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Archive for August, 2005

Himaya Amarantha

August 31st, 2005 6 comments

My Daughter

As time will come and go
Sometimes like a distant wind
My life sees so many changes
And I’m thankful for true friends
But as I long for wisdom
And search for that distant light
I think of yesterdays
When I watched you sleep at night
And nothing that I touch
In a sometimes lonely world
Will ever mean as much
As the love of my little girl

(taken from Sweet Remembrances)

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Sa bayan ni Sam…

August 29th, 2005 Comments off

Here’s a comic strip I made through a strip generator. I’ll be making occasional strips as my commentary on what’s going on in our country today.

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Come Fado with me

August 28th, 2005 2 comments

One of the rewards I get from having an internet connection is I can download a lot of free stuff. I get to download songs that are rarely found in our music stores. Thanks to Kazaa and Limewire. These two peer to peer programs allows you to search, download and share video and audio files. You just have to type the artist or the title of the song or video and voila you get a list a la carte of your favorite stuff for your downloading delight.

My latest find are selection of songs by artists I got to know only during my schooling in Amsterdam. Together with my school buddies, a mixed bag of German, Brazilian, Portuguese, French and African nationals, we used to hang-out in a pub near our dormitory at Willemsparkweg after classes. While drinking dark beer we listen to piped in music of various genres except for the MTV type pop, hip-hop, rap or the Britney Spears kind of trash. Although I don’t speak or understand Portuguese, but the melancholic melody of the Portuguese Fado and the soulful Morna completely enchanted me.

Fado is a type of folk music which most likely originated in the 1820s in Portugal. It is characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade (a word with no accurate equivalent in English; being a type of longing, it conveys a complex mixture of sadness, pain, nostalgia, happiness and love), and its origins are probably from a mixture of African slave rhythms with traditional music of Portuguese sailors, with Arabic influence. Some theories say it was derived from Brazilian music styles like Lundum and Modinha.

Morna (Portuguese for mild) is a genre of Cape Verdean music, derived from Portuguese fado, but also related with Brazilian modinha. Lyrics are usually in Portuguese Creole, and instrumentation include cavaquinho, clarinet, accordion, violin and guitar. Though often compared to the blues, there is no historical connection between the genres, though there are coincidental similarities.

When I returned to the Philippines I tried looking for it at our local music stores but to no avail. Thanks to the internet, now I have found what I’m looking for. I was able to download a selection of songs from two contemporary Fado artists, Bévinda and Mariza and the world’s best known Morna diva, Cesaria Evora.


Portuguese vocalist Bévinda is one of the premiere performers of fado, her homeland’s intense, emotive folk music. Her 1998 album ,Pessoa em Pessoas, interpreted the poems of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa into fado, exemplifying her devotion to her country’s traditions.

Mariza Nunes was born on December 16, 1976 in Mozambique. She moved to Portugal when she was three, and was raised in one of the most traditional quarters of Lisbon, Mouraria – Alfama, where she learned how to sing fado. Mariza is considered as a more contemporary follower of Amalia Rodrigues – Potugal’s reknown Queen of Fado music.

Cesaria Evora, born in 1941 in the port town of Mindelo on the Cape Verde island of Sao Vicente, is known as the barefoot diva because of her propensity to appear on stage in her bare feet in support of the disadvantaged women and children of her country.

Long known as the queen of the morna, she mixes her sentimental folk tunes filled with longing and sadness with the acoustic sounds of guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordian, and clarinet. Evora’s Cape Verdean blues often speak of the country’s long and bitter history of isolation and slave trade, as well as emigration: almost two-thirds of the million Cape Verdeans alive live abroad.

Aside from the Fado and Morna, I was also able to download selections from two francophone greats, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel and Latin songs by the dutch singer Laura Fygi.

Categories: Family and Me, Life's Soundtrack Tags:

The Sevens.

August 20th, 2005 4 comments

The other “pito-pito” quiz.

Seven Things That Scare Me

1. Having to be in a wrong place at a wrong time; 2. Murderous Akyat Bahay; 3. Salvaged/Assasinated; 4. Poisonous snakes; 5. To be “invited for questioning” by the military/police; 6. Being diagnosed as having a malignant ailment; 7. Harm or sickness that may come to any member of my family

Seven Things That I Like the Most

1. Football (a.k.a. soccer); 2. Travelling; 3. Singing and Jamming with friends; 4. Spicy foods; 5. Just being with my family; 6. Reading; 7. Sex

Seven Important Things in My Bedroom

1. The Bed; 2. Books and Magazines; 3. TV set and DVD player; 4. Closet; 5. Lampshade; 6. Table; 7. Chairs

Seven Random Facts About Me

1. I’m Piscean; 2. A football fanatic; 3. A social-activist-development-worker; 4. I am a member of the Order of DeMolay; 5. I love Japanese art, architecture, zen and Aikido; 6. Studied at Amsterdam, been to Paris (wrote my name on the wall of the summit of the Tour d’Eiffel), Belgium, Germany and Thailand; 7. My father is an Ilocano and my mother is of Maranaw descent

Seven Things I Plan to do Before I die

1. build my Japanese garden; 2. Write my biography; 3. Tour the Philippines and take my family to a vacation in Thailand; 4. Watch a FIFA World Cup Finals in the stadium where it is being played; 5. be an active Peace advocate; 6. Attend all important events in my daughter’s life; 7. Have tea with my wife in my japanese garden while watching the sunset.

Seven Things I can do

1. Sing and play the guitar; 2. Cook; 3. Talk; 4. Write; 5. Drink; 6. Read; 7. make love

Seven Things I Can’t Do

1. deep sea diving; 2. dance;3. act; 4. become a rightist; 5. become a politician; 6. become a member of any fringe group; 7. give up my rights

Seven Things that Attract Me to the Opposite Sex

1. Intelligence; 2. wit; 3. self-confidence; 4. Loves music and knows how to sing; 5. open-mind; 6. natural charm; 7. Candidness

Seven Things You Say the Most

1. Haynaku; 2. PI; 3. Paki; 4. Ha?; 5. Aba; 6. Sus oy; 7. Pastilan

Seven Celeb Crushes (whether local or foreign)

1. Monica Belluci; 2. Diana Zubiri; 3. Ashley Judd; 4. Jennifer Lopez; 5. Dawn Zulueta; 6. Martina Hingis; 7. Yulia Tymoshenko

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Book and Sevens

August 20th, 2005 3 comments

Major Tom tagged me with this quiz on Books and Sevens. By coincidence, I was already starting to make an inventory of my book collections when tagged. So,here goes;

What’s in a book?

Written syntheses of the human experience, creativity and imagination.

Number of books on the shelves:

I lost count. I have many books now gathering dust in the shelves of my old room in my parents house. When Bambit and I started a family we keep moving from one house to another so books were not piled in a permanent shelf. Most of the books lined up in the shelves of our new house now are mostly Bambit’s. She has a wide array of literary books and a vast collection of novels.

Those that I own or bought:

Most of the books I owned were given as gifts. Some were bought while others were borrowed and never returned. I collect mostly political books, started collecting when I was in College taking up Political Science. There are also few literary ones and a motley of books and booklets on various interests.

The bulk of my collection are books on Marxism. These are volumes of books written by: (Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxembourg, Mao Tse Tung, Leon Trotsky, Herbert Marcuse, Nguyen Giap, Che Guevara, Antonio Gramsci, John Molyneux, Ernest Mandel, Thomas Borge, Carlos Fonseca, Daniel Ortega, Humberto Ortega, Jaime Wheelock,Duncan Hallas, Leopold Labedz, Amado Guerrero,etc.)

Other Political Books: Among this pile are valued collections – The Prince – Machiavelli; The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Alex Haley; Dead Aim – Conrado de Quiros; Anatomy of War – Gabriel Kolko; Exposition of the Juche Idea – Kim Jong II; The Green Book – Muammar Al Qathafi; The War of the Fleas – Robert Taber, etc…

I have also some Classics: The Republic of Plato; The Aenid of Virgil; The Illiad of Homer; Sun Tzu’s Art of War

My Literary and novels stack: Pulang Hamtik; Pilgrims – Dahlia Castillejos; Bukal ng Tubig at Apoy – Levy Balgos de la Cruz; Sa Labi ng Iba – Nena B. Gajudo; The Poems of Dylan Thomas; Pablo Neruda Selected Poems: A bilingual Edition; Revolutionary Poems of Pablo Neruda; Bertolt Brecht Poems 1913:1956; Ezra Pound Selected Poems 1906-1969; Salvaged Poems – Emmanuel Lacaba; Kiss of the Spider Woman – Manuel Puig; Diary of a Mad Old Man – Junichiro Tanizaki; The Subterraneans – Jack Kerouac; Dr. Sax – Jack Kerouac; Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes; The Wild Swan – Jung Chang; Life and Death in Shanghai – Nien Cheng; Pauwi – Levy Balgos de la Cruz; The Templar Revelation – Picknett and Prince; The Temple and the Lodge – Baigent and Leigh; Shibumi – Trevanian; Philippine Collegian Literaray Folio; etc…

A selection of books about Mindanao and the Bangsamoro: The Aristocrats of the Malay Race – Nasser Marohomsalic; Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao – Marites Vitug and Glenda Gloria; Bangsamoro Society and Culture – Jamail A. Kamlian; Into the Mountains: Hostaged by the Abu Sayyaf – Jose Torres; A Study of Muslims in the Philippines – Peter G. Gowing; Rebels, Warriors and Ulama – IPD; A Nation Under Endless Tyranny – Salah Jubair; Booklets by Ustadz Hashim Salamat.

And a mixed bag of assorted books: Aikido and the dynamic sphere – Westbrook and Ratti; Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Bonsai; Amnesty International Reports, etc…

Last few books that I bought:

The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines – Walden Bello

Book that I’m reading now:

The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines – Walden Bello

Last few books read:

Life and Death in Shanghai – Nien Cheng; The Templar Revelation – Picknett and Prince; Earthly Powers – Anthony Burgess

< -the seven quiz next entry>

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The Return of the come back

August 17th, 2005 10 comments

I’ve been away from blogosphere for a while. I decided to unplug for various reasons, foremost is to give more time and attention to my “real life” concerns. Admittedly too, I wanted to reconstruct my blog and give it a new title and look (hopefully this will be its last facelift).

I have decided to change my blog title from Samuel Bilibit’s Diaries to Cogito Ergo Sam. It is derived from Rene Descarte’s latin philosophical phrase Cogito Ergo Sum. By playing with words and changing Sum into Sam, its vulgar and rough translation would be “I think therefore, I am Sam”. I consider it an apt description about my persona in cyber world. Samuel Bilibit is myself and I am Samuel Bilibit. As usual credit goes to the computer wizardry of my ever dearest partner-in-life Bambit, for the construction of my new template.

After a brief period of hibernation, I’m back to blogging again.

Hello again blogging world.

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