Past Squares 3: Sepia-Toned

If you’ve never heard of The Squares Challenge, you are missing something! The Challenge is hosted by Becky at Life of B, and the theme for this month is Past Squares.

Past Squares can be either your selection from a past round of squares, or something old, historical, etc

For the month, self decided she would focus on the “historical.” In the immortal words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”

For today’s Past Squares post, self is going back. WAAAAAY back. Back to the time when she and Dear Departed Sister were four and five-and-a-half years old, respectively (She and her sister were only 18 months apart).

Dearest Mum dressed us alike, all the time. We had the same haircuts, the same dresses, the same shoes. Everything the same. Except for our personalities. When self frowned, her sister smiled. When her sister frowned, self smiled. This was some weird form of sibling rivalry. Nevertheless.

In one picture, self and her sister are sitting in front of a memorial to her grandfather. (Yes, there are colonnades, yes there was a bust of her grandfather. We were in the family resort, in an island in the central Philippines)

The second picture, self and her sister are with her parents. In the exact center of the picture is her grandmother, her mother’s mother. She was a force! A piano teacher from Jaro, Iloilo, her grandmother propelled Dearest Mum all the way to Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher. Self has no recordings of those days, since Dearest Mum stubbornly refused to have ANY recordings made of her music. Self doesn’t even have the countless magazine covers that her mother appeared in.

Life in Colour, May Challenge: PURPLE

Read about the Life in Colour Photo Challenge, here.

This month’s color is PURPLE.

Purple is “a secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises, look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky.”

Here are a gallery of self’s purples:

Some may be questionably purple, lol. Nevertheless.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Challenge Your Camera # 11: Still Life

Discovered another Photo Challenge! This one’s from Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar, and it’s called Challenge Your Camera.

This week’s Challenge Your Camera (# 11) is STILL LIFE.

Here are a few pointers for the Challenge:

  • What is a Still Life? A still life is a work of art that focuses on inanimate objects. Usually commonplace objects which can include both man made objects (vases, items of clothing, and consumer products) and natural objects (plants, food, rocks, shells) as examples.

So, here are self’s still lifes, all of which she pulled from her archives. They’re mostly food-related.

Still Life # 1: Self loves farmers markets. The ones in her area are held on Sundays. She bought these mushrooms at the Menlo Park Farmers Market. This picture’s from a few weeks ago. The farmers markets stayed open throughout the pandemic, and self went regularly (of course masked). Her last COVID test was ten days ago, and that was negative.

Still Life # 2: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019. She doesn’t think she’ll be able to get back to London until late 2022, at the very soonest. In the meantime, she has a huge trove of photographs from her last visit. Someone with a sense of humor left this on a window ledge.

Still Life # 3: Her last visit home was September 2019. She spent her time in Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod, and spent a few nights in a city close by: Silay. And ate herself into a food coma. All the variety of food made from rice! These are just two examples, and they’re from the public market.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Doreen Fernandez: When the World Was New

In 1953 Albert Herre listed 2,175 marine and freshwater species inhabiting Philippine waters, the first extensive checklist. Twenty-seven additional species were added later, bringing the total to 2,202. Some of these are ornamental, some not edible, some not attractive as food fish, but usable as fish meal or fish balls or for fermentation into patis and bagoong. Most of them have regional names, and may be difficult to pin to their scientific and other names.

Doreen Fernandez, from an unpublished manuscript, When the World Was New

Self thought she had every book Doreen had written, until last year, when she went to Silay, Doreen’s childhood home. There was a book she didn’t have: Fruits of the Philippines. A few months ago, self found a copy by going on Amazon, and ordering from a third-party vendor in New Jersey. It arrived several weeks ago. Joy!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

While at Philz, Looking Through Old Photos: Self with Masako Sato, Dearest Mum

Tuesday Photo Challenge — STONE

Week 179 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge is STONE (“Turn to something a bit more permanent.”)

Self went searching among her recent photos for examples of stone.

First, the fire pit at Manggapuri Villas, Purok Pagdanon, Don Salvador Benedicto, in the Philippine province of Negros Occidental (Dear Departed Dad’s home province). Just beyond, shrouded in mist, the still-active Canlaon Volcano. Don Salvador Benedicto is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Bacolod City:

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Manggapuri Villas: September 2019

Next, a photo of Courthouse Square, just prior to the Annual Redwood City Salsa Festival:

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Courthouse Square Before the Annual Redwood City Salsa Festival, Saturday, 21 September

Finally, a statue of General Douglas MacArthur on the Philippine island of Corregidor (That’s self standing with son and his cousin Georgina, 20 years ago. She found the photo when she was cleaning out the closets recently):

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Georgina, Andrew and Self on the Island of Corregidor, at the Mouth of Manila Bay

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Photo-a-Week Challenge: SOMETHING NEW

Thanks to a Photo a Week Challenge prompt: SOMETHING NEW.

And self did do something new: She went home.

Not only did she go home, she went one better and returned to her Dear Departed Dad’s home island of Negros Occidental.

She stayed with cousins.

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7th Floor, Belles Artes Condominiums, Galo cor. GV & Sons Street

She saw, for the first time in six years, the house where her Dear Departed Dad grew up, the Daku Balay:

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Daku Balay, 50 Burgos Street, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, The Philippines

In Bacolod, she had the most delicious pizza! Here, smoked bangus pizza and basil pizza:

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Café Oscar, Galo Street (Ground Floor, Belles Artes Building), Bacolod City

Great trip.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Back to Work

Below, page 1 of a very, very old work-in-progress. Self was clearing her closets when she stumbled across the hard copy yesterday.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DEAR DEPARTED DAD.

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Novel-In-Progress: FARM, MOUNTAIN, SEA, Ch. 1

Self’s novel is set on the island of Negros, in the central Philippines, at the start of the Japanese Occupation during World War II. Honorato, an hacendero‘s son, and Moses, the enkargado, are ordered to the mountains by Honorato’s father.

Self is bringing it, people. Just bringing it. Right now, her manuscript stands at 247 pages.

The next day the forest rears up before them, indescribably dense. It takes them a mere hour to reach the first line of trees. Upon entering, they find themselves under a thick canopy of foliage, the light fading to a cathedral dimness. Birds and an occasional monkey frolic overhead.

Moses leads the way, hacking the heavy vines and tree branches that block their path. Soon, his back is soaked with sweat. Honorato watches silently as the enkargado removes his shirt. The older man’s back is ribbed and corded and hard-looking, with small scars pocking the surface, from what past injury Honorato can only guess.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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