Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The first Black President of the United States. He has changed the whole electoral voting history of this country. He will reside in a home built by slaves. Among 44 presidents, 12 of whom owned slaves. Obama epitomizes true unity, it is in his blood being both white and black. His christian faith and respect to his Muslim brothers unites not only Americans perhaps the whole world. In his speech as he was proclaimed president-elect, though subtle and somber, it was strong and well defined. He addressed his ideals not only to his constituents but to all whom he shall lead. It has only began. The journey will be hard and tedious but giving up will never be an option. The pages of his book is wide open and hope falters no more. Barack Obama will definitely reshape this country as we all follow this man who will move us forward.
He is humble. He seeks not only prayers, support and strength for his being but for us all. To help him, as he gives his heart, his will and his life to his people. This is truly the day as one new yorker did say. The day when we see this man walk the steps his forefathers had paved so many years ago, never believing that someone of their color will reside in this house. Indeed. . .free at last!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Resilience is the word. Since 9/11, where I work, down in Chinatown by the East River it is the way of life. RESILIENCE is the key. To live and go through the day with uppity feeling, less denying of truth and staggering push from our inner being to keep on going as the going gets rough. We are still building a sturdier foundation from that day in September seven years ago and now the crash of the stock market happened. The impact is huge and such magnitude are reeling the suits in a world of crazy oblivion. Out comes anti-depressant medications, shrinks are cancelling appointments with an influx of patients; shrinks are no longer accepting new patients with an overwhelming influx of people unwilling to change a luxurious lifestyle in place of going back to the basics. As for me and of those who are like me, no biggie; I am used to living the simple life.
There is an advantage being austere. My friend Jeng(from California) who just had a wonderful baby last September 30 named Nathaniel Luis shared her thoughts about this economic hardship that is now globally expanding in exponential form. " Aren't we lucky we grew up in a way of life that is probably hard and simple. This economy is making so many people nuts but for us who is just living the basics, it does not hurt that much." She was right, until dinner last Friday night, the 10th of October.
I was having mung beans with malunggay leaves sauteed with garlic and onion and coconut cream was also added. It was a dish shared to me by my neighbor and gal pal Judy. The next day, I decided to cook some squid, the way that is done back home; "adobong pusit". I sauteed some garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes, added a can of crushed pineapple, let it simmer for awhile then added the pieces of squid or calamare. Salt and pepper will finish the dish with exquisite taste that reminds me of home, miles and miles away from home. Then I glanced upon two poblano peppers that were just dunked within the mung bean dish from last night's dinner. I figured the peppers still look great. Firm and still tangy and peppery in odor. If it still smells good maybe it would still taste great. What do you know? I scooped those peppers out, washed it a little on cold running water and tossed it in within my bubbling ready to serve squid dish.
It dawned on me...man; these are really trying times.
Am I embarrassed? Definitely not. I was reflective enough to realize so many things. Now, I am more cautious with how I spend and what I am spending it for. I am more aware of what I should be throwing out and what I must keep. When it comes to food I only have to buy what I need for just a week. I never hoard but I have a tendency to buy things I would probably use after twelve months. I have been a "recessionista" way before there was a recession but sometimes I do backslide.
Those poblanos are movable, perhaps, we can shift to a more simple and meaningful life that is not identified with 401K's and aggressive money market funds.
Friday, July 04, 2008
often times we go through life sharing so many songs and tunes along but there will always be the one song that can define how we feel
this song reminds me of how i truly love and respect
my children jennika jessika jino jayne and jiego
and i have them always in my heart every second of my life
" I WILL " by the Beatles
just makes my reminiscing a million times sweeter
various gel ink pens on paper
Colors for Beatrice
frolic surrounding transparent bubbles of green
and pink splashes of sun kissed trellis
of chants and cheer
curtains of whirls and swirls of chocolate
strawberry sweet smelling mallows by the fire
with breaths of flowers
soft covered streets in yellow drawn lines
you hold her hand gently pressed with peace
wrapped around your heart
with a quiet laughter
amplified with the purple wind
she is His gift for us that still remains
she is the universe’s blessing for us
in dim footing
embrace for all time pureness of her gaze
her smile in red stamped frailty
engraved for all moment
she watches over us
orange clouds above blue tides
and as we sleep she holds us by
pureness of heart her angelic smile
till we see forever in her eyes
( This poem is with all heart dedicated to Alan, Len, Josh,Janine,Abel and Margaret Anne in honor of their daughter and sibling Maria Beatrice Robles Filio who was born on January 13, 2004 and died on June 7, 2008. She was four years old and had congenital myasthenic syndrome with no known cure as of this writing. The art piece is also in honor of Bea and her wonderful four years with her family and every single person that she has touched including mine. )
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Jessica Hutchinson Minutaglio. She is passionate about so many things. The arts, music, photography, traveling, the environment, sustainable living, eating healthy, cooking healthy, tasting different foods, running, trying out new things...yoga?
She is ten years younger than me but she is a woman way ahead of her time. We have been friends since 2002 as co workers on the lower east side of Manhattan. There are a million and one things about Jesse that I would really want to share. She is funny, kind-hearted, great with kids, a keeper and teller of wonderful stories, she has the most outrageous ideas that really works, she loves reading and writing, she can paint, draw, sketch, do cut outs, she is a good shopper too. She loves the wild, and loves to garden, she also made me appreciate museums, flowers, plants and films. I thought we would be physically close for a long time but in the summer of 2007, she had to move to Minnesota (Jess would always say, change is good). Of course; it breaks my heart but these things that we decide on are things that make us grow, keep us stronger and broadens our horizon. I miss Jesse so much but I am also very happy for her. In just 8 months she has accomplished so many things. The traveling with Benjamin all over Canada, settling in Minneapolis and buying a house are definitely milestones. After so many months I get to see you again Jess and I am so glad that we are friends. You have given me so much in life and I will always be grateful. You are truly the best. I hope to see you soon and we will cook pancit and lumpia in your new kitchen. LOVE YAH.
Thank you so much for taking us to Blue Hill farms, the Union Church in Pocantico Hills, the drive to Usonia with all those houses architecturally designed after Frank Lloyd Wright's tenets ( and one home he designed himself), taking us to see your parent's home and meeting Matty and mom Sue Anne in Armonk and the talk we had which is not enough,still; thank you thank you thank you.
"...A merging of two people is an impossibility,
and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in,
a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties
of their fullest freedom and development
But once the realization is accepted that even between
the closest people infinite distances exist,
a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them,
if they succeed in loving the expanse between them,
which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other
as a whole and before an immense sky."
by: Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Stephen Mitchell
sheared sheeps enjoying their gourmet organic sweet diet of grass and a watchful graceful and alert sheep dog.
We are standing at the front entrance of a quaint church in Pocantico Hills New York. It is non denominational and could probably house around fifty guests on their pews. What makes this Union Church exceptional? Her stained glass windows. The very first stained glass window that was installed is a masterful piece done by Matisse. He designed it as commissioned by the Rockefellers in honor of Abby Rockefeller on Mother's Day in 1956.Two days after Matisse designed the glass rose, he died of a heart attack in France. This could probably be his last work to date.
The South huge windows and all the side windows were all done my another modern master; Marc Chagall. All of these windows which depicts biblical events and prophets were made in Reims, France. The stained glass windows were just simply breath-taking. Thanks Jesse for sharing this rare gem of the Hudson. XOXO
Saturday, April 26, 2008
A true adrenaline rush. A panacea for the ailing soul. It's Scorsese, it's in New York City and man it is the Rolling Stones!!! Hard knock rock and roll. That Jagger in his 60's gyrating his teeny abs and tight ass. The acoustics and banging of drums and electric guitar from Watts, Richards and Wood. The scandalous words and eclectic tunes. Sexy Aguilera, blues and grass baron Buddy Guy and mesmerized fan himself; vocalist and guitarist Jack White added more hype to the already magnified sweat profused arena of stones music. I was hooked from the start. Yeaaahhhhh there will never be satisfaction. MORE of the STONES please.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
NATHANIEL AYERS AND HIS LOVE FOR THE ONLY THING HE KNOWS...HIS MUSIC
Life; as Shakespeare in his sonnets praise...
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Love is not love
Which alters when alteration finds
best foretells the life of two very different beings, whose lives suddenly had intertwined.
I was driving back home from work and as always, I listen to NPR(national public radio:www.npr.org) at 3 in the afternoon for Terry Gross' show " Fresh Air" and today I thought was rather mundane, with Terry not doing the show and another book to be discussed, reviewed and overviewed. I was wrong. Steve Lopez, a journalist of the L.A. times, who now writes mostly from Skid Row had the most amazing story I have ever heard this month. ( I hear mind-boggling stories often, anecdotes of ordinary heroes and ordinary miracles)But, this one episode is an exception for now. It was by accident that Mr. Lopez passed by a homeless guy, in his 50's playing music on his violin, tattered, old; two string violin. That was the ultimate clincher. As Steve described his amusement, the music from a two string violin is not as bad as 4 string violins must be and should be. Yes, it was rustic, probably there were off shoot notes but you hear it and its melody purely encrypted in what we may say in lay man's term, within the heart of a musical genius. The friendship began. Lopez the headstrong, tough paper writer and the black compassionate crooner of a Master Composer ( he plays his violin on one part of the street as he told Lopez, that he plays for the statue on the other side of the road which happens to be that of Beethoven)that is, Ayers. The story between these two surpass any precipice of boredom. Their constant meeting gets more interesting by the second as I traverse the bottle necked FDR Drive. My favorite parts were; when Ayers had to play at the Disney Hall designed by Frank Gehry and Lopez described it like a metal schooner on sail ( i so agree, the architect is a fluid virtuoso of concrete and steel), when Ayers called Itzhak Perlman a molten lava on strings and when the life of Ayers was being shot in film ( Jamie Foxx plays Ayers and Robert Downey Jr. as Steve Lopez)in Disney Hall; as Lopez picked up Ayers from the street to watch the highlight of the film being shot, with all these big stars in, Ayers chose to stay outside of Disney Hall and play his cello for he was just in this music that is in his head and he could not stop. Lopez crossed the street, talked to director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) and became an audience to the soloist...which happens to be the title of this movie.
The Soloist is also Lopez's biography which profoundly details his life and that of Ayers as nature had her purpose of crossing their paths in perfect time. Ayers was once a student of the prestigious Juilliard School but had to leave on his 3rd year due to schizophrenia and thus spiraled into a life of doubt, mental apathy and turmoil, even depression to that of being homeless. In a way, Ayers almost drained the now big brother Lopez that he almost gave up on him. Thank God that Lopez did not.
The love of Lopez to his craft met a crossroad,tempted in choosing an easy path of venturing to another career. Ayers made him stay, it was Lopez's healing. Ayers helped him reflect on his inner purpose and greater calling. Writing was, is and will be Steve's maniacal vow with all its subtlety. As for Ayers, Steve professed that despite what we can all see as unstable and probably inherent aggravation related to his illness, Ayers' notes, his violin and cello street performances are the only things that keep him still and unchanged. Ayers' music stays and everyone will have a chance to listen to what his strings are saying. Be it only two.
Please visit this site to hear Ayers music on the street:
April 22nd is always Earth Day! In fact we must celebrate it every single day. The Lorax has been gone too long UNLESS, we all would do our collective effort and will; to make this world the most beautiful place to live in. It comes with less pollution, less footprint, less harm to species great and small, and probably the most crucial thing of all...zero emission from fossil fuels.