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Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to Bring 18 of Your Buddies to PenPen Restaurant

(Bottom row pictures, from left to right: Crispy Liempo, Special Tapa and Mini-Cordon Bleu. More pictures here.)

I have to admit that Facebook is the reason why I got introduced with PenPen Restaurant. The pictures of the dishes that Ping Medina kept on posting were too tempting to pass up. So, with Ge See’s backing up (I don’t how he came up with the idea), we scheduled to visit the “comfort food” haven in Scout Castor, near Tomas Morato, in Quezon City.

The first attempts to organize the dinner were a failure. It’s either one is in Cebu (you know who you are, hahaha) or another one’s having a night shift (you know who you are, too, hehehe). The farthest we’ve got, perhaps, was when we actually located the restaurant after having a dinner at Homer’s.

So last Friday, with a throng of 19 peeps, including P4 (our last-minute invitee) and Richmond’s younger brother named Richie, we dined at PenPen Restaurant. The place maybe a bit small (read: campus cafeteria-like) for our group, and the service was hampered by this, but we survived the place and we liked it.

Price ranges from P90 to P170 for single serving meals that include the house specialty crispy liempo, served in a bacon-like cut. We also ordered a plate/bowl each of Special Tapa (with yummy kesong puti), Mini-Cordon Bleu, Bicol Express, Longganisang Lucban and Pancit Molo. I’m not a food critic here but definitely the dishes we tried are worthy of a return engagement.

But of course, the food was just a sidelight. What really mattered was we had fun exploiting P4 or meet-and-greeting Socs, who by now is already back to U2 land, or outwitting Richmond’s poor young brother or trying to keep employees of four IT companies in one night or just simply enjoying an evening with a contagious energy and good vibes. If “comfort food” leads to being comforted with friends, then PenPen Restaurant must be doing its job very well.

Ang Pinakamalaking Pagkakamali ng “Transformers 2”

Sa wakas ay naibsan (read: na-satisfy) na rin ang aking pagnanasang mapanood ang “Transformers 2” ni Megan Fox, este, ni Michael Bay sa unang araw (allegedly) ng pagpapalabas nito. At heto ang aking mga napansin (warning: spoiler alert!):

1. Magaling pa rin ‘yung mga CGI-filled na eksena. Lahat na yata ng pinakaguwapong adjectives ay puwede mo nang gamitin: cool, awesome, astig, etc. May wow factor pa rin s’ya kahit na isang formula film. Pero para sa akin, napanood ko na sa unang “Transformers” ang lahat ng puwedeng magpagulat. Nakakatulo-laway kasi ‘yung pagkaka-visualize ni Michael Bay. This time around, hindi na-outdo (o na-outwit) ng sequel ang husay ng first installment.

2. Astig ‘yung eksena na na-resurrect si Optimus Prime. Andaming kumabit sa kanya. I was wondering kung ilang plug-in algorithms kaya ‘yung dumagdag at kung anong event sila mati-trigger. On that regard, nakakasawa na minsan ‘yung merong namamatay tapos sobrang may idea ka na mabubuhay rin naman sa dulo by accomplishing something. At hindi lang si Optimus Prime ang pinag-uusapan natin, may iba pa. Ang good point nga lang: maganda ‘yung panlilito na ang “fallen” sa title ng movie, na isang character (‘yung The Fallen), ay ginamit na devise to also mean Optimus Prime. Cute din 'yung planting na sa sementeryo nag-usap sina Shia at ang mga robots.

3. Mukhang ang direksyon ng movie ay maging macho flick talaga. Pinatunayan ito ng maraming “masasayang” eksena kasama si Megan Fu… Fox. Halimbawa, ang POV ng camera ay nasa likuran ng isang motorsiklo. Naka-bend dito si Megan Fox na nakatalikod din sa camera habang naka-short shorts. Hindi mo alam ang nangyayari pero nagsasalita s’ya sa phone kausap si Shia. Si Megan pala ay nagpipinta sa harapan ng motor. Bakit kailangang nasa likod ang tutok ng camera? ‘Yung eksena rin na nagpalit si Megan ng damit to surprise Shia, kailangan pang ipakita na ibinaba n’ya ang pantalon at panandaliang sayaran ng camera ang kanyang white panty. Ito naman ay comment lang. Hindi talaga ako nagrereklamo.

4. Muntik na akong mag-walk out d’un sa parang dream sequence ni Shia na kausap n’ya ang (ano ba ‘yung mga ‘yun?) robot gods. Sabi nga ni Mr. Fu, “May gan’un?” After that scene, na-realize nating mga moviegoers na ang matrix of leadership thingy pala ay hindi talaga thing kundi something intangible. T*ng ina! Oooops, excuse my French, monsieur.

5. Pero ang pinakamalaking pagkakamali ng “Transformers 2” ay ang kawalan ng love scene nina Shia at Megan. Hindi realistic, isoli ang bayad! How could that be? I understand na nakakawala ng gana kapag siguro mga robots and machines ang nasa paligid mo but that’s relative. Puwede ring analogy na wala silang pinagkaiba sa mga robot na hindi nagko-copulate. Nasa Egypt ka, parang remote masyado ang lugar na kahit mag-ingay ka ay walang bearing, you only have clear sky and the stars, at alam mong malapit nang mag-end of the world dahil sa mga alien, papalampasin mo pa ba ang pagkakataon? Eh kung si Megan Fox ang girlfriend mo eh baka nga hindi ka na mag-college in the first place.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Movie Digest # 060

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, June 4, 8:10pm

A complete guide to horror movies of the 80’s! At some point, you have to be born yesterday to fully appreciate the wit, gore and the campiness of the film. It’s swell, swell fun on the outside but definitely shallow underneath. The experience is like trying out a horror house at Star City and just like in any theme park attraction, it would be best if you were going to enjoy this with friends (or as first movie date). It is technically well made (musical score, make-up, production design, etc.) and well acted. It undeniably puts Sam Raimi back to his comfort zone but that’s about it.

Friends who might appreciate it: our dear congressmen.

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 9, June 6, 3:00pm

This film was a Cinemalaya 2008 finalist and now enjoying a theatrical run at Robinsons Galleria for those who missed it at CCP. It tells a story of a neighborhood that may look clustered on the outside but actually distant. Things change when a fetus (named “Baby Angelo” by the landlady) is found in the garbage. The stories of the tenants start to unravel as a casual inquiry pursues. Concept-wise, the film is very promising and very Filipino. Visuals are also good, especially with the stills. Perhaps the problem for me is the stories and the way those are told. It’s either uninteresting or just plain exhausting.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish to be dragged (ooops, wrong film).

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 7, June 12, 12:20pm

This is the fifth film in the Sine Direk series and this time, the director in focus is Maryo J. delos Reyes. “Kamoteng Kahoy” is based on a true story in Bohol about a mass food poisoning that killed hundreds of grade school students caused by “kakanin” (sweetmeats) that has pesticide on it. The film tackles the grief, redemption and healing of the people involved. It stars Gloria Romero as the “kakanin” vendor, Nash Aguas, a survivor, and a supporting cast that includes Ana Capri, Anton Bernardo, Marisa Sanchez and Gerald Madrid. For sure, the film captures the bucolic atmosphere. It’s also well acted and well characterized. Since it’s a melodrama, melodramatic scenes are expected. And the film suffers from having lots of it. Other than that, the film is decent enough.

Friends who might appreciate it: banana cue lovers.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 2, June 16, 8:50pm

Past the initiative of putting Denzel Washington and John Travolta (along with John Turturro and James Gandolfini) in one project, the film is just another highjack movie. A bit entertaining at times but John Travolta’s overacting is a minus. Not to mention that the proposed resolution is anti-climactic and too simple. The saving grace perhaps is the idea that links stock market money to a crime held in big cities like New York.

Friends who might appreciate it: MRT/LRT passengers.

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 9, June 6, 3:00pm

Ned Trespeces directs this other Cinemalaya 2008 finalist about the call center industry. The film tells five different stories of call center agents as they go with the flow and go against the tides. Though the direction is very, very raw and amateurish, some scenes look real and poignant. This includes the “dyahe” erection scene inside the car, the team lead mingling with her staff in celebration of a promotion, the longest hold-up sequence I have seen and one of that characters’ longing for an escapade. I like the way the film ends with a scene on the beach (in Boracay, to be exact). It shows the contrast of a mechanical life and a liberating life that is close to nature.

Friends who might appreciate it: cleverness and humor aside, call center agents.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Joel Salvador’s Flyback Gig at Dayo Bar

More pics here. And videos here, here and here.

Nope, I’m not discussing the gig in details but instead, here are the things that happened on our way to Dayo Bar and some post mortem stuff:

1. Plan was for the couple that was celebrating their 6th monthsary to join a Greenbelt 5 dinner with Kristine, Mel and Julie. A conference call hindered that which also dragged me to stay for a little while and for Benjie to make it to the cut. Joey had to send Jen back to the apartment.

2. At 8pm-ish, Jaejay, Linel, Benjie and I were off to Greenbelt 1, specifically at Wendy’s. We had burgers and Jaejay almost finished Linel’s share. Mel, Kristine and Julie, still full they said, came along. Julie left after some photo-op.

3. On our way to Joey’s place to pick him up, we started calling Becca and Neo who were in Shangri-La Plaza. That was close to 9pm, I guess. Neo took a cab already, heading to High Street, I heard. We had to convince Becca to join us so we gave her a call wherein each passenger on Jaejay’s Batch Mobile had to plead.

4. We picked up Joey along JP Rizal at past 9pm while we were still on a call with Becca. Joey joined the fun and asked Becca, “Bakit ba nagpapatawag ka pa, ha?” Laughter.

5. The call lasted up to the part when we actually had Becca on Jaejay’s Batch Mobile. Off we went to locating Dayo Bar in allegedly Rosario Drive.

6. Mark and Kath, who cannot find the bar minutes before we reached Quezon City, gave up and left the area. Our story was slightly different. We looked for the place along Rosario Drive, which Becca found the area a little creepy. I have to agree as I always notice the place’s strange silence everytime I visit the Titus Brandsma Center at Acacia St.

7. Though we asked for a direction to some folks at Betty Go Belmonte, we found the bar accidentally. We turned right at Aurora Boulevard and made a left in one of the streets to go back to Betty Go Belmonte which is a one-way street on the other side. Before reaching back the MRT station, we found Dayo Bar on the left, right in front of a Dialysis Center.

8. Since we had a rough time finding the place, the girls looked tired already when we were about to get in. Things changed when Joel showed up to say “hi”. I remember Becca to be too enthusiastic with the entrance fee on that moment.

9. We (exclude Mel, Kristine, Linel and Jaejay) had some bottles of Red Horse, two plates of prawn cracker and another plate of cheese sticks. At least two or three bands performed before Chicosci.

10. While waiting for Joel’s flyback performance, we stormed the cozy area on the other side of the bar where some of the band members were chilling out. We spotted Joel with his iPod (?) on and made a stir by having some fan pictures. Quoting Mel, “Rock on!” And Becca, “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaali ako d’yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” from nowhere. Joey was the scene stealer though.

11. We had fun. Thanks to the bands, to Joel Salvador, of course, the noise and the not so unusual mix of Jaejay’s Batch Mobile passengers. We were daring Mel to explore the north by leaving her in the area. She declined, of course.

12. First stop was at Greenbelt 1 to pick up Mel’s car. We were chasing time to reach the parking lot as a 3am deadline was imposed. Mel finally got her car back and off we parted ways. Second stop was my place and Joey’s at JP Rizal corner Pililia. On our way there, along Makati Avenue heading to Mandaluyong and nearing JP Rizal, Joey, perhaps tipsy and sleepy, quipped innocently, “Kuya, kaliwa na tayo d’yan!” Again, laughter.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bernal Night 2009

There was a not-so-big event held at Mag:Net Café in Katipunan in commemoration of the 13th death anniversary of Ishmael Bernal, one of our national artists for cinema. It was hosted by Cinekatipunan.MOV.

Bands include, in order of performance, Biscochong Halimaw, Sanity Kit, The Discoball and Itchyworms. Each band sang a minimum of three songs, highlighted of course by Itchyworms' "Beer". And what a way to spend the night with three bottles of San Mig Light, a plate of calamares right in my favorite spot in the resto (it's beside the bar where the sound control is installed).

The other deal on that evening was my purchase of a "Batang West Side" mug. I'll be drinking Lav Diaz soon and more frequently.

More pics here and the Itchyworms' "Beer" video here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lengthy Notes From a Commotion

This year’s French Film Festival at the Shangri-la Cineplex is probably the denouement of an existing but more often than not overlooked struggles of every Filipino cineaste with humiliation, poor customer appreciation, mismanagement and the lack of communication between the organizer and the cinema staff. Same shit happens everytime a film festival is held at the Shang. No wonder film buffs always end up with less catch and more exasperation.


For more than 15 movies in the line-up, I only caught two Frenchies (“Un Secret” and “Home”) and a screening of three Filipino short films (“Andong”, “Sabongero” and “Manong Maong”) and one feature length (“Independencia”).

“Un Secret” tells a story of a young man’s sad past with his family. It traces the horrors of war, the Jews, the Nazis and the healing that comes after. It’s beautifully directed and acted and for me, it’s a film that could as far as an Oscar Best Foreign Language film. The flashbacks are in color while the present, in black and white. One key scene reminds me of the Meryl Streep movie “Sophie’s Choice”. It stars one of my favorite French actresses Ludivine Sagnier. I can compare the concept of “Home” to another French film called “March of the Penguins”. It shows snapshops/videos of the Earth from a bird’s eye view and creates a story out of it as narrated by Glenn Close. The images are overpowering, capturing the photography buff in me in awe.

I’m not really a fan of shorts but after watching “Andong” and “Sabongero”, it awakened an interest in me. “Andong” tells a tender story of a young kid in Payatas who is in torn between spending up his earning on a raffle ticket that could win him a color TV and his little brother’s penchant for a fancy necklace. Perhaps the short film’s biggest assets are its two main young actors. They’ve got raw acting talent and striking screen presence. “Sabongero” made a fuss recently for making it to Cannes Film Festvial along with “Kinatay”, “Independencia” and “Manila”. Set in Cebu, it’s a tale about a cockfighting addict, his wife and his rooster. The best part of the film is perhaps its twist. It’s just fascinating that a film as short as 15 minutes can tell an excellent story. "Manong Maong" is a 5-minute film that documents the adventures of a walking, err, blue jeans.


As a background, Shangri-la Cineplex’s policy on ticketing is that they release tickets two hours before a screening (12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm and 8pm). Since the films are hot, long queues are expected. For instance, the staff even suggested that while a film showing is ongoing, you could just leave the theater, queue for the next film then come back. Some are practicing this just to do film marathons. The other option is to be a chance watcher but chances are, the ushers would not respect your plan to watch the film from the very beginning.

It was during the queueing for Raya Martin’s “Independencia” when the commotion happened at the box office area. Three hours before the release of tickets, film buffs started to queue. That’s 3pm for a release of tickets at 6pm and for a screening at 8pm. I actually loved the atmosphere in the area. I was being surrounded by a big group of film fanatics. They gave the tickets at 6pm as scheduled but suddenly came to a halt. It was announced that only 50 tickets will be released and that set the rest of the queue, including me, in fury. Raya Martin and his crew explained that a big chunk of tickets was already given out to friends and relatives and that it was a miscommunication between the organizer and the cinema management much to the crowd’s dismay. People started to get mad and to settle this, it was decided that an extra 150 tickets would be doled out. I was glad that I stayed in the queue.

These things happen everytime a film festival is held at the Shangri-la. I don’t get it why an early release of tickets is not carried out. Only film buffs can make an effort to go a cinema the earliest he can and again, I don’t understand why he can’t deserve a ticket or two. Is the idea to avoid having film marathons? And that we should settle for just one movie or two a day and let others enjoy the other films? I simply don’t get it.


To Shangri-la Cineplex, here are my suggestions to improve your system. First, do not limit the release of tickets to a schedule. If film buffs want it, give it to them. They deserve it. This would avoid long queues that could disturb the other patrons and that film buffs can also enjoy your other movies while killing time. For those who ran out of tickets, they should come early to the cinema area and queue. Here’s the deal: those who already have tickets should be allowed an entry 10 minutes prior to the screening. If late, he should just queue as chance watcher. Ten minutes would be enough time to settle seats for those who miss getting a ticket and for the latecomers. Of course, the other option, which I also prefer, is to charge a negligible amount to the ticket (say, P50). It won’t hurt if the money goes to struggling filmmakers, scriptwriters or film scholars.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

As Freeing As “Independencia”

Stitched photos are taken from the film's trailer in this YouTube video.

I was one of the lucky few who caught the free screening of Raya Martin’s “Independencia” at the Shang last Independence Day. It was part of the whole day tribute by the French Embassy to the Filipino films who made it to Cannes Film Festival. Needless to say, the opus was a finalist in Un Certain Regard (Wikipedia translates this as “a certain outlook”) category, a first for a Filipino film.

Let me have a disclaimer here. “Independencia” was the first Raya Martin film that I watched, or better yet, experienced. I had the chance to catch his “Maicling pelicula nañg ysañg Indio Nacional” during the 2006 Rotterdam Film Festival but the programming was too impossible (I was in Utrecht then, 45 minutes away from the festival proper). I always missed the Mogwai screening of “Autohystoria” and “Now Showing” while Cinemanila 2008’s crazy schedule (or was it laziness?) made me miss “Next Attraction”.

For a first Raya Martin film, it was overwhelming for me. For sure, a film artist is born in him with this latest work.

“Independencia” begins at the turn of the century, when we were about to be invaded by the Americans. The first sequence gallantly boasts of an impressive production design and costume shot in black and white. It shows an ensemble of barrio folks in the advent of war. Bombings are booming everywhere. Amidst the impending chaos, a mother and her son (Tetchie Agbayani and Sid Lucero) are seen packing their belongings. They went through the jungle, settled in an abandoned nipa hut and started a living. They took care of an abused woman (Alessandra de Rossi) who is left alone in the forest and considered her as part of the family. The mother died, probably because of sickness, and the woman and the son became a couple who later on was gifted with a son (Mika Aguilos). As the family made their way to survive the serenity and isolation of their nest, they were bound to be chained again with violence, sickness, fear and eventually death.

The first thing I declared after watching the film is that Raya Martin, only 24, has the eye for visuals. Not most of our current Filipino directors, indie or not, have that gift. Recreating the look and feel of the time through costume, hair, make-up, music and the like is definitely one of the superior achievements of “Independencia”. Not to mention the speaking lines that are both minimal and believable. I have a feeling that our dear ancestors are smiling on their graves for giving this generation some snippets of the air they once breathed.

Acting is also a feat in the film. I’m wondering what Vilma Santos is feeling right now after rejecting the role that eventually went to Tetchie Agbayani. All the actors deliver in the film; from the young Mika Aguilos to Alessandra de Rossi’s controlled body language to Sid Lucero’s sustained pathos and Tetchie Agbayani’s powerful eye expression. Superlative.

There may be an absence of clearcut storytelling in “Independencia” but I guess that’s the price of enjoying a Raya Martin film. It sometimes feels like a prolonged short film. And the cardboard backdrop reminds me of Lars Von Trier’s ideology in “Dogville” and “Manderlay”. It doesn’t tell exactly what the deal is all about, how the turn of events can be interpreted as a local soap opera’s take on enduring the tides and embracing the light at the end of the tunnel. Is it about having an elusive independence? Is it just about a foretaste on the lives of the Filipinos back then? Is it about paying the cost of living away from war? Is it about the forest? It is grim and grim as it can be. It’s also anti-climactic. Forget the thought that you can relate with the characters. They are natural but they are living in a different time capsule.

My initial take was that Raya Martin needs a good scriptwriter to pinpoint the point. But then again, I also realized that it’s part of the whole experience and that the director’s magnificence is beyond an obvious storyline. “Independencia” is as freeing as whether you extremely like it or extremely dislike it. And that the freedom in me is shouting that I would always want to crave more of Raya Martin’s many versions of truth.

Hijo de PETA

Last Wednesday, June 10, I came to (and conquered) another Playboy night (still at Zenses). It was a press con for their June issue with Mia Gray on the cover (but she wasn’t around). Ms. Gray happens to be a PETA supporter. PETA (check out, or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, for those who don’t know yet, is an international organization that protects the rights of the animals. Advertised in a magazine supplement that was distributed that night, a humane rat catcher is for sale for a few dollars. It looks like a little plastic dollhouse with one side of the roof containing a one-way spot. I just don’t know how you’re going to dispose of the catch. Anyway, their advocacy can be taken as a reminder to people to become and stay vegetarian.

As expected, two bunnies were waiting at the pictorial wall. Jeman mentioned that one was pure Aussie while the other, Romanian. They were joined by a bevy of beautiful ladies on their party-on get-up. Let me refresh my memory: Aya, Bridgette, Joy and Weng. I am not sure if all of them are PETA supporters but for sure, the one in lettuce two-piece dress was vegetarian. She reminded me of Bessie, a character in Ricky Lee’s “Para Kay B” (the “B” there stands for Bessie). I liked her simply because she made me connect the essence of fleshing out and the anti-flesh (read: meat). She later on transformed into an angel serving veggie finger food (fried tofu was so heavenly good) then a policewoman complete with handcuffs and a baton (perhaps to catch naughty people). By the way, Alicia Meyer, also a PETA enthusiast, was there.

I tagged along a buddy from my first job (and from there, he invited another buddy that we both know). Meet Rory and Mau. I haven’t seen them for quite a long time now. I saw Rory (also a photograhpy buff) at a badminton game with some colleagues a year back. With Mau, I think the last time I got a glimpse of him was during my last day on my first job (we’re talking about close to ten years now). They are both booze buddies and that Playboy event was euphoria to say the least.

The evening was spent most of the time standing in one corner, bottom’s upping Jack Daniels or a beer and having a catching-up conversation with the guys. We talked about work, their drinking venue, family, trips and how worthless Hayden Kho is. We were, of course, distracted when Aya or Joy or Weng passed by and distraction meant having a picture or two with them. Just refer to some evidence below.

More pics here.

I had another great time with the Playboy family (big thanks to them, again and again and sorry for the not-so-late posting, hehehe). I’m not really a fan of vegetables but the event made me rethink of doing something drastic someday about the food I take. Maybe when life begins at 40, we’ll see.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Isang Bed Weather na Sabado

Wala lang, para catchy lang ang title. This has nothing to do with being naughty and stuff. Ayun, kahit maulan at mas masarap makinig sa Energy FM (hay, pangga!) habang nakahiga at nagbabasa ng libro ay lumabas pa rin ako ng apartment.

Around a little past 11 in the morning when I hit the road (puwede namang sabihin ‘to kahit commute lang, di ba?). Nag-Guadalupe Ilalim ako na jeep. Sa kahabaan ng JP Rizal, aba eh hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit hindi yata pumepreno si manong driver n’ung papalapit kami sa isang kanto. Nasa harapan pa naman ako nakaupo! Ayun, bumangga ang jeep sa isang bangketa at tumuloy pa sa isang jeep na papalabas ng kanto. Nawalan daw s’ya ng brake. It’s good na mabagal lang ang takbo. I almost backed out. I thought that this could be a premonition that I won’t enjoy the rest of the day, that I should just lie down in bed and cuddle my pillows.

Pero I went on to enjoy the following:

1. “Un Secret” sa French Film Festival, 12:30pm

Definitely a good way to start the film fest. Nagustuhan ko ang memoirs/not-another-haunting-film-about-Nazis na ito. Dito ko na nga nakalimutan ‘yung aksidente kanina sa jeep. I’ll just compile the Frechies to another blog. I won’t say a thing more about the film for now. Sa Shangri-la Cineplex pala ito ginawa.

2. “Baby Angelo” sa IndieSine, 3:00 pm

Just like “Un Secret”, I’ll just include this in my usual Movie Digest blog. I went to Robinsons Galleria from Shang by cab. I had 45 minutes to cinema-hop/mall-hop kaya di na ako sumugal mag-commute. Ang reward ko naman dito sa mall ay ‘yung Dulce de Leche na slice ng cake sa Red Ribbon. Plus brewed coffee (wow, one week yata akong nagkakape!). Nakita ko rin si Hubes sa isang escalator na parang nagmamadali pero di ko tinawag. Parang may dalang laptop bag.

3. Anticipated Mass at Edsa Shrine, 5:30pm

I know that I should have not included this in the list here. I just want to note that the recent turn of events in the Congress made me revisit this iconic church. The priest, though indirectly, mentioned about greed and that’s good enough for me to feed my spirit.

4. Longsilog and Halo-Halo Stop sa Halo-Halo Heaven, 7:30pm

From Robinsons Galleria, commute ulit. I took a bus to Cubao then walked through Farmer’s then Gateway. Nakita ko pa si Arian G kasama ang kanyang nanay. Nagmamadali raw ako. True. Since commute (LRT2 then lakad), hahanapin ko pa kasi ‘yung venue ng Blind Haikus sa kahabaan ng Xavierville. Di pala ganun kalapit ang 63-B na nasa tapat ng Belcap. I was sweating by then kahit na hindi mainit. Tapos nakita ko ‘tong Halo-Halo Heaven na maliit lang na resto pero sobrang cool ng mga posters nila. I tried their Batotaysilog which is just your usual longsilog. Galing pang Cabanatuan ‘yung sausage at pwedeng makipag-espadahan ang lasa sa Lucban longganisa. P90 lang ang isang serving. Dahil naintriga ako r’un sa halo-halo nila na “may surprise sa ilalim”, I tried it, too. As the poster claims, leche flan is home made tapos ‘yung ube ay Good Shepherd’s. Suwabe rin ‘yung yelo nila, Chowking quality at hindi ‘yung old school na parang nabubuo. P70 naman ang isang serving d’un sa malaking baso at parang P39 ‘yung maliit. Best part syempre ‘yung “surprise” na slices ng chewy pastillas de leche, complete with sugarcoat. Heaven nga!

5. “Blind Haikus” ng Actors' Pleygrawnd sa Tomato Bomb HQ, 8pm

Isa ito sa mga events na nalaman ko sa tulong ng Facebook. Met Emman dela Cruz there and we briefly talked about the event and affiliations. He knows Titus and glad that it sealed the movie addiction in us. Medyo maliit lang ang Tomato Bomb HQ. Kamukha ito ng ibang inuman na merong resto sa ibaba then another space sa itaas. Sa second floor ang recital. Isa itong rectangular space na nakapalibot ang mga upuan sa tabi. The center is obviously the stage. Walang fancy lighting maliban sa mga ilaw n’ung bar. Si Soliman Cruz na nasa audience ang nagdirek at kasali sa mga “graduating students” ang magkapatid na sina Nathan Lopez (of “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” fame) and his twin brother Gamy. Mga 20 to 30 people siguro kaming nanood. Mahirap i-describe kung ano ‘yung form ng performing arts ang pinakita nila. Minsan, para itong bahagi ng workshop kung saan isa-isang lalabas ang mga aktor at tatawa lahat, iiyak lahat, magiging lolo lahat at magsa-shagidi-shagidi-shapopo. In between these acts, there’s a short rendition of lines from the works of Pete Lacaba, Rolando Tinio and more. If there are short films, the renditions are probably the stage play equivalent. They also did intrepretations to some songs like Joey Ayala’s “Walang Hanggang Paalam” and the Beatles’ “All We Need is Love”. ‘Yan naman ang masasabi kong free verse in motion. All in all, I had a great time. Kakaibang adventure, bagong trip. To ufo workshoppers and mentors, kudos and break a leg on this new dimension.

More pics here and a video here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Claim to Fame, Part 2

Just yesterday, I checked out only to find out an article about Angel Locsin doing a remake of Ishmael Bernal - Ricky Lee - Nora Aunor masterpiece "Himala" (1982). It was a fascinating read though personally, I feel like the film should not be remade for it not to lose its sanctity. But for immortality's sake, why not?

That's actually beside the point of this claim to fame thing. Last week (Sunday, May 31, to be exact), I camcorded Angel Locsin reading an excerpt and have it posted on my YouTube account and later on posted the link on my Facebook and Multiply.

I was surprised to see a reference in the article about a particular video on Youtube on which it elicited a good comment from a certain "ymstel".

The comment happens to be quoted from my YouTube account. Here's a proof:

And the video, now garnering a whopping 1,841 goodness gracious views.

I've got nothing more to prove or disprove here. I like Angel Locsin but I'm not a huge fan (though I am still in search of that Rogue December issue). I was actually flabbergasted with the attention the video is getting and the comments, constructive or not, that come with it. Oh well, Manuel. Just wishful thinking that this claim to fame might at least get Miss Locsin's attention and add me as a friend in Facebook (which has been pending for a quite a while now). Sigh.
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