| |  
The Zen home
In the philosophical sense, a Zen teacher would probably say there is no answer to the question: What is Zen? Zen is an approach of life, a way of being, rather than a philosophy or set doctrine. It is more a personal journey of discovery, which aims to free the mind so that a greater level of awareness - both of ourselves and the world around us - can be achieved.
Commonly viewed as a Japanese concept, Zen philosophy actually originated in China, where monks merged Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism in a bid to find the true path to spiritual enlightenment. In 1190, Zen Buddhism was enthusiastically adopted by the Japanese, who developed the idea that simplicity was synonymous with spirituality and applied it to every aspect of their lives - including their homes.
The sense of harmony found in Zen’s design style transmit similar feelings of serenity to its occupants - and has been reinterpreted by designers and architects since the nineteenth century. Today, the Zen interior has become a refuge from the outside world where busy roads, new technology and the cult of consumerism leaves us feeling anxious and unfulfilled.
A haven of peace
In order to turn your home into a haven of peace and tranquility, you must first look closely at the availability of space and light. To do this, walk slowly through each room; scrutinize the floors, walls and windows, and consider the following options. Are there any walls you could knock through or replace with load-bearing pillars? Is it possible to insert more windows or to raise the height of existing ones? Could you install a skylight? Does your carpet cover space-enhancing boards or antique parquet? Next, look at your furniture, fixtures and fittings and ask yourself what you could do without. If you’re scrupulously honest, you may well discover that many things you thought were indispensable to domestic bliss are, in fact, easily made redundant.
The Zen home combines the physical process of removing unnecessary clutter with the aesthetic one of simplifying your surroundings. When it comes to making decisions about your home, it’s important to listen to your instincts. This way you will reconnect with your spiritual self - and create an environment that nurtures your heart and soul. By stripping your home of the things that fail to inspire you, you make space for the things that do. If you love books, for instance, celebrate your literary leanings by building a huge bookcase. Similarly, if music soothes your soul, install a huge sofa and allow yourself to listen in comfort and peace.
Furniture is simple and artlessly placed
Objects used decoratively are chosen not for a display of wealth or taste, but for their intrinsic characteristics - we have to feel that they are interesting in themselves, and not merely as aspects of our own esthetic sensibilities.
Zen does not shy away from irregularity, roughness, bareness. To bring some natural thing - a piece of driftwood or a ragged lump of quartz - into the home is to observe reverence toward the world beyond ourselves. If instead you choose to display an artifact - for example, an old wooden Buddha picked up on travels in Asia, or from a local flea market - what does it matter if time has warped or cracked the artifact in places? Such imperfections only add to the object’s uniqueness, to its relationship with the rest of the world.
In essence, Zen style represents a modest approach to home decorating. When the superfluous details are removed, we are able to have a more intimate relationship with what is left. While there is an emphasis on the application and appreciation of natural materials in the Zen home, which rekindle our connection with the natural world, there is always room for excellent designs in man-made materials. Whether we are able to completely rethink the place in which we live, change one room or simply adopt a shift in attitude, small or large steps, we can all do something to bring a touch of Zen into our homes.
Clutter crushes the spirit
The philosophy of clearing your space and hence your mind is one that works for most people. According to Zen principles, clutter is an accumulation of anything that impedes the vital flow of ‘chi’ - or essential energy - in the home. Without the presence of ‘chi’, it is impossible to turn your living environment into a place where your thoughts and actions are spirited and spontaneous.
In order to attain a clutter-free space, you must first prune your possessions with the religious zeal of one determined to see the light. Anything you no longer use, want or like should be thrown away or taken to the charity shop. This includes shoes, clothes and kitchenware, as well as CDs you no longer listen to, photographs that will never make it into the album, and books you’re unlikely to read. It is also important to rid your home of negative energy, which is manifested through plants that are dead or dying and anything that has been broken for a long time or has parts missing.

Arch. Gumila is a partner of Group 3 Design Studio, an architectural and interior design firm based in Mandaluyong City. She is also a corporate member of the United Architects of the Philippines.

Rene’s holiday collection
The onset of the ‘ber’ months has always been associated with the holiday season. It’s the time to party. It’s the time to dress. It’s the time for evening gowns.
For this issue, renowned Filipino couturier Rene Salud gives Balikbayan readers a sample of his head-turning formal evening gowns right for the party.
A chanteuse maxi skirt crafted with dupioni silk from India with matching haltered top with embroidery, traced with beads and sequins.
A fusion of dark and bright colors. Fuschia skirt from chantung silk from China goes well with a black blouse accented with Aztec design with cummer band and bib collar.
A powder blue sheath gown with asymmetrical necklines inspired by manta de manila made from dupioni silk embellished with embroideries and fringes.
A fully-sequined baby pink A-line skirt with halter V-neck with ruffle laced-top.
SHEER presents Fabia lingeries
Avant-garde designer Armando Fabia presents his spring/summer 2003 lingerie collections in the “SHEER” fashion show at the Music Museum on October 23, 2002 at 9:00 p.m.
SHEER will have three segments showing around 70 haute couture. The first part, PLAY DATE, consists of undergarments: bikinis, pajamas, bra and panty sets. The second part, HAPPY HOURS, include the fun clothes for day and bedroom wear such as cocktail dresses outrightly inspired by, leotards, and camisoles. The last part, ALL NIGHT LONG, features Hollywood glamour-inspired long gowns, bridal ensemble and honeymoon gears made of nice-to-touch, sheer, almost transparent fabrics.
Running throughout the parade are the equally stunning counterpart of women’s wear: shorts, some thongs and pouches, brief vests, see-through shirts, molded tanks, pyjamas and tailored-to-hug clothes.
Special guest is the ever-glamorous Celia Rodriguez. Radio’s sweetheart Jo San Diego’s cool dreamy voice fills the hall as the evening’s host. Raoul Valero directs.
Produced by Primeworks Intermedia, Inc., “SHEER: 2003 Male & Female Lingerie Collection by Armando Fabia” is for the benefit of the Special Children’s Productivity Center, Inc., a non-stock non-profit organization supporting the livelihood development for mentally handicapped, learning-impaired but work-capable children.
Talk, snap and send pictures with Nokia 6650
Nokia now has its first 3G phone with photo, video, multi-media messaging and multi-tasking capabilities. The Nokia 6650 phone works both in GSM 900/1800 networks and in the new WCDMA networks. In the WCDMA network you can talk, snap and send pictures at the same time.
The Nokia 6650 also can shoot a video clip, which can be sent to a compatible mobile phone or an e-mail address. You can load your video clips wirelessly to a compatible PC and store them there.
The Nokia 6650 comes lightly at 141 grams in a handy size of 132 x 25 mm. It has a talk time of 2 hours and 20 minutes for WCDMA and 2 hours and 40 minutes for GSM networks. It could capture images with a resolution of 640x480/128x96, more than 10 frames/second. Its HDW-2 Wireless Headset has a range of 10 meters.
Desknote: The best desktop alternative
Who says desktop needs so much space or a notebook is so expensive?
Elitegroup Computer Systems has come up with a desktop and notebook-in one computer called Desknote.
Desknote is a full-feature portable computer with the computing power of a desktop. It could be easily upgraded to be at par with any desktop system. Its, CPU, Memory, Hard Disk Drive and CD-Rom are all replaceable and
user-friendly that any regular user could easily assemble it. It has also provisions for a TV-tuner or a second HDD and CD writer.
With its battery-outside option, Desknote is just as easy to carry as a conventional notebook.
But the biggest catch here is its price. Desknote’s price tag is similar to the sum of a desktop computer and an LCD monitor, about half of the cost of the cheapest notebook. So, better grab one now!
AnoB’Ang4Halloween? at the Zillion Bar
If you haven’t decided yet what to do on the eve of All Saints Day, just drop by the Zillion Bar and catch Pinky Marquez, Dyords Javier, Isay Alvarez and Bimbo Cerrudo, collectively known as the Ang4gettables, in their two-hour, comic-filled performance entitled AnoB’Ang4Halloween?
AnoB’Ang4Halloween? gives a fun-filled & entertaining alternative to the gloomy and tiring trip to the memorial parks and cemeteries, braving endless traffic and long lines to public restrooms in an attempt to visit our dearly departed (which we could very well postpone for the less crowded weekend ahead).
All seasoned performers, Ang4 once more takes center stage as they perform a repertoire highlighted by the creative fusion of musical genres in 4-part harmony, on a two-night show on Oct. 30-31, 2002. Show starts promptly at 9:00p.m.
The Zillion Bar is located at the 4th Level, Robinson’s Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City.
  1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002
The Moon is shining above! You will be in the right place at the right time.
    1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997
This is a rewarding month! You can achieve your goals easily. Beware of robbery and break-ins.

Career and money prospects are rewarding. But relationships with people are showing signs of disharmony.

      1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998
Things will come out well! You are steadily and smoothly going forward. Don't be overly confident. Do not become temperamental when facing small difficulties.

Avoid fighting. Family, career and love will be fine. Only small things will be frustrating.

      1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999
Good in all aspects. Big gains and small losses. You will periodically have some arguments in your family.
Things you do will become knotted like the joints of a bamboo. Be patient.

      1952, 1964, 1976, 1988
Your luck is mixed. Be patient and avoid becoming too emotional. Be satisfied with small gains -- don't expect too much.
Gossip will tangle up things. This problem will be easy to solve for the female Dog, not for the male Dog. Regarding love, the male Dog must avoid falling into a sex trap!
      1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001
Things are very frustrating and rough even though you work hard. Dealing humbly with others will soften the situation.

It will be easy to have disharmony with friends and family. In career, things will come out as you wish.

Gossip will tangle up things. This problem will be easy to solve for the female Dog, not for the male Dog. Regarding love, the male Dog must avoid falling into a sex trap!

Focus: Horse
1954,1966,1978,1990, 2002
Persons born in the year of the horse are said to be reliable, attractive, industrious, friendly, cheerful.

Polarity: Yang
Main Element: Fire
Hidden Elements: yin fire, yin earth
Hour Governed: (11:00-13:00)
Month: June
Season: Summer
Direction: South
Clash with: Rat, Rabbit, Rooster
Compatible with: Tiger, Dog, Goat
Suitable Careers: movie star, arts, technician, restaurant business

How To Activate Romance Corner:
Put fresh flowers in a vase in East corner. Please note that this technique is only for SINGLE/UNMARRIED person. Married persons are not encouraged to do this as it may cause extra-marital affairs. If flowers are dying, replace with new fresh flowers.

Prof. Gomez is an astrologist and graphologist of the Ming Li Ong located at the 2nd floor of Payawal Bldg. in Quezon Blvd., Quiapo, Manila. For consultation, you may call him at 736-3704.

SEX BOMB GIRLS. Fourteen boob-tube babes would like to help fight lawlessness and evil in our crime-infested communities. How are they going to do it if they have superpowers?

Room 303, Paragon Tower, 531 A. Flores St., Ermita, Manila
Tel Nos. 526-5541 to 50 loc. 218 / TeleFax. 526-3802
Copyright 2002 © PLANET PINOY PUBLISHING INC. All rights reserved.