Thursday, March 19, 2015

Flick Pick: That Thing Called "Tadhana"

In an effort to share more (hopefully decent and informative) posts, I decided to do a section about film and books (and occasional t.v. series). I'll really appreciate if you guys can comment about your own thoughts and give comments/suggestions about them and give recommendations about good books you've read or movies you've seen that you think I'll like (or not--hehe). It'll be highly appreciated! 

This section about films, I dub thee "Flick Pick". And I'm so happy to be writing about this movie called That Thing Called "Tadhana". You missed it on theaters? Too bad you have to wait for the DVD.  

Tadhana, as fans would fondly call it is a story about how Anthony (JM de Guzman) helped Mace (Angelica Panganiban) with her "excess baggage". Even if he only met her for the first time in Italy's airport, Anthony travelled so far as Sagada to help Mace with her broken heart. If you're checking out other movie reviews or comments, you'll find that this film is often compared with Richard Linklater's "Before" movies (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight) where the characters merely pondered about life and talked in the duration of all the movies.

Can I just go straight to the things I loved about the movie? Yes? Thank you.

  • The script. I actually love everything about the film but I commend writer/director Antoinette Jadaone for giving Mace and Anthony dialogues that are relatable to the general public. I'm not even being a fan about this but I talk like Mace! Haha. Yeah, cause I swear like a sailor now (I know, I know but I'm trying to break the habit). Isa pa, kung gano'n ka ka-basag, ka-durog, stress-reliever din talaga kung minumura mo yung taong inapak-apakan ang puso mo diba? Kung hindi ka naniniwala click here for a post about how foul language can be a stress and pain reliever. Haha. Oo pinaglaban ko talaga. 


  • Yung scene sa bus stations ng Sagada at Baguio. Hindi ko na i-eexplain. Basahin niyo na lang ang script:

Baguio Bus Station:

Anthony: Sa'n mo gusto pumunta? May Burnham Park, may Mines View Park. Pwede tayo maglakad. Pwede tayong kumain. Pwede tayo matulog. Ano'ng gusto mo?

Mace: Makalimot. 

Nung nakarating sila nang Sagada at saka nila nalamang nalimutan nila ang mga maleta nila sa Baguio:

Mace: Tara na. Ano ka ba, bagahe lang yun.

Anthony: E akala ko ba buhay mo yun?

Mace: E ito na ang buhay ko ngayon!

See the difference? :)

  • Sina Mace at Anthony mismo. It was an unlikely pairing for Angelica and JM but it worked! JM is not my type of guy pero sa pelikulang ito, gwapong-gwapo talaga 'ko sa kanya. Dahil sa kung paano niya pinortray si Anthony bilang isang gentleman hanggang sa kaliit-liitang facial expressions kahit walang dialogue. Na-inlove ako kay JM. Siya na ang bagong John Lloyd! And Angelica? I can't imagine Mace being played by any other woman. Iyong-iyo siya, Angelica. Ikaw na ikaw si Mace. At dahil diyan, nagpapasalamat ako at binigyang buhay niya si Mace na may tamang-tamang timpla. Sigurado ako na hindi lang ako ang nagsabing: "Ako yan ah! Ako si Mace!" Kasi totoo, ganoon ako nung broken hearted ako, na kagaya ni Mace na hinarap ang lahat na may tamang timpla nang drama at tapang.

  • The quarter-life crisis. Gustong-gusto kong tinackle nila ang tungkol sa walang kamatayang purpose in life nung tinanong ni Mace: "Aren't we supposed to be great by now?" Kasi tanong ko rin yan sa sarili ko. But I loved it more when they both toasted to: "To the great people we will be." 

  • The arrow with the heart pierced through him. No words.

  • The simplicity. I love that there were only 2 characters. Na wala nang iba pang eksena kundi nag-usap lang sila. Yun na yun e.

  • The videoke scene. Yung eksenang natatawa na si Mace nang 'konti tapos iiyak na naman. Yung kabaliwan na yun ng mga brokenhearted na iyak tawa, talagang naalala ni Direk sa eksena. Galing! At sapul ka ba sa 'Where do Broken Hearts Go?' ni Tita Whitney? Hindi siguro kumpleto ang buong pelikula kung wala 'to. Trivia: The song almost didn't make it to the film because of budget constraints. They had to do a fund-raising to raise money for the copyrights of the song. *buntong-hininga* Mabuti na lang!

  • Baguio at Sagada scenes. It will make you want to go on a "feels trip"!

  • The ending. Na hinayaan lang tayo ni Direk Tonet mag-isip kung saan napunta ang relationship nina Anthony at Mace. At ang Tadhana nang Up Dharma Down. Ano pa bang mahihiling ko sa ending na 'yun? Wala na. :)

So far, That Thing Called Tadhana is the highest-grossing local indie film. Ang saya ko lang for them. Oo, maraming iba pang magandang indie. But it's really something when a movie's topic is straight to the heart at tungkol sa isang bagay na pinagdaanan ng lahat. 

Aminin. Naka-relate ka rin kina Anthony at Mace! Pero sana kagaya nila natuto ka din. Sana alam mo na ang tama o mali para sa'yo. Sana naka-move on ka na rin. O kahit magsimula ka na lang sa sana tanggap mo na na wala ka nang babalikan pa dahil yung taong minahal mo noon at kung sino siya ngayon, magkaibang tao na. Sana kagaya ni Mace, sa huli malaman mong mahalaga ka rin--at hindi ka pangit at may mahahanap ka ring kagaya ni Anthony sa buhay mo. Okay? Okay. Alalahanin mo ang sabi ni Ninong Fitzgerald, ipapaalala ko lang...

O siya. Thanks for reading my first Flick Pick. Comments are welcome below or via the Facebook page. In the mean time, cheers muna tayo. Cheers tayo for us: "To the great people we will be"! :) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Do's and Don'ts of Comforting a Broken Hearted Friend

I admit that I am not the greatest friend. I can be lazy enough to answer messages or too busy for get togethers (#IntrovertProblems). But when a friend is really in need, I can also surprise myself with what I can and will do just to be there for them.

Minsan, isang araw tinawagan ako ng isang kaibigan (itago natin siya sa tawagan naming "Tol"). Umiiyak. Basag. In short--broken hearted. If this was 3-4 years ago, I'll probably just listen. Because what do we do when someone has a story we can't relate to? We just listen. Because of that, I was inspired to create this post just in case you have a broken hearted friend. Here are my do's and don't's:

1. DO be there for her.

Text her back. Answer her messages or calls. Check up on her. Watch a hugot movie together habang minumura yung @$$#&!n* na Ex niya. During these times, all they need is someone to talk to. Be there, even if they say they want to be alone.

2. DO Prepare comfort food.

Alcohol (Drink moderately), pulutan, ice cream at kung ano-ano pang mamantika at desserts. Hindi uubra ang salad dito.

3. DO be patient.

The Friend may cry a lot or drink a lot. Hell, they will talk a lot. Paulit-ulit. Iba na ang topic, ibabalik ulit niya ang usapan kay Ex. It's okay. Talking about it is part of the process. Don't ever complain and make sure you let her feel that it's okay for her to press rewind until she's all talked out.

4. DON'T play "Wala ka sa Lolo ko."

This is not a contest of who's heart was more broken. Resist, I repeat--RESIST the urge to bring up your past heart ache. Pwede siguro minimal lang--if possible only when your friend asks about it. If your sentences start with "Ako nga noon.." more times than necessary, stop yourself. This is their moment and not yours.

5. DON'T stop her from crying.

It'll be better if she let's it all out. She'll get tired of all the crying eventually. Masarap matulog pag kakaiyak lang. Believe me, sleeping is better than not being able to because you're overthinking and overanalyzing the situation.

6. DO try making the atmosphere feel lighter.
This can be very tricky so timing is the key. You have to break the heavy conversation sometimes with a different topic--a joke, an event or a new chismis about someone else. Teehee. Or you can play a hugot music (queue Where Do Broken Hearts Go).

7. DON'T get more wasted than them.
Because DUH. Haha. Who'll hold her hair when she throws up? Who will stop her from sending that drunk text? Who? Who? Okay, you may have another friend to do that just don't get drunk altogether. Or better yet, just be Chocolate wasted.

8. DON'T let them do silly things.

Drunk text/call. Egging the house. Slashing tires. Smashing cars. Okay, you can probably do crazy things--the SILLY thing is getting caught. Don't. And don't make them jump off high places too!
9.  DON'T (Never ever!) judge.

Don't judge her if she drinks too much, cries a lot or gets a rebound (stop her if possible on this one though--stopping them's still different from judging). Iba-iba ang bigat ng problema sa'ting lahat. She's not a crybaby. She's not weak. She's freakin' broken hearted and she will get over it. So don't judge her even if you've been through it before. Getting over someone does not give you a right to judge someone else's process of moving on. There is no time frame and the process isn't the same for all of us. Ika nga ni Ate Meredith Grey: "I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke."

10. DO give them a hug.

I'm an awkward hugger. I'm a one-arm hugger. Probably it's because I'm not that physical. When 'Tol was hugged by our other best friends (the cuddlier one), all hell broke lose. It was just the two of us talking before that but when cuddly bff came, man! It wasn't just sadness, it was grief--like someone died. She couldn't have 'let it all out' if it wasn't with that hug. So I'm telling you, do not underestimate the healing power of hugs.

When I got heart broken sabi ko kay Tol, na sana kahit kailan hindi niya maramdaman ang ganoong klaseng sakit, sana matakasan niya yung ganong experience. Kasi nga masakit pala talaga. Kaya noong pinapanood ko siyang umiiyak habang tumatagay, para ring dinudurog ang puso ko para sa kanya.

Me being an overthinker analyzed my fate this way: When my sister got broken hearted, hindi ko maintindihan. Siya ang sinisi ko at tinawag na tanga. When I got my heart broken, naintindihan ko na siya. Tapos ako naman ang naging tanga, umatungal kay Tol. Yun pala, (inamin niya), hindi rin ako naintindihan ni Tol. Tapos ngayong nangyari sa kanya--naintindihan rin niya ako. Nasaktan kami pareho. Nasaktan ako hindi lang para maintindihan ang kapatid ko at kung hindi para lubos akong maging mabuting kaibigan para sa 'Tol ko. Para pala pag kinailangan niya ng makikinig, alam ko na. At hindi ko siya huhusgahan o tatawaging tanga dahil naranasan ko na. Now, I can balance the scales. Because while she's broken and hopeless, she needs someone who still believes. I believe in "it" again. I am faithful.

There you have it folks. I hope you learned a thing or two. 'Kita mo, after awhile (hopefully) in love na yan ulit. :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sinag Maynila 2015

I’ve read some blogs and other posts actually complaining about how indie has now become “mainstream”.  Personally, I used to feel that way when the beshie and I started making plans of getting Cinemalaya tickets days before an entry is shown because shows get sold out almost immediately. Meaning, Cinemalaya has indeed gone mainstream in terms of audience impact. Or maybe it’s because more mainstream actors are doing indie as well. Pinoys and their idol mentality.

After giving it much thought, I decided making movies are so expensive and that there are still many brilliant gems in the film industry waiting to be discovered but don’t have a chance because of budget. Sabi ko, sige na nga. Hindi na’ko magpapaka-brainy in judging what movies other film-goers can see--if they’ll enjoy this or judge their intellectual capabilities to understand a movie that I liked. That’s just being judgemental and selfish because people watch movies for different reasons. But I confess, may mga indie na dapat nagb-blockbuster. I’m like: "Filipinos, why are you watching that overly-dramatic love story or generic comedy instead of this mind-f***ingly great film?! Where. Are. Your. Brains?" (Okay, I sound mean. Sorry.) So there, I was very selfish about “my” indies. Haha. But since I’m all more mature about it, I am happy and very supportive about new film festivals. In fact, here I am writing about one! (Yeyy me!) 

In an effort to support the local film industry, Solar Entertainment together with the celebrated,multi-awarded director Brillante Mendoza launched the first ever Sinag Maynila. Mendoza was quoted to have said that it is “better than those of other film festivals”, giving participating filmmakers a grant of P2 Million and they get to have part-owndership of their films. With it's tagline, "Pelikulang Pinoy, Pusong Pinoy", Sinag Maynila will feature five of the country’s notable indie directors.

The festival is slated on March 18-24, 2015 at these designated SM Cinemas: Megamall, North Edsa, Southmall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Aura Premiere and SM Fairview. The organizers have yet to announce ticket prices or if the festival will be generous enough to give senior or student discounts, you may instead stand by for more updates about ticket prices and  film schedules by checking out their social media accounts:

Meanwhile, here are the entries (Note: Indies have the coolest posters! Got film synopsis from their FB Site, you’re welcome):

1.     Balut Country
Director: Paul Sta. Ana
Cast:  Rocco Nacino, Ronnie Quizon, Vincent Magbanua, Angela Cortez and Ms. Nanette Inventor
"Balut Country" tells the story of Jun, an heir to the duck farm left to him by his late father, who must decide between selling the property to secure a future with his partner, or sparing the family of the land's caretakers of inevitable displacement.

2.     Ninja Party
Director: Jim Libiran
Cast: Odette Khan, Annicka Dolonius, Julz Savard, Bea Galvez and Elora Espano. Also starring Teresa Loyzaga, Dennis Marasigan, Japo Parceo and Mariz Reyes. 
Synopsis: In "Ninja Party", top female students of an elite Catholic School discover their identities and sexualities amidst clashing values. Conflicts between themselves, their families and their school forces them to grow up and grow in friendship. They face slut-shaming when rumor spreads about their participation in a secret orgy.

3.     Bambanti
Director: Zig Dulay
Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Micko Laurente, Julio Diaz, Shamaine Buencamino, Lui Manansala
Synopsis: "Bambanti" is about the search for a missing watch that instigates the painful quest for the truth in Belyn's and her son's life. 

4.   Imbisibol
Director: Lawrence Fajardo
Cast: Allen Dizon, Ces Quesada, Bernardo Bernardo and JM de Guzman. Also Starring JC Santos, Onyl Torres, Angelina Kanapi, Fred Lo, Naoki Takai, Shinepi Suzuki, May Alleman, Kaz Sawamura, Masaharu Iwamoto, Oyee Barro, Ms. Cynthia Luster and Mr. Ricky Davao.
"Imbisibol" follows the lives of four Filipino migrant workers in Japan-Linda, Benjie, Manuel and Rodel who, amidst their individual struggles, are suddenly caught together in an even more complex game of hide and seek where staying invisible is the only way to survive.

5.   Swap
Director: Remton Zuasola
Cast: Dionne Monsanto, Matt Daclan, Mon Confiado, RK Bagatsing, Jess Mendoza, and Ligaya Rabago
In "Swap", a young father is torn between solving a crime and committing another crime when one day his only son got kidnapped and the criminals demand him to steal another kid in exchange for the life of his son.

Let’s all show our local film industry some support and shout out to the organizers of Sinag Maynila for this effort! See one or better yet, see ALL the films in an SM Cinema near you!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cinemalaya Through the Years

Credits to owner

If you've been reading my blog long enough (naks! uma-avid reader!), then you know that I'm a big fan of Indie films since my best friend and I accidentally "discovered" Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. We were waiting for the results of his Nursing Board Exams (he passed!). The 10th Cinemalaya last year was my 5th straight Cinemalaya experience and it has become our tradition to always watch it in CCP even though they're already showing the entries at Ayala Cinemas. 

Here are some photos of my Cinemalaya experience through the years. Throwback na rin for you to see how much I've evolved (see hairstyles) and grown (in every sense of the word).

My first Cinemalaya in 2009

Cinemalaya 2010

These are from Cinemalaya 2012 (Wasn't able to take photos from 2011):

Excuse the bungisngis, I was actually starstrucked with my favorite scriptwriter, Ricky Lee :)

Pa-artsy shot

With Director Joey Reyes in 2013

And these are from 2014:

With Ms. Irma Adlawan (aka Nay Mirasol of Forevermore. Hihi)

Caught some of Marc Abaya's swag

The obligatory by-the-Cinemalaya signage shot

Last year, the idea of volunteering for the festival played in my head. I decided against it because I'll lose the freedom to watch a film from start to finish. I don't actually know if volunteers get to preview the film entries before they are all played come festival time but I still don't want to ruin the whole festival experience as a spectator since I always watch it with a friend/s. Because really, each film is a different experience! I am always looking forward to July and will research as early as April for any news about the entries for that year.

This year's festival is scheduled on August 7-14, 2015. But imagine my disappointment when I read the Cinemalaya foundation announcement that they will only feature Short Films (aka just "Shorts") this year and that full-length films will be back in 2016. 

Shorts BTW is like a whole film (1-2hours) but with mini-films that run for 20-25 minutes within the whole video. So Shorts are usually divided in 2 sets (Shorts A and Shorts B) with 4-5 short films each but still judged individually. 

I feel so sad about it but I'm just happy the festival will remain in its home in CCP.  The news factored in a bit about my plan to volunteer since they won't be showing any full length films anyway. :(

Oh and they are still accepting submissions for Short films until March 6, 2015. Details here.

If they are only doing shorts this year, maybe they will not show it by batches anymore. I'm just wondering about the ticket prices though (Php 60 for students and Php 150 for non-students), will it be the same price if a movie will just be 20 minutes long? Hehe. 

Well, I just hope that next year's Cinemalaya will be worth the wait. I'm still thinking about the volunteering thing but if you guys are interested, have time and as in love with films as I am and is willing to work for the sake of arts (let me reiterate this: for free!) then check out Cultural Center of the Philippines' site here. Volunteer or not, I hope to see you this August! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Truth for the Fallen 44

If you care enough to closely follow the news about the 44 PNP-SAF Officers (now known as the Fallen 44), I bet you also have so many questions which you know will never be answered. The truth of any answer we can manage to get will still be questionable. 

The proceedings show that there is a (little?) competition between AFP and PNP; with questions of why now retired PNP Chief Purisima did not coordinate with AFP Chief Gregorio Catapang nor relay details of the Mamasapano operation to DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and PNP OIC Espina or why AFP failed to send any reinforcements to back SAF officers up.

How true is it that Purisima orchestrated the poorly planned mission to clean his name out of his controversial mansion issue? And let me also note how I'm disappointed with the President's speech announcing Purisima's resignation not even naming who will replace him as PNP's head in this very trying moment for the organization. PNoy just reminisced about how Purisima was with him at the time of a coup d' etat during his mother's administration. I don't care much about PNoy and Purisima's bromance but I mean, COME. ON. Will Noy's speech just always be a rehash of history (his father's death, mother's and GMA's presidency)? 

During the Senate inquiry, Catapang stated that the AFP have their own operation planned against Marwan (see GMA News article).  I was like, so ano 'to? Kanya-kanya sila? Parang (AFP to PNP): 'E mission niyo yan, labas kami diyan. Ginusto niyo yan e. Bahala kayo sa mga buhay niyo.' Ganon? 

What will happen to our beloved Philippines if it's like that between PNP and AFP? 

Should we cancel the Bangsamoro Basic Law? Minsan naisip ko, bakit hindi na lang ihiwalay sa Pilipinas ang mga gustong humiwalay? Bahala silang gumawa ng sarili nilang government. Pero bigyan sila ng Visa kung gusto nilang pumunta sa "Pilipinas". Gusto nila yan eh. Why not give them the freedom and independence they want?

There's also a part of me that agrees with Mayor Erap Estrada's point of view that MILF cannot be trusted and that we must "wage war to gain peace". But then I realized I am only confident in saying that because I am at the comfort of home and I don't know (can't even imagine!) what it's like to be afraid of stepping out of the house because of the sound of guns and bombs outside; destruction of homes, death of innocents. Imagine--just imagine that.

If war can't be avoided, let the government make sure to evacuate civilians first. 

Now I am not very trusting of our own Philippine National Police officers but was really moved when I watched and read PNP OIC Leonardo Espina's emotional speech before the House of Representatives. With that speech, he resurrected what little faith I have towards the integrity of PNP.

Shelf the BBL if we must but I think these 44 brave men deserve if not justice, they deserve the truth about what really happened. Truth is their justice. As Espina put it, "I seek answers for my people so that when I die and when my time comes that I have to face them, I can say something. It is always sweet to die for this country. Itong mga taong ito will always be there in front and say: 'Mission Accomplished po.'

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Random Musings

Don't you just sometimes wish you can start your life from a scratch? A clean slate. A blank canvass. Where everything and everyone around you is new, not even your old friends or family to remind you of the past. Do you dream of getting away to somewhere where you are a stranger? To go to a place where no one will care about the A's you may or may not have gotten, what your religion is, whether you have a diploma or if you are a licensed whatever. And in that place you can make mistakes without judgements, make new mistakes or better yet, take a cue from the past--take the same risks but this time you'll know for sure what steps you have to make and/or where want to go.

Can we do that? Can we go there?

Monday, October 27, 2014


Here is another post apologizing (mostly to myself) for not being able to write more often. 

I hope to solve that with the Blogger app I downloaded on my iPod.

What you are reading is what we call a "test" post since I wrote this and posted it via the app. I decided to download the Blogger app since I don't always have an internet connection nor my laptop with me. I've been looking for a good (and free!) app for blogging because I always have my iPod with me. It's basically an extension of myself! Haha. I was only able to find the app for Wordpress but sadly, the app for Bloggr wasn't available that time. But now it's here!

Okay so I don't and won't expect much from a free app. I expect to use it for just short posts with minimal photos. What you're reading now is how it is. 

This is a screencap of its interface. You can't change alignments, no auto-save or  spell checker and you can't put a caption for your pictures. Oh and there is no option to view comments, too. I'm a bit worried about how my screencaps would appear upon publishing the post but well, this is just a test post. With the auto-save problem, I'll just copy the whole post before posting in the mean time just to be sure. 

I hope there won't be any problems so I can post more often (I know! Huhu.) If you now a good Blogger app for apple, please let me know. :)