Top Ten Book Signing

After over 10 years of listening to Chico & Delamar, I finally found the opportunity to see them in person. I’ve been a silent rusher for a long time; but I wouldn’t dare miss the book signing for The Best of Chico & Delamar’s The Morning Rush Top 10. I’ve enjoyed the book, now I need to get it signed!

It was held at Robinson’s Galleria; and a LOT of people came out to have their copies signed by Chico & Delamar. I arrived a little before 12nn. I passed by the activity center to buy 2 more copies of the book (for my sister), then had lunch. By the time I finished, people have already fallen in line for registration. The crowd just got bigger and bigger from there.

the line for registration
a glimpse of the huge crowd that gathered to get their books signed

The program before the signing started was short but sweet. Chico & Delamar read excerpts from the book, Chico did his “call center guy” and “Jackie Tiyanak” impressions; then they shared the stage briefly with DJs Cerah and Gino.

Afterwards, it was down to business. Chico & Delamar started signing books! I was number 135. I didn’t mind the wait. The encounter and the signing all went by so fast; but I’m glad I went.  Also, even though the venue was pretty far from my house, the trip was worth it. Thanks Chico & Delamar! Here’s to more books and a lot more listeners.

got my book signed! got my picture taken! mission accomplished.

If you missed your chance this time, Chico & Delamar will have another book signing next week, February 4, 2012 at National Bookstore Trinoma. Registration starts at 11am. Signing starts at 12nn.

And if you haven’t bought the book, I highly encourage that you do. It’s super sulit. It’s funny and entertaining… definitely a great read!

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Shooting in 3D: Part Two

It’s been a long time since I shared a behind the scenes look at one of my previous projects; so I decided to add another entry to my series on the Ariel 3D Deep Clean shoot we did last year.

This project was both a challenge and a lot of fun. All the concepts and the discipline were new to me; but we were so excited to do it that we didn’t mind starting from scratch. At the end of the day, it allowed me to experience what shooting in 3D is like… something not a lot of production people in the Philippines have encountered.

The basic thing you have to know about 3D filming is its utilization of two cameras at the same time. These two cameras are rigged or positioned in such a way that there’s only slight gap between what they’re shooting. These two images are superimposed over each other, thus the double image we see onscreen without the 3D glasses.

the cameras on the 3D filmmaking rig
a sample 3D anaglyph picture: see the doubling image?
another sample of a 3D camera (this one is for still images): see the two lenses?

It’s not just a matter of shooting the images side by side, it’s also important to get the distance between the two images right. This gets a bit scientific and mathematical; so I won’t discuss it here. I don’t get it that much, either, to be honest. We leave that to the stereographers who know the ins and outs of 3D filming.

In order to finish the entire board, we had to shoot for 3 days. This was mainly because of the time it takes to go from one set-up to another. Every shot has to be carefully measured: the distance of the elements from the camera, the distance between the two cameras, the merging point, etc. This gets a bit tedious especially for first-timers like us. Still, everything came together; and we got to finish the job.

Byahe Na!

I now officially have three trips planned for this year… all of them with different companions… all of them in different places. I can’t believe it’s only January yet I have committed to THREE separate vacations. It might get expensive; but I know they’ll be worth it. There’s so much to look forward to this year. I’m loving it!

February: SINGAPORE

I’ve been mulling this over since last year; but an opportunity presented itself last night and I booked tickets to Singapore. I’ve been there last year (for The Lion King); but I’m coming back for one purpose and one purpose only: to watch Wicked!

Ever since I heard that the popular Broadway musical is making its way to the Marina Bay Sands, I’ve been dying to go back to this “fine” city before the show ends in April. I’ve contemplated flying back just to see the show and what do you know, it came true! A friend who is as interested in theater as I am wanted to go; so we waited for some fair-priced plane tickets. Thankfully, I felt like checking flights last night at JetStar. We’re now booked. I’m going there next week! I can’t wait to see the show and witness the magic for myself.

March: MISIBIS BAY

This was the first trip I booked for the year. I’ve known of Misibis Bay since it became a pit stop for Amazing Race Asia. My sister-in-law invited us to join when she purchased a good vacation package via DealGrocer. Follow it up with a seat sale on Air Philippines; and we’re on our way!

I don’t yet know what exactly we’ll do there; but I’m hoping to do some whale shark interaction on the side… or maybe go on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) trip. What I’m looking forward to the most is the resort itself, which looks so beautiful and luxurious. I can’t wait to sit back, relax and take all the nature in.

September: BOHOL

I’ve been wanting to go to Bohol for the longest time. It’s one of those must-see places in the Philippines. Thanks to a Piso Fare Sale at Cebu Pacific, my friends and I are booked and raring to go!

I will finally see the Chocolate Hills, the tarsier, and the beautiful beaches of Bohol. It’s still a little far off to plan anything concrete; but I’m looking forward to enjoying this trip!

I plan to write about my trips and post some good pictures. This is shaping up to be a great year! I highly encourage you to do the same and plan some trips of your own. You can never go wrong with traveling and seeing the world.

25 Shows: Lost

Show 14 of 25: LOST
(2004-2010)

it’s about:
A plane crash. A group of survivors. A mysterious island.

Lost is a groundbreaking series that everyone’s been trying to recreate, in the process making a TV god out of creator J.J. Abrams. *bows down in worship*

my earliest history with the show:
Even before it premiered, this show has been getting a lot of attention because of its outstanding pilot. I was on board that very first episode until the “fan polarizing” finale.

why it sticks:
Despite the controversial end to the series, I’m very happy to have watched Lost. I never felt as if I wasted six seasons the way other fans did. This show is and will forever be the standard to which all other series will try and measure up to when it comes to storytelling. To me, this is a brilliant show. Period.

It took a commonly used “tragic” story (plane crash) and ran with it until the show became one of the most complicated series the world of television has ever seen. Most importantly, it did so by executing everything differently. The show played with the concept of time and space. It played with the usual “beginning, middle and end” type of storytelling… jumping from one point in history to another. The number of twists and turns throughout its six-year run is so mind-boggling that people either hated it or thrived in it. I thrived in it… even preferring season-long marathons just so I get caught up quickly and effectively.

The mysteries that piled up made me come back hoping to get some answers; but at its core, it’s the character stories that drew me into the world of Lost. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke… Everyone had their own past, present and future. They had struggles, inner conflicts and private demons. It’s these characters and their relationships that made me love the show. They are all flawed human beings; but somehow, you still watch them and want to know that they’ll be okay at the end. The Island and its many secrets served as the backdrop to the personal connections between all the characters and its importance at the end of it all, which is death.

I will never forget this series. Lost is a rare show that might just have started their own category in television — Ultra-serialized (Is that even a valid term?) storytelling driven by countless mysteries and a significant suspension of reality. It’s hard to explain, yet even harder not to be impressed by. Ambitious. Unique. Special.

best memory:
The show definitely turned its head for me by the end of the third season. It took the term “game-changer” and just threw it in our faces. I was stunned when I watched this; because it didn’t make sense. But after a few seconds, I was like “WTF!” This is one of the best moments of television I’ve ever witnessed. *SPOILER ALERT*

And if you’ve watched Lost from beginning to end and still don’t get it, here’s a GREAT explanation.

25 Shows: The Little Lulu Show

Show 13 of 25: THE LITTLE LULU SHOW
(1995-1999)

it’s about:
Lulu Moppett is like any other kid who gets into a little mischief every now and then with her band of friends. She may get into trouble with her antics; but she always has the best of intentions tackling any situation.

my earliest history with the show:
It was on Cartoon Network back when they had decent series in the roster. This is another show I loved watching when I was a kid. It starts right when I get home from school. After a tiring day, I turn the TV on, sit back, and relax. It was a routine I stuck with well into early high school. I loved it.

why it sticks:
The Little Lulu Show is one of those cartoons that is not too “young” and not too “adult.” Through the stories, it is remarkable how the writers were able to strike that perfect balance. Proof? My sister, who is 6 years older than me, loves this show as well.

Aside from Lulu herself, every other character has a personality that sticks with you. The naughtiness and hilarity that ensues keep you entertained well into the very end. The humor is witty, the stories simple yet funny. One can’t help but relate to Lulu because her perspective on childhood really holds true; and everyone has gone through being a kid, right?

Anyway, this statement might make me seem ancient; but they don’t do cartoons like this nowadays. Almost everything is represented in a heightened reality. I miss the good old fashioned animation. *now I do feel old*

best memory:
Some of the biggest laughs I got from this show are from the stand-up the title character does before or after every segment. Here’s an example:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KUeOFHEmJU]

And it’s great someone was able to post it, here’s one episode of the show that I still remember to this very day:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujwV9WSVKVc]

the IT list #6

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #6
My first “IT list” for 2012. So let’s get on it, shall we?

#ONE
I’ve nearly forgotten my account on this site; but it was only in the past few days that I’ve discovered how awesome Pinterest is! This is a quickly growing social networking site, with new users joining everyday. What makes this site different is it simply arranges all your favorite things in a corkboard-like fashion. All you have to do is “pin” them there. Other than the usual favorite shows, artists, movies, books, etc, you can discover great styles, delicious recipes, insightful quotes and helpful how-to’s from all users. If you like what you see, just “pin” and “repin” away. It’s a great, fuss-free way to showcase everything you like and share it with the world.

Feel free to follow me at pinterest.com/mars_mg


#TWO
I’ve traveled to a number of places here in the country; and while I haven’t had the opportunity to go around the world (only been to 3 countries abroad), I do believe the slogan holds true. Despite the controversy surrounding the “originality” of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” (Personally, I don’t really care… It’s a non-issue.) we’re all seeing how much the Internet community has embraced the campaign in a plethora of ways: serious, funny, witty, sarcastic… All very effective. All very Pinoy (Filipino).

While inspiration hasn’t hit me much to come up with my own, I’m really amused with everything that’s being shared online. Here are some sources to see what everyone else have been posting: Spot.ph 1 | Spot.ph 2 | Roland Benzon | It’s More Fun in the Philippines (Official)


#THREE
I recently put up a new site made of content exclusively created and edited from my iPhone. This app helps make over 90% of it possible. I use it almost everyday. Snapseed is absolutely amazing. It’s one of the best complements to the beautiful camera of the iPhone 4S. It allows me to go beyond just “tweaking” photos. It lets me create great photographs from so-so snapshots. From cropping to color correction, from vintage to dramatic styles, this app makes me one snap happy iPhone owner.


#FOUR
I recently had a Homeland marathon. This show made it to a number of “Top 10 TV Shows” lists, and I would have to agree.

I was only able to watch the first four episodes back in 2011; but it was just last week that I went ahead and finished the first season. What a great show. The story is compelling. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, guessing who’s telling the truth and who’s on which side. The story answers enough questions as it goes along; but it never fails to give you new ones to keep you thinking and coming back for more. Best of all, the acting is superb. Damien Lewis, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin are impressive in their roles; and I’m hoping they get recognized in the upcoming awards season. Definitely one of my favorite new shows.


#FIVE
(aka The Morning Rush Top 10 Book) I’ve been listening to the dynamic duo of Chico & Delamar since I was in grade school. I followed them whichever station they went to. That’s almost fifteen years of being a fan, though I’m more of a silent Rusher. The Morning Rush Top 10 has been a part of their radio show for a number of those years; and I’ve listened to A LOT of them (most especially lately… in large part due to the podcasts).

When I heard that the book had finally come out, I grabbed a copy that first weekend of release. I devoured it in less than a day. I still reread my favorite parts every now and then. Anyway, I LOVE this book. The funny, witty contributions of the loyal Rushers really shine through. I love the humor. I love the topics. I appreciate the thought that went into this compilation. And it’s only Php175.00! It’s simply one of those wonderful things that you could just grab for a couple of minutes if you need a quick laugh. Highly recommended. Worth every peso.

[Bonus link: Chico & Delamar’s Spot.ph Interview]

Schmidt vs. The Hills

Here’s a little something that brightened up my morning. I can’t believe I’m just seeing this now. Schmidt is the d-bag we love on New Girl; and here’s  an even bigger proof why he’s such a you-know-what.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkf5SSdfQYA]

And here’s the video he was inspired by… brilliant.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4z1pF0vxGw]

And here’s the interview where I found out about it.

What a way to kickstart my morning!