Wednesday, 30 January 2013

"A song for Marina"

"A song for Marina"

Before writing this, this writer was listening to the song made by Brendan "Bik" McFarlane that recalls about his friend, "Bobby" Sands who died died on the 5th of May 1981 after 66 days on hunger strike. It is quite saddening though to remember his last days especially because of his action taken such as having a hunger strike that costs his life as a political prisoner; but it showed how a prisoner longing for freedom not for himself but for his home.

Quite strange indeed at first that he made again a poem for a friend and add some "political" sentiment in it; this writer may not been in the prison but also somehow felt how prisoners yearning both their loved ones and dreams of freedom, to think that he wrote some words such as "resist", "freedom", the wretched "system" and a "never-ending saga" alongside "love", somehow reflects how this writer, aside from recalling the days he had with her, and the yearning for her love, so is the struggle that somehow he himself had a part of it.

That somehow he wants to convey to her despite the contradiction.

It wasn't seem so long ago, when I first saw you
On the window between wall and kitchen, everybody stare both me and you
Quite strange at first, that our eyes asked what and why
But on the other hand a start of a story lie

Your beauty pleases me, to a man once filled with pain
Just like the sun, a dawn rises again
You came and ask, if not help, join and eat
And made me think: "when will we meet?"

Despite heartaches, pain linger on
You still there for me, no matter fate come
And in this open field you came to join the game
I hope in my heart you remain

Days, weeks, months, cherishing smiles like sunny skies
Despite heavy rainfalls, you comfort me and thus rise
You understood what comes from me, I know it's all but strange
All but books and pen, a life as if in cold chains

I know you have no time to love, and thus I understood
Quite sad for me, but I'd rather keep myself strongly stood
To think that in your acts you do and done
An act of love different from others, a love far from none

Quite easy to yearn for love, yet difficult to maintain
All may come and go, but nevermind, everyday's rain
Yes, I am an activist, rebel in system's eyes and itchy hands
But how come you, a party girl chose to understand?

You've enjoyed the frivolities of life, and illusions of peace
While I traversed the difficult path, the struggle by whatever means
You may not mind the noises of the mass, yet through I you understand
But to me will you them too? As I care and understand?

I wish there's an easy road to choose, and bring this heartache end
But reality bites, a pain-filled game time and again offend
But then in this living hell you still care, undaunted
Just like the tales of the past constantly reminded

Quite strange to think of the passing days around
But your beauty, charm, happiness remains astound
For sure you care the others, not just friends or even I
That even a smile can be a charity, that few could realize

Perhaps someday you'll join with and face together this game
A never ending saga, with others never told their names
We'll prove our love is strong, and make them prove wrong
We'll resist them together, and let the world hear freedom's song

Despite heartaches, pain linger on
You still there for me, no matter fate come
And in this open field you came to join the game
I hope in my heart you remain

For you're with me in a battle till the end.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Setting the storm with the aggressive sound of the antinorm

Setting the storm with the aggressive sound of the antinorm

(or reflections in midst of contradicting noises, feat. Aggressive Dog Attack)

It all started with a somewhat strange "meet and greet" situation.

While with his friends, both old and new enjoying beer and alcomix, this writer seemed to be too silent but  not  quite really alienated, as others are talking about their affairs around. And to think that it would quite strange though if this writer had to join their talk and be described as a weirdo because of wearing a rocker's getup while theirs as a bunch of party people, (but thank god they're nice especially with the one whom made this writer inspired again from being depressed months ago.)

But despite the noise, of loud music played by members of a christian fellowship, as well as chats coming from his friends side by side, obviously he didn't care it much since he didn't know what they were discussing about; lucky that there's a handy Ipod and listening to the Anti-norm tune of Aggressive Dog Attack, known as ADA.

For sure it is really weird for others that this writer rather listening to the screams and growls of Boy Piodos and a sound similar to Slipknot and any other Punk bands especially in the Underground scene, especially that most people nowadays are too focused on being mainstream, join the flow or be treated as outcast. To think that most preferred listening to the music that comes from the radio, especially popular ones his friends enjoy with.

But to think of this person an outcast seems to be too far from reality. Outcast? What the heck these people dare to think a person outcast and yet their minds are boxed up and geared to a lifestyle cycle that consist of study, work, earn, buy, consume and die whilst this writer rather chose to alter the cycle for his own benefit. That, contrary to his father's wanting for his son work in an office rather than in the field as a writer, this writer chose a different path his father decry as deviant, obviously, isn't just because he's a radical and disobeys his want such as working in an institution, study or take an exam to satisfy his wants? Well, this writer loves his father despite the contradictions they had especially with his son preferring his path than his father's wishes- especially that he prefers what type of music he listens to, the clothes he wear, and even the career he choses. Admittingly speaking, the songs made by Boy Piodos somehow reflects reality as this writer sought over and over again, as one of their songs said:

Classification Sucks!!!
Confusion! Destruction! Division! Ignorance!
Just a tag!!! A fucking tag!!!!

However, in midst of the contradicting noises of the drunk, the religious, and the rebel,  this writer somehow "got disturbed" after a fellow acquaintance offered beer to him, yet the latter preferred drinking the alcomix while still listening to his favorite ADA of Boy Piodos and his band of near "misfits" people likely to describe. Quite strange though that they kept on chatting, this writer doesn't even know what are they talking about therefore he rather listens his favorite music while drinking the alcomix served to him.

The liquor seemingly fits to what the sound of the antinorm said so, as it says:

Your religion against me!
Your church against me!
your dogma against me!
And your priest against me!
Who's good? And who's evil?

Sorry to say so for the people of the cloth, but the song reflects the reality of a ruling society against an individual, or the mass themselves in regards to action and reactions of both sides such as those of  rising costs of living only to be responded by mass protests with both sides tending to justify,  that, using the perspective of the mass would say "the state is against me for invoking opposition against the rise of the prices of commodities, we respond through action, we are responded by beatings and prison; so who's good and evil then?"
Perhaps, this writer silently thinking over what those songs had said upon to. Meanwhile one of his writer's friends asked him regarding sex and stuff; quite interesting from a girl to ask him about masturbate, while yours truly asked about if her's as shaved or having experience, ordinary people would think of it quite awkward to hear, especially from a girl who's open minded to talk about sex, but again, as the song said so: "who's good? And who's evil" to ask curiously about things a society controlled by trigger happy and greedy "conservatives" and "liberals" deemed as immoral? Yes, those on high are against the mass, they made fools out of them as they gave a distorted view to these dispossessed.

That, somehow made this writer had feature the songs of Boy Piodos and his group in this writeup, as well as its words that the group behind these songs said so.

But to think that despite their misunderstood and speedy music, how come that band from Laguna became popular by many for years? That all made this writer wanting to hear their music along with their sarcastic commentaries about politics, culture and the frivolities of "modern day life"? Anyways, both this writer and the band are anti-norms so to speak, and despite the alcomix-laced discussions (that sometimes include sex) and staring at the brown-haired maiden of the galley (that made this writer lighten up for a some time) the sound of the Anti-norm such as A.D.A end thinking this writer thinking about someone willing to assist in setting the storm of the Anti-norm.

Sorry to say so, but generally true.

To think that this writer made him drew and write more using his maiden as his subject in resisting the "flow" and the "norm" disagrees with.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

"Love their Milk and Cookies"

"Love their Milk and Cookies"

(Or how this writer enjoyed their Sweet Ecstasy)

Well, it all started last year when this writer had went to one of the familiar places in Cubao district, Quezon City. Quite strange and curious though at first that, within every stall that featured booze, beer, fish n'chips or any other sizzlers lies a different yet interesting one: Milk and Cookies.

from it's humble chair and table...

to a stand  (and some cartoons on the wall to add fun!)

Quite Interesting indeed as this writer had enter that place, that once all plain white and weeks later with cute figures of milk and cookies complimenting the once-existing plain white walls that made its appearance cozy, of featured artworks displayed, and had even ordered one of their featured cookies such as their "salted caramel" alongside chocomilk for a respite, quite yummy indeed for the sweet and salty taste of that cookie and the fine sweetness of chocomilk different from the usual ones what most people bought from a convenience store made this writer wanting to visit the place again and again.

Same goes on the other side, once plain as white...

...Given some child-like imagination reminiscent of day care centers
 with cookies and milk playing together

And somehow made this writer think that, true to their quality of cookies and milk, and its enough amount of sweetness yet a good alternative from the usual food featured in Expo, would say their name of the stall fits for itself: Sweet Ecstasy.


....Peanut Brittle
(Sources: Sweet Ecstasy Facebook page)

Well, admittingly speaking, although this writer had visited the place everytime he visit Cubao Expo, he haven't dig much lately about what comes behind their interest other than it was being founded by two Fil-Ams that seemingly had the idea for an alternative since most of the restaurants-cum-art galleries in Expo features beer or crispy pata; they do have beer in their menu later on, but most rather preferred the familiar ones shown in their menu such as a carafe of full cream or chocomilk, cookies like "Oreo overload" or "salted caramel", or even an "Oreo Milkshake" with cream and cherry on top; they do have new ones created straight from the kitchen such as a concoction of Cerveza Negra and Milk (although this writer haven't tasted yet but interesting) and peanut brittle cookie; however, the good thing is that during the discussions, the owner had even shared this writer's love for the salted caramel although it didn't been featured lately in their menu! Quite sad isn't it? But of course they'll return it!

Double Burgers and an Oreo Milkshake
(Source: Sweet Ecstasy Facebook page)

But as time goes by, the shop had featured new ones that make its customers old and new satisfy further in entering Cubao Expo, that other than their finely-sweet milk and cookies, they came out with something meaty and juicy such as their fresh, cooked Burgers although they once had "Lechon de Leche" being featured as part of their menu months before; yes, this writer haven't tasted their Burgers (and the earlier Lechon de Leche) yet, but the owner explained that they prefer good quality burgers, fresh from the kitchen being served, that is, different from the ones in the fastfood chains around Metro Manila - that some even started from what Sweet Ecstasy did today (for sure one knows about it such as the one also situated in Cubao area).
But seriously, the shop prefers much to be unique in its creations as well as creative on how to make things possible for their customers, especially that aside from its cozy ambiance with paintings made from their artist-friends to show the pleasant, artistic side of the shop, they also wanted good quality food such as their burgers, milkshakes, and even their cookies people took interest and satisfy upon as they enter and leave the coziness Sweet Ecstasy has to offer. 

As for the gallery, with its paintings made by the owner's artist-friends, it also adds colour that pleases especially to those who wanted to look while eating one of the shop's featured treats; the shop, true to its name also serves as an art gallery for the promising artists who wanted to feature their paintings in Cubao Expo. Quite amusing though isn't it that the owner has an artistic taste that would make people curious enough what goes in it aside from the food being served. Certain personalities like Raymund Marasigan also visited the shop  and having chitchat with the owner while Brisom had a music video at the gallery months earlier.

For sure someone knew this guy wearing a black tshirt and busy doin somethin?

Quite enjoying as this writer, while drinking his milk
was watching "The Hobbit" being shown in the shop's flatscreen.

That somehow this writer would say "this fits for a nice watering hole" for those who have interest in art and culture like Cafes in Paris goes side by side with art galleries and even painters who love to paint their clients on the sidewalk, and few places like Cubao Expo or Bside Makati had done that. Amazing!

This writer's milk's nearly finished...

The childlike drawings of milk and cookies captures the mind of everyone
...especially those whose nostalgia made them go to.

And since from the start, he simply felt the simplicity of the place, its love for art (from the canvas to the childlike wall paintings), and creating new ideas involving food, would say that he would like to revisit again anytime; especially that the shop had continuously experiment for a long time, especially for their next's food attraction to be served weeks, or months later, with this writer would possibly think "would it be burger steak with some gravy?" Well... hope so? But for now he's contented in the "Peanut brittle" cookie being served that seemingly sweet and nutty, as well as others such as the familiar salted caramel he asked for. There are also people who, as they enter and savor the mouthwatering burgers and milk reminisce their childhood especially that those are the same food being packed in their lunchbox, quite interesting indeed that from the cute cartoons, sweet cookies and chocomilk, to the nostalgia people think of made them enter and enjoy what's been served from the menu.

Quite strange indeed, but this writer's love for something tasty and sweet  as well as having a good respite from a long day's work had made this writeup; he rarely goes out this time, but in entering Cubao Expo meant going to this kind of shop that somehow children would dare to enjoy the food on, Cubao Expo isn't all about shoes, antique goods or Beer and Pulutan, there's even Cookies and Milk for the kabataan what Sweet Ecstasy had made for! :)

Anyways, for inquiries, Sweet Ecstasy is located at Cubao Expo, Araneta Center, Quezon City (Past Bellini's and in front of Allan's Grill); or text at 0916 594 1229. Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Making people "contented" in "repetitions"

Making people "contented" in "repetitions"

(a writeup-critique regarding the use of "masses", emphasising "box office hits",
everything related to the state of Philippine cinema
after Metro Manila Film Festival)

It was last month when this writer did made a writeup regarding the issue concerning box-office hits as the usual basis for last time's Metro Manila Film Festival. Usually consists of movies made by top producers in the Philippines, these movies somehow were advertised much making people compel to watch their shows especially those of "Comedy" or "Fantasy."

At first, quite nice that it encourages people to watch Filipino movies and appreciate it, but coming to think that most movies are rather repetitions of past movies gone popular, and some that made primarily for the sake of box-office hits, it seems that the festival itself become a mere event for producers propagating "bread and circuses" and hence be described as "part of pop culture" later.

To a common person, it rather accepts a (terrible) truth that those movies presented reflects contemporary culture such as those be described as box-office hits, of those made by premiere producers of the country whose movies dominate much the silver screen no matter had been made just to increase sales and profit; but to others, most movies rather deprive artistry, ingenuity and perhaps idea save for cinematography whilst the rest rather made "primarily" to satisfy the rest especially in regards to the movies made last MMFF. 

That, this writer felt thinking other than profitability, how come most producers, in pursuit of winning entries tend to be repetitious in regards to movies if not for exaggerating roles and hence be described as "pop culture?"

As evidenced by the usual interpretation that box office hits capable enough of winning, such idea peddled to many rather unveils unfairness "rather than for propagating good movies in general thinking on how most cinemas rather favor what is "profitable" such as a "box office hit" like Star Cinema's "Sisterakas" with a single day gross of Php 39,200,000.00, followed by "Si Enteng Kabisote, Agimat at AKO" with the gross rate of Php 29,500,000.00 and Regal Films' "Shake Rattle and Roll 14" with Php 10,500,000.00. Such movies made for MMFF, mostly featured repetitions of existing movies like "Enteng Kabisote" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" tends to dominate the silver screen and somehow meant bigger income for cinemas controlled by mall magnates especially Henry Sy's SM." (sorry to use the article from Allvoices)  After all, true enough that most producers like Monteverde's Regal Films, ABS-CBN's Star Cinema, GMA Films and Viva entertainment tried its best to dominate the silver screen through their hits despite emphasising the actor and its role than the story itself, being supported by its graphics, cinematography and everything that makes the movie appealing, yet most would say that people rather focus on the title instead, the actors, the skits and the graphics, nevermind the story proper for they're there just to entertain!

Quite strange isn't it? With the festival seemingly all about gaining the top with its movies featuring artists that would make the highest bidding in the eyes of the judges, and with its audiences being curried favor by the usual genres especially comedy, fantasy and drama or anything "wholesome" in the eyes of the judges, does it mean the festival emphasises popularity through what is according to the profitability, sales, or simply "box-office hits" with people struggling to go to cinemas carrying tickets, and admitting that the festival is merely for bread and circuses than those of supporting Filipino cinema as part of Filipino culture in general as envisioned before?

Perhaps, in admitting that the filmfest is made for mass audiences, this means disregarding other films being produced also for the festival. Admittingly speaking, movies such as El Presidente and Thy womb had been appraised well but coming to think that these are low-rated compared to the so-called "box office hits" made by premiere producers in the Philippines, this writer would say that they are less to be observed unless that person is a Nora Aunor fan especially after Tikoy Aguiluz urging people to watch Mendoza's movie in response to threats of pulling out "Thy Womb" in most cinemas. In regards to the so-called threats given, just because the movie was low-rated in box office hits yet part of the festival be limited in certain cinemas?

How about El Presidente? Admittingly speaking, the movie reflects the founding of the first ilustrado republic under Emilio Aguinaldo. This writer haven't watched the movie itself but to think that how come the movie haven't been reached same as those of Sisterakas and Enteng Kabisote compared to last year when Asiong Salonga topped the rates? The actor who played Emilio Aguinaldo was as same as Asiong so to speak, the graphics is somehow good, yet how let this happen that all after a different movie compared to the usual ones been top end up regained by the usual producers featuring usual movies being played much-in other words, repetitions that made people contented to it.

Speaking of the title itself, this writer would say that the Philippine movie industry tries much to get in par with foreign ones. Quite nice to hear, but most movie producers rather emphasise what is profitable by using the "masses" as its audience. As expected, they made the masses contented in what is common despite far from reality such as those what was shown last MMFF to the extent of making repetitions such as those of Enteng Kabisote or Shake, Rattle, and Roll.Obviously, it rather appeals to the mass audience to watch those movies in pursuit of winning the prize other than increasing profits both the producer and the cinema being shown; but this writer also think that how come El Presidente didn't reached the top list despite having good cinematography, a powerhouse cast led by the one behind Asiong Salonga that won last year?

Anyways, despite the millions both spent and earned by producers, especially those who took opportunity through repetitions of same old brand new movies, still most people rather cue not for the ticket but for a pirated DVD of the movie that was shown. Otherwise, choosy enough as one would favor watching Hobbit or Despicable me.

Sorry to say so, but true.