Thoughts on A Long Weekend

I rarely go out of town for long weekends; but this recent one had 4 days. Wonderful. It was a good opportunity to do some bonding.

I spent the past few days in Magalawa Island, Zambales and Subic, Olongapo. It was a fairly rainy and gloomy holiday… never ideal. Still, it was good and enjoyable overall. I won’t exactly chronicle the past 3 days I spent with some co-workers.  Much of what we did, said and shared shouldn’t be broadcast in any way… ever. Still, I have some quick thoughts to share:

  • Your experience does not lie on where you spend your holidays. It’s in the company you’re with.
  • A cold, dark, rainy night is just as good as a quiet night when it comes to sharing stories and exchanging ideas.
  • Roughing it definitely has its ups and downs; but focus on enjoying it. It all depends on your outlook and attitude. Just be “game” on taking on anything and everything. Whether pleasant or not… In the end, you may simply chalk it up to additional life experience.
  • Never pass up a good photo op if the view is absolutely gorgeous and cinematic. Even if it’s raining! Just SMILE.
  • Sleep should be the least of your priorities. You can catch up on that when you get home. Soak up on the surroundings and the ambience. Share as much stories and jokes as you can. Make the most of it; because when you get back, it’s impossible to find time and do such things.
  • Document. Document. Document. Whether good or bad, reviewing any sort of experience frame by frame on your camera is a LOT of fun. BUT, make sure to keep the experiences you shared private if necessary. Certain things are better kept among friends.

A lot more thoughts are going through my head; but this is enough sharing for my “wholesome” blog. *laughter in my head*

That’s basically it. Anyway, I hope YOU had a good long weekend. Back to work!

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Veronica Mars is Smarter Than Me

“the quarter-life crisis revolves around the parent — the sinking feeling that a certain path might lead to what you don’t want to become or, on the other hand, what you want to become.”
– Raymond Ang, “Reality bites, so bite back”

This guy hit the nail on the head.

I read the article in The Philippine Star a little while ago. It caught my eye because of the name Veronica Mars, a character in a show I love so dearly. It started with a reference to her thoughts on Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man,” which is simply, “Life’s a bitch until you die.” This coming from a teenager… a teenager on television, of course… but a teenager, nonetheless. It may be cynical. It may be “dark.” But at its core, I believe it’s true.

I’m saying this after my optimistic little birthday entry. Go figure.

His piece then goes on about our generation’s fixation on the quarter-life crisis and how it may have been a result of technology and the vast number of ways we can pursue an endeavor. It can get pretty confusing. Personally, I’ve chosen one path since graduating, but I’m still not sure how long I could and would stay on this career track. I love doing a number of things; and I know that I’ve held back on certain interests in pursuit of getting ahead with this job. This is where the line I’ve quoted above is spot on.

I’ve asked myself a number of times if I’m on the right track. Is this turning me into what I want to become in life? I sometimes love what I do. I sometimes hate what I do. Does this mean I should get up and leave or should I stick with it? Should I be doing more? Question after question after question. It sucks thinking these things. And I never feel good as I’m running down every single one. This is the quarter-life crisis we’re all talking about.

How do I deal? Simple. I do my best to ignore these questions and just live my life. I may go back to them from time to time… pondering… wondering… But at the end of the day, I’m living with my decisions. Whatever may come of it, bring it on. Get past the bad stuff to get to the good stuff. If I think I’m missing out on some things because of the course that I’ve taken, I just suck it up and move on. After all, if I try to take on too many things, I might kill myself sooner… then I won’t enjoy this bitch of a life longer.

Awkward and Loving It

Six episodes in… I can now honestly say that Awkward is my new favorite show.

The show is about social outcast Jenna Hamilton and her trials and tribulations being a teenage girl.

Jenna starts off her story with how she lost her virginity to her long-time crush Matty. After doing the deed, he tells her nobody can know he likes her. To make things worse, she receives a letter that basically highlights how no one would even notice if she fell off the face of the earth. Contemplating on the contents of the letter, she then falls into an accident that was misconstrued as a suicide attempt by her parents. Word spread on what happened; and after being invisible most of her high school life, she starts being noticed by all the students at her school. Letter in hand, she turns it into a guide to living her life. She starts to break out of her shell… the invisible girl is now in everyone’s radar: guidance counselors, peers, popular boys and rich queen bees.

The script is smartly written; and the lead is brilliantly played by Ashley Rickards. There’s teen angst; but it’s not over the top. There are colorful characters, such as her friend Tamara and guidance counselor Valerie; but they’re very likable. There’s a lot of laughs; but it’s grounded with heart and charm.

It’s one of the rare times when MTV successfully churns out a product that is simple and clever. The series gets better and more interesting with each episode. I know the show already got picked up for a second season; so I can’t wait to see what else happens.

“DOTS”

In my entire history of working in production (over four years), this project was the shortest shoot I’ve ever done. And I’ll never forget it.

It was a studio shoot entirely done against chroma. We didn’t even paint the set, only chroma cloth was used. Why? Because all we had to do was shoot different people in different costumes talking on the phone. It’s one of those rare storyboards that kept things simple for production. I’m so thankful to have encountered such a project.

It’s directed by Joey Agbayani, with director of photography Dindo Martinez. Production house: Straight Shooters Media, Inc. Post house: Optima Digital.

Hours of work? 6am call time, 1pm pack-up. Dream come true.

The Kids Are All Right

Since a Pinoy Edition is on its way, I recently sank my teeth into one of the more popular incarnations of the Masterchef series: Junior Masterchef Australia.

I finished season one just now… I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Now I understand all the fuss surrounding this reality show franchise.

The fact that these are just kids I’m watching constantly astonished me. With the level of difficulty and complexity in which they’re cooking, these 8 to 12 year olds held their own and proved that age is just a number; and literally anyone can cook.

Watching these young people cook, I also see how much better they are than adults on certain levels. One, they are able to focus. Compared to the contestants on Top Chef, the cheflings in Junior Masterchef Australia are mostly cool, calm and collected. They rarely get rattled as they cook; and that usually results in fantastic looking dishes that the judges love. Two, there’s a good mix of friendship and healthy competition going on. No one gets caught up in scheming, or comparing themselves to each other. No one blows their top over the littlest things. These kids show us a thing or two about sportsmanship, mutual respect and moral support towards competitors. Their team challenges are a refreshing thing to watch. There’s no bickering. There’s hardly any screaming. The competitors just stick to the task at hand. Three, at the end of the day, it’s all about being there to do what you love. These kids are simply thrilled to be cooking in the Masterchef Kitchen, meeting celebrity chefs and cooking amazing food. They just have fun; and that’s what matters. Getting that far into the competition is a big enough deal, winning the whole thing would just be icing on the cake.

I honestly can’t wait to see what ABS-CBN will offer in the Pinoy Edition. From what I’m seeing, the set looks great and the kids have got plenty of potential… The line up of judges looks good as well.

Here’s a sneak peek… Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition premieres August 27, Saturday, 6:45pm on ABS-CBN.

25 Shows: Meteor Garden

Show 4 of 25: METEOR GARDEN
(2001)

it’s about:
Four guys and one strong girl. Shan Cai is a poor student studying in a prestigious school ruled by F4, a group of the most popular, richest and most handsome young men in the university. Shan Cai caught their attention, and not in a good way, when she defended a friend against the group. She was terrorized and bullied; but her persistence and strength persevered… In the process gaining the respect of F4 and falling in love with Dao Ming Si, the group’s leader.

my earliest history with the show:
Fourth year high school courtesy of the girl sitting near me in class… I got curious about Meteor Garden when I saw her DVD collection. She lent me the first DVD over the weekend. I breezed through that one in no time. I begged for the rest of the episodes come Monday; and finished all 19 episodes soon after. As a bonus, my whole family got hooked as well.

why it sticks:
This is the first Asian series I’ve ever watched; and the fact that I viewed it from beginning to end in full Mandarin made me very proud of myself.

The story itself is very memorable. It is based from the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango; but the show took some liberties on the execution and treatment. There’s a good mix of romance, comedy and drama in this series. I found myself laughing one minute and crying my eyes out in the next. I loved it. It’s the sort of emotional roller coaster that gets me attached to a show. Not much can be said about the acting; but the story propels everything forward. Also, it may get cheesy in some parts; but I need some cheese every now and then.

Also, when the series became a phenomenon here in the country, it jumpstarted the Asianovela invasion. It’s a great feeling when you witness something like this crossing bridges and penetrating local pop culture. The world indeed becomes smaller.

best memory:
Key scenes come to mind when recalling this series: the kidnapping scene, when Shan Cai jumped in front of Dao Ming Si as he was about to be hit with a chair… the finale scene where only a door separates Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si… the countless kissing scenes (kilig!). The list just goes on and on.

It’s definitely a show that made its mark in my young adult life; and I will never forget it… ever.

Chick Flicks

I haven’t bought any sort of movie guide in the past; but this particular book caught my eye.

And at Php255, with an additional 20% off, I grabbed it.

I bought this book as a self-confessed fan of chick flicks. This is a genre mostly scoffed at by the typical film junkie. However, it’s an important category to look at; because 50% of the population (women) love it. Lately, we’ve been getting a bunch of chick flicks that are, to put it bluntly, horrible. But there’s that rare moment when one or two movies stand out and make a mark… A recent one that comes to mind is Crazy, Stupid, Love.

This book was published in 2004… a long time ago; but I probably would’ve encountered any chick flick after that year. Flipping through the pages, I can already tell it’s extensive. I see titles of my all-time favorites, some movies that I hated, flicks that I intentionally avoided, some that I’ve been wanting to watch as well as some old movies that I haven’t heard of before. What’s great is that it doesn’t limit itself to romantic comedies. After all, any movie… whether it be a period movie, fantasy, sci-fi… has the potential to be a chick flick.

It’s the ultimate movie guide for someone like me. Of course, I’m not planning on watching each and every one. It’s just something that might come in handy on that rare night or two when I feel like crying, laughing or just falling in love on my bed in front of the television.