Thursday, June 19, 2014

vAn GOGh-ed

Van Gogh came after the the lingering aftertaste of my first Dutch pancake breakfast had faded and the uncertainty of feeling the tram service had settled. 

[Did he also have tiramisu melting over rivulets of thick syrup that folded like an orgasm with each morsel of a crusty pancake, and lost his cap too as he transferred seats in the tram of his day?]

And he came bigger than the overblown versions of the sunflowers he painted in Arles, and louder than the colors of the bedroom of 1888.

Six years ago in San Francisco, I stood face to face with the swirling shades of blue of a starry night that I thought was a painter's interpretation of how Lucy in the skies with diamonds would look, awed at the name behind the painting, mesmerized why what to me would be more of an amateur's work can draw so much emotion, transfixed by the failure of the mind to explain that strange sudden burst of a funny feeling, but somehow understanding why James Taylor wrote a song about him and the painting.

But the crows in the wheat field in Amsterdam was more unforgiving as I stood helpless before it, inebriated by my inadequacy to confront the birds as they came after me, intoxicated by the random strokes of a wheat field and a road whose seeming crudeness connected the simplicity of the subjects in the frame to produce a complex masterpiece that speaks more to the heart than to the mind.

And that strange funny feeling again, but more intense, and the euphoria of understanding not as I cried... 

It was only late morning but I was tired.

The Rijksmuseum and its trove of Dutch classics was supposed to be next but I was suddenly not too excited with Rembrandt.

Besides, I was sure though that Rembrandt will be more of a curiosity and the bragging rights that will come with it.

So I passed.

I thought the Amsterdam Museum looked more like a cafe than what it claims to be. 

So I passed too, hopping from one tram to another, grabbing a coke and Dutch fries for lunch, in a discreet hunt for the WC sign, until the spires of the Western Church announced that I was about to arrive at the Anne Frank House.

But Van Gogh is too much for one day and I might not be able to survive another sad story.

I took note of the long queue and made it my alibi to call it a day. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BANAUANG TOUR (idiyay Amsterdam)

Gapu ta awan mabirukak nga pagisbuan isu nga agawiddak kuman ta makatirtirnet ak la unayen.

Adda nalabsak nga iyaw-awes da nga Amsterdam Canal Tour kano.

Nalaka laeng ta 9 Euro isu nga pinadas ko tapno makitak met a ti langa dagita ipanpannakel da nga banauang da.

Ken addan tu met mai-istoryak a.

Dagitoy dagiti ladawan nga innak naimatangan. 

Makammo kayo metten a nga mangi Google search nu anya dagita.

Adda met dua nga simbaan piman nga nalabsan mi.

Dayta ni, aguma kayo.

Haan kayo la agbiruk ti pansit ta makauma nga spaghetti laeng ti adda nga magatang ditoy. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


The church remained unknown until Sabina, over a breakfast meeting at the Kaiserhof, learned of me being a churchopile, my impending overnight in Amsterdam, and told me of a church in an attic, which I found at 40 Oudezijds Voorburgwal at the margins of the infamous Red Light District, its story of emerging from the catholic persecution during the frenzy of the Alteration of 1578, and how the devout papal believer Jan Hartman built in 1661 a chapel hidden in the attic of his house, its dedication to St. Nicholas and the 200 years it served as a refuge of the catholic faith.

Perhaps because I first groped with the brass hand over a naked breast and gawked at the bronzed Belle, both proud statements of tolerance in the shadows of the massive but now unused Old Church, and maybe those famous De Wallen glass windows too that I have to endure in a funny way before reaching No. 40, that the church struck me as a lady in a striptease, slowly but seductively revealing herself though a series of spiral stairs until the full monty of the inner sanctum, and that blissful post-orgasm footnote of spires from the Old Church and the Basilica of St. Nicholas waving through the attic windows.

The ironic sense of the Ecclesiastes sneering at sin being sold in its neighborhood was worth the 9 Euros I paid to climb the Lord's attic. Or was the sneer the other way around...

Friday, June 13, 2014


Hoy es el dia de la independencia 116 de las Filipinas.

Que conmemoro en Alemania.

Como exiliado en Bolivia.

Gracias companeros.

Viva Filipinas!

Te ofrezco este plato de pasta en tu honor.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I mean the hail storm that almost ruined our summer ice cream moment at the Da Vinci CafĂ© in Bonn should have descended upon the senate's Three Kings of Thievery in an intense, steady, and Category 5 manner worthy of an "adverse effects of climate change" scenario.

I've seen ice pellets from the sky before but falling ice chunks the size of pingpong balls are a new experience, and rare too it seems for the locals who rushed to pick melting souvenirs after the storm vanished as quickly as it came.

That aside, it's emerging to be a pretty boring session on workstreams that denote inaction [NAPs read: country climate change adaptation intentions] and whatever [NWP read: climate change-related knowledge products] with flashes of brilliance in Loss and Damage courtesy of a brilliant lawyer from GenSan, and the familiar acrimony in the negotiations for agriculture.

I did attend a side event with an interesting topic on Carbon Majors [read: polluters must pay!]...

...shot a bird for Usec Fred in the Maritim....

...and toasted two big glasses of beer along the Rhine with colleagues from Oxfam.

Monday, June 09, 2014


So it was that three companeros from Las Islas Filipinas --- the Barbado from the Noble and Ever Loyal City of Manila, the Exilio from the Land of Promise, and the Provinciano from a City in Seville --- traveled a great distance for the annual Turnieren where knights and warriors from Lower, Middle, and Upper Earths gathered to bottle aspirations and drop these on the cobblestones of a street called The Convention, only to discover that the parchment containing their credentials was hexed and clobbered to oblivion by hailstones as large as the ego of The Keeper of the Scroll who --- poisoned by the bitterness of its own spite --- has declared war against them --- its own knights and warriors --- and left them with incredible tales of conspiracy and retarded tools of war, which The General in His Labyrinth mercifully picked and handed back to the three companeros from Las Islas Filipinas, and with those fight their battles under the protection of his refuge.

And there are more, them Outcasts of Eburoni, seasoned warriors, accidental Fifth Columnists, turned traitors by the curse of The Keeper of the Scroll, as they can only helplessly watch the Turnieren raged, and watch more as their greatly decimated army heroically rushed into the battle lines, comforted with the pledge that the cherries will taste sweet when they ripe, that the sun will set but will rise again, of the day when their weapons will gleam for the pride and honor and glory of their great country, and the assurance of history that love, truth, and justice will ultimately prevail...