Monday, August 29, 2005

Yamot!

Palpak
2005-08-28

Nag-give in na naman ako sa bisyo ko kahapon! Bumili na naman ako ng kopya ng isang movie na napanood ko na. Medyo nahihiya akong aminin kung anong title niya kaya eto na lang, P199 lang sya, DVD na! Saan ka pa? Di ba jackpot na ‘to? So impulsive buying ang drama ko anyway may commentary naman e. Tapos legal ‘to. Original. Di pirated. Malinis ang konsensya kong binili ang nasabing DVD sa SM Department Store. Tapos ‘pag saksak ko sa player nung ORIGINAL DVD walang audio commentary from the actors and the writer. Ano ‘to, lokohan? Nakalagay sa label yung feature na yon. Kaya nga original binili ko so that I can get my money’s worth guilt-free tapos ganun na lang? Isososli ko pa tuloy. Syempre magrereklamo ako. Hmp!

* * *

Hallmouse Attacks
2005-08-27

Martes. Bandang alas 4 ng hapon.

Biktima: Di ba sabi masamang tawagin daga ang mga daga?
Opismate: Sabi ng lola ko dapat “Bait-bait.”
Biktima: Ang alam ko dapat “mabait.”

Pause.

Biktima: Ayoko. Ang plastic! Di naman sila mabait!

Kinabukasan inatake ng d_ga/bait-bait/mabait ang drawer ng biktima na naglalaman ng mga nakaimbak na pagkain. Naulit pa ang malagim na pangyayaring ito makalipas ang isa pang araw.
* * *

2 Neozep Lang Ang Katapat
2005-08-18

Sa panahon ngayon, bawal ang magkasakit. At dahil bawal magkasakit, may sakit ako ngayon. Sadya nga yatang masarap ang bawal! Noong nakaraang miyerkules lamang ay dumaan ako sa Mercury Drug upang bumili ng ointment. Mayroon kasing makati sa may tuhod ko. Para mapigilan ang pagkalat nito, minabuti ko nang bumili ng mabisang gamot. Aba, mahirap na yatang magkaroon ng sakit sa balat!

Nagulantang ako nang tanungin ko ang pharmacist kung magkano ang 5g na gamot. P250.00 daw. Sasabihin ko sana, “Miss, hindi ako magpapaderma. Ako na mismo ang gagamot sa kati ko.” Kaso, mukhang seryoso yung babae kaya di na ako humirit. Anak ng boogie! Napabili pa ako ng hindi oras! Pero ayos na rin. Makakampante na ako. Sana lang ay di masayang ang P250 ko dahil kapag di gumaling ‘tong kati ko, bibili ako sa Mercury Drug ng taga-kamot. Baka mas mura ‘yon.

‘Wag mo nang tanungin kung saan galing ‘tong kati ko. Di ko rin alam. Maaring sign ito ng STD. Kaya lang bago ka magkaSTD, di ba kailangan muna ng S? E hindi ko nga alam yung S—hindi ko alam yung sanhi. Bwehehe. Tapos ito pa, noong Martes pa lang nagpaparamdam na sa akin itong lalamunan ko. (Ops, walang madumi ang isip!) Alam mo‘yon, maalala mo lang ang mga bahagi ng katawan mo kapag sumasakit na sila. Ang masama pa naman nito, yung lalamunan ko ang aking Achilles’ heel. Basta nagka-sore throat na ako o tonsillitis, pihadong lalagnatin na ako. Pero nilabanan ko sya. Kaya nakaya ko pa ring tumayo.

Sumunod na nag-aklas ang aking ilong. Parang may natutunaw na yelo sa loob ng ilong ko mapasahanggang ngayon. Nakakainis pa nito, kapag sinubukan ko nang ibuga ang nagbabadyang sipon sa ilong ko, umaatras naman ito. Bad trip! Syempre kasabay ng sipon ang konting ubo. Magkabarkada yan e. Sana lang huwag makisama si lagnat at kung hindi, riot na.

Dahil gusto kong makisabay sa pang-aasar ng katawan ko, bumili ako ng Rocky Road na Dairy Queen kanina. Inuna ko ang ice cream kesa sa gamot. Sana nakakagaling ang ice cream. Pero talo ako sa laban. Maya maya lang e bumili rin ako ng gamot. Drugged ako ngayon kaya nagsisimula na akong maging groggy. Tumatalab na yata ang phenylpropanolamine. Sana wala na akong sipon bukas para di na kadiri ang susunod na kwento ko.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Filmfest

I started the day with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Again?” You ask. Yep, that’s how much I liked it. The night before, I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the earlier release of Roald Dahl’s work. As much as I would love to compare the execution of both movies I feel like I shouldn’t. The key word is “technology.” The years in between 1971 (If I am getting the release years wrong, feel free to correct me.) and 2005 may explain why the earlier version could not afford an angle shot that would make the Wonka gate as grand as it is in today’s version, or why the 70s release had a limited set—the factory looked like a half-filled Wonka World whereas this millennium’s version was able to remove all traces of the real world inside Willy’s factory, or why Violet didn’t grow as big as she has today than years before, or why it was summer in the old movie (What was Charlie’s family thinking giving him a red scarf on a summer?) and it’s winter in the new, or why the Oompa Loompas look more identical today than they were in the past (May I clarify that CGI made that possible, not cloning—cloning is reserved for later), or why the TV set in the television room back then resembled a hollow black box and looked less realistic than today...the list may go on forever.

I haven’t read Roald Dahl’s work, well not yet. However, I assume that the 1971 release is the one more loyal to the original piece since Roald Dahl himself did its screenplay. However still, I’d say today’s screenplay was authored to fit today’s people. Aside from stepping on Roald Dahl’s artistic magic, I see no further problem there.

For both movies, I would like to commend the children who so very well played their parts. I keep on wondering if they really were acting and if they were, I wonder if they knew that they were acting.

On to Willy: Gene Wilder kind of confuses me. He’s playful then he’s serious, then he’s playful then he’s serious. I got the impression that he’s intermittently pulling himself out of the Willy character, thereby implying attacks of a multiple personality disorder. Johnny Depp presents an obliquely funnier Willy and remains consistent with being disturbed and childlike. Somewhere along watching the new movie, I thought that Jim Carrey would probably be the second best choice for Willy. Then again, he will most likely overdo the part and end up looking like a retard.

I’d like to note an observation. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory bore “Willy” in its title but focused more on Charlie whereas Charlie and the Chocolate Factory carried Charlie in its title but did mostly an expose on Willy’s personality. Was this the filmmakers’ way of balancing the importance of their characters? I wonder.

Willy seemed to have ended too easily, “pack the major characters inside the glass elevator then roll in the credits; we’re done!” Charlie tried not to end too easily, “we still have a few minutes to go; let’s bring the glass elevator to a quick detour.”

I have to reiterate that I haven’t read the original story. If I do read it maybe I’d be able to back up my speculations and prematurely formulated opinions. I’ll abandon the factory for now.

* * *

I said I would lay off the factory but I didn’t say I’ll leave Johnny Depp and Tim Burton altogether. My next dose of Hollywood for today is Edward Scissor Hands. The movie caused me flashbacks; I couldn’t help it. I saw Edward Scissor Hands around fifteen years ago. It sort of brought back a morsel of my childhood.

Then I began using my brain again. Edward Scissor Hands displays Tim Burton’s penchant for visual spectacle—the one we saw in Batman, Big Fish, and of course, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. On the other hand, with this film Johnny Depp celebrates his forte—playing the weird one.

Another observation: I noticed that Johnny Depp almost always looks pale. He appeared to be anemic even in Sleepy Hollow and in the Nick of Time. I think the only movie where I saw him in FULL color was in the Pirates of the Caribbean. Does he need blood transfusion or is he allergic to make up? Once again I wonder.

For those of you who have no idea what Edward Scissor Hands is all about, I’ll tell you this: it is a fairy tale that doesn’t end like a fairy tale.

* * *

To end my day I sat through Gattaca. My brother said that Gattaca requires a thinking audience (a comment I took as an insult) so I made sure I remained attentive for roughly two hours.

Gattaca is set in the not-too-distant future where GMOs have taken over natural life forms. Reality check: GMOs have taken over natural life forms today. Check the supermarkets. Now here’s a set back of watching a movie years after its release!

Cease the side comments.

Gattaca explores a world where Genetically Mutated Organisms (GMOs) reign superior over natural borns—this is in the context of human beings (not limited to food unlike what is happening today). It discusses the implications of cloning and human beings’ attempt to produce the perfect race. Of course the idea of a perfect race may sound unattainable for us today, but who knows how things may turn out a few years from now? I continue to wonder.

For a bedtime movie, Gattaca is a bit disturbing. It touches issues on family; genocism (think racism based on genetics); corporate politics; red tape; migration; relationships—or more accurately, choosing a mate; human beings’ insatiable thirst for success; and other matters that are impossible to resolve—plus Jude Law incinerates himself in the end.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pinoy in Hollywood, Hot Movie, and a T-Bag

Nothing pumps up my patriotism than seeing a kababayan in a Hollywood movie. Just imagine how I felt when I saw one of our finest actors on the silver screen along with an Academy Award nominee to play not just as an extra but as prominent character in a big-budget, highly-publicized Hollywood movie. And to celebrate this monumental event, I remained in my seat to see the credits roll and bask in the name of our very own Pinoy actor.

To my dismay, I did not see his name in the billing. And then it hit me.

The Oompa Loompas were not our very own Berting Labra; they were actually Deep Roy. I don’t know Deep Roy, but I sure know Berting Labra. Apparently, the Oompa Loompas were not him.

I ended up doing a psychological flag retreat as the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, officially ended.

* * *

It was more of rewarding my curiosity than jumping into the hype that I spilled cash not just for a movie but also for a bar of chocolate last Saturday. I don’t think I have seen a movie inside a theater this year, not until now—that is according to my memory and my planner. Since I have developed the habit of pausing and reviewing certain scenes in a movie, I have preferred watching them at home. That’s how I ceased appreciating sitting still for two hours or so inside a movie house.

So I allowed myself to be dragged in one of Megamall’s newly renovated cinemas. Buying the ticket made me think twice regarding proceeding inside the cinema proper. The lady selling the tickets did not attend to my “pabili po!” Instead, she had her attention to her dispensing machine. Before I was able to raise my right eyebrow, I smelled something weird. As if it were a cue, the lady stood up and told the other ticket seller that her machine is burning. She was in a state of constipated panic yet she managed to tell me, “Ma’am doon na lang kayo sa kabila bumili ng ticket.”

It was five minutes before the screening of the movie but I stood there and waited for the fire or smoke to be contained. What am I nuts? I won’t step inside a dark space filled with people when I know something is burning outside!

After seeking reassurance that nothing would explode any time soon, I submitted myself to Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Unfortunately, I missed some of the previews of coming movies—an essential part of what-I-consider-as-entertainment. Maybe next time I’d come up with a review of my first silver screen movie this year. But before that, I’d like to thank my good berk, Kistna for sharing with me Charlie and his chocolate factory.

* * *

This week we’re celebrating Former President Manuel L. Quezon’s birthday. Along with this is the Linggo ng Wika. I would have relayed this paragraph in Filipino but I already started in English. It wouldn’t be right to code switch in the middle of this piece. In any case, I promise to write something in Filipino to exercise my Filipino tongue, or fingers—whichever I use in coming up with pieces such as this.

I have thrown in an effort to celebrate my being Pinoy. I have vowed to display my Pinoy T-bag for a week. What in the world is a Pinoy T-bag? It is a tote made out of canvas. It’s main feature is the funny inscription in front. It goes:

PINOY T-BAG (Hindi T-back)


Karaniwang gamit ng mga nagtitinda ng tsaa, kapeng barako at aroma. Pero may kapeng kulay berde na di maaaring ilagay sa loob ng bag na ito. Berdeng isip lang ang nakakaalam nito. Hindi sumikat ang disenyo ng bag na ito, dahil mas naunang mamatay ang designer nito.


Usually, I do not patronize any thing I do not understand but since the Pinoy T-bag made me smile, I bought it anyway. I would like to take this opportunity, though, to call upon the best “berdeng isip” out there to enlighten me. I’d be glad to get a comment from you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mr. Stravel's Blush

Dear Diary,

In the tradition of Anne Frank’s most celebrated personal journal, I have decided to give you a name. I shall call you, um, uh, Guilliver…Gulliver Stravel. Perhaps this calls for another salutation.

Dear Gulliver Stravel,

You won’t be able to guess what happened to me today. Of course, I was still up to my morning routine: part from my magnetic bed, take a bath, get myself almost dressed, get back to sleep, part from my magnetic bed (again), get fully dressed, revisit "john" for last minute toxic riddance, and ride a jeepney to work. You may notice that today, I skipped breakfast. I slept late last night so I used more time sleeping leaving me no time to eat. But apart from those, other interesting things happened.

As soon as I arrived in the office, I felt the urge to wash my thermo mug and my porcelain cup. It’s been a long time since I’ve washed them so I imagined every molecule that composed them rejoicing. Then, before leaving the ladies room, I relieved myself in one of its cubicles. To my surprise, I discovered that my fly was open even before I unzipped it. It meant that I have been walking around with unzipped pants. I swiped in to work oblivious to the fact that my undergarments are almost waving, “hello” to everyone coming my way. I think I blushed for a while—the natural kind of blush brought about by embarrassment.

Halfway through the day another faux pas occurred. My left shoe ripped open. I had not even foreseen it. I mean, I’m no seer but I am the type who regularly monitors her belongings. I should have at least predicted my shoe’s impending ruin. And just yesterday, I was admiring my them. I wore them during my graduation last year. I’ve grown fond of them because for the first time, I have acquired a pair of graduation shoes which turned into an everyday pair shoes. You see, my past graduation shoes were limited to their title for I seldom wore them after my commencement exercises. They were either too pretty for me to wear or too much of a torment for my unladylike feet. It saddens me to face my now smiling left shoe. When I look at it now, it doesn’t appear to be smiling anymore. It resembles more that of a mouth about to devour a Big Mac. Yes, Gulliver, it’s that bad. I had to wear a pair of indoor slippers on my way home.

I prayed really hard that it won’t rain and that there will be a jeepney available for me to hop on when the clock struck 6 PM but my request for divine intervention was to no avail. The incessant rain made waiting for the rare jeepney excruciating. Finally when the most awaited mode of transportation took form in front of me, I found myself no space to plant my tush. Fortunately, some of my officemates who have successfully lodged their buns on the jeepney’s seats offered their laps for me to sit on. Although I knew that me sitting on them may inflict permanent damages on their rectus femoris—otherwise known as thigh muscles—I accepted their offer as I had no plans of waiting for another ride which might take, I don’t know, eternity maybe. It wasn’t long before a nice man got a clue and gave his seat up for me. God bless that man!

And so, dear Guilliver, I’m now back inside my room where my day started. I’m bare foot, wearing an old shirt with ripped seams and hems. But this time I’m no longer blushing because, although my present outfit stays faithful my day’s theme, I no longer feel exposed. How will I be? I’m talking to a diary I never had with a name resembling the title of an English satire by some guy who, I hope, is capable of giving up his seat for a poor girl in slippers—and my butt is comfortably mounted on a posture chair for just for me.

Yours,

Lily Foot

Thursday, August 4, 2005

And It All Ads Up

I can hardly find any valid reason for LTO to grant a plate or whatever permit it is that will allow roving billboards to rove. As far as I am concerned, they are a nuisance. First they mock our streets. Sending off ads stuck at the back of a truck to major thoroughfares is like saying, “Abandon hope all ye drivers. Exposing yourselves to traffic is like crucifying yourselves among the billboards along Guadalupe!”

Second, our streets are already congested as it is; we need not add elements that will clog them further. From a pragmatist’s point-of-view, I’d say it would be better to give up these unstably slim vehicles than the 1995 models of Tamarraw FXs. The former bares a lighted ad; the latter carries people. Do the math.

Third, there’s a clean air act, right? Isn’t that about reducing pollution to the minimum level possible? Hello, people concerned, DENR, MMDA! Roving billboards have mufflers! Their purpose in our streets will never outweigh the carbon monoxide they emit.

Fourth, these vehicles use gasoline. We are told that it is a good thing to conserve energy. For all our sakes, let’s do the good thing.

Last, I don’t like them. Whoever came up with them might think of themselves as geniuses. I think otherwise. If they are as genius-like as they think they are, they would have opted to post their ads to the jeepneys of willing owners. That way they will still be doing the roving ad thing, still congesting the streets, still emitting poisonous gas, still consuming gasoline. However this time, they’d have a redeeming value—they would be giving operators of PUVs an extra source of cash. Yes, it has already been done but that’s where the genius’ challenge enters—to top what has already been done.

* * *

Due to a throbbing hemisphere in my brain, I was reduced to stay more than 24 hours at home. While serving my house arrest, I found solace in watching television—the non-cable television. While surfing through ten channels, I’ve come to the conclusion that Kuya Bodgie is haunting me.


His new McDonalds ad keeps on recurring; I can’t help but write about it. In the advertisement, Kuya Bodgie sports his old Batibot act and “teaches” what-seems-to-be-kids the numbers to dial when they are hungry. This, of course, is Mc Donald’s hotline. Later it is revealed that the kids Kuya Bodgie is talking to are not as young as we expect them to be. They are actually yuppies. At that point we are supposed to feel nostalgic realizing that the Batibot generation have already grown up, working to earn their living, paying to fill their stomachs, and hopefully, doing their share in making this world a better place.

The ad pinched my heart. It should. After all, I am a raw batang Batibot. When I was around three to five years old, my parents dragged me to Batibot auditions. It was not their fault. It was more of my Ate’s. She was the one with the star complex back then and pressed my parents into bringing her to the auditions. My parents thought they might as well make the most out of waiting in long lines and decided to bring me along. I recall singing and dancing in various parts of the same building which DepEd is presently occupying.

Then came the final moment. I vividly remember sitting at the foot of the Puno ng Batibot. It was a big tree without leaves, and it was made out of papier-mache. And I swear, there were a couple of empty San Miguel Beer bottles at its foot. What those bottles are doing there, I have know idea.



So there we were, aspiring batang Batibot, sitting, waiting for our turn on the spotlight. I meant that literally. When your turn came, you were supposed to stand up and enjoy the spotlight which was hardly possible because the light had a blinding effect; it hurt the cones and rods of my retina. The spotlight was more like the light at the end of the tunnel. After blinding you, you will hear an unknown voice but instead of it asking you what good you have been doing in your lifetime, it asks you, “Can you sing?” That was where Batibot and I lost each other. I thought, “What? After singing and dancing, ‘pag gising sa umaga, ako’y naghihilamos, tingnan nyo kung paanoooo…’ you’re asking me if I can sing?” I was probably in my smart ass mood so I replied a sarcastic, “no.”

Thus my being a raw batang Batibot. My sister made it by the way. It worked to my advantage though. I didn’t have to memorize scripts the way she had to just to go near the Batibot set or just to see Ate Sienna and Kuya Bodgie.

I really didn’t have to go through all troubles just to see Kuya Bodgie. Recently I spotted him riding the MRT. He was seated and was occasionally drifting off to sleep. Obviously, he is older than he used to be. He was carrying a humongous bag and was wearing a shirt with a Batibot design. He even looked a bit exhausted; I almost felt sorry for him. Then I began wondering what his life had been like after Batibot and after his short stint in an ABS-CBN telenovela. I wish he didn’t have a lot of dull moments; furthermore I wish him behind-the-spotlight bliss.

Kuya Bodgie really looked tired. Maybe he just got off the taping of that McDonalds ad or, then again, maybe a former batang Batibot just approached him to ask what those San Miguel beer bottles were doing in a children-friendly set.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Someone's Gotta Smile

A genuine smile is rare nowadays and so I treasure every single thing that paints such precious picture on my face.
* * *
Last week, I got to walk again—I am referring the long leisurely type of walk home. I used to do that all the time when I was in Los Baños. It definitely is one of the many things I miss from my UPLB life.

Walking allows me to “decompress.” Those that my senses perceive while I am walking make me smile.

I passed by our small town big department store during my most recent walk home. The mini big mall had its blaring speakers on which was playing a tune by the Beatles but this time it was sang by a group of kids. It went, “Na na na nananana, nanana…” I was smiling already. Children singing the Beatles’ song is something. It is a gap bridged—the young ones singing the song of the older ones. Then the song went on, “he-hey Jude.” And I smiled again.
* * *
Lately I’ve been developing a bad habit of sleeping while watching a movie. For some reason, I’ve morphed into some theatrical narcoleptic. This is not good especially because I love movies and I’d like to see them at least from beginning to end, not just the beginning and end. So I devised a way to battle my ailment. My therapy requires me to focus on light, funny movies and temporarily shelve the heavy ones.

And so I discovered, Something’s Gotta Give. It stars Dianne Keaton and Jack Nicholson. I believe that it is the first time I saw Diane Keaton have fun. I saw her in Marvin’s Room and I have been feeling sorry for her ever since. In Something’s Gotta Give, she, well first and foremost (àa cliché, by the way), looked healthy and sexy for a woman her age and not at all boring. Jack Nicholson, on the other hand, hasn’t lost his charming obnoxious act—the one he sported way back to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It gave McMurphy a distinct character then and it gives Harry an almost distinct character now. It’s either he deserves those three Oscars he owns or he wasn’t really acting in the scenes where he was having a hard time catching his own breath. Either way, he was perfect for the role.

Something’s Gotta Give is funny. Beneath the laughter, are some truths that don’t come to you like it were your friendly parish priest’s sermon. For those who need to ask, there is nudity in the film, not of the fresh meat but of the veterans, which would rather make you laugh harder instead of cringe. The movie has its share of the cheesy stuff too but, what the hell, it is a romantic comedy!

After watching it, I got what I was rooting for, a stress-free film viewing from beginning to end, and a series of smiles and even a couple of laughs too.