Thursday, February 4, 2016

World Cancer Day

All the writing I do for work gives me no time to update you guys and it really bugs me. It’s already February and this is just my first post for this year. I have so many things to share to all of you guys—new job, a pet died… But I’ll just save those on my next post. I would love to give time to write a proper post for our pet. (Huhu… I’m such a pet “tita”)

Nevertheless, it’s still a good time to update my blog because today, February 4 is World Cancer Day. This year’s theme is “We Can. I can.” “to show the world that we can, I can.. get involved against the fight against cancer.

Here are some key facts about cancer from UN.org:

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012.
  • Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
  • About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risk: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use.
  • Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030. 


I know most of you (me included) knows someone who is suffering or someone who died from cancer. It can be someone’s family or friend. So let’s raise awareness about the importance of cancer prevention and early detection by joining WorldCancerDay.org in their initiative against cancer control.

Get involved by writing a supportive message in your hand in line with the “We can. I can.” theme. Take a picture of  your hand featuring the message and share the picture on your social media accounts together with the hashtags #WorldCancerDay and #WeCanICan. Let's all help in spreading cancer awareness. 







This is for all the people suffering from cancer. You are all beautiful and brave. Stay strong. 



Friday, December 4, 2015

Flick Pick: "A Second Chance" Review





One More Chance is one of those movies you’ll never get tired of watching. Kahit kabisado mo na ang mga hugot quotes nina Popoy at Basha. This is one of my comfort movies. The kind of movie (like books), na after you’re done with all your series and dvd’s at wala ka ng mapanood na iba—babalikan at babalikan mo. Kasi nga ganon na kayo ka-close nina Popoy at Basha. Tapos feeling mo part ka ng Thursday Group.

When a video circulated online of Popoy and Basha fighting over a Meralco bill, a lot of people got excited. I got excited. Some say it was only a test shot by Star Cinema to see how people will feel about a One More Chance sequel. It went viral. Maraming umasa.


Imagine my happiness when they finally set a release date for A Second Chance together with it's trailer! Totoo na ngaaaa!




I got to watch it on the first weekend it was shown. I was dead serious about spoilers that I didn’t read Twitter hashtags about it, I scrolled up when I see even the title in other people's tweets as well and I did not even read a blog with “quotable quotes” from it. I even posted that I will unfollow anyone who posted spoilers. See? Dead serious.

The sequel feels like coming home—to a house where you grew up in, with the friends you grew up with. The film tackled typical marital problems. One More Chance was where they had to find out who they are as individuals, A Second Chance is bigger than that. It’s what couples in real life experiences and argues about—big or small. Hindi lang naman laging 3rd party ang dahilan ng hiwalayan, it can start from the smallest, most mundane things like the things you stopped doing—like how you never hold hands anymore or the biggest lies—like lying to convince yourself that you’re still happy when you’re over the edge.

I’m actually thankful they didn’t play up with “the mistress” angle, that they decided to go with this route in the story, na everyday problems na nagbuild up lang. Gasgas na naman talaga yang kabit-kabit angle eh.

In the film, Popoy’s still egotistical guy who may have anger management disorder has trouble with letting people love him. Let me just point out how minsan ang o.a. ng mga away. Ganon ba talaga? Ang bilis mag-escalate ng mga away nina Popoy at Basha. Siguro dahil sa tempers. O dahil hindi na rin si Basha yung Basha Belinda on the first parts of One More Chance noon na lagi lang tahimik at submissive kay Popoy. John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo have chemistry like no other. You'll really feel na naghu-hugutan sila ng emotions from each other. That's why it worked. That's why we believed in the Popoy-Basha magic. 

Also, I wish I have a Thursday Group barkada. Yung may voice of reason like Krizzy (Dimples Romana) and JP (Ahron Villena), may referee like Kenneth (James Blanco), Comedian and enabler like Chino (Janus del Prado) at hindi rin mawawala ang cynical/cautious na si Anj (Bea Saw). 

I’m still single but I learned so many things about relationships on the film. Made me realize how avoidant I am when it comes to arguments. I can relate more with Popoy than I can with Basha. That I can be insecure about making mistakes, that it can take a while before I forgive myself. Not everyone is lucky enough to find the one. Or that really, there is no “the one”. And it’s true that staying in love is a choice that you have to make, everyday for the rest of your life. So I think every couple who’s about to get married should watch the film first, see that marriage isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. That the butterflies will go away.

Maybe I appreciated it because I feel that I’ve matured as a film viewer. If I were younger, I probably wouldn’t like it as much.

Was it better than the first film? The two tackled different problems. Like I said before, it’s more than finding yourself now. They found themselves already, it’s just a matter of accepting the other for who they are, who they are not and who they’re not going to be. A Second Chance is not better nor worse than its prequel, but it’s everything I hoped it would be. 










Thursday, December 3, 2015

Diciembre, Diciembre

Hiya guys!

Got nothing important to say on this post. Just want to write when I can. (I'm actually waiting for lunch time at work to be over.) Teehee. 




It's December already! Aren't you all excited? It's the most wonderful time of the year. :) Our Christmas tree's already filled with gifts. Huhu.. I can't wait for the actual Christmas to come. 

How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you even celebrate? Ooop.. I forgot there are people who don't.

Anyway, I promise my next post will be more sensible than this. Happy December ehhrrbadee! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gloc-9: Ang Kwento ng Makata Concert

This year, I decided not to go home with the family to the province because November 2 was not declared a holiday. (I'm looking at YOU, Mr. President.) I knew the family will be home very late on Sunday and I have to get up early the next day for work. Even if I live within Metro Manila, you still have to go to work early because of the traffic. I know you know what I mean. I spent most of my Sunday doing the laundry, which, I find very therapeutic. Haha! 

But before that, I went out with the bff last Saturday. What was supposed to be just a dinner turned out to be a spontaneous, fun night! I met Gilbert in Greenhillls where I am doing a little bit of shopping for my Christmas gifts. I'm trying to complete my checklist as early as I can to avoid any last minute hassle like I do every other year before. I am a better person now. I am a grown up. Lol.

Walking to the Promenade, we passed by a poster by the Music Museum. It was Aristotle Pollisco/Gloc-9's Ang Kwento ng Makata concert and with it is a long list of guests. The most affordable ticket was only for Php 880. And the concert was that night (Oct. 31st). We exchanged glances. Haha! You know how you and your best friend's mind are like connected sometimes? We went to dinner to think about it, like we needed any more thinking. We decided we'll use his credit card to buy the tickets but alas, they do not accept credit cards at that moment. We sadly walked away. But I changed my mind thinking, you know what, we're here. It was probably a cosmic sign somehow that we were there, tickets were cheap, we've never been inside Music Museum and for the love of music! We decided to go with it and enjoy the rest of the night. And enjoyed it, we did.

What's good about Music Museum is it's size. It's smaller than other concert venues but the good thing about it is that it allows you to enjoy the performance even if you're a cheapskate like us, and you only bought the most affordable tickets. Afterall, you're only going to be at the second floor and not unlike in CCP's Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo where the cheapest ticket will place you on the 4th floor. 

I'm not a fan of rap but I do listen to it time to time. But I learned to appreciate it because it's so challenging to do, that and because I love tongue twisters. The first Gloc-9 songs I've ever listened to were Simpleng Tao and Hinahanap ng Puso. Watching Gloc-9 made me remember what I loved about it before: THE STORY. A good rap music tells a good story and that is what I love about Gloc-9. Not only that, the lyrics are well thought out. Para ka lang talaga niyang kinukwentuhan. Second, it's not only songs about unrequited love, some of his songs are about our country and everything that is wrong and beautiful about it. So the concert title's very appropriate. Ang Kwento ng Makata. Hindi lang ka lang pwedeng maging "makata" sa tula. Pwede rin sa rap!

There was a video showing Gloc-9 telling a story about his personal life and how he became what he is now. He was very humble and his stories were very touching especially about his life before he became a rapper and his tribute to the Master Rapper, Francis Magalona.

He sang a very good rendition of See You Again with KZ Tandingan with Francis M.'s pictures flashing on the screen. My heart melted. At ang galing talaga ni KZ! Hindi lang siya puro birit. Ang galing niya sa techniques and dynamics. I became a fan. 

I sang (rapped!) with Gloc-9 when he sang Simpleng Tao which was my favorite during high school. Good thing I still remember the lyrics! Haha! Reminded me a lot of my high school days. He also sang Sirena with Ebe Dancel, too. Ang galing. I love that song and everything it is trying to say. Rochelle Pangilinan did a sexy, electrifying dance number whilst he sang Magda. Ikaw na, Rochelle! He also sang with Aiza Seguerra, Jay Durias, Reese, Kylie Padilla and more. The concert was also for the benefit of Yes Pinoy foundation. I always think it's nice if an artist gives back. 

The last song was his version of Kaleidoscope World and everyone sang while waving their lit phones in the air. What a moment. 

We don't have any good photos but here are some of them.













All in all it was an awesome night! All the more awesome because it was very spontaneous. And it was worth it. Just in case you read this, thank you for a good night, Gloc-9. Huwag ka magsawa magkwento. You are a good storyteller. For the next Gloc-9 concert, I'm going to google the lyrics and practice na. Haha! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Poetry and Music Night at Sev's

It was a night filled with music and poetry infused with so much hugot last night (October 23) at Sev's Cafe. The whole place was jampacked with music and poetry lovers (can I just collectively call us art lovers instead?). I know many of us came for the poetry, but I think people were more drawn to it because of the night's theme, Naliligaw: Para sa mga naghahanap, hinahanap at pagod nang maghanap organized by The Artidope. Everyone can relate. I mean, how can you not?

I almost changed my mind about going since I know I'll be late since Sev's located in front of CCP and I'll be coming straight out of work from Ortigas, so hello traffic. And my best friends cancelled out on me. I was disappointed but I did the grown up thing to do, let it go and tried to look for someone else who can keep me company that night, preferably who loves words as much as I do. Nothing's better than having someone you can gush with after a night like that, much like how you want someone to critique movies after watching them. And kumusta ka naman kung manonood ka ng Poetry Night na ganito ang theme tapos more hugot ka ALONE. Damang-dama mo siguro yung feels.  

Luckily, I found the right person in my friend Carrie whom I haven't seen for years and she said yes immediately. The place was so full, I had to stand up for an hour while waiting for Carrie and we sat down on the floor near the stage for the next few hours. But it was worth it. All the poets were good. It was just my second poetry mic night. Poetry in the Philippines is really flourishing with the help of venues like Sev's who really cater indie events and indie performers. Who knew poetry reading is also a performance art? You don't just read it. Some of them had musical instruments (mainly chimes) for added drama. 

I love writing short stories or essays but I have a really hard time writing poetry. Words just doesn't seem to flow as easily as it does when writing fiction. I guess that's because writing a poem takes so much out of you emotionally. It's something that is really out of your experiences, your heart. It's your truth. And I have a problem letting all the feels out. That's where my problem lies, my poems are stark reflection of who I am inside. As much as I want to write and share it to others who'd care to listen, I'm scared to be vulnerable on stage. I'm actually scared to really be out there. I can get too intense and passionate, baka mapaiyak pa ako sa stage (I might cry on stage). Haha! Because I'm a pusong mamon like that.



Above is a photo of the happy crowd who gamely cheered on the poets. They applauded and hooted at the right moments. "Walang forever" was heard several times during the show. It was the kind of crowd that is easy to please and were so supportive that you'll want to please them all the more. 

I had so many favorite moments that night but one of the most memorable one was when a guy who goes by the name Rock6, performed. He sang acapella and rapped. Sounds pretty regular right? But I think he has autism or something like that--I'm not sure, but my point is back to the crowd. It was heartwarming how they were so supportive of the guy. There were no weird looks. Everyone cheered him on. He was a little out of tune when he sang, but man oh man, he rapped like a pro! There was a loud applause and appreciative comments everywhere. I love this crowd! 

There were performances from poets from The Artidope, White Wall Poetry and many more. After all the official line-up was done, open mic was next. People sign up prior or during the show and you get to perform after the official line-up. The night was capped off by a performer from Sev's Cafe itself. I forgot his name but the guy deserves to be famous, even only if viral famous. He was one of Sev's staff, dishwasher I think. At first we didn't pay attention but he was also such a good rapper. Hindi mo talaga aakalain. I'm not into rap but that guy has a talent stringing words together. He's very impressive. Unfortunately, like all others I have a tendency to underestimate others and I'm sorry for that. But I love how people surprise me and I find out every so often that talent can come from any one, from people with different kinds of background.

Here are some other photos from the event. 


Above is Karlen Fajardo, she writes music and poetry. It was my second time to watch her. I had to get used to her "style" of performing. But I warmed up to it after. She can get too emotional. She is a living, breathing freakin' feelings. In short, she is feelings personified. In her performance, she threw her ex's mementos (bus/movie tickets etc) on the stage and removed her shirt (yes!) after. Such a brave thing to do in front of so many people. Hehe. I really searched for her Facebook page. Now I'm a fan. I want to be your friend Karlen! Haha. Don't worry about the litter, she picked the stuff off the floor after her performance. Heehee. Her band, The Theobromine is just as awesome. She just played solo when I first watched her on another event that was 90's kids themed. Appreciated her songs more with the band especially with a violinist. One of her original songs were so catchy, the crowd sang with her as well. Hello naman kasi the chorus lyrics were like: "F!^% you, magsama kayo mga walang hiya..". Much like Lily Allen's. Sweet melody but tough lyrics this song was. 












Carrie and I were talking about joining the open mic night. Well, soon for her but someday for me. Heehee. I'm sure I'll get more nights like these. Join me? 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Joyful Noise

One day, when I was still in college waiting for my next class, I was sitting somewhere while reviewing for a quiz when I heard voices singing. I don't know the song but I can still remember how I felt hearing a legit choir for the first time. They were heavenly, like choir of angels. Even hearing them match pitch gave me goosebumps. That was when I decided that I'm going to join the UST Pharmacy Glee Club. I can't remember my audition song but I remember we had to sing the Lupang Hinirang as well and before we get off stage we were asked to mimick how our choir master clapped his hands, timing and all. I honestly didn't think I'd get in because I have no singing experience and haven't been part of any Glee Club before. Oh the happiness I felt when I saw my name on PGC's bulletin board. I actually got in! I was an Alto. My co-members were so good and I felt it was such a wonderful privilege to be singing with them. Here we are at our concert, ChoralwoRx held at Philam Life Auditorium back in 2007. It was a benefit concert together with UP Manila's Medicine Choir. Happy memories!





Being in Glee was the best part of my college years in UST. And that was when I was introduced to classical music. We were asked not to listen to pop music for a few months, if possible, and just listen to musicals and other choirs. That was when I fell in love with musical theater and how I got to know the UST Singers. Some of PGC's alumni even went on to be part of the UST Singers. It was always a joy to watch them perform. Their conductor Prof. Fidel Calalang always arranges songs for UST's annual choral competition, Himig Tomasino. 

UST Singers is a mix of current students and UST alumni. It was founded in 1992 by Sir Fidel as well. They always compete abroad and even holds the distinction in being the only choir in the world to have won the most coveted "Choir of the World" Grand Prize twice (in 1995 and 2010) at the oldest international choir competition in Wales, United Kingdom. 

I would watch them perform few songs when there are events in UST but I've never been to any of their concerts. They always perform and compete abroad and I always miss their Philippine concerts. But when I found out from their Facebook page that they're having a thanksgiving concert, I knew I had to go. Less than 2 weeks before the concert, I would call Ticketworld and CCP to check for the tickets. Siguro nakukulitan na sila sakin. Haha. I brought my brother Jed with me. He's part of Adamson University's High School Glee Club and a fan of UST Singers as well (because of me, of course!). 








The very excited brother. It's also his first time in CCP. He was all smiles when we entered Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.



Took a photo of us while waiting for the show to start. Excited spectators!




UST Singers enters the stage.




After what is supposed to be the last song on the program, people eagerly shouted for "more". And they gave the audience 3 more songs. Here they are after performing "Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka". 


We don't know majority of the songs in the program. Before we went to CCP, Jed said he wishes to hear Piliin mo ang Pilipinas. We got a bit disappointed when we saw that it wasn't part of the line-up. But God granted his wish when after Tuwing Umuulan.. people shouted for more again and they performed Piliin Mo ang Pilipinas. Ang saya!

It was such a delightful song. And if you have no idea about Glee, you'll find that "dancing" is just as important as well. There are some songs where they have to dance and they looked so adorable doing it, like when they sang La Aporrumbeosis which is a variations on the Latin dance, rumba. If you close your eyes, you'd think everything was recorded. They were THAT good. Some would think choir or classical music is boring but let me tell you, there never was a dull moment. Their soloists were great, too. Ang linis ng mga boses at ang gaganda ng diction. Hindi kinakain ang mga salita. The soloist on their song, Banwar Iti Cordillera was good, I didn't get goosebumps--I got teary eyed! Haha. And she's an alto too. Such a rich voice. Altos represent! 

I loved their version of Gapas. It had a very good arrangement and I love the dynamics. All choirs can sing a song perfectly by the note, malinis but what will make a choir stand out from others is really the dynamics or the execution of the song, the style--the pitch or pace of a bar can matter and a huge part of that (or maybe all of it) depends on how great your conductor is. At sa dynamics talaga magaling si Sir Fidel. 

And their last song, Get Happy was indeed a happy song. The group surprised the crowd because it was actually a mash up between that and Pharell Williams's Happy. It was such a fun moment when their soloists got the crowd clapping to the beat of the song. The whole theater was happily clapping!


The happy crowd. They got a standing ovation after the show.

That was a really good night. It made me miss singing. My brother and I kept talking about it all the way home. I'll really watch their other shows next time. Who's with me? 








Thursday, October 8, 2015

S-ART-urday!

When I was a teenager, I decided that I want to be a woman of logic as opposed to a woman of art. If you'll ask me whether I'll rather be smart (but ugly) or beautifully dumb, I will always say that I'll rather have brains. Looking back, I think of how clueless I was, not knowing the importance of art. But then I got my heart broken and the dam of feels got a crack and the walls crashed flooding my entire being of so much emotion I never knew I could feel. And then I changed. I still aspire to be an intellectual, a thinking woman. But the dam broke and now I'm a woman who feels. Thus, I found a new love--art. 

It will really take a while or a solid experience for you to appreciate art. Or sometimes if you're lucky, family members who loves it too. Unfortunately, no one in my family seems to appreciate visual art as much as I do. And even if I know a little about it, I try to expose myself to arts as much as I can. I love indie films to start with. I don't miss a Cinemalaya film festival and I always watch it at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. While waiting for the next film, I would walk around CCP and visit art exhibits and galleries. That's how I first got exposed to art. And now I try to make it a point to expose the only member of the family who seems to be loving art as well--note that we're both Glee Club members. Me back in college and my youngest brother, Jed, right now in High School. 

Last Saturday, I took Jed with me to CCP to buy tickets for UST Singers' Thanksgiving Concert this coming Saturday, October 10, 2015. Sayang naman ang student discount. 


It was a pleasant surprise when we found out that there's an on-going exhibit in CCP that time. 


The Thirteen Artists Awards is having an exhibit that Saturday. Before going up I kind of said a little prayer for my brother to see and appreciate everything and not be bored by it. 

But a brief background about the 13 Artists Awards from their flyer:

The THIRTEEN ARTISTS AWARDS (TAA) began as a curatorial project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) museum under the directorship of its first curator Roberto Chabet (1937-2013). The first group of artists gathered under this program exhibited their works in 1970. In a document on the event, Chabet made a critical connection between the Thirteen Artist and the Philippine Modernists. Both generations of artists were reviewed to have sought in their time the change and risk to "restructure, re-strengthen and renew art making and art thinking...that lend viability to Philippine art." Since then, the award would be given to deserving recipients without regularity or pattern, and always subject to constant revision. 
It is in this context that the Thirteen Artists Awards is sustained to this day: to mark the turnings in and of Philippine contemporary art, to update its modernizing potential and to assess how artists today engage with other forces in the art world. 
There are several works who really got my attention, however I wasn't able to take any photos. Sad! (Note to self: Always check camera's battery and memory card). We'll be going back to the CCP for the concert on Saturday so I'll just create a new post about that. In the mean time, go see visit CCP, check out the artworks and support Filipino Artists. The 13 Artists exhibit will be there until October 25, 2015. And best of all, it's free. 

Anyway, after CCP we went to Sev's Cafe located in the basement of Legaspi Tower. It's the building just across CCP. I'm there to meet my best friend and enjoy the rest of Saturday. It's my first time at Sev's so I'm a bit excited. Once inside, I found that it's very cozy and laid back. Not intimidating at all. 

Borrowed pic from RovingRani

Two things come to mind when I think about Sev's: Howie Severino and arts. Luckily, I got another dose of art visiting the cafe. There was a show that night with the theme "Palibhasa 90's Kids". It really made my Saturday night--all the good food, music and poetry. Sakto sa theme, I'm a proud 90's kid. So yes, there were a lot of Eraserheads cover and some Cranberries and a Jolina Magdangal (love that TL Ako Sa'yo cover!). I love the bands' line-ups. I'm in love with indie films and now I found that I fell in love with indie music as well. It even inspired me to buy a ukulele. Kainggit the girls who performed with it, with their original songs pa! Huhu. I envy composers. One band--Mae Ross even played HunterXHunter, Slam Dunk and Flame of Recca's Theme Songs. Talk about throwback! I used to know the lyrics of both songs but then I grew up. Sigh. Check out their Facebook. They posted the video of their performance there. I promise to never let go of my inner 90's kid. Another first that night is when I watched a poetry mic night by members of White Wall Poetry. OMG another kainggit moment! One of them was so good she memorized both her poems. Ay. I can't do a poetry mic night. Parang declamation nung elementary. Nakakaloka. I forget my lines and I get a serious case of stage fright. Tapos sila, complete with emotions pa. I followed White Wall Poetry's Facebook page because I'd like to watch them perform. 

To those of you who haven't watched a poetry mic night before, try niyo. Maraming hugot. Maraming feels. Heehee. 

I'll tell you more about the 13 Artists Exhibit on my next post, when I get decent photos, because these artists deserve to be seen and known. 

Ciao for now!