The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Songs for the End of July

The songs which made my weekend less boring:

1. Pulp - "Bad Cover Version"
2. Pulp - "Common People"
3. Gene Loves Jezebel - "Exploding Girl"
4. Gene Loves Jezebel - "Gorgeous"
5. Gwen Stefani (of No Doubt) - "Cool"
6. No Doubt - "It's My Life" (original by Talk Talk)
7. Mark McGrath (of Sugar Ray) - "The Ghost in You" (original by The Psychedelic Furs)
8. Sugar Ray - "Someday"
9. Backstreet Boys - "Incomplete"

10. A-1 - "Take on Me" (original by a-ha)
11. A Flock of Seagulls - "Rainfall"
12. A Flock of Seagulls - "Transfer Affection"
13. Graham Coxon (of Blur) - "Bittersweet Bundle of Misery"
14. Blur - "Universal"
15. Ian Broudie (of The Lightning Seeds) - "Smoke Rings"
16. The Lightning Seeds - "Perfect"
17. James - "Stripmining" [MP3 copy courtesy of friend Eugene Tecson]
18. James - "Just like Fred Astaire"
19. Metric - "Combat Baby"
20. Simple Minds - "Cry"
21. Simple Minds - "Sanctify Yourself"
22. Jackson Browne - "Sky Blue and Black" [recommended by friend Rommie Ramos]
23. Suzanne Vega (with Jackson Browne on piano) - "Left of Center"
24. Voxtrot - "The Start of Something" [courtesy of friend Jessel Baltazar]
25. Morrissey - "We Hate It when Our Friends Become Successful"
26. An Angle - "White Horse"
27. Berlin - "No Words"
28. Communique - "Love Unconditional"
29. Communique - "Evaporate"
30. Orange and Lemons - "Just like a Splendid Love Song"
31. New Order - "Krafty"
32. Half Life Half Death - "Brother's Pen"
33. Siouxsie & the Banshees - "Happy House"
34. House of Beth - "Radical"
35. The Tears - "Lovers"
36. Suede - "Beautiful Ones"
37. The Housemartins - "Build"
38. Peter Coyle (of The Lotus Eaters) - "American Beauty"
39. R.E.M. - "Leaving New York"
40. R.E.M. - "Harborcoat"
41. Personz - "Dear Friends"
42. Utada Hikaru - "First Love"
43. Faye Wong - "Eyes on Me"
44. Bic Runga - "Sway"
45. The Smashing Pumpkins - "Disarm"
46. Zwan - "Yeah"
47. Billy Corgan (of The Smashing Pumpkins) - "All Things Change" [inspired by friend Jennie Yap]
48. Apples in Stereo - "The Silvery Light of a Dream"
49. Architecture in Helsinki - "Wishbone"
50. All Girl Summer Fun Band - "Charm Bracelet"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Welcome to My Adventures in June (Part Two)

June 9, 2005, Thursday

Once upon an afternoon at Garden City Shopping Centre...

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, only two shopping malls are worth checking out: Garden City Shopping Centre, on McPhillips Street, and Polo Park Shopping Centre, on Portage Avenue. And, you might be surprised to learn that these two malls combined still pale in comparison with the impressive malls found in my homeland, Metro Manila, Philippines, specifically Ayala Center in Makati City or even SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

I've long been thinking about this. I mean, I never expected that there are indeed parts of Canada where life is so laidback and lackluster. Only when I had the chance finally to live in Canada did I realize that every nation, of course, has its own share of gorgeous sights as well as not-so-impressive places. (But as I always say, it's the people, not the sights, that make a somewhere a good place in which to live.)

More so, everything really depends after all with the evolved culture of the people living in a particular society; add to that, the climate factor as well as the economic situation.

For instance, since that the Philippines is a tropical country, hot and dry days inevitably dominate the seasons. And, this has become a major reason malls are a blast in the metro. Add to that, the usually heavy traffic, which, to put it in my native tongue, is "Sobrang trapik na wala nang pinipiling oras! Sobrang init sa buong maghapon! Makatambay na nga lang sa mall." Now, considering these realities, can anyone blame why many people in the Philippines frequent the malls anytime of the day? Oh, well, a great number of other factors are involved, and I don't intend to engage anyone into a debate. I'm just making a point, trying to justify why shopping centers in this part of Canada where I am are not fanciful and justifying the reason malls in my country are always a seeming utopia.

Lest I continue to bombard you with my usual contemplative assessment of everything, let me just share with you some pictures which document my simple adventures in June.

Founded in 1913, Laura Secord is a famous chocolate, icecream, and candy shop in Canada. This particular branch is located at Garden City Centre, which is only about fifteen-minute-drive away from where I stay. We go there at least once a week.

I am not much of an icecream person, but I enjoy a cone or a cup once in a while; so every time we are at Garden City Centre and I'm in the mood for icecream, Grandfather and I go to Laura Secord.

Grandfather's favorite icecream flavor is chocolate. I also remember, my mom's favorite flavors include chocolate, mango, and ube (purple yam). I remember asking my mother a long time ago as to why she didn't like the new fancy flavors. She said that, perhaps because her taste was already accustomed to these classic flavors eversince she was young that she no longer fancies the new ones. Although, she tries some of the new ones once in a while.

Grandfather's reason is not different. When I asked him, "Pa, bakit laging chocolate ang gusto n'yong flavor ng icecream?"; he'd reply: "Yan na kasi ang nakasanayan kong kainin e." And, thoughts like this always leave me in contemplation. Perhaps, the saying "You cannot teach old dogs new tricks" is true after all. But, of course, it depends; but what I'm saying is that it makes sense. So every time I have the chance, I tell Papa that it's always nice to try something new, as long as it's not harmful or dangerous. Anyway, this also goes along with his favorite motto.

Yeah, after spending almost two years straight with Grandfather, I already know his motto in life. He never fails to utter it every time our conversation warrants it. "Ako, kung ano ang gusto ko e lagi kong ginagawa; basta wala akong napeperwisyo... [I, whatever I want to do I simply do it, as long as it doesn't bother anyone]." Reasonable, isn't it? This motto of my grandfather surprised me because I somehow share the same sentiment. May pinagmanahan pala ako, in terms of having the penchant to defy the norms.

I am the type of person who will always try something new, as long as it doesn't pose harm on myself, other beings, or the environment. When I was a child, I didn't like ampalaya (bitter gourd) or any bitter-tasting vegetable for that matter; but as I grew up, I learned to adjust my taste...I was able to condition myself to be as adventurous as I possibly could...and I believe I was able to apply this not only to my taste in food, books, or music but also to my way of viewing the world at large...I believe that this eclecticism has transformed me into a universally minded individual--someone who always try to understand first before passing judgment, someone who always try first before saying I don't like it.

When it comes to icecream, bright colors always fascinate me; the reason I love flavors like raspberry rumble, bubblegum carnival, blueberry delight, and banana bonanza.

That's it for now. So every time you're at a mall enjoying a cone or cup of your favorite icecream, kindly think of me, the eLf who loves brightly colored icecream flavors.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Am I Still the Cool Guy I Used to Be?

"Midway upon my journey through life
I found myself within a forest dark..."
—Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy

July 22, 2005, Friday 20
Having nothing much to do [what's new?] and my fingers tired of writing [I write every day], I went to my room and clicked on the TV. Much More Music. No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. And, surprisingly, not "Hollaback Girl" but obviously the new single from her debut album as a solo artist, Love, Angel, Music, Baby (2004):


I have liked No Doubt since discovering the song "Don't Speak," from their second studio album, Tragic Kingdom (1995)—the song which catapulted the band to commercial popularity; but I never loved their music the way I do other post-'80s female-fronted bands that have undeniable New Wave roots, like The Cranberries, Sixpence None the Richer, and Ivy. Not until No Doubt covered Talk Talk's "It's My Life."

And most especially, not until the song


I can now say that, no doubt (pun intended), I finally got to really love something from Gwen Stefani; that is,


Strangely, I never realized that listening to a newly penned song could transcend me to a nostalgic trip. Could the song's melody be the reason behind this?

Hmm, cool.

Or perhaps, I simply have the ears for anything "New Wave." And anything New Wave has a nostalgic spell on me.


Listening to the song suddenly triggered up this question in my mind:

Am I still the cool guy I used to be?

"I'm not a cool guy anymore...," sings Milo Aukerman of The Descendents. Sometimes I feel like singing that sentiment, too. I feel that my cool days are, indeed, really over. Are they? Oh how I miss my youthful days, when most of what I cared about were music and gimmicks and music and gimmicks and music and some more music.

But does this yearning mean wanting to return to the past to be able to live once again those happy heydays?

Definitely not.

Reminiscing the past is different from dwelling on it. Strictly speaking, to relive is not the same as to live again. Whereas the former is retrospection, the latter is retrogression. And, to retrospect is spiritually and philosophically healthful while to retrogress is mentally and emotionally deleterious.
One of the French sculptor August Rodin's world-renowned bronze sculptures, "The Thinker," originally called "Dante Thinking," depicts the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his epic poem Divine Comedy. As time went by, however, "The Thinker" came to represent a person in solitary meditation battling with an intense internal struggle.

Ang Di Lumingon sa Pinanggalingan Ay Di Makararating sa Paroroonan

Yes, I've had so many glorious and wondrous moments in my childhood and youth, countless experiences both happy and sad, but I will never trade for these memories the wisdom and maturity I've gained through all the years of personal struggle with Life.

The past is, to me, now only a distant memory worth reminiscing once in a while—a source of courage, a source of strength, a reminder of my ability to persevere amidst failures and frustrations—a proof that I've traveled a long way, reached this far, accomplished a lot...will accomplish some more; all ready to surge forward through the rest of my life's journey, much bolder and braver yet nevertheless careful and cool.

Twenty years ago...

Seventeen years ago:

Fourteen years ago:

Ten years ago:

Several months ago:

Several days ago:

Several hours ago:

A few hours ago:

Am I really not a cool guy anymore?

But, again, I will never trade what I have now for what I had before. I'm so much happier with whom I am now than with whom I was in the past. I'm prouder of who I have become than who I used to be.

I glance back at the sunrise occasionally, but my eyes are always geared towards the sunset.

Now, back to Gwen Stefani's latest single...


It's hard to remember how it felt before
Now I found the love of my life...
Passes things get more comfortable
Everything is going right

And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

We used to think it was impossible
Now you call me by my new last name
Memories seem like so long ago
Time always kills the pain

Remember Harbor Boulevard
The dreaming days where the mess was made
Look how all the kids have grown
We have changed but we're still the same
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles, and now we're hangin' out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been
I know we're cool

I'm glad that, like Gwen, I've remained cool with all the equally wonderful persons with whom I had romantic relationships. But until now I still couldn't figure out the exact reason. But whatever that is, it's not important anymore; what matters most, I believe, is that I was able to shed my ego and pride and admit to them my mistakes, failures, and shortcomings; asking pardon for all the heartaches and tears I might have caused them.

................"No greater grief than to remember days of joy, when misery is at hand."

The Twenty-second of a Dozen Verses


Photo taken on June 19, 2005, Sunday, at Winkler Tourist Park in Winkler, Manitoba: Gathering woods for the fire...

Each of the pitu-pito below follows a different rhyme pattern.

July 13, Wednesday

Pumupulot ng kahoy,
Pampaningas ng apoy.
Nag-aalab ang puso,
Hindi damá ang láyo.
Pikít ang mga mata,
Lalo kang nakikita.
Hamo, sandali na lang.

July 14, Thursday

Kinakamot ang ulo,
Ako minsa’y tulalâ.
Nakatitig sa langit,
Laging walang magawâ.
Hinding-hindi susuko
Kahit walang himalâ—
Sanáy na sa pasákit.

July 15, Friday

Hanap-hanap ko ikaw,
Lalo’t damá ang panglaw.
Sa ’yo, ako ay uháw.
’ko’y laging nabubughaw.
Ilaw ma’y aking tanáw
—Dulo ng balang-araw—

Di pa rin makasigaw.

July 16, Saturday
{to Anacleto}

’musta na, kaibigan?
Umaasa ka pa ba?
’tuloy mo lang ang laban,
Hangga’t may lakas ka pa.
Hírap mo’y may hangganan,
Bagyo mo ay huhupa.
Habang may buhay ay may….

July 17, Sunday

Bawat galaw ng kamay
Ay s’yang uga ng kama…
Bawat tulo ng laway,
Bawat pikít ng mata...
Nanginginig, himaymay;

Namamanhid ang hita...
Ikaw ang nasa isip.

July 18, Monday

Utak ko minsa’y blangko—
Parang sira ang ulo,
Maluwag ang turnilyo,
Animo luku-luko,
Nasobrahan sa toyò,
Kung ituring ay bobo…

"Pabili nga ng lobo."

July 19, Tuesday
{to Hermetio}

Nanahan din sa wakas
Itong aking damdamin.
Sa hudas nakatakas,
Nabawasan pásanin.
Biglang umaliwalas—
Pananaw at paningin.
“Paalam, balasubas.”

July 20, Wednesday

Nuong isang araw ay
Mainit buong hapon;
Kelangan ng pamaypay,
Andaming tuyong dahon.
Ganyan naman ang buhay—
Laging pana-panahon.
“Matuto kang sumabay.”

July 21, Thursday

Dinuguan ang ulam,
Kahapon ay sinigang.
Sikmura’y kumakalam;
Diwa ko’y lumulutang.
Ako’y takam na takam,
Animo’y mambabarang.
“Sino kaya’ng makulam?”

July 22, Friday

Minsa’y kung ano na lang
Ang aking maisulat.
Ideya’y kulang-kuláng;
Ako ma’y nagugulat.
Ako ba’y ’sa nang guráng?
O sa p'wet ay may balat?
“Di mo ba nasasalat?”

July 23, Saturday
{to Tito Ren and Tita Lucy}

Butihin kong t’yang at t’yong,
Salamat sa pagkupkop.
Kundi sa inyong tulong,
Ako pa rin ay dahóp
At lantang parang talóng.
Masáhol na lupalop,
Ayaw muling mákulong!

July 24, Sunday
{to cousins Ivan and Davin}

Salamat sa ’nyong dalawa,
Sa respeto’t paggalang,
Pagtanggap, pag-unawa;
Tulong, di binibilang;
Di limót pagkabata
Pati lupang hinirang.
Di tulad ng iba r’yan!

*My own invention, pitu-pito refers to a form of Filipino poetry which consists of seven seven-syllable lines (7-7-7-7-7-7-7) and follows a rhyme pattern.

The First
The Second
The Third
The Fourth
The Fifth
The Sixth
The Seventh
The Eighth
The Ninth
The Tenth
The Eleventh
The Dozenth
The Thirteenth
The Fourteenth
The Fifteenth
The Sixteenth
The Seventeenth
The Eighteenth
The Nineteenth
The Twentieth
The Twenty-first

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Lawnmower eLf Strikes Again

I mowed the lawn today. I will mow it again next week. And in the weeks thereafter. I'm the lawnmower eLf. I love the sight of grasses only when they're short. Lawns with long and unkempt grasses are a sign of the owners' idleness or lack of time to mow them. But does a person really lack the time for whatever s/he has to accomplish? Or s/he simply lacks the conviction to accomplish it? The ideal thing to do is to find Time and not to let Time find us, because Time will never find us. What's the difference between idle and ideal? The pronunciation? The spelling? The meaning?

Summer in Winnipeg reminds me of home. There's really no place like home. And it's the people, not the place, that make somewhere a good place to live in. No amount of material things can compensate for the love and respect I deserve. Make me choose between love and money and I'll choose the first. What is wealth without love? Isn't love not love at all without respect? All I know is that a house without love is not a home. But what about a love without a house? Or a love without a home? Is there such? Regardless, a home can never be without love. Do you live in a home? Do you believe in love?

As always, Grandfather enjoys an afternoon bask. As long as I'm within his sight, he feels content. Just watching me operate the lawnmower is enough to suit his mood. Is this really a blessing in disguise? I could only hope. In fairness, the best thing that ever happened to me since I agreed to serve as my maternal grandfather's caregiver for the rest of his life is, I was given the rare chance to think and feel like an elderly. I was able to peek into the deepest corners of his own microcosm—his frustrations, his fears, his regrets, his woes, his dreams, his aspirations, his achievements, his contentment... I was already a patient person, but, because of it, I've become more patient. My sympathy progressed into empathy. I was a writer, and now I've become a bard. I used to sing in a band; now with the birds I sing about my homeland. My father said I was born with a pen in my hand. Now I say, I will die with one in my heart.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Inspiring Each Other, One Another

Once in a while I receive e-mails from good people I don't really know, either simply to express admiration for the ideas I've been sharing through my blog site, ask for a copy of my band's songs, or ask permission to use some of my works as a reference for their own. And this flatters and humbles me at the same time.

I don't take pride in being regarded by others as a person with brilliant ideas; all I know is that I'm an eLf who just wants to make a difference.

I want to share a series of e-mail messages written me by a student of University of Sto. Tomas, in the City of Manila, Metro Manila, Luzon, Philippines. Her remarks make me realize once again that everyone has an important role to play in this interconnected world of ours.

Mon, 11 Jul 2005


I'm Kris Ian Carlos. I live in the Philippines, currently taking up Fine Arts at UST. I'm a big fan of mermaids; I'm currently making my thesis, which is a book of illustrations of mermaids.

I'm just wondering where you did get your research about your book Engkanto, the one with mermaids in it.

Please help me.

Thank you.

Thu, 14 Jul 2005


I would be very happy and grateful if I could get in touch with you. This would really be a big help for me.
I must admit, I was surprised that you replied. I wasn't really expecting it. Thank you.

I became a fan of mermaids ever since I saw the Disney version of Little Mermaid; I was 3. Lagi akong nagdo-drawing ng mermaids since bata pa 'ko. Nu'ng bandang highschool lang talaga 'ko nag-start mag-research tungkol sa mga mermaid; usually, mga galing sa ibang bansa 'yung nakikita ko.

I was planning to do a compilation of different kinds of mermaids and other water spirits around the world, and illustrate them for my thesis. My adviser suggested that I concentrate more on our local sirena. My first reaction to his suggestion was, "Uh-oh!" Mahirap kasing maghanap ng information tungkol sa sirena; laging foreign mermaids 'yung nahahanap ko. Kaya nagulat ako nang makita ko 'yung site mo! Sobrang natuwa ako noon, sobrang saya talaga.

I'm a big fan of Fantasy. Mahilig ako kay Brian Froud; basta kahit anong tungkol sa mermaids at fairies. Mahilig din ako sa goblins, brownies... Mahilig ako sa children's books. Mahilig akong magbasa. Mahilig din ako kay Tolkien... Pero ang pinakagusto ko talaga ay mermaids!

For my illustration, I'm planning to use paper clay as my medium. I'll try to send to you some of my sample works soon.

And yes, I would very much like to use your book as a reference if you would permit me.

My cell number is 0918_______; my landline is 942____.

I'm hoping to keep in touch with you soon.

Fri, 15 Jul 2005

hello po ulet,

Wow, you're also a fan of Brian Froud and The Alchemist! Nabasa ko na rin 'yan; ang galing talaga.

Napanood ko rin 'yung Dark Crystal at 'yung Labyrinth nu'ng bata pa 'ko. Ang galing talaga. Alam mo ba 'yung storyteller na segment dati sa The Muppet Show? Ang ganda rin nu'n!

I check again your site. Tumutugtog ka pala dati sa Mayric's! Astig! I've been listening to Rock music since I was a kid! I'm a big fan of NU 107! Mahilig ako mostly sa Grunge at Alternative...Nirvana, silverchair, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam...Mga ganu'ng tugtugan.

Ahm...paper clay, as in clay talaga 'to, pero binabasa para mai-mold mo. Kase 3D 'yung gagawin ko, para kakaiba naman, di ba?

Magpapadala po talaga kayo ng copy ng book n'yo? Nakakahiya naman po.

Grabe, hindi talaga ko makapaniwala.

Ang address ko po ay 31 Rosas St....

Thank you po talaga.


Mon, 18 Jul 2005


Yes, you may post them on your site.

I'd like to ask you some pieces of information about your book. I need to pass them to my professor.

the size of your book
the number of pages
type of paper you used
how much you are willing to sell your book, or the price of your book
your target market

Is your book for kids, for teens, or for a much older audience?

My professor told me that your market could be either teens or people above 18, but i want your personal opinion because you're the one who made the book

Thank you very much, salamat,salamat, salamat.


Mon, 18 Jul 2005

Here are samples of my artwork...

The clay-based figures above are original masterpieces by Kris Ian Carlos, a Fine Arts student at University of Sto. Tomas University, City of Manila, Metro Manila, Luzon, Philippines.

Monday, July 18, 2005

At Last! A Better Way to Upload Photos

eLf's adventures will be back soon, in the coming days...

The grasses are green...
So is my hair...

(Note: Photos 1 & 3 taken on July 1, 2005, Friday; Photo 2 on July 2, Saturday)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Crawling Back from a Short Hiatus like a Platypus

Writing letters to myseLf...

Blog hopping, I took fancy for this idea of fellow blogger Randy Valiente...

From Randy's blog entry entitled: "Weird Words Week":

"...Naisip ko tuloy, makikilala mo ang isang tao sa mga sulat na kanyang natatanggap. Well… susulatan ko nga ang sarili ko. Ia-address ko sa dati naming bahay sa Novaliches, tingnan ko lang kung may makaka-receive o babalik sa ‘kin. Babaliwin ko lang ‘yung kartero. Galing kay Randy Valiente, para kay Randy Valiente."

Here's what popped up in my mind:

Dear Randy,

Magandang ideya 'yan...ang sulatan ang sarili at ipadala ang mail sa sarili mo through the post office.

Ako naman, matagal ko nang naumpisahan ito...occasionally ay sinusulatan ko ang future firstborn ko (na gagawin pa lang namin ng mapapangasawa ko pagbalik ko ng Pilpinas sa 2007)...paminsan-minsan ko sa kanyang ikinukwento ang kanyang ama at ina. Isini-seal ko sa white envelope ang bawat sulat, then iniipon ko sa isang malaking brown envelope. Ibibigay ko ang lahat ng sealed letters na 'yan sa panahong marunong nang bumasa ang future firstborn namin ni Charlotte. Kapag binibisita ko yung brown envelope ay natutuwa ako, kasi marami-rami na rin pala ang letters na naisulat ko para sa aming maging panganay. Nu'ng middle of last year ko pa kasi inumpisahang gawin 'yan.

Ang sarap magk'wento sa kanya. Minsan, lalo na kapag immersed na immersed ako sa ikinuk'wento ko, feeling ko e talagang buhay na ang panaganay kong 'yan na kinakausap ko sa sulat. Ang sarap ng pakiramdam.

Ngayon, gagawin ko ang naisip mo...susulatan ko ang sarili ko. Alam mo, sa palagay ko ay magandang ideya yan. Sa tingin ko ay may psychological effect itong mangyayari. Di ba, kapag may sinusulatan tayo, e habang nagsusulat na e, nasa isip natin 'yung sinusulatan natin? So, in this case, habang nagsusulat na 'ko, e siguradong maiisip ko ang sarili ko as if he's a different person.

Tapos, pag dumating na yung letter ay babasahin ko ito nang iniisip 'yung nagpadala as if ibang tao ito...

Hahaha, kakabaliw nga kung iisipin, pero gusto ko na maranasan mismo. Ibabalita ko na lang sa 'yo kung ano pakiramdam habang binabasa ko na ang unang sulat na matatanggap ko mula sa sarili ko, through the post office, of course

Salamat sa idea, Randy. I will tell you as soon as I mail my first letter to myseLf.

I didn't want to consider this blog entry as my return from hiatus, for, as of this moment, I'm still spending time with my books...but, what else would I call this? But another blog entry. Tsk, tsk, tsk. While taking a few minutes' gander at my friends' blog sites, I thought of writing something short and spontaneous. (Isn't this the real essence of blogging anyway? Spontaneous writing of usually short ideas?) But, "talkative" and restless as my mind always is...oh well.

A dozen songs from my playlist yesterday...
1. The Postal Service - "Such Great Heights"
2. The Killers - "All These Things that I've Done"
3. The Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)"
4. Rilo Kiley - "Portions of Foxes"
5. Coldplay - "Speed of Sound"
6. Ash - "Shining Light"
7. The Tears - "Two Creatures"
8. British Sea Power - "Remember Me"
9. Suede - "My Insatiable One"
10. Death Cab for Cutie - "I Was a Kaleidoscope"
11. Dinosaur Jr. - "Feel the Pain"
12. The Church - "Tear It All Away"

Here Come The Tears: Mako Sakamoto, Bernard Butler, Will Foster, Brett Anderson, and Nathan Fisher--the new band of former Suedeheads Bernard Butler and Brett Anderson.

On books and reading...
Inspired by a sort of a philosophical discussion (about human tendencies) which, I think, I ignited in the newwave101 yahoogroups of which I was a member, I decided to reread my book Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers (2002) by Philip Stokes. Never volatile, I always stand firm by my beliefs and principles; but my mind is free-flowing as well as forever considering. I mean, I always allot room for self-modification and refinements. Well, that's the essence of Seeking Enlightenment. Besides, facts and fictions once in a while change places. Many facts of today were once fictions, in the same manner many truths of the past are now fallacies.

Did you know that Saturn is no longer the only ringed planet in the Solar System?
And, wasn't Earth used to be the center of the universe, well, at least, theoretically?

I'm near the middle part of Ann Rule's Green River, Running Red (2004), which tells of one of America's deadliest serial murderers. I used to ignore this kind of books, but my sister Lovelle's interest for such stories influenced me into adding the genre on my list. Lovelle's books introduced me to many of the most interesting characters in the annals of heinous-crime history, like Charles Manson, Albert Fish, and Fritz Haarmaan.

I continued The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1972) by Joseph Campbell, a really difficult read especially that my mind, these days, lacks enough focus, but I've finally got well into it.

Another book I've started reading is the Dover Thrift Edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance & Other Essays (1992). In it Emerson wrote, "Nothing at last is sacred but the integrity of your own mind."

I spent the past days reading Web-site articles as well: "Rock and Roll music," "Alternative Rock music," and "Heavy Metal music" (on; "Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka" (contemporary serial rapist-killers) (on, and "Evolutionary Psychology" by Steve Pinker.

.........................Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka: A couple-in-crime

The danger of reading and thinking too much...
My mind these days is really wolf-hungry for anything edible and potable. In fact, I've been reading even the billboards along the highways and other advertisements everywhere. I saw this establishment (a pawnshop)somewhere in downtown Winnipeg named Pawn Dora's Box. This reminded me of a forwarded e-mail message I received which featured a list of Philippine establishments whose names are derived from other, more popular business names. I thought, "I told you, not only in the Philippines we do find plagiarized, "unoriginal" business names like Mang Donald's Carinderia (McDonald's), Jolly Jeep (Jollibee), and Me Keni Roger's (Kenny Roger's). I think, this human folly is universal--the human tendency to copy ideas.

Every time we ask Grandfather, "Pa, what do you want to eat?," he'd usually reply, "Maski ano [Anything]." Because of this, I've been toying with the idea of putting up a Filipino restaurant which I'd be calling Maski Ano Filipino Restaurant, which will cater specially to people who are already jaded of deciding for themselves, who are too tired even to choose between simple things.

All our customers need to do as soon as they decide to eat at Maski Ano Filipino Restaurant is: To sit wherever our receptionists ask them to sit, eat whatever our chefs have prepared for the day, pay whatever amount the cashier asks them to pay, and leave the restaurant anytime the manager wants them to. How's that! Wouldn't that be cool? Leaving your most important decisions to the hands of others you don't really know even only for a while?

Unfortunately, I couldn't upload pictures using the Hello Web tool so I won't be able to show all of you my new hair color. Green! Hahaha! Yeah, I finally found a hair salon here in Winnipeg which sells fancy hair dyes. I would have bought the purple one; but since the purple dye I bought in B.C. didn't color well, I settled for green, which satisified me. This is washable anyway, after about five instances of shampooing. There are other colors available: pink, blue, and red. Hmm, next time. Go on, aLfie, bastardize your hair all you want. Why not, I'm still jobless anyway.

A dozen of my all-time favorite animals...
1. platypus
2. tapir
3. pangolin
4. dugong
5. alpaca
6. emu
7. sea anemone
8. walrus
9. sea dragon
10. tarsier
11. praying mantis
12. human

..................................................................................................................A baby platypus is called puggle.

The first ever book I received in my entire life was an animal encyclopedia. My father gave it to me when I was about five. Since then, I developed a fascination for animals and their peculiarities. Growing up, I realized that humans are better curiosities--far more interesting, peculiar, and unpredictable.

Such Great Heights

Welcoming the platypus from its short hiatus is the music video of "Such Great Heights" by the American band The Postal Service.

The Postal Service began as a collaborative project of Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (of Dntel and Figurine) with Chris Walla (also of Death Cab for Cutie). The success of their first full-length album, Give Up, prompted the collaborators to legitimize the outfit alongside their respective, equally successful bands.

.................The Postal Service: Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello

Fans of New Wave / Synthpop music will certainly feel the same great heights I felt in listening to the music of The Postal Service, which reminds me of my classic favorites Pet Shops Boys, The Lightning Seeds, and I Start Counting. (Compare "Such Great Heights" with I Start Counting's "Letters to a Friend" and "You and I.")

"Such Great Heights"
by The Postal Service
(Give Up, 2003)

I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles
In our eyes are mirror images and when
We kiss they're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate that God himself
Did make us into corresponding shapes like
Puzzle pieces from the clay

And true, it may seem like a stretch, but
Its thoughts like this that catch my troubled
Head when you're away when I am missing you to death

When you are out there on the road for
Several weeks of shows and when you scan
The radio, I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now," but we'll stay

I tried my best to leave this
All on your machine
But the persistent beat it sounded thin upon listening

And that frankly will not fly
You will hear the shrillest highs and lowest lows
With the windows down when this is guiding you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now," but we'll stay

Listening to "We Will Become Silhouettes," another song from The Postal Service, inspired me to write the short poems below.

I pledge to you, my Demure,
A promise as grand as Rome.
As soon as I return home,
We'll become one silhouette.
In the meantime, however,
We remain for each other
Courageous, strong, and pure.


Inaalay ko sa 'yo
Ang pangako kong ito—
Sa aking pagbabalik,
Tayo'y pag-iisahin.
Habang antay natin 'yan,
Puso ko'y laging sabik,
Tapat sa 'ting mithiin.

By listening to music and reading a book every day, I remain in touch with the bard in me.

Facts Yesterday, Fiction Today

My being a bibliophilist and compulsive reader is a significant factor in keeping myself updated as regards various subjects, as well as in giving my paradigms and perspective a regular check and scan and necessary change or shift.

What's your accomplishment this week?
Were you able to do what you planned to do?
Did you miss breakfast again?
Who is your favorite mathematician?
Did you know that Albert Einstein loved music, had started playing the violin at an early age with the influence of his mother? that Thomas Alva Edison's fascination for classical music was the reason he invented the phonograph?
Who was the second man to set foot (I mean, shoes) on Earth's moon? Neil Armstrong? Of course not.
What is the world's smallest living primate? Don't ever answer "the tarsier," for it no longer is!

Knowledge is certainly diverse and unstable,
as truths and fallacies are relative, for they're continually changing.

What's the capital of Mali?
Where was Pablo Neruda born?
Who wrote the Younger Edda?
How old was John Lennon at the time of his death?
On what day of the week did Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone begin? How about The Hobbit?
What do the "e" and "e" in e.e. cummings stand for? What about the J and K in Rowling's name or the J.R.R. in Tolkien's?
Did you ever believe Johnny Midnight's "toning water"?
Are you a fan of Madam Auring, Rene Mariano, Brother Eli, Mike Velarde, feng shui, Nostradamus, or Shakespeare?

Correct now, wrong tomorrow;
right today, wrong yesterday;

many science fictions of yesterday had become facts of today,
in the manner countless facts of the past had transformed into amazing or amusing trivia of the day.

What was once believed to be humans born of monkeys ("pinaglihi sa unggoy"), because of excessive growth of hair on their bodies, have long been diagnosed as, simply, humans afflicted with hypertrichosis.

Hypertrichosis is a genetic condition that results in the growth of hair in excess of the normal, especially on body areas where hair does not usually grow thick, like the face, torso, and limbs.

Did you know that Superman died and then lived again?
Is your age a decade ago the same as that on your last birthday?
That the pterodactyl and the plesiosaurus were not dinosaurs?
Luke Skywalker is no longer single?
Chewbacca already dead?
eLf has finally returned?


we need always to be flexible yet not yielding,
tolerant but not easily persuaded,
accepting and considerate but never gullible.

Have you really read Gulliver's Travels?
Did you know the reason the Lilliputians were divided into two camps?
Did you know that Lemuel Gulliver had traveled to lands other than Liliput, Blefuscu, and Brobdingnag?
Do you know the name of the girl who took care of Gulliver while he was in Brobdingnag?
What's the surname of Alice of Wonderland?
How many legs does a centipede have? What about a butterfly in its larval stage? Is a caterpillar an insect? Is a whale shark a whale? a starfish a fish? a donkey a horse? Sun a star?
Are you a vegetarian? a vegan? a fructarian? a pescotarian? a utilitarian? a Presbyterian? a Rastafarian?

Whereas dinosaurs were the land-dwelling reptiles that inhabited Earth sixty million years ago, pterosaurs were those that dwelled the air and ichthyosaurs the waters.

Someone I know said, "Any religion that prohibits the eating of something is stupid." I said, "As far as I'm concerned, I've long lost my faith in organized or institutionalized religions."

The meeting of many musical minds and the views of various visionaries are indeed a lavish banquet for souls seeking new truths and horizons.

My mind may be free-flowing, but it's never volatile.

Time to review your own facts and fictions.

I'm continually reviewing mine.

I crawl back into my nest now like an ostrich, to dig my head once again into the pages of Literature.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Goodbye, Indefinitely...

My friend Connie (Tuazon), who also lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, lent me these books several days ago. Perhaps it is a sign that I need to rest for a while the writer in me and unleash for the meantime the reader... Posted by Hello

THIS! is it. Lest I become more and more redundant and obviously lackluster with my current writings, I now decide to take an indefinite hiatus.

No other reason I could cite but the boredom, the incurable homesickness, and the feeling of uselessness.

I'm missing my focus. I'm losing my sense of purpose.

I feel like a great talent whom has been put to waste and rot for the past twenty-three months. Okay, let's make it look positive...I'm a great talent being preserved and aged. But, my situation is again taking its toll on me. Even the finest wines have their expiry dates. By the time I get to free myself from this bondage and finally to work, I feel I'd be as dumb and clueless as a novice. I really feel like a prisoner waiting for his time to be released. I mean, have you ever wondered why many prisoners, who had been waiting all their lives in their cells for their release, had in the end chosen to remain incarcerated after all? I feel exactly the same way. I am like a prisoner who is altogether excited and scared to be freed.

I'm excited finally to be freed from my duties to my grandfather, but I'm also scared finally to be released into the real world of Canada. Because, I know the three years of my having been stripped of my right to work and decide on my own will certainly have a retarding effect on my personality.

This August, I'll be celebrating my second anniversary here in Canada, my second anniversary away from home, my second anniversary of being jobless, penniless, and useless to myself. And this means, I would then be eligible to apply for my permanent resident status; however, the possible approval of which after about another year will not mean I will be finally free...for no one will replace me as my grandfather's keeper. And this leaves me with only two choices--abandon the old man and go free OR stay put until his death.

And, knowing me, which do you think I will choose?

For now, no amount of pity nor encouragement nor even condolences can comfort my ever restless heart and uncertain mind.

So, I now take an indefinite leave from the cyberworld.

Like a hermit, I will once again retreat into my own the silent and non-interactive company of my books. I wish to be like a monk for the meantime, forever thinking and observing but never interacting nor responding.

I am hoping that in the silence of my self, my nest and my books I find a new source of hope, vigor, and inspiration.

But for now, I'm a firefly which has exhausted all its luciferin, thus losing the luminescence of its ass.

Goodbye for now.

I rest my fingers.

See me when the Light becomes bright again.

My deep gratitude to everyone who kept on fluttering by my site. Keep on cross-pollinating the eLf ideas of my mind.

This is your friend eLf, signing off...indefinitely...