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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Enjoying Hong Kong's Night Skyline From My Hotel near Hong Kong University

We're lucky to have our rooms have these large windows which showcase Hong Kong's fantastic skyline - and although my phone is still from the Stone Age, it was able to capture a glimpse of how nice these views are at night.
I keep my windows open at night so this is the sight that bids me goodnight.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Haagen-Dasz Ice Cream Addict!

One reason why I decided to settle in HK before was that I could always buy Haagen Dasz ice cream at any 7-11 store!
So when I get a fix for it at weird hours of the day, like 2AM, while I'm writing, I just go down my flat and walk to the nearest convenience store!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Seeing How the Other Side of the Fence Lives: Book Review 'Crazy Rich Asians'

While we were all busy opening gifts and feasting on the noche buena last Christmas Eve, I was also busy finishing Kevin Kwan's 'Crazy Rich Asians', in time for its Hollywood incarnation to open in 2018.

It's been ages since an almost Asian cast have peopled a major Hollywood production.

Amy Tan's 'Joy Luck Club' was the last one pa ata - and that movie is a MUST to watch on Mother's Day - and bring LOTS of TISSUE because it's a major tearjerker.

Crazy Rich Asians is more fun and crazy and I hope it will be a visual feast - fashion-wise and production design-wise.

This is also the first time that I care about the casting since I love two of the major characters in the book, Nick Young, who is going to be played by Malaysian actor, Henry Golding, and his cousin, Astrid Leong, to be played by Gemma Chan.

It would also be fun to see how Constance Wu attacks her Rachel Wu role, Nick Young's fiancee.

In terms of looks, their faces were not exactly the ones I was expecting but I just hope they do justice to their roles. I have so much love for these characters it would be sad to see them messed up onscreen.

I now fully understand the pressure actors have when they have to do adaptations from characters in well-loved books - especially when you have read the book first - and the movie just comes years later!

I don't know if they will be 100% faithful to the book (usually they're not), but that's understandable, since in movies, you only have 2 hours maximum to present the whole story.

So I won't be surprised if some of the fun moments and other crazy family members will be edited out.

As for Kris Aquino, I don't know where they will place her here but this type of movie should be right along her alley. I'm just happy they put at least one Filipino in the cast!

I hope they put more as they complete this trilogy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Saoirse Ronan Shines in Brooklyn: Movie Review

Saoirse Ronan will surely snag that Oscar nomination for Best Actress this January as the buzz for her performance in Lady Bird has reached even the local Twitterdom.

Two years ago, she received similar buzz for the movie Brooklyn, which was well-loved by critics and the Academy picked it as one of the Best Picture nominees and there are ample reasons why they gave it so much love.

The immigrants' tale in America has many predecessors already, even from the Irish point of view but it is the sheer force and gravitas of Saoirse Ronan's performance plus the authentic "Irish-ness" of many of its characters which makes the viewers feel empathy and actually care about what happens to them.

As for me, I couldn't take my eyes off Emory Cohen, the love interest of Saoirse in the movie. It's the best 'boyfriend' performance I've seen from an actor in years - he not only is very disarming, but he plays it with such coyness and sincerity, you end up rooting for him, even if his character is Italian-American.

There are many parallels to the Irish immigration experience to America to the Filipino immigration there, a hundred years later. I just wish our stories are as well-documented in film as the Irish experience has been.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - The family that keeps me alive are all Dead

It's always a joy to read a Neil Gaiman book! The world he creates for the reader is just exhilarating.

In this book, The Graveyard Book, the world he creates is this graveyard somewhere in Glasgow, Scotland - and the characters you meet are just the ones you'd expect to meet in a cemetery - but in this interesting plot twist - it will take this graveyard to raise a living breathing baby.

Many interesting things happen to the baby as it grows up to be a young man - and that I will leave for you to read - as this is a children's book - and something that you should finish in a day or two.

Every chapter in the book brings you to a different world - as the graveyard is filled with many supernatural beings - from ghosts, to ghouls, to witches - and of course, bad human beings.

There are several quotable quotes in this book - and I admit that some of them even inspired me and gave me zest again in life.

I will try to buy my own copy of the book so I can highlight the words that mean to me the most!