Lesson Learned

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AFTER the success of her best-selling books “Parang Kayo, Pero Hindi” and “Buti Pa Ang Roma May Bagong Papa,” Noringai produces another book that is certainly a must-read, “The Goodbye Girl,” (Noreen Capili & Anvil Publishing, Inc., Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 2015, 112). I had the chance to read this third book of hers in paperback and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

“Kapag hindi ka mahal ng taong mahal mo, ikaw iyong letter E sa word na LOVE. Nandyan ka pero hindi pino-pronounce (Noringai, 2015).”

Lately, buzzes about Wattpad stories have been circulating around the country with the rise of movies and TV shows based on them. Wattpad was just a domain before, serving as a platform for writers at heart to share their works publicly with fellow writers and readers. But, with the aforementioned buzzes, Wattpad has become a stepping-stone for aspiring writers who wanted to make a name for themselves. Noringai or Noreen Capili was one of them – a BA Creative Writing graduate from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, who is currently writing teleplays and screenplays for a living.

“The Goodbye Girl” is an inspirational book especially written for those who suffers from this thing called love – those who loved with their all but ended up taken for granted, hurt, left behind and even forgotten. Noringai introduces readers to the five types of the “goodbye girl”: the invisible girl, the other girl, the heartbroken girl, the bitter girl and finally, the new girl. “The Goodbye Girl” is a book about heartaches, heartbreaks and moving on. It is about the broken heart. It is a compilation of real life stories of pain experienced from loving someone with the hope that readers can find comfort, hope and humor in every essay and make them realize that what they are feeling may be universal but temporary.

“Wala tayo sa pelikula. This is reality. And in reality, kapag umalis ako, hahayaan mo lang ako (Noringai, 2015).”

I’m not usually a reader of this kind of books but I must say that I actually enjoyed the experience. Noringai has her special way of storytelling. She writes in a very conversational manner, and effortlessly inserts wit and humor to her writings.

Even topics as heavy as the matters of the heart is conveyed very lightly without having to compromise the content. She makes even the most painful of memories laughable but still very relatable. Even with the bombarding of “hugot” lines and funny antiques, “The Goodbye Girl” is still thought provoking and striking in an exceptionally unpredictable way of putting things into perspective. The book will certainly leave you feeling light-hearted, encouraged and even a better person after reading it. She writes with such skill that her words will reassure you that you are absolutely not alone in this world whatever it is that you are feeling. And in whatever it is that you are confronted with, there is always hope.

“Kung ito lang ang paraan to make the pain stop, to help you cope with depression, then by all means, magpaka-bitter ka (Noringai, 2015).”

What I find very notable about the book is how it conveys its message. Yes, it is an inspirational book but it didn’t feel like it. Readers won’t really feel that they were being lead to a solution or a realization, but instead, it feels natural. The presentation of the message is smooth and light, but very moving. That is something that is hard to do and I admire Noringai for being able to do that in this book. “The Goodbye Girl” may be very easygoing, but it is very helpful.

“The Goodbye Girl,” sold at only P185, is greatly recommended for those who are currently in a very difficult situation in their love lives – those who are going through tough times with the matters of the heart. It’s also a good read for those who have gone through same situations or those who know people who are going through the same hardships. This book will positively help you start anew.

-jooleeyuuh<3

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Spotlight: Pangako Sa’yo Remake

AMIDST the sea of ABS-CBN remakes such as “Mara Clara” (2010) and “Bituing Walang Ningning” (2006), now comes another version of one of the best teleseryes of all time – “Pangako Sa’yo” (2015).

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This 2015, a remake of the great “Pangako Sa’yo,” first aired in 2000, was launched and is expected to make people swoon with one of the most loved love stories of all time. It was dubbed the first “teleserye” on Philippine television, previously starring one of the Philippine’s favorite on-and-off-screen tandem back then, Jericho Rosales (Angelo Buenavista) and Kristine Hermosa (Yna Macaspac). It had a huge following, which made it ran for 426 episodes a.k.a. two long but promising years. The original, with a captivating storyline and exquisite casting, which also included Eula Valdez (Amor Powers), Jean Garcia (Madam Claudia) and Tonton Gutierez (Eduardo Buenavista), was truly unforgettable and iconic. With this, the remake is really something that is much anticipated by the Filipino fans.

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The “Pangako Sa’yo” Remake (2015), directed by Rory Quintos, Dado Lumibao and Olivia M. Lamasan, is a modern retelling of a great Filipino love story that revolves around Amor, Eduardo, Claudia, and their children Yna and Angelo, whose paths crossed because of love, poverty, power and vengeance. It stars this generation’s hottest loveteam, the teen king and queen themselves, Kathryn Bernardo (Yna Macaspac) and Daniel Padilla (Angelo Buenavista), alongside with Jodi Sta. Maria (Amor Powers), Angelica Panganiban (Madam Claudia) and Ian Veneracion (Eduardo Buenavista). With the cast alone, it is undeniable that this version is really something to look out for and it is continually proving that it really is.

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Watching some episodes, I had a glimpse of what this remake has to offer. KathNiel may certainly be the first choice to re-animate the characters of Kristine and Echo, considering how they have come to grow in the industry, garnering a huge following amongst the Filipino masses. The fact that “Pangako Sa’yo” aired after the popular Forevermore (2014) may also be a factor, since the ratings of the LizQuen tandem is something to, if not to beat, to maintain. KathNiel was seen in various projects already, so people have set high expectations from the two. I was impressed with Daniel Padilla’s acting, clearly he has grown in his field. I was expecting him to be like his uncle, Robin Padilla, who has this certain “macho vibe” going on whatever role he is portraying, but no, Daniel Padilla turned out to be more versatile. On the other hand, I was disappointed with Kathryn Bernardo. I expected so much of her since she literally grew up in the industry, but all she is doing is “pabebe” acting, which could be really annoying at some point. Jodi Sta. Maria is doing well, proving that she really is a versatile actress. However, sometimes, I can’t help but get a shadow of a character she portrayed for quite a long time – Maya, from “Please Be Careful With My Heart.” Angelica Panganiban, with her natural comedic demeanor, is bringing something new to the table and is really owning her character as Madam Claudia. Ian Veneracion, appearance-wise, is really dreamy with looks girls would really go gaga for. Acting-wise, Ian’s interpretation of Eduardo feels quite promising. In terms of technicalities, it is the cinematography which is really noteworthy. It is clear that the show has stepped up in that aspect. Editing is also well-done despite the fact that it could be really demanding at that since it is shown daily. Audio-wise, the sound is crisp and clear. In terms of storyline, this version brings more depth. It also has tweaked the original story, bringing changes that would really appeal to this generation’s viewers.

From the cast to the storyline, to the cinematography, to the twists and turns, indeed this version of the iconic “Pangako Sa’yo” is something the television viewers of today will really appreciate.

-jooleeyuuh<3

Craving for Tapsilog? I know a great place!

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TAPSILOG is a dish close to the hearts of the Filipinos. It is a meal that consists of cured beef, fried rice and a sunny side-up, which is indeed a popular Filipino favorite. For years, numerous places pop up here and there, catering to the cravings of the Filipino masses, which includes me – Ugh! Tapa is my weakness! So, can you just imagine my delight when my boyfriend finally brought me to this exciting place around his campus? I can’t wait to tell you about it!

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Rodic’s Food Express, or what they fondly or simply call Rodic’s, is a small diner in the shopping center inside UP Diliman, which has been there since 1949. Don’t you dare eat at Rodic’s if you are not going to order tapsilog. The moment, my plate of tapsilog was served before me, I was happily stunned. I appreciate their interpretation of the dish – classic and innovative at the same time. Now, that’s something!

Defined by their tapsilog, Rodic’s continue to make buzzes in and out of the campus, faithfully filling up the gustatory needs of budget-conscious students for over five decades now. What makes it so special?

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What sets Rodic’s apart from other tapa places? It is probably the fact that it is perhaps the first to offer tapsilog in an entirely different way. Instead of a typical cured beef, Rodic’s serves tapa in its own signature twist: shredded above a mound of fried rice and topped with an egg cooked sunny side up. And of course, with a bottle of vinegar. Ask any UP student to recommend a place of good food, Rodic’s would always be the top of mind and now I know why.

Rodic’s is a kind of place you would really visit not because of the interior or the ambience, but because of their food. To tell you honestly, at first, I was kind of skeptic about the place because of how it looks – fluorescent lights and monoblock tables and chairs – not a place I would normally be fond of. But oh my gosh, the tapsilog was really exceptional! I can’t believe my boyfriend just brought me there last weekend. I am now a fan! (Ugh! Still craving as I’m writing this!) How could he keep such a place from me for a while?

Rodic’s is a cross between a hole in the wall and a fast food chain. Walk in and you would get a casual vibe going on. Despite the monoblock tables and chairs, what is something you would notice immediately is the lighting. It was lit brightly. That is important because lighting also draws customers in. Because it is lit brightly, the small space seems spacious enough.

Food is definitely the highlight of the place, as I have established. Rodic’s really give you your money’s worth and you don’t really have to spend too much! At a very affordable price, you get to have a very flavorful meal that would really tickle your taste buds. What’s notable too, was the size of the dish. People would maybe expect small servings and dull presentations for such low prices, but they give you otherwise – big enough and mouth-watering. It was such a treat! A good mix of quality and quantity! You certainly won’t get bitin!

The service was equally good as well. Food is served fast and presentable – that is really something when you are in the food business. I love how the servers made us feel relaxed and comfortable. They were very attentive and friendly but not too friendly, you know what I mean?

Rodic’s is highly recommended for people who enjoy chilling out or hanging out over good food, without spending too much. You would definitely be missing out if you don’t check it out!

-jooleeyuuh<3

Spotlight: The Love Affair (A Movie Review)

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Star Cinema producing movies like No Other Woman, The Secret Affair and The Mistress, now comes up with The Love Affair. Is the trend still going on?

What can we expect from a movie directed by the same person who directed The Secret Affair? Is it any different?

This year, Star Cinema presents The Love Affair, a story that revolves around a family issue very apparent nowadays. Vince (Richard Gomez), a renowned neurosurgeon, realizing that his wife, Trisha (Dawn Zulueta) has been cheating on him with his best friend, Greg (Tonton Gutierez), tried to ease the pain with a weekend sailing hobby, where he got to know Adrianne (Bea Alonzo), a lawyer who is also nurturing a broken heart. With their vulnerability, Vince and Adrianne, upon spending time and getting to know each other, developed a budding relationship, putting everyone on a difficult situation. Trisha, wanting to save the marriage, does all she can to fight for it, including a confrontation with Adrianne.

The Love Affair is very much anticipated among Filipino fans with the comeback of the ‘eternal love team’ of a popular tandem in the 90’s, the CharDawn, who also used to date back then. After their comeback teleserye Walang Hanggan back in 2012, much to

the delight of their fans, young and old, Richard and Dawn once again played husband and wife in a Star Cinema romantic drama, along with one of this generation’s most prominent actresses, Bea Alonzo. With the direction of Nuel Naval, who directed The Secret Affair (2012) and some of the biggest teleseryes of ABS-CBN, which includes Magkaribal (2010) and Krystala (2004), who designed the productions of some of the biggest movies including Milan (2004) and Anak (2000) and also acted a little in movies like In My Life (2009), You Got Me! (2007), and Milan (2004), much is expected from the movie.

I’m very glad to say that I like how the movie diverted from a typical infidelity theme. Rather than focus on the issue of infidelity, the movie revolved more on the family itself. The theme of infidelity served as an entry point to many other issues we face in reality such as issues in family and one’s self. How these issues unfolded in the movie was outstanding.

Nuel Naval’s interpretation of the script carried the movie through along with the incredible acting chops of Dawn Zulueta and Bea Alonzo, despite the awkward acting demeanor of Richard Gomez. Jane Oineza and Grey Fernandez did a pretty satisfactory job as well portraying the kids, while Manolo Pedrosa, the middle child, needed more work. Other supporting roles also did well acting-wise.

The film was really remarkable in terms of the technicalities from the preparations, locations, production designs, shots and the sound. The pulse of the editing

was notable as well. It amplified the story telling. The sound was crisp and clear. The shots really helped in conveying the tension of each scene. The production design was on point, of course what can you expect from a production headed by Nuel Naval, a renowned production designer? The storyline is okay, though it missed out on establishing the friendship of Vince and Greg, which could have brought about more justice to the gravity of the pain that compelled him to punish his wife, Trisha. I also thought that Trisha’s reaction to the tragedy wasn’t enough. It did not establish the severity of the situation. The effect of the situation to the children should also have been illustrated with more emphasis.

The film clearly explained the reasons behind marital conflicts, yet the resolution need not be the same as how the film ended. It is just an option. The actual resolution should spring out from actual events and considerations for everyone involved.

This film is highly recommended for family viewing, because this paints a realistic picture of one of the major problems that the modern families are confronted with.

-jooleeyuuh<3

Spotlight: DNA (A Movie Review)

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Just recently, our Facebook feeds were flooded by articles exposing similar themes between some of our local movies and some of the known foreign films, instigating conversations among the population. What do we get from these issues?

From the breakout of movies in the 1870’s, being visual creatures, movies have been a huge part of every person’s lives. They have been there throughout the years, continuously catering to us. Therefore, it is not very shocking to notice similar themes among them. One of the trending ones would be the resemblance between “The Breakup Playlist” (2015) and “Begin Again” (2013), which brought out numerous debates and exposing more films with parallels. But, little did we know that these issues are not new at all.

Recently, I’ve watched this movie entitled “DNA”, a movie released in the year 1997. It’s a sci-fi action movie directed by William R. Mesa, who is long considered one of the most innovative visual directors in the industry. This is why his direction of a sci-fi movie like “DNA” was really something to look out for. The screenplay was written by Nick Davis, also is distinguished in visual effects. Apparently, it was a surprise for everyone that the movie succeeded because it stole bits and pieces of nearly every monster movie created around twenty years prior to the movie – evidence that issues about comparisons between movies have always been there even before the rise of social media. However, up to this day, it was also the last movie William Mesa ever directed and Nick Davis ever wrote.

The plot revolves around a fervent tribal doctor, Ash Mattley (Mark Dacascos), who runs a provincial clinic in Sarawak, Borneo while trying to cultivate an immunity-boosting enzyme found only in certain rare beetles. He is confronted with his rival mad scientist, Carl Wessinger (Jürgen Prochnow), who discovered how to extract DNA from the bones of a creature buried among the ruins of a forgotten civilization, reviving a nasty alien skeleton named Balacau. Ash teamed up with a CIA operative, Claire Sommers (Robin McKee) and an intelligent native boy, Matzu (Thomas Taus, Jr.) to stop Wessinger from selling Balacau for use as a biological weapon for wars.

From the poster, to the first few scenes of the movie, it was undeniable that it was somewhat inspired by “Raiders of The Lost Ark,” the first installment of Indiana Jones released back in 1981. The storyline was way too similar, with the main character braving an ancient place to retrieve something so important that he would be confronted with an indigenous tribe and a rival, who is also good in the same field. There is also a monster, which chases the cast through various dim, groveling passages like the so-called beast in “Alien” (1979), which it also resembles. This creature also occasionally uses the camouflaging ability of the monster in “Predator” (1987). These are just three things that were stolen from the many movies that inspired the making of “DNA”.

Apart from the likeness of the picture from many other flicks created prior to its production, there are still many things that got me hooked to it. First and foremost, the weird cast. I consider it weird for it casts a lot of familiar faces that are very known doing different things today. The movie casts Mark Dacascos, who is seen nowadays in Iron Chef America, portraying the role of the chairman. It also casts Jürgen Prochnow, who is known today as Andre Vernet from the Da Vinci Code. And since it was shot in the Philippines, the movie casts Filipinos. It was weird seeing prominent stars like Joel Torre and Susan Africa acting in English because I know for a fact that they are Filipino actors. Also, the team-up of Mark Dacascos and Robin McKee as Dr. Ash Mattley and Claire Sommers, gives me a ‘Tarzan meets Taylor Swift vibe’ just by their appearance in the movie, because nowadays a manly, long, wavy, brown hair like his and a long, blonde bob like hers is often tied up with Tarzan and Taylor Swift.

I also found the movie very entertaining because of many other different things. Another reason would be the inconsistency and predictability in acting, which made the movie so unrealistic. This is also the reason why the heavy drama parts come across as hilarious. The language used is very inconsistent especially among the indigenous tribes. One moment they are speaking their native tongue, needing translators, the next moment, they are already speaking English. Shockers, just like the other action scenes, seem very compulsory, which made it appear so scripted. Many elements in the movie were not established. Many things appear from nowhere. The flow of the storyline was problematic. The narrative was not smooth at all. What were commendable though were the visual effects. What can you expect from a team up of two renowned people from that aspect? Imagining the technology back then, having produced such is really notable.

“DNA” is highly recommended for family viewing and for friends who wants to have a good time. It would be fun to watch the movie with people you are very comfortable with. Enjoy and laugh until tears start running out from your eyes!

-jooleeyuuh ❤