Pedring Reading: Azurin’s Random Walks and De Veyra’s Super Panalo Sounds

What I like about reading is that you get to experience worlds that you’ll probably be never be able to venture to in your lifetime, because of resource constraints, or simply that world currently does not exist (particularly fictional worlds of Fantasy and Sci-Fi orgins). For todays’  typhoon Brown-out induced reading – its more of the former, today I got transported to the world of boardrooms and businesses for the first few hours, and the world of Drugs-Drugs-and Rock’n Roll for the latter part of the day.

Rene Azurin's Random Walks and Other Essays
Rene Azurin's Random Walks and Other Essays

Rene Azurin’s Random Walks and Other Essays: Ruminations of a So-So Manager contained mostly insights revolving around the subject of management and economics, save for matters such as time, money, billiards, New Age Thinking, and Memory. I enjoyed his work probably because I can relate with what he was talking about especially for the first half of the book. He was an Industrial Engineer, and he was discussing the motivations and the orgins of concepts such as Total Quality Management, Motion Economy and Just-In-Time in his essay – it had me saying..ah, bwiset, yun pala yung tinuturo samin nung ENPROMA (Engineering Production Management) nung College. I totally got it – and appreciated it – all those terms in college that seem exist just to be memorized. All because he was able to share the stories behind it. He also made a point regarding how today’s management books are just regurgitations of the Management Classics, which apparently no manager has the time to read – and how someone is probably making a profit out of these new management paradigms which were already said before anyway. He also introduce us to the stories of the Boardroom – where corporate people are likened to chickens – and how a board meeting usually goes, stories of how Ford and Toyota became the giants that they are. It make me appreciate my Engineering Days and my Industrial Engineering Subjects.

Lourd de Veyra's Super Panalo Sounds
Lourd de Veyra's Super Panalo Sounds

And now with a topic on the other end of the spectrum, Lourd De Veyra writes about “Drugs-Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll” in his first novel, Super Panalo Sounds. Its about a band of 4 seemingly music geniuses who forms a band and their (mis) adventures – their bouts with reality, the thin line between genius and insanity. I’m really impressed on how the details of being drugged are written in detail. Similar to what I though about Ligo na U, Lapit na Me – though the writers said that they’re purely fictional – I can’t help but think the author had first hand experience of what its like to be “wired” on meth/shabu, or he wouldn’t be able to write such a vivid description on how feels. Or maybe he’s just a damn good writer.

It had me thinking – The only good guy in the Band – who out of sadness tries the stuff – and then ends up with the worst possible outcome, if you’re pretty much a good person all your life – and just for once – you had the temptation of trying something – just for the sake of trying it – cigarettes, jutes, or worst comes to worst, drugs – will you be able to handle it? Hindi ka ba maa-adik? Maybe that’s the risk of trying it, the risk of addiction. Isipin mo din, anu nga bang motivation ng tao para uminom, mag-yosi o mag-drugs? Para makalimutan ang problema, ang Gutom? To cultivate artistic genius – dahil ang mga greatest artist ay nakakagawa ng mga works na drug-induced? Paano sila nasimulan dito – nadaan nga ba sa “patikim-tikim”? If that’s the case then, puteknakakatakot pala tumikim.

Anyway, I also particularly enjoyed this book because of the tender and descriptive moments. Like the scene where Milo the genius saxophonist feels real happiness playing his instrument for the old guy opposite his room – or when Vic prays in the church – in his Boysen Paint shirt – with matching jeepney noises. (Yes, a scene like that managed its way into the book). A good narrative for me is something that makes you feel that you are there, and I think the book did a good job of doing just that – whether making you feel how it is to be sabog or the sobriety of going to church early in the morning.

Pretty interesting reading these two works on the opposite side of the spectrum – yes, these two kinds of lives exist. On one side, we have the businessman and engineer – dealing with money, entrepreneurship – and on the other side we have people wasting their lives on things such as music, drugs and booze (though it’s said to be fictional daw).

Kanya-Kanyang Trip lang talaga sa buhay no? The wonders of reading. Parang narasan mo nang mabuhay sa dalawang magkaibang mundo na ito.


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