t Half the World Away: July 2007

Friday, July 27

Jeff Buckley


I once was open and one with a travelling heart
I loved this sweet guy
Just like a fiction rushing in your riverbed
Arise like applause in my head

And in the half-light, where we both stand
This is the half-light, see me as I am
Just like the ocean, always in love with the moon
It's overflowing now inside you

We fly right over the minds of so many in pain
We are the smile of light that brings them rain
In the half-light, where we both stand
In the half-light, you saw me as I am
I am a railroad track abandoned
With the sunset fogetting I ever happened
That I ever happened

*Fan art above picturing Jeff drowning under the city. Listen to Opened Once and stare at the photo. It'll move you in many ways. Very ecclectic.

(I originally posted Lilac Wine, but I really can't pick which one is my most favorite.)


Half the World Away blog makeover

I guess its time for Half the World Away to get an upgrade. It's beginning to look like the abyss of the blogosphere.

So that's why I decided to contact the best digital photographer the country has to offer, Maxi Adrian. Actually, he's the only photographer I know who would be ignorant enough to be fooled by my evil pursuits. I'll pay him McSaver coupons and he'll take cityscape pictures for me.

I can't help notice that my blog sucks. All black and dull like my soul :p... Anyway I sure hope that the photos will turn out ok as my heading.

My Half the World Away blog is not the all too common sugar coated page with glittery widgets and cluster maps. After all, what I wanted is a place where visitors can read. If I made an impact, they'll come back, if not, then fine... it's all good.


Tuesday, July 24

Jazz Meets the Blues - So There I Was

Me and my girl arrived a little late. Johnny Alegre was standing right beside the entrance with a beer in hand, watching the bands perform. Arrg! I already missed Affinity's set. Nevertheless, that didn't stop me from having one heck of a night.

Firebottle was playing when we arrived. Man, this band was a sure fire blues junkie. All I wanted to do after sitting was to stand up again and dance like Scott Weiland on a whitehorse trip. I was thumping my sole and swinging my head side to side while feeling the blues fill my spine. The trio reminded me of the superband Cream, only the guitarist sounding more like Stevie Ray Vaughan instead of ol' slow hands. They were aggressive yet sweet soulful, attacking each chord progression with intense drums, bass and guitar virtuosity.

Plug was next on stage. I swear that when got my eyes closed, it almost seemed that Howlin' Wolf was on stage. It is very clear that the band, especially the vocalist, was under the heavy dose of Delta blues. His voice was as emotive as the bayou swamps in Mississippi. First song they played, would you believe it, was Roadhouse Blues. Suddenly my face curved with swagger.

Both bands played their own original pinoy blues composition as well. All were good and worthy of airplay. Yeah, pinoy blues is getting there alright. These bands need only one thing... and that is a loyal audience. I'm one of them.


Thursday, July 19

Jazz Meets the Blues

Eastwood City Walk-2

[Jazz meets the blues]

starts roughly 9PM
back-to-back with
and other
Manila blues bands

Starts roughly 9:00PM


Jazz meets the Blues...
Affinity w/ John Alegre and Snakecharmer....
Club Dredd....

It's as if the universe conspired. Man, this is one nebulous Saturday night. I won't be able to forgive myself if I won't be at the gig. I've been listening to Affinity's Jazzhound steadily for weeks and now I have the chance to stand in a dark corner, with a cig in hand and a glass of Jager on the other and listen to blistering Jazz music. And the blues, the sweet, sweet sound of harmonica blues. Man, its my night. I've got to be there no matter what.


Wednesday, July 18

Libertine Diaries - Eyes like Shutter

if only my eyes be like shutter

there is so much sublimity picture perfect for capture that I constantly see

yet reality hits with a blinding flash

all is gone with a click

this intoxicated poem is a joint effort of the author and a girl named Sarah.


Tuesday, July 17

Happiness and Everything Synonymous

In retrospect, I could still remember the defining career interview of my life. I can still recall what I was asked, what I answered and what I felt at the time.

It was my first “successful” interview. It was for an upcoming BPO company in Eastwood City and God knows how I perspired snow flakes during the whole process. I have no idea what a call center does nor do I honestly know anything about outsourcing. Everything was alien to me and all I knew was that I needed to speak fluent English. Unfortunately, I didn't have the articulate tongue. All I had was the eyes of determination.

Somehow I qualified. For my final interview, I was led to a cubicle with a foreigner to interrogate me. Thinking real hard, I still can recall her looks; overweight, blond and extremely star spangled Americana.

*Susie May: “Tell me a scenario or a situation wherein your were actually needed to learn or acquire certain knowledge in a short period of time. What did you do to cope up with it and how did things turn out for you?”

Tristan: “When I was in grade school, all of my classmates were bullying me for I was the only one who doesn't play good basketball. I was pretty much lame. The thing is, I don't like to be bullied and I know I can beat them. What I did was I trained during summer. Alone, I went out on the court with my ball and practiced and practiced all day until I got better. First year of high school came and to everyone's surprise, I was now a better player, I was able to compete with the rest. Although I wasn't as good as my classmates, I began to gain respect and eventually I became the starting point guard during sportsfests. That's all ma'am.”

*Susie May: “You know what, I have a son just like you. All day out in the field shootin' ball. I admire your will, that's good. Well, that's the end of it. Is there anything you would like to ask me?”

Tristan: “Am I hired?”

*Susie May gave a smile and nodded. I was.

She shook my hand and certainly she was shaking the hand of the happiest person in the world. It was happiness and everything synonymous. For the first time in my life I felt real success. For the first time in my life I felt affirmation. A nod, a simple nod from a stranger who's taking a risk of employing someone with only a basketball story to tell. Forever would be changed after that interview.

There would be a handful of similar scenarios after that, some ending up in failure while many turned out to be alright. As always I was still sweating ice, but nonetheless the fiery determination was always there.

I applied for a copywriter position early this year. What the company was looking for was someone who has studied journalism and courses of such and someone who has done extensive writing. I wasn't that someone. All I had to show is an article about movies. Although it was an outstanding piece, my tech support background didn't quite fit the requirements. Nevertheless, a risk was again taken. Triumphant, it was happiness and everything synonymous.

Recently, I got hired again. Same company, different position and another leap of faith. It would be this time when I remembered Susie May. God bless her soul.

My constant leaps has gotten me somewhere far from where I could have imagined. Luckily, this feet of mine happened to have a good landing. Although life may not always be about achievement, it sure is about grabbing them. People may not always give you the upper hand, but heck, your grip is all that matters.

Let me be sentimental and tell this part. In all ways I could be looked at, I want people to think me as the kid who refused to be feeble. I'm in constant movement, forward to the pursuit of happiness and everything synonymous.

*Susie May is a name I made up. Actual name is similar but I already forgot.

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Tuesday, July 10

the Libertine

I have this habit of penning spontaneous thoughts during intoxicated moments. Alcohol kinda transcends me to the 16th century. I don't exactly look like John Wilmot over there but I do look like the actor who played Wilmot in a movie. (Hmm who that might be?)

I'm sure we all felt this enlightenment before. You know, a burst of consciousness while being stuck in traffic, a cognitive output as you watch the rain fall, yeah stuff like that. However as I also undergo the same occurrence, a couple of rounds do give sudden credo.

These are thoughts that are generally absurd if not totally obscure, at first that is. However, after you had a couple shots of Jager and a bottle of beer, your innermost perceptions are somewhat heightened, only to find out eventually that they have no sense at all.

My handy-dandy cellphone serves as a journal. Recently as I was fiddling it, I opened a note titled as "What is discontent?". I don't exactly remember when I did it but its really amusing. Here it is without editing. This is liquor thinking.

"What is Discontent?"

it's the hard earned money you belch on payday in the form of puke
it's the words you conspire to replace own stupidity with sarcasm
it's the behavior to fulfill upon the very laughter of your friends

save the charades for games
you hate life because it hates you

hilarious is the life that hasn't done enough but has told to halt
it is subjective whatever form of rebel you nurse
the river winds narrow only to end as a catastrophic waterfall

you can buy ships and vessels only to find yourselves drowning in pity
i am discontent and unhappy
grins and smiles are masks fooling no one but the soul

you are free but leashed
knowing yet unable to act
that is discontent

Alright, no more alcohol for that guy in the corner staring at the night sky scribbling at his cellphone. Look at the many mistakes I did. It sure reads funny. But anyway, I think I'll still be doing this practice. After all, they are my thoughts.

So whenever you see me unusually quiet in the corners of a bar or tavern with a phone in hand, I'm not texting. I'm channeling the libertine in me.


Thursday, July 5

Stuffed and Buzzed @ the Taste Asia Blogger Food Fest:

When my co-worker Rico a.k.a. Mr Fool45 a.k.a. "Guncrazy" posted the invitation at his site, I could only derive one particular inquiry... Is the booze for free? Good thing I signed up and found the answer myself.

It was around 7 pm when we headed our way to the event. Me and SEO hell cat Rhiz were at the back seat while I instruct the driver, the one and only Internet Superstar Mikey, to navigate the SUV away from the traffic.

Mikey: "Tj, can I just stop by the gas station? I really need to go."
Tj: "I will cut your fingers and ram them up your nose if you don't shut up. Drive."

So we arrived at the place after touring Mall of Asia from south to north. It was a little over 8pm when we saw Marc "the Macalua" and his gf Sharm along with Rico and his gf Sasha. While we were at the sign up booth I heard my stomach struck thunder in sheer hunger. Great, the line wasn't that long so we immediately lined up to "taste asia". Inside the resto, the atmosphere was festive. I saw J. Angelo Racoma who, as what I'm told, is like one of the pillars of pinoy blogging. Aileen Apollo was also there all cheers for the night. Of course being the anti-social that I am, I didn't bother to hover and introduce myself then flatter them with admiration (although I really do admire their work). I became pretty preoccupied checking the place out for "hot chicks". There weren't one. Actually there were, the host who I forgot the name and this one chinita, but both actually inferior to my gf Salee (hehe bawi).

I met Man Blog author Ade who was really cool to talk with. He introduced us to Karla who had an awesome camera dangling from her neck. Click click Yay! Then its time for beer. Draft were pouring like the Niagara and I was there to scoop as much as I could. Freeloader.

Mikey, Ade, me and my friend bloggers settled for a table strategically positioned so that we can insult everyone that passed by.

"Oi pare si Butterbean o." "Dude si Luca Brassi". "Ok, the emo kids are here." "Waiter, would you blog about this?". And basically that's all we did through the entire night. Drink beer and lambast other people. It was really fun.


On a serious note, it was really a great experience just being around the bloggers. I admire writers and I think our country has a lot of hidden talents. Blogs serve as a region where anyone can just pour out their smarts. Also, bloggers have unique characters worthy to be recognized. Events like these give everyone a chance to interact. After all, most of them front their computer screens all day.

I hope there are more events to come. Cheers to bloggers and writers and SEOs and Marketers and everybody else under the cybersun.

Mike, i kid i kid. But thanx really for tagging me along. thanx Rhiz for being the ate the I never had. (again i kid ikid)


Wednesday, July 4


An Ode To Twilight

the desolate streets
i wander in stillness

the cold night
i embrace the breeze

the city lights
my streamline diamonds

the radiant somber moon
ahh.. the majestic

the moment to be solemn
is a gift the evening brings

solitude in the dark
hope in the mist

dawn the confrontation
light the awakening

send my gratitude to the dim

-Tj Cafuir


Tuesday, July 3

My Very First Article

This piece landed me a job as a Web Copywriter. Posted on my previous company's Intranet, about 7,000 employees have seen it, about 30 actually read it.

Here it is.


"Indie, the Alternative"

We all love Hollywood. If you work of GSIS then you might say no, but then again in this industry that were in, its almost a sin not ot be updated on Paris Hilton's latest social blunder or not getting acquainted with the newest member of the "Brangelina" family. If you haven't seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster then most probably you're going to end up all ears dumb amidst the gossip exchange during lunch.

Now I ask, how does this excessive advocacy of foreign films affect the country's local film outfits? Well
just by observation, I would say that its effect has crumbled if not decayed the Philippine Film Industry. Local patronage has waned a long time ago and many of us already shunned our local movies.

The reason for all this non-interest, is alternative.

Our major film producers here don't offer that. On our end, local movies still features the classic "love team" tandem to the delight of every yaya in the country. Consider the slapstick comedian with his ever so stupid sidekick, cracking jokes that Dolphy, Panchito, Chikito and Pugak came up almost 50 years ago. Who do star in your latest film that guarantees to fill cinema seats? Of
course the cutest teeny bopper-turned-front-page-I'll bare it all-as long as it will catapult me into superstardom-cover girl. All has been done before so no wonder we turn to Hollywood now more than ever.

But there is an alternative. We have Indie Sine.

A theater devoted exclusively to local independent movies, which according to the countr'y top voices, are "the best movies you've never seen". Situated in the center of Robinson's Movieworld, Indie Sine exhibits the finest independent digital movies ever made. Definitely indie films has broken the barrier that typecast the genre as "experimental" art films made by students as some form of revolt against the typical mass produced films.

Take for example "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros". A story about family tradegy vividly told in the most simplistic way. Life as you know it. With a stunning showcase of acting and storytelling brilliance, the film won 14 international awards and made a leap from the confines of university theaters to our local cinemas thus paving way for a new wave of digital film making. Let not the poster fool you, the cheerful layout is nowhere to be found in the movie.

I recently saw the film "Compound" at the Bagong Agos Film Festival held at Indie Sine. I tell you this, never have I seen a local movie so dark and warped yet clear and concise at the same time. The movie mixes sex, drugs and paranoia of a complex atmosphere with a sense of transparent stillness that resides in every character. Then just when you think you've figured it all out, just when you've arrived on a conclusion on how the story ends, the director blasts a scene so haunting you'll feel your lungs choking as you grasp for air. Then black, the film is finished.

I won't dig much into the details of both films. The point here is that our local indie film makers, out of their conviction and literally out of their own pockets, created extra-ordinary films that not only art students and film critics appreciated. These films reached international shores and more importantly, received awards and critical acclaim for the genuine talent that we, in the vast world of movie making, inherently possess. It has always been there and all it needs is an audience.

This is exactly what Indie Films aim for, to strike the untapped consciousness of moviegoers whose perception of entertainment is clogged by the fantasy delirious, money making cliche of the big time industry giants of our country. Independently and with conviction, a new wave of digital filmmakers continue to expand horizons by contributing provocative films for a new generation of viewers.

Socially stimulating, politically suggestive and significant of the times, here is the alternative we should turn our eyes to. This wave may not turn the whole film industry upside down, but its current is sure to swipe the stereotype, curving a stream of variety to quench the innovative thirst of an equally unconventional audience. Here and now, let us catch the wave of Independent films, movies in the tide of change.


It's been like 7 months since I wrote it. I sure miss writing this kinda stuff. It makes you think, not just how to approach the article, but really really think.


Monday, July 2

Call Me Irresponsible

Call me irresponsible
Call me unreliable
Throw in undependable too
Do my foolish alibis bore you
Well I'm not too clever
I just adore you

Call me unpredictable
Tell me I'm impractical
Rainbows I'm inclined to pursue
Call me irresponsible
Yes I'm unreliable
But it's undeniably true
I'm irresponsibly mad for you...