Wednesday, September 19

my filipina thoughts

I found by chance a website that encourages Filipinos to write positive things about the Filipina on the internet, in hope of bringing “relevant results to search engines and topple those that exploit the (word) Filipina”. I feel compelled to chip in, and say something, even though as one stumbles upon this blog, he’d be hard-pressed to discover that I am NOT into making any pertinent social commentaries or spewing off happy mantras for the collective good, much less, lifting a finger to enlighten my own befuddled self. If at all, he might recognize that he has largely snuck into a lemony snickett world, a cloudy sphere of juvenile, foolish thoughts, trapped inside the brain of a woman going through midlife crises. Or something.

At any rate, my being filipina in the face of all these, makes me rather unique, if a little peculiar. I don’t fully comprehend it. Blogging , for instance, has made me discover that there are quite a number of women from the Philippines who are actively making forays into wider territories, and are creating beautiful impressions to many, from their thoughts and knack to assimilate with other far-flung cultures. But on the other hand, there have been some who are sadly misunderstood. The saying now goes, anonymity breeds…..animosity? I am not sure. I am just saying….

But what is to be Filipina? For the longest time, we are generally perceived to be women who conform and obey, who meekly say yes on many occasions, even when we don’t have to, or don’t mean to. And let’s face it, there is a grain of truth to it. I can’t fault the look of amazement, or sometimes incredulity, in the eyes of others who have not fully understood why we do it so, or of what holds us back from asserting our right on things. It’s not that we don’t have a choice, and I can most certainly say that it is not being stupid, nor for lack of a better judgment. Believe me, I’ve been there and I can’t be gullible at all. I think that it well may be a case of having too much respect for elders or authorities, a plain sense of propriety that we have inadvertently practiced all of our waking lives. We have been born to it. And that is not a bad thing. It’s just that it seems everywhere we go, we aim to please. Please others, older or younger, with blind worship---unfortunately much to our ruination. We value harmony in our little rustic world, much as we do in the big world, that calls us a third world, a world that has gone a bit haywire in the age of internet and overblown-grown egos. We are often seen as easy preys to the supercilious regard of others, or even of our own.

Well all I can say is, damnation! Why don’t we start getting crazy? Forget about being cinderellas or some weak pushover damsels, and put on our ruby slippers like Dorothy who ran away from Kansas did? We should embark on our own giddy adventures or misadventures, and leave all narrow thoughts behind. This is the time of the weirdest imaginations and epic surprises, wherever we are in the world wide web, so that we should not be afraid to commit some unforgivable faux pas or make absolute fools of ourselves. Why, others do every it five seconds, methinks! We should write our thoughts boldly, and speak more loudly of what we feel! We should laugh at the funnies, and bawl over sad dreadful b-movies, and not apologize for it! We should sing our hearts out in karaokes, hitch up our skirts, and dance in bayles with our corniest moves! We should get off our horses, and stop caring for once!

And then when we had our fill, when we have soaked in all that craziness and simple exuberance that makes us uniquely and truly Filipina, we should spruce ourselves up, smooth our hairs back, and mind our proper manners once again. The things we are proud to be of---the choices we make to overcome our own obstacles, the character that endear us to the appreciative few, in spite of the prejudiced lot--are that which we should continue to espouse and do, or write about. Maybe not always in this blog, but in a better place, so that we will ultimately read “Filipina” with something affirmative and good about, in google-s.

Somehow, by writing all this I seem to be contradicting myself. I shiver at my momentary uproar. As I said, I can’t often be trusted with positive things or thoughts …..

So, I’ll pretend I never said.

Friday, September 7

Ne Me Quitte Pas

One of the saddest and most beautiful songs I’ve heard is Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me). It was originally written by Jacques Brel, a Belgian French-speaking singer-songwriter who passed away in the 70’s. I have heard this sung by someone that I admire profoundly--Nina Simone, the one who refused to be called anything--but was everything a goddess of soul is, and all else that spelled excellent, as her voice and piano skills were. Nina was an American but embraced France as her final abode, much like Jacques Brel did. Although I remain largely clueless about France, I must admit that I love almost everything french---the cinema, the actors, the fashion alright, the food, the music, the gritty attitude, and especially the language. Here is an incredible video of the song done by Helene Segara in a touching duet with a 3d hologram of Jacques Brel. Way below are the french lyrics and engligh translation, sort of, of the song:

Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit deja
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le coeur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas.

Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Ou il ne pleut pas
Je creus'rai la terre
Jusqu' apres ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumiere;
Je f'rai un domaine
Ou l'amour s 'ra roi
Ou l'amour s' ra loi
ou tu serais reine

Ne me quitte pas..


don't leave me
it is neccesary to forget
everything you need to forget
that is already over
forget the times
of the misunderstandings,
the lost time
you need to know how
forget the hours
that sometimes kill
the reasons why
the heart is full of joy

do not leave me.

i offer you
pearls of rain
coming from countries
where it never rains
i will cross the world
until after my death
for to cover your body
with gold and bright light.
i will give you a kingdom
where Love will be king
where Love will be the law
where you will be queen….

do not leave me.

Wednesday, September 5


There's nothing much to say today, and as usual I've been suffering what one blogger calls a blogorrhea. So off I go with my rumbling. Our director has been around for a couple of days now, spending the whole time in the office, doing important business over phone and net----the whole nine yards---- except make small attempts to talk to us. Sure, we had been privileged to lunch out at hotel mezzanines of late with him, but back at grind time, there are the usual furtive glances, and tiptoeing, a funny stance that all of us, rank and file, are guilty of taking when the big guns are around. I don't remember for the life of me why we do it anyway. I mean, our bosses, considering that they are foreigners, are not really the kind who would give a dope as to how we conduct our business around the office. Outside of it, we are as equal to them as we damn please think we are, except that they foot the bill, and we reciprocate with all-encompassing gratitude. They are as natural as can be, but it seems that we are the ones who balk at the idea of behaving as we do when left among ourselves. And, as if that is not enough, we discuss things behind their back, belaboring on the minutest details of the time they were in our presence.

Are we that of small minds, after all?

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