To all those people who expect to fall, laughing from their seats, I suggest you give this movie a wee bit slack but a lot more credit for being entertaining in a different way. This is not Eugene Domingo doing another Kimmy Dora nor is it about poverty and pedophilia and the Philippines being a 3rd world country. This movie is all about dreaming big, falling hard and then crawling your way out of your hole.
Chris Martinez wrote the script for the movie and I have to say, I just love, love, love this man. I love his Last Order sa Penguin and I love Kimmy Dora to death. He keeps everything neat and simple and his punchlines never go overboard. His characters are very real and when you try to read Last Order sa Penguin, its as if the characters are right in front of you. Galing, galing. For this Cinemalaya entry, Martinez teamed up with director Marlon Rivera, Eugene Domingo (as herself), Kean Cipriano (Director Rainier), JM de Guzman (Producer Bingbong), and Cai Cortez (Production Assistant Jocelyn).
GIST: Three indie filmmakers are dead set on making an Oscar-worthy film. They have the vision, the right script, the perfect location, the brains to make everything work, and the bankable leading actress in their hands but their fickle minds seem to put them astray from their original plans. The trio gets a reality check when they meet Domingo for the first time and realize that they have to do a major overhaul on their plans just to get her signed on. With authenticity in the movie seemingly gone, a load full of theatrical revisions and incredible diva demands from their lead force Rainier to accommodate her demands in exchange for a small hope of making it big. Although hesitant at first, Rainier caves in when tragedy strikes them and puts them in a tight spot.
The top star falling into the septic tank, to me, means that everyone is bound to have a shitty time and hit rock bottom. But life goes on and you have to find ways to go around your problems and make them work to your advantage. No one stays at the top or at the bottom for too long; you just have to endure, make the most or savor the moment while you can. You make the best out of your misfortunes by learning from them. And you just have to see the final scene to know what the hell I’m blabbering about.
Comic relief came from Eugene Domingo and the trio’s director-arch nemesis. GAWD. The scene in the coffee shop was really funny. As in WOW, ang galing. Galing…galing. That director-arch nemesis dude should get a slice of the credit. Darn it, give the dude some EXPRESSO. You were annoying and entertaining at the same time. Whoever you are, MORE POWERS to you. I totally enjoyed your scene. And of course, Eugene Domingo’s performance was CHECK na CHECK.
If the hype about Eugene Domingo winning Best Actress for her role in this movie is not enough reason for you to see this, then add Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Film and Audience Choice awardee to your list.
A couple of years back, the bus that I was riding home from Laguna to Makati got held up by 10 armed men. Up to this day, I still find it hard to believe that it did happen; because not only was it the most terrifying 5 hour bus ride of my entire life but the whole thing happened like it was lifted straight from the movies.
That day, I remembered doing everything I do not usually do: going home late in the afternoon, taking the bus home and not staying for the festivities of our university. Straight from my 5pm class, I just took my bag, decided I want to go home and hopped on a bus 5 minutes later. Around 40 minutes into the ride, as the bus passed by the police check point and headed to the open high way, 2 men ran up front and started to shout and wave their guns at us. More men subsequently stood up, holding knives as they took our money and other valuables. Everything happened so fast that I could not do anything but hand them my bag and everything else I had. I looked around and saw disbelief on the faces of the other passengers. Some passengers were even laughing and looking for a camera, like the whole event was being shot for a gag show or something. As the minutes passed, it became clear to all of us that this was not a joke. One by one, the passengers grew quiet as the robbers started to force the men to the aisle and leave us women in our seats. As the robbers continued to shout and hurl curses at us, some started to cry, begging them not to hurt any of us. During this time, I felt like my body was going numb, I was scared, I was too afraid to even move or breathe heavily, I was crying as silently as possible because my head was filled with images of us being blown up to bits, beaten or left dead by the side of the road. I was anticipating for the worst yet I was hoping to get out of there alive.
Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay (Butchered) reminded me of that long and grisly ride into the night. This movie won several awards back in 2009:
62nd Cannes International Film Festival, Best Director: Brillante Mendoza, “Kinatay”
42nd Sitges International Festival of Fantastic Cinema of Catalonia, Spain, Best Original Soundtrack: Teresa Barrozo, “Kinatay”
42nd Sitges International Festival of Fantastic Cinema of Catalonia, Spain, Best Director: Brillante Mendoza, “Kinatay”
Although many critics do not like this movie, for example Roger Ebert:
Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling “The Brown Bunny” the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival… You mark my words. There will be critics who fancy themselves theoreticians, who will defend this unbearable experience, and lecture those plebians like me who missed the whole Idea. I will remain serene while my ignorance is excoriated. I am a human being with relatively reasonable tastes. And in that role, not in the role of film critic, I declare that there may not be ten people in the world who will buy a ticket to this movie and feel the money was well spent.
Or that Mendoza received boos during the awards night, I can say with much certainty that this movie is well worth your money and your time.
For a synopsis of the movie, go here.
The movie may not be as bloody as one would expect but the long anticipatory ride of Peping (Coco Martin) inside a van with a crying, gagged and beat up junkie (Isabel Lopez) and several ruthless men is just enough to cause you anxiety and discomfort throughout the movie. And for me, Mendoza did that well. Critics can always say what they want but for me, I just love the simplicity of the movie and how it makes you feel relieved that its Peping and not you who has to keep his fear hidden from the other men. I loved how Peping seemed dazed and helpless during his ordeal and how he became frustrated when he wanted to escape the men. Everything was raw and dark and very minimal. Its very close to reality for me since butchered or dismembered victims often show up here in the country and reach the news.
Kinatay may not be as grand (shot as an independent movie after all) and as gruesome as you would think but IT IS WORTH SPENDING YOUR MONEY AND TIME ON.
I was going through my files the other day when I saw The Stoning of Soraya M. stacked in between two of my most favorite comedy flicks in recent years. I decided to scroll past this movie, not because I didn’t like it, but I wanted to avoid having the same restless feeling I had when I first watched it. The title itself is already suggestive and watching it again meant heartache all over. But then the exact same reason why I wanted to watch it in the first place prompted me to see it again: disbelief that such an abominable practice still exists in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
The movie was adapted from French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam’s 1990 international bestseller La Femme Lapidée, based on a true story about Soraya Manutchehri’s stoning in southwestern Iran in 1986. The movie was released in 2008 and had won several awards:
Heartland Film Festival - Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award
Los Angeles Film Festival - Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Toronto International Film Festival - Runner Up Audience Choice Award
Satellite Awards – Best Motion Picture, Drama (Nominated) and Best Actress in Motion Picture, Drama (Shoreh Aghdashloo)
The story revolves around Soraya, a mother to 4 children and wife to Ali, a prison guard who works in the city. Ali demands a divorce from his wife so he can marry Mehri, a 14 year old child bride whose father stands to get executed. Soraya declines to give her abusive husband the divorce since she depends on him financially. Although her husband offered to give her the house and the land, he will not give her money since he cannot support two wives. Aside from being abusive, chauvinist and ill-tempered, Soraya’s husband has also turned their two young sons against her. Unnerved by her husband’s threats and a malicious proposition from Sheikh Hassan, the town’s holy man, Soraya decided to leave, taking her two young daughters with her to stay at her aunt Zahra’s house. She then accepted work for Hashem, a recent widower with a mentally handicapped son, and saved every penny she earned for doing house work. Ali and Hassan started to plot against Soraya, even convincing the town’s mayor, Ebrahim, to put her on trial for committing adultery with Hashem. At first, Hashem did not want to take part in their plot but Ali threatened him that his son could be put in a mental institution if he and Soraya were sentenced to death by stoning. Fearing for his son, Hashem lied and told Ebrahim that Soraya suggested an intent to have a relationship with him. After merely a couple of hours of deliberation, the male council of the town sentenced Soraya to be stoned to death.
I just love how the movie was narrated and I love how richly authentic the setting was. One could get easily absorbed into Soraya’s plight and be moved by how she struggled to keep her dignity, innocence and honor even at the last moments of her life. As you watch the movie, the sadness starts to build up and then later anger and then fear that something inevitably sinister will happen. Seeing as the title itself is a dead giveaway of what is expected, having to sit for 20 minutes or so for Soraya’s stoning during the last part of the movie is stomach-turning and heart-wrenching.
Its not that I want to question or put to any shame the religion of Islam, but to just think that honor killings such as this still exist in the modern world is beyond me. Stoning is an equivalent of the Western world’s death sentence but to put someone to death by mere suspicion is truly unlawful. SUSPECTED people are not even able to defend themselves! The worst being the disproportionate number of women being stoned to death by the male dominated culture of this religion. Males usually receive a much lighter punishment such as flogging or taking 50 whips or even just imprisonment. Even the procedure for stoning is different for males and females: males are buried waist down while the females are buried neck deep as an entire town is required by faith to participate by throwing stones at them.
I remember a couple of years back when a viral video of a 16 year old Kurdistan girl being stoned to death and mobbed mostly by male members of her town surfaced in the internet. The people who participated in the stoning even posted pictures of the girl being bludgeoned to death, apparently happy that they were doing this in the name of honor. The girl had fallen in love with a Sunni boy and eloped with him. As eloping or being in love with someone outside their faith is strictly forbidden, stoning of the girl to death is the only way to restore honor to her family and her tribe.
To stone INNOCENT people to death is INHUMANE and the worse part of it all is that some Islam countries and their authorities deny having this problem, as if honor killings do not exist or that those stoned to death truly deserved their fate. This practice has just got to stop.
Wish my sister and I could be there but since Marlboro backed out, the frenzy of ticket sales and venue resets were just too crazy for us. Good thing MTV Philippines stepped in when they did or else a riot of E-heads fans would have burned a Marlboro effigy everywhere in the country. The ticket prices were very reasonable, costing just around 800php and 1300php. But then again, I wish we were free from commitments that night or we could have been seen egging our way into the slam pits, if there were any.
It was very unfortunate that Ely Buendia had to be rushed to Makati Med because of chest pains he experienced in the middle of their performance. Fellow listers say that Ely just suddenly stopped playing, sat and bowed his head. Instantly, the lights went out and after a couple of minutes, his sister went up the stage to announce that he had been rushed to the hospital.
Along with their fans and family, I also pray for Ely’s full recovery.
The reunion concert, even if it was tragically cut short, was one mean feat. I mean, to be able to put those four cool demigods of Pinoy rock into one show, for one night, is an achievement alone. Everyone thought this event was never going to happen but lo and behold, the seemingly impossible did happen. Hordes of fans are certainly keeping their fingers crossed and keeping their breaths in for another reunion concert. And this time, we all hope and pray, everything will run smoothly.
For the longest time yet, I have stopped writing, I have stopped visiting this page and I have stopped clicking Inquirer for its quirky PGMA et.al pictures altogether. Though I frequent my Multiply account for online shopping reasons, the usual thrill I get from simply hearing my laptop come to life, with its Windows Vista opening tune, and the weird delight I have over its pulsing blue illumination from beneath the keyboard seem to have dwindled. These days, I only exist for Multiply – the bags, the graphic tees and the dramatic blog entries of a few friends and some people close to my network. But even this, I fear, will not sustain my online breath for too long. I think.
So many events have happened over a short period of months in this country and frankly, nothing good came out. Well, except maybe for Pacman’s win which made the entire nation stop working to glue itself on a t.v. set. Pacman’s wins are always celebrated with so much extravagance that, really, it makes some politicians’ early campaigns for the 2010 elections so obvious. You see these wannabe presidentiables around him when he goes around the city in his motorcade. It’s not his fault his too darn good and I can’t hate him for being such a superstar but let’s face it, people are using Pacman’s fame to fuel their own agendas. These nitwit politicians, well some of them, only become famous by attaching themselves with other famous people; in other words, they’re leeches, parasites who know nothing but to suck their victim’s blood. But then again, I don’t think Pacman considers himself a victim here. Mutualism, not parasitism, would be more fitting if that’s the case.
Then let’s not forget about the continuous price hike in almost everything, including basic commodities. Fuel prices have gone up so much that I pity the drivers who have close to nothing to bring home to their families. The fuel subsidy should be reviewed more closely because I don’t think 2 pesos would give them enough comfort. I know the government is doing something to cushion this blow and I know the government is also looking out for the people’s interest, but can we not do something to utilize our own oil reserves? I’m no expert in this matter but could we lessen importing fuel and then maybe we could cut back in oil prices altogether? The last I heard, we have some sort of a tax or payment to use Malampaya’s oil which is weird because I think we’re the only country who charges for using our own oil reserves. I forgot the term but I think we do have that. And if I’m not mistaken, the charge for using Malampaya oil is quite high which makes it hard to compete against cheaper international oil resources. I’ll look for the article on this one as I’m not really sure.
The jeep fare is now P8.50 and soon, maybe, it can go up to P10.00. But some oil companies had a P1.00 roll back on their gas prices last night and it made transport groups think that the oil companies are just playing up the public; that they do control the prices. Some experts say that just temporarily scrap the tax from fuel and increase the collection on sin taxes instead. Some say just convert the cars to using LPG instead. But why not have the government invest in a Filipino scientist’s invention on a water-powered car? I’ve heard about it for years, being covered in several t.v. shows and stuff, but nothing happened. In Japan, they have hydrogen powered cars that are set for mass production after they’ve finished its test run. It won’t be soon though since the price of the said car is very prohibitive. Plus, you don’t get to have express hydrogen filling stations around yet. It’s a huge investment but if your thinking of a greener, more pollution-free future, then I believe this investment is worth it.
Prices go up but wages remain at their lowest. How could anyone, a minimum wage earner for example, get comfortably through a day: can he have three healthy meals a day, does he have enough to pay his bills, and can he even save? I’m rather surprised that the PNP claims that crime rates have gone down significantly since they became more ‘visible’ in public. Being visible, for me, isn’t enough to scare the bad guys away though. For all we know, some police are also involved in crimes themselves. I’m not saying their covering up for their incompetence or anything which is the usual thing we have all come to accept, but maybe the statistics are wrong. Because what would a poor and hungry and angry man do to feed himself: steal or look at some uniformed men? We cannot pacify a poor and hungry and angry man with promised help from the government which never comes. Maybe the stats are wrong or maybe I am. Maybe we also need to be vigilant ourselves and be less dependent on cops. I mean, if the RCBC bank had only a working CCTV, then the criminals would have been caught right away. Possibly. I don’t know if the RCBC massacre is closed because it’s been solved or closed because the investigation is going nowhere. I don’t know. Maybe we need to be more positive and trusting. I confess than I’m such a pessimist and that I have doubts in the government and in the capabilities of our cops, the entire system actually that runs this entire nation but somehow, deep inside, I know I want to trust them. And I guess, if we start being positive about it, then maybe we could do more change and good than dish out bad critique and harm to ourselves and to our society.
Then the latest, if not the saddest news yet, is the tragedy of the MV Princess of the Stars. Sulpicio Lines should be held accountable and I’m not aware if they’re doing what they’re supposed to do to the families of the victims. I think they’re more concerned with their ship, their multi-miliion loss, rather than the lives of hundreds of their passengers. Sulpicio Lines should be stopped or penalized or something for the many sea tragedies they have under their belt. And I’m not sure what to make of their lawsuit against Del Monte but if the latter had indeed tried to hide the contents of their containers, then sue away Sulpicio, sue away. In the first place, I find it mindboggling that the captain of the ship decided to proceed despite the raging storm. He placed the entire ship at risk, not to mention the sea, the marine life and the people who live in the coastal areas nearby because of the possible leak of endosulfan. The problem of retrieving the bodies of the victims poses another problem. Not only will it take 5-6 months but it will also take a huge amount of money to either (1) refloat the entire ship or (2) cut the ship into smaller pieces.
Everyday, you hear news like these on t.v. and it makes you lose your steam to write about it in your blog because the next day, you expect something worse to come up. Same old, same old. And I’d rather I write something positive, something happy and something less than the usual things I write. It makes me gloomy; it makes the already dark background of this blog seem even more ominous. But I guess old habits die hard and I’m not the type who writes about the latest trend in make-up, clothes, bags, shoes, and other kikay stuff. I’m very much addicted to them too (hence my almost always empty pocket), but I like to confine my girly tendencies in purchasing and wearing them. My head is already full to include more superficiality. My vanity is enough.
I watched Kung Fu Panda and I loved it. That very cute word, ‘awesomeness’ is stuck in head even after months since I’ve seen it. Currently, I’m enjoying Soul Eater: it’s funny, it’s cute and it’s entertaining. Well, so far it is. There are only 14 episodes of it as of this week. I’m not sure how long it will run but I definitely hope I get to see more of Death the Kid (the boy with three white stripes on his hair).
So much for a long and boring discourse on why and how I got myself almost completely erased from this blogging business.
To me, ‘welcome back’.
This has got to be one of the most painful videos I’ve ever seen. And mind you, it has little to do with Janina San Miguel’s weak attempt at English. At least the girl tried, so let her be. Melanie Marquez must be this 17 year old’s idol, for all we know.
Actually, it would be imprudent to equate intelligence with broken English. Nowadays, people seem to think highly of themselves whenever they could speak straight English when in fact, these so-called PINOYS cannot even speak straight Tagalog and worse, they prefer to speak TAG-LISH instead. Most of the pa-sosyal people and kids do that most of the time and that’s more irritating. Have these people not been taught at school that you speak one language at a time if you want clarity and cohesion? If you want to speak in English, then speak in straight English and vice versa with Tagalog. You do not add and mix these two languages to make it seem like your cool and hip and smart. It makes you look cheap and maarte, actually. But of course, not all good English-speaking Pinoys are like that and it would be stupid of me to make such a generalization.
To be honest, to be able to speak in English is essential because as we seek to move towards globalization, this language will help us gain the upper hand in getting a job or a career basically. I think it would be safe to equate good education or sufficient education with good English skills instead. Because not all well-educated, good English speaking people are intelligent, right? Some receive good education because they can afford it. But intelligence is rarely developed as it is mostly based in your genes. So some who receive good education and speak perfect English may not necessarily have the brains to think beyond speaking perfect English. Some.
Actually, you just need practice, patience and the will to do it. If you’re not good at something, then practice! I am not good at math (and chem and physics and statistics etc, etc, etc) so what I do is solve the practice exercises or problems that our profs usually give and pester them during their consultation hours. I am good at memorizing stuff (hence my biology course) so once I see a pattern in solving, I memorize that pattern and I apply that to similar problems. Frankly, my brain is not well trained to analyze numbers that’s why understanding the math (physical sciences) theories and concepts are not enough in my case. Know your strengths and use it. Get you ass moving, do something to improve yourself and stop being lazy.
Another thing that bothers me is that why did the judges let Janina San Miguel win? Because being able to speak in English is an entirely different thing to being intelligent. She could have answered the question in Tagalog. But then again, could speaking in Tagalog saved Janina San Miguel’s ass from ridicule? It would have if she had a truly intelligent answer lurking inside her head. In the end, I see the dysfunction in the pageant itself. And I agree with Ruffa Guttierez, that physical beauty and brains should come together in competitions like these. Blame the judges for putting you on the spot, Janina. If you did not win the crown, then perhaps the critics would not be this harsh on you. You could use an interpreter in the Q&A portion in the Miss World Pageant, you know, if those speech lessons cannot help you.
On a happy note (if you can call it that), here are Dense Modesto’s dance remixes of the two clips above. His sarcasm in doing these videos (he also did the Saging Lang ang may Puso Remix feat. Mark Lapid) has a way of putting lessons in my head. Enjoy lang.
I’ve always enjoyed Tim Burton’s movies; starting with Edward Scissorhands, the first two Batman films, Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Big Fish, and even Corpse Bride. He makes black and red and goth become iconic symbols of cinematic class and substance that really, once the melancholic and heart-pounding scores begin to play, his movies would devour you into their own realities.
His brand of fantasy is always laced with horror, a twisted plot and a set of interesting but misunderstood characters. Nothing is simple but at the same time, nothing is too far-fetched for Burton’s imagination to play with. His films always carry a dark and sinister feel to them; always with thick dark gray clouds, lightning and thunder, crows, shabby-clothed ominous-looking people, and over-sized trees and gore.
Sweeney Todd held many surprises for me. One of them was my reluctance to Johnny Depp’s singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love Depp and his acting and his choice of strange roles, but to see Capt. Jack Sparrow or Ichabod Crane do a musical with Helena Bonham Carter? That was too much of an intrigue to pass up.
The first scene featured Depp singing aboard a ship under a cloak of darkness and white mist. His look was absolutely amazing with that small patch of white hair, decided mouth and icy stares directed towards London. He looked mad, as he should, but he sang well and convincingly too. After a few more sequences of Depp singing and twirling around with those sharp blades in his hands, the awkward feeling I had just before I bought the tickets were completely gone. He was good, really good and so enticing to watch that you get hooked, not only to his voice and theatrical quirkiness, but also to his signature savvy facial expressions. To be fair, being Depp’s first time to sing onscreen, he was monstrously stupendous.
Sacha Baron Cohen a.k.a. Mr. Sexy Time! Borat, was cute in his small role in the film. Helena Bonham Carter reminded me of her roles in Harry Potter and Fight Club; always with heavy eyeliner, dark and depressing to look at. But the good thing is that she did a good job too, specifically when she sang that duet with Toby, their apprentice boy, Not while I’m around and By the Sea, in which she wanted Todd to reciprocate her feelings. Alan Rickman has always been a favorite of mine, largely because of Harry Potter, Something the Lord Made, and Love Actually. His duet with Depp, I think entitled Pretty Women, was so good and truly heart-rending that when the movie ended, I was whispering and humming that song to myself.
Obviously, the score did a lot to convince and convey the overall murder-hungry theme of this movie. Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics were a mix of brute realizations and sarcastic undertones that vividly told the story one piece at a time. His music, especially the opening theme, was just the thing you need to remind you that the movie isn’t for the weak at heart or for those who despise slashing throats and spilling blood and deceit.
To everyone who hasn’t this movie, please, do yourselves a huge favor and watch it; you’ll never want to get out of your seats, I promise.
To everyone who loves Evangelion, this superb Gainax production is set to release the 2nd movie part of it’s tetralogy on January 2008. The first movie part, Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, was released last September 2007 in Japan and as expected, it went straight up to No.1. The first three movies are said to be newer and better versions of the anime series but the fourth movie will hold a new conclusion for this story.
To those who are not familiar with Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shin Seiki Evangelion), go here first.
From what you can observe from the trailer, the images are way better, sharper and the CGs are now grander than what they have been. There are minor revisions to the sequence of events in the movie, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant than the enigmatic series.
The Rebuild of Evangelion Project has been widely anticipated by fans and after 12 years of waiting, Hideaki Anno delivered his promise well. The thing that I love about this series is how it schemes about the end of the world and how we, mere mortals, are trapped in it because of our own doing. Can you imagine being attacked by ‘angels’ that look like demons? The line between good and evil is reduced to almost non-existence, the notion of right vs. wrong is twisted and over-thinking is a prerequisite to enjoy this series. The story, the characters and their struggles are a classic and it gives you so much room for imagination and internalization.
Another thing that I love about this series is how an underdog, Shinji Ikari, is expected to overcome his personal demons and save the world. You could identify with the characters so well it makes you feel as if the series is reading right through your head. Some don’t really like the way the series delves into way too much of religion and gore but for me, I think the series is a genius when it came to connecting all that with human nature and realism. If you think about it, Evangelion presents an eerie future that could potentially happen lest we behave like Gendou and his minions. The power of science is too much that it pushed humans to become sinful, enough for ‘angels’ to attack us.
I’ve been wanting to see this movie for the past two months but seeing as the producers hadn’t set dates for it’s international release, I would have to wait and be patient longer than I could. The dvd set that I have for this series includes it’s first 2 movies but watching these over and over again doesn’t help ease the torture of waiting.
I’ve been tagged by Trekker to do this list. This one I’ll be doing as a breather from Philippine politics a.k.a. headache and mind-blowing disappointment. To forget, even for a while, the melodramatic twists and turns up in the Senate, I welcome these 10 things to eat up the excess stress I have from thinking day in and day out of how the NEW impeachment case against PGMA will turn out, how our dear politicians will stop practicing corruption and how we will be able to stop these abuses from happening.
Fine, let’s start:
10. The colors yellow and orange.
My mom, back in grade school, used to buy all my clothes. As in. And back then, I never, ever, got to wear jeans. Instead I wore dresses, the ones with frills and laces and huge flower patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I love those dresses but at some point, I had to grow up and be a teen. I envied my classmates who wore t-shirts and jeans and shorts and sneakers and stuff because I only got to wear sandals and dresses back then. I actually owned a pair of jeans and I think 4-5 tees and that’s it. My ‘trendy’ stuff were already few, add to that the fact that my shirts were all in yellow and orange. And I’m morena so it made me look so much darker. When I graduated from grade school, I had to beg my mom to let me choose my own clothes from then on.
9. Pinoy ‘Entertainment’. Lets face it, entertainment in this country is loosely defined as repetitive, recycled material, repackaged to target those who are gullible enough to buy them. Preference is of course something I could not be against with because it is an individual choice, but to actually enjoy Wowowee’s almost sadist brand of humor, the Pinoy Movie Industry and their predictable storylines, and the actors and the love teams who seemingly want to play it safe by doing pa-tweetums on t.v….C’mon guys! We deserve more substantial and quality materials from this industry. Thank goodness for independent movies and the rise of Pinoy bands these past few years!
8. Mahangin, Mayabang at Feeling. I think we have experiences wherein we have this classmate or seatmate or groupmate na Mahangin, Mayabang at Feeling.
Mahangin a.k.a. Air-Con. – He/She’s like a mile away from you and yet you can feel his/her air filling up the room. His/her confidence level is overwhelming it gets to the point that it annoys you.
Mayabang a.k.a. Kapal-muks – He/She brags about everything and anything she/he has, regardless of whether you asked him/her or not. Showing off is second nature to them, throwing insults and complains around are third.
Feeling a.k.a. Pinagpala – He/she thinks the universe was created for him/her. They think everyone is suppose to worship them, wait hand and foot for them and be amazed at how ‘blessed’ they are when in fact they only have too much self-confidence.
7. Banana, Ampalaya and Tokwa. I hate, hate, hate these things!
6. Corruption and overuse of Power. Hmm…PGMA, Erap or Philippine Politics in general (aray).
5. Coffee and Green Tea. Coffee makes me fall asleep and green tea, I simply cannot stomach. So I usually rely on my ‘natural high’ to keep myself awake during exams.
4. User-Friendly. They treat you nice at first and become your new BFF because they need something from you. They are cunning and they move in fast. Once they have what they need from you, they move out of your life thrice as fast.
3. Death by Drowning or Fire. I’d rather die by Hypothermia than be scorched or have water fill up my lungs. So dreadful.
2. A night without 8 hours of sleep. I cannot function well without at least 8 hours of sleep. 6 hours of sleep is okay, but for me it’s like I’ve been drugged.
1. Liars. It’s never a good feeling to have someone lie to you. Never.
To be honest, I’m not the biggest Harry Potter (HP) fan around, nor a die-hard, insane believer of magic. It was only by chance that I got to watch HP and the Philosopher’s Stone and by necessity now that I have kept reading Rowling’s 7 (not counting Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) books of the Boy Who Lived. Unlike other HP fans around the globe, I have read all the books only once but read them like I have my beloved Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy by Libbie Henrietta Hyman. I must admit that to indulge in HP’s parallel world for someone like me is truly incredible; like a good break from doing ten scientific papers, special projects and loads of exams all at once.
Although fantastic, I must add that her books were written very carefully in that it never mentioned any religion like Christianity or Islam or Paganism etc. because if it did, the matter of explaining the whole concept to the kids would create a massive problem for the elders and, not to mention, a breach in our belief of God (Please correct me if I’m wrong). Surely, HP presented that evil could exist but what of God or his goodwill? Deathly Hallows even mentioned Death but nothing concrete on angels or of Heaven or Hell. In Chapter 35 King’s Cross, when HP and Dumbledore were talking, I sort of had the impression that they were in a place that should be for souls, I mean because at that time, both were supposedly dead. But as it turned out, their conversation was all just in HP’s head:
‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry. ‘Is this real? Or has his been happening inside my head?’
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring the his figure.
‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’
When Bill and Fleur were about to get married, I wondered how the ceremony would proceed: would they do it their own way or have a little something of muggle tradition? The manner by which it proceeded was similar to how Christians do it (e.g. a white wedding gown, an entourage, someone like a priest to celebrate the event etc), minus the dressing gowns for the guys and the wand-waving thing after the announcement of Bill and Fleur as ‘being bonded for life.’
But hey, it’s just a story. I just wanted to say my piece.
Actually, I wanted this post to be about the 10 Surprising Things/Facts in Deathly Hallows. Being the last and supposedly the final instalment of HP, some of these things made me scratch my head in utter disbelief, some made me sigh, sad and some made me say, SAYANG.
1. Snape secretly loved Lily Potter. I wasn’t expecting it, but my greatest fear did materialize when it unfolded that Sev and Lily were really best friends and that the former eternally loved his BFF. This bit I loathed.
2. Molly called Bellatrix a BITCH. In Chapter 36 The Flaw in the Plan, when Bella almost hit Ginny with a killing curse, Molly had to shout and say, ‘NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!’ and they duelled instead. Eventually Molly killed her. And you thought Molly was just a plain housewife.
3. Fred’s death. Gosh, I couldn’t believe it but he died. So sad, so sad. The notable characters who died were Lupin and his wife Tonks, Mad-eye and Snape, who was finally revealed to be a good guy all along.
4. Harry and Ginny’s and Ron and Hermione’s kisses. Ginny’s gift for Harry’s birthday was a kiss, and Hermione and Ron’s, well, that was something we were all waiting for.
5. Neville pulled out Gryffindor’s Sword from the sorting hat and killed Nagini. And I thought Neville would die for sure. Surprisingly, Neville became more matured in this book. I mean he became the leader of DA once Luna and Ginny were gone and he was seriously fierce all throughout his appearances, no matter how short or small, in the book.
6. Dobby and Kreacher’s important roles. I didn’t expect Dobby to save HP and be killed. And surely, I didn’t expect Kreacher to ever like HP, Ron and Hermione, much more to help them.
7. Hermione was tortured. I would have wanted Hermione to die when Bellatrix shouted Crucio at her. It would have been more dramatic.
8. The statues and suit of armors came alive to defend Hogwarts. This part I like because it would look really, really cool on film. I just hope this scene would be shown though, seeing as to how long and detailed Deathly Hallows is.
9. HP must die. Because HP was the 7th Horcrux, he would have to die to ensure that Voldemort cannot be resurrected again, given that Nagini would also have be killed.
10. Harry & Ginny and Ron & Hermione. In the last part, Nineteen Years Later, the couples had their respective kids: Harry & Ginny had James, Albus Severus and Lily while Ron & Hermione had Rose and Hugo. Lupin and Tonks had Teddy and he’s bound to marry Victoire, Bill and Fleur’s daughter (I suppose). Even Draco had a son, Scorpious. And by far, Malfoy had the coolest name yet again.
Overall, I think this last chapter of HP’s life and adventures is just okay. It could have been better though. Actually, for a children’s story, HP is amazingly complex and mature that is why even us, adults, are mesmerized by it. I, for one, wold definitely miss HP and the wizarding world. But it was good while it lasted.
All was well.
I have to say I still can’t get over this clip. Gosh, it’s too good to miss!
This where it all began. Truly amazing, truly a work of zombies and mutants.
Whoever thought of doing this wonderful song/remix is truly amazing. The song was inspired from Mark Lapid’s movie, Apoy sa Dibdib ng Samar, which exudes utter stupidity and blunt disregard for the word entertainment. When Lapid’s infamous line started to circulate via text, my friends and I got engrossed with the idea of buying a (pirated) cd of his movie. I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t want a copy of the biggest flop but funniest movie of the century?
This is the original clip from Lapid’s movie:
This is the sample remix of Dense Modesto feat. Mark Lapid in “Saging Lang Ang May Puso”:
The NEWEST VIDEO by Dense Modesto:
For more laugh-trip clips of this video, visit Dense Modesto’s multiply page.
I’m a huge Bob Ong fan. I love his first two books, ABNKKBSNPLKo! and Bakit baligtad magbasa ng libro ang mga Pilipino?, and everytime I open either of them up, I feel renewed and nostalgic. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I love Bob Ong’s writing style and his comic sidetrips. I simply adore it when he tries to make us see a serious flaw in our society but hides it ingeniously in a joke. I think he lives with the mantra that Pinoys are really, really, happy people so perhaps, he tries to joke his way around to get his message across.
His 6th book, Macarthur, is not a collection of stories, jokes or essays from the internet like the way his previous books are patterned. Neither is it about Bob Ong’s supposed life experiences. This time, the book ventures more into the sad realities of being poor and underprivileged in the country via Voltron, Jim, Noel and Cyrus’ tupsy-turvy lives. Yes people, Bob Ong has sunk his teeth into writing non-fiction.
Macarthur, as in General Douglas McArthur of WWII, is actually about human feces, well at least for me in it’s lightest sense. But if you dig deeper into the story, it’s not just about Voltron’s feces or the regurgitated food in his throat: the book is about breaking the bad habits that we do over and over again. For some, breaking the rules is fun but if you break the LAW, get in jail and hurt others in the process, that’s misdemeanor.
We’ve heard stories about dirty and indecent policemen who take care of certain snatchers, robbers and some other hooligans only to set them loose on the streets and loot innocent bystanders. These policemen would then act to chase or imprison these criminals but in truth, they get a share in their bounty. Of course, policemen are just small fry when compared to the big time thieves: public officials. But let me make it clear: stealing in any way is still bad, whether you steal from the streets or from the national treasury. Either way is evil and should not be tolerated.
But the ills of our society do not end with theft, drugs, unemployment and poverty. It includes our social, justice, political, economic and agricultural systems. When I look at these things, the solution I think of is rather inappropriately simple: initiating the change within ourselves first. Yeah, I know, cliche, cliche…but what else can we do? People Power has long been drained of it’s convincing capabilities, impeachment, The Office of the Ombudsman and the Blue Ribbon Committee are just practical jokes and the Genuine Opposition is a paradox! I mean, really, what other things can we think of to solve our rotting core systems? And remember, Philippines is the MOST CORRUPT in Asia this year. It may seem a small solution and an incomprehensible one at that, but it seems to make a lot more sense than to give our continued support to the crackpots up in Congress.
This is what I feel whenever I read a Bob Ong book; vigilant and overly conscious and concerned about the country. Although his last four books, including this one, are not as funny as his first two, I still love Bob Ong’s efforts to reach out and appeal to our patriotic senses. Even with his small and unassuming books, the man tries his best to help and encourage us to do better. And I second his motion.
Whenever I read ABNKKBSNPLKo!, the world, it seems, slows down. My senses are tickled by Bob Ong’s comic interpretations of our so-called Pinoy life: the mishaps, the tragedies, the joys and the unexpected lessons we scoop from it. The thing that I love about his books is that all of them are brutally frank, despite the jokes, the side stories and his simple yet tambay-ish way of putting his ideas in place. He doesn’t need too much flamboyance in his words nor does he need to make his works exclusive. His books are for everyone who’s Pinoy and wants to be one.
Besides his writing style, I also love the fact that whenever I dive my nose into any of his books, I go back and reminisce on my own childhood experiences. And each time I do, the first thing that comes to my head is FOOD-FOOD-FOOD. Back in my pre-school to grade school years, I loved junk foods and I was thrilled to spend my allowance on street foods.
“Scramble”. This is a street food that I got addicted to all my elementary years. This is served with shaved ice, milk powder and chocolate syrup. Retail Price: 5 Php.
Iced Gems. Back then, this snack was sold for 3 Php. I only ate the “gem” part of it and gave the cookie portion to my kuya (yeah, I know, eeow..). But when I grew up, I ate the cookie part as well. It’s been almost 2 years since I last ate this delicious snack.
Tomi. This snack’s mascot is a hairy caveman named Tomi. He even carries a club and have long hair. The character isn’t appetizing but it’s cheese flavor is really, really good. I swear, I could eat almost 3 packs of Tomi.
Humpty Dumpty. I liked the bbq flavor of this snack, the brown one I think. I hated the violet one and I absolutely loved the cheese flavor. Too bad though because the cheese flavor was banned from our elementary fieldtrips because of it’s strong and pungent smell.
Mama Mia. This is a snack with a chef cat as it’s mascot. It’s a sort of a noodle snack and a bit spicy. My kuya called it his pocket canton delight.
Marie and Rebisco Mocha Biscuit. There’s something about soft and chewy cookies that I just cannot resist. These two literally melt in your mouth! I’m not sure if Marie is still being sold though.
Butter Ball. My mom was the one who introduced this sweet candy to us. This orange ball of pure melon and butter sweetness can make you go crazy! The plastic was a stripy orange and white. I don’t know if this being sold up to now.
Crackets. This snack’s mascot is a dancing elf but this rectangular cookie is egg-flavored. I don’t get the relationship between the two but I had this for baon from kinder to grade 1.
Apple Dapple. My mom had to force this cookie in my mouth when she first bought this for me. But eventually, I loved it. This is the most delicious (and cheapest) apple flavored cookie I’ve ever tasted.
Fruit-C. I never liked Zesto in my whole entire life. And I especially despise orange flavored drinks. But this juice drink changed the way I viewed fruit juices. When I was a kid, I always thought fruits were sour and disgusting just like oranges and dalandans. But this juice drink’s lychee, mango and guyabano flavors are super excellent! Not too sweet but it tasted so good. I don’t think this drink is still around though.
Pritos Rings. Unhygenic as it may seem, but I used to put the rings in my fingers before I eat them. A bit spicy but a bit sweet too, this snack has always been my favorite. Too bad it’s not around anymore.
The thing that I love most about pinoy bands is the fact that they help each other out. If you peer inside their album covers and read their thank you messages, you’d always read about a handful of other bands and some of the industry’s movers and shakers like Buddy Zabala and Raymund Marasigan. And whenever I read their thank you’s, I always try and see if my favorite bands are in them like Itchyworms and E-heads. And sure enough, they’re there. Another band that constantly pops up is Sugarfree.
Ebe Dancel’s name would always come up whenever good songwriters are on topic, especially in forums like Talk@PhilMusic. I didn’t really know who he was and which band he belonged to so I did a little research and found out he’s the frontman of Sugarfree. In my head I was like, “Sugarfree? Ah…Hari ng Sablay,” But I didn’t liked that song, so what’s the deal with him being such a good lyricist? Of course, silly me, they must have tons of other songs. So I bought all 3 of their albums to see and hear firsthand Dancel’s genius.
3. Mundong Malungkot
5. Fade Away
6. Unang Araw
9. Tummy Ache
10. Los Baños
12. The Allan Song
5. Hari ng Sablay
6. Tulog Na
2. Burnout (ulit)
3. Makitang Kang Muli
1. Dear Kuya
2. Kailan Ka ba?
3. Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin
4. Huling Gabi
8. Wari Ko’y
9. Ang Pinakamagaling Na Tao Sa Balat Ng Lupa
11. Wag Ka Nang Umiyak
12. Ikaw Pala
1. Batang-bata Ka Pa
After loving the Itchyworms’ albums and proclaiming their songs ultra addicting and cool and witty, I must admit that Sugarfree’s appeal is almost the same for me. If you listen to all their albums, you get a sense of continuity starting from Sa Wakas, to Dramachine and Tala-Arawan. They’re very consistent with their sound; very relaxed, upbeat and they totally rock! It’s one thing that they have such good melodies and it’s another that they have truly amazing and smart lyrics. What I like about Dancel’s songs is that you can easily relate to what he’s saying. I love it that he chooses the simplest of words for his compositions and yet have a deep and sharp meaning to them.
Another thing about them is that Dancel’s voice is a part of their trademark. It’s not Medwin Marfil material, but does the job of rendering a soul to their songs.
In all honesty, I love all their songs. Okay not all, but most of them I love. If I’d choose one best song per album, it’ll be Telepono (Sa Wakas), Tulog Na (Dramachine) and Wag Ka Nang Umiyak (Tala-Arawan). There are tons of other great songs in their albums that I equally love like (please forgive me for enumerating almost all of them): Burnout, Mundong Malungkot, The Allan Song, Insomya, Mariposa, Hintay, Unang Araw, Kwentuhan, Limbo, Kwarto, Sinta, Dramachine, Alinlangan, Cuida, Dear Kuya, Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin, Wari Ko’y, Nangangawit, and Ikaw Pala.
I particularly love Dramachine because, I don’t really know why, I can’t stop my head from going along with their beats. Their other 2 albums are also amazing but there’s something about their seemingly fresh and clever songs in their sophomore compilation that makes me want to hug my pillow and just stare somewhere. They take me everywhere; they make me laugh, they make me sigh (courtesy of Tulog Na and Burnout) and they make me think hard. That’s how appealing they are to me. Geez, I practically worship them already.
1 good morning revival
3 the river
4 dance floor anthem
5 keep your hands off my girl
6 victims of love
7 where would we be now?
8 Break apart her heart
9 All black
10 Beautiful place
11 Something else
12 Broken hearts parade
13 March on
Good Charlotte reminds me a lot of Linkin Park. Back in high school, I used to (almost) worship Hybrid Theory. But at that time, only a handful of people knew Linkin Park’s existence. That is, before they shot to fame with their release of Crawling and soon my entire school was singing their songs as well. That sort of scenario pissed me off. Its not that I didn’t want Linkin Park to have a multitude of fans, I just wanted to keep them for myself, and for my friends. They became a household name, not to mention, a street/jologs name too because even elementary school kids were singing their songs on the streets. Worse part is that they’re singing it like it’s just another nursery rhyme. They were reduced to mere, common status and because of that I stopped liking them. But when I look at Hybrid Theory now, to me it sounds more like a pop band infused just a few rock chords on the side to make it seem like they’re genuine rockers. Just like how I view Good Charlotte.
Sure they look like rockers with their tattoo, black mascara, piercings and grunge look but if you listen to their lyrics closely, it sounds so pop-ish. Joel Madden’s voice isn’t that crisp to identify their band immediately. But he sounds okay and his voice actually fits their songs well.
When I first heard Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, I was really, really into it. So into it, in fact, I had LSS (last song syndrome) almost immediately. Then I saw their video and just like that, I fell in love with Joel Madden. He looked so cute in their video that I just had buy Good Morning Revival because I thought he’d be having a lot more pictures in there. Okay, my motivation in buying their cd isn’t right because it should be about their music, right? But as I listened to their album, I found it very likable: pop-ish/punk/rock kind of likable.
In their entire album, Keep Your Hands Off My Girl was the only song I could identify as a sort of rock song. The rest are pop mixed, punk rock tunes. But their melodies are quite addicting and cool. I just can’t get enough of Dance Floor Anthem, Misery, Where Would We Be Now, and March On. I didn’t expect that their sound would be this light considering how they looked like hardcore rockers in their Keep Your Hands Off My Girl video. I’m not very keen to how they did with their previous albums or their songs. Honestly, I hate their past songs because they sounded so childish, almost like they have boy band material for their songs. I just found Keep Your Hands Off (and Joel Madden) ultimately irresistible to my senses. But it really shocks me that their appearance doesn’t exactly translate to how they sound.
But honestly, I may be the only one in here who thinks they sound pop-ish. Well, what the heck. They sound really cool and I just love their tunes in this album. Everytime I hear Dance Floor Anthem and Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, I just can’t stop my head from bobbing! It’s insane actually, but I don’t mind. As long as I can imagine Joel Madden singing in his black coat, crisp white shirt and tie, I’m more than okay.
I was looking for a book inside PowerBooks in Megamall when I strayed in Tower Records by accident. I thought Michael Buble’s 3rd album, Call Me Irresponsible, was already out so I thought I’d check that one out. But instead, I went strayed to the OPM section. I’ve stuck long enough with Eraserheads, Itchyworms and True Faith so I decided I’d like to hear new bands. Along with Stonefree, I also bought Cambio, Silent Sanctuary, Pedicab, Urbandub, and Julianne. I was tempted to buy Sino SiKat but I got short in cash. Besides, I can’t listen to all of these cds in just one night. The rest of the reviews for these artists will come soon.
2 kapag nawala ka
6 the way she moves
8 my star
9 baka naman
13 ikaw pa rin
Sayang is the first song I ever heard from these guys. At first, I didn’t like it that much but as I listened to it repeatedly, partly thanks to my sister who dearly loves this song, I got hooked.
In Hibiscus, I had trouble listening to Miro Valera’s voice. He sounded weird to me especially in Kapag Nawala Ka, Clutch, Water, and My Star. His voice was deep, too deep and unmodulated. He sounded different in every song. Take for example his voice in Ikot and The Way She Moves. He sounds great in these songs, a stark contrast when you compare his voice to the songs I’ve mentioned earlier.
I also had trouble calculating as to what their music is. They make great ‘love songs’ like Baka Naman, but as for their ‘rock songs’ like Langit, it sounded bleak. I mean, it lacked power and heavy guitars and Valera sounded bad. I don’t want to sound mean, but I didn’t like Hibiscus that much.
It’s a good thing they made Baka Naman and Ikot. I just love these two songs so much. Listen, Panahon and Scar are also worth listening to.
4 Don’t lie to me
5 Its over
6 Nasan na
8 Last days of may
9 Tidal waves
10 Love and grace
They say sophomore albums make or break any artist. They say it’s a curse because second albums are usually big flops. But Delorean isn’t. The guys have made such a good second album that almost all the tracks in it are my favorite. Valera’s voice in this album improved, in a sense that it sounds just perfect and modulated. I should think that his voice is Stonefree’s trademark, but thank goodness he sounds a bunch better in this one.
These guys strike me as hardrockers but if you examine their songs closely, they sound more like ballads and mellow songs. I adore Anghel, LSS, Nasan Na, Bend, and Last Days of May. Love and Grace has got to be the best song they’ve ever done. It’s purely magical to me especially because I’m a girl and I get attached to mushy songs easily. I also love the violin in Nasan Na. Local bands don’t usually use violins, cielos and other string instruments to enhance their sound, but it was a good thing Stonefree used some in here. Their songs Tadhana and Don’t Lie To Me lack power and force again to pass up for rock songs.
It’s easy to see that Stonefree’s Delorean showcases how they have matured and honed their musicality. They sound more polished and exact, plus their lyrics are great and give out sentimentality. Their melodies on their ‘rock’ songs need a bit more work, but all in all, they sound just fine.
1. Save room
4. show me
5. each day gets better
6. p.d.a. (we just don’t care)
7. slow dance
10. where did my baby go?
11. maxine’s interlude
12. another again
13. coming home
The first time I heard John Legend sing Save Room on the radio got me sort of irritated. Then when I saw the video, I got more irritated. I have this thing that when I hate an artist’s first single, I would curse his/her/their entire album and go on disliking him/her/them. I had this sort of thing with 911 back when I was in elementary. Whenever I heard them sing Body Shaking, I would literary cringe and stick out my tongue. I also have this thing with Kc and Jojo, P. Diddy, S Club 7, Join the Club, Stonefree, Urbandub, Cueshe, Sponge Cola, 6CycleMind, and Hale. But the good part is that some of the artists that I initially hate would later become my favorite, like 911, Urbandub and John Legend.
His voice is really, really cool. I’ve never liked any crooner before except for my beloved Michael Buble (who now has a 3rd album, Call me Irresponsible) but he sure changed my mind. He plays the piano and is the executive producer, along with Kanye West, in his album. Although I got a bit disappointed when he didn’t write any of his songs. I mean, its an additional turn on for me if an artist is also capable of writing his own material.
Anyway, the album is packed with smooth and hip vibes. I’m actually amazed with how this album has incorporated some hip-hop beats with blues and a bit of standard. I just love how John Legend’s voice tied up all of these elements and made one heck of an album. I personally love Each Day Gets Better, Where Did My Baby Go and Coming Home. The tracks he released are also my favorites but these three are the best songs for me.
1. Sama na
2. Buhay ay ganyan
5. Parang bula
7. Nagsasawa ka na ba?
10. Pikit Mata
11. Sandali Lang
13. Sama na (silverfilter happy chops mix)
14. Sumayaw (dj patch’s hustle vox mix)
I saw them perform on MYX’s Bandarito sometime last month. I’m not into hip-hop sounding bands but I didn’t think I labeled them correctly at first glance. And so I watched and waited for them to perform another song. They sang Paikot-ikot which caught my attention and made me sit their entire show.
What makes this band sound so good is that their vocalist, Uela Basco, sounds absolutely great. I don’t know what to make of their sound but they do a funk/pop/rock sort of thing. They have a bit of flute and a tinge of bass and cool guitars. At first, I thought (I really did) they were some kind of hip-hop band or something but they weren’t. They almost sound like Kala, only they sound more relaxed. Their mix of funk is what’s making me glued to this album. It’s entirely good.
I love Ikaw, Ex, Paikot-ikot, Sumayaw, Parang Bula and Uhaw. Their songs are easy to relate to plus their tunes are the exact complement for their lyrics. I’m not really sure if this is their first album but whatever the case, I still like it.
After several months of looking for this album, I finally found one at M1. I went berserk when, after visiting 5 music stores at Ayala that hot afternoon, the saleslady handed me the last copy of this cd! I went completely nuts! And my friend was trying to calm me down and bring me back to my senses. I could tell she was trying to guess what the hell got me so fired up about a P150 album of an “unknown” band. Minutes after we left M1, I told her that I just bought Itchyworms’ 1st album. Then she just smiled and said something like, “Wow” or “Great”. Then I started to educate her (again) about who the ‘worms’ were and why the heck should she care about them.
Of course, back in February, she already knew about my addiction to the Itchyworms. We went to UPD’s Feb Fair just to catch a glimpse of them perform. And of course, she knew how driven I was to get my cds signed that night. But I wasn’t able to, and so boo-hoo to me. I’m still tyring to convert her and another friend, who was also with us that night at the UPD fair, to become a ‘worms’ fan like me. And I have faith that sooner or later, I will make them drones as well.
Anyway, Little Monsters under your bed is definitely raw. A bit bare when compared to their sophomore album, Noontime Show, but even at this early attempt, their signature style and vibe we’ve all learned to love was already there.
1. Mellow Carousel
2. Happy House
3. Coffee in the gobi*
6. caveman do
7. Isang Umaatikabong kaldero ng mananakop*
8. I found you
9. Kung bakit ganyan si baby ngayon*
10. Happy Birthday
11. Berdugo ng Bulacan (bakal at karne)*
15. Find and Seek
16. Angry Mob 12 Itch Remix*
18. Not Much
20. At the Tapa Bar*
22. Sphrgles Lullabye*
(* dialogue inserts or whatever you call them)
I was actually surprised that this album is composed predominatly of english songs. At first, I was trying to sense the ‘worms’ vibe in this seemingly unfamiliar territory. And songs like ‘Chocophotoland’, ‘Waterbug’, ‘I found you’, ‘Minutes’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Paglipad’ helped me find them here in their first album.
This being their first album, one would note how they’ve become more mature in their second album. Noontime is much fuller in sound and their theme for it is actually solid. But when you listen to Little Monsters, you could actually say that their musical identity is still “being developed”. The humor, the wit and their wordplay were already there, but something still lacked. It was definitely Itchyworms material and sound; I just wasn’t sure if they tried experimenting or something on this album. It’s something I can’t put my finger on, but something inside my head tells me it’s them but not them. Sort of.
But the album is easy to listen to and their sound is still refreshing and cool. I love this album because it was raw and bare and yet they made it seemed like it wasn’t. Their sound may have been “tunog-lata” sort of in this first attempt (much like when the e-heads released Ultraelectromagneticpop!), but their signature classy/funny/energetic/addictive melodies still got the better of me.
And thanks to this album, Chocophotoland is now a looping track in my head. Geez, this song is really good. Actually, this album is really, really good.
I first found out about the Batle of Thermopylae from Discovery Channel’s documentary with the same title years back, I suppose. The documentary was so good, I just had to brush up my world history to know the Spartans again.
Now, Frank Miller and Zack Snyder did a film so awesome, I just can’t wait to buy a dvd copy of this explosive film. Miller was inspired by the 1960′s film, “The 300 Spartans” which was basically about King Leonidas and his small army who protected the pass of Thermopylae. The Spartans’ move was strategic because it enabled Greece to assemble an army to defeat the Persians into expanding further to Asia and into their turf.
King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) waged a war with Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) when the former declined to give a tribute to the Persians. But the whole Spartan army could not be summoned because the Ephors and the Oracle are against the war because it would disrupt their sacred festival, Karneia. In their tradition, the Ephors and the Oracle’s blessings are needed for any undertaking. So Leonidas assembles 300 spartan men, all of which have a son to continue their name and legacy. Leonidas departs and heads to the pass of Thermopylae. There Leonidas meets a disfigured Spartan, Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan), who informs him that there was a hidden passage to which the Persians could use to surround them. He offered to the king that he can fight, but Leonidas declined his generous proposal because he could not protect the other soldiers with his short limbs. Ephialtes was mad and went to Xerxes for revenge. Imminently, the 300 soldiers that the king brought along with him were not enough to ward off the enemy. The Arcadian militia, who were with them from day one, fled of fear. Leonidas sensed their demise and sent Dilios (David Wenham) back to Sparta to try and convince their Senate to send reinforcements. Unfortunately, the reinforcements did not come on time and Leonidas and his 300 men were crushed, but not without a glorious ending. The Spartan king was able to scar Xerxes’ face with the spear he threw. Leonidas missed, but he delivered his promise of making the God King bleed. In the end, with Dilios and Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) who convinced the Senate to send out their army, the Greek City States also joined in to fight the Persians. The whole Greecian army was led by the Spartans to victory.
What I liked most about the movie was that it looked so good, so awesome and so gripping. I was practically unable to contain myself throughout the whole film. I mean, with superb fight scenes, great visual graphics and talented actors gracing the screen, how are we suppose to sit down and be calm? I can’t be calm when the movie is this intense and jam-packed with so many great great looking men!? There was this specific scene wherein the Spartans were getting ready to pounce the Persians a second time. The scene was so ‘glorious’ because the whole screen was parading Spartan mid-sections. C’mon, with those gorgeous bodies flashing before you, how can you be clam?! My friend couldn’t stop blushing, basically because we love their physique. But really, the movie was spectacularly great. I was moved to a spectrum of emotions, especially when Leonidas died. It was his decisive move that put Sparta in the history books forever.
When my friend and I went out of the cinema, we just couldn’t get over the 300 fever. It was totally bloody, absolutely intense and 100% cinematic genius. This has got to be 2007′s BEST MOVIE.
My very good friend, Ivy, and I wanted to kill time last Saturday by watching movies. Take note of the ‘s’ in movies. We didn’t want just one; we wanted, if possible, to watch two or maybe even three. February was like a total slump in good movies. The only good movies then were Stranger than Fiction, A Night at the Museum and an indie film shown only at Robinson’s World, Pepot Artista (Pepot Superstar). All of which, I never had the chance to see.
Originally, we were choosing between the following movies:
Letters from Iwo Jima
Notes on a scandal
Pursuit of Happiness
Saan nagtatago si Happiness (indie movie shown at Robinson’s World)
The Good Shepard
March is literary teeming with interesting movies that we had a tough time choosing which ones to watch. Finally we wanted 300 and Letters from Iwo Jima. We weren’t that griddy to watch blood-drenched flicks, really. We wanted to see these two films because critics said they were good. And as movie suckers, we gladly obliged.
The movie is Clint Eastwood’s complementary film to his previous piece, Flag of our Fathers, which basically features the same war but is seen in the Japanese Army’s viewpoint.
Some considered guarding the Iwo Jima island a suicide mission, but Lt. Gen. Kuribayashi (Watanabe) stood firm to his duty to his emperor and country. While other officers opposed his war strategies, Lt. Col Nishi (Ihara) and Fujita (Kuribayashi’s loyal aide) proved to be one of his loyal allies. Consequently, poor nutrition and bad water supply gave a slow death to the Japanese army while still preparing for the Americans to land on their beach. They became weak and ultimately lost their will to fight even before their enemy came. There were no reinforcements coming, their ammo supplies weren’t enough and most of the men are still in disbelief as to why they’re fighting. Saigo (Ninomiya) sturggled as he wanted to return home to his wife and his baby. Saigo, being fumbling, was always picked on by his superiors. But Kuribayashi saves him everytime he’s bound for some punishment. But as the American forces raged the island, being outnumbered and losing their grip on their purpose, the Japanese soldiers killed themselves, even without suicide orders from Kuribayashi. With their numbers dwindled, Kuribayashi orders a last attempt to attack the Americans with all the surviving men in his army. Unfortunately, the Japanese army was wiped out. But Fujita saves Kuribayashi and drags him all the way to the shore, hoping to meet their reinforcements. Kuribayashi orders Fujita to behead him, but Fujita was shot just as he was ready to swing his katana. Saigo, on the other hand, comes along and spots Kuribayashi lying with a gunshot wound. saigo was fortunately saved again (Kuribayashi saves Saigo’s life three times here) because Kuribayashi ordered him to bury and burn all the documents in their headquarters. Kuribayashi asks Saigo to bury him so the Americans will not find his body, and with that last request, he shoots himself and finally dies. After Saigo buried the body, the Americans found him with a shovel and tried to capture him. He fought madly but was finally knocked unconscious. When he woke up, he found himself in a stretcher and grinned weakly. Then forward to present time when some archeologists finally unearthen the letters from the soldiers that Saigo had buried.
The story was good, I have to admit. The idea was a sold out to me. The visuals weren’t that bloody much to my dismay. But being raw in most of its scenes were actually tastily done. Ninomiya was a comic relief who served his purpose well. But Watanabe’s acting prowess was, in my humble opinion, under used. Plus, I wasn’t moved in any of the scenes; touched, yes, but never moved to tears. I think the problem for me was that the movie was bare. It didn’t have those gripping scenes which I so much expected, being a war flick and all.
Even if the movie bagged so many awards this year, the movie was just not for me. I mean, I love period movies, but this one just didn’t suit me. The movie was good, but not great.
A lot of new bands have arrived in the local music scene. Thanks to pioneer bands like The Eraserheads, The Dawn, and Alamid, the industry has spawned several notable bands like Parokya ni Edgar and Rivermaya. But among all of these emerging bands, Itchyworms is a definite standout.
Their sophomore album, NoonTime Show is truly amazing. Combine their humor, wit, awesome songwriting abilities and addictive tunes, then you have something you can never let go of.
As far as I know, their first album was Little Monsters under your bed. I only knew two songs (Antipara and Bituin) from that album and until now, am unable to find it. Antipara was my favorite back in 2001 (ata), but somehow it wasn’t enough to urge me to buy their cd. And now, i regret having thought that.
NoonTime Show is now a staple in my head. Their tunes never get out of my system, even during classes. I find their parodies of our local “entertainment” scene brilliant. As in. Songs such as Wala nang puwedeng magmahal sa yo (Stalker Song), Production Number, Soap O Pera, Contestant number 1, and Theme From NoonTime Show expose how these guys see our pinoy tinsel town: pathetic, predictable and panget.
Mag-production number tayo kahit hindi bagay
Pagsamahin ang mga baguhan dun sa mga sanay
Magkunwari tayo na walang sumasablay
Dahil lahat tayo’y kumakantang sabay-sabay.
These are lines from their song Production Number. And wow, they put it raw and in your face. How nice is that?
Well true enough, our showbiz scene is a really sad and depressing place. We thrive in copying other works like those of the korean and chino-velas. We repeat or re-package past successful “formulas” to try and dose the viewers with over kill. We also never get tired of the lame, mindless plots in our local soaps and movies. True enough, if this is what we call entertainment, we’re all better off asleep.
The indie movies are the ones making all the buzz right now, not the big budgeted flicks which are all geared towards getting money rather than giving us quality and substantial materials. If only we could have regular showing of these indies like, North Diversion Road, Indio Nacional, Pepot Superstar, Big Time and of course the famed Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, then our mainstream moviemakers could probably get a thing or two on how to make their storylines more “digestible”.
Anyway, the Itchyworms are the best thing that happened after Parokya ni Edgar, and they will continue to have a huge fan base because they have a unique style, a cool vibe, witty lyrics and a delicious sound. Speaking of delicious sound, I particularly love their song Buwan. It shows their mature side and their video too, is pretty cool. The scene where kelvin yu sits in the mrt and thinks, “Papalayasin kaya ako pag isang buong araw ako dito?” and “Ilan kaya dito sa mga to ang hindi [u]uwi agad?” were once my exact thoughts. But what really got to me was, “Lahat ba sila alam ang pupuntahan nila?”. It could be sarcastic or just plain pa-deep. Whichever way, it’s fine with me.
I also adore, One Ball, Love Team, The Stalker Song, Production Number, Salapi and of course, Akin ka na lang and Beer. Oh yeah, count Grabeng Pag-ibig, Happy Happy Song, Buwan (Sfunky version) and Jackson as well. Actually, just count all their songs in. Really, it’s that good. And fun. And gratifying to listen to.