Sunday, January 30, 2005

How Many in Your Friendster Friends List are REALLY Your Friends?

Okay, thought to ponder on: don't you just hate it that eventhough you have "friends" in your "friends list", you feel like you don't have "friends" at all? Although there is an irony about MySpace and Friendster on this premise, I also believe that it does follow the lines of reality. I mean, come to think of it. You want to have friends and just like in real life, you look for them. In Friendster and MySpace, we "browse". If we find someone we like, we invite them to be our friends--just like in real life. Some will reject or just ignore our invitation (those who don't want us to be friends or those who just have no guts to be frank) and some will accept our invitation. But just like in real life, there are those who accepted our invitation para lang mukhang dumami ang friends or it’s just embarrassing to reject the invitation. So, some of those friends just become acquaintances. But there are those who really become your friends or ARE already your friends in the truest sense. This is what matters. My point? Just let it be if you have acquaintances who don't even bother to send a message and are content to be a numerical addition to their friends list. Just bear in mind that the important thing is out of the hundreds of friends in your "friends list" (in fairness, I see some accounts with 500 friends), you have a number of those whom you can really call friends--those who will be there to lend their support and really give you a true, kick-ass testimonial because they know you from head to toe, surface to soul, or better yet, because you have touched their lives in one way or another—not just a lame, moosehead, mindless one-liner like “You're hot!”.or "Hello! Add me." (What the hell is that?)

Now, I challenge you. How many in your list are acquaintances, just friends, and real friends? For some reason, some people automatically proclaim themselves as winners of the MR. AND MS. FRIENDSHIP AWARDS just because they have hundreds of “friends” in their friends list. I suggest a thorough reality check.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Losing Charlie, Finding Julia

My dog Julia. She's the other love of my life.

I decided to make an article in honor of the other love of my life, Julia. She’s my ever-loyal, affectionate, and loving dog. She’s one-third Spitz, one-third Askal, and one-third human. Yes. I would like to think she’s a human because she expresses emotions the way we do. I can talk to her and believe me when I say that she answers back. Oh yes, my dear fans. She DOES answer back. She smiles at me, tells me that she loves and/or misses me, and if she’s mad or is making “tampo” to me, believe me…she makes sure that I know what she feels. Not only does she provide companionship and love to all of us but she becomes my shield from pressure of being single! Hahahaha! Yes, my dear fellow single, thirty-something quirkyalones. My advice is you give your pets human names so that your parents would feel like they have grandchildren. (Mom shouting at my dog: Julia! Ano ka ba? Labas ka nang labas baka masagasaan ka dyan! Pumasok ka sa bahay!) O di ba? Hahahaha!

Why the sudden urge to write about Julia? I was rummaging through my Dear God journal and I found this section of an entry:

October 29, 2002
11:55 p.m.

…Charlie’s presence has really made a difference in the atmosphere here at home. I’m gonna make an article about the importance of family in the eyes of a lost dog who has found his way home….

Charlie was our dog who got lost and found his way home. Although when we transferred to our new house in Pacita II, someone took him and we lost him again. But finding Julia brought us new joy—a different one maybe because she’s a girl (so gender-insensitive. Hahaha!). Well, almost three years passed and I would like to live up to that commitment. In homage to the love and loyalty of Charlie and Julia, here it is.

Losing Charlie

Oliver Twist(ed) and Fabulous

On that cold night of April 15, 1979, nature decided to work wonders by producing another life. Two human beings who are deeply in love with each other decided to express their love for each other by engaging in rapturous love-making—sweaty bodies rubbing against each other, breathing heavily as both rhythmically dance to the music of each other’s love and as their dance build up in a manic crescendo, their bodies spasmodically twitch and jerk and they cap their ecstasy by letting out a moan of satisfaction. Not only have were they joyous in their physical expression of love, unbeknownst to them they have produced life. Nine months after, a bouncing baby boy was born. His name: Oliver Ofiana y Santiago. All I can say is…..eeeewww!!!! I wanted a novel way to open this tribute of my dear friend on his birthday but I guess saying that I went overboard is the greatest understatement of my life! (I will never be able to look at Tito Oca and Tita Yoly the same way again. Eew, eew, eew! Failed attempt to control-alt-delete mental image! Hwaaa!) What’s done is done.

First Meeting (Let’s Play, “What’s the First Thing that Popped in My Mind?”)

If there is one thing that sticks out in my memory of meeting Oliver for the first time, it’s what popped in my mind with matching cloud callout ha: “Sixth member of the Backstreet Boys?” Hahahaha! The image of this towering almost-6-footer in cargo shorts, shirt, fisherman’s vest, rubber shoes, with matching huge headphones that reminded me of the movie “Pushing Tin” (as in ganun kalaki ang headphones). And just like seeing the Backstreet Boys for the first time, the first thing that came in my mind was the question: “He’s so stylish. Is he gay?” Hahahaha! Then he spoke in a deep, well-modulated voice and I squinted my eyes thinking: “Hmm….still ambivalent.” Hahahaha! Then came the famous movie trivia of which I found my match. (thinking cloud callout pops out: Gaydar’s now officially given a nudge from ambivalent to potentially gay. Hahaha!). When Oliver left, I knew we will be very good friends from then on.

Oliver Twist(ed)

Why twisted? Oh…my…God! He is twisted in two ways. First, he’s the only living replacement to Rex Navarette. Oliver’s wit is unbelievable and that’s one thing that I really miss about him. The spectrum of comedy that we cover ranges from jologs to Robin Williams-esque. Kaya lang he’s still guilty of the “3rd-Joke Syndrome” which he never quite seem to get rid of. (winks at Oliver) Second, when it comes to love, he becomes twisted. Just like Ely, his Achilles heel is women. I have witnessed Oliver’s twisted surrender to love and life when his girlfriend broke up with him. His billiards sessions and affairs with Red Horse were heartbreaking and maddening to watch. (oh, by the way, his official version of this bum period is that he was just “socializing with his constituency as part of building camaraderie.” What a load of crap….) Well, those were the days. He is currently hitched and happy—but still twisted in a good (?) way. Why the (?)? Oh, the “high school-ness” of his manner of expressing his love makes me queasy! Classic is the “lunar reference”—he told his girlfriend, Ann, that every night on the same time, they should look at the moon for them to be “together even when they are apart.” Damn! It does not end there—it has become an obsession for them with the existence of pillows with moon prints, pictures edited using Photoshop to include the moon, moon notebooks, and moon pet names (Lunar Bear and Lunar Pout). Need I say more? But however twisted he may be, I still am very fond of him because he is fun to be with.

Fabulously Yours, Oliver

Yes. He signs his letters that way. “Queer Eye’s” Fab 5 should have been Fab 6. He is very stylish and very conscious about color schemes and combinations. He actually knows colors like magenta, chartreuse, and periwinkle, and can identify all hues of the green family of colors. He carries his own kikay bag contents of which are “male products” (yeah right!). Can’t live without his facial scrub and leave-on conditioner. Who can blame him? He’s Mr. AMA, male model extraordinaire. Hahahaha!

Oliver--Canadian Idle

When Oliver left for Canada, we felt the loss. ISP is one twisted and fabulous individual less. That’s life. People move on and explore. Though I’m sad of his leaving, I am also happy coz my dear friend is testing his endurance and capacity to make priorities. So far, he sucks…hahaha! Hence the title. Joke! No, I’m proud coz as of this writing, he is idle no more. Even though he is not physically present, I still feel his presence…parang ghost ba. I will always have my memories of him. Till we meet again, Jack McFarlane! Mwah!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Jerome Daclison's Diary/Blogspot -- Same Me, Different Lovelife, With New Year's Resolutions

Yup! Just like Bridget Jones, it is a new year and a new chapter in my life for me. I have now been upgraded from "Dining Alone" to "With Company". First step (which is to find partner) is now accomplished. Now comes the bigger and more difficult part which--also--a lot of NGOs seem to have failed: SUSTAINABILITY. Yes, now is the challenge of keeping what I now have. I remember Katharine Hepburn's line in the movie "Love Affair": Getting what we want is easy. The trick in life is wanting what we have after getting it. Hmmm...(fingers drumming) Well, I am up for the challenge. As I said to my loved one (damn! saying that felt nice and tingly), we're just gonna savor each moment, carpe diem, and go through our relationship one day at a time.

So happy! I now have my first new year's resolution. Next is go to the gym by January 16 for me to qualify for manhunt in 4-6 months.

There...good luck.


A River [Supposedly] Runs Through It -- A Review of "Panaghoy Sa Suba"

The movie is commendable with its novelty by showcasing Bohol and mounting a film done entirely in native Visayan dialect with English subtitles. (If memory serves me right, the only film which was done in 90% Visayan is “Milyonaryong Mini” with Manilyn Reynes and John Estrada) It gave the movie the feel of a foreign film. This attempt to showcase is successful in gaining good reviews although it is also a disadvantage since it somehow “alienated” the Tagalog audience making them “foreigners” evident by box-office turnout. The strength of the film is on the rawness of the performances of all the actors who donned their natural kayumanggi with no make up and armed only with their beings. Credit should be given to Cesar Montano for taking this direction away from enhancement and instead giving emphasis on realism and simplicity by drawing out the best in the actors. Montano was able to create memorable scenes in the film special mention to the boat scene with Iset and Duroy which established the premise and opening of the film, the birthday scene, and the extreme long shot of the funeral cortege in the Loboc River. From a non-thespian, the technical proficiency of ALL the actors was effective and believable. Special recognition to Juliana Palermo who delivered a breakthrough performance and Rebecca Lusterio who captured the genuine essence of the youngest sister of a rural family, deserving of the “and” in the billing credits. Although, I would have to say that Daria Ramirez shined the brightest in the film and should be given the highest recognition possible for playing the role of the depressed mother. Her role was relatively short but was pivotal in the exposition of the characters of Duroy and Bikay. The scene with Daria and Rebecca was overflowing with honesty and sadness that it grabs the audience by the chokehold and forces us to cry with them, especially with the melancholic yet sweet and hopeful score provided by the Loboc Children’s Choir.

The downfall of the movie is the inability to expand and develop such a novel concept. The screenwriter failed to follow through with reference to the sweet and tender premise and opening. The subplot on the Japanese occupation seemed to have overshadowed the [supposed] primary driving force of Duroy—his love for Iset. Another area of weakness is the thin characterization brought by the unclear motives of the primary and secondary characters that affected the accuracy and astuteness of the performance of the actors. There were not enough cues that would make the audience cheer for the characters since their actions are heavily grounded on the existing milieu and situation which is the Japanese occupation. The situations of the characters were not compelling enough to justify some of their actions, particularly the seemingly accepting Iset of the love of Mr. Smith and Fumio which detaches her character from the opening and premise. This stems from the screenwriter’s failure to weave the story for it to achieve coherence. Most importantly, the river seemed to have remained a symbol and a metaphor of Duroy’s journey instead of it being treated as a primary character in the story that could have created the resonance that the movie needed. Technically, Montano still needs improvement as far as choice of shots is concerned. There was a lax, non-purposeful, and over use of the crane shot and reverse shots which distracts the audience from what the scene wishes to convey. Cinematography was also a failure since some of the shots and scenes were not well-lighted which affects the scenes. Most of the time, Duroy is wearing his straw hat and the shadow cast by its brim covers the eyes of Montano of which the audience cannot see his eyes in key scenes. Stock shots used seemed to have been shot digitally which diminished the quality and impact of transitions. The quality of blast effects is also an area that was not well-planned resulting to mediocre and substandard effects that looked like a bad fireworks display.

Given its originality and rawness, the film is generally good. However, “Panaghoy sa Suba” is a classic case of a poorly developed excellent concept that was salvaged by outstanding and unadulterated performances of its actors.