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Jalan-Jalan with Jerwin in Singapore

Jalan-Jalan with Jerwin in Singapore
Photo by Jerwin Allen Malabanan

Sunday, November 30, 2014

GUIDELINES FOR THE COMING WEEK (DECEMBER 1 - 5, 2014) are now on my Google+ Profile Page, but are visible only to my Followers.
Blind loyalty is an indication of an inadequate personality.
At 63 going on 64, I look back at the education I received in grade school, high school, college, and graduate school, and exactly how much I was brainwashed to believe.

I was able to undo all that in a split second.

Old structures can collapse as quickly as a person reads a single book or a single sentence.
I know that the mornings have become chilly because our pet birds roost with puffed feathers inside their cages.
Mellow, golden-sunshine morning in Cubao
Adjusting my sleeping schedule for the week: Waking up late in mid-morning, going to bed very late at night. A major change from rising at 4:30 AM and going to bed at 7:30 PM on regular weekdays.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Good night, Cubao!

The Hermit meets The Mer-lion soon.
Sometimes a man or a woman staggers down P. Tuazon Boulevard howling out loud with grief. It is a hair-raising, heart-rending sound. It usually means that someone in their family has met an accident or died.

This is one of the disadvantages of having one's house on the street.
Night classes, 3:00 AM

Listen to what I have to tell you. Afterward, rise immediately and write everything down.

7:30 PM. Mac passed by at this late hour. He had difficulty taking the LRT2 because the lines were long.

At the end of this month I can merely sympathize with people who suffer in this situation.

In this country, being free of traffic everyday is one of the blessings that retirement brings.
Your message: "Hi Sir Tony!! Is it possible to ask for your advice on love soon? I wanted to talk to you since first week of November pero I know you're busy and it's tough when we're in separate buildings na. Minsan nasa ___________ ako and looked for you but you were not around. When can I talk to you in person Sir? I missed our talks Sa _________.

"I still have that talisman that I bought from you 2 years ago when I needed healing for my lovelife. Can I still use it this time around for _______________ and I?

"How will I use it now? Shall I just put the talisman ____________________________________? Am not sure if Iam doing the right thing. That's what you advised me 2 years ago with ___________. _________________ and I had a fight before he returned to the ___________ last __________ __. And now he only wanted to be friends. But I still feel that he loves me and I want to work things out with him."

My answer:

Hi _____________!

As for the talisman, place it first in a cup filled with water mixed with rock salt. Place the talisman in the cup and set it aside for one night. The following morning, wash the talisman and dispose of the salt water in the kitchen sink. Yes, you may then do the same thing for this man.

I must advise you, however, that it is not wise to use talismans on a relationship that has naturally unraveled, to the point where the man no longer loves you.

Feeling that a man still loves you is dangerous. It is no assurance that he still does love you. It is possible that this relationship was not meant to be. I have observed, in fact, that whenever you are in a relationship with a man you always author in your mind how it should go and how it should be, thinking that, in doing that, your wishes will become reality.

Therefore I refuse to meet with you to discuss your situation--a person lost in love will never listen to what I say, will be stubborn and hard-headed, and will go ahead and do what she wants anyway.

Let things work out or not work out for themselves naturally, without any biases and expectations on your part.

If someone tells you that he prefers friendship rather than romantic love, listen and accept. Right now you have a friend in him. Why should he be your lover as well if he is no longer interested that way?
My dear co-workers: I am not taking my mobile phone with me.

The only way to reach me is through my personal e-mail address, though I will seldom be on-line.
Drizzly evening in Cubao
My spirit guides prevent me from posting certain things on my blogs. Whenever I try to do so, things go wrong at least three times. That is when I finally give up trying to post them.

They are usually photos.
A relationship jump-started by lust is usually doomed to end in a separation.
I am ready.
Drizzly noon in Cubao
Because of life and because of death, time is one of the most valued commodities of all.
Lito Casaje directs my one-act pay "Gabun", which I wrote at the age of 17. (It's in Tagalog.)

Check out "Gabun" 1 on http://youtu.be/Ra214T4hUus and "Gabun" 2 at http://youtu.be/3DIUKb45YCd.
Watched Garage Sale Mystery on DIVA before sleeping, and, of course, I enjoyed it. I loved the antiques--the jewelry and jewelry cases included.
Saw snippets of a B/W movie on TV last night. I am still fascinated with secret passages, secret safes behind paintings, hidden vaults, and priest's holes in houses.
I have decided not to bring any book to read on the airplane. (I considered taking with me The Book of Abremalin The Mage or a Judge Dee book.) I will be inundated with play manuscripts and workshop participants' sample works upon my arrival, however.

I shall just write on the plane. For myself.
Watching the traffic on EDSA at night, the stream of red tail-lights looks like creeping lava.
I will soon be in a hotel where DIVA and a lot of other channels do not exist.

The only rationalization I can think of is that I will be working all day and late at night anyway.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Good night, Cubao!

I've already identified the gift to bring for the White Elephant game during our office Christmas party on December 12!
Gave Angelique my entire bowl of semi-precious wishing eggs and Aubrey my semi-precious marble solitaire game this evening.
Yesterday afternoon I visited Artery for the first time. Arvin gave me a tour of the ground and upper floor spaces. I met one of the young artists on exhibit for two weeks. She is a student of University of the Philippines, as the other three artists also are. She was sitting in the foyer at the top of the stairs, waiting for visitors and friends to come see her works.

This afternoon I saw the same galleries from our front balcony. (Artery and our house have full-length windows.) The young artist was again in the foyer.

Should I ever meet that young woman again, I must remember to tell her, "I know the feeling."

The same thing used to happen to me whenever I had works on exhibit or was sitting in a book store during a launch. Sometimes there were hordes of people, sometimes there were only a few, sometimes there was no one. It is an uncanny feeling--it is like being your own spirit sitting beside your coffin in a funeral parlor.

I even used to tell myself that the people who come to my exhibits and launches are the same people who will come to my funeral wake after I die.
Kichiro Mayuzumi has six little teddy bears, and they are always strewn about the floor.
The next time I put on my shoes and tie their laces again, it will be to go to Singapore.

"The Business Times", Friday, November 28, 2014

Why people enjoy sticking something into a hole repeatedly makes absolutely no sense to me.
Companies must ensure that their employees have good housing.

Employees who live in squalid or destitute houses will focus on their job and give of themselves only 50%, constantly worry about repairs and security, and tend to be very materialistic.
Court someone you really like, not someone you sort of like.
An empty lot is not an eyesore. It is the building that rises on it that is.
Check out http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/lifestyle/wanted-professionals-and-execs-to-write-plays.
A full day of animation features at iAcademy. So nice to see Omar again.
The problem with high fashion is that you cannot wear it everyday and in the streets.
In the global era, ignorance is not bliss.
The key to looking sexy is to dress, think, talk, and act as though you are not sexy.
If a ghost is clever enough to make itself seen on a TV camera, why is it so stupid as to not make itself and its message clear?

I believe that all communication has a clear objective, and that fidelity of exchange should never obfuscate, open content to misinterpretation, or function as a parlor game. Otherwise, why communicate at all?

If the appearance or message of a ghost is obscure, ignore it. Or tell the ghost to improve its communication skills because you have better things to do. Why even attempt to decode it like the cover of a hard rock band's album? The problem is not yours--it is the ghost's.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are also stupid. They pounce on anything.

Could it be possible that stupid people, after they die, become stupid ghosts?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Resetting my alarm.

The office has tasked me to spend the whole day tomorrow at iAcademy to monitor features at Animation Council of the Philippines's annual festival.
ArteryArtSpace opens across the street! It is a six-space gallery with an art shop and a studio for rent. Their shop hours are 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Monday to Saturday; gallery hours, 1:00 - 6:00 PM Tuesday to Saturday.

Their brochure states:


"--is an artist-run space with multiple functions of a studio, artist residency, exhibition space, store, and a snack bar.

"--is a collaborative endeavor between artists, thinkers, archivists, educators, writers, dreamers, and various creatives.

"--is engaged worldwide on contemporary issues regarding art: on its theoretical investigation and formal practice, its presence and application to the market, its impact as cultural critique and on social awareness, its expressive autonomy, its role as entertainment value, its interactive potential as platform for dialogue and change, as pool of reflection, and as an alternative to prevailing creatively restricting conditions.

"--aims to connect creative production with the realities of the market culture that we're living in today, in relation to fostering critical thinking and developing smart approaches to making and living with art.

"--intends to be a purveyor of anything tasteful, sustainable, and significant."

Artery's directors are Arvin Flores and Mai Saporsantos, who are both artists.

Their e-mail address is arteryartspace@gmail.com; their Web site, www.arteryartspace.com.

Arvin and Mai

The shop

 Hallway installation

Current exhibit in the studio

 Staircase to second floor

Doors to front and side balconies

Exhibit on second floor foyer

Snack bar

Exhibit on second floor

Re-reading my leather-bound, parchment-paper copy of The Book of Abremalin The Mage passed on to me by Master Choa Kok Chui, and could not help but encounter again the author's emphasis on purity and abstinence from sex.
Countdown on the number of remaining work days is on hold, pending my return from Singapore. I am on annual leave during that time and I am leaving my office cell phone behind.

Do Not Read This If You Are Not A Man

To reduce the probability of a swollen prostrate:

--Always urinate with your legs apart.
--Do not make crossed legs your default posture.
--After ejaculation, keep your legs apart for at least an hour.
--Sleep with a hot-dog shaped pillow or a lozenge-shaped throw pillow between your legs.

Cramping Style

Whenever you get leg cramps in the middle of the night, stand up from bed immediately and do the following:

A) If the cramps occur in your calves, place a massage ball (a wooden or rubber ball with bumps or blunted spikes around it), and step on it, ensuring that the center of your sole presses on it.

B) If the cramps occur in your inner thigh, stand up as straight as possible and gently bend backward.

Do not crouch or stoop.

Doing sit-ups and push-ups every morning will either prevent the leg cramps or reduce their frequency.

If you have a relative who is in hospital, comatose, or unable to speak, observe his/her leg and foot positions. If you sense that the patient is experiencing cramps, ask a nurse to give him/her a vigorous leg massage--albeit keeping in mind that it is necessary for the person to stand up. It is one's body weight while standing that initiates the relief; hence oversleeping is sometimes a bad idea.

Many patients ultimately die of leg cramps. They are painful, the pain escalates, and one either dies of extreme pain or heart failure caused by it.
Good morning, Cubao!

I slept eight hours last night.
Something must be wrong. We are horrified at atrocities committed during WWII and yet, watching the news on TV, we see the same atrocities being committed--not by the enemy but by citizens to their fellow citizens and by family members to their fellow family members.

We have to review our knowledge of the psychology of war and the psychology of "peace" time.
Christmas decorations are as freaky as Halloween decorations.

It's strange how these are visible to the public only within the last quarter of the year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

GUIDELINES FOR THE WEEKEND (NOVEMBER 29 - 30, 2014) are on my Google+ page, but are visible to my Followers only.
Wish a Happy Thanksgiving to Americans only.

It is ridiculous to wish everyone else that.
To date I have a total of 26 blogs excluding my Google+ account, though two of them are locked and will be opened to the public only after my death.

I note that most of my avid readers are in Alaska.

I hope that, someday, they invite me to do "Writing from The Heart" there.

Before I die, preferably. Bwahahahahahaha!
My personal criticism of the TV series Atlantis is that it has only one, three-dimensional character and performer--the woman who plays Pasiphae, the antagonist.

All other characters, Jason and Ariadne included, are predictable and flat.
Aubrey came home from school with a fever today. She took medicine, but intends to go back to school bright and early tomorrow.
I think that there is only one way to my heart, and it is through something that is produced exclusively by the United States of America.

It's called Almond Roca.
At last, I completed my viewing of Tears in Heaven on RED last night.

The movie has four protagonists--the man, the woman, the child, and the music.
Getting ready for eight days in Singapore, but it won't be a holiday.

I am more or less scheduled to work 12 hours a day (this is normal for Singaporeans) and conduct two writing workshops and eight one-to-one clinic sessions with playwrights.

I am wondering whether I can sneak out to Chinatown and The TinTin Store.

Will definitely meet up with Teow Li and with Jerwin at some point.
When people ask me now what I will do after retirement, I still tell them that I will do nothing for at least one year. They all think that I plan to go Garfield and vegetate.

"Nothing" to me, however, includes reading, writing, painting, and knitting.

For starters:

1) I intend to re-read the entire Harry Potter series in succession and see if it still has a magical hold on me. The challenge, though, is to use my own visualization while reading without my mind being tainted with images from the movies.

2) I also intend to re-read my Judge Dee books, my Paul Auster books, my Paul Bowles books, my Brother Cadfael books, my Agatha Christie books, and my Lillian Jackson Braun books. Anything that no longer interests me will be disposed of.

3) I'm spending an initial week on Grande Island to work on a 64-foot oil mural, finish installing gnome houses on a felled tree, and try out being a hermit-consultant in a hermit's hut. This will be the only place where anyone can consult me for anything henceforth. 

4) I intend to complete my series of paintings, whether I exhibit them or not.

5) I intend to complete my Sitio Catacutan, ten-volume, series, in cyberspace.

6) I intend to complete my 40-volume, Complete Works series, in cyberspace.

7) I intend to write more plays.

8) I intend to continue dramaturging plays for Theatreworks Singapore.

9) I intend to write young adult books, illustrate them myself, and place them in cyberspace.

That should be a good beginning with a full "nothing" plate.

If you knew me as a writer and an artist, you ain't seen nothing yet.
U.S. Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!

Mario, my afternoon tricycle driver, always asks me when I will be back. He seems anxious that I might forget to give him a Christmas gift.
If foreign matter such as sand, cigarette cinders or ashes, or a small insect gets into your eye, wash it with your own saliva. Apply the saliva copiously and repeatedly.
Loneliness is the primary cause of looking old before one's time.
When a young person signs up to me to be my student in magic, I immediately decline, knowing that he or she is intellectually and physically lazy.

Such persons believe that they can turn to magic for anything, believing that magic has immediate results.

The truth is, advertising and consumership brainwash people to substitute the fake for the real. Their magic word is "instant"--instant soup, instant coffee, instant fruit juice, you name it.

Magic, and I don't mean stage or street illusionism, never has immediate results, because all magic must follow natural law.

You have to read a lot, memorize a lot, and work hard to succeed with magic. You can't do that if you're intellectually and physically lazy.
Things are often under your nose, but you don't see them because they are at unusual angles or not how you left them when you last saw them, whatever they are: a pair of glasses, a tube of toothpaste, even your mobile phone.

The reverse principle of perception--or misperception--occurs when an elemental or non-human entity is standing right next to you. You don't see it because:

--you are not looking for its correct appearance
--you are not expecting to see it
--you are psychologically blind to it because you have never seen anything like it before, and so your psyche does not allow it to register in your mind.
In December of 2011 I passed by the lobby of Araneta Coliseum while their Disney Princesses ice show matinee was on. I purchased a Tiana doll from one of the kiosks. Neither of my granddaughters wanted to have it when I brought it home, and so I placed it in my old bedroom on the upper floor and used it as a madama (a doll or fetish that is set on a table or chair to function as the guard or sentinel of a room).

Little did I know that that doll was a madama! In September this year Craig told me about his two daughters and how The Princess and The Frog was their favorite Disney animation feature. He told me that the story is completely set, albeit illustrated and cartoonified, in New Orleans!

Last night I caught The Princess and The Frog on Fox, and I enjoyed it. I also thought that it is so far the most clever of all Disney deconstructions, and not because I was biased to the New Orleans setting. It was well-researched and featured mansions in the Garden District, French Quarter apartments, a Mardi Gras wedding, the bayou, gumbo pots, jazz music, and a portrayal of Voodoo that, to me anyway, is not offensive to practitioners of Voudon. I especially enjoyed the characters Mama Odi (suspiciously modeled after Marie Laveau) and Dr. Facilier/The Shadow Man (suspiciously modeled after The Baron).

The most hilarious line is in the masquerade dinner scene, when Big Daddy calls to his pet hound to chase the two frogs. The hound's name is Stella, and Big Daddy yells "Stellaaaaaaaa!"

I bet not everyone caught that one.

I bet not everyone caught a lot of things in that feature.
Blessed Wednesday!

Countdown: Eight more work days before retirement!

I am touched whenever my co-workers tell me that they will truly miss me.

And of course they will. I am quite unique and they will never meet anyone else who is like me! Bwahahahahahahaha!
Arrived at the office 6:00 AM.

Wearing Platinum by Roberto Verino.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cleaning out my file cabinets and drawers.
Pet cats don't care who like and dislike them; it is only their own likes and dislikes that matter to themselves. They come and go as they please.

Pet dogs are very much concerned with who like and dislike them. When they are denied positive acknowledgement, they lose their appetite, sulk in a corner, go into a blue funk, and whimper.
When you are in cyberspace, everyone believes that they have the right to meddle in your life.

I've had absolute strangers address me in the train and in the streets, commenting that they like the way I waxed my moustache today, that they think I should change one of my earrings, and that they believe that pink clothing is unbecoming to me. Some of them even ask me to touch their children's foreheads.

You have no other choice but to smile and thank them.

Whenever you try to destroy someone, always keep in mind that someone else will try to destroy you.
Your Hangout message:

"Hi Sir, i've been following you on google + sometimes i read your quotes or advices because sometimes yun yung advice pala na hinahanap ko that day. sobrang galing po hindi ko alam kung coincidence or alam niyo lang kung sino yung magbabasa that time. :) 

"May concern lang po ako, hindi naman po ako naniniwala sa mga aswang pero may paulit ulit na sinasabi yung sister in law ko dito sa may area namin. Last night 4am na hindi pa rin ako makatulog may naririnig akong naglalakad sa katabing bubong ng kwarto ko na parang singm bigat ng tao, parang lilipad, babalik at maglalalad onti then may para sipol na mahina tapos pag mawawala yung tunog ng lakad nya may mga aso na tumutunog. nanganak na kasi yung kapitbahay naming buntis and wala sila dito so hindi ko alam kaya parang nagwawala siya? first time ko po narinig kasi kagabi. should we be worried? hindi ko po alam kung mababaw po ito para sa inyo pero what can we do po kaya, nirerespeto ko naman po sila kung dito sila nagddwell pero sana po hindi nila kami sobrang takutin. 

"one more thing may nagsabi po samin na tanggalin daw po namin yung puno ng chico kasi dun daw maraming nagddwell na mga paniki or malalaking ibon. 

"thank you po. have a blessed week."

My answer: 

Hi ________!

Thank you for your message. Yes, my posts are deliberately for my Followers.

As to the "asuwang" in question (I still spell it "asuwang" rather than "aswang" because of the root word "asu" or "big dog" which the creature shapeshifts into), ask trusted people to investigate and observe activities in your neigborhood during those hours. The portals and pathways that folkloric archetypes use are the very same portals and pathways used by rats, cats, robbers, rapists, and murderers, which is why all of them are "creatures of the night". 

I believe in "asuwangs" only with the psychological codicil that they are "visible" to a small group of people--two to five, perhaps. "Asuwangs" are strong projections from within the psyche when it is in distress, and usually manifest under altered states of consciousness such as neurotic fear, intoxication, and the like. This is the same thing that happens when a group of people are huddled around a Ouija board--the expressions of the board are mere emanations of the group's collective subconscious, typically negative because that is what is expected, so that everyone around the board hears and sees the same things.

Having said that, I will admit that I have encountered such entitites, but they were few and far between and not standard occurrences, and I have used certain objects, rituals, and countermeasures against such things. I will not, however, recommend any lest you go on a hunting spree and get ripped off by fake practitioners. You would then tell your friends to do the same thing, and they would tell friends of their friends to do same, until, sometime in the near future, there would be an antidote panic and entire masses of people would file and red-flag the "asuwang" within their minds.

Indeed, the most dangerous shapeshifting of all is the shapeshifting of immature imagination.

For you, my best advice is to rely on faith and prayer, keeping in mind always that fear is the reverse of faith. As long as you have true faith and a pure heart, you will prevail against anything diabolic.

I would also keep the chico tree alive. God's birds and bats--and trees--have the right to have their own habitat, and, as long as none of them are harming you, I know that everything will be all right. 

Blessed Tuesday!

Countdown: Nine more work days before retirement!

I arrive at 6:00 AM and I am usually the man who turns on the lights before everyone else arrives. In the semi-darkness, the cubicles are ergonomic catacombs. The soles of my shoes shuffle on the carpet. I literally feel and hear the earth move under my feet: random sounds indicate that the building is shifting, such as machines and modular desks and cabinets creaking, which the ignorant amplify in their minds and mistake for the presence of ghosts. Most of my co-workers have never seen the office this way before. It is an almost numinous experience. I am surrounded with a kind of silence that fosters peace of mind.

The huge hall is now brightly lighted. The first people who come in are the cleaners. The vacuum suction machines and the brisk rustling of plastic bags being replaced in module bins now overpower the sounds of "ghosts."

I log on at my work station. The first thing I do is check my e-mail inbox for messages from DC, receive calls from them, and call them if necessary. It is 6:00 PM where they are now. They are getting ready to go home, but I have just arrived at the office--the day after in their calendar, while all of them are already part of my yesterday.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Spending my last few visits to the Octagon and exercising my powers of observation to commit everything to mental memory and sense memory: the expanse of ocean under the sun, in misty drizzles, and in the pouring rain; the rainbows I love to photograph*; the enchanting percussion of cicadas; the egrets; the birds; the multicolored butterflies; the red dragonflies; the vista of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Star City ferris wheel across the water; the airplanes and helicopters drawing lines without rulers in the sky; the Philippine Coast Guard's stationary training ship in the middle of the sea; the dragon boat rowers; the party sounds from Hotel H2O.


*See my Google+ Album "Refractions of Light on the Edges of Glass".

On Crushes and Reality Checks

1) After your initial, breathtaking, stupefying view of your crush, is it not so that, as time passes by, you discover put-on acts, inconsistencies, contradictions, and the reality of the mundane?

Usually it is because your fantasy fills in details that were never, and will never, be there. And, as for your crush's upkeep of that fantasy, let me say that it is not only difficult, it is impossible, to maintain being cute to another person.

It would be so much better to meet someone in the ugliest of situations and in the shabbiest of clothes--and then work your first impression upward from there.

2) Consider all of the crushes you've ever had since grade school and high school, and look at their photos now. Chances are they've grown to look like dowdy, sloppy, overweight creatures.

Aren't you relieved that none of those relationships ever came to fruition, leaving you stuck for life with someone who started out as a crush and ended up as something else?

3) Crushes are transient. Allow them to be that.
A fog will descend on a huge land mass.
An employee suddenly died this month, the month before I am retiring from office.

A red flag to remind us all that one can die while employed, after retirement, or in old age.
Not all employees stay on through retirement. Many of them get sent to office training programs both here and abroad and then decide to move on for various reasons. I wonder how much money every office invests in and then loses from them.
Blessed Monday!

Countdown: Ten more work days in the office!

Never delay your well-deserved retirement or vacation. The more you delay it, the less you will enjoy the rest of your life.
In the elemental realm, trees of every species are portals from one specific tree to another, so long as the two trees are not divided by a waterway.

For instance, if I travel on the astral and enter a dragon tree in my garden, I can exit through another dragon tree, wherever it is on the island of Luzon.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thirty years from now, blind people will be able to "see" by means of sensors connected to their bodies.
Do not celebrate attempts. Celebrate accomplishments.

After the earth stirs, the water roils.
Unbeknownst to the world we are all headed for trouble because we urgently need an intelligent and highly-paid labor force--yet everyone's objective is to work in an office sitting in front of a computer.
What is the point of having admission exams if:

--it encourages discrimination?
--it develops superiority and inferiority complexes among many?
--a student who does not pass the exam can potentially and actually surpass the performance of students who pass the exam?
--they have nothing to do with the need for the youth to be socially and politically responsible for society?
--such exams contradict every student's right to education?
--we must educate students not only academically but morally as well?
--even the most intelligent student can end up as a crook or a drug addict?
--the ultimate yardstick is whether the student can afford to pay his tuition and related expenses anyway?

Besides, I have NEVER met a single faculty member or student who completely embodies the "mission-vision" of his educational institution, which always sounds like psychobabble to me.
Wearing white pants and keeping them spotless the whole day is a brave man's art.
Women will continue to be sexually abused as long as advertisers and fashion designers continue to capitalize on physical attraction.

In the first place, who and what do you think they are REALLY attracting?
Despite its metropolitan pretensions, there are some residues of riffraff culture in "modern" offices.

Here are two of them:

1) Requiring new employees to spend their first paycheck on a big blowout for all other employees to pig out on.

Solution: Ask HR to counsel everyone and explain that this is a sign of deep loneliness manifesting as a severe eating disorder.

2) Soliciting money from employees to support the funeral expenses of a person whom you never even heard of.


A. Ask HR to investigate whether such a person indeed died .
B. Advise the "bereaved" to seek help from their barangays instead--and, if the barangays cannot help them, why should you?
C. Ask them where THEY were when YOUR relatives died.
D. Require them to sign a receipt with their signature on it.

With these--and more--are you then not surprised that many Filipinos would rather work in other countries?
Rest day today. No decor rearrangement, no moving of books.

Just enjoying being in the house and having a tall coffee.
Watched three interesting movies on HBO last night:

Rise of the Guardians, which I saw on the big screen in Legazpi City some time back and which I consider to be my favorite feature-length animation film because of its delightful bridging between the past and the present.

After Earth, which, despite its having received flak for being a Jaden Smith vanity movie, is well-made, highly imaginative, well-performed, and has credible special effects. As a matter of fact, it is, to me, the second best Shyamalan (after Sixth Sense). As in his other films, of course, there seems to be a repeated and father-image-interfacing-with-son-image pattern: a gap between the two (geographic in After Earth and astral in Sixth Sense).

Captain Phillips, based on a true story on sea piracy starring Tom Hanks, which is a riveting work despite its apparently low-budget look. (I know that it cost a lot, that it was VERY difficult to light and to shoot, and that only a passionate director could have elicited such superb acting from the entire cast.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tina and ASAP Spring Surprises on Me

Our Public Affairs Officer, Tina Malone, gave me pre-retirement flowers this morning, which was very sweet of her. This is only the fourth time in my entire life (that I remember) in which a woman ever gave flowers to me.

Love those flowers: an Easter lily (flower of the goddess Eostre), coral roses, orchids, and yellow mums!

I was surprised that ASAP gave me a gift at the end of the day too--an omnibus volume on Philippine folklore!

At The Golden Jubilee Assembly of the American Studies Association of the Phiippines

We gave out 70th Year of the Liberation of the Philippines T-shirts to the ASAP officers and board members.

Public Affairs Officer Tina Malone delivers remarks at the opening of the assembly.

Good morning, Cubao!

As long as you know that you are superb, no amount of criticism or antagonism can ever faze or discourage you.

Because, if you are superb, it means first and foremost that the gods and goddesses support you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Good night, Cubao!

Connie and I are wearing our 70th-Year-of-the-Liberation-of-the-Philippines T-shirts tomorrow. Before coming home I sauntered into a shop in Gateway Mall and somehow ended up purchasing a pair of pants to go with it.
Very strange. Now that I have a camera I am no longer shutter-happy. I dread inundating myself with thousands of photos in hundreds of albums.

And I thought, it would be the other way around.
For the record, I've been wearing Chanel No. 5 because it didn't appeal to my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters, and so they gave the bottle to me.
Over the past 36 years the best part of my day was always getting into bed and drifting off to sleep. I still believe that sleeping is an art, that one must have the nicest bedroom that one can have and a bed that one likes very much, and that one must be surrounded with things of comfort and of beauty.

I know that after I retire I might discover other favorite parts of the day.

It is possible that "life begins at 40"--a period in my life that I cannot even recall--but I know for sure that life begins again after retirement.

The wisest advice I can give others is for them to plan their retirement, including their finances and their constructive activities. The problem is that others have been brainwashed to believe that they should never retire, or else brainwashed to feel guilty that one is enjoying life rather than still working.
Watched Mata Hari on HBO again last night. This time it came across to me as a loosely strung and gothic narrative.

I have a Greta Garbo threshold.
Thank God It's Friday and the last day of this full work week.

However, I am scheduled to attend the 51st Annual Assembly of the American Studies Association of the Philippines tomorrow.
A cultural institution in Bocaue, Bulacan wants me to do "Writing from The Heart" one last time while I am employed in the office. However, I have only eleven working days remaining. If I do a workshop next week, that would lop off three to five days and allow me only six to eight days in the office.

I still have a lot of things to attend to: clearances, the transfer of files, withdrawing from internal office associations, and such.

I thought of installing a windsock on our roof deck. It is better than a Victorian weather vane: it is lighter and not only indicates wind direction but, by the angle of the tip of the sock, the speed and the strength of the wind as well.
Actually, your auspicious number does not remain the same throughout your entire life.
More and more children need to be saved.
Even the mightiest must fall.
Your Hangout message:

"i heard you in my dreams last night. you said i can use my wands for whatever (good) purpose. it was calming to hear you speak"

My answer:  Hi ___________!

Yes, The Wands must be used again, especially since more quakes are approaching. They must remain pointing to the earth.
In Singapore I am scheduled to conduct "Writing from The Heart" with 20 Bangladeshi migrant workers at Dibashram. The participants are interested in writing for a Bangladeshi newsletter. They are not quite fluent in English, however, and so a Bengali editor named Mohsin will be there to interpret for me.
Many years ago the Australian Embassy sent me to represent the Philippines in the Melbourne International Writers Festival. During a workshop in Canberra I set aside some of my spare time researching on aboriginal culture; I was and still am fascinated by the Dreamtime. The famous, aborigine poet Mudrooroo passed away during this time, and his loss was mourned by many. One of the things that I learned from Mudrooroo's friends is that, in ancient aboriginal times, elders would take children to the tops of mountains and teach them astral travel.

Early this month I conducted "Writing from The Heart" for Mangyan children in Talipanan, Oriental Mindoro. I was able to closely observe their unique psychology. I also noted that they have features and characteristics similar to those of Australian aborigines. How I wished I could have diverted from my syllabus and had time to explore their mystical origins. I feel very strongly that the capability of traveling on the astral plane is very much a part of their psyche.
Two things have come back to me so far: my collectible, white metal dagger that was returned in 2012 and my hardbound copy of The Book of Abremalin The Mage passed on to me by Master Choa Kok Chui.

I am still waiting for the third and last item: my stone pendant and gold chain.
Sometimes, when you browse through a shop and pass on something you want very much, the next time around it will no longer be available to you.
As one's retirement approaches--and as one comes into a position that enables him to be critical--one develops an even sharper perception of which work-related tasks really mattered, which supervisors gave the best guidance and advice, and exactly what one truly learned from.

As one's retirement nears, one takes stock not of one's professional growth but the personal and spiritual growth that accompanied it as well.
Arrived at the office 5:45 AM.

Wearing Chanel No. 5.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

If you're having difficulty unscrewing the cap of a 1.5 - 2 liter plastic bottle of soda, it's because you must first set the base of the bottle on a tabletop and then unscrew the cap.
There is only one way to enjoy Almond Roca, which is to lock yourself inside your room and eat it slowly while meditating on its heavenly taste.

Never eat Almond Roca while reading, writing, painting, or talking to someone.
He was hyperactive, and he took medication to calm himself down, especially at night when he needed to sleep.

Later on in life, he became subject to bouts of depression and could no longer tell whether it was caused by his personality or by the medication--but probably by both.
Remember this: that love must be constantly nurtured. It is not a jewel that can be set aside and stowed away and be expected to retain its value.
Our office Internet came back early this morning.
Recently been skipping the morning train and taking taxis to work before sunrise.

Quite interesting that I can very clearly read taxi drivers' minds that time of day.
Countdown: 12 more working days before I retire from the office!

Very soon:

--No more annoying meetings
--No more filling in for absent employees
--No more deadlines for projects I don't believe in
Survived using cell phone cameras over the past nine years.

Finally bought myself an inexpensive Canon.
When your best employees start looking for jobs in other locations and commence resigning, then there is something REALLY wrong with the traffic.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our office Internet is still down.
Do not open any Christmas greeting from anyone that requires you to click on a url or that requires you to enter your password.
On EDSA, everyday is not Christmas Day.

Everyday is Flores de Mayo because of the crowds and the traffic.

All we need to do is light candles for the procession.
Progress dwindles to a halt when:

1) we refuse to replicate what works for fear of being accused of copying, and;
2) we copy without wisdom, intelligence, and talent.
If there is something you cannot recall, it is because your body is in the wrong position.
You cannot separate the mind of God from Nature.
Too many people think either that beauty is more desirable than good health--or that they should be equivalent to each other.
Selfishness is the eighth deadly sin.

Monday, November 17, 2014

It is fine to rush to work in the morning as long as you can slowly unwind and relax on your way home.

It is therefore not a healthy idea to keep two successive day jobs.
The office Internet was down today--and may be tomorrow as well.
One of the most wonderful things you can ever realize about yourself is that you are not obliged to explain yourself to anyone at all.
TONY PEREZ'S ART OF WAR: Never make committing suicide a part of any of your plans. Allow your enemies to die first.
Be patient and seek not immediate understanding. To understand everything immediately and completely is the wrong step to education.
Why is it necessary to heal in anyone's name?

Are not taking medicine, going to hospital or clinic, and having good intentions good enough?

Is not God within each one of these?

To demand to be healed in anyone's name goes against both divine and human natures, because anyone, regardless of their religion, has the basic right to desire healing and to receive it.

It is a natural instinct and a blessing to give healing, and a natural instinct and a blessing to receive it.

Like faith and salvation, healing is not exclusive to any religion.

Like love, healing should be unconditional. Only then does it become truly physical and spiritual.
News items about crime are the exception, not the rule.

So are news items about exemplary accomplishments.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cleaning Sunday. Organizing more books and stash thread.
You can edit a hero's life, but the truth will always come out.
Time can be the most expensive asset of all.
Whenever someone wants to come back, things will never be the same.
It is people, not God, who create problems.
If you have to fret over your problems in the morning, foment peace of mind after lunch through the evening. That way you will be able to sleep better at night.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I discovered this about myself: that when people come to consult me in great distress over their problems, I do not have the heart to charge them anything.

It is as though my spirit guides tell me to be as compassionate as I can be, considering that their illnesses are not mine but theirs, and that I already have more than what I need.
Benjie is now installing my five Moriones masks from Marinduque in a corner of the living room.

We tried placing them in a tall etagere this morning, but I decided that they look better suspended from the ceiling.
The Hermit of Cubao's first consultation is done.
Cleaning day. We are now done moving ALL the heavy furniture and stuff.

Next step is to throw more things away.
Members of The Wands: I am postponing the reunion of the keepers of The Wands until after the renovation of our front is done.
Never rely on any friend's camera when documenting on travel. Your vision is your own, you see things that others don't see, and it will take ages before anyone finds the time to send you their pledged photos.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Like a small pond full of fish, an overcrowded society decimates its own population in order to create more breathing space.

First Official Day as The Hermit of Cubao

Tomorrow is my first official day as The Hermit of Cubao--it couldn't wait despite the chaos on the ground floor, the cleaners coming tomorrow, and the fact that I am still not officially retired. A co-worker's sister and her entire group of friends are coming in for a special treatment because they have been afflicted with something.
A stressful day. Our sister Sylvia sent cartons of goodies from Australia today--and just as I was succeeding in organizing our stuff on the ground floor!

At any rate I liked everything she sent: a Delft set, a huge sack of dark-chocolate Almond Roca, a lunchbox and candies for the granddaughters, a bag for Ivy, a set of Matryoshka dolls, a pair of porcelain candle holders, and two sets of fancy Christmas lights.
Your e-mail message:

"Hi Sir Tony!

"I've been wanting to find you even on-line. I remember that as a child, I used to see you on TV along side ___________, especially for Halloween specials. I had the chance to meet __________ personally a year ago when a family friend was in comma.

"Anyways, I've been reading your books and also the encounters of the spirit questors. The compelling reason at the onset was to understand my gift.

"I discovered my sixth sense when I was in my __s (I'm now __). I was driving in the wee hours of the morning then as soon as I passed by Loyola Marikina, I saw a man from my rearview mirror. This started an adventure to the unknown. I would see earth-bound spirits from my peripheral vision and I would start tearing up. Sometimes if I don't see clearly, I smell and feel but I can describe the image so well. A friend of mine told me that I was probably an empath. I'm not normally a 'scared' person, in fact I'm very brave even in the dark. What scared me was the weirdness of it all and I thought for a while that God was punishing me. Normally, when I see stuff, I would feel drained.

"2 years into that situation, I had to find someone who can close it. I went to ________ in _______ then, where 'gifted' individuals also hang out. One mentor said he can close it temporarily but it might open again. The closure was not relief as I thought it to be. Then it came back again. This time I was ready because I've been consciously educating myself by reading.

"I can now accept this as a gift and would want to expand my knowledge and take a responsible road to handling this gift. I know that this was on purpose after I've seen ___________ helped communicate with my tito who was in comma to a struggling family. It was a healing and loving act.

"I'd like to take advise from someone like you who mentored gifted people as well.

"Thank you so much.

"Best Regards,


My answer:

Hello _______, and thank you for your kind words. You may read my messages and lessons by signing up to me as a Follower on Google+. I also have cyberspace books that you can read for free by checking out their titles on my main blog Tony Perez Philippines. It is the closest I am willing to get to other people. Sixteen working days to my official retirement, I am fast becoming a hermit and will prefer to remain that way.

I regret having ever appeared on television--it gave spirituality a Halloween quality, which is the farthest thing I ever intended for myself and the general public. It also seems to have encouraged a lot of dysfunctional people to practice their "powers"--real or imagined--and to launch into senseless experiments.

Envy not only kills, it is also a form of suicide.
In order to see you, they have to look beyond you.
You are haunted by what is wrong, not by what is right.
A mage's storage of enchantment resides within his jewelry.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy Birthday, Nielsen!

Yesterday was my second granddaughter Nielsen's birthday!
Seventeen more work days in the office!

Very soon:

--I can sleep ten hours a day as often as I like
--No more riding through traffic
--No more supervisors
--I can have two-hour breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at any time
--I can write whenever I want
--I can paint whenever I want
--I can knit whenever I want
--I can spend as much time as I want only with people I like
--I can spend days and hours on end without having to see anyone if I don't feel like it
--I can wear anything I want to
--I can say whatever I want to, and what I've always wanted to!

Arrived at the office 6:00 AM.

Wearing Chanel No. 5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Do not remember deceased people you never liked, too unkindly. People change in the spirit realm, and always for the better. Those who didn't support you in the past do so now and are responsible for your success.

In addition, you gain more merits for yourself for the acts of forgiveness that you extend--to the deceased and to yourself.

On Life After Death

What we really fear about life after death is not only that the dead people don't ever go away, it is the fact that they remain in the same state we last remember them, that they remain youthful and constant while we age and ail and rot--and, worse, that they are a lot better off than we are, leaving us far behind in the game.

We fear the memory of dead wives and husbands and children, and the most upsetting thing about it to us is that it throws our sense of time out of sequence.

What we truly fear, therefore, is the past vis-a-vis the specters of our changing selves.

And so, we fear ourselves, because we fear change, and there are no two ways about it.
Never attempt to clean off dirt with a dirty rag.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I can never have enough of the night.
Night classes

3:00 AM

"Hello, Sir. Who do I contact to get in touch with the Spirit Questors? Do I go through you or do you have another contact with whom I could speak with?"
Hi ________. I now work alone. I am most effective that way.
You aren't _____________, are you?
Mon, 6:38 PM

"Wow. I didn't think you'd remember me, Sir Tony. Yes, it's me, __________. I used to visit you and the Questors after ROTC every Saturday night.

"My sister was inquiring about contacting you. She said the maids might have seen the ghost of our late father.

"Is there someone you trust that can reach regarding these sightings? We just want to make sure that our late father is well and fully at peace."

If it were really your father, he would have gone through you and not through servants.

I am willing to meet up with you for coffee and discuss with you your present status in life. I sense that there are certain issues that you have not yet resolved within the past 25 years, particularly about a romantic attachment that you still have been unable to give closure to. Your deceased father has nothing to do with it, and you just thought that up as an excuse to see me again.
Your e-mail message:


"I had a weird dream if I should say. A friend from _____________ came to visit me at my ancestral home (he doesn't even know about this home) and brought me 3  butterflies...black, grey and yellow with black spots. The yellow butterfly was flapping wings and I felt like it was excited (if butterflies do anyway..)

"I didn't seem so excited about his present so he was like 'I wish you knew where I got these butterflies from, they are Indian butterflies..'

"I don't why, but I think there is meaning to this butterfly thing. Could you help me interpret it please.



My answer: Hello ____________!

The dream is not only about three butterflies, they are also about the gift of life that your friend brings.

I see the three butterflies either as three children with different fathers or as three children with different personalities. Whether they exist in the past, in the present, or in the future, know that they are blessings that came into, are in, or will be in your life. Those who perished will be born unto you again as close as they did before, because they continue to love you and will always will.

Children are the biggest blessings from God. Take care of them well.
Caught Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story on HBO, and I'm glad I did. A very non-mawkish story line with great casting.

I still remain a fan, as my son Nelson did. It was hard to let go of my son's old, tattered posters, but it is difficult to conserve paper.

At any rate I still have a fiberglass statuette or two.
Like many obscene marriages, she married for lust, and it will, unfortunately, remain that way.
It isn't a good idea to impart a good impression to others at first glance, if the rest of you doesn't follow.
It doesn't help when Christmas lights, decor, and sales increase the traffic, especially if, at the end of the day, there are no significant profits anyway.
Frankly, the young star looks like Ronald McDonald.
Traffic was, as usual, at Santacruzan pace. I am beginning to suspect that this is the pace that people are most comfortable with.
Sometimes it occurs to me that seminars and conferences are a waste of money, considering that participants have their own agenda and hardly listen to everyone else.
When people wake up and move their offices outside Metro Manila, we will cease becoming a Gotham City metropolis and start spreading to the rest of the country,
To achieve a dream, let go of it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The shops across the street were Santa's workshop this evening: Artery was rushing an installation and Ducati Motorcycle Shop was working on motorbikes.
Major overhaul of a trunk full of parlor games, canvases, and art books
Moving an antique tea cart to the living room, the crystal ball stand to the altar room, more books to the library flush out, two huge paintings to separate rooms on the ground floor, and a three-panel wall mirror to the laundry area.
I started planning to give away a lot of kitchen and dining stuff that hadn't been used in a long, long, time, including wedding gifts that had never been touched by my daughter-in-law Ivy. As it turns out, Ivy wants to keep all of them.

Perhaps it is the same feeling I have with my art supplies?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I asked my second grandchild Nielsen what she would like as a gift, considering that I've been flushing out items from our house. She chose a mahogany trunk embellished with leather trimming. I bought it from Coco Merrill at Baguio Country Club a long time ago.