“Belo Touches My Skin. Who Touches Yours?”

The Philippine population is a young population. It’s getting more young derma courtesy of a handful of stylish cosmetic surgeons around. The gospel according to Belo and Calayan makes us wonder if indeed, ageing is simply a matter of “feeling sluggish old” or “feeling vibrant young”. In a way, there’s a subtle rebellion against the physical process; from another angle, if you feel extinguishable, it’s tantamount (another extinguishable college term) to a routine bodily check on the expiration date. Dra. Belo herself is setting an example for the crowd, walking the talk of sort, living what she preaches. At the prime of her midlife and having grownup kids swirling around her, who would disagree of the kind of vibrancy that even the world of entertainment picks up – her nimble manner of speech, and her honest, hurting failed love with the young doctor Hayden Kho, a no-nonsense. Somewhere, between the main goal of cosmetic surgery and attitude is what we can call consistency that is income-generating, too. I need the last one.

Malamang, ang kaibigan kong mamalakaya na si Mang Eddie ng Brgy. Cogon, Cordova, Cebu (parang plug lang ni Kuya Lars) ay alam na until now, Dra. Belo is still hurting from that broken 3-year relationship. Malamang ay alam nya rin na business goes on as Dra. Belo gets wiser and more careful in choosing her endorsers. Ang tanong lang kasi -sa kabila ng kaalaman ni Mang Eddie, may paki ba siya habang tumatanda at kumakapal ang nasusunog nyang balat sa hampas ng maalat na tubig at hagupit ng sikat ni Haring Araw? Sa totoo lang, tuloy lang naman tayo kung saan ang hanap-buhay. Is there anything that feels more physically and privately beautiful than a filled stomach?

Tied up to the idea of consistency. I remember when we were in the Novitiate, some of us used to hum or sing Jose Mari Chan’s songs while washing the dishes or sweeping the chapel:

We’re on the road
We move from place to place
And oftentimes when I’m about to call it home
We’d have to move along
Life is a constant change…”

It’s our high school grad song. Pang-procession minsan pakinggan depende sa mood. At siguro, hindi lang namin namamalayan, those silent testosterone are already boxing our prostate glands:

It’s 2am we’re lying in bed
Stillness all around there’s not a sound except in my head
Of happy songs children laughing
Kids celebrating youth like it never would end”

The moment our Novice Master would catch our un-guarded romantic moments, he would give us a teasing smirk despite his talent in music.

“Stop it!”
“Father naman. Ba’t ayaw mo sa mga kanta ni Jose Mari Chan?”
“I like him as a person. I don’t like his songs. Pang-teenager ba. Parang hindi bagay sa edad nya.”

Toinks! Paano, Beethoven ang mga tinutugtog ni Father. In Dra. Belo’s case, she is becoming a cultural symbol of an innovative defiance against ageing, the inner drive within us to count in that youthful energy regardless of our level on the chronological ruler, an energy we can always harness in order  to live a more dynamic life. Sabi ko sa inyo, attitude counts also. Much more if you have the money these days. Question: ang mga mangingisda natin, kaya pa kayang i-skin bleach? Kunwari lang kaya nila, kayo naman. Masarap minsan mag-pantasya. Therapeutic na, libre pa!

——————-

Photo credit: manhattandermadoc

21 thoughts on ““Belo Touches My Skin. Who Touches Yours?”

  1. ‘di ba nangako ako sa aking ‘historical comment’ na simula na ‘yun ng panggugulo ko? heto na… {magsawa ka}

    TOINKS!

    * hanep naman sa segue kapatid… EMO na ako sa song ni jose mari chan… sumingit naman bigla sa kuwento si novice master: “Stop it!” — pasaway!
    * chika muna: alam mo bang naging classmate ko pa si dra.vicky sa isang leadership program ekek that i attended in makati a few years back?… wala lang… mabait siya… tsaka maganda {‘yung kotse niya}.

    ikaw ha…
    bumanat ka na naman! ginamit pa si belo sa iyong anthropological, sociological, psycho-spiritual, phenomenological musings.

    pero seriously {as if}…
    kung bibigyan ko kaya ng Php10,0oo si mang eddie para magpa-facial… pupunta kaya siya kay belo o ibibili kaagad ng isang kaban ng bigas, payless noodles at galunggong ang pera?

    e kung ikaw si mang eddie?
    {hindi kita bibigyan ng money. belat!}

    Dr. Belo: Hi, Revsiopao. How are yah? How’s the business goin?
    (Revsiopao, a little bit confused kung makipagbeso-beso. Medyo nadiin tuloy hanggang tenga.)
    Revsiopao: Hi Doc, long time no see. Been seeing you though on hmmm…on…some PBA Games? Oh no, on K Magazine. I’m sorry.
    Dr. Belo: Really? That’s good? So how’s the siopawan?
    Revsiopao: It’s in full swing. Maggi-guest ako sa Mel and Joey, then give free siopaos to the audience. Will you be on the studio by then?
    Dr. Belo: Oh, wait. I’ll be a li’l busy by then. Ipabalot mo na lang, pwede?
    Revsiopao: Sure. With Pepsi you want? (Hindi na umimik si Dr.Belo. Nalilito kasi si Revsiopao, si jorge palaboy kasi minsan ang nagkokros-over sa isip nya. Hindi pa kasi maalis-alis ang piktyur ni jorge kaharap ang banyera ng chinese noodles. Toinks!)

    In fairness kapatid, talagang nag-excel si Dr. Belo sa area of leadership niya ha. Alam ko nakakatulong ang mga seminar na yan kahit na may kamahalan.
    Re: Mang Eddie, eh kung may libreng makeover, malamang kakagatin na siguro ni mang eddie ang offer. Kilala mo siguro si novice master. napadpad kaya sya ng Roma at naging asupgen.

  2. Aba, pwede na ring isang blog entry ang diskurso nyo ni Rev ah… hehehe…

    Well, while she maybe considered indeed as “a cultural symbol of an innovative defiance against ageing”, pwede ring siyang “cultural symbol of physical-self discontent” sa dami ng mga nagpaparetoke sa kanya….🙂

    Is there anything that feels more physically and privately beautiful than a filled stomach?

    Most of the time, for the poor people, wala… In the name of gastronomic ecstacy, our natural resources suffer the abuses of uncontrolled non-restorative livelihood activities… Many times I have witnessed these… One example is the shell digging being done in Buagsong, Cordova

    Si Rev, nakakahawa yung pagka-ADIIIIK! Ako, nagmamanman pa lang kung ano ba talaga ang, ehem, ESSENCE in the Habermasian sense of communicative action ng blogging. Ehem!
    Thanks Mark for highlighting the vanity side of cosme-surgery. I suspect this is one spillover of the multidirectional chaos of the postmodern search for Ground and meaning for being human, one-sidedly masquerading in mindless spending for physical reconfiguration, and masked as you said by “self-discontent”.
    Like you, i also envision a humanity where the hunger for bread does not trump the natural hunger for eco-balance in our midst…

  3. …ESSENCE in the Habermasian sense of communicative action ng blogging…

    Nakupo! Naalala ko na naman yang si Jurgen Habermas at ang kanyang contribution sa theory of communicative rationality… I thought I was on the verge of leukemia dahil sa nosebleed sa pagbabasa ko sa kanya, hehe… Binasa ko lang siya, but I was not able to go beyond remembering, kumbaga hindi ko siya nalunok, hanggang “masticate” lang if I may borrow your term… Kasi hindi ko matanggap na I am made rational by my ability to successfully communicate… For me it goes against my core belief na I am rational because I am made in the image of God The All Knowing. Ewan ko, baka hindi ko lang talaga siya naintindihan noon… haha! I read about him as part of related literature for Immanuel Kant in Philo 103.

    One interesting note – I have read somewhere na may debate sila ni Pope Benedict XVI noong ito ay cardinal pa lamang…🙂

    This goes beyond addiction, Rev. Kabaliwan na to at ang pakana ng Habermasian blogspot ang pinaka.
    Matagal ko na ring nde nadalaw si kapatid na Jurgen (parang ka-blogger ko lang di ba). Ninong ko pa naman sya, taga-Bacolod, sa sala ni Judge Judy. Pano ko ba ipaliwanag si Habermas kay “mang eddie”? Keywords mang eddie: speech.reality.practical applications.MU as in MU. Kunwari, papasok ako sa isang barber shop for the first time. Few minutes after, Katrina Halili is on the tube, interviewed by Nelson Canlas about the “love triangle”. I would throw in my opinion kagaya ng naisulat ko na entry about her being a cultural symbol. Si manong barbero naman, in classic habermasian fashion, ay magpi-pitch in din ng kanyang opinyon. the opinion platform is equal na. may kanya-kanyang kakayahan kasi ang bawat isa sa pagsasalita (speech) over a reality. tapos sasabihin ni manong barbero na kailanma’y hinding-hindi sya papayag na pagpapa-lipo ang misis nya kahit na manalo pa sya sa lotto. so may practical application na, bukod sa ang reality ni Dr. Belo ay nag-uugnay na rin sa amin bilang ginugupitan at nanggugupit. Tapos, magkasundo kami sa samu’t saring aral na mapupulot sa “love triangle” at relational flop na yun. Mula noon, MU na kami ni manong barbero at babalik-balikan ko ang shop niya kasi fashionably Habermasian pala siya, ikaw, ako, tayo, bukod sa tsismoso. Profound ba?

  4. ayoko sana magsalita about sa lovelife ni Dra. Vicky, pero talagang asiwa ako.. di dahil sa kOntra ako sa relasyon nila, halata kasi na ginagamit lang xa ni hayden..

    kung pagdating naman sa mga product nya, hmmp..

    sana minsan sasabihin ko sa harap ng madla na “Thank you to my sponsor calayan.. hehehe..”

    takot ko lang kay vicky sa mga sinabi ko.. hehehe..

    it’s a free, loving country. nabasa ko yung mga raket mo jen. hmmm, maging product endorser kaya as a raket?

  5. Aba e talaga yatang gustong magka-leukemia sa ilong ang dalawang kolokoy (Df & CwW) sa itaas e…

    Mantakin mong mula sa paglangoy sa topic tungkol kay Belo ay umabot sa pagsisid sa Habermasian Theory of Communicative Rationality. Parang nag-patintero lang.

    papatulan ko ba ‘to?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ayaw!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    mahal ko ang ilong ko. bow!
    .
    .
    .
    alms, alms, give me a peace of bread…
    .
    .
    .
    ADIKshun: 2,864,587,980 ft. above sea level.
    {sakay na!}

    ting-a-ling a-ling-ding-dong
    ting-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling! masanay ka sa dinuguan minsan kahit sawa ka na dyan. sige lang rev, walang exam dito, toinks! good luck nga pala baka mamaya blogging as divine revelation pa ang isasagot mo. syanga pala, naka-facebook na rin si kapatid na Jurgen!

  6. haha at si Dra. Belo naman ang puntirya natin ngayon matapos si Richard Rohr haha

    wala ako masabi kay Dra. Vicki eh. Sabihan ko man sya na tanga eh magagalit naman sa akin ang mga babae. Sabihan ko naman na okay lang yan magagalit naman sa akin ang mga conservative. Ang point ko lang is beauty is never skin deep.

    When my Lola dies, I realized how mortal we are and how short physical attributes can be, After a few hours my lola became stiff, yellowish and bloated. Ganun ka iksi ang oras para matransform ang isang physical body. Give few more hours without embalming, the body could have been eaten by maggots on the same spot. Kaya lalo ako nakumbinse na mas dapat pahalagahan ang spiritual kesa sa mortal bodies.

    In the case of dra belo, its good she has her own gospel of feeling young and making the filipinos youthful. Pero syempre there is always a risk of bordering into vanity. Tingnan mo ha, client lang si Ms. Halili and then naging kalaguyo na ni hayden hehe. Yan ang nagagawa ng syensya.

    Nalagay ka sa alanganin dun Bluep ah kung ano ang maging “hatol” mo sa lovelife dilemma ni Dr. Belo. In a way it’s beyond our turf to tally her lovelife plusses and minuses pero dahil ikanga cultural symbol na rin sya, hindi rin maiwasan na humugot ng mga aral mula sa kanyang personal and public life. Affected kaya ako, toinks! Oo kahit wala syang napala sa akin money-wise. More toinks!
    I like how you emphasize the spiritual over our materiality in a very personal way. Sabi nga nila – “patients” will always be with us because they are laced with the most important questions on dying and living. Oi, the latest buzz on neuroscience ngayon is how the field is empirically venturing into the question on whether consciousness is a function of the brain, on what happens to human consciousness after death. the taken-for-granted Christian assumption of course is ourlong-held belief on the afterlife. But recently, science wonders about patients who tell stories of seeing the whole clinical movements while they are being revived or operated on. I’m thrilled by this curiosity alone and i love this part of science – hindi yung papasok lang ng cosmetic surgery clinic, paglabas meron ng pangheadline sa tabloids!

  7. BTW, natatawa ako dun sa ka member namin sa KABATAQ. His description about himself in his blog is “IN TOUCH WITH SELF AND SOMETIMES TOUCHES HIMSELF” hahahahahaha witty ano? LOL

    very witty, very touchy nga Bluep! can you imagine kung isa kang horse tapos ito ang horsey motto mo?

  8. ako ang nagta-tats ng skin ng iba… not the other way around. hihi

    kada punas ng pwet ang nasa isip ko lang ay “pounds, pounds, pounds..”

    tuloy, parang mantra na.

    at saka ang nagtatats naman sa akin ay si sarge. ahihi *tawang malandi*

    hahaha, mommy mungs…perfect mantra for the global crisis! i can only imagine – pag hindi mo tinatadyakan si sarge, that would be some perfect touch at your most ideal kilig time, haha…

  9. Hahaha!! Kabog!! Naextra nmn ako sa conversation nyo sa comment.. nawala tuloy ung sasabihin ko… toinks!!

    Teka lang, magbabasa ulet… hanube! Memory gap talaga oo!

  10. Hay sandali lang! Ubos na tissue ko kakapunas ng ilong ko ha, maawa kayo sakin, anemic na yata ako.. nde ako makarelate… waaahh!!

    Jorge, ganyan dito, dinuguan minsan kahit walang Goldilocks puto! Wag kang ma-trauma, wala lang kaming magawa kundi magpatintero minsan ikanga ni revsiopao…

  11. DF,
    Nung mabasa ko reply mo, now I wonder kung talagang naintindihan ko si Habermas…

    Ayoko na…. I give up! Haha!

    Mark, katuwaan lang, minsan bulagaan na rin…Balik-balik lang kapatid!

  12. ehem, ehem ehem…mukhang naging mabigat ang issue na ito ha? Pati ata ang lovelife ni Doc. Vicky nasali na. Kayo talagang mga seminarista kayo, hala dapa!

    May point si Bro. Bluep na mas mahala ang spiritual aspect kesa sa physical, pero brother pano kung operada na si benefactor pero todo pa rin ang donate sa parish? Hala sige lang at pagna-agnas na ang collagen mo pray na lang kita.

    Seriously, natuwa ako sa mga reaction ninyo, huh! Ano ba ang pinakaVANITY ng isang seminarista? Wala akong idea pero alam ko vitamin C at E lang kasi yan ang iniinom ng kuya ko at (Glutathione, toinks!)…(Naku, batukan ako nun, hehehe. Nagpapatawa lang po at wag seryosohin, bwahahaha!).

    Peace!

    Part of the package sa seminary training yan King. kung maalala mo. Pag dumating and dyaryo, titignan ang headline, then, comic strips, and then the entertainment section di ba kapatid? Madalas mas naalala pa sa “practice homily” ang nangyari kay Gabby at Jenny Sequia kaysa sa Senado, hehehe!

  13. npadaan lang po… in our present society where girls and women alike chase the magazine people look, no wonder uso si dra belo at ang mga klasmeyts nya. the media have somehow inculcated to the people that the beautiful gets everything, like if you have the beauty, fame, money and power may come next. i bet kakagatin ni mang eddie ang libreng make-over (assuming it cant be converted into money) at iisipin okay lang gutom ang sikmura basta naging sikat naman kahit sandali dahil nakapag belo. i dunno if im making sense hehe


    DFish:Hi po, salamat sa marathon comments na ikinabit mo sa blog ko. yes, you are making sense to me kahit na hindi hanggang Silka soap lang ako, hehe. Si mang eddie naman, parang tayo rin lang – halimbawa nakasalubong natin si Fannie Serrano for an instant makeover tapos yayain tayo na maging model, aba’y mahirap tanggihan di ba…


  14. andaming tao dito! puro inglisan! hehe…

    isang observation lang. sa pilipinas, kapag 65 ka na, parang antanda na. mahina na, sa bahay na lang, umuugod, etc. dito sa kabundukan, 65 is the new 40. splurge talaga sila pagdating sa bakasyon, sa pag-enjoy ng buhay. nag-i-skiing, nagma-mountainhike, umaakyat ng bubong, mahilig sa long drives, nagshoshovel ng niyebe na para bang 25 lang sila. kahit nga mga 85 year old, ma-action pa rin ang buhay. this really had me scratching my head. gayunpaman, that inspired me much. I never had so much fun in my life than reliving my childhood at the present. It’s never too late to experience the reckless abandon of our youth, lalo na’t 27 pa nga lang ako.


    DFish: Ito nga din ang madalas na nababasa at naririnig ko about life in Europe – they live a more relaxed life compared kanino pa – sa mga Americans and the rest of the Americanized. Naalala kong nakilala kong dok from Spain na nag-residency, sabi nya, pagsapit daw ng alas 3 ng hapon, uwian na sa Espanya, yung iba nasa coffee bar na and they’re happy with the pace. This reminded me of the movie Under the Tuscan Sun where Diane Lane simply enjoyed her time in an Italian mercado, savoring her scoop of ice cream. Talagang mabagal ang pagtanda. Uy, yung 27 na yan – magic number yan kay Kapatid nating Merton – he entered the monastery at the age of 27 and died 27 years after.

  15. “Pag dumating and dyaryo, titignan ang headline, then, comic strips, and then the entertainment section”

    nyahaha seminarista ka nga pare haha. Yang yan ang training sa pagbabasa ng Dyaryo. Tapos pagdating namn ng refelction papers, hanap agad ang editorial para i koko relate sa issues o pag luma na ang dyaryo itatabi sa library para gagawing clippings, Yung mga natira sa dyaryo na gupit gupit na, gagamitin naman sa PPSI haha. Gamit na Gamit ang Inquirer LOL

  16. Hahaha, ewan ko kung naranasan nyo to. Kasagsagan noon ng maalab na pag-iibigan ni Katreena at Rigor na kapitbahay ni Polgas na comic strips. Nag-uunahan kami sa pagbasa ng mga karugtong. Sa katagalan, nakakabwesit na rin sa ubod ng haba na parang teleserye…

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