FROM LONG AGO

film diaries

I love you
in a sincere way,
that makes me love you
despite the scars
and flaws.

— May 01, 2013

Amidst the darkness of the world,
there is a flicker of light,
right there in your heart.
Do not let it die,
but make it ablaze like fire.

— August 18, 2013

What if the day you only have is today?
Would you do things differently?
Maybe you’ll climb a little higher,
walk a little bit slower.
Love more, and breathe.
Breathe deeper.
Take every second in.

— September 15, 2013


Underexposed photos from my second film roll, and some spilled thoughts that I found in my writing notebook. I dare not call it poetry, what I have written is still a far cry from it. These words have been hidden for so long, to the point of expired emotions that came with it before; time to bring it out to the light.

OF REBUILDING AND RESTORATION

in my life, stories of faith, travel journals

We were right on time as we entered the National Gallery of Singapore, as the receptionist told us that there would be a free guided tour of the whole place that would begin within five minutes. We didn’t hesitate to join, after all having someone explaining the details of the place and artworks were a better option than going around like headless chickens.

History is something that I’ve always been interested about. That’s why while I was listening to Jane (our museum guide); I can’t help but be fascinated on how the Singaporeans were able to preserve their culture and lineage. But I was a bit guilty as well that I came to know a lot of facts about Singapore’s history, and not being able to dig deeper on our country’s own.  I made a silent promise to myself that I should explore and discover Philippines the way that I desire to roam other countries.

What impressed me the most was how the restoration and rebuilding was made for the National Gallery.  Originally, it was two separate buildings which was not of the same height and age, which made it more challenging to be joined together (I’m sure the architects and engineers out there can fully understand). Jane mentioned that it took five years for the establishment to be completed. She showed us photos of how it was before, and the rubble that it was during the rebuilding, it was indeed a far cry on how outstanding it is now.

Do you have those little moments of grace and wisdom? When you hear that still small voice, whispering in your heart, “I am not yet finished in your life. This isn’t the den.” When you’re just walking through a museum, but God gave a different revelation? His grace and wonders can reach us in different ways.

During that moment, I was walking through egg shells. God must have felt my frustration in every honest prayer that I have cried out to Him. Lord, when will the pain go away? Will anything come out of these rubbles? It has been too long. It is too late? I badly want the cries of my heart to shake the heavens. I was an impatient girl demanding for answers.

In the middle of the National Gallery, while standing in between two magnificent work of architecture, He quietly answered, “I am still at work.” It took years for places like these to be rebuilt, for it to become like new again. How it was before is just like how our life seems to be during the progress – a mess. Yet it doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work, or he isn’t moving. There are instances we do not see, but he’s putting the pieces back together. Through this season, I have learned to see situations in a different perspective.

“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” – Isaiah 61:4

Hold out for healing.
Hold out for the rebuilding.
Our timeline can be different at times, but He is at work – both in our hearts and lives.

NOTHING PLACES

film diaries

“Nothing Places” in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be non-existent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist…it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear…and sometimes one simply wants to disappear.” Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

When my words fail me, I borrow from others and hope that they won’t mind. Today I owe my words from Jonathan Safran Foer (all the words above are his). I’m currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and there’s a narrative which tells the story of a man who lost his words, slowly, one by one, until he can’t speak no more. I’ve been wanting to write, but right now I am like that man. I wonder if it’s because life is passing by too fast again that my hands can’t catch up in writing down the words, or maybe I’m not yet ready to let the paper bleed. So for now, I leave you with film photographs arranged into a digital collage.

FILM DIARIES: CONSTANTS

film diaries, in my life

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
— Proverbs 18:24

“There’s a special place in my heart for the ones who were with me at my lowest and still loved me when I wasn’t very loveable.”
— Yasmin Mogahed

Constant. Just like the gravity that hold us down. We’ve always heard about people who come and go. Of people who have treated our hearts like doors to a room that they can just leave and come back to whenever they wish.  But there are also those who have stayed no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how messy the situation may be. Those who have shared their light and declared: we are here for you.

Photos from our earliest hike ever at Mt. Hapunang Banoi. Taken with Canon AE-1 and an expired Neopan Acros 100.

TINY STORY NO. 3: AGAIN, WHY?

artsy fartsy, tiny stories

The second prompt for Summer of Sketching arrives on my mailbox, which brings with it an all too familiar question that we have asked ourselves, probably a thousand times already: Why? 

I have learned to love this one word question even before I answered it. My default response has arrived years ago, but it is good to be reminded every now and then. Humans as we are, we easily forget. As Eric said in his e-mail: it’s easy to get caught up with WHAT you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it. We lose sight of the most important part: WHY are you doing it in the first place?

Last Saturday, I attended an art appreciation talk for free (thankful as always for the Brew Your Best Year community for providing these opportunities). I love going to these kinds of events since they make me experience being in an art class – in flesh and blood. And since it was co-organized by The Coffee Bean, it also came with coffee (not gonna deny that I sometimes live for events with free coffee, I mean come on, they make events a hundred percent better. Coffee lovers would easily understand this).

But enough about the coffee, the event was centered on the works of Pablo Picasso and understanding Cubism. I concluded on that day that abstracted cubism paintings won’t be on my favorite list; Mr. Pita told us that they are characterized by not having any space left on the canvas. Every detail is connected into a one whole picture. The main feature of these paintings is something that my eyes doesn’t favor. They make me dizzy – distracted somehow.

Another interesting fact that I found out that day is that Picasso was a copier of works. It may not be an exact copy, sometimes a reversed image or a different pose but you can find the similarity if you look closer. I find it funny that one of the most famous painters started just like us, with no sense of originality or style.  We make a big fuss out of being original at times, that’s why I have always loved that Palahniuk quote: Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy. The character was talking about his insomnia episodes, but maybe we can say the same to art as well. Even the people we called masters are no exception.

The organizers were rounding up questions and one participant asked, “What was Picasso’s motive in creating these artworks? What legacy did he want to leave behind?” I was half listening, busy stirring my coffee, so these words are just a rephrased answer from Mr. Pita “His greatest motive was just to express himself, it was his outlet from the anxiety or depressive things happening in his life. He wasn’t actually aiming into what legacy he was leaving behind.”

That afternoon was quite comforting, knowing that art can still for art’s sake. There are times when our whys are geared into creating an impact for the world or the community. But there are times when your why is about letting yourself breath through colors, shapes, or figures. To simply create, without too much expectations attached to it.

Tiny Stories is inspired by the book curated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bearing the same title) that says: The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. This is my attempt to compile mine, something to push me to write even if there’s not a lot of words for me to grasp.