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Smiley in the sky

smileyWHICH takes more effort, smiling or frowning? Experts say it takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown. In that case, I’m suffering from facial muscle fatigue since I’m what you may call a frown person.

Admit it, you’re a frown person too. You know there’s more reason around you to frown than smile. You only smile because that’s what your kindergarten teacher taught you to win friends or to get along in life.

As demanded by my job in the newsroom, I don’t smile, even if I want to. Hunting down adjectives and adverbs in a straight news story is a depressing activity. And besides, I wear a frown as a rule, like I told you, even if I’m editing the immaculate copies of Mayet Tabada’s editorial pieces.

This whole business of smiling took on a galactic proportion last week, when those who cared to look up the sky through the smog saw the heavens “smiling” at them. It’s one of those rare cosmic treats of Venus aligning with Jupiter to form the “eyes,” and directly below it, the crescent moon to form the “mouth.” In computer lingo, it’s a smiley. It’s the heavens flashing the popular text emoticon.

It worked, if you’re superstitious. In India, around the same time the smiley started to be seen in the skies, the hostage drama at the Taj and Oberoi hotels ended. In Thailand, the 192-day vigil by anti-government protesters came to a climactic finale. For Filipinos, Manny Pacquiao humiliated de la Hoya–with lots of smiles. (Trivia: Pacquiao’s smiles as he walked from the locker room to the ring were proportionate in number to the punches he landed on de la Hoya’s face.)

But news reports about the cosmic phenomenon said it’s not a smiley in the American skies but a frown! In the Northern Hemisphere, the happy celestial trio turns at such angle that it transforms into a sad face. Again, if you’re superstitious, the astral frown says something about everything that is sad in the US these days. But hey, it’s Obama for the next four years. Isn’t that good news? Well, you can always say emoticons are republicans.

But I’m not superstitious, and I don’t believe smiling helps you get anywhere in life that much, really. And leave the stars alone. They follow their own course in heaven. They align in twos, in threes, in hundreds, they collide, explode, they make love with the moons–millions of years before some creatures on earth learned to draw back their lips to expose some teeth and called it smiling.

That’s why I look at this interstellar galactic grin as nothing but a result of modern man’s obsession with computers and text messaging. We look up the sky and see a huge cosmic emoticon right up there. Nothing more.

But to indulge the spiritual in us, here’s another interesting trivia. A similarly close conjunction between Venus and Jupiter occurred in June of 2 B.C. Around that time, it was said three magi in the East were alerted to the birth of a future king and were led toward Bethlehem by a super bright star. The super bright star was believed to be the two planets tightly aligned in the sky. Some scholars connect the event with the Christian nativity story.

I’ll give this one lovely tale of the first Christmas a genuine Pacquiao smile.

(, december 9, 2008 )

7 Responses to “Smiley in the sky”

  1. waw! na-capture jud ang smiley da!hehehehe

    luoya jud aning wa tay slr uy.. hehehe

  2. manghuwam tang chiloy, chow. 🙂

  3. hahaha! cya ga-piktyur ana? paytera jud ui!hehehe

    di ko manghulam, mangayo ko nya! hapit na man pasko..hehehehe

  4. ahem 🙂

  5. wow! wa lage in.ana diri. when you look up the sky, you see nothing through the smog.

  6. just dropping by
    i have read some of your post.

  7. hwoiiiiiiii ech!!!!!!!! meri mishmash, gip hap..hehehe

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