Ramblings On Gorgeous Looking Koreans on TV

I am again stuck, jammed and fixed over a Korean TV series.  And the stars of Start Up – the Korean TV I am baffled with – are just seriously gorgeous.  They seem to have been blessed by the angels and kissed by the heavens to possess flawless radiant skin, fit physique and impeccable angelic faces.  They are beautiful!

Nam Joo-hyuk… beautiful even when asleep!

Bae Suzy… loads of pretty-ness!

My niece is five months pregnant now.  Here in the Philippines we have the strong cultural notion and belief that during conception, the baby’s physical attributes is strongly influenced by the mother’s habitual activities and mental state during pregnancy.  We indiscreetly believe that there is a direct correlation between what the pregnant mother usually eats and perceives with that of the physical attributes and personality of the baby when born. 

I in particular, when my mom was pregnant on me, according to her, she irrationally craved and would usually gobble bowls of coconut milk in one seating.  That is why she was not surprised when I was born my skin was a little lighter as compared to my siblings and fairer than the usual brown-chocolate Malay-Pacific Islander race.  One letdown though, I have attributed my having very oily skin to the  coconut milk loading exploit of my mom during her pregnancy. 

Yeah, unlike the flawless epidermis of Korean stars seen on Netflix whose sweat glands seem to secrete glitters, I suffer from oily skin when I grew up. My face is so oily it could launch another Gulf War on the planet!

the skin that can launch another oil dispute on the planet! Hahaha!

And now that my niece is pregnant, we would often persuade her to spend most of her days watching Korea novelas (also known as K Dramas) with the hopes that her baby would look super gorgeous.  But I know for sure that no matter how my soon to be grandniece or grandnephew would look and behave, he/she would be well loved and cutely gorgeous in his/her own way.  His or her having flawless radiant skin like those gorgeous Koreans would just be but an awesome plus factor.

Those Koreans are so gorgeous!

A Movie Whose Title I Did Know Until I Finished Watching It

Yesterday was my first time to watch a movie in which until the end of it I never knew of its title.  Prior to getting to the mall, the only thing I know about the movie which me, Nengkoy and my whole family is gonna watch is that it stars hunky actor Gerald Anderson and pretty Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.  And that it is a romantic comedy film directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.

You may wonder how come I did not saw the title when it was flashed at the first parts of the movie.  Yes, I did not saw or notice it.  Maybe it’s because I was too busy opening all the lids of all the huge tubs of popcorn my family brought along inside the cinema.

Only when I and my family were heading out of the cinema did I realize that I don’t know the title of the Filipino movie that we’ve just seen.

At the first half of the film, viewers will be treated with tacky plot of a story, bad acting, and cheesy dialogues.  It especially became garish, loud and shoddy when the character of Wurtzbach appeared.  There was nothing new and special about the film.  And before the movie reaches its second half, I have already accepted the fate of us viewers that we have to endure watching such a trashy and second-rate film. 

It was so disappointing that I have concluded that the director has gone worse as compared to the cool and heartwarming Filipino romantic-comedy films she has done in the past. And that the only saving glory of the film was the pleasure of seeing and appreciating the good looks of both Anderson and Wurtzbach.  I have even resolved within me that it was good that I did not even know the title of such a trashy movie.  Who would want to know anyway!

But when the film reached its second half, all these disappointments and frustrations were suddenly erased!  The story, the plot and even the acting suddenly bloomed and became so fetching.  In fact, when the second half of the film was running, I wanted to steal an Oscar trophy from the imaginary cabinets of acting awards of Meryl Streep and hand it over to Anderson!

When the twist of the story was revealed, each minute of the movie surprisingly becomes so intriguing to the point of being so engaging.  It was so fantastic, I thought myself to be so stupid for not knowing the title of the film we were watching.  I actually wanted to go out and read the movie poster but I don’t want to leave for I may miss an important scene of the movie.

The magnificent twist of the film’s story justified the reason why the first half was cheesy, shoddy and corny with an overly-filtered cinematography.  The twist in the story was so clever it seem to trigger the deep-seated schizophrenia in me!

Very few Filipino films in the past made me cry.  This one elicited a tsunami of tears from my usually dehydrated weeping ducts!  I don’t wanna reveal the twist, neither do I wanna be a spoiler.  Oh, by the way, the title of the movie is My Perfect You.

Kaaliw! Nagoyo ako nung una ang ganda pala!

Saw It Twice: The Greatest Showman

It has always been my personal stance that it will take an exceptionally brilliant movie for me to watch it again for the second time in a movie house.  The two movies that I can recall watching twice during its regular run in the theaters were David Cameron’s Titanic and Pixar’s Inside Out.

Well, Titanic and Inside Out now has been equaled by the outstanding and admirable musical drama movie by Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman.  I first saw The Greatest Showman with friends and officemates last Friday.  And as soon as the credits rolled at the end of the movie, I just knew that I have to see and enjoy it again in the big screen. 

saw it first with colleagues and officemates

Well tonight, I saw it again.  This time I am with Nengkoy, my sisters and nephew Luis.  Here’s the five reasons why I decided to see it again tonight (Sunday, February 4, 2018):

One: The Music

I think I have fallen in love with the music of the movie.  Each song in the movie are so superb.  The melody in the whole selection are so brilliantly easy to the ear.  The songs in this musical are so infectious and addicting you just want to listen to it again and again and again. And the lyrics especially in five of my favorite numbers (A Million Dreams, Never Enough, This Is Me, Rewrite The Stars and Tightrope) are so powerful it cuts through deep into my being.  It would be hard to listen to the songs and not get emotional.

Two: The Story

It’s one movie that is so light yet magically entertaining.  You need not have a big brain to bring inside the movie house to comprehend and understand the undemanding plot of the movie.  And since the storyline is clear-cut, easy and light audience ends up loving every character in the film.  And most importantly the story is positive. 

Punctuated with memorable songs, The Greatest Showman is a feel-good movie, I ended up flashing a relaxed smile and with a happy heart (in both occasions) as I walked walk out of the theater.

Three: The Message

An unabashed piece of pure entertainment movie would often end up without a substance.  But The Greatest Showman is something rare and different.  It is one of those highly enjoyable film that exudes the message of courage and acceptance. 

The message of being yourself, issues on body image and embracing what makes you unique are well within the highlights of this brilliant movie.

Another rare feat for this movie is that (though it is not a cartoon or digital animated movie) there was no sex nor swearing in the whole length of the film!  That itself is something extraordinary in this time and age of movies.

Four: Nengkoy

After seeing and enjoying it the first time.  I promised myself that I will have to bring Nengkoy to the movie house for her see, hear and experience the joy, the dazzle and the spectacle that The Greatest Showman bestows.

Fifth: It’s a Celebration of Humanity

And lastly, as stated by one of the theatre critics in the movie, The Greatest Showman is one good representation of a “Celebration of Humanity”

second time with nengkoy and family

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

Ang galing!

Wow Morisette!

The Filipino translation for the word “beast” is halimaw.  And halimaw is how I would describe the strength, depth and power of the singing voice of Morisette Amon during her participation in the recent Asian Song Festival held somewhere in South Korea.

This kind of a Filipina beast simply slayed it!  This was such a phenomenal performance.  Her pure talent is out of this world! And she looks absolutely gorgeous in that video!

What is so surprising with this number is that I was less impressed by her whistling capability.  Maybe it’s because a number of good singers can do the whistle.  I was more impressed and surprised by the unique squeaking sound that her voice makes.  That is so rare and exclusively Morisette.  That squeak would most probably be the most beautiful squeaking sound that I’ve ever heard.

World klas ang lola mo!

Ma’Rosa: A Film about the Current Philippine State

It is supposed to be the time of the year when I would write about Cinemalaya, an annual indie-film festival here in Manila.  I would usually write about the movie entry that I enjoyed or touched me to the core.  However, I opted not to write any of the movies I saw because it seem that the quality of films featured this year seem not worth it.

Instead, let me feature the film I saw over the last weekend.  It was shown in movie houses a year ago and in the comforts of my home that I got to see Ma’Rosa, a film by the brilliant Brillante Mendoza.

MAROSA poster

unexpected! surprisingly brilliant!

Ma’Rosa is the official Philippine entry in last year’s Oscars Foreign Film category.  This movie however failed to make it to the final cut of finalists.  Nevertheless, this is the same movie that was an entry in last year’s Cannes Film Festival in which the lead actress Jacklyn Jose was adjudged as the Best Actress.

The story, the representation, the set and acting seem so real, it felt like I was actually groping into the lives of a poor Filipino family who only have few options of endure life’s challenges.  Jacklyn Jose was so outstanding now I know why she won.

After seeing the movie, I was actually not surprised why the Film Academy of the Philippines chose this movie as last year’s entry to Oscars.  It is because the elements, the texture and the narrative are all Filipino in nature in its present sorry state.  The movie effectively showed and represent how it is to be poor in the Philippines.

I was also not surprised why this movie did not make it to Oscars, maybe it is because the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of America felt that this Brillante movie was too fictional to the point of being too exaggerated.  But let me oppose that.  I would be one of those Filipinos who was born and raised here, who would dissent at this type of notion.  Ma’Rosa is nothing but real, genuine and existent in this side of the planet.

It was a superb Filipino movie.  It may not have reached the Oscars level but Ma’Rosa is one brilliant Filipino film.  And I hope next year’s Cinemalaya entries would be as exceptional as this one.

Brilyant!

Happy Birthday Ate Gaying

It’s my elder sister’s birthday today. She was my travel buddy when I got to visit the beautiful country of Israel.  And because of my sister, my travel to the Holiest Land on Earth went so swell.

And since I could not think of a good birthday gift for her and has no time to buy one, I instead hurriedly had my lunch yesterday in my office and create this…

Happy Birthday Ate Gaying!

Pengeng pera!

A Surprise Encounter with Master Yoda

While at the Presidio looking for a nearby Starbucks to fulfill my coffee craving for the day, I happen to have found a fountain that features one of the most iconic fictional movie characters of all time.  While sipping my coffee and taking a much deserved rest inside Starbucks after a beautiful walk at the Palace of Fine Arts, I looked into Google Maps to determine how to go back to my hotel.

Google Maps pointed that I am actually steps away from a certain Yoda Fountain.  I just wondered if Yoda is the same Yoda that I was thinking of.  I absolutely had zero idea about it! And out of curiosity, I followed the Google Map on how to reach it.

you won’t notice it unless you’ve been told

taray ng lolo mo may monumento

“spontaneity” is the word

With my personal belief that “spontaneity is the best kind of adventure”, I had a surprising selfie with Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order!

Adapting to the famous movie line by Yoda, one of wisest beings of the galaxy, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”, this type of surprising occurrence and unpredictable circumstance truly made my first time solo travel adventure so fulfilling!

‘Di ko akalaing makita ang huklubang Yoda sa Kalipornya!

Gaston of Beauty And The Beast

 

Pure enjoyment.  That is how I would describe my general view and opinion after watching the rebooted and newest version of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.  It is a film that is loaded with thoughts, scenes and features that will warm your heart.  Viewers will definitely fall in love with the lead characters and will delightfully be mesmerized with the characters who were cursed to become inanimate objects.  The Be My Guest scene was spectacular!

I’m pretty sure a lot has been written about the various characters of the movie.  Even LeFou the sidekick of Gaston (the main nemesis) had loads of write ups about him because of his being a member of the LGBT.  And since I am more of a fanatic of the antagonists that those of the usually boring bida, heroes, heroines or protagonists, let me write about Gaston.

Personally, Gaston (superbly played by Luke Evans in the movie) was a potential favorite at the beginning of the story but I eventually dropped him when he turned unreasonably evil.  Gaston was funny and a likeable idiot at first half of the movie.  With the good looks of Luke Evans, I’m pretty sure some of the viewers would rather drop the Beast and instead root for Gaston.

In the movie, Gaston started as a conceited narcissistic dude with a dash of charming-ness but his funny-at-first demeanor suddenly turned unappealing when he starts to get too irrationally sore and unreasonably obsessed with Belle.  I don’t like the Gaston characterization at the end part because it does not have a background on why Gaston turned out to be the Gaston in the movie.  Gaston is unlike other movie nemesis in which a backgrounder is presented on why they turned evil.  I actually just assumed and have to settle on a thought that Gaston who wears a military uniform must be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being in a terrifying war or traumatic battle that is why he is so unstable.

Though with unexplained past and unexplored personal history in the movie, I guess, Gaston’s character and wickedness is one vital need in the movie so as to enhance and further emphasize the pureness of the hearts of both Belle and the Beast.  Without Gaston, there won’t be a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, (all together now!) Beauty and the Beast.

Gaston did a pretty good job.  He is actually the true and spot-on beast in the movie.  If he survived the high fall at the end part of the story, he now has adequate reason to rile and aggravate the future lives of the Beauty and the Beast!

Dahil kontrabida ang peg, Team Gaston ako!

Queen Meryl

If your life story would be featured in a film, who among the actors and actresses would you want to portray your character?  Since it will take metric tons to depict my charm, appeal and personality, it will take a true thespian, prolific performer and sensational artiste to take on my character.  I actually think that no living male actor can do my role.  But one actress (for that matter), I guess, can level up and take on the extreme challenge of being my character.  I would certainly choose the most celebrated actress of all time, Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep is so good, give her the character of a chair, she can certainly act like one.  And you will be left stunned and entertained at the end of her characterization of being a genuine chair.

queen meryl

queen meryl

I personally have lost count on how many Meryl Streep movies that I’ve seen.  But in each movie, she was simply frank, authentic and valid.  She is so effective you would actually forget that she is Meryl Streep, the actress.

And just yesterday, I was again extremely impressed by Meryl Streep when she rendered a very powerful speech when she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Golden Globes.  It was intense, it was true, it was charming, it was emphatic.  Such a poignant speech actually shook the whole America out of its wits!  It is because, what she was saying seem to shake and wake them all up.

Why was Meryl so effective and made a buzz all over the world in her yesterday’s speech?  It was because everybody – at the back of their brain – seem to be being told, lectured, chided and harangued by Miranda Priestly, Margaret Thatcher, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, Florence Foster Jenkins, Joanna Kramer, Violet Weston, Sophie Zawitowski, Donna of Mama Mia and The Witch of Into The Woods all at the same freaking time!

That is how powerful Meryl Streep is!  She’s so powerful she should be crowned and dubbed as the Queen of America!

Aydol! Ibang lebel kung tumira si Ateng!

Stupidly Expecting for Dami Im

In my recent journey to New Zealand, I got to spend a very short period of time in Australia.  It is because my flight from Manila to Queenstown was via Sydney.  It was a 3 hour layover at the land down under.

While at the Sydney airport, I was ecstatic because despite the fact that chances of bumping into my favorite Aussie celebrity was like asking for the heavens to give me the greatest love life I don’t deserve, I was still positively expecting some mystic phenomenon to happen.  I was not expecting to bump into Kylie Minogue or Hugh Jackman nor Cate Blanchett or Chris Hemsworth.  I was not expecting Australians to bestow me a red carpet welcome.  I was not expecting the mayor to hand me the key to their city.  I was actually hoping to see Australia’s singing diva, Dami Im!

dami-im

dami was not popular yet during my visits in sydney...

dami was not popular yet during my visits in sydney…

I know it’s stupid but as soon as my feet landed on the grounds of Sydney, my bizarre and inexplicable hope for Dami Im to be at the airport!  And since I don’t have any photos to show, it means this longing did not transpire.  I guess the heavens was smart enough not grant such a wish, otherwise, I would not have left the airport in time for my journey to fresh Queenstown.

Let me just satiate and mollify this stupid wish by posting and listening to Dami Im’s latest single “Fighting for Love”.  I actually prefer Dami’s live performance during the X Factor TV show than the actual music video of the song…

Na-aning-aning lang sa Sidni…