Tuesday, September 25, 2012

R.I.P. Bataan Faigao



 More sad news just arrived over the telephone...my Tai Chi teacher Bataan Faigao died from liver cancer. Bataan was also a writer, a poet...

 

6 years ago, he made the 800 mile trek to come to my wedding. That's him leading a sword form in our backyard during the wedding festivities. Back when I was still in Colorado and I had started learning the sword form, I was struggling with a particular "hopscotch" type move. I had a lot of stuff on my mind (more so than the usual stuff that goes through your mind, like in the Ginsburg video above) and I couldn't quite get it. After Bataan had showed me for maybe the 4th time in a row, he paused and went very quiet, one of those Bataan moments when he appears to go deep. After a couple of minutes, he finally looked at me, and deadpanned "White guys can't jump."



We used to practice outside by Boulder Creek, under the library overhang. The acoustics weren't so good there, especially when the creek was running high. Sometimes it was hard to hear Bataan's voice because, aside from the bad acoustics, he was soft spoken. When I first learned the move Bend The Bow, Shoot The Tiger, I thought he said Ben Lo Shoots The Tiger. I thought, "Wow, this Ben Lo character must be real bad ass, he got a move named after him." I went about week thinking that's what the move was called until Bataan's wife Jane corrected me. She got a good laugh out of that. Jane was also a painter, and when I showed her a bunch of my paintings, she suggested I name the one above "Ben Lo Shoots The Tiger", so I did.

I drew a cartoon of Bataan once, but I can't find a copy right now, and Wolfe Lowenthal wanted the original 11 years ago, so I gave it to him. And who's got the cartoon of Wolfe? Darren V?

  Say hello to Kuya for us, old friend!

 And now some blues from Jane and Bataan's lovely and talented daughter, Wendy Woo

9 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Fine tribute to your friend, zen comix.
~

zencomix said...

Thanks, Thunder...

The line "I wonder how my liver's doing?" in the Ginsberg poem was a little spooky...

cayu said...

Beautiful! White guys can't jump.. totally something bataan would say lol I loved his humor.

Sandy Underpants said...

you have such a rich life Zen, sorry for this loss

zencomix said...

He certainly was a funny guy, cayu.

Thanks, Sandy.

Randal Graves said...

Sounds like he was a real cool cat. You were lucky to know him, and vice versa.

zencomix said...

Thanks Randal.

Breezy Keefer said...

I sent A living gift in memory of Bataan's kindness and
instruction on behalf of the Cannabis Legalization Movement and Natural Healers (donated by Breedheen O'Rilley aka Breezy Kiefair) Namaste in all your lives. Ninja Grandfather.

zencomix said...

Thanks for the kindness, Breezy.