I love books. And I use the word "love" here in a "stronger than desire" manner. My mother taught me how to read when I was barely four years old. My childhood was filled with memories of virtual trips to Book Land. I would browse through my father's different types of encyclopedia, magazines, and illustrated classics.
I started reading everything I could, it became almost an OCD. From romance novels to best selling thrillers, from non-fiction to fiction, i love books - any subject, any author. My collection grew to a point that my mother and husband pointed out that it was becoming a fire hazard (our neighborhood then averaged one major fire accident every summer, thank heavens our house was always spared).
Some of my favorite contemporary authors: Umberto Eco, Anne Sexton, Irvine Welsh, William Burroughs, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alex Garland, John Fowles, E.L. Doctorow, Jun Cruz Reyes, Edgardo Reyes, James Michener, Pablo Neruda, Vladimir Nabokov...(the list is long)
Some of my favorite books: One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Death of Artemio Cruz, The Book of Daniel, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Tuesdays with Morrie, Trainspotting, Lolita, Naked Lunch, Shogun, Laro sa Baga, The Name of the Rose, Generation X, Brand You...(it's hard to choose!).

A movie starring Lito Lapid was the first movie theater experience I had. It was in this run-down local movie house that later became a Born-Again Christian place of worship when I last visited the town.
Nowadays, I reserve watching movies in theaters for two reasons: if it is cinematically challenging (i.e. great special effects) or if it is for free (thank you UP Film Center, Cinema Europa and Karlo de Guzman). We usually watch movies at home. Saves time and money.
My great frustration is not finding the movies I would like to watch at the local Video City, ACA or neighborhood video rental shop. Some titles not locally available: Trainspotting, Kids, Crash, Velvet Goldmine, Pillow Book. Hard to find titles include old Filipino films (I would like to watch all Lino Brocka and Mike de Leon films), films by Akira Kurosawa, early films by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez and those golden age Hollywood films starring Humprey Boggart.
New favorites: The Red Violin, Dogma (other films by Kevin Smith like Chasing Amy, Mallrats), Pulp Fiction, The Beach (although it pales in comparison to the book), El Mariachi, As Good as It Gets, Austin Powers, The Matrix, South Park (the movie is very disturbing), Trainspotting, Sa Pusod ng Dagat (reminds me of Nunal sa Tubig, but the comparison is far and beyond), Natural Born Killers, L.A. Confidential, The Locusts, any movies by John Woo (nice shots)...


Brass bands were the in-thing when I was a child. Although I studied playing the piano from age 5 to 16, I never did become a real musician. My husband tells me point-blank that I'm tone-deaf.
I went through what others may call "baduy" phases: Madonna in the 80s, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and even Menudo. I am not ashamed of those phases, it still is music. Then I discovered classical music and the opera. I would play the cassette recorder aloud every morning to compete with the neighbor (they were playing Brass Band and ballroom music) until one day, my good neighbor threw a stone on our roof. But classical music (specially Beethoven and Chopin) still remains part of my life.
Then I became "frozen" in the 80s. After punk and new wave, I simply became time-trapped. Nowadays, I am rediscovering Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Doors, Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Eagles, all those folk musicians such as Cat Stevens and Don McLean, Anne Murray,Janis Joplin, Asin, Juan dela Cruz Band and others.
I like listening to Cake, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Dream Theater, Enya, The Foot Tappers (playing The Shadows), Wolfgang, The Jerks, and soundtracks of movies I like. Quentin Tarantino's movies are interesting for their soundtrack. I mean, the guy actually picks out which songs he likes and then he builds scenes and stories from them. That is really something creative.more>>

Art is everywhere. Only that Western concepts of art has limitted it to something of a spectator sport. Unlike indigenous concepts which incorporates art into everyday life (the coming of seasons, harvesting, cooking, other so-called "mundane" activities), the Western concept of art is centered on the artist and the art as his "property".
But I would not deny that one day I would like to travel with my family to see all those great artworks by Western masters: imagine spending days venturing at the Louvre, exploring Venice and all those palazzios, visiting the Van Gough museum, strolling through the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other places featuring works of past and present artists.
Although I think aesthetics as a very important part of art, the main question still remains: for whom and for what ends does it serve? Although artists may deny it (the great art for art's sake statement), I believe that without audience, it does not contribute to the advancement of society. On the other hand, mere "revolutionary" content is not enough. There must be a marriage of form and content. Even Mao Tse Tung reiterated that on the Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature.
Art here in the Philippines is mainly elitist. I have alot of struggling artist friends with great talents who do not "make it big" simply because they lack the exposure and they do not belong to the mainstream cliques.
I believe that there is art everywhere. Everyone can be an artist. more>>

Science was my first love, even before creative writing. My parents had these grand dreams about me becoming a great physicist. They even tried to get me in in one of those big universities in California, but the bottomline was we could not afford it. That expectation rose because I won this nationwide science quiz bee when I was a kid . My father is a chemical engineer and he encouraged me subtely by buying me all those usual science encyclopedia and by subscribing me to Discover magazine. But in the end, we all accepted that I would not become a Noble Prize Awardee or the first Filipino to go to outer space. I am simply their daughter. Case close.
But they tried. Up to the point of tolerating my weird obssession with animal behavior (we had a lot of animals at home - cats, dogs, turtles, doves and chicken, fish). My mother drew the line when I declared that I wanted to collect insects and reptiles.
My husband and I maintain an openness to developments in technology. Some gadgets that are part of my wish list: cutting edge digital cam (too expensive), a really hi-tech server type computer (for my data warehouse and for his ever-growing electronic files and applications), that robotic dog I saw in a magazine, a top-of-the-line laptop (think the latest Toshiba with wide screen, 128++memory and a lot of hard disk space). I know, these may sound simple for techies but for me, it will be enough. At least for now.

At an early age, all of us daughters were trained with the family business. My father runs this small plating and semi-processing factory which fortunately managed to survive through all those economic crises (Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, and now Estrada). Most of those years were really hard as we relied heavily on imported materials. But we got by. And an extra hand, even a small hand of a child, was not just welcomed. It was expected.
So I got the hang of doing simple jobs at first, like counting and recording the number of products. Later on, I graduated to more complex tasks like keeping track of inventory, filling up delivery receipts and billing statements, then computing payroll.
In college, I augmented my paltry allowance by doing odd jobs for people - like writing papers, organizing fund raising events such as concerts and even flea-market style sales.
From my former job, I learned a lot about the ins and outs of business in a professional and international scale. By observing how my former mentors "made" it through their efforts, I realized that the important thing is that you should like what you do and you should know your strenghts and limitations.
Dreams and aspirations are free. So just dream on, but keep yourself firmly rooted on the ground. Hard work pays off. And all good things come to those who wait (while doing something about it). ^^ back to top ^^




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