Saw It Twice: The Greatest Showman

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. 

saw it first with colleagues and officemates

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.

Four: Nengkoy

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”

second time with nengkoy and family
nengkoy posing with anne wheeler, phillip carlyle and p.t. barnum (talents at the cinema). i was a little disappointed because i was looking for the bearded lady talent but there was none.

Ang galing!

The Unpopular Other Bridge in SF

If bridges have emotions, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge would be suffering from the saddest form of depression.  It is because it lives in the shadow of its gorgeous cousin, one of the most iconic landmarks in USA, the Golden Gate Bridge.

shot this at pier 14
nice…

It must be experiencing the lowest form of inferiority complex! Can you just imagine though you are standing mighty and majestic, it is your closest neighbor that singers would sing about and painters would paint on their canvass.  Can you just imagine being the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and your sister (named Golden Gate) is the one chosen by photographers every time there is a photo shoot?  It would definitely feel like being the ugly step sister of a famous super model.

San Francisco-Oakland is so unpopular even those who plans to commit suicide living in Oakland would have to drive and cross it and then proceed to its megalomaniac neighbor, the Golden Gate Bridge where they would execute their plans of killing themselves.  Suicide committers I guess finds jumping at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to be prosaic and un-poetic.  Unlike jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge the suicide act, of course, would be more dramatic!

awesome…
selfie galore…

A lot of tourists even snob it and call this bridge un-sexy.  Though it has one of the longest spans in the US, visitors deemed it as the poor ugly cousin of the Golden Gate.  While for the locals who cross it every day, due to heavy traffic and congestion especially during rush hours, they would consider this pathway a daily disaster.

But despite all these collective discouraging image and reputation that Bay Bridge has been attached with, I nevertheless marveled at the beauty strength and majesty of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  It’s actually beautiful if you got to take a good look at this equally magnificent engineering master piece. I was actually at awe by its enormity!  No matter if people like it or not,  and thank goodness it does not have feelings at all, this engineering marvel and the commerce that it brings to the city keeps the SF metro alive.

Maganda din naman!

Stregato Gelateria: A Gem in Balanga Bataan

It is starting to become a habit that every time I and my colleagues got to spend an overnight weekend adventure out-of-town, we would first have to dine in a well-liked or budding restaurant or coffee shop. Part of the adventure is to scout and google the nicest food joint that our destination can brag about.  And when we have chosen one, we would agree that before proceeding to our final destination to check-in we would have a detour by having either a breakfast, a brunch or a lunch in our chosen eatery.

On our way to Las Casas De Filipinas De Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan for an overnight weekend, I and my colleagues stopped over the agricultural city of Balanga in Bataan.  We had lunch at Stregato Geleteria, a cute and charming Italian-inspired diner right in the middle of the city (right beside The Plaza Hotel and at the ground floor of Galeria Victoria Mall).

cute!

Stregato Gelateria was one surprising restaurant.  First timers like us easily fell in love with the interiors and ambiance of the place.  And surprisingly, the service was pretty quick and the food were superb!

I particularly ordered the Slow-Cooked Roasted Pork Belly.  And that was indeed a winner!

slow-cooked roast pork! yum!

All of us agree that another impressive thing about the food is that the serving-size were just perfect.  The portion was not too much neither too little for its reasonable price.  Their prices were actually not reasonable because it’s unreasonably low!  With an endearing ambiance and flavorful food, Stregato Gelateria is definitely comparable and in the level of pricey diners and coffee shops here in Manila.

And since our tummy were not too full nor felt shortchanged we decided to order two slices of cakes – the mindboggling Ferrero cake and the marvelous Mango Crème Brulee cake.  One Tagalog word for their desserts… sarap!

sarap!
cakes cakes cakes!
a reason to come back
mga batang bagac!

All of us further agreed that Stregato Gelateria is a gem of a restaurant in Balanga, Bataan.  If given the chance to be back in this beautiful old province, I will definitely not miss eating at Sregator Gelateria.

Sarap sa Ingles… dilisyus (parang ako)!  

Wicked (the musical) In Manila: A Wickedly High-End Run

This will most probably be one of the last write-ups of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz musical as it ends its latest run here in Manila.  Me, my sisters and Nengkoy (of course) had the awesome opportunity to catch and watch the last performance night here in Manila.

We were of course bedazzled and captivated by the sheer magnificence if the costumes, the colors and the music of Wicked.  But I will not write anything about the musical for there has been millions of it in the web.  Instead, let me deliberate on the venue and the people on the night we watched the show here in Manila.

Unlike my sisters and Nengkoy, it was my first time seeing a musical show in Solaire Theatre.  I have seen a couple of shows in Broadway, New York but never was I been so stunned and dumbfounded by the high-endedness (is that a word?) of Solaire.  The theater was so modish and dashing there were moments when I doubted being in poverty-stricken Manila.  While waiting for the ushers to allow us inside the actual theater, the well-lighted foyer area was played with chic jazz music.  I never noticed or heard stylish jazz or muzak being played at the measly lobby and waiting areas of New York theaters. In some New York shows, we the audience actually have to queue at the cold and dusty side street.

nengkoy & my wicked sister with her high-end bag! bag lang nya ang high-end sa amin nung gabing yon. hahaha!
pictures muna
me & my sister… defying gravity…

And what further dumbfounded me were the rest of the audience.  Everyone was well-dressed for the night.  Well-dressed, I mean well-dressed.  Gentlemen were in their crisp long sleeve shirts with matching coat and necktie while the ladies were dressed to the nines.  Some ladies were even donning in elegant gown and seem to have been to some pricey beauty saloon prior to the show just to watch Wicked, The Musical.

I was actually so shocked, wearing just a polo shirt and my old dungarees, I could not control my utterances about the theater and the people.  I told my sisters that I have seen a couple of Broadway shows in New York but the atmosphere was never this chic, high-end and elegant.

Buti na lang di ako nag-tsinelas.  Taray… Walang ganyan sa Nyu York!

Best Venue for a Miss Universe Pageant

Like the rest of the Filipinos, I’m excited and anxious towards the result of the annual Miss Universe pageant.  There must really be something in the waters of the Philippines that makes almost all of the Filipinos become so eccentric and loony about this pageant.

And what is so weird is that we only get so thrilled and so tempestuous only for the Miss Universe title.  We are not as crazy and as zany towards the results of other international beauty pageants like Miss World, Miss International, Miss Supranational and other out-of-this-world beauty titles.  For us Filipinos, Miss Universe is the ultimate beauty contest.  Miss Universe for the Philippines is like the SuperBowl of USA, the FIFA World Cup of Latin Americas or the Eurovision Song Contest of Europe.

But unlike the previous years, my being anxious, excited and prayerful that Miss Philippines makes it to the top 3 spots this year is a little bland, vapid and nondescript.  It is because this year’s pageant was held here in the Philippines.

miss universe (from france)
miss universe (from france)

I agree with the opinion of the very opinionated Gloria Diaz, the 1969 Miss Universe.  She believes that except for USA (who owns the Miss Universe franchise and where the pageant is usually held), no host country should win the title.  I am actually a little glad this year that Miss Philippines just landed in the top 6.  At least no nation who joined this year’s contest would accuse the Philippines for holding a rigged pageant.

Filipinos I believe has the same sentiment as that of Ms. Diaz but with the exemption of course for the Philippines as the venue.  Since Miss Universe is the most prestigious title that any Filipina would want to have, we Filipinos would want our girl to win the title may it be held in the Philippines or not.  But if the candidate of a different host country where the pageant is held wins, then we Filipinos would construe that the pageant was doctored.

Can you just imagine a Miss Universe pageant held in Beijing and the crowned winner is Miss China or Miss Colombia winning the title when the pageant is held in Bogota?  Except for the Philippines as the venue, we Filipinos would most probably dub that year’s pageant as the best “cooking” show in the universe “with 3 Michelin stars”!

And because I agree with the opinion of Ms. Diaz. I just hope that this is the last time Philippines hosts the pageant.  I am saying this because I want our candidate to win fair and square.  We know that it is more pleasing, magnificent and majestic if Filipino brings home an accolade that was gained and bestowed from different country.

miss philippines maxine medina
miss philippines maxine medina

And because we are known to be the craziest fanatics of this pageant and we can seriously mock a country for being fraud, cheats and deceitful, no country then would dare host it and have their candidate win.  And since all participating countries wants to win, no country then would want to host it.  This results to a predicament of the Miss Universe Organization on where to hold the next pageant.

My suggestion? Try holding the contest in a neutral country.  A nation that does not participate in the pageant for reasons their country would only know.  Countries like Syria, Yemen or Iran could have been great neutral places but due to some folks with their radical Muslim beliefs, holding the pageant in these countries may be life threatening for the ladies and the organizers.

I guess the best venue for Miss Universe then would be the Vatican City.  A city state that has diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world, a country that does not have a prison system, and a tiny government run and enriched by some of the most religious people in the universe, Vatican City would be the most neutral, most friendly and most appropriate venue for the next Miss Universe pageant.  I would like to believe that a lot of people including Gloria Diaz would agree with me on this.

Kongrats sa nanalo…

A Retro Party Video That Deserves 680 Views

Does a person who signed-in or owns a YouTube account can already be considered a YouTuber or does it take a certain degree before someone be considered as one?  I for one owns a YouTube account and I have signed-in my account for more than 5 years already, but still, I don’t consider myself as a legit YouTuber.  For me, a rightful YouTuber is someone who has at least a couple of hundreds of subscribers, posts videos on a regular basis and the number of views of their videos are in thousands (if not in millions).

I have high regard and admiration to these group of internet geniuses.  I am continuously boggled by the fact that these YouTubers were able to tap and has been consistent in tickling the interests of the video viewing public. I have yet to grasp and discover their seemingly elusive formula.  And I’m clueless on how the hell they do it!  Like a pathetic old fool, I have been doing YouTube but one video has yet to reach a thousand views!

Anyway, let me post the latest YouTube video that I did with the help of my officemate (Rey Ferrer) who introduced me to a new world of video editing.  This video is about the recent company party that I organized.  With the hardships and challenges of organizing a company party attended by 680 people, this video I suppose deserves to reach at least 680 views.  Enjoy…

peace!
peace!

Kapag ang bidyong ito naging bayral, maanlilibre ako ng miryenda! 

Prince of Cuteness

I recently discovered via internet a kid that is a bundle of charm and adorableness. His name is Ernie.

prince of cuteness
prince of cuteness

I was captivated by Ernie on the first time I saw him in the internet.  The first video I saw Ernie at was in a YouTube video in which he and a bunch of cute American kids were tasked by a number of adults filming them to try Filipino food. Ernie in that video stole my heart!  He was the only kid who had the full courage to eat Balut and appreciated tasting it.  And when he tried the Taho, it made me conclude that he is the most endearing human being in the internet!

cuteness overload!
cuteness overload!

Ernie for me is the Prince of Cuteness.  This 3-year old kid is pure sweetness and lovability.   I guess his not even aware that he is starting to become so popular because a lot has started following his dad’s Instagram in which the majority of what it features are photos and short clips of cute Ernie.

Ernie’s photos and video clips presents the sparkles and freshness of being a kid.  It features the naivety, the innocence and unassuming-ness of an early life which every one of us, I guess, badly misses and would love to relive or to reminisce.

I don’t know, but I think Ernie’s photos and video clips touches hearts.  And one of which is mine.  You can follow the sweet smiles, the adorable laughter, and the guilelessness of the Prince of Cuteness at https://www.instagram.com/mikeybot/

Ke kyut kyut ng batang ire!