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La Vie Éphémère

Before you know it, naiwanan ka na ng tren… I first heard this phrase during my year in Imperial Manila when we frequented the disco scene which was super entertaining with Ernest Santiago’s Coco Banana.

Well, life’s like that, Dahlink’s. The world is in turmoil and yet, there’s fashion shows and exhibits to attend to. War will eventually end in Ukraine, with whatever consequence. But, will it really matter? When you’ve been buried in a shallow grave or left limbless on a table. 

This is Picasso’s “Guernica” and I see the whole absurdity of it. Thank God, I’m in Paris to take this all in. Otherwise, I’d surely go mad. Ahhh, but if you saw each moment as an eternity, how everything can change for the best. It’s how one approaches life, the banality, the horreurs, the triviality of it all when you see it from a distance – “the world seems bright, all right” Bette Midler would sing.

Mme. Evelyn McDonnell et la Baronessa Eva; right, Don Citoy’s walking cane made out of a spinal cord of some alien*
L’O de Chateau sidewalk terrace; right, Pål Larsen across the renewed facade of Paris’ Post Office*
CEO Lopez Central’s Citoy Lopez; middle, I won’t be wearing this anymore!; right, ELG and Ica Manalo Sebastian – Kahirupay*
A detail of an alcove window in Paris Post Office; right, waiters speak English in Paris*

But I’m in Paris and I must bear the brunt of existentialism as deemed by Albert Camus. Have you read him? Have you looked at life from both sides, now? “Rows and flows of angel hair, and ice cream castles in the air… I looked at clouds that way. But now, they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone. Sooo many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way.” 

The cold air of autumn has arrived with sudden Paris showers. I revel in my daily life. I have my door fixed, I buy some eggs and will have dinner at home this weekend. We’ll buy heather and green holly for Hervé’s grave. He’s a good excuse to promenade at the Père Lachaise cemetery where even the Pardo de Tavera’s have a Parisian mausoleum. Probably, I’ll end there myself. Who’ll bring fleurs to my grave? 

MY PRAYER

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Psalm 107:1–3, NIV*

Ica’s Ilonggo Blowout at L’Olympiade with Lucel Carlos, Manong Citoy and celebrating daughter Rea Sebastian’s graduation and immediate job at Vivier Paris (l-r); right, this was once Paris’ Belle Époque Post Office, now a hotel, resto, stores*
Leida Adurro Bowman, Luz Lopez, Ica Manalo Sebastian (seated, l-r), Ria Augousti, Melissa Lopez and Eva Anover (standing); right photo, imported hams and cheese for pica-pica*
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November 2022
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