Tuesday, June 24, 2008

nostalgia 2

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.
PAUL NEWMAN (Won Oscar. Another 36 wins & 47 nominations )
Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
MICHAEL CAINE (Won 2 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 36 nominations )

Friday, June 20, 2008

introducing…. THE FRESHMEN

Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
-Peter Parker (Spiderman)

We all love this time of the school year when new faces tirelessly flash their youthful smiles. In our University Town where everybody seems to know everyone, people-watch is a favorite pastime. The school opening is always the perfect time for this slow-paced city’s no. 1 entertainment which has an added venue, the Portal West corner. We hear ourselves or overhear someone ask, “Who is that pretty face?” or “Oh another hunk, from Manila? Fil-Am?” Up-close one gets to hear a foreign student whine. “It’s humid here… “ or “The pedicabs are noisy!” Then, an LTCFTC (looking Tirso Cruz, feeling Tom Cruise) with a British accent exclaims, “People here are always looking at me,… makes me feel paranoid.”

But beyond the face value – our everyday entertainment, we want you to know that some of the new members of our beloved community are bound to make a difference with their potentialities:

MARIA ELVIE ANN BARTE graduated valedictorian from Basay National High School. With this honor, she is presently enjoying two scholarships while pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Negros Oriental State University. She is confident that her being a Class Math wizard will help her achieve more in college.
She hopes to work in a famous bank someday somewhere in Taiwan or in Japan. The film "The Passion of the Christ" has been her inspiration. She shared, “The movie is really touching and it reminds me of who I really am! It's taught me to share unconditional love. It also helped me realize that I am very worthy because someone died for me to be saved. And with that, I must live my life by touching other lives for me to be very worthy in the eyes of God.”

Her big crush is the actor Wu Chun of Brunei who became a huge film star in Taiwan. “I love his sense of humility…,” Elvie was almost non-stop in introducing her film icon.

Lynn Francine Batalan is very proud to have spent “my high school years in the bosom of Foundation University.” It is the school where “I learned to experience life to the fullest and discovered a lot of myself.” She was president of the Ushers and Usherettes Club, an exposure that made her realize that at FU, they “open their arms as wide as they can for all the students to have fun and experience new things….”
The organizations like the Buglasayaw Dance Troupe, the Science Club, the Debating Club and Peer Counselors Club were important exposures that led her to achieve two honors: the Valedictorian of Class 2008 dubbed as the “The Visionaries” and a beauty title Miss Teen Dumaguete 2007. These two “are also my memorable moments and treasured experiences in my high school life.” The Accountancy student, still at FU, wants “to see myself as a banker working in offices either private or public firms.” But first, she knows that she will have to work hard to have excellent academic records to ensure a good performance in the CPA Board Examination.

Negros Oriental State University’s GLYSA JADUCANA graduated valedictorian from Santander National High School. This Education student who is majoring in Mathematics complained,” My generation is more complicated and is harder to understand.” She read and seriously followed the teachings of Jose Rizal and she wants all the other young people to know that “Life is sometimes cruel therefore we must be strong enough. We must choose wisely because it is our choices that tell us who we really are….”

When this Dallas-born chinito expressed he doesn’t like walking around the wide expanse of Silliman campus, I quoted Barack Obama to cheer him up, “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.” BRYCE KING, a science quiz bee champ from Xavier School, is taking up Marine Biology. He said there’s just “…too much lawyers, too many businessmen, too many nurses….” The young environmentalist is hoping to make an Al Gore-kind of impact in his own humble way. The grandson of philanthropist Angelo King had sent college applications around the globe and was accepted by universities in the US, the UK… and in Manila but chose to study at Silliman, “I really think this is the best environment for Marine Biology.”

ELLEN MAE ELTANAL graduated from Sta. Catalina Community School as the Class Valedictorian. “The honor made my family happy and proud… because of it I was given the chance to study in this very wonderful university town.” A Bachelor in Secondary Education major at St. Paul University, Ellen wishes to help the less fortunate acquire a good education by becoming a teacher who is well-respected as a master of her field. She observed that “Living in a modernized world, our generation now is somehow a bit lazy. Doing things are done instantly, we are very much influenced by the westerns to the point that we don’t focus on our own values and culture.” But she believes that with “dreams to help the family and be able to help others,” the young generation can still make a difference. She loves Oprah Winfrey who as world icon, “influences us to learn living each day with hope and leaving the past behind.” She notes that Oprah has “really proven that there is always hope no matter how difficult the situation is.”

A talent search winner, an editorial writing finalist, a Christian Youth Fellowship president…. A long line of achievements for this Mass Communication freshman at Silliman University. ANTON EMILIO SANCHEZ belongs to the third generation of Sillimanians from the Sanchez family of the City of Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte. His father Marvin, a fraternity Grand Chancellor during his students days is the brother of 1980’s campus beauty Joy Sanchez-Bobon ( Miss Biz-Ad who won the Miss Silliman first runner-up title in 1981) and who is among Dumaguete’s most successful entrepreneurs with her Sta. Theresa fastfood and other enterprises. Anton, a son of Dumagueteña Anne Marie Arnaiz, recalled his first week here, “My first week was probably the worst.... I became very shy and so insecure. I have never been this far from my parents, and being deeply attached to my family I was really really homesick...” His Tita Joy came to the rescue and gave him survival tips that ended with: gain back your confidence!

JELA MAE TANILON is the Salutatorian of Foundation University High School Class of 2008. This Accountancy student who is loyal to her Alma Mater found her first week in college as “Bad! Everything is new to me. I’m having a hard time adjusting…. I’m not used to have different classmates in different subjects. But I hope I’ll be able to surmount these as soon as possible.” She shares an observation that “Our generation is into modern technologies that are perceptibly, making us lazy. From brooms to vacuum cleaners, from hand washing to washing machines, and from books to surfing the net. It’s not always bad doing research in the internet, but we also have to comprehend that computer information is revisable and can be changed from time to time. Sometimes, computer facts are even mocked by some experts.” She is worried about the tendency to simply “copy-paste” things in life for it takes people away from the value of reading and understanding the truth. The film “The Freedom Writers” has inspired her for “aside from being a true story, the movie depicts new generation teenagers who made an enormous change in their lives.” Jela would like to remind her fellow students that the opportunity to be in college is valuable: “never quit. Love what you are doing. Work with full dedication. Never be afraid of failures.” She shares wisdom from Charles Lamb, “Pain is life—the sharper, the more evidence of life” to stress the value of perseverance.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


by Edith L. Tiempo

How strange to hang suspended―
Our boat sitting on the water
Is a point in space;
Up, down, and around:
A deepness and a vastness of blue.
The soul flees its suspension
In upward tropism to the light;
Divinity in the heavens
Required no less: Lift,
Fly, elevate; the sky is ever
The hovering home.
Still, we transcend in nostalgia and in loss,
Foreswearing the earth,
Its mud, trees, color, its unyielding mass
And all that the body knows of heat and life;
So arch down and around, us, sky,
Blue sphere that is infinite height,
Infinite depth.
Wrap all of earth around:
Here, where water is heaven, fallen,
Water, no more a reference for earth.
Blue in the deep is permeable,
A membrane we can fall into;
Who needs the upper regions now?
Curved world of heaven under water,
Keeper of ultimate promises,
Vessel of the ceaseless mortal
Dreaming of foreverness,

Below the frail suspended hull,
Far below the swaying outriggers,
And the caulked and barnacled bottom―
Hoarding now man’s peace and his salvation,
The sky―deep, and inverted―waits.

May 10 marked the first weekend for the fellows of the 47th National Writers Workshop and that day, I led them to conquer the Twin Lakes: Balinsasayao and Danao. I know that this secret wonder of our island will always inspire artists for it is a spiritual journey to go on a boat ride around the lake or take a trek around Balinsasayao towards Lake Danao.

At the Twin Lakes, nature’s poetry runs with lines of peace and healing. Arlene Yandug of Xavier University wrote a poem after the trek:

Along the edge between you and the forest
I tread the silence-worn path of stones.
Stones precariously linked like my verses….

I have been here so many times but each visit is amply rewarded by gifts of inspiration. My artist friend, the late Kennedy Rubias, lived here for many months but he never got to any point of boredom. In fact, it was here that he created on canvass a kubo on an endless expanse of green – an image of joy, and a rare piece. We all know that Rubias’ brushstrokes were always dark and bloody.

From the same journey with the fellows, I made some lines of introspection and asked one of the fellows, Lawrence Bernabe of UP Visayas, to finish what I begun. My poem Coming Home now has a sense of completeness when Lawrence worked to give it a second stanza:


Navigate the self for the second time:
Let the painted carapace melt like a mirror
Rafting into its river of faces and stories.
Relieve the humbled feet in still water.
On an unnamed rock, the green is blue
When the drowned end
senses the mossy comfort
The innocence of beginnings becomes
A new point of departure.

On an unnamed rock, the blue and the green
Becomes the mossy ground I stand on.
When I stepped into the river
(My feet never more sure of the cold)
The water carried me home.

The journey to the Twin Lakes and other wonders like the walk under lines of acacia trees, the wisdom from the Bleeding Heart dove in CENTROP, poetry and music at The Catacombs, the blue dream in Antulang, the frolic in Bacongham, the pan de sal siesta in Bravo Golf, nostalgia in Café Antonio, Hayahay reggae, high life in Atelier Aguila, stories on canvass in Mariyah Gallery, The
Forest Camp’s coolness, the green wall in Sariland, the mild rafting in Amlan’s Alma
Riverside and the crossovers to Apo Island, Siquijor, and many more – all these help define the uniqueness of Dumaguete’s National Writers Workshop, the nurturing institution of Philippine Literature with founder National Artist Edith Lopez Tiempo and daughter Rowena Tiempo Torrevillas as anchors. I consider the workshop’s return to the English and Literature Department of Silliman University as destiny as it moves towards its 50th year.

Bayanihan dancer recalls night with Paul Newman

By Tina Santos
First Posted 01:19am (Mla time) 07/04/2007

MANILA, Philippines – “I felt like I was floating on a cloud the entire evening,” said Veronica “Veth” Elizabeth Atega-Nable [my first cousin - mojo ]of Paco, Manila, describing how she felt on the night she was crowned Miss Fil-Am Queen of the former Subic Naval Base on the fourth of July, 46 years ago.

With the honor came a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet—and hold hands—with famous Hollywood actor Paul Newman who was her escort.

“I was tongue-tied for a moment,” Nable said, recalling the first time she came face-to-face with Newman whom she described as “very warm and friendly” and “has the lightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I felt like I was the luckiest girl on earth,” she added.

Nable, who won the title at the age of 23, said the chance in a lifetime came as a complete surprise to her.

She recalled that she was enjoying her summer vacation in Agusan del Norte when she got a call from Manila informing her that Rear Adm. Charles Duncan, then Subic base commander, and members of the 1962 Fil-Am Fiesta Committee had chosen her to be the queen of the Fil-Am fiesta to be held inside the American base.

“It was completely unexpected because I had not made any effort nor dreamt of succeeding popular movie star Gloria Romero, the title holder in the previous year,” said Nable, who is now 68.

“I was very excited and flattered they chose me, especially when I was told that Mr. Newman would be my escort.”

She later learned that the Agusan governor had submitted her name to the committee. Before that, she represented Region 10 in a nationwide search for Miss Philippines.

“And in Bayanihan perfomances, I didn’t know that they were observing me,” she added. Nable was a member of the original batch of the Bayanihan Dance Group, the country’s national folk dance company.


“It was a perfect evening,” she said, adding that she was wearing a white beaded terno with a long cape and elbow-length gloves made by Pitoy Moreno. “There was Paul Newman beside me, a crown on my head, my colleagues at Bayanihan and famous local and Hollywood celebrities like Shirley MacLaine entertaining my court.”

Her court included movie stars Amalia Fuentes, Lourdes Medel and Adorable Liwanag.

But the parade that preceded the coronation night was equally thrilling, Nable said.

“A handsome Navy officer, who ‘won’ his escort duties in a raffle, stood beside me in the Queen’s float, holding an umbrella over me. It rained but it did not dampen the gaiety of the kilometer-long parade,” she recalled.

She said her stint as Miss Fil-Am Queen paved the way for other opportunities for her, including modeling stints and being on the cover of several magazines.

After her reign, Nable again focused on one of the things she loved doing most: Dancing.

She joined the Bayanihan at 19, while taking up nutrition at the Philippine Women’s University on Taft Avenue, Manila, which organized the dance troupe.

“I was recruited to form the first Bayanihan Dance Group,” she said. Nable added that being a member of the Bayanihan “fulfilled my love for dancing and allowed us to show our countrymen and the world the beauty of our dances.”

The Bayanihan, whose members have been touring the world as cultural emissaries for the Philippines, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this October.

“Life after Bayanihan revolved around marriage and family, another beautiful and fulfilling experience,” said the girl who gave it all up to marry Horacio Nable. “I stopped being active in the Bayanihan when I got married. But I have not stopped dancing yet.”