SHINE 2: Night in the City

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is SHINE.

Which is why self took her camera along when she caught a FACINE (Filipino Arts & Cinema International) 23 film screening at the Little Roxie on 16th St.


Halloween Already! San Francisco goes all out!


Heading to the Little Roxie on 16th St.

The film, Ari: My Life With a King, was sweet and gentle and lovely. Rooted in place.

Great script, great editing. By a first-time filmmaker, too. Remember his name:  Carlo Enciso Catu.

Self would like to give a shout-out to Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr. for nurturing this festival, now in its 23rd year.

The Festival’s last day is tomorrow. Tickets for individual films are $10.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SHINE: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 21 October 2016

  • Has something bright or reflective caught your eye in the moment? Share a photo of something you were able to explore a bit!

— Nancy Thanki, The Daily Post


Behind San Francisco’s Ferry Building, A Few Days Ago


Bush Street, San Francisco, After Light Rain


In Situ, Ground Floor, San Francisco MOMA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay

Quote of the Day: Lysley Tenorio

“It was always a bogus-looking act, but at some point I just assumed that Filipinos were somehow predisposed to believing anyone who claimed to understand their pain.”

— from the story “Felix Starro” in the Lysley Tenorio collection, Monstress

Supernatural in World War II

The American Rangers who were tasked with freeing 500 American POWs from a camp in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, were flanked by a large group of Filipino guerrillas who escorted the Rangers to the camp and back. On pp. 112 – 113 of Ghost Soldiers, there is a section on moving through a field of native grass (cogon) at night.


A lot of the Filipinos believed the cogon fields were haunted places at night, and the Rangers could tell some of them were a bit spooked . . . Their devout Spanish Catholicism coexisted with a smattering of older ingidenous beliefs. Among other things, they believed in a certain demon called the aswang. An aswang was a person like anyone else during the day, but at night he shed his legs and sprouted wings and gadded around like a vampire, settling old scores and wreaking general havoc upon the land. In the country all around here, the nipa-and-bamboo dwellings were kept wide open and well ventilated during the day, yet in the evenings the Filipinos always shuttered their windows tight to keep these demons out. When aswangs were about, the last place you wanted to be was in an open field like this one.

In the passage, the preposition “he” is a mistake. Aswang are always, but always, women. They have long, forked tongues which they use to suck out the blood of infants.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Visionary Art in Umm Al-Kheir

Self recognizes that she’s moving soooo slowly through The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. But she is absolutely fascinated by its intimate glimpses of men and women, settlers and Palestinians.

In the chapter on the village of Umm al-Kheir, we meet a man named Eid Suleiman al-Hathalin. Self swears: every time she quotes from Ehrenreich’s book, she has to double-check the spelling of everything at least three times. But she really really wants to get Eid’s name right. He is a true original: a vegan in Palestine (“I love animals, but it’s not that. Meat is very heavy.”), and also a found-art sculptor.

His sculptures, gleaming and immaculate, filled five metal shelves beside the door. There were two bulldozers — one with wheels and one with treads — plus a dump truck and an excavator, all of them Caterpillars and painted a deep, glossy yellow. There was the old Black Hawk I had seen before, plus a white Volvo 420 big rig, and a green John Deere tractor hauling a trailer. Each piece was about two feet long and built to scale with an astonishing degree of perfectionism.

Eid proudly shows Ehrenreich the excavator:

He showed me how the machine’s body detached from the treads, and the cab from the body. The cab was only slightly larger than his fist. “I didn’t forget any details,” he said, “even the ladder here that the operator can use.” It had perfect little side mirrors too, and radio antennae, and its door opened on a tiny hinge and there was a seat inside for the driver, a gearshift in the floor, a tiny control panel panel complete with tiny dials. Eid had carved the chair from a bottle of shampoo and the windows from plastic soda bottles. The mirrors and lights he made from CDs and the reflective panel on the back of the machine was cut from a cast-off license plate. The whole thing was fully functional — the excavator swiveled on its treads, and its arm extended and bent at three joints.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Eid’s dream is “to have one of his pieces added to the permanent collection of the Caterpillar museum at the corporation’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois.”

Stay tuned.

THE WAY TO THE SPRING: Herding Goats in Umm al-Kheir

With a stick, Suleiman traced a circle in the dirt to represent the route we had just trekked. He drew a straight line across it to indicate the far shorter path we could have taken, the one he had used for years before the settlement’s expansion. “Where will we go?” he asked. He pointed up to the sun and sky, as if he might find pasture there, or as if God might have an answer. We walked on along a slender strip of dirt between two fields of wheat. On top of the hill to our left sprawled five aluminum-sided barns ringed by barbed wire — a dairy farm owned by settlers. If we got too close, Hassan said, they would come down or send the police. So we zigzagged on across the dry, hard land, avoiding one obstacle here, another there. The goats were sneezing dirt.

The Way to the Spring, Chapter 9, pp. 300 – 301

More Nostalgia for Venice

More from the watershed trip self took with Margarita Donnelly (founder and managing editor of Calyx Press) in April/May 2013, less than two years before she succumbed to cancer. We rented a small two-bedroom apartment in Ca’ San Toma, Venice. Margarita’s adventurous spirit far exceeded self’s.


The Bridge of Sighs, April 2013: View From the Doge’s Palace


San Marco Square on a Rainy April Day


Self on the Rialto Bridge, April 2013: Margarita must have taken the picture. Even though self’s face isn’t visible, she really likes this picture for the mysterious red umbrella.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Nostalgia: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 30 September 2016

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is NOSTALGIA:

  • What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

The Philippines, specifically Bacolod City, where her father grew up, is the locus of all of self’s nostalgia. And of course, Dearest Mum, who met self’s Dear Departed Dad when she was a young pianist in New York City, and Dear Departed Dad was in Georgetown Law School.


The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Negros Occidental: The Philippines. Self’s grandfather built this house, at the time the tallest structure in Bacolod City. Self’s father was born in this house.


Dearest Mum, in Her Early 30s


Bacolod City, Negros Occidental: June 2012

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

American Quests

Self loves signage, she does not know why.




An Ed Ruscha, Seen at the de Young in Golden Gate Park

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

That’s What He Said

He: What’s the matter? You sound really, really sad.

He, 10 years later: You’re the only one responsible for the shit you’re feeling.

Stay tuned.

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