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Hey coffins, howzit hangin'? (sagada redux)

sagada is the new baguio. huhuhuhu. ;( with fone coverage (but thankfully, not yet the horizon) monopolised by Smart. the roads are now paved which isn't a bad thing but so are the major trails. seems the SUV and starbucks types you'd avoid in manila were all there until around new year's eve. (ewan, mas tolerable pa rin saken euro dugyuts kesa mga 'fully functional families' on holiday.) photo from philtourism since my digicam took a holiday break.

more highs and lows:

illuminated stained glass of saint mary the virgin's church at midnight as people walked down the hilly road from mass... a pine log bonfire at the poblacion with gangsa (not gangsta) dancers.... popcorn-level firecracker ash up my nostrils on the balcony at ganduyan inn.... a noche buena of oatmeal, orange cookies and a still uncorked bottle of native tapuey.

sagada midnight of january first was like new year in paranaque fifteen years ago - dumdami na ang paputok pero may gaps in between. then in the morning someone had the stupid idea of setting off explosives in echo valley where i earlier yelled "Umberto!" and laughed at my own corniness. ho well, more restlessness for the dead over there. likewise for the living. drunks sang a medley of ocho-ochoh, happee new year toh yoh (to the tune of happy birthday) till they passed out before lunch and there was this one badly-wasted guy who was screaming at everyone in the middle of town until some locals found some cops sober enough to haul him off in the afternoon.

still it was worth the trip. as the spirit-renewing fresh air, trees, blue skies, and the view are still, thankfully, intact.

oi bernice. that hippie french chef philippe cooked up a yummy new year's eve buffet at alfredo's bed and brekkie. they say he lost his passport two years ago in palawan but loved it in sagada soo much and that the mayor had some sort of deal with him and gave him that job. am not sure if he's really a chef, though. but the food was something to be glad about. we boycotted yoghurt house though since they ignored us for an hour and preferred to give decent service to foreigners who came in later than us.

wasn't able to do some writing up there but i was able to do some reading - good ol' rereadings of (photocopied) excerpts of plainwater by anne carson from vince and lots of hiking.

Speaking of Books

here's something to complete my aural fix for the year (thanks for the news as well, vince)

This year The Books sally forth with their second full-length album "The Lemon Of Pink". Unlike "Thought for Food", which was composed on-and-off over several years across several cities and mountain villages, "The Lemon Of Pink" was composed more or less continuously under one old roof in the beautiful post-industrial hamlet of North Adams, Massachusetts.

.... Jorge Just, described it in a single sentence: "If you emptied 50 jigsaw puzzles onto your kitchen table, blindfolded yourself and put all of the pieces together by faith and instinct, sweating over the smoothness of each connection, working at it and working at it until finally you were finished, confident that each piece was precisely where it was meant to be, and after all that effort, you took a deep breath, removed your blindfold, looked at your work and saw something new, something inexplicable and strange and overwhelmingly comforting, something that felt exactly, impossibly, right, then you would have The Books."

link to full article

happy new year, everybodeeeee! luis, movie marathon tayo before the 21st!

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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