Wednesday, December 26, 2007


For the year-end issue of Arts & Leisure, the New York Times film critics wrote about their favorite films of 2007. At left is an image from "Colossal Youth," Pedro Costa's film about a man in Lisbon whose wife kicks him onto the streets. Manohla Dargis chose the film, which still doesn't have distribution in the United States, after seeing it at the Cannes Film Festival. She writes, "Shot in digital video, it is a cryptic, arresting work that reveals its mysteries slowly." (Photo: (Pedro Costa/Luso)

A. O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden all include "There Will Be Blood" in their list of favorites. The film is a psychological study following several years in the life of an oil baron, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. In reference to the movie's themes, Mr. Scott writes, "Genuine, rigorous pessimism about human nature still has the power to shock." (Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Vantage)

Remy and Emile are brothers in Brad Bird's "Ratatouille," about a rat with a desire to be a chef. A. O. Scott writes that the animated movie "demonstrates a bracing integrity in its commitment to the highest ideals of art." (Photo: Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios)

Viggo Mortensen, far left, stars in "Eastern Promises." The movie, set in London’s expatriate Russian underworld, is one of Ms. Dargis's top choices for the year. (Photo: Peter Mountain/Focus Features)

Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in "Superbad," a comedy about a night in the life of three high school kids who try to procure alcohol for a party. In her review of the movie, Ms. Dargis writes, "The young male actors in 'Superbad' look as pleasantly, sympathetically real as they behave. They’re at a total and happy remove from the musclebound cartoons of prime-time and action-flick reveries." (Photo: Melissa Moseley/Columbia Pictures)

Marcus Carl Franklin stars as Woody, a young musician riding the rails in Todd Haynes's experimental biopic "I'm Not There." The movie tells the story of Bob Dylan's life and career using six different actors to play aspects of his persona. "I'm Not There" was a favorite of both Mr. Scott's and Ms. Dargis's. Mr. Scott writes, "Though there’s a lot of Bob Dylan’s music in 'I’m Not There,' Mr. Haynes is not simply compiling golden oldies. You hear familiar songs, but what you see is the imagination unleashed — the chimes of freedom flashing." (Photo: Jonathan Wenk/Weinstein Company)

A scene from "Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's animated film based on Ms. Satrapi's graphic novel about growing up in Iran. The film is one of Stephen Holden's top picks. He writes, "This French animated film offers an autobiographical account of Iran’s troubled history from the days of the shah through the Islamist revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. The same history translated into a live-action drama could never be depicted with the clarity and forceful drive that bold, simple animation encourages." (Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)

Frank Langella stars in "Starting Out in the Evening," about a retired teacher who develops a relationship with a younger woman. The film is one of Mr. Holden's top picks. Regarding Mr. Langella's performance, he writes, "Resignation and an embattled nobility vie for precedence in his sad-eyed visage." (Photo: Annabel Clarke/Roadside Attractions)

Josh Brolin stars in "No Country for Old Men," chosen as a top pick by both Mr. Scott and Mr. Holden. The film, based on Cormac McCarthy's novel, tells the story of a man in a small Texas town who finds a suitcase of cash and is hunted by a vicious killer. Mr. Scott calls it "a densely woven crime story made more effective by a certain controlled stylistic perversity." (Photo: Richard Foreman/Paramount Classics)

Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in "The Savages," a top pick from Ms. Dargis about a brother and sister who must reunite to take care of their ailing father. Ms. Dargis writes, "There isn’t a single moment of emotional guff or sentimentality in 'The Savages,' a film that caused me to periodically wince, but also left me with a sense of acute pleasure, even joy." (Photo: Andrew Schwartz/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


LRT1 tracks, Gil Puyat Station

There's a pall over the household this Christmas season. I feel it, my cousins feel it except probably for my dog, Turnip, and my Yaya. It's still a month away from today, but we're already preparing for the first death anniversary of my Mom. Christmas was definitely not the same without her. The house would have been alive because of the gifts she would normally prepare for practically everyone in her office. I have accompanied her on many occassions in choosing unusual gifts and I have definitely ran out of patience during these trips ( I have no patience for shopping except perhaps for DVDs). Mom is a very difficult shopper. She will not stop until she is satisfied with an item.

Anyway, I decided long ago that I will not decorate the house this year even if I have enough tivoli lights to light up the house inside and out (excess lights from the St. Scholastica event). My Yaya, however, won't have none of it so when I was out of the house from December 21 and 22 for weddings I had to arrange, she decided to put up the belen with garish red tivolis to booth.

Awww. Malungkot na nga daw ang pasko, 'di pa mag-lalagay ng decor. Oo nga naman.

Anyway, I decided to go to work on Christmas eve. Logged in at 8PM and exited at 6AM feeling all groggy. No season's greetings in the office, the office didn't bother to send food for those doing the graveyard shift, and I snubbed the potluck. My Uncle, who works for the Senate, kept my Yaya company while I was out.

Please forgive me if I am given to drama these days. Despite the trials that we went through this year and the past years, we are still thankful for so many things. One, that it's all over. My friends keep reminding me that Mom is already in a far better place, where pain and sadness are non-existent. Second, that we have friends who saw us through the trials even if they were experiencing trials of their own. Third, that business was good this year and it's bound to get even better in 2008. I may have to make a major decision in February that will totally change the course of my life, but that really depends on a lot of things. Complications, complications.

I have a loooong To-Do List for next year. Resolutions are out. To-Do Lists are in. All least the items come with a target date of completion (if you are obsessive-compulsive enough!). I pray to God for a better year for me and for everyone close to my heart.

May we all have a truly merry CHRISTmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007


First of all, I’d like to congratulate my dear friend, Jerome, for finally receiving his circa-1950s Pearl River TLR. Only God knows how much he got it for (and in great condition at that) so I expect to be one of the first to be shot with this old, er, new toy of his. I already am scheduled to be shot at the side door of the San Agustin Church, that beautiful door that is facing a lonely street in the Walled City. Hmmm, what to wear, what to wear, what to wear.

Anyway, as a sort of present for me this Christmas, Jerome said that he read in the LOMOMANILA forum that there’s a shop in RFC (that old smelly mall near my place) that sells vintage lomo and stuff at very low prices. Wenonamangayon, ‘di ba?! As I do not know Adam from a Leica lens, everything would just look old cameras to me. Somebody daw got a lc-a (that’s a lomo cam; I’ve seen some photos it makes. They are fantastic!) from there for only Php 1,500. I don’t know if I should be excited. Anyway, Jerome said whoever bought that was “pakshet, a lucky son of a beech!” I guess Jerome really meant business. He further texts, “Hay naku. Join in the addiction! Php 1000 for a lomo cam? 4K for a vintage TLR? Ugh.”

Mapuntahan na nga! All this craze over old Russian cameras is making me dizzy.

Anyhoo, on related events, I would like to ask for forgiveness from Ruby for missing out on all of her activities with LOMOMANILA. Sorry talaga. Busy-busyihan ang Lolo mo. In fact, I haven’t even hanged out with the Jeromes for over a year now or thereabouts. Some friends I haven’t seen in years. Text text na lang, ‘ika nga.

This blog sends its wishes of good luck to Maui as she competes in the Asian Idol in Jakarta! Yipeekayee! You go, girl! Show them the stuff Pinoy singers are made of! (UPDATE: Talo si Maui).

Here’s an FYI. Merriam-Webster Dictionary has declared WOOT (ueah, spelled just like that) is the word of the year. It’s similar to yehey or yahoo, an expression of joy or something to that effect. Now, it’s up to you to process this useless piece of information.

Today, December 14, we also remember the 70th anniversary of the Rape of Nanjing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


This is being Ricky Villabona, super low-end style. These are no Kate Spades, but they're cute and are pretty useful around the house or when going to Divisoria or the nearby supermarket. And guess what, I'm giving away some for Christmas! They are called sakonites, but I'd rather call them e-totes. Environment-friendly totes. I got these from Oriental in Clark Field.

I have two (2) extra of these Rembrant totes. A self portrait of the master ("Self Portrait with A Cap, Openmouthed", etching, 1630). It has a STOP AIDS NOW mark at the bottom portion.

This pink bag is for the girls at work. Nice, 'no? it could be kitschy, could be pop but they can use this for that short trip to the beach or the salon.


I do not know exactly what these were intended for (anyway, they are for books, plastic bric-a-brac or tetra bricks and, well, paper. Or so I think that's what the words mean), but you can use these to separate your dry trash or laundry at home or to separate your kids' stuff (toys, books, etc). These were issued by the City Council of Barcelona (originally) but reproduced in China.

There are Velcro strips so you can keep them together. If you want a complete set of these (I have 9 sets I am giving away), let me know ASAP. First come, first served.