(lg2a) to rise again

Posted in culture, events, food, health, history, letsgopinas goes to america, locales, nature with tags , , , on March 30, 2013 by mijodo

ysla cover mike dario
It has been a while since I truly last posted here. I am in a middle of work that just exhausts me during weekdays and I just want to finish a book that I have started about two and a half years ago, right after migrating to the United States.

Now the book YSLA is complete. And I would like to think it is worth all the time. My intention has been to start a series of books that should encapsulate familiar words and themes to most young Filipinos living abroad most of their lives and who may have little idea about their heritage.

And hopefully YSLA does that through the eyes of three teens, Amiel, Mayumi and Ian who are marooned in an island full of surprises and terror, and eventually finding out the island’s history and their own culture and values. The Manananggal, the Tiyanak and the new set of colonizers move the story forward for these youngsters, pitifully stuck in another time and place.

Please get a copy of the ebook YSLA if you are outside the Philippines from Amazon.com, itunes and Barnes and Noble. And if you are within Philippines, get it from Flipreads.com.

Follow me at this Facebook account – https://www.facebook.com/mikedarios.ysla?ref=tn_tnmn

After this book YSLA, who knows I may rise again back here in this blog or even at another book for the series.

Happy Easter everyone!

(lg2a) swifter, higher, stronger, whistler

Posted in Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 by mijodo

(lg2a) most-est

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2012 by mijodo

2011 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2012 by mijodo

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 51,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

wedding

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, food, interior design, lifestyle, locales, people, religion on January 20, 2012 by mijodo

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Ah weddings and their many traditions to a lasting and happy marriage!

In the US, the wedding tradition starts with the bride-to-be looking for her wedding gown in bridal stores where the salesperson attending to her can show and deliver what the bride to be has always envisioned for herself during that special day. In doing so, the bride wears the probable gowns for fitting and showcasing them to her accompanying mother, sisters, girlfriends, and sometimes her groom for the right bridal dress design. After consultation, the chosen gown is to be worn again on the very day of the wedding.

In Philippine weddings, the bride to be can still look for a dress or have his fantabulous gown designed to her liking, but it is a definite no-no to fit the gown itself or lest the wedding is doomed not to go through at all. Hence the designers would only allow the bride to fit the lining such that no mishap can happen just before the wedding.  And all what the groom can do is to wait for his bride at the altar in quiet anticipation.

And this was what Rigor did while Jenny slowly glided toward him at the long red carpet, and beautiful flower blossoms at the side at the long red carpet – just wait and gushed over how beautiful Jenny was in her beaded gown accentuated with the up-do hairstyle and fresh looking make-up, exclusively for that matrimonial date.

pre-wedding

Posted in artifacts, culture, events, fashion, lifestyle, people, religion, tradition with tags , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by mijodo

Ah love and its many rituals leading to a perfect wedding!

At present, I am not quite sure if a man formally proposing to his girlfriend to become his wife is already part of the Filipino contemporary traditions before marriage.  I know it is big in the USA. The man gets on his knee, and puts on that 2 carat rock on the lady’s finger, and she flashes the ring to everyone who may just witness such expression of love that should end up in matrimony some months later.

But what I do know that Filipino custom of Pamamanhikan is that official declaration to the parents on both sides that an of age man and his girlfriend have settled on a date for church matrimony. Usually the parents of the man would come to the girl’s house to formally ask her parents for her proverbial hand. And if the girl’s parents consent to such proposal, a hearty dinner meal is feasted on to show unity, harmony, and accordance in the blending of basically two families through the coming marriage of two distinct people.

I am not quite sure how the pamamanhikan of Jennifer Casiano and Rigor Soliven had gone, but when I took some pre-nuptial pictures of them, they  intimated the hassles and costs of all the wants and needs for the coming big, successful wedding ceremony at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City on December 28, 2011.

In that one December morning, just before the wedding, Jenny and Rigor had to squeeze in their very hectic schedule, the pre-nup photography which probably a decade ago never existed to be part of the numerous steps leading to that church ceremony. For a photographer like me, I am just honored to be doing it for a couple who wants it. But really how important is it to have a set of pictures for a couple, just before getting into a kasal?

The preparation for a wedding can be a big headache for a couple since it entails so much details and possible snags. And of course, where does a couple who only wants to enjoy their actual day of wedding go to?

The phenomenon of a wedding planner has reached not only Metro Manila, but perhaps even in the provinces where wedding preparation used to be a family, or even a community effort – particularly when roasting the pig or bigger yet, a calf.

After finding the right wedding planner, then the  groom and the bride-to- be choos the motif/style/theme for the coming wedding that she dreams of since perhaps she was a child. It can be sleek and chic or it can be grand and fabulous for every guest to remember. The wedding planner gives all the options and suggestions for the couple to decide on, constrained possibly by only the budget.

Will the wedding be in a cathedral or on the beachfront? Will the choir music envelop the whole church? Will flowers abound as the wife marches to the altar? Will the reception be inside a ballroom of a hotel? Will the food be served ala carte or buffet style? Will there be a five-tiered cake or will cupcakes create that whimsy wedding for the couple?

With a hundred or so needs until the wedding and reception are over, the role of the wedding planner has been important for the busy couple who just wants their wedding to be memorable and enjoyable, not only for the guests, but most importantly to the couple themselves.

And I just wish that Jenny and Rigor just had the same fun and excitement planning their wedding, with or without the wedding planner.

 

(lg2a) smallville, new york

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, events, history, letsgopinas goes to america, locales, nature, people, tradition with tags , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by mijodo

“Have you been to a place, far away from it all…?” – from the song Lost Horizon of the movie musicale with the same title.

This is how I felt all throughout when I stayed at that upstate locale, Jeffersonville in the state of New York for almost two months for a job stint.

There is a sense of isolation, a sense of being alone, specially so that there is not much of a distraction from any of the popular fastfood area, or  from any of the large shopping malls and groceries within this small village.

For those missing the citylife, it is almost cruel irony, that the borough of Manhattan, the world’s financial district, and densely populated by famous skyscrapers and megastructures is merely about 3 1/2 hours away.  However for the unfortunate ones who don’t own cars, it will take several hundred bucks for a one way taxi-ride, and that is - if there is one willing to take you there.  For a direct bus ride from the area, you have to thank the Jeffersonville Bank (the lone bank in the entire area) to sponsor one bus that should take 60 people for a bustrip to the city. And this momentous excursion happens every three months – once for every season at a reduced price of 30 dollars – two way.

However if you are not into the grime and fast paced city living, then surely you will take in all what you can from leisurely life of Jeffersonville.  From a good vantage point, there is the stretch of mountains and hills all over to envelop your visual sense.  Then trek down the scenic waterways  and probably, have a canoe ride at Delaware River.  Admire the architectural Americana of houses and inns that will transport your imagination to Jefferson’s storied past, settled in by mostly Eastern Europeans.  Saunter and buy something for yourself in several of the eclectic mix of antique shops, themed restaurants and one mini-grocery in what the community calls “Downtown.”

Overall, this is a sleepy town, no doubt. This is where you cocoon yourself to take that hobby of potterymaking, photography, or probably, in my case, blog writing to further level. This is where you consume sleep and rest without distraction from any of the urban excesses such as traffic, pollution, noise and even excessive workload.

But it is not everyday snoozetown at Jeff (nickname for the place).  Every so often, the relaxed routine at Jeffersonville is punctuated by activities that should excite its dwellers, and should invite tourists and guests to partake in.

During the summer month of August, at nearby Bethel Woods Center of the Arts, there is a number of rock and pop bands dishing out their musical wares to celebrate the Woodstock phenomenon in year 1969.  Today, people flock to this museum cum open air auditorium  overlooking the original farmland where the now iconic, three day rock festival happened, and enjoy the spirit of the legendary musicians and bands that participated before – Joan Baez, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and a lot more.

And during one weekend in October, frenzied photographers take pictures and create photoessays about the lives of people inside Jeffersonville.  Eddie Adams, a native of this place and Pulitzer Prize winner for an iconic Vietnam news photograph, created a seminar of sorts for those interested in documenting life in still pictures some years ago. A hundred students still attend this important annual lecture-workshop series that is graced by professionals from National Geographic, New York Times, Sports Illustrated in furthering their eye for photojournalism.

Surely there is no Filipino community in this area, unlike perhaps Manhattan or even Queens. But in the very heart of Jeffersonville, there is a motley crew of Filipinos working and caring for many of its ageing and psychologically challenged residents.  The owners and workers of Jeffersonville Senior Living have accommodated their guests with the unique Filipino way of giving utmost kindness and servitude. Jeffersonville may be remote and out of the way, but to its denizens and the Filipinos staying for the meantime, just like the Burt Bacharach song suggests, it is  “Lost Horizon.”

Lost Horizon

Have you ever dreamed of a place Far away from it all
Where the air you breathe is soft and clean And children play in fields of green
And the sound of guns Doesn’t pound in your ears  (anymore)
Have you ever dreamed of a place
Far away from it all
Where the winter winds will never blow
And living things have room to grow And the sound of guns Doesn’t pound in your ears anymore.
Many miles from yesterday before you reach tomorrow
Where the time is always just today
There’s a lost horizon, waiting to be found.
There’s a lost   horizon Where the sound of guns
Doesn’t pound in your ears anymore.
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