Thursday, May 11, 2017

When Lola Bats turned 101

Lola Bats turned 101 years old this year. When she was younger (i.e., 98 years old), we still went on road trips to Batangas together but as she neared the 100 mark, she started declining going there because it's too far. When she turned 100, we were able to bring her out to the nearby Mandarin Palace and to the Black Pig... but at 101, I'm not daring to take her out without the rest of the family with me because she's so fragile these days... happy but fragile.

There are good days and there are bad days. So we were lucky that when her birthday came around, she was in such a good mood. See, we almost lost my grandma earlier this year. So reaching 101 was a very happy occasion for the whole family. Even my parents and my brother flew in to visit her a few weeks after!

We knew she was going to recover when she started talking about what she wanted to do when she grew stronger: "Ay talaga, paglakas ko, ako ay pupunta sa States!" My grandma's sense of humour never fails to amaze me.








Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (the animated Disney classic) is one of those movies that bring back memories of the good old days... in grade school. Yes, the cartoon was shown in 1991. So when I heard that Disney was making a live-action version of this beloved classic, I put the premiere date in my calendar and waited (im)patiently until the day arrived.

However, due to circumstances that I couldn't avoid (aka statistical analyses and physical exercise), I ended up watching the movie the week after it opened in San Pablo City, Laguna. It was a much-awaited showing, indeed, because the cinema was packed with parents (who relived their first time seeing the cartoon) and their children (who were seeing this version for the first time).

And so the "tale as old as time" began. Emma Watson (who I first saw as Hermione in the Harry Potter series), waltzed into the screen as Belle, the female protagonist. And I can say that she definitely is not Paige O'Hara when it comes to her singing. I guess my expectation was upped because Luke Evans sang really well as Gaston. I was absolutely blown away! Vocally, Emma Watson's Belle was no match to Luke Evans' Gaston. However, her persona does fit the character of Belle, so I thought that it was okay. And then there's Emma Thompson, taking over Angela Lansbury's Mrs. Potts; and I can say that Emma Thompson's performance actually made me forget that I was listening to Mrs. Potts 2.0. Lumière was voiced by Ewan McGregor whose French accent sounded like he once again took on the role of Christian in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. I'm not sure if I liked it. Ian McKellen, of course, was unrecognisable as Cogsworth; I couldn't find traces of Magneto nor of Gandalf... not even of Leigh Teabing in his performance as the mantel clock; such a chameleon!

The movie itself had no surprises that could throw the fans off. Yes, there were additional songs and the much hyped added dimension to LeFou, but there was nothing that made people think that this was an attempt to bring additional insights into the character. Belle was shown teaching a young girl how to read, quite empowering; but she developed a "washing machine" drawn by a donkey so she could sit down and read her book. That didn't come across too well; if I weren't listening, I'd think she's created the washing machine so she has time to laze around. Tsk. Gaston and LeFou were still two-dimensional; it was difficult to tolerate Gaston's narcissism... how could LeFou stand it? how could the women continue to fawn over the guy?!? Anyway, people writing "spoilers" for the live-action movie would be hard-pressed to do so because the 2017 movie is very loyal to the 1991 cartoon... even to the big reveal of the prince.

Honestly, I was a bit let down. I think I got so used to the prince's grizzly appearance that when he became human, it was meh

But still, it's such a feel-good movie. Already looking forward the the more modern take on Mulan.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Boards UP

The first time I entered an establishment where I had to pay for lunch but can play all board games that I want was in Ludo Café in Makati. I went there after French class with my classmates. Little did I know that this concept was about to pick up a storm in Los Baños in the form of Boards UP.

Krishna, Jojie, Erin, and I tried it out one cold evening in which we needed to relax and eating dinner just didn't fit the ticket. While waiting for our meals, we picked (of all games) UNO Stacko. I thought that it was a good idea because there were no plates; the pieces weren't in any danger, at that point, of plopping into our food.


A post shared by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on


As the evening progressed, we also played Cards Against Humanity (never tried it before; totally hilarious!) and Machi Koro, coincidentally a game I was playing with Ate Maddie, JP, and Daddy during my vacation in the Calaveras area. Because we had so much fun, we kind of lost track of time and ended a bit later than we normally do when we eat out.

Nevertheless, Boards UP is a place I am interested of visiting again. Perhaps in a few months.