Your mantra for the week: “The gift of love is the best gift in the world.”
When your heart and mind are open to the wisdom of the Spirit, this is what you will hear:
My beloved child, like the new moon, you are new. Every moment you are reborn. Any time you choose to be different, it shall be so. A new world is beginning for you where you realize that every thought becomes a part of your life. Thus, choose to think thoughts that make you healthier, more prosperous, more loving and more successful.
Choose to move in the right direction and things will begin to unfold accordingly. Everything in your life comes from a choice.
Decide now that this is a friendly Universe. Wherever you go, you are met by gentle and loving people. They greet you with smiles, handshakes and hugs. They accept you as you are. Like a true channel of God, you are welcome wherever you go. You see only beauty and it follows you everywhere. You choose to match friendliness with generosity. You give and give and it brings you much joy.
Choose to be a loving person and you will be surrounded by people who care for you genuinely, who are concerned and make you feel that your presence matters. They will all appear with your choice that this is a friendly and loving Universe, where success is offered to you on a silver platter, where every opportunity matches your talents.
Survey the Kingdom of Heaven within and realize fully that you can choose what is to be in your life. You can choose to be happy, prosperous, friendly, kind and generous, successful in all your endeavors. These choices will remove all thoughts of failure, all feelings of limitation.
Decide now, My beloved. Are you truly a child of God? Will you live up to My image and likeness and accept your true inheritance? This is a friendly and loving Universe. Choose to have it all.
Looking for the Avellana Gallery on FB Harrison St., where you will find a well-curated exhibition hall, is an adventure by itself. The invitation simply instructed us to look for a sign, “The Henry,” and then drive into a compound of 15 old houses, still in mint condition, with the first five houses converted into boutique hotels.
One of those houses is Albert Avellana’s gallery. He does not live there but anyone would be tempted to do so after exploring it and walking through its garden—which Albert himself landscaped and fenced with empty wine bottles.
My visit to the gallery was to view Ivi Avellana-Cosio’s painting exhibit. This is the first exhibit of Ivi that I have attended and I was truly impressed with her works. Why is it easy for us to take for granted the talents of people we consider family?
My companion, e-healer Reg Tan, said, “I like her works. They are so cool. They are unlike those of artists whose works are outbursts of their life’s drama.”
In the same gallery, I also saw some of Allan Cosio’s works and I must say that he has truly matured as an artist. I guess Ivi and Allan, through osmosis, have increased and expanded their creative juices.
Ivi’s show runs until Nov. 14.
My theater family
Speaking of the Avellanas, last Thursday, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Ateneo de Manila University invited me to honor my theater “Itay,” National Artist for Film and Theater Lamberto Avellana, with a commemorative stamp and a screening of his film, “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.”
One of my greatest privileges in life was to be directed by Itay in a TV film version of multi-awarded playwright Jesus Peralta’s “Scent of Fear.” In that film, multi-awarded actor and director Tony Cayado played my father.
In another play, “Rejection,” written by popular playwright Tony Bayot, my theater “Inay,” National Artist for Theater and Avellana’s wife Daisy Hontiveros, played my mother, while actor (and “Anak Dalita” and “Biyaya ng Lupa” scriptwriter) Joseph de Cordova was my father. This one enjoyed many repeat performances.
I also participated in dramatic readings for the Avellanas’ Barangay Theater Guild, including “The Glass Menagerie” with veteran actress and cousin Barbara Perez. Well, as they say, it’s all in the family.
Notes on ‘Heneral Luna’
The film “Heneral Luna” has been a major box-office success because it has everything the general public would delight in: It comes forth like a Hollywood-made film; it covers part of our history; it contains comedic dialogue; it has guns; it is a war against our conquerors and even goes as far as tackling our war versus ourselves (it is so Filipino); and it ends with violence seldom seen in Philippine cinema. As they say in Spanish, “Que mas quieres.”
Filipinos who have yet to see the film should take time to watch it for history’s sake. As discussed online and in the national media, some students were said to be wondering why Apolinario Mabini was seated throughout the film—totally oblivious of the fact that he was a paralytic.
If, indeed, those students were ignorant of Mabini’s condition, how much less would their knowledge be of the period starting in 1892 when the Katipunan was formed?
This ignorance persists, I am told, because that part in our history is no longer taught in high school. How unfortunate!
“Heneral Luna” was ably directed by Jerrold Tarog, who now enjoys celebrity status. Congratulations are well-warranted.
However, I cannot sing more hosannas to the film for the following reasons:
It felt more like an extended music video with flashbacks to Luna’s youth and love life, clearly to lend more credence to his being human instead of a larger-than-life super general.
It also seemed like a portion of a long teleserye or, better still, a narrative of Luna’s war with the Americans.
Furthermore, I did not even get a glean of his being a pharmacist, a chemist with a doctorate degree, and one who was deeply involved in literature.
The filmmaker tried to show Luna’s military genius, but succeeded only in dramatizing his legendary temper and pride without bothering to explain its origin.
It failed to bring me back to the mood and atmosphere of the late 19th century.
John Arcilla did a credible job as Luna. But unfortunately, the production failed to make him look as young as the rest of the characters surrounding him. And in a scene where he is playing the guitar, the camera focuses on his hand that is nail-polished and manicured. That probably summarizes the film—it is neat, polished and manicured.
But, as I was leaving the cinema, a thought lingered in my mind: History does repeat itself. Gen. Antonio Luna died on June 5, 1899—killed by soldiers allegedly belonging to the Kawit battalion of then President Emilio Aguinaldo.
Eighty-four years later, in Aug. 21, 1983, Ninoy Aquino lay dead, shot allegedly by a soldier of the Marcos regime. But who ordered his killing? Will we ever really know?
Both Aguinaldo and Marcos denied they had anything to do with the deaths of our two heroes.
More fun, and funnier
My sound engineer who frequents the Sogo hotel chain with his girlfriend informed me that at the entrance of one of its branches, you will find biblical quotations painted on the wall, such as: “Ibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Diyos nang buong puso, buong kaluluwa, buong pag-iisip at buong lakas”; “The Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love”; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And around the neighborhood, because we are on the second “ber” month, a Christmas song, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” keeps playing over and over.
It’s really more fun, and funnier, in the Philippines!