Saturday, November 26, 2005

why local tv gets to be boring

"read less, more tv,"
-Dr. Gregory House to Dr. Allison Cameron

if Dr. House were living in the R.P. i don't think he'd say that. have you watched tv lately, and i mean just the local channels? boring, right? i am so sick of the latin, korean, taiwanese, indian telenovelas. and no, i don't like Pinoy Big Brother.

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for someone who's supposed to be a reality show junkie, i never got into all the Pinoy Big Brother hype. maybe because i never saw the original version, or maybe because despite the term "reality", none of them contestants seem real to me. it's like the network auditioned people so they could lock them in a house so that ordinary people could watch them. then afterwards, when the people are so into these contestants, the network votes them off the house so they can make more money out of them.

"everybody wants to be a talk show host,"
-Jessica Zafra, Chicken Pox for the Soul

"everybody wants to be a reality show star"
- moi

i used to watch the reality shows that were shown on the network proximate to our house. they were brilliant although they weren't really that publicized and a bit underdeveloped. they were innovative. they didn't make stars out of the people who participated in the shows and truthfully enough, only a few of them wanted to capitalize on their 15 minutes of the limelight. just like the reality shows from the west, the stars got to lead normal lives and nobody makes that of a big deal anymore after the show is over.

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i also wish that they would cut the telenovelas, whether foreign or fantasy. they've packed in so many telenovelas you have to watch the informative shows on the wee hours of the morning. it's nice to veer away from reality for a while but when you stuff in too many shows on primetime that do nothing but teach the viewers to fantasize, you don't really give the viewer enough respect to further educate him. i want my news on a better time slot, whether i'm working on the day or night and a little documentary on primetime don't hurt anybody. they're making too many star search/reality shows that make celebrities out of people that they have to produce fantasy shows to give them opportunities to shine. local tv gets to be not just boring but crowded. too many stars and starlets.

***

i heard PGMA say that we should take a look at it from the macroeconomic point of view to at least appreciate that this country is getting some progress done. the common tao does not get macroeconomics. he's too busy figuring out where he's gonna get his next meal. i bet we understood a lot of former President Estrada's speeches mainly because a) he did a lot of grandstanding; b) we were waiting for him to say something stupid so we can joke about it.

last week i also heard that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada got upset with some woman from the Education Department (i couldn't really get who it was specifically, i was too sleepy and the news was shown quite late. see what happens when you put the news and information sooo late in the evening?!) for encouraging students not to vote for celebrities who only use their popularity to win. he in turn stated that neither should we vote for traditional politicians who only make money for themselves and not the people.

with all due respect to the good senator, sure, there are certain celebrities who know something about helping people but i don't think it's enough that you want to help others. i spent six years in law school and there are times when i feel that what i've learned is not enough to help this country. what more an artista who got used to people pampering him/her and telling him/her how wonderful s/he looks, who lives out on people's adulation? unless they get a crash course in public service and appropriate laws (believe me, there are tons of laws as far as governing this country alone is concerned), i don't think so.

hey, wait a minute. isn't Erap a celebrity who had a genuine concern for the welfare of the people, but made millions of money just for himself anyway?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Debut: futile attempt at making a good film review

Starring: Dante Basco, Eddie Garcia, Tirso Cruz III, and my look-alike (according to the HR people of my former office), Gina Alajar

currently listening to: Ivy's I've Got A Feeling

The film is about Ben (Dante Basco, the guy who played Rufio in the movie Hook), a guy who grew up in the U.S. with his family and naturally, his parents want to bring him up the Filipino way. You know, you have to be a doctor when you’re afraid of blood or you have to be a lawyer even if you can’t even construct a paragraph; you have to say “po” and “opo”; you have to help out in household chores; you have to be respectful to your elders; and, even if you’re in another country, you have to at least try learning the native dialect: Tagalog.

Ben doesn’t want to be a doctor; he wants to be a cartoon artist. I’m not really sure what the actual term is, except that you go to an expensive art school just like every other artist who wants to hone his craft. He always gets into arguments with his Dad (Tirso Cruz III), not just because of the whole this-course-you-want-to-take-is-just-a-stupid-hobby but because he really doesn’t help out in making preparations for his elder sister’s 18th birthday. And you know how big a deal that is to Filipinos. He’d rather be with his white friends. Things become complicated when they get a visit from Grandpa from the R.P. (Eddie Garcia) who makes a fuss about how they don’t learn any manners from their parents or how to speak the language. He has a dilemma on whether to show up at this other party or to stay, help out and enjoy his sister’s debut. He learns a lot about himself and his Filipino heritage over the course of the whole film. It’s good.

This is what I noticed about Filipino families: the middle-class and the not-so-capable class (I don’t know what politically correct term would be appropriate to use) want their kids to become lawyers and doctors and will work extra hard in order to “make their kids experience the value of a good education”. Somewhere there they also try to live out their frustrations in their kids (for a better explanation, listen to Perfect by Alanis Morissette because, frankly, I’m kinda tired right now to think it through. Oh yeah, best example: Little Miss Philippines. Notice how the mothers coach their kids during the talent portion when the kid just obviously wants to go home, eat, play, watch TV, remove the big head dress in her head) or force feed it to the kid like the kid didn’t have any say on the matter. That child will be their key to having a better life. The rich people, on the other hand, the ones who can afford to pay tuition fees for the really good medical and law schools, have kids who do whatever they want. More often they’re into music, film making, literature, and the arts. The works. They get to do things that make them happy and complete them as individuals, they get to study more extensively about things only similar other rich people can relate to, which doesn’t really help the economy or improve the lives of other countless Filipinos but they’re supposedly doing the right thing. They’re into things they consider relevant but don’t really mean anything to other not-so well off people, which is logical. You can’t really understand art and existentialism and other “–isms” if you’re too busy working your butt off just so you can eat your next meal.

We, as a race, also put too much attention to the status of an individual in the society. Despite the influence of Western culture and technology, we still live in the dark ages. We’re still old school in the sense that we only respect people based on their last names, the property they own. We do not give equal importance to others, regardless of the fact that they are doing an honest job. Even if it’s an honest job, if it’s not a high paying job, if it’s not a glamorous job, if you don’t get to rub elbows with important people, YOU’RE NOTHING. We don’t pay attention to people whom we think are not rich enough. That is the old people’s definition of cool: money, fame, power.

Eddie Garcia as the patriarch sorta reminded me of my father. When he was getting mad at Tirso for rendering a song for his wife and daughter in the program, I kinda felt I was Tirso, getting a scolding because I’m not good enough, I haven’t accomplished anything and I will never amount to anything. Gina Alajar was fantastic, especially at the part where she feeds Ben’s white friends (“you boys are so skinny, don’t your parents feed you?”). Oh, and would you look at that? Fe Delos Reyes was even in the movie (Fe who?) and she turns up with a really great performance. Wanna see an example of what I was talking about last time, about Filipino women marrying foreigners? Fe does a good job of portraying them (although I admit, not all women are like that); we also get to see women who like to mock and backstab other women. Making tsismis isn’t just exclusively a trait we have here in the R.P.; apparently women everywhere regardless of nationality do that.

It was an interesting movie that deals with Filipinos in America. It was shown here without much hype, not as much as, let’s say, American Adobo, where they ate most of the time. In The Debut, I, at least got to see a lot more people eating, other than the stars in the film. The best part was seeing white people partying, jumping; slam dancing to Slapshock’s Agent Orange.

and so we start again . . .

The first day, Monday, was actually fun. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it immensely. Somebody actually thought I was interesting, although he didn’t show up for work the next day and someone even took note of my favorite food. Same questions people normally would ask on a first day but I was surprised with the answers I came up with.

Thing that most people don’t know about you:
My life has been an open book and some people even presume to know who or what I really am, what I want to do in life, what I have to do, the things I can and cannot do. But what you guys probably don’t know is that I used to have this thing for Randy Santiago. Yes, you read that right. RANDY SANTIAGO. I was in grade 4, I was young. People are allowed to commit mistakes in their youth. We are allowed certain amount of time to improve our tastes. I’d like to think I did. In all fairness, I actually thought that he released good songs then. Why else would people in the pop industry revive some of them now?

Dream vacation:
London. Paris. New York. ANYWHERE in the world without my dad.

Most embarrassing moment:
Making out in a movie theater with my jologs boyfriend. They turned on the lights so they could play the national anthem.

Would you rather be cool or hot? Neither, because I’m already both. =) Just kidding.
You don’t think of yourself as hot or cool. People will tell you if you’re hot or if you’re cool, depending on their definition of what is cool/hot to them and what is cool/hot to you. I do not like labels.

What food do you pig out on? Italian food. Pasta and pizza, what else?

Our trainer treated us to a film showing the next day. We got to watch The Debut so we can compare how kids who grew up in the U.S. speak in English and how kids who grew up here speak in English. I also managed to miss Constantine Maroulis perform when he was here last Wednesday but I guess that’s just the way it is.

It was a good week. My colleagues are good people, except for one. "It" is not exactly bad but "it" is a bit rough around the edges and tends to annoy everybody else. Everybody else gets along fine. This early I'd like to think that my colleagues love me, or appreciate me, at least, and I love them. No reason for my old colleagues to feel bad because I love all of them. Not bad, huh?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

things that will piss you off if you stay in a computer shop too long

1. you will eventually hurt your eyes from surfing the net, playing an online game;

2. when asked how long they will surf the net, you say 1 HOUR, or 2 hourS. not 1 hourS, okay?

3. you will not see reruns of the shows MONK, NUMB3RS, and HOUSE;

4. London is not in the United States, they are from two different continents, one is in North America, the other one is in Europe;

5. a testimonial (in Friendster, Myspace, Downelink, etc.) is something a person writes about you, it's how s/he feels, thinks about you. this is normally given by the other person gratuitously. it is different from a message. a message is anything that you want to say to the other person, which only that person can read. a testimonial, once approved, will be seen by other people who will read your profile. i normally wouldn't approve messages in my testimonial section, i only approve them as a matter of courtesy.

6. despite efforts by great educated women to uplift standards of how we are to be perceived, there are still some women out there whose only dream in life is to be married to a foreigner. while you have high respect for these people (i'm sure they have their reasons the same way i don't want to be married. yet.), you suddenly lose it when they impose themselves on you like, "you should get married", or, "since you work in a call center, you must meet a lot of Americans, maybe you'll marry one". i'm sorry, ma'am, but i do not share your enthusiasm.

7. no matter how you try to influence people to listen to original music or music that makes sense, they would still prefer listening to crap like Cueshe, Nina, MYMP and other people who rip off originals. they don't want to listen to Sugarfree, Rivermaya, Session Road, Ciudad, Twisted Halo, Urban Dub, Sheila and the Insect and the like. no matter how you just want to try to amuse yourself in your own shop by listening to mp3s and cds of people you like, they will request to hear crap;

8. being treated like a stupid employee by your own father. even my supervisors were nicer;

9. having LSS of the online game tunes. makes you miss the hold music playing in the office while waiting for second level to pick up;

10. being around anorexic women. thankfully i know how to spell and read, things like that, so i don't really mind being over my ideal weight;

11. being around kids who don't take a bath, brush their teeth, or at least comb their hair;

12. being around kids who spend more time to update Friendster profiles rather than their knowledge of math, history, etc.

i guess there are more things to be pissed off about staying in our shop too long. but like i said, i have better things to do.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

that 80's something

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I first heard Depeche Mode’s Somebody in my cousin’s 18th birthday. A girl was playing the piano and a guy sang the song. That was ages ago. Like 80’s ago.

I got reacquainted with the song when I reached first year high school and I met my friend Ace. But then again, I got reacquainted with the whole genre of music. I have been listening to most of the songs for the most part of my adolescence but never really knew until he told me. I listened to New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle, Tears for Fears’ Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World, A-Ha’s You Are the One and their cover of Crying in the Rain, among other things. Of course, there's also the theme from The Breakfast Club, Don't You Forget About Me.

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I knew that Boy George was a man, but I also thought that he was very beautiful. I’m not really that old, although writing about the 80's might give away my age. I just found it weird that I knew most of the songs, I sang along to them, followed the song when it was played on the radio and took the lyrics down but never really knew who sang them until after high school and the early part of college (think ’94) when the whole grunge scene was already taking effect. Eraserheads had already opened the door for the eruption of the first band explosion and here I was, still brushing up on my new wave knowledge. I’m a huge fan of Depeche Mode and became an even bigger fan after I got a copy of their album, Some Great Reward.

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I also like Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, U2, and The Cure. My cousin used to have a whole collection of Duran Duran records.Now that I think about it, there was this girl in my elementary school who said she idolized Milli Vanilli, the fake one. I wonder where she put her collection. Anyway, by the time I realized I was crazy over Duran Duran; my cousin had disposed of her albums. I had to wait for the aforementioned bands to come up with their Best of’s and Greatest Hits Collections.

The Eighties was an era of big hair (which brought about the depletion of the Ozone layer), spandex, shoulder pads, acid wash, and other icky stuff which thank God, I didn’t have the money for, but a lot of great music came from that era. And I don’t just mean new wave. Sure, there are the really heavy metal tunes with the long guitar solos. I mean only new wave. Just kidding. It was a great era for pop, rock (although I don't agree with some of the tunes that came out), ballads and even for pinoy rock. I most especially loved The Dawn. I loved their music. I cried when Teddy Diaz was killed, just like we all mourned for Kurt Cobain in the 90's.
I know this is funny, but the 80's was a great era of music and most of the songs being ripped off and rehashed now actually come from that decade. People, i think Yael of Sponge Cola is cute, but Madonna is the original singer of Crazy for You, okay? And like I've mentioned before, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan did a duet of Especially For You. We're grateful that the 50 First Dates OST did reggae versions of new wave hits, and they were great covers too. The fashion is making a comeback, but in its refined form and no more big hair. We're trying to save the planet by not using Aqua Net. I miss the music: long guitar solos and not vocalists who try to stretch the song long after the band has stopped playing; original stuff from creative minds. You can't beat that. Not to mention, some of the Filipino artists/vocalists/composers that we have now, grew up in the 80's, and somehow influenced the music that we're listening to now. Yes, i bet even Cueshe listened to the 80's shit I'm talking about here. It could explain why they've ripped off so much and suck badly at it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

they're growing up to be sooo hot!!!

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i just love the harry potter series. i love the british actors who bring to life the characters we have grown to love.the fourth installment of the harry potter series was finally shown in london sunday (even Madonna was there to see it) and will be premiering soon in local shores.


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the weasley twins, at least one of them, would like to be villain in a future bond movie or be james bond himself. that ain't so bad. if we're lucky, we'll see a brit version of face off, with james and oliver phelps against each other.

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emma is growing to be such a hottie and bad boy tom felton, let's all wish, does not end up being a member of some boy band. we wonder if he could sing. look at that smile, kinda reminds us of robbie williams.

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daniel is growing up to be one real poster boy, as seen in this photo. calvin klein model in the making?

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ron, on the london premiere of harry potter and the goblet of fire.

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doug payne is the hot cute guy with a beautiful nose on the left. of course, there's fran healey, third from left. God, i miss this band.

and ron, or rupert. don't even get me started on rupert, showing up on premieres wearing a coat and jeans. way cool if you ask me. he reminds me of douglas payne, bass player of scottish band travis (why does it always rain on me, flowers in the window), although there really is no resemblance at all. the boy has the makings of a british rock star. i wonder if he plays the guitar when he's not reading harry potter books.

we're patiently waiting for harry potter and the triwizard tournament to arrive at a nearby theater so we'll just have to make do with these neat neat photo ops.

Friday, November 04, 2005

She was the only man he ever loved.

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I’m going gaga over Lee Pace right now. The man is sooo beautiful. I enjoyed watching Wonderfalls on Star World where he and this other cute guy, Tyron Leitso, were mainstays and was disappointed to know that the show didn’t get picked up for another season.

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Brief description of the show: A Philosophy degree holder, Jaye Tyler, works as a clerk in a souvenir shop near the Niagara Falls and lives in a trailer park. The souvenirs start talking to Jaye and make her do stuff. When she doesn’t listen or do what they say, the toys sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall until she finally does. She has a lesbian sister, Sharon. Lee plays her brother Aaron who has a PhD in I-forgot (he also flirts and eventually falls in love with Jaye’s Afro-American-Irish-Indian best friend, Mahandra, who works in the bar. Now you see why I love this show? It has lesbians, mixed race relationships and talking stuffed animals!!!) Tyron plays the bartender in the bar she likes to hang out in. Tyron is the love interest.

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Anyway, I looked up Lee Pace in the internet and was very impressed with his credentials. The guy won Breakthrough Performance by an Actor in the IFP Gotham Awards for his portrayal of Calpernia Addams in the movie Soldier’s Girl. It's the true story of a young soldier beaten to death for falling in love with a transgendered nightclub performer. Lee gives a breakthrough performance as a drag queen in love with a soldier who is brutally murdered for this relationship. I saw photos of the real Calpernia Addams. She is a doll. I also saw photos of Lee as Calpernia, he is even more beautiful. The only time I forget Lee is when I see Marty Casey in the Rockstar: INXS reruns. I didn't really notice that Daphna was cute. She always had her hair in her face. Again, I digress.

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Like I said, I love beauty. and Lee is a beauty.

You have to love a man in a dress.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Angel: you do everything to protect your family

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i was so happy to see Connor on Angel again. Vincent Kartheiser made a guest appearance on season 5 of Angel, as seen on Star World. his parents went to Wolfram and Hart to ask for help from Angel and company after they see Connor's bizarre abilities (apparently the kid got run over by a huge truck and is still alive to tell the story) and need explanations.

of course, Angel goes ballistic over the fact that his son is in the law office lobby when he specifically agreed to heading the Los Angeles branch of the cursed law office so connor wouldn't have to be there. nobody remembers who Connor is and since Wesley is still obsessing over Fred's death, letting himself get brainwashed by Yleria who looks exactly like Fred (of course, she killed Fred, hello?!), he just wouldn't accept angel's explanation that he can handle the case. Gunn is still in a hell dimension while spike is being used as Yleria's punching bag. angel tries to train connor to do battle with tristan.

the thing is, Connor has to be the one to kill this guy so that he could keep being in the family where he is loved and away from demons and Angel and Wolfram and Hart. but in order to kill the demon, he has to be the ruthless killer which Angel didn't want him to be. tricky.

fortunately, after Wesley drops Connor's memories, he remembers who Connor is but doesn't really disrupt Connor in general. or so Angel thinks. syempre, Connor might just be faking it because he does a nasty job in killing the demon, as per prophecy. we will know, by the end of the season. ='(

Connor is all hyped up and excited to get back to his old family (by old family, we mean, the normal mortal family) and you just wished Angel would hug Connor a last time before he rides the elevator. but, he doesn't. you kind of get hints that maybe Connor wanted to tell Angel something but he doesn't really say it. and Angel just let Connor go away.

sob.