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Thoughts about the movie: The Little Prince

When I was 11 years old, I got to read ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and it had a very profound impact on me and the way I viewed the world. And so when I caught the trailer for the French-produced movie: The Little Prince (French: Le Petit Prince), I had goosebumps. I felt like 11 again, and hearing those words of wisdom that moved me still move me. I knew I had to catch that movie.

It was obvious from the trailer that this was not a straight-up adaptation of the book. It was clear that it was set in a present time, about a kid with a Type A mom, who then meets a peculiar neighbor.  This kid’s life is pretty-much planned and structured. But her whole life changes when they move to a new house and she meets her next door neighbor – an old man, who used to be a pilot.  And that he would be the one to narrate the story of The Little Prince.

In the first 20 minutes or so, the movie has successfully interwoven the ‘modern day’ woes of grown-ups, and the original tale of The Little Prince presented in a stop-motion sequence.  You can appreciate the juxtaposition of the ‘grown-up world’ where everything is scheduled and measured, as opposed to childlike spontaneity, curiosity, and joy that The Little Prince in the story of the next-door-old-man/pilot.

But I felt that much of the highlights of what made the story of The Little Prince so moving was lost because of this multi-layered approach to storytelling.  We were not able to appreciate the time and care that The Little Prince gave his ‘flower’ and how that has made him love her – and even the taming process of the fox moved by so quickly.  The viewer did not have enough time, or did not hear enough dialogue and clever words to connect with the relationship of the Little Prince with the flower or the fox.

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Yes, we get our serving of “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye,” but we totally lost the gist of the quote “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important” – because the entire sequence between the Prince and his rose went by in less than a minute.  And thus, when it came for the Prince to tell the other roses:

You’re beautiful, but you’re empty…One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.” – We just don’t get it because we never saw the Prince manage caterpillars or sit patiently while the rose kept talking about herself.

At the beginning, it was clear that when the sequence is in stop-motion (meaning, the old man was narrating) we were supposed to suspend our disbelief – but when real world comes in, we were supposed to reflect. But the lines became blurry towards the end when ‘real life’ meets the characters of The Little Prince situated in real life.  The story became a bit dragging, you couldn’t wait for it to end.

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I would think that if you never read the book, you’d probably get lost in the story. And so while I had originally planned to let my younger cousins watch this before they read the book, I changed my mind.  They have to read the book for them to appreciate the movie.  And if they read the book, they needn’t see the movie. Although I will admit that it was a visual feast and it had some moments that tug the heart, it has no significant value added to one’s experience of the story.

I must say, no screen adaptation has disappointed me much in the recent years as this. And that, is sad… so let me now read the book again and remember the story the way it had endeared itself to me.

 

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Netflix now in the Philippines

12540598_10153355218171033_2895967806084563299_nWhen I found out Netflix was already in the Philippines, I got really excited. I have not maximized my SmartTV, becasue all my devices are Apple and I didn’t have AppleTV.  With Netflix, I can finally enjoy the full benefits of my TV.  Add to that, I already had a liking for original Netflix TV Series like Orange is the New Black– and more recently — Sense8.

You can choose from 3 types of subscription, with the first month as free. I chose the second one as I wanted to have HD streaming for Php460/mo.

 

 

1384299_10153355218196033_2046773476914614978_nI started watching the Netflix original series Narcos — about Colombian drug smuggler Pablo Escobar.  I got hooked and  finished all 10 episodes and now wanting more.

There are several downsides, though to Netflix in the Philippines.  First, there are so many shows and movies not available in the Philippines.  Second, it doesn’t matter if you choose HD subscription, because you will find yourself waiting for stuff to buffer during peak hours — and enduring pixelated streaming for a few minutes because of the slow internet connection.  Thus, I am still having second thoughts if I should continue with my subscription.

Meanwhile, when Netflix launched in the Philippines, some netizens became ‘creative’ in shows they would like to have in the Philippines. Using the hashtag #NetflixPHshows they shared their thoughts. Buzzfeed, PEP and other websites already featured their top choices, but posting here some of the entries that I really liked (and they may have missed out).

1. LipSync Battle: Dahil every Sunday naman, parang ganyan. Kawawa naman ang marunong kumanta, kasi kasama nila sa prod, di marunong kumanta, they are forced to Lipsync.

  2. How to Get Away From Mudra: Someone originally wrote “How To Get Away with Mudra”, but ‘from’ may be a better word.  Sa mga taong mahilig tumakas sa mga mudra nila. Pero ito ang best suggestion… starring Sarah Geronimo.

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3. How I Met Your Husband’s Lover:  A viable sequel to that breakout hit from GMA 7

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4. Lotlot and Friends:  This may be the much-anticipated reunion…in the Philippines, with the pambansang best friend.

 

5. Project Railway:  Catch the step by step process of building and maintaining the LRT and MRT in the Philippines. And for the Finale Episode, may magpapasagasa…

 

6. Grace (Poe) Anatomy:  A reality TV show documenting the real-identity of Senator Grace Poe, and her fight to stay in the list of official presidentiables for 2016.

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7. Tito Boy Meets World:  I can just imagine Tito Boy going around the world and acquiring different accents.

8. Pretty Little Amalayers:   I guess this would be about a group of teenage girls who deliver their ‘lies’ in strange American accents.

9. The Ellen (Adarna) Show:  I bet the topics would be interesting. But both the host and the guests would be so drunk, the entire interview would be wasak na wasak

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10. Judge Judy Ann Santos:  Could be a cooking contest or a talent show. Because Juday is multi-talented like that.

11. Survivor EDSA :  Reality show about EDSA on a Friday Payday and a rainy day — may gulay!

12. The Bongbong Theory:  I guess he can cover all his theories about what really happened during the ‘Martial Law’?

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Bonus, since this is not a TV show…pero napapanahon. A docu-drama movie: Lost in Translacion

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OPM is Alive

Like many folks, from time to time, I would lament on the state of Original Pilipino Music—especially Pop Music.  Based on what I would hear from the radio and see on TV, it would seem that only rappers and bands would release new music, and most pop artists would just release revivals. I’ve been using Spotify even before it launched in the Philippines, but the library for local songs back in 2014 was so slim. But in 2015, the library improved, I ‘discovered’ a lot of OPM artists and albums that give me hope that Pop Music is still alive.

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While I am glad that there are platforms like youtube and Spotify, where local artists can express and share their music, I continue to hope that they will get the right exposure in the mainstream world, so that they can get some credit and some monetary rewards for their efforts.  And this will take a lot of political will and malasakit from various sectors. Because it really isn’t healthy for our culture that mostly revivals and non-singers/non-artists are getting ‘platinum awards’, ‘music awards’, and significant airplay.

I wish TV stations will use these original tracks as tv themes or be sung/danced. I wish local clubs/DJs would play the dance tracks, because they are very anthemic and as danceable as the foreign tracks. I also wish KBP would be strict in imposing minimum minutes per hour to mandate radio stations to play OPM tracks.

Here are the new-to-me OPM Pop artists and albums that surprised and delighted me in 2015, in no particular order. You may check them out and do them a favor by purchasing their music. Let’s help keep OPM Pop music alive and thriving.

Diary ng Panget Official Soundtrack

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This 2014 breakthrough romantic comedy hit shot James Reid and Nadine Lustre into stardom.  I have not seen the film, but I stumbled upon the songs. I really like the pop/highschool vibe of this album. It captures local sentimentality and have catchy tunes.  To be fair, James Reid, Nadine Lustre and Yassy Pressman (the movie’s lead stars) can sing – they are not the best singers, but I would pit them against other pop acts from other countries, who lipsynch anyway.  There is a fair use of autotune, but not too much. I know the album has been around, but I only discovered it last year, so apologies.
My favorite tracks,  include:
1.  No Erase – a cutesy lovesong/duet featuring the lead stars James Reid and Nadine Lustre,
2. Di Ko Alam – an rnb/rap track featuring Yassi Pressman and Andrei Paras
3. Kakaibabe – an RNB/pop track with some girl-power/destiny’s child undertones featuring Youtube artist Donnalyn Bartolome
4. Dyosa – a really cute song about a woman’s transformation featuring up and coming local RnB artist Yumi Lacsamana.  This song is my favorite in the soundtrack

Glaiza De Castro: Dusk ‘Til Dawn


This Angel Locsin dead ringer has captured my attention when she effectively played ‘Grazilda’ a fairy-tale character transplanted into modern Philippines.  I’ve seen her other acting work and she’s really a fantastic actress.  Here she is venturing into music with a really cool track about chasing dreams.

 

Darren Espanto: Stuck


This “The Voice Kids” Runner-Up has amazing pipes.  And he’s demonstrated that a lot in this album.  But many of the songs are fit for his target market: the young teens.  And since I am no longer a young-teen, I am drawn to this song called “Stuck”, which is about unrequited love.  Afterall, the theme resonates through any age-group.  He doesn’t get to display his monster vocals here, but I love the subdued interpretation.

Marion Aunor: Free Fall Into Love


Apparently she’s been around for a while, but never noticed her til this song.  Marion is related to ‘The Superstar” and the original “The Voice” of the Philippines, Nora Aunor.  She’s not just a singer but also a songwriter and pianist.  It’s hipster-sounding, a bit upscale in execution, but very street pinoy in lyrics. I like it, it’s cute.  There’s a part in the bridge where she speaks (ala Taylor Swift in Shake it Off), capped off with singing. It’s such a feel-good song that certainly deserves more airplay and even some exposure in the local romantic telenovelas as part of the soundtrack.  C’mon, she’s a Star Records artists, why not insert in this song in some of the primetime series’ being aired in ABS-CBN.  It’s cute.

Krissy: Songs about you


The other half of the Krissy and Ericka Fil-Am Duo released a solo album full of lovesongs and songs about heartbreak. The album was released in 2014, but I only came across it in 2015.  I think this album is perfect for those nights when you feel like having #hugot moments.  The melodies and the lyrics are so heartfelt. My favorite in the album is the re-release of the song “12:51” in piano version.

Julie Ann San Jose: Tidal Wave


This multi-talented GMA artist released a ‘new sound’ last year, with Tidal Wave as the main track. She released a new album this year with more danceable tracks.  I really dig how she’s growing with her music.  I think these are songs that are good not just for the radio, but also in dance clubs.  I wish she got more airplay.  I’m not sure if her management is exhausting all measures to maximize this girl, which is a bit sad.

Rita Daniela: I’m Flying High


Another GMA Talent, Rita Daniela (formerly known as child-singer Rita Iringan) released, what I believe was a very good local dance track entitled: “I’m Flying High”.  Now these kinds of tunes feel so good, they should be playing these in Valkyrie and those other dance clubs for support of local music. The beats are good enough for dancing and the vocals are legit.  I was rooting for Pocholo in the Popstar kids competition, and wasn’t very happy with her winning – but I am digging this grown-up version of her.

Moira dela Torre: Love Me Instead

This “The Voice” season 1 contestant is staple voice for the jingle of one popular fast-food chain, and her voice is so refreshing. It’s like a ray of sunshine.  This easy-listening lovesong is perfect for when driving, sitting home on a Sunday afternoon, or just plain relaxing.

 

Jireh Lim: Mangga

Everybody loves a good heartbreak song. This Fil-Am Youtube sensation, holds a degree in Music from the University of Sto. Tomas. He first struck gold with his song ‘BuKo” (Buhay Ko) which had more than 10 million hits in Youtube.  Late last year, he released this song “Mangga”, but I couldn’t seem to find official links in youtube, and I have yet to procure this song (which I hope is available in Itunes). I love the easy-melody, which helps you forget that this song is about heartbreak, and the protagonist is so bitter…it’s the ultimate #hugot song.  It captures the Filipino sensibilities and I like the last part of the song where he vows to take revenge. It’s so painful and so funny — which makes it so good.

2015 Life Review

I cannot believe I have not posted a single blog for the entire year 2015 except for this one.  I usually do my random musings online. And it got me to realize how much of my life I had suspended because of the many changes that happened especially at work.

 

The thing with the changes that happened at work is this: it’s not just the line of work but just the whole dynamics of my life.  The major change at work had me physically disengaged with many of my friends, who had to move on and pursue other things. The workload has also increased a thousand-fold.  But what I like about this year-end exercise that I had been doing since 2007 is that it allows me to see the bigger picture and be grateful for the many wonderful things that happened, despite the stress, despite gaining weight, and despite all the craziness.

 

So here we go….

2015

 

WHAT DID YOU DO IN 2015 THAT YOU’D NEVER DONE BEFORE?

* Travelled alone, without a group tour planned

* Commuted by train across countries

* Achieved 46,000 steps in just one day

* Went inside an ice-cave

 

 

DID YOU KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS’ RESOLUTIONS, AND WILL YOU MAKE MORE FOR NEXT YEAR?

I still was not able to do the health thing. I exercised more, but I also ate more. Next year, I will need to find that balance. I travelled to Europe and I did get to see the Pope when he was here.

 

DID ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU GIVE BIRTH?

Yes. My sister gave birth to my one and only first-degree Niece!!!!

 

DID ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU DIE?

some relatives and relatives of friends.

 

WHAT COUNTRIES DID YOU VISIT?

Thailand, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria

 

WHAT DATE FROM 2015 WILL REMAIN ETCHED UPON YOUR MEMORY, AND WHY?

January 15-19, 2015: when the Pope visited the Philipines and I got to see him when I waited for his Popemobile to pass by Malacanang. Also September 11 was the day my sister gave birth.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR?

Placing at the top 150 ‘steppers’ in the global steps challenge, and purchasing something I’ve always dreamt of buying since I was little.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?

Not getting on board on the changes fast enough.

 

DID YOU SUFFER ILLNESS OR INJURY?

I gained major weight.

 

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING YOU BOUGHT?

A watch.  Also probably m plane ticket to Europe.

 

WHOSE BEHAVIOR MERITED CELEBRATION?

The PHBisdak United Team. We placed 16th overall in the team category globally, and no. 1 in the PH Region.

 

WHOSE BEHAVIOR MADE YOU APPALLED AND DEPRESSED?

Some people in leadership positions, including some national government officials.

 

WHERE DID MOST OF YOUR MONEY GO?

Travel, my watch, vinyl records.

 

WHAT DID YOU GET REALLY, REALLY, REALLY EXCITED ABOUT?

The Pope’s visit to the Philippines.

 

WHAT SONG(S) WILL ALWAYS REMIND YOU OF 2015?

LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO was always on repeat as well as many of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift’s songs

 

COMPARED TO THIS TIME LAST YEAR, ARE YOU:

  1. happier or sadder? Just a bit sadder
  2. thinner or fatter? Much, much fatter

iii. richer or poorer? About the same

 

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D DONE MORE?

▪ Took my annual physical exam

▪ Ate less and exercised more

▪ Did more new things

▪ Travelled more

▪ Blogged more

 

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D DONE LESS OF?

▪ Unhealthy eating and drinking beer

▪ Self-doubt and self-pity

▪ Procastination

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TV PROGRAM?

  • Orange is the New Black
  • Nashville
  • On the Wings of Love
  • You’re My Home

 

DO YOU HATE ANYONE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HATE THIS TIME LAST YEAR?

Yes. I’ll end at that.

 

WHAT WAS THE BEST BOOK YOU READ?

*I haven’t done much reading this year.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST MUSICAL DISCOVERY?

I was listening to a lot of Spotify this year while running and also trying to rediscover my love for OPM. So I have a lot of musical discoveries: Ariana Grande (yes she’s been here a while but I’ve only learned to appreciate her this year), Charlie Putt, Ellie Goulding – as well as OPM discoveries like Donna Bartolome, Glaiza de Castro, and James Reid and Nadine Lustre (in fairness had a lot of catchy tracks). It was also my first time to catch KZ Tandingan live. She is amazing. Would love to catch her next concert.

 

WHAT DID YOU WANT AND GET?

  1. I got to see the Pope
  2. Long vacation to Europe
  3. The watch that I wanted
  4. Miss Philippines won Miss Universe – although that had nothing to do with me, save for some of the online votes I got to cast

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE FILM OF THIS YEAR?

Hunger Games (Mockingjay Part 2)

Inside Out = surprisingly loved this film

 

WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

Went to church with my grandfolks and spent time with family, met my cute little Niece, Kayla.

 

WHAT ONE THING WOULD HAVE MADE YOUR YEAR IMMEASURABLY MORE SATISFYING?

My same wish from last year, drama in the workplace…

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL FASHION CONCEPT IN 2015?

I was very basic this year. At the office, I liked tailored stuff. And then at the gym, I was matchy-matchy.

 

WHAT KEPT YOU SANE?

Prayers. Family. Friends. Food.

 

WHAT POLITICAL ISSUE STIRRED YOU THE MOST?

The #DuterteSerye == if he would run or not.

And I’m not sure if the Miss Universe 2015 crowning moment qualifies as a ‘political issue’

 

WHO WAS THE BEST NEW PERSON YOU MET?

The Pope. Hehehehe….

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MONTH OF 2015?

January = the Pope was here and my friends were still physically at the office with me

August-September = when I went to Europe

December = a lot of family reunions and friend reunions.  It was a great way to cap the year – reconnecting with people who knew me the most.

 

HOW MANY CONCERTS DID YOU SEE IN 2015?

I didn’t get to see a lot of concerts, but of course, Kyla’s 15th Year Anniversary concert was a special treat because it was also a reunion of sorts.

 

DID YOU DRINK A LOT OF ALCOHOL IN 2015?

Yes, a whole lot.

 

DID YOU DO ANYTHING YOU ARE ASHAMED OF THIS YEAR?

Nothing majorly shameful, but I wished I had a more positive outlook in life.

 

HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU SPEND IN 2015?

A lot! I think I overspent on my one time big time vacation.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT OF 2015?

Standing up for myself, without regard of possible political consequences… and winning the Steps Challenge. Hahaha…

 

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF 2015?

I don’t remember any embarrassing moment.

 

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME TO ANY MOMENT OF 2015 AND CHANGE SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Each and every moment I was not able to resist the temptation to eat even if it’s already late at night.

 

HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT NOW THAT THE YEAR HAS ENDED?

I feel so much better, so much more hopeful, so much more in control.  I think things are slowly unfolding before me now.  I am now more ready for the challenges and excitement ahead.  And I think I have a better attitude.  This year was almost rock-bottom – I know I say this every year, but 2015 has really been something else.

 

TELL US A VALUABLE LIFE LESSON YOU LEARNED IN 2015:

HUMILITY — this year has been very humbling – the realization earlier on that nothing is ever in my control and that I needed to kneel and yield to the power, the wisdom, the strength and protection of God.  Being with friends and looking at what they have achieved in life, made me realize that I can still dream and need to dream.  Even the whole Miss Universe Philippines win has made me realize that sometimes HUMILITY is the best manifestation of what it is to be Confidently Beautiful – and that grace and humility can be very sustainably attractive and to some extent, sexy.

 

QUOTE A SONG LYRIC THAT SUMS UP YOUR YEAR:

Kung wala ka nang maintindihan

Kung wala ka nang makapitan

Kapit ka sa akin

Di kita Bibitawan

(Wag Kang Umiyak – KZ Tandingan)

 

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR 2015? (in leiu of a new year’s resolution. I’ll try to keep this simple so that it’s actionable)

1.Recycled: Get a full executive check-up

  1. Balance exercise with food intake
  2. Frequent travels (kahit short lang)
  3. Blog, Insta more – joint plans to with friends
  4. Find that new dream within Quarter 1 and achieve it before the year ends

 

WHAT ARE YOUR WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR?

  1. Deserving leaders to get elected in 2016
  2. Catch the Olympic Games Live (Asa!!!!)
  3. Visit another place I’ve never been to before
  4. Love, Faith and Happiness – and PEACE…for myself and for everyone I care about…

2014 Year in Review

I haven’t been faithfully keeping this blog. Hope to post more in 2015.

2014

WHAT DID YOU DO IN 2014 THAT YOU’D NEVER DONE BEFORE?
* Drive through a mountain and a river
* Watched a Tennis Game live
* Hired an Architect
* Watched a Jousting Tournament

DID YOU KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS’ RESOLUTIONS, AND WILL YOU MAKE MORE FOR NEXT YEAR?
I am so bad. I was only able to do 2 things: travel to a European destination and take my cousins to their first trip abroad. And yes, I think I did some concrete steps in getting my financial health in order.

DID ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Yes. My cousins.

DID ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU DIE?
some relatives 😦

WHAT COUNTRIES DID YOU VISIT?
UK, Singapore, Malaysia

WHAT DATE FROM 2014 WILL REMAIN ETCHED UPON YOUR MEMORY, AND WHY?
Summer Trip to Singapore and Malaysia, with the family. It was the first time abroad for my babies, Aliq, Zayeed and yes even my baby Bianca and Miguel.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR?
Condo renovation.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
Weighing my heaviest ever in my entire lifetime.

DID YOU SUFFER ILLNESS OR INJURY?
Nothing major.

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING YOU BOUGHT?
Hmmm…my bathroom and dining table and chairs, and the custom-buffet cabinet.

WHOSE BEHAVIOR MERITED CELEBRATION?
The Philippines Team: for sailing through these rough waters. Special mention to the optimistic Sparkling Team.

WHOSE BEHAVIOR MADE YOU APPALLED AND DEPRESSED?
Part of my “New Year’s Resolution” is not to let these negative things occupy my mind anymore.

WHERE DID MOST OF YOUR MONEY GO?
Travel and Condo Renovation

WHAT DID YOU GET REALLY, REALLY, REALLY EXCITED ABOUT?
Watching Les Miserables in London
The first trip of my babies
Having guests at my condo

WHAT SONG(S) WILL ALWAYS REMIND YOU OF 2013?
TOP OF THE WORLD – Imagine Dragons

COMPARED TO THIS TIME LAST YEAR, ARE YOU:
i. happier or sadder? Just a bit sadder
ii. thinner or fatter? Much, much fatter
iii. richer or poorer? About the same, but somewhat less liquid

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D DONE MORE?
▪ Took my annual physical exam
▪ Ate less and exercised more
▪ Be more religious in reflection and prayer
▪ Read more books
▪ Travelled more

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D DONE LESS OF?
▪ Unhealthy eating
▪ Entertaining unhealthy negative thoughts
▪ Shopped without purpose

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TV PROGRAM?
· How to get away with Murder
· Grey’s Anatomy
· FIFA WC Matches on Balls HD
· Gilas Pilipinas FIBA WC on Balls HD

DO YOU HATE ANYONE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HATE THIS TIME LAST YEAR?
Yes. I’ll end at that.

WHAT WAS THE BEST BOOK YOU READ?
*I haven’t done much reading this year.

WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST MUSICAL DISCOVERY?
▪Magic – “Don’t Kill the Magic” [love the entire album]

WHAT DID YOU WANT AND GET?
1. Saw Les Miserables
2. Got to go to “Downton Abbey” Castle
3. What I wanted for my Condo
4. My Team

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE FILM OF THIS YEAR?
Starting Over Again = I think it earned its place as one of my favorite pinoy RomComs of all time
Hunger Games (Mockingjay)

WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?
Went to church with my grandfolks and spent time with family. Had not October trips this year.

WHAT ONE THING WOULD HAVE MADE YOUR YEAR IMMEASURABLY MORE SATISFYING?
Again, less drama in the workplace — sana in 2014.
I wished I traveled to more places and spent more time in prayer.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL FASHION CONCEPT IN 2014?
Anything that fits. I gained so much weight.

WHAT KEPT YOU SANE?
Prayers. Family. Friends. Food.

WHAT POLITICAL ISSUE STIRRED YOU THE MOST?
The usual stories of corruption. Bong Revilla’s singing privelege speech/music video.

WHO WAS THE BEST NEW PERSON YOU MET?
The other person is not a new person, but just worked closely this year. So toss between Maria Celina Magpayao and Rodrigo Salvador Sotto.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MONTH OF 2014?
May – trip to Singapore/Malaysia with my babies.

HOW MANY CONCERTS DID YOU SEE IN 2014?
I don’t remember watching concerts, but the Gary V concert was amazing. I was close to tears towards the end. But I saw a lot of musicals.

DID YOU DRINK A LOT OF ALCOHOL IN 2014?
Not a lot…but more than 2013.

DID YOU DO ANYTHING YOU ARE ASHAMED OF THIS YEAR?
Yes. I wish I had more patience and did not neglect my health – I would’ve have been nicer.

HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU SPEND IN 2014?
A lot! On the renovation alone.

WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT OF 2014?
Maybe seeing my people at the front, taking ownership of their projects. I’m really, really proud.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF 2014?
I don’t remember embarrassing moment. Makapal na yata ang mukha ko.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME TO ANY MOMENT OF 2014 AND CHANGE SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Some time in February 2014 when I lost my tember.

HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT NOW THAT THE YEAR HAS ENDED?
I thought I was headed rock bottom. But coming home early this Christmastime, getting time to spend with family and friends has been cathartic.

TELL US A VALUABLE LIFE LESSON YOU LEARNED IN 2014:
A life without dreams is not a happy one. And that sometimes, we are our own worst critics. So whenever you are down, the second best thing to do – next to praying – is to get out there and talk to people.

QUOTE A SONG LYRIC THAT SUMS UP YOUR YEAR:
Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR 2015? (in leiu of a new year’s resolution. I’ll try to keep this simple so that it’s actionable)
1.Recycled: Get a full executive check-up
2. On top of my daily prayer routine, I’ll go back to the old habit of journaling simple reflections daily, including creating a gratitude list.
3. Exercise daily – at least 10 minutes a day
4. Read a book once a quarter
5. Do something new – even a little thing – every month
6. Travel to a European destination again: Kittin, ahem!
7. Be a force for good at the workplace and use those red tags regularly

WHAT ARE YOUR WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR?
1. To see the Pope 🙂
2. Better leaders for the Filipinos
3. Good health for my family: mom, dad, mama, papa, my siblings
4. Love, Faith and Happiness – and PEACE…for myself and for everyone I care about…
5. A Fullfilling work-life

A Dozen Songs for the Rainbow Month

I’m coming out of my 6-month blogging hiatus, and it’s just right to write about music. I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘Gay Pride’ activities, related content in Houzz, but it took a post by Lea Salonga to realise that June is Gay Pride month. So taking a cue from my idol, I will write my Top 10 Songs for the Rainbow People.

12. Ituloy Mo Lang by Siakol

Yes, listening and liking songs by Pinoy Rock band Siakol is one of my guilty pleasures. But this is quite unexpected coming from them since they sound so rough and street. I thought the song was so perceptive, sensitive and sympathetic.  Although other pinoy rock bands touched on this subject, some of them ridicule the persons being talked about.  This is the second song that I thought took the subject seriously.

“At kahit na ano pa ang gusto mo
Basta wala ka bang tinatapakan na tao,
Ituloy mo lang ito!
Ang mahalaga ikaw ay masaya
‘Wag mong intindihin ang sasabihin ng iba,
Sila ang may problema!”

 

11.  Grace Kelly by Mika

This song is a good song: great melody and quite difficult to sing.  It mentions a lot of colours and hints at some gayness: “I try to be like Grace Kelly, but her looks were too sad. So I tried a little Freddy. I got identity mad.”

“Do I attract you?
Do I repulse you with my queasy smile?
Am I too dirty?
Am I too flirty?
Do I like what you like?”

 

10.  Hey Jay by the Eraserheads

I chose this song because this was the very first mainstream song that I heard about my youth that directly talks about being a young gay man in modern Filipino society.  At time, the Eraserheads were my hero.  It sounded so profound then as it does now.

“Jay whatever you are and wherever you go
isip-isipin mo na lang na may nagmamahal sa ‘yo
now he-he-he-he jay
be happy and be gay
he-he-he-he jay
we still love you anyway”

 

9.  Power of Two by Indigo Girls

I was one of those girls who thought this song was a ‘girl power friendship’ anthem. After all, this was the theme song for the movie “Boys on the Side”, which was a ‘sisterhood’ type of movie.  It was only when I grew older (and perhaps when Aiza Seguerra would always sing this in her gigs) that I learned that this was a big Lesbian anthem.  It doesn’t take away from the beauty of the song. In fact it just makes it sound sweeter.

“So we’re okay, we’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take them apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the Power Of Two”

 

8. All the Things She Said  by TaTu

So the TV was tuned to MTV-Asia one afternoon and I was watching this video of two Russian girls. Just a minute into the video the girls go kissing.  At that time the song was released — that was quite provocative.  The same two Russian girls performed this during the MTV Awards and even kissed in front of a worldwide audience. I bought their album out of curiosity and the entire album is full of Gay Anthems.  This song and the Tatu Girls were, at least to me, the first mainstream non-butch Lesbians. So they deserve a spot on this list:

“And I’m all mixed up, feeling cornered and rushed
They say it’s my fault but I want her so much
Wanna fly her away where the sun and rain
Come in over my face, wash away all the shame
When they stop and stare – don’t worry me
‘Cause I’m feeling for her what she’s feeling for me
I can try to pretend, I can try to forget
But it’s driving me mad, going out of my head

All the things she said running through my head”

 

7. She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert

This song is fairly new to me. I heard this over the radio last year.  I didn’t really get what it meant til I was able to listen to the song in full via Spotify.  It’s such a sweet love song.

“I can’t change even if I tried, even if I wanted to.”

 

6. Scared to Death by KZ Tandingan

This was an entry for the Himig Handog Pop Song competition. The song writer said he wrote it for his best friend who he was in love with. The best friend had no idea about his feelings. But since their love could never be, he remained single from 1995 til now. Back then I thought the ‘best friend’ was a guy, but then upon research his best friend is a married woman pala.  But listening to the lyrics of the song, it has a bit of the ‘she keeps me warm’ gay feel to it so I’m including it in this list, even though it’s not really a ‘gay’ song.

“Something’s changin’
Giving me fears run through my head
Only find me
Give me the eyes I will understand
Words left unsaid
Leaving me weak in the edge
Getting over
I’m runnin’ scared
I can’t comprehend”

 

5. Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus

This fifth song is the reverse of song number 6 as far as significance to the rainbow movement is concerned. I listened to this song a lot in my youth. I thought it was your typical geek/not-popular guy falls for the cheerleader chick.  She doesn’t give him the time of day, until one day she confesses she liked him too. Imagine my surprise a few years later when this was regarded as an LGBT anthem!?!  Apparently, most people thought the lead singer of Wheatus was a girl.  Okay, the guy doesn’t sound too guy.  BUT HE IS IN FACT A GUY. So this song, was not, in fact, written as an LGBT song.  Nevertheless, since the LGBT took it as one of their own, I’m posting it here.  The lyrics do take on a different flavour if you listen using a different lens… or headphone.

“She doesn’t know who I am

And she doesn’t give a damn about me…”

 

4. Sirena by Gloc 9

Everyone knows I’m crushing on Gloc 9 so I can’t possibly have a list about gay songs without including the 2013 Gay Anthem: Sirena.  What made the song so effective in bringing the gay issues to mass consciousness was that it was performed and released by the Philippines’ number 1 rapper — the edgy, street = Gloc 9. I am posting his live performance with the Philippines’ gay icon, Regine Velasquez.

“Di sinusukat ang tapang at ang bigote sa mukha
Dahil kung minsan mas lalaki pa sa lalaki ang bakla”

 

3. Born This Way by Lady Gaga

Modern gay people’s anthem – this was the song that made Lady Gaga a gay person’s hero.  Not much explanation needed. The song lyrics say it all:

“I’m beautiful in my way

Coz God makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track baby I was born this way”

 

2.  I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

The Queens of the 70’s did not have Lady Gaga, but they had Gloria.  Almost all gay-themed local movies and shows that I saw as I child would have this song.  It’s the original gay anthem, I think.

“It’s my world that I want to have a little pride in
My world and it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a dam
Till you can say, hey world, I am what I am”

 

1.  Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

This isn’t really about being gay.  But the fact that Christina Aguilera was a main pop-star and ‘America’s Sweetheart’ when this song was released — and her video showed two guys kissing was really a big deal in bringing to fore discussion about LGBT to mainstream America.  That’s why GLAAD loves XTINA.  And I love her too. So this is number 1 😀  May kasabihan noong unang panahon. If you have a guy friend who likes watching Britney, it may be coz she’s got a hot body. But if your guy friend loves Christina — alam na!  Truth be told, I have not met a gay guy who hates Christina.

” I am beautiful in every single way

Words can’t bring me down…”

 

As a bonus song, I am posting RAINBOW CONNECTION.  This was one of the first songs I’ve learned as a child.  I didn’t know what it meant. I thought it was just a song about rainbows. And puppets sang it.  Now that I’m older and I can listen to words behind words, this song takes on a whole new meaning.

 

Happy Gay Pride month to all my gay friends!

 

Why are there so many songs about rainbows

And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic

Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I’m supposed to be
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da

=image courtesy of http://www.abc-clio.com

Inspiration or Rehash?

I saw this ad of a drug that is used against diarrhea. It may seem a little cute because of the storyline. But it actually irritated me because it’s obvious that the girl was lip synching to the song, rather than the song just being used in the background:

I guess part of the reason, as well, why I didn’t like it that much is that it reminded me of an ad in the past — an ad that I really liked. It seems they share a core-creative idea.  The protagonist is wondering why the love of their life is not there to spend time with them — with the twist being the dilemma solved by the product being advertised.  The storyline is reversed, though, because in this ad it’s the guy who is in distress because the girlfriend is not with him.  Dennis Trillo was really, really, cute in this ad.

 

Uso talaga ang recycled boards sa industriya no?

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