Attraversiamo

I had my fortune told a few days ago just like I had many times in the past. I would be successful, I would accumulate wealth but more often times than not, I would falter on the romantic aspect – I have heard all that before… This time, I was told that I have suffered heartbreak and failed relationships but this last time I should gamble. Gamble… Gamble on the two kids, a boy and a girl and a very compatible relationship on a man that would not disappoint me and hurt me just like the others did in the past. 

All the while, while I was being told these things… I was thinking of you, of him… As much as I tried denying to myself that I was thinking of you…

This may sound shallow, but it really affected me when Justin Timberlake married Jessica Biel. I felt happy for my childhood crush especially when he said that he was marrying his best friend. He made that statement and I felt that I wanted the same for myself. If the same thing happens to me, then I don’t need to put my best foot forward or pretend that I am ladylike, cute and a good homemaker because I am not all that. I don’t know how to fry an egg or work a microwave even if it cost me my life. I like playing Play Station games, I smoke weed and drink more than an average jock’s share of alcohol – I am nothing prissy or ladylike. I hate butterflies, ribbons and I don’t doodle flowers on my notebooks. None of that shit. I could be too bold, opinionated and argumentative it could get into the hairs of people. I won’t drone on about myself here. To cut it short, I am an acquired taste. Ending up with someone who knows me well would be my best bet.

And all along, after swimming in the vast sea of men and ending up covered in scum and seaweeds… There you are…

So if you have read or watched Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, I have been done with the Eat part as proven by the pounds I gained last year, I am done with Pray when I reassessed my life, traveled alone and dedicated my time to worthy pursuits… Here I am at the Love part… 

As you travel the world and I envy you as I subsist in my sedentary scholarly pursuits, I’m just here waiting my darling… What is the few years we have building the foundations of our future for the greater number of years we spent being friends… I fear the thought of it and laying it out in the open, but maybe this is “attraversiamo”…

LATE NIGHT SCRAMBLED EGGS

LATE NIGHT SCRAMBLED EGGS

By: Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

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The cliché that “the best things in life are free” must have surfaced from a general nodding of heads from people who have been in love or have experienced love. In my experience, it was him suddenly lying on my lap one lazy afternoon with just a book and a fruit shake in hand at Ayala Triangle. We had light conversations in between his naps and my reading, the feeling that those conversations gave me was the same feeling you get when you are used to eating burgers and red meat and you suddenly shift your diet to vegetable salads and sliced fruits. We sat on that spot until the moon was gazing at the world with lazy eyes, hesitant to leave its spot but itching to end its shift like a perfume sales man on a slow day or a prisoner guard. That day, the jokes we shared about couples in Luneta Park or Manila Bay became ubiquitous, we understood them all of a sudden because we were in the moment – we were in their shoes, in their state of mind. What happened that afternoon gave me an illusion and hope that maybe I could spend the last of my years with this man, on an old porch, sitting on a rocking chair, white hair, thick glasses, a large floral dress and a knitting project in my hands.

 

Recent developments made it clear that those romantic misgivings were indeed illusions and false hopes. Only the both of us hold the secrets of our affair and its demise, I always say our love grew in cunning, in silence and in quiet. As much as I would have wanted to share our story in full animation and gusto, I cannot bring myself to do that. My mind and heart trails to lucid moments of torrid kissing and tight grabs of once unknown places in my body that I am left in a resigned mood, left to the overwhelming gush of longing those passionate moments bring — those once unknown places in my body that became the territory of his hands and postmarked by the sweet juice of his kisses. I hug myself at the memory. I had to pause my writing this hug myself at the thought…

 

The thoughts of him bring vivid sensory recollections. I can still feel the reverberation of his voice in my ears when he tries to make a point, or the sound of his soft snoring wand heavy breathing after a tiring day. His eyes, seductive and expressive, sheds a fine light when he is engrossed in what he is reading or when we enjoy a morning stroll and the first rays of sun passes through it in a diagonal fashion. His eyes were the color of grape seeds; they were always teary and sad, like newly varnished mahogany. The deep pools of brown in his eyes came out even more when he wears his black scarf, he wears that scarf and he looks so regal and feels cozier to hug. His hugs say a lot about his feelings, most of the time it makes me feel like a starfish being taken to deeper seas by a big wave, a brainless starfish not knowing what to do. That feeling of engulfment is eased when I feel the details of his thumb mark on my cheek and all worries and woes melt into a blur – as if the world is so simple and nothing can ever hurt me. I miss the mossy smell of his apartment and the very distinct manly smell which sticks to his bed that I keep whiffing off his pillows and sheets when he is away, sometimes even when he is just taking a shower. I randomly get a whiff of his Issey Miyake perfume when walking at a mall or the streets and that is when I badly miss him, that is the height of my sadness and I feel all of a sudden that the buildings or the crowd would eat me a live – very nauseating, my legs throb and weaken and feel like it is giving away.

 

That same crowd that used to double over when we walk the streets, that gave a slight smile when overhearing our little arguments or funny takes on random things over dinner or drinks, that same crowd that stared when he pulled me in for a kiss good-bye and that followed me with its eyes on mornings when I have just emerged from his place with my hair in a rut and in man clothes – the crowd that gave justice to walking the walk of shame in those mornings.

 

His place, his apartment is the backdrop to the memories we have created together. That dingy old apartment: where quiz papers from fourth grade with perfect scores and smileys in red ink are scattered along laced panties and used condoms. A wooden ashtray that fills up as the night deepens and the morning enters, dusty books with frail pages seemingly salvaged and dried from a rainy day and an un-stringed Fender acoustic guitar that sits on its corner were a few of its remarkable features. His place was my refuge from storms and graying skies complete with hot chocolate and slow rainy day sex, my secret place for watching movies and fucked up documentaries that cause my impatience to go home from the office, his place was the breeding ground for our love and eventual pains with its four walls privy to our whispers. The same four walls banged by neighbors when we have raucous sex, the same four walls that are stained black from his cooking.

 

I lie about not eating scrambled eggs ever. I ate scrambled eggs because it reminds me of post-coital breakfast food he cooks deep in the night. It was cooked to perfection, a little milk and just enough salt that it turns out fluffy and tasting exactly the way I want it to taste.

 

Late night scrambled eggs that have been demoted to late night scrambled thoughts…

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QUIET

QUIET

By Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

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I prefer to remain silent about us, to not divulge the love ensuing between us two people very much alike and at the same time very much distant. Our love is the low flame on a stove, safe yet warming…

But at the same time, on good days with you, it is an influx of unidentified feelings that cannot be encapsulated in words conjured up by man to make another understand, all I know is that it is a conflagration… On good days.

On bad days, on normal days, I am adamant to feel the other side, the darker side because I have grown in the fear of hurting and losing myself again, I am inept of emotion, or maybe I prefer to be that way — unfeeling and oblivious.

As much as I want to talk about you, brag about you and tell them of the moments we share that make good stories, I prefer to hush and keep it to my memory… It is a beautiful secret…. And we are sheathed by their unknowing because what is habit and what is ordinary is often time missed – they will never notice because we are just together, a placement in the eternal parabola of time, a streak to the blind side. Seeming ordinary like a common thing that goes unnoticed in our everyday, like a toothbrush, a towel or a wrist watch that when lost would be a disturbance to the natural flow of things – that is our love.

P.S. Today, like the long days that have passed without you, I realize that the pain is losing you is remarkably different from the ones that I have felt in the past. Pain was one full blast of emotions that erupt from a break-up and recedes away as time passes. But the pain of being away from you is one that goes on a steady crescendo with time’s passing. I wonder if it would stop at a certain point. 

 

SEA AND SILENCE

SEA AND SILENCE
By Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

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It has been a long time since I have written but I trusted that the knack for it would come eventually. I have traveled quite a lot the past two months, a lot in my standards as I am a corporate rat and a miser working towards a dream. It has put my soul to rest, hence the silence of my thoughts and the purification of my soul’s unknown turbulence.

I would like to tell you of a ride in a boat with four friends. I was expecting cajoling and loud conversation as we embarked on that short trip towards the opposite island…

The conversation hushed gradually as we went further and deeper down the edges of the Pacific Ocean with only the sound of the friction of the boat against the water, its motor and the wind. And then, as the water turned from a light shade of blue green to a deep blue, hard to distinguish from black… Everyone was left to their contemplative moods and dreams…

It was beautiful seeing the peace in my friends’ faces as we fathomed the depth of the ocean and how our lives were at actual risk being there… That anytime a big wave could approach and set our boat and its passengers to the bottom of the ocean, lifeless and peacefully floating, and that the most painful kind of death is from drowning…

All the while I thought of life, love, dreams, sea, travel and the beauty that remains undiscovered in the country… I want badly to bring the person I would truly love to this island paradise and experience the silence of the boat ride with him. I stared at the lone lighthouse on an outlying island and had fantasies of going atop it when I visit the place again. At the fast paced lifestyles everyone else is busied with, it is imperative to put the camera down and relish the experience, it is much different captured artificially than when you are there at the moment.

The longest thought that occupied my mind was the realization that the greatest artists, poets and thinkers of then and now must have been inspired by the sea and by lost paradises; and I think that maybe one would not fathom the depth in black and white unless they see the sun reflected at the deepest pockets of the ocean…

 

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TRAVEL YOUNG, TRAVEL NOW

TRAVEL YOUNG, TRAVEL NOW
By Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

A new friend from work, Camille, has shared to me a blog article that really changed my mind about postponing travel plans and my whole idea of “delayed gratification” (i.e. exchanging time for leisure studying for my masters and law school, putting in extra hours at work and sweating it out at the gym). It was a simple blog article called “Three Reasons to Travel While Your Young” written by Jeff Goins (http://goinswriter.com/travel-young/). I was moved because he was right, I had many excuses and “buts” to put off travelling and sucking at the bone marrow of life. To quote:

‘“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.’

I did sound noble in forsaking leisure for putting time, effort and money for future plans but I decided it was time for me to loosen up – I’m too wound up to absorb things the way I did in the past anyway. What struck me the most is that Jeff Goins furthered his point by saying that most of the people who like myself “waited” to travel the world NEVER DID. And I would not want that to happen. I want to ACTUALLY LIVE LIFE and not just be on the sidelines, a mere spectator, I want to REALLY SUCK ON THE BONE MARROW OF LIFE and BE IN ALL ITS ACTION.

Since I have a good income in my new work and they are democratic enough to allow working from home and flexi-time, I figured that YES, IT IS TIME.

Contrary to what you are thinking, I would not want to travel to other countries just yet. No, not because I don’t have enough resources or I’m a coward the reason is that on my first day in college, HISTORY 101, I took away a very important lesson… My professor, Mrs. Segundo (who also happens to be the mother of one of my good friends), told the class that she feels that IT WOULD BE HYPOCRITICAL TO KNOW OTHER COUNTRIES WITHOUT FIRST KNOWING YOUR OWN. She says SHE FEELS BAD FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO GO OUT IN THE WORLD WITHOUT EVEN STEPPING ON THE SOILS OF VISAYAS AND MINDANAO.

God, she was so right.

The plan is that I would read up on Philippine history before the travelling begins and some Nick Joaquin, Conrado de Quiros and Jessica Zafra books on the side, also some coffee table editions on Philippine art just so I get an overall feel and re-acquaintance to my own land and its story. Also, I plan to travel ALONE, because I know how much I take studying the art and artifacts inside museums and how weird it is that I like sitting down at park benches eating ice cream and reading a good old book by Hemingway or poems by Tagore. (I don’t know why but Ernest Hemingway books are so good to read when travelling) I also stroll for hours in markets, parks and bazaars watching the people and observing the products and actual economic activity. Not everyone is amenable to my methods in getting to know and feel the place.

Here’s the list of the places I would be visiting for 2014. (I made sure I step on the lands of Visayas and Mindanao hopefully there would be airline discounts that would come up.) I would definitely be blogging about these trips and it would be a GREAT PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT if I tick off every destination off of my list. Wish me luck!

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JANUARY – VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR
–           I always planned a trip to Vigan and even bought a map to the city a few years ago, but the trip never came into fruition for stupid excuses here and there. I feel connected to the old world, colonial vibe of Vigan, its calesas, cobblestone paths and mostly its museums.

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FEBRUARY – CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, PAMPANGA
–           The real agenda is to take part in the four-day Hot Air Balloon Festival which would be held from Thursday to Sunday on February 6 to 9 or February 13 to 16 next year. An excerpt from one travel website: “The hot air balloon festival features the best and most well designed hot air balloons you will not see anywhere else. As this event is participated in by different countries, they also bring in hundreds of balloon pilots.

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MARCH – SAGADA, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE
–           I remember my parents taking me to Sagada when I was younger, I had a Sony compact disc player and Lord of the Rings to accompany me through that long bus ride. I also recall my legs being sore from trekking those mountains and spelunking inside the beautiful caves. I had my map and Hello Kitty film camera in hand throughout the trip. The place still allures me, its mysterious beauty beckons me to go back, walk through its mountain paths and eat homemade yogurt in the morning.

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APRIL – BICOL

–           Another thing I always put off was boarding the PNR train which is a mystery to most Manilenos and Manilenas because as one friend puts it “no one rides that dingy train anymore.” Another friend said that the interior of the train has already improved and that it is a 4-hour trip that he thinks I would like because according to him I’m the “buses and trains kind of girl.” Top on my list would be to visit the perfectly shaped Mayon volcano and Cagsawa national museum, of course I would taste the spicy dishes Bicol prides itself in.

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MAY – PAGUDPUD, ILOCOS NORTE

–           I cannot let summer pass by without visiting a beach, I was initially planning to splurge on the beach because everyone knows I’m not really a “beach-bum type” which is why I want to make it worth the while and all the gym time I’d be investing on for a flatter stomach. But upon researching on my travel destinations, I fell in love immediately with Pagudpud. The CNN travel website describes it this way: “the wide and inviting beaches are usually empty, making them ideal for those who enjoy mixing solitude with sun, sand and surf.”

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JUNE – TAGAYTAY CITY, CAVITE

–           My parents usually took me to Tagaytay as a little girl and I never forgot those moments when my mom and I had the cable car rides and when she directed me how to pose for pictures. I’m expecting June to be a busy month since I am to start law school and probably arrange for my post-graduate graduation so Tagaytay came up since it’s nearby and would not hurt my budget. Top things to do would be to visit Taal Volcano, Sonya’s Garden, and get lost in time drawing and listening to Elgar Concertos while at the Picnic Grove.

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JULY – LAGUNA

–          The birthplace of Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, I just feel like I need to know the place to also know the hero. The course on Rizal back in my undergraduate years, the three text books I read on him and topping my Rizal class was not enough. Top on my list would be Pagsanjan Falls, Caliraya Lake, the Rizal house, the old churches and if time permits probably another flashback of my childhood in Enchanted Kingdom.

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AUGUST – BATANGAS

–          This trip is another channeling to my childhood, I remember riding the “balanga” or floating house with my family and holding on to the kawayan as I try floating around the deeper parts of the beach. Since I’m travelling alone, I would most likely forego the beaches and visit the Calatagan Lighthouse, the old churches and eat Lomi and Bulalo which are the signature dishes of Batangas. Probably stop by houses of friends, I happen to have a number of close friends who are Batangenos and Batangenas. My bestfriend Cyrus is a Batangeno and promised to take me around, fingers crossed that my accommodations would be free.

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SEPTEMBER – Iloilo

–          To pay homage to my roots, I plan to visit Iloilo and my mother’s hometown. To know the most amazing person in the world, my mom, I would do it Rizal style, know the place where the person grew up in to know the person better. Hoping to score discounted airline tickets and free accommodations from relatives in the province. Top things that I would want to do in the city would be to go to Diversion Road and have a taste of the Iloilo night life (probably meet a ‘malambing’ hottie while sipping on pink cosmopolitans), visit Fort San Pedro which is said to have ‘the most beautiful sunset’ in the city, and go to the Miag-ao Fortress Church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. September 10th would be my mom’s birthday, this is the perfect homage to her awesome-ness.

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OCTOBER – Bacolod

–          The Masskara Festival of Bacolod falls on the closest weekend of October 19, I surely would not want to miss that and the chance to buy boxes of pastel and no, the pastels are not for sharing but for personal consumption (and yes, I might end up a diabetic when I’m back from the trip). Our family also owns a couple of businesses in the business district so I might as well acquaint myself with the city while I’m at it. Aside from taking part in the Masskara Festival and visiting our businesses, I would love to visit the Talisay Ruins which is heralded as one of the most fascinating ruins in the world, explore Silay City which is considered the ‘seat of arts, culture and eco-tourism in Western Visayas and visit San Sebastian Cathedral and Pope John Paul II Tower.

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NOVEMBER– Camiguin

–          I watched a local movie with this title, I have a vague memory of it but I think that movie was X-rated and Gelie De Belen starred in it. That movie sparked wishes of going to the place and grand imaginings of how it would be like, waterfalls, beaches and island mystery. Many have been in awe of the “virginal” beauty of Camiguin and it is called ‘The Island Born of Fire’ because of the active and dormant volcanoes that surround the island. October would probably the end of the school term for law school and I’m expecting to get vacation time from work so I might as well hit the beach, smoke a joint or two every night and sleep under the stars and the sound of sea waves.

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DECEMBER – Batanes

–          I placed Batanes last on the list because having researched on my 12 destinations, Batanes would entail extra budgeting and preparation. Batanes would cap off year 2014 because it is indeed a dream destination. I would love to visit the Ivatan stone houses, visit World War II memorials, visit the museums that I’ve heard they have in Batanes and walk through the virgin hills and the lighthouses. (What is it with me and places with lighthouses? Maybe it is a sign that I will find “myself” in this year of travel) I actually posted four pictures of Batanes, it is just so beautiful.

ON A RAINY DAY, ON A SUNDAY

ON A RAINY DAY, ON A SUNDAY

By: Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

I remember a couple of peculiar things about you:

You always told me you loved to make love to me on rainy days –

With the soft pitter-patter of rain on your window sill,

And the gray of clouds hovering outside and dimming your room,

Chills from the cold meeting our skins,

And you wrap your strong arms around my waist and pull me close…

It made me feel loved,

It made me feel home…

You make love to me romantically and softly on normal days,

Passionately and hard on special ones…

I feel your manliness,

Your familiar rough,

The scent of your skin,

And its incandescent glow right after you release…

One thing about you is you kiss my tears of pleasure away,

Right after I reach my climax,

And softly blow on the back of my neck,

That it makes me crazy,

Damn,

You were so good…

But sex and attraction aside,

Come nighttime,

When I pretend to be asleep at your side,

You pull your fleece blanket right below my chin,

And I feel you observing me…

You think I am asleep…

And I am warmed when you give me a kiss,

On the lips,

And on the forehead,

Right before you saunter to your side of the bed,

And I hear your silenced breathing and cute snores…

The best thing happens when I wake up before you do in the morning,

That picture of the moment

When the first rays of the sun enter your window

And touch your skin…

You are at your most vulnerable,

Yet it is a vision,

A breathtaking moment it was.

With that soft glow from the first rays of sunrise entering your window,

And touching your skin,

You emit the man you are,

And for some reason,

The air I inhale refuses to leave my lungs,

And I fall in love you again,

That picture of you never left my mind…

On Sundays after a busy week,

When we stay in bed and talk of the most deep, innocent and mundane things,

Whispers of sweet words at noon time,

While I prance around only in your soft white shirt draping my body,

We laugh and we make love again,

Wait for our pulses to slow,

And make love even more,

Up until our backs and thighs are hardened and sore from it all…

We stare into the nothingness of space in between orgasms,

Heaving deep breaths of air,

Smiling at our accumulated skill,

We were untamed beasts,

And at the same time frail kittens when in bed,

Loving and fucking,

Weary from the physical toil,

But very content,

We are living proof that ‘the best things in life are free’…

I love who I am when I am with you,

The woman that I become in your presence,

When you tirelessly sniff on the chasm where my ears and neck meet,

Right where I spray on my perfume,

Or when you lie on my stomach and I feel motherly and peaceful,

And when you kiss my fingers even with its cracked polish…

So on a rainy day,

On a Sunday,

Make love to me again,

And on that rainy day,

On that Sunday,

I might fall in love even more…

CANNED TUNA

CANNED TUNA

By Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

Modern day relationships, where there are relationships that require no label and no commitment, we settle for less and compromise the ideas of how a conventional and romantic relationship should be – we pretend that we are okay with whatever it is that is going on. But secretly we want a label, an assurance, a contract, a right to call someone our own along with the responsibilities and consequences that come along with it. Because loving someone is a right and with it being a right, it can be abused and contravened – there are laws that govern it, albeit arbitrary. This is the cause of confusion and pressure, the reason why one of the parties back out prematurely despite the so-called ‘relationship potential’.

But whatever…

As long as you don’t have to hug your pillow when you feel alone and those love songs have a new meaning again, then maybe it is okay, you can tag along and play the game…

While it lasts, let it be good.

While it’s good, let it last.

And while it’s there, feign.

The only solace is that you don’t need to cry as much as you did before, because you surpassed that and you are a survivor – a Napoleon, a Genghis Khan, an Andres Bonifacio in this WAR called LOVE. And labels, in this modern day format of dating, romance and whatever you may call it, are just good for canned tuna.

A BRIEF RESPONSE

I read your blog and I am overwhelmed with emotions for the first time this year, you said you missed the vision of me in your couch when I have only you white shirt on. I miss being that vision too, I felt my most beautiful, being in just your loose white shirts, smelling of laundry detergent and mothballs. I made a choice that day, I chose him over you and ended up with no one. And years after our brief dalliances, you still inspire most of what I write. Just like you, I put up this blog because I know it is one of the ways to reach you. Reason and reality over wishful thinking, it is only a sliver of hope that we still share tomorrow together. But before I sleep at night, before I am rocked away by the delirium of sleepiness, I feel our connection. I feel that I know the goings-on in your mind, what you are feeling and thinking at that exact moment. Sometimes, I wonder how many women have shared your bed and if you too think of me while you find a temporary cure for your lone. For now, the past would be the glue that binds our like minds and hearts, a reason to believe that in the vast spectrum of eternity a vagabond and a minstrel were once destined. I miss your laughter and wise eyes…

But, if you say you miss me like you say you do, you should be willing to put it through the true test:

When you walk on a beach or when you witness a magnificent natural phenomena like the sunrise or the warm tones on the sky when the sun is about to set, close your eyes and feel your heart… If you feel that you want me to be beside you holding your hand as you walk through the shores or sit on the sand, if you want to whisper dreams and sweet nothings under the sheath of stars in the night sky, if you think of me when the sun rises in the morning… that means you truly miss me… You miss me if you think of me at the most beautiful moments and at the saddest ones.

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Corinne Bailey Rae is definitely one of my favorite artists, I mean, in my ideal version of the world I would marry her off to John Legend. This performance is smooth and perfect – you have to listen to how clear all the instrumentals are and how Corinne Bailey Rae actually felt her song and emanated the emotion of it as she felt the air with her arms and hands. It was beautiful. If you download the digital version it is just as clear, if they could make a live performance sound this good then the world would be a better place. Great song, great performance, great back-up instrumentals and great voice!

FIBA WORLD CUP 2013: A TESTAMENT TO OUR LOVE OF BASKETBALL

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FIBA WORLD CUP 2013: A TESTAMENT TO OUR LOVE OF BASKETBALL

By: Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

 PHILIPPINES-RAILWAYS-POVERTY

The world stops in the Philippines when there is a Manny Pacquiao fight: there is no traffic, the malls are less crowded, streets are less congested and you can actually sit in the train and buses and in the small neighborhoods and barangays, young and old are cloistered and glued to their television sets – cajoling, shouting and betting. The same scenario was true for the FIBA 2013 World Cup where almost everyone held their breaths as we hosted the games, hoping that doubts of us being hosts would not come to life and that we hear commendations and good tidings from our neighbors.

The peak came when standard-bearer SMART-Gilas was pitted against the giants of Iran’s team. The social networks were flooded with well-wishes, updates and cheers for the local team and comments on Iran’s Hadadi’s enormity. Iran was indeed competition despite the fact that their A-sport is soccer. Philippines emerged as a successful FIBA Asia team with a silver medal for this year sans Kelly Williams and Asi Taulava – Japeth Aguilar took on the center stage like David against the Goliath which is Hadadi. To date, our country is still the most successful FIBA Asia team for having the most gold medals. Although China and Korea are making ruckus in the basketball world, they only became successful recently. We could trace our long-standing success in basketball to the great influence of Western culture and that we had national leagues earlier than everybody else. Although losing in the finals, Gilas made it to the Olympics which gives us something greater to look forward to as we again showcase our basketball acumen to the world stage – it may even be a blessing in disguise that we lost the finals as we didn’t even make the cut for the Olympics last time.

The whole world may find it odd that given our short built and other physical characteristics said to be apt for soccer rather than basketball, we take pride in being probably the only country in our continent in love with basketball. Yes, we are making our mark in football, but a Filipino can never forget its first love. If you ask some of our fellows what our national sport is, some of them would respond BASKETBALL, sometimes despite knowing what the national sport is, it comes out au natural.  It driven us to the edge of our seats once more but we proved and prided our nation that despite objections and dissent, our passion and inherent love for the sport could lead us to greater places. And, just an answer to recent developments and issues, the P1 million grant of our government is well-deserved; they did work hard for it and represented our country well.

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