Wednesday, October 30, 2002

MOVIES, MOVIES! (part deux)

MONDAY (Day 1) - So, Gore Verbinski’s The Ring. The American, Dreamworks-produced remake of the Japanese horror film Ring directed by Hideo Nakata. Coming in, several of us were already pretty sure that it wouldn’t be able to stand up to, let alone top, the original, which scared us witless during its run at the recent Cinemanila Film Festival. So unlike our experience watching Ring, we came into the theater with heavy expectations already, a definite disadvantage for the film. So how does it compare? Not very well. The script (by Ehren Kruger, who wrote Arlington Road) tried so hard to explain a lot of the things the Japanese original didn’t bother to (since it wasn’t particularly necessary in just trying to destroy you with terror). They had to explain exactly what “the” ring is, why it takes seven days for you to die, what’s the significance of most of the shots in the curse video, etc. I didn’t particularly like the guy who played Naomi Watts’s ex-husband, and his acting wasn’t anything spectacular, either. Watts was decent, no fireworks. The kid did okay, but he wasn’t Yoichi, whose eerie calm mixed with his just-too-cute Japanese schoolboy looks provided just the right mixture of weird needed to unsettle you and make you feel protective at the same time. Mostly, the film did what we expected it to do: transpose the story to a Western setting, explain everything, shorten the investigation scenes in favor of a montage of news clippings that are superimposed over a traveling car, invent a few scenes of more horror (one scene, in particular, involving a horse, was quite good, I must say), and mostly pump everything up with a loud score and special effects. The CG is noticeable, so even if it is good, you can tell it’s CG. And they didn’t really need it anyway. The climax is still there, thankfully, the most important set-piece of the film should be left intact, but here it’s marred by cuts (unnecessary, and derailing) and extravagant camera movements (also unnecessarily showy, and distracting). It still scared the shit out of Mich and her popettes Goldie and Hannah, the latter two never having seen the Japanese version.

TUESDAY (Day 2) - Finally got to see Lav Diaz’s Batang West Side, the famously 5-hour movie, courtesy of the Flip Movie Club. I didn’t really know what to expect with this going in. Trinka didn’t like it, yet Alexis called it “an unequivocal masterpiece.” What I got was a good film that fell under the weight of its own ambition. I don’t oppose the idea of a 5-hour film, I really don’t. I’m all for creative freedom and expression. My only demand is that you make sure why it’s a 5-hour film. Because I don’t want to call Batang West Side self-indulgent. There’s a lot of brilliant scenes, it’s got some of the most interesting cinematography I’ve seen recently in a Philippine movie (although sometimes they lacked enough light). But I felt at the end of the film that there was still a lot of things you could’ve done to shorten it. The story’s about a murder investigation in New Jersey. A young Filipino teen’s been shot in the head and it so happens that a Filipino (Joel Torre) is assigned to investigate the case. As he does this, he speaks to and interviews almost everyone who knew the kid while he was here, and they each give their 30-40 minutes of personal narration, their voice-overs going while we “see” how they knew the victim, what aspect of him they knew, etc. One of my main concerns was that Joel doesn’t have much of a character. One of the most important dimensions of the murder investigation story is how the investigation affects the one investigating, and here I didn’t see enough of it. I appreciate going into the murder victim’s life thoroughly, his history, his feelings and emotions and hopes and dreams, but how does it affect Joel? There are dream sequences and scenes where he talks to a psychologist, but this, aside from his mother on life support and his ex-wife and children, seem to be the only existing facts about him (until the end, during an expository “confession”). The scale with which you oppose the coverage of the murder victim’s life and Joel’s is disproportionate. I also felt that the last few scenes meandered a bit, losing the focus of the murder investigation that occupied the preceding four hours. There’s a spoiler here, so I’ll make it invisible and it’ll be at your discretion if you want to read it: Joel’s character, in the end, DOESN’T solve the murder. He hands the investigation over to his partner. Asking your audience to sit through a 5-hour film is one thing, but not doing that, well, you’re bound to get people feeling cheated. And though it may be the point of the film, especially since it’s pretty obvious that the murder victim is a stand-in for the Philippines and its youth (along with the attendant ills like drug addiction, confusion, dysfunctional family, etc.), there’s still something to be said about closure. The conclusion seems to be that everyone had a hand in his murder, that if he didn’t die by gunshot wound, it would’ve inevitably happened in any number of myriad ways: gang rub-out, OD, suicide, etc. There are also times where you really wish they took more takes, or just better actors (mostly supporting roles; Joel was for the most part decent but only a few scenes of his impressed me with his acting, subtlety and all). Sometimes the inevitable sound and light problems of shooting guerrilla style in the US makes it feel like you’re watching a really good student film (a lot of continuity problems also were evident and this was very distracting). For the most part, I think Lav has got so much potential. He’s a good writer and director. But he needs to rein it in. He needs to cut the fat, to make the meat lean. To go for the subtle, to see if he can apply the “less is more” adage. Because you can cram the whole world into your film if you like, but what do you want the audience to remember? They might not remember anything. You’ll overload them with information. Still, you have to admire the balls it takes to release a 5-hour film, and I look forward to whatever he’s doing next (his next film is supposedly already 8 hours, and still unfinished).

WEDNESDAY (Day 3) - was just the Ring Trilogy screening at Brash. We didn’t really watch, just hung out and shot the shit outside the screening room with Joey, Margie, Alexis, and Chris, with Mark joining us later after Ring. Met some people from the Brash mailing list, like Marishka and Noel Vera and Awi. Later on the others came: Mich and Lia and Neva, fresh from their spa. Quark followed from his sleep at home. Ernan and Alia arrived, and the popettes soon came out (they hadn’t seen any of the movies so they were watching). It was pretty well-attended, though attendance diminished the longer the night got. They screamed at all the right parts (even some wrong ones) and Chris and I caught our favorite scenes from Ring 1 & 2.


I got Coraline and finished it in under 12 hours, it’s just that fun and enjoyable. The fact I’ve been waiting for it for half a year didn’t hurt. Am going through Haruki Murakami’s After the Quake right now, 1 to 2 stories a day. If I can resist reading it straight, that is.

How can you not love The Onion?

IDOL: RAY BRADBURY Just look at this guy: he turned 81 last August, has a new book out in time for Halloween (From the Dust Returned), with a cover by the late Charles Addams (creator, of course, of The Addams Family). Still uses a typewriter. Will already live forever because of Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine and The Machineries of Joy and The Martian Chronicles and what have you… Did you know he wrote Fahrenheit 451 in 9 days, on a rented typewriter, in a room underneath the UCLA library?

Did you know Utada Hikaru is already married?

Did you know that Joel Torre, who’s played Jose Rizal, changed his name from the original Jose Rizalino?

Sunday, October 27, 2002


Yesterday I was finally able to catch a film at the Spanish Film Fest, Carlos Saura’s Goya En Burdeos. I really didn’t like it, unfortunately. I was intrigued because it was a biopic of an artist, but the storytelling fell flat most of the time and was haphazard. At the end of everything, you really didn’t know what the hell Saura wanted us to know about Goya, and the “love of his life,” Cayetana, had such a wafer-thin personality in the film you’re left wondering what made this particular woman so special. Erratic pacing and a long sequence at the end that seemed like it was a stage play instead of a film kind of sealed the coffin. At the very least, there were a lot of interesting filmmaking tools used, especially the use of screens and light. Some scenes were intended to be scary, where Goya’s paintings come alive and haunt him in his old age, but sadly these weren’t really followed-up on towards the end.

Later that night I caught Tesis with Neva and Mich, and enjoyed it more the second time around. Amenabar is one of the most exciting directors to emerge in the last decade, and his youth betrays his skill. It’s also quite obvious, and such a relief, to have a young director who is so literate. The layers that passed me by in my first viewing of Tesis had a second opportunity to strike me, and I was left marveling at how he weaved all these threads (reflexivity, violence’s effect/relationship with society, humor) into an exciting thriller.

And this afternoon I caught Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, a film I only chose to see because I’d already seen Red Dragon and Mr. Deeds. It’s directed by some guy named Wych Kaosananda, who just credits himself as Kaos, and damn is it horribly bad. The best film of the year right here, folks! Wooh! Seriously, though, I actually enjoyed myself. It’s better to see it with someone else, though. But it’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good. You’ll have fun watching every action cliché unfold, every bad pounding rock song or faux techno soundtrack cut, every second of bad hammy acting. It has its moments for an action film, though it wastes its most visually interesting scenes in the first half of the film, so that the supposed climax is really quite uninteresting. The absolute best part, though, is how they use flashbacks to tell the backstory behind Antonio Banderas’s character. Not only is it told awfully, with horrible transitions, it’s a BULLSHIT story, so fucking stupid there is no way this guy could’ve been FBI. Haha. Definitely one worth watching, but preferably with wiseass friends.

Tomorrow, we watch Gore Verbinski's The Ring. Will it stand up to the test? Oh, and it'll be Quark and Ed's birthdays, so greet them.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Have you seen the trailer for Singsing ni Lola? It's got Clint Mansell's score for Pi! The guy's everywhere, man!

On MTB there was some kind of cheer competition and I heard the word Ateneo so decided to keep from instinctively changing the channel. I was surprised when the routine was actually interesting, and people were somersaulting, and the music was some kind of techno thing. Ah, Ateneo de Davao pala. Not Ateneo de Manila. Leave it to the other campuses to be interesting and allow for growth in an area like cheerleading, which dies with stagnation. If you've ever seen Ateneo de Manila's cheerdancers' routine, it's dead boring, though probably not for lack of trying. They're not advised to stray too far from the "traditional" routines, which is mostly bending backwards while shouting and jumping straight up from a couching position with your arms out at your sides. Ooh... how terribly thrilling. Shit, they've only allowed women into babble a few years ago. The best part of AdD's routine was that they had incorporated elements of local folk dances.


Man, it seems my efforts at trying to catch a movie at the Spanish Film Festival are cursed. Which is depressing since it’s only 21 bucks a movie. Today, I missed the 2 PM screening by a couple of minutes because of the fucking traffic, and as anyone who knows me can tell you, I HATE going into a movie late. So I had a late lunch with Neva and Mich (who happened to be there) at one of my favorite places, WorldTopps. Then I checked my schedule: next movie, Bwana, at 5 PM. So I do some errands: bring Mich back to Greenbelt, Neva needs some dollars exchanged, go pick up my New X-Men HC (drool), pick up last copy of Batman 608 while I’m at it, head back towards Greenbelt with 15 minutes to spare. Except the fucking schedule’s been changed and they started the movie at 430! GRRAH! This is always worse, to start something early as opposed to late. Because people who are on time get screwed. If it’s late, it’s late, but at least you catch everything. Fuckers. So I just wait for Neva to get off work while surfing the net in my mom’s office and ogling my purchases, then visit the Flip office where the poor slave-drones (Neva, thin-as-a-wisp Katrice and Le Sexy Mark Lavin) get a late run-around by their bosses while I check out some trailers. Then dinner with them at Power Plant, peruse things I can’t afford at Page One (Mark found several excellent art books for under 350 bucks each), and home. Didn’t get to watch a single movie. At this rate the only film I’ll get to see is Tesis, which I already saw like two weeks ago at a free preview screening.


I have this coupon that entitles me to a BMW test drive. One of their new models. Mark has one too, and he’s buying clothes for the occasion. Now some people I know actually own BMWs so this may not be a big thing for them, but I’ve never driven one in my life, nor do I expect to ever own one. But I’m not buying clothes or anything. I just want to know where I can drive it, and for how long. I’d like to bring a stack of CDs, my friends, some beers, and some bitches while I’m at it. Sana it’s the Z4 top-down, though I doubt they’d let anyone under 45 touch that. And then I’ll gladly just drive around in the most congested areas. My excitement exists solely because of the BMW Films (the first episode of season 2 is out now, by the way).


Plugs: Batang West Side will be shown by the Flip Movie Club on Oct. 29, next Tuesday, at Greenbelt 1. Admission is one copy of the current issue, and yes, they will be selling it there so effectively admission is 100 bucks while supplies last. 6 PM.

Joey and his Brash Young Cinema are showing the Ring trilogy next Wednesday, the 30th, starting at 7 PM. Don’t be late.

Vote for Down and Explosive at this year’s NU Rock Awards.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Saw Red Dragon last night with Neva. It was better than I expected. I don’t think you’ll find a more star-studded film this year. It also carries with it a lot of contextual baggage that maybe only film buffs like myself would be interested in. To wit: it’s an adaptation of a Thomas Harris novel, which has Hannibal Lecter in it, but takes place before The Silence of the Lambs. But it was already adapted in the mid-80s by master filmmaker Michael Mann, as a movie called Manhunter, which featured Brian Cox (Rushmore’s Dr. Guggenheim) as Lecter and William Christensen in the lead role (he’s currently undergoing a career revival thanks to CSI). So is it a remake, an adaptation, or both? A lot of film critics and scholars love Manhunter to death (I love it too); a good number think it’s superior to Silence. Inevitably Red Dragon will be compared to these films and as expected, will not stand up, though it has its moments. A point of contention seems to come from the fact that this Red Dragon’s origins are in making money, pure and simple. The DeLaurentiis Group, who have the rights to Harris’s Lecter novels, made so much money off of Hannibal they green-lit an adaptation of Red Dragon, even though Manhunter came out as recently as the 80s. Now Hollywood remakes films all the time, but usually they’re foreign films being remade to appeal to mainstream audiences (recent examples include Insomnia and The Ring) or fairly old stuff recontextualized in a “modern” setting, not a mainstream American movie from a celebrated director that came out during my life span. When Mann was asked what he thought about Red Dragon being re-adapted, he didn’t comment. The film was given to director Brett Ratner, who directed Rush Hours 1 & 2 but just came off of a well-received though underperforming The Family Man. I suppose it showed he could do something besides action comedies. The best thing he did there was hire cinematographer Dante Spinotti, who can make anything look good. He kept Spinotti for Red Dragon, which is terribly amusing because Spinotti shot Manhunter (he’s a favorite of Mann’s as well, having shot The Insider, Heat, etc.). There’s a tip for young directors: hire the best fucking Director of Photography you can find. Brett Ratner knows it, and so does Sam Mendes (committed to Conrad L. Hall). So wa-lah: a young, “hot” director you don’t have to pay too much, because you need the money for the cast: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Harvey Keitel, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Script by Ted Tally, who wrote Silence. Score by Danny Elfman. With that talent, you’d have to be a complete fucking moron to get it wrong. Two weeks out and it’s got something like 60 million US already, and Ratner’s next in line to direct the next Superman movie. Plus, the DeLaurentiis Group are already prepping the next (and, it is hoped, last) installment in the Hannibal Lecter tetralogy.

The performances are terrific, though I thought Fiennes was a bit much in his portrayal at times. It’s like the film constantly had to remind audiences that this guy’s a fucking psycho. I’m more likely to blame Ratner, though. In Manhunter Tom Noonan’s Tooth Fairy seemed scarier because he was someone human, who you could sympathize with when someone starts showing him some affection, possibly for the first time. In Red Dragon it’s typical psychopath tropes being wheeled out conveyor-belt style. There’s even a scene where an audio flashback gives overly bombastic insight into his childhood (this could have been done in other, better ways).

Been really curious about horror the past few weeks. Since I watched the Ring movies, actually. And Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale, which is a different kind of horror. Still haven’t gotten around to watching Takashi Miike’s Audition (sorry, Harvey). And there’s this trailer I’ve seen for a movie called The Eye that looks really interesting, by the Pang Brothers, who I know nothing about. It’s funny, but when the buzz started going on Battle Royale and Audition, people were thinking they were made by young, upstart Japanese directors, but both Fukasaku and Miike are in their 50s or 60s. Miike’s an influence of Tarantino’s, and works at an amazing pace. In the past 3 years alone he’s made 5 films, so while some people are only now catching up about Audition, he’s way past it already. Damn. Then there’s Hideo Nakata, now in the US developing some projects.

Right now I’m looking for the following: Cronos by Guillermo del Toro, Suspiria by Dario Argento, The Vanishing by George Sluizer, and Black Christmas by Bob Clark. But I’m also really looking for this Japanese science-fiction porno (you read that right) called I.K.U. It’s actual X-rated porn, by a famous Japanese producer, who hired an avant-garde director (who’s also female), with a big budget. And get this: it’s inspired heavily by Blade Runner. I MUST SEE THIS FILM!!! It’s not out on video (only bootlegs), and no way will it be shown here except maybe in the CCP (which is the only place in the Philippines you can show stuff even if it’s X-rated). Not only that, but Lars Von Trier is producing the director’s next horror porn, Fluid. Cool beans.


A new shirt idea, based on Carlo’s recent entry: I FUCKING HATE BIGOTS

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Steph! Meg! You fucking HAVE to watch Sigur Ros! They’re playing New York in November! Go here! Putangina naiinggit ako!!!! GRRAH!


Wow, mehn. I’ve only recently finished off my 200-plus page reading list and am about to embark on reading every Andrew Arnold article written for Time. Apparently has a comics column, that’s been going on for almost two years now, so that’s maybe 100 articles. Wish me luck. Sadly, though it’s nice to see actually having a comics column, it’s not in the print magazine, just online. Not even the top 10 list of the year got into the magazine. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. Entertainment Weekly, for example, are going to have a comics section to go with their other sections as well, though infrequently. And Barnes & Noble in the US are considering opening a chain of stores selling only graphic novels, which, as opposed to normal comic issues, or pamphlets, are thicker and perfect-bound. One of the reasons is it’s kind of tricky stocking graphic novels in bookstores. Virgin Megastores in the US generally have pretty good graphic novel sections, but the thing is, comics is a medium, not a genre. So under the graphic novels section, the Archies are sitting beside the horror stuff and the crime books and the relationship stuff and the biographical stuff and the European erotic comics. So the graphic novel section itself has to be partitioned. You could scatter the books into their respective genres (frustratingly, before bookstores ever got it into their heads to have sections for comics or graphic novels, comics would almost always be in either the humor or science fiction sections), but there are some people who like having all the comics in one area (like me).

Bookstores in this country don’t know what to do with their comics sections, though Not Page One in Rockwell Power Plant is at least trying. They’ve got a section showing some promise in their variety: some superhero stuff, but mostly books anyone can appreciate: science fiction epics and books on understanding comics and crime stuff. Check it out if you’re in the area.


E putangina 20 pesos lang pala yung tickets sa Spanish Film Festival e! Bye!

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Today I got some really old orders from Comic Odyssey in Robinsons Place Malate. The owner, Eric, is a pretty nice guy-- he knocked off 200 bucks from what I owed him (don’t ask), and it’s one of the two best comics stores in the HISTORY of the country (the other one being CCHQ on Katipunan). I haven’t been to that mall in ages, and I felt kind of bad about getting my shit only now when it had arrived a while back, possibly around May or June. Anyway, because of the delay my new X-Force shirt is now a little silly and dated: the team (and book) has changed their name to X-Statix, and all but two people on my shirt have died. Somehow, though, it just makes me love my new shirt more. The other two things I got were Rob Vollmar and Pablo G. Callejo’s The Castaways and Durwin Talon’s book Panel Discussions. Neva got her Amelia Rules! By Jimmy Gownley, and she finished it so quick it’s now with me.

Then met up with Harvey Hong and Le Sexy Mark Lavin, to do some work for Neva’s family’s farm’s booth in November’s agriculture expo at the World Trade Center. Try saying that three times fast. Checked out some trailers: Jamie Bell, that fucking great actor who played Billy Elliott in the film of the same name is now in some war/horror film, and it actually looks interesting. And he’s taller now, in his teens. What year did Billy Elliott come out anyway? I feel so old. Anyway, this film and Below are both about soldiers in wars coming across some supernatural spooky horrific shit that makes short work of them and doesn’t give a crap about territorial/theological/ideological disputes. There must be something in the air.

The Spanish Film Fest has begun at Greenbelt 1. Do yourself a favor and try to catch Tesis. Oh, and check out Hannah’s hilarious new blog entry, complete with narrative captions.


Yesterday I was at a recital in UP, for their College of Music’s culminating project. My cousin Ray, who’s been living with us on weekdays since he works in Laguna, has been learning to play the cello. He’s already pretty good, they gave him two solos to perform and he was also in a quartet. He can also play the guitar, the piano, and drums. He practices here at night, so the pieces he played were already a bit familiar to us. Hopefully he’ll be able to do songs from In the Mood for Love or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soon. Requiem for a Dream, too. The first performance was by the violin students, and there were a lot. The first two rows were all kids, and when they started playing, it was just variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but things just went insane. Like a swarm of insect, parents from all corners of the theater swarmed the orchestra pit and front of the stage, flashbulbs popping and videocameras whirring. It was ridiculous. I could hear the shuffling of feet and cameras clicking louder than the dying cats being slaughtered by the children. And then, Weakest Link-style, members of the class would leave the stage when more advanced songs were to be performed next. Most of the time I was asleep, though. I’m not used to waking up so early. Because of all the sleepiness I actually slept later in the day until around 9 PM, and now regret not going to the Ateneo High School Emancipation thing. Quark, Lia, Mich, Goldie, Hannah, Ciudad, and Monsterbot were there, and I wish I got to see Ciudad play, because it’s been a while. Shit, last time I saw them, Meg was still here! But I got up late like I said, didn’t even bother with dinner, just went out with Neva, checked out the new Music One at Greenbelt 3 (it’s depressing to realize there’s a hundred fucking Chumbawumba CDs and not a single album from Girls Against Boys) and then went home to sleep some more.

At Music One:
Neva: Hey, there are two Brittle Stars CDs over there.
Me: (spinning) WHAT?! WHERE?!
Neva: Oops, Trembling Blue Stars pala. Got mixed up.
Me: (shrugging) Eh.

Sorry, indie kids, but they just don’t hold a candle to Sigur Ros.

Friday was Mich’s career talk in Poveda. She talked about it and noted down a lot of the memorable moments herself, so check out her post on that. I’ve never been to Poveda before, and it’s actually a pretty nice campus. We held up cards for Mich to justify our presence there. The cards were drawn by Goldie. A minute before the talk, Chris suddenly started panicking outside the door, going “Shit, I’m suddenly so nervous.” His face was pretty red for the first half of Mich’s talk, hahaha. Alexis, after hearing about the international fashion schools Mich describes: “Damn, those schools must make some sweet bank.” (hope I remembered that right) Later, someone asks Mich what are flat-fronted trousers, and she replies, “You know those trousers, that are flat in front? With no pleats? Those are flat-fronted trousers,” and Alexis again comments, “I could’ve answered that.” Joey is the heartthrob of the school! Girls ask Goldie about him as soon as we leave. Outside a teacher is freaking out in our faces. “Who are you? What are you doing here? What course are you from? Etc.” It’s so tempting to say “I’m Maryo J. De Los Reyes and this is my friend Erik Matti. We’re looking for the next Aubrey Miles. Would you happen to know which of these students is prepared to bare her chest for the sake of art?” Later she asks us how to contact Enrico Villanueva. There’s some posing in the parking lot, and we eat at their cafeteria, which is airconditioned and two floors. I get into an abortion debate with Alexis, which helps one of his friends with her debate (or something). Mich gets saluted at by COCCs, and she interrogates one of them:

Mich: (pointing at Alexis) Do you think he’s gwapo?!
Poor girl: (looks at Alexis, then Mich) Ma’am, I don’t think I’m allowed to answer that, ma’am.

Oh, and before we even went to Poveda, when I showed up at Mich’s house her mom mistook me for the accountant. I guess bright yellow collarless shirts and jeans are all the rage among professional accountants these days.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Last night, because we couldn’t decide what to watch, Neva and I ended up watching an old video I took in 4th year high school. Bits and pieces and clips behind the scenes during the shooting, editing, exhibition of our senior year short film, which won the prize in the batch competition. I hadn’t seen it in a while, and Neva was delighted to see what I looked like back then, while I mostly flinched and scratched my head. I almost couldn’t recognize myself, I was so thin. Really need to get in shape.

Mich’s career talk in Poveda tomorrow morning. Have to wake up before noon. Ugh. A 21-year-old giving a career talk to high school girls, with older men (us) as her props, in lieu of a PowerPoint presentation. At least it won’t be boring.
I keep forgetting to point out that the main inspirations of me starting a blog are Ate Cyn, Neil Gaiman (click on Journal), and Neva, who showed me the ropes and has a few blogs herself. Have you read her poems lately? Some of them are here. Tell her I sent you.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Gabby was the first to inform me of Preview’s new “Creative It List,” through text. Then I saw part of the list on Mich’s blog. Seeing the names, I went through a series of reactions, in my gut, my head, my stomach: from white-hot boiling rage to complete and utter stupefaction to feeling cheated to being numb.

Let’s rewind a bit.

Maybe 3 months ago, I was thinking of making a proposal to one of the magazines I write for, probably either Flip or Men’s Zone, about an “It List” for the Philippines, based on Entertainment Weekly’s annual list of the same name which profiled the “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment.” EW’s been doing it for about 6 or 7 years already, and I remember when the list was still called the “Extreme List,” back before the term “extreme” went out of vogue. As much as possible, I try to get the It List issue every year, and I’m almost complete, though someone lost two issues, which I now fear will never be retrieved. Anyway, my intentions were simple: to spotlight CREATIVE people in Philippine entertainment and art, not necessarily who was popular or attractive or appealing to a certain demographic. Through different media: film, TV, theater, music, advertising, comic books, literature, architecture, restaurants, art, online, etc. It would give me the opportunity to A) help promote deserving but unknown artists, bring attention to their works and talents (hopefully this would translate to income for them), some of whom were friends, and B) to discover talents I am unaware of. I talked the idea over with Neva extensively, as well as with Quark and Chris and several others. We came up with candidates, ways to photograph them interestingly, etc. I also sent an email to most of the mailing lists I have, asking who they think is creative in the country, and why. I also put the question up on various message boards.

I didn’t forget about the idea but it had to take a backseat to other things, like the AIM seminar I was about to take and previous commitments I had to attend to. I was also thinking of a way to propose it to the editors of whichever magazine while maintaining a sort of “editorial control” over the section itself, which proved difficult.

Me and my source of joy.

Now Preview’s new issue (Oct 2002 cover date) has its “Creative It List” itself, noted on the cover beside Pia Guanio’s breast. Of 10 profiles, 6 are on my list. Of the total 26 people mentioned, 16 are on my list (some of the others were candidates, but didn’t make the final list; others, I wouldn’t agree as being creative). I have to admit I felt kind of robbed. It seemed uncanny that so many of their entries were also on my list (though mine was longer, with more categories, and more diverse [in a word: better. hehehe… ;)]). My first reaction was that someone had talked, gotten wind of the idea and beat us to the punch. After a frenzied talking to my friends who heard about the idea (though I honestly can’t remember how many people I talked to or asked advice about it), I calmed down some and realized what could be far, far worse:

That the list of creative people in the country is so small, we hit on the same people independently.

It’s wholly possible, and now likely, that Preview came up with the list themselves. They obviously ripped off the idea from EW as well, whose It List for this year came out about 3 months ago, making it around a month before they’d begun working on this issue now out (in monthly magazine publishing, you’re usually working on the issue that will come out two months from now). But I refuse to believe that the state of creative individuals in the country is so dire that lists of creative talent by different people seem almost identical. I attribute it to the fact that there’s a lot more out there we’re simply unaware of.

At the very least, though, I still have my list, and they didn’t get my favorite entries, and our ideas for photo shoots were a thousand times better. But I’m not telling; you’ll have to ask me in person… :)

Oh, and I really wish that Preview, at the LEAST, acknowledged that the idea came from someone else. I mean, they even took the name! It’s on the cover! What, they think no one in the country could’ve seen that EW issue and put two and two together? Common decency and courtesy, folks!

Still, it’s nice that at least SOME attention is being paid to these people, and some of them are truly deserving of your respect and time and attention and admiration and adulation and money (especially Ate Cyn!).

Nonetheless, there is still a perfect Philippine It List in my mind… meanwhile, there’s a microscropic part of me screaming “I wuz robbed! Robbed, I tell yas!” that’ll take a week or two to disappear...

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Blogger’s been fucking up lately. I’ve been having trouble accessing my settings and templates. Yes, plural.


I’m pissed that some Star channels are gone from Destiny, our cable provider. The evil Satan that is Sky is trying to get the Star channels exclusively by paying them an ungodly amount, and then letting their poor subscribers shoulder it in increased monthly fees. I should know, we used to be Sky subscribers. But thank GOD that I still have my Star Mandarin. I cannot live without it. It is the most important channel to me, who no longer gets to watch television despite having no regular job and no school. Whenever I do get to use the TV I just click on over to my trusty Star Mandarin and I can almost always relax to whatever they’re showing… especially if Shu Qi’s in it.


Got Stardust tonight, thanks to Neva and her valuable PowerCard. I’ve been wanting to get and read this baby for a long time, so I dearly hope it’s worth the wait. But I’m still in the middle of Enki Bilal’s The Nikopol Trilogy so it’ll have to wait. Nonetheless, it’s difficult resisting the temptation to peer at the lovely Charles Vess paintings. I pity the poor people who have this only in its prose form. They’re missing half the experience. And paid for it too. If you want a copy, get it at PowerBooks. Regular price P819. With PowerCard, P738. More good news: they’ve finally got copies of Coraline coming, and they’ll retail for around P655 each, less expensive than Not Page One’s P800+.


Saw Tape with Neva last Sunday. Liked it. Really interesting. The entire movie takes place in a motel room, with just 3 characters, no music whatsoever, and it’s never boring. These kinds of stories, with a few characters in an enclosed space and minimal props, tend to be plays (Tape was adapted from a one-act). Character studies. I’m reminded of movies like Get on the Bus, or The King is Alive, Reservoir Dogs, even Dog Day Afternoon. It reminded me of this plot I wrote in high school, a movie set during the First Quarter Storm, with the same tropes: small cast, enclosed space, minimal props. Emotional pipebombs. Let the characters glance and bounce off of one another. See sparks fly. And you have your conflict. In the last six months I’ve also been toying with an idea for a filmic experiment for myself, Quark, and Chris, with three characters and, again, an enclosed space with minimal props. But there are several ways the experiment could go, and I don’t think I want to divulge any details just yet…


Last Friday, I went to a wake. One of my classmates in grade school, his mom passed away. I went with my other classmates, including Quark and Neva. It was nice seeing them again, though not in that context. I felt ridiculous even going, since I’d barely seen this classmate since we’d graduated, what? Ten years ago? I remember bumping into him once or twice in malls, but that was it. And yet here I was, looking at his dead mother’s body in a coffin. She was 49. Kind of young for a mother, and it’s terrible to think about. They saw it coming, at least. She had breast cancer, and though it was in remission, it had moved to her liver. Worse, she died on her husband’s (the father’s) birthday. Worse still, the father had a heart attack Friday morning, and was in the ICU with our classmate when we arrived at the wake. So we never even got to see our friend and properly give our condolences. In the span of a few days, he’s in danger of seeing both parents go. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I hope things turn out well for them, because they’ve been through enough as it is.

Inevitably these things lead you to thoughts about your own mortality, and that of your family. I really do hope that my parents die when they are past 100. They’re already in their late 50s. They got married when they were 30 (age difference of a year), had me, their eldest, at 34, which is pretty late, considering. And of course, my siblings aren’t immune to accidents. Any one of us could go, just like that, and it would have no meaning, make no sense. As much as I sometimes hate my family, as much as we are at each other’s throats a lot of the time, as much as the five of us seem to come from five wholly separate families, nay, cultures… I still love them and wish no harm would befall them. They’re family.

So hug your mom next time you see her.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Hmm…got a long overdue haircut, went with Neva to Ivy’s birthday dinner, where I was able to catch up with both Ivy and Paul S. Then to the bonfire at Ateneo, which I never even got to see. As soon as we got near a building it started pouring but at least I got to see some people like Nona and Joseph and Joey and some Comm/C-men like Marc and Kelley, along with Issa, Joysie, LP, Tiana, and Kay. Ozzy was playing his fiddle but we were already on our way to KAFE to check out Boldstar. I finally got my Ciudad button from Kathy (danke!) and bought the Boldstar album, which is playing as I write this. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them perform and they just keep getting better. Damn. The Itchyworms! were there too, as was Jeff. Then went to Alexis’s house (somehow we were able to fit 7 people into my tiny ATOZ, though Ernan’s upper half was out the window terrorizing pedestrians and singing terribly off-key) to check out where and how Canadians sleep. A few scenes of The Virgin Suicides, some borrowed DVDs, and here we are, sleepy and tired. With lots less hair.

Added PJ and Dep to my list of linkees. Check ‘em out.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

"Only OZZY gets to touch me in my 'special place,' bitch!!!"

Go around my friends' blogs and you'll find any number of pics from the big game last Saturday, but this one's my favorite. It's got a little bit of school pride with arrogant asshole thrown in. :)

Recently found out that Art Spiegelman is the creator of the Garbage Pail Kids, which I loved as a kid. Apparently it was a “Medici”—a job he took because he needed the money.

And there’s a rape in America every four seconds.
Here’s an interesting article from The Onion AV Club, where they asked different celebrities the question “Is there a God?” It’s an eclectic selection too, including but not limited to Conan O’Brien, Jason Schwartzman, Chuck Palahniuk, Andy Richter, Stan Lee, Steven Wright, Elmore Leonard, Suzanne Vega, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Michael Moore, Todd Solondz, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Joss Whedon and William Shatner. As you can expect, the answers are just as eclectic, and even surprising. Who would’ve thought that Chuck Palahniuk, writer of Fight Club, Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Choke, and the new Lullaby, believed in God? And Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, matter-of-factly doesn’t?

Thanks also to The Onion AV Club, I found out about these 3 books, all of which I want (remember, Christmas is coming!): Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby, Michael Ondaatje’s The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, and Michael Chabon’s Summerland. I’m a big fan of Palahniuk’s work, and have been looking forward to Lullaby, which is about a song that kills. David Fincher, who directed the brilliant film adaptation of Palahniuk’s Fight Club, is interested in making a film out of Lullaby as well. Walter Murch is one of the legendary editors, having worked on The Conversation and The Godfather Trilogy among others. It’s interesting that Michael Ondaatje should write this book, because you don’t really associate him with film, being the writer of such books as The English Patient, Anil’s Ghost, etc. Finally, Michael Chabon, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is one of my favorite books of all time. It was a gift from Neva, and she’s been taking ice ages reading it. It’s been with her longer than it’s been with me.

Caught Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai's Fulltime Killer on Star Mandarin. KickASS!

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

It pleases me no end that pieces of Clint Mansell's score for Requiem for a Dream have popped up in trailers for The Two Towers and American Gun.

Saw Tesis today with Alexis, Quark, and Denise. So I've finally seen all the Alejandro Amenabar films. Though Tesis is my least favorite of his, it's still pretty damn good, and more than ever I'm convinced he's one of the most impressive filmmakers to debut in the last 10 years. Eggy probably wouldn't agree, because he was nodding off during the film.

Some good news for film buffs: besides Ayala Cinemas itself starting up a "coffee club" for its regular Art Film patrons soon, Flip's Movie Club will be kicking off this Oct. 29 with a special screening of Batang West Side, with Ring in November and Oro, Plata, Mata in December. They're trying to get Apocalypse Now Redux for January. Sweet.

I was going to see Happy Together at UP but the weather was really scary, and I didn't want to risk the traffic. So I ended up watching CQ with Neva and Quark, and thoroughly loved it. :) It's one of those films I've been waiting a looong time to see, and it was definitely worth it, even if it was unlike anything I expected. Still, it was great.

Hey, my DVD-ROM can play PAL DVDs pala! Woo-hoo!

Check it out: the first pic of Mike Myers as The Cat in the Hat, with the quintessence of cute, Dakota Fanning.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Well now the fucking problem is that there are TOO MANY BLOGS. It’s hard keeping track of who’s updated alone, but no, you’ve now got to consider who’s written a new comment. In our blog circle’s case, who’s insulted you recently. Forthwith, I present to you:


- Insult someone at random (usually, either Ernan, Alexis, Ozzy, Chris, or myself. When in doubt, default bitch is Ozzy [you know it and like it, bitch, so stop whining])
- Await retort
- Respond in kind
- When things are dying, insult someone else (can also be done “casually” by inserting it in retort to original insultee)
- Hijinks ensue
- Repeat

But in all honesty, I was finally able to catch up on some blog-reading last night (the ones worth my precious internet minutes, anyway), and I truly love my friends. They are an eclectic bunch. Aww… and that’s the last you’re getting for a while, bitches.


Just wanted to point out my new links, Hannah and Goldie’s blogs. Goldie’s isn’t even functioning per se yet, but when it does I’m sure it’ll be interesting reading. I love the fact that her blog hurts my eyes. And I love that post about the “cunt-sucking gords.” And Hannah’s blog is hilarious! Like mommy Mich, she writes like she talks, so you can pretty much hear her voice (loud) while reading. And some of her lines are just side-splitting, from the Slipping Beauty crack to “It’s a small world for a small bird.”


Both Mich and Maggie have commented on my story of Neva’s “Here, miming…” routine whenever there’s an animal nearby. One of the things I forgot to mention during my graduation from the AIMMAP was that during one pause in the Dean of the Institute’s speech, I heard a “Here, miming…” from the crowd, and I knew Neva was there. A cat was crossing the courtyard.

Just tonight she was telling me about this meerkat documentary on the National Geographic Channel, that reduced her to tears. It was a meerkat’s story where his tribe died out from a famine and he had to move to a different tribe that didn’t accept him until the last minute. She was recalling the scene where the “star” meerkat’s sister died while he was getting food for her, and it sounded really heart-breaking. National Geographic is the devil. Instead, we came up with the idea of Meerkat Magnolia. Just imagine PT Anderson’s Magnolia, but with meerkats. In costumes and wigs. Priceless.


Goddamn I wish I could see this! A four-way comedy battle royale between Janeane Garofalo, Kids in the Hall, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and Mr. Show?! FUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!

Thanks to Joey for the link! And just click on the pic for more info.


Saw Chungking Express earlier tonight at UP Film Center. Kinda disappointing because the translation sucked, the aspect ratio was wrong, and the reels got mixed up, though only Alexis and myself noticed. Unlike what happened with Quark’s Gamitan, it didn’t fuck up the plot. Joey, Alia, and Tim, who were seeing it for the first time, seemed to get it fine. Plus, there was this really annoying noisy fuck who seemed to be hopped up on some fucking shit because he kept trying to make sure that people noticed he existed, by talking and shouting at the top of his voice and acting like a FUCKING JACKASS. The worst part is I know this motherfucker will be there tomorrow. Some people just don’t deserve Wong Kar-Wai. They deserve to get shot. So at least there’ll be a reason he’s shouting at the top of his lungs. You fucking retard!


Ernan’s right: since I started blogging I’ve stopped writing (right, Meg? :)). Kinda scary, so I’ll have to rectify that. I was going to issue an ultimatum to Neva: that if she quits her blog I’ll shut this down too, but since she’s suddenly been posting like crazy and even started A WHOLE NEW BLOG to boot, it’s kinda useless now.


Has anyone noticed that Jomi's blog is called "'Spit, Jomi!' said Jomi"?

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Stories about ticket insanity, before I kick off what happened yesterday:

Tickets were already going for 5k and above. Chris had lined up at Ateneo on Monday and was 201 when they only had 200 stubs to give. So he lined up that night at 3 AM outside Araneta with Ernan, Carlo, and Joey, surrounded by scalpers. Quark and Mich followed later but weren't able to get tickets. On Thursday, Ateneo would sell tickets at 7 AM. Wednesday afternoon there was already a line. You had to contend with dormers, of course, who were prepared with sleeping bags, shorts, slippers, etc. There's a story that someone flew in from the US just to watch the game and was lined up there. Mark Lavin didn't go to the Wednesday Group because he went home from work, changed, and went to get in line. At 1 AM they announced there were no more upper box tickets. And I think Mark was alone. Hardcore!

Yesterday, I parked at Mich's building around noon-ish, because we were all going to ride one car on the way to Araneta for the big game. I checked the workroom, and she happened to be there, having a fight with Miss. Mich was giving instructions on what to do with some fabric, and Miss said "What if we do this and this and this (insert unintelligible fashion jargon here)?" While the sentence was still being said, Mich looked at me with a helpless scrunched-up look on her face, and after the sentence was finished, Mich said in a loud booming voice "SINO BA ANG DESIGNER DITO??"

No self-esteem problems there, haha.

Miss looked like she'd had this fight before, so it wasn't really a big deal. Of course, since it was my first time to see such a thing, I noted it down as BW (blog-worthy).

So began a great day.

I went over to Chris's flat while Mich prepared to go. Chris was still in Megamall, even though he said "Be here at 12 noon, because we'll leave at 1215." Maggie was there, so I waited for Chris. Maggie was reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, and we had a discussion about the disadvantages of socio-political tracts being housed in narrative constructs/delivery devices (mainly that the narrative isn't too good because it plays a subservient role to the message the author wishes to communicate. Ooh... how Brechtian). This conversation serves to illustrate the difference between Chris and his siblings, because it's more intelligent than my conversations with him, which are usually derivations/variations on "Dude, that chick is SO hot." I suppose this is why he and Alexis get along so well. Or do they?

Suffice it to say, the plan went to hell (bummer, because I’d wanted to have lunch with Neva but didn’t want to be late). Alia arrived before Chris did, to give me her ticket. That's right, Alia gave me her ticket to the game, the ticket that Joeybrash lined up for at 3 AM to get, and gave to her on her birthday. It's a real shame that Alia had to give it up, but she had reasons of her own that may be personal, so maybe you should just go on over to her blog and find out why. Anyway, bless her heart, she kindly and generously gave it to me. We spoke with Chris's mom and her nephew, a doctor from Camiguin. Some embarrassing Chris stories naturally surfaced, and then finally he arrived. We all convinced him to change what he was wearing, because he had on a blue sweater over a black shirt. I say, "Aren't you roasting in that?" to which he says, "Yeah," and I say, "And isn't that going to be hotter when we're in Araneta?" to which he replies, "OK lang. I wore this in Game 2 also." Normally my reply here would be "Did you at least wash it?" but instead I said "But why do you have on two shirts?" And Chris says, "The collar's too low on the blue one."

So ensues me, Alia, and Chris's mom telling him to just wear a blue shirt. Jesus, it's not like Chris has any cleavage to be cautious about.

We meet Mich (whose car we're using) but apparently Quark and Lia's riding with us too, so we wait for them to arrive while the women (Mich and Maggie) get some lunch. I believe Carlo was supposed to ride with us too (according to Alia) but he didn't wake up until around the game began.

It is decided on the way to Araneta that the name of the t-shirt line will be Boiled Sprat. Yay! Because if Mich wasn't going to use that, I was. I also came up with a new shirt, that maybe only I will be willing to wear. It just jumped into my head while eating my double-chee, and I started cracking up to myself, possibly scarring Mich's driver for life since I was riding shotgun.

ANYWAY, to move things along, we were at Araneta Center pretty early for the big final match between Ateneo and La Salle, who were tied. Even though we were technically early for the game we were there to see, the stadium was pretty full already, so full we couldn't find seats and resorted to reserving space in the aisles. A lot of people were already there: JV, Jofab and Doranne, Julia with her family, J and Camille, etc. Ernan, Mark, and Pado caught up with us later. Sir Mark (whose birthday is today!) and his wife (who I finally saw and met) were there, too. Amazingly, Mark wasn't wearing his everyday uniform of white polo and black pants! I saw bald man Ruey on the court, and assorted high school and college teachers scattered throughout the bleachers. We had to sit through the first game of the day, a women's basketball match between Adamson and La Salle. Naturally, Ateneo cheered Adamson on, simply because they weren't La Salle. I kinda felt bad for the teams, because it was kinda obvious no one was there to watch them. Hell, Adamson's entire contingent (including their Babble band) was way up on the bleachers and to the side, and you'd only realize they were actually cheering when La Salle finished theirs. I will say, though, that they have some cool beats. I thought they were a kupow offshoot of our own Babble until someone told me it's Adamson's.

Haha La Salle lost that game too, so it was portentous. The place really got filled up, and it was standing room only, people packed like sardines, and when someone would weave between everyone else it was hell. Going to the bathroom and getting food was minimized as much as possible because it was such a hassle. Of all people, we saw Hajji from Mustang, with her parents, cheering for Ateneo. I wonder if her parents know what a good dancer she is, and that she does it on top of a bar in Makati. Heh.

So the game begins, everyone's anxious and antsy, pretty much the whole game everyone's standing. We lead pretty much through all the game, though whenever La Salle's score crept closer to ours we'd start freaking out and pulling our hair out by the roots and screaming louder and getting paranoid and wanting to shoot poor defenseless animals (cue Neva's response here).

A sampling of La Salle wit: banners saying "We Do Chicken Right", "If It's Blue Then It Must Be Toilet Duck", "One Big Five (a variation on Ateneo's "One Big Fight," since La Salle were looking at a five-year winning streak as UAAP champions)" and the classic "Taeneo." My favorite was "We're Behind You," to which I replied "You bet you're behind us. By about 12 points."

What I never get used to is how loud these games are. And it's just the people screaming, really. But with these circumstances it was insane. Here was Ateneo, who hadn't won since 1988, finally smelling blood in the water, really chomping at the bit to see a win after so long, and against LA SALLE! Here's La Salle, who're looking at a record 5-year winning streak (as it is they're tied with UST), but really just want to make sure that they don't lose because IT'S ATENEO. So it's an ages-old blood feud (that I don't particularly give a shit about; both schools are comprised mostly of idiots anyway. I'm Atenean, by the way). It's a cool situation for us because we're the underdog. If we lose, it's "Well, what did you expect? La Salle's got a great team, etc.," but if we win, HOLY FUCKING SHIT. So you've got a packed stadium with people very passionate and fervent and screaming their lungs out and waving their fists in the air. The drums are loud, booming, tribal. It's a magnificent display for someone who doesn't really attend these things (like me). I remember the last time I attended a game: junior year high school, against UST. I was shirtless, with my class, with white/blue face paint and some letters painted on my chest saying UST and then an arrow leading to my crotch. Even got on TV for that. Heh. Of course, when you're in high school and with your classmates you have the confidence and foolishness to go shirtless because you don't care about anyone seeing you so long as with you're a bunch of other people. But more on that later.

Here I will insert the fact that actually I don't have much school spirit. I don't follow the games, I didn't watch Game 1 OR 2, and knowing some of the players and their reputations, it's kinda hard to root for them when you know some of the sordid stories (they can park anywhere in school, get academic breaks, cuts, cheat on their girlfriends, get an allowance from certain alumni). So I felt kinda bad accepting the ticket from Alia, since she's been following everything and has a ton more school spirit than I do, even if she did spend her high school years sleeping with the enemy. But all the more, I have to thank her (and Joey) profusely for allowing me to go. Because what happened is I ended up SWIMMING in school spirit. How can you avoid it inside Araneta? It's in the air, it's infectious and contagious and viral. Mark "Le Sexy" Lavin and Chris looked like they were about to start baying for blood during some bad calls by the refs. Quark kept shouting even after fouls had been called. Mich, who had been cheerleader captain once, panned the performances of the cheerleaders for BOTH teams.

Long story short (ha ha), WE WON. Once Quimpo (or was it Chua?) sank that 3-pointer around 2 and a half minutes to go in the last quarter, it was all over. Ateneo knew it and La Salle knew it. Which is why they clammed up and started sitting down, preparing to absorb the shock of a crushing blow to their collective inflated ego. Which is why Ateneo started screaming like madmen, not even words, just screaming for screaming's sake, for adding another hoarse voice to the din filling up the arena, for making it as loud and uncomfortable as possible for the Archers.

I have to admit though that because of La Salle, it was a great game to watch. They fought well, and I think it was graceful in the end how both sides clapped during the other's alma mater song.

We grabbed a quick bite at Mickey D's, caught up with Carlo (who'd arrived in time for the last 5 or so minutes), and headed back to Chris's building. After decompressing and crashing from our victorious high, we visited Mich's new digs on the 4th floor, then left for Rockwell to meet up with Joey, Alia, Alexis, and Lara. At Rockwell we checked out the improving comics and screenplays sections, but I forgot to look for Neil Gaiman's Coraline, which is available there already. Then saw Sir Mark again, back in his uniform.

The plan was to go to the Smallville launch at Enterprise, then go to the victory bonfire at Ateneo. While we were at KryptonNite, though, we'd learned that the bonfire was over (but there's another one next Saturday). I was wearing a Tom Strong shirt, the closest thing to a costume I had. Mich and her Interns Formerly Known as Freaky were in full gear, Mich with a Chibi Moon outfit complete with pink wig and heart-shaped thingamajig, and Goldie in a school outfit with machine gun (a la Battle Royale).

This is very much not my thing. I don't think it actually qualifies as a rave, though. It's not that I have a particular thing against these kinds of events, it's that I tend to hate the kind of people it attracts more often than not: the freaks and geeks and posers and pretentious and nouveau riche and annoying. People with too much money, too much time on their hands, and too little common sense, or shame.

But it's different when you're there with friends, and with friends who don't normally go to these things either (excepting Mich and the popettes), and when your school just won the championship, and when you don't care about anyone seeing you dance. So I danced, horribly, awfully, gracelessly. While it was obvious to my friends and most anyone else looking that I didn't know how to dance, maybe they didn't know that I'd never danced like that AT ALL. And definitely not in public. So I danced, to the best of my ability, and it felt great, and I didn't care that I looked like a boob. It helped that, since it was a costume party, a lot of others looked far, far worse. Chiko and Mikey showed up, both of whom I hadn't seen in a while. Both looked great, and danced, too. Your life is not complete until you see Mikey Amistoso dance. Not to be outdone, Chris was actually waving his arms around, eyes closed. Joey was dancing up and down, drink in hand. Alexis followed girls with his camera. Goldie and Hannah screamed obscenities.

I had to take a leave for a while and get Neva some medicine, because the poor dear was sick at home with fever. She had class that morning, got sick, and then had to pick her brother up at the airport. She didn't even get to watch the game at National Sports Grill, where Alia, Alexis, and the Brash siblings were.

Quark was there when I got back, and all of us walked around and talked and drank some more, until it looked like Goldie was sick. She could barely stand up and seemed wasted. It freaked Mich and Hannah out for a good while. Some guy had offered Goldie a blue drink, and then boom, her body turns to rubber. When things came to a head, we decided to bring her to Quark's house since it was closest.

On the way out, Mich gets offered a blue drink from a friend who got it from some guy she didn't know, and Mich actually goes and drinks half of it. Why do people drink stuff given by unknown strange men? Anyway, in the car on the way to Quark's, down goes Mich too.

At Quark's, I'm helping Goldie out the car to get to the house when Mich just collapses on the sidewalk, like a Sailor Moon who'd just lost a fight with an archenemy (a description that had Neva in stitches), or at least been hit with a giant fly swatter.

We carry our casualties into the house, where we try to get them to puke, drink, eat a granola bar (very tasty, thanks), etc. It's amusing because no one expected this to happen to them tonight. Certainly not Chiko or Mikey (who had to catch Mich a few times, too) or Carlo or Joey or me or Alexis (who had to give them rides home).

Finally, we all watch The Chukk Mabaya Project, our gift to Chiko. Then go home groggy and sleepy.

P.S. Maggie, The Fountainhead tops the list of Mensa’s favorite books. Or was it Atlas Shrugged? Hmm… Watchmen’s on the list, too. :)

P.P.S. Carlo, that Doisneau photograph? Well, he kind of resented that while everyone celebrated that particular picture, the rest of his oeuvre wasn’t getting any attention. Anyway, shortly before he died, he revealed that the photo wasn’t candid but staged. Astig.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Ahh... how I love massages. I didn't get one until recently, because being very ticklish, I thought it would be useless. But Neva was able to convince me to get one at Oxygen Bar in Makati, where she and her mother go. That was a month or two back. I got one again tonight because I thought I needed one after the seminar (even if it has been already a week). There was a knot around my left shoulder that was a bitch to remove.

Big announcement of today is that Harvey's updated his blog. Finally!

But on another, sadder note, Neva, who started this whole blog craze/nonsense, is seriously considering deleting her blog. Raise a ruckus and convince her otherwise! She won't listen to me.

And poor Alia got food poisoning the day after her birthday and had to be confined at the hospital overnight for observation. Hey, at least Gameplan couldn't force you to go to work, diba? :) Not like on your birthday...

Thursday, October 03, 2002

I got to see George Washington tonight with Neva. Alexis lent me the copy and prior to his lending it to me, I’d never heard of this film. Which is a damn shame because it’s beautiful. It’s the debut film of a director named David Gordon Green, and he was only 25 when he came out with this. Pisses me off. I feel old and useless. Anyway, the film’s terrific. Beautiful cinematography, score, and performances. Doesn’t really have a narrative thrust to it, it’s character-driven. You can see the Terence Malick influences everywhere, even if The Thin Red Line is the only Malick you’ve seen. I’m thinking of getting the DVD but it’s kinda expensive. Over 30 US dollars for one disc? Sheez… But it’s got some damn good extras. Hmm… not a priority, I guess. But if you get the chance to see this movie, please do so. Then explain the title to me.
Most of Thursday I spent in front of the computer reading. It’s a comfortable lazy day, but I’m itching to write something and will have the opportunity because I promised Harvey some scripts by next week. Most of today will probably be spent in front of the computer too. I’m still trying to whittle down my reading list. And there are some comics I have to return soon.
Mich needs a name for her proposed t-shirt line. My suggestions below. I’ll leave it to you to guess which ones I’m serious about.

* T-Shit
* Manang Neva’s Espesyal
* Unwashed
* Now That’s What I Call Chic!
* Fuck You, Fashion
* Fuck Me
* Up Your Dad
* Boiled Sprat
* ¡Scoliosis ist Rad!
* Pretentious Clever Name
* Sell-out!
* Print Whore
* Blame Canada
* Where Ozzy Fears to Tread
* Beer-Guzzlin’ for Jesus
Had a fantastic day yesterday, because I was finally able to attend the Wednesday Group (a la That’s Entertainment!) drinking session at Pearl, emphasized in particular because it was Alia’s birthday. I thought I’d be late but I actually wasn’t; I was early so I decided to crash first in Mich’s workroom, since I parked in her building anyway. She was cramming some work (as usual) for her shoot today. Read some comics while waiting for her to finish. I think she was trying to have a conversation with me but I was reading. I did scream “Yeah!” and the occasional polite laugh every once in a while. Loko lang Mich.

I love Mich’s workroom. Before yesterday I’d never been there before nighttime and seeing the view with the late afternoon sun, smog and all, was breathtaking. When it started to rain I was fascinated by this one window because you could open it and poke your head out, looking down 16 floors. And if you look down when it’s raining, it’s like you’ve got the POV of the rain. Cool. So me and Mich started spitting on people and cars because hey, it’s raining anyway (and really strongly, at that) so if you get hit, just stand still a few more seconds and it’ll be washed right out.

Around 4-ish (and after the downpour) we went to Pearl and found Joey, Alia, Chris, and Alexis. If you know Chris, then you know the drinking was already underway, and Alexis was nursing one too. More and more people started coming: Goldie, Quark, Ernan, Carlo, Ozzy, and people I met only then like Kris Sevilla, EJ, and Sarah. Neva and Lia came from work. All in all we fluctuated between 9-13 people (all but two having blogs), and were at that spot for around 7 hours! Whew. But you don’t get tired when the company’s good, and good’s what it was. Everyone was noisy, spilling food and beer, Quark got me the latest SPX anthology while he was in Noo Yawk (wooh!)

while showing off his pictures with Daniel Clowes, Ira from Yo La Tengo, Juliana Hatfield, etc. Bastard.

Off the top of my head, memorable scenes from last night:

- the unfurling/undulating Ozzy Arcilla (still in denial and sporting a spiffy new haircut)
- Mich: “I love therapy! I love rehab!”
- Goldie’s uniform collar having the word DYKE written/sewn on it by Hannah.
- Everyone making fun of, alternately, Mich’s herpes, Chris’s Irish roots, Alexis’s Canadian roots, Ozzy’s sexuality, Joey’s hairless legs, Alexis’s Tagalog accent, Ozzy’s wardrobe, and on and on and on… there’s tons more but most of you reading this blog were there anyway. Now I’m waiting for you guys to post pics so I can steal ‘em.

A lot of funny stories were told and heard, too. Lots of laughs, aching stomach muscles, and second-hand smoke.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

This is how fucked-up I've been: I wrote a post last Sep. 30, asking Steph to go to a signing on Sep. 28.

It's Alia's birthday today. Greet her. It was Criselle's last Monday.

Chris's Spider review is now up at Indiefilipino.

In the Mood for Love is still playing at Greenbelt 1, for those who haven't seen it. I don't know if it's still playing Megamall, however. Storytelling is also now showing at Greenbelt 1.