Thursday ∗ 14 Aug 2014

CinemalayaX: the year of self-indulgent film and creative conceit

I had started watching CinemalayaX with Carlitos Siguion Reyna’s Hari Ng Tondo, Joseph Alterejos’s Kasal, and Roderick Cabrido’s Children’s Show. It was two good movies out of three, and I thought it was portents of things to come for the rest of the week’s movie viewing frenzy.

After watching all 15 full length films, I realize I had it good that first day. It was downhill from there.

Click here to read the rest of it over at Vera Files.

 

Monday ∗ 04 Aug 2014

The Fluid re-write

It seems the only way to start this review is to acknowledge – and praise – the Technical Theater Program Batch 111 students of Benilde for having dared and successfully staged and produced 2014’s Fluid. Were the technical aspects of the production the only point, then this was quite a successful theatrical debut for this batch of students. It would also, for the most part, be a successful re-write for contemporary times, something that playwright Floy Quintos talks about in… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 21 Jul 2014

Kleptomaniacs*

I tend to imagine that these times of political and socio-economic crises demand of creative work an amount of relevance, where it is easy to pinpoint films and TV shows and writing that tends towards escapism, refusing to speak of issues that are urgent and important. But escapism is also exactly what we need in times like these, when only the wealthy minority can live oblivious to the rising cost of basic goods and the utter lack of public services,… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 03 Jul 2014

Downward spiral*

On doctor-ordered isolation (nothing infectious, just radioactive, long story) and totally missed the June 12 rallies. I would’ve gone as an individual, probably brought along my parents, reminiscent of how we had gone to too many-an-anti-Erap- and anti-GMA-rally in the last decade or so. But maybe it was good to have been kept away this time around, to have watched it happening without knowing exactly what went into the planning and organizing. It allows for a sense, too, of how… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 14 Jun 2014

Freedom*

One rarely thinks about one’s freedoms until one feels it is being impinged upon, where one is being told of the price you pay for insisting on your right to free speech and independent thought. In the course of this government’s reign in Malacañang, and despite its grand proclamations about how this is a democracy – for look at how they let critics critique and rallies happen! – I have thought more and more about the mortality of the freedoms… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 09 Jun 2014

notes on Gawad Buhay, democratization, and the anxiety of smallness

this year was the first time i even cared enough to go to Gawad Buhay, and that is really because of a good three things: my love for Tuxqs Rutaquio, my love of Layeta Bucoy, and my new-found discovery of and respect for the kind of hard work that Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actors Company stands for. which is of course to wear my heart on my sleeve (obvious ba), and really to point at some of my good ol’ biases, the… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 05 Jun 2014

#YesAllWomen

i had watched the hashtag #YesAllWomen take a life of its own on Twitter, and was fascinated that while it didn’t trend in the Philippines, the tweets from elsewhere in the world (mostly the US it seems) resonated with this Pinay so removed from that context. i’m the last to imagine universality to be a valid enterprise, imagining as i do that we are always more complex than just being / standing for / standing against one thing. yet it… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 13 May 2014

for Joelle: how are these days?

i’ve been out of this blog, mostly because i was writing like crazy for most of March and April, and i mean working on four columns a week (!!!) for The Manila Times. and yes it was as crazy it sounds. i’m glad it’s over.

Wednesday ∗ 23 Apr 2014

Lola Nita, 1923-2014.

“At a certain time of day, between the high heat of noon and the cool afternoon, the streets of Casay have a strange quietness — of a leaf arrested in its fall, or of a vacuum from which air and life have suddenly been drained — a quietness which seems to bide its time. Very infrequently, a car, a truck, or a cart may disturb the stillness, raising brown dust in its trail and sowing screeching echoes into the silence.… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 06 Apr 2014

rising to the occasion: on “Cock” and the text as king

My refusal to compare foreign texts with local ones is based on the notion of independence. That is, I’d rather grant a local work with as much individuality as possible, and save it from what — to me — would be a false because unfair comparison with foreign work that I (on most counts) would not have seen anyway. I imagine I can be criticized for having such tunnel vision, or allowing local theater such leeway when critiquing its adaptations.… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 01 Apr 2014

Activism* (or what is wrong with the STFAP and STS)

Activism, to me, has always been about daring to ask the more difficult questions. And wanting to do – and actually doing – something about it. Anyone who thinks Kristel is being used for the cause of free education was obviously blind and deaf to the years of protests against tuition fee increases and the repercussions of the slow process of the State ceasing to subsidize state colleges and universities. So no, Kristel is not some mascot being used for… Continue reading »

Rage* (or what is wrong with the STFAP and STS)

When I entered the State University as a freshman in 1995, I was part of an English block that was diverse by virtue of class. It didn’t take long to find that while some of us were from well-off families (I had a Romualdez in my class for example, and there were children of lawyers), and there were some of us who were versions of middle class; many of my blockmates came from poorer families, many from the provinces. Many… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 30 Mar 2014

12 Pinay celebrities to be thankful for

It was difficult to celebrate Women’s Month at a time when the Pinay remains under attack, even when she’d like to think otherwise. To me it happens on the level of a beauty industry that has standardized what it is we mean by beautiful, as it does happen on the level of a Catholic Church that continues to take a stand against the Reproductive Health Law, after we have fought for it for 14 years. Scientific and common sense would… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 28 Mar 2014

dear UP Manila,

one hopes for some kindness. four UP Manila students will be appealing their case to the Board of Regents today, March 28. this past semester, all four went to all the classes they registered in, they were accepted by their teachers, and they fulfilled requirements. this past semester, they aimed for graduation and went through their thesis classes. they did so despite the fact that they could not and did not pay their tuition fees on time. they went to… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 13 Mar 2014

slow and disjointed: on August Osage County

I have come to the conclusion that accents are good. It is what I expect of most every Repertory Philippines play, given the texts that they choose to stage, and the truth that it is crucial to the insistence on staging plays set in places far away, if not within a historical period that is alien to a local audience. It is Rep that has taught me that. And with August: Osage County I felt like I was being taught… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 27 Feb 2014

not everyone can make a rom-com: a realization from watching Starting Over Again

There is standard that Star Cinema has set when it comes to the romantic-comedy as a genre, and it’s a standard that has since re-set the formula for the effective rom-com, where effectivity is proven by both a movie’s creation of it’s own cult following and box office success.

Tuesday ∗ 25 Feb 2014

remember by reading: EDSA Revolution 1986

two links for those who are truly interested in understanding and forming an opinion about the EDSA Revolution of 1986: a version of Chronology of a Revolution was published by the Foundation for Worldwide People Power in 1996, and Himagsikan sa EDSA: Walang Himala! was published by the same, in the year 2000, after it got an Honorable Mention in the Centennial Literary Prize in 1998. both have been online, and free to read, since 2000 for Himagsikan and about two years ago… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 19 Feb 2014

space for troubled youth: on Toilet The Musical

It was funny that before I could find where exactly Toilet The Musical was being staged in the Ateneo campus, I first had to happen upon the Rizal Mini Theater where Antigone The Musical was being staged. It made me want to try and get into the latter — for how fun that sounded after all! — but then again, Toilet was making a promise difficult to refuse: it’s an all-original Filipino musical. That it had Ejay Yatco at the helm might be exactly what kept me… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 16 Feb 2014

on friendship and sisterhood #beforeiforget*

there are friendships that happen later in one’s life, even with people whose names you’ve known for years, that girl who was always just the girl-who’s-the-ex-of-a-friend, or that one you’d see at gigs. you could’ve studied in the same university and college, but remain as nameless faces, or faceless names. a measure really of what else we were doing, how friendships can be as limiting as they are liberating. and how sometimes age and timing — if not twitter — might be… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 08 Feb 2014

the anxiety of rain: on Rak Of Aegis

It was difficult to imagine a musical that could use Aegis’s diverse discography, one that spans 15 years of the band’s existence, and seven albums. From posters and press releases it was clear that PETA’s Rak Of Aegis was using the song “Basang-basa sa Ulan” as center, with the obvious premise of … uh … rain to tell what would be a painfully contemporary story for nation. It was difficult to be optimistic, but it sure was easy to get… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 04 Feb 2014

Criticism: not (fun) in the Philippines*

The world knows of the Philippines by now, for reasons other than a senator who refuses to admit to plagiarism, being the setting for the bustling Asian city in “Bourne Legacy,” and a cybercrime law that might be the worst piece of legislation against freedom of expression since the world wide web. There was a time when we could call out the Western eye for gazing at us exotic: the ones who eat duck fetuses, the pretty brown-skinned girls with… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 28 Jan 2014

some waiting required: on “Wait Until Dark”

the thing with expectation is that it can be your undoing. for watching theater, i refuse to listen to the soundtrack of a musicale, or to read the script (when available) of a play, lest i start singing (or saying those lines) out loud while sitting as audience. sometimes though, the poster, the press release, is all one needs to build excitement. that is true for Repertory Philippines’ Wait After Dark. sold as a suspense thriller, one could also only be excited… Continue reading »

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