Month: August 2012

Bus Movies

On a long journey via bus what do you usually do? Are you the type who would bring tons of salty chips to nibble? Are you the forty winks aficionado? Are you the bus’ bookworm? Are you the creature who would simply gaze outside the window?  Or are you the beast who would drain your battery’s digital gizmo?

Very long travels by bus could be very daunting.  That is why a lot of bus companies try to be innovative by introducing various facilities available inside these massive roadsters – free WiFi; cool drinks and sandwiches for sale; air conditioning; toilet facility; shock-proof LCD flat screen TV with DVD player; reclining chairs, etc.  These add-on features aims to further enhance passenger’s comfort over a lengthy journey.

I have been to two long journeys via transit buses in the past week (first was an 8-hour journey to Baguio and just the other day was the two-and-a-half-hour travel to Magalang, Pampanga).  Adding up all the hours I spent inside the bus on a round-trip-basis would be a total of 21 hours.

While inside those buses, I was all the types I inquired above.  But what I noticed every time a movie will have to be played on TV inside a Filipino bus, the film has to be a Hollywood movie.  I will not rant about the pirated DVD being used by these bus companies but instead the type of movie being shown.

I guess it would have been better and my focus would have been more stuck on TV if the movie being shown were the black and white 50’s and 60’s Filipino film that were shown in the pinalakang tabing (silver screen).  The time spent inside the bus could have been more pleasant and comforting seeing the young and stunning Gloria Romero, the then skinny Dolphy and plump Panchito and Dely Atay-atayan, the bubbly Rosemarie Sonora, debonair Mario Montenegro as well as suave Rogelio Dela Rosa or Diomedes Maturan.  The Pinoy film to be shown would be at its best if, of course, the contrabida (villain) would be the wicked Bella Flores.

Further to this suggestion, it would be best if contemporary Filipino short indie films would be featured in between these classic full length movies.  This I guess would be one great vehicle for the unrecognized and undistributed yet artistic short indie films gain wider viewership.

If this fantasy would turn out to become a reality in the future, this would improve and further bind Pinoy cultural cohesiveness.  It presents the Pinoy film heritage and at the same time makes the riding public aware of the richness of the prevailing film industry.

Spending bus hours on the road could have been more comfortable and enjoyable!

Ang Tagalog ng bas ay bus.


Colors of Abe’s Farm by a Newbie in Photography

Here is my first venture into the world of photography using only my iPhone as my tool as well as the wonders of photo apps, Instagram and Camera360.  As a newbie, I decided to start with landscape, still life and plants as my subject using only the natural light.  These photos were taken at Abe’s Farm located in Magalang, Pampanga.

You be the judge if I have the inkling and if this could be my possible fallback career…

title: wooden wheel
title: wind chimes
title: blue stones and a pathway
title: bricks column
title: modern hut
title: violet tips

But then again, Abe’s Farm is such a beautiful place any clear, sharp and on-focus shot you make still ends-up being very nice.

Konti pang praktis!

Filipino Language In A Hit Hollywood Movie During The Language Month

August is the Philippines’ Language Month.  It is but so fitting that in this month the movie Bourne Legacy was shown in cinemas worldwide.  It is so apt because there were a lot of times when the Filipino-Tagalog language was uttered in the said movie.

In one scene female lead star Rachel Weisz was being advised by a Tagalog-speaking pharmacist-vendor about the medicines she is buying.  Rachel responded and looks as if she understood. And since a lot of scenes were depicted and shot in Manila it is but inevitable to hear Tagalog spoken from the background.  There was one scene that I laughed out hard since the cursing in Filipino was smacking solid!

And of course, aside from enjoying a witty yet action-packed movie, I was delighted at the end part of the film when the lead star Jeremy Renner spoke one Tagalog word.  He uttered “salamat” when he thanked the son of a boatman who helped them escape from their foes by sailing away from Manila and heads for Palawan.

Hearing the Filipino-Tagalog language spoken in an international hit Hollywood movie during the Language Month is quite refreshing.  Because in the last Hollywood film which I saw where Tagalog language was spoken, my native tongue is being uttered by the devil.

constantine starring keanu reeves

It was in the movie entitled Constantine starring Keanu Reeves.  In the first scene of the movie, a lady was being possessed by the devil and while being on a mad trace she threats and curses in Tagalog.  I can still clearly recall the young kid watching in front of me seated with his dad inside the cinema became so upset and distressed telling his father in a very dreary tone that the devil is a Filipino.

He said, “Ay Papa, ba’t ganun? Ang demonyo pala ay Filipino.” (Translation: “Hey Papa, why is it like that?  The devil is a Filipino.)  He cried, hugged his dad and turned traumatized because I guess he realized that the spoken language in hell is Tagalog.  Hahaha! Good thing though, Constantine was not shown in the month of August, otherwise, I would be insulted.

Salamat Jeremy, salamat Rachel pero no tenks kay Keyanu at sa demonyu.

Farewell To You “Tukayo”

neil armstrong

It is believed that in 500 years, people of this planet will forget about wars, calamities and even its world leaders but will never fail to disregard the time when a man first stepped on the moon.  Actually, people have difficulty recalling the names of the men who stepped on the moon but definitely not Neil Armstrong, the first man who did it.  I’m pretty sure planet Earth until it blows itself into smithereens will forever remember him.

I do not have any relation or association with Neil Armstrong except for my name.  He is my tukayo (a friendly Filipino way of calling a person having the same first name as one’s self).  Nengkoy and Joe named me after this iconic hero.  Being the root and basis of my appellation I have always felt a close connection with this man.  His name is forever on my birth certificate, my signature and of course will be on my gravestone hopefully in a very distant future.

That is why I am saddened to know that my tukayo has passed away.  It felt like the beautiful birthmark on my skin that I have been so proud of has suddenly disappeared.  I feel like I lost the chieftain of the tribe whom I belong.

He may now be gone but the gigantic scientific achievement he has contributed represents one of the peaks of humanity’s progress.  He is definitely one great ambassador of the human species.  And I’m damn proud that I was named after him!

Paalam tukayo…

Cab Drivers of Civilized Baguio

I like Baguio.  After staying for a long weekend in this city located at the northern part of the Philippines, it made me realize that it is the more civilized version of Manila.

Green parks and beautiful landscapes, limited number of mendicants, rosy pimple-free skins of charming inhabitants, pedestrian-courteous motorists, less congested streets, breathable air, healthy produce, efficient services and a no smoking city with limited cigarette smoking spots were remarkably impressive.  Aside from all these, what really impressed me about Baguio are its cab drivers.

green breathable park of baguio

In wicked Manila, taxi drivers don’t know the concept of “change fund” and almost always never give you the exact change for your payment.  Your change is always rounded off to the next tenth of your fare, i.e. if your fare is worth 72.50 pesos and you handed a 100-peso bill ridiculous drivers would only give you 20 bucks as your change.  Insisting that you have been short-changed and demanding for the remaining change is like inviting hostilities and luring dangerous confrontations.  They would usually justify in an unfriendly douchebag manner that they don’t have smaller bills or loose change to fulfill your demand.

Stumbling upon a Manila cab driver who is nice and runs a spotless vehicle and will give you all your change is like finding a little miracle in itself in this city.  I don’t require cab drivers to smile or converse with me while traversing the streets of the metro, giving me my exact change is all that I need.

But in Baguio civilized, honest, fair and courteous cab drivers abound.  It was so surprising that these drivers issue the exact change.  I actually thought I was vacationing in a very civilized first world country when I counted the exact change handed to me by the driver.  This may be too trifling for something to be amazed about, but for me after having been subjected to a galaxy of horrors by Manila cab drivers, such character is something to smile and acclaim about.

These drivers are one of the first inhabitants that a tourist would encounter in Baguio and usually the last ones to be engaged with when leaving the city.  No doubt, these motorists gave me a good impression about the City of Pines.

Hoy sukli ko?!

Sgt. Diosdado Carandang

vic silayan as sgt. diosdado carandang

Ten years before Hannibal Lecter was introduced in the Hollywood motion picture Silence of the Lambs (1991) there was an even scarier movie character.  His name is Sgt. Diosdado Carandang in the classic 1981 film entitled Kisapmata.

Kisapmata, a Filipino movie directed by Mike De Leon must really be a very good film.  I tried telling a couple of people that this was the film I saw last weekend and it seems that all people who has seen it in the past can actually recall without difficulty the events that transpired in the story.  This 31-year-old movie must really be an excellent film that it actually made a mark in the memory of those who has seen it.

I for one do not only consider this movie a drama but also horror.  No, the movie does not have freaky ghosts as characters nor this film would scare you by jolting you off your seat.  The storyline, the crisp snuffcolored sepia-like cinematography, the monotone quietness of sound as well as the whole ensembles’ fine acting will actually haunt you.

I particularly was very impressed by the performance of Vic Silayan who played Sgt. Diosdado Carandang.  The mere tonality of his deep bass voice when he speaks will make you so terrified and start blaming yourself why you even dared started watching this film.  Silayan’s haunting characterization is so scary you wouldn’t want to meet that character ever in your lifetime.  Silayan was so eerie you’d prefer to talk and spend your time with Hannibal Lecter.


Pararampam! Pararampam!

According to Simon Cowell a contestant’s choice of song in a singing competition is one humongous factor for the judges and the viewing public to consider the contestant as a good contender.  Have you ever wondered what song are you gonna sing if you are to audition in a talent-reality show?

I do.  Here’s my chosen song…

O ‘di ba… pang standing obeyshon…