Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Movie Of Bollywood

Lagaan It's the Oscar Awards season again and I have not yet seen any film nominated this year in any of the categories. Not even Meryl Streep's Julie/Julia. This is something unusual for me since I enjoy watching free movies a lot. But as they also say 'when God closes the door, He surely opens a window.'

I am now, on the other hand, discovering the beauty of Bollywood. It was actually duty and our boys that introduced me to Indian films. Since our boarders watch movies every Saturday evening--which I guess is one of the highlights of their week as well, and I have to 'assist' (i.e. be present with them) them even at this time. Of course, having been so accustomed to Hollywood movie-making, I also had my initial shock and dissatisfaction with Bollywood.

Here, films are generally longer (often more than 2 hours) with songs and dances interspersed within the scenes and dialogues. They also usually have slower phasing in their narration with several (or maybe more than the usual) subplots interacting and affecting the entire storyline. Little by little though, especially when I started picking up familiar Urdu words (Hindi is very related to Urdu) I also began to appreciate Bollywood production. They are rich and fascinating.

I can still count on my fingers the number of Indian films that I have seen--from the classic Lagaan, to the more contemporary Qurban, Paa, Taare Zameen Par to Johnny (which is about Don Bosco), to the more controversial M3 Idiotsy Name is Khan and of course, my favorite Three Idiots (thanks to Br. Castilino for leading me into this film) among others whose title has now escaped my memory.

Everytime I watch these films, I had to enter as well into a different frame of mind in order to understand and appreciate them better. And since films--art forms, mirror reality, they also provide me with a closer glimpse of their culture, life style, traditions--their ways of perceiving and interpreting the world in which they live in and which I am now trying to be a part of.

Healing Wounds

He was pierced for our offenses...
by His wounds we are healed. Praying for a meaningful and grace filled holy week...
God bless us all.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Our Church

“To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, child-molesters, murderers, adulterers and hypocrites of every description.

It also, at the same time, identifies you with saints and the finest persons of heroic soul of every time, country, race, and gender.

To be a member of the church is to carry the mantle of both the worst sin and the finest heroism of soul because the church always looks exactly as it looked at the original crucifixion, God hung among thieves.”

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Twenty Years

My inbox has been heavy with mails and facebook (FB) notifications these past few days. All of a sudden, I can't keep up with the amount of messages, FB friend requests and threads, comments and responses clogging my inbox. They are from my elementary classmates.

We graduated 20 years ago from St. Anne's Academy in the sleepy and obscure town of Hagonoy in Bulacan. And we want to celebrate this occasion come December of this year.

But since many of us in these past twenty years have relocated due to work, family or ambition among other reasons, we have to track down one by one those who form part of our elementary batch, school year 1989-1990. Well, thanks to facebook, I think so far only 15 remain unaccounted for out of around 55.

I am happy to be seeing my old friends again. Most of them I actually last met on our graduation day in April 1990 because I entered the seminary immediately after grade school. Though I have remained in contact with a few and have from time to time seen others at certain occasions, I am still excited and happy knowing that we are now reconnecting and renewing our ties.

Evertyhing is grace! It has been twenty years of grace. And I can only be grateful to the Lord for all these bountiful blessings--the memory of a wonderful past, our childhood friendships, those years of growth and joys and challenges and this opportunity now to celebrate and recall together those times that we have shared.

It is sad though that I don't have now many pictures to remind me of those care-free and innocent years of our childhood. The regular flood that visits Hagonoy every year has destroyed much of those photos. But as I one by one confirm an FB friend invitation or add another 'new-found' old friend in the net, memories of those wonderful years suddenly flash back--clear as though they are not from 20 years ago.