Saturday, September 21, 2013

the long, open road

buko juice vendor with flag sando at morato

Yes, a long way to go. I think our country would soar if it would concentrate only on our flag's basic color meanings: white for equality and fraternity, blue for peace, truth, and justice, and red for patriotism and valor.

The sun, the stars, and their meanings are but unnecessary burdens carried by the people, if you ask me. Alas, they are burdens we are forced to carry. Government and geographical boundaries are important, even if they seem to be the root of all current conflicts.

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*Buko vendor with a sunless and starless Philippine flag basketball shirt, plying the roads of Tomas Morato on a gloomy, rainy day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Openness

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Yes, the road to acceptance is still fraught with obstacles. When I consider my friends, relatives, and loved ones who are transgender, bi, lesbian, or gay, I am proud of them and cherish their being part of my life. However, when they encounter bigotry and homophobia, I grit my teeth in anger. For when homophobes insult my friends and loved ones, they are insulting me, as well.

I remain hopeful, though, that the tide is changing. And that history will not look kindly upon homophobes and their narrow-minded, hateful attitudes and behaviors.

Jo
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Friday, August 23, 2013

a long way to go

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True, Gay beauty pageants have been the grassroots venue of acceptance for our queens. Little by little, acceptance is coming. But a long way still we must go. Until two helmets can kiss each other in public and not be looked down upon, we must continue the struggle for acceptance.

jordan
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*two helmets kissing while the owners return, looking displeased at the scene they find.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Queens

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You mentioned chess in your last post, but it's a game that I never learned to play properly. I can barely remember what the Rook, Pawn, Knight, Bishop, King, or Queen are allowed to do.

Speaking of Queens, here are some who made this recent neighborhood fiesta in Manila all the more dazzling and brighter. From what I've seen, gay and transgender beauty pageants are as much a part of life here as most other traditions. And if that's a sign of acceptance and pride for LGBT Filipinos, then I'm all for it.

Jo
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Friday, July 26, 2013

said woman, take it slow...

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It’s been ages since you last posted, with a deluge of images at that.

I have resigned myself to the idea that this dialogue of ours was no longer to continue. I say this without drama, only with facts that calm me knowing that, this may have ended, but something continues outside of it.

Yet you replied, made your move, in a chess game where the set pieces waited, gathered dust, cobwebs and all.

I make my move, and like the chess pieces, wait patiently.

jordan
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*old chess set with medieval pieces.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Patience

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"Do not measure in terms of time: one year or ten years means nothing. For the artist there is no counting or tallying up; just ripening like the tree that does not force its sap and endures the storms of spring without fearing that summer will not come. But it will come. It comes, however, only to the patient ones who stand there as if all eternity lay before them—vast, still, untroubled. I learn this every day of my life, I learn it from hardships I am grateful for: patience is all."

- Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet

Thanks for your patience, dear. And sorry for the delay in replying to your post. As we weather storms and other challenges, there's still so much to be grateful for and to learn from. Even in these small glimpses of the everyday.

Jo
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*Photos taken in Quezon City 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

(t)oinks

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sorry dear, but I got distracted by this tasteful symmetry, roasting just about right. you were saying?

jordan
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*double headed lechong baboy being roasted along the pluto avenue sidewalk.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Burning bright

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A rising tiger, they say? Sounds like hot air to me. I wonder how that translates for the ordinary man on the street like this vendor who survives by selling cheap balloons -- fishes, horses, cartoon characters, and tigers, as well. Dare one frame the "fearful symmetry" here, I wonder.

Jo
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Friday, March 15, 2013

by the by

tiger balloon at telephone booth, session road, baguio

Speaking of growth, I've read somewhere that our country is Asia's new rising tiger.

I remember the days when he was just your regular tiger, floating around, trying to get by, still using a payphone in this day and age of mobile phones.

Have you heard from him? He hasn't been returning calls ever since the news came out. He might now be hobnobbing with the rich and famous for all I know.

Jordan
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*Tiger balloon at a pay phone along Session Road, Baguio

Monday, March 11, 2013

Growth

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Growing, learning, adapting, and embracing.

Here's a bit of the "romantic-realist" (as you call it) view while walking around UP campus.

Jo
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Monday, February 25, 2013

let love grow

Yes, let us leave the romanticism to the youth.

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And may they grow to be romantic-realists like us.

angeles city holyweek crowd

And on a side note, you also have yet to give me flowers during Valentine's.

jordan
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*young and old couples amongst the crowd at Angeles City during last year's Holy Week.

Friday, February 22, 2013

More than words

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So what if you didn't give me flowers or a gift on Valentine's Day? It's just a day, like any other, except for the ubiquitous commercialism and social pressure that surrounds it. You and I have learned, as we get older, that the real practice of love is not limited to some holiday or mere display. In any case, you joined me at the One Billion Rising event, part of a worldwide campaign to end violence against women and children. That was more than enough for me.

Indeed, as I walked the nearby streets that night, I could see that much in our culture and society reflects various levels of inequality and violence. The more necessary it is then for events like this to inspire and engage many women, men, and children to stand up against brutality, against subjugation, and struggle for a better future.

Jo
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

for words

buddha and valentines couple

So how did our Valentine's day go, considering our state of communication? Have we arrived at that stage where we look at Valentine's with zen-like wisdom that Buddha would approve?

Did we handle it well, acknowledging its existence, but not being overwhelmed by the commercialism surrounding it?

Or are you gonna come out clean that you wish I had given you flowers?

Jordan
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*Buddha over a couple cutout at Tomas Morato last Valentine's Day/Thursday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Scrabble

Scrabble tournament in Cubao mall Scrabble tournament in Cubao mall

Whatever the future brings, surely the love for words, languages, and face-to-face interactions will continue.

Just like the other day, when we stumbled upon a Scrabble competition at an ordinary Cubao mall and watched Filipinos compete in something other than boxing, pageants, music shows, and the like. How gratifying it was to witness the young and old face each other, displaying their knowledge of words, skill at strategy, and ability to think quickly. Here were players sitting across tables, not just engaging the other through a screen. So despite the growth of digital media, there's still hope that games and gatherings like these will not become obsolete.

Jo
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Monday, January 21, 2013

near/far (wherever you are)

tree branch silhouettes touching

All talk about communication in our age would always come to the part of reminiscing what it was years ago. Phone lines that took years to acquire, long distance calls that cost an arm and a leg, letters that are handwritten, stamps that need to be licked at the back, electric signals of various progressions, men in horses riding like the wind. Smoke with varying colors and shapes.

What will the future bring? What new means of "getting in touch" will there be that would make texting, skyping and twitter nostalgia fodder? Telepathy perhaps? Teleportation? Clones meant to fill in for you whenever you are away, their memories downloadable afterwards for you to be there after the fact?

How will it compare to two trees trying to keep in touch through their branches even though they are far apart?

Jordan
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*Tree branch silhouettes at UP Diliman.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Faraway, so close*

Untitled Untitled "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear"

Even though you took a long time to post a reply, I still thought about showing you some of the scenes from my travels -- disparate images that might (or might not) make sense to you when strung together. A quiet peek at what I saw and my impressions.

Now that I'm back, moving forward with our life together isn't contingent on this online dialogue. It never has been. Offline, our real dialogue continues, which includes washing my share of the dishes and trying your latest culinary experiment.

And just as the small text in the last photo reads: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."

Jo
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*Borrowing the title of a Wim Wenders flick

Friday, January 11, 2013

afar

store stall with derek ramsay movie tarp cover

I saw a magazine with that title at Booksale last week, and it struck me, being as it was our situation just a few months ago.

You know, from afar I was reminding you that it was your turn to reply here on our blog. Then weeks passed before you finally got to reply.

Then from afar, I found myself being reminded by you. Of the fact that it was my turn to reply. Weeks passed too, but I never got the chance to reply.

And then you came back. And your presence, as well as your reminder of my turn to post, were no longer from afar. With an uncomfortable distance no longer between us, I hope you'll forgive me as I relished on the former, and setting aside still the latter.

I'm glad you are back. It is so great to have someone else wash the dishes. Because of that, I can now post a reply.

Jordan
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5:30pm

*Store table wrapped with a Derek Ramsay movie tarpaulin along Mindanao Avenue.