Cinemalaya Saturday

Today started out just like most every Saturday. I woke up early after staying up late the night before because that was just how I let go of the stresses of the work week. I felt crappy and tired and didn’t really feel like going anywhere. There’s that feeling again of not wanting to leave the house after spending most of the weekdays outside, working. Weekends are supposed to be spent at home, doing nothing, but alas I have gotten a friend, Elise, to get me tickets to two Cinemalaya movies and thus I had to get off my lazy butt eventually to go. I found it ironic how I was wearing my Captain America/Hetalia crossover tshirt for an indie film festival. I just thought it was funny.

After satisfying a cheesy pasta craving, Elise and I headed off to CCP to get doused with some culture. Our first film was Ang Nawawala, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. It was definitely more than we both expected. From the trailer, you would think that it was just some love story with a very eclectic, hipster soundtrack, but as most Cinemalaya entries go, it goes deeper than that (Rule of thumb for Cinemalaya: Do not take trailers at face value). It is a love story and it does have a very cool soundtrack that most hipster or hipster-wannabe young’uns would enjoy, but it also tackles family and death and trauma and how they all intertwine to create one hell of a unique coming-of-age story for its protagonist who just refuses to talk. The music was all fun and unexpected, especially for me who just wasn’t hip with the indie music scene. The cinematography made Manila look so nice. They really chose their locations and made sure to capture how magical Manila can look when it’s Christmas, which was the time when the movie was set. The actors were good at what they did and I kept wondering if Dawn Zulueta was ever going to age. She’s just so beautiful even now and her talents haven’t diminished any, either.  Boboy Garrovillo fit his role very well as the seemingly content father. I loved just how effortless it all seemed to him to play such a subtle role. Special kudos to the twins Dominic and Felix Roco who were both so great as, well, perhaps the main protagonists of the story. I loved their brotherly chemistry and banter and I kept wondering if they were particularly affected by the emotional scenes.  Annika Dolonius who played the leading lady Enid, was charming and very convincing in her role as the beautiful, mysterious hipster girl who I may have wanted to be at times, haha. Mercedes Cabral also made an appearance and I still love her. She said my favorite line of the movie, “You like your boys like you like your comics. With many issues.” or something like that.

Our second movie was Kamera Obscura, which was probably the complete opposite of Ang Nawawala. For one, it’s a movie that features a silent film and for two, the setting of said silent film is of course the past. In particular, sometime between the 1920’s and 1930’s. I found it, again, ironic while I was watching it that there I was, willingly subjecting myself to a silent film when during my days as a Communication Arts student, watching silent films were considered some special kind of torture administered by our Introduction to Film professor. But then I liked period films and I’ve always admired Joel Torre, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s not a film that you should watch when you want escapist fare. How can you escape reality when it offers political commentary on the government, the media and the people? At least you didn’t have to listen that attentively as the dialogue was flashed in text between scenes and takes just like how it was done in old silent films. Still, the film required a lot of attention and thinking, which we sort of expected, but I guess one should still psyche themselves up if they weren’t used to such films. The concept was unique, though, as the silent film itself was within a film and really, who even thought of making silent films nowadays? Definitely unique and you could see the effort they put into making it all look authentic. The look of the film was grainy and it really seemed like it was being filmed by old film cameras. There were interesting elements in the film that couldn’t have been possible before, though, but I guess that doesn’t really matter. I think the filmmakers were able to deliver their message pretty well given the medium they decided to use. Still, though. Be ready for some brain exercises.

All in all, another great Cinemalaya Saturday. There was some great bonding time with Elise and the films were both good. We saw some celebrities, had some geeky, nerdy conversations and Elise practiced her Nihonggo, haha. Not at all a bad Saturday spent out of the house.

Rainy Daaaaaaays

I had so many plans for this weekend. First, I was supposed to spend it watching Cinemalaya entries. Yep! It’s that time of the year again! I was supposed to see two of the films, namely The Animals and Ang Nawawala, but then it ended up that I was going to have to watch them alone as my friends were unavailable. And so I opted to make other plans. Plan B was supposed to be watching The Amazing Spiderman with Val. Unfortunately, that didn’t fall through either as Val needed rest and relaxation. I was really looking forward to watching something this weekend. I was really beginning to feel how behind I was on movies. I already missed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the new Batman movie has just come out. Movies! I wanted to go out and watch movies! I was already toying with the idea to just go ahead and watch by myself anyway when the weather decided things for me.

It started raining really hard last Thursday, which sucked because I had plans after work. I was all dressed up nicely too! Tita Star was back from Bangkok and we were supposed to have dinner with her before she went back home to Naga the next day. I was really looking forward to it as I haven’t seen Tita Star in a while and I wanted to hear about her Bangkok trip. We were also supposed to go eat out so of course I was game. But alas, the rain was relentless. I stepped on a puddle and soaked my shoe and slacks as I was walking towards the footbridge crossing Edsa Extension. That pretty much put a damper on my mood. By the time I arrived at the Edsa LRT terminal, my slacks were heavy and wet with rain water and I just couldn’t see myself making my way anywhere else but home. I had to beg off from dinner as I was soaked and quite miserable. Even a hot and delicious bowl of Pho wasn’t enough of an encouragement to slosh and soak my way to Robinson’s Ermita. It was good that Tita Star understood. The night wasn’t a total loss as Mom was generous enough to send home a doggie back for me that consisted of yummy Vietnemese food. I was able to have Vietnamese anyway that night and also the next day, when I packed some leftover Pho (complete with bean sprouts, lemon and basil) and Beef Stew to work. Thursday wasn’t that awful though it felt like it was for a while.

The weather wasn’t any better yesterday, Friday. At least this time I was ready for it. Never have I been more grateful for my Islander slippers. Again, my pants were soaked, but at least they were jeans and I was able to fold them up. The winds were stronger last night and there was more rain. Even the footbridge was a bit flooded as I was walking towards the LRT and I thought my umbrella would slip from my grasp so many times.  It was around this time, as I was struggling with my umbrella, that I gave up and just laughed. Friday night was going to be wet and cold. Fine. Okay. The LRT was a bit of a relief when I got there, but it wasn’t the end of my rainy journey.

GROOOOOOSSSSSS. That was my main thought when I walked down the stairs to exit Vito Cruz’s LRT Station. Vito Cruz and Taft were flooded. I’ve never seen Taft that flooded before and I regretted not having a camera with me to take a picture. There were waves and the water was kind of brown and definitely dirty. Tricycle drivers were scrambling around trying to encourage people to pay double the usual fares and get a ride. I was pretty sure some people gave in eventually, eager to go home and keep as dry as possible. I didn’t mind schlepping through flood water in my reliable slippers and folded up pants, though. It’s disgusting, but I could wash when I get home, was what I was thinking. So walk into ankle-deep flood I did. (GROOOOOOOOOOOSS.)

I wasn’t alone. A lot of other people decided that they’d rather walk in the flood than pay too much for tricycle fare. It was a bit entertaining to see the Lasallista Froshies squeal and complain as they got their feet wet in flood water (“OhmyGOD! What is this??? Eeew. EEEEW!”). I also had to admire the other seasoned Lasallistas who just carried on as if it’s nothing, like flood like that happened all the time. I even saw one walking all nonchalantly as you please, holding her large order of milk tea in one manicured hand, as she traversed the flood like a pro in her cute flats. Meanwhile, everyone else scampered and looked like drowned rats all around her. Now that was style, lol.

It was still raining pretty hard this morning and the weather was said to continue on being this way until tomorrow.

Looks like it’s a cool, rainy weekend at home. Hopefully things would be better next weekend. I’m really hoping to watch movies then. For now, deebeedees and online streaming movies will keep me entertained. Maybe I’ll be able to watch The Amazing Spiderman after all.