December 31, 2011

The Top 10 Moments of my 2011

2011, a year that surely would not be forgotten. Another year had passed, blessings that had been given, problems that had been hurdled but as this year ends another one opens. 2011 is unlike any other year for me, this year has been a test in friendship, a test in faith, and a test in life.

So without any delays and dramas I present to you the top 10 moments of my 2011!

10. COMMUNITY SERVICE


My students, I'm seen at the far left in front wearing a jacket
This happened in early 2011, Feb.3 and Feb 11 if I'm not mistaken. I was asked to teach young students from my college's adopted school. I quickly said yes to the offer because I do love teaching kids (I think it's my hidden talent) and I like the idea of educating people. At first I didn't know what to do, what to say and how to act with them but once I said my first joke and they all laughed, I knew we will be having a great time, and we did! Not only did we had fun but they learned how to operate Microsoft Word and Excel in the computers.

After the real activity I asked them to make  another activity but this time for me, I asked them to write about their dreams in life and yes, it made me teary-eyed reading their hopes and I hope that someday I could return their papers and say "Hey, you made your dream a reality".



09. On the Job Training (OJT)


Training at PhilStar.com
This experience made my confidence level either go ground zero or sometimes shot up to the sky. I learned how to be a street smart and it made my "travel arsenal" a lot better because I now knew how to talk with people in places I've never been into, how do I blend in with people and of course, how to enjoy while at work.


08. The Big Binondo Food Wok




I've always wanted to try this since 2009 and the opportunity finally came when I suggested to make a special article about this in our campus paper, I decided to feature this and to make things even better, I've got someone with me. Niki came with me in a rainy and wet edition of the Binondo Food Wok, we had fun with food and everything and the experience was nice. The tour guide even gave us their free food map of Binondo and I would Love to go back there on my own or with a group to just eat.


07. Heller Baler



Wow, I didn't even think I would be able to go to this place in my lifetime but opportunity rose and I grabbed it! To make things even better, it was a family trip so lucky me it's for free! I didn't have to drive nor buy things but I just had to look at the beauty of Baler, Aurora. I also liked how they kept its history and how nice the beach is and how cheap accommodation and surfing was.


6. Kuya Christian's Homecoming



For more than a decade, he left me and my cousins here in the Philippines when we were still young, just 8 years old and after 12 years he came back as a Navy Pilot for the US Navy. He brought his daughter Nana who speaks a little Spanish. We had fun going around Tagaytay and Subic and just enjoying our summer reunion and also the late night drinking and going to bars and just getting crazy. He says he'll come back but this time together with his family.


5. Street Art Philippines - Stop Motion video




Stop-Motion is an old trick in the media industry but what makes it fun is the process of making one. Two of my friends are Graffiti artists and I thought why not make a video out of it while they do their thing? And so one afternoon we all gathered and with my tripod and camera I just started taking photographs while they paint and some of my friends started joking around and do stuffs and experiment along the way and so when we finished, I had to combine 1,400 photos into a 4 minute song by one of my favorite bands - Coldplay.



4. Enchanted Kingdom with DOMNET




Domnet by the way means "Dominican Network" and it is a youth group for all Dominican Educational Institutions around the Philippines. I met them about 3 years ago and it is nice every once in a while to take a trip with them even if I've been into Enchanted Kingdom for at least 8 times, it's not the destination that's important but the people you are going there with.

What's more fun is that I didn't know that we were heading to Tagaytay afterwards and so that was also kinda crazy. I miss them and Domnet will always have this special spot in my heart.

3. Puerto Galera 




After 5 years I returned to Puerto Galera in Mindoro, Philippines where I almost died while hiking from our trip to the waterfalls. This post Christmas trip of 2011 is my last travel for the year and when I arrived at Puerto Galera, new memories are made and will be kept and this is just a perfect vacation getaway to fully replenish my mind from all the hassles in the metro.

I made a music video out of our trip to Puerto Galera to sum up all the fun we had.

2. The Coffee Club


video


The Coffee Club consists of Andro, Kookoo, Japy and Tobs - My close friends in High School who I keep in contact very often every weekend to drink coffee with and just chat about our week's activities or sometimes just sit and bum around in one house. They're like my vent, they're family to me.

1. The Return to Palawan



After 4 years! It's been 4 years since my promise to return to Coron,Palawan - The place where I my Heart is, the place I fell in Love with. I saved money for months just to get into this trip! And in my return I really enjoyed every bit of it, I saw the place in a different perspective and it looked more beautiful this time! I'd never deny a third visit to this place.


So what does 2012 have for me?

December 2, 2011

My first Stop-Motion video: Street Art Philippines

Graffiti artists are often labeled here in the Philippines as vandals. To me, having a few friends who do street art is not vandalism, well ok it is one part defacing a wall or structure but at one part it is also giving life to an old abandoned wall. It's the thin line between art and vandalism.

People will always be debating about this because we live in different times, old folks grew up in a time when walls are left as it is while us, the new generation in our 20's or younger than that, feel that walls are part of a canvass for artists to paint.

I'm a frustrated painter, it's something that I always want to do but just can't. Today I'm an amateur photographer focusing on people and travel. I also write songs that I record personally (it's where I rant out what I feel).

I have two friends who have long been into Street Art, maybe for about 3-4 years already and I wanted to capture how they would change the face of a wall into art form. Here's Kookoo and Soye doing their thing while Japy, Clari and I play around with the camera.

The Stop-Motion video I made consisted of 1,400 photos that I stitched together to create a video using a Nikon D3100. I hope you'll like it.




November 19, 2011

When Hurt: Wander and Start Over.

I've been thinking about posting my personal thoughts about what's going on around my life lately and I think it's good to vent out emotions and random thoughts. This November is something, it's different. It's Heartbreaking and an Eye-opener at the same time. What a month this has been so far, I wonder what other surprises life has to offer this month.

Everyday people get hurt, there is no one in this life that didn't experience pain in their hearts, may it be from separation, death or just pure anger from one another. What's different is how people cope up and hang on with life and continue to live on despite feeling the pain. 

I can say that my heart has been battered too much for my age, both physically (My not-so-healthy lifestyle with alcohol and liquors) and emotionally (my frustrations in life and the many many many girls who broke my heart). At the age of 21 I feel that I've accumulated the pain of a 50 year old trying to be happy and contented with life, the continuous search for meaning in life.

If you say to me that you've never been hurt then you are a liar. So friends, readers and co-bloggers and to anyone who are reading this as an accident, I present to you how I live the life of constant pain. These are steps to pick yourselves up when you feel down.

WHEN HURT - It's not just about Love that breaks my heart but also about Life. We do know that life's really unfair but have you thought that Life might be picking on you? I've been thinking about that for almost half of my life. People getting into my skin, people whose skins are those that can be bought in a supermarket.

I'm a sensitive man when it comes to other people's emotions and intentions (Yes I sense people who want to stay, people who chose to stay, passers-by and people trying to get close to get what they want from me) That's a gift from above that I possess and I thank him for giving that. I feel it when people are just trying to be plastic or if they're hiding something and I feel it when I am unwanted.

When we get hurt, the light in our life goes dim until it is out and we find ourselves crying.
It hurts to be unwanted especially if the people you Love are the same people who doesn't want to be near you. I've been in a depressing mood this November. One reason is breaking this heart of mine once again, oh how Love truly plays me and sometimes I wonder if I did anything wrong to be cursed like this in the aspect of Love life. 

Another heartbreak is that one of my High School true best friends is leaving the country to migrate in the U.S. - He's been like my "share and talk about your problem" partner ever since in High School. He was always there every time my heart breaks, always a call away and we'd have our few beers and a shot of Jack's on the rocks in our late night get away in near quiet and cozy bars where we could really talk about Love & Life altogether. 

One of our late night food trips. The last of the strip is my favorite.
I'll always remember how he would tell me things to make it alright, how much he believes that there is someone for me and all the past who broke this heart of mine were merely lessons in life so that if I finally meet this person to spend the rest of my life with, I would know how to take care of her Heart - And I believe that's true. If I could summarize our friendship, it'll be like "When one's in need, the other rushes in to keep the monsters away in our dreams." - Thanks Tobs! I know this won't be the last time I'll see you. Maybe someday call me and will be back like Wimpy Kids.

Every time I get hurt I drift away from people, I'd always like to be left alone, just me and no one else. It's like falling down to your knees and you got cut  by a sharp rock, if you get up to much you'll feel so much pain then you fall down again. - I don't want to be like that, when I fall down I just stay right where I fell and look at the scar and ask myself "why?what happened?". I mend the scars of my Heart by looking back and how did it end up like this because looking back at the moments can really clear things up and you will know the REASON why it ended like that.

STAND UP AND WANDER -  Now you know the reason why you're bleeding, you stand up! You will cry and shout and feel like you're being dumped with shit on your head BUT let me tell you this, YOU CAN"T BE THERE FOREVER! Take all the time you need to gather strength and courage, shed tears and drink all kinds of alcoholic drinks and then when you feel a little numb with your scars, stand up and I guarantee you can stand for yourself now.

I Love to Travel. Anywhere! It makes me think about things in my life.
Now the scar feels a little numb, wander around and this time I meant "wander" literally! GO around town or places you've never been before! See you things because in wandering we REALIZE, fellas when I feel lonely I go to quiet places alone, I study in the heart of Manila and oh boy the city still has its secret corners of serenity. Just like the museums around Intramuros. I frequent these places even if I've seen it more than 5 times because each time I go there, it's a new loneliness that I bring with me and each time I reflect on my problems. It's where I realize things and channel my energy to focus on new challenges that I face.

If I couldn't wander physically, I do it mentally! I write short stories, poems and songs! I vent out my emotions with a pen and paper, sometimes together with a guitar. Most of the time I listen to music that relaxes my mind such as musical scores, acoustics, jazz and more recently, I've been listening to a lot of The Beatles and John Lennon's records. No matter how you wander after standing up, what's important is to BE HAPPY during this time, accept the reality and make each day a beauty! Wander and wander and before you know it, you are ready to start over.

STARTING OVER - You are ready to start over when you wake up and feel like it's a new day, like the first day of autumn. I feel I'm ready to start over when my questions have all been answered, like epiphany. Starting over is a journey of life, "starting over" to me means a new direction because we've hit a dead end road in our lives and that's why we have to go back to the road we've journeyed and find a new way towards the path of happiness and contentment. 

Channel your energy to your goals in life.
Starting over is a healing process, it is good because starting over means you've wept and forgiven people! It is good because you still see that there is beauty in life! It's good because it OPENS OPPORTUNITIES. It is great because YOU CHOSE TO CONTINUE THE JOURNEY.

No matter how hurt you are in the past, when you get over it you'd always end up laughing at your silly actions before and that's also good because you've grown up. 

To end this blog I'd like you to get your earphones, turn up the volume, close your eyes and listen to this song that ALWAYS MAKES ME SMILE and think that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL together with those lessons. This song is about Life and Love.








October 30, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 3

So after we ate Siopao Specimen letter C which you guys also should try, we then ate something for afternoon meals! It's something very very close to the Chinese culture and automatically when someone mentions this yummy delicacy, people thank the Chinese!

Yes people, it's HOPIA. I don't know about ya'll but man Hopia really is one good foody that I eat regularly or whenever it's available! Hopia is being eaten in the country like it is one of the Filipino delicacies!

Inside the Hopia shop
Ivan the ntold us about the history and kinds of Hopia, here watch the video.


After we ate Hopia which I barely finished (Well Niki took a bite and gave the rest to me!) We walked back and almost where we started the tour, there is a a lumpia house which was the final stop of the tour. The place looked very old and I bet that the building's height of popularity was between the 60's to 80's before finally being claimed by dust.

Po-Heng Lumpia house. It has a small courtyard and I'm guessing that the building used to be a hotel.
Now the Lumpia here is not your ordinary Lumpia (well this tour isn't ordinary anyway) wanna know why it's not just your ordinary lumpia?

Stuffed and huge Lumpia!
This one's eaten with either the traditional sauce or hot sauce. Dried seaweeds can also be added and it has this salty-crunchy taste in it.


After we ate the Lumpia, I was stuffed and full but Ivan had this big surprise for us. He gave away the BINONDO FOOD WOK MAP! It is Binondo's Food treasure map and I finally have one! Ivan gave one each for us and boy am I happy! It completed the tour, now  I can go back whenever I want and not get lost while I eat my way inside Binondo.

The tour wouldn't be fun if my friend Niki didn't come with me! The tour is definitely a fun and stuffing way to bond with friends, why not spend sometime together with friends or loved ones while eating and learning at the same time?

Here's Niki, Ivan Man Dy and me
Ahhh, this may be the only walking tour that I enjoyed in my life, I hate walking but this time I did like it, as long as there's a meal waiting for me at our next destination! CHEERS!


October 18, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 2

Being briefed about going to our next destination.
Right after we had our first meal at the Mezzanine located just above the Eng Bee Tin, Ivan brought us to the next destination which was a few minutes of walk away, but since it was raining, we were like a horde of Carabaos slowly migrating from one place to another.

Our next destination may well be my most favorite part of the tour, we were headed to a small place called "Dong Bei Dumplings". Yes that's right, it is indeed my favorite part of the tour 'cause I just love dumplings! For a group of 32, this "hole in the wall" can barely hold all of us inside.

Believe me but I 'm already at the corner of the place and our group of 32 were fitted to a room for 20.
Ivan tells us that the dumplings were made from fresh ingredients and is an example of the local Filipino jargon today of "Lutong Macaw" (pronounced as "Ma-Cow") that means "Something quick to cook". The owner of Dong Bei Dumplings was a couple who were no longer than 8 years in country so that means I will finally get a taste of authentic dumplings made by a couple from China! Isn't that just amazing?

Shrimp Dumpling
What's even better about Dong Bei Dumplings is that they don't make the dumplings not until the order is made, that could take some time to prepare but it cooks fast and it is fresher than fast food dumplings!

Fried tastes good as well!
The place was hot, humid and one air-conditioning unit could not hold all of our body heat from eating these delicious dumplings. But nevertheless, I still ate my way to the plates, I probably ate around 10-15 pieces from 3 different dumplings that were served for us.

After the dumplings we walked back again to where we started and stopped at this very small food stall that serves delicious siopaos. This is also interesting as it is another authentic Chinese food stall

While we were eating the Siopao given to us, Ivan started talking and Ivan explains:

"Did you know that there are 3 specimens of Siopao? I call it the A, B and C!
A is for Asado
B is for Bola Bola
and C is for...Well guess for yourselves."

Siopao SPECIMEN C. >:))
As he said the last specimen of the Siopao, I laughed at the children we were with and they were almost spitting the Siopao out but did not, because after all, it is an adventure of Cuisine and the tummy so coming in the Binondo Food Wok tour requires the Love for eating something new!



Still don't have an idea what Siopao Specimen C is? Well you have to get your butts to Binondo to try it! This ends the second part of my Binondo tour! See you on my last part of this blog! Cheers! :)




October 15, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 1

At last! After 2 years of planning since I saw this on the net I was able to finally get a taste of the lost city of Binondo and what else could be better than eating my way through the streets with a friend, and even better, for FREE thanks to our school publication where I write for the Features department.

We were running low on stories to feature for our August issue when the thought finally came out of my "Travel dream chest", I suggested it and surprisingly they gave the go signal but I didn't want to go alone so I grabbed my fellow feature writer Nikki who also wanted to go.

So I called Ivan Man Dy, the travel guide and co-owner (correct me if I'm mistaken) of "Old Manila Walks Travel and Tours" and asked for a weekend eating spree slot and he said yes there were available slots for 2 young college students hungry for culture and cuisine.

August 27, 2011: 6:00AM - Oh my God I said after just waking up, it was raining hard and I couldn't believe what I was seeing outside my window. I reached for my cellphone and saw Nikki's message "Is the tour going to push through, it's raining hard here" - Like clockwork I automatically called Ivan Man Dy and asked about it and he said "Rain or Shine, it'll push through" - Yeah that's right! I hope.

So at 7AM I met with Nikki at the ancient walls of Intramuros where we took the shortest Jeepney ride of our lives to Binondo Church, just across the bridge. Upon entering the old Binondo church that was built for Chinese-Catholics, I felt its serenity and history flowing into me, ah! It's been a long time since I felt the presence of peace while Nikki looks at the paintings on the ceiling.

Binondo Church, built in the 16th century still has its original stone walls. It is where the first Filipino Saint, Lorenzo Ruiz started as an altar boy.

9AM and Ivan Man Dy is on time as well as the others and I felt out of place for a moment when I saw that our other co-travelers were mostly Chinese and foreigners, some were a clan of Filipino-Italians and I would call them as Illustrados - For I am born of a simple life but don't worry, no regrets here! :)

The first stop was Eng Bee Tin and if you like the Filipino local music band "Parokya Ni Edgar", the song "Pangarap Lang Kita" was shot here. Take a look:



Above Eng Bee Tin is the Mezzanine where it is an air-conditioned room and where the mighty proud Binondo Fire Rescue is well acquainted with. The Mezzanine shows the history of Binondo's first fire fighters which is still in service today. It has a collection of the Helmets used from the start to the modern day. And we got to play with it, Cosplay in anime terms.

Nikki and I playing with the Helmets and taking photos before we eat the first meal of the day.
While we have our photos taken and goofed around (Well I did, not Nikki the more conservative one) Ivan talked about the Kiampong Rice (Salted Rice) and Bola Bola (Fishball Soup) and the Iced Coffee drink about to be served and said that so fully taste the food is that to put 1-2 tablespoonfuls of soup and put it in the rice and then push it down with the Iced Coffee.

Kiampong Rice, Bola Bola and Iced Coffee
Kiampong Rice: 9/10 - Excellent! I had 2 bowls and it is tasty!

Bola Bola : 7/10 - Good! Authentic but I'd like it if it had more flavor to it.

Iced Brewed Coffee: 5/10 - I'm a coffee drinker and I think this one's a so-so, needs more sweetness in it and I think it's better if it was Iced Tea or Hot Tea to go with the food. Coffee isn't so "Chinese" right?

But nevertheless! Eng Bee Tin-Mezzanine is a great way to start the day! Ivan also told us to go to the comfort rooms now for as we go on with the tour, the places we'd go would go smaller and literally have no restrooms especially for our group of 32!

IT ENDS HERE FOR NOW - WATCH OUT FOR PART 2 WHERE WE EAT BINONDO'S FAMED AUTHENTIC DUMPLINGS WITH COOKS STRAIGHT FROM CHINA! CHEERS!

October 11, 2011

Suqui Cafeteria - Intramuros, Manila

First of all, wow! My last post here in blogspot was August 31, 2011! That's almost 2 months from today, I want  to say sorry to you readers (If there is) for not being able to post new material here. I've been so busy with College and September-October is our "Thesis Season" and now that our Thesis is done I'm here to introduce another food stop I've recently discovered.

It's been in Intramuros for quite a while but it's only now that I was introduced to "SUQUI CAFETERIA", it was just another hungry night in the walled city when my classmates asked me to come with them to eat at SUQUI and first I thought that this was the another normal cafeteria around the area so I didn't expect much especially when they said that the food ranges an average of Php50-100 ($1-2).

So we walked, and walked and walked and finally reached this place and my golly what do you know. It's a Cafeteria with an ambiance of a European pub-Library. Yes it gives you that feeling and that's what I first thought when I entered Suqui.

The very first problem is finding a seat, the cafeteria can only accommodate 30 persons at a time and students around Intramuros flock this place for its beautiful ambiance but cheap and quality food. 

Second is trying to get the waiter's attention when the room is filled up. Suqui only has one waiter and when everyone is hungry, you might wanna take a bite from your "Patience Bar". But after you ordered the food, it usually comes quick, in a about 5-10 minutes, you have your mouth full.

The last problem is choosing what you're going to eat, I swear Suqui has a wide range of food to choose from, American, Mexican, Filipino, Italian and more! And it's affordable!

Probably this is Suqui's most interesting Side Dish I've seen so far, Suqui's Cheese sticks. Take a look at this:

Cheese Sticks that look like Carrots.
It did look like Carrots at first glance but then again my classmate (Who I really Love to call Rose, but she might get mad) told me that the Sticks tastes like ordinary, but to be fair the presentation is good and by the way, the condiment is Mustard. I didn't eat the sticks cause I'm not allowed to and I guess you know why.

I ordered myself a single order of "Paella Rice" - It was PhP50 ($1) but the serving was already for two persons, I'm a Riceavor (A person who eats lots of Rice) but I couldn't finish it without my Co-Riceavors devouring my plate.

A Paella for $1 - Now that's Economy wise.
The Paella didn't really looked like one but it did taste a bit like one, it's not sticky but I find it really really delicious. And beat this, for every rice meal you order, you get that tall glass of Iced Tea for FREE!

My Lovely dinner with friends on a not-so-haggard night at Suqui's Cafeteria
I rate Suqui's Cafeteria as one of the must-tried food stops in Intramuros, but to fully enjoy your Lunch or Dinner here, don't forget to bring friends with you or with someone special! Enjoying a table filled with food and laughter is one of the best things in Life! Cheers!

*Suqui Cafeteria and Diner is located at 633 MAGALLANES ST, INTRAMUROS Manila, Metro Manila.





August 31, 2011

New-Old found movies.

As a graduating student I don't have much time to go to the mall and spend time with friends that often, I'd rather go to my room and sleep and enjoy at least 6-8 hours every weekend. One thing about being a student in the world of Communications (Advertising, Broadcasting, Communication Arts and Journalism) is that life can much be revolving around projects and productions and countless thousand-words of articles needed to be submitted. 

And me as a Journalism student of the most awarded Communication Institution in the Philippines is more than happy to get an average of 4-6 hours of sleep per week (4-6 hours means luxury!). For me, also being a Nocturnal I spend most of my free time, usually Sundays to watching movies whether with my cousins or just myself.

Watching movie for me is like an unofficial course because after I watched "Schindler's List", I've had this hunger for meaningful and deep movies, I didn't just want traditional comedy, I wanted comedy made with passion.

To tell you the truth, I'm not a movie buff but what I can brag is that I have taste for movies. So here's some I watched recently, it might be old movies but it was new to me.

#10 - THE GRADUATE (1967)

A scene in The Graduate
Starring a very young Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, this is a Classic romantic movie. It's was weird how I was introduced to this movie, my friend Thea chatted me in Facebook (<---Hey Facebook! That's a free advertisement for you!)  and she seemed like in a hurry like "Omg have you watched "The Graduate"? It's Dustin Hoffman - I was like "Who the hell is Dustin Hoffman?!" and then when I searched for it I was like "Oh, him!".

What makes this movie a classic were the soundtracks used from the Folk-Rock duo of Simon & Garfunkel's soothing music and it fits perfectly to the mood of the Romantic movie. 

I won't tell how the story goes because you have to see it for yourself, but it includes very seductive scenes. How the women in the movies would flirt around guys.

#9 - MAN ON THE MOON (1999)

Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman
I've been a fan of Jim Carrey movies in all my life and Man on the Moon is one movie I've never seen before, probably because I was only nine when the movie was released, I grew up watching Ace Ventura and Liar Liar that made Jim Carrey my favorite Hollywood Comedian.

This is a Biographical film portraying the life of the great Andy Kaufman. This movie talks about the struggle of having a career and sacrificing the thing one entertainer loves to do. Creative Control and Ratings rarely meet each other and Andy Kaufman is the man who loved practical jokes and his career suffered.

When he got ill he even went to the Philippines because the so called healing miracle was here, thus this movie should not be missed.

#8 - THE BOY IN STRIPED PAJAMAS (2008)

Friendship barred with a fence.
This movie may well go down to a classic anytime, 2 kids each in their different worlds. One enjoying the free and luxurious life while the other enjoys a corner in a prison. Different strangers met by fate and would start an extraordinary friendship that will be tested from time to time.

The movie talks about the innocence of children during the last world war. This movie talks about Love to humanity and the horrors that is brought to all races during wars.

This movie also shows that not everyone approves the war, even some are just not into it, you know what I mean? Not all Germans are bad, but not all Jews are good either. It's the way life is, you can't just label races for mostly showing one similarity, you have to look inside the person itself.

#7 - BIG FISH (2003)

They say when you see the Love of your Life time stops, and that is true.
Big Fish is based on a 1998 novel with the same title. At first I didn't really actually know what to make out of this movie, I didn't see the value of the movie in the first few minutes.

Then it gets interesting afterwards with each story unfolding and I realized the beauty of the story was.

Life can really be extraordinary for others, not to brag but I think my Life is a beautiful one in terms of my hopeless romantic life and my roller coaster student life, I've been to a lot of potholes in life and each time I'm down there, I pull myself up. 

#6 - LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

Excellent Casting for this movie!
Love Actually, this is a movie I stumbled upon while I was reading Philippine TV Celebrity Bianca Gonzalez's blogspot account and in her recent blog she said it was one of her favorite movies, well then I should watch it quickly I said to myself - especially if you have a crush on her (Haha I feel embarrassed for saying that, but who doesn't have crushes anyways?).

The movie tackles Love in different aspects and situations in Life, it might be infatuation, a crush, true Love or pure lust. It shows a lot of sides in Love, even a kid's point of view and it is fantastic to see that.

It is actually with no bias at all, one of my favorite romance movies of all time! 

#5 - JUST GO WITH IT (2011)


Now here's a movie by middle aged actors for teens and soon to be couples! This movie speaks for those who are afraid to fall for someone they never knew they would Love unconsciously. Here's is a guy (Adam Sandler) who sleeps with the finest women around but never gets this feeling of being in Love ever since she was dumped by her would be wife.

This really happens in real life, I mean someone old woman that I've talked to in one random day I was walking around Manila (Photowalk, People-watching or just plain wandering is one of my stress relievers, and I walk alone a lot to think and ponder on some things.) 

She told me that one day they were crazy with each other, she was excited when she got married, then they tire, they bore, then eventually Love is lost to most but to them what's extraordinary was that they were close friends before and that's why they never tired, got bored or really had a serious fight together.

Wow, sometimes Love is not enough but connection with the other person plays a great role in a relationship.

#4 - BLUE VALENTINE (2010)


Blue Valentine is indeed a Blue Movie, a story of craziness to lost of Love. Quite sad but it ranks high to me because it is realistic, it is strong and a lot of people experience this.

It also shows that not all men are the ones who give up first in a relationship. Just like in my case (although I haven't been into a relationship, I don't give up that easy unless it's really not worth it anymore - now that's emotional.) 

Being spontaneous in life could lead to a failure in the future. You have to watch this.

#3 - ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)


Here's another Jim Carrey movie that I didn't know about, I'm ashamed that I feel like a hypocrite when I say that Jim is my favorite comedian but I don't even know this movie.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind creates a comedy-romantic-drama genre and to top it up, Kate Winslet is in it! I knew about this movie through a friend who also suggested me the movie "The Boy in Striped Pajamas". She said that I needed to watch this movie because it was meant for those who "have a hard time moving on" - Excuse me! I've already moved on! Years have passed and I've forgiven that girl already I just don't want to speak to her again because I lost my trust in her!!! - (Sorry for the rant my friend but I'm just clearing that up, and I Love you dearly don't worry even if you said I can' move on).

So this movie packs a life of joy and sorrow, love and despair altogether. The creativity of this movie and the gravity of the situation even if it's in a fantasy themed movie is spectacular and it is one that needs to be watched!

#2 - MY SISTER'S KEEPER (2009)


This movie should be declared as a classic for its tackle in morality and Love for humanity. At first I thought this was a chick flick movie after seeing so much trailer from HBO, I thought they were hyping it and eventually it would be one boring falsely advertised movie. BUT HELL NO I WAS WRONG! This movie gave me my first tears in watching a movie in the house!

The struggle of surviving by a patient, the Love of a mother to a daughter, the Love of a Father to a daughter and the ups and downs of a extraordinary family. I don't want to spill a lot so you have to watch this film.

Note: A total tear-jerker.

#1 - A.I. - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)


The top movie goes to this futuristic drama "A.I." starring the charming kid who was also in the "Sixth Sense". I've watched this before when I was young, probably when I was around 11-13 years old and it didn't matter much to me, it was like "ooh cool toys and robots!" for me way back then.

Then one night while surfing tumblr, I saw a photo and recognized it was a scene in the movie so I watched it again and my God I realized the awesomeness of the story! How David (the kid robot) dreamed of becoming a real boy just like in the story Pinocchio and how he dearly Loved her non-biological Mother.

A story that has touched my Heart for portraying such a wonderful character, the movie inspired by Love and chasing dreams even to the limit of possibilities. I ended up sobbing, yes I sobbed in tears with this movie.

- So there you have it, my top 10 recent new-old found movies and it's amazing to watch these films and realize something in Life. I never recommend unless it is really good but I advise you to watch this movie with a open Heart and Mind, without any bias and I guarantee you will feel what these movies are trying to say.

August 15, 2011

Hard to Move On - My Nostalgic Life

They say it's easy to forget things and "move on" with Life, that the reason for leaving people or things behind our lives is that they don't deserve to be in the future. That may be right in some cases but I think not, it's because we are hurt of those people and those things remind us of our sad past.

Today, I'm 20 years old and soon will celebrate my 21st, I remember my days as a kid. Although it wasn't that much fun being a kid (because most of what I remember was that I drowned in a pool, got bitten by a dog, cried a lot from slipper whips and scoldings) I still remember some things and moments that made me look back at the past and cherish once again the little and unlikely things that made me happy.

They say that a child's imagination is like no other? That is absolutely right! I've had the best imaginations in my life and some of it made me look like a looney and some actually helped me reach my dreams.

This picture I just found that I'm in it, really small, those are my cousins sitting while my Mom is holding me.
I am a man who doesn't forget the small details. It was hard for me telling stories because the small stuff I remember when I tell it to my friends, they don't remember a thing of it and they all started calling me a liar and I was making stuff but until now it is clear in my memory, because it is their humiliations I can still remember! :)

I used to imagine that this convertible chair was my boat and I fight of pirates with a wooden sword.
Imagination, is to some an escape to reality, to some it is a vision but to me? It is another world where it is an empty notebook and ready to be filled with my stories, how things I want to be! I want to tell tales of how I save my true Love from a Japanese prison camp and I am a soldier that is fearless and damn good! I would even imagine myself with the woman I Love and how we would spend each day if given the chance, I would imagine even in the middle of the class during my High School years! Daydreaming about my crush and stuffs like that until my teacher gives me a good verbal lashing.

The old basketball court.
I remember our basketball court in the house, it was once the venue for our 3-3 street game tournament every summer and weekends. Our neighbors would flock at our house every Sunday noon and play  till 7PM and then my grandparents got older and so they had to move the court in the street and since then our court became silent. I don't even play in it anymore, I also remember every night my cousins and I together with my siblings would play basketball regardless of our Genders.

The little garden, the most solemn place around our house.
The garden how could I forget? I wrote a lot of songs in this place, sometimes at night it is the only place where I can see the sky from inside our house. The moonlight would enter this side of the house and it is where we pet stray cats. This place is quiet always and I remember it is also the site of our pets' final resting place. Tisha the white dog was buried here, my brother's rabbit and other past dogs.

Other things I kept in my room: Old Painting I made, Letters and correspondence, My Reggie Miller cards and my ticket when I first when to Coron, Palawan. 
But times have passed and we must now move on, these things and places reminds us of how simple it was back then and how life was a little bit slower.

To end this blog, watch this video I made. Listen to the past.












July 26, 2011

Manila Zoo Revisited

Since there was news that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wanted to shut down the Manila Zoo, I wanted to share my experiences at Manila Zoo during my last visits.

I've been to Manila Zoo in 2008 and 2010 since I graduated in High School, well I've been into Manila Zoo for at least 5 times in my life I could remember going there when I was a kid, a teenager and as a college student.

But first, what is Manila Zoo and how important is it in our country?

Manila Zoo opened its doors July 25, 1959. Yes that was yesterday they celebrated their 52nd year and as the first and oldest zoo in ASIA. Its full name is The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, it remains to be one of the most visited zoos in the country, mainly attracting public school field trips and tourists accommodating almost 2 million visitors annually.

Being the first and oldest, its location is in the heart of Manila, 5.5 hectares with 800 animals from nearly 100 species as of 2007. It also houses some confiscated, injured and donated animals and so the Zoo is safe to be called a Rescue Center.

When I visited here in 2008 with my friends, I was a freshman college and let's admit that if you're from Manila or anywhere within an hour's reach from Manila and you're in college, you wouldn't go to this old Zoo. But my Love for animals is different from the others, I love nature more than big malls and man-made structures, although Manila Zoo is a man-made home for the animals, the animals are part of nature that no human can create even in cloning, are you getting me?

In 2008 Manila Zoo was dead, I mean it really looked dead to me. I was excited to see Mali, the elephant I saw when I was little, used to be really really big and healthy but when I went inside together with my friends we all wondered if it was still Mali we were looking at because the elephant was thin, and I meant thin in elephant terms.

This is Mali in 2008, the elephant from Sri Lanka. 
Manila Zoo was dull in 2008, it was like the worst year for the animals, although I saw that most of the animals were taken care of, judging by how they should look like and their sizes, it was still good. The problem was the surroundings and the trash being thrown inside the cages and around the zoo. And there were people smoking inside too! Isn't a zoo a total non-smoking area?

Other animals around the zoo in 2008

FAST FORWARD TO 2010!

In 2010, a dear friend of mine expressed her longing to visit Manila Zoo because she hadn't been there once in her life. Me and her being a travel enthusiasts since we met in college share the same drive to see new places. Old places become new when you look at it on a different perspective you know.

So we planned and invited a lot of our classmates and friends and our revisit to Manila Zoo was almost perfect when on the day we were supposed to go, it was just me and my friend Melissa who were available that day, that only showed how much we really love to travel.

It was the May 6, 2010 as I could recall because the summer heat was just killing me but the mature trees in the Zoo helped regulate the heat. As we entered the zoo I saw Mali the elephant again and this time he really appeared healthy and he even welcomed us by showing us to his new space where he can take a shower and dip in the water.

Mali and his new play spot, he appeared a lot happier and healthier in 2010 than 2008
The new space was good although it was entirely concrete, I wish there'd be grass and a tree for him to rest under it. Maybe a companion elephant is better but I don't know if that's possible with the entrance fee of the zoo which is less than $1 could cover these things.


Iguana at the Reptile gallery.
We wandered around seeing Mali first and the n some snakes in the reptile area and that day it wasn't filled with visitors because it was a weekday but there were some and some people are just rude because they were smoking around and the personnel of the zoo happen to be tolerating it.

Turtle just "hanging around".
There were new animals that I saw and some old timers like Mali and I must say I Love how Manila Zoo is trying to make the place beautiful with the meager funding they are getting from the Government but they really have to focus on the cages, especially the cages of the Monkeys because it is depressing I can see in the eyes of the animals that they feel alone. It's suffocating them, the small spaces and dirty surroundings.

Tigers.
We took lunch inside the zoo and noticed that the place was even more dirtier because the shops aren't looking after their customer's trash, they didn't have enough trash bins. It's almost like it's also people from the inside who do not care about the Zoo, they're just there to make business.



Outside the zoo where the "Kinder Zoo" was, although fewer animals are around, they were a lot more better in shape than inside the main zoo. I heard it was a private company who was keeping it.

The kinder zoo provided visitors to touch the animals and ride on it and pet them. In 2010 there were still closed cages because the animals weren't there yet.

Here are some of the photos we did inside the pet zoo:

The Kinder Zoo, well we don't look like we're in Kinder.
Overall the 2010 visit was way better than 2008 and I hope well I get a chance to visit this 2011 I could compare it again because we don't know if Manila Zoo is developing slowly or not but as far as my visit, it is developing but in a slow pace.

Zoos are important because it is a way to keep the children and elders informed of what the animals need, thus, I think Manila Zoo has to show it.