What have I been doing for the past two weeks?

I stop reading a book after 200 pages because I know that I have been missing a lot of good TV shows. So that’s what I did for the last two weeks—tv series marathon every night. Here’s the list of what I watched:

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1. Mad Men (season 6)

This is one of the best shows in television right now. It tells about the life of Don Draper, and his decadent life in the advertising world of the 1960s. It is awash with bias against women in the workplace, and the patriarchal society of that era.

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2. Girls (season 1)

This is the kind of tv series where you are not advised to eat while watching it. You see, the spaghetti that you’re eating might get thrown out of your nose from laughing! That kind of thing.

It tells the story of four young girls in New York, and their life struggles, er, sex lives. It was created and starred by Lena Dunham (what a genius!), and I want to catch up on its season 2 pronto.

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3. Hannibal (season 1)

Hannibal is dark, and delves more into the psyche of disturbed, psychotic people. The series looks to me as too dream-like, because it presents a case based on the impression of its protagonist, Will Graham, a gifted profiler working for the FBI who uses his special imaginary skills to re-create a crime scene, an identify who the killer is.

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4. Dexter (first 4 episodes of season 8)

I love Dexter from the start! I love the concept of a serial killer who only kills murderers. It is now on its final season (on-going), and I am excited how the writers will end his story. It seems that they are undressing him of his identity, and will eventually has his comeuppance at the end. We’ll see.

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5. The Bridge (first 3 episodes of season 1, ongoing)

The Bridge is the new tv series from FX, a remake of the Dane/Swede series. It tells the cultural divide between US and Mexico in the Bridge of America, a bridge that connects El Paso, Texas to Juarez, Chihuahua (Mexico). A serial killer is testing the patience of two police detectives (one from the US, the other from Mexico) menacing the said border. It looks really promising, after watching the first few episodes.

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6. Under The Dome (first 3 episodes of season 1, on-going)

The tv series is based on the novel of Stephen King of the same title. It is about a town, Chester’s Mill, suddenly became engulfed with a huge translucent dome, leaving people inside trap.

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In the next few months, I am going to completely watch the last season of Dexter and Breaking Bad, two of my favorite tv series. But I am not complaining because there are excellent new tv shows worth watching. I have to check if Low Winter Sun (AMC) is a good show, too.

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A date with the Pet Shop Boys

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When news came out few months back that the Pet Shop Boys is coming to Manila, damn, no brainer, I have to buy tickets. With all the pre-occupation at work, I haven’t notice that the concert date is coming soon. So I have to remind a friend that I’ll see her on the venue itself, 7PM, because the concert will start at 8PM.

Araneta Coliseum made some renovations which looks nice. From the entrace, the floor tiles to the white-painted ceilings, and the comfort rooms, the changes were a welcome sight. I have never been to Araneta since December last year when I watch Sting in concert, and the place then is not as good as today. Maybe they renovate it because SM Arena opened this year, and they smell competition from a new venue.

I was introduced to Pet Shop Boys while I was in college because most of my boardmates then are into ’80s music. I appreciate West End Girls, Go West, What Have I Done To Deserve This, It’s A Sin, and You Were Always On My Mind. They were kinda old then, so I don’t expect that they have that much energy now when they are in their 50s, I guess.

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But I was wrong! This is one of the few concerts I saw where the production numbers are well-thought, colorful (psychedelic), and pompous. The lights and the video walls are very useful to every songs, and boy, did I tell you that there are also several costume changes?

Source: Manila Concert Scene Facebook Page

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Sunday Habit: The Heritage Park connection

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This Sunday, the trio (that’s Jayson, Marlan and me) decided to take the Mandaluyong-BGC-Bayani Road-Heritage Park-Bayani Road-BGC route, in our Sunday Habit routine.

As usual, our call time is 4.30am, and we walk for 30minutes going to BGC via Rockwell. From there, we started running until we reach Heritage Park in Taguig. Our total distance for this Sunday is 9.63KM or roughly 10KM after the two guys decided to do “alay lakad” on me. Boo.

Here are some of our captured moments.

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Here’s our exact route, from Adidas miCoach app. Heritage Park run route

“Purok 7” is nostalgic.

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When I first saw the trailer, I know right away that I will like it. True enough, when I saw it last weekend in Greenbelt during the Cinemalaya 2013 week, I immediately fall in love from the first five seconds into the film, when they are showing the different summer games played in the province like palo sebo. This is very close to home. It reminds me of my childhood days. 🙂

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The story revolves around two siblings, Diana and Julian, living alone in a small hut outside a ricefield in a small district (purok) in Tarlac. It follows the experiences of Diana, as she experience to fall in love for the first time.

The most funny, and memorable scene in the movie is when Julian discovered a blood spot on his sister’s lower garment (read: first menstruation). They are about to go in the barangay plaza then to see the dance number of her crush.

They eventually catch the number, but failed to hear the speech prior to the dance number where her crush dedicates the number to her.

Set against the backdrop of family displacement due to Filipino diaspora, Purok 7 is a simple film with an affectionate longing for the audience to embrace even after they left the cinema.

Me, it’s nostalgic. Some of the funny things the two kids did in the film, I also did when I was a kid in the province. 🙂

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Sana Dati is my favorite Filipino film of the year (so far)

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In quantum physics, singularity is defined as a phenomenon where the past, present and future became interrelated in the space-time continuum. It was discussed in the movie, Sana Dati, and it is the backbone of the story.

Andrea (Lovi Poe) is getting married that day. A videographer (Paulo Avelino) reminds her of her boyfriend before who died. She really love that person, and she felt as if the videographer is an incarnation of the past. She cried, went confused if she wants to pursue the wedding or not.

This is one beautiful story of lost love, holding on, and moving on. I saw it twice, and the concept of singularity did happen that wedding day—the past is represented by Lovi Poe’s dead boyfriend, the present is the presence of Paulo Avelino as the videographer in the wedding, and the future is TJ Trinidad, her soon-to-be husband.

My favorite scene is the movie is when Lovi Poe is in the hotel kitchen, waiting for Paulo Avelino to meet her to elope, only to find out that he stood her up. When she is crying there, you can really feel how she is holding on and grieving inside. She was reminded of the good memories of the past by seeing someone in the present, but she know at the back of her mind that the best way to move forward is for her to let go, and embrace TJ Trinidad as her newfound love.

Bittersweet.

I really hope that this movie will have its commercial run in the cinemas at the soonest possible time so everybody can see and appreciate it.

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By the way, what is the title of the song at the end credits?

Sunday Habit

Two of my office mates has joined me in running, and we started doing outdoor Sunday runs for the last three weeks now.

We started running in the academic oval of University of the Philippines Diliman campus. We run for 5 loops within the oval. Here are some of our photos.

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These two friends are Jayson and Marlan. The former already runs, so it is okay for him to run five loops in the oval. Marlan, on the other hand, did it for the first time but enjoyed the whole five loops. But we did not told him that he should have run 3 loops only as a beginner. The following day, his legs hurt. And he walks like he had just been circumcised. 🙂

The following week, we did a night run, instead. The three of us decided to run in Bonifacio Global City. We started around 7pm, and run for an hour within the new business district. It was also good to run there at night because the whole place is vibrant.

This Sunday, our third week, we decided to run from Mandaluyong (where we are all based) to Rizal Park in Manila. It is roughly 11km. These are our pictures after the run.

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I don’t know where our running shoes will get us in our next Sunday habit. Watch out!