Showing posts from September, 2015


Scenario 1: You couldn’t care less about Matchbox 20, except you find Rob Thomas kind of cute and his Ever the Same — a hit from his solo album — equally worthy of attention. So one downtime at the office, you share the song to a colleague in the next cubicle: “Listen, isn’t this nice?” To which she responds, “I’m not a fan of that beat. It’s repetitive and predictable and has no depth.” Her facial expression adding the subtext: You’ve just taken precious minutes off my life. Get away from me, I have better things to do.

Scenario 2: A big fan of Aegis, April Boy Regino, Sarah Geronimo and Charice Pempengco, you’ve created the ultimate OPM playlist featuring the four artists and, proud of your hard work, shared it on Facebook. Five slices of pizza, two diet Cokes and a Big Bang Theory rerun later, you return to the computer to find your FB notifications exploding with likes and shares — and the occasional but hostile “what a hipster” and its variation “what a know-it-all, tastemaker wan…

Short + sweet + oh so worth it

Nothing sparks creativity so much than constraint. Take the Japanese haiku, where in 17 syllables and only three lines, an evocative picture is painted. Or the epitaph (pardon the gloomy example), in which a human being’s lifetime is commemorated in a slab of rock. For something more modern, there’s this online thing called Twitter, whose 140-character limit brings out the aphorist in us.

In the domain of performing arts, we have Short + Sweet, a global festival featuring 10-minute plays. Its vision, to put it shortly and sweetly, is: “A more creative world ten minutes at a time.” Founded in Sydney, Australia over a decade ago, Short + Sweet serves as a platform for emerging and established artists — from actors to writers and directors — to test, showcase and develop their skills and materials.

Performances of selected entries during the festival run are judged by a panel of experts along with the theater audience. Winners are rewarded with cash and industry prizes on the Gala and Fi…

Meeting the under-celebrated Marivi Soliven

Literary figures have an air of mystique about them, perhaps brought by the many worlds and lives they’ve lived — besides their own — through the stories they’ve read and written. Marivi Soliven arrived at the Writers Bar at Raffles Makati with that very air, looking every bit of a dignified author out to pen the next visceral novel. One couldn’t help but peg her as someone minding an important business. Because she was. That day Soliven stopped by two TV networks to talk about her new book before going to Raffles Hotel for one-on-one interviews with the press.

Soliven’s The Mango Bride follows Amparo Guerrero and Beverly Obejas, Filipinas who left Manila for Oakland in search of greener grass. Strangers to each other in the beginning, the two crossed paths and in the course of their encounter shared a life-changing secret. The novel in English earned the Palanca Award before it was published in 2013 by Penguin Books. It was then translated in Spanish in 2014 and this year in Filipino…

For the rest of his life

That Syrian child on the beach. I don't mind the image. He looks in peace.


Regret is funny. How can you feel bad about something that didn't happen. Things could've gone in so many ways other than what you imagine.

Medium of interrogation

“I grew up not being able to ask a lot of questions. The camera was the first tool in which I was allowed to explore, to ask the questions that I wanted to ask,” shares National Geographic Young Explorer and documentary and travel photographer Hannah Reyes. “It’s a good tool to immerse yourself in something and make you get out of your shell.”

The fun and prestige of photography is not lost on anyone who has ever tried pressing the DSLR shutter button or even a digicam’s and begin to feel a new sense of wonder evoked by seeing what they have just captured. It’s no surprise that bulky cameras aren’t only carried by men and women in tourists spots and popular events — they seem to be everywhere, every time. In fact the device has become as commonplace as a hat or a pen that it has found its way to arguably one of our top daily necessities: the mobile phone.

Shutterbugs have a new toy in their smartphones. While conservative photographers can’t be bothered to take snapshots with their ph…