Monday, November 29, 2010

Woody Allen

“Chapter 1.
He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion…no, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yes. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.’
Er, tsch, no, missed out something.

Chapter 1.
He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles…’. No, no, corny, too corny for a man of my taste. Can we … can we try and make it more profound?

Chapter 1.
He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in …’
No, that’s a little bit too preachy. I mean, you know, let’s face it, I want to sell some books here.

Chapter 1.
He adored New York City, although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage…’
Too angry, I don’t want to be angry.

Chapter 1.
He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.’
I love this.
New York was his town, and it always would be…”
— Woody Allen

Original post here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Allyson Leila

Happy 8th birthday to the small girl with big dreams. I love you, baby! So proud of you. I'm counting down the days 'til the 6th! Your present is waiting!

Tita Essa.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christian the Lion

Christian the Lion's story never fails to make me cry.

To learn more about the inspiring story of a pet's love and loyalty to his owner, read their wikipedia page and watch the viral youtube video.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HP & The Deathly Hallows P.1

Usually, when I go into a movie house to watch a film adaptation of a novel I've already read, I expect to leave feeling a little shortchanged. Fortunately, this is not the case with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the penultimate film in a series of books and films beloved by many.

David Yates, the director who helmed the 2nd half of 8 films in the Harry Potter world, must be applauded for his visual masterpiece. While we have yet to see the final installment in this magical saga, it is safe to assume, from what we've seen in Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows, that he, along with the scriptwriters, have stuck as close to the novels as possible. It is not often that directors and scriptwriters abstain from making "creative" changes to the film version of book adaptations. While minor changes have been made, even a book purist such as I must admit that while it may not necessarily be for the better, it was not for the worst as well.

Daniel Radcliffe started out as the weakest actor amongst the famous trio, but he certainly did not finish that way. What might have been brought by years of training and experience have shaped him into a believable Harry Potter - one we root for and want to stand behind. His portrayal of Harry as a bestfriend and would-be-hero was inspiring, to say the least. My favorite scene of Daniel Radcliffe has to be the 7 Potters. He seemed to adapt the little idiosyncrasies that make it easy to tell whom he is supposed to be. From the twins' comfortable and laughing manner, to Fleur's shallow one, to Mundungus's reluctance at participating, and Hermione's forthright manner, he has given us something to laugh at before we cry at the tragedy that will soon follow.

Rupert Grint, on the other hand, makes it seem like he IS Ron Weasley. He manages to capture Ron's obvious jealousy and frustration with Harry, while not overdoing it in a manner where we become annoyed with him. We see instances that might have influenced his judgment, and we sympathize with his situation. Removed from his family early on in the film, as with the novel, Ron clings to a radio that announces Wizards and Muggles that have been captured and/ or killed by the Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic, in the hopes of not hearing names of his loved ones. A scene to applaud is his argument with Harry as he screams "You want to know why I listen to that radio so much? It's because I don't want to hear Ginny's name, or Fred's, or George's, or Mum's and you don't understand. Your parents are dead. You have no family!" While obviously under the influence of the cursed locket, we are able to understand where his frustrations come from. Rupert's performance and delivery was fantastic.

Emma Watson's Hermione Granger is also not a performance to scoff at. While lots of people have called her bland, she is able to bring to the scene a sense of foundation for the trio - almost as if she was the rock holding them together. Emma's no-nonsense manner is perfect for Hermione's quick thinking and girl scout preparedness, which has enabled the famous 3 to survive out on the run as long as they did. I concur with Ron's "We wouldn't last 2 days without Hermione." line. They really wouldn't have. And Daniel and Rupert wouldn't have made it without Emma as well. My 2 favorite scenes of Emma has to be her narrative as she recites the tale of the 3 brothers and her heartwrenching screams as Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix Lestrange tortures her for information. It was short, but it was well done.

Not much scenes were given to the others as Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows is largely centered on the trio as they evade Death Eaters and search for Horcruxes. However, in their brief scenes, the rest of the cast delivered performances so wonderfully made that it is hard to pinpoint who stood out the most. As an ensemble, the casting directors of the Harry Potter franchise did a splendid job. The actors seem to be perfect for their roles.

Rhys Ifans's performance as Loony Luna's father, Xenophilius, was brilliant. His broken hearted speech about having to trade Harry for Luna was nothing short of gut-wrenching. Helena Bonham Carter once again proves how effective she is as bloodthirsty Bellatrix Lestrange and Jason Isaac's Lucius Malfoy is so believable that you can see the frustration over what will become of his family mingled with fear of the Dark Lord in his eyes. James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George were perfectly casted as the comic relief of the series.

I also have to single out the performances of David O'Hara, Steffan Rhodri, and Sophie Thompson as Albert Runcorn, Reg Cattermole, and Mafalda Hopkirk, respectively. For those who aren't familiar with them, they are the 3 officials of the Ministry of Magic that Harry, Ron, and Hermione impersonated. They were hilarious! I swear I could see Hermione's face in the various expressions of Mafalda Hopkirk.

Of course, who could forget the tears brought about by some of the scenes? From Hedwig's death, to the news of Mad-Eye's, to Neville Longbottom standing up to death eaters and referring to them as "Losers", many a tears were shed with this movie. The hardest one to bear, however, belongs to Dobby. I couldn't contain my sobs as I saw Bellatrix throw the dagger that will take Dobby's life, and eventually, Dobby calling out to Harry as he lays there in Harry's arms proclaiming what a beautiful place it was to be with friends. As I type, tears fill my eyes. He is, indeed, a free elf.

While 2 and a half hours might be long for a single movie, I can honestly speak for everyone when I say that the movie was horribly cut short. I could've stayed for another 2 and a half just to finish the film. Unfortunately, we have to wait another year before the series concludes, but hey, on the bright side, that's one more year of Harry Potter being with us. 2 thumbs up, plus my toes, to everyone who made this film. It was, as it well should be, magical.

All good things,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marcus Dy

Happy 1st birthday to my godson, Marcus. Ninang will always be here for you, baby! I love you!

He celebrated his birthday last November 10.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

World Kindness Day 2010: Kindness in Action

My brilliant niece in a PSA for World Kindness Day 2010: Kindness in Action. The ad was filmed and airs in Singapore.

No one inspires me more than this wonderful little lady. Baba, I am so proud of you. You are such a phenomenal little bundle of joy and the world is lucky to have someone like you.

This random act of kindness has motivated me into starting and participating in a Pay It Forward type of campaign. A campaign that puts a smile on someone's face and gives them hope. Hope for a brighter day and a better tomorrow. Small deeds save lives.

All good things,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Photodump: October

Oh, October. What a month! Truly one of my favorite months, this is the time of year when my family and I start to get in to the holiday spirit. The breeze is cooler, the rain falls in sheets, and the urge to shop for presents takes hold. Tightly.

In addition to that, October usually signifies the start of the semestral break. Friends holed up in colleges, whether as teachers or as students, take off their closed shoes and let loose.

So to help me recap how I spent this wonderful month, I throw in some photos along with anecdotes.

Kicked off my October bedridden with the flu, so to cheer me up, my fantastic friends Kalvin, Jenn, and Mich took me out to eat at Charlie's the minute I was able to haul my butt out of bed. We planned on maybe hitting the mall after, but my body was crashing after our feast so they dropped me home instead.

Immediately after I regained my strength, I went off to celebrate school's out with friends from UA&P over at Fiamma; a night of debauchery (for them, not me!) for these crazzzyyyy kids. It's been awhile since a large number of us headed off to party together, so knowing that we knew practically everyone there, no one was afraid to get drunk and generally have a gooood time.

Lately, my friends and I find ourselves frequenting Reserve, a liquor bar in the Philippines. Ironically enough, neither Criela, who I am attached to at the hip, nor I consume any form of alcohol, yet there we are week in and week out. These particular set of photos were taken during 2 separate birthday parties - One for our friend, Kyra, and the other for Vito. Unfortunately, Criela found herself succumbing to peer pressure and the tempting lure of alcohol and insobriety. She found herself drinking like a fish at Vito's birthday and, well, needless to say the last photo pretty much speaks for itself.

I've mentioned time and again how Criela and I have numerous dates. In this set of photos, the brat and I decided to head out to get our daily grind. We took our caffeine fix over at Starbucks, Home depot where we snacked on a traditional Oatmeal Cookie and Cinnamon Swirl. Eric, our friend, followed a bit later on. A little after midnight, Vito called and told us he was heading to Reserve with Cocoon, Meng, and J.M. so the three of us decided to follow. After a round of drinks for the boys (while Criela and I drank coke, big surprise there), Criela, Eric and I decided to grab some grub at the 24-hour McDonald's. We took our drinks to Eric's pick-up and talked until the sun came up. I wore purple to honor Spirit Day.

During another occasion, I found myself craving for some caffeine so Jenn and I met up with Chris and headed to a Starbucks near their place. You'll notice I always have a little treat (on this day, I chose to munch on a Cinnamon Roll) to go with my coffee -- it's because I hate having acidity attacks so I take in food to balance the diet.

For quite some time now, I've been sad that they closed down the ice skating rink at Megamall. My siblings and I took ice skating/ figure skating lessons there, and it was a mere 10 minute drive from my place. Ever since seeing The Cutting Edge (starring Moira Kelly and DB Sweeney), I've had a fascination with ice skating. Fortunately, Criela shares the feeling. We've long planned to head over to the Mall of Asia to reacquaint ourselves with the ice but our plans have always been postponed. One day, we just decided to up and go. Since the brat and I are always hungry, we decided to feast on Pancake House's Fried Chicken, Bacon Waffles, and Blueberry Pancakes before taking on the ice.

My siblings and I are famed for our closeness. We receive such high praise from other people because our closeness shocks them -- especially considering our age difference (there's an eleven year gap between the eldest and myself, the youngest). Once you get to see us in action though, it will shed some light on why this is so. My siblings and I are NEVER not teasing, mocking, or poking fun at ourselves, as well as each other. To show you just how tight-knit and ridiculously hilarious we are, here are some photos from the birthday of my eldest sibling, Drei. Celebrated at Elbow room, it was meant for her friends and office mates, and we were only invited as a courtesy. We saw this as an opportunity to joke around, of course, because once you put any of us in a room together, hilarity will surely ensue.

Random photos from occasions I fail to remember:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, wraps up my October.

Here's to hoping that November will be just as kind.