The beginning of my 2nd week in Manila.
I did my Manila-bourgeois circuit last week, while I was waiting for my best friend Romeo to come back from Bangkok, where he was finishing the sound design on the film at a Dolby certified post production facility. My Tito Bernie drives me when he can, but I am totally comfortable taking cabs here, despite all the fearful warning me about being kidnapped. I believe you must take charge of it before it takes charge of you - so when I get into a cab I tell them exactly where I want to go, and how I want them to get there. And when we take a funny turn, I confront the taxi driver immediately and ask why we're passing that way. My Tagalog, when I'm immersed in hearing it here in Manila, comes back quickly. Most native Filipinos wonder why, as an American-born Filipina who has never taken any classes in Tagalog, I speak so well. I just remember all the conversations I listened to - my parents, family, friends, etc. I recall the words. I throw the switch. And while my 2nd most fluent language is still French, I'm getting better at my native tongue all the time.
My Manila-bourgeois circuit consists of going to the Glorietta Mall, straight to Rustan's, and then coffee at Cafe Figaro, then lunch at Mangan. Then Celebrity Spa and Sports Club for a body scrub, manicure and foot spa/pedicure. I go to Emphasis Salon in Rockwell, for haircuts/style, eyebrow threadings, and facials. I'm curious about this place, Amezcua Wellness: https://www.amezcua.com/ - a holistic medi-spa. I've spent good amounts of time with my uncles, aunts and cousins, but the family is so extensive that there's still many more dinners and lunches I will have to attend.
Last week, I also visited the memorial park where the cremated remains of my paternal grandparents, Lola Emily and Lolo Vely, are interred in an ossuary. Next to them is also half of the cremated remains of my own Papa. I feel stronger in myself for being able to be here and to revel in his memory, his friends and his life, understanding more and more of the man Papa was when he wasn't just my Papa. All without tears or breaking down. I can bring back the memories of 2003 clear as day: receiving the news from my mother, going home to grieve and comfort my mom and sisters, all of us holding each other, the flight back to Manila, the wake already in progress, the pain, the wailing, the loss, the togetherness - the STRENGTH! Pure strength of Papa's spirit passed into me, I felt it, as I still feel him, communicating with me from inside my cells, all the parts of me that came from him. And his death has never left me feeling weak. Ever. I would personally consider it a waste and a dishonor for me to allow his passing to weaken me, because that would mean, to me, that I would be ignoring all the gifts he left for me.
Our film, Ang Pamana-The Inheritance will premiere here in the Philippines on November 15, and I'm going to a screening for distributors tomorrow! Finally I'll see the whole, finished film, with sound and everything!
Outlines/Treatments for 4 film projects are due by August 21st - but with a team of 4 working regularly, we'll totally hit that target and probably sooner. I've got an egg-timer that we use for 1 hour pure-focus writing sprints, a few times a day.
Romeo's mom is ailing, in Canada, which is hard on him right now. It might be time for her to start dialysis. Prayers and healing energy go out to Tita Patti Candido in Kingston, ON.
Another friend has just received news that his wife is seriously ill, and I've written him the following, which I include here for anyone else who may find benefit in these words:
I am lighting candles for you and Becky at a church in San Agustin, the oldest Church in Manila, and the only building left intact in the totally massacre and destroyed section of Intramuros, during the Battle of Manila. I have never been a Catholic, but I know a vortex of spiritual energy when I feel one.
As I light them, I will pray, I will incant, I will do all my very best, to send the telepathic waves to Becky's cells, invoking that primordial blueprint of perfect health and balance. That blueprint still exists in her cells. I believe it in all my heart, and you and Becky especially can call on them, recalling and revisiting the times of Becky's life where she was the most robust and healthy, reminding her body by focusing her mind, on the what she saw with her eyes, smelled, touched, heard and especially felt in her body during specific times when she was totally strong, healthy, well-rested, invigorated.
This is my offering of support and guidance. I've guided many through illness now, sometimes resulting in their ability to heal themselves, sometimes resulting in the natural transformation of their energy to another form.
Let the body be weak, if it must. But keep the mind, the sentience, the spirit, engaged and immersed in thoughts of wholeness, strength, power, joy and love.
As always, in my homeland, my gifts are heightened, and I become more at peace, more clear and infinitely more aware of every power that has ever stirred within me.
Something is activated here in my DNA, and I feel as if I can see through walls and plunge my hands into the murky darkness without fear and manifest gold.
The petty longings and concerns fall away, and I am poised to take all my energy and tear into the unknown, feast on myself, take full ownership and responsibility for every moment being one of my own creation. Spaces are mine to flood with joy, pleasure, power, sentience, healing.
Today for breakfast I am going to eat 2 entire tilapia fish. Fried whole. I will tear into it with my bare hands, splash it with calamansi (tiny lemon-lime) and white vinegar and eat all the meat, picking out the bones. Then, ripe juicy mango and a pomelo.