Monday, March 27


I had decided to change the POV of the (kunyari) novel I'm writing for fiction class.

I don't know if I can pull this off, but the general idea is that this is a novel about coming home. In the summer of 1994, Icai turns fourteen, suddenly acquires a grandmother she never knew existed (but her mom must have come from somewhere, right? Except that her grandmother's been missing for 30 years and only then just decided to come home.), finds out that her formerly housebound dad is having an affair, and finds herself involved in "incidents" with her best friend Ayi.

Anyway, changing the timeline of the main character's existence from now to the mid-90s requires some research. Just what happened exactly in 1994? Random things I remember:

1. Miss Universe pageant in Manila. Sushmita Sen won for answering, "What is the essence of being a woman?" Richard Gomez and Aga Mulach serenading the beauties. The Eraserheads in barongs.

2. The Eraserheads' Circus album. I was in Music One the other day and I was mighty tempted to get both Ultraelectromagneticpop and Circus.

3. Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith videos.

4. The Manila Filmfest Scandal. Miss Mauritius clapping and whispering, "Take it! Take it!" Ruffa Gutierrez turned 22 that year and she was yelling, "This is my f***ing birthday!"

Something tells me this is going to be difficult. What were you guys doing in 1994? Songs, movies, news bits, anything will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 25

Walls, Names and Things to Do

1. Paper checking season has officially started. I usually have a stack of CDs with me when I hole myself up in the office. Just my way of measuring how many hours it takes me to finish a particular stack. The longest I've gone is 11 CDs. Mostly it's house or trance or extended/Vol. 2 OSTs, a lot of chillout, dance music. Trippy happy stuff.

You wouldn't want to check papers while listening to, say, Chicosci, Wolfgang, any Lito Camo composition. Or even girls who like to punish their vocal chords. They're fun to listen to any other day, but not checking day. I once made the mistake of popping in a mix CD and then Hole's "I Think That I Would Die" came on in the middle of a research paper on BT corn. There were like five papers on weird corn that term, in different classes. Why people insist on writing about genetically modified corn is beyond me. But I'm digressing. Not that I have a beef against Cheese or Sandwich or whoever, but I don't want to get agit when checking papers. It makes you want to commit murder every time you come across a mangled sentence.

2. The lit class had their poetry exam the other day, and there was a Pablo Neruda poem in the mix. I'm not really a big Neruda fan or anything but I found out that the kids like him and his poems are easily "gettable." So anyway, he has this poem called "Too Many Names." (Here's a flickr rendition.) Something about Mondays meshing (or was that "moshing"?) together with Tuesdays. When I got to the part about "all of us are rain under rain" this song started playing in my head:

Too many walls have been built in between us
Too many dreams have been shattered around us
If I seem to give up they'll still never win
Deep in my heart I know the strength is within

Imagine Neruda voiced by Cathy Dennis. So I stopped and did other stuff. But as soon as I got back to my desk, as soon as I read the title, I instantly get a playback around the part that goes "If I could change the way of the world / I'd be your girl" and there's the chorus again. It's madness. I think I need to get out.

Wednesday, March 22

Keanu Reeves is hipper than a Japanese schoolgirl

Or so Wired Magazine claims. That's #8 in their list of reasons of why Keanu Reeves rules. So does that means he's also cooler than Gwen Stefani and Madonna? Hehehe.

But the clincher is really this:
10. He's smart. No, really.
Reeves has called himself a "meathead," but Matrix producer Joel Silver insists he's "very well read, very conscious of the world, politics, the economy." He can talk about the differences between the ­theories of Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Kant. And he's even a crack chess player.
Someone once said that The Matrix gave Keanu the perfect movie role--a computer generated character. That seems a bit unfair. But one weekend morning, I was having breakfast and Something's Gotta Give was playing on HBO. In that film, Keanu Reeves plays Julian, a doctor smitten with the more mature Diane Keaton. A doctor, imagine that.

Hey, look! Keanu's holding a peach. Peaches, yum. Hmm.

Now I'm very willing to suspend my disbelief when he's wearing a t-shirt that stretches just right around the shoulders. But I wouldn't dare trust him with a syringe.

Saturday, March 11


Sorry naka-hotlink, nagmamadali na at ayaw mag-upload sa akin.

Taken from the presskit:

Lambanog is a collection of the intertwined sensory stories of Mark (Luis Alandy), as he goes back to visit his best friend Eric (Lauren Novero--"Dodong" in ZsaZsa Zaturnnah) in their hometown of Los Banos, Laguna. He passes by his old home and meets Rico (John Lapus), the landlord. After, Mark buys a bottle of lambanog from Maria (Danica Sotto), a mysterious lambanog vendor. During the drinking session, Eric introduces his new girlfriend, Hasmin (CJ Mercado).

Each character has a love story to tell, and when the alcohol level gets high, it brings out more secrets than what these characters would want to tell.

The film’s setting is by the feet of the mystical mountain of Maria Makiling. It is this mysticality and this rustic milieu that coincides with the Filipino experience of storytelling as magically real in the film.

About the director/writer:

Paolo Herras, 24, a BA Comparative Literature graduate and a M.A. Philippine Studies student at UP Diliman is the 3rd Prize winner of Star Cinema’s 1st Scriptwriting Contest. He is also a part-time faculty at the DLS-CSB where he teaches under the Arts Management Program of the School of Design and the Arts.

Paolo was also my batchmate in the 11th Ricky Lee Film and TV Scriptwriting Workshop. Lambanog comes after the other full length film debit efforts of other batchmates JP Carpio (Balay Daku), Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez (Cinemalaya's Lasponggols and Cinema One's Anak ni Brocka), Shugo Praico (who wrote the script for Sa Aking Pagkagising sa Kamulatan) and Gabby Fernandez (Nasaan si Francis?).

For some backstage photos click here. Photos swiped from the film's graphic artist's livejournal.

Lambanog has an advanced screening today at the UP Film Institute, 5 and 7pm. Tickets are at Php110.

Wednesday, March 8

The Piggy Personality Test

The DrawAPig website says that how you draw a pig determines your personality. Well, this little piggy went dancing:

At least if I can't dance IRL, my online pig thinks it can. Talk about bringing home the bacon and eating it, too.

Thursday, March 2

De-likely: Crucifying the Verse

The SMS currently making the rounds today says that GMA is "likely" to lift 1017 today.

So even with all the protests going on, even with the various groups questioning the constitutionality of the thing, she's still not inclined to lift it. "Likely" lang daw. Pero di pa rin sure.

Somebody should tell her that 1017 thing is not loverly at all. Itanong pa niya kina Audrey Hepburn at Cole Porter.

The ways of RetroRevo don't seem to work anymore. Maybe it's really time to think up of new things. Somebody suggested this Starbucks Protest, which seems like a very ex-pat thing to do. Something to consider: How about going en masse to The Castle by the River and sing at the top of our lungs? If you can't carry a tune, all the better. I don't think we're going to need a Magic Sing for this one.


There's going to be another walkout in UP Diliman at 4pm today. Gathering place is at the AS Steps.

I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a campaign sortie, like what happened last Tuesday at the teach-in. I know it's student council election season, but guys, can't you just keep your young trapo tendencies in check?