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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nikki Gil Shines in The Last Five Years

Nikki Gil continues surprise me with each theater role that she does. Although her role here in The Last Five Years as Cathy, is not as flashy or funny as her earlier roles in Legally Blonde and Sweet Charity - I think she sang well tonight, even eliciting some laughs from the audience when she did the funny 'Cathy as the actress in a play' routine.

It's always great to see her do at least one major theater role each year!

And I love her hair last night! So Maria Makiling with the curls!

My Tongue-In-Cheek Christmas Gift Wish this December 2014!

Dear Lord,

Nagsimula na po ang -ber months at malapit na naman po ang Pasko. Pwede po bang humingi ng boyfriend na ganito kagwapo at kagaling kumanta at ganito rin katalino. Alam ko busy po Kayo sa problemang hinahasik ng ISIS sa Syria at Iraq at ni Vladimir Putin sa Ukraine, pero kung may time lang naman, patulong naman sa paghanap, chozzz!!!



Kidding aside, Joaquin Valdes is one of my favorite theatre actors and prior to his performance in The Last Five Years last night, I didn't know that the guy can sing very well! Amazing!

He's always gracious when we see each other in the theatre circuit and always forgets my name (not that he has to remember it). Also, he's engaged to be married already but I forgot to congratulate him last night. Pano, nablangko ang utak ko nung nag-uusap na kami!

Remembering My Integral Calculus During My College Days!

I saw this on the wall of my Math instructor friend. I took my Integral Calculus 25 years ago in UP Diliman as and Electrical Engineering student.  At that time, I was really struggling with this subject.  

However, surprise surprise!! I can still understand the computations and I actually did everything mentally! 

To think I haven't used these concepts in years! Just goes to show how sharp our minds can still be - or maybe because now, without any worries about grades, I can just do these calculations for fun!

Brett Alan Nelson: My Favorite Stylist in Hollywood Unzipped

Among the stylists in Hollywood Unzipped, Brett Alan Nelson is my favorite.  Although he's not exactly the most talented and the most resourceful, he seems to be the nicest among the cast, which should make it easy to work with him.  I wish he were more aggressive though in getting clients and taking care of them.  You have to make your clients happy, really happy, for them to stay with you.

Denzel Washington's Movie 'Flight': My Most Favorite TV Show This Week

Two great movies shown in HBO top my TV show listings this week.  Denzel Washington's Flight is my most favorite TV show this week.  I wasn't able to watch this movie in the cinemas but I was engrossed watching due mainly to Washington's fantastic portrayal of an alcoholic pilot.

Meryl Streep's classic movie, Bridges of Madison County, comes in at #2.  I also did not see this movie in the cinema so it was such a treat watching it, even though the pacing was a bit slow.  

Here are my ten favorite TV shows for the week ending August 29, 2014 -

#1 HBO - Flight - Denzel Washington movie

#2 HBO - Bridges of Madison County

#3 PBO - Rigodon

#4 beTV - Hollywood Unzipped Stylist Wars - Oscar awards

#5 Balls - Azarenka vs. Doi

#6 Balls - Date-Krumm vs. Venus Williams

#7 Balls - Ivanovic vs. Pliskova

#8 beTV - Teen Wolf - suicide kids - poured gas on boys

#9 beTV - Drop Dead Diva - bugaboo

#10 Balls - Sharapova vs. Dulgheru

Friday, August 29, 2014

Denzel Washington: Amazing in Flight

I wasn't able to watch the movie Flight in the cinemas when it was shown here in Manila. However, I caught a screening of it on HBO and I was very impressed with Denzel Washington's acting!  I remember he got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for this movie and deservedly so.

His character was just slowly descending to a grand mess and there was nothing that could stop him, and his dependence on alcohol was making things worse.  It was great to see Washington play a flawed character - not the usual heroes that we are used to seeing him play.  

Don't get me wrong, this character is a hero but not the perfect one because he's hiding some critical flaws from the public.  I love the direction of Robert Zemeckis as well.  Keeps one entertained throughout the movie.

Reid Ewing of Modern Family Now A Big Guy!

I didn't really notice it immediately while watching the movie 10 Rules for Sleeping Around! I only realized it after googling him and finding out he was the boyfriend in Modern Family.  Maybe because he looked big and mama already in the movie!  And it was fun to see so much butt exposure from him - he was literally running around the movie totally naked for more than 10 minutes!  That alone is worth the cost of the movie ticket!

Yum Yum Jesse Bradford in 10 Rules for Sleeping Around

I just watched 10 Rules for Sleeping Around and I wondered why anyone would still sleep around if their husband or boyfriend is Jesse Bradford!  I'll be sure to get my fill enough of him before I sleep around, or if he does ask me to have an open relationship - which is the premise of the movie!

Wacky 10 Rules for Sleeping Around: Lots of Manly Butt Exposure

As I was watching the movie, 10 Rules for Sleeping Around, I actually didn't get what the 10 rules were - or remember any of it!  I think the rules apply to couples and of course, with sleeping around come the consequences of it!  

I don't remember that many really funny scenes or dialogue although the movie tries hard because there are so many mistaken identities and caricatures like trashy New Jersey girls which may be able to elicit some laughs.

I love the scenes where the dudes shirk off their shirts and pants, especially Reid Ewing, who was totally naked for almost 10 minutes!

Anyway, the movie's forgettable but it's one way to spend a stress-free weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

An Episode of Everybody Loves Raymond Involving the Mother-in-Law, My Most Favorite TV Show This Week!

An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond tops my TV viewing this week.  In this episode, Raymond's brother catches his mother-in-law smoking! And this leads to funny consequences to almost everyone in the cast!  It was riotous!

Here are my ten favorite TV shows for the week ending August 22, 2014 -

#1 beTV - Everybody Loves Raymond - mother of Amy smoking

#2 Universal - Law and Order - hostage black woman, lawyer in hot water

#3 CI - The Ghost Inside My Child - James Huston - WWII pilot in kid

#4 beTV - Everybody Loves Raymond - everyone thought Raymond died

#5 beTV - Desperate Housewives - flying to Paris

#6 TV5Monde: Q&A with Senegal president

#7 beTV - Drop Dead Diva - ovulation - murder woman player

#8 beTV - Everybody Loves Raymond - Amy - I want to be friends with everyone in your family.

#9 beTV - Hollywood Unzipped Stylist wars - New York fashion week

#10 CI - arson - kid burned down own house with parents dead

Conversations with Dylan #1

Conversation with Dylan kanina during sundo....

Me: Did you enjoy school today Dylan?
Dylan: No. I hate my classmates. (Looking glum.)
Me: Why? What happened?
Dylan: Nobody is talking to me.
Me: What did you do?
Dylan: I fall down George's bag and everyone got mad so nobody talk to me.
Me: Did you say sorry?
Dylan: Yes, but they get mad at me.
Me: Do you want me to talk to Teacher Ellen?
Dylan: No.
Me: What will you do tomorrow?
Dylan: I will look for new friends!


Some Interesting Observations on How Christmas is Celebrated Here in the Philippines and in California

After reading a book about a heavy material, I decided on something lightweight to read and Sandra Harper's Over the Holidays was just perfect!  The story is set during the Christmas season in the US - and all its attendant stressors and pressures usually befitting the urban middle class Americans.

The book is a light read and something you can finish in a night or two.  There should be enough interesting characters here that would fit perfectly in a Lifetime TV movie.  Just enough tension and adultery and sex on the sly to have kept me interested in finishing.  

However, I came up with some interesting observations as to how Christmas is celebrated here in the Philippines and in California, where the novel is set.

Number 1.  There is virtually no mention of Christ! The characters in the book did not do any single religious thing or any thing that would have mentioned remembering Christ on his birthday!  Not even a church scene or a scene near a manger.

This is in stark contrast with the extreme religious nature of celebrating Christmas here in the Philippines, with our 9-day novenas and early dawn masses and all those manger scenes and tableaux one can see from shopping malls to churches to homes.  I was really relieved to find out that we Filipinos still put Christ in Christmas!

Number 2. I am shocked with the extreme emphasis on having to buy people expensive stuff on Christmas.  Well, it also happens here in the Philippines, but the characters in the book were really fretting about what gift to give a certain person.  They did not want to disappoint the person by giving the wrong gift!  I am one of those persons who don't stress over the gifts I have to give people during Christmas, even to my own family. 

The truth is, the time and support a person or a family member spends with me is gift enough which no material thing can ever equal.  If they give, great.  If they don't, it doesn't matter.

Number 3.  I admit I also get stressed if I learn that some family members I don't really like would want to come over during the Christmas season.  But in the book, the characters are really stressed by it!  For me, I only invite those I am comfortable with.  I am not very good at faking it especially if I don't like or am not comfortable with certain relatives.

Well, I loved that the book featured how Christmas is celebrated in both the East and the West coast of the US. For someone who lives in a tropical country and who has never celebrated a white Christmas, it was such an eye opener!

Monday, August 25, 2014

RIP Richard Attenborough! Thanks For All the Wonderful Movies!

Actor-director Richard Attenborough dies at 90

RIP Sir Richard Attenborough. Your movie on Mahatma Gandhi made me understand why Cory Aquino had to use civil disobedience during the Marcos dictatorship.  As a 12-year old, at that time, political concepts like that were easier learned through a movie than through a boring school lecture!

And way before Chronicles of Narnia, I was also introduced to writer C.S. Lewis because of your movie Shadowlands.  I only realized after, that Anthony Hopkins character there was a real person!  Wala kasing Google nuon noh.  If you had to verify something, you had to go to the library!!

And I'm sure kids nowadays would be surprised that Iron Man to them, Robert Downey Jr. is actually a very gifted actor who got a well-deserved Oscar nomination in the early 90's, as the great comic Charlie Chaplin,  - thanks to your faith in him to be able to give justice to the role, kasi nga di naman known as a comic si Downey.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tina Fey, Paul Rudd Movie Admission: My Most Favorite TV Show of the Week

It's back to movies again as my most favorite TV show for the week.  This week, it's HBO's Admission which gets the number one spot.  I love the movie!!  It's actually an eye-opener especially that we see how a top Ivy League school like Princeton accepts its freshmen for the year.  There is a love story behind this and it's kinda cute.  Paul Rudd has always been cute!

Anyway, here are my ten favorite TV shows for the week ending August 15, 2014 - 

#1 HBO - Admission

#2 beTV - Desperate Housewives - dead body painting /gay couple adopting kids

#3 Diva - Hot in Cleveland - plastic surgeon

#4 beTV - Everybody Loves Raymond - Deborah throws away Muhammad Ali letter

#5 beTV - Drop Dead Diva - Bhutan girl marrying prince

#6 HBO - Forrest Gump

#7 CI - Serial Killer - four 80 year old women killed

#8 HBO - Exorcism of Emily Rose

#9 CI - Border Security - Chinese woman bag / watch

#10 HBO - True Blood - Sara's sister killed

CI - Border Security - heroin in bike pad

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Markki Stroem's Star Set To Rise Further After the Bench Show

Every guy who dared to bare up to their skivvies in the bi-annual Bench underwear show has been known to scale even higher heights whether in film or TV - and this year, Markki Stroem is poised to do that since he's been releasing pic ads from his tweets which show that he's the main draw in this year's much anticipated Bench underwear event!

I've always been a fan of the guy since he burst out of the scene years ago so this daring underwear stint of his, which he has actually done for Cosmo as well, should bring him to an even broader audience, since Bench is a certified pang-masa brand with that unmistakable Pinoy na tatak!

I'm not sure yet if I can watch the Bench show though since I have a tennis tournament that day.  Oh well, it's a toss between Markki and this host of male tennis players from all over the world!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Whatever you do the least of my brothers, you do it unto Me

"Whatever you do the least of my brothers, you do it unto Me."  This is probably one of the greatest lessons from the Bible and definitely a lesson that figured prominently on my mind as I was reading The Hounding of David Oluwale by Kester Apden.

This book is more than just your run-of-the-mill crime story since it revolves around the tragic fate of a Nigerian man, David Oluwale, who stowaway-ed to the United Kingdom from Lagos, in the 1940s in search of a better life, only to be treated as an outcast in English society at that time, when discrimination was still rampant against people with dark skin.

He ended up in the north, in the industrial city of Leeds, where after a few years of trying to nail a stable job and starting a family, his life slowly deteriorated into a life of a homeless man, and eventually, a victim of excessive police brutality.

It was disheartening to read that Leeds' society at that time turned their backs on people like David Oluwale.  Even the policemen who were witness to the brutality he suffered chose to look the other way, for fear of internal reprisals.

The book paints a grim picture of an English society that no one wants to read about.  It's never easy to read about people who are outcasts in our society - like the homeless - especially the homeless, mentally deficient immigrants.  It's tough to read about their mistreatment and the utter haplessness of the society to even give them a break in life.

However, with the tragedy surrounding Oluwale's life, I'm sure the people of Leeds, especially its black African community, its police force and the rest of its civilized society were horrified by their inaction and have taken steps to ensure that this dark episode in modern-day Britain would never ever happen again.

Meeting the Shy Xian Lim

I've heard that Xian Lim has been practicing at the G-Force Dance Center regularly but I never really got the chance to see him until this week!  We were a bit lucky since one of our friends, Ivy, was brave enough to ask for a photo op with him, soon as he came out from the rehearsal room.

He did appear a bit shy and some of the STC girls we were with were disappointed since he did not make akbay to them.  I just told them na baka he was sweaty inside and didn't want to 'mess up' the girls.  He did stand a few inches away from us but I ended up defending him sa mga girls, explaining nga na he just came from rehearsal and he may not have felt very fresh anymore.

Anyhow, what's important is that even after a tiring practice session, he still managed to squeak a smile for each one of us (I think we were about six people who had a photo op with him)!  He does look good in person, tall and very handsome.  I just wish he was more talkative and more relaxed but well, one can't have everything!

Jessica Sanchez's 'Tonight' and A Sizzling Zumba Class Caps A Dope Week at the G-Force Dance Center

I am in a bit of a quandary since I paid for 20 sessions and I have only used nine sessions! And it's going to expire na by August 27!  I may have to attend so many classes this coming week just to consume everything!  Anyway, good luck sa right knee ko!

Well, Mabel and I attended three classes this week.  We had fun doing Ne-yo and Jessica Sanchez's 'Tonight' in Ram's Lyrical Hip Hop class last Monday. Ram really looks relaxed when he dances, unlike the trainees and scholars who looked hurried in their interpretation.  Konting suave pa talaga - something which I should also try to emulate.  I've been trying to do the choreo in the gym and buti na lang, memorized ko pa rin kahit papano.  It's actually fun to do!

Then last Wednesday, I finally attended Ray-an's Zumba class!  OMG, it's so frenetic and the adrenaline in the class was so high, I ended up jumping up and down in some of the last tracks that we did!  I forgot I shouldn't jump pala kasi my tuhod was hurting a bit!  Oh well, toooo late!!  No regrets though!  It was really a high-energy class filled with interesting Latin tracks, which I miss doing and dancing to!

Finally, Ishii's taste in music is getting darker and darker, which I don't mind. I actually love his choice of hip hop tracks although some of the songs are  homophobic and misogynistic!  Not his fault, it's the rappers but that's rap music for you!

This week, we did Tyga's Dope, a song that has been in my Ipod playlist for sometime now and I only appreciated it when we danced to it this week!  OMG, the choreo was so fast!!! Pero when it's Ishii who dances to it, again, like Ram, he looks so relaxed and his hits are so defined!  Hayyy, sometimes I wish I could dance that way but my body just can't fully extend anymore.  Otherwise, I might end up hurting myself.

Nat Geo's Monster Fish Feature on Sturgeons: My Most Favorite TV Show This Week

I chanced upon a very interesting episode of Nat Geo's Monster Fish this week, where the marine biologist was looking for reasons why the sturgeon was dying out in some areas of North America.  This was mainly because most of the rivers in North America are dammed already, which has disrupted the annual mating rituals of the sturgeon.  

I really enjoyed watching this episode and I have realized how fragile the ecosystem is anywhere in the world and that any human intrusion into it can cause species to just disappear from the face of the earth!

Here are my ten favorite TV shows for the week ending August 8, 2014 -

#1 Nat Geo - Monster Fish - sturgeon

#2 CI - Beyond Scared Straight - girl criminals

#3 beTV - Everybody Loves Raymond - Marie condo

#4 Diva - The Getaway - Aisha Tyler in Paris

#5 HBO - True Blood - V antidote

#6 CI - Deadly Wives - wife drowned husband, wife was a sex-changed woman

#7 Animal Planet - Home Invasion Robbery - poor dog

#8 CI - Deadly Wives - Teresa and the pastor

#9 HBO - This is the End

#10 HBO - The Fog

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My BFF Meets The G-Force Stallions

Finally my BFF was able to attend Ram's class tonight and I was very happy because she was able to finish it!  Mukhang nag-enjoy naman sya, and even though the class was composed mostly of pretty young things, and that they were just half our age plus 10 years, at least she was able to keep up with them.  Inalalayan pa nga siya ni Ram, which was nice!

It was also her lucky night as almost all the G-Force Stallions were there, except for Bill!  So I decided to just eat my pride and asked for a picture for her with each one of them.  The G-Force Stallions are really nice and approachable and you can easily strike a conversation with them.  I just hope they stay the same way even if they become very popular!

RIP 'O Captain, My Captain' - Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poet's Society

We all have teachers like 'John Keating' from the movie Dead Poets Society, the first "serious" role comedian Robin Williams did which made the Academy notice that he can really act!

Cry cry talaga ako sa movie na eto kasi when the movie was released in 1989, I was at a point in my life where I could really relate to the character who was at odds with his parents regarding his choices in life. I was actually shocked that the character committed suicide since I was also contemplating on doing that. Thankfully, that movie was enough to prevent me from killing myself at 18.

It's a bit ironic that news reports have been telling that Mr. Williams apparently took his own life. Chronic depression is like a ball of iron tired to your feet, weighing you down even if you're trying to find happiness in life. Must've been really hard for him since he was a natural comic.

Anyway, the man offered the world so much joy and laughter in his movies - so it's fitting to just celebrate that - his greatest achievement and legacy to us all - and for all generations to come!

Borrowing from Walt Whitman, "O Captain, My Captain", RIP.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Discovering Thai Actor Ananda Everingham

I just watched Wildlife (Kalayaan), a 2012 Cinemalaya movie and I discovered Thai actor, Ananda Everingham.  HE IS HOT!!!   Well, never mind the movie.  It bored me to death.  It's supposed to be about the effects of isolation (which it does effectively present) but what's the point?  It kinda remind me of Tom Hanks' Castaway, but that was more fun to watch.  This one is a sleeping pill.

Anyway, Ananda looked magnificent in the movie - scruffy, sexy, sweaty, yummy!  For some part there, I thought there'd be a threesome between Ananda, Zanjoe and Luis hahaha!  Anyhow, the first scene alone is worth the movie ticket!  He's huge!

Happy Feast Day St. Philomena!

My parish priest talked about the martyrdom of St. Philomena today.  He even has a statue of her in our parish church and I said a prayer to her before Mama and I left the church this afternoon.

I did some research about St. Philomena and her sufferings as a martyr were really difficult.  It does kind of remind me about the sufferings of the Christians in Iraq right now who are being persecuted for their religion.  It's the same story for St. Philomena.  She was tortured and debased and maybe even raped just so she would deny Christ.

I have here two prayers which you can use when you want her to intercede for your intentions.  I will start praying it in my Blessed Sacrament visits tomorrow.

I'm excited to know her more and allow her into my life!

Prayer to St. Philomena
O, Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whom God glorifies by so many miracles; whom the Vicar of Jesus Christ has named the Protectress of the Living Rosary and the Children of Mary, manifest more and more plainly from the heights of Heaven that a voice holy as thine cannot be denied, and that we have the right to rely upon thine aid. Obtain for us the grace to be faithful to Jesus Christ, even to death. Amen.

Novena to Saint Philomena
O, great Saint Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.
Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me, and, as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber into which thou were cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulations without detriment to my soul.
In addition to these favors, obtain for me, O faithful Spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment. (Here specify your petition) O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity  from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction; assist me in danger; above all come to my aid in the hour of death.
Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for it’s exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the faith, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, especially those dear to me. O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him who so liberally rewards, for all eternity, the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen

Friday, August 8, 2014

Discovering Cute Twinkie Ken Chan

Here's cute twinkie Ken Chan who just released his self-titled album.

Ben Foster: Stiff and Weird as William Burroughs in Kill Your Darlings

Ben Foster did not look as handsome as these pictures of him in the movie Kill Your Darlings.  In the movie, he looked stiff and acted weird and frankly, I didn't quite get what made his character special. To think he was playing a real person!  

Anyway, his character is not central to the story but William Burroughs as the writer plays a key role in implementing a revolution in poetry and novel writing in 20th century America, along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

Jack Huston: Didn't Know Jack Kerouac Was This Handsome!

I did look for photos of the poet and novelist Jack Kerouac and he does look as handsome as Jack Huston, the actor that plays him in the movie Kill Your Darlings! I am now a fan of him since he really looks dashing and daring and kind of an in control guy!  I love that type of man!

Angelic-Looking Dane DeHaan Kisses "Harry Potter"

Dane DeHaan looks angelic onscreen and he's perfect for the role of Lucien Carr, whom he resembles. He needs to look that way since Lucien's past needed that angelic look to make it believable in the story.  

The son of Lucien Carr, one of my favorite writers, Caleb Carr disputes what the movie says though about his Dad and I believe him.  Lucien married twice and had three children so he was most likely heterosexual who was being harassed by David Kammerer, the alleged pedophile.

Dane does a great job portraying his role and I love the way he and Daniel kissed!  It was tender and looked like they really liked each other!