Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Twelve is that annoying kid you attended college with who just flitted in and out of classes, mooched on everyone, took his parents' money for granted, and plied himself with drugs and alcohol. You never really gave a crap about him, and only gave him notice when he was inconveniencing you. All you'll be able to take away from this film is that no one can do Brett Easton Ellis quite like Brett Easton Ellis. The characters were inconsistent and the plot, as well as subplots, seemed forced and unnatural. Throw in the annoying narrator's voice, coupled with the dreary dream sequences of white backgrounds, and all you get is an hour and a half of your life you will never get back; This film is basically Gossip Girl on drugs, if you subtract Gossip Girl's campy fun which sorts of deems forgivable some of the nuisances.

Twelve is the story of 17-year-old White Mike, the privileged son of a restaurant tycoon. His mother succumbed to breast cancer several years before the film begins. White Mike is a drug dealer who has taken his senior year in high school off to sell drugs to his wealthy peers. When he is not selling drugs he is reminiscing of his childhood and philosophizing about a world he feels he is not a part of. The title of the film refers to a new designer drug which the protagonist of the novel, White Mike, sells. The drug is referred to as a cross between cocaine and ecstasy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What's in a name?

Everyone has six names.

1. Your Real name: Alessandra Pamandanan
2. Your detective name (Favorite color and favorite Animal): Purple Dragon
3. Your soap opera name (middle name and street you live on): Martinez Kagandahan
4. Your Star wars name (first three letters of last name, first two of middle name, first two of first, last three of last): Pammaalnan
5. Superhero name (color of your shirt, first item to your immediate left): Black Cigarette
6. Goth name (Black and one of your pets): Black Kiwi

New Year's Eve

This movie was a bit of a bore, though far better than it's predecessor. Unfortunately, that doesn't count as very much since Valentine's Day is an example of why ensemble films do not work out (Love Actually is the one shining beacon). I fell asleep half-way through the movie, at the cinemas, it was so dragging. Thank the good Lord for Zac Efron (and consider that I am no Zefron stan!), Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Duhamel's beautiful mega-watt smile, and Bobby De Niro.

New Year's Eve celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, in the intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.



1. Any food is fair game until it is actually swallowed by someone else.

2. Take a nap whenever you can.

3. Don’t bark unless it’s important.

4. Chasing one’s tail is sometimes unavoidable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Friend Zone

"A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Love in the time of W & A

Over the course of the last 2 decades, in the time of the baggy pants of the 90's and crazy internet mania of the early aughts, the standards of dating somehow changed. It shifted from Disney's Castles and Princes, to Sex & the City's casual affairs and one night stands. As 2011 looms to an end, the gap between the 2 furthers as we move towards the confusing thread of self-love and scorn for others.

These days, we no longer have A Walk to Remember; we've instead welcomed Walks of Shame and our Gone With The Wind is something we take literally. Our ambition drove us to new heights and we've decided on molding ourselves to people we think were deserving of love, not worthy of it. I work so I can be successful. I want to be successful because I want to be desired. I want to be desired because I am lonely. My loneliness is a disease that eats me from the inside and thaws my bones, my muscles, my organs.

Our workaholicism and drive has frozen our hearts, and melted our bodies. We burn-out because the fire we fan exceeds our control. We forget that as human beings, we are wired to make mistakes and to live with, and in spite of, our imperfections. When did excessive love for self merge with disdain for others? In order to practice the former, must I also adhere to the latter? Must my person be so chilling that the ice inside my soul becomes the ideal temperature for beer? Ice-cold to the core.

Or do I regress and practice apathy instead? Is it a damned if I am, damned if I'm not situation so I should stop caring altogether?

I've never been very big on relationships, but I've always thought that this was because the option was always there. However, being the one last true romantic of the age, in a generation filled with mind games and casual dating, is not something to boast of. Who in their right mind would commit themselves to people who are so aggressively anti monogamy? The smart thing to do is to fight tooth and nail for your freedom. So, yes. I think I'll stick to work and pragmatism. If this is love in the time of workaholicism and apathy, give me no love. I want nothing to do with it.

And on that note, I need to haul my ass to work.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Filmography 2011

Click through to read the Soundtrack and complete Film list!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sharing Is Caring: The Event I

The Martyrdom

Make-up: Jewel Candaza
Photographer: Trina Khio


She had blue skin,
and so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by--
And never knew.
- Shel Silverstein.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Just to give you guys an overview of what lies ahead in the next 5 days for me:

7am - (Which is 2 hours from now), Divisoria with Jewel to buy more things for Sharing Is Caring.
12 noon to 5pm - Skinny Sweets
6pm onwards - Pack more loot bags & give-aways with Jewel and Loiss

6am to 12 noon - Skinny Sweets
1pm to 5pm - Meeting at MOA
6pm onwards - Finalizing things for Sharing Is Caring

12 noon to 2pm - Meet with the head volunteers for run-through of Sharing Is Caring
4pm to 12am - Skinny Sweets and Lomography Manila

10am - Head to Mandaluyong for ingress of Sharing Is Caring
11am to 12:30pm - Briefing of volunteers
1pm to 5pm - Event proper
8pm onwards - Afterparty for Volunteers

Skinny Sweets the entire day.


Words that get me through the day:

Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work. - Gordon B. Hinckley

Of course women don't work as hard as men... they get it right the first time.

Work so that one day your "signature" will be called an "autograph"

Your best work is just ahead of you.

Don't quit.
You're already in pain.
You're already hurt.
Get a reward from it.

Good work takes hard work.

Work hard & be nice to people.

Dreams don't work unless you do.

The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.

It's not the end of the world that your feet hurt. Push yourself. - Henry Cavill

Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion. - Muhammad Ali

Being weak is a choice. So is being strong.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Work smarter, not harder.

Live, work, create.


Words I take to heart, and life:

Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss. Repeat.


And for horrible days:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Loved it the first time, loved it the second time around. Although I still can't get over Chris Evans playing the star-spangled avenger. To me, he'll always be Johnny Storm/ The Human Torch.

Captain America: The First Avenger will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving.)

Like Crazy

Raw, heart-breaking, and in possession of sharp clarity, Like Crazy is a film that has as much to do with the audience as with the filmmakers. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are a wonderful representative of the next generation of actors.

"I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it, but I didn't, not really. Only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn't realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it's the halves that halve you in half. I didn't know, don't know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me."

A love story is both a physical and emotional tale, one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. Director Drake Doremus' film Like Crazy beautifully illustrates how your first real love is as thrilling and blissful as it is devastating. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate (Anton Yelchin) they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey only to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa. Like Crazy explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This Modern Love

"When the Words Don’t Fit"
Oct. 27, 2011

SHORTLY after I turned 21, a boy handed me a poem. It was folded and folded until the words were concentrated and tucked away, handwritten black letters turned and flipped inside a small square.

We had been on a plane from Burlington, Vt., to Newark, seated a few rows away from each other. I had noticed him before we boarded: the way he sat with his feet resting on his carry-on, his gaze focused on the open pages of a book.

During the flight, I felt his eyes trying to catch mine as I turned and pretended to look for something behind me. The voice we used when ordering drinks, the way we stood to pull this or that from the overhead compartment: everything was choreographed for the benefit of the stranger across the aisle.

And then the plane landed and made its way to the gate. In my memory, it was evening and the rain had just subsided. Somewhere between the gate and my parents’ waiting car, he handed me the poem.

That was almost 13 years ago. I had been flying home from college for the weekend for my sister’s wedding — or rather, the celebration of her marriage. My family wasn’t big on weddings in the save-the-date, banquet-hall sense. So this was the small, elegant party held after she and her husband had eloped. Our tradition wasn’t to have weddings but to have elopements.

My parents had eloped. They had known each other for less than three months and had been on only a handful of dates before they went to a justice of the peace and took vows they meant and kept. My mother had been working at a welcome station in Florida. She handed my father a glass of free orange juice. That’s how they met: my mother with her thick dark hair and crystal-blue eyes, my father in his naval uniform.

I was proud of that, the story of my parents’ beginning. It was a glass of free orange juice, but it could have been a poem.

“Did you hear that a boy gave Sarah a poem?” my older sisters whispered. They were enamored with the idea, and I passed around the white sheet of paper with its pale blue lines so they could read it.

They smiled and teased and recalled memories of when they were single and it was summer, and the boys had dark brown eyes and crooked smiles. It was decided that it was a nice anecdote, the boy handing me a poem. That night, I smoothed it with my hands and put it somewhere safe.

The party the next evening was the first family function at which I was treated officially as an adult. I had recently come back after studying abroad, and so I held my glass of wine and talked with relatives about Florence and London and Paris, and my plans after graduation. I’d move to New York. I’d work at an art gallery. I’d find a boy who wrote poems. It all seemed not only possible, but fantastically so.

The next day, my parents dropped me off at the airport, and when I arrived at the gate, the boy was there. We smiled at each other, and I sat down.

It turned out we were on the same flight, and this time we were seated next to each other on the trip back to Vermont. He played in a band and studied English and had been home for the weekend as well, visiting his family in Greenwich, Conn.

We talked about music and art. His first name was the same as my father’s. It was the sort of thing that seemed magical, preordained. It was the sort of thing that made girls near their 21st birthdays use words like “destiny” and “fate.”

He walked me to my car, and we kissed in the parking garage, under orblike yellow lights. It was a still kiss, a postcard kiss, a Disney princess kiss, the kind of kiss that makes blue cartoon birds chirp and swirl in the sky, their beaks holding garlands.

And this is exactly where the story should end. It should cut to credits, and the music should be triumphant but soft. Your last image should be of the young girl and the handsome poetry-writing boy frozen in a movie kiss. You should brush the popcorn off your lap and leave the theater smiling because everything worked out the way you knew it would. You can leave remembering that time when you were young and lovely, and things like that could happen.

Because it’s boring to say that things don’t work out like they do in the movies. Everyone knows that. Even 21-year-olds. But it’s hard to resist a great story. If we had lasted, we would have had one hell of a story.

Maybe that’s why I clung to him in that particularly embarrassing way that young girls sometimes do, why I wanted so much for things to work out. Why I let myself turn into someone I didn’t really like when I was around him. Why I was willing to forgive his arriving hours late on the night he met my parents at a restaurant in New York.

He was the last person I dated before I met the man who would become my husband. My husband and I met in a bar. I knew a friend of his. He knew a friend of mine. You’ve heard it a hundred times before.

But a few years later, he and I married, in a big traditional wedding with a white dress and a tiered cake. My father walked me down the aisle. My niece was the flower girl. There was shrimp cocktail. That wedding was the first of its kind in my family.

At our reception, my father gave a toast. He told the story of how he and my mother met, the story of how all those years ago she handed him a glass of free orange juice.

“There’s no such thing as free orange juice,” he’ll sometimes joke when telling their story, a satisfied but somehow tired look in his eyes.

My parents have now been married for almost 50 years. They have five children, eight grandchildren. They have hurt each other and tried to. They have saved each other’s lives. There have been loud, harrowing fights. There have been slammed doors and threats of leaving.

I remember sitting on my bed and wondering whether my mother meant it this time, whether it was finally done. Sometimes I hoped it would be, that it would just end and that there would finally be quiet. But there have also been hushed reconciliations: apologies and remorse and kind words spoken when no one was around to hear. So it’s after the glass of orange juice that my parents’ story, that anyone’s story, becomes interesting. To me, anyway.

“You have to believe that the Lord put you together in the first place.” That’s what my father said in his toast. That was his advice to my husband and me, his way of saying that what we had was preordained, that it was divine. And really, it was as good an explanation as any for love.

A few years ago, my parents went on a nice vacation together. They drank good Mayan-honey margaritas and walked on the beach. There are pictures of my mother with a flower tucked behind her ear.

“We found out how much we liked each other,” she said to me when they returned. Somewhere between their three-month courtship and five-decade marriage, my parents had figured out why they ended up together.

I told my husband that story, and he laughed softly. In my memory, he was doing the dishes, and the corners of his eyes creased as he smiled into the sink.

IT might interest you to know that the poetry-writing boy’s band has gone on to become one that you may have heard of, though it interests me less than I ever would have imagined. We were a good story. Nothing more. He is what I would have chosen when I thought I could choose. So, I suppose that’s the point: Love chooses us.

My husband and I don’t have a great “meeting” story. We met in a conventional way and had a conventional wedding. And in some sense, we lead a conventional life.

But my husband has seen me at my worst, at my most vile. And he has seen me at my best. He knows the things I don’t tell anyone, and the lies that I tell everyone but him. I have made sacrifices for him and been angry about it. Sometimes his flaws are so egregious, so blatant, they are all I see. And sometimes his kindness is so stunning that I am humbled.

And that’s love. Big, epic, fairy-tale love. The kind of love people write about. The kind of love that could inspire a poem.