Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Okay, I think I have to cave in to the much-ballyhooed win (which fight isn’t anyway?) and throw my slight disdain towards his minor bullshit-ness over the window. When you’ve got fame and power at your disposal, why not bullshit around right? To rub the already clichéd term more, Manny is really something—he’s unlike any Filipino not just in strength but in the ubiquitous charm. He’s a slap in the face to Filipino bourgeoisie. To the poor, he’s an icon of triumph; a testament to that elusive luck, which we Filipinos have grabbed onto so tight we forgot to do anything else. He’s “the great hope” as TIME magazine would put it.
I can very much recall my very first participation to the communal Filipino act (by now it should be some sort of a Filipino tradition—a kind of phenomena that depletes traffic flow in the streets and diminishes crime rate to almost nil) of watching a Pacquiao fight two years ago with complete strangers. It was in a department store and there was some exhibit of which I was a part in. It was a Sunday, as usually the case, and there was a large-enough TV with the Pacquiao fight. As long as it was on, it did not take more than five minutes for the entire vicinity to be filled with excited onlookers (I sat down on the floor for convenience), as if the TV is some kind of medium channeling a modern-day deity. During the Pacquiao-Hatton fight, I watched it with a room full of my colleagues, around 30 people. So imagine the fucking noise it created when Hatton was pummeled to an unconscious state in the second round. Everyone looked as if they won the championship themselves, a beaming smile and pair of delightfully-lit eyes.
The media is overflowing with words and the TV is replete with footage of the said communal act. For really, it does move mountains and Manny can move the nation into such state which we are so quick to call as unity—we are so damned united. We feel our brothers same excitement. We feel truly proud. We feel we are living like patriotic Filipinos rooting for their hero. Dare I say that never have we felt a sense of Filipino pride so strongly than with Manny’s bouts, especially to those whose idea of the EDSA revolution is that of the history books. This sense of unity is commendable, the sense of pride inevitable. How can you not be? I am proud.
But see, while Manny’s victories we claim as ours, while we unite as a nation and feel an overwhelming sense of pride, what of after? For what? We go to our daily goings-on, be bums, be corporate and bureaucratic slaves, be pessimists, be optimists, be friends, be enemies until the next Pacquiao fight. We wait for that glimmer of hope, that façade of victory we always wanted to have a taste of—but unlike Manny we seem to have lost the willpower, alright, the “firepower” and we go back mired in empty promises of relief from misery. If Manny so reflects our country, then it would be that, this country has always struggled but success (power) has always remained to be in the hands of the few. So, after the fight, we go back to being a country in disarray, our goals and ideals in shambles, prone to crime and corruption, wallowing in poverty, with a continuing exodus of people abroad, we go back to bitching about the traffic, until the next Pacquiao fight finds us in each other’s company again.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
They call it microblogging but for whatever purpose it may serve to other Facebook users but the ubiquitous box wherein you place your thoughts is for me the most easiest I can get to a rant, or an outlet. So thanks, Mr. Zuckerberg, whom I just read in GQ’s men of year as, what else, 2008’s “Boy Genius”. (Jon Hamm who’s terrific as Don Draper is on the cover.)
But back to the FB thought-box. So I was posting that I was kind of “existentially beleaguered”. Besieged was the first word, but mukhang OA. That mood kind of pervaded for around 2 weeks, which is actually kind of long already (sometimes a different thought would appear the next day, or even within a day as sometimes I post good quotes from books, novels, personalities and from wherever I get these pretentiously sensible crap. The thought posting is actually kind of fun, eliciting a plethora of reactions and what-have-yous from friends.
A colleague asked why was I “existentially beleaguered”. I can’t provide the answer, to my surprise, and I had been placing it for around 2 weeks. When I heard the first bout of Christmas songs wafting in the commercialized air of the yuletide, that’s when it hit me. I always get this mood, which is actually a shitty kind of mood to feel given that everybody’s all giddy-up for the season. I felt this last year, and just like the universe’s many inexplicable mysteries, I dunno why I give a shit. Or maybe I don’t really. I still like the Christmas songs though. But maybe I lost something, or what? Christmas is not for me, its for the corporate slugs and people who have fat pockets after the season because of humongous bonuses that seem to pile up their already humongous paychecks. I need to have some fun, right? I’m just fucking thinking too much probably.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
“The boy with the fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.” Lord of the Flies, William Golding
“My suffering left me sad and gloomy.” – Life of Pi, Yann Martel"We were fractious and overpaid." – Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris
“The play—for which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crêpe paper—was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.” – Atonement, Ian McEwan
"Later than usual, one summer morning in 1984, Zoyd Wheeler drifted awake in sublight thorugh a creeping fig that hung in the window, with a squadron of blue jays stomping around the roof.” –
“The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of an empty auditorium.” – Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates ------
“In those days apartments were almost impossible to find in
"I was born twice: first as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” – Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
"The American handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, “Why don’t you go back to sleep? We can ring you if he shows up.” – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John Le Carre
“So you’re all set for money, then?” the boy named Crow asks in his characteristic sluggish voice. – Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
“My legal name is Alexander Perchov. But all of my many friends dub me as Alex, because that is a more flaccid-to-utter version of my legal name.” – Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
“The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.” – 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
““Sally.” A mutter. “Wake up now Sally.” A louder mutter. Lemme lone. He shook her harder. “Wake up. You got to wake up!” Charlie. Charlie’s voice. Calling her. For how long?” – The Stand, Stephen King
“She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seem to have believed that each of my teacher was my mother in disguise.” – Portnoy’s Complaint, Phillip Roth
“Charlie Croker, astride his favorite Tennessee walking horse, pulled his shoulders back to make sure he was erect in the saddle and took a deep breath… Ahh, that was the ticket…” – A Man in Full, Tom Wolfe
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” – 1984, George Orwell
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” - The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
“I went back to the
“Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough, and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough, that his biggest problem was killing time.” American Gods, Neil Gaiman
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Magulo dito. Sabi kasi ng national media, warzone daw ang Mindanao. Tanong pa ng isa sa isang presscon na nadaluhan ko: ang BJE ba ang solusyon sa “kultura ng baril” sa Mindanao? Huwat? Eh, halata namang wala siyang alam sa konteksto ng conflict sa rehiyong ito. Nakalimutan din ng The Imperial Manille na nandidito din ang Davao, Cagayan, Zamboanga, General Santos, Butuan, Surigao at iba pang mga emerging cities na promising ang mga potentials pagdating sa business and tourism. Marahil di din nito alam na kaya may nakakain pa sila sa taas eh dahil panay pa rin ang supply natin ng agricultural produce.
Siguro nga dahil they need to feed their own agenda, and
Di nga naman tulad sa Makati, kung saan makakita ka ng mga professional at sophisticated-looking people who sashay and brandish their cigarettes outside high-rise buildings like the RCBC tower, at hindi mga baril. Talagang, what a sight of civilization and modernization it is.
Ganito raw kasi sila sa
Ganito rin sana sa buong bansa… Naku, napaka-misguided at napaka-baluktot na logic. Hindi pwedeng i-replicate mo na lang ang Makati at gawin mong Makati ang buong bansa. Talagang hindi pwede yun. Hayaan nating ang Manila ay magpaka-Manila, ang Makati, magpaka-Makati. Ang bawat rehiyon sa bansa ay may kanya-kanyang strength, sa agricultura man or sa larangan ng industriya at services.
Op kors, hindi naman sasabihin ng ad na kaya dahil libre ang notbuk at Paracetamol sa
Kung gusto ng pagkakapantay-pantay, paigtingin at bigyang puwang ang local autonomy, coupled with greater transparency at accountability to its people. Sa isang banda, mukhang mahihirapan nga tayo sa huling ‘yon, dahil the katiwalian is deeply entrenched in the higher echelons of power. Pero subukan natin ang patakbuhin ng mabuti ang local autonomy. Patotohanan natin ang katagang decentralization, dahil magpasa-hanggang ngayon mukhang kakarampot lang ang natatamasa ng mga nasa kanayunan. Okay the term is too provincial, make it outside-Metro
Let’s make local autonomy work. Decentralize. Look at the examples of Galing Pook and the untold stories of LGUs making it out on their own. Headline readers will be shocked that away from politics and crime, good things are actually happening on the ground. At siguro, tsaka natin masasabing, ganito kami sa Pilipinas, hindi lang yung Ganito kami sa Makati…
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Shot while standing in front of Rizal's Dapitan residence
A portion of the Zamboanga Peninsula, shot along the mountainous road in Baliguian town
A small village in the town of Siocon, ZDN
Nope, the world has not tilted to a degree. The tricycles in Pagadian are skillfully built
to match its inclined terrain.
Runway of the Dipolog airport
Students brave the difficulty and danger of transportation to get back home
in this sleepy town in Zamboanga del Norte.
A shore somewhere between the towns of Liloy and Labason, ZDN
This ship sails alone while the sun sets somewhere between Liloy and Labason, ZDN.
Dried fish lines up some of the streets in Pagadian. Don't miss to bring them home.
A man sits relaxed on a furniture seemingly newly-bought on top of tricycle. Somewhere in Midsayap.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
- ULYSSES by James Joyce
- THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald (have read)
- A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
- LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
- BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
- THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
- CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
- DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler (will read)
- SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence (have read)
- THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck (will read)
- UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
- THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
- 1984 by George Orwell (have read)
- I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
- TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf (have read)
- AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
- THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
- SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut (will read)
- INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
- NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
- HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
- APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara
- U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
- WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
- A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
- THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
- THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
- TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
- THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
- ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
- THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
- SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
- A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
- AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
- ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren (have read)
- THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
- HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
- GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
- THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
- LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding (have read)
- DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
- A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
- POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
- THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway (will read)
- THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
- NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
- THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
- WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
- TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller (will read)
- THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
- PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth (have read)
- PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
- LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
- ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac (reading)
- THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
- PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
- THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton (will read)
- ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
- THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
- DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
- FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
- THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
- THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger (have read)
- A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess (have read)
- OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
- HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
- MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
- THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
- THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
- A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
- A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
- THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
- A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
- SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
- THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
- FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
- KIM by Rudyard Kipling
- A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
- BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
- THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
- ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
- A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
- THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
- LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
- RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
- THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
- THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
- LOVING by Henry Green
- MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
- TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
- IRONWEED by William Kennedy
- THE MAGUS by John Fowles
- WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
- UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
- SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron (have read)
- THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
- THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
- THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
- THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
Friday, August 07, 2009
Photo from Nat Garcia (AFP/Getty Images) courtesy of foreignpolicy blog.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Have you seen the trailer for the new Apatow bromance? Funny as hell, you might even rekindle some punch-drunk love for Adam Sandler here and Eric Bana is hilarious in his accent. Oh and throw in some Seth Rogen please. I'm looking forward to seeing Funny People. And though I can sniff some Charlie Kaufman-ish shticks, I would want to see Paul Giamatti in Cold Souls. Other comedies looks swell too, like Couples Retreat and Ricky Gervais' The Invention of Lying.
When what seemed to be the dramatic twist in the film is revealed to me, I said, Wha? ABS has thought it first via the Kim-Gerald soap. But then I would want to see a famished Toby Maguire outside Spidey's suit, with Jake Gylenhaal and Natalie Portman in Jim Sheridan's new film, Brothers. I'm really, really, really excited of Moon, which made waves in Sundance and Tribeca. I can see hints of Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and yeah, throw in some 2001: A Space Odyssey feel in there too. After that bland Choke, Sam Rockwell looks promising in this one.
Just saw Dead Snow this afternoon and boy was it campy. But it's fun. If my 6 and 8-year old bros were laughing at the dismemberment, then I think it's really harmless. If you like intestines for starters, then this schlocky gorefest may just be for you. Also saw Departures the other night. You know the one whose director made a funny speech at the Oscar, the one which beat the anticipated Waltz with Bashir. Simple, doesn't break new ground though but looks gorgeous enough for Academy voters. A blend of comic and melodramatic touches. What's best though is we take a glimpse in a not-so familiar Japanese tradition. It's about death but then it's about life too, as simple as that.
I forgot to talk about Earth, the BBC documentary which is a staggering and painstaking work of art and beauty. If it wasn't intentional, it could be the docu capping An Inconvenient Truth and The 11th Hour. While the two were mostly about scientific and practical approaches, Earth cuts down to the basic equation of all. You have to see it. Also saw The Hurt Locker, which I've been dying to see and which to my surprise scored one of the most highest critic ratings when I checked RT and Metacritic. What can I say but to re-echo what LA Times critic A.O. Scott said, "If it is not the best action movie this summer, I'll blow up my car!" I haven't seen Public Enemies yet, but hands down, this has got to be one of the year's best in action, or even the year's best, period. Kathryn Bigelow gives the guys a run for their war movies, take that. The camera work, editing, acting (Jeremy Renner in an unexpectedly subtle yet powerful performance) is totally swell. If you check you breathing or heartbeat and it's not pulsating like crazy, you're not human.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
I'm suppose to continue on another boobtube boo-hoo but it suddenly, wait... yes, another freak of nature, Papa P, sang the Idol song this year on ASAP. The show is kinda so-so compared to crap they put up in the other channel. Fuck, he sounds like a balloon out of helium that I can see the veins on his neck on the verge of eruption. Plus, why do they even let him sing? Even Martin wasn't any good. Proof that we should refrain from being too updated because it would just suck, and they sound like phonies singing something which they think would make them cool and hip. Again, pointless inquiry. Ladies, people, would put up with it, notwithstanding.
Should I talk about the recent AI results? Well it's not really recent but I would just like to say that I predicted Kris when he sang Ain't No Sunshine. I think that's 9 weeks before the big showdown. Like when I predicted it to be Cook when he did that awesome version of Billy Jean, that was way before the Always be my Baby craze. Again, 9 weeks before he crushed Archuleta. I dunno if that says something.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Sublime places repeat in grand terms a lesson that ordinary life typically introduces viciously: that the universe is mightier than we are, that we are frail and temporary and have no alternative but to accept limitations on our will; that we must bow to necessities greater than ourselves. " - Alain de Botton4th photo courtesy of The Islander
Friday, April 24, 2009
The complete line up:
- Pedro Almodovar - Broken Embraces
- Andrea Arnold - Fish Tank
- Jacques Audiard - Un Prophete
- Marco Bellocchio – Vincere
- Jane Campion - Bright Star
- Xavier Giannoli – A L’Origine
- Isabel Coixet – Map of the Sounds of Tokyo
- Michael Haneke - The White Ribbon
- Ang Lee – Taking Woodstock
- Ken Loach – Looking for Eric
- Lou Ye - Spring Fever
- Brillante Mendoza – Kinatay
- Gaspar Noe – Enter The Void
- Park Chan-Wook – Thirst
- Alain Resnais – Les Herbes Folles
- Elia Suleiman – The Time That Remains
- Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
- Johnnie To – Vengeance
- Tsai Ming-liang – Face
- Lars Von Trier – Antichrist
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't wanna follow death all of his friends.
-Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, 2008
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
We are “massaged” inside the vehicle by extremely rough roads. There is nothing to be seen but tall coconut trees, smoky air coming from copra burning against the morning Munai rain.
Munai is almost cloistered, so when you see bullet holes perforating the municipal hall, you can’t quite imagine that heavy gunfight last August 2008 once ruled over its relative calmness, with 23 out of its 26 barangays severely affected.
A view of Munai from the top of the municipal hall, and children.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?