24 July 2011

slow down, you move too fast...*

You've got to make the morning last, as that Simon and Garfunkel song said. Feeling groovy talaga. (*or 59th st. Bridge Song talaga ang title ng song na itey, trivia lang).

Decided to stay put today and breathe. So many stimulants all around and sometimes, that's what makes Manila more exciting, as two of my island-originated (okay Dumaguete) friends told me last week. But like I told them, that's what also makes me want to escape Manila from time to ti
me, even though I know I thrive in this kind of cosmopolitan/urban set-ups, especially when it involves media and arts stuff, my main domains of existence.

Manila by night. Or Manila Bay lang.
(at the Harbor Square CCP / July 2011)

So many things happening in my universe. It's July so that means it's Cinemalaya month here, the yearly independent digital film festival organized by the cultural institutions of the government, namely FDCP and CCP, its main venue, way over there in far Manila along Manila Bay (hence we nickname it cinemalayo -- cine too damn far! At least for us QC peeps, and me Marikina pa!) Some friends -- my film barkada -- have films included in the festival as special screening entries, not necessarily in the main competition, and we made sure to catch th
em. One is Local Girls by Ned Trespeces and Onnah Valera, the same team that gave us My Fake American Accent, their Cinemalaya entry a few years back. Another that we made sure not to miss is the very camp/kitsch 2-years in the making gay zombie comedy film Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington written and produced by Raymond Lee.

At the baywalk area, with (L-R) erstwhile dynamic duo Ned and Onnah
and our former student now our reliable co-worker Nessa,
the editor of their film. (photo by xe /
July 2011 Harbor Square CCP)

And then of course, there's the academic mode of the festival handled yearly by our senior film faculty, my idol Sir Nic Tiongson, meaning the Cinemalaya Film Congress, the 2-day forum-filled conference featuring discussions on aspects of cinema etc. I've been constantly involved in this since it's flattering th
at I earned Sir Nic's trust in handling work stuff here, so he always gets me as a rapporteur to document panel proceedings but since last year, I've elevated into being an actual moderator of several panels, which is cooler because I don't get to take home work assignment teehee.

Taking a late lunch break and early drinking sesh with the bekis
(as I ogled an actress at the next table aheh.heh.heh).
(L-R) Our co-faculty and co-queer friend Joni
with his partner Bryan, and a ham Xe.
They served as rapporteurs this year.

These gigs are good when you have good people to work with, actually. It's also a bonus if they're your friends and if they treat you as friends. S
o that's good.

Other involvements continue, like my favorite LGBTQ
writing for POC. My latest article is here ("The young and the restless who grew up queer") and that's a 2-part article. I might also start a cross-posting thingie somewhere but I have yet to think about that venture.

I'm also enjoying Twitter lately, to my surprise. I found that it could be a very good repository of useful links I could use later on for reference and stuff. Sometimes I also try to talk to individuals there, like a "th
ink out loud" type of status posting, without irritating people like on Facebook. I don't know, it's just a social experiment. What are these platforms for but to test our capacity for language, discourse and conversations with them, di ba? Anyway, if you want to follow me, find @leaflens there. No one else with that name but me.

Academic life is picking up now that we're into the second month of the semester, nearing midterms time. But I'm liking the way I scheduled my life there at the uni now, since I could also have more time to do other things, mainly write. Haven't really been doing a sit-yo'-fuckin'-ass-and-just-write-dammit! typ
e of writing lately but I am getting there. I guess I just need to "quiet a few crying lambs" (to borrow that line from Jodie Foster my love's film) somewhere in my metaphysical state chenelyn and all that jazz, first and foremost. It's blocking a few things but I'm unclogging, I'm unclogging.

H: Are the lambs still crying, Clarisse?
Me: hay naku Hannibal, anu fi?
Lecter-an mo nga mga imbey na 'yan
nang mashokot! Chos.
(at the UP Open University celeb chenes,
UP Los Banos / 2009 photo by Kwami)

In between all of these things are picked up interactions, revived ones actually, with old friends and colleagues, most of whom are either queer or queered, so that's cool, too. Sometimes, it's also a welcome change to come out of social hibernation and find such gatherings again (especially now that we're finding common frenemies heheh but I digess). So that's really cool.

Of course I still wish that a few people who left the vicinity of my orbit could or would come crashing back to my existence (or I crash theirs), but we all know that that's quite hard to attain lately, so we make do with what we could in terms of keeping in touch. But I'm still longing for that day when we could exchange physical hugs again, have meaningful conversations face to face. Well, who knows, sooner than later. In life, as always, new chapters have yet to be written, and new sequels have yet to be filmed. So I believe that reunion tours are still possible for making beautiful music together. Don't you think?

With this life, as I've seen, anything is really possible and thus you should be ready to find surprises and stuff like that. And it's really a reinforcement that life is short, so we better live it. Even if it means going out of your comfort zones. That's actually my project lately (oi Taurus, good luck to me!!!). And I've also been seeing it all around me: people do move on (from jobs), people actually cope with moving (even if they miss their old environs), people would bend over backwards to get what they want (well, sometimes in a bad way, but what the hey), and people actually strive to make better contributions in their spheres of existence even if others outside of the circles don't understand it. Lately, I've been in this "What for?" mode, you know, like you find yourself asking why are people doing such things for, what are they trying to achieve,
what is the point of their efforts, and all those things. I don't know, existential angst biting lately, like hard, especially when I ride U.P. jeeps and see enthusiastic students rushing to class, then at the back of my mind I wonder if the government could keep them when they graduate since there might not be jobs available for them in the future, and all that socioeconomic intersectioning shit (I've been falling into this "trap of thinking" also, lately). Di ba? WHAT FOR?

But when I analyze it further, maybe it just boils down to finding the middle ground between passion and contentment. In between that range, I guess there's happiness, fulfillment, excitement, drive, all things nice. I think my problem lately is that I am only operating on a half-and-half mode, like half-passion and half-contentment, so I don't arrive at something more concrete in the middle. Hah, look at me share with you guys this very private realization, but I realized that some of you out there might also be feeling the same way (especially if you're way way waaaay beyond burnout mode already, comme moi), so maybe you could pick up a few thoughts here and there from this space, much like how I have been trying to pick up a few thoughts somewhere else to digest for my own sanity. And it's good that I've been getting that back -- sanity I
mean, a more "sober" way of looking at things, of processing stimulants. Also hard to find kindred souls to process things with, but I'm glad my ever-reliable set of kindred spirits are still there, whether near or far. I love you guys. Really.

I think what I need right now in my life is another big bang.
Like really. As in, huge. As in, now nah!
(at the American Museum of Natural History, New York /
March 2010 photo by x)

So what's next? I don't know. I don't really know. While that might sound so scary, that could also sound exciting, or even thought-provoking. Let's see where these paths would take me this year, up to the next. We also make things happen, and let's see if we could find more wormholes to traverse into, in order to discover more universes out there that might have a better time-space continuum.


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