Monday, September 30, 2002


The two freaky interns now have blogs: Goldie’s here and Hannah’s here. Though now we are pretty much used to them, so they are not as freaky as before. That makes them either marginally freaky or lukewarm freaky. Or the Interns Formerly Known as Freaky (IFKF for short). Hannah, for example, is already betrothed to Chris. And everyone wants to adopt Goldie.

And holy shit: Jomi’s got one too. That he shares with Krissy, his girlfriend. I expect it will devolve into tete-a-tete online pornography, with occasional random legal mumbo-jumbo thrown in, and just a pinch of Catholic guilt. So it’ll be quite interesting, actually. :) I keed, Jomee, I keed!

We’re just spawning more and more blogs, aren’t we? We’re all just reading and reacting to what we read. It’s a vicious cycle! Prison!


Somehow my file of things to read actually rose to about 230 pages over the weekend!


I must confess to certain things: A) I have a lot of stuff to submit to Cecile. Yes, even though I wrote them I didn’t submit some of the papers because I wasn’t happy with what I’d written. I’ll be working on them now that the seminar’s over and done with, with more time and care and attention and focus. I’d rather submit something I’m proud of late than something I don’t like and will regret. B) Still have a lot of stuff I have yet to blog about, C) really late on some articles for Flip.

I need money. Saving up for a PDA.


This is a picture I found recently of Grant Morrison. One of my favorite writers. In a wig. Wearing lipstick. And what looks like a bra. Note that Grant is a man’s name. This man currently writes the most popular comic book in the world. And he’s wearing a wig. I actually don’t want to know the circumstances behind this picture. Really I don’t. And to think, his girlfriend’s pretty hot, too.


I forgot to blog about why I hate Quark. It’s very simple. Not only has he met Michael Stipe, Ang Lee, and quite possibly Daniel Clowes (at an event I told him about, goddammit), he’s seen Evan Dando perform, sat beside actor Robert Wuhl, seen Julianne Moore in the flesh, and directed his first feature film at the age of 21. Which hasn’t been done in this country since Lino Brocka.

But that’s not even the clincher. The clincher is he saw Juliana Hatfield perform live, and she spoke to him, asking him to go upstairs where they could talk some more. That’s just… wrong. Please, God. There must be some way of balancing the scales. One man cannot have such luck in one year! And I don’t want anything bad to happen to Quark, mind you. I want lots of good things to happen to the rest of us too.

Another of my favorite writers, Haruki Murakami, is going to be signing books in NY on Sep. 28. Thank God Quark won’t be there for that (he’s not a fan anyway), because then I just may have to kill him when he gets back. Not that there won’t be a phalanx of “friends” with pitchforks awaiting his arrival, anyway. Lia will be all alone, keeping the murderous crowd at bay…

Steph, go to the Murakami signing ha! Give him a pat on the back for me.


Now let me give a shout-out to Carlo Eustaquio, whose blog I love.

I gladly despise anyone who tells him his blog is “useless,” “complicated,” and other trite words. Carlo, don’t listen to any of that shit! You already have a blog that is wonderfully unique, that makes other blogs look like dog-puke on the face of Lolit Solis.

It’s fascinating to read about the things he’s been through, the thing’s he’s seen, the people he’s known and loved and met and bumped into and ridden on motorcycles with. How his mind works, the stream-of-consciousness outpouring that his blog has become is what sets it apart, and yet it is not part of a conscious effort to stand out. It’s just natural. Which is terrific and refreshing. It’s hard to remember that he’s around my age, but seems to have gone through so much already, it makes me feel like a nubian pipsqueak. Go read about his (mis)adventures about living in the Taft area, and the characters he met, and his friends from Sanctum. I thought I knew him, but I have barely scratched the surface. There seems to exist an entirely other world that he occupies, that sounds like it would fit in as a third story in Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels. We sometimes forget that people exist apart from when we’re with them, and I feel that most strongly while reading blogs like Carlo’s. To an extent it’s something I also feel in regards to Neva, because I tend to worry about her (she slipped on the sidewalk yesterday :().

Ahh, sorry. I wish I could write better. Just go to his blog, it’s worth your time more than 80% of all the blogs you read, believe me. He’s a good photographer and fantastic artist, to boot.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

"Kill Bill -- a movie so gory that a single scene required 100 gallons of blood and so elaborate that the same sequence took nearly as long to shoot as all of Pulp Fiction"

I cannot WAIT for this!

Wooh! I've graduated! Today I was able to sleep all the way to 9:48! Yeah! At which point the fucking ruckus out my window woke me up. Some kind of renovation being done at the neighbors. Damn it. They had to do it on a Saturday.

So let me tell you about


As I said, the other days of the past week weren't as memorable as last week's. This was because we basically took up a lot of cases in class, which meant a lot more readings. So I couldn't post practically the whole week.

Anyway, the last day, there was a bit of a boo-boo because the Program Assistant (Cecile's assistant, basically) forgot to photocopy one of the readings we needed. None of the students had a copy, but Cecile and Prof. Morato did. When Morato found out, we could see that he was quietly pissed, but didn't really want to show it since we're not exactly "regular" students, this being only a 2-week course and all. Apparently, he can be pretty vicious to his regular graduate students. Anyway, HE WALKED OUT. So that was the first kind of "serious" moment of the seminar. To help fix things, Cecile juggled the schedule.

We later ended up in this really high-tech room. Every seat had a computer, and there were microphones beside the seats so that everyone in the class could hear what you had to say. The "blackboard" was a projection screen that was touch-sensitive. Astig. So Prof. Morato would "write" on the screen, and it would be seen on our screens, I guess, except that most of them weren't turned on. He'd press a button on the screen to clear it, but the previous filled-up screen would be saved somewhere in case students wanted to photocopy it. Or he could go back to any of the previous screens if he wished. He could change colors pa, and use clip art, etc. He could move elements just by using his hands.

Naturally, after the class when everyone left, I played with it. I went online by using the touch-screen, saw some porn at huge sizes, and pretended to be John Anderton from Minority Report scrubbing some images. Yes, I am shallow.

Text from Quark: haha i'm sitting beside alex knox.
Me: Who's alex knox?
Quark: si robert wuhl.

So I check it out online and Quark's sitting beside actor Robert Wuhl, who played Alex Knox in the first Batman. Later:

Me: haha astig! where are you ba?
Quark: watching the gotham awards

Again, later:

Quark: pare i'm 5 feet away from julianne moore
Me: oh you fucking bastard

Another text, this time from Criselle: "Hi ramon, i'm reading your blog-- primarily bec i found out i was in it."

The very last class was called Serendipity Walk, which was really just sharing. The idea behind the Serendipity Walk is, you take a problem that's been bugging you, put it in the back of your mind, and slowly, the universe will provide the answer. It's all very spiritual and hunky-dory, but you can't say this hasn't happened to you before. Something or someone in your environment, not necessarily related to you or your problem, will present the solution, or lead you to thinking about the solution, a kind of "eureka" moment.

But what it became was the purgation of emotions. Like in retreats, where people go to the center of the room and pour their hearts out. Quite emotional. Someone confessed to how drug use nearly derailed the early years of his career. One confessed how she'd been raised to do things a certain way, and was only now exploring the possibilities of doing things the way she wants them to. One woman came to the full conclusion that she wanted to be a writer. Another talked about how she felt so bad about choosing a career in the arts, because the arts don't pay well, and she needed to support her parents. I'm sure a lot of people I know can relate to this. Many were in tears, and so were we, the classmates.

After, we had our graduation. It was just a small ceremony in the Zen Garden (next time I'm with any of you near AIM, remind me to take you there). We had a surprise for everyone, though. We got each of the teachers two gifts: a laser pointer for their left brain, and a potted plant for their right.

Then each of us gave Cecile a rose, so she had a bouquet at the end of it. Then cocktails and some food, during which we announced the mailing list for the class, which I made, and our contribution to the MAP fund, around 35,000 bucks. The MAP fund is for scholars, those who normally can't afford to take the program, but really want to, or need to, or should.

Neva attended the graduation, as did my mom and sister. So she got to meet some of the people I've been talking about these past two weeks. Then I went home, and slept the fitful sleep of the tired and weary.

Today is


I woke up and my butt cheeks were aching. Maybe you didn't need to know that. I have no idea why. Maybe I was exercising in my dream. Doing butt squeezes and clenches. My lower back kind of aches too. Neva was making fun of how Stephen Hawking speaks. That's bad karma, but she wouldn't listen.

Hope I can watch In the Mood later, despite no one wanting to watch it with us. I'll blog more later.

I've got lots of notes of things to blog about, just never had the time to write them down.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Wanna hear something sad? This is my first free night so far this week, and I wanted to catch up on everyone’s blogs, make an entry of my own, and catch up on my internet reading. But no. I gathered some articles (my to-read file is now 210 pages), caught up on people’s blogs, and it’s already 12:15 PM. Shit. And I was planning on getting some sleep. This isn’t even a decent post. I’m really only posting to tell you some vital information.

First: In the Mood for Love is showing at Greenbelt. Probably Megamall too. Go and see it. Please. This is for you, really it is.

Second: Mark your calendars!

UP Film Center's forthcoming screenings
Monday, 7 October 2002 - Chungking Express
Tuesday, 8 October 2002 - Happy Together

Let’s all go on a Wong Kar-Wai trip. :)

Other notable screenings include Amores perros on Friday, 4 October 2002, and Y tu mama tambien on Thursday, 26 September 2002, at 4 and 7 p.m.

This week’s classes aren’t particularly blog-worthy, even if they’re still exciting and useful. They’ve mostly been cases, examples of the principles we were taught last week at work.

I did learn how to do yoga today, though.

Good night.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

I’m in love.


I use prepaid internet cards, and what I do most of the time is I just visit my usual haunts, copy and then paste the articles I wish to read onto a Word file. So you don’t waste time reading the things while your time’s dripping away. But since I haven’t had much time for leisure reading this week because of class, the Word file is now 128 pages long.



Today was a pretty relaxed, easygoing day, which I desperately needed. Passed by the Chanco household to pick up something PJ graciously sent me (rubber shoes). I sure miss that guy. The Chancos are practically a second family, and it was nice seeing his younger sister Rachel again, who I’ve basically watched grow up since she was in grade school. It’s eerie seeing her so, well… grown up (she’s a sophomore in college now), because then I feel grown-up. Which of course I hate. Went to a meeting with my Hey, Comics mailing list, got to borrow a bunch of books and meet some new members, then met up with Genie, Joey, Trinka, Sib, Bars, David, Garon, Tebs, Carla (sp?), and Don over at Dencio’s to celebrate Genie’s first paycheck. We were supposed to bowl at Xybr Bowl (gotta love that vowel-less name!) but it had been invaded by damn dirty Koreans! (this is not a racial slur, just a description of the particular Koreans who were there) Neva arrived and we went to her dad’s house in Marikina, visiting her dog Mittens who was sick with an ear infection. She didn’t need to be brought to the vet, but Neva put some ointment in her ear and got her some good dog food.

Neva, as you might know, is very much an animal person. And it’s really cute watching her with animals. If she sees a cat or dog she will AUTOMATICALLY call out to it WHATEVER the circumstances (walking down the street? “Here, miming…” Rape-slay ongoing over in the corner? “Here, miming…” EDSA 2? “Here, miming…”). Whenever Mittens sees her she goes nuts, doing backflips and rolls. You can see actual glee on that dog’s face. Neva’s face lights up too and she starts doing her animal cooing voice which is adorable, and I think came built-in upon purchase. Neva went across the street to buy the dog food, and between the time she left to the time she opened the door again, Mittens sat staring at the door whining.

Finally, finally caught Signs. Which I liked. It’s pretty good, though coulda been great. Probably my favorite of M. Night Shyamalan’s films (which I’m sure will elicit a violent reaction from Quark). He took a lot from Hitchcock this time around, but put it to good use. What’s up with casting yourself in an important supporting role, though? I hope he’s not one of those directors who’s just aching to be a celebrity himself. Though he is a pretty arrogant bastard. Talented, though. Hope he gets on with the next part of the Unbreakable trilogy. It’s nice to see some comedy creeping into his films, though sad to see that Mel Gibson’s acting range is unfortunately limited. You could just see him hammering away at this wall of emotion but he couldn’t bring it down. Whereas for Joaquin Phoenix and Rory Culkin it’s a walk in the park. Other comments contain spoilers, so I’ve put them in inviso-text (highlight the portion below this, but only those of you who don’t want certain important parts of the movie spoiled):

I really didn’t like that montage that happened when the alien was carrying his son. I mean, cutting to the wife’s dying words was fine, but then that couch scene (“There are two types of people in this world…”)? Come on! And how “convenient” that the girl’s nervous tic about water meant that the glasses of water were strewn about the house? And why was there only one alien? And if their weakness is water, are we to assume that for almost 72-plus hours it didn’t rain once all over the world?

Just wanted to plug RES, one of the finest magazines currently being published. In fact, I think it’s my favorite magazine now, because a lot of the cool ones have already died off (Raygun, Bikini, etc.) Spin and Rolling Stone still plod along, but really they’re just husks of their former glory. RES is of particular interest to filmmakers or anyone interested in film. It started out as film-centric, but they now have articles on music videos, websites, graphic design, and ad agencies, extending its umbrella of coverage to most “new media” outlets. The latest issue, for example, has the future has its theme, and the cover piece is an interview with director Chris Cunningham (their feature interviews are almost always excellent, and end with a bibliography of the subject’s work; really useful). Other articles include a Sonic Youth interview, an update on music video director Jonas Akerlund’s debut film Spun (starring Jason Schwartzman!), Naqoyqatsi director Godfrey Reggio, and an interesting piece on how to make a movie with digital stills. Check out the website, too, which just got a design overhaul. Other favorite magazines of mine are Filmmaker and The Comics Journal, which are excellent in their own right; very scholarly and wise and in-depth and interesting. Why RES stands out, though, is its graphic design, which I enjoy very much; it’s alive and kinetic and makes it look like being a film buff, or being involved in anything digital, is sexy. Which Filmmaker and The Comics Journal do not. Ah well…

They even offer a downloadable mix tape every once in a while. Ain’t that nice of them?


Oh yes: for those interested, Brian Tenorio’s website is

Funny thought: wouldn’t it be great if our pets could have blogs? Mittens with her picture in the corner and daily entries all being a variation of woofs and barks. It would probably be boring after a while, though: “Chewed bone. Missed Neva. Ass sniffed by rottweiler. Hungry.”

Friday, September 20, 2002

Just got my birthday gifts to myself: Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

It’s such a joy going through them, Pulp in particular, since I haven’t seen it in years. Pulp Fiction is my default answer whenever anyone asks me, “What’s your favorite film?” I don’t know anymore if it’s my absolute favorite film of all time, but then again I’m starting to regard these kinds of questions in a different light. Certainly different from my high school days, anyway. But still, I am certain it’s in the top area.

Pulp Fiction is part of a group of films I saw in 1994 (which includes Reservoir Dogs, even if it did come out in ’92) that cursed my life. I say cursed because these films are what made me want to be a director. Which is not a career choice your parents particularly jump for joy over. It involves a lot of toil, struggle, hard work, very little money, constant headaches, most likely ulcers, migraines, high blood pressure, etc. But 1994 changed my life, set me on a path that is very difficult yet there is nothing that can get me off it.

As such, it was so nice getting home and popping in the Pulp Fiction DVD. I was re-watching scenes, since I didn’t have time to watch the whole thing, and the line “Would you give a man a foot massage?” actually took me by surprise and I found myself laughing out loud at 3 AM. That’s how long it’s been. My favorite movie, that I’ve seen at least 50 times, caught me by surprise. But I still remember so many things: the yellow-red flash burn during Brett’s execution, Tony Rocky Horror, the pilot discussion, etc. I could still recite Ezekiel 25:17 by heart.

Also, in all the different formats that Pulp Fiction came out on on home video, I’ve never seen the famed deleted scenes. So this’ll be a first for me. I can’t wait. :)


Just got home from Mustang Bar in Pasong Tamo, which is much smaller than I expected. There was a P200 entrance fee, and I ended up thinking, “Holy shit. There’s another thing I haven’t done in years. Pay entrance.” Inside, Joey, Chris, Alexis, and Ernan were already nursing beers. Before I arrived, Chris and Joey had already danced on the bar. Joey even took off his shirt, though Chris didn’t dare. There was only one really beautiful girl dancing, and it was her first night, her audition. We think she got the job. The other girls (disappointingly, only around 3) weren’t too pretty, just a smidgen above what you’d find on a good night somewhere along P. Burgos. They danced okay, but seemed to overcompensate at every turn because they knew they didn’t hold a candle to the Nubian 18-year-old who’d just come from America (according to Chris; how he got all this information from dancing with her on top of the bar I don’t know). Of course, wearing a bright yellow shirt wasn’t too helpful; there was more than one time where I had to do a full-body spin to keep from getting pushed and/or pulled to dance on the bar. If you know me, then you know there is no grace in this body. The funniest part of the evening was when a couple of socialites climbed on top and started dancing, and they were actually better than the Mustang dancers, putting them to shame. Of course, they weren’t much in the looks department, but they could move, at least.

There was also an actual fight in the street outside that we watched for a minute or two. Very Fight Club. Earlier I’d seen two guys threatening each other, one already taking off his shirt and the other, a security guard, giving his partner his shotgun.


Before Mustang I had dinner with Joey Tolosa, Trinka, Criselle, Tina, Sexy Man Mark, and Neva at Super Bowl. Some chismis, some laughs, I had to defend Reign of Fire, lots of screaming because we couldn’t hear one another even though we were all on one table. PatMal joined us later, where there was more tsismisan and more than one story I’d relate from the MAP. Pat had on a turtleneck, which I promised I’d blog about, Joey must’ve been doing SOMETHING strenuous because her belt buckle somehow managed to move all the way to her right hip, and Criselle got a flashback to her high school plan to get elected President care of Tina, a plan that involved “putting all the squatters on one island and blowing it up.” HAHAHA! Criselle didn’t deny it, though, just turned red while laughing at her former self. Arlyn, of course, was now a corporate whore, Trinka begat yet another discussion of her cup size, and I lectured about why Whisper with Wings is now the market leader.

Criselle’s ingenious plan reminded me of a short story Mo wrote in freshman year college. Many people forget that he was originally an English Lit major. Anyway, in this short story, what happened was it started snowing in the Philippines. But instead of what you’d think: maybe a happy, poignant story about the country’s first winter? Of course not, this is Mo we’re talking about. Maybe a Philip K. Dick-style tale about the ramifications of sudden climate change and what that would do to our relationships with one another and comment on our dynamic human nature? Uh… no. What Mo’s story was about was ALL THE SQUATTERS DYING, having frozen to death with no shelter and clothing. And the country suddenly experiencing economic prosperity.


I’ve got a LOT to blog about what I learned in school today. I took down more notes in the morning than in any other day of the program. But I’m tired, so it’ll have to wait a while. Should really get to sleep. Have a meeting tomorrow. Maybe after that, I can write about it, though we’ll probably catch some films at Cine Europa, which is ongoing now at Shangri-La, completely free. The Israel Film Festival is also taking place at Greenbelt right now, but I don’t think it’s free. There’s also American Rhapsody playing if you’re interested. And David Cronenberg’s Spider is out.

And Pat’s got a blog: Now off to sleep.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Well, after yesterday’s classes on intuition, we spent the whole day on finance and accounting: learning how to make a financial statement, understanding it, balance sheets, etc. It was very simple and clear and I’m glad they treated us like idiots because we were. Now I know all sorts of new terms like equity and accrued expenses and accounts receivable. Prof. Morato said at the beginning, “Finance is simply like this: you begin with cash. You should end with more cash. If you understand that, then you can understand finance.” They also taught us all the usual tricks accountants use to trick and cheat their clients. We also had a short lecture on tax breaks (“Why do you think the Lopezes and Ayalas and Cojuangcos all have foundations? Because they support the arts? Ha! Because they get tax breaks, and they have a place to dump all their useless children!”) Towards the end I was starting to get a little lost, though, because the teacher was going so fast. However, I wasn’t alone, which gave me comfort.

And now I have to write a paper about the contract between the artist and society before I sleep.

Thank God tomorrow’s Friday. Sweet sleep… how I’ve missed you so.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Whew, I’m still tired but really want to discuss today and yesterday so my memory doesn’t get overloaded and there won’t be a reallly long post come Thursday. Though there probably will be. I was trying, for a while, to write in a journal besides this blog, a journal that I would submit to Ma’am Cecile at the end of the seminar, but I realize I don’t have the time. Aside from class, driving, sleeping, reading, eating, and weeping, there’s not enough time to journal and blog, so I figure I’ll just blog, collect the week’s entries, edit the sensitive portions that may offend my classmates, and submit that instead.

Anyway, onward, management fans!

Tuesday (yesterday)

had a specific focus: the VMOKRAPI/SPATRES. What it is and how to make one for yourself and/or your organization. It’s too long to get into here, but I’ll just give you what the letters stand for and you can ask me next time we meet for a more detailed lecture :). Vision, Mission, Objective, Key Result Area, Performance Indicator/Strategy, Program, Activity, Task, RESources. These can (and probably should) be in plural.

It’s basically a plan for your future. Cecile used a really simple and easy-to-remember example: she gave a VMOKRAPI… for a group of animals that wanted to get back into Eden. One of the strengths of the seminar has been that they treat us like idiots, which we mostly are in terms of management, hence our presence here… after all, if we were doing so well, why would we need to take it? The important thing to remember is to begin with the end goal in mind. That way you know where you’re going. You should also be really sure, and clear, about your end goal. It should be an ideal you aspire to, yet realistic enough to be met.

We then tackled things like External/Internal Analysis, and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). The most interesting part of the day was when we were presented with example VMOKRAPIs: Brian Tenorio and Joey Ayala’s. Brian I knew from Heights, he was one of our better designers, and apparently had taken the Management in the Arts Program last April (Batch 2). Anyway, he was turning 25, about to go to the US to study, and his vision for himself was very worldly. Global. He wanted outlets in Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo, and Marikina. He wanted his style, Tenorium, to become reputable, distinct, and well-known. Etc., etc. He seemed really determined and I thought his advantage was that he knew exactly what he wanted. Very clear about that. Which is fascinating for someone so young. It kind of took some of the oldies by surprise. He had a very detailed plan about what to do with himself. Some of the key result areas had already been met since he’d taken the MAP. Some of the amusingly specific ones, though, were being asked to judge the Miss Universe, and being spotted while attending a Wimbledon match.

Joey Ayala’s was also really interesting, and highly personal. He talked about why he needed the MAP, the emotional and physical turmoil he’d gone through in the past 3 years. He’d lost his creative passion. He wanted to break free of his “neo-ethnic” image, which, he says, while remains part of him, does not encapsulate him. Outlined was his plan in getting back to performing more often, being selective about the venues, releasing a new album and setting up a website. He was also very frank with us about how horny he was (he kept making jokes like “I want to be able to perform for 2-3 hours… on stage, ha.”), how SEX (all caps) was part of his list of things that made him happy. It took him months to complete his VMOKRAPI. Then he sang a song for us, a cappella since we couldn’t find a guitar in the entire school.

Then had to meet with my group for a presentation the next day. We discussed the report, then the way to present it, since it had to be “artistic.” Me and Tomo, the Japanese cellist I mentioned, had to stay a little while longer and make the PowerPoint presentation.

I realize I’ve never really used PowerPoint or Excel. Through all of high school and college, I never had to use it, or was never the person who had to make the presentation. Weird.

Anyway, me and Tomo are fast friends now. I think he is floored because I seem to be the first person with an actual interest in Japan. We’re both big fans of Takeshi Kitano, Haruki Murakami (who Quark may see while in New York, the bastard), Junichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawabata, Shonen Knife, Akira Kurosawa, the Ring trilogy and Hideo Nakata and the US remake, and Pink Eiga (Japanese XXX), Grave of the Fireflies, Perfect Blue, Metropolis, and manga like Astroboy, Lone Wolf & Cub, Blade of the Immortal, Akira, Domu, etc. Since he’s a cellist, we also talked about Jacqueline du Pre, who I only know because of the terrific film Hilary & Jackie, which he’s a fan of as well. We also both like Wong Kar-Wai (though he’s Chinese). He was at Cinemanila almost every day, and loves that movies are so cheap here. We may bitch and complain, but a movie’s 800 pesos in Japan. In New York it’s around 500 bucks already.

Saw the trailers for Adaptation and Punch-Drunk Love, two eagerly-awaited films. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday (Today)

began with a talk about 10 Universal Principles of Great Art, presented with slides of photographs taken by our professor, Eduardo Morato. He’s a really good photographer, apparently, having won several competitions and the like. The photos were excellent. Later I would find out that he also paints, and is a spiritualist, very much into dream interpretation and meditation. I wonder why these facets of him aren’t mentioned in his resume. All the professors we’ll have during the seminar have their write-ups included in the case folder. And none of these “artistic” accomplishments bear mentioning. Kind of sad, if you think of it. I’ll bet he’s prouder of some of these things than a lot of his “business” accomplishments. Not that I’m belittling them. The man’s a legend, always voted terror teacher of the year by the students, but also always voted best teacher. He’s psychic, can spot immediately who hasn’t prepared for class, etc. though he’s been pretty nice to us.

Forgot to mention that we have stretching exercises every 250 PM. Cecile surprised us by being so flexible and limber, she could stretch waaaayy back without falling and could reach the floor with her hands while standing upright easily. It’s not in her write-up either that she used to be a ballerina before becoming Executive Director of Ballet Philippines.

After the 10 Principles came the group presentations we all prepared the night before. I daresay we kicked all their asses, and my mom came to watch, which unnerved me but wasn’t wholly a surprise. We even had props and costumes and shit, but the masterstroke was having Tomo play his cello and Raul his classical guitar, which he does professionally for some 30-odd years now.

After lunch came the really interesting part of the day: intuition. They first explained the differences between instinct, intellect, and intuition. Then we had our first experience: astral travel, or remote viewing. I was paired with a woman named Becky, and we had to stare at one another for something like a minute, trying very hard not to laugh while trying to “intuit” what the other’s house looked like, and then write down the images we saw. She got a 75%, which was pretty good. I got a 95%, which was downright startling and spooky. Becky got some colors wrong, but she was able to correctly “guess” that my fence was a combination of wrought-iron and concrete, that despite my having a fence I didn’t have a gate for my garage, that the sole computer in the house was in a room without a bed, and the spookiest of all, she was able to guess that I have an indoor pond. I was able to correctly “intuit” the color and height of her gate, the color scheme of her walls, the wallpaper in the upstairs rooms, the design and layout of the dining room, etc. I also accurately described some of her furniture, paintings, and vases. The most telling detail was seeing a bookshelf of encyclopedias on the second floor, but in an open hallway, not a room. And I got that right too. I had an astral projection exercise with Fr. Bulatao once in college, but it was about flying, not visiting someone else’s home. One person in the class got 100%. Everything she said about her partner’s house was right. Downright eerie.

We were then taught how to meditate, and to open our different energy sources (I now get that line in Fight Club about opening your heart chakra. No caves, though. Or penguins.).

Next: telepathy. Cecile would show our partners an image while we faced the wall, and we would try to get it right. Most of us had the basics down: color, number of elements, etc. And then change places. One really terrific and scary exercise was Cecile would choose someone who scored high in the remote viewing, get an object from them, give it to someone in the class while he/she wasn’t looking, and then ask them to find their object simply by “following the energy” of his/her possession and reading subliminally the class’s body language. In EVERY CASE, the person found their item. Two got it right on THE FIRST PERSON they approached. Others were in the right vicinity but had difficulty pinpointing exactly where. But instead of going far away, they were pretty near.

The final, longest session was about dream interpretation. Both Cecile and Prof. Morato handled the class. There were no real exercises, they were just asking for lots of dreams and giving interpretations. Lecture by example. Lots of spooky dreams/images came up, and I was taking notes. :) Cool things learned: dreams can affect you physically. One classmate told of a friend’s dream where he was making love with his recently-deceased wife and when he woke up he had a hickie. Another woman told of a recurring dream where her father was speechless. After Morato’s interpretation, she confessed she asked her father to die (he’d been severely ill on and off, but she didn’t ask in a cruel manner, she kind of just let him know that they were going to be okay). Still, being visited after your father like that would spook me.

Recurring dreams almost always mean some kind of unresolved issue or issues. There are prophetic dreams (hence déjà vu), recurring dreams, and sequential dreams.

A lot of stories of Morato being able to tell when people are pregnant before even they know. Also our Indian classmate being told by a Sufi on a train that she was going to have a son, and when she got to her destination she checked and was indeed pregnant.

Monsters in our dreams almost always represent our parents.

After the whole thing, I was resolved to keep a dream journal, since I hardly remember my dreams. I would’ve said I don’t dream but we almost always dream, we just don’t remember. We dream an average of four times a night. Neva, on the other hand, remembers a lot of her dreams with incredible detail (incredible detail and vividness, by the way, are indicators of a prophetic dream). I’d also like to read up more on lucid dreaming, willfully entering a dream knowing that you’re dreaming, so that you can confront figures in your dream to effect change. First heard about it in Waking Life (in a different version, Vanilla Sky, too), but forgot about it after a while.

One dream of a man’s balls having fallen off and rolling away from him on a bridge was successfully interpreted as, well, obviously, emasculation. In this case, his parents (mom especially) told him what course to take in college. When he rebelled against his mom and withdrew from college in third year, the recurring dream stopped.

You can induce hallucinations by fasting around 3 days. Of course, there are other ways: drink, drugs, meditation, chant, etc.

I have some more things to say about dreams and how they’ve really intrigued me recently, but I think I’ll save it for later. This is long enough as it is!

So there may be something in all this spirituality hullabaloo. :)

By the way, got my first offer of employment already, today. This networking thing works!


By the way, I am now REALLY interested in seeing Joey Javier Reyes’s Live Show. Anybody have a decent copy I can borrow? I’ll take care of it, I promise.


No time or strength left for links. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Wish I could write something long about today's classes, but I'm so fucking tired! Just came from a late meeting with my group about a presentation tomorrow and I still have shit to read for the first class in a few hours' time...

I hope I don't burn out before Friday, when I'll finally have some time to sleep. I haven't had a schedule like this since high school, since classes go from 830 to 530. Even college had long breaks.

Thanks for reading everything, though. I love you bitches.

Monday, September 16, 2002

I severely underestimated the amount of readings I had, and ended up reading cases until about 3, then woke up 4 hours later. Ugh.

It’s kind of weird, but today marks the first day I have ever entered and exited AIM’s doors as a student. Which is funny because my mom’s worked there my whole life, the guards and other employees have seen me grow up. But I’ve never had an interest in management, nor even took a management class at Arneow.

The first day of the seminar was pretty cool. Met my discussion group, learned a lot about the world of modern dance, the life cycle of art, a lively discussion on Live Show that ended up in heated debate, raised voices, and people rising out of their seats (most of the time when we speak we remain seated). Certainly an eclectic bunch. In my discussion group alone there’s the Japanese cellist, the gay guy from Bacolod, the Program Director’s husband, a classical guitarist (it’s kind of funny that he’s taking the class, Cecile keeps needling him in front of us and it makes for comic relief), a teacher from AIM who taught Psychology at Arneow (Mila Lagrosa, if anyone knows her), and a sound teacher from Benilde.

Cecile reminds me of the teacher in Hogwarts who taught them how to fly. I don’t really give a crap about Harry Potter so I don’t know her name. Nor am I interested. She looks like a lesbian, though (the teacher, not Cecile).

Cool things I learned today: took the enneagram, which I’ve taken before, and realized that I have moved from being a withdrawn person to an aggressive one. Must’ve been all those fight clubs. Also, not only is there IQ (intelligence) and EQ (emotional intelligence), which is more or less accepted now, there is also IQ2 (cognitive and learning capabilities), AQ (adversity quotient; how we adapt to critical situations) and SQ, a spiritual quotient that has higher significance since it integrates everything else, and primarily involves intuition.

I took a test to see if I’m right-brained (artists) or left-brained (logical; accountants) and was surprised to find that I was left. Kind of disappointed and surprised, since I thought I was an artiste. Then took another test, which revealed I was right-brained. Confused, I asked Cecile, “What if the results contradict? Each test tells me I use a different hemisphere.” To which she replied, “Well, that means you’re double-dominant.” WOO-HOO! I mean... shit, yeah.

Saw the video of the conference where EQ was first introduced to the world. Cool.

Occupations with the most number of mental disorders: 1. Writers (expected this) 2. Artists (ditto) 3. Professors (hello!)

Found out my personality test through the enneagram, which I thought was really interesting and is the kind of test I find useful (long uncomfortable stare at Ozzy). I’ve kept it in case any of you want to give it a try. Some of it’s pretty accurate, some of it’s off the mark (or maybe I just don’t want to believe it, hehe…). For example, I am aggressive and assertive, according to my profile. I can see that sometimes, but not as dominant. However, when provoked, I will attack. My defense mechanism when under duress is to completely and utterly shut down all emotion, and try to get away from the source of duress, whether person or place or event. The worst thing you could possibly do to me (and I suppose this is putting me at risk) is cheat me. Not only will it be a blow, I will remember it forever and it would taint whatever relationship we have. For a while, if you asked me what my scariest movie was, I’d say Malice, simply because of the infidelity. Now it’s either Ring, Ring 2, or Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, so I guess I’m over it.

Cool stuff to know about yourself, eh?

More: Emotional energy is highly potent and can be transferred: two complete strangers answer a test detailing their mood, enter a room and meet, sitting opposite one another in silence for two minutes. Then they exit the room, fill out the same test, and get the same results. The dominant person’s emotional energy transferred to the other person, or was “picked up” in as little as two minutes, and after they felt almost exactly the same. A highly effective example of empathy.

The video was mostly about the importance of emotion. The speaker gave a talk about the amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for your emotional memory. If someone holds up a pen, for example, in 2/100ths of a millisecond, before it even registers in your brain that “Ah, he’s holding up a pen,” your amygdala will go through your ENTIRE LIFE experiences with pens, and your emotional responses to them, and will emerge with a pattern saying whether or not you like pens. It moves much faster than the other structures in “brain time.” O diba? I’m learning! One serial killer, who’d killed 8 people, including family members and strangers and classmates before being caught, was asked “How could you do it? Didn’t you feel any pity for your victims?” He replied, “Oh, I couldn’t do it if I felt anything for them.” It was later found out that the link between his amygdala and frontal cortex (thought, logic, rationality) was severed.

Seizures can either lead to genius when you experience a positive reinforcement, because brain connections are “shook up” but reattached in new and “exciting” ways, or to schizophrenia when the attachments are awkward, resulting in a negative reinforcement.

I remember reading a book on corporate negotiation one summer, out of sheer boredom and nothing else to read, and recall one passage about tone of voice being very important. That was reiterated today in another example, wherein a drunken man boarded a train, challenged everyone, just aching for a fight, but when greeted politely and warmly by an older man, started bawling and confessing that he missed his wife who’d left him, he had no home, no job, etc.

Well, I better go. Have another shitload of stuff to read for tomorrow, and have to start making a journal (I wonder if Cecile would accept this blog? :) Except I’ve nailed some of my classmates already).


What is it with hot chicks and yellow jumpsuits these days? I barely gave that Uma Thurman picture and then come across this dazzling piece from the So Close website, which looks like a kick-ass pic from Corey Yuen. Click on the picture to go to the website.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Some pics from last night, stolen from Alexis:

Joey drunkenly STOLE the mike from someone else. There's Alia ashamed in the background.

All the rowdy children.

Chris, as ever, full of himself. “Yes, my ego really is this big.”

There’ll probably be more later.


rock is desperate

It seems that rock journalism is so desperate for rock to come back, and I mean decent rock, not bullshit like Creed or whatever new band is ripping off Rage Against the Machine (and badly), but good, aggressive, driving rock. The Hives, The White Stripes, and The Vines are all mentioned on the covers of the current Spin and Rolling Stone. This way they actually get to write about musicians, and not pretty people plucked by record companies to sing songs other people wrote who know how to do as they’re told and follow dance steps.
Text message from Chris: “Holy fuck, is Simone a real digital character?”

Part of Simone’s marketing campaign from New Line was to claim that Simone was indeed a digital creation. Even in the credits of the movie, it says “Simone as herself” and there’s a list of people thanked for the “creation of Simone” that includes Claire Forlani, Audrey Hepburn and Mary J. Blige (who was Simone’s “singing” voice). They even claimed she was a creation of BUF, a great effects company who did work for Fight Club. But it’s not true. Simone is played by Canadian model Rachel Roberts, and New Line fessed up only after the movie was released. And Roberts was able to promote both the movie and herself. She auditioned and got the part, she can’t sing, but she was great in I Am Pig. They also “digitized” her face a little, to give it just that hint of artificiality, removing all facial blemishes, etc. If you do decide to watch Simone and didn’t read my earlier post, stay after the credits, there’s an extra funny scene.


Had my orientation seminar at AIM yesterday morning. I’m taking the Managing the Arts Program, a 2-week seminar at the Asian Institute of Management. Anyway, my fears were confirmed: I am the youngest participant (I think I’m the only one below 30!), and know no one, not even by reputation (well, maybe Lulu Tan-Gan). It probably doesn’t help that I have no experience, since I graduated last March. It sounds exciting, though, and since I’ve never taken a management class, I’m curious to see how I’ll take to it. Mother hen Cecile Manikan, the Program Director and one of our professors, easily impresses with her stories of past batches and what we’re going to learn. She claims, for example, that there is a legendary half-day tutorial on managing your finances which is so good you’ll know everything about income tax, tax breaks, etc. and not just for you but whatever company you work for. My classmates come from all over: one from the Australian embassy, 3 from the CCP, one Japanese cellist, a graphic designer, two Advertising writers, etc. I’ll be meeting more classmates who didn’t attend tomorrow, when the program officially begins.

They gave me this casebook, with really thick readings, and it’s only for the first week. Shit. Here I was hoping it was going to be a breeze. While looking through it, one of the ditzier classmates of mine said, “But there are no pictures...” She was also laughing loudly at every little thing. And the classroom is freezing cold. I should’ve brought a jacket. The dancer in our class, she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and was visibly shaking in the front row (I sit at the back).

Tidbit I learned: did you know Singapore’s budget for the arts is over 100 BILLION pesos? For a country with a population of 3 MILLION? “And if you read the papers over there,” says Cecile, “the artists complain!” Jesus Christ. Let them try it here. But, the upside is Singapore admits its artists aren’t that talented, and are importing teachers from all over the world. But at least their government has this strong push in trying to establish itself as the arts capital of Asia. But Christ, think about it: with the arts budget alone they could give each citizen, even babies and the infirm, a million pesos each and there’d still be oodles left over.

Disturbing: I was in a mall around lunchtime yesterday and there was this freaky-looking woman, with pale peeling skin and red blotches on her face, definitely above 40, asking the saleslady for “Treepol X” while her son, maybe 6 years old, was asking for Not Another Teen Movie, which I haven’t seen but I know definitely has copious amounts of nudity. Brr. Well, at least I got the pirated Panic Room (the original doesn’t have many features, dammit), but unfortunately they didn’t copy the French language soundtrack, which I wanted to hear because Jodie Foster dubs herself in French. She’s that fluent. It’s frustrating that there are hardly any features on the Panic Room original DVD, because there’s so much material they could have used: Fincher’s elaborate pre-visualization process, features on photogrammetry (which was extensively used in Fight Club as well as Panic Room), and maybe some of the scenes he shot with Nicole Kidman in the role (Fincher shot 18 days with Kidman before she broke her ankle on the set of Moulin Rouge, which she was finisihing). At the very least, a commentary. Disappointing since the DVDs of Fight Club and Seven are packed with features.


Had a much-needed outing at Rockwell too, with (deep breath) Quark, Chris, Alia, Ernan, Joeybrash, Mich and her two interns Goldie and Hannah, Alexis, Knox, and Patricia. There was a benefit concert/fashion show for an animal society who were giving out bags and beanie babies if you registered. I wonder if Neva would’ve been interestee. Saw the Itchyworms!, Mikey and Gay, Diego Monsterbot, Mo, Sara, Shine, Zach and Aya of Imago, Fatals Donna and Annette, Maui, Diego and Camille, Jason Drilon and Tina, Criselle and Yani, Sib, even saw Paolo Cruz and Claire inside Not Page One.

The rain didn’t stop the fun. Kitchie’s filled out some, but still sings well and moves around more. Mich and her popettes were loud as usual (Goldie won an Itchyworms! CD from host Anna Shier), Joey was a ham, interfering with video crews interviewing people (he even licked the camera!), Quark was interviewed and assaulted by his ex, Mich, the popettes, Joey, and Elena, who was pushed into him, Diego and Mikey and Donna and Annette and Aya and Kitchie all modeled clothes, even on the wet catwalk. Some dogs were running around. Mich fell on the ground, tackled by the others. Alexis was taping the others, but mostly the models. Chris arrived later, when we were eating and were loud at Brothers Burger. Drinking later, beside the playground and the giant hotdog outside Holland Sausages looking forward to eating himself. Played on the wet playground, Alexis taping couples going into the bathrooms, discussion, etc. Then got tired, went home, posted.
Did you know that 20% of Filipinos want to leave this country? That’s 1 in 5, people. I suppose I started thinking about it since Paul and Jenny just left, though not permanently, and I have a good friend who lives in the US now, PJ. Mookie’s studying abroad, so is Mark Casipit, and Chris’s sisters Katie and Colleen are moving there too (the twins leave on Tuesday).

I don’t really like this country anymore. The place is beautiful, but goes unappreciated by a majority of the people in it. The crime and politics is constantly depressing, ruled by egos and short-term plans that benefit themselves. Traffic is hell. I don’t think I like living in a country where if a family member befell an accident in the house, I can’t reasonably rely on any ambulance getting here in time. Or if your house is robbed, do you honestly expect the police to do anything about finding the robbers?

Honestly, what keeps me here are my friends. If only I could move to a nicer climate and bring them all with me.
The house of one of my dad’s friends burned down to the ground early yesterday morning. It took 10 minutes for their house, and everything they owned, to disappear completely. They saved the car, though it almost went, too. The fire started because of a cat, who had been clawing away at some wires that caused a spark. 10 minutes. Jesus.

I guess this is one of those reminders to everyone else to appreciate what they have, and to be very, very careful.

And to wipe cats off the face of the earth.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Read a good article here. It’s a comics column, yes (and the best one, at that), but read the political parts. This guy hates Bush, but he’ll tell you why, and paints an interesting portrait of what can happen in the future with all these changes they’re doing to the constitution.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Today is The Hong's birthday! One day over Friday the thirteenth. Be warned. But greet him first. He may yet spare you.

And congratulate Lia! She got accepted at Road Runner.

Tinkered with the template with Neva's help, and was finally able to figure out how to add more boxes over on the left. So now my links box actually looks like it's part of the template now. And I gave my guestbook links a box, since they were practically invisible before. So if you haven't yet signed my guestbook, please do so. :)

Depressing: Infinite Matrix is in trouble. They need money. Damn. Hope they get it. Do yourself a favor and take a look around over there, especially through the archives of Richard Kadrey's Nanotales. Nanotales are really, really short stories, you can usually read them in under 3 minutes. And Kadrey is one of those vastly underrated writers who really should be (at least) back in print.

And Neva's off to Cebu for the weekend, visiting Sheryll and Mikey. :(

Have an orientation seminar tomorrow (today). Should probably get some sleep.
Jenny De Dios left for Japan yesterday, and Paul E. left for Stanford the day before that.

Shucks. I’ll miss ‘em both.

Paul E. Here’s a guy who was valedictorian of his high school batch in La Salle, which comes with a full scholarship to La Salle University, but he chooses to go to Ateneo because he knows it’s the right thing to do. He maintains a damn near impossible average. He gets the departmental award, is offered a P100,000/month job after getting his first degree, but turns it down to finish his studies in Humanities. He graduates summa cum laude. Many believe he should’ve been valedictorian, and that it was bungled by politics. He was also very active in his organization, Heights, serving in different editorial positions his last 2 or 3 years. He’s also a writer, and a fine artist. Knows how to cook. Full of general information.

Basically, the stuff of genius. He’s going to Stanford because he can, because he’s not paying for it. You know what he’s going to be doing in return for the waived tuition fee?

Study dark matter.

That’s right. You don’t know it, neither does your seatmate, or your cousin. Only people like Paul know what dark matter is, and can apply themselves to studying it so that he can get into Stanford free (it’s actually conceptual matter smaller than atoms, the space between stars or some such ambiguous description, theorized to be multiplying since the universe is literally expanding, which at one point will be so much that its generated gravity [because mass is proportional to gravity] should collapse the entire universe, including time, into a superdense point, also called the Big Crunch, the reverse of the Big Bang and the end of our existence [and the possible beginning of another]).

What’s amazing is that Paul does not have an ego. He does not have “issues.” He is down-to-Earth, approachable, amiable, funny, and one of the nicest people you’ll find. Ever, anywhere, in history. And he’s gone, to make us proud and get rich and fund our projects, hopefully. His girlfriend’s a genius, too. She’s at Georgetown now, also a scholarship. Something in chemistry.

In Paul’s “Michelle” shoebox, I found her transcript. Imagine that. He keeps her transcript.

One day they will breed genius children who will perfect cold fusion and reverse global warming, make batteries that never run out and all of us, all over the world, will be working for them.

Good thing I’m already friends with the father.

As we were leaving his house on his despedida: “You don’t have to worry about staying in touch. That’s the good thing with everyone addicted to blogging.”
Jenny De Dios of the mean hug, the generous laugh, the gracious smile and the kind heart that the De Dios family has patented. She and her sister Jeline are also some of the finest, nicest, most charming, most wickedly funny people you will meet. Fiercely intelligent, Jenny is nonetheless able to appreciate lowbrow humor, which is something everyone should do. She’s going to Japan to live on her own, to study. She’ll be living in an apartment all by herself, will force herself to learn how to cook, clean, launder, and other fun games. Commuting, too. She’ll be spending Christmas there, alone, traveling, seeing Japan swallowed in snow, seeing its mountains and all those other places she’s read about in Memoirs of a Geisha or Haruki Murakami novels.

I met Jenny in the Ateneo Musicians’ Pool. Jeline wasn’t in Ateneo yet. Even then she was fascinated with Japan (even looked Japanese). She lent me lots of Rumiko Takahashi stuff: Ranma ½ novels and Maison Ikkoku. For her, it’ll be the culmination of that fascination that began in high school. She’ll only be gone a year, but we’ll still miss her. And how brave, to completely and utterly immerse yourself in a separate culture for a full year, alone. I suppose the best way to learn all those domestic skills is to jump in at the deep end of the pool.

I don’t know if I could to that.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Still in a 9/11 mood. Here's Art Spiegelman's New Yorker cover after Sep. 11:

and here's the current cover, commemorating the anniversary:

ADDED: I just love this cover. It's so poignant and effective. Emphasis through absence. Unlike almost all the magazines coming out at the same time, whose covers had the towers either burning or standing upright, this cover makes you fill in the blank, and you insert your own memory of the towers into the picture. At the same time, you can appreciate its literal presentation: the new skyline. Wonderful.

And here's Art himself:

Art Spiegelman is the creator of Maus, which won a Pulitzer in 1992. Maus is one of those books that made me cry, that absolutely cemented in my mind the potency and power of comics as an art form, as a delivery device, as a way to tell a story. When I was in New York two years ago I visited his childhood home, because there was a small drawn map on the back of Maus. I don't know if anyone else has done this (though there are probably lots), but it's pretty easy if you use the map (it's in Queens). Anyway, I couldn't work up the courage to knock on the door or ring the doorbell, so I just sat there looking at it and fully realizing that Maus is non-fiction (it's about his relationship with his father as well as what his father went through in the Holocaust).

Spiegelman now lives 15 blocks away from the WTC. It was his daughter's first day at school on Sep. 11. You can imagine his fright. Wife Francoise Mouly is the art editor of The New Yorker, for which Art supplies many covers. Together they edit the Little Lit anthology series of comics stories for children (highly recommended). Art hasn't done any major comics since Maus, but he's going to be embarking on one soon, about 9/11 (which you can read about here).

I was also thinking about them, and my visit to his childhood home, that day when the towers fell. I don't know them personally, but still... you can't help but wonder about all the New York celebrities you respect and admire: Woody Allen, Robert De Niro, a lot of great indy comics creators live in Brooklyn alone (Paul Pope, Ed Brubaker, Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, etc.), Conan O'Brien...

Here's an article by Spiegelman about making the cover above.

And here's an article you should really, really read. Please. Do me this favor and read this article. He puts into words what I felt, and does it so much better than I could hope to.

It occurs to me that this is Sep. 11. Time passes so quickly, but only when you think about it like that. Otherwise, sitting in a hospital waiting room, for example, or in class, time seems to drag on forever.

It’s important to remember. The special Time issue that came out right after the attacks, the one with the black border, predominantly comprised of pictures and analyses of the terrorists’ strategy? It had an editorial at the back (unfortunately I don’t remember the writer) that I agreed with wholeheartedly. It was obviously written in the aftermath, because it was tinged with rage, but a focused, laserlike rage, and it was intelligent. The gist of it was that we should not forget our anger. We should not let this event become another Hallmark movie, a made-for-TV special, a footnote in history. He urges that we must not let go of our shock, our hatred, our anger, because that’s what’s needed to pursue this thing to its bitter end. We can’t strike blindly, we can’t accuse without anything to back it up, but the greatest insult and dishonor to those who died and suffered would be to forget. To have the importance of what happened a year ago dissipate into another socio-historical event.

For me, it’s really how I’ll remember the 21st century starting.

It was evening here. Neva happened to be at my house, and we were reading comics, when she got a text from Katrice saying that a plane had crashed into the one of the Twin Towers. Curious, we went downstairs to the living room and found my family (along with cousin Ray) already watching the tragic events unfold live on CNN. When we saw the smoke and the size of the hole and the damage, we couldn’t believe it. This has been said many times but it really did look like something out of a summer blockbuster. The first thing we did was text our friends in New York about what was happening. We weren’t particularly worried about them, because it wasn’t known yet that the crash was intentional. We texted Quark and Lia, who, with Chris and Jomi, were in class at the New York Film Academy. Steph didn’t have a phone yet. Minutes later, the second plane hit, and EVERYONE saw it. And there was no doubt that it was deliberate. That’s when we started worrying. Ray was calling his family, who were calling his sister, who now lives in New York with a family of her own. Apparently Quark and the others didn’t know yet the extent of what was going on, because phone lines got impossibly tangled, and text messaging and cellphones were the fastest way of communicating with others. We told them what happened, they couldn’t believe it, then classes were canceled and smoke was already wafting in the streets outside. There’s an almost-funny story Chris mentioned where because they were in a film school, everyone— teachers and students, filed out with their videocameras and got some footage.

Even after I took Neva home, I was glued to the screen, switching back and forth between FOX News, CNN, and the BBC. I slept at 5 AM.

The days after that, reports were pouring in from people we knew: Steph smelled burning flesh, Martin, a classmate from high school, remembers seeing flakes falling from the towers, some of which were charred pieces of paper, others were sizzling pieces of what smelled like meat. He didn’t want to consider what it might’ve been. He personally saw some of the people falling out of the towers. One of my mom’s ex-secretaries, who she was very fond of, happened to be on vacation, and her sister was with her, when she was supposed to be in one of the towers on the same day for an interview. Their divine luck was even featured in a newspaper here.

For days we were just watching those three channels.

The picture now is murky. The propaganda against Bin Laden has been so effective you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks he didn’t do it, but has there really been any hard, substantial evidence? One of the most terrifying things about the attacks is that nobody outright claimed responsibility. They didn’t want any credit, just to terrorize, and perhaps send a message to America, that it was overconfident, complacent, and most of all, just as vulnerable as everybody else. I mean, all they had were airline steak knives and pilot training, and the absolute will that is necessary to sacrifice your own life for a cause that you believe is worth it.

Attorney General Ashcroft and the Bush administration have been able to pass a lot of ridiculous laws that actually actively curtail civil liberties. Ashcroft wants the FBI and CIA practically merged, and to grant them military powers. They’ve already allowed the FBI to access your mail without your knowing it. There’s a plan to set up concentration camps (and let’s repeat that for emphasis: CONCENTRATION CAMPS) for Americans who do not “cooperate” with the efforts against terrorism, efforts that are not delineated specifically to the point that people in authority can abuse that authority , point at someone and say, “Arrest him.” And it would be done without due process, without access to a lawyer or miranda rights. Most of the American people are unaware, ambivalent, or too swept-up in the wrong kind of patriotism to complain or protest. Or they’re scared, which is worse. It’s becoming a scary place to live. Actually, it’s slowly becoming a police state.

Currently, they’re planning to invade Iraq, a move that is not supported by other countries, and the suspicion (which I’m leaning towards myself) is that it’s a move to re-consolidate American support for the Bush administration, and to divert attention from the economic woes and scandals involving Enron, Worldcom, AOL Time/Warner, hell, even Martha Stewart (it’s a crowd the Bush family has been involved in for decades, as well). The realization of the American people that you can easily be swindled by CEOs because legislation can’t keep up with the changes, the complexities, the speed of the corporate, multinational, publicly-owned-stocks world.

No one should forget those who died.

No one should forget those who aided in the rescue attempts, whether it was their job, or they were just volunteering. Even dogs died in the hundreds from the shrapnel, going through the rubble, choking on smoke, getting wounded on glass.

No one should forget the brave passengers of Flight 93, who fought against the terrorists onboard, rushing them with pillows and trays as defense.

One of the most heart-breaking moments I will take to my grave is seeing the couple falling out of one of the burning buildings, hands clasped together (of course, lots of other people jumped, and there may have been other couples holding hands. They hit the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist. Think about that for a second. A pink mist.). I keep coming back to that image whenever I think of 9/11. So many questions. Did they jump? Did they fall? Were they pushed? Did they know each other? Did one love the other? Did one have to convince the other? How bad was it inside that they decided to end their life their own way by jumping out?

What was going through their minds in the freefall?

Did they regret anything?

I wrote a story about them. One day I’ll clean it up and give it to Harvey to draw.

Months later, the new Moby album, 18, comes out. There’s a song called Sleep Alone, which I realize, after several times of listening to it, is about Sep. 11, and that couple in particular. The chorus goes

“At least we were together
holding hands
falling through the sky.”
Saw S1m0ne, which was a lot of fun, and much funnier than I expected. I'm a big fan of writer/producer/director Andrew Niccol, who wrote/directed Gattaca and wrote The Truman Show. Him and P.T. Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) came out around the same time and I remember thinking that they were the ones to watch among the new kids that year. I also love Jason Schwartzman. This is the first time I've seen him in a movie since Rushmore, since I missed Slackers. If you're going to see S1m0ne, by the way, be sure to stay until after the credits, because there's a small scene everyone but me and Neva missed. Haha. You dumb fuckers.
Now Steph Misa has a blog! Wooh! The virus spreads…

And some friends have started the Love Stories blog, where you can read about true-life love stories. They can be requited or not, but must be real, and must have something about stop-in-the-name-of-LOVE! Cool beans.

That link box of mine is getting longer…

Monday, September 09, 2002

Methinks Ozzy’s enjoying this attention a little too much. I mean, look at that. He actually put a pencil-thin mustache on himself.

”Yes, as a matter of fact I DO crave your love and understanding.”

And here’s a cute drawing of Mich while she was watching Ring (also on her blog). She just figured out how to post pictures (and right-click for a Mac) so expect her blog to be picture-happy.
The Cinemanila Wrap-Up article that we did is now up at Check it out, and see you at the forums.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Two for a laugh:

An Onion feature on hilarious DVD commentaries, and this pic I found for Superman fans, from Garth Ennis and Amanda Conner's The Pro:

SNAPS from Paul E.'s despedida:

Here's Ozzy's message for everyone who picked on him. Pussy.

Women Love Him, Men Want To Be Him: Sexy Man Mark Lavin.

Me shooting Carlo (o Ate Cyn, pang-Mirror Project! Ha ha).

Here's why I love Paul E. By the way, that couple in the foreground (Jomi and Krissy) inspired all the "important" scenes in Gamitan.

There's that cabinet I was talking about. Look at all the soldiers! No wonder he got such good grades (labo). From left: Alia, Jomi, Mark and Quark.

Joey Tolosa back from the dead, with Ozzy and Trinka.

Too many jokes... overwhelming... insert... own... caption here.

Me, Chris, and Trinka watching Sarah Meier. I love that couch. It's so comfortable and sinks really deep.

Neva was sleeping all over the place.


These pics all came from Carlo, by the way. Click here for more pics.

I’ve not been sleeping well lately. I can’t seem to get a good, restful sleep, just shallow naps that usually get interrupted by something or other. So I end up tired a lot of the time even though I haven’t really done anything. And I just finished an application essay, something I haven’t done since I applied to Ateneo for college. Had to explain my plans to contribute to the development of arts and culture in the country. Which in itself was a work of fiction.

My brain is muddled, so I hope I remember these right:

- Imagine my surprise at seeing Ana Maria Katigbak (known to us as Mookie) on the cover of a teen romance novella. I never even would’ve noticed it if it weren’t standing beside Arnold Arre’s After Eden (which came with a poster! You could also buy some mugs). I swear I did a double-turn, and even checked the indicia to see if I was being tricked by my eyes. But yes, there was her name, and I was so tempted to buy a copy and ask her to sign it next time I saw her, just to see the expression on her face. :)

- Got to see The Bourne Identity, which I thought was a lot of enjoyable, mindless fun. I was curious to see what a Doug Liman action film would look like, since I had enjoyed his previous films Swingers and Go. Matt Damon as action star was surprisingly not as jarring as I had suspected, but the really cool thing for me was seeing Clive Owen on the big screen.

Clive Owen is the coolest motherfucking man alive. If you’ve seen the BMW film series The Hire then you know why. If not, click on over and download those babies. They’re all worth it. The best one, Wong Kar-Wai’s The Follow, is unfortunately no longer available. Anyway, Clive was a kick-ass assassin here. He was also a kick-ass valet in Gosford Park.

- After Bourne Chris, me, and Neva passed by Mich’s workroom on the 16th floor of an empty building (it was around midnight), and found her drunk with her two underage interns, playing loud music and screeching unintelligibly. The depth of their depravity sickens me, as Jerry Falwell said of Larry Flynt.

- Sweet booty from the Bookfair: Grant Morrison’s Animal Man: Origin of the Species, Peter Milligan’s Human Target: Final Cut, American Century: Hollywood Babylon, Dylan Horrocks’s The Names of Magic, Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama, and Michael Crichton’s Timeline. There were a lot more books I wanted to get, but decided against it and thought I’d keep my money for a while instead. Of course, this’ll all be gone in a few days, knowing me.

- Joey shot the pilot episode of Brash Young (insert name here) on Saturday. Who knew he was such a ham? :) But he did a good job, was lively and loud and boisterous and cantankerous and jolly and knee-slappin’. And he served some good foodes after the taping.

- Paul E.’s despedida party was a blast. It was raining but that didn’t hamper the proceedings. Good food, good friends, and general ribbing galore. Two games of chess, the last 5 minutes of Shaolin Soccer, 3 riddles, Joey Tolosa’s return from the US, much teasing of Ozzy and his pictures, and practically everyone ended up thumbing through Trinka’s script, even people who didn’t know who she was. We got to see Paul’s room, which has this closet full of every imaginable G.I. Joe and playset (if I had a friend like Paul when I was in grade school I’d’ve probably killed him). A sweet shoebox of things from his girlfriend Michelle, and I found his hidden copy of Heavy Metal, stacked underneath a bunch of Pulp issues. Paul, for shame!

- I correctly figured out who the culprits were in Gosford Park and Batman: Fugitive, and solved 2 of 3 riddles given during Paul’s despedida! Wooh! :) I coulda been a detective.

- Check it out: pics from Quentin Tarantino’s first film in six years, Kill Bill, now in production:

That’s legendary fight choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping to his right, whose wire-work for The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have revolutionized Hollywood action. Tarantino doesn’t speak Chinese, and Yuen doesn’t speak English, so they couldn’t communicate with words. They used an improvised sign language (with accompanying vocal sound effects) to discuss the fights and blocking. Cool.

Mmm… Uma.

Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were among the films that made me want to become a filmmaker. He’s a guy who used to work at a video store while writing scripts he’d send out to different producers. Though he’s been accused (and is probably guilty) of trying to be a celebrity himself, there’s no denying he’s got this immense trove of pop-culture esoterica floating in that brain of his, and look at him now: 39 and directing a chop-socky feminist revenge flick, starring one of the most beautiful women in the world and his teen idol Sonny Chiba (and if you’ve seen True Romance, which Tarantino wrote, you know how much he loves Sonny Chiba, the original Street Fighter).

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Happy birthday to Maggie Costello! This younger sister of "Beer" Costello doesn't steal, and if she screams like a girl... well then that's perfectly normal, isn't it?

And the fun just don't stop: Ozzy/Mike's new picture is just as great as his first one:

"Wanna see my THIRD pistol? You'll have to look real hard to find it, though."

Lots of stuff happened. Will blog more about it later. Now tired. Must sleep.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Everyone is talking about Ozzy’s picture below. You know, the one where he’s trying to invite you into his den of sin? The one where you can smell the pomade just by looking at it? All that’s missing is the penciled-in moustache, and you’ve got the first serious competition for Raul Julia’s corpse in a Gomez Addams lookalike contest. Anyway, I liked Carlo’s caption so much I’m going to re-present the now-infamous picture with it in place of my own:

Allah peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

I now announce this the new game! Because everyone’s just tagboarding and trying to rack up record numbers in their comments. Come up with a funny caption for this soon-to-be-legendary picture.


Got to see Road to Perdition tonight. Holy crap do I love it. Immaculately shot, you can’t find a single bad shot in the film. Good script, acting, sound (Dear God please don’t let yourself watch this in a theater with shitty sound): this is how you adapt something. Having read the original graphic novel it was based on (which is available at Not Page One), one of the reasons I now love the movie so much is because it had everything I wanted to see in the book (not that it’s bad, but it’s got a slightly different focus). The only thing I can complain about, and it’s a minor one at that, is that the score is a little too generous. It kept calling attention to itself, and there were some scenes where I thought it would be more effective to not have music. Sometimes it feels as if they’re only doing it for the benefit of the less-intelligent audience members who have to be cued “This is a sad scene.” Apart from that, though, this is now my favorite film so far this year.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002


Mike Arcilla, aka Ozzy, aka Bitch No. 2, has a blog din pala. But beware, it's not for females, children, or those with pacemakers. Much of it makes no sense and constitutes the kind of navel-gazing hardcore bloggers love. Ahh... you know I mean well, don't you, Oz?


You have to go to his blog! If only to see this picture of him in his "latin lover suave seductor" mode:

"Would you like to fiddle with my... violin?"

BWAHAHAHA!!!! That's just...

Oh, and Joeybrash just announced that he's shooting an episode of Brash Young Cinema-- the TV show, this Saturday at 2, so come on over to hoot 'n holler!
Alright, let's get back to slagging Chris! Just awhile ago in Ateneo, he was going to steal a tennis ball he had picked up at the tennis courts, then threw it back, saying "This'll just get blogged, e." How right he was!

Cool link: if you want to see the super-cool title sequence of David Fincher’s Panic Room, click here. Quicktime required.

Visited Ateneo today. I still don’t miss the place. It didn’t help that it was fucking hot and traffic was everywhere. I hate how they keep accepting more and more students while doing nothing about the worsening traffic situation. It’s just ridiculous. Too bad, Sir Mark was home sick and I wasn’t able to properly thank him for his gift. But me and Chris got to see Julia, and got some tsismis and gave some back, and showed her all of our blogs. The entry below was posted while in her office. That’s where Chris was whining “There’s always something negative about me in each post” blah blah blah… so I wrote that thing about his family below, and of course, we bump into Maggie (his sister) outside Julia’s office. Then we ran into Trinka and sexy man Mark Lavin, spied on Nancy Castiglione for a bit, got some foodes, picked up my bro, stopped by CCHQ and went home.

I hate driving, and I hate this weather.

Oh yeah, Quark will be teaching a class at Ateneo next sem. I think DV Filmmaking. So if you’re still a student there or know someone who is, tell them to sign up. Some other batchmates who are going to be teaching: Camille Faylona at Thames (TV Production) and Chiko Lara at Assumption High (English?). And so the corruption of young minds continues...