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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Old Man and the C. Or, How to Produce a Coffee-Table Book in 8 Weeks

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MANILA - I am 72 years. If you count the years, I am old; but I don't know how to count like you do! So, instead of counting days, in the last 2 months, I have been counting 150 pages of a coffee-table book I was producing for an NPA, a nice-performing agency of government. Old man? Right now I'm reminded of Ernest Hemingway's little book classic The Old Man and the Sea, published 50 years ago, where old Santiago conquers his months-old bad luck - 84 days without catching a fish. With a fishing line, he hooks a large marlin, more than 5 meters long. The big fish fights, jumping and swimming and swerving to set itself free, but the hook stays in place, and the line holds. It's not going to say die until it's dead. It swims away from shore and drags across the sea the old man on his little boat who will not let go. On the 3rd day of the battle of wits between man and marlin, the man wins. In fact, the author is the ultimate winner. The Old Man and the Sea wins a Pul…

My 2012 visits to cities, encounters with hope

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MANILA - I call this image The Face of Faith, my first encounter with hope this year outside of me. You're looking at a digital zoom image, #57, shot with my latest and newest digital camera, a Lumix FZ100, plus a Leica lens, minus a tripod. Yes, I'm a writer; I'm also a photographer. I have been writing, and taking photographs formally since 1975 when I began media work for the Forest Research Institute in Los Baños, Laguna, where I became Chief Information Officer. For FORI, Rody Maningas and I logged around the country, from North to South, a set of 4 Asahi Pentax lenses: normal, wide angle, macro, telephoto. Heavy equipment, great shots. That's why this time I bought the digital Lumix FZ100: Light equipment with an all-in-one Leica lens, great shots. Actually, all things being equal, great photography is not the photo equipment but the photographer. At perhaps 10 km away from the highway, The Face of Faith is my shot at a bus stop, 26 February 2012, exactly 11:43…

Good Friday, I found the prophet Isaiah wrong!

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BAY, LAGUNA - 3 PM, 06 April 2012, inside the Roman Catholic San Agustin Parish Church, full of warm bodies but it's not hot. Officiating is Rev Fr Jessie Somosierra Jr, in red cape, signifying blood spilled, I surmise. The text read is in Filipino, and I know that so much is lost in the translation. I try to listen, but the more I notice that the Filipino language can never do justice to the Greek or even to the English version. I'm writing this the day after, Black Saturday, so now I can check the readings in English with my wife's Bible Diary, the one prepared by Claretian Publications, with verses taken from the Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition). 1st Reading, Isaiah 52: 13 to 53:12: Who could believe what we have heard and to whom has Yahweh revealed his feat? Like a root out of dry ground, like a sapling he grew up before us, with nothing attractive in his appearance, no beauty, no majesty. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows familiar …