December 27, 2008

A Repartee on Bob Ong's Ugly Covers

I was searching for book covers to feature for 2008's fin-de-annee when I saw a familiar entry at a forum over Bob Ong's site where apparently an entry of mine concerning the ugliness of Philippine book covers caused a furor amongst Bob Ong's fanatical fanbase. I can hear the rabid Rah-rah-rahs of his minions. While I don't like his oeurves as a personal opinion, preferring more to the likes of Butch Dalisay Jr. and Conrado de Quiros, I respect the fact that a LOT of teens, tweens and kiddults like his earthy and intimate way of writing. If they like reading what's inside, that's their business. It's similar to the feeling how all teenie-boppers swoon over the Twilight series catapulting it to National Bestsellerhood and yet for the literary value of it, it turned out to be such a tedious mess of words.

Apart from its contents, the COVERS of Bob Ong's tomes suck terribly. If there's a word to describe the creative mind behind all of the designs, it would be "atrocious." Oh no! I can hear the squeals and shrieks of loyal peons ready to burn my blog to the stake. Such Salemesque mentality is not flattering to the author for such heightened emotions reflect the maturity and rhetoric partiality of its audience. It's all about the design and quality of the books, not the contents however sleep-inducing it may be. Anyhow, if they have been keen in understanding what I wrote, they would appreciate the reality that GOOD book covers SELL well. And by having terribly done covers will do a disservice to the author who slaved for months to write those pages. To see it all go for nothing just because a second-rate hack has monochromatic vision is truly an injustice. Period. If they'll publish it as an limited-edition omnibus with good creamy acid-free paper and French flaps and matte-laminated cover design, people will surely stop and buy it.

However, if it was the author indeed who designed those books, then it becomes another contention altogether.

What I can't comprehend is how such an entry became an exercise of fallacies. Fallacies of ad baculum, ad misericordiam, and ad hominem became sparking points in maintaining the debate. It bemuses me to see such caveman antics but also saddens me to note that we cannot have a healthy debate without spiralling into the abyss of mudslinging. Is it because of lack of education? Or because of undeveloped emotional maturity? I don't know. A lot have their heads screwed to their shoulders but many still have that mob mentality when they comment: it's either you're with us 100% or against us 100%. You can't criticize our idol unscathed! Hahaha...

Here's the NY Times Book Design Blog to give you examples on books that failed and succeed thanks to their catchy covers. And another article why we must judge a book by its cover.


December 15, 2008


We are just but humans, anyway,
We are helpless, anyway,
little suckers for little hope, anyway,
looking ceiling-wise, our hands still in our pockets anyway,
I guess it's fate anyway,
waiting for another Godot anyway,
tempting to change the void anyway,
still the same anyway.

Let us escape this in any way,

December 07, 2008

I Love the Ward

I just love this Discovery Channel commercial. It always makes me want to smile. ...and now my version of the commercial:

I Love the Ward

It never gets old huh?
It kinda makes you wanna break into song?
I love the patients
I love the IV lines
I love reviving
I love when mucus fly
I love the whole ward
And all its smells and sounds
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
I love the bantays
I love when they give things
I love endorsements
I love the fear it brings
I love the whole ward
and all its craziness
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
I love ulcered toes
I love to wake their beds
I love angina
I love to crack their heads
I love the whole ward
Its such a grilling place
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada
Boom De Yada

November 15, 2008

On Blogging Topics

"Truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the Lies you can invent."

-William Blake

After a long hiatus, I shall try to incorporate blogging once again into my life. There are so many things to say, to write, and to gripe about but everytime I would open my blog and start typing, the words and sentences always end up in the draft mode.

Most of the time, you develop the passion for writing when inspiration hits you like a brick to the head. These are the days when you are sad, euphoric, excited, frustrated, or mad. Extremes in neurotransmitters controlling the limbic system (a.k.a. the seat of emotions) are usually the trigger points of which one takes up the pen to write the literary hemorrhage being formed in his or her mind.

However, in these past few years, I end up pouring my soul towards another medium- the journal. People with an IQ of tree-monkeys will not understand the logic and impracticability why I chose some antediluvian Moleskine-like medium over the newest technological convenience of blogging. Simple. There are just so many thoughts that cannot be posted here in my blog- my frustrations, my hopes, my dreams, my "what if"s, my anger, my sorrow, etc. It then becomes too damn depressing and embarrassing to read all the dirty linen in cyberspace. While it is true that blogging liberated me into dipping my pen into the inkwell of literary passion, it has also shackled me into the topics of which I write. Most bloggers would agree in varying degrees. Many would restrict their writings to the most inconsequential, be it in the form of book reviews, food critique or everyday mundane stuff. With a journal, no social boundary can keep you from writing what you really really feel.

I was once tempted to write about my relatives from both sides of the fence with the glaring title, "Relative Hypocrisy", but after reading my draft, I decided for fear of irreversible repercussions that the article may bring, I concluded that it was not worth the trouble and shelved it permanently. Same holds true for the rest of the human race of which I had the privilege of meeting in some way or another. In the end, even if I would feel better venting out all my angst here like a bad case of literary diarrhea, I know full well that this site has been marked for public consumption and there is a chance that some of these "characters" I write about may end up reading sordid details about them. In the end, the journal remains the best solution for such type of entry. And I completely agree.

October 12, 2008


Here in the Philippines we have Monay bread while in Finland, they prefer the moist yeasty taste of...

August 07, 2008

Eau de Corps

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me...

-Emma Lazarus

Here in the famed hospital of Corrupt-zone Toxin Memorial Regressional Hospital, the smell of the great unwashed is strong and tenacious. No Ajax detergent in the world will ever rid the stench of human refuse. It's quite hard to imagine that a hospital this huge would have the temerity to be the incubation lab of countless microbes. Imagine a facility where every nook and cranny your olfactory senses are barraged with smells originating from every pore of humankind. If one shall make these into perfumes casing each aroma in a bottle, it would be like this:

1. Agua de Cebollas (by Nenooko)
Take a whiff of the distillated vegetal essences of allium cepa and the tantalizing spiciness of Jamon Jabugo as it excites your senses. It will assault you, it will make you stop walking, it will earn everyone's undivided attention. In fact, it shall make everyone's tastebuds water with delight. Sourced from the best Andalucian axillas, Nenooko gives you nothing but the richest and undeodorized corporal fragrance. Such is the power of Agua de Cebollas, it will catch you dead on your tracks- before and after it kills you.

2. Cool Yellow Water (by Davideaff)
Davideaff's new creation is a new honey-colored heaven characterized by blissful summer days full of bright lemon and pineapple tones embellished with the brazen ammoniacal odor of uric acid. It's a gurantee you will turn heads with this one. All your friends will ask you where you got that unique perfume. It's so familiar, so banal and yet so intimate that in the end, they will be so moved by your scent that they will grab a tissue to wipe that sudden burst of excitement from their, uh, mouths.

3. L' Pied No. 5 (Tsanel)
As experts of hairy armpits and unshaved legs, the French too has mastered perfume-making. The house of Tsanel is proud to announce a new fragrance- inside a sinuous and shapely bottle lies the scent that has, according to Time Magazine, "become the fetish of millions". People are smitten by the exotic and esoteric smell emanating from the bottle. The heart notes of sweet-sick tang of melon, ginger, and the by-products of billions of staphylococcal colonies are tempered by the muskier blue cheese ripened to perfection. It's so intoxicating and heady that you will inescapably catch the attention of patients 50 meters away. They cannot evade the scent as you yourself cannot which is highly recommended to use this sparingly. Anklet and toe ring included.

4. Barfgari pour Homme (Barfgari)
You'll be swept away by the rich scent of chocolate, cinnamon with base notes of rancid butter and fermented fish, capped by the top notes of coconut and vinegar. This perfume will bathe you in warm glow of emesis that others will find irresistable. Your lover shall swoon at your feet after filling up the enclosed unused motion-sickness bags twice. Such is the power of Barfgari pour Homme, you will always emerge a winner.

5. Old Leather (Ex-Christian Brothers)

Such is the appeal of Old Leather- comforting, exquisitely genteel, and classic like an old Master in a checkered bathrobe clutching his walker. This amber-colored inter-generational concoction (in an exclusive wrinkled and corrugated cardboard box) continues to survive and win more patrons with its earthy and smoky musk. It reminds customers where their roots are- a few feet underground. With two centuries since its first conception, Old Leather is here to stay.

Now, which perfume shall you pick?

August 06, 2008

Atrocious Prints

Japan, the country that shocked the world with its 1937 Rape of Nanking is also a major proponent for Muzan-e otherwise known as "Atrocious Prints." Based on the centuries-old tradition of Ukiyo-e (or Pictures of the Floating World) where artisans like Hiroshige and Hokusai created beautiful prints of the Kabuki world and countryside scenes, artists old and new tried to go out of society's moral boundaries by composing prints full of gore and amputations. It's no wonder why their horrific acts of genocidal brutality are not considered as an isolated episode of madness- it's perhaps in their blood to explore beyond the realms of civilized taste. And since Japan is a "graphic society", it's no wonder also why almost everything and anything is illustrated in ways the Western mind can never imagine.

From images from the Hungry Ghost scrolls depicting demons from hell torturing humans (which is akin to the medieval paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grünewald) to modern illustrations of eroguro whereby manga characters lop off their partner's head and used the decapitated portion as a sex toy, Japanese taste for the extreme is quite shocking yet fascinating. For those who are only weaned on the missionary position of procreation, the Japanese can teach these prudes a thing or two, but "that" will be a subject for future rumination.

Generally, muzan-e depicts scenes of heroes, usually samurai, in the throes of their glorious death while they carry out their vengeance for their honor or their master's honor. This makes the print tolerable. But contemporary artists like Suehiro Maruo took the genre to another level. While leaving behind the valiant ideas of Bushido where seppuku is being swooned over and over by the likes of the novelist Yukio Mishima, Maruo took the bloody aesthetics and incorporated modern themes resulting into something more disturbing and blood-curdling. For instance, he explored artistically on the finale of Red Riding Hood's untimely demise, as seen below. It really takes your breath away.

Looking at these prints reminds me that the human mind can be cruel and sublime at the same time. Isn't it strange that such beauty and skill is used to depict madness and chaos? These inspires me to contemplate that at least in modern Japan, such notions of violence are only found in ink and paper, and not in blood and flesh. Fortunately for us, we are not Japanese.

August 05, 2008

Doctor Green Is In

This was an old entry to which I dare not publish, but since this has already been classified as "history," I might as well declassify this X-file for the sake of entertainment:

I am disgusted by this doctor-consultant. Physically speaking, his paunchiness, decaying wrinkly skin, flambouyant voice and Estrada-style haircut were already alarming signals of how disgusting he can be. I thought I wouldn't have that sick feeling again for I realized that since I'm a doctor, I should already be desensitized to the many gross specimens, body parts and operations. This means I cannot cringe in front of the patient while cleaning and debriding his near-amputated diabetes-ridden feet that smells like a horse's ass. This means that another surprise like that will not easily stimulate my "nausea" reflex. Besides, I think that since he's a doctor, he should the dignity to be decent and professional, but then again, being high in the hospital totempole made him virtually unassailable and untouchable, therefore, he felt he can get away with bloody murder!

My feeling was recently confirmed that this doctor was indeed a veritable slime ball. How? Let me count the ways:

1. This morning, our female senior resident reported on typhoid fever- a disease caused by the fecal-oral transmission of Salmonella typhi. When the discussion reached the part on how typhoid can being transmitted via eating poorly cooked meat or drinking contaminated water, our consultant-moderator asked (while sporting a sly smile), "Can sex become a cause for typhoid transmission?"

Our resident who was reporting stammered and apparently looked embarrassed at such an impudent query. She vainly looked for words that will sugar-coat what is plainly obvious. Duh! Fecal-to-Oral route.... hmmm... Anus-to-Mouth... hmmm... and sex?? How so?? Anyone with an IQ of a baboon can deduce what our consultant was aiming at.

So the reporter said instead, "Umm... sir... Typhoid fever can be transmitted via other sexual positions."

"And so?"

"Umm... can be transmitted by anal sex."


"Umm..Umm... Sir..."

Apparently, he wanted the whole kit and caboodle. The big man was eager to hear how anal sex and oral sex could be jointly related. At his age, it was not funny. In fact, it painted him a very dirty old man.

2. As the morning reporting dragged on, it came to a point when the discussion proceeded into the usefulness of urine culture in diagnosing typhoid. And because the patient presented with increased pus cells in the urine, the consultant touched on the fact that males can have UTI too. Normally, females tend to get more frequent UTIs because of their shorter urethras.

The consultant turned his head and asked our male resident, "So (name), gaano kalaki ang urethra mo?" By the sheer sound of it, it was tantamount in saying "How long is your schlong?" It was like asking the female reporter the depth of her... uh, feelings.

The resident just gave a nervous laugh, apparently not at all arous... i meant, amused. Even in another department where some male consultants make lewd jokes about their female residents, they do not go into that territory wherein the victim is publicly embarrassed. In our consultant's case, his remarks made him an embarrassment.

3. Last duty, this doctor and Dra. Hag (a decaying frizzle-haired female consultant) gate-crashed the morning endorsement whereby they nestled their fat assess at our instantly vacated table. After having a bit of small talk, this he began to interrogate the duty resident who stayed in the room.

He said, "So (name), how are you and Dr. (name) nowadays?"

She answered, "Ok naman sir"

Then, turning his head to the other consultant, he said,"You know (name), I'm able to remember (name)'s boyfriend because it reminded me of something bad." He gave out a repressed laughter as if he has something funny to reveal.

"What?", the old hag said apparently enjoying where this conversation was going.

"Eh di, Semilla! Sounds the same eh. Can you imagine if you'll hear from the paging system 'Paging Dr. Semilla!"

My resident blushed furiously (out of embarrassment perhaps), and began to knot her eyebrows. I was embarrassed for her. Only Dr. Green and Dra. Hag were oblivious to their blatant social faux pas.

Disgusting. Period. Shame on you, Dr. Green.

July 01, 2008

Namets! Namets!

NAMETS teaser from fiona borres on Vimeo.

This is perhaps a testament to the love of the Negrenses to their homegrown culinary specialties that at times borders already to bacchanalian obsession. Talk to any expatriate Negrense (don't you just love the way the word rolls from your tongue?) and each one shall wax poetic about their favorite Ilonggo meal be it inasal to batchoy to pancit molo to guinamos bisaya to piayaya and puto Manapla. If this will further enhance the prestige of Filipino cuisine, then all food-loving Pinoys and non-Pinoys should watch it. Coming this August to the city that sugar built, Jay Abello's "Namets!" will be one film to savor for months to come.

June 22, 2008

Pride of Bacolod: Bar 21 / Bar21 Restaurant

The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure.
-Michel de Montaigne

This unassuming restaurant at the corner of Bacolod's swanky restaurant row has been serving good Negrense fare for more than two decades already. Known before as 21st Street Food Corner where they cooked simple pleasures like Burgers and Batchoy, it has evolved to become one of Bacolod, if not, its only upscale restaurant where one can confidently bring foreign and out-of-town guests.

Its muted off-white and dark mahogany interiors reflect the choices of its proprietors. It tells about the class and breeding of old families like the Aranetas and Gamboas- sublime, graceful without being crass, strong yet delicate, sumptuous yet accessible. Everything from the old-world twine-wound chairs to the orchid-laden tables (which remided me both of Hemingway) to the barong-clad executioner-looking maitre d' to the attentive waitresses, and even to the incandescent glow from the chandeliers, all contribute to the richness of the Bar 21 experience.

However, the main reason why this restaurant is still standing while its back-neighbor is not is the fact that the food is delicious yet affordable. Yes, it's that simple: delicious and affordable. Period. Probably it's more than that: it's delicious, cheap and classy. It's the only non-hotel restaurant here that serves flambèed desserts. It's the one of the few restos that serve steaks and other high-end products. Patrons won't feel any price-gouging here. You get what you order. Imagine a plateful of spare ribs served with Spanish morisqueta (old Spanish-Filipino term for fried rice as in morisqueta tostada) and fried onions costing you about ~P140 ($3.50) or its bowlful of special batchoy with its cracklings and noodles for only P60 ($1.50). You can have the same fare at a mall restaurant for the same price. This is certainly more filling than a damn PizzaHut pizza where a slice can cost a dollar. This means that the parity of "deliciousness" of Bar21's food to the amount of food is unbeatable, and the ratio of the amount against the price is wallet-friendly. This is why those who eat here come back for another day. This observation is seen also in many of Bacolod's restos like Calea and Bob's.

Another point for Bar21 is for their creativity in making simple food complex. I remember eating their delectable Moist Chocolate Cake with its icing hot and melting. It's more like Chocolate Lava than a cake. This goes to show that even as simple as a chocolate cake was made special by heat. How about their Toasted Ravioli with its parmesan sauce?

A restaurant will not thrive if its patrons feel that their stomachs and wallets are being cheated either by lousy taste or by the disproportional amount-to-price ratio. Perhaps this is why such franchises such as Krua Thai, Bo's Coffee Club and Gerry's Grill cannot compete with homegrown and home-loved joints like Bob's and Pendy's. The former can be logically sustained in a city of 10 million like Manila where the rich and educated can splurge on these restaurants anytime, but not in 500,000 strong Bacolod where local tastes tend to be fickle. And I don't think 20+ years in the business is a sign of fickleness in the city of smiles. Salut!

Bar 21 Restaurant (official site)
Lacson Street cor. 21st Street
Tel: 034 -4334096 /435-3852;

*pics were "borrowed" from the Bacolod FoodHunters and Wyatt Belmonte's Site. Links below to their sites feature more stuff about Bar21.

Bacolod Food Hunter's take on Bar21's Cheeseburger
Wyatt's Kitchen and his Bar21 experience

June 13, 2008

Dearest Dad

Dearest Dad,

Wherever you are, Happy Father’s Day! It has been difficult to celebrate this time of the year when you know there’s nothing to look forward to. I cannot be as excited as my friends are, or be as ecstatic as the commercials are with their broad smiles and celebratory cheers. It’s reality, but a bitter one indeed. No treats for you anymore at an eat-all-you-can buffet at your favorite Japanese restaurant. Remember the time when you encouraged me to try sashimi telling me that even a sliver of raw fish can taste divine. Or treat you to a great WWII dvd movie where we can watch together as father and son. I bought one of your favorite movies, “Empire of the Sun,” just to savor that lingering feeling of you and mom being there. Oh dad, I have saved enough to treat you to life’s small luxuries especially now that your son has been earning his keep. I had hoped it would be my time to serve you, to take care of you, that you won’t anymore open you wallet just as you had before. Your generosity is your lifelong lesson for me, so that I will be equally generous to those I love.

How I wish I can regale you with my work at the hospital- the fastidious folks, the patients that I’ve sent home alive, or even the rare diseases I have witnessed. Isn’t this your life long dream to have a son who will one day become a full-fledged doctor? I had hoped to hear from you asking me for free samples for your joint pains after a round of golf or even advice about your disease when you had your esophageal CA years back.

Remember the time when you drove me to my high school asking me what college course I’d like to apply in Manila? I said I’ll take up archaeology because I have been dreaming of buried gold underneath our garden. You told me there’s no money in that, and I’d be better off being a doctor. You were so happy then knowing I took that path that even when I transferred to my dormitory to start my medical degree, you were the one who cut and applied the contact paper to my dorm table so that my books won’t get scratched.

It’s amazing how I remember all the little things when you are gone. They are like precious nuggets of memories that I try to save just so I won’t forget you, or mom. Since I can’t anymore add to those future milestones, these become important to me- the lessons you’ve drilled into me (like time management because you always catch me at the computer at 1am), the times you’ve berated me (like the time when you taught me how to drive but gave up on me on the first lesson), and your passion for living (like snorkeling and enjoying bangus bellies.) All I could say is “Thanks Dad” for everything. And even though you’re not here anymore, this day is still my tribute to you- by remembering all that you have done for me to become the person I am now and to realize that the dream you once planned for us have come true. Our success in this world is our only gift to you.

Your son.

June 01, 2008

The Dementress' Overture

This Modesto Mussorgsky symphony is the perfect composition that captures the beauty of her inner soul...

...but of course, when you see her, all you can think of is Carl Orff's Intro to Carmina Burana.

How I love the classics....

May 31, 2008

Quote of the Day

Wash the plate not because its dirty nor you are told to wash it but because you love the person who will use it.
– Mother Teresa

May 15, 2008

East and West

"Oh, East is East, and West is West,
and never the twain shall meet..."
- Rudyard Kipling

Before, I had the notion that traditional Asian music can never meld with that of the Classical West with all their violins and French horns. Sure there were composers who tried to make operas with an oriental flair like Puccini (of Madame Butterfly & Turandot fame) and that of Arthur & Sullivan (The Mikado), but all of these were still patterned after Western tastes. Even the instruments used were all traditional orchestral pieces- the piano, the trombones, and timpani. Never was there the lute, the ranad-ek, the gongs, or the koto and shamisen in these works. Yes, the themes were of Asia, but the flavor remains Occidental.

It is fortunate that through Youtube, I had come across a couple of arrangements by conductor and composer, Shardad Rohani. Enjoy. The sheer bliss and syncopation of eastern melodies with western harmonies is exhilarating. It makes me want to immediately fly to my beloved Thailand.


1.LAOPAN RANAD CONCERTO ลาวแพน ระนาดคอนแชร์โต
Ranad Solo by Chaiphak Phattharachinda
เดี่ยวระนาด โดย ชัยภัค ภัทรจินดา (นิก กอไผ่)
Conducted by Shardad Rohani
BSO - Bangkok Symphony Orchestra
Bangkok : 23 July 1999

2. "Thai Children Choir" & The Closing Ceremony Theme Song of the 13th Asian Games Bangkok '98 "Light of Asia"
Composed by Thai composer "Dnu Huntrakul"
[ทำนองโดย ดนู ฮุนตระกูล]
Lyric : Khunying Sasima Srivikorn
[คำร้องโดย คุณหญิงศศิมา ศรีวิกรม์]
BSO - Bangkok Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Shardad Rohani
Bangkok : 23 July 1999

May 07, 2008

A Mother's Day Tribute

*this was one of my earlier works.... just a tribute for Mother's Day. Cheers!

A Midsummer's Night Lullaby
by: Julsitos

Now rest your eyes, my dearest child,
lay upon your mother's breast,
and feel the warmth, so sweet and mild,
your peaceful face gently pressed.

Hush little one, the day is done,
for you are in my keeping.
The ills of yesterday now begone
its secrets now asleeping.

Can you hear the crickets playing,
hidden 'mong the grasses there?
Can you feel the wind whisp'ring
blowing through the midnight air?

And when you yawn, your face alights
without a care or worry.
To dream in splendid perfumed nights,
is paradise and glory.

In the darkness of midsummer
not a stirring, child and I,
for in sleep we sleep together,
and dream beneath a moonlit sky.

April 17, 2008

Fishing at

The nice thing about is that there are random stuff there that's worth bidding for. No need for credit card accounts, no need for paypal membersip. It's as easy as opening an email account. Once done, you're ready to bid!

These are my new finds: 19th century revenue documents in Tagalog! Let me know if you have translated them. ;)

April 15, 2008

National Bookbinge

Oftentimes, patience pays off. Waiting for something to arrive and pouncing upon it at the right time gives one the thrill of victory. It's a victory of scoring a very very good bargain. And now, it's hunting season inside the National Bookstore bins. I usually go for the bargain books, and though most imported books sport a 20% discount, it's the 50+% books that I chase. My last trip to the local provincial branch yielded some pretty exciting tomes, namely:

1. Vintage Twins (Crime) 40% discount - twin volumes that share a common theme and in this case: crime. Dostoevsky's seminal novel, Crime & Punishment is paired by Patricia Highsmiths' Ripley's Game. The special thing about C&P is that its current translation is the best. The much-acclaimed translator team of Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky did this one and critics say it's the best out there. Also, Ripley's Game is one of the later segments of her "Ripleiad"- meaning that this volume is the sequel to her first work, The Talented Mr. Ripley which I am sure everyone is familiar with since there's a movie of the same name.

2. Vintage Twins (Fantasy) 40% discount - in this twinning comes Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Actually, I don't care for Alice and her wonderland. She can just wallow there for all I care but as for Murakami's work, ahh... that's another species altogether. If you're interested in the Japan that's urbane, quirky, sanitized, then this volume might pique your interest. It's quite interesting to note that in such sterile society, Haruki can come up with the most surreal of all plots. It's a keeper.

3. Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (50% discount) is one of those rare gems that crop up once in a decade. This is a low-key novel by award-winning Dai Sijie where it talks about the dire effect of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution wherein all Western ideas and products were deemed decadent. The prose is sparse and intimate, and the characters well-formed. And for only P125, this is never decadent.

4. Paul Auster's New York Trilogy (40% discount)- this is a bargain for this volume comprises of three novels which normally would cost an arm and a leg. I got this for P140-. I'm not sure whether the bookstore knows how to use the calculator in converting foreign currencies, or this was just serendipity. Auster's Trilogy does not contain your normal linear plotline. It uses the tools in mystery novels and yet it's not a mystery- more of philosophical ruminations of history and life itself. The prose is interesting without being pedantic, the plot Murakami-esque signifying a not-so-delectable resolution. Nevertheless, it's a bargain.

5. Marquis de Sade's Juliette (40% discount) - Ahhh... au bon livre. C'est parfait! This is the bible for atheists and libertines. Marquis is a genius, a philosopher, for he skews the prevailing Catholic faith's grip over the morals of the French people during that time. Remember, de Sade wrote this during the time of the French Revolution, thus, not only was there political upheaval but also spiritual turbulence as well. His views espouse hedonism, self-promotion, and amorality all thinly disguised as novel of decadence. As for the purchase, this work is scarce and not mass-produced, hence the price was a bit higher. Nonetheless, a perfect counterpoint to the book, "The Purpose Driven Life."

April 10, 2008

City of the Infernal Sun

City of the Infernal Sun
by: j u l s i t o s

city of the infernal sun,
whose gods have left you
to die in your dung.
How fortunate we are
that a morass like you
is dying each day,
your people like termites
festering in your crevices
with its footsteps
and tears.
They drink from your pustules,
wounds of the earth
nursed from decades past,
opened now for the soulless to drink
not knowing the difference
between the joy of death
and sleeping in perpetual hell.

Hasten your decay
so a new dawn will break upon us.
Your over-weightedness,
your avarice,
your ingratitude to History
your indifference to grace and virtue
your amorality
will be your end.
You slit your wrist
on the throne of the Devil
like Faustus
to satisfy your hunger
for quick dry orgasms.

What epiphany shall we see in you?
None! For death is sweet reckoning for you.
Never shall you stand again.
Your empty arrogance is your shackle
to which we hope shall never be loosen.
And praise the day when you shall see
your flesh has withered
and your bones scattered on the earth.
And when you decide that death is better,
only then, I shall help you
bury your grave.

January 26, 2008

Dead on Arrival

Dead on Arrival
by: Julsitos

Their bare feet swept the floors herein,
without a sound to paint despair,
but as they stopped to call me in
the smell of death pervades the air.

January 20, 2008

Dawn of a New Horror

It has been three months since I pressed "Publish Post" in this blog. I had not realized that it was that long since my brained vomited another entry from its deepest recesses. Work, subhuman at that, has taken it's toll on my system. No juices flowed, no sparks flew. No inspiration came... but now, times have been a bit easier. So, I guess it's time to take a break and start this blog rolling, again.