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Showing posts from August, 2015

when Ambeth took off Rizal's overcoat

Back in college, I swore that I would watch Ambeth Ocampo (whatever it takes) when he lectures about Jose Rizal and his infamous overcoat. The chance for me to see his lecture live didn't happen when I was still teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University. It, however, came as August was ending. Man, who always comes along when I go on a history adventure, was with me. And along for the ride was Bert, an economics student doing his thesis in IRRI. 
Ambeth Ocampo basically led us through the more important details of his book "Rizal Without the Overcoat". This is my favourite textbook among those of my social sciences courses in college. And Ambeth's lecture style makes history come alive, as he entitled his lecture series. It was a major laugh trip to hear about the escapades of Jose Rizal, the Philippines' national hero, as a student in Europe... in the days long before the internet, social media, and computers. Ambeth showed the human side of a man who would b…

A Love Affair (2015)

Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta team up in a movie about a family that became stronger after trying times threatened its dissolution.

Of course, that's not how the movie was marketed. The teasers just highlighted the involvement of Bea Alonzo's character as a homewrecker and Dawn's character as the martyr wife trying to save her marriage. And that brought people to the cinema.
One evening, Krishna, Jojie, and I trooped to the cinema to watch it. I knew I was in for a really good movie (although I am not into drama) because it's top-billed by three of the most bankable actors in the Philippine movie industry. And I was right!
What I really liked about the movie was how well-developed and believable the character were. The husband and the wife were on shaky ground because one of their children died and they never had closure: the wife blamed the husband for the death and buried herself in her business ventures while the husband never got around to forgiving himself. So al…

Inside Out (2015)

I've always wanted to see Disney Pixar's Inside Out since I saw the first teaser trailer a few months ago... and it's finally showing here!!!
It's basically a story about going inside one's head and figuring out how one's emotions play a role in determining his/her behaviour. There are five main characters inside Riley's head (she's the girl protagonist in this story): Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. I found it interesting that Joy leads the pack in Riley's head but it's Sadness in her mom's and Anger in her dad's... Is it because her mom nurtures and comforts Riley when she's down and Sadness allows her to be sensitive to Riley? Is it because her dad is quite a risk-taker and Anger is a manifestation of his aggressiveness? Is it because Riley's had a generally happy eleven years of existence and Joy is the overarching emotion during those years?
The emotional rollercoaster was unleashed when the family moved cities beca…

Jyas and Benjo get married!!

My high school barkada rarely see each other these days because we're pretty much spread out. I'm based in Los Banos, the others are based on Manila, while the others are based in other countries. The last time we were together was during Grace and TJ's wedding last year. 
The wedding reflected Jyas' personality: simple, elegant, and relaxed. The reception was held at Dalcielo's Restaurant where family and friends had breakfast. Typically, people are in a hurry to leave after the wedding reception, specially if there's a program. But because this wedding did NOT have a program, no one was in such a hurry to leave! 
Congratulations, Benjo and best wishes, Jyas!!

Little Boy (2015)

Purely by coincidence, Anna and I watched Little Boy on the 70th anniversary of the US dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki towards the end of World War II. I say it's purely coincidental because the movie was all about how a family lived while the father was fighting the war, and eventually became a prisoner-of-war, in the Philippines. 
It was told from the point of view of the younger son; he wasn't as tall as his classmates, earning him the nickname "Little Boy". He was bullied by the meanest and biggest boy in his class, whose behaviour was left unchecked by his father, a doctor. The doctor, on the other hand, was too busy wooing Little Boy's mother (he's a widower). Little Boy's older brother, London, was angry most of the time because he wasn't qualified to be in the Army (which is why the father went) and didn't know how to convert his anger to productive energy. He was thrust into the role of breadwinner way before he was ready. The mothe…

My first press briefing

Most of the time, a scientist discusses his/her team's findings in scientific fora, either as posters or as oral presentations. But there are times, the rarer ones, when scientists are thrust in front of cameras to talk about interpretations of data to the media (who will then paraphrase these for the lay audience).
I was tasked to such an assignment scheduled earlier today. It was my very first press briefing. It's challenging to share technical developments because the message can really be lost in the translation. Case in point: a professor's comments at a conference was vastly misunderstood and was printed on the front page of a national newspaper. I came across that article and felt sorry for the professor. I also felt bad for the journalist because issuance of an erratum is like a smear to one's reputation (and questions one's capacity to provide accurate news). Yeah, I was in journalism class in high school
I was scared for myself. If I did well, I would del…

Mission Impossible (2015)

One afternoon, my sister asked over instant messaging, "What are you doing?". I replied, "I'm going to watch Mission Impossible." She, incredulous, asked, "There's another one?!?"
Yep, there is. And it did not go too exotic this time (because Ghost Protocol had the audiences watch Tom Cruise cross glass windows in Dubai and drive that fancy BMW i8 hybrid-electric car on the streets of Mumbai) as the plot mostly kept the action in Europe. The story did venture into Morocco as well... 
Anyway, I had thought previously that Ghost Protocol might be the last of the series because how could that movie be topped, right? But no. Rogue Nation upped the ante even more. Ethan Hunt was no longer just suspended by rope to gain access to some impossible location. This time, he actually dove underwater without a breathing apparatus! He also flew outside an airplane, hanging on to dear life, mind. 
And then there's William Brandt (who wasn't just an anal…