Some friends and colleagues still could not believe that I was able to accomplish the rigorous hiking that the mountains of Batad in Ifugao Province entails. Some were actually not surprised when they heard the hardships and learned that I was the crankiest, most ill-tempered and was the number one complainer among our group. As If my complaining was the highlight of our Batad adventure! Hahaha!
But people don’t realize that aside from the breathtaking sites, I was able to appreciate how lucky I am based on how my life has been going on compared to the simple folks living in Batad. That is why seeing locals especially the farmers who keeps the bizarre and phenomenal rice terraces by their bare hands humbles me. I may have been blessed more than these folks yet I have so much respect for these people. Batad folks may not own the possession that a modern human being enjoys now, yet they are the people who chose to live simple, enjoy simple and chose to maintain a beautiful earth wonder by their very own hands.
Kudos to the people of Batad! You definitely are one of a kind! Galing nyo grabe!
*thanks to Aiko and JB’s cameras for these photos…
It has always been my personal stance that it will take an exceptionally brilliant movie for me to watch it again for the second time in a movie house. The two movies that I can recall watching twice during its regular run in the theaters were David Cameron’s Titanic and Pixar’s Inside Out.
Well, Titanic and Inside Out now has been equaled by the outstanding and admirable musical drama movie by Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman. I first saw The Greatest Showman with friends and officemates last Friday. And as soon as the credits rolled at the end of the movie, I just knew that I have to see and enjoy it again in the big screen.
Well tonight, I saw it again. This time I am with Nengkoy, my sisters and nephew Luis. Here’s the five reasons why I decided to see it again tonight (Sunday, February 4, 2018):
One: The Music
I think I have fallen in love with the music of the movie. Each song in the movie are so superb. The melody in the whole selection are so brilliantly easy to the ear. The songs in this musical are so infectious and addicting you just want to listen to it again and again and again. And the lyrics especially in five of my favorite numbers (A Million Dreams, Never Enough, This Is Me, Rewrite The Stars and Tightrope) are so powerful it cuts through deep into my being. It would be hard to listen to the songs and not get emotional.
Two: The Story
It’s one movie that is so light yet magically entertaining. You need not have a big brain to bring inside the movie house to comprehend and understand the undemanding plot of the movie. And since the storyline is clear-cut, easy and light audience ends up loving every character in the film. And most importantly the story is positive.
Punctuated with memorable songs, The Greatest Showman is a feel-good movie, I ended up flashing a relaxed smile and with a happy heart (in both occasions) as I walked walk out of the theater.
Three: The Message
An unabashed piece of pure entertainment movie would often end up without a substance. But The Greatest Showman is something rare and different. It is one of those highly enjoyable film that exudes the message of courage and acceptance.
The message of being yourself, issues on body image and embracing what makes you unique are well within the highlights of this brilliant movie.
Another rare feat for this movie is that (though it is not a cartoon or digital animated movie) there was no sex nor swearing in the whole length of the film! That itself is something extraordinary in this time and age of movies.
After seeing and enjoying it the first time. I promised myself that I will have to bring Nengkoy to the movie house for her see, hear and experience the joy, the dazzle and the spectacle that The Greatest Showman bestows.
Fifth: It’s a Celebration of Humanity
And lastly, as stated by one of the theatre critics in the movie, The Greatest Showman is one good representation of a “Celebration of Humanity”
One of the greatest gifts that a person can receive this Christmas (and for every Christmas for that matter) is the gift of laughter. And each year, this is one precious gift that I receive from my family.
Every year at Christmas Eve since their childhood days, my nieces and nephews would group up and do a presentation at Nengkoy’s house. Each group would got to compete for a prize money. I am always one of the judges along with Nengkoy and my elder sister. And since my nieces and nephews got their funny bones from their grandmother Nengkoy, all their presentations always turns out to be something so hilarious!
These year though majority of my nephews and nieces are now professionals and some has even gone married, each one of them still never failed to give the family some very good laugh. All these glee and hilarity really adds up to the joyful and happy spirit of Christmas every single year at Nengkoy’s house.
Have you ever been introduced to a poignant and beautiful lullaby while reading a novel? And have you ever tried searching and listening to that music inscribed in such book? I was and I did.
Thanks to young Elio, the main character in the book Call Me By Your Name, for he introduced me to Fenesta Ca Lucive, an old, sad and touching Neapolitan song. As soon as I finished reading the pages where Fenesta Ca Lucive was penned, I dropped the book and took my Ipad. I searched the song and this is what it was…
Chiagneva sempe ca durmeva sola Mo dorme co’ li muorte accompagnata She always wept because she slept alone, Now she sleeps among the dead
While listening to this beautiful lullaby, I took the book and re-read the portion where it was portrayed. The music gave a different sensation. It suddenly gave the novel I was reading a brighter color. Though, I don’t understand a single word of the song, the music is so haunting, it felt like I was in the streets of Rome witnessing the tenderness, passion and the imminent despair of the main character.
I guess I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to reading and finishing a book. After reading some of the most beautiful, exhilarating and awe-inspiring books in the past, there has been three (3) books that I started reading but – due to boredom – eventually dropped and chose not to finish it. Thus, a book will therefore be very good if I would be able to digest and finish it up to its last word.
I was actually a little afraid that I would not be able to finish a book anymore, but Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman erased that! It was the book that stirred my hard-to-please taste. Call Me By Your Name is not just a stirring and fascinating story, it is actually a beautiful poetic narrative about a person’s coming-of-age reflections, desires and contemplations.
I actually envy the writer Andre Aciman for he got the talent, gift and faculty in crafting delightful words and weaving beautiful thoughts together. Aciman was so impressive, he was able to bring readers into the major character’s heart. That is why the joy and sadness of Elio (the major character) are the reader’s joy and sadness. Elio’s passion and pain were the reader’s passion and pain. And I was so into it, Elio’s heartbroken was my heartbroken! And when I finished and read the last word of this superb novel, I noticed myself grasping for some air.
I refuse to give any spoiler! All I can say is that the book was so good, I didn’t want to finish! Now, Call Me By Your Name sits among the top ten books that I have successfully finished.
Are you like me in which the attractiveness of my own signature is dependent on the quality and refinement of the pen I use? I asked this because I am impressed and enjoy using my present sign pen. Unfortunately, my present pen (pictured below) does not seem to have a label.
And it seems that I can no longer obtain the same pen in case the present one runs out of its ink. Reason being, I got this pen from a boy who sells various ball-points, markers and pen on a moving bus. If in New York subways there are young students who sells chocolates and snacks inside a moving train, here in the Philippines, there is a young boy who sells cheap sign pens and ballpens inside a moving bus.
On a public commute to the City of Manila from a weekend adventure in Villa Escudero in Quezon Province, a shy-looking young boy hopped up our bus and started distributing a note to all the passengers. The message indicated on the note states that the young lad is selling cheap ballpens and that the proceeds of his earnings shall be used for his schooling expenses.
I opted to buy one priced at twenty pesos (less than 40 cents in US$) and got to pick the green colored pen then return the note he handed earlier. My colleague MJ, on the other hand, actually handed 50 pesos (US$1) to the young dude after reading the note and opted not to get any pen. She however did not return the note the boy distributed and instead kept it inside her bag. She told me that she is to show the note to her daughter and tell her daughter about our encounter with this pleasant-looking young boy.
And every time I use this sign pen I am reminded that it was the most meaningful 20-peso spending I did that day.
The Filipino translation for the word “beast” is halimaw. And halimaw is how I would describe the strength, depth and power of the singing voice of Morisette Amon during her participation in the recent Asian Song Festival held somewhere in South Korea.
This kind of a Filipina beast simply slayed it! This was such a phenomenal performance. Her pure talent is out of this world! And she looks absolutely gorgeous in that video!
What is so surprising with this number is that I was less impressed by her whistling capability. Maybe it’s because a number of good singers can do the whistle. I was more impressed and surprised by the unique squeaking sound that her voice makes. That is so rare and exclusively Morisette. That squeak would most probably be the most beautiful squeaking sound that I’ve ever heard.