The Bibliophile Chronicles is a book and writing blog by Mr. Francis Martin Beltran Baraan IV, Chairman and CEO of Baraan Group, a group of companies in the Philippines with business interests in real estate, construction, lending, retail, and mining. This blog is all about a CEO’s quest for the truth, meaning, purpose, and his love affair with books and writing.
Francis is a bibliophile who has read several hundreds of books, and counting. He has more than two thousand books in his collection stored in his small library at the Yellow House, his family’s seat in Dagupan City. This blog shares his journey to knowledge, his reviews on the books he has read, his thoughts and feelings regarding certain subjects, his opinions on some controversial social, religious, business, and political issues, and some of his tried and tested treatments on writing, reading, and learning. This blog shall also include some of his short stories (feeble attempts at being a short story writer hoping an editor at The New Yorker, the New York Post, or the Paris Review might notice and give him a column there).
He is currently writing his ambitious first novel (no title yet), and wishes to write his memoirs after he finishes the first draft. Agents, publishers, readers, followers, secret admirers, fans, and haters, may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re an agent or a publisher who wishes to represent him and buy the rights to his yet untitled, unfinished book, he shall get back to you at the soonest possible time. If you’re a reader, a follower, a secret admirer, or a fan, or all of the above, he says thank you, and he loves you, too, and he shall get back to you after he gets back to the agents and publishers who wish to sign him. If you’re hater, he hates you, too, but he says to tell you this: “I’ll make you love me” in a singsong fashion. Nah, he’s just kidding. He told me to tell you to go to hell.
He lives in the Philippines as a semi-hermit, and conducts his business by correspondences with his staff through email, Skype, and Monday face-to-face meetings. He does not live with his partner yet, but hopes to do that soon after he realizes that Bradley Cooper, Piolo Pascual, and Heart Evangelista are way out of his league (which he never will).
Disclaimer No. 1: His shrink diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. Some of his writings will reflect his symptoms–racing thoughts, psychosis and paranoia, delusions of grandeur, spending sprees, depression, suicidal thoughts, uncharacteristic euphoric feelings, irritability, impulsiveness, Torret’s-like, unfiltered, radical, and biased, and often politically incorrect opinions, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. He thinks his shrink is just jealous of him because he is a true artist–a misundertood writer of such extraordinary caliber whose creative processes and thinking are mistaken for manic-depression. He sometimes just tells his shrink to go fuck herself in his mind because he fears throwing harsh expletives at her might be grounds for institutionalization.
He says his shrink thinks he is still in denial, but he thinks his shrink is just full of psychobabble crap. His Mom and Dad are convinced of the voodoo science of psychology and psychiatry; Mr. Baraan believes its a pseudoscience crap, but has to go see his shrink every session because his shrink requires it. Or maybe it’s just a way for his shrink to see him all the time because she loves him. But Francis has got to because he fears being disinherited by his parents if he doesn’t remain sane. C’est la vie. Poor chap.
Disclaimer No. 2: This is a blog for readers (and fans, agents, and publishers) who appreciate the inconsistencies, incoherence, and character flaws of a manic-depressive–of the human condition and psyche — fragmented, delicate, and most importantly, a picture of extreme walking contradictions. If you’re not that kind of reader, he says you should just read tabloid junk, and lowbrow literature (if they can be called literature at all) such as gossip-rag celebrity magazines and anything that falls under that genre. Otherwise, you may read his Pulitzer- and Nobel-Prize winning literature of a blog everyday.
Disclaimer No. 3: He is a genius artist and is intellectually and socially superior to the entire human race. He hates anyone who contradicts him. Welcome to his world.
Disclaimer No. 4: This is a work of fiction. Well, not entirely.
P.S. Here’s The TRUTH:
Myth: I hate my shrink.
Fact: I actually love my shrink. She’s like my second mother. She helps me with my issues and makes sure that I take my medications so I can live a healthy and “normal” life. I just wanted to spice things up a bit in my bio to entertain readers.
Myth: I believe that psychiatry and psychology are pseudoscience crap.
Fact: Au contraire, I believe that psychology and psychiatry are the main reasons I am not in an asylum right now. My medications help mitigate the symptoms of my bipolar disorder.
Myth: I am socially and intellectually superior to everybody.
Fact: No, I am not. In fact, I am the most insecure and delusional person I know. I mask my inferiority complex with my beguiling charm, braggadocio, mood swings, psuedo-intellectualism, and bodyguards. It works. Try it. I shall elaborate on this in my memoirs. I’ll tell you when it’s out so you can get a copy, read about someone who has been to a psychosocial rehabilitation center three times for bipolar disorder so you can feel better about yourself.
Myth: I am a pathological liar.
Fact: No, not really. The truth is I don’t have a filter. I think most bipolar people are way too honest, and sometimes they are bordering on rude, thoughtless, inappropriate and tactless. My shrink’s words, not mine. Bollocks. She told told I’m too honest for my own good. Watch “Silver Linings Playbook.” You’ll see what I mean. I am of the opinion that writers should only edit their words, not their thoughts and feelings. As far as I’m concerned, my opinion is always better than yours. And one of my friends has body dysmorphic disorder (BDM). I told her she’s obese in front of everybody, but told me that she’s only overweight. I told her she’s in denial. She didn’t talk to me for a month. But I love her just the way she is. Okay, I’ll shut my mouth now.
Myth: I swear a lot and use the “f” word most of the time.
Fact: Everybody has a temper. I know when to use mine. In fact, I don’t like swearing at all. I only use the “f” word when I need to use it for writing to achieve the effect I want — or when I am in bed with someone, when I am angry in bed with someone, or when I want to go bed someone.
Myth: I am a pathological liar.
Fact: I want to be a good novelist. There’s the understatement of the century. Ha ha. To be a fiction writer, one must be able to tell convincing lies and stories. Anyone who would like to be regarded as a good storyteller must be able to infuse reality and fantasy seamlessly. I wrote the “work of fiction” above in an attempt to amuse you, the reader. I hope I succeeded in doing that — in amusing you.
Myth: Everything I told was fictitious.
Fact: Everything I said in this “About Francis and This Blog” post is true save for the half-truths and fabricated lies I pointed out explicitly in writing. Well, duh.
Myth: The photo above is the real me.
Fact: Technically, it is me. It was taken last November 2012. I gained 15 pounds last December. I blame it on the people who are only generous during the holidays. Why can’t they just spread their gifts of food, alcohol, ham, chocolates, and cookies, evenly throughout the entire year so people won’t get fat every Christmastime? Such hypocrites. They just want Santa to think they’ve been good kids so they can get all the goodies. Bonkers.
I, Francis Martin Beltran Baraan IV, Chairman & CEO of the Baraan Group of companies (L&D Homes; G&B Corp.; F&F Capital), property developer; true blue bibliophile-book collector; shih tzu lover; obsessive-compulsive thinker, reader, and writer; antique, art, and lamps collector; literary blogger; car enthusiast; interior design, film, and architecture buff; foodie; narcissistic, delusional, insecure, and quasi-British aristocrat and would-be bestselling author and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for Literature Awardee, do hereby solemnly swear that everything I said were the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (except for the ones I specified as products of my chemically imbalanced imagination), so help me God.
Mr. Francis Martin Beltran Baraan IV, CEO, M.D.; MBA, PhD, STD, DuH