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Friday, September 8, 2017

The Quiet and Relaxing Estancia Mall

I did not know of the existence of Estancia Mall until a few weeks ago.
Going around it gives you the impression that you are not in Manila, because of the wide open space around you.
Of course, for how long they can maintain that, is a big question mark.

Unfortunately, without any public jeepneys to ferry in the masa, the mall was almost empty, and I was there on a holiday.
I guess, it also has something to do with the mix of the stores and shops. I went around and most of the shops were expensive so I had to think twice before whipping out my wallet.
However, it is a cool place to just hang out since wala masyadong tao and is a welcome alternative to an SM mall, especially if you're not in the mood to be shoved, to queue or to just have so many people in your face!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Movie Review: Felt So Joyful After Watching Joy!

There is a scene in the movie 'Joy' which I'm sure many stressed and harassed Pinoys can relate to.
After Joy, played by Jennifer Lawrence, learns that she has to take a second mortgage on her house to raise US250,000, she goes out of her Dad's office, into their firing range, and politely asks a patron, if she could do a few rounds on his rifle.
And she fires away! And the audience can sense the relief she feels after each shot she makes.
I want to do that to, some days, just to release some steam!
I came to love David O. Russell's work after watching 'The Fighter'. I hate movies about boxing but after watching his movie, I was left in tears, caring for the characters in the story, who where working class Americans on the other side of the fence.
As my brother said, that's how the real America looks like - not the glossy, shiny people you see in MTV videos. That's how ugly they really are he said, LOL! I don't think he meant ugly, I think he meant, realistic.
However, in 'Joy', in a similar cast Russell has worked with in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Jennifer Lawrence, once again, grabs the character by the neck and plays it with such gusto and vibrancy, I wanted to be her - to have that positive attitude and gung-ho spirit, despite all the odds stacked in my favor.
Especially if those odds are cause by your own family members!
I guess that's the chord that really struck me in the movie.
I started business at 18 and always, my nemesis would be Mama and then my lola, and other family members, always wanting a piece of the pie. I was just lucky I had Vic by my side and I guess together, we made things happen.
So I could really relate to Joy's predicaments and how she carefully balances her family relations, and making her dreams come true. There is no fierce adversary than your own family members.
Other s***heads who are not family, I can deal with easily, and I don't give a damn about them, but when family members are causing you the pain, hay Diyos ko, tulungan mo ako!
The movie goes through a roller coaster ride of emotions that's why I was crying quietly for joy for Joy in the end. I was so happy for her.
And I understood where all her magnanimity comes from.
It's a pity I am teaching now and not in the world of business.
This movie is so inspiring for anyone who wants to start a business.

Book Review: The Ostentatious Craziness of the Very Rich Can Leave A Smile on Your Face

Our schoolyear has just started and I've already borrowed my first book from my school library.
And I finished reading all of it today.
Our very own Kris Aquino will star in the Hollywood-adaptation of Kevin Kwan's first book Crazy Rich Asians, and this book, China Rich Girlfriend, they say, is the follow-up, and the protagonist in the first novel, Rachel Chu, is also here.
I wonder which role Kris plays though in the first book because although there are many Filipinos mentioned in this second book, only one character belongs to the elite and her lineage is not Chinese. So that means this character is not in the first book and Kris Aquino's may not be in the second book.
Or she may not be playing a Filipino-Chinese.
Yes, as usual, we Filipinos are the maids and the drivers and the bartenders in the book, which in a way, mirrors real life, especially in Singapore and Hong Kong, but we are written well into the story and there is no condescension, just the reality of the work our OFWs do abroad.
Anyhow, I thought initially that I would be bored with this book, that Kevin Kwan, the writer, would just be some bored society columnist turned amateur novelist, and I have read several local books on high society life in Manila and they are not quite as interesting as how Kevin writes about his characters.
Unfortunately, like in real life, especially in the Philippines, the very rich are immune from paying for the consequences of their actions, and I guess, the same vibe happens in Singapore and Hong Kong, and maybe China, that the very rich can get away with things normal people like us can't.
But this is fiction, and stories of how the high society lives is well-chronicled in the Western world, that even NBA superstar basketball players are attracted to TV shows like Downton Abbey.
I guess because the very rich sort of live in a weird fantasy bubble and their snobbery and haughtiness amuses us, especially those whose two feet are firmly on the ground.
There are so many humorous scenes in this book - and crazy does not even begin to describe many of the actions of the characters here.
I just enjoyed it like how I enjoyed watching the US soap operas Dynasty, Dallas and Falcon Crest in the 80s. Just let these loose cannons off the hook and laugh or shake your head at their unbelievable excesses.
That's the reason why I had to finish it today, I could not put down the book. For some strange reason, I could relate to two characters in the story - Nicholas Young and his fabulous cousin Astrid Leong. I could be Astrid Leong now, har har har, if I were a woman, and Nick, if I were a red-blooded male.
So while I was reading the book, I felt like I was in it, and I was watching all these characters crash and burn spectacularly, in front of me.
Anyhow, I am now very eager to read the first book, Crazy Rich Asians, and find out if Nick and Astrid are still there (I am sure they are!) Medyo nagkamali ako, I read the second book, before the first installment, but don't you worry.
This book can stand alone on its own even without you knowing what they had done before.
I just hope we have a copy of Crazy Rich Asians in our library, otherwise, I may have to buy it.
Nothing like the excesses of the rich to transport you to another world on a long wet weekend.

Dorothy Parker and Her Remarkable Wit

No wonder 1920s America revered Dorothy Parker's wit.
We are currently discussing opinions and making opinions, in my class. I wonder how my students would react to this, her witticism.
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." - Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

January Jones plays the Sexy Assassin in 'Unknown'

I actually heard first of January Jones because of this fabulous red Versace dress she wore in this year's Golden Globe Awards.  Everyone was just raving about how sexy she looked in it - and I even included her in my best dressed list for that night.

The weird thing is, I don't even know why she was there - but she was there in that awards show - to present an award! 

The next time I saw her was tonight, as she plays the wife of Liam Neeson's character in the thriller 'Unknown'.  It turns out that she is not really who she is and you only get to learn about it as the movie climaxes.  She also wears another sexy gown in this movie and with her playing a sexy assassin, she could easily charm the people that she needs to dispose of. 

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