Category: CAMEOS

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Well, hello. It’s been almost two months.
Time surely flies especially when you’ve invested yourself in a change of plan.
 

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I’m less than one week away from my first international flight this year. Of course, I’m giddy.
 

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But what I am more excited/apprehensive about is the arrival (or not)
of news that will hopefully change the course of this path.
 

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These cameos were taken weeks ago, which, as always, feel a lifetime away.
As before, I have had just had my hair cut.
 

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I have put so many things on hold for a fling of fate.
 

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I hope things work out.
 

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A change of scene has been long overdue.
 

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In the midst of it all, things haven’t appeared to have undergone any transformation.
 

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That’s why I am worried. The healthy are wary of the sick,
the same way that the active avoid atrophy. Wish me luck!
 

Uniqlo t-shirt and jeans, belt from an Italian market, 5cm bomber jacker, Dr Martens shoes, Tissot watch
Cameo photographs by Jullian Mendoza

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Aside from the random cheap pair of sunglasses that I easily break or forget I ever had,
I have never really been a sunnies kind of person.
 

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Sure, it’s very sunny in my side of the tropics, and the glare off glass and seawater
are bad for the eyes, but I’ve always found them cumbersome.
 

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I guess it helps that I don’t drive, or that as a passenger, I’m always curious about my surroundings.
 

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I’ve always wanted to see things free of their trappings.
 

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I have always been wary of any kind of illusion.
 

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But even I can get tired and would rather hide from the truth.
 

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It’s a characteristic of very private people never to flash their full deck of cards.
 

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I guess shades are my way of hiding in plain sight.
 

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Of letting other people see their own reflections instead of allowing them to peer into mine.
 

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Yeah, I know, this is the age of the internet and social media, where nothing can be hidden.
 

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But I prefer to step back and fade into the noise of the background.
 

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Not that I have nothing to hide – there will come a time when all will be revealed.
 

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Or it can also be that I haven’t really figured out for myself what I have to say will actually say.
 

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There is time yet to be elusive and invisible.
 

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There will always be something empty to utter, much more to withhold.
 

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As Seamus Heaney said, “If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.”
 

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Especially when there’s nothing we can hold on to, we have speech.
 

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We have within and between us ever new ways of seeing.
 

Uniqlo jacket and belt, Levi’s jeans, SM Surplus shirt, Dirk Bikkembergs boots, Thom Browne sunglasses
Cameo photographs by Jullian Mendoza

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After a day of errands – can’t you tell by how I’m still dressed come evening? –
I was able to watch La La Land. While many may find fault in the lack of the singers’
and the film’s musicality, something tugged at the heart.
 

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The scene in question was of course Mia’s audition.
Madmen can relate, especially one who hasn’t even dared give his all.
 

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No, it’s not what you think. As usual, I’m still stuck in the middle of things.
 

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Soon, soon, the promises I’ve made to myself will have a chance to be tested.
There will be a time to dive and swoon.
 

Uniqlo t-shirt, shorts from Bangkok, Topman cardigan, Asics trainers
Photography by Jullian Mendoza

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It’s easy to pretend that as we grow in years, we also grow in wisdom.
 

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Maybe we become more honest, more kind, more patient.
But, even after all I’ve read and learned and experienced, I can’t pretend to know any better.
 

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Then again, honesty, kindness, and patience make it easier to be more loving and forgiving.
But it’s one thing to endure and another to presume.
 

Thanks for all the birthday greetings!
 

Izzue jacket, Uniqlo jeans and t-shirt
Photography by Jullian Mendoza

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To be accurate, these pictures were really taken on a Saturday, weeks ago.
But it did rain yesterday, a Monday, and the weather has been unpredictable the past few weeks.
 

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Started my annual stay-at-home vacation yesterday to catch up on my reading and writing,
and the usual tidying up of the year’s loose ends.
 

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Facing up to the promises I made myself last January, it’s easy to get depressed.
There never really seems to be enough time to do the things I set up myself to do.
 

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But on the bright side – the place where you’ll usually find me – I did rehash this page and my visual diary,
set up a portfolio site, and am in the process of relaunching my accessories web page with e-commerce capabilities.
No mean feat, admittedly, but of course all this is just part of the transition to better things ahead.
 

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Which should be read, yes, as: there is even more work to do.
 

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But the hardest part, the most difficult task for me, is the one that appears the most daunting.
 

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That amidst all of the commotion of self-set deadlines
(not to mention the external distraction that is the Christmas season),
there is the personal commitment to continually learn and relearn the habit of silence.
 

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Seems impossible, no?
Enough, I say – especially with the need and the compulsion to socially engage – to drive one insane.
 

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How to depart exactly at the point of each arrival?
 

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How to look back as one is forced to look ahead?
 

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Sounds like the perfect aesthetic premise, if you asked me.
 

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On top of the things I’ve already mentioned, I have also been setting reading projects for myself.
 

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In 2015, after years of struggle, I was able to finally finish reading and re-reading the poetry of Odysseus Elytis.
This year, Eugenio Montale and Bienvenido Lumbera, and am now digging through the work of Virgilio Almario
and Derek Walcott. (Nearly done with Gabriel García Márquez.)
 

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The books sitting on the shelves in my room are enough to bury me alive,
but it is even harder to find my own voice in the rubble.
 

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Nothing to do but start, yeah? Begin, make mistakes, persevere.
 

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Cling to one’s own clarity of purpose.
 

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Hopefully, before I start traveling the country (yet another plan),
I hope to finish reading all about Philippine folk literature.
 

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But before that, back to silence.
 

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Back to the pages, back to the days and the hours and the minutes. The sea, the sky, and the rain.
 

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Who knows what I’ll be blabbering about the next time I come around talking about grand schemes.
 

Folded and Hung pullover, Uniqlo jeans, Dr Martens boots

Photography by Jullian Mendoza