Archives de Catégorie: Philippines

ce qu’il y a de plus beau


Juste une image, aujourd’hui. Pour que la douleur la plus violente n’ait pas le dernier mot. Soleil brûlant comme ce trou dans mon âme. C’était à Manille, une photo prise depuis mon balcon, au soleil couchant, vers 2003-2004. Face à la baie, « Nous aurons dit souvent d’impérissables choses » etc. (Baudelaire, Au Balcon). La poésie n’était pas un art, c’était l’écrin même de la vie. C’est vers cela qu’il faudra tendre, lorsque les mots reprendront du poids, de la forme et de la consistance, lorsqu’il sera de nouveau possible de les tailler pour construire avec eux quelque chose qui tienne. A cet enfant que l’a vie m’arrache aujourd’hui, je veux offrir ce qu’il y a de plus beau. Puisque le soleil nous dévore, il faudra plonger avec lui tout au fond de l’espace,  prendre tous les risques, et chercher, chercher sans fin ce qui est déjà là. Fondre dans sa substance. Accueillir ce qui naît. Le seul remède à la douleur, c’est de la consumer.

Le soleil je rêve

Publicités

Coup de cœur aux artistes Philippins


Les artistes Philippins sont à l’honneur à Sète avec l’exposition de Manuel Ocampo « Manila Vice ». L’artiste et curateur ambitionne de faire de Manille une ville d’art mondiale. Lorsqu’on est familier de la vitalité de la scène créative des Philippines, on ne peut que souscrire et lui souhaiter beaucoup de réussite.

A voir au Musee International des Arts Modestes (MIAM Museum, http://www.miam.org) in Sète, France.

http://www.ambafrance-ph.org/Manuel-Ocampo-s-Manila-Vice-Making,2348

Manuel_Ocampo_Photo-0bc6a

Et si vous n’avez pas le temps d’aller jusqu’à Sète, ne ratez pas la splendide exposition du Quai Branly : Philippines, archipel des échanges

http://www.quaibranly.fr/fr/programmation/expositions/a-l-affiche/philippines-archipel-des-echanges.html

Rire avec Plonk et Replonk


Soif de couleurs, envie de rire. La météo nous annonce moins quinze degrés pour vendredi, un temps à ne pas mettre une famille de cosmonautes dehors pour paraphraser la (célèbre?) cartes postale de Plonk & Replonk. Leur « percement de l’Arc de Triomphe par le Baron Haussmann » signalé par le blogger Jean-Louis Foucart écrase de toute son absurdité les discours distillés depuis Davos, face (mal) cachée de la Suisse. Le rire, surtout lorsqu’il est bienveillant, est un grand facteur de résilience, et pour l’équilibre il y a bien sûr la Balance bretonne.

Envie d’azur et de nuages flottant haut dans le ciel, envie d’aller voir aux Philippines si le ciel est toujours aussi bleu vu depuis le fond de la mer, si les corps cosmiques tournent toujours plus vite au-dessus de nos têtes et sur la plage de Boracai, envie de goûter des mangues éclatantes et des sourires complices.

Envie d’épouser l’énergie de ce monde qui vient, parfois sans doute un peu trop vite. Ah va pour le vertige!

Toutes les villes mouillées se ressemblent


Toutes les villes mouillées se ressemblent. Elles parlent entre elles un langage secret, connu d’elles seules, une chanson sussurée à l’oreille du voyageur. Chacune a sa couleur, sa pudeur sous la pluie, une histoire intime et subtile courant par les rues ruisselantes.

Dans cette ville d’Europe, les passants se pressent d’écraser de petites bulles grises. Pensées pliées, c’est la rentrée; déjà perdues, reviendras-tu?

Toutes les villes mouillées se répondent. Au matin, leur visage a retrouvé sa fraîcheur. Une odeur nue de feuilles au sortir du métro crie l’enfance. Une chanson commencée là-bas revient. Rêver, revivre, aimer. Sous les parapluies, des visages.

So chic, un bus au rouge impérial éclabousse la foule d’eau sale, avec de vrais morceaux de reflets coupants comme du verre. Le faux sang se répand dans les flaques de néon. Une femme saoule se fait arracher son sac et vomit. Luxe et rage. Courir après les taxis noirs, méditer un polar. Pluie mesquine, assassine.

Asie. Sur le trottoir un enfant court. Un fou se savonne en riant. Le bruit feutré des pneus fait claquer l’eau des flaques. Après, le soleil brûle. Les femmes des quartiers nord se lavent. Cheveux mouillés, tordus, rincés. Comment les dessiner? Lèvres, épaules, et le pli du bras. Toutes les villes mouillées correspondent, les toits de zinc et la tôle ondulée rouillée grisée. Couleurs clinquantes, get a bigMac.

A Lisbonne, un pavé dépasse. Les rails du tramway brillent sous l’averse électrique. Ici, les gens n’ont pas de corps, leurs vêtements se déplacent. La nuit se répand, jaune et grise. On ira voir Bosch au musée, des porcelaines chinoises et des paravents japonais. Maisons bleues, roses, moussues de vert. Moisir a quelques avantages.

A Paris, du haut de la grue, trois corneilles plongent dans le couchant, décrivent un large arc de cercle et percent la muraille plombée des nuages. Croire à l’éclaircie. Les villes et les souvenirs se séparent.

The Banahaw protocol


Appreciative living is an art Filipinos have mastered and kept improving ever since the remote days when heir ancestors were building the rice terraces. Indeed I can sense a strong connection betweeen NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming as a way to connect with the world of our sensations and emotions, and what they call « Kapwa ». This is a story about finding the new Jerusalem in the jungle, and enjoying ll of it tremendously.

The day before I left Manila for the lush slopes of Mount Banahaw, a bitter American handed me a CD with all sorts of recommendations the business community had prepared for the new president of the Philippines. His disappointment was obvious, as he uttered “this is our last attempt to make policy for this country”. Indeed, his intentions were good. Many years ago, even I had shared some of these hopes for a better, more efficient, fairer business environment. But this was no longer the case. No longer did I dream of changing this place and these people against their own will, or lack of it. I was going back to Banahaw to connect with this country on a different, deeper emotional level. If anything was to change, it would have to come from the heart, not from any sort of rational, however thoroughly prepared blueprint. Things would happen at their own pace.


Besides I was there to learn, not to teach. Having just completed my coaching and Neuro-Linguistic Programming studies, I was coming here to close a cycle and “live the experience”, whatever this entailed for me. Last winter, on several occasions during the NLP exercises, I had come back to that place in imagination, building it as an anchor, a source of joy, inspiration and positive energy. Now, I was going back for real, and I was looking forward to trekking in the forest with my friends, enjoying a bit of physical exercise among the unique flora (oh, the rafflesia banahawensis).

On my first trip to the Philippines, in the mid-90ies, my friend Jeannie Javelosa started telling me about the mysteries of Mount Banahaw, a place considered sacred by many Filipinos and spiritual-minded people around the world, including Tibetan and even Catholic monks, who would congregate there to meditate and revel in the place’s psychic energy. She would tell me how the inactive volcano was renowned among those circles for the healing powers of the water streaming down its slopes and the spirits supposedly roaming in its forests. Most amazing was the web of superstitions and legends that surrounded the place like the clouds hiding its summit from the eyes of the trekkers. What made the story even more compelling was the contrast with the nearing Mount Cristobal, a place of dark energies where some people were said to be practicing black magic. Indeed, the Philippines had become a very fashionable place among New Age communities. Pilgrims started coming from all over the country, until the Department of Environment had to close down most of the trails leading to the summit until such time that the place regenerates itself. Today, some of the best pictures of Mount Banahaw and its rare flora can be seen on Youtube.

As for me, always a taker for a good story and a lover of nature, I was mostly excited at the perspective of spending a week-end in the mountain, enjoying the fresh air far from the unbearable pollution of Manila. The first time I finally got there with Jeannie, we met a fantastic story-teller who would rant on and on about the mountain spirits, dwarves, elementals and even UFOs making appearances in this “New Jerusalem”. Never mind the fact that the guy got a bit carried away in his own tales. For me, what made this experience memorable was the deep yet fun conversations with my friends, the walks in the mountain and the practice of yoga on a balcony overlooking the landscape. Jeannie’s house was perched high above the forest, and from there the view was breathtaking. As we went through the various yoga movements, I was enthralled by the smell coming from the flowers of a rare vine, the waves of green foliage filling the whole space all the way to the horizon and the view of the Mount Salakot just on the other side of the slope. Far from being the idyllic quiet spot in the mountains, the place was vibrant with the presence of numerous animals, birds and insects whose voices came together in a noisy background. In the middle of the night, for no apparent reason, and the sunrise being still hours away, roosters – dozens of them – would start crowing, as if sounding the alarm for some mysterious presence, thus waking up all the dogs who would start barking furiously for hours. In the morning, exhausted, I spent an hour looking at a procession of ants going up and down a branch, my eyes moving ever more slowly until I was captivated by a drop of water bending a leaf under its weight. I became aware of all the nuances of green, as I walked down the moss-covered steps carved in the old volcanic reddish stone. The place was eerie. It reminded me of the strange island where Tintin and his companions are taken hostage in the album “Flight 747 for Sydney”. The comparison was not entirely absurd, as I was told the next morning there were some rebels hiding on the other side of the mountain. UFOs, on the other hand, did not manifest themselves.

Back in France, I kept returning to Mount Banahaw in my mind whenever I would look for a peaceful – and powerful – resource-image. During my training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), I would meditate in a giant lotus flower shaped after the memory of the vine flowers growing under Jeannie’s balcony, my mind wandering over the mountain’s green crests.

Of course, I was excited to go back there during my latest trip to the Philippines. My coaching teacher, Nicole de Chancey, used to say that no learning process would be complete until we “had it in the muscles”, so it was a wonderful experience to practice yoga in Jeannie’s high-perched house after a particularly long trek to the dark mount Cristobal. My friends compared disciplines, the Asian and the Western approach, meditation, NLP, while sitting on our yoga mats on the balcony. They told me about Kapwa, the sense of the other in the self, which is a mode of perception more than just an concept. True enough, my muscles had stored all these memories, and they all came back. I was now ready to become a teacher and a healer myself. Having given up on the idea to change this country and its people, they opened up to me and started sharing their secrets. Alas, the bitter American would never understand. These were not things you could store on a CR-Rom.





IF YOU WAN TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MOUNT BANAHAW:

http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2007/08/mt-banahaw-2158.html

http://www.malapascua.de/Volcanoe-Map/Mount_Banahaw/hauptteil_mount_banahaw.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Banahaw

Mount Banahaw (alternative spelling: Banahao or Banájao) is one of the active volcanos in the Philippines. Part of a volcanic group, it is located along the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces, on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines.
The mountain and its environs are considered sacred by the local residents because of its « holy water », which allegedly have beneficial qualities, issuing forth from local springs and its « puwesto s, or the « holy sites ». These are composed of unique, natural features such as rocks, caves and springs with shrines erected in, on or around them, their location having been revealed to a man in the Spanish Era by the Santas Voces or the « Holy Voices ». It has another of this mountain and it was named as Mount Banahaw de Lucbán.

The term Banahaw is not known to many people but some beliefs attribute it to the description of a holy being. This mountain has a rock with the footprint of an unknown being and supposedly, this was the origin of the name of the mountain. Banahaw is very close to the modern Tagalog words banal (holy, sacred, divine) and daw (a word used in quoting another speaker; when appended to sentences, daw indicates slight disbelief or uncertainty in the veracity of the quotation’s content). Combined, the two words mean « [it is] probably/supposedly sacred ». The way the phrase was transcribed in Baybayin, the ancient syllabary used in writing Tagalog prior to the introduction of the Latin alphabet, finally produced the term  » Banahaw

Back in the Philippines


And so I am back in the Philippines, surrounded by familiar and unfamilar faces. It starts in Abu Dhabi airport, as hundreds of Filipinos working in the Middle-East, otherwise known as Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs), prepare to board the plane. A unique ambience, made of excitement and nostalgia, as the accumulated pain and repressed fears comes closer to the surface. Some of these people have not been home for years. They long to see their relatives, to feel home again, and safe. That feeling is so palpable and moving, even a foreigner like me gets the goose bumps.

Then in Manila, the pervasive sound of laughter bubbles up around me, in malls, in elevators, in meeting rooms, in the street. People keep laughing all the time, about anything, and this is so refreshing. Its a question of attitude, a way of looking at life.

My French friends find it hard to believe I am actually here for work, but how can I ever explain how much work here can at the same time be pleasure? French companies based here know about this unique mix of professionalism and joie de vivre, as can be seen on their facebook page. Go for pink and apple green, ye super-accountants, engineers, managers!

When you are really good at what you do, and you work so hard, you can afford to go a little crazy from time to time.

And of course the culinary trip to pampanga with a bunch of ladies and art-buffs, the Beti church, Art-Nouveaux houses lost in the middle of dusty villages and the splendid swamps where birds come from all over Asia. As always the best stories come at sunset, like the great-grand mother who would be taken out of her grave by the villagers once a year for all saint’s day and exposed for a couple of days until she was authorized to go back rotting undergrouond. Now I understand better the crazyness of certain Filipino movies.


And by the way, who murdered the cute little turn-of-the Century koleyiala?

Le corps humain, la limite et le Bulul


Dessiner le corps humain, c’est se mettre en contact avec les forces animales et les canaliser dans une forme sensible, intelligible, qui contient la vie. C’est se confronter à ses propres limites, et laisser faire en soi le travail de la rouille.

« Depuis l’école maternelle et jusqu’en taule, l’Homme ne peut s’empêcher de dessiner. De Lascaux à Chelsea, l’Homme est l’animal dessinateur » écrit ainsi Serghei Litvin, fondateur de la Foire Internationale du Dessin.

Les dessins sont posés à plat sur des tables, ce qui facilite la discussion avec les étudiants des Beaux-Arts. On fait de belles rencontres, on feuillette les carnets. Combien d’entre eux trouveront la force de persévérer, malgré l’indifférence, la solitude, la tentation d’abandonner? Les questions qui surgissent au détour d’un trait, la colère qui sort, parfois, tout est là, dans l’épaisseur et le murmure des ombres. L’animal dessinateur va chercher dans l’ombre un matériel qu’il ramène en pleine lumière, au risque qu’il se dessèche. Comme dans la PNL, ce qui compte, c’est bien d’aller vers la lumière. De l’enfant vers l’adulte et de l’informel vers la forme assumée.

Dessiner, c’est ainsi prendre un risque et sortir de l’indifférencié. Créer des espaces, dedans-dehors, comme on trace des frontières. Jouer à se faire peur : ce qui sort de la boîte, aimable ou monstrueux. Il y a là quelque chose d’initiatique, mais sans le rituel et la réassurance qu’apporte le groupe (dans la tragédie grecque, le chœur assume cette représentation de la limite). Les cultures traditionnelles formalisent cet apprentissage, la rencontre des frontières et le sens inscrit dans l’espace. Je pense aux Ifugaos, montagnards du nord des Philippines, autour de Banaué.

Oedipe et le Bulul

Oedipe à Banaue, chez les Ifugao. L’ombre portée du mythe, oracle à qui veut bien l’entendre. Ensuite, sa jeunesse passée, il pourra bien se crever les yeux, partir en exil. On écrira des tragédies sur lui. Au fond, c’est l’histoire d’une initiation ratée. Les Dogons s’en sortent mieux (voir article suivant).

On recommandera aux jeunes de se placer sous la protection d’un tel oracle : il y a tout à gagner dans la fréquentation du Bulul, dieu des récoltes et farouche gardien des limites. S’ils n’ont pas la force plastique et l’expressivité des Dogons, les sculpteurs philippins de Banaue capturent tout de même l’essentiel dans la représentation d’une force bienveillante. A l’imagination de compléter.