baratillo @ cubao :

Writing to Myself

Posted in Opinion by juned on the November 20th, 2009

Or the Perils and Pleasures of being a Private Diarist:

A diary is practical thing. A Confessor. A friend who listens and does not betray you unknowingly. It is something you write to yourself and for yourself.

A friend of mine years ago left her diary for a while on the school bench. Unfortunately, two of our friends took an interest and began to read the first set of pages. My friend saw it from afar and gave the two boys a thrashing they would never forget.

Truth be there are diaries that are made for others to see and then there are are private diaries. Those that are only for the Diarist’s eyes alone. In time it may fall into the hands of someone or it may not.

Marcus Aurelius called diary: Writing to Myself. Anne Frank had her published. And the Scottish Poet William Soutar had his published after his death - and the book was called the Diary of a Dying Man.

There are several ways of writing a private journal and diary. Secure a notebook - a simple notebook or one of those fancy notebooks like moleskin or milquerius - then write. Or you can set up a blog and type away.

To ensure that it remains private: After setting up the blog: Go to settings and make it readable only by you the blogger.

A diary is an assassin’s cloak which we wear when we stab a comrade in the back with a pen – Willian Soutar, 1934

Still there are pleasures and perils in writing a private diary. You write with reckless abandon. With little or no repercussions. The peril may be in that one writes without forethought. We tend to be more unforgiving and fast in judgment. It is a commentary of a snapshot - And like all things it may change.

And maybe in this we see another use for the private journal or diary its a place to look back at to read and see your thoughts were from a distance in time. And see how foolish or wise you were.

Musicals and Politics: Evita & Che

Posted in Opinion by juned on the September 25th, 2009

It is amazing how art can be a chronicler and commentator of life and history. Take for example the musical - Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice ( who also created Jesus Christ Superstar). It is entertainment, culture and arts … but it is also a commentary on life, politics and history.

It does it with words, song and dance.

And it so reminds one of what has happened, what is happening and possibly what is happening. Evita is set in Argentina and it tells the tale of Evita Duarte who will rise to power and fame as the political partner and wife of General Juan Peron - the President of Argentina. It is also includes the character of Che Guevara icon of the Cuban Marxist Revolution and an Argentinian. He probably never met the Perons - but his persona was used to act as narrator and counter foil to the Perons.

A New Argentina - This is the final scene in the first part of the Musical. Che is plated by Many Patinkin and Evita is played by Patti Lupone.

In the musical Che eventually leaves Argentina out. And in true musical fashion: Che’s momentary exeunt or exit is done with panache. The breaking of with Evita is done during a waltz - a dance. If you think of it - a dance is a perfect symbol between two opposing forces - in this instance Che the idealist and Evita the Pragmatist.

Waltz scene - depicted in the film adaptation of the musical: Antonio Banderas plays Che and Madonna is Evita.

This so reminds one of the struggle between the idealists/romantics and the pragmatists/Realpolitik. And it exist everywhere. The eternal struggle between the romantics and practitioners of realpolitik.

Waltz for Eva and Che: Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin.

It exists everywhere and even on-line: in blogs, micro blogs and even exchanges using instant messaging.

A debate: A waltz between two opposing views.

Just look at the exchanges of Marocharim, Arpee, Arbet and Sparks in the Web. It is interesting to watch. And like any good debate there is something of value that can be gotten whether it is a fresh insight or a realization.

In the case of Evita and Che. One of the forms of realization it comes to is the refrain:

There is evil, ever around
Fundamental system of government
Quite incidental - Waltz for Eva and Che, Evita - Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice

As both continue their Waltz …


Posted in Opinion by juned on the September 22nd, 2009

It was the first time I have gone to mass in years. And this reminds me of the time Mount Pinatubo erupted. As the ash fall descended the number of people in the churches increased. It has been interesting times. Work, problems and failures seem to pile up like ash fall on the roof - threatening to bring everything down.


A church is designed like a ship with the altar at the stern. A ship in the sea of humanity. It is a book full of stories and persons all around you in the form of symbols, statues and glass windows.

I like going to Christ the King along E. Rodriguez. It is one of those churches that has not fallen into the trap of beautifying its altar or its inside, It is perfect as it is. The stained glass windows that depict the resurrected Christ with four archangels. The three or four kngs or Magi. The personification of each new testament , The banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden and the Flood all in one Stained Glass Window behind the altar.

The mass itself lends itself to meditation. Contemplating on the words and using prayers to lead oneself into a trance is more than anything else. Occassionally, the mood is destroyed when the priest begins his sermon injecting humor and also politics into the mix., Fortunately, this time it was not so and the sermon empowered with powerpoint was actually excellent.

I like churches in the old days these were places of sanctuary. A ship to seek shelter in against the fiery sea of problems and conflicts.

Being in a church: In this particular church I guess its the same thing when sitting under the bayan tree or viewing a zen garden. A retreat: Sanctuary.

It is said that meditation and prayer can do wonders but eventually you have to leave and do what you have to do.