Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Thousand Summers (Episode 15)

Saturday Evening Posts
June 27 to July 3 Edition

A Thousand Summers

Episode 15

We landed in Samar. A passenger got down in Calbayog, the hometown of the girl I almost legally married when I was nineteen.

Beside my window at that moment was a wooden balag, a make-shift structure where vegetable vines would climb towards the sun, like the one I clumsily but happily built in 2003 when I stayed on a farm in Marilao, Bulacan–where I also encountered a real aswang vampire.

As we cruised down the sea-side highway from Allen, poignant scenes of sloping rice fields, pre-War nipa huts and isolated tombs seared themselves in my memory under the cleansing, melancholic rain.

I crossed the magnificent San Juanico Bridge at exactly 4:06 p.m., February 9, 2013, Saturday, leaving Samar and going over to Tacloban. Just like the war hero Douglas MacArthur, I got my own Leyte Landing.

To Be Continued Next Saturday

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

April 2, 2015, Wednesday

Respect is not a birth right. It is not a gift from Mother Nature like air and water and trees. Respect is something you must prove worthy of.

I believe that it is the moral obligation of each and everyone of us to earn the respect of our fellowmen.

If you want people to respect you, show them that you deserve it. If you want people to be loyal to you, show them that you deserve their loyalty. It really is that simple. Simplicity is the heart of wisdom.

Aretha Franklin

"R - E - S - P - E - C - T,
find out what it means to me..."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Favorite Song From Gabriel

June 24 Wednesday Songs

You Never Told Me You Love Me

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Thousand Summers (Episode 14)

Saturday Evening Posts
June 20-26 Edition

A Thousand Summers

Episode 14

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.

Then the ship began rocking violently. A freak weather had summoned fearsome waves right smack in the middle of the sea. Some of the other passengers were on the verge of panic, and I take pride that I never did. What I felt was the same inexplicable detachment just like during the invasion of the dispersal unit when I was in a rally in Mendiola in 2001. All my senses became razor sharp.

Strangely, just when death seemed imminent, I never felt more alive.

To Be Continued Next Saturday

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

March 13, 2015, Friday

I have no idea what other people do when it's Friday the 13th. As for me, I got one of my all-time favorite songs on my ears and soul throughout the day and on the many previous nights.

I can listen to Dan Fogelberg's classic "Longer" over and over again, in bed in with the lights off. I had it on while on the stationary bike earlier at the gym.

I went to I.T. Park at twilight after working out. I'm happy because one of my experiments, trying to see if I can get clear paper copies of photos I took of a lot of pages from an encyclopedia of the supernatural at the public library, is a success. I had my MP3 while reading about the mystical healer Phineas Parkhurst Quimby and the Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. I even have it on now as I write this at eleven past eleven near midnight.


"Longer than ther've been fishes in the ocean,
higher than any bird ever flew..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Favorite English Songs From Francis Magalona

June 17 Wednesday Songs 

Kaleidoscope World 

Kaleidoscope World 
with Parokya ni Edgar 

Girl Be Mine 

Cold Summer Nights 

Gotta Let You Know 

Loving You 

Don't Make Me Over

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Thousand Summers (Episode 13)

Saturday Evening Posts
June 13-19 Edition

A Thousand Summers

Episode 13

Our RORO bus entered the mystical province of Quezon. I saw a poignant scene of an elderly man walking up to a small house on a hill, his dog following him. That was in Candelaria, home of the world-famous lambanog, the Filipino liquor made from coconut.

There was a woman reading in a bamboo terrace, like those in Zamboanga, built on stilts over a clear, flowing river in Atimonan. I was mesmerized as we came to Gumaca, the stars were so alive; it's like being in outer space. By the time I was in Lopez,

I already had four friends monitoring my trip through text messages; that's also a metaphor for a greater reality.

I only realized I've fallen asleep when I woke up, exhausted. I looked out the window. There was no dramatic entrance, no sense of arrival, but finally I was in Bicol.

From Sorsogon, our bus boarded the inter-island cargo ferry.

To Be Continued Next Saturday

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

March 20, 2015, Friday

I got together with some of my friends from my previous job for breakfast yesterday. We went to a restaurant called Ekit's in Mabolo district in Cebu.

There was an enlarged and framed copy of a Manila Bulletin food column on the entrance praising its pork pochero which really is delicious beyond compare. 

I'd rather be a Buddhist monk, even as I joked that I'm such a useless vegetarian, that a manager in my new office shindig which starts next week.  What I really want is to be a Jedi. 

It is nearly midnight as I write this and I just finished reading another Star Wars novel which I bought earlier around six in the evening. My two-month self-imposed vacation is coming to an end. I'm beginning a new episode in my semi-charmed kind of life.

The Jedi Master Luke Skywalker "walked down the steps with a gliding stride," says Anderson, "quickly enough that the others would not lose patience, but with enough grace to imply his own strength of character." 

Star Wars
The Top 10 Star Wars Moments

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Favorite English Song From Aiza Seguerra

June 10 Wednesday Songs 

What Matters Most
with Vic Sotto

Listen To The Original From Kenny Rankin

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Saturday, June 06, 2015

A Thousand Summers (Episode 12)

Saturday Evening Posts
June 6-12 Edition

A Thousand Summers

Episode 12

So off we went. In San Pablo, Laguna, the town's biggest grocery, Ultimart, was dwarfed by the billboard of the local politicians pretending they're not campaigning.

It called to mind the years when I was a poll watcher as a youth volunteer for the Philippine Pastoral Council For Responsible Voting, the non-partisan electoral arm of the Catholic Church accredited by the Commission On Elections, and my eventual disillusionment with politics.

Also, I felt that the thrill of being in the countryside is somehow diminished when I hear Metro Manila radio stations, not yet knowing that their regional counterparts imitate the same format.

Or maybe I'm being too idealistic. I have an open invitation from a friend in Nueva Ecija, in the remote town of Papaya. The first time I was in that province was in the 90s, in a rest house in Cabiao where I was chased by a giant goose.

I told him I want to swim in a clearwater river; ride a carabao in the rice paddies; eat grilled fish freshly caught, with steaming-hot rice cooked on a clay pot then served over banana leaves on a long table outdoors. He said my ideas are old-school, romantic visions of an idyllic, pre-War past. I pointed out that the generation of our parents still remain married because they were able to find a love to last a lifetime.

So, I told him, it's cool to be old-school!

To Be Continued Next Saturday

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

April 10, 2015, Friday

I bought six books earlier this week. I finished Time Is An Illusion by the spiritual healer Chris Griscom and K-PAX by Gene Brewer. Right now I'm happily halfway through Nancy Nelson's Evenings With Cary Grant. I also got a special edition of an NIV Bible. I'm looking forward to Robert Parker's Spenser novel Mortal Stakes and the 1678 immortal classic The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My Favorite Songs From Neil Young

June 3 Midweek Musical

I Believe In You

Four Strong Winds

Heart Of Gold

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