November's Child

Hyung Koo Kang's portrait of Marilyn Monroe, on display at the Singapore Art Museum

As mentioned in the previous blogpost, November was a pretty has been a great month. Yep, it did start with a bus holdap incident (please, Universe, let that be the last), which coincided with another affair that necessitated an eating binge to recover from (an Army Navy burger + blueberry pancakes from the Pancake House in one sitting, please, plus a cup of coffee shortly after), but then all these other things happened, too:

1. That Singapore trip which had the best timing (two days after the terrible day) and was just perfect in terms of what a good trip is:
  • Four exhibits, which rocked in different ways: Salvador Dali, Hyung Koo Kang, the traveling Musee d' Orsay collection, and Amanda Heng. The last two were my favorites, the Musee d' Orsay being that once-in-a-lifetime chance to see canonized masterpieces in the flesh (while I don't have that budget for Europe yet), and Amanda Heng's because it so intelligently answers the questions that I have for/ about Singapore. 
  • The National, live and then getting to write about it on Pulse.
  • A pleasant hostel stay at 5footwayinn + meeting kind strangers and fellow travelers 
  • Two very different hosts, who each took time out to show me different parts of Singapore, letting me get a peek at the touristy and the more local side of the country. 
  • Food was great, walang tapon.
The gift that was this trip really allowed me to snap out of things I needed snapping out of. And the lessons must not be forgotten

2. A short fiction writing workshop.

3. As mentioned, a Pulse assignment on that National concert. View it here.

4. Catching a few good local gigs: an REM retrospective on Route 196 ("Murmurs and Fables") with Boxcar 8, a band specially-assembled for the night, the Strangeness and Your Imaginary Friends, a Barbie Almalbis show on newly-renovated 70s Bistro (it was also the first time I went to a gig alone), and a Techy Romantics pre-launch party/ video shoot at Republiq (which had a setup that's worlds away from the usual rock n' roll gig)

5. Conversations, conversations about abalas, synchronicity, bubbles, local art and the artworld, literature, tourism, womanity, and other what-have-yous with radikalchick.

6. A visit to the Met to see Picasso's Suite Vollard and also to visit former co-workers. Yes, that museum still feels like home and I continue to be in love with its space.

7. A surprise birthday salubong party thrown by the bestest friends in the universe who stuck with their plan, my leaking suspicions notwithstanding.  

8. Great co-workers who also threw good surprises - my pretty Cocoon girls and the spunky Training team (people kept surprising me, I wonder why.)

9. The discovery of hair serum (so there's a solution to frizz, after all).

What to look forward to in December? Nothing as concrete as the ones above (specifically items 1 and 2), but it's December and I'm in the Philippines! For sure, it's a month to be gaining weight and meeting up with friends. Oh, and my bestfriend/sister is also coming home after almost four years of being away. I plan not to leave her side til she flies back to Las Vegas in January.

Techy Romantics will also launch their second album on Dec. 9. Turtle and I plan to put our gig-dancing shoes on and be at Saguijo for that. Techy Romantics is a fun, fun band- perhaps there is space for romantics in this sometimes technologically-alienating world.

Art-wise (naks, art), I want to see the Chabet exhibit at the Lopez Museum and the Nothing to Declare exhibit at Yuchengco. I'm also intrigued by this play that's being staged by DUP with Jose Estrella as director.

Plans and possibilities are such wonderful words. 

Moon River

In honor of Mark Twain's birthday and because November has been so good to me, it feels fitting to end the month with this song. :)


Pretty Singapore

Well-manicured lawns, strategic urban planning, efficient public transport, it's a taste of the First World right here in Southeast Asia.


Sans fear

Dear Singapore Stranger,

Thank you for that piece of happenstance and the wonderful conversations down Orchard Road.

That local ice cream parlor in Paris, I will wonder about it for some time. Your description of the Taj Mahal has only heightened my desire to go to India and Nepal. Maybe one day I'll set foot in those countries. Whether or not I get to say hi to you, my thoughts will flit over to your anecdotes and descriptions, and maybe I could linger in them for a bit as I come up with my own.

You're shelved under "happy random memory" now. You had me believing that, yes, contrary to how reality looked when I left, all is not lost. Decent and interesting human beings still walk the Earth, and some of them even go with kind eyes.

Be well on your way.




Namibia | In a scene stolen from a dream, a house succumbs to sand in Kolmanskop, once a thriving settlement for diamond miners. Winds have helped desert dunes reclaim the site, abandoned for more than 50 years. Photo by Marsel Van Oosten. ©2011 National Geographic (via mymodernmet & twentythree)

Dune-beds, seats, floor. What fun a girl-playing-woman can have. 

11.11.11, numerically

In lieu of 11.11.11, a day made of sticks:

Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you. 


How to be Alone

Survive being on your own by sitting on the sand and looking up to search for stars. Stop to appreciate unexpected fireworks. That's for you, a little piece of magic to bask in for yourself. Stare unabashedly at groups of people - lovers holding hands, friends in circles, ladies dancing in clubs. Don't rush through the crowd, be a proud spectator. Watch a poi show and appreciate the bravado it took for those poi dancers playing with flames, dancing to different beats, like Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" followed by Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," literally playing with fire. Don't be such a freeloader, donate some loose change when those dancers pass the hat. Ignore strangers who comment on things other than talent. Approach the performers and get answers to questions you have about their dance routine.

Don't be afraid. Don't be scared. You're going to live through it and you're going to come up more courageous and faithful. 

*Written about five-and-a-half months ago when I found myself in Boracay, which seemed like the worst place to be alone