Monday, July 18, 2011

Cinemalaya on a Monday

I've been dubbing July as a Cinemalaya month for three years already and a UAAP month also in a way. Hehe. The 7th Cinemalaya just opened last July 15 and it will run till the 24th. Every year, it becomes a venue for independent directors to showcase their short films plus also a time for more experienced directors to show something new and fresh. This would be my 3rd consecutive year attending this festival. Since my first experience last 2009, I've always been in anticipation for this comes July. I like how it showcases hidden talents that doesn't make it to the mainstream. Plus the stories shown mainly focuses on reality and some unseen stories that we won't normally know unless we existence it. This is the best time for visual artists to show something out of the norms. Good thing I only have a TThS sched this sem. One of the "perks" of being irregular. Haha!

I was already on CCP around 12pm for the 12:45 sched. I was planning to watch today Shorts A & B but Shorts A was already sold out so I just had "Ligo na U, Lapit na Me" for the 3:30pm slot. If only I had someone with along I would stay at CCP till the 9pm film. But I was a LONER of the day. Woohoo! Haha! Everyone was just busy with school because it was already preliminary week for some while others has classes/work. And besides I don't want to invite and force others who doesn't have an interest for this because it would just spoil the experience. Thank you CCP for having chairs on the lobby or else I'd be sitting on your stairs like a lost kid. Hehe.


Hanapbuhay - I'm about 5mins. late so I wasn't able to fully understand this story. It was only the film among the short that made the audience laugh. It kind of threaded different stories of people while the main character was a man who recently got a job. I don't even know what's the ending means.

Oliver's apartment - a scriptless film. It centered on aobsessive compulsive-compulsive American man who lives alone in his apartment. Then there's this girl who she looks out from his window every morning. This film would just let your mind do the story.

Immanuel - this entry was a bit hard to grasp in a way that I can't imagine how it would be like this happens in reality. It was all about working for survival. READ: oxygen cubes. I like how the story was built and the drama inside. It reached out perfectly.

Debut - define short. This story showed how ironic and how sad life would be for others regardless of how young.

Hazard - driving lesson between father and son that turned out to real life lesson. This film had the loudest clap, which it really deserves, among the 5 shorts. It was only a 15-20 minute film but the message it wants to show was tremendous. You know, being older doesn't mean you know much better. Doing the right thing is different from doing the appropriate thing.

Ligo na U, Lapit na Me

I never knew that this was based on a novel under the same title. It was a pseudo-gala night a while ago because the director, writer and some of the main cast were with us in the main theater. Eros Atalia the author of the novel "Ligo na U, Lapit na Me" was also there who was invited upstage to give a short message before the start of the film. I never even knew that he's a fellow Thomasian and a professor in the university, which explains some of the elements included in the story. I was even shocked with the appearance of our accountancy uniform (which btw can pass as a uniform of national bookstore and mercury drug staff) worn by lead actress while doing ... umm. =|

The film was starred by Edgar Allan Guzman as "Intoy" short for Karl * Lennon Villalobos and Mercedes Cabral as "Jen which I think did a great job portraying their role. It was already my second time spotting Mercedes in Cinemalaya with the first one where she portrayed a role as Pilipinas satirically describing our country, I forgot the title but it was one of the indie films that made a mark in me. I think she's already a veteran in the indie scene and even though she often portrays racy/sexy roles, keri pa rin! I still got respect for her. =]

This is a sex comedy film. Honestly, it kind of shocked me for the long scenes of intense love, kumbaga straight to the point, no cheesy lines or paikot-ikot, no censored parts. ow-em. haha! And that's coming from a "conservative" point of view. Hehe. The sexy scenes was at least shown in a way that it wouldn't look "super" malaswa. Ok, so enough of the sensitive parts, I can now erase it in my mind. Hehe. This might be "disturbing" for the younger ones who would watch this, strictly R-18, parental guidance is recommended. So moving on with the plot, it revolved around Intoy and Jen who acted as friends with "benefits" all the while with no strings attached. Ironic it is that Intoy's parents are even religious persons, kind of people who do Sunday service and fellowships. While Jen was a rich and quirky girl who do have tantrums and mood swings once in a while that Intoy cooly handles. Overall the film was nice, though I think some scenes were kind of dragged. It must say they made a good job in perfectly dropping the punch lines, benta lahat eh! Lol.

Now I hope AudProb would be cancelled tomorrow so I can continue this tomorrow with my classmates.

Cinemalaya has also expanded this time having a second venue at Greenbelt cinemas but still I'd choose CCP even though it would be less worry to wait for the next film at Greenbelt. Besides, Greenbelt doesn't give student discounts. =[

Sunday, July 17, 2011

AJ all the way!

Youtube has been my source of music from the time I started college. I don’t know how I started to discover this very awesome musician in youtube, but since then I’ve been more in love to their music than anything. I remember back then, whenever my friends scan my music playlist they always wonder who are these people I’m listening to. Haha! There’s AJ Rafael, Gabe Bondoc, Cathy Nguyen, Jenny Suk, Kina Grannis, David Choi, Randolph Permejo, JRA, Ryan Bandong, Joseph Vincent, Jason Chen, Clara, Andrew Garcia, Kris Mark, Jesse Barrera, Leejay, Passion and a LOT more. And what’s more amazing is that they all know each other. Waa! How fun to jam with them! And as you can notice most/all of them are Asians (no racist remark intended) and most of them are Filipinos. Woohoo! Filipino pride! Lol. Too bad they’re all in the US.

Moving on, I’ve been stalking following AJ Rafael since – I can’t remember. Haha! He’s a Fil-Am born and raised in America but both of his parents are Filipino. I think he's the first musician in YouTube I subscribed to and since then I’ve been a dedicated fan of youtube musicians more than mainstream music. I can still remember when he’s still starting out covering various songs; he even got this epic Disney medley he arranged! Then I started to discover his original music where he started writing when he is still 15. Plus his catchy hit song “I just want you” that I think became the beggining of everything. Now he is with a band with his friends from Berkley (2 of them I think?). I also remember back then when I’m on my laptop till wee hours in the morning watching them on Ustream playing good music. I even already formulated an equation for the time difference, [Philippine time minus 4 hours and 1 day] that is when they’re not on DST. Haha! He’s the reason why I got an Ustream and BlogTV account. I can’t forget the time when he replied to my question while he’s on Ustream because he was talking about Berklee College of music which he attended to for some time and I was asking if it was like a “Raise your Voice” type of school, and he said not quite. Yee! Because I always dream of going to music school like that ever since I saw that movie. I even got inspired to get a uke because of him, now I’m in love with the sound of the uke! Plus my twitter account was also created because of him to get updates when he went in the PH last Feb. 2010. Wow! Talk about dedicated? Now I sound like an obsessive stalker. What the?! Haha!!

So since then, he started to get big on Youtube: recording original music, having a band, releasing albums and music videos, being invited on shows in different places (even in Australia!), and collaborating with other youtube musicians. So recently he released his “Red Roses” album (also available on Itunes!), which unfortunately I can’t purchase because I don’t have PayPal/credit card or any means of payment for over the net purchases. Tss. Sorry AJ for ripping music on your youtube account for noe. =[ If you go here again with your album, I promise to buy! =]

“I wrote this song not about a death or losing someone to an illness, but about wanting to be with someone so bad that you couldn't go another day without them-- but this song spoke differently to my Kuya Frank's wife Ate Rhea. She told me that she listened to this song as if it was Kuya Frank singing to her, fighting for her, and wanting to be there for her through all of this. Thus, the original concept for this video was born and it stuck in my head-- and I pray that this video helps you realize that you are not alone in your struggle, whether it is you or a loved one going through it.”

The concept of the video was so much fitted for his song. It added to the emotion and the message that the song tells. I seriously got goose bumps while I was watching it, no bias there. This video was well made that it perfectly reached out on me. Plus this completely shows AJ’s growth on his music career. There’s a progression which I just I can’t explain in words. Haha! But anyway, I sense I would be forever a fan of AJ. He is simply a great musician and person. I only met him once when he went here in the Philippines, I must say he’s a very approachable guy and a genuine person. I gave him a drawing that night and he gave me a hug. Thanks for the love! Hehe. He already had a long way and I think he already reached THE point, even if he’s not mainstream (though I think it’s not even needed) he’s already living out his dreams. Waa! I’m a proud fan! =]

His “Red Roses” album:

Check him out:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Eiga Sai

The Japanese Foundation and the Embassy of Japan are hosting the ongoing "Eiga Sai" (Japanese Film Festival) which is already on its 13th year. They would be offering FREE screening of some Japanese movies at Shang Cineplex 4 from July 2-10, 2011.

I'm a self confessed sucker for freebies so I definitely won't miss this. Best things in life are for free nga daw, right? Haha! And just in time, I don't have classes during MWF and Kathy doesn't have work for today, so we decided to just hang out at Shang and check out the festival.

I'm already anticipating a long line outside the cinemas just like when we went there for a Korean movie festival last summer (?). They start giving tickets 1 hour before the scheduled time. We arrived there around 12:40 for the 1pm slot. Everyone was already inside but good thing there's still remaining tickets. But I would suggest if you want a good seat go earlier, plus it just so happen that we went there on the first showing on a weekday so there's not much people unlike on weekends. When went out after the movie, the line outside were already in a loop. Hooray for free stuffs! Hehe. And also, outside food are not allowed in the cinema in case you plan to buy food from some restaurant. Sorry naman, it's my first time watching at Shang. =]

Yunagi City, Sakura Country (Yunagi no machi, sakura no kuni)

The movie was about how the historical Hiroshima bombing affected the lives of the survivors. I thought the movie would be more historical and narrate how the people lived before,during and after the bombing, but nevermind. So it's a dramatic film that started off on the events after the Hiroshima bombing. At the beggining, the story centered on Minami, a girl who survived from the bombing but lost her sister and father from the catastrophe. She was now left with her mother while they let her brother Asahi be adopted. So Minami met this Mr. Ukoshiko(?) who she almost fell for but her past kept haunting her through the voice of her deceased sister. The survivors of the bombing still has the remnants of their past in them through the burns they acquired plus a lot of them acquired health complications because of it. In the second half of the movie, the setting switched on the present time, summer of 2011, where Asahi is already seen as an old father with 2 children. He still can't get over with everything that happened in his past that's why one night he decided to go back to Hiroshima without notice. But her daughter after knowing it, started to follow his father with the help of her friend. And more things were revealed.

It's a 2-hour film, and honestly after the first hour I was already itching to end it already. But anyway, at least I seated on it till the end ,but slipped on some scenes, unlike those who just can't wait. Hehe. For me, the movie was slow-paced and some scenes was mababaw. But anyway, I don't think I have the right to complain. Maybe it's not just not my type of movie (btw, I love Japanese horror movies! <3) because it's more on drama. And I was expecting some other things.

The festival has a total of 10 movies offered, it's good to read on the synopsis first so you can have a greater understanding when you watch it.

*Screening Schedules:


JULY 1 (Friday)
Opening Night by Invitation at Cinema 2
Departures (131 mins ) 7:00 PM

JULY 2 (Saturday)
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 1:00 PM
Departures (131 mins ) 4:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 3 (Sunday)
Summer Days with Coo (1:38 mins) 1:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 4:00 PM
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 4 (Monday)
Yunagi City, Sakura Country (118 mins) 1:00 PM
Villon’s Wife (114 mins) 4:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 5 (Tuesday)
Your Friend (125 mins) 1:00 PM
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 4:00 PM
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 6 (Wednesday)
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 1:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 4:00 PM
The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones (139 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 7 (Thursday)
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 1:00 PM
Climber’s High (145 mins) 4:00 PM
Your Friend (125 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 8 (Friday)
Your Friend (125 mins) 1:00 PM
Yunagi City, Sakura Country (118 mins) 4:00 PM
Departures (131 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 9 (Saturday)
Departures (131 mins) 1:00 PM
One Million Yen Girl (121 mins) 4:00 PM
Villon’s Wife (114 mins) 7:00 PM

JULY 10 (Sunday)
Summer Days with Coo (1:38 mins)  1:00 PM
Feel the Wind (133 mins) 4:00 PM
The Chef of South Polar (125 mins) 7:00 PM

*schedule copied from

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lazer Extreme!

I've been lagging lately, I got a lot of drafts pending but I'm always losing the will. Chos!Ok fine, tamad kasi ako MINSAN. haha! Plus I tend to forget the details when a week or more has passed that's why I don't even get to finish a decent post. Nyahaha!
Anyway, I've been wanting to blog about this super fun game that I just had tried last month. After watching Kung Fu Panda at ATC (btw, that's my 1st 3D movie, I was about to blog about it but then I forgot. tss.), we decided to do Lazer Extreme because I'm the only one who haven't tried it yet.

When we went up to go see, there's still an ongoing game and you can take a peek to get an idea on what’s it like if you’re a newcomer like me. They have this small viewing deck up there where you can see a side of the “play ground”. But anyways, you won’t even see much because it’s a bit dark inside the gaming area. We had our game scheduled around 5pm (we signed up around 4:45pm) and I thought we still have to wait for more players (we’re only 4) but I think it’s not a problem because after a minute another group of 3 went in. So yea, I think they don’t lack on customers. And the group of teens/kids from the previous game joined in again. Define addict? Lol.

Before starting a quick video was played for the instructions and guidelines. No ducking/sitting/crawling and physical contact. Then next would be choosing your gear. We’re around 20 players in there all in all. They have illuminated light-weight vest with LED lights and a Laser gun connected on the vest through a wire so you won’t drop it. They have 8 different colors to choose from for your team (we are team yellow!). And also don’t forget to remember your player’s name, it’s in the screen of the gun, for you to know your score in the end of the game.


So let the game begin! The multi-level laser-tag arena was very spacious. It is dimly lighted with LED lights around and glow in the dark designs. They also got this background music that pumps you up like you’re in a real battle arena. Haha! In the start of the game, I kept running around and hiding trying to tag first the person I encounter. I don’t have a direction. Lol. When someone tags you first, your light turns off for a couple of seconds before you can fire up again. The points you gain depends on what part of the opponent’s vest you able to tag, if I’m not mistaken the one in the shoulder has the most point. I didn’t even able to get upstairs because there are a lot of them already there so I just kept running around in the ground level. And because of that I felt super tired already and my legs are already hurting like it’s cramped. I felt so much “in” the game. Haha! And then I found one of my teammates who I just joined in. Ganun pala yun! It’s a better strategy to get a place where no one can easily see you and fire up from there like you’re protecting your base. I feel sorry for my super aching legs! But unless you want some fun and action-packed experience, try going around and leaning on the walls like a pro. Haha! I think the game lasted around 15 mins. but it’s surely worth it and you’ll be going out the arena very tired indeed. There even came a point when I already want to just sit and wait for the game to stop because I’m already super exhausted. Haha! Talk about excessive walking/running around. :))

After the game, the scores will be posted outside in a tv screen. Each player will be ranked and the group with the highest combined point wins. And in all modesty we’re 2nd placers out of 5 groups. Haha! The 1st placer group has 10 members so we’re not bad at all. Woohoo! Hehe. So there, it’s surely recommended to play with your whole barkada. I think no one would even regret trying this out. Very exciting and action-filled experience! =]

One game is priced at 170php during weekdays (Mon-Thurs.) and 190php on weekends (Fri-Sun.). If you plan to play immediately after your game ended, a 20php deduction on the price will be given. They also offer packages for larger groups. They also offer Laser Maze for 80php/game and Laser Golf for 170php (weekdays) and 190php (weekdays). Lazer Extreme can also be experienced at Market,Market!.

LazerXtreme (ATC) is located near the Cinemas.