Tag Archives: Mariano Miguel Guinolbay

Strange things happen during Halloween

Unfaithful to what I pledged last year, I had a bit of Halloween celebration. That is, by dressing up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a far cry from my decade long style of celebrating this pagan custom. And as the old saying goes, old habits die hard.  Right or wrong, my kids and I always treated this occasion as a photo opportunity. Thus,


You must agree with me that Miguel’s eyes, reminiscent of the Village of the Damned, added to the creepiness of the photo.

My sons’ pictures above were regular; nothing special nor spectacular. However, when it was my turn, this happened.

The  second picture below, using an I phone, was taken by the lady whose head was mysteriously included in the photo. Don’t ask me what app was used because we did not use any. In fact, the photographer, the owner of the floating head, freaked out.

Strange things do happen during Halloween.

Being popular for a day

I’m too shy and too slow to have my picture taken beside Senator Manny Pacquiao. My son Miguel (in red striped shirt) was sorely disappointed.

Today, the union officers in our office were  inaugurated by no less than  the very popular, eight time world boxing champion turned senator, Manny D. Pacquiao. Who does not know Manny  Pacquiao? Everyone dreams of becoming as rich and  as popular as he. Actually, for me,  I would settle for rich.However, the idea of being popular appeals to me also. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be popular even just for a day? Actually, my dream came true sooner than expected; I did become popular for a day when this came out several years ago :

I am not a topnotcher ; just lucky.

Imagine the delight of all my relatives and friends when my face appeared in the front page of one of the dailies. How did this happen? I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Back to Manny. It is no secret that Senator Manny Pacquiao came from humble beginnings. During his speech at today’s inauguration, he confirmed that he used to live in the streets and would experience hunger from time to time.Gifted with strength and agility, he harnessed his boxing skills until he reached the peak of his career as an Eight-division Boxing World Champion. Everybody dreams of becoming rich and famous but I don’t think  anybody wants to experience what he has gone through prior to his superstardom.

Meeting a celebrity is always a dream which does not always end up positive.There are several horror stories which will put you off meeting celebrities for life.  The nice part of the brief encounter with Manny is he was always willing to accommodate anyone who wants to have a picture.My office mate and fellow lawyer Atty. Jasper Sales was fortunate to have a selfie with Manny.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Atty. Jasper Sales and Mrs. Leonor Sales

So why didn’t I have a selfie/groupie with Manny? First, everything happened so fast. Most people in the crowd were armed with an advanced high tech cellphone. Next, they were tall. Thirdly, they were quick! The exact opposite happened to me because my cellphone conked out as the Pacman alighted from his car. Next, those who were successful in getting a selfie with Pacman were either tall or armed with a selfie stick. Neither of which, I possess. Thirdly, I was too slow because I was wearing high heeled shoes and had a small boy in tow.

The secret to being popular is simple in this day and age. There is the long and hard way.  Study hard to become a topnotcher. Or if you want instant fame, jump off from a building in a thickly populated area.  If you’re lucky enough to be alive after such a daring feat, you will find yourself immortalized in you tube and other social media. Lastly, you can do what I have done,  be in the right place at the right time.

Flying green

As I drove down the smooth road with trees lined up on both sides, I lowered my car window to breath in some fresh air. All of a sudden, a green locust charged and landed on my window. Distracted, I looked at it and it stared back with its beady eyes. Like this:

Resulta ng larawan para sa grasshopper
Photo credits to the owner. You know who you are..

Creepy right? I was caught between raising my window so it gets squished or tapping the window to make it fly away.

Eleven years ago, as I was resting comfortably in my bed,  a  seven inched green grasshopper burst in and flapped in circles, reminiscent of Peter pan. My husband caught it and whispered something to it before he  sent it  out of the window. Perplexed, I inquired why he didn’t squish it. Jokingly, I asked whether he  considered these locusts as food or something sacred.  He said, in the Ifugao custom, these insects could be reincarnated beings or sent by the Creator to deliver messages.  Well, he admitted that grasshoppers are jumping delicacies across tufts of grass that sometimes farmers eat these things raw.

What do you think is Miguel eating?

Fast forward, the natural diet of these creepy crawlies include grass and leaves. In fact, I must admit  we have the same diet. Almost. Over the years, I gained pounds and a lot of inches on the waist which became unhealthy that the the doctors recommended I change my diet. I am now a Pesco-vegetarian. “Pesco” is actually  the Latin word for fish. Considering that  these greens  do not fully satisfy me, I included macadamia, walnuts and  almonds as extenders. I’m so good with eating fish and veggies; even if I run out of nuts, I will never eat a grasshopper.

So, back to the grasshopper in my car window, instead of squishing or delivering a prayer before  sending it away, I merely tapped on the pane. Away it flew.


It is often said that countenance based emotion conveys more than body movements.In the picture below, apart from father and son bear resemblance to each other,their faces express security and contentment.

Col. Ruben Guinolbay with his son,Miguel.

In the picture below, different faces show delicately complex and understated emotions ranging from happy to unexplained disgust.VARYING FACES.jpg

Good thing, apps were invented to mask or remedy one’s facial expression.App is  short for application or software downloaded by the user.  In the series of pictures, note  how my face vary because of the app snapchat. Thus:

See that? However, just like any advancement in technology, apps has its positive and negative side. The positive side of using apps in your pictures is it makes presentation and entertainment a lot easier. The down side of it is it makes app users lazy and less innovative. Well, I don’t think that will be my problem because first and foremost, I am an artist. Creative juices run through my veins.

Who would have thought?

So what is the point of this article? In the ancient times, if you want to have a strong photo, you make sure that your picture either tells a story or  should have nice backdrop with proper lighting. It takes a lot of season and practice to be able to come up with a very nice picture. Thanks to apps, our selfies would always look good.



The author with her family.

The picture above is an ordinary family picture. But you must agree with me that made it pleasing to the eye is the abundant greenery at the background.  I am not about to join the band of environmentalists who preach about saving mother nature. I am simply  stating my experience about how trees affect the climate. You see, we live in a highly urbanized and achingly polluted, city.  Every plant or tree in our area is becoming scarce.

Two months ago, I prided myself on the lack of need for air conditioning because our home is adjacent to a vacant lot with trees. Not for long, these trees were cast out and thrown on the rubbish heap to make way for the construction of a four door apartment.

See these pictures taken a month apart:

Notice the same wall and the same blue water tank? It’s just hard to imagine that they took down four big trees in two days.  I almost failed to capture this coconut tree because I was on my way to work. This was the last to be cut down.

So what is my point? The point is, an electric fan will not do anymore. It’s unbearably hot to sleep after the four trees were knocked off their roots. According to the environmentalists, what I am experiencing is called the heat island effect.  Without trees to provide shade, cities and other urban areas are left with streets and buildings which retain so much heat forcing people to use extra power to cool their homes.

The poem written by Joyce Kilmer is very apt:


I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Goodbye Halloween!

Of all the exciting holidays, Halloween was my favorite. Halloween is fun and exciting.  Besides, it is very colorful.  You get to pretend you are a ghost, a fairy or a princess.  What could be more exciting than donning a witch outfit to terrorize the kids and then give them candy? Because of my ghostly collection of costumes and decorations, yearly, my village becomes festooned with monsters and ghostly ornaments.  For eight years, our family ancestral house became the venue for these happy halloween celebrations. In my workplace, the celebration became office wide because of me. In fact, a Catholic school decided to celebrate it for a time because of my decors.  Halloween became a tradition because of me.  I never thought I could be that influential. However, this year, I’ve decided to end that tradition because it’s wrong. So I started giving away my precious collection. Why precious? Despite the ghastly appearance of  my decorations, some of them are hard to find collections. One third of my collection  has been with the family for years.

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This is Salem, my older sister’s stuffed toy cat. It is a thirty year old cat, hence practically an antique.

I have porcelain witches and battery operated grim rippers. I have hundreds of witch hats, some of which (no pun intended) were imported from the US and Europe.  Most of my neighbors were puzzled by my latest act of giving these decors away. So what is the real reason behind my  latest act of generosity?

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One third of  my collection of horrors.

You see, Halloween is  never a Catholic tradition. It is actually the Feast of Demons. It is said to have evolved from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. According to several accounts and legends, witches from  far and wide congregate on October 31 at a designated place to worship and have orgies with the under lord,  or Satan, for us Catholics.   Although staunch supporters of this tradition  justify  their celebration by saying  modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes, it still remains to be, the feast of demons. And demons are real. I have recently witnessed demonic possession.

Credits to the owner of this photo.

It is very unfortunate that while I surreptitiously took pictures of the lady being exorcised,  the memory of my cellphone got erased.  For easy imagination, the scene looked like the picture above.

The possessed lady which was seated at my back was  breathing heavily at first which graduated to more tiger-like growls. I tried to ignore her because to my mind, maybe she had autism or otherwise,  suffering from really terrible colds. What freaked me out was when she cackled loudly like a witch and her mouth  spewed some kind of ectoplasm, only it’s white, not green.  Being a very devout Catholic,  I dashed off to the next pew and  reached out for my Rosary.  ( A black belter is no match for this supernatural, tiger growling possessed lady!)

Anyway, after about an hour of delivering several kicks and inflicting bites on the Priest and his prayer warriors, the possessed lady began to calm down and cry. She seemed so consumed and physically drained.

How does one get possessed? I am no expert on the subject but according to the priest who exorcised the lady, one reason  is  failure to observe the day of worship. For us Catholics, we are mandated to hear mass on Sundays.  Another reason why people get possessed is their observance  of pagan practices or in my case, extreme fondness for the macabre.

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My children, RG and MM love to play with these severed heads.

The reason why I am writing this is to inform you how a simple pagan practice could actually lead to demonic possession. This is not to say that I was previously possessed, or then again maybe I was.



I have yet to meet somebody who is not pleased with a piece of art. Human beings naturally prefer beautiful things.

On September 30, 2016, my sons and I went to our usual favorite hang out at Gudsilog only to be confronted with the sad news that it was their last day of operation.

Gudsilog Restaurant

Well, there is really nothing special about this place unless you are a human being who likes eating Filipino breakfast all day long.  The meal prices are reasonable-  ranging from Php70-99 pesos.In dollars, a meal costs about a dollar and a half. Not bad, right?  But for me and my boys not only do we enjoy the food for hours, we pass time by enjoying the artwork which hangs on its walls. See these:

Notice the artwork in our background. A closer look :


Well,  it’s nothing compared to Mona Lisa or Spoliarium but I must admit the artist put in a lot of hard work considering the details.

This  particular Gudsilog branch where my boys and I usually go already closed down because of its inability to compete with the very famous  and likewise reasonable restaurant beside it. So what’s the point? Well, there are plenty of places to go to admire art. One such place is the Art Island Cubao in Quezon City. In Art Island, you can actually be a part of the artwork. To do this, you  must be armed with a camera or your mobile phone with camera. Here are our chosen artworks:

However, in my case when I barely have the money to go to museums, I amuse myself by  making my own art with whatever materials available.

Angry Suha


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