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Getting physical

19 Oct

Make-up activity for my Touch Rugby class. Anyone care to join me suffer exercise?


Dear local magazines

6 Oct

In principle, I really have nothing against — nor mean/desire any harm to — the “it girls” or public figures you feature. But when will you realize that  there are only so many times you can recycle a cover girl? I want to read about people, not the same flavor-of-the-month personalities in so many words and so little original angles.

I want and deserve profiles, not fluff pieces.


Never underestimate your capacity to help out. Be the sunshine…

8 Aug

Never underestimate your capacity to help out. Be the sunshine your fellow Filipinos so desperately needs.

via Tumblr

10 Unique 2012 Planners under P600

13 Dec

The last of 2011 is upon us. In a matter of weeks, the past 365 days will be little more than a collage of MS Word documents, pictures, conversations, text messages and facebook statuses, all suspended in the recesses of our memories. Less than a month shy of January 1, many have made headway in their search for a companion throughout the coming year (and no, I don’t mean the romantic kind). If you haven’t committed to a particular 2012 planner yet, here are 10 one-of-a-kind candidates for your consideration (click on the planner titles to check out the sellers’ original posts):

1. Design Your Life Planner

Photo from the Design Your Life Planner Facebook page.

Best for: the highlighter freak

Can’t get enough of Stabilo brights? Light up your 2012 with this zany fluorescent planner! The sisters behind C & S Designs have been producing their own planners since 2008. This year’s offering boasts of a unique design for each month and comes with stickers, a compartment for notes and a space for 3R pictures.

Price: P530, with free shipping nationwide

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more information, check out the Design Your Life Planner on Facebook.

2. Awesome Planner

Photo from the Awesome Planner Facebook page.

Best for: the adventurous foodie

From the man behind the food and trek blog Our Awesome Planet comes a planner that doubles as your next road trip companion. Choose from 12 local destinations to try each month. Fill out the vision board, and ditch the gullible tourist act by stocking up on insider traveling tips. As a bonus, challenge yourself to try the 100 tried-and-tested restos that made it to the OAP shortlist.

Price: P588, plus P100 for delivery anywhere in the Philippines

How and where to buy: Click the image for details or check out the Awesome Planner on Facebook.

3. Gawad Kalinga Planner

Photo from the Gawad Kalinga Facebook page.

Best for: the catalyst for social change

Planners come and go, but the drive to make a difference chooses neither time nor place. Celebrate the transformative power of community involvement 366 days a year with the Gawad Kalinga planner, jotting down your visions (and actions!) for a brighterPhilippinesin its ample weekly spreads.

Price: P320

How and where to buy: E-mail or check out Gawad Kalinga on Facebook

4. Oh Snap! Handy Dandy Planner

Photo from the Team Oh Snap! Multiply page.

Best for: the doodler

This planner is made for people who’d rather take things in their own hands. Take your stock of colorful pens – or your good old black ballpoint if you’re minimalist like that – and fill in the blank spaces with your own doodles and scribbles. Besides a variety of useful lists, tabs and freenote pages, the Oh Snap! planner comes in three delectable designs: watermelon, fish maki and McDo fries.

Price: P350

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out Team Oh Snap! on Facebook and Multiply.

5. Clone Stamp 2012 Lomo Planner

Photo from the Clone Stamp Facebook page.

Best for: the shutterbug

They say life is like photography – we use the negatives to develop. Whether or not you’re into analog or lomo, capture the highlights of your 2012 with the Clone Stamp planner. The brainchild of two Fine Arts students from UP Diliman, the planner features inside pages in pastel pink and a pocket for your knick-knacks.

Price: P380

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out Clone Stamp on Facebook.

6. The Es-KWELA-han Project 2012 Planner

Photo from the Es-KWELA-Han Project Facebook page.

Best for: the student with an A+ sense of humor

Turn your school day from a blah to a blast with a planner especially designed for the Gtec-grasping, notebook-toting, non-taxpaying crowd. When the going gets tough and Hell Week rears its ugly head, keep your cool with the planner’s hefty supply of jokes, pick-up lines and trivia.

Price: P300

How and where to buy: Contact Carlo (09064802944), or Rosalie (09058525428 / 09467507010 / 09222391178) for orders. For more info, check out the Es-KWELA-han Project on Facebook.

7. Lego Planner

Photo from the Pretty in Fairness Multiply page.

Best for: the child-at-heart

Make each day a touch more playful with this nifty lego-inspired organizer. Let your inner child loose all year round as this neat looker keeps your milestones and building blocks in check for a solid, colorful 2012.

Price: P450

How and where to buy: Click the link above for orders. For more info, check out Pretty In Fairness on Multiply.

8. The Last Planner You’ll Ever Have

Photo from The Last Planner You'll Ever Have 2012 Facebook page.

Best for: the deadline afficionado

Many people laugh off the Mayan prediction and look forward to debunking it by partying on December 22, 2012. But there’s always that one person who laughs a couple of seconds later than everyone else, mentally calculating the days left to check off the items in his/her bucket list. Assuage his/her/your fear of the unknown with the Last Planner’s tongue-in-cheek predictions of the world’s demise. Whether or not 2012 is the year of reckoning, nothing beats a go-getter carpe diem attitude– and a planner that imbibes such – to shoo the doomsday blues away.

Price: P375

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out The Last Planner You’ll ever have on Facebook.

9. Moonleaf Planner

Photo from the Moonleaf Tea Shop Facebook page.

Best for: the milk tea addict

Crazy for Moonleaf? Then this planner will be just your cup of tea. All-out fanaTEAcs can get their fix 24/7 with the planner that launched a thousand tweets. Feast your eyes on the trademark Moonleaf aesthetic with its clean lines and minimalist black, white and green palette. The planner comes with discount coupons, including one that entitles you to a free drink on your birthday and another on Moonleaf’s anniversary.

Price: P300 for the white cover, P450 for the black

How and where to get it: Available in all Moonleaf branches. For more info, check out Moonleaf Tea Shop on Facebook and Twitter.

10. The Book of Ten

Photo from the Wanderlust Finds Multiply page.

Best for: the person who doesn’t believe in planners

Making schedules and keeping records of daily events isn’t for everyone. The more spontaneous are inclined to veer away from routine, and may find updating a planner too much of a chore. The Book of Ten may just be your best bet if you’re more into the big picture than the small details. Featuring 10 lists that pertain to different facets of one’s persona, this “life planner” espouses the bare essentials, daring you to push limits and to achieve more, no matter what day, month or year.

Price: P390

How and where to get it: Check out Wanderlust Finds on Multiply.

Legendary sorry excuses

10 Oct

From the one and only Barney Stinson.

[  ] It is a habit.
[  ] I am a naturally selfish person.
[  ] I didn't know if it bothered you.
[  ] I was     a) hungry       b) lonely       c) intoxicated
[  ] I thought it would be funny.  
[  ] You were never supposed to know.  
[✓] It was my evil twin.

Ang Pinaka-Masayang Finals sa Balat ng Lupa: Art Studies 177 in a nutshell

24 Mar

When I grabbed the last slot for Art Studies 177: Cinema in Philippine Culture through e-Prerog last November, I was certain of only two things: 1) that I love watching films, and 2) I was tired of being a Brocka and Bernal virgin. My exposure to and appreciation for Philippine productions was only at its nascent stage, and I felt I could certainly use a little prodding. And I must admit, it was literally cool attending class at one of the few classrooms in AS with a functioning (bordering on overfunctioning) airconditioner.

Now, I am bound by virtue of academic requirement to reminisce over what in me has changed and what has not in the past four months (this entry is my final examination, after all). But as with anything that has to do with Art Stud, I gladly embark on it because it doesn’t feel like work at all.

As a viewer. In this class, I learned to adapt a sense of surrender when watching films. The best way to not have dashed expectations is to establish none in the first place. Keep an open mind throughout and refrain from judging a film by its commercial returns or critical reviews before even watching it. Film-viewing is a highly personal experience — one chooses and commits to spend x number of hours of his/her life when he/she decides to watch a movie. Kahit sabihin nating class requirement ang pelikula, pwede namang gumawa ng ibang bagay imbes na umupo nang tahimik at mag-focus sa pinapanood (hal. pagpikit, pagtulog, pagkain, pakikipag-usap sa katabi, atbp.).

I came to realize that happy endings are not necessarily good, and good endings are not necessarily happy. Some movies are better off with open-ended or bittersweet endings that viewers can fill the blanks in. Sometimes such endings are more powerful because they act like punches to the gut — they intensify our suspension of disbelief and remind us of how fucked up the world really is (a fact we tried to forget upon entering the cinema/classroom, but oh well papel, such is life and we might as well come to terms with it).

As a critic. There is no such thing as a “realistic” film. Film is, by its very nature, an avenue for its producers’ expression and its viewers’ escape. Notice that I refrain from using the term “entertainment”, because amusement is not what cinema is all about.  Films are not visual playthings that aim to force smiles out of our faces for a fee (not the best ones, anyway). I believe a film can truly say it achieved its purpose if we become its plaything – if we toy around with it in our minds for days, as the film itself grows with and grows on us.

In the world of a film, nothing happens by accident. What the director does not show is just as important as what he does show — and this is not lost in the proactive viewer. I learned to find meaning in such technical things as the interplay of lights and shadows, carefully studying patterns and recurring motifs not just in individual movies but in directors’ entire bodies of work.

As a student. One of the advantages of a non-sectarian education is the wider range of liberal and liberating learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom. I came to appreciate the overlaps and interaction of the different fields of mass comm in any production. In my communication theory class, for example, we discussed Film Language and Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure. In order to better understand the concept, I applied the concept of the “male gaze” in cinema to Scorpio Nights and asked for the professor’s input. She agreed that the voyeurism in the film was indeed patriarchal and recommended Macho Dancer as another noteworthy embodiment of Mulvey’s theory.

As a Filipino. Ma’am Eloi said it best when she said, “Ang hindi nanunuod ng pelikulang Pilipino ay walang ‘k’ magsabi na pangit ito.” I enjoyed watching all the films in class (yes, even Tunay na Ina and Bagets, haha) because they showed our nation at its different stages of development. Films are like visual history books — echoing and unraveling the behaviors, perceptions, sentiments, socio-political realities and fashions of different generations. Watching all the films and hearing about pioneers and achievers through my classmates reports, I grew even prouder of the glorious past, resilient present and unparalleled potential of our local film industry.


This is the part where I choose my favorite/s among the eleven films we watched in class. Over the Christmas break, Ma’am Eloi posted this message on our facebook group, “Survey: what Filipino film do you want to watch on our first day of class?” The overwhelming choice was Scorpio Nights, and the rationale was to start the New Year with a bang.

Pop, crack, sizzle.

And quite a bang it was.

At first I felt discomfort as we watched the film. It was something that would have surely scandalized the nuns at the all-girls Catholic high school I graduated from and make their veils stand on end. But I chose this as my favorite because of the insights on life and love that I gleaned from it. Scorpio Nights opened with shots of poverty-stricken Manila and its squatters. It’s set in the summer – it’s hot, it’s humid and it sets the stage for wayward thoughts and hands.

The film’s protagonist is Danny, a college student who looks through a hole on the floor of his rented apartment space ever night and watches the couple living in the unit below as they perfunctorily make love.  One night, he succeeds in seducing the wife (or perhaps it’s the other way around) and sparks a dangerous affair. This film challenged my notions of love and the necessity of physical intimacy. It made me question the existence of a loveless lust, like what the Wife felt for Danny and a lustless love like that of the Husband’s for his wife. Danny and the Wife shared the same astrological sign — scorpio, where the title of the film is derived. But though they may have been a match made in kama sutra heaven, the conclusion of the film and their affair epitomizes a person’s propensity to love to the point of death, as well as the many-pronged dangers of playing with fire and razing out of control.


My wishlist for Philippine cinema

  • Well-maintained national film archives. Lino Brocka found a copy of the pre-war film Zamboanga in Europe, outside our own shores. How many more masterpieces must we lose to other countries or to oblivion before we learn to preserve them for future generations?
  • Less squabbles within the industry. Yes, there are factions even in our own film industry. And while their arguments have not reached the level of chaos seen in Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film Network, let’s not hope for such chaos to transpire. Cinema is both a discipline and an art form, and everyone has varying degrees of skill or development in both. It would do the movie scene much good if filmmakers let go of condescending, hoity-toity tendencies and give fellow filmmakers the kind of respect they want and deserve for their own works.
  • More exposure in international film festivals.
  • More frequent and accessible screenings, especially of independent films.
  • Legislation to prevent the abuse and undercompensation of film workers both in front of and behind the camera.
  • Material to continually challenge the Filipino audience and develop open-mindedness. Films that should go on to make a difference in the lives of viewers are not the feel-good, mainstream flicks made of cheese and fluff, banking only on star power, a been-there-done-that plot and marketing backed by a studio. Rather, I hope audiences come to understand that the best films are those that make people squirm in their seats. Films like Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay and Lino Brocka’s Insiang made waves abroad because it gorged the viewers’ minds and senses with inconvenient truths reflective of Philippine society, and compelled audiences to cull a sense of glaring discomfort for their own level of comfort in life.
  • More writings about local films. Through this class, I realized that I could engage my love for films with my other defining passion – writing. Writing about films  is not merely an exercise in ranting and raving. Rather, it is an outlet for analysis, and a way to draw public attention to good and bad movies — of both the past and present — that most people may have never seen or heard of. It is also beneficial for filmmakers because they receive feedback on their works, and constructive criticism goes a long way in helping them improve themselves and their craft.
  • Integration of film classes or film viewings of high-caliber works for elementary and high school students. If we want to get Filipinos to start patronizing our local film industry, then we better develop their  cinematic know-how at an early age. Guide them on how to approach, analyze and appreciate films from both the past and present. In so doing, we inculcate in them a sense of pride for Filipino achievers and culture, and hopefully plant the seeds for the last item in this wishlist.
  • More passionate film students. The industry is wanting of young blood for more eye candy eye-opening and stimulating insights on life and ways of expressing it onscreen. Each film is after all a collaborative rendition of reality, so it does not just become light projected on a lifeless screen, but rather a projection of life to be screened from commercialism and decay.


If I had to relive college life, my Art Stud experience is something I would never splice out. Though I would not go so far as to say that this is a subject I would take again and again (I do intend to graduate on time, after all), I can honestly say that this course was a seminal experience in many facets. The Philippines is a diamond in the rough, both in real and reel terms. The plot to restore the glory of our nation and cinema may not be clear-cut and the journey may be a long take. There will be outtakes and delays along the way, but the resolution to render oneself to the country and the cause stays on long after the credits roll and the background music fades away.


6 Jan


Because it’s almost two in the morning and my two problem sets are getting nowhere but to my nerves.

Bloggin’ and Two Went Y Ah Lovin’

2 Jan

Got wind of the ongoing PostADay and PostAWeek challenge at WordPress. A worthwhile endeavor, methinks, but I’m sticking with PostAWeek ’cause blogging every single day might prove too cumbersome. I blog because I have a life, after all, not the other way around.

Cheers to a more meaningful and productive 2011, both in the real and cyber world! 🙂


1 Jan

Because somehow I can’t let the day end without a perfunctory, start-of-the-year entry.

Each year is special in its own way, and it would take more than a blog entry to remember everything and everyone that made each day of 2010 special.  I started this blog with the intention of documenting milestones and leaving records to look back on, something I didn’t get to do for most of last year. But there’s much to be said about what isn’t written, and much to be written about what isn’t said.

Specific New Year’s Resolutions never really worked for me. For two years now, it’s been my goal to learn to ride a bike. Nothing has become of it. But that doesn’t mean my 2009 and 2010 had gone kaput. The things and events and people that truly mattered were the ones that came almost by surprise — lingering as second thoughts or musings under the radar, only to be made more meaningful at a later time.

Life has a funny way of creeping up on us. We can plan all we want, but still find ourselves caught in a web of spontaneity. Because sometimes life gives you what you need even if it’s not at all what you wanted. In times like these, it’s the openness to embrace new experiences, and live and learn from them, that get us through.  So don’t let grand plans derail living. There is beauty in the mundane, and relevance beyond what we can see.  And more than any resolution, the choice to seize life and live for all it’s worth, day by day, year in and year out, sparks long after the fireworks have cleared.

Because you CAN buy love.

26 Dec

Love in the time of classifieds.

Or so this guy thinks.

I stumbled upon this ad on facebook today. Amorous or hilarious? You tell me.


P.S. No, I am not advertising in behalf of Mr. Whats-his-name.