Wednesday, December 30, 2009

His Last Farewell

It was around 7 in the morning of December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan, Manila when a Filipino named Jose Rizal died under the hands (or in this case, guns) of the Spanish soldiers. A death that opened the eyes of the Filipinos that rose to the Philippine Revolution which made the Spaniards flee the country of our mothers.

I decided to write this to commemorate the Philippines' National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, for today is his death anniversary (I'm on the other side of the world, so technically I'm 14 hours behind, and right now, as I publish this post, it's midnight over there, the 31st of December. A day late but early for the first day of the coming year. But whatever. At least I remembered him. And also, I get to remind myself of his heroic acts and his inspiring works.). He was considered our National Hero through his unselfish heroic acts and pacifist ways of approaching the enemy. Publishing his works which were mostly poems, he was able to reach out to his fellowmen which motivated them to fight for their freedom. And he's a damn good writer, I must say, for I've read some of them (not in Spanish, in Tagalog, but all his works are in Spanish), and he's pretty smart for someone who graduated at an early age.

But most probably his best works are his two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not/ Huwag Mo Kong Salangin) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed/ Ang Pilibustero), which instigated the Katipunan (an association of anti-Spanish Filipino revolutionists) to attack the Spaniards. He had other literary works as well, poems and sayings that he wrote since he was a kid, which all speaks nationalism and patriotism. I have read both novels for we studied them in junior and senior year in high school (a curriculum requirement), and I think that Noli (here's a good background) is better than El Fili for the latter is too dark for Rizal's taste, unlike Noli which has hints of romance.

You can also watch the movie Jose Rizal (highly recommended, I must say) that was released in 1998 if you really want to know more about his history. Either you can buy it or watch it online, but if you did like it (and I really hope you would), you can just buy it for it really is worth every penny.

Alright, I'm not showing this to the world to let them know how Spain conquered and molested my country for 333 years. It was the past, a part of history, and I completely understand that. Heck, I don't think Filipinos still have these repressed feelings against all the conquerors of our Motherland. There's no bitterness anymore, just the sheer pride that we have for our forefathers who protected us and the archipelago that stands today. I know that there are also some ordinary and unrecognized Filipinos who serve the country in their own ways that would surely make Rizal proud. Sacrificing their blood, tears, and sweat, just for the sake of their homeland. Wonderful, isn't it? Well, I just hope that some of our leaders would get the hint.

A/N: These are facts, I tell you. A part of the Philippine history. I'm just not sure (more like accurate) on some of the information. For example, I'm not really sure (okay, I forgot) if it was because of El Fili and Noli that started the Katipunan. It might have been before that. These Filipinos were violent and have a thirst for blood. Nah, just kidding. I respect them a lot, just so you know. It's just that my brain's a bit rusty; I haven't studied Philippine history for years (not that long though, at least I remember some things). 

Also, the title post is inspired from his last poem, Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell), his last literary piece written the night before he was killed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happy holidays :)

So here's another poem that I made three years ago, inspired from a person that I had once met. Now, don't think that I'm talking about you when you don't even know who I'm talking about. This is just between me and my former self, and now that I think about it, I regret writing this for I never really meant to do this to him. I never knew him personally, we weren't close enough for me to know his true self, but hey, at least you were able to leave me a memory of you. And in all honesty, I am thankful that I met you.

Well, let's get this going, shall we? All this cheesiness is starting to make me gag.

Naked Eye

Like a class clown entertaining his audience with his feeble jokes.
Like a court jester buying the queen's affections through his own ways.
Like a famous person who's admirers worship the ground he walks on.
Like a rock artist who's got a long line of tickets wanting to be his friend.
A lucky man, indeed.

No one can refute his notions.
No one can spoil his name to the highest.
No one disdainful enough can be his friend.
And no one can stand up against him, even the queen.

For he thinks that when he talks,
time stops.
all eyes are on him.
and no one can say a word.
For he knows that he controls everything and everyone in his hands.
For he doesn't care who he hurts, as long as he still looks good.

Pretty egocentric, if you ask me. And pathetic too.
It's a pity, for portraying this coveted role and no one, not even his worthy friends has ever seen him shed off his clothes.
But then again, we may never know. He may have already shown his skin at some point.

© luraaa

2:00 am

Note: If we've met, please do not take this seriously. This was written years ago, when I was a teenager going through the typical stages of adolescence. And if we haven't, then, don't take this seriously as well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Detective Conan: episode 2

And so a new case begins with our dear Shinichi Kudo who has now turned into a young boy. If it wasn't for a certain part of this episode I would've skipped this, for I find the case very, very shallow. But. The introduction of a new character is important, so I need to include this episode. (Although Conan isn't really a new character for he's still the same person, but I figured, eh. I might as well introduce him.) 

Detective Conan episode 2: Company President's Daughter Kidnapping Case

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When it's at 'Night'

No matter how many times I read or watch something about it, I still can't help but not believe it. I know it's real; I believe it was a part of history. Good thing that there is proof that it really did happen, a memoir from one of the survivors of World War II.

Night by Elie Wiesel is a very, very good memoir of what happened during the years of the second world war and during the Holocaust. It's actually short, with 9 chapters, but packed with all the emotions and oppressions that you can't even imagine.

Here is a monologue in chapter 3 that I find really unforgettable, which I think is one of the main highlights of the book, although there are a lot of events that I want to elaborate, but I can't. So on this monologue are the feelings and the realizations he had the night that they arrived at Auschwitz.

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke. 
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. 
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. 
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. 
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. 

Reading the book has made me change my perception on what really happened that time, for I only know the basic facts. But here, you can actually feel the emotions of what happened that time―the hunger, pain, guilt, hatred, vengeance, justice, fear, selfishness, and most especially, questioning your faith in God. And the author was able to address the issue very well; and I'm sure that those who are devout or from observant families would understand this.

Seeing this from the victim's point of view has made me think of this tragic event in history and understood a bit of what they had to go through during the war. My ancestors and fellowmen were also victims of the war for the Japanese conquered the Philippines as well despite of the Americans in the country. They too, experienced the horrors of the war, and I will not compare this to the Jews for this is not something to be proud of or make a competition out of. Everyone had suffered at one point or another; for this was a war that went on in the entire world, where some nations were still rebuilding due to the first but then started again with another one. And in respect to all the victims and survivors of the war, acknowledging and empathizing with them would be better for we certainly do not want to experience what they went through during those times. It was horrible, definitely, but like Wiesel said, ''there really is no other words to describe the horrors of those events.''. It's not worth remembering them, but at least through him and all the other survivors we are able to understand and know what truly happened that time. And through them, the world may be able to avoid this terrible ordeal again.

I would love to put in more quotes from the book, but I don't really want to spoil you if you haven't read it. If you have though, that's great, for this deserved the Nobel Prize and it is worth your time. I would also like to share this site that my teacher told me, and it's interesting to look at, especially if you are into The Holocaust and you want to look deeper and know more facts. This is the site, and I hope that you do explore it; so have a look around and it's best if you know more about the second world war in Europe (particularly The Holocaust) in order to fully understand it. And there is also an episode in Oprah where she and Elie went back to Auschwitz to relive everything, but you have to see it for a cost.

In the meantime, I hope you do get to read this wonderful memoir; or if you're not into reading, you can watch some videos of Elie Wiesel in some sites (there is one recent video where Wiesel made a speech at Buchenwald with President Obama on his side in memory of Elie's father) around the net.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

because of politics, this happens again.

And when I thought that this month is a time for celebrations, this tragedy happens. The nation was filled with joy and bursting with Filipino pride when Pacquiao won against Cotto (bless him, he was a good fighter) and won his 7th title on Nov. 14th. This hero was once again commemorated not just in the country, but internationally as well. But, there is also another hero who won as the CNN Hero of the Year, and it is none other than Efren Peñaflorida.

The Maguindanao Massacre happened 23rd of November, Monday, with 59 victims, most of which are women and journalists. A tragic and stunning event, and the only reason why these people were killed is because of politics. Again. I was reading some news about it on a national broadcasting network in the Philippines when I came across this statement from the said company, and I wanted to share it with you. (biasedness on the network aside, for there has been some network war going on in the country, for those who don't know. it's just that I was already at their website and browsing some videos and articles.)

The statement of GMA Network as read by Jessica Soho in their news program Nov. 25th:

Walang kahalintulad sa ating kasaysayan ang karahasan sa pulitikang naganap nitong araw ng lunes sa Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. Ang mga biktima - mga babaeng Mangudadatu na magsusumite ng certificate of candidacy, mga abogadong magbibigay ng payo at mga taga-media na dapat ay magiging saksi at magbabalita.

Lahat sila'y may ginagampanang papel sa demokrasya, pero sa lugar na kailan lamang ay tinawag na Ampatuan, dahas ang kanilang dinanas, na wala nang paglulugaran sa panahong ito.

Ang kahindik-hindik na krimen ay mapait na halimbawa sa klase ng pulitika na mayroon tayo. Sa kabilang banda, nariyan ang mga mamamayan na lakas loob na naninindigan na maipatupad ang tahimik at matiwasay na pamamaraan upang makapili ng mga magiging pinuno ng bayan. Ang tunggaliang ito ng dahas at kapayapaan ay lutang na lutang kada panahon ng eleksyon. Ito ang mga kritikal na pagpipilian natin sa 2010 -- karahasan ba o' kapayapaan?

Iniutos na ng presidente ang agarang imbestigasyon at nagdeklara ng state of emergency sa mga probinsya ng Maguindanao at Sultan Kudarat, at sa Cotabato City. Anim na pulis ang sinibak sa posisyon.

Umaasa kaming umpisa pa lamang ito, ng mga aksyong magtatapos sa paghuli sa mga taong nagsagawa ng krimen, ordinaryong tao man o kinatatakutang warlord sa probinsiya.

Kung sila'y hindi pagbabayarin sa pagkakasalang ito, katumbas nito ang pagkasira ng kauna-unahang automated elections ng bansa.

Habang kami'y naghihintay ng hustisya, kami'y magluluksa. Magluluksa para sa mga naniniwala sa demokrasya subalit nabiktima ng karahasan. Magluluksa para sa mga taga-mediang namatay na naniwalang sapat na ang konstitusyon upang silang maprotektahan.

Sa kanilang paglalakbay ng walang armas sa mga lugar na walang kasiguruhan, nagtiwala ang mga biktima sa kapayapaan. Aming kinikilala ang kanilang sakripisyo, habang ang kanilang sinapit ay mapait na ala-ala para sa lahat. Ang kanilang sinapit ay maaaring naging kapalaran
din namin.

In English:

We are no longer who we were before Monday. In the annals of political violence in the Philippines, there have been no parallels to the slaughter that occurred on the lonely road to Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on November 23.

52 unarmed civilians all, the majority of whom were media professionals, the victims were enroute to perform basic functions in a civilized democracy: the Mangudadatu women were to file certificates of candidacy; the lawyers were to provide legal advice; and the journalists were to bear witness on behalf of the public and to report on an important event without fear or favor.

All of these roles are essential for a political system where power is meant to be transferred without violence.

What met them in a town recently renamed Ampatuan was the exact opposite: a force and mentality that invoked the barbarity of more primitive times.

The crime that occurred in Ampatuan was uniquely savage, but it was also an extreme example of the violent tendency in our politics. At the other extreme are the many citizens who are bravely committed to the difficult and complex process of peacefully deciding who our leaders should be, such as those souls who perished on Monday.

It is this tension between savagery and peaceful process that has marked our electoral history. Those are the most critical choices in 2010.

Much will depend on how the government reacts in the coming days. For what is emerging is evidence that the assailants were not outside the law but part of the political machinery of local officials backed by the Arroyo administration.

The President so far has ordered a thorough investigation and declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City. Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa has relieved six PNP officials in Maguindanao.

We trust that this is just the beginning of a series of actions that will bring all of the perpetrators to justice, including the warlords who orchestrated this bloodbath.

If they are permitted to escape harsh punishment, it will clearly be a vote for barbarity and for the other savage armies prepared to assault our maiden automated elections.

As we wait for action, we grieve. We grieve for the believers in a democratic system who paid with their lives. We grieve for the martyred journalists who believed the Constitutional protection of their rights was enough.

By travelling without arms to perform their democratic duties in hostile territory, the 52 made their choice. We honor their example and sacrifice, as their fate continues to chill our bones. As fellow believers, we could have easily been them.

President Arroyo declared Nov. 26th as the National Day of Mourning for all the victims of the massacre, and I know that Filipinos will pray for these people, for this is really too much to happen again. I will admit; killings usually happen when elections come. These cases were unresolved, of course, but it is because of power and money that they do it. And the elections are coming; as much as I do not want to admit it, but there will be a national and provincial election in May 2010, and chaos has been going on (if I'm not mistaken) since last year. The year is almost ending, so more noise on the elections will be made. Politics really is dirty when you are in the Philippines. Literally and figuratively.  This is why I hate talking about politics. Anyway.

There is also a timeline and map of the Maguindanao Massacre from the same Network, and I suggest that you read it if you want to know more (and for my sake too). And it's not only the women, lawyers and journalists who were killed. Even passersby along the area were included in the massacre. There was this video interview of the Vice Mayor Toto Mangudadatu explaining what happened to his wife who was one of the victims. He said that when he saw his wife, he was shocked. And if I were him, I would be horrified. But most of all, hurt. I'll translate what he said on the video and I will warn you that what he said are really disturbing. This is what he said: "It really hurts. She was shot in her breasts, her genital area was slashed.... and it was also shot. Her mouth was shot, her eyes were pricked, her leg was amputated... I'm not crying because I want to show the nation that I'm strong." Because of this tragedy he decided to continue his candidacy for governor, even though he will go against his opponent, the Ampatuans, who they think are the suspects of this horrendous crime.

Earlier I was thinking if I should post this or not, but then I realized, this is a tragic moment in the country's history and even though the Philippines has been noted as the most dangerous place for journalists and media staff stated by IFJ, this still concerns my country and fellowmen. So please do bear with this post, pardon the disturbing atrocities I translated, and lastly, pray for the victims of this massacre.

Friday, November 13, 2009

why Efren is a hero

I came across this article a few weeks ago when I was browsing some sites (as I usually do) and became interested in this organization. Or more particularly, with this person.

To me, what he's doing is a very heroic thing to do, for he only wants the best for these kids because he's been through it, he's been there, done that, and he does not want them to just be roaming around the streets at night or getting into fights whenever they want.

I recommend that you read this article from CNN first, and then ponder for why he is one of our heroes of today. Or why he deserves to be considered one.

And of course, he can't do it all to himself too. He needs volunteers and other helping hands, like this group that he co-founded, the Dynamic Teen Company, an organization that assist their fellow youth to study at school instead of getting into violence and gang fights, which used to be a very common scene in the founders' schools. Today, the group holds various programs in improving the youth awareness projects and other activities as well. Do visit their site if you have the time and if you're interested. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Detective Conan: episode 1

Like I said before, I like this series. And since I already made an introduction on this show, I'll start the recaps with the first episode, so you'll get a gist of how everything started and how Shinichi Kudo became Conan Edogawa. You'll also get introduced to the characters, and look at their backgrounds. Also, I will choose which episodes I cover and the ones that I like and which also has something to do with the major plot. Because really, right now, this series has 500+ episodes and still airing, and I have no idea when this would end. If it does though, I'll let you know.

Alright, let's do this.

Detective Conan episode 1: Roller Coaster Murder Case

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hallow's eve

Just sharing a bit of information about a tradition and one of the cultures of the Philippines that I've gotten used to since my younger days: visiting my dead relatives' graves on November 1st. Supposedly, November 1st is All Saint's Day and 2nd is All Soul's Day. I can still vividly remember my grade school teacher telling me that the graves are supposed to be visited on the 2nd, not the first, for we should be commemorating the Saints. Instead, we're observing it as the All Soul's day.

You could see people camping in the cemeteries if they come from provinces or from far places. Staying up all night is a sight that should not be found surprising as well, for during these times, it's just normal for these people to do these things for this is how they pay homage to the dead. For they consider this the day to remember their dead loved ones and pray for their souls.

Now, what these people don't really celebrate is Halloween, a holiday where kids wear costumes and knock doors and get candies. Trick-or-treat, as it is fondly called. For adults who are not into candies and visiting their neighbors, they can attend a Costume party and still enjoy the holiday.

Even though Halloween means Hallow's Eve or the day before All Saints' or All Hallow's day, it seems that most people in the west celebrate this night before the actual day or reason of the holiday, which I think, loses the meaning behind it.

But, this is how things are, and I wouldn't mind being a part of this as well; for it is always important to adapt to a country that is completely different from where you came from. Who knows, I might attend a party and wear a costume as well. Although, I'm still not sure what to wear for that.

On another note, when I do think of Halloween, I also think of DOT―Daylight Ordinary Time (or in Filipino, Dating Oras Tanga*) where we adjust our clocks and go back an hour. I guess DOT also serves as a reminder to people up north for the coming (and sometimes dreaded) winter. And when we think of winter, we think of Christmas and the New Year ahead of us. Ah, how time flies really fast.

*Dating Oras Tanga is taken from P.M. Junior's Pugad Baboy comic book series. It literally means 'Back to the old time, stupid' in english. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Detective Conan: Case Closed

I'm currently watching this anime series and sometimes doing a marathon as I am only half of the total currently aired episodes. I've been watching this years ago because this was aired on one of the cable channels in my home back then. I love detective stories and mysteries; it makes my brain work out and think through things and discover stuff that I've never thought that could be possible.

In a nutshell: Detective Conan is an anime(and manga) series by Gosho Aoyama that started in 1996 and is still running. It's about Shinichi Kudo, a young detective, who was drugged by The Black Organization when he sees them blackmail a director for a huge amount of money. Shinichi then turned from a 17-year-old teenager to a 7-year-old kid when he was given the drug. And so, as he finds The Black Organization, solves cases along the way and meets new friends and people who might or might not be associated with the organization. At the same time, he protects his identity from his childhood friend, Ran Mouri, a Karate champion, who lives with her father, Kogoro Mouri who is also a detective. Shinichi named himself Conan Edogawa as a kid and lived with the Mouris to keep a close eye on Ran(though he won't admit it), solve cases by giving Mouri the credits, and searching for the Black Organization to turn himself back to his old body.

Like I said, this series is still ongoing. The mangaka releases the chapters, the new episodes are being shown, movies are still being produced (the 13th movie has just been recently showed), and OVAs and specials that some don't really take notice of. I know I said before that I don't tell stories; but when I make recaps, I'll make an exception as this is something that I've always wanted to try, so please pardon me when I release my first recap as I am just starting. But before I do that, let me just introduce the main characters in the story, and I'll introduce some of them as well as I do the recaps.

Shinichi Kudo is a famous 17-year-old detective, the son of Yusaku Kudo, who is an author of detective stories. He is very well-known in Japan and internationally, and he can also solve cases as good as Shinichi. His wife and Shinichi's mother, Yukiko Kudo, is a former actress who married young against her family's will. She appears occasionally in the series which sometimes annoys Shinichi because of her childishness although she helps him with the cases. The couple is currently in Los Angeles, leaving Shinichi behind by himself, but they are updated on what happened to their son, thus Yukiko showing up to keep track of his whereabouts. When she does visit though, she says that Conan is her nephew.

Kogoro Mouri, a former police officer and now an incompetent detective, and who also despises Shinichi for he can't get any client because of him. But when Conan showed up in his doorstep and solves the cases for him, he became well-known as 'The Sleeping Kogoro'. He loves drinking and the singer Yoko Okino. He's irresponsible, but he loves Ran and sometimes Conan lets him solve the cases when he has a better judgment. He has been separated for 10 years with Eri Kisaki, a big-time lawyer in Japan, who somewhat still loves him for she still wears her wedding ring. Their daughter, Ran Mouri, is Shinichi's childhood friend. Sometimes she can be a tomboy, what with her karate skills that scares Shinichi, but she's afraid of ghosts and she sleeps very deeply, a habit that has once put her almost in danger. She's the opposite of her father, for she takes care of him and Conan most of the time.

Conan Edogawa is the name Shinichi used when he turned into a kid. He solves most of the cases and will continue doing so, until he meets with the Black Organization. He claims that he's Professor Hiroshi Agasa's nephew, a professor who loves making new inventions and devices that sometimes help Conan. He lives next door to the Kudos and he's one of the few people who knows Shinichi's secret.

top row: Kazuha Toyama, Heiji Hattori, Sonoko Suzuki, Ran, Mouri, Eri Kisaki, and Prof. Agasa
front row is The Junior Detective League: Genta Kojima, Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya, Conan, Haibara Ai, and Ayumi Yoshida

our OTP, Shinichi and Ran

Alright, so they're pretty much the main characters in the anime, and as the series moves along, so does the introduction of the new characters, which will be shown in the recaps. So please bear with me here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I used to think that there is no other in the world like Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. I've always been jealous of Elizabeth (the actor and the character) for having him to herself, as he loved her wholeheartedly and fervently. I have seen the BBC 1995 series of Pride and Prejudice, and I must say, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are perfect for their roles, and that show was done beautifully. It was very well-adapted, very much like the book, which satisfied a lot of Ms. Austen's fans. Although, I have seen the 2005 version first with Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley, and I have to say, I like it as well, for it was the first I've seen and then I had the chance to read the book.

Honestly, I liked these two versions, and I don't want to choose one for a favorite for I really did like these adaptations and I could see them all over again sometime in the future. And I would love to take a glimpse on what's going on in Darcy's head, just to see how much of Elizabeth-meter its filled with (okay, bad joke. didn't make sense. that was just random). Thankfully, Amanda Grange came up with that idea first before I though about it, and expect this blog to have a say on that book in the future.

Given the time and a broader knowledge on words, I might be able to write some more about this period drama and do justice on Austen's famous work like the other adaptations. The movie is almost two hours, not enough to fit Austen's wise words; but enough to satisfy an individual. For a fan though, for someone who loved every part of the book, I'm afraid they might be disappointed with some of the changes that Director Joe Wright made. And yes, the movie completely deviated from the book, starting with the costumes up to the characters and most especially the plot. But I find nothing wrong with the direction and the music, for they were just right which added more artistry in the movie adaptation. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet wasn't bad either; although, I think I'm just being biased as I liked her a lot as the other Elizabeth, the commodore's daughter and a pirate's lover. She played it well, I think, and she deserves to be Ms. Bennet as she is pretty, but not more than Jane, who was very lovely. Knightley's portrayal has made me attached with Eliza Bennet, which urged me to read the book. Matthew MacFadyen wasn't bad either; he played the brooding and sensitive Darcy. And it was through his eyes (and acting) that I became a Darcy and a MacFadyen fangirl. But I'm biased, so I still choose Mr. Darcy.

As for the BBC series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, I think it was made very well if you base it on the book. This was directed by Simon Langton and screenplay by Andrew Davies and was aired in 1995. Not every part was portrayed, obviously, for they only had 6 hours to televise. It was worth watching all the episodes, and you can really feel that they conveyed all the right emotions needed for the film and for their characters. The other supporting characters were played well, and the shots and places that they used were beautiful. I think Firth and Ehle had the Liz and Darcy chemistry needed in order for their partnership to work. And their relationship was more like in the book, indifferent and prideful at first, and grew an admiration as time went by. It was seen well in the series, and if I'm not mistaken (and please do take this with a grain of salt if you didn't know), that they became a couple through this series. Isn't that nice, eh? Oh, as I watch this series over and over again, I must admit that this is the show where I fell in love with the character (in this case, Mr. Darcy), and not the actor. Not that I have anything against Colin Firth, I mean, I think he's a really good actor and he is Mr. Darcy, but I just don't really like him in the way that I love the character. In the future though if I would be given more time, I might just make a summary of this show, like a drama recap, and give it a try. I've always wanted to try it and see how well I do, and I hope I will give justice to one of Austen's most famous work.

I know that there are other adaptations of P&P that were made in the past, but I haven't seen them all yet so I still can't say anything about them. But don't you just love it when you watch these different adaptations that you can't help but grab your copy and read a certain chapter and remind yourself of it? I think Jane Austen is and will always be one of the greatest writers in history. Just imagine, two centuries have passed and she's still known by most people. By the way, if you're an Austen fan and familiar with most of her works, you can visit this blog and go back to where everything first started—Jane Austen's works, from a modern-day woman's point of view.

Friday, October 16, 2009

speech choirs

If you went (or go) to a high school that holds a speech choir annually for each class and year, then you'll know what I'm talking about. So you're a class (or a section), and you'll be given a piece to memorize and perform in front of your schoolmates or batchmates and then three judges would decide which sections would win the award. It's recognition basically, and if you win this award, your class would be known. There was this speech that we did in elementary on my 5th grade that struck my mind and reminisced the past. Unlike in the Northern American schools, schools in the Philippines each have class sections per year, and they don't move and switch rooms; they all stay in that room. So having these kinds of competitions each year is normal, as there are other activities going on so once in a while students can relax and bond with their classmates and friends. 

A few weeks ago, I suddenly remembered this speech that we did entitled 'I am a Filipino' by Carlos P. Romulo, the first Asian President of the United Nations Assembly. Of course, this piece was edited, to lessen the complicated words we 5th graders have never heard of. This is just something that I want to share not just for the readers, but for myself as well, to remind me of my roots and be proud of who I am, despite of the negations and disappointments happening on the beloved land. 

I am a Filipino 
by Carlos P. Romulo

I am a Filipino - inheritor of a glorious past, hostage to the uncertain future. As such I must prove equal to a two-fold task- the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task of performing my obligation to the future. I sprung from a hardy race - child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers. Across the centuries, the memory comes rushing back to me: of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout. Over the sea I see them come, borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind, carried upon the mighty swell of hope- hope in the free abundance of new land that was to be their home and their children's forever.

This is the land they sought and found. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon, every hill and mountain that beckoned to them with a green and purple invitation, every mile of rolling plain that their view encompassed, every river and lake that promise a plentiful living and the fruitfulness of commerce, is a hollowed spot to me.

By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land and all the appurtenances thereof - the black and fertile soil, the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish, the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals - the whole of this rich and happy land has been, for centuries without number, the land of my fathers. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it to my children, and so on until the world no more.

I am a Filipino. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes - seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapulapu to battle against the alien foe that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign oppressor.

That seed is immortal. It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that morning in Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and made his spirit deathless forever; the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in Balintawak, of Gergorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass, of Antonio Luna at Calumpit; that bloomed in flowers of frustration in the sad heart of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan, and yet burst fourth royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L. Quezon when he stood at last on the threshold of ancient Malacañang Palace, in the symbolic act of possession and racial vindication.

The seed I bear within me is an immortal seed. It is the mark of my manhood, the symbol of dignity as a human being. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen many thousand years ago, it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again. It is the insigne of my race, and my generation is but a stage in the unending search of my people for freedom and happiness. 

I am a Filipino, child of the marriage of the East and the West. The East, with its languor and mysticism, its passivity and endurance, was my mother, and my sire was the West that came thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine. I am of the East, an eager participant in its struggles for liberation from the imperialist yoke. But I also know that the East must awake from its centuried sleep, shape of the lethargy that has bound his limbs, and start moving where destiny awaits.

For, I, too, am of the West, and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the peace and quiet that once were ours. I can no longer live, being apart from those world now trembles to the roar of bomb and cannon shot. For no man and no nation is an island, but a part of the main, there is no longer any East and West - only individuals and nations making those momentous choices that are hinges upon which history resolves. 

At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand - a forlorn figure in the eyes of some, but not one defeated and lost. For through the thick, interlacing branches of habit and custom above me I have seen the light of the sun, and I know that it is good. I have seen the light of justice and equality and freedom and my heart has been lifted by the vision of democracy, and I shall not rest until my land and my people shall have been blessed by these, beyond the power of any man or nation to subvert or destroy.

I am a Filipino, and this is my inheritance. What pledge shall I give that I may prove worthy of my inheritance? I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the centuries, and it shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when they first saw the contours of this land loom before their eyes, of the battle cries that have resounded in every field of combat from Mactan to Tirad pass, of the voices of my people when they sing: 

Land of the Morning, Child of the sun returning…Ne'er shall invaders Trample thy sacred shore.

Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles, out of the heartstrings of sixteen million people all vibrating to one song, I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge. Out of the songs of the farmers at sunrise when they go to labor in the fields; out of the sweat of the hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-ig and Koronadal; out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the piers and the ominous grumbling of peasants Pampanga; out of the first cries of babies newly born and the lullabies that mothers sing; out of the crashing of gears and the whine of turbines in the factories; out of the crunch of ploughs upturning the earth; out of the limitless patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the clinics; out of the tramp of soldiers marching, I shall make the pattern of my pledge:
"I am a Filipino born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my inheritance - for myself and my children's children - forever.

Monday, October 5, 2009

a movie to remember

I have no idea how to start this post. But this is about a 2004 Korean movie that I saw years ago, a movie that has made me shed tears like no other, no matter how many times I see it. That movie is  'A Moment to Remember' or Nae Meorisogui Jiugae (내 머리 속의 지우개), a film by John H. Lee and starred by Jung Woo Sung and Son Ye Jin. The story is about a newly-married couple dealing with Alzheimer's disease that the wife has. The first part is mostly about their meeting and interactions as a new couple, and the second part is about how they dealt with her disease and what the husband feels on this matter.

Some may think that this is another 'Hallyu' movie, since this was made in 2004, when that wave was still fresh to the audience. Some may say that this is very typical and Korean drama-like, where it has a million and one tragedies that you could imagine. It's true, really. And I'll say it again. The woman, played by Son Ye Jin, is sick with Alzheimer's disease. This isn't a spoiler, really, since its already in the synopsis that she's sick. But it's because of this sickness that she meets Jung Woo Sung's character, Chul Soo, and leaves him because of it. And also, I'll try not to post some spoilers, like some of my fave scenes in the movie, and what happens in the end. But just to let you know, at first I was disappointed with the ending, but after seeing it a few more times, I became satisfied with it.

Let's side-track for a bit and talk about those dramas, shall we? The Endless Love season series is very, very 'hallyu'-like. Cancers, child-swapping, abuse, abandonment, amnesia, one-sided love, heart attacks, lost childhood sweethearts, love triangles and anything that goes on in your imagination. It's basically got all the tragedies that you see in a typical drama. Oh, let's not forget Stairway to Heaven, shall we? I'm proud to say that I finished this show, no matter how depressing it was, as it was shown on my television every night. Mind you, you won't just be depressed, you'll get exasperated too. Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo shed a lot of tears on this show, and I give the credits to them. Despite all that though, I think this is what defined the wave and they became more well-known around Asia, or in the Philippines. And I'm not gonna lie, I did like all those shows. I like the Endless Love series, although I don't think I can watch it all over again. And also, just to let you know, I didn't use any Kleenex on those shows. It was only on this movie that I bawled my eyes out every time I watch it.

So how exactly did I get to like this movie, 'A Moment to Remember'? First off, the actors. I first saw Son Ye Jin in 'Endless Love: Summer Scent', and I had a girl-crush on her. I still see her as one of the most beautiful and talented Korean actress today. And she was indeed pretty on this movie. She was a total eyecandy, and it was a treat for me to see her lovely and tender face. So for guys who will see this movie, she won't disappoint you with her charm and looks. Now on to Jung Woo Sung. He is a God. That's all I can say. With his rugged looks, rough attitude and soft eyes, you just can't help but fall in love with him. Women can just stare at him throughout the whole film and still love him. And you'll start to get interested with his other movies, because he's not just pretty, he's talented as well. An amazing man indeed. So what happens when these two lovely actors get together on screen? Chemistry. And they have lots of it. You would really feel the emotions and the love that they have for each other and that's what makes this movie so unforgettable.

I got no problem with the direction and the shots, they were well taken. I have no complaints about it. In fact, I like most of their shots together, and some scenes that makes me want to watch it again and again. Some shots maybe really simple, but Lee makes it memorable by adding his personal touch. The music was compelling, I must say. It makes you hum whenever you hear it all over again. Or you'll get nostalgic, that you'll suddenly remember a tune from the movie and then you'll want to watch that scene again. That's how wonderful the music was.

As for the plot? Well, I became completely satisfied with the ending after watching it a few times, as I find it fulfilling, not just for me, but the characters as well. And again, I warn you. This is a tearjerker, so be sure to prepare yourself for the worse. It has romance, lots of drama and drama. Okay, I know this may sound too much for you, as I've said it many times about this movie, but if you will ever get the chance to watch it, try seeing it when you're in the mood or when you're alone. You might also watch a light and funny show after this. But that never worked for me. Every time I see this and it ends, it still lingers on my mind on how the couple dealt with her disease, and how their relationship grew and matured.

But if you're the kind of person who has seen a lot of movies or series with terminal diseases, you might not be fascinated with this as I was. But hey, I still see this movie even if I know it's tragic. Tragedy can be exciting. It makes life interesting. And too much drama won't hurt once in a while. And when you do watch it, I hope you'll love the characters and the movie as much as I did and everyone else that I know who adore this movie. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

another Monday morning

You know it's a typical Monday morning when you hear people in your household running around and annoyed at the smallest things. You wake up at the sound of their voices,and endlessly hear their rants and hear their complaints about anything imaginable. Ah, the life in a first-world country. And add to that the slow dropping of the temperature that can be used as an excuse to grumble at the wee hours of the morning.

But really, what do we have to complain? This maybe another typical Monday morning for us at this country, but for the Philippines, at this time of the year, is a new Monday morning for all of them. Everyone must be dreading for another busy and boring Monday but for them, this is a new day that they have been looking forward to ever since the tragedy that occurred Saturday.

Yes, we are only human. We can complain about anything that we want. We complain about Mondays and how we don't want to go to school or see our boss or our annoying colleagues. But once in a while, particularly at this time, we can try to look at the other side of things. We may not like this day, but others must have been welcoming this new day with open arms, for a new dawn has arrived for them and to continue picking up the pieces that were left behind. And that, I think, is something that we should be happy about, even if you wake up in a cold and dark morning.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

putting away our wants

Clips on youtube are being spread around. Facebook is filled with posts on this news. News reports are broadcasted all over the world.

My beloved country, the Philippines, is in need of help. To be on the other side of the country and away from home saddens me; for my fellowmen are coping with this calamity. The typhoon has hit them very badly and all the prayers and any kind of help are needed for them to survive.

An aftermath of this tragedy, the article is from one of the country's network media. (Just to let you know, the Filipino name of this typhoon is 'Ondoy', or more known as Ketsana.)

Most of my relatives are not in danger; although, I still don't know all the details. But the others, my fellow people in the different parts of the city and towns, are in jeopardy.

The damage has been done. The storm has passed. A new day begins. And I know for sure that every Filipino are joining their hands together and helping each other at this time of need. Putting away their hatred and bitterness and giving them their support. 'Bayanihan' is what this trait is called. Something that we will always be proud of.

photo taken(and not hotlinked) from i HEART a LOT.

Friday, September 25, 2009

celebrating their independence

If you're ever in the Philippines at around July every year, you get to be a part of the annual Cinemalaya Film Festival held in Manila. This festival celebrated annually commemorates films and introduces 10 new independent filmmakers. You can get more information here, and it also features the winners and films shown during the festival.

I mentioned in my other post that I like watching Filipino movies. And this is one of them. Let's put aside the fact that I also watch Korean and Japanese movies as well as hollywood movies, because its already a given. For Filipino movies, I like seeing new ones made by creative and imaginative directors and writers. Just what makes a Filipino independent film really different? Well, for me, its the cleverness of it. How they were able to capture the real life of a regular citizen, how they cope on a day-to-day basis, the raw human emotions on each scene, everything is seen on a filmmaker's eyes. What you think is completely boring, would turn out into something very ingenious, which might be a heartbreaker in the end.

To some, this may sound funny, but if you haven't seen a Filipino movie yet, try Magnifico (2003). This movie won awards both national and international. I warn you though, this is a tearjerking movie; if you think you've cried enough while watching it, you'll cry even more after it. This movie revolves on a kid named Magnifico, who is a kind-hearted simpleton who just wants the best for his family. The involvement of his family and neighbors created the homely feel of the movie, which I think shows Filipinos as being family-oriented.

Just try to avoid spoilers though, so it'll be more exciting for you to never expect what will come up next. And please, I didn't link it to wiki as I really want you to avoid any spoiler as much as possible.

I can't think of any other examples yet, as I haven't seen some indie Filipino films lately, but I do hope you'll get to see one in the future. Oh, you could also try 'Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros' (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), filmed around the streets of Manila seen through this homosexual and growing teenager. You may think this is kind of like a slice of life movie, but I guess you can say that it is, in some way. And it's very interesting, I must say.

But just what is the best thing about these films? Well, its the lessons they convey. You may think that something as simple for a plot wouldn't teach you anything, but in the end, when the credits are rolling, you would start to ponder and contemplate on how it went. So really, if you ever have the time to be around Manila in July, you might just be lucky to catch these movies and enter the creative minds of these filmmakers who have invested themselves just to share it with everyone else. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

princesses of disguise

So I was browsing some sites when I bumped into this one, recommended by another poster on another site that I was always visiting. It looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I sort of know some bits of information on Korean culture and society, so I wasn't that surprised when I read the article. But it's disappointing really, to think that people can't be themselves on this country. They can't show who they really are, afraid that they'll be ostracized by the same society that they grew up with.

But then again, I can't really say much about it because it just so happened that this country remains nationalistic and patriotic at this time, even when trades, explorers, wars and conquerors transpired years back.

So I'm going to let you read the article first posted way back in 2003 by Huso Yi.

'Life and Death in Queer Korea'

Like I said, I won't be commenting much on this article, I just wanted to share it with you, to inform you, and to let you know what's happening to them and how this controversial matter is perceived on this country. And also, this topic would bring up a lot of other issues that some may not want to touch on. So, might as well just share this and again, no preaching and persuading, as I respect each and everyone's opinion on this subject.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the model couple

I just wanted to share this lovely and inspiring interview of Martin Honasan and Barbie Almalbis-Honasan, from The 700 Club Asia.

Who on earth are they? Some may ask. First off, they're Filipinos, a married couple, artists, and one of them is a public figure. Brief information: Martin Honasan is the son of the former Senator Gringo Honasan. It's only his father that's well-known, but he carries the last name, so he still carries the name's burden. Not that I have anything against this man. Cause he's the son of a politician and you know I really don't want to talk about it. I'm just saying, he's the son. Barbie Almalbis-Honasan is a singer and songwriter. She was the vocalist of Hungry Young Poets and Barbie's Cradle, but now she is a solo artist still making her music and providing entertainment to her fans. By the way, they're both Christians, and they have a baby girl named Noa Stina.

I'll add the translations here for the english speakers, but this interview is mostly in english anyway, so I'm sure you won't have much of a problem. And also, you don't have to mind the voiceover because I find her annoying. Really. 

Translations (italicized): 

Martin: (~0:34) Whenever there are fans or a crowd, I like being her shield, like I stand in front of her to guard her. *note: he only said stand in front of her, but that also means that he's guarding her and protecting her.*

female voiceover: (1:18-1:27) Who wouldn't get giddy with this couple? But how did they find out that they were both meant for each other? 

female voiceover: (2:26-2:32) Oh, so they waited. But how will you know if you're ready? *note: kabataan means youth, and using it in english is awkward, but basically the girl is just telling the youth to wait, just like what Martin and Barbie did.*

female voiceover: (3:25-3:32) And now that they are enjoying the life of a married couple, here are the other things they've learned. 

Whew. At least they spoke more english than the mother tongue. Because its hard doing translations and subs, you know, especially if it's an hour long drama series. What do you think though? I posted this interview here on my blog because I wanted to share this with everyone, and I know that some of you may scoff and say that 'No, I don't need God in my life to cement my relationship, thank you very much.' Well I'm not gonna talk about religion here and start preaching the teachings of the Bible. I'm just sharing this video with the hope that some of you would be inspired and touched with their relationship. 

video uploaded by tscacbnasia 
the song Barbie's playing is Untitled(Harana Song) from her album 'Barbie Rocks the Big Dome'

Monday, September 7, 2009

final theme

I already posted on how much I adore Hana Yori Dango, particularly the Japanese version, that has been played countless times on my beloved laptop. 

For those who have seen and loved the Final movie (and installment, thank God! haha. I kid.), I would like to share to you this lovely song translated by Taiji Project, who translates Japanese songs into English.

KissHug by aiko (click to listen here)

Tomodachi da nante ichido mo omotta koto wa nakatta
Anata ni deatta sono hi kara

Kawatte shimatta mono mo aru kedo
Kawaranai koto no hou ga anata mo atashi mo ooi yo

Atsui kaerimichi ni mienaku naru made
Hontou ni chiisaku naru made miteita
Anata ga suki datta no ima mo ima mo

Natsugami ga hoho wo kiru mata toshi o kasanete kitto omoidasu
Anata no kage atashi no kotoba
You Love You Love ah

Mittsume yottsume to kazoeta hoshi no namida ni negau
Anata no soba ni zutto itai

Mada shiranai koto darake no senaka to
Senaka o awasete kikoete kita oto
Kowarete mo shikata nai hodo ni atsui

Hikari ni te o kazashite sukima kara mieta tooriame kagerou
Anata no kage atashi wa omou
You Love You Love ah

Atsui kaerimichi ni mienaku naru made
Hontou ni chiisaku naru made miteita
Anata ga suki datta no ima mo ima mo

Natsugami ga hoho o kiru mata toshi o kasanete kitto omoidasu
Anata no kage atashi no kotoba

Nakigao okotta kao totsuzen kuchibiru ni fureta kuchibiru o
Soba ni iru to chikatta atashi

You Love You Love ah
You Love You Love ah
I Love

I never thought of you as my friend even once
Ever since the day I met you

Some things have changed, but
There are far more things about us both that never will

I watched you walk away in the heat until I couldn't see you anymore
Until you looked too small to see
Because I loved you... I still do, I still do

My summer hair stings my cheek, and as I age another year, I will remember
Your shadow and my words
You love you love ah

I wish on the tears of the stars we counted in threes and fours
To stay by your side forever

I stood with my back to yours, still knowing nothing
And the sound that came to us was so warm,
I couldn't help breaking down

I reached for the light, and in the spaces between the rain and heat haze
I saw your shadow and thought
You love you love ah

I watched you walk away in the heat until I couldn't see you anymore
Until you looked too small to see
Because I loved you... I still do, I still do

My summer hair stings my cheek, and as I age another year, I will remember
Your shadow and my words

Your crying face, your angry face, and the lips that suddenly touched mine
I wished it would all stay by my side forever

You Love You Love ah
You Love You Love ah
I Love

I just never seem to get tired of this song, no matter how many times I listen to it. It was only played once in the movie though, so I assure you its not overused unlike in the series. The soundtrack of the HanaDan series is very, very nice, with the relaxing instrumentals and the catchy vocals. And I'm glad about this insert song, because it really did capture the Domyouji-Makino love. And again, I thank the translator for sharing this song in english. 

If you haven't seen the movie, and if you're not really a fan, it's all right. Not everyone appreciates this series. You're just a human being. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

my time

Yes, I admit. I watch Filipino movies. I don't just ramble on Japanese and Korean shows, I like some Filipino movies. Especially the old ones. I don't know why, but I'm just fascinated with them even though some of the plots are typical and the same.

I grew up in the 90's, and for me, this was the time when the only shows that were foreign to me were the Dragon Ball series, the Sentai series (Masked Rider Black, UltraMan, Bioman, Shaider to name a few), Yu Yu Hakusho, Sailor Moon, and all the animes back then that were dubbed in Tagalog and shown in the local television. I didn't care much about Hollywood movies, for I was just learning the English language at school and honestly, I didn't understand them fully before. So I was exposed to media at an early age, where TV played a big part in my life. I would watch dramas after I get home from school, and sometimes I watch a movie with my mom. Don't even get me started on a primetime drama series. A regular Filipino drama lasts months, years even, depending on its popularity.

Animé was very popular during the time when I was growing up. It's still popular in the Philippines, it always has been, and I think it will never fade from the television sets as long as there are kids in every generation. 

So. Back to the movies. Nowadays, I may watch some non-Filipino Asian dramas, but once in a while I check some independent movies that will never fail to amaze me. Some of the plots seem really, really ordinary, like its just part of your daily life, but on a movie maker's perspective, it looks different and artistic. Some movies show the harsh realities of life, while others start the story with something completely normal, but soon picks up as it gets interesting towards the end. Some of the old Filipino movies are nice too, with outstanding performances that would knock you off your feet. Cliched plots will always be there, but sometimes, you just have to be really careful in choosing a perfect Filipino movie. If you ever do get around to watch one, I recommend you watch something that's made in the 90's. Or you can watch some indie movies made by indie filmmakers. And every summer, there is a festival screening all these movies on cultural film centres around the city. Which would bring me to my next post, The Cinemalaya Film Festival.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the end of it all

Not quite, actually. Japan may have ended it, but in the future, there might be more adaptations coming from different parts of Asia. That's where its popular, after all.

As I mentioned before, out of all the three versions released, I adore the Japanese version the most. It was the second version that I saw, and at first, I was a bit hesitant to see it since it wasn't popular in our country back then. And besides, we just went through the Meteor Garden craze, where everything was fresh and the F4 were all good-looking, and now the Japanese F4, meh, not so much. But curisity won me over, and so I was sucked into a whole new world of these rich men. Men, who, in my opinion, are much stronger and powerful than the Taiwanese F4. That's how amazing their acting is. You see that everyone is so engrossed into their own character, that you can't help but think that they were made to play the role. (if you read the manga hundred times, you'll know what I mean.)

So anyway, like I said, I don't really tell stories, but surprisingly, this post is about the last installment of the Japanese version, Hana Yori Dango. And I suppose I'll just talk about it for a few minutes(with no spoilers).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

together forever?

'Hey, I've known you for xxx years. How can I hate you?' Uh huh. In most cases, this is what we usually tell them. But sometimes, this quote from Aesop can be used on these situations.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
What do you think? Actually, sometimes, the time that you spend with someone doesn't matter if you really want to know them. You may be friends with someone for 10 years and yet, not know every single detail about their life. It all depends on a person, really, if they want to open up to you and tell you their darkest secrets. Or if they trust you enough. This is also applicable to a family member that you have known for years and been close to. You have known them for a long time and accepted their imperfections, and these might annoy you, but hey, they are your family after all. And to someone you have known for so long, you treat them as family. 

How do you know if at one point in your life, you become disdainful of one person because of his or her actions and character?  And this hatred that you feel might go away, or be repressed, because you will feel guilty about it, but sooner or later they will show their true selves once again. Would your hatred resurface? And once you see this person's faults, you judge them on what they do. You may ask for forgiveness, for you don't really want to experience this cold feeling especially if you treasure this person. And also, you have known this person very well for a long time, you've seen their true colours, and yet, sometimes, you just can't help but despise them. Which you sincerely hope would vanish someday. 

It's quite amazing and scary on how relationships work. When a person makes a mistake, different feelings arise. The emotions are jumbled all together, confusing one's self on what to show and hide. But it all depends on a person, really, on how they handle it. It's either they make it work and last long (accepting the flaws and all), or end it before a huge conflict happens. But most of all, we have to learn to forgive. That way, the repressed feelings of hatred and contempt would soon fade. It may take long, but at least, effort has been made on your part.

Monday, August 31, 2009

dangos would be better, thank you very much.

Ah, who would've thought that a simple hand-drawn manga entitled Hana Yori Dango would be known mostly in Asia(and in some parts of the world). I wouldn't wonder if Kamio Yoko would be proud of her accomplishment by now. Heck, I wouldn't even wonder if Domyouji himself would still be as arrogant as ever, knowing that he's not only just recognized in fiction, but in the real world as well. I mean, who would've thought, that a story about four guys and a girl would be one of the most adapted mangas on this decade. Mind you, this group of men call themselves 'Flower Four'. For the non-fans, you might find it cheesy at first. *reads the synopsis* You might say, 'They're the richest and most well-known people and yet, they call themselves F4? Flower 4? what the hell. But don't worry; some people go through that phase, especially when they are just getting to know the characters.

I was introduced to the first Asian drama Meteor Garden back in 2002, when animes were more popular in our country back then. It all started with this Taiwanese drama, and after that, the rest is history. I have grown to appreciate Korean and Japanese dramas more but it was very recent that I became a fan of Jdoramas. One jdorama that never fail to endear me is Hana Yori Dango.

Some may not appreciate this shoujo manga, since everything(read:drama cliches) just seem to happen to the main character. But just to let you know, and no matter how much you hate the drawings or the characters, this is still the most popular shoujo manga in Japan of all time. And you gotta admit, this is true love and destiny for our characters despite some of the sappy and mushy stories. And because of its popularity, after Taiwan, Japan released their own version in 2005 (following that is the second season in 2007, and the movie in 2008), and early 2009 South Korea had their own F4.

If I were to rate the three versions (and excluding the Mainland China version because its not an official remake and they don't the have the author's copyright), I would say that Hana Yori Dango comes first, then Korea's Boys over Flowers, and then Taiwan's Meteor Garden. Before you start bashing me and telling me that I don't have the right to say this, I want to tell you that this is my opinion (and this is my blog), and I have seen the anime and read the manga, so I know enough on which version is the best, in my humble opinion. And also, I'm the type of fan who doesn't watch a drama just for the heck of it, or because of eyecandy. I maybe a fangirl, but I do have my limits, as I know which drama to like. And I have also seen a wide variety of Korean and Japanese dramas. It may not be enough, but at least not everything is just for my pleasure. Sometimes, I like my brain working when watching something. On to my argument. When it comes to the quality of a drama, the production, the sets, the music, the direction and the actors, I consider Hana Yori Dango to be the best. On the other hand, Boys over Flowers has the loveliest actors and sets. Everyone just seems to be so pretty, that you can't help but be envious of the main girl who hangs out with the F4. And we all know that Meteor Garden is the series that started it all so you could say that they are the original.

Back to the story. They're rich. They're bullies. They're powerful. They're lady-killers. They're good-looking. And anything you do to humiliate them can jeopardize your life at school. This is what F4 can do to you. But why the heck would they call themselves Flower 4 if they have that rough image? And why is the manga's title english title Boys before/over Flowers when in Hana Yori Dango, 'dango' means food in Japanese? (For a more detailed and further explanation, I will now take you to this wonderful site. Nothing to worry; its a spoiler-free post, and the blogger couldn't have said enough.)

For a fan, it all depends on how you perceive the three versions. And if you are a new fan, or if you just want to try something new, you can give this drama a shot. If you did love it, but somehow feel ashamed of liking something like this, that's normal. After all, some women just can't resist the F4's charms.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

disgusting yet delicious

Why is it that when Filipinos eat balut, we can't help but love it. But when we look at it from a picture, we can't help but be disgusted by it. Being away from my home country has made me miss a lot, even the little things that I rarely notice in my everyday life back home. I can't remember when was the last time I ate balut, but I'm pretty sure it was years ago. So just imagine how surprised I was to see this delicacy when we went somewhere over the weekend with my Tito (eng:Uncle) who bought it from an Asian food store.

For some, this is what balut means. Funny thing is, while I was browsing through different sites, I stumbled upon this one, wherein balut is one of The 6 most terrifying foods in the world. Well, I've got nothing to say about it, since I have been eating this my whole life, even though my mom did explain to me what it was when I was a kid. Guess my Filipino blood (and hunger) just took over my innocent conscience back then because I have no regrets in eating this food, and I will continue eating it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

like crack II

As I said on the first part, I'll post a pic spam for all the epic Hana Kimi moments, ones that never fail no matter how many times I view them. And some are really just for fun, to introduce the characters of the show.

Don't say I didn't warn you for putting some 'spoilers' (if you consider them as that), because personally, for this drama, you wouldn't care about spoilers as you'll want to watch it right away anyway after seeing the first episode. And besides, would you actually care about the story of the drama if you're distracted by these crazy ikemens?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

like crack I

One of the Japanese dramas that never fail to amuse me is Hanazakiri no Kimitachi e. A 12-episode series shown in the summer of 2007 which was originally based on a manga with the same title. A Special was shown in Fall 2008, with the actors reprising their roles, and some new characters were also introduced.

Now, I don't tell stories. What you can only get from me is the main plot of the story, which I'll talk about later on. Before I saw the series, I read the manga first, which was a good thing, in my opinion, and I think it was during that time that the Taiwanese version came out, which I never saw (and probably never will). I have nothing against Taiwanese dramas, I have seen some before, but its just really not my thing. They don't have that same impact that I get from Japanese and Korean dramas, and I guess for me there's just something missing with their shows which I could probably never comprehend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

helpful tips

How to damage your eyes:

1. If you're a kid, and if you're reading this (and I have no idea why), read anything while you're on a moving vehicle. Be it a book, a comic book, or anything you can peruse, just read it. It's good to start reading young. And its better to lose your eyesight at a young age and face the consequences later. The same goes with writing. You can write while you're on a moving vehicle.

2. When the lights are off in your room, grab a flashlight (or much better, your cellphone) and start reading or writing.

3. Spend hours staring at your computer screen, not blinking your eyes or resting them once in a while. This would work better with a laptop, because you use it before you go to sleep, then open it after you wake up. Forget breakfast too, your laptop (or computer) can feed you.

4. After a long day's work, wash your eyes with cold water.

5. If you're already using eyeglasses or contact lenses and you still do numbers 1 to 4, then, you're a lost cause. But hey, just be optimistic and just think about Lasik eye surgery. There's nothing technology can't do nowadays, is there?

Obviously, no one should take this seriously. I've learned my lesson, but being a stubborn girl that I am, I still do it, and I regret it, and for sure, my eyes will have the last laugh. pfft. cheesy.