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Showing posts from February, 2000

Literary Readings on a Chilly Wednesday Eve

Literary Readings on a Chilly Wednesday Eve 
By Walter Ang
February 10, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer


On a chilly Wednesday evening last week, a friend and I trundled over to Cafe Caribana in Malate to catch a poetry reading session. After climbing up a winding staircase, we settled ourselves in a table near the performance area. (We knew it was the performance area because there was a large radio casette player sitting ceremoniously on top of a stool.)

We got there a tad early so we passed some time by drinking in the mustard yellow walls, warmly cast in the glow of several bamboo lighting fixtures. We proceeded to trace out the map design on the floor. I spied the names Cuba and Haiti and wondered what country our table was situated on top of.

Short Poems
When the second floor finally seemed to settle in with its fill of people, the session kicked off with lifestyle columnist and television personality Karen Kunawicz. Striding up to the stool in an all black outfit, she promptly shar…

How to be Chinoy Without Really Being Good in Math

How to be Chinoy Without Really Being Good in Math 
By Walter Ang
February 5, 2000
Philippine Star

As the Chinese New Year approaches in the year 2000, Chinoys across the country gear up for another celebration of new beginnings. We'll be bringing out the red outfits, haggling for round fruits in Divisoria, buying the ubiquitous tikoy in bulk, and filling up the reservation books of Chinese restaurants to usher in the year of the Dragon.

For scores of Fil-Chi who traditionally celebrate the Chinese New Year, this is something to look forward to. A renewing of ties, a chance to meet up with family. Welcoming the new?new hopes, new lives, new loves, and chucking out the old?old grievances, old hates, old hurts. Speaking of chucking out the old, this is an excellent time to purge old misconceptions of the Chinese community here in the Philippines. After all, this is already the 00's (how do we call this first decade of this millennium?). It would be a good thing to start off in a …

A Moment With the Gods in Binondo's Sheng Guan Temple

A Moment With the Gods 
By Walter Ang
February 5, 2000
Philippine Star

With a grocery bag filled with fruits, I ramble over to the Chinese temple along Narra street. As I step over the threshold, I come face to face with a towering golden goddess. I recognize her as the Goddess of Mercy. Her eyes are closed in quiet repose as she holds out her hands to the mortals below her.

Inside the temple is a smorgasbord of sights, sounds and smells that tickles the senses. The serene interior is always a welcome respite from the intense heat outside. The first thing I see are the massive stone pillars that punctuate the tiled floor. Towards the end of the main hall is an entire wall filled with various statuettes of gods, goddesses, deities, and spirits. There are a few that are as high as the ceiling. Some are no bigger than my hand. I glance at the thick glass panes that isolate these gods from the humans.

I turn my gaze to the Buddha statue that I glimpsed at when I came in. It sits cross-legg…