I’ve been following 98B’s FB page for a while and I’ve been eyeing their Monthly Market over at Escolta. With 98B being an independent artist-run initiative, I could only imagine the selection of items being sold (or in this case, the concessionaires they’ve allowed to sell at their Market). I was expecting nothing less than interesting, and I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed.
On Kung Paano ako Naging Leading Lady
- Managed to catch the last few runs of it in Greenbelt OnStage
- Was hoping to watch Bituin Escalante in the starring role but I get to watch Frenchie Dy instead.
- Frenchie’s not bad, but I was hoping for an intense performance. She was quite believable as the good ate though.
- I actually liked Markki Stroem’s performance as Leading Man. He plays the naive and earnest Inglisero Amboy convincingly – it was natural that Mely (Frenchie Dy’s character) would really be friends with him.
- I really thought Vincent De Jesus played Senor Blanco – but it was someone by the name of Domi Espejo – benta sakin yung grammar punchlines niya.
- A month from watching the play, I could still recall Buhay Basahan and Kayumanggilas ‘s melody, but I can’t say the same for the other songs. Not sure if I wasn’t paying attention or if the songs sounded the same to me.
- “We have a maiiiiid!!” was one of the more awkward singing parts in Kung Paano ako Naging Leading Lady – at least for me personally.
- The code switching between Filipino and English was off-putting
On No Filter: Let’s talk about Me
- I LOVED IT. Seriously. I doubt however if the parents and older people watching it with me at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium fully appreciated it since it mostly talks about Millennial Issues.
- I say this because considering the humor alone, I’m not sure if people outside the Millennial crowd get the skits about Tinder, the 5 people in an Instagram Picture, the Apps segment. It was written by Millennials and I think I really get the humor – I enjoyed every second of it.
- Much as I enjoyed it however, I can’t help but think that the play is so burgis. All the themes discussed in the play wouldn’t come to a person’s mind if that person came from the lower income classes. Social Media Activism, the Icarus segment: i.e. Don’t fly too high lest your wings melt off not Don’t fly too low lest the waves swallow you whole, people who are trying to eke a living everyday – even if their ages will allow them to be considered a ‘Millennial – just have no time to have these concerns. Can’t help but think that people having these concerns are “privileged” in a way.
Generation Gap is the wittiest thing that I could come up with right now regarding these two films that I’ve watched in today’s Cinemalaya lineup. On one hand you have the story of two married UP professors in their midlives dealing with their issues in Giancarlo Abrahan’s Dagitab, and on the other you have the the story of a teenager in crisis in Gino Santos’ #Y. Both however are stories of personal struggle, albeit on the different points in one’s life. One story ends with hope, and another ends tragically (Or did it? It will make you wonder, but I’m getting ahead of myself) – [SPOILER ALERT, by the way]
On Jose Altarejos’ Kasal (Directors Showcase):
And I’m back! Been finding a reason to blog again after the office shenanigans, and this looks like the perfect opportunity to do so!
The last time I attended Komikon was way back 2012, and I missed it a bit. Primarily, I think it was that I didn’t find enough motivation to go last year as compared to this year. This year, I was set on getting interesting titles: the Abangan Anthology, Manix’s 10th Kikomachine Book, Tabi Po in its full color glory, and Eliza Victoria’s Project 17 (which is technically not a comic, but since it was on sale, I thought of including it). Hence, I think I went to Komikon just to make Visprint rich, but I digress.
Another reason was to catch Arnold Arre’s Animation Short, Milkyboy. I haven’t seen any venues where this will be shown, and once the Komikon FB page announced that they’ll be showing Andong Agimat and Milkboy, I knew I had to come this year.
To put it simply: I loved it, and I’m glad I watched this first among this year’s entries.
- The action scenes are not exactly as flashy as say, Asiong Salonga. Probably Not too artsy as OTJ. It’s not overly stated. It’s grey and gritty, but it kept me on my toes. Even though it was just a very long chase sequence at the end. It was crawling. The music probably helped.
- I haven’t watched that much Joyce Bernal films, but I think she was allowed to be creative on this one with the handheld camera shots, the CCTV-like scenes, that Manila Day-to-Night shot transition, and it was fresh seeing things like those in an MMFF entry.
- Don’t get me started on the casting. It’s like they got the characters downright pat: Mylene Dizon as the wife, the casting of the Senator’s kids, even the Madam President character and her Busangot-ness and her generals – not your typical contrabida faces, but unmistakably sinister. Bela Padilla as the spunky reporter Myra Limchauco was a surprise, and I wouldn’t dismiss her again as another token Kapuso talent. Carla Humpries as the former Kidnap Victim turned diplomat was also a nice casting choice.
- But mehn, Pen Medina was it. Very generous with the cursing, and I loved it! Ang lutong mehn. He was very colloquial and very believable, like he’s some street-hardened thug you could run into when you’re walking down an alley in Manila.
- Alchris Galura. Even though he had a small role. That is all. (HAHAHAHAHA)
- Robin Padilla probably looks too fresh to be a seasoned Cop in his 50s (?) – it is a film loosely based on Panfilo Lacson’s life – but he did well with the action scenes and his acting is okay so I guess I could live with it
- Speaking of acting, everything was subdued. No overly dramatic and dragging iyakan scenes in here. Which is the best.
- There were subplots which helpfully peppered the Main story. Without these scenes, it would’ve been just a fugitive story and it would’ve been boring if they weren’t around. Myra Limchauco’s plot rounded everything up nicely in the end.
- It would’ve looked cool if they’ve gone with the whole typography treatment – especially with the Newspaper headline clip scenes, but that’s just me nitpicking
- The opening credits looked cool, even though it’s just letters
- It really makes me wonder how much of the story is really fictional. So was there a reporter that helped Sen.Lacson when he was hiding and knew the whole story? Whatever that was?
- If there’s a phrase that sums the movie for me, it’s this. Just Right. The right amount of acting. The right amount of action (and humor, yes there were light moments). The right amount of holding back when you could’ve gone wild with the drama and the action scenes. And everything just, works.
So I arrived at The Farm around noon of Tuesday. I even remembered being greeted “Hello” by a caucasian foreign guest together with the staff once I approached the reception desk. The reception area reminded me of Japanese houses with adjoined rooms and no doors, while the interiors made me recall Manila’s Coconut Palace, only Breezier as there weren’t really doors that separate one room from another. I was immediately attended to by the reception staff, and the shuttle service that was supposed to pick me up was calling to check where I was (I hope I didn’t keep them waiting). Fresh coconut juice served to me while the map of the resort and the day’s activities were explained. Afterwards, I was escorted to one of the Sulu Terraces, which will be my room for the next 2 nights. Ms. Lally, the receptionist that I met on the way to the resort, carried my bag through the tastefully landscaped walkway.
It was awfully quiet, which prompted me to ask her if I arrived in the middle of the Resort’s off-peak season. She said that the only way one can know if there were a lot of guests is when they start to arrive in droves in the reception area. After the guests disappear into their separate villas, you wouldn’t even know if there are guests in the first place since the place was so vast. Staying there for almost 3 days, I had to agree. The only time I would run into people was when I eat Breakfast and Afternoon Snacks.
The cheapest rooms in The Farm are the Sulu Terraces, and staying in one was like having your own treehouse. The bath is located downstairs, separate from the room, and has an adjoining meditation pavilion.
The room was spacious enough for two people, and since I was alone, it was roomy enough for me. It was air-conditioned, had an electric kettle and a hair blower (which I used and abused, it’s amazing how hair dryers do wonders for your hair!), bedroom slippers, your own safe, your own drinking water supply dispensed from a beehive looking glass container (very tasteful), and most importantly, a box of herbal tea and fruit basket. Now why are were the last two things important? Because you can get by dinnertime eating only this, and you wouldn’t have to spend for dinner, that is, if you’re keen on minimizing spending. And they also give every guest their own mini bayong where you can put your valuables in and carry it like a handbag, and the guest can take it home.
This is how the room looked like during the evening. Lighting really is a factor for interiors. I felt like I was staying in a posh hotel room.
Side story: I got really scared during the first night, because I started reading American Gods and someone in the story died and I started thinking about death and realized that I was really alone in the area, and nobody will know if ever something bad happened to me. Then there was a sudden sound, like someone was knocking or croaking but I didn’t see anyone by the window. The knocking sounds were then replaced by “tu-ku”, “tu-ku”. Fuck, that was the first time I heard a tuko in my life, and it was eerie. Every night it’ll do the same knocking sound followed by the tuku sound, so I got used to it.
The view from the door. Seems like I’m only person staying in the terraces for the day.
After arriving, my first urge was to inspect everything. Didn’t really take a picture of the bath, but I was impressed how clean and complete it was. No visible grimes. The toilet had a bidet, no need for the friendly Filipino tabo. There were bath towels, hand towels, bathrobes, cotton buds, cotton balls, and organic toiletries made from coconut oil, which the resort also produces. The shower had hot and cold water, and it was running perfectly.
Each Sulu Terrace has its own Meditation Pavilion like this one. The other Sulu terraces have larger meditation pavilions, but I figured that this was given to me since I was alone anyway. I wrote journal entries here for about an hour after exploring the place. Probably due to Typhoon Maring’s remnants, it got really windy and leaves and insects and water were being blown to my face, so I had to run upstairs and continue it.