mind, body, spirit, music and movies


Last weekend, I went to the Convention Center at Darling Harbor to see the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival which was on its last day. It took me a whole week of waiting for the sun come out. The weather kas been horrendous lately, and and so I thought I should not miss the chance to enjoy the sun and go to the city to see what the festival was all about. The affair was a grand one. It was a whole community exhibition of organic healers, new agers, meditators, natural homepathists, and a few quacks that exhibited their wares.


There were all sorts of services and processes–from massages, seminars, workshops to whole courses in various aspects of healing. There were products and knick knacks of every kind like crystals, potions, wonder drinks in this ‘we-are-the-world’ of the natural healing movement.

I would have dismissed this whole exhibit as largely quackery if I had seen, say, one of those pyramids that Johnny Midnight, the radio commentator in Manila, used to sell to the public. It’s good there was none. I dropped by the Brahma Kumaris booth where they offered 15 minute meditations to tired shoppers. There was also a stage where singers perforned healing songs, and exhibitions on the power of chi and the sort.



After about an hour and a half, I stepped out outside to Tumbalong Park to see a throng of people leaving. They were there for the Egyptian concert that had just finished. I managed to buy some Baclava from a stall that was selling its stock at give-away prices. With just 5 dollars, we had great dessert for a week.

* * *

I also attended a Tomkins exhibition concert at an RSL near Ashfiled about a week and a half ago. We had great access since the leading guitar maker in Aus is Allan Tomkins who happens to be a friend of Toti Bautista, the guy who invited me. The gig was an evening of good old American country music and some Aussie originals. I am no big fan of country music but I decided to go because of the guitars. Strangely enough, the concert was not too bad. It was actually alright and even entertaining at times.


But what I found somewhat funny was the way the singers did their country songs. You could have sworn you were in Nashville, USA. The spell was only broken when they talked in between the songs and gave their ‘thaanks maayt” in their thick Aussie accents. The songs they sang were performed quite well. I did not get the names of the performers, and I probably would not remember them anyway since I do not really resonate with this kind of music. But I would have tapped my feet if they sang ‘Achy Breaky Heart.’ Ha ha.


Tomkins guitars are not just great sounding but look really spiffy, too. They can appeal to the old, traditional country gentlemen types or to young but serious guitarists. They start from 2000AUD up. This is definitely on my dream list.

* * *

Mio brought home a DVD of ‘V for Vendetta’ last night. He was raving about the day before and he thought I should see it, and I am glad I did. The movie had my utmost attention, and fascination for two hours. Thanks to the Wachowski Brothers who also produced The Matrix, the movie was fantastically rivetting from beginning to end. It had a 1984-Bush, Cheney, Carl Rove, Neo-con flavor of right-wing terror and touch to the whole thing.

One of the outstanding scenes for me was when the protagonist introduced himself to the lady in distress at the beginning of the movie. Dressed in Guy Fawkes mask, below is what he answered when asked who he was.:

‘Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant and vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V. ‘


Watch it. If you have some idealism in you, you will not just enjoy this but find inspiration. I will also be watching Across the Universe this coming week.

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13 years ago

Just wanna comment on alternative medicine..a lot of doctors now are embracing the western and eastern approach to healing different ailments. I am a big believer in alternative medicine and if I am destine to go back to medical school, I will probably enroll at Univ of Tucson Medical School under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Andrew Weill..interested parties are able to have an MD degree in both western medicine and a degree in alternative medicine as well. I’m mentioning this school since not very many knows about this program. If anyone is practicing alternative medicine it is best to be well informed about it first and consult your primary doc about it. To this day I still boil “ampalaya” leaves to cure ailment such as nausea, vomitting and some blood disorder…natural cure sometimes maybe the best way…use precautions in anything you use for your body…

Jujie Agudo
Jujie Agudo
13 years ago

It’s a vexing exercise trying to verify what V said. His vast vocabulary seems to make a vortex out of simple verbiage. It sounds like a vermouth-filled vernacular clouding its native verisimilitude in a wafer-thin veneer. I vote instead to be verbose in Visayan : ‘Mas maupay pa magyakan sa Waray.’ (Better to speak in Waray).

ate sienna
13 years ago

hi jim! i haven’t congratulated you and your wife, Lydia, yet on your 30(?)th anniversary. I am so impressed by the feat! congratulations to both of you!

How does one do it? considering that you’re in a business where temptations of young, sexy, and “walang pakialaman, kesehodang may asawa ka!” women abound. Specially since musikero ka and a very good one at that and a lot of women fall for and run after musicians.

Your marriage is one of those very strong ones in the biz. yung iba nga, 1/2 lang of the couple ang nasa showbiz pero naghihiwalay pa rin sila. What was your secret? or better yet, what was Lydia’s secret 😉 ?

I hope you’d write an entry about your and lydia’s experiences about your married life. I’m pretty sure it will be an inspiring one 🙂

Kathleen Joaquin Burkhalter

Hi Jim,

I’m a longtime fan of your music and blog and a cousin of your sil, Maruja.

I’m tagging your blog for the 161 Meme.

It works like this, you turn to page 161 of the book you are reading, and write down the sixth sentence in your blog. Then you forward it to 5 people. I mentioned your blog in my blog. 🙂

Take care, Happy Anniversary to you and your wife!

I was healed by alternative medicine.

God Bless you,


13 years ago

Hi, Jim.

Off-topic but I thought you might be interested. Your name is in The New York Times, man! Wowww! Here’s the link http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/22western.html?hp

Didn’t realize that it was you who composed that Western Union theme that we used to often hear on TFC! Good job!