Thursday, June 26, 2008

missing our "Taliban"

"Crossing rivers, especially with strong currents, is a different experience," said graphic designer Thaddeus Reantaso. "I would definitely do this again."

Read the article here.

last night it felt like the others skipped a couple of stages of grief and moved on to bargaining, saying that at least tads got to do what he loved in the end. if he's happy so were we, and so acceptance will come soon. for me and carol (and rj too, i think he just didn't admit it), i don't know, i guess we were still in a state of shock. what to do with all these thoughts, what to think about. last night there were five of us sharing our grief, and laughing every time we remember something utterly funny that tads said or did, the classes, the walkabouts, the trademark goatie-pulling.

as we headed home we heard someone talking on his cellphone with words "bloated" and "kabaong" sounding slightly louder than other words (to our ears). we stopped walking and stayed where we are, and i'm sure the guy talking on the phone noticed it, because my back was only three feet away from him. we eavesdropped as much as we could. then i pleaded with the girls to please approach him after the call, because i couldn't do it. after the call, the guy was about to turn away when we called him back and properly introduced ourselves. yes, they were talking about tads and the details of the interment. it's painful to write it down but i have to, the image in my mind is...damn. the guy's name was james and he was with tads back during tads' fine arts, UP art circle years. he said that tads will be cremated once he gets to manila, and then the wake will follow soon after. not much use for a casket since (as we overheard) well, tads in his decomposing, bloated state (sorry, sorry) wouldn't fit anymore. i remembered prana--she still fit in her casket, which was never opened. but tads--tads is a rebel, no casket for him, it's straight into the fire. what a way to go, tads. you amaze us every time. for your post-birthday celebration, we'll be having your picnic at sunken, just the way you wanted it. no booze; we'll eat sandwiches and drink iced tea--wholesome and healthy. okay, a few green jokes here and there. cheers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

goodbye, Tads

i can admittedly say that he's the best in our MA Anthropology batch. i was pleasantly surprised when said he graduated with a degree in visual communications. he said he had always been fascinated with different cultures. he usually started his observations and comments on theories with "I find it fascinating..." we used to say, teasing, that his favorite thinker was levi-strauss. and crapanzano. and geertz. and rosaldo. he got a perfect score (plus plus) in our anthro theories exam--we were supposed to answer only eight essay questions. he answered ten, and got all of them correct. we measured the fat on his back in physical anthropology, while they measured the fat in my arm. i took him along on a trip to camp sampaguita in new bilibid prisons because he wanted to learn, to be wherever sociology-anthropology can take him. he finished his coursework ahead of us, who struggled with INC's. he was just a thesis away from his master's degree. when i asked him about it, he said he didn't have an inspiration yet. the last time i saw him was in cubao x, this april. he surprised me as i was taking photos of the jerks: "sabi ko na nga ba ikaw yung nagpi-picture-picture!" he was a great photographer, shot with a nikon f2. yes, he used film too, and was very good at it. he didn't drink beer because of health reasons. i invited him to be part of the foundation-research group we're starting. he said yes, and we were glad because we knew he'd be great. he didn't look his age. he seemed younger. in some ways we were like each other, with a similar passion for art and culture. he was like a brother. i can't really describe how i felt when i heard the news. just emptiness, maybe. a great big loss. a perpetual sigh.


It is with great sadness that our club informs the rest of the mountaineering community that the body of our brave colleague Thaddeus Reantaso has been found, having washed ashore on the tiny island of Hermana Mayor off Santa Cruz Point, some 90 kilometres north of Pundaquit. His father is finally bringing Thads home on his son's 32nd birthday.We ask all our friends and brethren in the mountaineering community to take a moment to say a prayer for the eternal repose of his soul.


P.S. To his former classmates, see if this is the same Thads that you knew:

June 25, 2008 2:29 PM

Monday, June 23, 2008

What happens when east meets west?

(What I stumbled upon tonight.)

what happens when east meets west?

On a good day, you have received an impressive cross-posted e-mail and you really want to share with your friends. These graphics are striking for me as they show how well the designer observes, analayses and re-present through her eyes. Some of you may have already seen it, but it is nice to take another look.

These are icons designed by Liu Yang, a Chinese born but educated in her teen through adult life in Germany. Her work shows how East meets West. Her work fits so well with globalization of culture, peoeple and places.

See whether you agree with her.

Blue means the West

Read means the East/ Asian/Chinese

The boss



eldery in day to day life

way of life

three meals a day

moods and weather

things that are new



perception of each other


handling of problem


queue in waiting

in the restaurant

shower timing



what's trendy

Perhaps, it is quite a generalization but it is more or less the way of the West and the East. The two parts of the world are learning from each other while the division into two parts is too crude anyway. My favourite is 'perception of each other'. Here, the West is learning to dreass, drink and eat Asian way, but the East is fond of modern look, sausage and beer.

What is your favourite?

How do you interpret these graphics?

Liu Yang's exhibition

Liu Yang was born in 1979 in Beijing, China. She moved to Germany in 1990 and lives there since. She established Yang Liu Design institute in Berlin in 2004.

For more information, please visit her website

Saturday, June 21, 2008

the pamilee

been five years since i last stepped foot on the dominican retreat haven of caleruega in tagaytay. first time i ventured off to the hanging bridge, though, because back then i wasn't pasaway enough to go far from home base. this time, the family embarked on a tagaytay trip for the patriarch's birthday celeb, lotsa photos as usual of baby miel, more camwhorage of everyone else, including me, hahaha. here's what you get for eating too much instant noodles for breakfast. more photos and travel logs in miel's multiply site! (yes, she has one!)


ma's got vertigo and couldn't cross the bridge, so she just took this photo, woah-woah-woah

she winks just like me!

wiz ze big brudda

the baby will grow up to be just like this

Sunday, June 8, 2008

today's firsts

first time to...

- buy (and wear) three sets of Groucho Marx glasses (actually, just two; the other's a clown mask thingie) to help an old man. i really liked him and he was all game for a photograph!
- have my photo taken by a Luneta photographer. wearing the groucho glasses.
- chat up a couple of Luneta photographers (learned a lot!).
- see a horse being fed lunch, and his mouth being washed right after.
- have a haircut with a friend (because i usually go alone). sabay sana kami kaso isa lang 'yung gumugupit. cool pa rin.
- see 'antisocial' painter ivan roxas in a big artsy crowd.
- feel the heaven-knows-how-heavy pressure of a coordinating job. remind me to call ely buendia.
- go to bed praying i'll be able to do everything i have to do before i start having to rock myself to sleep.