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Mar. 1st, 2010


(no subject)

Because the world isn't as friendly as we'd like to think, most entries from 2007 onwards will be locked.

Jun. 26th, 2009


Off with her head!

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter: two names in a cast list that tell you, without fail, that it's Tim Burton orchestrating the fantasy behind the camera.

If you're not giddy with excitement, you're probably not of this earth. Alice in Wonderland, people, through the eyes of Tim Burton, to be released in 2010. Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman help bring the story to life:

Alice and the Queen of Hearts hereCollapse )

Tim Burton's head must be a scary yet fascinating place.

Photos are lifted from www.rottentomatoes.com

Jun. 14th, 2009



The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

- Anne Morriss

Apr. 28th, 2009


Conversations. ...Sort of.

A few weeks ago, an apt warning from Glenn: "Maro, the guy has issues, are you sure you want to get involved?"

I realized, no, I shouldn't. And yet two days ago there was this:

Me and my sister, during mass, after a crazy little thing dawned on me:

Me: I have a confession.
Ate Joan: What?
Me: I like him a lot already.
Ate Joan: ... that's your confession?!
Me: Umm, yeah.
Ate Joan: I already knew that.

Something tells me this will end in tears. And LOTS of overpriced coffee.

Feb. 1st, 2009


It is written.

Call it proof of my incapacity with words, but the only succinct way with which I could describe Slumdog Millionaire is to call it great and thoroughly entertaining.

There’s also been much talk about the cast, especially Dev Patel and his restrained but powerful performance. My personal favorite, however, would have to be the actor who played the young Jamal. That kid lit up the screen with such raw charisma and talent. He was adorable to watch. There’s one priceless scene where he jumped into a pool of poo and emerged from it almost heroically: It could easily have come across as disgusting; instead it was hilarious and oddly uplifting, as I found myself wishing I could muster enough courage to wade through shit (not literally, I hope) to get what I want.

Anyway, the film itself is a feast for the senses. You watch it and you realize that yes, Danny Boyle deserves that directorial nod after all. The first half was especially kaleidoscopic, and for one who’s associated blighted areas with dull and dreary tones, I found India’s slums ablaze with color. Even the music had personality and was perfectly strewn in at all the right times. And watching a young Jamal run to his idol while he’s casually cloaked in excrement -- well, that almost made me cover my nose.

If you haven’t seen it yet and you’re wondering what it’s about, Slumdog tells the story of Jamal and how the small and seemingly inconsequential moments in his life came together to turn his fate around. His struggles growing up in the slums and his bittersweet journey to be with Latika is told against the backdrop of India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

It’s a fairytale, really. In the real world, you don’t win ten million and happily move on with your life. In the real world, you’ll probably have to deal with flocks of friends and relatives who’ll surface from who knows where. You’ll probably lose sleep over how to drive the thieves away. You might even need therapy to help you cope with the force of going from flat broke to filthy rich in a matter of hours.

But the rags-to-riches story isn’t the core of this film. It’s not about making you want to win big on Kris Aquino’s show, or pushing you to gamble more money on the lottery.

Instead, it’s about destiny. Fate. That some things, no matter how improbable they may seem, are simply meant to be. That an uneducated boy from the slums can know the answers to a game show’s questions and also have enough luck to guess the last one rightly. That it’s not so bad to hope and to dream because no matter how dire our circumstances, some things, better things, are simply written.#

Tiny bit of trivia: Danny Boyle revealed in this interview that he shot parts of the film with a compact Canon camera. Yup, a compact still camera, not a fancy DSLR or some hard-ass professional video cam. Biases aside, it’s hard not to be impressed after having seen how visually striking the entire film was. He didn’t reveal which particular model he used, but methinks it must be one of the PowerShot superzooms (the SX1, perhaps).

Mainstream Filipino screenwriters and filmmakers should have at least one valuable takeaway from this film: tell the story you know and tell it honestly and with originality. I’ve been put off by Filipino films mostly because they’re poor Hollywood remakes, unoriginal and obsessed with its popular but mostly incapable actors. Slumdog Millionaire, on the other hand, was unforgivingly real. It exposed the ills of its society without coming off as some preachy propagandist piece. At the same time, by shooting on location across India, it also showcased the many gems that drive hordes of tourists to the country. And while that trademark dance number just before the closing credits did make me cringe a little, I also found it to be distinctively Bollywood -- a clear statement of pride in their culture and a brave effort to make their mark in the global cinematic stage. Soon, I hope, someone will come to engage the world in our story.

images were lifted from www.rottentomatoes.com

May. 14th, 2008


something to talk about

I have sore eyes. For the second time in 5 weeks. I was sent home from work Monday morning and I’m stuck at home to this day, frustrated and almost spasming from the thought of not being in the office. This is where LJ comes in. Blogging, dear friends, is therapy.

On work. No matter what else happens in the coming months, I’m sure that 2008 will go down the history of my life as the year I started my career. I say there’s no such thing as a perfect company and even one as reputable as Canon has minor glitches in its system, but if you ask me about my job alone, I’d tell you that this is exactly the kind of thing I pictured myself doing. It’s as hardcore marketing as it gets, embracing everything from brand management to events marketing, product management to advertising. Of insane schedules, I already have first-hand experience (for the HD Launch at Mall of Asia, we ingressed until 5:30 a.m., went to Rice’s condo for a nap and a bath, and were back at the venue just three hours later). I hear the work load is about to get crazy, but the great thing is, it’s something I welcome. I can handle stress and pressure as long as I’m doing something I love and enjoy. With projects involving the likes of UAAP and Project Runway Philippines, I’m having as much fun as I could have hoped for in a job (I’d love to divulge the details, but that would be against company policy, hahaha).

It’s a small world, indeed. My boss apparently shares a boarding house with Paul Tagalan (UPCBA batchmate). Also, on my first week, I was in a business meeting with L’oreal and Pats Chua was there (batchmate again). Commuting to and from Makati daily, I usually bump into people from St. Scho and UP. Finally, my dad turns out to be one of Canon’s values trainers, and no less than the president is acquainted with him. (You’re probably thinking that surely, I knew about this; I honestly didn’t. My dad holds seminars intermittently but frequently for a wide range of organizations both here and abroad, and even my mom sometimes has trouble keeping track of his schedule). I’m just saying, the world feels small sometimes.

Cubao Expo. I got to visit the place for the first time during Friday’s shoot and I enjoyed immensely its unaffected atmosphere and vintage appeal. Three gems we unearthed:

Breathing Space. It’s a cozy gift shop that’s really more than just a gift shop. We had coffee there while waiting for the production team to set-up. Drinks were served with Kraft pretzels and caramels — stuff of my childhood, oh my! — and just like that, I’m convinced it’s a place I’ll go back to again and again.

Janilyn’s. Hello, Fabulous Bargains.

Bellini’s, where the food is great and the ambience irresistibly Italian. Of course, I loved the visit for an entirely different reason: I was told on that day, at that place, that my Italian sounds “authentic.” The conversation went something like this:

Waiter: Veramente, parla italiano?
Me: Si, ma non molto bene. Solamente un po’.
Waiter: Ha gia vista l’Italia?
Me: No, purtroppo non anchora.
Waiter: *says something speedily*
Me: *stumped* …Scuzi, non capisco. I need a lot of practice!
Waiter: But your Italian sounds authentic!
Me: *grins*

For all I know, he dished the compliment more as consolation, haha, but I’ll take it!

Mild addictions. People who know me well are aware that my only vice is a small handful of TV shows. ‘Vice’, because no matter how hectic my week is, I just have to have my fix in the form of at least one episode of any of these:

American Idol. This I get to catch up on during weekends, thanks to YouTube. I’m a reluctant David Cook fan. I don’t like his arrogance, but his insane covers of Always Be My Baby and Music of the Night sit snugly in my hard drive. For a time, David Archuleta was the most adorable thing to hit TV screens, until he started singing the same runs week after week and predictability turned into bore. So basically, I’m now torn between the two David’s. Thank God voting is exclusively for US residents.

Grey’s Anatomy. If you ask me, I’d say last week’s episode is Grey’s best in a long time. I don’t care about how many people have lost interest in the show after some ludicrous plot turns and emotionally heavy episodes in season three. I still want my McDreamy, I still crave doses of Cristina’s dry wit, and I still love Meredith despite her annoying bouts of being “scary and damaged.”

House. Grey’s feeds my need for melodrama; House satisfies my ‘intellectual curiosity’ (sounds nice when you put it that way). Kaka and Macri got it on point when they said that Grey’s is very character-centric and House, case-centric. Every episode opens with a baffling case and ends with House finding an unconventional way of solving it — simple pattern, really, but everything in between is almost always fresh and interesting.

I’ve apparently filled up two pages on Word, not to mention I’m starting to feel ridiculous wearing shades while tinkering away on my PC, so I have to stop about now. Coffee dates, as always, are very welcome. ♥

Feb. 6th, 2008


Can I just say...

...Ellen Page is my hero. And Juno and Bleeker are now my favorite (fictional) couple.♥

photo lifted from rottentomatoes.com

Jan. 30th, 2008


more potent than drugs and alcohol.

Three days after the 2008 Australian Open officially ended, I find myself having withdrawal symptoms. Haha. No kidding. Irritability, inability to think clearly (because my mind is doing replays of Nadal’s fist pumping and that insane passing shot by Djokovic in the final). It’s something I should have anticipated. After all, every day for two weeks, any background music I played while working was replaced with Sharapova’s shrieking, Rafa’s grunting, and Ana’s shoes squeaking, as well as sporadic player challenges — some disruptive; others, specifically ones in tight matches, mildly nerve-racking.

[There’s at least one person that shares my sentiment: Jayef messaged last night saying, Ang boring-boring. Wala nang tennis :( You see, we take tennis seriously :P]

The Australian Open was never really my favorite among the Grand Slams, but this year something was different — special, almost — about the tournament. Like for every round, there’s at least one great match, records were rewritten and nothing really played out the way experts had predicted: Roddick crashed out in the third round, Federer almost followed suit, Henin lost in a lopsided quarterfinal, the Williams sisters didn’t make the semis, an unseeded Tsonga demolished three top ten players, and most shocking of all: Federer walked out of Rod Laver on a semifinal, which meant that for the first time in three years, the men’s singles trophy would go to neither Roger nor Rafa. (It went to Djokovic, who is now within 900 points of Rafa’s ranking and looks poised to become world number one. I still don’t like him as much as Nadal, but there’s consolation in him being easy on the eye, and in his little brother being the most adorable fan in the arena :P).

Haay, it’s going to be a long four months until Roland Garros.

~ ~ ~

On the yearbook:

Still in progress. Honestly, there are days when I literally feel like throwing up while I'm about to start more work on the annual, and days when I feel so inspired it’s hard to contain the ideas in my head. Whatever the case, things get accomplished anyway, and tomorrow we’ll be releasing a brief update to let everyone know that, thank heavens, we are still on schedule.

Jan. 29th, 2008


just because.

"...Although you may not stumble across a Martian in the garden, you might stumble across yourself. The day that happens, you’ll probably also scream a little. And that’ll be perfectly all right, because it’s not every day you realize you’re a living planet dweller on a little island in the universe."

~ Gaarder, in The Solitaire Mystery

Nov. 30th, 2007


Coup? What coup?

When you're from UP and something like yesterday's "coup attempt" takes place, you just have to have an opinion — more so when you're from BA and you wish to belie the undue labeling of your college as the Bastion of Apathy.

Yesterday, however, I realized there are times when it's worth it not to care.

I actually followed the news for a few hours. Knowledge and understanding are antidotes to apathy, so I tried to keep myself informed.

And then I caught Trillanes protesting to the media about the "government’s brutality" in risking civilian lives just so they can take the rebels down. I figured that was incredibly self-righteous of him to say after planting bombs in Oakwood. I also thought it disgusting the heroism they were trying to fake by surrendering "para wala nang madamay." I decided then that I was just wasting my time, turned off the TV, and went back to doing layouts.

At this point, Butch Dalisay's barber seems to have a better take on the "coup" than me, so I'm reposting Sir Butch's blog entry, An Abortive Coup:

"AN ABORTIVE coup (it looked more like an impromptu press conference to me) broke out in Makati as I was getting my haircut today, and here’s what my barber—who doesn’t want to be jailed for sedition, so he’ll go unnamed—told me as we followed the ongoing action on the barbershop TV’s tiny screen (I won’t bother translating the language, because this concerns only us Pinoys anyway):

1. If you’re going to launch a coup, make sure it has a real and reasonable chance of succeeding. Otherwise, bitin at nakakainis lang.

2. If you’re going to launch a coup, don’t call it off because people might get hurt; that was the point, di ba? Tear gas pa lang, sumuko na.

3. If you’re going to launch a coup, don’t let former VP Tito Guingona speak for you. He’s a nice guy, but he’ll go on and on in his Ateneo accent and soon put everyone to sleep.

4. If you’re a member of the media and want to cover a coup, don’t complain if you get hurt or get arrested. Don’t make yourself the bida of the issue, at least while the bigger thing (the coup, remember?) is going on. Pagtatawanan ka lang ng mga totoong war correspondent sa Iraq.

5. If you’re going to show popular support for GMA, don’t do it by gathering a group of Cavite mayors behind Gov. Maliksi. Parang barkada ng mga cattle rustler.

6. If you’re going to stop a coup, don’t remember to cut off the electricity five hours after the coup began. Makaka-recharge pa ng cellphone ang mga coup plotters.

That was my barber speaking, folks. Arrest him, not me! (I had a few of my own opinions, but I didn't think it was a good idea to debate with your barber while he slashed the air with a razor to emphasize a point.) ;)"

~ ~ ~

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