Today I had the opportunity to visit for the first time the Yuchengco Museum, it was a random trip spurred because of a seminar on Philippine-American relations, which I believe would be of great help to me when I start teaching come the end of this month. But it wasn't the seminar that made the trip interesting, it was the portraits, paintings and pieces of art that drew me into deep thinking. While I observed and appreciated the works of Luna, Amorsolo, BenCab, Navarro, Joya and a whole others, I began thinking about a movie trailer I had watched and subsequently downloaded earlier this morning. It was a powerful movie that pulled my emotional strings and with a film starring Helen Mirren, I was no doubt sure that my eyes or my whole state would be quivering with emotion. Besides the film it was also the paintings and the whole atmosphere of the museum that got me thinking again "what would have happened if these paintings were in the hands of another country?" And that is basically the premise of the film Woman in Gold.
Let me begin my post by saying that I needed a vacation! I haven't had one since my Ilocos trip last December and to be honest I really needed one. For one I have been carrying a whole lot of work related stress since then plus I have add the stress of having to transfer from one work place to another with no break in between. In effect, I need some rest and relaxation to unwind and juice me up till the next break. Besides work I also miss the feeling of going to the beach, the sun and the sand toasting me to fine perfection. I miss the fresh air and also the feeling of the sand between my toes, I miss the way I could just lounge around enjoying some fruit shake and wait for the world to pass me by. All of these feelings were validated when I went to Alaminos's Hundred Islands National Park and had one of the grandest times I've ever had in the beach.
What makes a chef great? Is it the way his flavors excite and tickle the senses of his diners or is the way he presents dishes in such way that layers and upon layers of flavors unceasingly bring diners to new heights? Another question that I also have in mind is can chefs be considered artists? The way they use and manipulate food to create stunningly good pieces of art with whatever surface they have on hand as their canvas. In recent years, celebrity chefs took the world by storm by merging food with art to create a dining experience unlike any other. This phenomenon is what David Gelb, the man behind the highly-acclaimed "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", wants to explore in his Netflix produced "Chef's Table".
What happens after three years? What happens when your whole life ends and the moment you have been waiting for finally comes to a close? The result is a bittersweet good bye, I know that for so long I've worked so hard and striven for excellence, passion, and dedication. For a long time I have felt the blood, copious amounts of sweat, and the seldom shedding of tears in Domuschola. Finally here I am resolving and brooding over the fact that my old routines are now gone, the faces I have grown with are no longer with me, accompanying me in my daily routines, and all of the jokes that I used to have are now no longer possible. The environment is different, the opportunities are new, and I know that I am now even more prepared to face these new challenges.
My name is Alfonso your nerdy history teacher, bookworm and lover of all things cultural and exciting. You can find me in a weekend market, in a bookshop, or eating in Japanese restos during the weekends.