Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Live Like You Were Dying

I wasn't really much of a Tim McGraw fan nor very appreciative of country music. But I do like country from time to time especially songs by Collin Raye (In this Life, Love Me) and some Garth Brooks. But never Tim Mcgraw... Well, until I hear this song of his titled "Live Like you were Dying". Man, the lyrics and the melody, the rythym and the tune are really amazing. It's chilling-- to say the least-- if you will just really listen to the song, especially if like me, you had a brush with death once in your life. Below are the lyrics of the song.

And if you want to listen to the song, go HERE.

Song: Live Like You Were Dying
Artist: Tim McGraw
Album: Live Like You Were Dying

He said:
I was in my early forties
with a lot of life before me
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
and I spent most of the next days
looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options
and talking bout sweet time
I asked him when it sank in
that this might really be the real end
how's it hit you when you get that kinda news
man what'd you do

and he said:
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.

He said I was finally the husband
that most the time I wasn't
and I became a friend a friend would like to have
and all the sudden going fishin
wasn't such an imposition
and I went three times that year I lost my dad
well I finally read the good book
and I took a good long hard look
at what I'd do if I could do it all again

and then
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.

Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about
what'd you do with it what did you do with it
what did I do with it
what would I do with it'

Sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
and then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I watched an eagle as it was flying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The kid's Day out

Nowadays we seldom go out since dayjob and my "other" job is keeping me glued to the drawing board. This picture is taken from one of the rare outings we did. Took some snapshots while waiting for the train to come.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Art Roots Part 1

My parents lived in a not- so known city in northern Mindanao called Gingoog (pronounced hee-ngo-og). It's better described to Filipinos as the city in between the more known Cagayan de Oro City and Butuan city. I grew up on this area. Learnt so many things in life, And it was i this place where my love for comics was first hatched.

I guess I'd have to thank my public school teacher mother for my earliest influences. She was the one who introduced me to komiks( the filipino term for the local comics). Mama has been buying and reading komiks as far as i can remember. Back then Komiks was the most popular form of entertainment since only the few well- off family can afford television back then(mostly black & white cabinet type) and the other form of entertainment was only the radio.

My father wa very strict with schedules. I guess I got that trait from him. But back then it used to piss the hell out of me because we cannot play outside when the hand of the clock hits six. And I could not stand listening to the horror segments in the radio so i ended up copying things from the stockload of komiks that my mother had. I guess this was even before I started school since I can remember drawing things for my classmates at first grade.

These copying has evolved into a hobby. Whenever I have no homework (well okay, even I had one) I always take a stack of the komiks and just randomly copy the drawings there that I like. And i basically learnt reading too thru this medium. And i like reading it since it was accompanied with nice figures and colourful drawings especially the fantasy- themed stories.

By age 9 I was already making my own komiks, with my own stories using cheap bond papers and ordinary ball-point pen to draw. I fold the papers in half and staple it at the centre before drawing on it. These were later sold or given as gifts to friends and classmates. By this time also I already had "idols", artists that drew the best stories and illustrations that I like best. I always tried swiping them out, copying the exact figures that would fit to my own stories (well my stories were mostly based on these characters too). It was in this age too (1983) that I first had my first encounter with an american comicbook. It was with a classmates who's relatives live in the the US. I cannot forget the first book. It was Fantastic Four by Lee & Kirby. I remembered being so amazed by its style that was so different from the homegrown artists that I idolized at that time. I mean, it doesn't made Redondo or Florese inferior, it's just that it's so fresh to my eyes that I ended up borrowing the book and read it in my home over and over again. This led me to exposure to the great universe of Marvel and DC.

Upon reaching fifth grade I already began to buy, trade, and rent my favourite komiks. Religiously waiting for the next issue (in this case, weekly). The income I had for this will eventually be used to buy the more expensive maerican comics which were only available in big bookstores.I remembered buying titles like Wolverine(Bloodlust) and Captain America and was very influenced by it. The way that in the local komiks, Vic Catan's Jippen: Anti-ninja and Rudy Florese's Exkirmuz became my art bible for a long time.

but the single series that made an impact to me was 1986's Man of Steel by Byrne and Giordano. I busted my Piggy bank to buy the first three issue.

end of part 1

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Delirium (1993)

Shouting men I don't know...
Shotgun blues we do...
Your silent laugh echos...
So loud it's painful.

My eyes were rolling
On opposite direction
Sometimes it even rolled back
Until I see my brain...

The smoke clouded my mind
I cant think straight
I can hear my heavy breath
As my sweat made me wet.

My head is spinning
And I know I make no sense
Just writing these words
I don't even know how to end...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Origins of Santa Claus

The Santa Claus figure as we knew today received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name Saint Nicholas).

Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the American colonies in the 17th century.

As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as "St. A Claus," but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback each Eve of Saint Nicholas.

This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore's phrase "lays his finger aside of his nose" was drawn directly from Irving's 1809 description.)

The print above is Thomas Nast's earliest published picture of Santa Claus. As known to many, Nast is generally credited with creating our popular image of Santa. This illustration appeared in the January 3, 1863 edition of Harper's Weekly, and shows Santa Claus visiting a Civil War Camp. In the background, a sign can be seen that reads "Welcome Santa Claus." The illustration shows Santa handing out gifts to Children and Soldiers. One soldier receives a new pair of socks, which would no doubt be one of the most wonderful things a soldier of the time could receive. Santa is pictured sitting on his sleigh, which is being pulled by reindeer. Santa is pictured with a long white beard, a furry hat, collar and belt. We can see that many of our modern perceptions of Santa Claus are demonstrated in the 140 year old print. This print is less popular though than the one he did after the war which also appeared in Harper's Weekly on January 1, 1881(below).

Monday, November 21, 2005

PILLARS lettered

Just received the lettered pages from the editor this morning. Letters done by John Lowe. It looked great. Especially if it went on to be greyscaled. I guess the target of hitting it to the streets by February will push through. And it's going to be a massive 250 pager, as what I've heard.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Judgment Day

A sculpture by Mannerism sculptor TACCA

"Judgment Day"

Help me, my brother
I'm standing in Judas' lair
These million eyes are like quicksand
My feet is drawn to hell

Send me your Pegasus
So I can see the bright of day
Free me from Herod's stare
For I can't stand this pain eternal

Fly me to the clouds of heaven
On Hermes' wings I shall ride
Have compassion and absolution
Escape death and destruction

Now I see the sun's talons
Standing with in my foreground
He cast in me all my sins
It's too heavy it buried me

The lights of hope eclipsed
I was chained in titan's horns
The vanguard cerebrus is watching in the dark
As Charon carries me to his chariot of black.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Papa

"You will never know how it feels to be a father until you become one". I used to brush up this saying since I don't believe it. I used to think that being a father is just a matter of responsibility. In a way, yes, since it is natural for people to look after their young. But I never thought of anything deeper than that until I became a father myself. And from then on I was never the same with regards to my beliefs.

I don't know what it is but it seems that I became a better person since Fergus came. I tend to be more sensitive to other people's feelings, I loved deeper and become more expressive to what I felt, more blessing came (not really much on the financial side but it's better than counting sheep), and the way I look at the world will never be the same. Maybe it's the invisible bond that connects you with your child. If you're a father you will understand what I'm trying to say. When you see your child for the first time you just have thess wild dreams and aspirations for your kid bombarded within your mind at the same time. It's a different kind of feeling. A feeling I've never experienced before. A high that felt way much better than sex or drugs. It's the feeling of fatherhood. An emotion that made you feel like you can do anything for the little child you're holding. And for the first time, I understand how my father feels towards me.

My father is a very simple man. Hailing from a not very known town in southern Philippines, He never had a chance of finishing his studies because responsibility towards family has knocked his doors at a very early stage in his life. Having parents who cannot afford to send him to higher school, and being the only male in the family, he had to find a way to make a living. This is by acting as an assistant to a passenger jeep collector while other kids his age are still playing. He climbed his way to being a collector, then to being a driver and eventually saved enough to buy his own passenger jeeps that later on multiplied to several units.

Raising eight children was never an easy task. And it's only when I'm older that I realized how much hardwork my father did just to bring food to the table and to send us to school. Having to wake up very early at dawn and sleep late at night. Hardwork that has finally caught up with his body now that he's a lot older than he used to. Yet being the hardworking guy that he is, he never failed to give time for his children. Like being a playmate and being a friend. Sure he has a hard way of dealing with us when we made mistakes. But we learnt from all of that. We learned to be responsible with our own actions. His principles are harder than rock and his word of honor are his treasure, which made him very dear to his friends and the people that knew him well.

He used to tell us over and over again that he loves us so much that he doesn't want us to experience the hard things that he had to go by, and that we have to study well to have better lives. He was always there. Laughing with us in moments of happiness and consoled us in times of weakness and defeat...

Today is my father's birthday. And once again I want to tell him how I appreciate all the love and all the hard work he has to endure just for us to be where we are now… And to tell him I'm sorry for not telling how much I love him all through these years. Whatever simple affluence I enjoy now I owe to him.

I do not want to follow in his footsteps, I just want to be in his shoes. I'd be lucky if I can be half a great father that he is. But I hope that maturity and wisdom that fatherhood earns will bring about this repose I so dearly long for. I can already identify some of him in me: my mannerisms, nuances, behaviour, and thoughts reflect his care; yet I can not shake the feeling that what he has, what he is, is purely unique than what I am or whatever I become. His approval is all I need for happiness, for he is my character role model, my life teacher, my conscience, my dear friend, my hero... My father.

And I know, being a father now I have an obligation, much more than the financial responsibility of showing my son, just as my father have shown me wholeheartedly-- that his happiness is my bliss, and that his loss is mine too.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Forthe love of the Game... that got cancelled

Basketball. Of all the sports we know, this is the one that associates more with Filipinos. Every corner in every place, wether its in the city or in the rural areas, in the high end subdivisions and exclusive villages to the slums, you can find a basketball court. There's something in this game that make our spirits soar. Something that we did not found in Football even with its "Go for Gold" campaign in the 80's, or in other individual game sports like tennis or Badminton. Maybe it's because of the affordability of playing the sports that Filipinos rooted to it, or maybe it's just the sheer adrenaline playing or watching it. Whatever it is, We are mad about it. We are the first on Asia who stablished a professional league. We have several basketball associations in the country comprised with teams of their own, and we religiously watch the games on TV if ever we don't have that great chance of watching our favourite team live in the flesh either in cuneta Astrodome or in Araneta's big dome, or in the Universities and colleges where UAAP and NCAA leagues are fought.

Back in the Philippines, I was one of the millions who constantly watch my team's every game. Being a hardliner Ginebra fan, I joyed with their triumphs and cried whenever they're slughtered in the hardcourt.
I also followed them in the international scene especially during Tim Cone's Centennial Team era. And even now, when i'm already living overseas, i still watch reruns of plays thru TFC and continually looking for news and results of the games back home. And boy did I waited anxiously for the SEA games. It will be played in the Philippines and i knew that basketball will be the Philippines' main showcase. Well, that until the news came:

Under the statutes and rules of the SEAG Federation, the host country’s National Sports Association (NSA) is the only entity mandated to organize and stage the sport it represents in the SEA Games. At the moment, the NSA for basketball as recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) by virtue of a vote from its General Assembly is the Philippine Basketball Federation (PBF).

Unfortunately, the PBF is not recognized by the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) as its country affiliate. FIBA recognizes the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) instead. Because of this conflict, FIBA has suspended the Philippines from participating in any of its sanctioned competitions, including the SEA Games. Bacause of this, there will be no basketball competition this coming sea games in Manila.

It's just ironic that the sports that filipinos are madly in love with and with the greatest chance to have gold (like before) won't be played in our own turf. It's just like a kid celebrationg a big birthday part without a party cake. I personally think it's not fair. Not to me. Heck i'm in Singapore anyway and can't see any of those live. It's not fair to the millions of filipinos living in the Philippines who are always on their hometeam's back. The games would certainly be a good venue to channel personal frustrations about the still growing povert rate, upscaling prices of goods and gasoline and the virtually unending military rift in my homeland in the south.

I'm just sad. Maybe these are all technicalities and the officials involved are just exercising the best for the games, but you cannot really tell that to the commonman who feels he has been robbed.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Learning To Draw

I noticed how my 2- year old son tried to emulate what i'm doing these past months. Especially how he like scratching (well, that's how i coined how he sketched now, hehe). When we went to Carrefour he saw this table and chair set that he liked so much we had to buy the thing to bring him out of the store. It proved to be a good buy since the kid seem to be enjoying his "personal space" now. Here are pictures of him doing his own drawing versions. He used to soil my bristols using his pencils and crayons but now i knew better and bought him his own a3 drawing pads.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Feudal Magic

I used to draw a lot of samurai stories(of which I wrote too-- in impromptu manner) in my younger days living in the Philippines. I was so fascinated with Feudal Japan back then, The ideas of Ninjutsu and Bushido were very appealing it was almost magical for me. I even shell some hard- earned allowance money to buy books that features shoguns, daimyos and ronins, used as basis for my stories and drawings. Sadly, all these drawings were either given to friends of bartered for anything with my classmates back then. And some surviving ones I still have to dig in the pile of boxes in my old room(in my parents' house in the Phils). So I think of rekindling that by drawing a new one. This one is just a study using "F" and finished with "2b" pencils, and still needs a lot of improvement i think before I can ink it. By the way, back then I was so influenced by the late Vic Catan, the Filipino artist whose drawings on ninjas and samurais are considered not less than a masterpiece.