Posted on February 19, 2005 - 11:22pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
February 19, 2005 | Philippine Star

I was grumbling over my monthly accounting last week when my phone rang. Olive, a dear friend, was excitedly telling me about a Chicago based Pinoy chef who was coming to town. "He's a friend of Marni's (her best friend) and will be here soon. He's cooked for Oprah and was one of the chefs she flew in for her 50th birthday!" she said. (We are shameless Oprah fans) "He wants to give back to the country and would like to offer his services for a fundraising activity. What do you think?"
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:50pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
February 12, 2005 | Philippine Star

I woke with a start to the sound of fireworks, though I didn't know that until I stumbled out of bed, heart pounding, to witness a spectrum of lights spreading across the sky. Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy! But I wasn't thrilled about the noise and the quality of air that was bad to begin with but now, judging from the noise and my diminishing ability to breathe, had taken a turn for the worse. I saw proof of all the fanfare across the skyline the following morning as I took the children to school. My younger son pointed at the haze and asked if "the brown was the works". Yes, I said with a sigh, the fireworks coated our air in another shade of brown. I looked at my older boy who, in the last few days, has been wheezing on and off and asked his angels to cloak him with a little more protection please.
Posted on February 5, 2005 - 11:50pm :: Contributors
By Panjee Tapales Lopez
Feb. 6, 2005 | The Philippine Star

Last Sunday, as I worked on my younger son’s photo album, I turned on the TV and started flipping through the channels. There was nothing on but reruns and showbiz talk shows. I couldn’t sit through any of them. The longest segment I could watch was an interview of Lucy Torres Gomez. She was defending herself against nasty rumors that have been circulating through e-mail. Earlier, I had skimmed through her newspaper column and was horrified at the e-mail she had reprinted to show what people – all of them strangers – were saying about her. I watched because she was so poised, calm and regal. It was such a welcome contrast to the general inanity and hysteria that mark these shows. At the end of the segment, one of the hosts said, "Marami pang chismis sa aming pagbabalik. Chismis lang ha. Hindi iyong nakakasakit sa tao…." I wonder how he made that distinction.
Posted on January 29, 2005 - 11:02pm :: Contributors
By Panjee Tapales Lopez
30 January 2005 | The Philippine STAR

I stood on the balcony watching the crowd below. People milled about the theater lobby. Soon the rhythm of drums and gongs filled the air and the Mitu’s Tribe ensemble began their dance. People smiled and nodded tentatively at first, then slowly the feet tapping, hand clapping and hooting began. Before I knew it, abandoned shoes and handbags dotted the floor as people from the audience joined in. It was enlivening to see such spontaneous and spirited expression! Thus opened the First Karangalan Conference and Festival.
Posted on January 15, 2005 - 11:10pm :: Contributors
By Panjee Tapales Lopez
01/16/2005 | The Philippine STAR

Be careful what you ask for. How many times have we said this, laughing almost disbelievingly that something we thought or said came true?

When I turned 35, I had a strong impulse to celebrate my birthday. I don’t like celebrating my birthday at all so this wasn’t like me. I would rather burrow into a decadent cake and disappear on that day but already two years before, something inside me – at first nebulous and vague – had begun percolating and was resonating louder and louder by the day. On my 35th year, three weeks after 9/11, I stood in my garden and spoke out the statement of my spirit that had blossomed at last, fully formed: Live authentically from this day forward. I encouraged everyone around me to express their intentions as well: One for themselves and one for the world. Then we lit candles, lowered them into bowls strewn with floating flowers, and carefully released them into the pool. From that day on, my life changed. Anything that was not true to the marrow fell away.