were illuminating the place like a scene of a crime. I looked in front of me. A large part of the road was submerged in mud. I casually glided over it, half floating.

In another scene, I was on top of a tall building. It was also night. I knew that behind me is a large sign of the construction company doing the edifice. I looked down. I was thinking that the building below on my right is where I currently work in my waking life. But it wasn't. It was on a pier. I can see the harbor behind it, wondering how deep those dark and placid waters must be. The sea was still, as if devoid of life. Her secrets will never be known.

April 26, 2014

Dream Journal

I was in New Orleans, a place I loved and knew so well, and of course it was night.

I was riding through Metairie at the back of a yellow cab, looking out as we passed one of the cemeteries which had stood for centuries.

At the same time, I was on Bourbon Street at the French Quarter, in a laundry shop with coin-operated washing machines. The floor had black and white tiles, like a chess board with diamonds instead of squares.  Outside the glass window are the usual sight of people in costumes for the Holloween. I knew that some of them are vampires.

The driver and I were talking about how the place had remained unchanged for decades. I felt glad about it.  "This is the city of immortals," I told him.

I had teleported to Antipolo. I would be there for a day, staying at the house where I spent part of my childhood. I was walking down the sloping Milagros Subdivision. I saw somebody from my youth walking up towards me, talking with a tall young man that I knew to be her son. I don't want them to see me so I made myself invisible. I camouflaged my aura as they passed without noticing me. I smiled wryly. I find it ironic that, since I had built a shield, I wasn't able to read their minds.

Then I was already in downtown Antipolo, walking through the quiet residential areas near the famous church. I felt afraid that it would soon be conquered by squatters like Manila and Cebu. So I was there, deciding what I would have for dinner. I took a tricycle going home because I didn't want to be exposed to the public. I rode at the back of the driver. Then I told him to stop. I've forgotten that I had to get some food at the market first, also remembering that I need to buy earphones. The tricycle stopped. I was alone in the sidecar. "I knew you won't stay long," said a strange woman sitting at the back of the driver. She wasn't there before.

April 28, 2014

I've decided to release a second edition of my first anthology of published magazine features.

I will add more articles, including the ones that came out recently, and revise the others.

My books will be solid and substantial like the works of Ayn Rand, Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace.  I was in the bookstore earlier, trying to imbibe the energy of books to give strength to mine, including my planned anthology of fiction and poetry.

I then had an idea for a book of essays. My inspiration and model is Paulo Coehlo's Like A Flowing River. I have my journal entries and vignettes, some in my blog.  Some of my writings, like that of Coehlo, is a reflection of my quest for spiritual knowledge. I wrote "Paulo Coehlo's Journeys To Enlightenment," published in a magazine, which I'll include, as a way of giving thanks. The attitude of gratitude is one of the guiding lights as I swim in the glistening but sometimes dark and turbulent waters of life.

I know I hold my future in my hands. I feel a sense of empowerment from knowing I have within what it takes to make the rest of my life the way I want it to be. I've always been a positive person, the negative elements I'm currently dealing with notwithstanding. I'm not superstitious and I don't jump at perceived omens. But I try to listen to what the universe is telling me. I'm hearing Mmm-Bop from one of the restaurants of the mall. I dig the light and bouncy energy. That, I believe, is a good sign.

The Hansons

"You have so many relationships in this life,
only one or two will last,
you go through all the pain and strife
then you turn your back and they're gone so fast..."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Richard Marx

June 11 Midweek Musical 

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Richard Marx 

Endless Summer Nights 

Now and Forever 

I Can't Help Falling In Love 

Right Here Waiting 

Hold On To the Nights

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Parkour vs Vampire

Huggybear's Stories
June 7-13 Edition

April 16, 2014

Dream Journal

I gazed up. I was standing under a complex geometrical structure that looked like a Lego train set. The sky above it was gray and it was getting dark. The hive-like thing was being built by my foster father who had died in my waking life almost five years ago. It's supposed to be a series of living quarters like condominium units connected by roller coaster walkways.

I warned him it's dangerous because a strong earthquake is about to hit. I also pointed out to him that the exposed floors of these hanging rooms were made of thin wood. I sensed that the workers doesn't care about the stability. I knew it was doomed to collapse. I even acknowledged, in that dream state, how solid and reliable my intuition is.  Even more significant, I wasn't afraid of the coming earthquake because I even declared what I've always known in my waking life: that no harm would ever come to me.

Suddenly there was a commotion.

I began to sense people coming out of the gathering darkness. They were in a panic. A bat-like creature was at one of the steel beams overhead. I chased the vampire without hesitation. I remember I was glad because I could practice my parkour skills which is my newest sport. I leaped up using the railings. The people were shouting that the vampire was about to fly away. As I felt I was about to teleport to a different scene, the ground started to shake.

April 13, 2014

This is my text to my friend CB

I thank you, my esteemed friend, for the book you gave last Friday night. I like historical mysteries, having lived for untold centuries through perhaps of thousands of lives. I have to admit though, for honor compels honesty, that my interest in romantic fiction needs polishing like a sword buried in a ruined cathedral.

I was therefore surprised and gratified that one of the principle protagonists, apart from Alaïs, the sister of King Philippe of France and at one time the betrothed of the legendary Richard The Lion Heart, is Sir Owain of Caedwyd. "Tom," as Anaïs fondly calls him, is one of the leaders of the Knights Templar. Here is a man I deeply identify with, for reasons I share not with others, but which resonates to the innermost depths of my being.

"Tom was a perfect king's man," writes Judith Koll Healey. "Neither obsequious nor lacking in respect, he simply stood, tall as a lance and just as quiet..."

I'm now in my present lodgings after a good day. I was in the gym in the morning. I bought some needed items from Gaisano Main in Colon District in the afternoon, grateful that the live telecast of the championship fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley kept the usual downtown crowd away. I passed a lot of people congregated around TV sets in the streets and cheering their hearts out. It's part of this country's culture to idealize the masses, with their simple wants and innocent pleasures. Then you see that what is politically correct is but a hypocritical lip service once you get to actually live in their midst.

I'm settling down for a quiet night of reading and traveling back in time, hoping that a noisy and inconsiderate neighbor will stay away. If there's one good thing about the Middle Ages, it's that people know their place. Today the low-breeds have taken over with their big speakers, transforming quiet neighborhoods into slum areas. One may find it tempting to think that people in the past are less barbaric. That, to frame it with elegance, is wishful thinking.

Judith Koll Healey's "The Canterbury Papers"
(Finished Reading April 15, 2014)

Sir Owain of Caedwyd: Huggybear
Princess Alaïs Capet of France: Gemma Arterton
Sir William of Caen: James McAvoy
Sir Roland: Daniel Radcliffe
Sir Francois: Skandar Keynes
Earl Graham of Chester: Robert Pattinson
Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine: Judy Dench
Earl William Marshal: Anthony Hopkins
Abbess Charlotte of Fontrevault: Meryl Streep
King Philippe of France: Joseph Gordon Levitt
King John of England: Jim Sturgess 
Queen Isabelle of England: Anne Hathaway
Duke Roberts of Orleans: Jeremy Irons
Brother Dermott of Canterbury: David Strathairn
Sir Étienne: Ron Pearlman
Sir Robert of Warwick: Gerald Butler
Sir Richard Glanville: Paul Bettany
Sir Jacques Destriers: Julian Sands
Lady Petronella of Montjoie: Imelda Staunton
Master Averroës of Córdoba: Ben Kingsley
Father Alcuin of Canterbury: Patrick Stewart
Signeur Carlo of Lyons: Jim Broadbent
King Henry of Anjou: Ralph Fiennes

Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had married Henry of Anjou after leaving Louis VII, has blackmailed Alaïs to go on a dangerous quest to myth-laden Canterbury Abbey. Events have been set in motion. There are unknown forces that will stop at nothing to prevent the discovery of those mysterious documents, hidden where Thomas à Becket has been murdered, that will destroy the Royal House of England. Once again I travel back in time, in the Year of Our Lord 1200...

April 14, 2014

Spotlights beamed up the ground like airport runway markers. A brilliant grand staircase appeared out of the darkness.

The Pirate Captain waltzed up like a broadway musical star. At the top is his the most sought-after Pirate of The Year Award, a trophy of a dagger across a skull.

The Captain was dancing with Cutlass, the female pirate presenting the shining trophy like a game show master. In a flash, they were struggling with the award. The Captain realized it was a dream. He woke up with a start, and saw that a thief was running off with Polly, his pet bird and the last remaining dodo in the world. The Captain chased him up the fireplace chute. He struck his head through the roof, the chimney on his head like a large hat.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The roof gave in. He fell in a bathtub. Under it, the floor splintered. The tub fell in the stairs. It began to slide down, going faster. The tub toppled one of the giant stone monuments from Easter Island in the landing. The large ro The large rock face rolled down behind it, catching up fast.Charles Darwin was downstairs. He was shocked to see the strange sight zooming towards him.

April 17, 2014

I learned a very important lesson about money today. The bank used by the company where I presently work is the unbelievably bureaucratic HSBC Cebu. It's actually worse than BDO. I saw last night how a couple of my coworkers got dismayed when they learned that HSBC will be offline in the Lenten season, just when people need money the most because that's a long legal holiday. That's Maundy Thursday today and Good Friday tomorrow and the weekend. It means four days without available funds. They tried to withdraw from the ATMs of other banks but they couldn't. It's a good thing they have families.

I believe that our minds pull in everything that happens to us. That's the Law of Attraction. Ironically, of all people, it affected me too. I was supposed to withdraw yesterday because my cash on hand was running low, but I put it off. What I couldn't fathom is why I manifested this situation in my life. My thoughts must have filtered through filtered through some deep-seated trauma that still lurks in the dark corners of my psyche.

I was in one of my deepest periods of contemplation during the last few hours of my shift earlier this morning. What could have brought this on, I wondered. I realized that I've been too dependent on my ATM. This stops right now. It wouldn't be my first time to be broke alone in a big city. I'm happy that the possibility of going without money didn't faze me. I still have enough loose change and groceries to tide me over. I don't even actually need money because all the office canteens would be closed anyway. If it comes to a critical point, then God will send angels in the form of people and coincidences. He always does. I'm a stranger in a strange land. But I'm never alone.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Al Jarreau

June 4 Midweek Musical 

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Al Jarreau 


Spain [I Can Recall]

Boogie Down 

After All 

Never Givin' Up

Let's Pretend


The Christmas Song 

Photo courtesy of