Makati and Manila: These streets will make you feel brand new

During the lent, I was wandering around the metro and it was so frustrating that major establishments were closed. The  bustling thoroughfares on normal days were  unbelievably clear and silent. Due to the population scarcity on those days, I took advantage to roam around Makati and Manila. Here’s where I have been to 😉

Graffiti walls along Reposo St. Makati

Reposo street in Makati – touted as the art center in our country’s central business district. Art galleries are ubiquitous in the area. The most popular are Alliance Francaise de Manille which hold art events and exhibitions and LRI design Plaza, a one stop shop for art decos and one of  a kind furniture.

The walls along the street are entirely devoted for graffiti paintings.  Unlike the usual hip- hop graffiti found under the pasig river bridge, the graffiti  in Makati are colorful and lively. The images are reaching out a strong social messages to the people from all walks of life.  One wall delivers a message about caring and preserving our trees . It requires no entrance fee to treat our eyes with visual feasts.

Sidewalk musicians

Then I  moved to Malate  district. Juggling the street is probably no ordinary for sidewalk musicians.  They spent their lives on the streets with their guitar, flute and improvised speaker. They entertain us with their music. Thousands of people pass them  by on a daily basis, and since we are all busy minding our own, they remain unnoticed. We sometimes acknowledge them,  a quick glance then we head  toward our own destinations. Most of the times,  we drop a coin  because we  pity  them for  their undeserved misfortune.

Roxas Boulevard

Of course, I did not dare to miss Roxas Boulevard, the sun had set by then  and the boulevard is illuminated by bright and colorful street lights. It’s this stunning street  that takes  me through vision of Manila by night. I found a spot to sit on a ledge and closely observed the surroundings. I have noticed that the boulevard is a lovers venue , moreover a haven for runners and joggers.

It was getting late, slowly people were abandoning the area, an old man in front of me stretched his body on a bench  calling it a good night. Roxas Boulevard was empty, bright and peaceful.

That day I found myself everywhere. I was sure I had my fair share of slices of life in the metro.

I’m glad.

LP: Soothsayers in Quiapo

Soothsayers who claim to have a psychic power to unfold the future surround Quiapo Church.  Patrons come by to Quiapo to consult about: love relationships, marriage, jobs, health and possibility of going aborad.

Catholic priests and ministers discourage fortune-telling; it is in  fact violative to catholic teachings. Given that,  many are still  willing to pay 1oo pesos  for a fleeting thirty minutes of tarot and palm reading. Some desperate take the word of the soothsayer as a gospel truth. Perhaps they are too vulnerable or emotionally incapable to deal with their real issues.  They need an easy way to find answers to their trials and tribulations.

Reading people’s lives has already become an industry outside the church;  The proliferation of these soothsayers are unstoppable, they will continue to exist as long as there is someone whose willing to be fooled.  Truth is, there is really no way to peek ahead of the future. Precogs, psychics, palm reader, soothsayers,  however they are called  – fact is they really don’t know how things will turn out ahead of time . Simply unreliable and untrue.

Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court

Books piled on my table summons my attention to read them. I took  advantage of my long weekend break to try  to finish my affair with them.

Edmond Rostand’s romantic work Cyrano de Bergerac never fails to amuse me. It’s one of my favorite. I was feeling sullen last Thursday, and funny that I chose to reread Cyrano . And yes, I ended up feeling more melancholic.  Talk about love and its complexities. Sometimes love is not all about happy endings.

Nina Garcia’s The little Black Book of Style and The  Style Strategy  are sure hit and useful for me. I am no fashion expert, so I thank her for  the tips and basics about clothes, shoes, accessories, and her emphasis on finding  our own tailor =p.  As a result, I’m now in search for that right person to bespoke my clothes =)

Someone Cares by Helen Rice Steiner and Praying  Through Life’s problems are gifts from my sister. The former is a collection of poems and the latter is a collection of inspirational essays. They are both inspirational and comforting. Very timely for lent.

Okay, perhaps the most interesting among them all is the Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court by Marites Danguilan-Vitug. Being a mosa, I want to know why  the book is controversial.

Why so-called controversial?

1. Publishers and financiers have backed out because the book is “too hot to handle”. It tackle sensitive issues pertaining to the Supreme Court.

2. Marites Vitug, the author, according to news, has received death threats after the successful release of her book.  Watch news here.

3. National Bookstore refused to carry the book in their stores. – Btw, I bought mine at Fully Booked in Rockwell, I asked for the paperback but their customer representative told  me : “sold out na po, hardbound na lang”, he even added, “kame lang po ang matapang na naglabas sa controversial na book na yan”. My silent reaction? naks =p

The book is indeed fearless, provocative, and  controversial. It makes some strong allegations against notable supreme court justices. The book seeks to reveal the manipulation of court processes by the Magistrates; how culture works inside the Supreme court. I must admit that in one sitting, I was glued reading  pages after pages. Wow! ang tapang talaga ng author. I found pleasure reading the book but I also have my reservations.  The book tells so much about our present Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno- two  chapters  (pages145-192) are  exclusively devoted about him: The Chameleon and Puno’s Quest.

On page 173 of her book, Vitug wrote ” His [CJPuno] has been a two-chambered personality: one is where his lofty principles stay, and the other where personal interests reside, and neither collides with the other”.

Again, I say the book is fearless.