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A Day to Sightseer: The Spirit of Bethlehem and Museum of Miniatures

When you just want to rejuvenate after a week of arduous days in the office, surely you needed a break and yes, I definitely needed one. Having mentioned in my previous blogs that going out hasn’t been my thing and yet here I was, taking a tour, I wanted to try something new to regain my ‘A’ game other than sleeping all day. Why not, right?

I’d like to begin this blog by showcasing the experience I had on the place. It was last Saturday when I decided to visit an exhibit in Barangka Marikina City, located at the 2nd level of E-com Building in Riverbanks Center called The Spirit of Bethlehem and Museum of Miniatures. I would consider it (for me) a hidden exhibit. Why? Because there are no directions or any signs of a museum ahead (none at all) I had a bit of a hard time looking for it, (I don’t know maybe the fact that I do not usually go out made me a not-so street wise person) so to be able to get to my destination, I needed to approach a guard just to save my time and to prevent myself from getting lost because I was new to the place. Thanks, Grab car! 

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What I actually loved about my tour last Saturday was that the time that my feet stepped on the entrance I could already feel the serenity of the place. The white and golden brown paint on the walls contribute a good ambiance to the entirety of the place. It depicts the look of a typical museum. There are several collections inside as expected,  I was able to enjoy scrutinizing every pieces of sculptures/figurines that they have included, there are also little information accompanied in each pieces.  I thank myself for being such an early bird because aside from being the first one to arrive on this museum, I was also able to tour on the place peacefully.

The Spirit of Bethlehem is said to be a private collection of over 500 belens/nativity sets/posters/paintings and sculptures from all over the world, collected thru decades of devotion to the Infant Jesus, by the owner, Gigi Abaya-Carlos. I find it amazing because there are nativity sets that have been bought on the 1900s and yet you won’t see any damages from it. I assume they really did well on preserving such collections.

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As you can see these pieces of the holy family is originated from Bethlehem and the other, from Italy.

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This one is not your typical Christmas tree. The holes that you can see served as the home of every little nativity sets. The lighting on the inside made it solemnly magical.

                                                                       ———-

On the other hand, Museum of Miniatures is just a step away from The Spirit of Bethlehem; it’s a two in one museum, as I may call it. The miniatures featured on it are part of the collection of the late Aleli Vengua who passionately handcrafted most of the pieces herself. It is said that the materials used on every pieces are mostly from scrap items such as plastic, wood, aluminum, fabric, and glass. Just look how amazing these tiny chairs are.

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Some of the miniatures are also intricately designed that would make it harder to imagine it was only Aleli Vengua alone who created it. I wonder how many years it took her to finish a miniature of a living room.

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and look at my close-up photograph of Vengua’s miniature of a Christmassy living room.

Some of these frames hold the articles regarding the making of the incredible small world of Aleli Vengua.

Oh look, the first admission ticket on Aleli Vengua’s Museum of Miniatures. It’ll only cost you P5.00 for adults and P2.50 for kids back then and look how huge it is, 8.5 by 11, I guess? Incredible!museum 3 first ticket.jpg

 

To this end, I would say The Spirit of Bethlehem and the Museum of Miniatures is a good recommendation, in fact, I would highly-recommend this place for people who wish to unwind and relax like me, people who has been seeking an inspiration for paintings, sculptures, interior design are also advisable to visit the place because why not? Check it out so would know why. The general admission for both The Spirit of Bethlehem and Museum of Miniatures are only P75.00 per head. There will be 20% discount for senior citizens, just show your ID. Now with teachers with ID and children either with the height below 4ft. or younger than 6 yrs. old (with proof, of course) will take a tour on the museum for FREE but this one is not applicable to children’s group tour/field trip. The museum is open from Friday to Sunday only, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM but if you have an appointment with the place or you’ve booked an event (recommended for a group of 30 persons or more) on the said museum, Monday to Thursday schedule will be available.

I’ve been totally in awe by the sight of the featured collections. All of it was just so amazingly created.

Credits to the owner of the photograph used as my featured photo.

 

Sad As Fuck: How Early 2000s Emo Became a Subject of Scorn and Salvation — Consequence of Sound

Photo by Philip Cosores Punk as Fuck is a monthly column in which Associate Editor Collin Brennan discusses issues in punk music and culture. This month’s column looks back on early 2000s emo and explores how the public’s perception of the genre has evolved after a decade under the influence. A few days ago, the folks over…

via Sad As Fuck: How Early 2000s Emo Became a Subject of Scorn and Salvation — Consequence of Sound

In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

Seth Doyle Maybe you were just looking in all the wrong places. Maybe you forgot about finding happiness in the small things. Maybe you forgot how blissfully calming that first sip of tea in the chilly mornings could be. Or how perfectly cozy you felt curled up and sleepy under your soft, warm quilt. Or the smell…

via In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

Thoughts on Miss World 2016

 

“Beauty is the opposite of perfection, it’s about confidence, charisma and character.”

 

I would like to share my unprejudiced thoughts and insights on the recent pageant but first and foremost, I only highlighted the Top 5 Final Q&A portion of the said pageant because first, I believe that it is the much-awaited moment where the individual candidates would have to showcase their beautiful minds and lastly, this portion determines who deserved the glorious crown.

 

The portion was presented by Tim Vincent whereas the beautiful ladies have given the chance to stun the crowd with their glamorous evening gown. For instance, I researched for the question and answers in order for you to take a peek at how the ladies presented themselves,.

The following were the said Q and A of the candidates for this year’s Miss World Pageant:

 

MISS KENYA – EVELYN NJAMBI THUNGU

-Question from Miss World 1988 Linda Petursdottir of Iceland: What can you do to improve education in the world?

-Answer: What we can do to improve education in the world… Obviously, it begins with empowering every child to understand that education is important, and Nelson Mandela said that it is the weapon that a child can use to face the future. So first let’s educate our parents that education is important and then we shall have all children on board to achieve their dreams.

 

MISS PUERTO RICO – STEPHANIE DEL VALLE (MISS WORLD 2016)

-Question from Miss World 1975 Wilnelia Lady Forsyth of Puerto Rico: if you have an opportunity to change something about the world, what would it be?

-Answer: If I have the opportunity to change something about the world, I think what I would do is send a message of how important it is to change exclusion for acceptance, to promote and provide justice for others, and the importance of helping those in need. Thank you.

 

MISS INDONESIA – NATASHA MANNUELA (SECOND RUNNER-UP)

-Miss World 2002 Azra Akin of Turkey: How would you convince others to help their communities?

-Answer: How to convince others is… Have to start from myself first. Then to start with love, then other people could see our sincere (sic) and they can inspire on how, what we do. And then [we] can continue it and share it to others again. And then one world can be one and can inspire the entire world with love. Thank you.

 

MISS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – YARITZA MIGUELINA REYES RAMIREZ (FIRST RUNNER-UP)

-Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova of Russia: What do you think should we be teaching the next generation about protecting our planet?

-Answer: I think we should be teaching our next generation to protect our planet. This is the only one we have. We shall protect Mother Earth. We should all be together and encourage communities and contribute with making campaigns so people can collect their trash. We have already global warming. We cannot stop it but we can enhance opportunities to make it better.

 

MISS PHILIPPINES – CATRIONA GRAY

-Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna of Spain: Which qualities do you think it will take to wear my crown?

-Answer: I think, first of all, it takes bravery. To be a Miss World is to carry a burning torch. It is like action carried out by one to illuminate the lives of many. And I would dedicate my whole self, my love for the arts and my voice to try to uplift, empower and educate people. And it would be my greatest honor and duty to hold this torch high enough so that all the world could feel and see its light. Thank you. (source:http://news.abs-cbn.com/)

 

The pageant has ended as Miss Puerto Rico takes the crown to be the Miss World 2016. The first runner-up was Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez and Miss Indonesia Natasha Mannuella took the third place.

 

Alright, so I was reviewing the comments about the previous pageant (because I am certain there are quite a lot) and I have noticed that majority of the Filipinos did not seem to be in favor of the results. Miss Philippines’ Catriona Gray unluckily did not take the crown of Miss World and based on the sited Q and A of the individual candidates, I think I understand where they are coming from. I am half-Filipino but I honestly do not grab this opportunity to simply be one-sided on this issue. I admired all the candidates. In fact, there were all great actually. It is just that you know as a human with a little good criticism in certain issues, I could not stop myself from sharing my thoughts and insights about some things. So, again, this thought of mine is neutral and fair.

 

Let’s be real here, if I am to rank the candidates answers, Miss Kenya would have gotten the crown then Miss Philippines will take the second place, Miss Puerto Rico on the third place, Miss Dominican Republic and then Miss Indonesia.

 

What were my basis and criteria then?

 

Almost all the questions that have been thrown to the candidates were all about to test their personality. Of course, it should be. Simply because the duties of the titleholders have something much for the people: Charity works, speak for awareness occasions things like that. So basically, the character of the crowned queen matters.  In regards to my basis, I gave importance to the current issues of the world today, humanity, our devastated environment, the world itself.

Does their answers relate to these issues? It should be because these issues are the main problem of our society.

After all, there did very well. I couldn’t argue with that. I firmly believe that it is just a matter of perspective. For we all have different ways of judging each of these candidates. Maybe for me, Miss Kenya deserved to be Miss World 2016; there were some that think Miss Philippines have it and etc. That is alright.  What is more important here is that surely they have given their best enough to win the crown and that I am convinced they were quite satisfied with their performance.

 

Let’s just let it be. The pageant has ended and so our criticism supposed to be as well.

 

Why don’t we just move on and rejoice with Miss Puerto Rico?

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A Rare Handwritten Poem By Anne Frank Has Been Sold For $148,000 — TIME

An eight-line poem written by Anne Frank, the Jewish schoolgirl whose diaries became one of the most profound documents of the Holocaust, was sold Wednesday at auction in the Netherlands for $148,000. The BBC reports that the Bubb Kuyper auction house in Haarlem expected it to fetch no more than 50,000 Euros, or around $53,000.…

via A Rare Handwritten Poem By Anne Frank Has Been Sold For $148,000 — TIME

10+ Quotable quotes from novels written by Herman Hesse

Herman Hesse is a German-born Swiss novelist, poet and painter. He was known for his winning works: Steppenwolf, Siddharta, Demian and The Glass Bead Game in which each of them focus on the scrutiny of individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.

As a tribute for the late Nobel laureate, I have collected notable quotes from Hesse’s best-known novels that will surely awaken your inner sense.

Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf addresses division within the self and society, and the effects such divisions can have on an individual, such as loneliness, self-mutilation, and possible suicide. As to what I have researched, probably this novel depicts Hesse’s depression and suicidal state during his youth. steppenwolf.jpg

I have read a lot of quotes on Steppenwolf but so far these were the ones that really appealed to me.

 

“There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert it.”

“For what I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.”

“When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages, to pull off the wigs of a few revered idols…”

“Most men will not swim before they are able to.” Is that not witty? Naturally, they won’t swim! They are born for the solid earth, not for the water. And naturally they won’t think. They are made for life, not for thought. Yes, and he who thinks, what’s more, he who makes thought his business, he may go far in it, but he has bartered the solid earth for the water all the same, and one day he will drown.”

“There are always a few such people who demand the utmost of life and yet cannot come to terms with its stupidity and crudeness.”

Hesse was also known for his notable novel, Siddhartha that deals with the spiritual journey of self- discovery of a man named Siddharta, the title itself during the time of the Gautama Buddha. It is said that for you to be able to understand this novel, you have to be aware of the process of synthesis, a mental process of reconciling dualities of opposing elements.1-Siddhartha.jpg  Hesse became aware of this process of unifying opposites during his period of psychoanalysis under Dr. Joseph Bernhard Lang and Lang’s mentor, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung. We can see this process at work in his psychoanalytic and post-psychoanalytic literature (including Siddhartha and Steppenwolf, and also probably Demian), in which the theme of self-quest by resolving chaotic polar opposites appears. Here are my chosen quotes on the said piece.

“When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”

 “I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”

“It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.” 

 

“So she thoroughly taught him that one cannot take pleasure without giving pleasure, and that every gesture, every caress, every touch, every glance, every last bit of the body has its secret, which brings happiness to the person who knows how to wake it. She taught him that after a celebration of love the lovers should not part without admiring each other, without being conquered or having conquered, so that neither is bleak or glutted or has the bad feeling of being used or misused.”

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair; I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.”

“Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.”

In 1916 to 1917 Hesse underwent treatment through psychoanalysis with Dr. Josef Lang, a disciple of Carl Jung. Through his contact with Lang and later, in 1921, from having psychoanalysis done by Jung, Hesse became very interested in Jungian analysis and interpretation. Demian is replete with both Jungian archetypes and Jungian symbolism. demian.jpgIn addition, this psychoanalysis helped Hesse identify psychological problems which he had experienced in his youth, compromising internal tension caused by a conflict between his own carnal instincts and the strict moralism of his parents. These themes appear throughout Demian as semi-autobiographical reflections upon Hesse’s own exploration of Jungian philosophy. Check out the notable passages on it.

 

“The bird struggles out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird then flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas”

 

“Fate and temperament are two words for one and the same concept.” That was clear to me now.

(By how Hesse expressed his thoughts through figurative language, you can clearly understand what he wanted to represent.)

“I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely the artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil.”

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”

And lastly, The Glass Bead Game, it is said that this novel was Hesse last and longest piece that he had ever written published in 1943. The title “Glass bead game” is the literal translation of the German title, but originally the book was published under the title “Magister Ludi”, Latin for “Master of the Game”. the glass bead game.jpgHowever, this title is misleading, as it directly implies that the book is a straightforward “bildungsroman” (the novel of formation, novel of education, or coming-of-age story). In reality, the novel is about two main dualities and dissecting them at their cores through intense self-analysis and binary oppositions, illustrated through two main settings: The Eastern philosophy versus the Western philosophy and the Worldy pleasures versus Asceticism.

Here are my personally-picked quotes from this novel:

 

“No permanence is ours; we are a wave that flows to fit whatever form it finds”

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.”

“Should we be mindful of dreams?” Joseph asked. “Can we interpret them?” The Master looked into his eyes and said tersely: “We should be mindful of everything, for we can interpret everything.”

“The old man slowly raised himself from the piano stool, fixed those cheerful blue eyes piercingly and at the same time with unimaginable friendliness upon him, and said: “Making music together is the best way for two people to become friends. There is none easier. That is a fine thing. I hope you and I shall remain friends. Perhaps you too will learn how to make fugues, Joseph.”

I think what Herman Heese wanted us to learn from his novels are: the importance of self- discovery, enlightenment of the reality, the spiritual belief, and also us, embracing the dualities.

Hesse wanted us to discover our inner self because as to what he had experienced, this was very essential. Reality is a horrible thing, we know that, but having the thought of being enlightened to it is a powerful armor to be used as shield in any hindrance. True to fact, Hesse also expressed his spiritual belief (In Demian and Siddharta, probably) in which he used symbolic characters to represent Jehovah, the Jewish God, and that his belief that it embodies only the one face of God, ruling over all the wholesomeness. Hesse believes that there must be dualities into it. If people served the God of wholesomeness, then they should also serve the contrary. Hence, both of these opposing forces should be considered as necessary.

I believe that in some aspects we should believe how Hesse views the world but on the other hand, we should also evaluate it with ourselves because I surely know we believe in the saying “To see is to believe”.  Oh, let me rephrase that… To experience is to believe.

19 Fun And Freaky Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Halloween — Thought Catalog

Flickr / Valerie1. In one form or another, Halloween has been around for 6,000 years. All cultures have some sort of harvest festival, but our modern Halloween has its roots in an ancient Celtic tradition known as Samhain. (source) 2. Jack-o-Lanterns were originally made from turnips. Irish villagers would burn candles inside hollowed-out turnips in…

via 19 Fun And Freaky Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Halloween — Thought Catalog

Peace fled — Jane Dougherty Writes

Inspired by Merril, I had a go at writing a contribution to the poets for peace chain of poetry. I don’t do prayer, or God, or even hope with any great conviction. Still, I know what is worth fighting for. Peace drops with the dew, Ripples in the blackbird’s throat, Curls with the vixen and […]

via Peace fled — Jane Dougherty Writes

MAZINGER Z: THE GRANDDADDY OF THE SUPER ROBOT GENRE

 

We have been a fan of Sci-fi based movies nowadays and Transformers has been one of the top trends and most popular among all of it. Do you ever wonder where the concept of Transformers and the all-time kids’ favorite, the “Power Rangers” came from? How about the first glance on the first robot shows? Well, believe it or not, these robot eras has started during the 1970s where anime was developed further, separating itself from its Western roots, and developing distinct genres such as mecha and its Super Robot subgenre. “Astro Boy”, “Lupin III” and “Mazinger Z” became famous during this period but Mazinger Z became the so-called “granddaddy of all the Super Robot Genre”

Mazinger Z is the first entry of the Mazinger Z trilogy. Its first manga version was serialized in Shueisha Weekly Shonen Jump from October 1972 to August 1973, and it later continued in Kodansha TV Magazine from October 1973 to September 1974. In December 1972, the anime version premiered on Fuji television. A second manga series was released alongside the TV Show,this one drawn by Gosaku Ota, which started and ended almost at the same time of the TV show. It must be stated that, there are two different tankobon (independent/standalone book) releases compiling the original Go Nagai manga due to the move of the show from Shonen Jump to Kodansha TV Magazine. It seems like both manga has been unsystematic when the Shueisha release compiles chapters, there are missing in the Kodansha edition and vice versa, and some chapters are not recompilated in any of them, and neither of them were chronologically arranged. It was then that an Italian publishing house published an “edizione integrale” (book in complete edition) containing all chapters and arranging them according to chronological order.

Go nagai.jpg

Go Nagai, series writer and illustrator of Mazinger Z reveals that he had always loved Tetsuwan Atom and Tetsujin-28 as a child, that’s when he dreamed to make his own robot anime. There was a time when Go Nagai observed a traffic jam and mused to himself that the driver he was seeing in back would surely love a way to bypass the ones in front. That’s where his ultimate inspiration came from: a giant robot that can be controlled from the inside. During that time, in his original concepts, his honorary robot was Energer Z, which was controlled by a motorcycle that was driven up its back and into its head, this was recycled for the Diana A robot. However, due to the sudden popularity of Kamen Rider, he replaced the motorcycle with a hovercraft. He then redesigned Energer Z and renaming it as Mazinger Z to awaken the image of demon god. The docking of the Hover Pilder seems familiar isn’t it? That is because Go Nagai borrows that idea from his 1971 manga Demon Lord Dante or also known for his popularity as Devilman.

 

Generally, the story of Mazinger Z started when Dr. Kabuto and Dr. Hell found the remains of an ancient civilization capable of making giant robots. Their rivalry began when Dr. Kujo found out the plans of Dr. Hell to create giant robots to conquer the Earth. This lead Dr. Kabuto to begin the construction of Mazinger Z, an enourmous super robot constructed with a feigned metal called Super-Alloy Z which built from a new element mined from a reservoir found only in the sediment of Mt. Fuji, in Japan.

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Baron Ashura

Dr. Hell sends his first assistant, Baron Ashura, to kill Dr. Kabuto. His attempt was successful, but not completely: Just before his death, he is found by his grandson, Kouji Kabuto, and informs him about the recently finished robot hidden on the underground basement. From that moment, and with the help of Dr. Gennosuke Yumi (Dr. Kabuto’s ex-assistant), the inexpert Kouji manages to learn how to pilot the powerful Mazinger. In order to help Kouji, Dr. Yumi also made a robot of his own, called Aphrodite A, and piloted by his daughter Sayaka, which was primarily conceived as a peace-time robot. Both Mazinger and Aphrodite together combat and destroy every mechanical monster created by Dr. Hell and his associates, Baron Ashura and the Iron Mask. In a second season of the series, a new character appears: Dr. Kabuto Jr., father of Kouji, who wasn’t dead, but constructing an even more powerful robot, the Great Mazinger.

There were actually lots of sequels, spin-offs and remakes throughout four decades due to the forty-years old Long run of the franchise: The Great Mazinger, UFO Robo Grendizer,God Mazinger, New Mazinger …etc. just to name a few. Have you watched all of it?

The contribution of Mazinger Z in the history of super robot genre created an impact to the super robot concepts today. Yes, there were some creators who managed to conceptualize their own idea but still it was Go Nagai who first made the popularity of robots and mecha since then.

gif Mazinger.gif

Therefore, in my opinion, this only prove that Mazinger Z really deserves to be known as the “Granddaddy of the Super Robot Genre”

 

Kudos, Go Nagai.

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