Friday, 28 September 2012

"Bitter Sweet"

"Bitter Sweet"

It was late afternoon when this writer ordered a cup of coffee from a near golden-brown haired friend of his.

That same time he was ordering coffee, he sought again thine dearest Marina, his inspiration whom also prepared and served coffee for him,  and quite nice to see her serving a cup of coffee mixed with creamer whilst this writer prepared his sketchpad and sketching.

Bittersweet White Coffee Fairy (made after having this artist sip a cup of coffee, creamer, without sugar)

However, that coffee being served by the maiden was made without any sugar, there this writer took a sip, making a trance that seemingly felt the bitter-sweetness made by coffee and creamer entwined watering a barren heart of loneliness this writer had as if substituting Absinthe with a cup of Coffee watered down its vigour with creamer yet without the typical sweetness that is sugar.

Quite strange though for this writer as he felt the bitter-sweetness being served by a maiden whom he end inspired yet preferring to be alone. In fact, this writer even had to draw his inspiration, personifying a smoke from a coffee being served by her's, perhaps mirroring the green fairy in the bottle of an Absinthe.

After all, even the scent of her's even mesmerized and enticing, that this writer don't even know why he felt so. 

In fact, this writer remained inspired despite lying low in expressing feelings for her. He simply respected her decision not to think of love and instead enjoying friendship just like from its start. Marina really personifies romanticism just like any other girls this writer felt being inspired, even his beautiful enemy and even the one whom made him left alone and depressed till Marina came and made closer with sense.

After all, is love limited to lovers alone?
Such bitter-sweetness indeed.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thinking of prestige (while forgetting to feed and improve its people)

Thinking of prestige (while forgetting to feed and improve its people)

It was a day ago when this writer sought a news report regarding a standoff between residents of a compound and riot policemen at Guatemala St. in Makati. The standoff was so fierce that, like what everyone sought in Silverio Compound in Parañaque and earlier ones, all ranging from pelting stones, water cannons, good old beats and fierce resistance that includes barbarity. Houses were constantly destroyed despite resistance from those dwellers whom outsiders rather called them as "squatters".

And since they've been described much as "squatters", "lumpen", or even an overtly subjective "scum of the earth" or any other word trying to pertain these people over, especially those living in compounds illegal yet afford to earn a living, having voting rights and its children studying at public schools, all trying hard to experience a trying hard low cost of commodities different from those from the provinces with a different rate; how come the state took less care other than being used for rhetorical purposes and be featured in their crass propaganda instead of creating a program that is different from mere relocation with less development save for houses made in a questionable terrain such as a danger zone.

Personally, this writer thinks that time and again the rapid yet uncontrolled urban development and a neglected countryside made these thing happen. That, ranging from shantytowns to old communities, all fell under the hands thinking about prime lots and building façades made primarily for the sake of prestiege.
The latter somehow became much of a top priority of every developer these days, thinking that in a fast changing society, edifices are made to inculcate prestiege and that includes currying investment (and promoting the near fallacy of) National development.

And yet, these includes the hands of those who are likely to be thrown decades after creating a community. Worse, much likely the same people originally who had lived for decades as residents who earned a living, with its children raised, and afford to vote and pay taxes imdirectly despite described as undocumented. In fact, it is ridiculous again and again to see such incidents like these, standoffs between the people and the system is enough to justify what left wingers called as class warfare. The former tends to defend their right to living in an urban area whilst the latter tends to impose laws safeguarding property of an individual, who is too late to develop a property dubbed as "theirs".

Trying to keep yet compelling to give way

As politicians of old continues to preserve the antiquated social order with various measures such as paper reforms and crass rhetoric, of personality cults such as trying hard benefactors of tax-funded projects, such desperate measures taken rather stresses their intention of trying to keep the former by giving way concessions to those who are calling for.
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program for instance, being made by a clique of Landlords, was made merely to appease the peasantry with promises of arable land, yet at the same time goes for companies who exploit the idea for expanding corporate farms and be described as development, worse, those who control are called by names than by their companies such as Floirendo for its banana plantations and Nenita Farms, or Coujuangco for its Hacienda Luisita, what else?

these actions rather thinking about prestiege rather than emphasising means to develop and uplift the society such as feeding its people while improving themselves as part of the society; that somehow worth to ridicule that such edifices, projects, laws, programs made are merely done to appease, gag the growing number of people opposing the system. In fact, it is even near worthless that Conditional Cash Transfer programs is not effective other than a waste of taxpayer's money that is for increasing subsidies for health, education, social welfare.

Once, this writer, whilst watching an old newsreel made during the early days of Francoist Spain, at first it was all realistic to see a good façade of development made after years of war such as electrification programs, trains, and building new train tracks; but on the other hand, it is all but an actual stage to think that Spain and its economy during those times remained below despite supported by Germany and Italy, and even ostracized by the West due to its pro-axis sympathies during the Second World War; it is obvious much that despite the so-called efforts to reconstruct and trying to prove sufficiency, it rather emphasized an attempt to revive greatness, prestige as its main priority rather than to support its vast majority of poor people trying to uplift yet remained below due to rising inflation rates as evidenced by this: Inflation soared, economic reconstruction faltered, food was scarce, and, in some years, Spain registered negative growth rates. By the early 1950s, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was barely 40% of the average for West European countries (prior to scrapping of earlier policies and support from the Americans during the 50s). That perhaps made this writer think that Spain had became more Quixotic than realistic in setting its goals (such as prestige-filled projects of those times featured in a newsreel) comparing to Argentina under Juan Peron.
And since it is described by this writer as Quixotic, due to the failed Badajoz plan due to prevailing feudalism and insufficient industrialization ,all despite exceeded projections of light industries such as textiles, noticing that there was no target set to canned vegetables (95%), fertilizers (91%) and drying of plant products (76%) (according to Wikipedia).

This writer knows that the issue of Philippines and Spain is greatly different, but some are quite same in a way everything seemingly is a carnival of sorts, a stage that features infrastructure such as housing, high rise buildings, call centers yet failed to curb such serious issues such as a growing gap between the rich and poor, agrarian question and the need for industrialization different from a mere assembly line one the Philippines had and be described as industry; and speaking of industry, how come spare parts came from China and Japan whilst the Steel domestically produced are merely for showcase purposes? Otherwise, it shared the same fate as what the criticized Badajoz plan had despite supported and funded by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that is, a subject of debts.

Well, as evidenced by what being sought and a great contradiction that aggravates perennial issues, such incination to so-called "pride" without prioritizing social welfare made promises rather a mere rhetorical piece with its programs featured more of a means to curry favor to those wanting to invest. In fact, such actions taken by the ones desperate to keep their seats made a variety of ways and means just to appease the people such as projects and decrees, same as those whose hypocrisy been bad to the bone such as calling the poor entirely as spoiled brats not noticing that those from their ranks are much spoiler as the poor whose majority had much problem such as food to eat and miseducation.
And since they condemn them while at the same time calling for donation such as for christmas and calamities, why not instead help educate themselves and be rich in law other than wealth? Man does not live in prestige so to speak in a way high rise buildings in Makati are made for a purpose other than a bling bling to show how developed the Philippines as of today.

As for the poor who are affected, squatting is rather but a reaction from the growing yet uncontrolled development in the urban landscape. They are willing to become workers yet they end up whether semiproletarian or nearly lumpen as likely to be described by the mainstream of modern society, the massive influx, fueled by promises of development, of jobs, even escaping from the low standard of living due to feudal tendencies in the countryside (with few traces of development) created what people on high described as mess yet failed to undertake measures to resolve.

Thinking that their only way is merely to force evacuate and resettle in areas once arable land and be described as developed, how about urban resettlement and redevelopment of once depressed areas as what being tried in Silverio compound according to Local Government Unit in Parañaque, yet since the developer is known for making malls, which is emphasised then? Building a commercial complex or mass housing to those being evacuated forcibly despite their land given by the government years earlier? This writer thinks that again time and again the ones described as have not, lumpen, are really being used then thrown away yet leaving an issue that created this people unsolved thus aggravating antagonisms within the society despite giving way some antiquated decrees just to preserve what most described as-it-is.

And since these brouhahas still continue to prevail, as evidenced by a still widening gap between the rich and poor people, of strikes, growing shantytowns, uncontrolled development, and near-nonsense prestige filled rhetoric, this writer question to the people, especially to those who desperate and being compelled to do so, which is to be taken seriously: helping the people wholeheartedly or thinking about prestiege in setting such tangible goals like laws and programs? Which is which then if that's the case?

Well, this writer didn't made this writeup entirely on behalf of the poor, but rather made to say that policies should be rethink by those whose reason is about prestiege whilst forgetting about its people the way edifices should be made with a serious reason other than as "bling blings" outsiders to see.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Leaving a poem without a title

Leaving a poem without a title

It was Saturday when this writer made this kind of poem after listening a song and recollect the days he and his inspiration been close together as friends. However, this writer, admittingly speaking, fell in love with her only to hear her telling him as "not prepared for love."

At first, he opted to wait, but then thinking that would be nicer to stop, simply opted not to pursue all for the sake of friendship with a maiden and despite sadness, leaving her as the person behind the sketches and the one whom salvaged from worthlessness.

And as he finished his poem, this writer had left it without a title, thinking that it is worth better for the reader to read and make a title for it. Quite strange though to let himself for another to give way than to post a title for a poem he've done out of getting inspired yet he opted to leave her with her choice and instead be given a sense of respect.

Thinking that this writer once been left without any word by a once someone, and this time knowing that the maiden whom he end inspired by her presence had to leave alone and "not to think of a relationship", perhaps opted to leave yet still remains caring as a friend, with a door open for her in a certain time.

Obviously, in making that kind of poem, is this writer really inspired by her's? Or madly fell in love?

Anyways, here is the poem.

The scent of yours made me recalling
The days that we have met
The days that I can't say and nearly falling
To a beauty that can't forget

That despite I, once desperate and sank
Felt the beauty that bid thee and think of love
That Despite the tears fell into my eyes
This time springs wildflowers in a barren soil of my heart now unbound

But then once as I enticed by others to be with you
You've said "Im not prepared" and thus I appreciate through
For least worth better than leave me barren
Least the lasting friendship can't forgotten

Thinking about your pasts, and thus bid thee respect
Of giving more spaces and perhaps set her free and I lie low despite eyes near wept
I don't care about the others, nor this is not the test
She has the choice of her own, whether to have another or nevermind the rest

And in remembering every time we talk
With Carbonara and Pesto, or a potato mojo
Along with friends or perhaps we two
End up with a Toblerone for you

And in every remembering thus made me think:
Like you having distaste for green peas in every dishes
And favoring Yorkshire terriers over Persian cats
Of preferring house music and trance over rock
And loving night parties and I preferring band hangups.

Of having same likes for fried chicken and sunny side ups
Along with beer and vodka or perhaps soda for a warmup
Then with ramen with soup loaded with spice
Followed by cakes like Toblerone overload and black forest few despise

Quite strange from the days we have sought and met
From the scent of your perfume "So in love" that made me let
Move on with my senses to an unknown world as evidenced
With my works, all filled with the impression of a past revisited

And thus as the scent of yours made me still recalling
And the colour pink that is appealing
Marina, I am thankful to be a part of my life
Despite teary eyes, I am happy.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Revisiting ContemporAntiquity

Revisiting ContemporAntiquity


It was last Saturday when this writer visited Escolta and Binondo in Manila. And again, he sought old buildings that seemingly conteporantiquated yet left deterioration due to age and negligence from its current owners in it. Quite concerning to see, especially seeing intact yet deteriorating and in the end be condemned and demolished in the near future.




However, as this writer looked at every edifice, whether it was made pre or post war, of having neoclassical or futuristic, art nouveau or constructivist in its design, the edifices being shot and currently posted in this site somehow made this writer likely to say that how come these buildings made out purpose be left out and in the end demolished in favor of a design that is devoid of significance other than plainness and glasses?

Well, to some owners favoring demolishing old edifices, they rather look at the lot than the building, of having it sold a hundreds of thousands if not millions to create a trying hard skyscraper and hence be described as "development", that perhaps made conservationists say "why should development and conservation contradicting? Why not have it side by side?"




Quite strange isn't it? That if the Philippines takes pride in its heritage, of its history, of its churches and old stone houses, how about contemporary edifices made pre or post war? The old Monte de Piedad building at Sta. Cruz had been left deteriorated despite given citation, same as the old CoBanKiat building that perhaps needs a fresh cute coat of paint since CoBanKiat, if not mistaken, also owns Ace Hardware.
Such edifices that in need of rehabilitation somehow revives popular interest in the history of every district as well as getting developed without sacrificing heritage in it.



After all, this writer, also a heritage conservationist, is sensing that of what is national identity if it is limited to churches and stone houses, barong tagalog and dancing Carinosa? Worse, if moving on in the name of two-road progress be end up like ghettoes and trying hard westerners of the American than European kind?
And peaking of identity, how about Contemporantiquity then? As evidenced though its pre-and post-war edifices that despite deteriorating still carries a class that needs rehabilitation? To think that Contemporantiquity, coined by this writer meant carrying both greater traces of contemporary and antiquated styles and features through its edifices, of experimenting with clothing, accessories, even furniture, painting, any kind of art that its artist tries to stay true to national heritage yet seriously moving towards progress as contributor to its nation.

In fact, seeing old edifices such as in old financial districts like Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Escolta, even in Avenida Rizal are evidences of an idealized progress without sacrificing heritage. To think that how come London still keeps its identity same as Paris? Or rather say since the Philippines tries to act progressive, in which path, model that the current Filipino tries to emulate?

Same as the other countries whose heritage is being threatened, of what is history without heritage? Of what is culture without identity? Rampant yet uncontrolled development due to the interests of the few reduces everything into a mere figments of an imagination doomed to be forgotten, in a way old edifices are left, then rot and doomed by being demolished and replaced with another with a possible fate decades after.

This writer somehow getting concerned over these instances. Just like the old building of Monte de Piedad, that still left unrehabilitated despite having a marker. After all, to others who are apathetic and idiot, would ask this: what the heck is that building?


Perhaps, it is up to the average Filipino or any other nationality to revisit contemporantiquity or demolish in the name of stupidity that is progress.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

LEON MIGUEL: Giving human face to a brutal role

LEON MIGUEL: Giving human face to a brutal role

Personally, this writer and Leon became friends not just via Facebook but through this writer's personal circle, quite nice though he is in person despite seeing his role such as an antagonist, to think that at first his appearance and his stint that made him known by others with a familiar role.

However, according to Inquirer, Leon Miguel is quick to describe himself as an “underdog.” But then, despite that description, this unsung actor is much in demand for international films although he isn't been familiar in the local scene, perhaps ordinary people looked at him as an "extra" so to speak, or in a 90s scene, would looked at him as an action star other than an antagonist as everyone thinks of him.

But despite his near anonymity, he is simply doing his craft as an artist, he's even a project engineer according to his Facebook account, while his craft as an artist been enhanced by interacting with the common folk such as a driver, fishball vendor, or perhaps even a bystander that his roles end up with a realistic one, a human face so to speak.

That, according to Leon Miguel himself, his role adds a human face in it, such as in "Graceland" for example, quite different from a mere trigger happy antagonist usually shown in mainstream cinema. Quite nice though to add a human face since not all movies are real, but rather end up scripted just to appease the audience without any criticism.

After all, according to Miguel (Via Inquirer):

“I make sure that even if I play a criminal, I still show the human side, I want the audience to understand why a person turns to crime.”

Anyways, upon watching his latest movie, or even some trailers, his talent meant personifying reality, why on earth realism should be overtly scripted though? Realism should be to educate and to emancipate than to monetize and make popularity isn't it? Quite debatable so to say.

Perhaps, despite all these, Miguel is just doing his craft well no matter he end up being typecasted according to the press. 



Ang Panday 2

Amaya (TV series)
Mandirigma ni Rajah Mangubat

Subject: I Love You
Man 1

Special Ops

Panahon na

The Barriers (short)

Pedro (short)


Lapu-Lapu's Man

Gasoline Boy

Bala ko... bahala sa 'yo
Hostage Taker

Nag-aapoy na laman

Still Lives
Goon 2

Rebel Leader

Behind Enemy Lines
Gangster Leader

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Ramblings over Graceland

Ramblings over Graceland
"Having a recollection and a reunion of sorts upon entering Cinema 7"

It happened  that this writer end late yet end up happy to meet with new acquaintances, if not friends from the movie scene, quite concerning though at first due to the time-consuming traffic and walked hours just to watch that kind of movie this writer promised for a close friend. 

Bishop Teodoro Bacani
(this writer even afford to pay respect for a moment
although he had no picture with him.)

To think that upon arrving late, at first it made this writer think twice at first whether to continue or not watching Graceland at Robinsons Galleria, but then just after a second, this writer opted to pursue watching than not to thinking that since he was at the cinema, and paid a ticket for it, then why not? And even bought ice tea and sour cream-powdered French Fries for it for a munchie while watching and create some assessment over it.

Leon Miguel, along with Ella Guevarra
and some well wishers congratulating the cast for a successful film

Leon Miguel with well-wishers

And as this writer watched the movie, from start to end, it is expected that it is really a cycle of events, full of revenge with a human face that is far from a mere brutal-like appearance Sir Leon Miguel had done as the protagonist, in fact in this writer's own opinion there is neither protagonist nor antagonist just characters affected by corruption, pædophilia, organ smuggling, kidnapping everything lumpen that unveils social filth society tends to deny many times for it just to save face.

One example is the scene wherein the congressman, along with his driver ought to go to a brothel wherein he sought prebuscent girls wearing faux-uniforms given an envelope full of thousands after being threatened by a kidnapper whose driver's daughter, mistaken for a congressman's being kidnapped. In fact, amongst the ranks of the bureaucrats lies dirty ones such as a corrupt or a pædophilic one. Remember Romeo Jalosjos? Had been accused of having raped a minor in Zamboanga that time. 
That scene perhaps made this writer think what if this person who made this writeup is using an ordinary Filipino's perspective? Especially a lower class one staring at a scene wherein an innocent girl with a smaller breasts? Perhaps they are starting to smile and think nasty over it so to say (like going to have a "faptime" after), just like the congressman on that scene.

With Leon Miguel

With Director Ron Morales

With Arnold Reyes

Anyways, this writer somehow felt amazed upon watching the movie while munching french fries and sipping ice cold tea in it, watching along with writers, critics, and mere spectators curiously watching after looking at Facebook or suggested by a friend, at first that said visit is a reunion with a friend (who happens to be in a relationship with Leon Miguel), as well as a renewed interest in watching movies since this writer really loves to watch so to speak.

With the producer and the director,
sorry for the flowers its theirs hehe.

But then again, let us promote the movie as well as the Filipino alternative Cinema. Starting by watching the movie that this writer end reflecting over it-to think that Graceland mirrors a Lumpen's fantasy of gratification and revenge, yet unexpectedly sought a near human face in it. 

Theatrical release information:
Robinsons Movieworld - Cinema 7
Robinsons Galleria
Level 4, Galleria Corporate Center
EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines

September 12 – 18, 2012. Nightly at 6:00 and 8:00.
R-18 by MRTCB — at Robinsons Movieworld.

Perhaps, as a suggestion, this should be encouraged by colleges its students to watch the movie and write a reaction over it, obviously this writer even think that the movie isn't really Rated R-18 at all, but rather fit for academic purposes specifically in tertiary levels (studying broadcast communication, journalism, or even Filipino Studies and Social Sciences) seeking critical thinking in regards to a society that is rotten.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Drafthouse's "Graceland" to be shown in the Philippines

Drafthouse's "Graceland" to be shown in the Philippines 

"A riveting and unpredictable Filipino crime saga, GRACELAND thrusts viewers into the corrupt underbelly of the Philippines’ capital, exposing a world of deceit, exploitation, and startling depravity. Written and directed by Ron Morales (Santa Mesa), this “lean and breathless thriller” (Complex Magazine) depicts a desperate man’s infinite moral compromises amidst a tale of kidnapping gone horribly wrong."

Well, as we sought the picture and the trailer, at first, people would say that it is like any other action movie, simply because it featured guns, kidnappings, tragedies and the like, yet is much realistic than as what everyone stereotypically thinks of it.

Made by Ron Morales, and been featured at the United States by Drafthouse Films, Graceland tackles about a Family man, whose daughter, mistaken for a politician's daughter end kidnapped, creating a sudden terrifying turn for a father, quite horrible that involves deceit and betrayal. (according to the press release)

And contrary to the usual movies seen nowadays, it is quite rare for a movie, such as this example as it also mirrors social reality such as what the trailer shown. To think that major issues like corruption, crimes like kidnappings, and feuds between rich and poor people are directly featured in the film; with others, of course  at first tend to look it primarily as a "return" of "action movies" not noticing that it is not like any other "action movie" nor a mere "indie film" that is made for the sake of popularity.

In fact, prior to be shown in the Philippines, it had a world premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, followed by Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and even Austin’s FantasticFest as well as Athens International Film Festival in Greece. Obviously, that said film end with praises from critics, of crowds wanting to watch as well as an audience award. 

Anyways, this writer, also loves to watch movies for unwinding, and been reading existing writeups about the movie as well as commentaries posted in a Facebook site featuring the film same as the movie's site it is much likely to say that the film is worth challenging and uncompromising as what writer/director Ron Morales said; that perhaps would say it is not like any other film that is made for sake but to show to the people what society is.

But for further idea, why not care to watch and know clearly other than what the trailer shown? Goodluck and perhaps see you soon at Galleria. 

Theatrical release information:
Robinsons Movieworld - Cinema 7
Robinsons Galleria
Level 4, Galleria Corporate Center
EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines

September 12 – 18, 2012. Nightly at 6:00 and 8:00.
R-18 by MRTCB — at Robinsons Movieworld.