Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Authentic Swing of Bagger Vance 2

Huggybear's Stories
August 30 to September 5 Edition

The Authentic Swing of
Bagger Vance  2

I face the world only as who I am now on my present sojourn. As I attain deeper insights in the mysteries of existence, I feel more humbled by the powers of the universe that govern our lives, even before our first cry and even beyond our last.

"Each of us possesses, inside ourselves, one true Authentic Swing that is ours alone," says Bagger Vance. Our task is "simply to chip away all that is inauthentic." And "The search for the Authentic Swing is a parallel to the search for the Self."

A player must understand the three stages and its unifying principle, surrender: "Surrender of the Little Mind to the Big Mind, surrender of the personal ego to the greater wisdom of the Self."

Who Is Bagger?

I care finding my place in this world, and I care about my fellow men, even if it at times I'm assailed by cynicism about humanity. Then I realize that sometimes I care too much that I lose that crucial sense of detachment. A lot of times I seemed to have lost my connection to the Source of All That Is, and I drift away at the mercy of the tides. Yet it's there all along; I was just too blinded by my runaway emotions.

Bagger Vance inspires me to once again stand outside myself. When the town leaders came to ask Junah to play, Bagger "withdrew unobtrusively to a corner, where he took up a solemn post and stood absolutely still, observing with an utterly detached calm, saying nothing." In everything he does, he has "that same poise and gravity radiating from him so powerfully."

But who is Bagger? "Whatever Vance is, he will never harm you," Junah tells Hardy, the young narrator. "In fact, I'll make you a promise: as long as he stands beside you, no harm can come to you from any quarter.”

Without Attachment.

"Who are you, Junah?" Bagger would later ask. "Who, in your deepest parts, when all that is inauthentic has been stripped away?" Bagger is relentless. "All your 'selves' are exhausted and gone. Now, hit the ball with what is left!"

Junah is protesting, on the verge of desperation. "But there's nothing left!"

Bagger nods. "Exactly."

Life is about action, like what Krishna, in his guise as a charioteer, tells Arjuna in the midst of another battle. "Act, Junah, but act without attachment, as the earth does, as I do," says Bagger. "The rain falls, with no thought of watering the land. The clouds roll, not seeking to bring shade. They simply do. And we must too."

A Thousand Years

The most precious lessons I learned taught me that, after all is said and done, life is beautiful. At the same time, it is as fragile as the gossamer wings of a butterfly. I would stand on the shore, knowing that the sea were once land. I think about the people who had lived there. Someday, the ground I'm standing on will sink again. Then, new lands will emerge. I wonder if, a thousand years from now, the people of these new lands will gaze at the sea and think of us.

Krewe Island faces the ocean, where another battle has been fought a long time ago. "In the days when the austral constellations hung visible in this Northern Sky, before the Great Ice retreated to the pole, this ocean we call Atlantic withdrew as far as the Arctic shore and gave birth to a brilliant continent, a land called Mu," says Bagger. "Its people were mighty warriors, artists and magicians whose knowledge of the subtle powers far surpasses anything our so-called moderns possess today."

How did Bagger know this?

"I was there."

In The Woods
From The Legend Of Bagger Vance

See The Authentic Swing of Bagger Vance 1

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alone Again

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From
Gilbert O'Sullivan

August 27 Midweek Musical

Alone Again (Naturally)


Photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Authentic Swing of Bagger Vance (1 of 2)

Huggybear's Stories
August 23-29 Edition

The Authentic Swing of
Bagger Vance 

I am a young man in search of meaning. Yet I know I am more than who I am. I came here to find my way back. The most profound revelations that transformed my life came from within. I had it all, all this time, but I have been blinded by illusions. I thought I needed to learn, until I realized that all I had to do is to remember.The real me transcends time and space. My greatest agonies came from forgetting my true nature. This is what happened to Rannulph Junah as he competes in the game that will define him forever.

"Junah's problem is simple," says his caddie, Bagger Vance. "He thinks he is Junah."

I have read more books that a lot of men in their lifetime, though only a few have moved me to the core of my being. One is The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield (Harper Torch, NY). I identified with Junah, and never have I found a character as true and mesmerizing as Bagger Vance.

"This battle, like Reality itself, takes place in a higher plane," says Bagger. "That higher battle is the one you are losing, Junah. It is why you are losing here."

Spiritual Journey.

Junah was forced to join the historic match between golf legends Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen to bring honor to his hometown. As a testament of hope at the height of the Depression, the game was held on May 1931 in the new course built in Krewe Island in Georgia. Junah is a war hero and scion of one of the most revered families in the South, but he is tormented by his own private demons.

His search for inner peace is a mirror to my own quest for enlightenment. Junah had traveled to Tibet and India on a spiritual journey, seeking that elusive Oneness with the Source of All Life. I have felt that ephemeral sense when I dive alone deep in the sea.

"All sport is holy, for it embodies the objectified search for the subjective experience of yoga, meaning union, union with the divine," says Bagger. Golf "more closely mirrors the Reality of the way to Self-realization."

(To Be Continued)

Seeing The Field
From The Legend Of Bagger Vance movie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yellow Ribbon

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From
Tony Orlando & Dawn

August 20 Midweek Musical

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree

Knock Three Times

Photo courtesy of and

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Huggybear's Stories
August 16-22 Edition

July 2, 2014
1:18 p.m., Wednesday

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if things didn't turn out the way they did.

If I weren't so depressed one fateful day last May, I wouldn't have gone to the Cebu South Bus Terminal to go to Oslob, a town at the tip of the island famous for its whale sharks. So I was there. Then, if I like crowds, I wouldn't have left the station in disgust. I positively hate crowds with a passion.

So I decided, on a whim, to go instead to a friend from whom I've seen things that friends should never show. If I were the type to keep grudges, I wouldn't have come. But I'm not, and so I did. That's when I met the one person, somebody else, who I will love above all others. You might call it a paradox of fate. Some may call it romantic. I call it Destiny.

April 8, 2014

Text to my childhood friend GD

Nalulungkot dun sa nangyayari ngayon sa isang kaibigan ko, na itatago ko na lang sa pangalang Kuya Abet.

May sakit siya ngayon, malala. Matandang binata siya at nag-iisa lang sa buhay. Maniwala ka ba, nag-aral siya sa Ateneo at naging kaklase niya si Mike Arroyo? Mayaman ang pinanggalingan niyang pamilya. Mahabang istorya kung bakit naging tindero siya ng mga sarili niyang gawang borloloy sa Pasay.

May isa kaming kaibigan, na itago na lang natin sa pangalang Sam. Nuong dekada sisenta pa sila magkakilala. Naikwento sa akin ni Sam ang lahat ng pinagdaanan nila. Hindi santo si Abet. Nasilaw siya sa perang kinikita ng kanyang travel agency at lumaki ang ulo niya. Naging mayabang at mapanglait. Dumating pa sa puntong nangloloko na siya ng iba. Isa na duon yung isang kaibigan ni Sam na waiter na binigay ang lahat ng ipon dahil pinangakuan niyang ipapadadala sa abroad pero walang nangyari. Hindi ko rin nagustuhan yung ginawa ni Abet sa mga binatilyong alaga ni Sam nitong mga nakaraang taon lang, bago mag-Ondoy. Pinagsabihan pa siya ni Sam noon pa na malaking karma ang naghihintay sa kanya. Nagkatutuo nga. Pero lumipas na yon at nagkaayos na sila. Si Sam pa ang nagpakilala sa akin kay Kuya Abet dalawang taon na ang nakalipas.

Eto yung dapat pupunta ako ng Mindoro pero nawalan na tayo ng kontak at nastranded ako sa siyudad. Yun yung mga panahon na kalalapag ko lang uli ng Maynila. Wala akong pera, wala akong trabaho at wala akong matuluyan. Dun ako sa Gwapotel natutulog kung may pangcheck-in. Naalala ko pa yun: trenta pesos ang dose oras; may oras din ang paggamit ng banyo kaya sabay kayong lahat maligo nang nakahubad. Nasa Cebu si Sam noong nalaman niya ang kalagayan ko. Nagtext siya kay Kuya Abet at inaayos niya na magkita kami. Dun yun sa Kalaw, katabi ng Luneta, harap ng Jollibee. Natuwa naman siya sa akin kasi kamukha ko daw ang isa niyang dating kaibigan. Kaya doon muna ako sa bahay niya sa Tondo. Hindi naman ako nagtagal pero alagang-alaga niya ako kahit talagang hirap siya. Alam kong marami siyang nagawa na nakasakit sa ibang tao. Pero wala siyang pinakitang masama sa akin.

Kaya noong unti-unti na akong nakakabangon, ako naman ang tumutulong. Lubos ang pasasalamat niya sa text kanina. "Hindi naman ako marunong makalimot tumanaw ng utang na loob," ang sagot ko. "Dapat nga ako ang magpasalamat dahil nandoon ka nuong kailangan ko ng tulong. Hindi ko yung malilimutan."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ronnie Milsap

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Ronnie Milsap

August 13 Midweek Musical

It Was Almost Like a Song

Is It Over

I'll Take Care Of You

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Huggybear's Stories
August 9-15 Edition
June 30, 2014

Everybody has their own rituals. I'm in bed trying to get some shut-eye for my work tonight. Before I go to sleep, I need a period of mental tranquility. Writing is my way of getting rid of stress. I would just type on my phone whatever comes to mind, just like this vignette, a slice in the pie of my life. Oftentimes, I would need to listen to music as food for my soul. I always put on headphones. I appreciate the sound better. I don't see any point in sharing it with my neighbors, and I most certainly don't want to hear their racket. We're different folks and so we stroke to each his own. I like it that way. It's so refreshing to let the outside world stay out.

July 5, 2014

When the winds of outrageous fortunes blows, and when the applause has died down and the crowds have all been gone, I turn to within. When all is said and done, I still have myself. I still have me. I'm writing this, writhing from emotional agony and existential angst. I don't understand how something so beautiful can bring so much pain. Jack Weil comes to mind. A lesson from one of my favorite film characters is helping me get through this.


Jack, played by Robert Redford in Havana, is a gambler, unafraid to take chances. But after a lifetime of solitary perfection, he is taking the unfathomable risk of falling in love.  Now he's letting his guard down, laying aside his shield of invulnerability. On his arm, sewed inside his sinews, is a diamond. "Whatever happens," he says as he reveals his deepest secret, "whatever they do to me, I still have that chance. I still have that diamond."

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Spandau Ballet

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Spandau Ballet 

August 6 Midweek Musical

Round and Round 

Only When You Leave 


I'll Fly For You


Through The Barricades

Highly Strung 


Photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Art of Understated Perfection (2 of 2)

Huggybear’s Stories
August 2-8 Edition
The Art of 
Understated Perfection 
Part 2

It was soon clear that Nicholai's talent in playing Gō is far superior than anyone ever imagined.

Then one day, Otake-san discovered that his star pupil had another incredible gift denied to most.

Nicholai would go in deep meditation and return with his mind refreshed. His mystical transport takes him to a place where time does not exist.

"I don't leave. I am where my body is, as well as everywhere else," he struggles to explain. "I don’t become one with everything. I return to being one with everything."

Sweet Melancholy

The bond between Nicholai and Kishikawa reminds me of my foster father. Like Nicholai, I, too, am an orphan with a disdain for the superficial, a need for solitude and an unfathomably deep streak of independence. Now, nearly three years after he died, I cannot think of him without the "sweet melancholy" like one feels in a Zen garden.
That sense of enlightened sadness "characterizes the beautiful in the Japanese mind."

Honorable Death

Kishikawa was captured when the Russians attacked Manchuria. All his attempts to achieve an honorable death were thwarted. He is set to be tried as a war criminal. Nicholai was allowed to visit him in Sugamo Prison. They played Gō, talking in terms of the game, both knowing what is not being spoken.
"I see nothing else for your honor," said Nicholai, "or mine." He touched the General's arm. "Foster-father, the game will end in two minutes. Permit me to guide you."
In Kishikawa's face ran tears of gratitude.
"I act without permission. sir," said Nicholai. "I have decided to perform a loving disobedience. I do not even seek your forgiveness."
Kishikaw smiled behind the tears. "Guide me, then."

Day of Memory

I shall never forget the time when Nicholai and Kishikawa were in Niigata, walking along the banks of the Kajikawa.
"We have enjoyed the best three days of the cherry blossoms," said the General has said. "The day of promise, when they are not yet perfect. The perfect day of enchantment. And today they are past their prime. So this is the day of memory. The saddest day, but also the richest."
Kishikawa had told the boy that he had been transferred to Manchuria, intending to commit seppuku if they suffer defeat.
"Do I have your understanding, Nikko?" he asked. "And your permission to leave you?"
Nichoilai was gazing at the intently at the river as he controlled his emotions.
"Your guidance, your affection, will always be with me," he said. "In that way, you can never leave me."

See also