Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Love Story of (Wini)Fred and Wesley 2

Joss Whedon is a genius.

i'm saying that not only because he directed the Avengers.  that he opened up a world of vampires, demons and heroes, strong female characters that we have grown to love is one thing.  that he made them sing before our eyes (i remember how Lorne would read Angel's aura - Angelus really hated Barry Manilow), made us love and cry for the characters whether they are against the demons out to destroy humanity or fighting their own, we loved him.

so imagine how giddy i was when he brought my favorite love team back via Good Ol' Will's classic Much Ado About Nothing.

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i saw the 1993 film adaptation starring Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Beckingsale, and then husband and wife Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.  i thought it was funny and sweet.  while i was young, not very good at accents at the time, and almost couldn't get a word out, i understood the story and loved it.  this new version, i understood and loved even more.

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i have to admit i was really disappointed when Angel got cancelled, more importantly when Fred died just as she and Wesley were finally together.  i was devastated.  imagine being in love with someone for so long, chasing each other but never really getting there, and then when you finally do fall in love, someone dies.  remember One Day?  that's how i felt when they got separated in the small screen.  it makes you sad because you lose hope that something that wonderful will happen to you in real life.

what better story of two people chasing each other, but never really admitting their true feelings than that of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing?  who better to do it than Fred and Wesley?

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this was an awesome movie.  of course, i love Shakespeare.  and of course, i love Whedon.  this could not have been a better combination.  it made me so happy that the Amy Acker-Alexis Denisof love team got resurrected here and that they finally get to stay together, without the world ending or any demons trying to take over either of their bodies and killing them.

there is hope.  

they're not a boy band but they found a way to my heart

i've said this before and i'll say it again: Filipinos who hear fellow Filipinos mess up the english language tend to judge, they find it funny in a way that is more judging to the point of ridicule than it is amusing. but when Filipinos hear foreigners, whether they're Americans, Canadians or British, or even other Asians, speak in Filipino and they mess it up, we find it cute.

yes, life is unfair.  lol.

which explains why Juan Direction is a hit. and i say this not because i've always had this thing for British guys but because they're actually really amusing and they do go out of their way to embrace Filipino culture.


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from left to right:  Michael, Charlie, Daniel, Brian and Henry

there's Brian, half-British, half-CaviteƱo, Mr. Nice Guy; Michael, half-Canadian, half-Boholano,  the boy-next-door; then there's Henry, half-PampangueƱo (although in the opening credits, he says, "half-Kapampangan" with aspirated p's), half-British, the smooth talker; Daniel who's half-Cebuano, half-Irish, the crush ng bayan who reminds me of S when he speaks; and Charlie, half-British, half-Filipino, the bad boy.

this group of five young half-Filipino men all met through the modelling industry. they got together a few years ago (God, i am married to my work and totally missed this) as Island Media Asia, which originally posted tutorial and documentary-style, and travel videos on YouTube. two other gentlemen make up the Island Media Asia group, making them seven: Matthew Edwards, Henry's brother, and Keys (very unique name, i wonder what it's short for) Cosido.  they started posting vlogumentaries (video blogging documentaries) of them selling fish balls, taho, balut, riding the MRT/LRT, driving a jeepney to Quiapo, shopping in Divisoria, going to the palengke (man, even hearing one of them say, "palengke" sounds like music) dancing the Tinikling and even showering with a water pump (your local barangay poso in public!). their show on TV5 started airing during the last quarter of 2013 but i didn't get into them until early this month. i chanced upon their show (while waiting for Beki Boxer - since i don't have cable anymore, and this is embarrassing since i don't really watch local shows, i don't even have time! - because Jerald Napoles is a kontrabida there, and the show really is funny, i have to say) and found it really amusing and very interesting. it would be cool to see them play syato, tumbang preso or patintero against seven little babaes. they've played 10/20 (teliber teliber - i've grown this old and i still don't know what they're really singing, except that, "i. love. you!") so that should work.  i especially like how they all speak tagalog. while some Filipinos go out of their way to be more American, more English, more Korean, they who grew up in the other side of the world decided that they prefer to learn more about their Filipino heritage and live amongst us locals.

having worked for/with Americans and Canadians for the most part of my professional life, i have taught my colleagues a tagalog word or two.  i've heard them try.  and they are cute when they do it.  which is another reason why this show is so appealing to me, and apparently, the rest of the Filipino population.  yes, we also like it when we get to humiliate other people who are more beautiful than ourselves the moment they speak the Filipino language.  that the guys go out of their way to discover the Filipino way and that they're not afraid to laugh at themselves while they do these things make them all the more endearing.

i hope they continue to promote what's great about this country, and that even if they do find about the bad things the hard way (which i seriously hope not because apart from being attractive, the guys are really nice people),  that they will somehow create an impact to most of us to try to want to make it an even better place.  the Philippines is a great country, despite its corruption, which is why these young men chose to stay here. they know how fortunate they are so they don't fail to remind us about the little things most people take for granted.   it makes me proud.

makes me wish i can get out on more trips too.  because as they say, it's more fun in the Philippines! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

maybe it would be better if . . .

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i saw the play Noises Off with a friend and i was really looking forward to being cheered up.  this past work weeks have been extremely stressful for me that i thought seeing a supposedly funny play would get me out of my depression and frustration. IT DID NOT.  my friend/companion, in her naivete, was funnier.

it didn't pick up until the second act and it disappointed me because these are all great actors and i knew how they could do better, performing in that half-empty theater.  there are so many great actors and better original material that they could've given life to.  what with their really bad accents.  but hell, what do i know?  i just work in a call center.

through it all, it wasn't exactly a total waste.  i got to be with my friend, have dinner, catch up.  that's what's important.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

angry girl journal 04.22.2014

I'm at the front seat of the bus going home.
I wish that the bus would collide with another bus
And hit me
And kill me instantly

That's how bad i've been feeling since yesterday
That or slit my wrists

I just really want to cry right now

Sometimes God sets up really bad precedents

I know God loves me.  I am grateful He does.  I know there are people out there with far more worse troubles than mine.  I know God loves me.  there are just days when i cannot bring myself to believe it.

What i have going for me is the benefit of knowing better, that even if i have an emotional breakdown, or that i inflict pain on myself, that it will not solve anything.  I'm strong enough to know that even if I think about suicide, I know I wouldn't do it.

God, that trip to the boxing gym sure would've helped right now if i weren't so tired and i need to come in early again tonight.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

yes, i will wear it even if it is pink


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if this investment doesn't make me want to run more, or box more, then i don't know anymore.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

transcendence: human uploading at its finest

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imagine you're married to Johnny Depp.  you've had this crush on him since 21 Jumpstreet and then suddenly, the universe decided to give you a pass:   now you're happy and married to Johnny Depp. however, not too many people are happy with him because he also happens to be a scientist who creates supercomputers with artificial intelligence and the human species thinks it's not a great idea so they decide to shoot him and use a bullet which poisons his bloodstream.  he has a few weeks to live so you and Johnny Depp, along with your good friend and fellow scientist Paul Bettany decide on his last few weeks, that you were going to upload Johnny's consciousness to a computer so that you can live with Johnny happily ever after.  so he doesn't really die! yey!

but he's everywhere! and you can't be alone even when you want to be! and he starts doing all sorts of creepy things like playing doctor to people who regenerate via computer so they're really not human anymore!  and while technology has helped a relatively quiet town be more prosperous, it becomes a moral issue how we try to sustain ourselves, how we play God.

oh, wait! let's end that sentence with an exclamation point: how we play God!

people believe that we are not far from that type of technology.  we cannot actually prevent that from happening.  we have learned so much over the years that it has become entirely possible that we can be bored out of our wits to develop a technology that will allow us to upload our dead loved ones to computers so they don't really die.  they stay with us.  FOREVER.

FOREVER.

that was the part that scared me:  you couldn't run away from anyone.  no matter how much you loved them, if you wanted to be alone, they were always there.  they would always be there.  FOREVER.

FOREVER.

Transcendence, the movie, has been successful in luring me out of the house just by two words:  Johnny Depp.  and then another two words:  Paul Bettany.  and yet another two words:  Cillian Murphy.  but best of all, another two words:  Morgan Freeman.  i cannot look at a picture of Morgan Freeman with a caption without hearing his voice speaking in my head.

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the story makes us think.  i know it made me think. while it makes us question our morals as to how far we would go for progress.  to make this world a better place, will we ruin our humanity? will we take a life? or do we just leave things the way they are and enjoy life while we can? so many people want to be different.  so many people want to make a difference.  it always boils down to, "how far will you go?"

i think it's just a love story. she wanted to save the planet and he wanted to learn the secrets of the universe.  in achieving her wish, humanity had to suffer a  global technology collapse and a blackout.  the other choice was the end to pollution, disease and human mortality.  FBI had to make a judgment call.

in the end, it's all about making choices.

so imagine you were married to Johnny Depp . . .




photo of Morgan Freeman courtesy of www.survivingcollege.com

like a drum, like a drum

i've been talking and thinking about it for a while but now i have decided to actually do it.

note that while i am a Pacquiao fan which isn't obvious ( i guess every Filipino is automatically a Pacman fan) and i grew up watching the sport, i don't particularly like seeing other people get beat up.  so you wonder why i'm actually doing it.   i do have a lot of pent up emotion, particularly anger, which i need to address and more importantly, manage.  i could go back to studying Tae Kwon Do again, but i'm not sure if anybody still does that nowadays or if my body can even stretch that far anymore.

i box and i kick so that i do not hurt myself or other people when i'm angry.  it allows me to focus.  it also lets me think about something other than my work.


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just like a song, i will learn, conquer and master your rhythm.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Person of Interest: for the greater good

if the Machine was meant to be a shield to protect people, and it in fact, has protected everyone, will you trust it enough to take a life, when requested by it to do so?

the show Person of Interest has always been, ever since i started watching it, very compelling and moving.  it makes you aware of your surroundings as a citizen, what little things you can do that affect the lives of others.  we unknowingly do things that trigger motion in another person's life, good or bad, which is the theme of this show, particularly this episode.

following the leak to the press of the financial statement of the Machine, Control shuts the program down so that the relevant numbers are routed to Root while the irrelevant numbers continue to go to Finch, Reese and Shaw.  their latest number is a state congressman, a self-confessed deal maker who receives insider trading tips from Decima in exchange for favorable legislation that will allow it to receive the government's surveillance feeds.  at first the team thought that Decima wanted to kill the congressman, but as it turns out, it is a "request" from the Machine to the team, to "eliminate" the congressman so that Decima will not go online.

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photo courtesy of cbs.com

John does not fully trust the Machine, owing mostly to Joss's death but he believes and trusts Harold.  over the course of the series, their characters have become close friends who look out for each other, even though both know that they might eventually die protecting people.  even Sameen, who starts off as uncaring (i love how the creators did not write her as someone who was violent because something  happened and it made her that way, but that something happened and it woke something up that was always there to begin with) keeps her principles but has now become an ally, one who is more concerned about saving the lives of others, instead of taking them.

this episode particularly touched me because it made me question my government even more than it already has.  it showed me that all government is corrupt and every thing is a deal to everyone.  while there are people who save lives, do their work and protect others, without asking for anything from anyone, there are still more people who do not care, who are only after their own benefit.  here the Machine presents the team (and makes us think, too) with the dilemma of taking the life of one person for everyone's greater good and the aftermath of that choice.

i really love this show.  plus, i finally got to use the word "aftermath".

***
the team leaves McCourt in the abandoned house and runs into the woods, away from the authorities. we see them drive away after Shaw is shot in the leg.  and this song starts playing.

Medicine
Daughter

Pick it up, pick it all up.
And start again.
You've got a second chance,
you could go home.
Escape it all.
It's just irrelevant.

It's just medicine.
It's just medicine.

You could still be,
what you want to,
What you said you were,
when I met you.

You've got a warm heart,
you've got a beautiful brain.
But it's disintegrating,
from all the medicine.
from all the medicine.
from all the medicine.
Medicine.

You could still be,
what you want to be,
What you said you were,
when you met me.

You could still be,
what you want to.
What you said you were,
when I met you.
when you met me.
when I met you.

i swear, i love this show.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

cassette what?

there was a time when music wasn't so accessible to everyone as it is now.  i know, because i grew up during that time.  kids today are pretty lucky that everything is now available in the internet (unless the creators didn't make it available in your country.  ugh).   if you liked a song and didn't know the title, you can open an application on your phone so that it can figure out the song title for you.  if you wanted to do your own versions of songs, all you have to do is get your phone, a guitar  or keyboards, and sing.  a few minutes later it's in youtube.  no matter how bad it is, it is there for everyone's consumption, immortalized.  everything's on hashtag now,  whatever it is for (i know it is for "trending" purposes, for easy searches, but that's the point, i want to stay hidden).   kids today will never know the difficulty of waiting for a song on the radio, just so they can record the song or write down the lyrics while the song is playing.

those were good times.

i think my first tape was Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814.  that, or the P60 tape of Randy Santiago, which had two songs, Hindi Magbabago and Para Sa'Yo and their minus-one versions on side B.  i saved up for my tapes, allocating a portion of my allowance to buy either a music cassette or a good book.  i didn't have the luxury of mommy or daddy's credit card.  you want it, you have to earn it.  i bought tapes of whoever was famous at the time.  i was a kid, after all, and listened to stuff everyone was in to, just so i could fit in.  the tapes were varied and diverse, from FrancisM (God rest his soul) to Color Me Badd,  until i got introduced to what i would consider better stuff like Alanis Morissette, The Eraserheads, Pearl Jam. U2.

i didn't know whether to sort by artist, color code or group by genre.

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as i was growing up, i was very much into new wave music, only i didn't know they called it new wave then.  when i caught up, they didn't have the albums out anymore and all i got to were the "best ofs".  although i did give away my Some Great Reward album to my high school classmate who probably threw it away after Somebody didn't get him the girl he was courting.  i also missed the gigs when Duran Duran, a-Ha and Depeche Mode were here but i made sure i saw Tears for Fears when they came back.

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i remember looking for Sandwich's album in the music stores when Grip, Stand, Throw came out and the lady kept on giving me Savage Garden.  seriously, lady, there's a difference:  one is local, two syllables, the other, foreign, four syllables.  where is Moby now?  of course, Cheese became Queso, then Wilabaliw. after a brief solo stint, Jett Pangan reunited with the other members of The Dawn.  Dong Abay is still very much around, they made a play based on Sugar Free's songs and Parokya still drinks beer.

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yes, that is Meteor Garden's OST right next to Color Me Badd, just right below the Pretty in Pink OST. yes, that is Westlife.   Swirl360?  we all thought that Mandy Moore was a good actress after Only Hope, err, A Walk to Remember, came out.  they're doing a local version of the musical based on the movie Ghost.

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where is Bent now, i don't know.  maybe they've gotten old, knocked up and said goodbye to their rock and roll dreams forever.  Moonpools and Caterpillars came over to Manila this week, and i was at work.  Fatal Posporos became Cambio, then Duster. Brownbeat AllStars vocalist Myra now owns a bar somewhere.  Barbie is married, has kids and doing duets with Sharon Cuneta.  Sheryl Crow survived cancer.  Cynthia Alexander is now in Seattle.  

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when the difference in cost between tapes and cds became less, i switched to cds.   i even bought cds of artists i already had tapes to. foreign cds are still more expensive compared to the ones out by local artists but if i feel strongly about the artist, i'd get them anyway.  i have the Jagged Little Pill on tape and cd and i even got the ten-year anniversary acoustic version of the album.  i have Mirrorball both on tape and cd and i have The Dawn's lounge album.  i'd watch a gig and buy the cd of that artist.  it makes me a little proud that i was listening to them before everybody else caught on.  we have to support the independent music industry.

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stacking them all took me back to the time when i first bought them, listened to them, talked about them.  it's sad that where i might go, i cannot take them with me.  i hope to be able to.  of course you have your itunes and mp3 players with you.  i don't even have a player for these anymore.

the technology may have improved the way we listen to music now but it doesn't replace what we felt back then when we first heard the songs. why else will so-so artists launch their careers reviving an old but really great song?  the feelings we had, the memories,  they will stay with us forever.  

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

i thought he was a man but he was just a little boy

it feels like that kind of a day.  this song has been playing in my head for a while.

Paper Bag 
Fiona Apple

I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on, or something like that
 I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment that my chances
Were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag

Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

And I went crazy again today, looking for a strand to climb
Looking for a little hope
Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine,
And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope
I said, 'Honey, I don't feel so good, don't feel justified
Come on put a little love here in my void,' he said
'It's all in your head,' and I said, 'So's everything'
But he didn't get it I thought he was a man
But he was just a little boy

Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills 
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills
Because I know that I'm a mess that he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold because these hands are just too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving, it works, when it costs too much to love

so come on, and put a little love in my void, now, will you?