Monday, February 24, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

"What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

The Fault In Our Stars is a teenage love story. But if you are a parent, it's hard reading this story without having to think of how far you would will yourself to sacrifice for the sake of your sick child. It's just heart breaking. It hurts to see your child suffer the consequences of something that is not of his or even your own doing. That your lot is predetermined and all you can do is live with it, cope with it and hope that you can buy yourself some time to accept the inevitable. And when it's time, no matter how hard you've psyched yourself up that things are happening for the better, you still find yourself hopeful. That you had another day, another chance, another free pass. Then you fall into the pit of rethinking things over and over again, analyzing what you could have done differently to alter the course of things. 


The ordeal that Gus and Hazel Grace had to go through, it's tough. To be sick for a very long time and have practice-dying episodes over and over again, will definitely give you a different perspective of dying. You get to become one of the few lucky ones who get to embrace the eventuality of their demise and really prepare for it. I guess this is where the value of a support group figures into the picture. When you are sick, beyond anything that you can handle, you look for help, where help is available. You need all the reinforcement that you can get to help you fortify your resolve, to give you that outlook that keeps you afloat amidst the bitter realities of your illness. With their help, the pain will be more bearable and you will begin to see things in a more rational manner. Then you get to start planning things, pick what you want to wear for your own funeral, be in on the decision making on how you would want things to go the day you leave. Even hold your own pre-funeral eulogy which I think is sad, but makes perfect sense. After all, shouldn't the departed hear what people around him is supposed to say about him while he is still present? It really struck a chord for me. With my mom diagnosed with cancer, it led me to thinking how I'd eulogize her and how much of what I would have wanted to say I've already told her while she is still here.We're not really people who like to talk about dying or making plans for how things should be dealt with when it's time to go. I would not want her to think that I'd love to see her go. But if I'd have it my way, I would want her to know, in a few words or so, how much she means to me and how her loss would leave a void in my life that none could ever replace.

The Fault In Our Stars  also made me realize that losing my son and my husband could be the death of me. I don't know if I would ever survive it knowing that as I think about it now, I could picture my whole world crumbling down and me sinking into an oblivion I would not want to resurface from.

I'd like to say a prayer for all the families out there battling cancer. I pray for strength so they could carry on and resolve to move forward. Keep the faith! 




Starting Over Again


I've been into watching Tagalog movies of late. It all started with On the Job, which I watched because it was highly publicized and got some good reviews from esteemed film critics (whose opinion about the movie I don't quite share, just saying). And then there's Bride-For-Rent . I am not a KimXi fan but since my new supervisor loves Kim and Xian and I wanted us to have something to talk about other than work, I did go and watched it. (Happy that I did, picked up some great advice about marriage from the side stories of couples that they interjected into the movie). And then, there's Starting Over Again. This one, I really wanted to see, and I'm glad I did.

From rappler.com :
In Starting Over Again, former lovers Ginny (Tony Gonzaga) and Marco (Piolo Pascual) have long gone their separate ways, but the circumstances of their breakup have left both of them with unanswered questions.

When Ginny receives a postdated letter from Marco, she sees it as a second chance to rekindle what she had lost with her former boyfriend. And when a business venture brings the two together, Ginny takes every opportunity to win Marco back, even if it means stepping in between him and Patty (Iza Calzado), his current girlfriend.

Unlike most mainstream love stories, the details of Ginny and Marco’s break-up are mostly kept secret. But as the film cautiously moves forward, their past is slowly unraveled. We move backwards and forwards through their relationship and soon discover that even the most endearing of love stories can be riddled with flaws.
The movie is not without its flaws. I found Toni's soft-toned unblemished face too distracting. Thank God Piolo's pores were visible on screen. That could have been more bothersome! I love Toni's antics, all the when-things-can-go-wrong-it-will-go-wrong moments. Her crying, though, was too theatrical, for me, it was anything but au naturel in contrast to Piolo's eyes brimmed with tears. It was a bit distracting seeing Bryan Santos fiddling his phone through most of his scenes. Was he even in character or he was just being himself? Beauty Gonzales did justice to being the Bisaya roommate/ friend. But you could tell that she was super-conscious during her "Ang Hope parang drugs yan, nakaka-addict" scene. I didn't like idea of the OFW mom leaving her family and starting a new life abroad. Personal preference, just don't like it. With a construction project like that, I can't believe there were only a handful of people at work, but then of course that's one detail you can let pass (for budget considerations, perhaps?).

There were lots of things that I love about the movie. I love Iza's character Patty. She makes a believable Ilongga, or at least the epitomized version - composed, slow to anger, maasikaso and all. There's background music in almost all of the scenes, it served the purpose of putting on a lively vibe into the scenes. So I guess it helped to induce the emotions that it needed to elicit from the audience. I love the wackiness of the story, the metaphors, the special participation of several characters towards the end of the movie and the last scene, the perfect! 

I have to say that the movie has mass appeal. What makes it click is you can easily see yourself into one or many of the situations in the story. [SPOILER ALERT] A girl, finding herself falling deeply in love with someone she admires. And then, the guy slips into mediocrity, content and without any desire to pursue his dreams. It's disheartening and frustrating, especially when the girl sees that the guy is actually okay with it because he knows that he's got someone who loves him no matter what.  And couldn't so much as broach the topic without hurting the guy's ego, she leaves without telling him the real reason why. And that breaks his heart. And then, she returns and she sees that he's a changed man, and she realizes that she still has feelings for him and wants to pursue him again. Which brings to mind a quote in another Tagalog movie starring John Lloyd and Bea. When John Lloyd said, "She loved me at my worst, you had me at my best."

I appreciate the fact that the movie didn't have to end the way Tagalog movies always do - for the couple to get back together. Because in reality, you don't always end up with your ex without having to cause havoc in the lives of others. I appreciate that they chose to take that path. Because love does not always have to be spectacular. It may not be exciting. But it could be certain. And secure. The kind of love that you would like to nurture and see through eternity.

I look forward to seeing more Tagalog movies this year. I hope they keep it interesting so more and more people would want to go and watch it in the cinemas rather than somewhere else!

Tangkilikin nating and sariling atin!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Monday, August 05, 2013

37th National Milo Marathon

Today marks another milestone in my life. I ran my first 5K Milo marathon. It was not much of a run really as I walked most of the way.  

It was raining really hard last night and I was kind of hoping Boz would concede and just let us sleep the night away. But then, when I woke him up at around 4:30 am, he was just his excited self. He was just so into it; I couldn't bear to dampen his spirit by playing the righteous, health-buff mom that I should be. 

We went off to a good start. While waiting for a jeepney to take us to the starting line, my boss' car passed by. She was also joining the marathon. And so we were able to hitch a ride and avoid getting soaked in the rain before even getting to the venue. 

On the way, our boss was trying to talk us out of the race. The rain was starting to pour real hard. She asked if we were really wanted to continue despite the rain. And that's when Boz, without any hesitated blurted out, "katamaran gd ya sa inyo!" (You're all so lazy!) And that was enough to keep up from even thinking of quitting before the race started. 

When we arrived at the starting line, a throng of runners were already there. Mostly students in their teens who were with friends and classmates. There were a few parents who were braving the rain with their children. And of course, there were the serious runners too. 

When the gun went off, it just started a frenzy, everyone started to run. After a while, I couldn't see Boz and Rosemary anymore. Everybody just went ahead and run. And I did too. But a few meters, I just succumbed to the reality that I was just not fit to run this particular race. And as expected, I walked the rest of the way. After a more meters, I rendezvoused with Boz and Rosemary. My baby boy was already feeling the exhaustion after the first few meters of running. 

That's when I played the role that I was meant to play in this race - the supportive and encouraging mom. I wanted Boz to feel that he was not alone, that he's got someone to finish the race with him. As an only child, I hadn't miss out on the opportunities that I wanted to take. But because my parents were busy with "matters of consequences" I always had to fight my battles alone. There were times when I would feel that I could have done better or delivered more if I had someone to boost my morale. I wanted to give Boz that. And I know that I did not disappoint him today. 

When we crossed the finish line, I could not help but feel relieved that it was finally over. I didn't reach my goal of finishing the race for less than an hour. Just the same, I consider it a feat to be one of the many who made it to the end. Perhaps, next year, I'll do better. 

On to the next race!


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Home (2009)

During the Earth Day celebration, we watched the documentary film Home. It featured the facts about how man has pilfered the earth's resources to sustain its needs and wants. There is the alarming 80:20 ratio which tells us that 80% of the energy requirement of the world is consumed by 20% of the population. While those who are at the forefront of industrialization and commercialization require more, the rest have nothing left to partake. The film shows the permanent damage caused by the incessant demand for oil and the destruction of the forests. We all are aware of these things happening. But to actually see it happen is daunting. It gives one a reason to care more and to do something about the situation. It helps one understand the plight of environmental activists who call for drastic measures to effect real and meaningful change.

You can download the film from YouTube and you can start your own environmental awareness campaign. Small efforts will go a long way to saving the earth and making it more habitable for the generations to come. 

Click here to watch the film.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Madge Cafe

The hubby introduced boz and I to one of Iloilo's oldest coffee shop found at the Lapaz Public Market. Their native coffee did not disappoint us. For 25 pesos a cup, we got top value for money! The hubby said many of Madge's patrons get to have their coffee served in their own mugs at the cafe. The coffee shop has been featured in several newspapers and was even visited by Drew Arellano and featured in his travel show (forgot the name but saw it one time, twas an interesting one). If you happen to be in Iloilo and you want to have a taste of premium quality coffee, come and visit Madge Coffee!
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