One Day, Isang Araw

I will not comment on its plot, coz I haven’t read the book. But if you want to insist how I find the movie (on its own without comparing it to the book), I like it. I love Anne Hathaway, I love Jim Sturgess. But yes, the critics are right in saying that there is just no chemistry between them. Watching Jim in this movie makes me imagine him blurting out a Beatles song or something while he’s at it (he was in Across The Universe).

I have to admit that I like tragic films, because I don’t believe in happy endings. My only complain is this could have been better if it has a killer soundtrack!

My favorite scene is when they went skinny dipping and some young kids get their clothes leaving them naked while chasing after them. Dexter (Jim Sturgess) even said something like the kids should have left at least the underwear because its expensive, and then Emma (Anne Hathaway) ask if its Ralph Lauren, to which Dexter replied “No, Calvin Klein.” Hahaha, I can relate. Men and their Calvins. I believe that each man should have at least a Calvin Klein underwear in his closet. But that was during the 90s which CK was at its peak, many thanks to Mark Wahlberg.

For what its worth, One Day is similar to any blockbuster Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-film. But its plot is different because its not cheesy.

Colombiana: Derogatory title or Kick Ass Dominatrix?

Colombiana, the new movie starring Zoe Saldana, is not unusual. You have seen one before—a young kid whose parents were killed right in front of her and seeks revenge for their perpetrators at a later life.

What sets it apart is its bad ass character, a dominatrix of sort who is smart, kick-ass. Zoe Saldana’s fits the role to a tee, way better than Angelina Jolie in Wanted or Salt. This girl can do physical roles with precision, like a cat!

Her weakness, as always like in every assasin story, is her emotional attachment. To her family, loved ones and sort-of lover (Michael Vartan). Which begs the question, assassins should not show emotion, not even love for them to be “good” with their work. I guess that’s universal and applies to all human beings. That we become bad decision makers once we are blinded by our emotions (and yes, that includes love).

Another note that I want to point out is the title. Seriously, Colombiana? How will the Colombians react to that? Don’t get me wrong, and I don’t want to generalize, but all they show in the movie are drug lords and cartel. Again, it also begs another question which the movie points out—that the CIA implicitly expose themselves with these drug lords in Colombia for certain favors like toppling dictatorships or guerrilas. Remember the derogatory term “banana republic”?

Nonetheless, if you want a pretty engaging movie that will let you escape all this rainy weather, this is the movie to watch.

Breaking Bad

After watching the entire seasons (1, 2) of The Good Wife (which I like), I am now starting with another TV series marathon—AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” Below is the synopsis from its official website.

“Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family’s financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White’s releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.”

Someone Kicks The Inang Bayan’s Nest

The article below is the hot topic among Tweetpips (people who are in Twitter) this morning, and it got me curious because most reactions has been negative. I don’t know if the name James Soriano is his real name or pen name, but the fact remains that it creates a drawback among Pinoys. To think that it’s Buwan Ng Wika this month.

Read for yourself and be the judge.

Language, learning, identity, privilege

By: James Soriano

MANILA, Philippines — English is the language of learning. I’ve known this since before I could go to school. As a toddler, my first study materials were a set of flash cards that my mother used to teach me the English alphabet. 

My mother made home conducive to learning English: all my storybooks and coloring books were in English, and so were the cartoons I watched and the music I listened to. She required me to speak English at home. She even hired tutors to help me learn to read and write in English.

In school I learned to think in English. We used English to learn about numbers, equations and variables. With it we learned about observation and inference, the moon and the stars, monsoons and photosynthesis. With it we learned about shapes and colors, about meter and rhythm. I learned about God in English, and I prayed to Him in English.

Filipino, on the other hand, was always the ‘other’ subject — almost a special subject like PE or Home Economics, except that it was graded the same way as Science, Math, Religion, and English. My classmates and I used to complain about Filipino all the time. Filipino was a chore, like washing the dishes; it was not the language of learning. It was the language we used to speak to the people who washed our dishes.

We used to think learning Filipino was important because it was practical: Filipino was the language of the world outside the classroom. It was the language of the streets: it was how you spoke to the tindera when you went to the tindahan, what you used to tell your katulong that you had an utos, and how you texted manong when you needed “sundo na.”

These skills were required to survive in the outside world, because we are forced to relate with the tinderas and the manongs and the katulongs of this world. If we wanted to communicate to these people — or otherwise avoid being mugged on the jeepney — we needed to learn Filipino.

That being said though, I was proud of my proficiency with the language. Filipino was the language I used to speak with my cousins and uncles and grandparents in the province, so I never had much trouble reciting.

It was the reading and writing that was tedious and difficult. I spoke Filipino, but only when I was in a different world like the streets or the province; it did not come naturally to me. English was more natural; I read, wrote and thought in English. And so, in much of the same way that I learned German later on, I learned Filipino in terms of English. In this way I survived Filipino in high school, albeit with too many sentences that had the preposition ‘ay.’

It was really only in university that I began to grasp Filipino in terms of language and not just dialect. Filipino was not merely a peculiar variety of language, derived and continuously borrowing from the English and Spanish alphabets; it was its own system, with its own grammar, semantics, sounds, even symbols. 

But more significantly, it was its own way of reading, writing, and thinking. There are ideas and concepts unique to Filipino that can never be translated into another. Try translating bayanihan, tagay, kilig or diskarte.

Only recently have I begun to grasp Filipino as the language of identity: the language of emotion, experience, and even of learning. And with this comes the realization that I do, in fact, smell worse than a malansang isda. My own language is foreign to me: I speak, think, read and write primarily in English. To borrow the terminology of Fr. Bulatao, I am a split-level Filipino.

But perhaps this is not so bad in a society of rotten beef and stinking fish. For while Filipino may be the language of identity, it is the language of the streets. It might have the capacity to be the language of learning, but it is not the language of the learned. 

It is neither the language of the classroom and the laboratory, nor the language of the boardroom, the court room, or the operating room. It is not the language of privilege. I may be disconnected from my being Filipino, but with a tongue of privilege I will always have my connections.

So I have my education to thank for making English my mother language.

——————————

Appeared in the online edition of Manila Bulletin

The Good Wife

For one week now, my nights were pre-occupied by watching The Good Wife. I have just started the entire season 1, and I was glued from the start.

It is a legal drama, created by Robert and Michelle King. It stars Juliana Marguiles, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Matt Czuchry and Josh Charles, and is executive-produced by the Kings, brothers Ridley and Tony Scott, Charles McDougall, and David W. Zucker.

SYNOPSIS:

 

THE GOOD WIFE is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who must assume full responsibility for her family and re-enter the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband Peter (Chris Noth), Alicia Florrick (Margulies) starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney. As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner (Josh Charles), who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm’s top litigator, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realizes she’s going to need to succeed on her own merit. Alicia’s main competition among the firm’s 20-something new recruits is Cary (Matt Czuchry), a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but will use any means to ensure that he, not Alicia, secures the one full-time associate position that’s available. Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the firm’s tough in-house investigator. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach (Graham Phillips) and 13-year-old Grace (Makenzie Vega). For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the “good wife” and takes charge of her own destiny.

I will start watching the second season tonight.

 

Cafe Juanita

May be I heard of this place before but ignore it. Until the Appetite issue of Rogue Magazine this August where it was touted as the #2 Best Filipino Restaurant in the Philippines, after Isla Naburot in Guimaras. That made me curious!

So the timing is perfect because on a payday Friday weekend, a high school friend is in Manila and wanted to see us to catch up on chit-chat and yes, food. I thought this is the right time to visit and eat in this restaurant.

I am talking about Cafe Juanita. It is a house, so from the outside it looks un-assuming and simple. But when you enter the place, the ambiance will initially gets into you because from the doorstep, a man is playing love songs in the piano.

The decorations are like a collection of old stuffs and put it in the walls, up to the ceiling. Including colorful inverted parasols. The place is romantic, and lovely, which is what we want to feel right now after eating almost always in the chaotic restaurants of malls. So this is a different experience.

Their house specialty is kare-kare. And I have never tasted this good kare kare for quite some time! But another friend ordered crispy pata, and yes, it is yummy and the meat is soft (unlike those offered in other restaurants where it feels like you will digest the whole thing for 48 hours).

I must say that their sisig in tofu is a must try! Really, really, good.

I will definitely go back there to try their other food offers. It’s easy to love Cafe Juanita.