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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Homebound: Artworks from the Angono Collective at the CCP

Here are some of the artworks I saw from the Angono Collective art exhibition at the CCP. My favorite is this strange sculpture of a "rodent" animal, complete with a tail and a "Mad Max"-esque structure on its body!

Restaurant Review: Cafe Elements and Its Hearty Servings of Meat Dishes

Since there have been many new boutique hotels being built in the Timog-Morato-Scout area these past few years, I have decided this year to try the restos that these hotels house.
It was not uncommon for us before to hie over to Makati and dine at the restos of Intercon or Shang or the Peninsula lobby so I thought, why not do it in the smaller hotels near where I live. They might be hiding some resto gems.
So last night, I picked Cafe Elements in Brentwood Suites, a relatively new hotel near my place. Surprisingly, the orders had a lot of meat in them - something which I could not find in many other restos now - tinitipid ang servings para mas malaki kita.
But last night, I was immediately full because there was just so much meat to digest on, from the beef stew to their kare-kare and their lemon chicken.
And, we almost had the place to our own! We even had a bossa nova live band to serenade us! We really need restos like this since we can be a bit talky and rowdy and taking pictures now and then - something which you cannot do in a mall restaurant without other customers complaining.
The service though was a bit slow last night. I think we waited for more than an hour for all the food to arrive! Naubos ko tuloy and cookies which our good friend Honey baked for all of us!
Oh well, I did not let that slight hiccup ruin my night since we had time for fun conversation anyway.

International School Students on Miss Universe 2017 Show

If you'd think international school students would be oblivious to something as trivial as a Miss Universe contest, you'd be so wrong!
Conversation in my class yesterday.
As a backgrounder - my students can use their laptops, Ipads and phones in my classroom for research work -
Me: "(Put name of student here), what are you doing?"
Boy1: "Sir, I'm checking the tickets for the Miss Universe show on Monday."
Me: "Oh, are you watching?"
Boy1: "Yes, I want to watch it live."
Me: "But the tickets are so expensive!!"
Boy2 walks nonchalantly towards us and asks...."How much are the tickets ba?"
Boy1: "Fifty thousand for VIP"
Boy 2: "Ok, you want me to call my Mom now to buy the tickets?"
Me: (in my mind lang) - "Yes please, three tickets, one for Boy1 ,you and me - and one for her na rin!" (Charot!)
Boy1: "They all say unavailable na e"
Hu hu hu
Later in the Faculty Room, I asked a colleague, "Why is Boy2 rich nga?"
Faculty: "Their family owns (put name of a popular appliance chain here).
Me: "Ohhhhhh" (sayang, I should've made hints last Christmas, LOL, JOkE!)

Miss Universe 2017 Dilemmas

Hay naku! Magkukunwari akong maglelecture bukas but I'm sure all of my students would be glued to their laptops and Iphones streaming the Miss Universe contest.
The school pa naman is just 5 minutes from the actual venue!
 A case of so near yet so far!
Dilemma! Dilemma! I'll just assign them some kind of research work na lang, para win-win situation!
We'll all be pretending to do research work.....This happens every 20 years lang naman......
The next time it happens, if it does, senior citizen na ako!

Ronald Ventura Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum Manila

To my friends there who would want an art fix for the next month, our very own Ronald Ventura is going to have a comprehensive exhibition of his works at the Metropolitan Museum this February.
FYI, Mr. Ventura sold one of his paintings at a foreign auction house with a whopping price tag of 47 million pesos, opening the doors to many contemporary Pinoy artists to have that cache!
I'm curious to see what else he can do, that's why I want to see his other works. He is going to hold lectures and tours so it would be interesting to catch those as well.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Movie Review: La La Lovin' La La Land!

I still remember very well that cute and funny scene in the movie Crazy Stupid Love where Emma Stone's character dares Ryan Gosling's character to take off his shirt - and her naughty reaction upon seeing his six-pack abs!

Well, there's so much more of that great chemistry between the two in the musical La La Land, which I think should be headed for Oscar gold. I think it's time again to give the Best Picture award to a musical. It's been more than a decade since Chicago won.

Anyhow, I was surprised by the almost sold out screening I went to tonight. I guess the local distributors made great timing by releasing it the day after it swept the Golden Globes - and I have learned now that Ryan is so famous pala here because of The Notebook (I haven't seen the movie yet). I know him more from his more serious work in Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl and Blue Valentine.

When I first heard of this movie's buzz a few month's ago, I thought it would be a bit of a hard sell here because it's a musical - and it plays a lot of jazz music - which is difficult to sell to most people. I would know, I've been inviting people to watch jazz shows and I never get a yes! But happily, even the young son of my friend enjoyed the movie!

This is a heartbreaking love story and the last two songs with the accompanying scenes could bring you to tears - so bring a tissue. I love the soundtrack especially the piano piece that Ryan keeps on playing throughout the movie.

And, like an ABS-CBN telenovela, this movie imparts a positive message which I'm sure will make you leave the theater smiling and more inspired.