PHOTO ESSAY: The Emotions of Good Friday

It was that familiar sound of wooden whips striking people’s backs.

It was around six o’clock in the morning when I arrived at St. Michael Parish Church in Orion, Bataan. People were already flocking the church vicinity when I recognized that nostalgic noise. Emotions suddenly came rushing in, as the church grounds transforms itself into a 21st-century Via Dolorosa.

 

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Awe.

 

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Disgust.

 

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Belief.

 

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Numbness.

 

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Skepticism.

 

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Pain.

 

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Sympathy.

 

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Suffering.

 

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Agony.

 

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Pity.

 

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Questioning.

 

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Anger (in the eyes).

 

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Standing up.

 

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Worry.

 

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Blame.

 

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Concern.

 

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Gauging.

 

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Questioning.

 

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Deciding, in the name of the Father, and the Son…

 

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Questioning.

 

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Questioning.

 

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Questioning.

 

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Final decision.

 

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“Why?”

Isang Taon mula sa iyong “Pag-uwi”

Hunyo 8, 2013 nang kayo ay umuwi.  (Mababasa ang aking artikulo ukol dito sa A Certain Definition of “Uuwi na ako”)

Isang taon na rin po ang nakalilipas.  Kumusta po kayo diyan? Alam ko pong masaya naman kayo kapiling Niya.

Miss ko na po ang pagsakay sa tricycle ninyo. Lalo na po ang palagi ninyong pagpiprisintang sunduin at ihatid ako, saan man ako galing o papunta.  Mula noong bata po ako, noong elementary pa ako, hanggang ngayon na nagtatrabaho na po ako, wala po kayong mintis sa pagpapasakay sa akin sa inyong tricycle para lamang makatiyak na ligtas akong aalis o darating sa aking paroroonan, lalo na sa mga madaling-araw na mga biyahe.  Nami-miss ko po iyon kasi wala pong ibang taong gumagawa noon, kayo lang.

Isa lang po ang masasabi ko, sigurado na po ang aking pag-uwi ngayong araw para dalawin kayo.

 

A Certain Definition of “Uuwi na ako”

“Uwi” is the Filipino term for going home. So when one says “Uuwi na ako,” he or she means “I’m going home.”

Since I went to college, I am always looking forward to going home. A text to my mom saying “Uuwi po ako” is like a combination of adrenaline rush and a sigh of relief: adrenaline from excitement to breathe fresh air again and relief from all the worries of the urban world. In short, there would be no other place in the world that could give this kind of peacefulness except for home.

But recently, I discovered another meaning for “Uuwi na ako”. It’s something still related to home.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To know what I discovered about the words, “Uuwi na ako,” kindly click here.

YEAR-END SALE AT THE UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER

Welcome to my Unclaimed Baggage Center, where you can see a catalog of baggage left permanently on my baggage counter.  And just like in any unclaimed baggage center, items here are for sale… if I hadn’t bought them yet 🙂

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BAGGAGE NAME  Nandito Ako
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION  Mini-serye
BAGGAGE TAG  02202012
STATUS  sold to me
 
 
 

with David Archuleta

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February 2012 was filled with screaming fans worldwide with the launch of  David Archuleta’s mini-serye, Nandito Ako.  I handled the promo campaigns used for the show.  Here is the AVP I produced for the show’s press conference:

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The show became a trending topic worldwide every single night of airing, for the whole five weeks of conquering primetime television.

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Nandito ako worldwide trending

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BAGGAGE NAME Pinoy Explorer Rebrand
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Adventure/ Travel Show
BAGGAGE TAG 04222012
STATUS sold to me

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On the summer of 2012, I did the launching promo campaigns for the rebranding of Pinoy Explorer, showcasing a more adventurous Aga Muhlach.  Here is the re-brand launch campaign:

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The launch was a 2-part special in the wonderful islands of Batanes.

 

BAGGAGE NAME Resignation
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Straight to the point
BAGGAGE TAG 04242011
STATUS sold to me

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With two launches at the first quarter of the year, one may think that I’m doing good at work.  But it was not that simple.  Work is not only the act of doing what you need to do at the work place.  A lot of factors and outside consequences contribute to my decision to finally hear what my heart has been telling me for the longest time already.

I believe one of the highlights of my 2012 was my resignation at my job then as a Promo Producer.  Quitting a job is not easy.  It’s like saying goodbye, for good, not just to the work load but also to friends and colleagues.  Drafting a resignation letter is a piece of cake, but gathering all the guts to submit it and finally tell the boss is a whole new baking process.  Luckily, after months and months of brain-wrecking decision-making sessions, on April 24, I was able to bid everyone goodbye.

Here is a late christmas gift I received from a friend named Nessa Gabrillo. The lanyard was on a buy-one-take-one promo on The T-shirt Factory and so she has the same lanyard and said she will wear it to work.

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Fed Up lanyard

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BAGGAGE NAME Hong Kong
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Travel
BAGGAGE TAG 05262012
STATUS sold to me

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Being my first out-of-the-country trip, this one is really memorable.  And simply because I was with the most awesome people in the universe.

Our adventures and misadventures in Hong Kong and Macau is detailed in Oh Yeah! This is First World!

 

BAGGAGE NAME Freedom
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Greatest Separation Pay Ever
BAGGAGE TAG 062012
STATUS sold to me

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“Newly unemployed, I found this kind of life refreshing. No more commuting to work…. And best of all, I could read any book I wanted, anytime I wanted. I had no idea how long this relaxed lifestyle would continue….  It would have to end sometime, but until it did I was determined to enjoy it.” – Toru Okada in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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Mt. Samat in Bataan

Mt. Samat in Bataan

Being out of a daily work, I came to appreciate the small things in my life: the silence in the province, the good air in the province, the trees that are older than me, the wonderful chirping of the birds, the magnificent cloud formations… things I was taking for granted because of hectic schedules at work.  And I’m happy enjoying these things this way. (An entry about rural life in Bataan is soon to be published here so stay tuned.)

If Toru Okada is excited to be reading anytime he wanted, I was excited to write… to finally write a script that I wanted to do several months before but just can’t find the time to do it.  And I’m thankful I was able to write my short film script.  I intended it to be a short film but the consequences are telling me that maybe the concept is one for a full-length film.  I’ll see about that 🙂

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BAGGAGE NAME Baggage Counter
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION My very own blog
BAGGAGE TAG 08312012
STATUS you definitely cannot buy this

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And speaking of writing, I started blogging on August.  And so here’s my baggage counter.  Our Mt. Batulao trip was the lucky one to be deposited here first.  You can view it here: Ang Labing-Tatlong Rurok ng Bundok Batulao.

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BAGGAGE NAME Quarter-life crisis
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Depression-inducing part of everybody’s life
BAGGAGE TAG 092012
STATUS For sale

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I believe I experienced my first wave of quarter-life crisis after my college graduation: the pressure to find a job in the soonest possible time, a job that should be related to my field of study.  This was accompanied by one of the greatest dilemmas in the world: which path to take.  Then, I decided the path to TV5.

During the time I resigned, quarter-life crisis came haunting me again.  And Diana Ross’ “do you know where you’re going to?” song became the official soundtrack of my life then.  I believe this is the downside of the freedom I got.  I was given all the time to think.  Even the things that I need not to be thinking of eventually entered my mind and I cannot stop them.

Eventually, I happened to see the good side of quarter-life crisis, it let’s you discover who you really are.

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BAGGAGE NAME Self
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION fragile
BAGGAGE TAG 2012
STATUS sold to me

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“I had simply been too busy to think about myself.” – Toru Okada in Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Maybe the good side of this too much thinking is that I was able to seek the deepest portions of my conscious mind.  Even my subconscious gave me hints on who I really am.  In one of the rakets that I managed to get, I did research on some psychological stuff that ended up triggering my suppressed memories out.

I had reasons for suppressing them, reasons that eventually turned to questions that I address to God.  But may I say that these were not the kind of questions that doubt His greatness but rather questions that later on turned to requests to make me understand why these particular things happened to me.

And during this second wave of quarter-life crisis was the time when God granted my requests.

Caloy’s story would gave you a hint on what I’m talking about here. View it at: Caloy, the Infamous Master of an Infamous Art.

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BAGGAGE NAME Rakets
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION Making a living
BAGGAGE TAG 092012
STATUS sold to me

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I would want to thank all the people who entrusted their projects to me.

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BAGGAGE NAME Android phone
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION one of the latest gadgets today
BAGGAGE TAG 112012
STATUS sold to me

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Like I was always saying, I really have difficulty dealing with technology, technobobo ika nga.  But recently my Nokia 6680 phone, yes my NOKIA 6680 phone finally wanted to retire from its almost 8 years of service. So I finally need to buy a new one.

At first I was hesitant to buy techie phones because a phone that can text, call and alarm is all I need.

But I was happy to buy an android phone.  Because of it, I can write even when I’m on the bus on a trip to the province.

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BAGGAGE NAME Rurouni Kenshin
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION fan-girling to the nth level
BAGGAGE TAG 12082012
STATUS sold to me

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Ruruoni Kenshin live action movie was really one of the greatest anime adaptation ever.  My deepest fan-girling thoughts were best described in Memory is a Knife, or rather a Katana.  And thanks to Kaoru Kamiya, Emi Takei and Kathryn Bernardo, my blog is gaining more and more views. So keep it up! 🙂

 

BAGGAGE NAME My 24th
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION a heavenly celebration
BAGGAGE TAG 12142012
STATUS sold to me

On my 24th, I had a Parade, Fireworks and a Royal Banquet.  And it had been really really great!

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And that was my 2012: emotional, nostalgic, victorious, tragic, depressing, enlightening.  But overall I’m thankful for this year.  Realizations came up this 2012, realizations that may not have come if things went differently.  So on 2013, it’s time to deal with life with a completely different perspective, an entirely positive one.  And I would want to ask God to accompany me in doing so.

And if you have observed, I have that habit of keeping every baggage.  Only a few items were on sale and ready for disposal.  This is also one of the reasons why I put up this baggage counter.  So in 2013, I want to change that habit and start learning to let go of things.

How about you? How’s your 2012 and how do you plan to deal with 2013?  May everybody have a glorious new year.  And I want to thank all my readers.  May you continue to enjoy my baggage counter 🙂

CALOY, THE INFAMOUS MASTER OF AN INFAMOUS ART

The sun was up.  The sand was warm.  The water was excited to hit the shore.

A hammock was swaying in between two coconut trees.  It carried in it five children, laughing loudly as the cool breeze hit their faces.  Another four were standing near the tree, shouting to have their turn on the hammock.  And Caloy was one of them.

The screaming and begging of the kids were halted when Auntie Beth called for lunch.  The boy next to Caloy said, “Let’s race to the picnic table!”  And off the children went, but not Caloy. Once the hammock was vacated, he saw this as an opportunity to ride in the hammock, solo.  But as soon as he sat in it, the rope connecting it to the trees snapped and he fell to the ground.  Auntie Beth saw this.  But instead of helping him stand up, she said angrily, “Is that how an honor student acts?! You know that five had already been on it and you know that the rope is not strong enough.  But still you sat on it.  Didn’t you realize that? Look what happened to you!  You are an honor student, you should have known better!  And… didn’t I tell you to come and eat?”


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To continue reading about Caloy, kindly click here.

 

IS THIS GRIEF?

Grief.  The word seems simple, not too jargonistic, not too deep.

Through the years, I develop my own definition of the word.  I know that it is always associated with death.  I also know that it makes one deeply sad. Movies and TV shows also support my definition.  But that’s the thing, I only know it.

Being in a film production industry, where working hours per day is close to twenty-four and where sleep is not a priority, I always have that “floating” feeling every after shoot.  Everything is so light; I cannot feel anything at all, my body, my emotions seem lost in the atmosphere.

It was already five in the morning of September 24 when I got home from a film shoot.  I alarmed my phone at ten o’clock because I have a meeting by one in the afternoon.  As soon as I put my phone at the bedside, I readily drifted to dream world.

The clock soon struck ten.  My phone alarmed.  Oh yes, it had been five hours but it was not enough to give weight to my floating body and emotions.  As I stopped the alarm, I saw two text messages.  The first one was telling me that my shoot the next day was packed up.  I was supposed to feel a bit happy because I can have more time to rest, but no, there is no emotion.  The next one is from a cousin of mine.  Curiosity was supposed to come out because this cousin rarely texts me.  But I just remained blank.  I read her message.  She said that my grandmother just died, after months of being in and out of the hospital.  I checked the time the message was sent.  It was fifteen past five.

I went out of bed.  I still was not feeling anything.  What’s happening?  I walked towards the bathroom.  I kept asking myself why there was no register of any emotion.  Am I that insensitive?  I undressed myself and turned the shower on.  I closed my eyes, still debating with myself, as the water started crawling.  What was happening to me? Had I just turned to stone?  Then I just heard myself sniffing.  I did not remember I have colds.  The sniffing continued.  I turned the shower off.  But water kept drifting, not from the shower, but from my eyes.

So is this what they call grief?  Is this how the word, which definition I had known for a long time, really feels like?  Is this what happens when one experiences grief?

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Mama Linda, it’s almost a month now.  We really miss you.