Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mac & Me…

…was the title of a really lousy E.T. The Extra-terrestrial knock-off. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about here.

For the longest time we didn’t have a computer at home after our CPU crashed completely almost a year ago. My mom would use Word and Excel for her church-related activities. My sister often used Word and Powerpoint. I’d limit myself to Word and surfing—well, not exactly the latter since we were on dial-up.

Yesterday my mom decided we really need a computer. So we trooped to the BPI Appliance Madness in Glorietta to scout around. I was thinking of just a simple PC, with a big enough memory for music and pictures—that was it. So in the middle of looking at all these laptops, I heard my mom call me. “Here, let’s get this!” she said, pointing.

My heart stopped. I asked her incredulously, “Are you sure?”

We talked to the saleslady about the price, the features, etc. My mom just likes how it looks. Then I gathered my mom, my sister and my brother, and asked: “Well, can we afford this with our combined salaries?” And my sister said, “Let’s also see if we can toss in a printer as well.” In the end we went for it.

So now we have a new iMac G5 with built-in iSight in our home.

We also bought a simple HP colored printer. Now we’ve begun scouting around for a good DSL provider—why settle for dial-up when you’re already using an iMac? Why drive a Kia when you already have a BMW?

Last night I started playing with what we call our Big McMac. It took all of my willpower to shut down and go to sleep at 12:30am. I can imagine weekends just staying at home.

I now really am a MacVie! Wheee!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I’ve made my decision. I’ve chosen among the options already.

Which Is Switch?

Our building is so hi-tech. There are motion sensors on every floor and every common toilet. When there’s no motion detected for several minutes, the lights are automatically switched off. When someone enters the room or floor, the lights switch back on. That’s all well and good, but there are drawbacks, as an art director of ours found out. One evening while doing overtime work he had to go to the bathroom and do number two. Since it was already late there was hardly anyone else on the floor, so he took his sweet time inside the cubicle. After several minutes of no movement as far as the sensors could detect, the bathroom was plunged into total darkness. And our art director—who is unfortunately afraid of the dark—found himself in deep shit.

The next time he went to do number two, he brought a paper airplane with him—just in case.

Monday, March 27, 2006


What can one do if one’s attracted to someone who’s already attached? (Of course the assumption there is that there is mutual attraction; if it’s just one way, then the solution is simple—get over him, fast.) If there’s mutual attraction when one or both parties are already taken, that’s a problem. That’s my problem.

What are my options?

1. Take the high road and let go. Why go through the head-and-heart ache?
2. Become fuck buddies. Of course this presupposes that he’s also amenable to this. Otherwise, forget it. There are subsections to this option:
a. Be fuck buddies without the boyfriend knowing about you. Again, there are two possibilities for this to happen: either [i] they’re in an open relationship, but their unspoken rule is “Never let me know when you’re on the prowl”; or [ii] you’re fucking a two-timer.
b. Be fuck buddies with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. This means they’re in an open relationship—a very liberal, open relationship. In fact, they may even invite you to a threesome if both partners take a fancy to you.
3. Make plans to ruin their relationship. Make sure you never get caught. Then when it’s over, you step in, with matching wine glass on one hand and pa-sway-sway of hips and a very throaty delivery of the line, “Whell, whell, whell!” Of course, karma will get you in the end, one way or another. You will go to the seventh level of Hell for this one.
4. Wait for their relationship to die a natural death. You will get the Mother Teresa Award for this one. In fact, the Lord may just decide to do a Job on you and not allow the two of you to ever consummate your love here on earth. You’ll end up on your deathbed with him looking to your eyes and you thinking, “Maybe in the afterworld, let’s go crazy and party like it’s 1999.”
5. Mope. Feel sorry for yourself. Bewail the fate handed to you by the gods, the God, Fate, whoever or whatever higher power, being or energy you can blame. But do nothing else.

And you know what the most hilarious thing about all this is? This has happened to me more than once. Argh.

Eenie, meenie, minee, moe. What to do, what to do. Nu-nee-nu-nee-nu-nee-nuuu.

Ctrl-Alt-Shift Me

Now that I’m back working in Makati, I noticed I’ve been subtly shifting my routines to accommodate this change. Makati’s not just a venue, it’s a state of mind. Naks.

For instance, lunch is now almost always with Leigh. Of course it helps a lot that Leigh and I work in the same agency. And lunch time means looking for new alternative eating places—and lots of shopping. I actually don’t mind the latter. Even when I worked in Makati before I always accompanied my female officemates whenever they shopped; my role is usually to keep them from overspending and from tiring themselves by carrying their shopping bags.

When I started working in Quezon City, lunchtime meant taking the train to Megamall or Shangri-la Mall and roaming around. I was trying to replicate my Makati routines in Ortigas. But that got tiring after a while. So I used my lunch break to catch up on my reading instead.

Today I still want to continue maximizing my downtime by pursuing more mentally stimulating pursuits than looking at the latest gadgets and fashion on display. However there really are more windows to shop in Makati than in the Quezon Avenue area, so maybe reading will be done when I get home instead.

Also I think my going to F will become more deliberate and planned unlike before. Working five minutes away from F meant it was very easy for me to go there whenever I felt like it; just like that, at a drop of a hat I can go to F and drop my hat—and clothes—off. But now that I’m coming from Makati, I have to factor in the traffic and, more importantly, the time. I cannot stay too late in F because I need to wake up early the next day to avoid the daily bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Adjust Able

First week adjustment at work is all about letting go of your comfort zones. I now have to wake up earlier than usual; however, I get to go home earlier than usual too. Driving time is longer and I have to get to know my new routes better—when is traffic heaviest, where are the bottlenecks, etc. Different gym means different program, different crowd. Different place of work means different places to go to eat. It’s the disruption of the old routine to make way for a new one.

That’s what’s most difficult right now—learning to adjust to the new. Then again, I’ve always been versa—oops, I mean flexible.

* * * * *

Yesterday was my first day at Fitness First, but it was only today that I got to meet my personal trainer. Well, he will be if I choose to get him to do me, err, my program. Hehehe. He tested my over-all physical condition—sort of like a physical examination without the stripping and the showing of ass to see if one has hemorrhoids. He’s cute in a fresh-out-of-physical-therapy-course, with matching eyeglasses and an aw-shucks demeanor. He’s tall, dark and needing a client who’ll pay 700+ pesos per training session. Ugh. If I’m going to pay him that much, can he at least hold my hand and look longingly into my eyes as he pumps me, err, as he makes me pump iron? Then again, 700+ may be too small for “extra services.”

This Saturday he will be giving me my first program and guiding me through it. Based on my test my body fat ratio is at an acceptable level, my heart rate excellent but my physical flexibility is poor.

Well, well, well. The spirit is flexible, but the flesh is stiff.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

McVie’s Top Ten TA Party Hits of All-Time (So Far)

A Short History of TA Parties

In the early days (around early 80s) TA parties were more about hanging out together after rehearsals or after a show’s run. TA parties consisted of eating, drinking, playing guitar and singing. There was also a tradition then of giving out faux-awards to commemorate the production (because stage boo-boos were much more plentiful then, awards were generously given to almost everyone involved in the production).

In the early 90s TA parties evolved. The seismic shift happened at Cuchie Alcuaz’s house at a TA Christmas Party. There a group of guys who called themselves the Dashing Debonairs (headed by Ron Capinding, with Akong Bongcaras, Jeff Quiambao and Eric Sanchez) presented a dance number to the tune of Madonna’s “Bye, Bye Baby” and a new era was born. I remember Apa Ongpin (yes, the Apa Ongpin) standing up after the number and declaring out loud, “Oh my god, TA has gone That’s Entertainment!”

You see, before that seminal moment, TA people—the theater snobs that they are—always viewed the tastes of popular culture as beneath their interests. Or at least that’s how they declared it out loud (who knows if they watched “Gulong ng Palad”—the original series, mind you—when they got home). Kuya Germs had no place in theater, much less in TA. During TA parties what you hear being played and sung were Broadway tunes and classic pop (James Taylor and other artists whose songs can easily be played on guitar and/or piano); popular dance hits—the ones heard on noontime shows—had no place in TA parties. It took a promdi from Tarlac to put together a dance group and offend TA old-timers’ sensibilities.

But times were changing. By next party the Dashing Debonairs were back, with additional members. The girls and gays of TA also rose to the challenge and formed their own girl/“pa-girl” group.

Dance music was played using cassette tapes at that time. Soon I started bringing my CDs. The first set-up was primitive: one CD player (like a boom-box) and several discs. Eventually it evolved to two Discmans, a karaoke machine (for its bigger, louder speakers), and a maleta full of CDs. But I remained Mr. DJ through the years.

In recent years TA was able to use a professional 2-disc player and sound system to their parties, thanks to Steven Uy’s The Met. I’ve also dumped the maleta of CDs and now use an iPod. Now I can dance along instead of being stuck behind a stack of CDs, wondering what song to play next.

Top 10 Criteria

The reason why I added “McVie” to the title is simple: I’ve been the DJ for almost all TA parties through the years. This gives me a unique perspective of the dance hits from different eras. “Why is that song in that rank?” Well, because McVie says so.

I listed down the songs which managed to drag people’s asses onto the dance floor. Obviously, the appeal should be both genderless and ageless. If a song managed to remain popular despite the changing generations of TA members, then it definitely deserves a high spot on the top 10.

Because of this, the list definitely isn’t a definitive one, thus the “so far” caveat. When I was going through the songs I realized that, had I done this list fifteen years ago, the top song would be different. This also explains why more recent songs haven’t hit the top 10—it’s too soon to say if they will stand the test of time.

So, let me begin my showing you the ones that almost made it into the top ten. They are, in chronological order:

100% Pure Love by Crystal Waters
Oh Carolina by Shaggy
Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
Baby One More Time by Britney Spears
Stop by Spice Girls
Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls
Bye Bye Bye by N’Sync
Crazy In Love by Beyonce feat. Jay-Z

Maybe a few years from now some of them will manage to dislodge the current chart-toppers.

And so now let me present: McVie’s Top Ten TA Party Hits of All-Time (So Far)

# 10
Lady Marmalade – Christina/Pink/Lil’ Kim/Maya
Released in July 3, 2001, this hit song is from the soundtrack of the movie “Moulin Rouge”. The reason why this song got this high is because it’s the second cover version already. The original is by Patti LaBelle, while in the mid-90s it was remade by the all-girl trio All Saints. Aside from explaining the longevity, the familiarity made it accessible to everyone. And wasn’t this performed by TA members during an Orsem?

# 9
Lovefool – The Cardigans
First a mild hit in 1996, this song became an even bigger hit when it was featured prominently in the movie “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet”. It’s the second song in the Top 10 from a Baz Luhrmann movie soundtrack. For a time this was the love song of the moment, but TA people probably never realized that it’s really a song of obsession. This was around the time when most TA parties were held at Gold’s house.

# 8
Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
Released in Sept. 23, 1997, this world-wide hit anthem for drinking and parties was easily appropriated by TA. I remember the party at Leo’s in Marikina. Their house opened up to a huge garden the size of a soccer field. When I played the song, people literally ran the whole length of the garden just to get to the dance floor. And after that, Ryan Villena and Chichi Angustia ran back to the garden, fighting, while Anna Flores tried desperately to run after them to break up the fight.

# 7
The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
This 1998 song is actually one of the most difficult songs to dance to, thanks to the fits and stops and tempo changes halfway into the song. Yet whenever TA heard the stuttering intro (“R-r-r-r-right about now …”), they were irresistibly drawn to the dance floor. Of course, most of them never finish dancing the whole song, or would pause and catch their breath during the difficult parts.

# 6
Boom Shak-A-Lak – Apache Indian
Released in 1995, this was a huge dance floor—and noontime show—hit in the Philippines. This song reminds me of Ron and Jillen(?) dirty-dancing on the ledge of the now-defunct Harlequin Disco in EDSA Shangri-la.

# 5
Vogue – Madonna
This 1990 song had guys and girls strutting their stuff on the dance floor like they were on a fashion ramp. In total fairness, even straight guys danced to this tune. But the next song trumped Madonna’s call to strike a pose.

# 4
I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
One of the biggest hits of the 90s, this 1992 song is kitschy, campy fun. And it was an even more irresistible call to model and pose on the dance floor than “Vogue.”

# 3
Love Shack – The B-52s
In 1989, a band more famous in the early 80s for their retro-sound had their biggest hit with this high-energy, fun-fun-fun song. For three years this song was THE party song of TA; whenever I played this song, no one was left sitting on their chairs.

# 2
Macarena – Los Del Rio
In 1995, this song was everywhere in the whole wide world. Everyone knew the song. Everyone knew the choreography. And now, six years into the new millennium, no one can deny that this song can still make TA people hit the dance floor. There must be something about its simple, easy-to-execute-by-everyone choreography and its irresistible opening chords. Plus the “Aaa-hai!”

# 1
Sweet Soul Revue – Pizzicato Five
When it was first released in 1993, it was a minor hit in the Philippine airwaves. In TA, that song didn’t really get that many requests. But thanks to the wicked, creative minds of TA, this song was forever TA-fied into an anthem for all generations.

Monday, March 20, 2006

First Day

Technically it’s my first day in the office today.

I have a temporary laptop assigned to me. Good thing it’s temporary. It’s a PC, but I’ll eventually get a Power Book. Yes, a Mac! McVie wants a Mac and so he can call it “MacVie.” Mwhahaha.

We’re on the 20th floor. My desk faces the window. I can see Makati Medical Center. I hear they serve great siopao in their canteen. Hmmm. I always hold siopao from hospitals and eateries near funeral parlors suspect.

After almost 6 years in broadcasting, I’m back in advertising. I’m excited but also scared—a bit. It’s good to be running scared, I think. Means I don’t want to just coast along.

Met my creative team already—all straight men, no cute ones. Good—I hate distractions. I’d rather be distracted by cute boys from the call centers. Unfortunately, I only saw one, and I don’t think he’s a call boy.

Talk about first day funk. Hehehe.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ate Vi For Vendetta

It’s amazing that given the political climate in Manila right now, they allowed the showing of the film V For Vendetta.

V is about a man who, after being tortured and altered by a megalomaniac, decides to bring down Totalitarian England. He shakes the general populace out of their fear of government by blowing up buildings, executing public officials and other acts of terrorism. Fight the powers! Defy the ruling order! In the end people are roused out of their apathy, fights are done in slow-mo ala-The Matrix and fireworks abound.

In Marcos’ time, even posters of such a movie wouldn’t see the light of day. Maybe someone in MTRCB was sleeping on the job, or he’s anti-GMA.

PGMA is often compared to legendary Superstar and intrigue-and-drug magnet Nora Aunor due to their vertically challenged similarities. La Aunor’s chief showbiz rival for many years is the erstwhile mayor of Lipa, Vilma Santos, or as she’s fondly called, Mayor Vi (behind her back she’s Ms. You-Can-Never-Can-Tell). How ironic then that in the movie the main opponent of government is a person named V. He wears a Guy Fawkes mask and wears a bob-cut wig, the kind Vilma’s character might wear in Burlesk Queen.

But is the movie seditious given these times? Will it rouse apathetic Pinoys to wear little La Aunor masks and start playing “Superstar” on public address systems? Doubtful, but it may make them consider a new costume come Halloween this year.

You see, the movie’s premise is very clear: England is now a totalitarian state; government controls everything that comes out in the media, and the citizenry live in fear of their government. So far that is not yet the case here in the Philippines today. So far. So while we actually end up sympathizing with V’s character, we won’t necessarily feel by the end of the movie the need to strap a gazillion tons of dynamite on LRT-2 and drive it straight to Malacanang. It’s a warning call, and we should all take heed.

I can understand too why the movie might turn off viewers. It is quite a talkie; worse, they discuss Really Important Ideas and Concepts. Like freedom and fear, justice and revenge, and why Natalie Portman needs to speak with an affected English accent. Actually she does a pretty decent job portraying Evey, the girl whom V rescues and ends up siding with him. She even does the Shinave O’Connor thing with her hair. Thankfully she refrained from belting out “Mandinka” or “Nothing Compares 2 U” (but tearing a photo of the Pope would fit in nicely in this movie). Where she fails though is her accent. Sometimes it’s not there. Sometimes it’s so thick I half expect her to turn around and bark a command, “Off with Jar Jar Binks’ bloody head!”

But the movie really belongs to Hugo Weaving. He came in to replace James Purefoy, the actor originally hired to play V. Yup, same here: who the f**k is James Purefoy? At least he’s got a smart agent: “James, your face won’t be seen behind the mask! The moviegoers don’t know you that well yet for you to go hiding behind a mask! Drop the project—now!” Hugo though is already a familiar face and voice, thanks to a couple of obscure trilogies called The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. His character wears a non-moving mask the whole time. When an actor is stripped of a very important acting tool—his facial expression—then the challenge is to show emotion using his remaining tools. Hugo’s performance is a triumph of voice acting and mime. I must admit his overly enunciated Mr. Smith sounded grating to my ear, but in V’s case it works. He wraps his mouth around the words and rolls them out so joyously deliberate, it’s music to hear him talk. It also helps that while his monologues are quite didactic, the Wachowski brothers have written a script that is delicious to say out loud (watch out for that long alliterating first monologue of V; you can hear the giddy joy in Hugo’s delivery).

The adaptation is quite faithful to the spirit of the graphic novel source, but there were enough significant changes for cinematic purposes that I can see why Alan Moore, the author, insisted his name be stricken off the credits. I think the Wachowski brothers and director James McTeigue managed to make an action movie with enough Big Ideas to elevate it from the usual wham-bam-thank-you-now-die-you-scumbag movie. Now, if you’re really not a big fan of Big Ideas, go watch Date Movie instead and feel your brain lose a few IQ points. But if you like your mind to be challenged—and expect all fireworks from hereon to be scored to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—then go watch this moo-V.

Quick, before PGMA and friends get wise and have it pulled out of the theaters.

Monday, March 13, 2006

40 Is The New 30

To celebrate my turning 40, I went to Bed Saturday evening, the eve of my birthday. There I bumped into Badinggerzie and Pulsar. We ended up dancing in the middle of the go-go boys. I left earlier than usual (around 3am) because I had to wake up early Sunday morning.

Sunday morning after mass I brought my mom, aunt, sister and brother to A Taste of L.A., a restaurant along Roces Avenue (near Decades and the original Max’s Fried Chicken restaurant). They’ve never been there, and I wanted them to taste their ultra thin crust pizza. It’s so thin you cannot eat them with your fingers. I ordered the hot, hot, hot sausage pizza and the three cheeses and anchovies pizza for all of us. My brother also ordered the grilled boneless chicken (another all-time favorite of mine there), my sister the prawns thermidor, my mom the smoked Bonoan bangus, and my aunt the chicharon bisaya.

Everyone loved the food. What’s more, we were the only ones in the restaurant the whole time (we got there around noon and left at half past one). My mom was wondering if the place was in danger of closing soon. I told them that business was brisker at night.

After lunch we went home to chill out and watch a new DVD I acquired. I watched Infernal Affairs before in my friend’s house; I liked it so much I asked him to buy me a copy the next time he went abroad.

Infernal Affairs is essentially about two men—a guy (Andy Lau, House of Flying Daggers) planted by the triad in the police force, and a cop (Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Hero) assigned to infiltrate the mob. The police and the triad eventually find out that the other has infiltrated them. What’s more, the mole inside the police force was promoted to internal affairs, and tasked to sniff out the infiltrator. Meanwhile his gangster boss also ordered him to sniff out the undercover cop. The thrill is in seeing the two try to get out of the situation alive. What makes this movie doubly interesting is the character study of two people leading false lives who find themselves conflicted between obeying their bosses and their growing camaraderie and importance in the organization they’re working in. The only false step in this ultra tight, finely tuned script is the “romance” between Tony Leung’s character and a police psychiatrist. This action thriller is scheduled to be remade by Martin Scorcese, so you have an idea what kind of a movie this is.

I liked the fact that my mom actually sat through the whole thing and followed all the twists and turns of the movie. In fact the only time she was puzzled was in one twist at the end. “Why did he do that?” she exclaimed out loud. I had to hit “pause” and explain, but otherwise she appeared to have enjoyed watching this subtitled movie.

What is a puzzler is the cover for the international version of the DVD. It features a sexy woman holding a gun, when there was no such character in the movie. In fact, the only women in the movie are Andy’s wife (a writer, so she shoots words not bullets) and Tony’s psychiatrist (while she’s a cop, she is never seen with a gun). What, they think sex and violence will sell this movie?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Greet Me!

They say it’s your birthday!
It’s my birthday too, yeah!
They say it’s your birthday!
We’re gonna have a good time!
I’m glad it’s your birthday!
Happy birthday to you!

– The Beatles, “Birthday”

Friday, March 10, 2006

Warning Sign

A sign taped to a metal door leading to one of our studios:

This door is
(Only during emergencies.)
I can imagine Mr. Door, his eyes wide open in fear, going: “Aaaaa! Don’t open me! Don’t you dare open me! Only during emergencies!”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


When I Googled my name (got the idea from another blog), I came across a blog entry from a former officemate of mine from the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Her blog entry dated 15 Oct. 2004 talked about her joining our department around 1991:

“We were welcomed into the fold of what was then known as the Coordinating Center for Dramatic Arts by Joel… (she goes on to name the rest of the group).

Joel was the calm one, patiently teaching us how to survive the maze that is the CCP. A man whose brain I will always admire, I was greatly saddened when he had to resign from the CCP before the festival kicked off. This man has been there physically for every festival – supporting us by watching shows.”

There’s something heartening and patently unnerving about reading how other people see you—especially people whom you weren’t really that close to (she was a co-worker for several months before I resigned and moved to AM radio). On the one hand it’s flattering. On the other you ask, “Is that it?” and wish for more.

I guess I should just be thankful I made enough of an impact on her that she wrote about me in her blog.

O Zsa!

I caught the last show of “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, Ze Musical” last Sunday at the CCP. The transition from comic page to stage hasn’t exactly been as flawless as ZsaZsa’s baby-smooth skin.

For me the biggest flaw in the musical was the undue prominence of what really is a support character—Didi, Ada’s friend. In the comic book Didi was clearly the sidekick character; sure he had some of the funniest lines, but he was often drawn on one side of the frame. Onstage Didi (played hilariously by new Benadryl AH endorser Ricci Chan) steals the whole musical hook, line and singer. I understand that Didi’s own story arch has its points to make, but there’s something discomforting about watching a musical wherein the titular characters (let’s include ZsaZsa’s alter-ego, Ada) are purposely upstaged by a secondary one. I felt like I was watching “Ada, Didi at ZsaZsa, Ze Musical”.

The musical goes all out with the camp and the fun; it also remains too faithful to the book. By the end of part one, it was close to becoming tiring actually. Thank goodness for the witty re-imagining of the Amazonistas’ formation-transformation; it gave me something new to watch in part two. Instead of the hilarious send-up of Japanese robot anime, the creators played around with the Amazonistas’ pop star alter-egos. It’s a great example of a successful adaptation from one medium to another.

The box-office success of the musical bodes well for a second run, maybe at a bigger venue. Rein in Didi, trim the first part for faster pacing, tell Wilma Doesnt that breaking the fourth wall the whole time isn’t funny, and it’ll be a sleeker, snazzier ZsaZsa. Fly, Zaturnnah, fly!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar Crash

Whaaat? Crash is best picture? It was true as pundits predicted—the last minute surge for that movie helped. The Hollywood community, being mostly Californians, would really relate to that Los Angeles-based film. More importantly, the buzz around Brokeback Mountain had peaked and was already tired. In fact, get ready for the next period called Backlash Mountain. (Shit, there’s a Regal Films parody somewhere in that title there.)

The list:

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
George Clooney

Achievement in Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Nick Park and Steve Box

Best Live Action Short Film
Martin McDonagh

Best Animated Short Film
John Canemaker and Peggy Stern

Achievement in Costume Design
Colleen Atwood

Achievement in Makeup
Howard Berger and Tami Lane

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Rachel Weisz

Best Documentary Short Subject
Corinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson

Best Documentary Feature
Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau

Achievement in Art Direction
John Myhre (Art Direction); Gretchen Rau (Set Decoration)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Gustavo Santaolalla

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
Music and Lyric by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard

Achievement in Sound Editing
Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
South Africa

Achievement in Film Editing
Hughes Winborne

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Philip Seymour Hoffman

Achievement in Cinematography
Dion Beebe

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Reese Witherspoon

Adapted Screenplay
Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana

Original Screenplay
Screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco; Story by Paul Haggis

Achievement in Directing
Ang Lee

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Soundtrack Of Your Life

Do you remember the tunes of your life? Who among you remember the following songs?

Boogie Nights, Heatwave
Disco Duck, Rick Dees
Dis-gorilla, Rick Dees
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Rod Stewart
You’re In My Heart, Rod Stewart
Turn To Stone, Electric Light Orchestra
Don’t Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra
Y.M.C.A., The Village People

Xanadu, Electric Light Orchestra
Rico Mambo, The Breakfast Club
Body Dancer, Magic Fire
Six Two Eight, Europe
Never Mind, Colors
The Promise, When In Rome
Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division
Bizarre Love Triangle, New Order
Legal Tender, B-52s
Rock Lobster, B-52s
My Sharona, The Knack

100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
Boom Shak-a-lak, Apache Indian
Oh Carolina, Shaggy
Tennessee, Arrested Development
Informer, Snow
Ice, Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice
Are You Gonna Go My Way?, Lenny Kravitz
Shoop, Salt ‘n Pepa
Step It Up, Stereo MCs
Love Shack, B-52s
Sweet Soul Revue, Pizzicato Five
Macarena, Los del Rio
Love Fool, The Cardigans
No Diggity, Blackstreet

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Official Rustom Statement

Rustom has finally come out on national TV. Tonight “Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition” aired the tearful confession in full. He was very aware of what he was doing the whole time.

What seemingly triggered this national revelation was a curious incident involving a huge butterfly, a mariposa, fluttering around while he and Keanna were bonding outside by the duyan. According to folk belief, the mariposa is considered a manifestation of the spirit of a dearly departed one. The butterfly first landed on Rustom’s right foot, then crawled up his leg, then on to his right hand (which was resting on his right knee), and stayed for a few seconds before fluttering off, gently brushing Rustom’s face in the process. He was visibly touched by the whole thing, muttering, “Kinikilabutan ako” while the butterfly was crawling up his leg. When it flew off, he whispered after it, “Thank you, thank you.”

Then he launched into his story: when he was around 3 or 4 years old, he and his brothers were playing and for some reason they dressed him up in women’s clothes. His father arrived unexpectedly and saw him. He stripped Rustom and started belting him repeatedly, shouting “Bakla!” over and over. After the beating his mother came downstairs, but instead of comforting her son she screamed at him to stop crying.

And then Keanna brought Rustom’s story to a grinding halt by excusing herself to pee—in the bushes.

Rustom admitted he was very confused even when he was married to Carmina (though he clarified that he really loved her). After the marriage failed, he went to the U.S. where he realized that being gay doesn’t mean he has to dress like a girl, walk with a swish, talk with a lisp, or wear make-up.

Yes, he said the “gay” word. Yes, he actually said, “I am gay.” He knew the whole nation will hear his revelation, but he pushed through with it anyway because, as he said, “Hindi naman ako masamang tao” before breaking down in tears.

If his coming out is just a ploy to make sure he stays in the PBB house (he’s one of the three nominated for eviction this weekend), it really worked. But that’s just the conspiracy theorist in me talking.

The PBBCE staff speculates that Rustom must have felt the mariposa was his (now) late father’s spirit visiting him. Interestingly, the word mariposa, which is Spanish for “butterfly,” is also a Spanish profanity for “faggot” or a male prostitute.

Alright Mariah, it’s your cue to sing.

(cut to Mariah, singing)

Spread your wings and prepare to fly,
for you to become a butterfly….

The Official McStatement

As of today I’ve submitted my letter of resignation. Within the month I’ll be moving back to an advertising agency. Yup, it’s back to agency life for me.

In all of my prior jobs, the first question I always ask myself is: Do I like the job being offered? A related question is: Do I like the company I’m moving to? but this only matters if I’ve been hearing negative things about the company (that still didn’t prevent me from joining my present company despite the warnings I heard from people). Usually one only gets to know the good and the bad of a company when one’s inside.

The question of compensation was never really topmost in my mind because I’m a single faggot, and single faggots often just spend mostly for themselves. I’ve always believed in the saying, Do what you want, and the money will follow. But that was when both my parents were still working. Today my dad’s dead, my mom’s retired, my retired aunt is living with us, and my youngest brother is in between jobs for the longest time. My younger sister recently got a teaching job, but for the longest time she wasn’t earning while she was taking her masters. My younger brother recently got married and now has a baby daughter, but even with him and his wife both working, he still approaches my mom to ask for 20 thousand pesos. My mom’s retirement savings is dwindling steadily. My sister gets mad at her whenever she gives my brother money, but what mother can resist a child in need? And she doesn’t even expect him to pay her back. So now I know what it feels like to raise a family.

Now I’m torturing myself by asking, “Am I in this because of the money?” One the one hand: yeah, of course. On the other hand, I am excited with the job being offered to me. It’s something familiar yet different for me. Plus it’s a change. I’m turning 40 this month, and maybe a big change is about time.

Opportunities have always knocked on my door instead of me doing the knocking. I’m not getting any younger. As William Shakespeare said in his play “Julius Caesar”:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

My dear Olive, while you’ll be joining a new family, I’ll be moving to another family. It’s actually a good family. So let us wish each other well.

TA Background History of Pizzicato Five’s “Sweet Soul Revue”

One of TA’s all-time party tunes is “Sweet Soul Revue” by Pizzicato Five. Released back in 1993, this song has survived batches and remains popular more than a decade later. What makes this song a TA party tradition is the way it has evolved into a particular “dance number” and the sung-out-loud lyrics of “Ola! Sambahin si Satanas!”

But how did it all start?

It officially began at the birthday party of Faye Roxas in Cubao back in 1995. Even before that fateful party, Akong Bongcaras had wondered out loud, in his inimitable Akong way, what the lyrics of the song meant. “Sayaw tayo ng sayaw sa kantang ‘to, pero baka malay natin Satanic pala yung kanta! Malay natin, ang ibig sabihin pala ng chorus eh, ‘Sambahin si Satanas!’” he mused (or words to that effect). It became a running gag during parties.

When the song was played during Faye’s party, Akong, Ron and a few others started singing out loud “Ola! Sambahin si Satanas!” during the chorus. Pretty soon the whole TA group was shouting along during the chorus, much to the consternation of Faye and—we assumed—her parents. That was the last time TA ever had a party at Faye’s house.

It was also during that party that the “1-2-3-4!” strike-a-pose tradition was born. 3 minutes and 53 seconds into the song, the singer goes, “1-2-3-4!” I have no idea what possessed who, but someone thought of striking a pose for each number. When more people joined in, it evolved into a group effort. Originally the people formed four groups; each group had 3 minutes and 52 seconds to decide what pose to strike. After “4” everyone whooped and continued their dancing. Back then there also were cries of, “Again! Again!” even before the song was finished. So the DJ would scan the CD back, and the group would repeat the whole process. Usually there were three to four repetitions until people got tired and moved on.

Last Feb. 25 the group changed the tradition by dividing into three groups, and by “4” everyone jumped up at the same time. Personally I don’t mind this variation on a TA canon, since theater is really all about build-and-destroy.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?