Can a city’s success be measured by the number of times Michael Bay decides to blow it up onscreen? Whether by alien invasions or zombie attacks, Hollywood has proven that audiences can better sympathize with skylines that they can recognize.
So what does this say about Metro Manila? Enter Jagnus Design Studio, the team behind “that building on Ortigas,” aka Ronac Art Center. Given the volume of nameless poured concrete structures along Ortigas, Ronac’s unofficial christening as “that building” should be an honor in itself, both to the city and for the team that built it.
I’ve already spent an unhealthy amount of time on the plane staring at this picture and trying to steer the internal monologue away from just how fucked-up it is, whether or not you had to take it from a postcolonial or ethnic studies perspective.
This actress is just a kid, so this is not an attack on the talents scouted for this, uh, project. But judging from what this show could be about (Ugh, it’s so hard to figure out what this show is about, you guys), even those behind the concept and production of this waste of nationally broadcast primetime fare could be just as juvenile, not to mention contemptuous, in their underestimation of what local audiences are capable of comprehending. Continue reading “Luna Blanca: Or, Are We Being Trolled by GMA?”→
I have never lived outside of a city, so I find it particularly unsettling when my ears are only met by non-urban white noise. I can’t hear a bird chirping without expecting that sound to get cut by a car horn or a neighbor’s doorbell. I have never had to walk more than a couple of blocks to access public transport.
But the life I’ve led to this day, in Manila, greatly resembles the settled and stable cliches that come with rural residence. I’ve always had my own room in a house I didn’t have to pay any rent for, but always felt the burden of earning my keep in by living under someone else’s rules. The rules in this case are simple: keep each other company. Anyone growing up in or who grew up in a Filipino household would be familiar with the seemingly innocuous traditions that accompany Filipino family ties. When my dad first moved out, his phone calls would be punctuated with the usual questions, like “Have you had lunch?” even if it was already close to dinner time. Or “Where’s your sister?” or “Where are you going?” Continue reading “There’s nothing wrong with going outside late at night to seek the source of a gaseous honking noise.”→
I’ve been on a Frank O’Hara trip for the past few months, peaking at the point where I get back to New York for the first time since hearing O’Hara read “Song (Is it Dirty?)”. And yes, I will have the 8 dollar salad and pay 12 bucks to see that band, because there is value in accepting that life is expensive or everything comes at a price. Walking in heels, looking like someone who can afford to walk in heels or who can stash her things in a designer handbag, drugs, experience, experiences we have for the sake of documentation: all these things come at a price. But time, you alone get to choose how to spend that. And it’s great to spend it in places where the person making your lunch looks like he’s having the time of his life. (Side note: the guy who made my salad is singing along to whatever’s playing on the radio and dancing while cleaning the counter.) Let me babble here for a moment because even if these thoughts are half-baked, they are still thoughts I’m having.
There are behaviors and habits that aren’t easily transplanted to new cities and new places. I went into someone’s yard because there was a fat cat in it, and I didn’t realize that there was an ornery old woman sitting on her stoop, looking after the cat, and she wasn’t too happy about me being in her yard. I never stay in hotels because I can’t afford to. Travel is a luxury in itself, but it means squatting at friend’s apartments and sharing their beds, or sleeping on couches and sliding off air mattresses. But I’ll have the 8 dollar salad anyway because there have to be days or nights where you actually sit down to eat instead of stopping at a cart and getting something wrapped in foil to nip at on your way to the next thing you’re here for. Yesterday was the Upper East Side to Greenpoint, then back uptown/midtown then Lower East. Continue reading “You do not always know what I am feeling.”→