COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
(Last of two parts)
It continued for a while, for about a few years, and then I stopped applying the oil on my hair and scalp and shifted my attention to my face. Like Cleopatra, I massage the olive oil on my skin, let it stay for a few minutes, then scrape the dead cells and other impurities with a nail pusher (I don’t have Cleopatra’s especially made knife/spatula.) This cleansing ritual got me moving only for a short while for the scraping became tedious so I dropped it.
Now, I use the olive oil like Cory Quirino’s “butter and brown sugar” exfoliating agent. I massage the oil on my face (avoid contact with eyes) and follow it up with an iodized salt scrub. The iodized salt is finer and salt does the extra job of cleansing the aura (www.pranichealing.com). This facial scrub can be done once or twice a week.
Indeed, the essentials to beauty is still cleansing and keeping a healthy body and a healthy mind, and in this 21st century, an expanded sense of spirituality. It is not only loving your neighbor as yourself but living in harmony with nature and preserving the earth. And whereas in the previous centuries the development of human character through ethical conduct
mattered most; this new century focuses on personality development with a global and universal world view and outlook as what counts the most.
The world has democratized somehow, and our ideal of beauty is not anymore confined to the white, Caucasian, look. Through intermarriages, the hybrids of humanity have ushered in several sets of
offspring that turn out to be more beautiful than their predecessors. I like the European African combination. Then there are the Creoles, the second generation African American, the Eurasians, and a few peculiar mix of race and blood that I cannot easily ascribe as to their origins. All of them are not only beautiful but they have acquired a more interesting features and colors.
However, politics still holds much influence in this matter, with those in power (e.g. transnational corporations, media) defining what is beautiful. Simply look at the stalls and stands at the various stalls in the market, and they are filled with soaps and other skin preparations designed to whiten the skin. The concept of a lighter and fairer complexion is still being advanced as an ideal of beauty, notwithstanding the apparently more interesting shades of the colored skin. This is good business to sell to brown Filipinos and the pharmaceutical companies are raking millions by giving us an illusion.
But back to Ellen. She used to play tennis and work out in the gym to keep her fit, but stuck to swimming as her form of exercise. She likes the free wheeling nature of a swim. Two years ago, she went deep into
Traditional Chinese Medicine while having a short teaching stint in Taiwan. I once told her I’m into meditation but the card she sent in from Taiwan reads: “I’m trying to get into meditation too but it’s hard because I’m restless and my mind is always in high gear. I’m taking Chi Kung (Chinese yoga) at present and its doing wonders! I think my IQ has even gone up to 200! Ha ha ha.”
My sister Ellen is now back to Toronto, for her daughter Yasmin has given birth to a lovely girl named Rayn Olivia. Ellen flew back from Taiwan last September, days after her fifty-fifth birthday, to become a doting and beautiful grandma.