Friday, July 28, 2006

Cinemalaya 2006

The Cinemalaya Film Festival is in UP Film Center in Diliman from July 31 to August 3.
3pm, 5pm and 7.30pm screenings. Try to catch them!

(The Last Day)
by: Nick Joseph Olanka
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo spans a week in a life of seven individuals with interconnected narratives. The film illustrates the interconnectedness of our lives, a cycle of random events in which the decisions we make are as important as the choices we didn't take.

by: Benji Garcia, Vic Acedillo, Jr.
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

A 14-year old Batad Boy, a high school dropout, is forced to sell produce in the Banawe market to augment the family income while his father pursues the philantrophic mission of repairing the rice terraces of adjoining Ifugao villages. Exposed to Western modernization in Banawe, the boy obsesses with owning a pair of rubber shoes that he does not really need. Upon possessing the long-desired rubber shoes, he attempts to leave his Ifugao roots and chase big city dreams.

by: Adolfo B. Alix Jr.
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Daniel, a Butanding Interaction Officer who accompanies tourists on whale watching expeditions and assists them in interacting with the sharks, is a broken hearted man who meets an older woman, Teresa, a widow fighting breast cancer. The two share their miseries and discover that they like being together. Will their newfound bond be strong or will it be blown along with the amihan wind which signals the end of the butanding migratory visit to the small town?

( In The Red Corner)
by: Dado C. Lumibao and Bong Ramos
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Doring is a 24-year old girl who is engaged in a sport that is not common to Filipino women—boxing. This in her desire to alleviate her family from poverty which is slowly devouring them. Desperate and tired of living a miserable life and working in a palengke, Doring enters into amateur boxing in the hope of being discovered and go big time in the professional level. This is not just a fight for her dream but a battle of survival for her family.

by: Arah Jell G. Badayos and Margaret G. Guzman
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Inside the Fernando house, nobody talks. Lives are kept to themselves; problems are not shared; questions are not entertained. The people living inside it have become used to leaving everything unstirred especially Margaret, the mother of the home. To get to know her family, she snoops around - entering rooms, opening cabinets, reading journals she is not supposed to read.

by: Ron Bryant
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Beginning at the break of dawn and ending the next morning, the story, set around a rugged city intersection, follows the path of a marked one-thousand-peso bill as it transfers from one character to another, returning to its originator in the end, blood-tainted. The money leads us to each of the five offbeat characters, all in desperate need of their soul’s redemption.

(Where is Happiness?)
by: Florida Bautista and Real S. Florido
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Finding happiness isn’t part of Tikyo’s everyday plan. For him, at the age of 50, nothing is as simple as selling sorbetes, his only source of living. Everything’s just perfectly fine. Until, breaking news comes—his mother, whom he believed, for so long, was already in heaven, is still alive.

( Just Like Before)
by: Michael Sandejas
Finalist, Full Length Films Category

Tulad ng Dati starts in 2006. It revolves around the character of Jett Pangan who is nearing his forties. Jett has lost his passion for music and life and entertains thoughts of retiring from the band. On a fateful night, Jett is assaulted by a burglar and goes into a coma. He wakes up with no memory of his life after 1988. He remembers that he is 20 years old and is at the peak of his career with The Dawn. Not satisfied with how things turned out with his life, he tries to change everything back to to the way it used to be. The path he takes while finding his place in this strange new world proves itself to be a tough, emotional, and sometimes hilarious journey—accompanied by the celebrated music of The Dawn, both past and present.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I missed the SONA...

....because I had more important things to do than watch the un-real spectacle of the Chief of State spouting lies about the nation. Manuel gives a humorous blow-by-blow account of the events. I should've seen it, if only for entertainment value.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Break Time is Over

Some people spend an enormous amount of time gossiping about other people's faults and little gaffes. Sometimes in an entertaining and humorous manner, other times in a way that can only be described as malicious. Maybe they do so to escape their own personal demons. But me, I tend to brawl with my demons in a UFC no-holds-barred arena. I find that it takes all of my energies to fight myself, to right myself, to put myself on my own right path, once I identify it. Sometimes I wonder how the hell I got here. My boyfriend tells me, give yourself a break. But I have been given all the breaks one could want or need. So break-time is fucking over. Yeah? Yeah.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Top 10 Signs Y ou've Been Watching Too Much House MD

1. You come to believe that hyperintelligence is cool and hyperintelligent assholes cooler.

2. You philosophize about life more than usual. Little quips like "Truth begins in lies" begin to make sense.

3. You know that people lie in general, but you never really dwell too much about it 'til the end of Season 2.

4. You now know that bodily fluids are expelled from your oral cavity in three ways: it sprays if its from the stomach, you cough if its from your lungs and it oozes if its from your bowels. Vomit-laced feces. Yum.

5. You start thinking doctors are cool. And you wonder why you didn't become one. Then you remember you were the very last person in your sophomore class to prick your finger for that microscope experiment. You didn't even actually do it yourself, you had your groupmate do it for you.

6. Dr. House starts to remind you of your genius but highly flawed rockstar politics professor. You are drawn to how brightly they shine but remember how badly they burn.

7. You think David Shore must be God and Hugh Laurie Jesus.

8. You now know you can die from teeny tiny microbes or virus or bacteria or parasites or toxic and irradiated materials. You can die from almost any harmless-looking thing and increasingly become paranoid about what you touch, what you eat and drink, where you breathe, who you speak with...

9. You know what an MRI and a CT Scan are. You know what intubation, lumbar puncture and biopsy procedures look like even though you've never spent more than a total of 24 hours (tops) in a hospital in your lifetime.

10. You love having soon-to-be-doctors friends who are just a text away for geeky medical trivia.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Free Internet Connection

I would like to thank our Barangay captain for having a cellsite in his backyard. Also, thank you to one of my neighbors for having a wifi connection and(unknowingly) providing me free internet access. And lastly, I would like to thank my boyfriend for discovering said connection and getting me a card asap. Ahhh...the best things in life... :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

France, Football and Re-mapping Nationalism

I ask my class of 40 or so students, if given a chance, how many of you will you give up your Filipino citizenship? All but a couple raise their hands. Nationalism is something we Filipinos hardly ever relate to pride of place, or people or home. "Nationalism" is hardly ever something we exhibit overtly, not unless some of us reach a degree of popularity abroad, for, say, winning boxing matches or beauty pageants. Nationalism in this day and age seems passé. I think so too. But that doesn't mean Nationalism doesn't serve a very important function. It generates duties and obligations to a piece of land and space. It’s important in raising capital by way of taxes. It can make you commit absolutely illogical acts such as dying for you country.

I ask my students, now ok, so what nationality do you want to be? They want to be British or Canadians. Many want to be French. Now those seem to be a proud people. And they are. Or, they market themselves as such. The French are a proud people. But what most of us don't realize is that this pride has taken hundreds of years in the making.

First, let us be clear that “Nationalism" is a concept that traces its origins in a particular time and context. Nations have only been in existence for the last 350 years. The very first nations, as we know them today, were born in Western Europe and exported to the rest of the world through colonization and imperialism. The creation of a nation was a prerequisite to the creation of a State. States are the most successful political organization in modern history. After all, it is the construct with which all 6.3 billion of us frame our political, social, economic and cultural lives.

Nation and State are concepts that are often conflated, used interchangeably by many. But a nation is not necessarily a state. And a state is not necessarily a nation. A State is a distinct territory (land) with sovereignty (self-rule), a government and a people, recognized by the rest of the world as such. A Nation is a grouping of people who consider themselves a member of more or less the same socio-cultural unit. To illustrate, Israel is both a nation and a state. Palestine is a nation, but it is not a State because it neither has a territory to call its own, and neither is it recognized by the international community as such. There can be many nations within a State.

Obviously, not all nationalisms are created equal. After all, some nations are much older than others. Some nations have had the advantage of having been created in much longer span of time and were the results of perfectly natural social processes. France is an old nation. It created a single language, a single religion and even a single standard of measuring weight and length and such. France has had to eliminate all other differences within its territory. Maim, kill, suppress. After a while your people will feel they share a single destiny because they speak the same language in telling their stories. This "feeling" is strengthened as you wage wars that will further distinguish your people from others. If you are able to create empires that span the globe, then you've got to start believing you're something special.

Some nations are created out of thin air, proclaimed a “nation” on a piece of paper. Some nations were made on the whims of European cartographers divvying up the globe.

In this age of global migration, people, carrying with them pieces of their own nations can now uproot and settle in other countries. This is where “nationalism” becomes problematic. When you change nationalities, it is assumed you are now a firm believer of a new ideology, the set of values your new country holds dear. Carrying a new passport doesn’t automatically discard your old values, the ones you learned from birth. Like they say, you can take the Filipino out of the Philippines, but not the Philippines out of the Filipino. Even doubly problematic is when your allegiance to your new country comes into conflict with the old one, especially if these two share a troubled colonial past.

The World Cup is certainly one of those arenas where nationalisms are proudly worn on the sleeve. France recently placed second in the World Cup finals, playing with a starting line-up of mostly dark-skinned players, sons of migrants from North and West Africa as well as the Caribbean. I say this can only be a leap forward to harmonizing France's race relations. French nationalism has been undergoing a sort of overhaul in the last decade. The tensions probably reached an all-record high in the riots of August last year, when disenfranchised black and Arab youths set France's cities on fire. For a couple of hundred years, French nationalism was exclusively white and exclusively Christian. Now it must accommodate non-whites and non-Christians.

But just because France sends a “rainbow-colored” football team and small African countries such as Ghana reach the quarterfinals doesn’t mean there isn’t ignorance still. The ugly speculations (see below) regarding Zinedine Zidane’s expulsion at the nth hour Sunday night point towards the kind of crisis conflicting nationalisms and identities place on a globe in flux. Is he Algerian? Is he French? Is he French-Algerian? Is he French-Algerian whose family was a traitor to Algerian freedom fighters during the struggle for independence? Which makes him....more French and less Algerian? It is a conundrum.

Now imagine all those hyphenated Filipinos populating the globe. Heck, imagine yourself, right here, right now. Nationalism?!? Wuzat?

That Hard-headed Zizou

Wow. That was probably one of the most dramatic World Cup finals in recent history. We all witnessed that incomprehensible headbutt Zidane landed on Materazzi's muscled chest. People are wondering why in the world a seasoned footballer would succumb to his baser emotions and do such thing. Was it exhaustion? Was it frustration? Or was it something the Italian said? There are nasty rumors that Materazzi called Zidane a "harki," a term used for Algerians who fought for France against fellow Algerians during the colonial occupation. Yikes.

On a lighter note, Slate has an excellent dissection of what makes a perfect headbutt in football.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Super! Bulge :)

So. It takes a simmering sex god in azure tights and crimson undershorts to finally rouse me from my blogging stupor.

Over the last several weeks there have certainly been plenty of things to blog about; horrific and exciting personal experiences in abundance - including 3 harrowing LTO encounters, and certainly tons of bizaare political shenanigans. But a yummy 6'4 eye (nose, teeth, lips....) candy encased in blue wrapping has finally woken me up to blogging again. Sigh.

If you haven't seen or have no plans to see Superman Returns featuring a brand-new (and dare I say much HOTTTTTER) lead, I say go and indulge in this entirely "alien" sensual experience. The opening credits thunder the trade-mark taaan-ta-ta-ta-taaaaan....tan-tan-tan....taaan-ta-ta-ta-taaaaan. TAN-TA-TAAAAN and everyone in the cinema visibly settles down. They know they are in for a treat. Oh, and what a treat it is.

I don't really want to write a review ok? I just want to gush and moan about Brandon Routh. Sigh. Because there have been rumors that his "package" was digitally reduced, I paid an especially close attention to his crotch. But alas! His bulge was nothing if not modest throughout the film. I say, they fixed it not only to keep the audience from being unduly "distracted,"but more importantly, to keep all the females (and some males) from spontaneous combustion.