Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Superheroes, faster than the speeding bullet--

--or at least the cellphone alarm.

I've been taking over the superhero duties (in this case, chores) more nowadays. One factor is our housekeeper went on an indefinite leave. The other factor is the dawning of my own pathetic-ness and inactivity as a supposedly full-fledged member of this household. And throughout this time I've been learning to twist my schedule in various yoga-asanas just to get things done. I must say, these lessons I've been picking up from the most mundane of daily duties are so rich that I can't help sharing them; do forgive me.

First off, I must point out that I'm a working girl and I'm not always at home. But my job allows me to have those "work from home days," part of which I'm spending helping my mom get the house in order. The rule I made was: As long as you know you can finish what you have to write that day, the chore should be done without second thought.

Because time is very important when juggling work and, er, work, I had to borrow a trick given by the never-failing Sunnyday: time yourself with the cellphone alarm! This trick is pretty effective because it keeps me on my toes. If the tendency is to procrastinate, the alarm is usually that whip that cracks to say "get a move on!" Stressful? Not really, because eventually you realize how valuable your time is--isn't there just so many things to do all the time?

Making time is part of the ordinary day, and really, there is no excuse when one duty is left undone--it only means one needs to become better at organizing...

Oops! Time's up! More on superhero duties soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

...and it was still hot

Does my entry title sound familiar? It should if you've been devouring picture books! It's the last line in Maurice Sendak's book Where the Wild Things Are. I love this book because the way it is told is so simple and yet it seems to mean more than those simple words...not to mention the way the images help tell the story and create a mood to get the story running! (In fact, there's a whole spread that has no words in it at all, but because of that you know instantly what "wild rumpus" means.)

The book introduces the child reader to Max, a little boy dressed in a wolf suit who makes mischief (running after the dog with a fork, talking back to his mother) and is sent to bed before supper. "Wild thing" is actually what Max's mom calls him because of his behavior. Go read the book if you haven't yet--no synopsis will do it justice!

Why I'm writing now about a book that has been around since 1963 is that there'll be a movie out this year! October 16! Woot! That link goes to the official movie site, where you'll see the trailer and some pictures. The movie looks Jim Henson-y awesome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where have the princesses gone?

The word "princess" has been used by media (to describe the Hollywood lifestyle?) and marketing giants (to sell!) so often that it's hard to think of it without that tiara-wearing, luxury-overloading, scepter-wielding, pony-riding and pink-overusing parody coming to mind. While there are admirable characteristics about Disney princesses (and even Barbie movie princesses), so much attention is put into emphasizing the prettiness of it all that the better side of the word is left to fester and fall away.

It's time to look for another image of a princess. And I have just the girl! She isn't blonde--she doesn't even think of herself as good-looking--she wears too-small clothing, she has lost all the riches she once had...and yet, she still offers an ear to her friends, makes up stories for lonely and cold nights, thinks about another child's hunger over her own, and meekly submits to the ways of the world while keeping her head high. Do you know who I'm talking about?

Illustration by Odelia Leaf

I finally read Frances Hodgeson Burnett's A Little Princess. You probably know what happened in that story, as it has been retold countless times... but I'd like to give a rehash: Sara Crewe, raised in India and sent to London to study, was a girl who had just about everything a girl ever wanted. Her father Ralph was rich man who liked to lavish her with gifts...she had the most beautiful (ridiculous, as Miss Minchin would say) wardrobe and everything a princess seemed entitled to. But one day, news about Ralph Crewe's death arrived, and along with it the vanishing of all Sara's fortune.

What I admire about Sara is fortitude and character--and what willpower that child had! I can't help sharing some Sara-isms with you! These are little lessons from a princess on how to be a real princess, or at least, someone strong, admirable and compassionate. Might be good to think about when the going gets tough!

On being a princess:
"Whatever comes cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it."

On giving:
"If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--warm things, kind things, sweet things--help and comfort and laughter--and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all."

On patience and fortitude:
"When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in--that's stronger. It's a good thing not to answer your enemies."

On trials:
"Perhaps I have not really a good temper at all, but if you have everything you want and everyone is kind to you, how can you help but be good-tempered? Perhaps I'm a hideous child, and no one will ever know, just because I never have any trials."

On miracles:
"Somehow, something always happens just before things get to the very worst. It is as if Magic did it. If I could only just remember that always. The worse thing never quite comes."

Now I have someone new in my Awesome Fictional People list. ;-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I second the motion!

Ang Sarsuwela ay isang dulang may kantahan at sayawan, na mayroong isa hanggang limang kabanata, at nagpapakita ng mga sitwasyon ng Pilipino na may kinalaman sa mga kwento ng pag-ibig at kontemporaryong isyu. Ito rin ay tinatawag na zarzuela, sarsuela, dulang inawitan, dulang hinonihan, drama-lirico at operetta. (WikiFilipino)

Found this article (below) by Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio in Inquirer's Lifestyle pages yesterday. I think Lola Amel's proposal that they make the Metropolitan Theater a Zarzuela Theater and Museum is a very good idea! This way, we can bring back the theater form for today's audiences. After all, wasn't the zarzuela festival in UP last February successful?


Why not a Met Zarzuela Theater and Museum?
By Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio

MANILA, Philippines – As a follow-up to your news item on the rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Theater, I suggest that the Met be renamed the Metropolitan Zarzuela Theater and Museum. This would make the Met more unique and meaningful because it would honor a theater genre which was used by our forefathers in their struggle for independence—the only theater in the long history of dramatic art that used theater so cleverly and strategically in the fight for freedom of Asia’s first republic.

The first floor of the theater could be lined with glass cases that would exhibit manuscripts and musical sheets, books, letters, costumes, props, sets, etc. I am sure families keeping these items across the land would be only too happy to donate them (permanently or periodically) for the exhibit.


I hope my suggestion will be taken seriously so that our school children could be properly educated about a very important phase of our theater history and about theatrical events unique only to the Philippines. And as the Japanese and tourists go to the Noh Theatres and Kabuki theaters of Japan, Filipinos and tourists would go to the Metropolitan Zarzuela Theater and Museum in order to watch zarzuela and see the exhibits of zarzuela items and of, I hope, a surviving zarzuela telon or set.

For the money and labor still to be spent, we may as well work for a meaningful Metropolitan Theater—set apart from all existing theaters in the country and the whole world!

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May day!

It's the month of flowers for mother again! (Yes, I mix things up!) And for moms out there, it's good to start this month by seeking out ways to make motherhood simpler, and in the process be better moms....

Sunnyday gives a little overview of what's going to happen in this weekend's EXPOMOM. Here's the electronic invite for you:

Do take the time to drop by and pre-register (this gives you a chance to participate and receive some cool freebies). Of course Baby Magazine will have a booth too, and you can buy your missing back issues or a copy of the newest issue, May 2009!

Head over to Nerdluck to see what he has to say about working on the May issue. It was pretty fun, because we had a big shoot at the Orchidarium in Manila, which reminds me of Mary Lennox's secret garden (mostly because I saw it in both a state of disarray and then restoration--how magical!). We featured five awesome work-at-home moms who have proven that old adage: if there's a will there's a way. Read up on what pushed these moms to discover what they really wanted to do!

Also I cannot forget that Friday when I spent all day cooking (and getting scolded by our cook) for the feature on Incognito veggies in your preschooler's diet. I have just discovered what it is like to cook 5 dishes with speed enough to catch the sun before it loses its magic food-enhancing lighting power, and then having to use those nonexistent marketing skills to convince everyone at home that they could finish all those dishes in one sitting. (In the end, I had to leave the pizza for the next day, and learned that soup is not good to make on a hot summer day, but you all probably know that, haha.)

My misadventures aside, there are so many very helpful articles for parents of all stages (or even for new teachers who handle kids) in this issue. We always make sure to line-up topics with 'how we can help' in mind. :-)

Oh! In case you're wondering who that cutie on the cover is, she's Ava Malaika B. Callao, and that's her mom Sheila wearing Buding Aquino-Dee's newest brainchild, the Saya Sling. Sheila is a bit camera shy and doesn't want to be on the cover, hehe! Ralph Alejandrino took the photo. Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama, Shoppesville), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

OD-ing on The Corrs

I've been spending my weekends watching DVDs of The Corrs because Ditas lent me 4 CDs and I'm Corrs-happy. I want to share this snippet from the 2004 Geneva concert. The song is Borrowed Heaven, from their then newest album of the same title. Andrea Corr gives a little introduction to this song before they start performing.

Oh so true, Andrea! Might I add that while we enjoy we should also make good use of our time, because all our time and energy are borrowed too, and meant for great things. :D

Lyrics coming up!!

Borrowed Heaven
The Corrs

All beauty all fade away, borrowed
All moonlight, return today, borrowed
All sunrise all shooting stars, borrowed
All earth bound bare feet in day
you know we're standing on

Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven

All heartache all rivers cried, borrowed
Don't stay out too late tonight, borrowed
I love you don't wanna die, borrowed
You taste like paradise, I know I'm breathing in

Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven
Borrowed borrowed heaven

You gave me life and I will give it back
But before I do, I'm gonna hold it tight
This is my prayer

All body, all skin all bone, borrowed
All silky, all smooth and warm, borrowed
All pleasure, all pain are one, borrowed
Almighty I stand alone
I know I'm living in

Borrowed borrowed heaven