Monday, December 03, 2007
Me pides sampaguitas... No te envío,
porque, al ir a cortarlas de la rama,
sentí temblar mis manos y mi pecho
prensado por la lástima.
No quiero que padezcan esas flores,
como padece, lejos de tí, mi alma,
no quiero que al contacto de mis manos
Humingi ka ng sampaguita... Di kita bibigyan.
dahil nang puputulin ko na sa mga sanga'y
nanginig ang aking kamay at ang dibdib ko'y
nanikip dahil sa awa.
Ayokong magdusa ang mga bulaklak na iyan,
gaya ng pagdurusa ng puso kong malayo sa iyo;
ayokong sa sandaling hawakan ng aking kamay,
iya'y malanta at mamatay....
- Jose Palma (1876-1903)
Si alguna vez la vida te maltrata,
acuerdate de mi,
que no puede cansarse de esperar
aquel que no se cansa de mirarte.
Kung sakaling malupit sa iyo ang kapalaran,
alalahanin mo ako,
dahil hndi mapapagod sa paghihintay
itong walang sawang tumitingin sa iyo.
- Luis Garcia Montero
Friday, November 30, 2007
As usual, I didn’t read any reviews or join any discussions about the movie beforehand, but I did get wind that the story was a bit thin. No kidding, it should have been epic, it’s a classic piece of literature after all, a great hero story. It would have been so easy to make an animated feature of epic proportions, right? Well, apparently not. Don’t get me wrong, it WAS entertaining (I’m no purist) and it WAS a sight to behold (not perfect though), but what about the story?
Beowulf stands proud as one of the best known Old English hero epic poems in history. It’s a classic, and classics are called that because they are great stories. So with a base material like that, how can one go wrong? It is when one takes the risk of changing it. As it turns out, Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman took liberties with the plot, and oh mama, what huge liberties they were! (I am not sure though how much of Gaiman’s contribution was retained; I read that a rewrite was done somewhere along the way.) Now I don’t have a problem with writers making changes in movie adaptations (especially when I’m not intimately familiar with the original source material to begin with *cough*), as it’s always interesting to me to see if it will work or not. For this particular movie, I found that replacing the archetypal hero story – you know, great noble hero fighting many great battles against unimaginably formidable forces of evil and whatnot -- with a 21st century proclivity for anti-hero themes could have been so much more powerful than how it actually turned out. (I happen to be a fan of anti-hero stories.) It had potential which wasn’t quite reached.
If you like your heroes as perfect, infallible, noble warriors then you won’t like Beowulf at all. In the first half of the film, he is portrayed as this boastful, self-centered Calvin Klein-ish metrosexual (I don’t know, did anyone else get that vibe?) with a taste for hyperbole in the retelling of his heroic deeds. (But hey, it must have been a bitch being a hero in those times, being pressured into acting the part of a character you know would later be spun into songs and tales orally handed down from generation to generation for ages. If you were to be in a song or tale, wouldn’t you want to look good? I would have exaggerated too, heh. And on another less relevant note: that Ray Winstone sure sounded good, such great voice and delivery that I forgave him the annoying “I... am Beowuuulf!”) So uh, where was I? ...Ah right, Beowulf as the flawed hero. They could have made so much more of Beowulf’s burden, the king’s shame (both Hrothgar’s and Beowulf’s), the price of their ambition, and the demon (Grendel’s mother). Beyond the semi-naked Lara Croft in demon pigtails (hee hee) and heels (hwaar har), the only demonstration of evil shown was the visitation of her awesome power (which we didn’t even get to see, maybe it will be in the DVD’s deleted scenes? *sarcastic*) on Beowulf’s thanes in Heorot upon Grendel’s death. And uhm, oh yeah, I suppose seducing Beowulf, and more so, Anthony Hopkins, is evil. Seriously though, the notion that the greater demon is greed, pride, and ambition, that in itself could have been played much better. There were moments that could have been epic (e.g. the battle between the demon and Beowulf, Beowulf’s realization of his mistake as Hrothgar practically handed him the kingship, Beowulf’s death) but weren’t. In my opinion, the technology got in the way of telling and experiencing the story. If I hadn’t been so wrapped in the details perhaps I could have taken it more seriously. Instead I was thinking: Hmm, nice stones, very gravelly. Why are their garments so flat, hanging there like they were paper clothes on a 3-dimensional head? Oh look, Unferth has newly rebounded hair. John Malkovich, man, you act so much better in person. Never ever do this again. Ooh Anthony Hopkins, that was him – eww, I don’t want to see him naked thank goodness everything is CGI’ed. Why is Beowulf’s head old and weathered while his body is still Calvin Klein model-ish? Nice detail on Angelina’s face, soft down of tiny hairs. Eh, are my 3D glasses broken? Oh right, it’s a night scene, 3D doesn’t do those well.
I could go on and on here, but the long and short of it is, yeah it’s quite entertaining and engaging. I even turned my head away in reflex when a piece of wood hurtled my way (sitting at eye level is recommended). But don’t watch it for the story. Maybe Neil can do that better in graphic novel form. Also, here’s what I’m wondering: could Peter Jackson and WETA have done it so much better? Ahem.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I dug up my travel journal and found this entry. I should go back there sometime soon...
Mooning Over Monsoon Country
Batanes Resort, Basco, Batanes.
In about two hours, all lights will go out in the entire island. I shan’t be hearing anything other than the crashing waves outside. Tomorrow I shall rise a half-hour before daybreak, to witness morning light shining upon vast grasslands bound by this angry shore. I sleep and I rise amidst an unspeakably beautiful seascape.
This is monsoon country… is it small wonder that my thoughts now turn to water?
This afternoon I noticed glints of silver along the waters, near the horizon. It was like a cascade of stars tumbling along the water’s folds. Along the shore the continuous flow and ebb of the tides created a calming rhythm. As the waves beat against the sand, a narrow strip of aqua blue appeared and disappeared, distinct against the cobalt blue covering the most part of the sea.
Two days ago, as we approached Chavayan Village in the pouring rain, we saw curtains of rain from the Pacific approaching the coastline, towards the village. It was as if sheets of icicles were being dropped from overhead. Near the coast the water changed to aqua blue as the waves crashed on the shore. The rest of the Pacific was a deep, deep sparkly blue.
I had dreaded the 30-minute boat ride to Sabtang the day before we went, being the aquaphobic coward that I am (well, who wouldn’t be if you didn’t know how to swim?). But when we finally were crossing the South China Sea, I became somewhat mesmerized by the deep blue color that stretched out before and around us. We rode the waves to get to Sabtang. At times the tide would swell, and if one looked to the right, one could see the water level rising higher than the boat’s hull. It was a curious sensation, feeling as if any minute one could easily be engulfed in those deep blue folds of the sea. It would be frightening for a split-second, and then utterly beautiful, the thought of being enfolded in that vast blanket of blue. Mighty curious, how I react to bodies of water. I fear being in it yet there’s something about it that draws me again and again. I love photographing the waters. I love staring at seascapes.
On the way back to Batan I sat atop the motor box the whole time, elevated so as to have a full view of the bow and the approaching island, and to feel the wind against my face. I rode the waves for a half hour and revelled in it.
Monday, November 26, 2007
For transcripts from that night, head on over to Charles Tan's blog. Images can be found at my flickr gallery. Check out how Neil assisted in Mana's magic trick, and in a fan's marriage proposal (for the latter I don't have a pic because it happened the day before, but the link is there, you'll have to look for it *wink*). Click on the pic below to get there:
Saturday, November 24, 2007
"I don't believe in writer's block. Writers are very special. Ever heard of politician ever getting politics block? I don't think so. Especially not here. But writers have writer's block. I don't believe in it since they end up writing over 20,000 words explaining why they can't write what they should write. For me I believe writers get stuck. People get stuck. And when that happens to me, I get away from my computer, walk around, rest, have tea."
I just found out that Azrael will attempt to air the Bonifacio High Street event live tomorrow in the internet via video streaming. Kewl! Go through here to watch it.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Twilight Swim ©Maggie Taylor / The Scientist ©Maggie Taylor
Woman Who Loves Fish ©Maggie Taylor / Distracted Cats ©Maggie Taylor
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I'm normally skeptical of e-books. I don't cherish the thought of reading novels on a computer monitor as I get tremendous eyestrain. And back pain. I'd rather curl up in bed with a book in hand. Don't you just love fondling the paper, smelling in between the pages (for new acquisitions, not old ones eh), tucking the book under your pillow or lining up your books beside you on the bed when it's time to go to sleep?
But after reading through Amazon's Kindle Product Page and watching the videos there, plus checking out some third party reviews, I'm stoked. Good thing we can't get it here because it's $399. Gah. Check out the display. It's called digital paper. And darn does it look crisp, as near an illusion of the printed page as any, dayum. There's no backlighting, ergo it will not cause as much eyestrain as does a computer screen. And judging by the demo video, using the device is highly intuitive. Successful technologies are marked by their capacity to disappear or become invisible. Those devices which you become so accustomed to that you no longer even think of or are conscious of when you handle them ("Oh hey, right, I'm reading a book with an electronic device, I forgot all about that."), those are the ones that have clicked. I think Kindle (admittedly imperfect as it is right now) just might be on the right track to replacing the printed page. ("Horrors!" I heard `ya!)
In any case, let's not let me babble on, best to point out just the crucial points. The best being: portability. You don't have to lug your books around, whether you're going to the coffee shop nearby, your school or office, or on a long vacation or a long road trip. No need to decide before you leave which book you want to have with you - take several! It's also a very attractive selling point for those who have serious storage problems (like moi). Load the Kindle with as many as 200 books at a time. When you're done and have no more space, delete it, and have it stored by Amazon online, ready to be downloaded again (at no cost) when or if you feel like reading it again. You can also use an SD card if you want to have all your books at your fingertips.
Come to think of it, portability and convenience are its two most important selling points. Perhaps I would get one even without the extras. Which are nice to have though, mind you: a built-in dictionary, the ability to bookmark, highlight passages or clip pages, to store personal photos and documents (yo hey, you can load your own novella in-progress if you like reading it to yourself every now and then), access to newspaper subscriptions, blogs, and hah, you can even load mp3s and have background music for your reading! And I almost forgot: with wireless technology (3G technology I gather), buying a book takes less than a minute. You just go to Amazon in your Kindle, choose a book, and ting! presto! you have your new book.
All this sounds fascinating, doesn't it? Don't take my word for it though, check out The New York Times: An E-Book Reader That Just May Catch On. Also Guardian Unlimited: The Kindle Doesn't Light My Fire for a contrary viewpoint, and BoingBoing Gadgets: Amazon Kindle eBook Review which spells out some problems but calls the device "promising". And google for more reviews.
Sudden thought: what about booksignings? Will it eventually become a forgotten tradition? Eh.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Though he could animate the dead, Young Ned could only reanimate the inanimate with his imagination. On this lonely night he tried to recreate his past life, but he'd lost his ability to dream and found even his imagination failed him.
Still he wore hope on his head.
What Young Ned didn't know was at that very moment the girl he called Chuck was wearing hope on hers. They were together even if they were far apart.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Still and all, I like what I see so far and I'm inviting you to come join me. Go to www.shelfari.com and let's get reading. (Or else I'll keep bugging you with invitation e-mails. Half-kidding. Shelfari got a lot of flak from their first invitation e-mail program because it kept sending itself to all the people in members' address books. But worry not, that has been fixed. As with most things in the world wide web, it's best to be careful: read before you click. That was the primary flaw of the invitation before - it required un-clicking a lot to keep the program from doing the annoying thing, and only one click to get it going.)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The text reads
Oh Maynila, sa talulot
ng mahinhing liryo isinilang!
mabunying prinsesang nahihimlay
sa bula ng karagatan!
Oh Manila, en la corola
de un casto lirio nacida!
gentil princesa dormida
sobre la espuma del mar!
I Heart Manila
Let a hundred flowers bloom
...and then some
sealed with a kiss
Loving Multiply, Multiplying Love
The Coolness that was...
Another poem I spotted was Pablo Neruda's Tu Risa. I messed up the pic (wide shot while sitting, sorry, my aching back!)
but here's the text:
Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna,
ríete de las calles
torcidas de la isla,
ríete de este torpe
muchacho que te quiere,
pero cuando yo abro
los ojos y los cierro,
cuando mis pasos van,
cuando vuelven mis pasos,
niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera
pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.
Pagtawanan mo ang gabi,
ang araw, ang buwan
Pagtawanan mo ang liku-likong
landas sa isla,
Pagtawanan mo ang torpeng
lalaking ito na nagmamahal sa iyo,
Ngunit kapag bubuksan ko
at isasara ang aking mga mata,
Kapag ako ay umalis,
kapag ako ay muling bumalik
Ipagkait mo na sa akin ang tinapay,
ang hangin, ang liwanag at ang tagsibol,
Huwag lamang ang iyong ngiti
Dahil ito’y aking ikasasawi
(They should have acknowledged the translator of all the poems they used. Or perhaps it was indicated in small print, I just didn't see it?)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Larger image and details at the Fully Booked website.
The Sad, Mad Incredible but True Adventures of Hika Girl
Defiant: The Battle for Mactan
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I got my Neil Gaiman album from my old filphoto gallery and brought it over to my flickr gallery. Click on the image to view the album:
Neil Gaiman, Manila, July 2005.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
First off, let me tell you what new tv show has taken my fancy lately, and what you should also be watching: Pushing Daisies. It's a sort of forensic or procedural fairy tale (say what?), a dark comedy that has caught my attention much like Six Feet Under did when I first discovered it (that is, before it went a tad too dark to be funny. I did like how SFU finished though). Pushing Daisies is about Ned, a piemaker who has the power to bring the dead back to life by a mere touch. But if he lets the newly undead live for more than a minute, the nearest living thing of the same species will die. To prevent this, he must touch said newly undead again - to die forever. Now Ned has a partner, Private Investigator Emerson Cod. Cod finds people who have died under questionable circumstances, the solution of whose murders carry a reward. They go to the see the corpse, Ned touches it, they ask the undead who killed them and presto, case solved (not so straightforwardly, naturally). Sounds lucrative, no?
In the pilot episode (cleverly entitled Pie-lette hee hee), said corpse happens to be that of Chuck, Ned's childhood crush and first kiss. Ned ends up letting her live. Which makes Emerson very unhappy (because it spells 3 way split on the reward money from then on). So here we have it, Ned and his childhood sweetheart reunite, never to kiss again. Talk about platonic, well this takes the cake. Or pie as the case may be.
The show has been said to be reminiscent of Amelie and Tim Burton movies. Each episode is introduced by a narrator, in keeping with a storybook-like feel that is complemented by super-saturated colors and CGI. The dialogue is witty, littered with brilliant turns of phrase, and delivered in tongue-twisting speed. Any show that gets me continuously chuckling, giggling, snickering, snorting, laughing, and guffawing and hah-ing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, is an instant favorite of mine. The characters (and that includes the narrator and Digby, Ned's golden retriever) are all lovable and wonderfully casted.
In a lonely train journey across Siberia, Loreena thought of Dante's The Divine Comedy and wrote this song. It is a profound meditation on the human condition, on what lies beyond life. I have loved it since the first time I heard it. It moves me with each listen.
When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone
I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars
Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire
Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars
Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares
Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me...
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A hack dreams of Klimtian Viggo / Viggoesque Klimt.
See here, that odd congregation of flags,
those black dogs vanishing in a haze,
a leaf on a chilled forest floor,
curled trunk, stained tusk, white camisole,
cluttered graffiti on the walls.
These random abstractions,
recent forgeries of the ways of things,
they are what I revere,
the elusive, the fleeting, the evanescent ---
the moment that passes over once, and fades.
You say I take far too many,
that I seem to be in constant vigil
of scenes at the periphery.
Is it some coincidence of memory
that compels, some urge to mark
the ebb and flow of days,
lest they go stale, lay mundane?
And I say, what does it cost to remark on
the lines of this silhouette,
the graceful fall of fabric beside decorated skin,
the eloquence of ghosts dancing, or
an ineffable fleck of pale wings undulating in green?
What is there to remember: a tail, a hand, an ear,
a baby’s foot, dead fish, or calf, pig, or bird,
passing through the desolation of Tamdacht,
disappearing into Chetwood’s otherworldliness,
the bright chaos at Odense, the prospect
of a snowstorm at Te Anau,
even the daily grind in Venice.
It’s all I know to take, how can I disengage?
These are my points of focus, uncertain
exposures now merging in a blur.
See, underneath this assemblage
of traces, evocations, ephemera ---
Wanyánkin ye yo. Look at it:
Miyelo. It is I.
Kholá, it is you.
19 October, 2003
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Haaah it works! Seems to be loading a tad too slowly though, is it me, my connection, or my file host? Hmm.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Here's a quick rundown of the story: The U.S.S. Enterprise encounters an alien probe which emits a beam that renders Captain Picard unconscious. He wakes to find himself in a unfamiliar planet with a woman who claims to be his wife of 3 years. She says he is Kamin, a simple iron weaver. The planet is Kataan. He notices that she is wearing a pendant that closely resembles the alien probe they had encountered on the ship.
On board the Enterprise, the doctor is unable to revive the Captain. She advises against the destruction of the probe for it seems that any disruption of the beam puts the Captain's life in danger. Meanwhile, in Kataan, five years have passed and Picard has settled into his life. A drought is destroying the planet, and he suggests solutions but the administrator laughs at his outlandish ideas. Later, on the ship, Geordi and Data trace the origins of the probe to a planet that has long been dead, destroyed in a supernova explosion a thousand years ago.
As minutes pass aboard the Enterprise, years pass for Picard - as Kamin he has a son with whom he later discusses life choices, and a daughter who eventually realizes that Kataan is doomed. His wife Eline and good friend Batai pass away. His first grandchild is born. Kamin is 85 years old, and the drought has almost completely destroyed the planet.
Kamin's children and grandchildren insist on bringing him to a missile launching. He doesn't understand why everyone is excited, knowing that it will not save the planet or its people. As the missile takes off, his family, together with Batai's and Eline's spirit, explain that they are launching a probe so that someone in the future may find it and come to know of Kataan and its people, so that they may in some sense, live on and be remembered. Picard realizes that he is that someone, and the probe is the one that sent him to this planet some 30 years ago. He wakes up aboard the Enterprise where a mere 25 minutes have passed as he lived a lifetime.
I have a lump in my throat just writing this and remembering the episode. This is why I love TNG, stories like this that speak so much about what it is to be human.
This episode was also very well-written and well-acted, one of the most moving Trek stories ever. Patrick Stewart should have won an Emmy for this. (But we know how award-giving bodies have always been stingy with sci-fi and fantasy shows, so it's no surprise that the only nomination this got was for make-up - which was quite outstanding too, btw.) One other thing that makes this story memorable is the music. I also get a lump in my throat whenever I hear the theme of this episode. Which, thanks to youtube, I can now share with you.
Below is a fan-made music video which features scenes from the episode (thanks to funfastonelover), and said theme composed especially for The Inner Light by Jay Chattaway. Now excuse me while I get some Kleenex.
(If the video above doesn't work for you, try this one.)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Here's the result of my labors. Well, this is only a picture of the result of my labors, you have to click it to actually get to the flash player and use it. Check it out, it's nifty! ;-) Here's hoping I can post players here directly soon (might take another couple of nights of head banging, heh).
Thursday, October 18, 2007
But right now, this one tops my list:
I'd write some more why BSG is also THE best sci-fi show right now, but I can't wait to get back to watching my season 2 dvds. ;-)
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The seats were already starting to fill out at the Trinoma Activity Center when my friend Kai and I got there. The usher directed us to a section to the right of the stage and I joked that we would have a fine view of the huge speakers. Seriously though, from our seats at the 3rd row, the microphone stood at 10 o’ clock thereabouts. Pwede na rin (trans. It will do. *a bit grudgingly*), with only Elliott and his keyboardist Joonie in view. We wouldn’t get to see Russell (sorry Russell fans) or Aaron. I didn’t even realize the video display on stage until I saw pics taken by the audience in the other sections.
Promptly at 7 o’ clock, the show was announced. (Woah, Trinoma followed American, not Philippine time, I’m impressed. I had hoped I would have a little time to look for my fellow Yaminoys but I only got to see a few while I was looking for familiar screen names-matched-with-faces to give out my extra stubs to. Which I didn’t, btw, and I ended up giving them to a woman who held a child beyond the gates.) The band members came out first and took their position. From where I fidgeted, camera in hand, I could partially see a white-shirted guy wearing a baseball cap. Darn speakers. (Note that my eyesight isn't what it used to be. *sniff*) Could it – nah, it couldn’t, could it? The crowd was getting crazy, but not THAT crazy yet, so perhaps it isn’t Elliott? I quickly looked to the right, to the curtained area where they had come from, and I didn’t know it at the time but Kai told me later that before the band came out, someone had been holding a camera to the audience from there, apparently getting some video. Any true blue Elliott fan worth her salt knows now where I’m taking this, don’t cha? No? *quip* The hand that held the camera now came out along with the rest of Elliott Yamin, recording artist, Season 5 American Idol finalist #3 (3 equals 1, haven't you heard?). Elliott was wearing a grey t-shirt (courtesy of Bench & Ben Chan, who he said had given them lots of clothes), jeans, sneakers, and the E accessories du jour: grey vest and fedora. He also held a blue hand towel (also by Bench, probably?) aside from the camera.
Now I’m hazy on the details so forgive me if I don’t get clinical here. I’ve always found myself in the experience-the-moment-versus- record-it-to-experience-it-later dilemma. Which is to say, when I record any event I’m excited about, I almost always end up with huh, fairly nice photos or videos but a little bit removed from the experience, to be perfectly honest about it. I do reach a balance at certain times, but the important ingredient is time. An hour doesn’t cut it. But let’s not get into that, I knew I had no choice but to record because I want to give back to all those who have shared their memories with us at the Y-Pod. As expected the audience erupted in excitement and screamed as Elliott stood on stage. Loose curls held in check by fedora, Elliott thanked us and exclaimed that this was his first time abroad. He sang Movin’ On to open the show. Movin’ On by the way, is being marketed by several radio stations here as Elliott’s 2nd single (I’m not aware if that has been sorted out yet, or if that is really what Elliott’s team intends). It was an energetic rendition, with Elliott changing up the song like he always does, molding the melody this way and that, finally ending up with something that isn’t exactly the same as any Movin’ On he’s done these past few months. The same goes for all songs he sang. Elliott’s an artist, don’t you know it. At one point between songs, he picked up his camera and took a video of the crowd before him. Elliott had fiddled with it a couple of seconds and chuckled. He said he had just gotten the thing and didn’t know how to operate it. What a sight it must have been, with the 400 filled seats in the Activity Center and the hundreds of people standing beyond the gates and on all floors of the mall. (Don’t quote me though, it could easily have been a thousand. Or thousands? I’m no good at estimating crowd size. But take my word for it, there were lots of people there.)
Elliott also sang Find A Way, One Word, Trainwreck, Free, and In Love with You Forever. I had gleefully been able to record 3 or 4 full songs when I saw the indicator in the camera screaming limited space. Gah, so there it was, I had to choose which songs to keep and which to delete. And what about pictures? Ack I gave myself a mental kick in the bum for not bringing my own camera (I had my brother’s camera with me because it took better video and had longer zoom), as it took me nearly the whole length of In Love with You Forever to figure out how to turn on the flash (you just manually turn up the hood, I found out a litle bit later *sheesh that was stressful*). In any case, I decided that there was one song I ABSOLUTELY would NOT delete, and that song is Trainwreck. (That's me you hear complaining at the start of the video hee, my arms were getting sore already.)
Now it may be your turn to kick me, but I didn’t record *switches to radio announcer voice* the hit single, Wait For You! (No kidding though, that single is going places - and I mean chart topping places - kudos to Elliott’s team on picking it even when Elliott himself didn’t immediately like it.) Fellow Royal Misfits know this, I don’t think heaven and earth of the song, and I even slightly resented the Timberlaking or Neyo-ification of Elliott in the early days of its release. Let’s just say that now I don’t hate it, and have even learned to like it somewhat, and I DO get excited when I hear the song being played on the radio in public places (which happens quite a bit now, here in Manila!). So I don’t have a video of that. Which (here comes your revenge, those who have been kicking me) I kinda regret now, because the crowd response was insane. People sang along and screamed. Silly of me, I’m getting misty now from the memory. Elliott must have been so touched.
Elliott was being accompanied only by Joonie on keyboard at that point when he sang Wait For You, Russell and Aaron having already gone backstage. His last song was A Song For You. I didn’t record this either, not because I didn't like it, but because I wanted to experience it. I’m not very good at describing music, so suffice it to say that it was poignantly beautiful. I knew my fellow Yaminoys, long-time fans since Elliott’s AI days, must have felt the same way I did. Who knew we would be listening to this live? We had been promoting Elliott our darnedest best even before Season 5 ended, campaigning for his Philippine tour. It was long shot then, and we only half believed it ourselves, as we weren’t even sure Elliott would go beyond Top 7, 6 or 5. He got to no. 3 and we cried when he got booted off, and still we only half believed Elliott would ever set foot on Philippine soil. So understand what it was to listen to him sing, “I’ve acted out my life in stages, with ten thousand people watching, and we’re alone now, and I’m singing this song for you...”.
Elliott then announced the end of the show, and people began to shout “More! More! More!”. He laughed, tickled, and said that he didn’t have anyone to play for him now. (Juny had gotten up and left the stage already.) I shouted “A capella! A capella!” (and half seriously too), and then I don’t know the hegg what came over us, Kai joined in and we chanted “A-ca-pel-la! A-ca-pel-la!” (sorry seatmates! I was possessed! I had barely said anything all throughout the show anyhow, as I didn’t want to ruin the audio of our videos. Suppressing the squee must have caused this sudden outburst. Again my apologies!). So I sat half-stunned when he said he would sing anyway, a capella. Hah! And he’d sing something from the show. Aaaaaah Moody’s Mood for Love egad, I knew I erased that other video a moment ago for a divine reason! Ye gods, my intuition rarely fails me! (Except when it told me to delete the vid of Elliott taking a vid of us. *kicks self again*)
Huge thanks to Ms. Charisse Santos of the Ayala-Trinoma for making sure I got seat stubs.
(Check out the rest of my videos here.)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Anyhow, never mind about that. Get this: you snorkel snorkel, watch all kinds of beautiful, colorful sea life. It isn't actually as beautiful as it used to be because of the typhoon Sendang some time ago, Kapitan told us. Anyhow, you snorkel snorkel, you’re just under the surface of the water, yet you feel you’ve entered a different world. After some time you pull your head back for some air, and then you hear a voice say “Ice cream ma'am, pampaalis ng alat.” (trans. "Ice cream ma'am, to take away the salty taste [of the sea water].") Ngek. You’re told that the magtataho should come any minute now. If you prefer buko juice, there's also that other guy over there. So much for quiet island paradise. It felt like being in a parody of an island paradise. No no, don't get me wrong, this is not to say that one cannot enjoy oneself in Boracay. All I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a pristine, virgin island that is largely untouched by commercialism and development, then Boracay is no longer it.
Yeah I hear it hasn't been for some time now, but experiencing it for myself drove the point home. Several years ago when I first came, at Caticlan there was no port, no terminal fees or environmental fees, and hardly any porters. When we got to the island, we jumped out of the boat, into the water and felt the Boracay sand underneath our feet as we walked to the shore, backpacks in tow. The only place to buy souvenirs was the small talipapa which was razed by fire a few years later. We hadn't even been able to get a henna tattoo then because there were very few places one could get them and we didn't see any designs that we liked. Buying accessories meant asking a woman to string some beads right before you, something you actually design and agree on together. There was no d'talipapa, no d'market, certainly no d'mall or Budget (not!) Mart. Going out to the beach meant being able to get from your cottage to your chosen spot without being followed by locals inviting you to go island hopping, or by men and women offering to sell you pearls that you can buy at the Greenhills tiangge for roughly the same price. Ah, those were the days. So no, Boracay isn't what it used to be.
(But psst, I did hear about another white beach called Jumabo Island. It sounds promising.)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
ETA. For those who want an even nicer, bigger slideshow, watch it in Flickr. Go to the album, click on "View as a slideshow", and when it begins, click on the "i" to see captions along with the pics.
I love Flickr.
Cut back to now. I've started to organize my California pics, these are what I have so far. This slideshow - different from the one I used a few entries back, lookee, it's automatic! - was produced with the Flickr Slideshow Generator, wonderful wonderful toy. If you point your cursor at the top of the black box below, you'll find some controls. If you point it at the lower bottom portion, a strip containing the pictures in the set will appear. Detailed captions and anecdotes can be found in my Flickr gallery (go to the California and Yosemite albums; or go to Tags > California).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
View the rest of the pics at my Flickr album.
1st class aircon bus ride: 100 baht
7-Eleven breakfast: 15-35 baht
Tuktuk ride to and from the wats: 440 baht
Simple but yummy lunch at a riverside restaurant: 460 baht
Admission fees to various wats: 20 - 30 baht
The sight of a line of elephants ambling towards the wats in the city center: Priceless
The heat: So intense it makes you breathless
* In temple architecture:
Prang. An Ayutthayan or Khmer-style chedi that is high and slim and looks like a vertical ear corn. Some see the prang as a closed lotus bud, some as Siva's linga (phallus, a symbol of potency).
Friday, July 13, 2007
El Capitan seen from Valley View, Yosemite.
Cathedral Rocks reflected on the Merced River, Valley View, Yosemite.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Pediment detail, Banteay Srei. 2/12/2007
[View larger version.]
Elliott's album hasn't even been released here yet. It will be most probably, when Elliott visits in September, yay! Thank you Ayala! We Yaminoys have been campaigning for this since AI season 5. (Let's just forget that I heard you had actually been choosing between Elliott and season 6's Chris Richardson, bleh!). Elliott's schedule:
Sep 21, 8:00 pm Trinoma
Sep 22, 8:00 pm Glorietta
Sep 23, 8:00 pm Alabang Town Center
Sep 26, 8:00 pm Ayala Cebu
Sep 28, 8:00 pm Market! Market!
(One last aside: What, no concert? Just a mall tour? *sigh*)
Friday, June 29, 2007
Huh. Ok, kinda nice I guess. Changed the background because the original code indicated white, I thought it looked boring here. Eh, it cuts off some of the pics. I suppose that can't be fixed, unless I resize the photos in my Flickr album. Or hmm, maybe it's because I changed the display size.
By the way, you can get your own Pictobrowser slideshow by clicking on "Info" above. You'll be asked to enter your Flickr username and presto, you'll get the code.
Friday, May 18, 2007
To make a long story shot, Elliott finished at #3, and I along with a lot of Yaminions from all over grieved for some time (yeah we were bat-shit crazy, as noted by fellow Yaminion Progressive), and then agonized about Elliott not getting a record deal etcetera etcetera.
A year later and voila! Elliott got the best deal possible out of all the AI contestants from his season - he went independent and struck a unique partnership deal with publisher Sony/ATV, which allows him to share copyright ownership of his material. Under this deal, they share 50-50 profit - not bad for an industry that is notorious for giving artists only 6-10%. Elliott's album was released in March 20 under a virtual label, Hickory Records. The Croshal Group was in charge of advertising and promotions.
Elliott Yamin (the album title) debuted in Billboard at #3. It has made, to date, the highest new artist debut on an independent label in Soundscan history. I could bombard you with a lot more figures and statistics, but I won't. Just trust me when I say that he's selling a whole lot more than anyone would have thought during his AI days.
Elliott performed his first official single, Wait For You on American Idol last night. And he made us all proud. See, what did I tell you?
Monday, May 07, 2007
Heroes 360 Clues (lots more great links at right sidebar)
Heroes Gallery (Photos, Screencaps, Scans, etc.)
The 5 EW cover variants
EW Online feature: Yesterday's Heroes
EW Online articles (spoilerish! Note to self: Read these later.)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
`Course all that was before I had read The Dog Whisperer chapter on sitting, which states that one should hold the treat over the dog's nose so that he tilts his head and looks up. This will make his back end go down, so presto, he's sitting! (It also said the word "Sit" should be introduced after the dog already knows how to do so.) I tried this trick the following week (I get to see the pups only on weekends), and like before, Hiro totally got it. Micah would sometimes stand on her hind legs (she loves doing that, such a show-off) but she knew that didn't earn her a crunchie. Momo? *sigh* Still getting her crunchies by chance. And I thought it would be easy to get him to rest on his behind, it being heavy and all. *sigh*
A couple of pics to remember our training session by (click to enlarge if you can't read the text):
Micah was unavailable for a photograph. She was probably somewhere burying her secret stash - which consists of stuff that aren't always edible, silly girl.