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Archive for September 2011

Oh yeah, Mind F, Mother F ' er! [Ondoy Year 2 and the Apathetic and Forgetful Us]

Monday, September 26, 2011 comments powered by disqus

When Jofti, a friend from FWP, told me about this project of commemorating Ondoy and writing something of whatever value regarding environment, I must admit.. It didn't give me a hard on! Sorry for the euphemism but that was my honest reaction. Of course, the eagerness is on writing. But environment? Call me apathetic but it doesn't excite me much like social activism on art and the secular philippines, underground music and indie films, language and shallowness, etc. Of course, it doesn't sound right saying this. And I am sorry.

     Two years ago, we were in a small but decent house in Batangas. Some steps away in the main street leading to South Super Highway. It was raining hard outside but we never noticed that something was cooking. When dusk approached, I decided to buy some canned goods for the meal. And fuck, that was the only time I realized what was out there! Water from the nearby mountain was rushing in the highway. And yeah, big time! It wasn't unthinkable but striking. It wasn't impossible but a rarity.

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[Movie Review] Friends with Benefits: Shallow Yet Unpretentious, Cool and Charming

Friday, September 23, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Let us first forget about our critical selves that want deep stories of Oscar worhty movies. Let us, for this time, just enjoy the ride. Those maistream entertainment fare without complicated plots or brain-fucked endings. What we have now is a story that we already know the resolution even before the problem started. But I am not complaining.

Friends with Benefits is shallow yet unpretentious, cool and charming. The first scenes was a bit slow and dragging despite some witty banters. But after that first salvo, everything went as expected. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are beautiful non-couple with mutual understanding of sex and friendship. And it goes well. Or so they thought. Because, again expectedly, it turned out that they have feelings for each other. More than friends, that is. 

     And how can you get more mainstream and cliché than that? Complications and bruised ego, the cute dance number like our 80's Regal Films, the oversimplified solution to heartaches and family problems, etc.

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Random Rants

Thursday, September 22, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Perhaps, more than a million songs heard. A thousand books and comics read. Hundreds of movies, TV shows and theatre plays watched. A great number of acquaintances turned friends. A couple of heartaches, pains and glees. Countless stories and poems that mirrored the soul's sentiments. Many laughs and a lot more smiles. Awesome memories. Emotional and intense encounters. Cheesy lines. Unforgettable blunders. Numerous soft-drinks, beers, intoxicating liquor and other spirits. Bottomless iced teas. Reckless busses and jeep rides. 3 decades. 33 years.  A roller coaster life ride. Dark and colorful. Ambitious yet laid-back. Personal, and yes.. unimportant. Loud but shy. 

How do you count the days? By the minute and seconds passed? By the good and bad deeds done? By the fuck or love scored? By competitions won? By what?

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The Natural High

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The cliché topic of drug addiction and its awry shitty-shitty-bang-bang effects not only in the society but most evidently, to the self. In this raw and in-your-face docu, the audience will watch as 5 cases of drug addiction unfolds the screen. Its method, effects, climax and denouement to its sometimes bloody and painful ending or the goody-goody thank-god-I-quit resolution, will be seen, experienced and tasted by the drooling audience. This documentary will capture the blood, needles, sniffing, state of delusion, aggressive nuances, its hyper and lonely attributes and the unmatched feeling of natural high.  

Five lives of drug users will be depicted through real footage and full documentation of their daily hostile routine. Or otherwise their selves as the loving family man, "ideal" daughter, or just simply the individual as a God-fearing person. The documentary shall and will lay bare the physical process, personal struggle, emotional weight and the after effects of such actions and decisions

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Why is F. Sionil Shallow?

Thursday, September 15, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Some days ago, I saw an FB post from a good friend Rogelio Braga. It was a link to F. Sionil Jose's Philstar article, "Why we are shallow". His contentions are actually very valid, sound and logical. Except for the first part. The take-off. The premise. The most important part.

It could have been another interesting piece from one of my favorite book authors. But that double-standard perspective ruined it all. Here's what he wrote, that 1st part:

"..Recently, I was seated beside former Senator Letty Shahani, PhD in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne, watching a medley of Asian dances. The stately and classical Japanese number with stylized movements which perhaps took years to master elicited what seemed to me grudging applause. Then, the Filipino tinikling which any one can learn in 10 minutes; after all that energetic jumping, an almost standing ovation. Letty turned to me and asked, “Why are we so shallow?”
Yes, indeed, and for how long?.."
Oh! Really?! Shallow are those people who exhibited more appreciation in tinikling over the Jap number? Not to discredit, of course, the classical Japanese dance! But to say that one is better than the other and throw judgement as if it's the standard of beauty is something that I find very disturbing. 

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Why the Movie Contagion is not Contagious

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Before we watched it, I was wondering why this movie isn't getting raves. Its director is Steven Soderbergh, the trailer is awesome and lots of big stars! So why not, indeed? But after watching it, I know the reason now. Actually, while watching it.. the first minutes will tell you why. It is flat, impersonal and got no climax or at least a character to root for, to care, or to hate. This is one of those movies of intent. 

Contagion presents a look at what happens when an infectious disease threatens humanity through varied viewpoints from an ensemble cast, including Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, and Kate Winslet.

We've seen this treatment before and we are not complaining. The disapproval is not in the pudding. But in the main dish.

The movie presented a "big" problem that audience can relate but might not care. This big problem, or the disease that threatens humanity, for me, should be the starting point or a backdraft of a personal struggle and emotional conflicts. But in Contagion, it is not.

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Sex, Intrigues and Incest in ABS-CBN's "Nasaan Ka Elisa?"

Monday, September 12, 2011 comments powered by disqus

It's been a while since a local time slot captured my interest. And those shows were not local productions. They were Ghost Fighter and Meteor Garden. My eternal hallucinations of everlasting youth and the mushy mushy me. And later tonight, I will be anticipating another show, again.. and after a long time of none. It is "Nasaan Ka Elisa?" (Where are you, Elisa?)

I had the privilege, if you want to call it that way.. Of seeing it some months ago while it was in its infancy period. While it was still in the timeline of Avid Media Composer, the editing software ABS-CBN is using in TV Prod. News and Current Affairs, they told me, is using Final Cut. I was also able to view some of the episodes of the original Chilean telenovela "Donde Esta Elisa?" And boy! Absurd edit but fuckin' mature story. My good friend Yog Macan, who supervises the post production was quick to point out that in translating the Chilean telenovela, it should be tamed somehow to suit the sensibilities of Pinoy audience. But rest assured, he said, that its sharpness, hotness and boldness are intact. Somehow, at least. Plus, they have some edit improvements.

Sex, drama, intrigues and incest.. I was quick to doubt his "press release" hehe :) 

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Samantha Sotto [author of Before Ever After] : FWP Book Talk

Sunday, September 11, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Samantha Sotto, the Filipina author of the book Before Ever After that was published in the U.S. and in circulation internationally had a chitchat with Freelance Writers of the Philippines (FWP) yesterday. She is a member of the group and for our first salvo of the monthly book talk, she talked about her "o.c." copy editor, her misquoted reaction on Time Traveler's Wife, and some kewl anecdotes.

Here are some of the pics and vids of what happened yesterday:

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13 year-old Girl Danced Almost Naked Against Her Will for an Official Party of a Show Under Major TV Network

Thursday, September 8, 2011 comments powered by disqus

This picture is for visual aid only. She is not the girl in this article.
It was too malicious to be true, I thought. But 3 sources confirmed what happened. The party started quite usual with free drinks overflowing with flirty but casual social interactions. Later that night, the 13-year old girl took center stage albeit the obvious hesitation. It is not yet confirmed whether the mother was alerted by the girl or she investigated and found out where her daughter was. There was a total commotion when the mother arrived and saw her daughter in an uneasy situation. The nipples weren't showing yet but her breasts were visible that time.

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Is Mike Arroyo implying that Wikileaks anti-GMA?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy website revealed that then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was reluctant to curb her husband’s misdeeds, including his alleged involvement in jueteng and smuggling. Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, in retaliation, said that the information released by Wikileaks is “baseless” and is only part of an “Arroyo-bashing” initiative “whenever the economy or the popularity of President Aquino goes down".

Former Brigadier General Danilo Lim reacted yesterday and said Wikileaks enjoys more credibility than former first gentleman Mike Arroyo does. “Mike Arroyo is in no position to call the information released by Wikileaks as malicious or a cock-and-bull story. Truth is, the anti-secrecy website is more credible than the former first gentleman is. It is more truthful than Mike Arroyo, who like his wife is notorious for spewing lies and other untruths,” Lim said.

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Mahaba at Pasuga-sugasong Pag-Utot! [A Long and Winding Fart] - A Classroom Anecdote of F.Y. and Bye Bye

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 comments powered by disqus

Over the past weeks, we were talking things regarding education and the system. Tradition and culture. Values and perspective. And some other complications.

And speaking of education, some of the new friends are asking me how was it when I was a teacher. I said fuck, that was cool! And I would like to believe my students were kewl with me too. I can fart inside an air-conditioned room in the middle of a class. I can sit and stand above my front table. They can say whatever they want. Bring foods and drinks just don't let any admin catch them. They can intoxicate themselves with beer or whatever alcohol if they want. Again, just don't let any admin officer catch them. And yes, don't bring any illegal drugs. Fuck you, asshole and other profanities were flying. No strict code or rule. They just have to be there. Because it is a lonely meeting of minds when the classroom has only few students attending. 

And going back, to answer my friends' inquiries regarding things, I will be posting this goodbye letter entitled "What's in a Grade?" that was published in the school organ days before I resign. This letter can somehow show not only my gung-ho attitude but also my personal connection with them. 

What’s in a Grade?!

I. What separates truth from imagination? The doors!
To the many that can not understand the musing.. It is the intention. To my students, the very reason why I am still here (as of this writing), thank you for the memories. And to all who will read this piece of shit and will be wondering if this is just another self-serving article written by the self for the self..

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