Archive for August, 2013

Alone for a day in Barcelona

August 27th, 2013 No comments
I caught a commercial about Estrella Damm on the television a few weeks ago. Quick warning, not for prudes as it wasn't MTRCB/CBCP approved.
Moving on. I remembered fondly my trip to Barcelona last year to meet a very good friend who was passing by. It's so rare that I get to see her so since I was fairly near that time I hopped on a flight to Spain; luckily, there was a cheap and direct flight to the city so it wasn't much of a hassle except for my battered bank account.
I did meet my friend on my first night in Barcelona but to both of our disappointment she was working the next day so I had the entire (working) day to myself. 
This was what I did on my eight hours that I was alone. 
As it's my first real day on the city. I decided to bike's part of a tour kaya may direction naman.  I did meet some people but it's not worth posting them - fleeting acquaintances if you will. I mean if they looked like the people on that video I would have made them this post's cover. JK
We stopped by for beer and mojito at a beach bar. We locked the bikes nearby apparently there's a lot of bikes getting stolen around the city but since I'm using a rental I wasn't that bothered. I still locked it though - they might make me walk all the way back. 
Man made beach for the Olympics in Barcelona. Very nice
ALLEGEDLY this used to be a throne room

La Sagrada Familia

After the short bike tour.  I took the furnicular to the Olympic Park on Montjuic. You could walk it from the city centre or take the bus but since I haven't rode a furnicular before and I was lazy...I rode the funky tram
Cool manholes.

Calatrava telecommunication tower

Missing handle sa poso., :)
Feeling even more lazy I took the outdoor escalator around

Before I knew it, I was in La Rambla again to meet my friend. She has brought her friend as well so it was kinda fun.
We found this local bar off La Rambla perched on a chair and just killed time. Tapas, pizza, servings of Paella and drinks.
We had a couple of jugs of Sangria - my first time. Now, I usually don't like red wine but this was actually good.
We had proper fun - just like the Estrealla Damm video, I mean we weren't bad looking the only real difference is no one took a video of us and we didn't have beer.   Bit tipsy really when we went home.
On the third day, we had to part ways as I had plans with friends who weren't in Spain. I took another flight and had to try this milky concoction called Horchata at the airport. They were serving red wine and soda both of which I didn't really fancy.
Why did I try it, for the very shallow reason that I had Horchata by Vampire Weekend on my playlist at that time.
Horchata on my way back.

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May mga Pugot na Payo sa Luwas kan Bintana

August 19th, 2013 No comments
Text: Victor Dennis T. Nierva
Music: Jireh S. Pasano
Performed with: Donnel Ramirez & Abigail S. Pasano-Del Puerto

May mga pugot na payo sa luwas kan bintana.
Ilag sa luwas, pirming nakatunganga.
Lagatob kan daghan, makusog, dai mapugulan,
Mga tuhod, mga takyag, biyong linuluyahan.

May mga pugot na payo sa luwas kan bintana.
Biyo an ganot mo, daing untok an simong luha.
Sinusumpong, nariribong, kinaban nagtatalibong:
An mga pugot na payo, nagrarani, nagririmong-rimong.

Haaah! Haaah! Haaah! Hain ka na baya?!
Haaah! Haaah! Haaah! Hain ka na baya?!
Tugang, aki, agom, kataid, amigo o amiga!
Haaah! Haaah! Haaah! Hain ka na baya?!
Haaah! Haaah! Haaah! Hain ka na baya?!
Kan kaipuhan taka, tadaw nagpabaya?

May mga pugot na payo sa luwas kan bintana.
Dai mo nabibisto, lawog na nalalapa.
Madugong mga bungo, panong lugad asin kulog.
Ta dai mo hilingon, lingaw ka na kan pagbanog?

Kan nahiling mo siya, anong ginibo mo?
Nagdulag? Nagliko? Nagbalyo nin tinampo?
Nagpasalamat ka garo ta bako simo nangyari.
Nagtuninong, mayong labot, inisip an sadiri.
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Toshi & Mika

August 11th, 2013 No comments


T  O  S  H  I  K  I    &   M  I  K  A  _ |   Y  A  M  A  N  A  S  H  I    P  R  E  F  E  C  T  U  R  E  ,   J  A  P  A  N

















































Haikus + Tankas by _C l a i r e  E v e r e t t | Hand drawn Calligraphy by _ P a t r i c k  C a b r a l  /  D a r k G r a v i t y

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Awit sa Anghel

August 9th, 2013 No comments
Text: Victor Dennis T. Nierva
Music: Jireh S. Pasano

Ipirong na an simong mga mata,
an puso mo ipahingalo na,
ta nagrararom na ining pagkabanggi,
abang ugmang aldaw an nakaagi.

Saaga na ipadagos an pagkawat,
an simong mga hapot pati harakhatak.
Tuninong na an saimong palibot,
Tatamungan taka, kukuguson sa lipot.

Anghel ko na labi ka-padangat,
itiklop na an simong mga pakpak.
I-untok nguna an saimong paglupad.
Pagmata kan saldang satong itutugkad.

O, Anghel ko na labi ka-padangat,
magturog nang may ngirit na walat.
Ika an pagkaaga, ika an kaugmahan,
Pagturog mo sakong babantayan.

Halion an gabos na handal o takot.
Anuman na ribaraw dai ko itutugot.
Saimo an gabos, an bilog na kinaban,
mantang ako saimong kaibahan.

Turog na.
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August 7th, 2013 No comments
for Antonio M. Tino Sr.

How Grandpa lost
the arch of his A
and the summit of his T

just went past
the curiosity
of the crowd.

His strokes, for long time,
stopped trains at his station
or released them for the next—

semaphores waving,
the railwayman's whistle.

Then, they
went still,
silent. Yesterday,

a train passed by,
it didn't stop.
Its livery

were the curve of his A,
the summit of his T
and the sage of his Sr.
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August 7th, 2013 No comments
Victor Dennis T. Nierva, Poetry
Jireh S. Pasano, Music/Performance

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Book launches this August

August 6th, 2013 No comments
The Naga We Know
(A Collection of Essay on the Heart of Bikol)
Anvil Publishing, Inc.
Edited by Paz Verdades M. Santos
with Kristian S. Cordero
 To be launched on August 31, 2013, 4pm,
at the 2/F Atrium, SM City Naga

Kinunot, Kinalas, Kinamot
(A Collection of Essays from Isarog Through Bikol Land
to Lofty Mayon Peak with No Apologies
to the Ateneo Marching Song)
Goldprint Publishing House
Luis Ruben M. General
Jose B. Perez
Tito Genova Valiente
 To be launched on August 16, 2013, 5pm,
at the Cereza (Ristorante Grissini),
Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City

Designs of both books are by Victor Dennis T. Nierva.
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Naga by train

August 6th, 2013 No comments

I AM not a Nagueño. This makes all the difference. Because this will be all about going to Naga, passing by and through this city and even leaving this place, over and over again.

I grew up along the railroad tracks of sleepy Lupi, in the province of Camarines Sur, under the shadows of its hilly, rugged contours that are lush all throughout the year. From my town by the train, it takes around two hours to Naga.

In the 80s, when the train station of Lupi was at its grandest constitution, the structure of red brick roof and log-paneled exteriors was the gateway of the town. Its elevated platform greeted as much as it bid farewell to so many individuals, families, visitors—names who have touched the place and whom the place had touched in return.

There were only two probable destinations when one leaves Lupi: the far, full of uncertainty that is Manila, and Naga, someplace I am so sure that’s so close to my town’s heart. My first and only travel from Lupi to Manila was when I was eight and the story wasn’t so pleasing to share. But my travels to Naga from my town were many and most were filled with good tales; many too were my travels through Naga my father’s town of Nabua.

The famed train Mayon Limited would pass by Lupi at around four in the morning when the town was still, at sleep and blanketed in chill of early morning. We would board the train, disturbing passengers in deep sleep and asking for spare seats for a more comfortable ride to—or through—Naga. I was a curious kid, everything outside the window of the train mattered. But we were left with the rhythm of iron wheels smiting rail cuts, the uphill grunts of the diesel locomotive, and the occasional rumblings underneath suggesting that we were traversing a bridge to give us the idea as to where most probably were we. Outside, darkness gave no difference between the coconut groves and the heavens. The early morning ride wouldn’t allow the chance to sightsee while until an hour and a half into the trip, when far through the rolling rice fields of Libmanan and Pamplona everyone would catch the first faint sight of Naga City—a mere speck in the thinning fog, hinted by the spires of the Cathedral, the Basilica, the PNB Building and the transmitter towers of radio stations. There’s still thirty minutes left; so near yet still far.

I knew very well what would come next.

After a very long stretch of very straight tracks from Pamplona station, the train would negotiate a rather broad curve. Outside, rice paddies get freckled with talisay trees. Inside the coaches, Naga-bound passengers were awake though many eyes still bore a bit of sleep. Slowly, luggage secured on overhead racks are retrieved with care—traveling bags and plastic sacks of this and that, many were simply pasalubong from elsewhere—until everything is counted and set for detraining.

Mayon Limited, after ten hours or more from Manila and almost two hours from my town Lupi, would come to a slow down until the familiar welcoming sound of reverberating iron beams underneath us announce that we were crossing Mabolo Bridge, over the Naga River, allowing us the entrance to the heart of the Heart of Bikol.

Train personnel in uniforms that looked military would remind everyone in loud, rousing voice that we were already in Naga. The train would come to a halt along a ground-level platform of a station which signage until now continues to bear the city’s legend-filled name with the figure 377km underneath—its distance from Tutuban. Perhaps it has been like that since the first time trains arrived in Naga in the 1930s when the south-bound line of the Manila Railroad Company was finally completed to permanently change the face of Bikol, the railroad region of the Philippines. The railroad was the first efficient long distance mass transport system that had served Naga, and for this, she may even be tagged as a railroad city. Like my hometown of Lupi, the face of Naga has been shaped and reshaped by trains ferrying people and produces in and out of its boundaries.

Passengers disembark along with the burdens of their luggage, hoping that the city, with its genial and pious disposition, would unburden them. After all, travels to Naga are always either a homecoming or a pilgrimage. For a station in between stations, Naga possesses the feel of a terminal, of a place where journeys end, and because of this, when trains leave Naga for Legazpi City down south, it is always a new journey, one from Naga City.

When my family would travel to Iriga, our drop off point to my father’s hometown of Nabua, Naga meant breakfast of goto (rice porridge) with tripe and boiled egg which my folks would get from stalls just outside the station. It was a breakfast that was always consumed with gusto as Mayon Limited slowly pulled away from the city, while houses outside the window went scarcer and scarcer, accompanied by the bizarre cadence of the sound of wheels on unwielded rail segments along Naga-Legazpi section. It was noisier but lilting and it made everything seem a bit faster. As for the goto, itwas just so good so that years after as a college student boarding in the city, I once went to the Naga station one morning for it only to find out all the food stalls and stores gone.

And gone too was Mayon Limited that time.

I was in high school the last time I left Naga for Lupi by train. It moved away from the platform around five in the afternoon, hesitantly at first, then gingerly coming to quickness until I found myself again staring at the expanse of rice fields that separated me farther and farther from a city that was significantly larger and bigger than the city in my childhood. It was turning once more into a speck. Against the dusk, it flickered and signaled it was there.

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