Archive for June 4th, 2010

Finally had my hair trim yesterday at David’s, hubby was free to go with  me for a few hours.  My  hairdresser, also named Arlene is a soft-spoken lady and always inquires about my health since I shared a few months ago that I underwent chemotherapy.  Her usual question was, “mabuti po, hindi nalagas ang buhok niyo?”. The chemo drugs they treated me with are not as strong as those they have for other cancers, wherein almost all the patients I’ve been with who underwent  chemotherapy for breast cancer experienced falling hair.  I still experience tingling sensations on my fingers though, from time to time, the side-effects of Oxaliplatin and Xeloda.

Another opportunity to visit the nearest mall from our place.  I don’t go out much nowadays, and except for attending Sunday mass services and occasionally going to the wet market and garden center, these simple trips are luxuries for me.  And didn’t I tell you that going to a bookstore is always a welcome treat?  Well, I finally bought myself a copy of Ilustrado at National Bookstore for a price of P285.00.  It’s author,  Miguel Syjuco, is a recipient of the 2008 Man Asia Literary Prize and the Philippine’s highest literary honor, the Palanca Award.  The book, a fiction, “is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing 150 years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the  Americans,  and the Filipinos themselves. I must admit that I am not much into reading the works of Filipino authors except those of Celso Carunungan,  Jim Paredes (he’s one of the Apo), Barbara Gonzales, Bob Ong (do you read Bob Ong, he makes me laugh) and a sprinkling of borrowed chicklit books from BPI Stress Management Office so this is a welcome change for me.

I saw this small nook, Books and Mags at the lobby of Ever Ortigas  selling second-hand books, couldn’t go home of course without checking their shelves.  My oh my, they have plenty of hard bound ones and my eyes just could not take them all in.  I initially saw an almost brand-new copy of  Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie, hardbound.  I had the soft copy before but lost it to the flood.  There were several books of Robin Cook.  I was tempted, how I was tempted to buy them all. I am a Cook’s fan, collected his books the past years.  I was thinking, I still had a spare cash of P500.00 for books so I must really choose which to buy first.  At Booksale, this amount could buy me at least several copies, if one is lucky enough to find a good book at less than P100.00 each.   Hard decision, indeed!  And guess what I brought home?

1.  Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes

I’ve  read this before but it was a borrowed copy from one of Nissa’s friends, so I am keeping one for my collection.  It’s a beautifully written memoir about living in Italy, loving the pleasure of food, keeping a garden etc. It’s a nice afternoon read.  Frances Mayes is a poet, gourmet cook and a travel writer. It’s reasonably priced at P90.00.

2.  It  Was on Fire When I Lay Down  On It – Robert Fulghum

An upgrade, had a soft copy before but like all my other books, I also lost it to Ondoy.  I would like to re-acquaint myself with Fulghum’s ideas about life.  And here’s a beautiful quote from the book cover, “it’s not the meaning of life, it’s the meaning in life”. At 120.00, this is another treasure find.

3.  From Beginning to End – Robert Fulghum

Another Fulghum book that I haven’t read yet. I swear it is brand new, just  like all the other books I’ve found, the book’s  dust jacket is still intact .  I am big on rituals, they keep me anchored.  And according to him, Rituals do not always involve words, occasions, officials, or an audience.Rituals are often silent, solitary and self-contained and the most powerful rites of passage are reflective. A bit pricey though at P190.00.

4.  Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier

Ah, this made my morning visit truly enjoyable.  Finished reading it in three hours.  A historical novel (didn’t I tell you that I love history?), a fiction written by Tracy Chevalier about a painting done by Johannes Vermeer entitled A Girl With A Pearl Earring.  The novel revolves around the fictional servant named Griet whom he hires as his assistant and later becomes his model in the painting, wearing his wife’s pearl earrings.

It made me curious so I made a little research on the life of Vermeer.  He was one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age and his artwork, Girl With a Pearl Earring is considered  as the Dutch Mona Lisa.  I was lucky enough to meet a famous and talented artist/painter, Manuel Baldemor,  last year when my friend Tobbie and I attended the unveiling of two of his artworks,  Fruits of Labor and Good Harvest. My family and I have seen the art collections of the late Perdigon Vocalan which were displayed in their famous restaurant, Balaw Balaw in  Angono, Rizal.  I took shots of Botong Francisco’s murals two summers ago.  And I’ve met another great artist online, Ms. Phyllis Zaballero when I made a blog on one of her paintings,  The Lake Series I , Geyser #2. She left some comments there and I was pleasantly surprised.   I am an amateur  when it comes to admiring this medium but  one can learn through reading and the book Girl With a Pearl Earring taught me how not just to admire a good composition but to feel from the heart.  What a nice learning experience.  If only for this, the price of the book  at P90.00 is truly a bargain.

More books to read, more afternoons to enjoy.


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