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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pinoyism # 003: Lalake sa Bintana

Imagine a scene in the office conference room on 16th floor. It was formal and a bit wordy. Then suddenly all of your colleagues are staring at the window behind you. You look and chance upon your friendly window cleaner, busy and not minding a thing at all. It's not bad for an ice breaker! You would, at some point, envy his profession which is the closest he can get to sky diving.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mt. Pinatubo, Redux

As per my blog entry on our first trip to Mt. Pinatubo, below are the highlights of the trek last February 21:

1. We asked manong Jude’s help this time. He prepared a meal for us, booked a jeep to fetch us from Capas Junction and Capas Eco Lodge, registered our names in the center and primarily, the reservation of four 4x4’s. His complete name is Jude Lenon and he can be reached through +639208035647. His wife Maribel cooked our packed breakfast and lunch (costing P75 and P125 respectively). Their son is named Jude Jr. or to put it simply, June Lenon;

2. Instead of coming direct from Manila (bus fare at P150) then to Brgy. Sta. Juliana in Capas, we opted to stay overnight in a motel-like (with that not-so-familiar garage area) Capas Eco Lodge outside the town proper. We reached the place at close to midnight and left for Brgy. Sta. Juliana at 6am. Hot pandesal sold by a little boy was a way to start your day right. Overnight stay costs P500 for two with additional P100 for extra bed;

3. This time, we did not stay in the crater area, no camping whatsoever. We had to endure 2.5 hours of hike to the crater and back. Registration fee remains at P50 and guide fee, P500 for five trekkers;

4. From chocolate brown for our first trip, the lake boasted of emerald green this time. It was fascinating to just look at it and be mesmerized. Never mind that it was hot and sunblock application was a must;

5. I skipped the volcanic ash spa but I availed the P100 shower fee in the Korean-owned recreational area. This is due to time constraints as most of us queued in manong Jude’s bath room/toilet (no additional fee for the water); and

6. We spent a total of P1,625 each. This includes bus fare (round trip), 4x4 ride, breakfast and lunch, registration and guide fees, and the jeep rental. Surely we had a great time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hanna Schmitz in "The Reader"

The film mirrors a woman as an object of affection of a young man in war era Germany. She may not be intelligent (she is illiterate, to be exact) but she knows how to make her man’s summer to be the most memorable one. I have to note that the film is not exactly spotlighted to the woman. It’s a coming-of-age film, particularly about a boy who found love on his teenage years and the impact of the unlikely relationship to his life. Movie peg in mind: “Malena”.

To acquaint the audience with a story that ranges a wide timeframe, “The Reader” is told in episodes. First part is an unusual boy-meets-girl stage. Most of it are R18-rated, something that would remind mainstream viewers of Kate Winslet’s sketching scene in “Titanic”. The second part is seen as the boy’s college years (he’s now studying law). This is where he was reunited, though from a far, with his ladylove who is now an aging woman. Kate Winslet is being tried for participation in mass killings during the Nazi period.

There are a lot of things to like about the film. Even the R18 scenes are done tastefully and very integral to the story. There’s no way the MTRCB should mess up the film. The gist of a coming-of-age film is also evident, a reminder that “first love never dies”. Then there’s the great Kate Winslet who hands down deserves to win the Oscar race for Best Actress. Never mind the full frontal but her rendition of the aging character being tried is for the books. Meryl Streep is also good in “Doubt” but my heart goes to Miss Winslet.

Just this afternoon, I happened to browse the latest issue of Time Magazine with Kate on the cover. The feature title reads “Best Actress”. It goes on to explain why she is the best actress of her generation. Hopefully, the Academy agrees with the article.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

The woman in this film has another face, somebody who can get rid of the past and get rid of it with a bang. She found her new self, literally and figuratively, in front of Tiffany’s (in case you’re not aware yet, a jewelry shop) along 5th Ave in New York having sandwich for breakfast. She’s a kick-ass and will do anything to meet her dreams face-to-face. She reminds me of Brigitte Lin in Wong Kar Wai's "Chungking Express" (but I guess it should be other way around). The very frame of Audrey Hepburn wearing her famous little black dress and pearls while window-shopping describes what the film, her journey, will be all about.

She met a guy. She partied. She flirted. She hushed a Japanese neighbor. She was revisited by the past. She got away with it. She earned not so decent money. She fell in love. But she was lost and decided to marry a wealthy guy. She was dumped. And she kicked her cat (generically named “cat”) out of her apartment. She got her control back. She fell in love. And she got her cat back.

I thought that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is your usual kilig film, a chick flick, a Star Cinema movie of the era. What I had was a talky film, starring a really pretty actress named Audrey Hepburn. I can imagine that the original Capote novel could be dark and less glossy (thanks to his “In Cold Blood” and the film bio starring the great Philip Seymour Hoffman) as compared to the film adaptation. Maybe at some point, Hollywood has already romanticized the material but, for sure, the film remains cerebral at times.

Aside from the happy ending, the only other tender contribution of the film is Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” score/theme song. But what’s the connection between the Mississippi River and New York City?

On a side note, I have to commend Power Plant Cinemas for coming up with a unique and timely mini-film festival. Hopefully, this is just the first of a series.

Babae, Holly Golightly, Hanna Schmitz

Photo is taken by my Facebook buddy Jojit Lorenzo, a stage, TV and movie actor and a brilliant photographer. Check out his photoblog at

I am just thinking of how to best put into one blog series a play and two movies that I have seen for the last two weekends. Since I’m not really a fan of short entries, I came up with the common denominator between the three: women. And since it’s the love season, why not romanticize the object of every seducer’s code “warm heart, cold mind” as a way of paying tribute to all the Eves out there.

Babae in "Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?"

In this PETA play by Tony Perez (of the Cubao series and Spirit Questors fame), women are pictured as decisive and thinking individuals. The complex and perplexing play is part of a trilogy about love (the other two are “Oktubre, Noong Tayo’y Nagmamahalan Pa” and “Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko Ay Mahal Kita” which I haven’t seen or read yet). Though the material deals primarily with schizophrenia (which, figuratively, every lover should suffer), it has a small plot of three characters, two males and a female who are best of friends. During college, the two guys loved the girl who had to choose who would be the lucky one. She thought that whoever gives her the most symbolic birthday gift would become her boyfriend. The other guy gave her a big set of Kisses while the other, the one she chose, gave her a piggy bank. After years of marriage, the lucky gentleman went to work abroad and later on closed the communication with his wife. The wife then turned into the other guy’s company and ended up being impregnated. This is the same timeframe wherein the lucky gentleman, after a long hiatus, returned to his wife, his pregnant wife. The other guy let the wife choose. She chose her husband for the simple reason that he is her husband. The other guy left.

And the audience heard a gunshot from a closed door. A new pair was introduced. Almost the same treatment to the first woman but this time, it looked like everything was in limbo. Everything was not clear. The other girl seemed to be the granddaughter of the first couple. With her was another guy. Based on their conversation, their pairing up was forced or out of consent. This blurry part made me think and think big time. This part of the play got me hooked.

After more exposition, the last act revealed that everything was just a product of schizophrenia. The other guy did not commit suicide but opted to work abroad. He even agreed to keep this identity as the father of the woman’s child. He suffered a lot but moved on.

OK. The synopsis itself is hard to summarize. What more the fireworks of symbols that its director Nonon Padilla (probably, the best theater director we have around, of the same reverence with Dulaang UP’s Jose Estrella) had devised. Personally, I love the poetry of it all. Imagine, they put a mini-pool underneath the stage to represent “water under the bridge”. One of the scenes required the lucky gentleman to submerge into the water. This served as his healing, as he “crossed the bridge” of sanity. Then there’s the main “woman” who was wearing a funny looking flower costume and some stunts that may not be easy to digest. A Q&A segment was included in the whole play experience as most of the students in the audience made their room to clarify issues that puzzled them.

I congratulated Nonon Padilla after the play. I told him that he is the reason why I support the Philippine theater scene. He is such a genius. Hopefully, the stage keeps him until his Clint Eastwood days.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pinoyism # 002: Counter Strike Barber Shop

Aksidente ko lang nakita 'to habang naghahanap ng turo-turo sa may Evangelista. Akala ko n'ung una eh internet cafe pero nope, barber shop lang talaga s'ya. The sign says "For Men 'n 4 Kidz". Hindi ko na lang tinanong kung magkano ang pagupit pero hopefully eh walang patayang magaganap sa buhok ng sinumang magpapagupit.

Texas Smoke 'Em, Audrey Hepburn and my Eraserheads: The Final Set Shirts

Introducing, the shirt that I will be wearing on Eraserheads: The Final Set concert on March 7 in MOA grounds. I got the idea from an online buddy's buddy (check out his Multiply account at The design, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is a play on Eheads' Natin99 album. I got it at their outlet in Evangelista St., Brgy. Bangkal. The building is called Auro-vir and stall number is G13. To easily locate the place, look for the BDO branch along Evangelista. If you're coming from EDSA, the building should be on your right. They close at 6:30pm.

Rounding up my week: Wednesday dinner with officemate Jaejay Po at Ray and Pete's Texas Smoke 'Em with a hearty serving of a sampler platter (ribs, chicken and sausage), this was followed by watching "Valkyrie" (a send-off for his Mrs. Boss moments in the Land Down Under), Friday lunch was spent with Eraserheads shirt shopping. In the afternoon was a by-request serenade to officemates (Neo was sung with a Ne-Yo song while Erik Tan, with "Single Ladies"). A piece of heart-shaped donut from Krispy Kreme came after. Evening was dinner with Lunchmates (less Pipe) at Tokyo, Tokyo in Power Plant Mall. We capped the night with an Audrey Hepburn film ("Breakfast at Tiffany's) which was soooooooo.... never mind.

(Clockwise, from top left: Texas Smoke 'Em, Neo being serenaded, Krispy Kreme, Audrey Hepburn Film Festival signage, interior of Tokyo, Tokyo, and another Eraserheads: The Final Set shirt (post-concert get-up, hehehe))

Things # 008: Bose Service Center Black Bag

I finally got the cranky SoundDock II from Bose Service Center in Connecticut (a street in Greenhills, pun intended para sosy) last Monday. For only 15 minutes of having it played, something malfunctioned and I had it repaired. Thanks to its one-year warranty. Anyway, when I was fetching it, the speaker was handed to me in a velvety black bag. I even reminded the staff that it wasn't my bag and he informed me that it's for free, part of the service (a good one, to be precise). Its string is reminiscent of a saint's belt that you can see inside the church or households. The full effect (velvet and that string) is very Nazareno.

Pinoyism # 001: Sakana Sushi

Kelan na lang kaya? Sige na nga, bukas na lang ako magsu-sushi, adobo na lang muna. Saw this Japanese restaurant along Connecticut St. in Greenhills. Wala lang, cute lang. I'm not sure kung mabenta 'yung place pero parang marami namang naka-park sa harapan. Sakana Sushi o now na?

Movie Digest # 053

Glorietta 4, Cinema 7, February 3, 8:20pm

One word: funny. Not the slapstick kind but not “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine” either. If you dig Jose Javier Reyes’ wit (read: Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata), the film is a must-see. Paolo Contis’ character is the director resurrected: supportive of his friends, a wisecracking buddy and an observant.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who are single (and sexy).

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 3, February 4, 6:50pm

Filmmaking-wise, it’s above average. Acting is also over the top. The thing is: I don’t feel like I was watching a film. For me, it’s just a play shot on location. The only scenes that make it cinematic are the visual representation of gossip as part of the sermon and the strong wind in the scene with Meryl Streep and Viola Davis (both are Oscar-nominated).

Friends who might appreciate it: those who are not sure what to watch (pun intended).

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 4, February 4, 8:40pm

I like the film. It’s one of those biopics that don’t lengthily tackle birth to death but just highlights of Harvey Milk’s career as an activist turned politician. Aside from the good material, the film is also a visual feast as it recreates the 70’s era. It blinds what’s CGI and a film stock or news clips. Except for Diego Luna, the rest of the cast deliver. Judging by the film itself, it deserves the Oscar Best Pic (and Best Actor for Sean Penn).

Friends who might appreciate it: coffee, tea and milk drinkers alike (again, pun intended).

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, February 5, 8:45pm

For sure, you’ve seen films with similar devise before (“21 Grams”, “Traffic”, etc.): complex and non-linear storytelling. The film starts to make sense 10 minutes before the ending. By then, you may already be tired of the whole journey. Personally, I don’t get Will Smith’s character in the movie. I find him unrealistic and too anti-life. His belief, even more questionable. The whole plot suggests something that can only be found in a novel. Acting is from average to unremarkable.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who can provide a one-page explanation on what the title is all about.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, February 10, 8:05pm

As a film, there’s nothing much to expect. You can treat it as one of those big starred Hollywood popcorn films, glossy and easy to grasp. But consider that it’s an adaptation of a non-fiction book. It’s a true account of the author with his “worst dog in the world” named Marley. It’s my first time to watch a film that a dog is given equal screen time along with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, with a treatment that is not cute and too Disney.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who, at one time in their life, have petted a dog.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, February 11, 8:45pm

The thing with Brian Singer films is that it never alienates the audience without being too sell-out. Consider “Usual Suspects” or even his “X-Men” and “Superman Returns”. With “Valkyrie”, he devised a historical account into something pleasing to the popcorn crowd. The film may end up on a sad note (as if you’re not expecting it) but the way it was executed is worth the time.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who think that Bryan Singer leaving the X-Men film franchise is a bad idea.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Audrey Hepburn Film Festival at Power Plant Cinemas

Just saw the ad about this event in Philippine Star last weekend, alongside Eraserheads: The Final Set (which I cut out for keeps). This is a good alternative for Peter Cetera concert and the like. Not to mention that motels in Pasig and Sta. Mesa will create queues that could contribute to an already humongous traffic over the metro. Rockwell is somewhat a hands-down option. Movie and Som’s, not bad at all.

Below is the schedule. For more details (like, “Hey, can I propose to my girl after the movie?” or “May Jollibee ba na malapit sa sinehan?”), call (632) 898-1440 to 41.

Feb. 11 (Wednesday): 7PM - Breakfast at Tiffany’s / 9PM - Charade
Feb. 12 (Thursday): 7PM - Sabrina / 9PM - Paris When It Sizzles
Feb. 13 (Friday): 7PM - Funny Face / 9PM - Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Feb. 14 (Saturday): 7PM - Breakfast at Tiffany’s / 9PM - Roman Holiday
Feb. 15 (Sunday): 7PM - Roman Holiday / 9PM - Robin and Marian

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Isang Comprehension sa Krisis at Retrenchment

Since socially relevant (naks) naman ‘yung topic, let me share one familiar story:

One fine day, nag-decide si Felixberto na mag-abroad at iwanan ang Pilipinas. Nasa IT s’ya n’un sa isang bigating multi-national company (na nagbebenta ng sabon, shampoo at kung anu-ano pang nabibili sa sari-sari store). Ang resume n’ya ay nagsasabing matagal s’yang nagtrabaho sa isang leading bank, gamit ang mainframe. Hindi man s’ya ganap na handa o hindi lubusang kumpleto ang motivation (dahil wala naman s’yang pamilya o kapatid na pinapaaral), lumabas pa rin s’ya sa kanyang comfort zone at sumubok ng kapalaran sa Singapore. Ito’y sa udyok na rin na ang karamihan sa kanyang mga dating kaopisina ay matagumpay na ring nakikibaka sa City of Fines.

Taong 2001 noon nang umalis si Felixberto (buwan ng Hunyo to be exact). Maayos ang kanyang pagpasok sa Singapore kahit na ito ang kauna-unahang flight n’ya palabas ng Pilipinas. Relatively mataas ang suweldo at napaka-safe na option ng bansang kanyang pinili. Boom ang mainframe sa Singapore dahil isa itong financial hub sa Asia. Plano n’yang magtagal ng limang taon sa nasabing bansa.

Sa Singapore n’ya nasaksihan through CNN ang pagsabog ng World Trade Center sa New York. Ang unang hinala n’ya ay aksidente lamang ito pero kumplikado pala. Biniro pa n’ya ang kanyang mga kaibigan sa Pinas tungkol sa kaganapan. Hindi n’ya alam ang hatid na kumplikasyon nito.

Isang araw ng December, 2001 pa rin, tila may kakaiba sa ayos ng mga planeta. Para kay Felixberto, ito’y isang regular na araw lamang. Matamlay ang kanyang mga kaopisina subalit nakangiti pa rin sa ating bida kapag sila ay nagkakatinginan. Parang merong gustong sabihin, ‘yan ang impression ni Felixberto. Parang merong gustong sabihin pero hindi magawang sabihin.

Pasado alas-dos ng hapon nang tawagan si Felixberto ng kanyang boss mula sa telepono. Meron daw meeting sa isa sa mga silid doon. Pumasok si Felixberto at nakangiting sinalubong ang kanyang boss at ang boss ng kanyang boss. Mabilis ang mga pangyayari. Cost-cutting daw. “It’s hard to let you go but we have to do it.” Hindi pa agad na-absorb ni Felixberto ang mga pangyayari pero alam n’ya kung anong meron. Sinabi ng kanyang boss na kung kinakailangan daw ni Felixberto na hindi pumasok para mag-job hunt, wala raw silang problema rito. "Last-in, first-out" ang naging hatol.

Hindi na matandaan ni Felixberto kung paano pa lumipas ang sumunod na dalawang oras ng hapon na ‘yun. Malamang ay tinawagan n’ya ang kanyang nag-iisang kapatid na nasa New Zealand para ibalita ito. Malamang ay kinausap n’ya ang kanyang mga kaibigan. Pero ang lahat ng ito ay hindi na nag-sync in agad. Pinalipas na lang ni Felixberto ang gabi sa panonood ng “Monsters, Inc” sa Cine Leisure. Madilim ang pasilyo pabalik sa kanyang HDB flat at tila napakababa ng 16 floors para sa kanya.

Hindi madali ang kinaharap ni Felixberto. Nariyang nahiya s’yang sabihin sa kanyang mga kaibigan dahil ayaw na ayaw n’ya na kinakaawaan s’ya. Dito n’ya nakilala ang totoong kaibigan. Dito n’ya nakilala ang mga nagpapanggap lamang. Dito n’ya natagpuan ang kanyang sarili.

Inisip n’ya rin ang despedidang inihanda sa kanya ng mga kaibigan n’ya sa Pilipinas. Inisip n’ya ang hirit na pwede n’yang sabihin tungkol sa mga going-away gifts na ibinigay sa kanya. Tinanong n’ya ang Diyos kung bakit napabilis naman ang five years na sana ay panahon ng redemption na pinansyal at karagdagang work experience.

Christmas season pa naman n’un. Mabuti na lang at binisita s’ya ng kanyang kapatid at asawa nito bago tumulak patungong Canada. Nakaramdam nang kaunting Pasko, kahit papaano. Dito n’ya narinig ang pinakamabisang payo na narinig n’ya mula sa kanyang kuya, “Felixberto, God will provide.”

And God did fulfill that. Bumalik ng Pilipinas si Felixberto (matapos sumubok magyosi kahit konti). Hinarap ang mga dapat harapin. Nagtago sa pakpak ng kanyang mga magulang, humabi ng lakas at nagpakatatag. Bumawi sa mga dating kababata na nakalimutan n’yang kumustahin n’ung nasa kolehiyo. Dito s’ya nakatikim ng unang bakasyon dahil kahit n’ung matapos ang college, dumiretso agad s’ya sa pagiging empleyado.

Muling nag-umpisa si Felixberto. Bumangon, naghintay at nakaginto sa nakuha n’yang trabaho during his birth month. Taong 2002 ito. Sa Makati, dito sa Pilipinas. Unti-unting nagliwanag ang lahat. Nagkaroon ng sigla at naging ganap ang katotohanang hindi siya pababayaan ng Diyos. Nakakita ng bagong “pamilya” si Felixberto at hindi na s’ya umalis dito. Isang bagong yugto ang nabuksan.
Mga Tanong (quiz pala ito, hahaha):

1. Naging madali kaya kay Felixberto ang mga hirit o biro tungkol sa lay-off o retrenchment? Bakit?
2. Ano ang una mong gagawin kapag na lay off ka?
3. Sino ang unang taong babalitaan mo kapag nangyari ito?
4. Sa panahon ng depression, alam mo ba ang bagay na magpapasaya sa ‘yo?
5. Naniniwala ka ba na God will provide? Kung hindi pa, maniwala ka na.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Commuting Tagaytay

(Clockwise from top left: a tarragon, entrance to Adoration Chapel of the Divine Mercy, an al fresco table in Olivares Plaza, an ornament in Gourmet's Restaurant, flower along the path in Gourmet's Farm, Tagaytay pineapples and a tree in Picnic Grove/People's Park)

Why not? Got no car, got no extra moolah. Just my red backpack and that backpacking spirit. I was rewarded with another experience that borders from food to places and adventure.

OK. So first things first. I began the trip on a Saturday morning (as early as 8am) by having a breakfast at Jollibee near the MRT - Taft station (facing Taft, exit to the left side of EDSA). Behind the buildings on that area is a vast parking space for buses heading to Cavite. I took an Erjohn and Almark liner going to Nasugbu. Fare to Tagaytay costs P83 only.

I alighted at Olivares Plaza in Tagaytay City proper. Commuting to and from the city center is very easy. From Olivares Plaza (or from Silang, Cavite, to be more specific), the city forks into two directions. Consider the city landmark roundabout as the focal point. Turning left is the road that leads to the Picnic Grove/People's Park which would eventually bring you to Palace in the Sky. Turning right is heading to Mendez town, the same option where Residence Inn Zoo can be found, plus a long stretch of restos and and viewdecks. Jeepney fare minimums to P7.50 while a tricycle ride from the roundabout is a hefty 50 bucks.

My itinerary wasn't that Amazing Race-y. From Olivares Plaza, after much musing with a seemingly endless array of ukay-ukay finds (the second biggest collection after Baguio perhaps), I went to Gourmet's Restaurant for a heavy serving of panfried pork chop (German/Austrian-style) and potatoes. Capping the noon is a slice of blueberry cheesecake a cup of houseblend coffee. That was after completing a short 8-hectare guided tour in the farm with one of the staffs. I was introduced to herbs like tarragon and lettuces like the Lola Rosa variety. Tour fee costs P50.

Next stop is the house of the pink sisters. I had fried lumpiang gulay with vinegar along the way (a healthy street food). When looking for a place to stay for one night, the tricycle driver recommended a room for rent near the Picnic Grove/People's Park. I was going to that place anyway so I gave a damn. Rent ranges from P1,000 - P1,500 in that area, depending on your haggling skills. I think you can get a cheaper rate if you prefer a fan instead of an aircon which you won't be needing.

I can't remember how many times I've been to Picnic Grove/People Park but it seemed nothing has changed. They introduced a new set of fun stuff like zipline and cable car. A two-way ride for both costs P300 while one-way is P200. An extra P100 for souvenir picture on a wooden frame. Since I was already there, I tried the zipline amidst acrophobia and the cold breezy weather. I made the sign of the cross, of course, before hitting the ride. It drizzled at around 6pm. People in jeepneys and vans were already leaving. That's the time I had to get a cup of hot Nissin noodles, supreme beef flavor, and finished it while looking at the Taal Volcano that was starting to be eaten by dusk. Life at its best and most calming.

Dinner at RSM Lutong-Bahay with bulalo steak and mixed fresh veggies in oyster sauce. I was not aware of the resto until I asked a fruit vendor for the best bulalo place in town. She mentioned Leslie's and RSM. I tried the latter since it sounds less popular. After dinner, it's hard to get a jeepney ride back to Picnic Grove/People's Park area. Got no choice but to take a tricycle.

Nothing memorable in the morning except getting up early and enduring the morning breeze while waiting for a jeepney that was bound to Olivares Terminal. That completed my definitely definitive Tagaytay experience.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bolero Pebrero!

(Clockwise from topmost left: TSG Bigtime, a lonesome trash bin, a generic station (both taken at Lucena Grand Terminal), The Real Bank, chicken noodle soup and langka)

The most dreaded month (hahaha). Ito lang ‘yung month na may excuse ka na maging cheesy at corny about love. The Kapuso Month, so they say. But what’s wrong with love? Puwede namang love for the planet of love for movies. Maraming forms (yeah, right). The most difficult part is when asked who’s gonna be my Valentine. Which leads to another question like “May girlfriend ka na?” And when I said, “No, wala.” Next is “Tamang tama, may irereto ako sa ‘yo.”

A friend said that it’s unethical to ask “May asawa ka na?” I have to agree. Well, here in the Philippines, it’s not really a taboo. But for other countries, being single or married is not an issue so long as you’re doing your job well. Tsaka marami pang mas dapat problemahin like Gary Granada’s case against the GMA Kapuso Foundation (hahaha) or whether it’s agreeable that bikini is the greatest invention ever.

But what the heck. Matagal pa ang Feb 14. May apat pang movies this week na kaabang-abang (Milk, Doubt, Seven Pounds and Marley & Me). And the previous weekend was a nice blend of almost everything:

1. Explored not another Anton Blogs entry (read: “The Sandwich Guy” at One McKinley Hill) with lunchmates (Iam, Ge, Allan, Pipe and Hubes) last Friday. I had TSG Bigtime with roast beef, bacon and pepperoni. That’s for 110 bucks only. A cheaper and equally yummy alternative for Oliver’s;

2. Had dinner with a new set of peeps (Chochoy, the man, included plus Jonard and Cher, Jaejay, Becca, Joey, my cabmate, and Mel F, the Facebook newby) at Cibo in Greenbelt 5. The shrimp pasta was good (and expensive!) but we were not luxurious with time then as we had to catch “Australia” after 15 minutes of dinner;

3. Reached Greenbelt 3 from Greenbelt 5 in whopping eight minutes (thanks to the secret elevator at the side);

4. For the record, I had to note that that was the first weekend for a long time that I was at total peace. There’s this thing called “patching-up” which happened during the midweek (a-ha!);

5. Travelled to Lopez at 3am, complete with my favorite vendor food like bibingka in Laguna area (San Pablo or nearby town) and the grilled banana at the Atimonan port;

6. Caught Lucena Grand Terminal at dawn again. The mood is just different, an ode that I will be home in two hours;

7. Feasted at home food (pork barbecue, mangoes, longanisang Lucban and my mom’s fried rice), enough said. A big langka fruit at the terrace greeted me. I wonder what it was doing there;

8. Withdrew money from The Real Bank. Yes, that’s not for reel. You can find it along Makati Ave, near JP Rizal;

9. Disappointed for not finding a copy of Rogue magazine with Angel Locsin as the cover girl. I even mall-hopped from Glorietta to Robinsons Galleria but it wasn’t really my day. I ended up being comforted by Kenny Rogers Roasters’ chicken noodle soup; and

10. Disappointments knocked again the next day when SoundDock started to get cranky and stopped producing sound. To the rescue was the girlfriended Jaejay Po (car conversations are always great and uniquely Manny-Jaejay-kind-of-blabber).

Movie Digest # 052

UP Cine Adarna, January 24, 1:00pm

Please see the other blog entry below.

Friends who might appreciate it: Jaejay Po.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, January 30, 8:25pm

From Baz Luhrmann’s filmography (hey, I got his autograph roughly six years ago in Singapore), this film is less kick-ass and, err, disappointing in some aspects. First impression: passĂ©. From story to scope then to execution of scenes that deem too escapist, I thought I was transported back to good old Hollywood days, or locally, Lito Lapid era. That’s when a hero is hyper heroic and the two leads, a characterization that can overshadow a Sharon – FPJ (or Binoe or Cesar or Rudy) tandem. Visually, it’s outstanding, of course. There are signature Luhrmann cameraworks here and there. Not to mention that almost all the scenes are well blocked.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who are disappointed with “Love Me Again (Land Down Under)”.

SM Lucena, Cinema 1, February 1, 1:30pm

Guess, I’m a wrong audience. There’s one movie line that caught my attention though. It’s when the male chihuahua said something like “We’re Mexican, not Mexican’t!”. I find Drew Barrymore a little “miscast” as the voice of the sosy chihuahua. I’m thinking of Paris Hilton-like celebrity or any teen actress from “Gossip Girl”.

Friends who might appreciate it: my pamangkins, Krista and Franco.
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