Month: July 2011

Pinoys Moving Gaga

It is so amazing to know that the most powerful woman in the world can easily be moved by the Filipinos.  Lady Gaga in 2009 during one of her first arena solo concert (in 2009 she would go on tour to sing and dance as an opening act for somebody more popular to follow).  Obviously, she was moved with the warm reception she received and even announced during the concert that she grew up in New York with a best friend from the Philippines.

Early this year, as everybody knows, YouTube sensation Maria Aragon (a Canadian with Filipino descent) impressed Lady Gaga with her rendition of Born This Way.  Aragon even had the chance to perform in Gaga’s concert in Canada.

Just this week, another Filipino moved Lady Gaga to tears with his contemporary dance rendition of a Sonya Tayeh choreography in the TV show So You Think You Can Dance.  Marko Germar, the Filipino contender based in Guam is the guy responsible for making Lady Gaga gone gaga.

I won’t post the goose-bump-popping rendition here (you can check it out on You Tube) but instead place my personal favorite dance routine of this amazing Pinoy with his partner Melanie Moore.  Marko and Melanie have done fabulous and chilling numbers in the show week after week, but this is my favorite!

I hope this deserving guy wins the contest.  I’m a fan!

Nagagaga ang gaga sa atin!


Isda (Fable of the Fish)

Isda is a full-length movie entry in Cinemalaya 2011 written by Jerry Gracio.  It is one of the most unique story materials that have been crafted into a film.  The story is about a poverty-stricken woman who gives birth to a fish.  This poignant premise alone has been enough to jolt my interest to go to CCP’s Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater) to watch it.

According to the director Adolfo Alix Jr., who was present to answer few audience’s questions after the screening, it was inspired by the 80’s TV show Eye-To-Eye in which host Inday Badiday featured a woman who was said to have conceived and gave birth to a dalag (mudfish) in the midst of a raging super typhoon.

Isda is an intriguing account that crumbles the barrier between true to life drama and the fight of imagination.   I can consider this film as one of the greatest films of Philippine cinema.  It’s rich, it’s multi-layered and it’s thought provoking. What I like most about the film is that it leaves the viewer to decide in what slant and perspective he wants the characters of the story to be perceived and takes the lesson/s out from it.

I was very impressed with the delivery and portrayal of actors and actresses in the movie.  Cherry Pie Picache in the lead role (of Lina, the mother of the fish) was so overwhelmingly effective she was able to reconcile the irreconcilable.  Picache’s portrayal and attack on the role was serene and simple yet so real and undeviatingly precise.  She was able to depict Lina’s character being a normal loving wife and mother without any tinge of being psychologically insane.  I was actually made to believe that she truly gave birth to a fish and nurtured it.

Bembol Rocco, who portrayed as Miguel (the father of the fish) was a class of his own.  He was no doubt compelling.  Though he uttered very few lines, Rocco exhibited the full intensity of his convincing characterization through his mere looks and gestures.  Supporting actors and actresses in the film – Rosanna Roces, Anita Linda, Evelyn Vargas, Allan Paule and Arnold Reyes – were equally brilliant.  Even the fish in the movie deserves an acting award!

I am not a film authority but for me, Isda (Fable of the Fish) is a mixture of great elements of a motion picture: a unique and intriguing material; a distinctive director; and, an inimitable cast.  It deserves all the awards and recognitions it will be bestowed with, may it be in the local or international film arena.

Parang gusto ko kumain ng pinangat na tulingan.

Cinemalaya, Rafa Santos & Bisperas

I don’t have the exact figures but from my personal observation Cinemalaya 2011 is a big hit.  Judging from my experience last night when I watched one of the full-length entries, the CCP Main Theater was jam packed.  It was unlike the previous Cinemalayas wherein only few souls had the interest to watch.

I’m sure organizers are partly thankful to Rafa “the-joke-that-never-was” Santos who ignited curious interest of the movie-going public after expressing in an awful TV interview that he prefers to get theater actors in his films because according to him these thespians don’t complain even if they are fed with biscuits three times daily and paid in cat food.

True enough, from the full-length film entry I watched last night (Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Bisperas”), the best performance exhibited in the film was not from the main stream actors and actresses – who sometimes dip their fingers in doing indie film for them to classify themselves as true motion picture artists – but it was from Jen Donnaire, the lady who played the role of Evelyn, the katulong (maid).  The recognized celebrities who starred in the film expectedly portrayed their respective roles in histrionic modes but the actress who played the role of the maid was so natural, so believable and so true-to-life.  She acted with spontaneity without the melodramatic embellishments.  Watching her would make you forget that she is an actress and would make you believe that she is a maid in real life.  Her portrayal certainly do not just deserve biscuits and cat food.

Siguro naman di lang meow fud and binayad sa longkatung yon.

Nengkoy in a Zip Line

Nengkoy just did an uncommon feat for a woman who is turning seventy five years old next year.  It is an accomplishment that some would even include in their bucket list.  Others don’t ever dare do it because of fear.  They would simply shiver by the mere thought of it.

Too bad I was not around to personally witness it.  It is good nonetheless, because if I was there I would have not allowed her to do it (because I –  who would be scared to death if I do it – will use her as my major reason that me and her will not do it since she’s too fragile for such a challenge).

Nengkoy spent a four-day vacation in Puerto Princesa, Palawan with my younger sister, my eldest nephew Denden and nieces Erika and Thatcher.  And here is the proof of what Nengkoy did in that beautiful adventure land…

inside the ugong rock

getting ready to fly
nengkoy in a zip-line

Yeah, my mother did the ala-fear factor zip-line!  That is after going upwards though the maze, cracks, crevices and honeycomb limestone caves of Ugong Rock, Nengkoy went down this karst topography via the 330-meter aerial rope-slide.

When I asked her why she did it, she simply answered, “Eh gusto ko eh! At mas mahirap kaya bumaba sa kweba!” (I want it! And besides it’s harder to climb down those caves).  According to my nephew as he was told by the zip-line controllers, the oldest person to ride their zip-line so far is an 84-year old male tourist.  But they could not confirm if Nengkoy is the oldest female flying fox slider they had.  Nengkoy also told me that some of the people there were so amazed, they were asking for her autograph!

Yan si Nengkoy, may pagka-Amasona ang byuti! Ano susunod bungee jumping?! Hihihi

The Mona Lisa of Blueberry Cheesecakes

There are times when people’s indulgence feels so heavenly they don’t want to announce and make it public.  They selfishly would not share it to other people because if it is made public, others may rush on it and the few ones who previously knew about it may have difficulty availing the same private and secret blissful experience.

This is my personal analysis regarding one of the delectable desserts available in Larry’s Café & Bar (LCB) located in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  With this blog post, people who knows and have tasted this dish would for sure hate me since I’m making it public.

baked blueberry cheezecake

I am talking about the Baked Blueberry Cheesecake in LCB.  This dessert does not look like the typical blueberry cheesecake that has been popularized and available in other food establishments.  You would initially ask the server if the dish placed on your table is actually the one you ordered.  But if you start getting a piece and place it in your mouth, an ambrosial force would suddenly get into you.  You will wonder whether you just had the bite of your life.

The taste is a sublime symmetry of mouth-watering flavors similar to a monumental piece of art.  It is the Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa among the blueberry cheesecake renditions.  Fattening? Yes.  But tell me what dessert of such splendid flavor is not weight-amplifying.  It is so good it leads to a mysterious addiction which you would want to secretly keep.

O sikret lang yan ha…

The Eyes and Tongue of Aljur Abrenica

New King of Pinoy Camp Movies

As promised, here is my personal analysis why Aljur Abrenica was the saving grace in the remake of the Pinoy cult classic movie Temptation Island.  (Press this LINK to read on my previous post about the movie.)

Aljur Abrenica was a big revelation in the movie Temptation Island 2011.  Abrenica who played the role of Alfredo originally played by the late Alfie Anido was in his comfort zone.  Not because of great acting ability and not because he was able to duplicate Anido’s coniotic stature and presence but because he fits well on being so campy for such a campy movie.

Aljur is a walking camp.  I would like to believe that he is the male version of Alma Moreno, the Queen of Pinoy Camp Movies.  He perfected the “twinkling-of-the-eyes” movement.  In the movie, no matter what emotion he wants to convey, he only has one obscure style of stare. This guy is so funny for he never wink nor blink in the film because his eyes is constantly twinkling.

In the original version, Anido – a natural conio, who perfected the art of mixing and interchanging English and Tagalong in a chic and sophisticated manner – never got the chance to make me laugh.  But in the remake, Aljur never failed to give me a chuckle.  This is especially true when he utter his lines in the English language.  Every time he speaks in English, me and my friends who were watching the film would whisper and ask each other “Ano daw?” (What did he say?), then laugh so hard other viewers thought Abrenica just delivered a hilarious line.

The portrayal of Abrenica in the film was so mediocre but it resulted to being so appealing in an ironic sense.  With his enigmatic twinkling eyes and ambiguous delivery of lines that emerged into an unintentional comedic performance, Abrenica was able to achieve his goal of making Temptation Island 2011 (The Remake) a passable campy film.

Si Aljur malamang ang tatanghaling Hari ng Pinoy Kamp Mubis…

Temptation Island 2011

When I learned that the same film producer is planning to do a remake of the ostentatious Temptation Island, I was initially upset, disheartened and bothered.  I wondered why this perversely sophisticated movie has to be redone.  I deemed that it would be a desecration and chastisement of the genius work of Joey Gosiengfiao.  It’s simply blasphemous!

But when all forms of media were showered and spewed with advertisements about the 2011 version, I turned erratic, provoked and eager.  All publicity write-ups and interviews conveyed that the new version will “remain faithful to the campy spirit of the original film”.  This gave me a benefit of the doubt for the new version and made me persuaded to look forward in seeing the film.  I was actually looking forward on how the stars of the new film deliver those precious lines…

Last night was the moment when I along with seven other souls (my equally twisted cosmopolitan office mates) saw the new version.  I knew all the while that the celebrities who starred and played the roles of this year’s version could not equal the fuzzy sophistication as delivered by the original cast.

Surprisingly, Lovie Poe came close to that of the character originally played by Jennifer Cortez in the original version.  Though she came short on the classy, flashy and foxy high-chinned moves and patrician bratty demeanor of Jennifer, she delivered her lines well.  Lovie was unexpectedly funny. She came close to the original in delivering the lines (now considered classic in Pinoy pop culture) since both ladies possess the sexy low-toned breathy voice.

John Lapuz who played Juswa (Joshua when articulated in proper English) was a bit of a disappointment.  Lapuz evidently tried very hard to deliver his lines similar to the fluency and eloquence of the original Joshua played by Jonas Sebastian.  Lapuz, who do not possess the natural required accent along with an innate coarse and croaky tone, will obviously never equal the feat Jonas Sebastian has done in the original version.  Moreover, it was a letdown when Lapuz sported the Queen-Melo-look.  Because of such costume-y and cartoon-y look, Lapuz’ characterization of Joshua created a notion that it was too-over-taught to the point that he desperately wants the viewers to laugh.  It was so unlike Sebastian’s characterization – effortless yet grand and hilarious!

The other actors and actresses who starred in the new version seemed too novice for the demands of their respective roles.  In my own personal view the cast and re-creators of this year’s version tried too hard which resulted to categorizing the film according to Susan Sontag (a literary theorist) as “deliberate camp”.  This is so unlike the original movie which was crisp, candid and unpretentiously presented in which as per Sontag is categorized as “naive camp”.  Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the movie simply because Temptation Island is such a rich, colorful, hilarious and ostentatious film material.

But, the film’s saving glory is actually in the quintessential personification of the ham, the hunk, the beefcake, Aljur Abrenica!  (to be continued…)

Bakit si Aljur?  Pwes, abangan ang susunod na powst. Ang haba na kasi.