Wednesday, March 30, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

Played this song on Waveback Wednesday today. I love it! It just encapsulates how I feel right now, to a lesser degree...

Never Let Her Slip Away
by Andrew Gold

I talked to my baby on the telephone
Long distance
I never would've guessed
I could miss someone so bad
I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart
I know that I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I feel like a kid with a teenage crush
On a school date
I feel like the lead in "Romeo & Juliet"
I'm a little bit dizzy
I'm a little bit scared
I guess I never felt this much aware
That I'd love her
I'm hoping that I'll never recover
Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

I really only met her 'bout a week ago
But it doesn't seem to matter to my heart
I know that I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

Mmmmmm I love her
I'm hoping that I never recover
'Cause she's good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away
Oh I know it's gonna make me happy
To never let her slip away

.:A DETAILED Tournament Report:.

So I decided to take my chances and join a Vintage Magic tourney last Sunday, instead of going back to my grandparents' place where I was staying over the Holy Week. Needless to say, it was definitely a good run...

I took the only deck I knew how to run decently, Meandeck Doomsday. I highly doubt nobody here knows how the deck works by now, as a lot of websites have been talking about the deck left and right. The best thing about the deck is that it's a deck few people ever really prepare for, and my foray into the tournament last Sunday proved my point.

If my details are off here and there, feel free to correct me.

First Round (0-0-0), versus a guy whose name escapes me (Black Cleric deck with a splash of Blue.):

The guy (Whom I meet often in Neutral Grounds Galleria.) was mainly playing an Extended deck that he just made room for Dark Rituals. Otherwise, he would've been doing fairly well in an Extended tournament, nonetheless. We shuffled, chatted a bit, and then started the first game.

Game one was pretty interesting. I kept my opening hand, he had a higher roll of the die, and so he went first. He plays a swamp, Dark Supplicant, go. My turn, I play a land, go. His turn, he plays a Withered Wretch off of his second swamp, attack, go. End of his turn, I cast Ancestral Recall. I drew a Dark Ritual and a couple of irrelevant spells. On my second turn, I cast Chromatic Sphere, play a land, go. His turn, he plays a second Dark Supplicant, attacks with the Wretch, go. My turn, I hardcast my Doomsday, go. End of my turn, he sacrifices the untapped Dark Supplicant and the Wretch and the new Supplicant to get Scion of Darkness.

After Doomsday, I was down to eight life. He attacks on his turn, and I'm down to two life. He casts a second Withered Wretch, which I hit with a Force of Will. I'm down to one life. My turn, I cast Gush, Lion's Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, sac Lotus Petal and LED for mana, cast Dark Ritual, pitch for Unmask, draw from my Chromatic Sphere, and cast Mind's Desire for six or so. 30 Damage to the head, and I pick up game one. Match Standing: 1-0.

Game two, he just went land, go. My turn, I Duress him, but he responds with a Vampiric Tutor, and I wondered what he was going to get. Turns out he wanted to get a creature that helped him gain life by sacrificing Clerics. I then Mystical or Vampiric for Ancestral Recall. I then play a fetchland, broke it for a Swamp, and played Cursed Totem, which I sided in for this match. Next turn, he played his Cleric, and I didn't have to counter anymore as its activated ability was neutered by the Totem. I had in my hand a Yawgmoth's Will, the AR I tutored for, and a couple of Rituals, so I was just waiting for a little more gas. I think I won on the fourth or fifth turn via Yawgmoth's Will into Vampiric Tutor into Tendrils which I drew off of an Ancestral Recall. Match Standing: 2-0.

After the match, I looked at his deck and realized how lucky I was: he had FOUR Cabal Therapy and FOUR Duress. Not one turned up during our match. Regardless, it was a pretty lucky break for me as the moment we played a casual match, his disruption turned up, and he could've decimated me by then.

Second Round (1-0-0), versus Sugar Rey (White Weenie.):

Seriously, I was worried about this deck for a moment. I saw Zuran Orb for one, and I thought he might've had that white creature which doesn't allow him to be the target of spells or effects. Turns out the former never showed up, and the latter wasn't in the deck at all.

First game, he won the die roll (This pattern will happen for most of my matches, which I actually appreciated. I usually did one-land plays throughout the tourney.), and played Savannah Lions. My turn, I just went land, go. His turn, he played a two-drop 2/2 weenie. End of his turn, I cast Ancestral Recall. My turn, I Duress him, and then see that I was capable of ending the game by next turn. He attacks next turn and summons another creature. I then combo out with Rituals and Yawgmoth's in my hand the following turn. Match Standing: 1-0.

Second game, he didn't play a creature on his first turn. I played Duress against him, and didn't find any legal targets. Second turn, he cast Auriok Champion, which had me worried about my spellcount. My turn, I played a Fetchland. His third turn, he played Empyrial Armor on the Champion and swung for five. My turn. I cast LED, Lotus Petal, cast Dark Ritual, play a land, cast Timetwister, and think about what color of mana I'd want to get from the LED. After considering I'd still have one Black mana, a Petal, and an untapped land floating around after the whole deal, I decided to sac for Blue. Turns out I drew a Mind's Desire in that pile, and I won then and there with a Desire for six or so, which involved getting a Tutor and some Ritual mana, and a Brainstorm to draw off the Tutor. Match Standing: 2-0.

Turned out that Sugar Rey was using an old school WW deck, so I really shouldn't have been worried about anything except the Rule of Law which he sided in for me.

By now, the People's Champ was ribbing me about being lucky or something. It was pretty funny, really. Porter, on the other hand, was hoping to be a proctor in one of the exams for my Philosophy classes. Jay couldn't believe I was teaching... heh.

So far, I got lucky that I was fighting two aggro decks in my first two rounds.

Third Round (2-0-0), versus a guy named Alvin (Aggro Animator.):

When he insisted on drawing instead of playing when he won the die roll, I immediately considered the possibility I was up against a combo deck. To my surprise, the first creature he discarded from his hand proved otherwise, as it turned out to be a Blinding Angel or something like that. By then, I realized that I was fighting an animator deck, but one that was more concerned about beating me down than winning the game there and then. I have to admit I felt relieved at that point. I took my time, then did the regular Doomsday 2nd turn stack, aiming a total of 35 damage to him via Beacon of Destruction. Match Standing: 1-0.

Second game, he let me go first again. I pretty much did the same thing, although I was more focused on disruption so that he couldn't really find mana. Both times in both games, he was mana screwed, and he refused to mulligan as he had no outlet to send his creatures to the 'yard except manual discard. That being said, it was interesting how he refused to Waste or Strip my lands, considering as they were the only lands he got to play in the second game. Due to this knowledge, I just prevented him from animating Nicol Bolas via Shallow Grave, then proceeded to kill him via the storm count on turn five or six. I decided to not be hasty and take my time, as he had a much slower clock than I did. Match Standing.2-0.

Mondu was talking to me about the disturbing gigantic chibi girl in the Japanese railway. I think that didn't help me much, strategy-wise. I chatted with Neo Templar for a while about how to sideboard against Sligh, although I must admit that using Chill against Sligh might be overkill. If only I knew when to board in those B2B's...

Fourth Round (3-0-0), versus Jeff (Food Chain Goblins):

I usually run into Jeff in Glorietta whenever I hang around NG, so neither of us were surprised with each other's deck choices. Nonetheless, recalling my horrible experience against Chingpaq the last time around, I had a slight phobia against FCG decks, only to find out that if I play things right, I actually had a slight advantage against the opponent. Still, it was mostly a race to combo, except FCG had the backup plan of going aggro if all else failed.

Game one was pretty rote. He plays a Mogg Fanatic on the first turn, then goes done (Notice that I didn't win the die roll again.). My turn, I duress and pluck out his Food Chain. We then draw-go a few turns with him beating me down with a Mogg Fanatic until he got to cast a Goblin Ringleader. He revealed the top four cards of his library: Wooded Foothills, Mountain, Food Chain, Wooded Foothills. Not a single goblin, and on my turn, I played my fourth land, dropped a Lotus Petal, and cast Memory Jar. His next turn, he cast a Goblin Piledriver. On my turn, I broke the Jar, cast six or seven spells, then aimed a fourteen-point Tendrils at him. While he was still alive, I was almost certain he couldn't kill me by next turn, as the seven cards he drew off the jar had some essential combo pieces. Moreover, I was already holding Yawgmoth's Will in my original hand, so after the Jar turn, it was obvious I just had to recast Tendrils off of Yawgmoth's the following turn. That's precisely what happened. Match Standing: 1-0.

Game two was ideal for me. He goes first, and I believe he mulled to six. I kept a one-land hand, and played an Underground Sea. I cast Brainstorm at the end of his second turn with him casting a Lackey, or some other creature, and I found a Fetchland in there, along with a Dark Ritual to go with my Doomsday and Cabal Ritual in hand, AND a Chromatic Sphere. Needless to say, the moment I had those, I was almost sure what was going to happen next. On my turn, I drew, played the fetchland, played the Chromatic Sphere, and said done. On his turn, he cast a Skirk Prospector, then tried to Naturalize my Chromatic Sphere, which I countered. My turn, with two lands on the table, I cast Dark Rit, Cabal Rit, Doomsday (3). I stacked my deck in this order, from top to bottom: Ancestral Recall, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Yawgmoth's Will, Tendrils Of Agony. This was a third-turn kill that was as traditional as Doomsday decks can be with the Tendrils stack. Match Standing: 2-0.

So far, I've faced only either Aggro or Aggro-Combo decks. I had yet to face pure Combo, or a Control or Prison deck of any shape or form. The metagame forecast proved to be reliable, and worked to my advantage. At this point, I found a Rebuild from Chute, which would've been a savior in some matchups, especially the next one...

Fifth Round (4-0-0), versus Mike, aka Oldschool (Gold Dragon):

Binati ko kasi. Ayun tuloy. Combo nga sunod kong nakalaban! =P

Last time I fought Mike in a tourney, he was using a Ruthless Assassin deck, which decimated my 7/10 split deck. We were both technically aggro-prison then. We were both combo last Sunday. Funny how that worked out.

Before and during the match, Mike gently reminded me about being too overeager to play the game, and reminded me to be a bit more... discreet about casting my Tendrils. Comments were taken in stride and helped a lot in the immediate future.

First game was quick. He played a land, go. I played a land, go. He played another land. I used Vampiric Tutor EOT to fetch a Duress, and he used a Force Of Will to counter that. I smelled trouble. EOT for me, he cast Lim Dul's Vault, which confirmed my fears. Next turn, he plops down a Bazaar of Baghdad, uses it, then proceeds to combo me out, handing me my first game loss for the tournament. Match Standing: 0-1.

Second game, I disrupted him as much as I could, as I saw he had two Stifles in his hand, but foolishly boarded in Defense Grids. If I really thought it over well enough, I should've used more bounce instead. Nonetheless, I killed him via storm on the third or fourth turn. Notice how many times I've used Doomsday to kill so far: only 3. Match Standing: 1-1.

Third game, he cast Chalice of the Void on the first turn. I just waited for him to cast something that ensured his victory, that is, another Vault, and I conceded right then and there. Hurklyl's Recall was sitting quietly in my sideboard, so there wasn't much to talk about... Match Standing: 1-2.

I was pretty tired at this point, and my only relief was seeing an old school Academy deck at work. The cards were gorgeous, but I had to admit that the Academy decks just don't have enough power today, even if they went unrestricted. Classic Burning Desire decks would just leave them gasping. Regardless, Academy decks were one of my favorite decks, and is precisely the deck that got me into combo. That, and Tempest block Null Brooch decks...

Sixth Round (4-1-0), versus Quiccs (Elven Nation.):

We ID'd into the Top 8. Truth be told, Both of us were too tired to play that match out.

I ended up with a respectable 4-1-1 record at the end of the eliminations.

Quarterfinals, versus Jeff (Food Chain Goblins):

It was a rematch from the eliminations, and Jeff decided to take me to school in the first game, as he beat me down with Mogg Fanatics and a Sharpshooter. By turn four or five, I desperately cast a mere Mind's Desire with only a count of 3. However, it was funny, as the first flip turned up a Timetwister, and then two Dark Rituals or something like that. I had hopes, and then cast Twister. Sadly, I drew the following horrible Twister hand: 3 Doomsday, 2 Land, 2 Dark Ritual. Seeing how I was down to 7 life and how the Sharpshooter and the Fanatics could pinch me for 4 the moment I cast Doomsday, I scooped. Match Standing: 0-1.

Second game was a lot less unlucky for me. I managed to find the Ancestral Recall in my opening hand (Happened at least five times throughout the tourney.), and it found me Necropotence, which found me all the pieces I needed to win via Doomsday. Before casting Doomsday, though, I bounced back his Sharpshooter at the end of his turn to prevent him from shooting me to death with the Sharpshooter and the Prospector both on the table. Match Standing: 1-1.

Game three gave me a huge advantage, as Jeff mulled to five. He went first, and didn't do much of consequence. He was practically going aggro on me, while I just kept check of my life, and then promptly cast Mind's Desire for 13 due to Yawgmoth's Will at around turn four. That guaranteed me a spot in the Top Four. Match Standing: 2-1.

Semi-Finals, versus Mike, aka Oldschool (Gold Dragon):

It was a rematch between me and Mike, and I was a little more prepared for the Chalice of the Void this time. Unfortunately, both games saw me do two critical mistakes that cost me each game. Regardless, I'm of the opinion that if you screwed up a game so bad that it cost you the game, you deserved to lose, so no big deal there. Besides, I got so far in the tourney already. I can't complain about that.

First game was decided by turn three. Again, he won the die roll, and when I cast Demonic Tutor on turn two, despite having somewhat depleted his hand by Unmasking him, I got greedy and got an Ancestral Recall instead of the smart choice: Force Of Will. Due to that, he managed to cast Intuition and fetch for an Animate spell without any hitches, as he had the rest of the combo with him by then. Match Standing: 0-1.

Game two, he mulled to six, and I disrupted him heavily, as I prevented him from getting any Chalice of the Void on the table. Due to his Bazaar not turning up any Squees, his handsize dropped significantly enough for me to feel comfortable. Too comfortable. I had Necropotence on my table, and managed to do Tendrils for ten damage, allowing me to gorge myself on Necro for a second time. With FOW backup, I was going to win the next turn. But then, I did something stupid.

For Doomsday to work under Necropotence, it was 75% certain I needed to have card draw, because passing the turn won't work as I don't have a draw step due to Necro. I got greedy (Again!), and used BOTH the Ancestral Recall and the Chromatic Sphere to draw cards, resulting in a horrible situation where I had all the mana and Doomsdays in the world, and no card to draw with. That being said, as if it wasn't careless enough, I realized all this while eight mana was floating in my mana pool, ensuring death by mana burn in case I messed up, and I did. I scooped right then and there and congratulated the man who was going to be the tourney champion, anyways. Match Standing: 0-2.

Interestingly enough, there was a high chance I wouldn't have made it to dinner if I didn't lose the match, which would've meant my parents might've caught on that I didn't exactly go to a meeting last Sunday... heh. So all in all, last Sunday was a great day, really. =)

More amusingly, I only comboed via Doomsday out a total of four or five times during the span of the entire tournament. The rest were Storm kills via Y. Will. Is this a sign that I should be playing TPS instead? tongue.gif

Congratulations to the guys who made it to the Top 8 again. And congratulations to everyone else for surviving the heated tournament... literally. =P

.:Saw Two New Films:.

Both films had Cholo of “Stairway To Heaven” fame in it: “Love, So Divine”, and “My Tutor Friend”. I feel a bit lazy to review right now. Maybe some time during the rest of the week. Heh. Grace and I had a good time watching the second film, though. It was pretty great to share the film with her...

.:Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps:.

If all goes well, I'm going to be working for Ranulf as his PR/Marketing person for his startup company. That being said, I hope that his company does better than other companies I know of, particularly in light of how horrible the competition is when you're dealing with unscrupulous intellectual property theft. Nonetheless, my meeting with him today was less about the actual details of my work and more about getting a better insight with regard to each other. I owe Sacha big time for bringing up my recent plight to Ranulf, which led to this. My gratitude to Elbert as well for all the writing gigs...

Amusingly enough, after the meeting, we walked out of Yellow Cab and I ran into two of my former students, Calu and Ben. We chatted a bit, and I went around with them for a short while as they ribbed me about the potential reason that I lost my teaching job, and I repeated my response to them: if it was that, then it was well worth it... It was fun talking to them, and it felt surreal, as I was just talking over SMS with one of their friends a few moments before I ran into them...


You got to love it. We finally have Wilson Phillips' "You're In Love"! Chatting with quite a few friends right now... heh.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

I can't find the lyrics for the song!

Can someone give me the complete lyrics to the song that goes...

"We only really met about a week ago,
I know it in my head but in my heart I know,
that I love her,
I'm hoping that I'll never recover,
Cause she's good to me,
and it would really make me happy,
to never let her slip away."

Do let me go. I'm stumped. It's nowhere on Google!


Oh, man. Look at THIS.

The Japanese never cease to amaze me.

.:Hmm... Truth Be Told...:.

I've never spent a Holy week quite the way I have... heh. When I decided not to go to Baguio with my family and instead stay at my grandparents', it turned out that the Good Friday mass was awfully long, but hey, no big deal...

Glad I finished the article I was supposed to be writing already. As Ms. Iyay seemed pleased with how my article turned out, I'm hoping she'd get me to write some more for her in the future...

My thanks to Grace for being wonderful to talk to over the Holy Weekend...

.:It's Amazing:.

I went four and a half hours in WAVE last Wednesday, as I had to write this article for The Electronic Yellow Pages, a one-shot freelancing gig I picked up, regarding buses and the like. That being said, I boarded on my own, and being a Waveback Wednesday, I enjoyed playing those old songs that really just brought back the memories with a vengeance... heh.

When it was Jda's turn, we were doing pretty well as a tandem as we kept on joking around with each other, and soon enough, this bit of on-air banter happened...

Jda: Kel is such a meanie...

Marcelle: Of course not. Ask my students. They love me!

Jda: I know they love you. That's what got you into trouble in the first place.

Oww... heh.

In any case, I left shortly after I finished e-mailing the first draft of the article. Hopefully, Iyay would like it, as I really had a tough time going from bus station to station in hopes of finding people I can interview about their routes...

.:I'm Not Surprised:.

Sacha's going to U-Toronto! Congratulations, though it really comes as no surprise to me.

Anyways, I went to her place after coming from WAVE, as she invited me to go there and meet up with Clair. It was fairly amusing, as I got there and Mario, who came all the way from Baguio, was already there. That being said, things immediately got amusing the moment Mario said that people really thought he was gay... I proceeded to freak him out with double-meaning statements about helping him feel happy again, and be manly... all this while eating tons of watermelons.

I enjoyed my time there for the most part. Sacha treated us to a mini fashion show that Mario swears was “worth traveling 255 kilometers for”, as Sacha wore her Japanese schoolgirl socks along with a white miniskirt that made her pass off for a Japanese schoolgirl... heh. She then showed off her killer leather boots, and I think it was nosebleed heaven for the most part. Ranulf played catch-up, prompting me to say that “my wish for more men came true”. Of course, Ranulf's used to me, so he wasn't quite as freaked out as Mario was...

We had a ball singing songs and reciting old commercials and the 3 O' Clock Habit prayer. I even went and did my translations of “We Could Be In Love” by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga on the spot... heh.

All in all, it was a good day. It seemed to me everyone had reasons to be happy... Clair was with Sacha for a day and a half and was fangirling like mad, Sach is going to U. Toronto and got a call from Dominique near the end of the day, Mario got treated to the ultimate Japanese schoolgirl/dominatrix fetish, Ranulf worked out some kinks in his new fighting game that features Sacha as one of the playable characters, and I'm going to hopefully be employed by Ranulf to pimp out, err, shill, err, market the game...

That, and I have quite another reason to be happy... ;)

.:Film Review: The Phantom Of The Opera:.

Again, more spoilers here... you know the drill.

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Phantom Of The Opera
Watch it, that's all I ask of you...

I'll be honest and say that I hated Joel Schumacher's guts ever since he decided to defile the Batman franchise. Nonetheless, I've heard quite a lot of good things about this film, so I gave it a shot.

I wasn't disappointed. Maybe he couldn't mangle up the script much because Andrew Lloyd Webber was still alive? Heh.

In any case, the Phantom of the Opera is the musical that just really leaps out at you with a lot of aplomb and pizzazz. This is the showcase of the melodic story of Christine, a simple ballerina girl personally trained by the infamous Phantom of the opera, a mysterious figure who makes atrocious demands of all those who run the opera. When the leading soprano, Carmela, walks out on the production, Christine is given the opportunity to perform and her career takes a pleasantly wonderful turn.

As she performs, she runs into Raoul, the new patron of the opera, who was once her childhood sweetheart. As they reminisce upon old times and start falling in love with each other once again, the Phantom feels the betrayal of one whom he has loved for so long...

I'll stop with the story and just say that a lot of people can feel for the Phantom's tale of unrequited love. After doing all he can do for Christine, in the end she chooses to love someone else. What matters here is how well Joel Schumacher turned this story into film from theater, and I must admit that it was really good.

First of all, the special effects involved was nothing short of spectacular. The explosion of black and white into color was something that really took me aback, and the way they interspersed reality and illusion with how people saw the Phantom was pretty clever, if not seemingly a cheat already. I just felt surprised when Christine removed the Phantom's mask and his hair changed.

Secondly, the scoring was pretty splendid, although the music was mostly a crescendo for a good chunk of the film, both its best and worst quality. The music really seemed to refuse to hush down, even during the supposedly poignant moments, such as the kissing scene between Raoul and Christine. Regardless, I think this movie really worked, despite that minor shortcoming.

Don't let my lack of description fool you. The film has to be seen to be believed. It's not perfect, but there's a very good reason why it was nominated for an Oscar or two.

“Fun” Evaluation: A+
“Critical” Evaluation: A-

Spoilers here, obviously.

First, though, a BIG thanks to Sacha for the wonderful help she gave me!!! :)

.:Film Reviews: A Double Dose Of Tom Cruise:.

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Minority Report
I predicted this would be good. I was right.

Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton in a Steven Spielberg film called “Minority Report”, set in the not-so-distant future of 2054, where a district in the United States has been experimenting with a Precrime system for arresting a potential criminal before he has a chance to kill a person.

The opening sequence pretty much outlined how it works: three pre-cognitives have visions of murder, and give details regarding the murders. The Precrime police have the unenviable task of figuring out how to prevent the crime from happening, although it was odd how they couldn't find an address for some of the suspects, considering how they know the names already.

Nonetheless, the sheer brilliance of the film comes to the fore when things are turned around and all of a sudden, Anderton is on the run for the potential murder of a man whom he never even knew. Little did he know that the murder of this man would only be start of a chain of events that would lead people to discover that Precrime isn't exactly as great as it seems to be.

I won't spoil much about this film because I loved the twists and turns of the film so much that it's too good to spoil. Of course, I saw quite a bit of them coming, but what was amazing about the film was how realistic it all seemed despite being set almost fifty years into the future. The drama was gripping, and how Anderton interacted with both Burgess Lamar, the so-called father of Precrime, and Whitwer, the federal agent who doesn't exactly appreciate Anderton, was pretty clever.

I also liked how Anderton's motivation when it came to losing his son really played an important role in holding the film together. It sort of became a kind of glue that not only kept the film believable, it made the film work even better.

The sheer Philosophical insight of the film is even more brilliant, in my opinion. What I really liked about the film was how they pretty much established that the murders, despite being predicted by the pre-cogs, were still subject to change. Yes, a ball rolling across a table will fall, but if you catch it, it doesn't fall. Because you prevented it from falling, it didn't. That in and by itself should insinuate that anyone who is only set to commit a crime would have to be treated less harshly than one who has actually committed the crime already.

I believe that the film was a testament to the power of free will, that a human being, no matter how seemingly predictable, is far more than just a set of bodily chemical reactions coasting along daily life.

This is definitely a keeper of a film. From the amazing action to the heavy thought process involved in dealing with the issues addressed by the film, Spielberg has certainly outdone himself in this outing.

“Fun” Evaluation: A+
“Critical” Evaluation: A+

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How does one outfox a killer who just cruises along?

If there's one word that I can best use to describe “Collateral”, it would simply have to be “gripping”. Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise in what was practically a two-character film played off of each other so well as Foxx's Max the cabbie, and Cruise's Vince, the hired killer.

The story starts off with Max picking up a fare whom he debates with over cab routes. By the end of it, he ends up engaging her in a very deep conversation over why a cab driver would want to shave off five dollars off his meter just to prove a point. Shortly after an engaging conversation, Max finds out she's a prosecutor, lands her calling card, and gets another fare.

This time, the fare is Vince, who wanted Max to make a series of stops in exchange for $600 worth of fare. What Max didn't realize was that he was going to personally chauffeur Vince to commit five murders, and with each passing murder, Max's desperation at stopping his fare from accomplishing his task gets stronger.

This film is testament to how a brilliant premise for a film could be taken to amazing heights by the people involved. Cruise and Foxx attacked their respective roles with an amazing chemistry that just made for a gripping story from top to bottom, particularly when both of them relatively got along despite the fact that Max tried to pull out various stops to screw Vince over, only to find that Vince is one step ahead of him every single time.

The film's climax, where Max discovers that Vince is out to kill the same prosecutor he took downtown earlier that day, was a brilliant touch. However, I saw it coming. Incidentally, I found it ridiculous that a lawyer would be working that late in the evening in her office. Couldn't she take her work home or something?

In any case, despite some gaps of realism, I definitely enjoyed watching this film. It was brilliant the way they carried things out, and I enjoyed the see-sawing conflict between Max and Vince, as it certainly made the story all the more interesting. The interplay between the cold, methodic killer and the warm, intense cabbie certainly made for a wonderful clash of personalities that was anything but easy to pull off.

Do give this movie a watch if you haven't seen it yet.

“Fun” Evaluation: A+
“Critical” Evaluation: A-

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I have a one-time racket I'm attending to. After that, I'll blog a bit more normally...

See ya!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

I tried so hard, and got so far. In the end, it doesn't really matter.

If the reason for this recent horrible development is what I think it is, then I guess I just shot myself in the foot over a pipe dream.

In The End
by Linkin Park

It starts with one thing
I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It's so unreal
Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but didn't even know
Wasted it all just to watch you go
I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

One thing, I don't know why
It doesn?t even matter how hard you try, keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme, to explain in due time
I tried so hard
In spite of the way you were mocking me
Acting like I was part of your property
Remembering all the times you fought with me
I'm surprised it got so (far)
Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me (in the end)
You kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I


I've put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
And for all this
There's only one thing you should know (2x)


.:First, The Interesting Stuff:.

Had quite a few pictures with some friends of mine over the past year. It's a regular camera, though, so I have to empty the film first before I get any pictures on me. Have quite a few grad pics as well, but beyond that, I think what ought to be fairly interesting lately was that my weblog's stock has gone up to $456 or so, from $127 a mere month ago. I'm of course pertaining to the Blogshares game I'm currently part of...

And yeah, I got to chat with Madame Sky after the longest time. Interesting developments in her life...

.:And Now, All Hades Breaks Lose...:.

Jumping into character for a few moments...

As if the Powers That Be thought Marcelle didn't have enough of a hard time dealing with the loss of $105 and the theft of his cell phone...

... Marcelle won't be a teaching assistant next schoolyear.

It came as the shock of the year to me when Dr. Ibana talked to me before the graduation ceremonies began and told me that I didn't make the top four cut of the applicants, as their budget could only accommodate four and not the initial six they were hoping for. I have a vague idea what the reasons against me were, but I hope none of them involved how I dealt with my students.

I was stunned, and I was on the verge of freaking out in front of my erstwhile boss, but I kept my composure and bottled all the frustration in until I had safer avenues to vent out my frustrations.

I contacted Sacha and told her I was dropping by her house, and she kindly told me it's fine. As I was on my way, I ran into a former ADS co-member, Sharon, who graduated last Friday. I told her how frustrating the whole thing was, and she agreed I did the right thing by not attending the graduation anymore. It's the night of the graduates. No need to ruin it with my brooding presence. Hades, I couldn't even shake their hands by the time I was on my way out of the area, so I guess that was a good idea. I do care about my students who were about to graduate. That's precisely I didn't want to be caught in a moment of despair...

I can't really blame anyone for the setback except myself. It's not Dr. Ibana's fault, nor is it the top four's fault. All the power to them, I guess...

Sacha and Kathy helped me brainstorm for alternative short-term sources of income, and the results were pretty interesting. They likewise helped me get back my smile as we realized that all three of us were in dire straits in varying degrees. Misery loves company, but this isn't to say I take joy in other people's sorrow. That's precisely why the argument that "some people have it worse" is particularly irrelevant to me.

That being said, I had dinner with the Chuas afterwards, and we found someone who owned a bag that looked like Neko... oh, well. Tita Harvey was asking me about what happened to one of my students, though, and we had an interesting discussion about it. By now, Sacha should more or less know why I haven't been the pain that I have been prior to recent times...

Afterwards, I got home and managed to talk to Gyn for a short while about what happened. Nothing, really. I just told her about what happened as far as the brainstorming went. I think Grace was the one who gave even more ideas to help, although when I talked to her about the certain online conversation I had with another friend, Grace likewise realized that how the both of us are right now is far better than if we just held on in vain with all the crazy things going on in my life right now...

I'm stumped. If anyone has any hostings, writing gigs, PR or advertising freelance campaigns, or Hades, bridal shower gigs that might require my services, do let me know. You know how to reach me...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

I know I've had this song recently as an LSS, but I guess the song just really hits the spot right now for me, more than ever...

by Teri Desario

I'm afraid to fly
And I don't know why
I'm jealous of the people who
Are not afraid to die

It's just that I recall
Back when I was small
Someone promised that they'd catch me
And then they let me fall

And now I'm fallin'
Fallin' fast again
Why do I always take a fall
When I fall in love

You'd think by now I've learned
Play with fire
You get burned
But fire can be, oh, so warm
And that's why I returned

Turn and walk away
That's what I should do
My head says go
And find the door
My heart says I've found you

And now I'm fallin'
Catch me if you can
Maybe this time I'll have it all
When I fall in love

It always turns out the same
Lovin' someone, losin' myself
I only got me to blame...

Help me, I'm fallin', fallin'
Catch me if you can
Maybe this time I'll have it all
Maybe I'll make it after all
Maybe this time I won't fall
When I fall in love

.:A Message To My Graduating Students:.

Insofar as I'm merely your teaching assistant and not your actual teacher, I'd like to think I'm still entitled to wax sentimental over the past two semesters I've been your teaching assistant.


The moment you walk out of the hallowed halls of the Ateneo with your diploma, you are now an official graduate.


All the sleepless nights, all the blood, sweat and tears, have finally paid off. After four years or so, you are now looking at a new horizon.


Welcome to the “real” world, and realize that things aren't really too different, anyway. Your world was as “real” to you as real can be. It's now up to you to go places and take names. It's now up to you to blaze a trail that only you can.


You've found great friends, great mentors, and inasmuch as you'd think that your being a student is finally over, in truth, it's only just begun. You now have the rest of your life ahead of you to be a student of the myriad lessons life has to offer.

For all that and more, congratulations.

A year ago, I walked up that stage myself and graduated from Communication Arts. Inasmuch as I felt that the moment I graduated my friends would simply disappear and move on beyond me, I realized that the ones who truly matter haven't. I'm still here in the Ateneo, in the academe, I still involve myself in the mainstream with my forays in WAVE, but one thing is clear: the friendships I have forged over college still play a significant role in my life. Let that be the same to you.

You've gone through numerous challenges over your years in Ateneo de Manila. Wherever you go next, don't forget to look back on the people who helped you get to where you are now. I find it good and humbling to go back to my high school alma mater whenever I feel too smug about my so-called achievements, and realize that through all this time, I hardly ever changed, and I'm still the same old hard-luck, bungling, nerdy, wide-eyed Marcelle that I always was. And thank God for that.

You've survived the most horrible of accounting tests or the most traumatic of oral examinations. You've challenged the practically confusing P.E. 101 and succeeded. You've gone through the requisite ROTC or NSTP or whatever you call it now, and if you ask yourself if it's all worth it on that magical night where all of this comes to an end, I can only pray that you will think it is.

For those who were in Dr. Ibana's Ethics class the past two semesters, I know that you have learned what it means to live right. You know what it means to follow the categorical imperatives on doing what should be done, and the notion of equality, that no man or woman can be looked down upon for his or her race, economic status, or principles. You know all of these. It is my fervent hope that you also realized one thing about ethics and morality: they are as they do. Knowing is only half the battle.

Live on, graduates of 2005. Blaze a trail that only you can. And know for a fact that this person, a mere batch ahead of you, believes in each and every one of you.

Congratulations. You dreamed, you believed, you survived, but most importantly, you have graduated.

.:The First Graduation Day:.

My day started off innocuously enough. I walked out of my house, and a pleasant coincidence greeted me as Antonio Yang drove past me, on his way to the Baccalaureate mass. I managed to hitch with him to the mass, where I looked for people whom I wanted to meet before they graduated.

I waited in the high school area for a while so I could meet the people I wanted to meet, mostly my students in Philo 104. It was funny how most of them were wondering if I was also graduating, as they didn't seem to expect me there, although in my opinion, if they knew me just a bit better, they definitely would've. So there I was, randomly encountering people I knew left and right, although I found it particularly interesting that a few of my supposed batchmates who got delayed for various reasons were also there. I'm still happy for them, nonetheless.

I ran into Vida Co throughout the day, for the most part. Interestingly enough, the same could be said for Barbie Co. No relation, I presume.

Anyways, after the mass and just having a couple of pictures with Calu and Gyn (Two of my students.), I went to the Philosophy Department to brush up a bit on reviewing for my final oral examinations. Dr. Miroy and I talked about only one topic, which was my paper. I got a B+/A for it, and I'm glad that I did things rights this time around.

The way I see it, with how Dr. Locker pushed the idea of taking a Ph. D in the Ateneo to me, I just might go for a Ph. D no matter what. I had orals with Dr. Garcia the other day, and while we just talked about the notions of Levinas regarding the Other, it was funny how I danced my way around the fact that I was oblivious to the meaning of the word “noetic” by asking Doc in what aspect Levinas was being “noetic”. That being said, my orals with Dr. Miroy also went decently at worst. He felt that the question on freedom was very much “alive” in me.

After my orals, I dropped by Hobby Haven for a short while, then headed right back to the Department to get my umbrella as it was drizzling. I ran into Barbie at this point, and we shared a trike towards Dela Costa/Soc Sci. After being interrogated about my current dealings (She was wondering about Ces...), I then went off, got my umbrella, and headed back to the High School area, where the assembly was being relocated due to the rain. I hung around the CS people again, and ran into Sacha for a short while before I went to get a seat for myself in the covered courts already... ran into Trixie Reyna on my way, as well. No big deal.

For the most part, I was just being amused with the keynote speaker for that night, but I didn't focus much on anything until I just got up and scouted the area to see which courses were where. One of my closest friends (*jaded*) was in LM; Vida and Claudine were in COMTEC; Vivian was in MGT; Martin, Russ, and Macha were in MATH; Anton was in BIO (And PH for the next day!); and Ben, Calu, and Gyn were in CS. This is not to mention the other people whose names escape me right now... I had to plan a very smooth itinerary to swoop by the people I wanted to congratulate the moment they graduated.

While I stood in the back with one of my students who was graduating on Saturday, Glenn Que, something occurred to me. I asked around, and Glenn suggested I go to the shop beside KFC, as I decided to do something I never seemed to have the guts to do during the schoolyear. By the time I got back, Peppy was already there, and we were laughing our heads off over the lyrics of Usher's “DOT COM”... then Peppy and I moved closer to the graduates a few moments before the Alma Mater song played.

Let me get this off my chest: Gawd, I almost felt like a graduate at that point!

The moment the Alma Mater song ended, I gave the flowers to her. Call it gutsy or idiotic, but either way, I did.

Had pictures with Vida afterwards, and then just stayed on a bit to talk to a few people here and there, before I finally left. There's still one more graduation day to go, and while I doubt I'd finish the whole thing (No motivation... hehe.), I still want to meet some of the friends I've made over the past year, particularly the debaters and my students.

It bears repeating. Congratulations to all of you!

Friday, March 18, 2005

.:I Left The Diskette AGAIN?!?:.

Oh, yes I did. So my apologies to my students, but my message to you for your graduation would have to wait after it... ::sheepish grin::

.:Today's LSS:.

It's a song that could be taken in various ways, but I'd like to underscore how despite the way things could change in the future for people (Especially the graduates.), it's always good to rediscover the past from time to time...

Tulad Ng Dati

by The Dawn

Wala na akong makita
Sa iyong mga mata
Dati rati
Isang tingin ko lang
Alam ko na
Alam ko na

Bakit ngayon
Ika'y nababalot
Sa kulay ng hatinggabi
Nangangarap na aking
Magisnang muli


Kung may bagyo
O kung tag-araw
Sa iyong damdamin


Sana ay makilala kang muli
Tulad ng dati
Halika at lumapit kang muli
Tulad ng dati

Wala na kong maramdaman
Sa iyong mga kamay
Dati rati
Isang hawak ko lang
Alam ko na
Alam ko na

(Repeat Refrain, then Chorus)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

I love MYMP's version of this song. Can't quite dedicate this song to anyone at the moment... nobody for me to console.

Tell Me Where It Hurts

Why is that sad look in your eyes
Why are you crying?
Tell me now, tell me now
Tell me, why you're feelin' this way
I hate to see you so down, oh baby!

Is it your heart
Oh, that's breakin' all in pieces
Makin' you cry
Makin' you feel blue
Is there anything that I can do

Why don't you tell me where it hurts now, baby
And I'll do my best to make it better
Yes, I'll do my best to make the tears all go away
Just tell me where it hurts
Now, tell me
And I love you with a love so tender
Oh and if you let me stay
I'll love all of the hurt away

Where are all those tears coming from
Why are they falling?
somebody, somebody, somebody leave your heart in the cold
You just need somebody to hold on, baby
(Give me a chance)
To put back all the pieces
Take hold of your heart
Make it just like new
There's so many things that I can do



Is it your heart
Oh, that's breakin' all in pieces
Makin' you cry
Makin' you feel blue
Is there anything that I can do


Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me baby
Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me
And I'll do my best to make it better
Yes, I'll do my best to make the tears all go away
Just tell me where it hurts
Now, tell me
And I love you with a love so tender
Oh, and if you let me stay
I'll love all of the hurt away


I have a phone now, and I still am using the same old number. If you happen to be one of my friends reading this right now, please do SMS me your contact information so I can start rebuilding my social network. Thanks!

.:Another Movie:.

Saw “Super Troopers” last weekend, but I really don't see any need to review it. It's your run of the mill comedy- nothing overtly funny, but wasn't horrible at giving out laughs, nonetheless. I was underwhelmed at best, so I guess I'd give it a C+/B on both counts. If anyone's interested in a more detailed review, reply to this post. Otherwise, I'll leave it at that.

If you're wondering what the film is about, try Googling for it.

I’ll review “Collateral” after this week. It’s finals week, so my blogging is going to take quite a hit…

.:My Boardwork Yesterday:.

Chatting with the WAVE listeners has proven to be very fun yesterday. They had great requests and were quite supportive of the songs I've been playing. Heh. At the same time, it was sir Joe The Mango's birthday, so there was further reason to be in a festive mood, albeit I was taking things really slow with my songs. Grace dropped by the station shortly before my show ended, and we got my SIM card replaced already. It's still the same number, but I'm using Grace's phone for now until Saturday. Then, I revert to a 6210 until I can afford a 6630.

.:Onwards, Recovery:.

Needless to say, being the sentimental packrat that I am, it is with great difficulty that I accept the fact that my cellphone, more importantly, 128 Megabytes of pictures, videos, sound clips, and messages, are all gone.

Among the casualties were several wonderful pictures of Grace, a very flattering photo of Kathy Chua, a brilliant picture of a sunset with a pink sky, Peppy dancing to “Livin' La Vida Loca”, Sacha singing “Tragedy”, Eric Vidal playing Dance Maniax, a picture of Grace's dog when it was still a puppy, a video clip of my cousin bopping her head to F4's “Can't Lose You” two months after her first birthday, 500++ contacts, and 1500++ text messages.

The hardest pill to swallow would have to be the loss of the contacts. The loss of the MMS stuff comes pretty close, though. I've had messages disappear on me before, so that wasn't so horrible.

In any case, futile though it may have been, Grace and I went to Greenhills in the vain hope that the sumbish who stole my phone sold it there, but no dice. Even if it were sold there, it is apparently standard procedure for them to format the memory card in the phone, rendering my successful search moot. In spite of that, I still gave it a shot, anyways, and Grace was kind enough to be with me each step of the way.

I owe Grace big time for that...

.:For Reference...:.

This link

Monday, March 14, 2005

Other than these, I'll blog next time. I still hope I can start recovering numbers and memories from my friends and the like soon enough, though...

.:Today's LSS:.

I heard this song, and I realized how witty Usher's lyrics were...

by Usher

oooo I love the way you dirty type
I can take you home on escape
oooo I need your backspace in my life
thank god you don't have a flatscreen I got to see you
and I really want to please you
so get on my laptop so I can download

online...I love the way you log on
we can do it all night
I'll make you dot com
baby if you sign on
I'm gon make ya light up
oo baby if you log on
I'll make you dot com

I wanted to link up with you baby at first sight
with you I get to use my f keys...yeah..
I can't wait to give you megabites
I got all the memory you need
let ma finges do the talking babe

please... baby I got to see you
I really want to please you
so get on my laptop so I can download

online...I love the way you log on
we can do it all night
I'll make you dot com
sign on
I'm gon make ya light up
baby if you log on
I'll make you dot com

oooo.. baby you want this I know
I can't wait to give you my harddrive
my moonlight...if it's alright
baby...ooh I'm always at your window
ready to shift and control you
if you want me to....say yes baby
say yes baby
say yes baby
say yes baby
got to say
ooo say yes baby
say yes baby
got to say yes
yes, say it I got to see you
cause I really want to please you
so get up on me baby get up on me
(I really want you)

online....I love the way you log on (oh baby)
we can do it all night (we can do it all night)
I'll make you dot com
(I'm gon make)
sign on
(show you ...?)
I'm gon make ya light up (gonna make ya light up)
baby if you log on
I'll make you dot com (I'm gonna make you dot com)

online....I love the way you log on
we can do it all night
I'll make you dot com
sign on
I'm gon make ya light up
baby if you log on
I'll make you dot com

.:A Review: A Journey Through Life, by Laila:.

As one of the more high-profile bloggers out there, I more or less have a criteria in evaluating the quality of a weblog.

For the most part, I put a lot more primacy on the quality of the posts in the weblog than the layout itself. My weblog in particular reflects this, as I have had practically the same layout in this weblog for the past three years already, yet I still somehow managed to win last 2003's Best Philippine Weblog in Flying Chair.

In any case, when I tasked myself to do a review of Laila's weblog entitled "A Journey Through Life", I saw what was a nice combination of good content and excellent layout.

The moment you enter her weblog, you immediately get treated to a nice flower-based pinkish background that's a lot easier on the eyes than the usual neon colors some other bloggers are notorious for. Moreover, the layout is very organized, as the right column has a very neat archive link page, and even a calendar like the type you would see in Livejournal. Pictures used in the blog are likewise meshed very harmoniously with the rest of the content, as she apparently wraps the text around the picture when possible instead of setting the picture in a different paragraph.

If only for the sheer ease of reading and navigation, I would already have given an "A+" for this weblog, but as I mentioned, I'm less concerned with how the weblog looks like than I am with what it has to say. Given that, this is practically where her blogging shines.

When you look at her topic list on the right side of her blog, topics from "Annoying Stuff" to "Philippine Politics" (Practically the same thing! Hehehehe...) to "World Domination", all co-exist harmoniously in the same place. I was initially having problems with the lack of headings for her posts, and then this nifty little bit in her sidebar made things a lot simpler for me. If she doesn't mind, I'll quote one of my favorite entries from her...

No matter how eager and interested I am in browsing more blog sites, my mind cannot absorb them - they look blank even I was reading them. The reality of life bothers me, I should not really spend more time online as there's so many things to do, so many things to fix... I will be away for about 2 years. Planning, preparing, and instructing the kids on what to do while I am not home. Gee, don't know really how they will manage the house without me.

I love my kids. And, I wish the best for them. They are all grownups now - they must learn to survive without me - a legacy I could give them as their single parent.

The net has been my world since 1997. There have been many nice people online who morally supported me during difficult times, when I was feeling so depressed. Somehow, it's time to move on, find a job and be financially and emotionally independent. I am at the peak of life's trials and challenges but I feel after this storm, everything will be revealed based on God's plan.

Well... uhmmmm... I sound emotional today because I had misunderstandings with the kids. How I wish they would think the way I do but, I know they need time...

When you look at Laila and see a single parent who goes through life with a wisdom quite beyond her years, you realize that this blog is quite an inspiration to anyone who thinks they have it bad but still happens to have access to the Internet. Laila's take on the various things going on around her can be rather interesting at the least, and very insightful for the most part.

One thing that really catches my eye about her writing is how similar her range of topics is to mine: Stairway To Heaven, Lovapalooza, Neopets, caring about people no matter how bad things get, work, inspirational messages, politics, and even a bit of Metaphysics at times. Aside from film reviews and pro wrestling on my part and the fact that she has wonderful kids on hers, I'd almost (but not quite) assert that our blogs are kindred souls! I hope she takes that as a compliment. :)

Other than the fact that she doesn't quite update her blog as often as most hardcore bloggers do, I honestly can't find much to complain about as far as her blogging goes. It's a fun read for the most part, and her blog is living testament to the fact that you learn something new everyday.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts with the online world, Laila. Rest assured these thoughts don't go unappreciated. :)

Evaluation: B+/A

Sunday, March 13, 2005

As you all know, my cellphone got stolen yesterday.

I will still be using the same number as it's a line, so if you can, please text me your business cards over the same number three days from now, so I can start rebuilding my social network...

And yeah, wish all the ill will upon the guy who stole my phone. Thanks.
I promised a mouthful, but this will be terribly shorter than I hoped to write, for obvious reasons. I'm still distraught...

.:Wretched Weekend:.

Pardon my French, but I will need to hurl expletives here.

I passed by my high school alma mater, and things went well there. That was the end of my string of good things.

Last Friday, I went along with Kathy and Sacha to spin in Roxas Boulevard, and some Baywalk Patrol people didn't like our "activity" and asked us to cease and desist unless we had a permit.

Asking us to do that is one thing, but being downright rude and offensive while at it is definitely another. I can't help but feel rather ticked off at that Patrol person... I'm so flummoxed I can't even say much else about the night, sadly...

But what makes it worse is Saturday.


To whoever stole my phone, fuck you, and I curse you and your family with every breath I take. I never quite believed in the power of curses, but I'm willing to start now, just for you, you bastard.

It's not even about the phone, dammit! It's about the memory card: two fucking years of memories, names, friends, messages, and pictures, all wiped out in an instant by some thoughtless son of a bitch who thought it better to steal my phone than to do something about his pathetic state. I don't fucking care if you're starving, and your son is dying of cancer. I would trade in my own hunger just for my memory card back. Hell, I even offered to buy it from you, you son of a bitch!

A curse on you and your family, whoever you are who stole my phone. I hope you burn in hell, and for your sake, you better get there before I find out who you are, because you'd want to be in hell more than around me the moment I find out who you are.

Or have you forgotten that you're going to sell that phone either in Galleria or Greenhills and I can ask around what you look like?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Posting tomorrow... boy, it's going to be a mouthful...

Here's today's LSS, though...

.:Today's LSS:.

She deserves to be American Idol.

Since You've Been Gone
by Kelly Clarkson

Here's the thing we started off friends
It was cool but it was all pretend
Yeah yeah
Since you've been gone

You dedicated you took the time
Wasn't long till I called you mine
Yeah Yeah
Since you've been gone

And all you'd ever hear me say
Is how I pictured me with you
That's all you'd ever hear me say

But since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time
Im so movin on
Yeah yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get
What I want
Since you've been gone

How can I put it? you put me on
I even fell for that stupid love song
Yeah yeah
Since you've been gone

How come I'd never hear you say
I just wanna be with you
I guess you never felt that way

But since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time
Im so movin on
Yeah yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get
I get what I want
Since you've been gone

You had your chance you blew it
Out of sight, out of mind
Shut your mouth I just can't take it
Again and again and again and again

Since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time
Im so movin on
Yeah yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get
I get what I want
I can breathe for the first time
Im so movin on
Yeah yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get (I get)
You should know (you should know)
That I get
I get what I want
Since you've been gone
Since you've been gone
Since you've been gone

Friday, March 11, 2005

.:Today's LSS:.

Yeah, it's that Brad Kane/ Lea Salonga song! :D

We Could Be In Love
by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga

Be still my heart
Lately its mind is on it's own
It would go far and wide
Just to be near you

Even the stars
Shine a bit bright I've noticed
When you're close to me

Still it remains a mystery

Chorus (Both):
Anyone who seen us
Knows what's going on between us
It doesn't take a genius
To read between the lines Brad: ohh
And it's not just wishful thinking
Or only me who's dreaming
I know what these are symptoms of
We could be in love

I ask myself why
I sleep like a baby through the night
Maybe it helps to know
you'll be there tomorrow

Brad: Lea:
Don't open my eyes Ohhh
I'll wake from the spell I'm under
Makes me wonder how Tell me how
I could live without you now

And what about the laughter
The happy ever after
Like voices of sweet angels
Calling out our names
And it's not just wishful thinking
Or only me who's dreaming
I know what these are symptoms of
We could be in love

All my life
I have dreamed of this
But I could not see your face

Don't ask why two such distant stars
Can fall right into place

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh, it doesn't take a genius
To know what these are symptoms of
We could be Lea: ohh
We could be, we could be in love

Could be in

We could be in love

.:The Hot 10:.

Tried my luck with Chico and Delle's Hot 10 yesterday, and I got fairly lucky with it. The topic was “The Hot 10 Meanest Things A Girl Ever Did To You”. So naturally, I sent in an entry on the time I was a rebuffed by a girl, and after the rejection, she offered me a ride as consolation, only for me to find she wasn't riding alone, so she talked about my recent rejection inside the car with her mom, as though I wasn't in the car. Oh, well. Looks like Chico and Delle agreed how mean that was...

.:Out On A Limb:.

And so it was my last day of classes for the semester yesterday, and Dr. Miroy asked us to have this activity where we went to some trees in the school, and then picked a tree that best represented us. We would then explain to the class why it was the case. Amusingly enough, when Rochelle, one of my classmates, picked a huge tree with few leaves on top...

Dr. Miroy: Bakit naman walang dahon masyado yang pinili mo? Pero at least, ang kapal nung dahon niya sa baba, o!

I just turned to my groupmates, and they just laughed on cue. When it was my turn...

Marcelle: Doc, yung puno ko, parang puno ng Mulawin. Putol na kasi.

The moment I pointed to the tree stump I was pertaining to...

Dr. Miroy: Ta$4#7@do ka pala, eh! Ay, kaharap pala natin yung chapel...

Soon enough, a girl from the chapel walks out and tells Dr. Miroy to quiet down a bit as a mass was in progress. Dr. Miroy sheepishly tells the class to move out... heh.

Rochelle and I then talked about her paper, and apparently, she has a copy of Il Mare. Oh, I'd love to have that...

.:The Final Levinas Class:.

It was our final class on Levinas last night, and we certainly went overtime because of the fact that everyone spoke in turn. It was a symposium format.

In any case, what mainly happened was that we were mainly talking about what Levinas meant to us, and how his Philosophy was simply all about going into unchartered territory, the moment he decided to make a hyperbolic focus on the Other. The various stories people had to share, from the likes of “Superman: Red Son”, to their different experiences with immersion, to how useful the alcohol was in making the conversation flow better, and so forth. Personally, I found it amusing how TJ kept on telling everyone who was sharing, “Alak pa, alak pa.

Amusingly enough as well, Dr. Garcia was curious about the picture I showed them of a certain person I was enamored of, albeit lightly...

Anyways, it turns out the only reason Cecille was in our class was because Dr. Garcia didn't want her to leave Dr. Garcia's class, so instead of taking the Philo 102 class, she subsequently transferred to the slightly more difficult Levinas class. Another student talked about God in a way that he was “intoxicating” us with His grace, and then the chants of “Alak pa, alak pa” ensued when he talked that way. A lot of the students read poems, too.

What I had to say was mainly the age-old complaint that people seem to be turning God into a vending machine, that he who prays more wins the UAAP championships, or that he who keys in GOD [SPACE] [THEIR PRAYER] and sends it in to 2299 will be blessed more. I just found Meister Eckhart's prayer so apt to the whole thing: “Oh God, rid me of God.” We've gone around our lives with preconceived notions of God that are not necessarily accurate. This is considering Levinas' point of view that God is a “weak” (Not in the literal sense.) God, in that whenever we ask where He is when we see suffering, His obvious response is “exactly why I created you”. When Superman acted like a manipulative god of sorts in “Red Son”, the only time he became “godlike” was when he decided to step back and let the humans do their work.

Moreover, it's ironic, but Battle Royale was quite an illustration of the responsibility to the Other. Shuya Nanahara's commitment to saving Noriko no matter what the cost. I think I'm going to make Battle Royale the crux of my paper... heh.

On a personal note, this class was memorable to me. In fact, most three-hour classes I have always prove to be memorable, and mainly because of what happens after the classes. Last semester, I always looked forward to the “World of the 9 O Clock Bell On A Tuesday Evening”, although as I mentioned to the class, that setup has never been the same again. This semester, it was all about hanging out with TJ and company after class, although ironically, I didn't do that last night. Still, the point was clear: from the moment I could talk (About how I felt about Levinas.), I was old enough to listen (To what other people had to say.), which explains why though I recite a lot, I don't recite as often as I usually do.

This class was memorable as well because I managed to forge a good friendship with Cecille. She's been a great person, and though we aren't that close, we still managed to share some good times with each other, even for only a few minutes after each class we had.

Lastly, I still believe that Levinas did not understand Heidegger correctly when he made his Philosophy as a “reaction” to Heidegger. Despite his flawed perception, his Philosophy had its merit in and by itself, and should not be viewed merely as a reaction to Heidegger, but a whole Philosophy with value independent from that of Heidegger's. Dr. Garcia told the class how similar that was to how Fr. Ferriols may have misunderstood this or that concept in some Philosophical idea, but the ideas that he gleans from such misconceptions have their own merit as well.

Afterwards, I hitched a ride with Jack, my T.A. partner, as I wanted to get home a bit earlier last night, so I didn't bother going out (non)drinking again. Of course, I felt a pang of regret not going with Ray and TJ, but bonding with Jack was pretty good, all the same. I really think that she has what it takes to be a success in law or teaching, whichever career she'd be more fulfilled with.


The U.S. recently had a storm of complaints over a video on tolerance that is about to be sent to schools all over the country because the video supposedly had a subtext of tolerance to homosexuality, which conservatives in the United States found offensive.

I don't know about you, but I find this very annoying.

The video features various children's cartoon characters and muppets, including Miss Piggy and Spongebob Squarepants, singing along to the song “We Are Family”, and it is not just about tolerance to homosexuality. Just because Spongebob and Patrick are best friends and hold hands sometimes in the series doesn't mean they're gay. Hades, aren't sponges and starfish asexual or something? What's up with these conservatives being more malicious than the liberals?

Moreover, why are people so antagonistic of the notion of tolerance? Conservatives seem to be afraid of alternative lifestyles, and find any attempt to promote tolerance as taboo, when the lack of tolerance is precisely what could be a redneck, close-minded nation in the future, would need as early as possible (I'd like to think the United States isn't quite as redneck as people generalize it, considering how many people voted against Bush.). These conservatives seem to take pride in being as straitlaced and as “normal” as humanly possible, yet personally, that's nothing to be proud of. As Peppy would put it, “normal is weird”.

Tolerance doesn't mean you agree with a certain lifestyle. Tolerance means so long as it doesn't directly impinge on your own lifestyle, any alternative lifestyle that does not break any laws should be respected. Tolerance, in more specific colors, could mean that you may have a lot of homosexual friends, but inasmuch as you respect their preference, they likewise respect yours, such as “I don't mind you're gay, but know that I don't swing that way.”

Oh, come on! It's 2005! We don't judge.

.:The Phenomenological Series: Wanting Something So Badly:.

In the first installment on the Phenomenological Series, I talked about “Being caught by surprise”, and how this phenomenon manifests itself to us. I felt that the word “caught” in that phrase implies a certain kind of helplessness.

On the other hand, when it comes to “wanting something so badly”, it does make you wonder at times about the sheer power of desire over necessity.

Why do we want something so badly? Why is it that the stronger our desire is for something, the closer we approximate the adverb “badly”? Why can't we want something so goodly?

Whenever you want something so badly that you can almost taste it, it becomes a turning of almost all of your faculties away from yourself and towards your object of desire, or the person of your desire, even.

I know all too well how it feels when one wants something, or better yet, someone so badly.

That you'd be more than willing to go out on a limb for that person, no matter what price your dignity or your happiness has to pay, if only to give yourself a shot with that person. You have no guarantee that you'd he happy for the rest of life with that person, but that's irrelevant to you. All that matters is that you'd be able to meet that desire. You don't need that person, but in your choosing that person and by wanting that person so badly, you put yourself in a position where a healthier relationship is more possible, in spite of the seemingly overwhelming and blinding desire that comes over you.

Does that want have to be so bad? Why can't it be good? Is it really that destructive, or is it really just a lack of other adverbs to describe wanting something? Perhaps people can want something or someone so goodly, but exactly what does that entail? Exactly how different is it? Or is wanting something so “badly” merely a convenience of labels? Whatever the case may be, I can be quite certain you have felt how it is to want something or someone so badly before. I'm no different when it comes to that, save for the fact that I relish the feeling when it comes, mostly because I don't think it's so “bad”, really. At worst, I realize the difference between want and need, and that wanting something so badly is at least far better than needing it, lest my existence be incomplete by not having what I think I need.

That's not to say I'm immune to needing things so badly, unfortunately.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

.:Today’s LSS:.

I love the story of “Stairway To Heaven”, and of course, the leading girl is one of the most gorgeous girls in South Korea. The thing that I really like is how the tale of requited/unrequited love plays out with such a melody… I don’t know, but I could so relate with how their stories go…

That being said, this is the Tagalog theme of the show on channel 7…

Pag-ibig Ko Sana'y Mapansin
Carmela Cuneta

Narito ang pagibig ko,
Ibibigay ng buong-buo.
Nangangarap nang mag-isa,
Umaasa na makapiling ka.

Narito ang buhay ko,
Nakalaan para sa iyo.
Naghihintay ng pag-asa
Na sana ay iyong madama.

Langit ka, (at) lupa ako.
Hanggang tanaw na lang ba tayo?
Mahal kita, mahal mo ba ako?
Hanggang pangarap na lang ba ito?
Kaya kong gawin ngunit di kayang sabihin...
Ang pag-ibig ko sana'y mapansin.

Narito ang awit ko,
Ang himig nitong puso.
Naglalarawan ng pagsinta,
Nagbibigay ng sigla't saya.

(repeat chorus)

Ang pagtingin mo't pagmamahal
Damdaming iingatan nang kay tagal.

(repeat chorus)

.:Belated Greeting!:.

Belated happy birthday to Brad Turvey. Hope you had a good one.

.:What The?:.

This Article makes me scratch my head. What is wrong with these people?


The fun thing about Waveback Wednesday is the playlist, and that's precisely what was amazing about it. So there I was with Jean during the show, and while she had a pretty good playlist that I was describing to Clair while it happened, I got a pleasant surprise when it turned out that she had to leave for a while and asked me to take over the boardwork. The slow songs poured right in shortly afterwards, and it culminated in the infamous song “We Could Be In Love”, by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga.

When our show started, and Jean played “Young Love, Sweet Love”, I reminded her of a tv show that had the same title back then... heh. She freaked out and asked me not to mention that on air...

Later on, when it was Pam's boardwork, I was singing along to some of the songs she was playing...

Marcelle: Pam! Your playlist is so great, I can't even leave!

Pam: Huh? Are my songs that slow?

Marcelle: Eh? Does it follow that if I like a playlist, then it's slow?

Pam: Why, yes.

Oh, gee, whiz. Marcelle, ang hari ng ngalngal.


So I went to JayBee's office after my boardwork, and we just chatted a bit about how things have been going on. She still hasn't seen “My Sassy Girl”, so I'm still waiting for her to watch the film before getting the DVD back from her.

Apparently, they're changing her timeslot already, and she'll be doing 1-2 PM on a daily basis. Oh, well. Hope things turn out well for her, and maybe her luck with her lovelife would change soon, or so I heard.

In any case, I waited for Dawson, one of the Campus Air Checkers, before the three of us left for Galleria as they had to run an errand for JayBee's mom. It was funny, because while we were on our way to Galleria, we walked past a jock from NU, effectively having representation in one street for LS, RX, WAVE, and NU. Heh.
The first essay is on Asian Film, and there will be spoilers. For the record, I need help finding "Comrades: Almost A Love Story", which was my favorite film during my classes with Fr. Nick for Asian Film.

The second essay is for my class in Medieval Philosophy, on St. Anselm's "Foreknowledge and Free Choice". The actual paper has footnotes, so yes, this research was not merely from out of a vacuum.

The third essay is a film review. Obviously, more spoilers.



Asian film is a melting pot of film styles, approaches, and sentiments. In spite of that, one still cannot deny that Asian film, no matter how wide its variety, is simply in a league of its own, without question. There is no defining the sheer scope of Asian film by identifying it with one genre because of the wide diversity of culture within the region, unlike the close similarities of Europeans, or the catch-all mentality of American filmmakers. As far as Asian films go, they don’t follow any given formula, and their unique twist on the most common of topics is clearly the very reason their popularity has been on an upsurge lately. It took a long while for everyone else on the globe to recognize what Asian films have to offer, but all of this is simply going to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Asian film encompasses varied cultures, values, and sensibilities. With each segment of the region represented, a different picture clearly materializes. Chinese films, for instance, place a premium on family and companionship, whereas Japanese films are more tradition-bound. Iran, on the other hand, tends to center on children, given their heavy censorship laws, while countries like Taiwan and Korea, though seemingly Chinese on the surface, certainly have their own unique flair thrown into the mix. Great Filipino films, on the other hand, tend to pull on one’s heartstrings instead of pulling one’s funny bone, as other great Asian films manage to do with relative ease. At the same time, what are these films without their own attempts at symbolism? Quite a few of the films were focused on food, such as “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman”, “Kailangan Kita”, and “The Road Home”. In spite of a common theme running through them, each country, Taiwan, Philippines, and China, brought something different to the table (Pun not intended.) with their respective takes on the joys of food. Regardless of how they went about it, what was clear was that Asian films really knew how to connect with their audience, no matter how deep the message they wanted to convey happened to be.

What can Asian films offer story-wise that films from other regions cannot? More often than not, Asian films bank on their respective culture, as their cultures can give quite a unique twist to any given storyline that they take up, and completely transform an old idea into something new and refreshing. “Ran” by Kurasawa, for instance, is based on a Shakespearean play, yet everyone knows “Ran” less for that fact and more for the fact that it is a great Asian film. As such, we see American films themselves trying to incorporate some Asian culture into their films to evoke the same sentimentality, albeit losing some of the sentiment in the transition, i.e., “The Last Samurai”. American films lately have been catching on with Asian standards only now, such as “The Matrix” being a slicker throwback to the classic Kung-Fu films we see in Hong Kong, and the extreme popularity Jackie Chan has in Hollywood nowadays. Clearly, in following the “American Dream”, Asian films have made Hollywood fawn over the “Oriental Dream”: one that they try to simulate, but can’t quite capture.

Overall, the Asian films shown in class could’ve been grouped into story genres: we had the romantic comedies, we had the family-centered dramas, we had the “I remember when” stories, and even the “Kids as the main protagonists” angle. All these things, without any Asian flavor, could’ve been just another film. Because they were Asian, however, the whole perspective changed. So the King of Masks wanted a son and got a daughter. Big deal to the American. To the Chinese, however, this was quite a huge plot twist. If that story were done in an American setting, would the urgency have been the same? If Hong Kong and China did not have the peculiar relationship that they had before Hong Kong was returned to China by the British, would the emotions involved in leaving China for Hong Kong in “Comrades… Almost A Love Story” be as poignant as it came across? Culture is simply Asia’s selling point, and to this day, every other region in the planet looks up to Asian culture with much awe and wonder.

At the same time, Asian films are often extremely emotion-driven, even more so than European films, recalling movies like Indochine and Queen Margot, which relied less on emotions and more on history. As a whole, my measure of whether or not a film was emotional was if Ronan Chua cried at the end of the film. Apparently, Ronan had a batting percentage of 90% in Asian film, whereas I am left to presume that his course in European film did not yield the same results from him. There is so much “slice of life” in all the Asian films shown that made them seem so natural and unlike European film, so heartwarming to everyone, and not merely those who acquired the taste for it. Asian film, unlike European film, is not an acquired taste. The number of people who felt the pangs of separation when the father in “Shower” died, the number of people who oohed and aahhed when the two unlikely lovers in “My Sassy Girl” finally met up again, all point to one thing: Asian films touch the heart first, then the mind afterwards. Let’s be honest and say that European films tend to make one think more often than feel, with the obvious exception of “Cinema Paradiso”. Be it Chinese or Japanese or Filipino, however, the best their lot has to offer will take one on an emotional roller coaster: one that can only promise one thing- sheer unpredictability.

Unlike the slick production values of Hollywood, most Asian films would be naturally behind them in that respect. Musical scoring may be good, but oftentimes, we also see that their scoring was not exactly original, but actually borrowed from other American films, such as “Shall We Dance”. Iran was the most glaring example of low production values that relied less on how good the people onscreen looked and more on how well they acted. As far as Asian films go, the breathtaking special effects take a backseat to the breathtaking storytelling. Thus, they have a tiny budget when compared to American films, considering how a high budget of 100 million pesos in the Philippines is not even $2 million in America, where budgets are often pegged at $20 million. In spite of this huge disparity of budgets, Asian films manage to do what most high-budget American films can only hope to do: connect with its audience on so many levels.

However, one thing that Asian film manages to do that European films, also known far and wide for connecting with their audiences, cannot, is to actually make money. Lots of money, in fact. Great European films are artistic and elite oftentimes. They have an uncanny artistic touch that manages to connect with anyone who views the film, which of course, is quite a small number, if one thinks about it. On the other hand, great Asian films strike the balance between American crass commercialism and European elitist art, forging a unique Asian flavor that reaches out to the audience, who flock to these films in droves. This could perhaps be a great measure of the power of Asian films, in that they can sell, yet they do not necessarily have to compromise their artistic integrity. American films and European films cannot hope to achieve this feat as often as Asians do almost without effort.

The Asian film industry is growing in recognition with each passing year. Some legendary names in Asia are now finding themselves nominated in the Academy Awards, and this phenomenon has been more and more common these past few years. It has been a long time, but it would appear that the rest of the world is beginning to recognize more and more that Asian film’s unique moviemaking flair is certainly a force to be reckoned with, if only for the untapped potentials that Asian filmmakers have managed to draw into for their works.

With their hybrid of artistic integrity and commercial appeal, Asian films clearly have quite an edge over the films from other regions in terms of their capability of striking a balance. Moreover, the actors found in the best Asian films are quite versatile, contrary to the typecasting that happens to the likes of an Arnold Schwarzenegger or a Pierce Brosnan. Performers like Chow Yun Fat, Jet Li, Cesar Montano, Maggie Cheung, Jeon Ji-hyun, and Yukie Nakama are very popular performers in their respective countries of origin, yet are also recognized for their versatility. While Jet Li, for example, is typecast in Kung-Fu films, the different characters he portrays shows his wide range of characterization. He can play a hero in “Once Upon A Time In China”. He can play a villain in “The One”, and he can play an antihero in “Hero”. Maggie Cheung has been in a romantic comedy (“Comrades”), and “Hero”, among other films. Jeon Ji-hyun is the undisputed Korean box office queen, having starred in “Il Mare”, “My Sassy Girl”, and “Windstruck”. These are talents who have had an extensive range of experience in different types of films, and this is what they have over most talents from Hollywood, as some of their stalwarts, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, and Nicole Kidman, are not Americans at all but British or Australians.

Clearly, the future looks bright for Asian film. With the crop of talents the region has that can win over the audience with their charms and talents, it’s hard to imagine how Asian film cannot possibly continue to grow exponentially towards even more international recognition. If only the films viewed in class are testament to the quality of films Asians can turn out, we can clearly say that anything Hollywood or Europe can do, the Asians can, perhaps even better. Maybe Asian films don’t have the $100 million budgets to work with, but clearly, Asian films have a genuine heart to work with, and this genuine heart for the film is something that even $100 million can pay for. Clearly, that is a powerful argument in favor of the rising stock of Asian films: the stories only they can tell, the characters only they can spawn, and the unique flavor all their own, completely inimitable, completely awe-inspiring.

.:Kaalaman, Kalayaan, Katungkulan:.

Ang tinaguriang ama ng scholastisismo sa panggitnang panahon, isinilang si San Anselmo sa Aost Piedmont noong 1033. Mula noong pagkabata, ninais niyang maging isang monghe, subalit tinutulan ito ng kanyang ama. Noong 1060, naging isa siyang monghe sa ilalim ng kanyang kababayang si Lanfranc, at naging arsobispo siya ng Canterbury noong 1089, na kapanahunan ng mga pagtutunggali ng simbahan at pamahalaan sa Englatera. Dalawa sa kanyang pinakatanyag na mga akda ang Proslogium at ang Monologium, na kapwa mga pagtangka sa pagbibigay-linaw sa pag-eeksistensiya at sa esensiya ng Diyos. Namatay siya noong 1109 .

Sa kanyang akda, “Kaalaman-Bago-Mangyari at Malayang Pagpili” , kanyang ginamit ang konsepto ng pangangailangan upang malutas ang problema ng banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari. Pinuna niya na kung kaya ng Diyos malaman ang mga bagay bago pa ito mangyari, kinakailangang mangyari ang Kanyang alam. Sa kabilang dako, ang malayang kalooban naman ang nagsasabing kung ano man ang ginawa ng isang malayang kalooban ay hindi nangyari dala ng pangangailangan.

Ipinagdiinan ni San Anselmo na hindi ito pagtutunggali sa gitna ng dalawa, sapagkat kaya malaman ng Diyos ang mga bagay na mangyayari na dulot ng malayang kalooban. Ipinakita ni San Anselmo dito ang kaibahan ng pangangailangang kausal, at pangangailangang lohikal. Dahil ang kaalaman ng Diyos ay pangangailangang lohikal, nawawala ang problema sapagkat kung hindi kinakailangang mangyari ang mangyayari, lahat ng mangyayari ay hindi mangyayari, na isang kontradiksyon. Kung isa kang tao, kinakailangan kang maging tao. Hindi ka maaaring maging tao at hindi tao sa literal na kahulugan nito ng sabay. Kung mangyayari ang isang bagay, kinakailangan itong mangyari, dahil hindi maaaring mangyari at hindi mangyari ang isang bagay.

Hindi dala ng pamimilit ng Diyos ang pangangailangang ito, kundi dala ito ng lohikal na pangangailangan: dahil alam ng Diyos, at dahil pawang katotohanan lamang ang kaalaman para kay San Anselmo, mangyayari ito, kahit na ikaw ang malayang pumili ng bagay na alam Niyang mangyayari.

Dahil ang banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari ay mismong katotohanan ayon sa ibinigay na kahulugan ni San Anselmo, nangangahulugang lohikal ang pangangailangang mangyari ang alam Niya. Kausal na pangangailangan ang malaglag ang isang lapis na ihinagis sa hangin dahil sa mga batas ng kalikasan. Hindi maaaring tumaliwas ang isang lapis dito. Sa kabilang dako, kapag alam ng Diyos na magkakasala ka, alam Niya rin na magkakasala ka sa iyong kagagawan. Alam Niya bago pa mangyari ang mga bagay na iyong gagawin, kahit na ginagawa mo ito hindi dala ng kausal na pangangailangan. Hindi naman ang Diyos ang tumukso sa iyo upang magkasala ka.

Kung gayon, wala naman palang problema ang banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari at ang malayang pagpili. Kung ihahambing ito sa naging pagtingin ni San Agustin , hindi tinalakay ni San Anselmo ang kalikasan ng pagkalikha ng tao na maaaring tanggihan, kung kaya't mas mahirap hindi sumang-ayon kay San Anselmo sa kanyang pagpapatunay, lalo na sa pagbibigay niya ng dalawang pagpapalagay:

1. Na ang Diyos ay may kakayahang makaalam ng kahit anong bagay bago pa ito mangyari, at,

2. Na may malayang kalooban ang tao upang pumili ng kanyang gagawin.

Sa ganitong banda, nagiging malinaw na hindi natin maaaring isaisantabi lamang ang dalawang nabanggit dahil ito ang mga pagpapalagay ni San Anselmo, na isang malaking pagkakaiba nila ni San Agustin. Mga dalawang taon na rin ang nakalipas noong nakapagsulat ang mananaliksik ng papel ukol sa pagpapatunay ni San Agustin ng kawalan ng pagtutunggalian sa banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari at sa malayang kalooban, ngunit dahil hindi niya ipinagpapalagay ang katotohanan ng dalawa, madaling tuligsain ang kanyang mga punto sa sandaling mapatunayan na hindi malaya ang tao.

Malinaw na kasama ang kalayaan sa perpektong pagkalikha sa atin ng Diyos, kung kaya't hindi maaaring salakayin ang esensya ng tao dahil isa itong pagpapalagay sa kanyang argumento. Higit pa rito, kahit na maaaring amining hindi absoluto ang kalayaan, hindi ito nangangahulugang hindi malaya ang tao. Oo, limitado ang kanyang kalayaan, ngunit malinaw ito dahil may hangganan naman talaga ang tao. Kung ating ihahambing ito sa laro ng chess, oo, limitado ang maaaring maging mga kilos ng mga manlalaro, ngunit mayroon pa rin silang kalayaang kumilos kung paano nila ninanais sa loob ng mga limitasyong ito.

Kung sasang-ayon tayo kay San Anselmo sa pagkakaisa ng banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari at malayang pagpili, hindi natin gaanong pagtutuunan ng pansin ang banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari, kundi ang malayang pagpili, dahil ito ang sinusubukang burahin ng kasalukuyang panahon sa pamamagitan ng agham. Nagkakaroon ng malaking suliranin sa bawat malinaw na hakbang na kanilang nagagawa upang maiusbong ang kanilang paniniwala ukol dito. Dahil hindi gaanong kahalaga ang panig ng Diyos sa dako ng agham, at dahil hindi kayang masukat ng agham ang pag-eeksistensya o hindi pag-eeksistensya ng Diyos, kanilang tinuunan ng pansin ang malayang pagpili ng tao.

Unang-una, marahil nilang sabihing wala naman talagang kalayaan ang tao sapagkat dala lamang ng iba-ibang kemikal sa ating katawan ang ating mga nagiging kilos at tugon sa mga bagay na labas sa atin. Marahil may punto iyon, at maaaring dumating nga ang panahon na talagang kaya na nating patunayan na talagang dulot lamang ng kemikal na mga proseso ang lahat ng kilos natin, subalit sa palagay ng mananaliksik, hindi ito isang pawang pagbura sa malayang kalooban ng tao.

Paano masusukat ang pagloloob ng tao? Ano ang mga datos na maaaring makalap upang masabing dulot lamang ng endorpino o dopamino sa ating utak ang mga pagloloob na ito? Paano nakakatanggi mula sa udyok ang tao? Dala lamang ba ito ng pagkokondisyon? Higit sa lahat, sa sandaling kaya na malaman ang lahat ng ating gagawin sa pamamagitan ng agham, maaari na ba tayong purihin o parusahan para sa mga bagay na hindi pa natin nagagawa? Isang mahalagang konsepto ang responsibilidad na maaaring burahin o baguhin ang kahulugan sa sandaling mapatunayan ang kawalan ng malayang kalooban.

Isang malaking suliranin ang ganitong bagay. Kung hindi tayo malaya pala, bakit tayo maaaring bigyan ng puri o kaparusahan? Nagiging kasalanan ang isang bagay kapag ginawa ito ng tao, at nababawasan o nawawala ang kasalan kapag hindi malaya ang tao sa paggawa niya ng isang kilos. Sa sandaling mapatunayang lahat ng ginagawa natin ay dala lamang pala ng mga kemikal na proseso sa ating katawan, paano maisisi sa atin ang anumang gawin natin, kung gayon?

Sa pelikula ni Steven Spielberg na “Minority Report”, tinangka niyang ipakita ang isang mundo na nagbago na ang patakbo ng batas at kanilang hinuhuli ang mga tao bago pa nila gawin ang krimen. Dahil hindi nila ginagamit ang banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari, na isang lohikal na pangangailangan, at sa halip ay ginagamit nila ang mga kemikal na proseso sa utak ng tao na malinaw na magdudulot ng kausal na pangangailangan, nakikita nating hindi malaya ang pagloloob ng mga tao sa kanilang mga nagagawa. Kung hindi malaya ang tao sa kanyang ginagawa, nawawala ang konsepto ng responsibilidad, na isa sa mga saligan ng pagbibigay ng puri at parusa.

Sa kasalukuyan, hindi natin maaaring kumpirmahin o itanggi ang posibilidad na malaman ng agham kung paano mismo gumagana ang mga kemikal na proseso sa ating utak, ngunit kahit na kanilang magawa ito, may mga bagay pa rin silang hindi maaaring masukat ukol sa kalagayan ng tao, lalo na kung iisipin natin ang kapaligiran ng tao, na may sariling patakbo na iba pa sa atin, at malinaw na walang nasusukat na kaayusang maaaring ipagpalagay.

Kahit na sabihin nating maaaring maabot sa darating na panahon ang kakayahang masukat ang lahat ng mga ito, mayroon at mayroon pa rin tayong hindi maaaring masukat sa kalikasan, at dahil dito, hindi natin maaaring isipin ng walang pag-aalinlangan na ganito o ganyan ang mangyayari (Kahit alisin pa natin sa usapin ang kaluluwa.). Dahil hindi kayang abutin ng tao ang walang-hanggan, hangga't mayroon siyang hindi alam, mayroon pa ring lugar upang magduda sa katiyakan ng agham sa kanilang bersyon ng kaalaman-bago-mangyari.

Sa isang personal na dako, hindi komportable ang mananaliksik na ibaba na lamang ang tao sa pawang mga numerong maaaring paglaruan. Sa aklat ni Isaac Asimov na “I, Robot” , nakikita kung paano nakakasama ang pagbaba lamang ng tao sa larangan ng mga numero. Nang muntik malunod ang isang lalaki at isang batang babae, kaagad iniligtas ng isang robot ang lalaki dahil mayroon siyang apatnapu't-apat na porsiyentong pagkakataong makaligtas sa pagkalunod, samantalang dalawampu't-isang porsiyento lamang ang pagkakataon ng batang babae. Sa sandaling ito, sinisi ng lalaki ang robot, dahil sa kanyang isip, hindi lamang dalawampu't-isang porsiyento ang batang babae: isa siyang tao. Hindi na bale ang malunod siya, basta't mabuhay lamang ang batang babae.

Bilang pantapos, malinaw na hindi natin maaaring burahin na lamang ng basta ang konsepto ng malayang pagpili. Kung ating ipagpapalagay ang banal na kaalaman-bago-mangyari, hindi ito nawawala. Bakit ninanais itong mawala ng agham sa larangan ng sikolohiya at henetika? Dahil nagiging isa sa mga saligan ng sangkatauhan ang konsepto ng responsibilidad at katungkulan, hindi ba nawawala ang responsibilidad at katungkulan kung hindi ka naman pala malaya sa iyong mga ikinikilos? Maraming mga kriminal ang hindi nakukulong dahil wala sila sa tamang pag-iisip. Kung ganoon, hindi malayong isiping lahat ng tao, dahil pawang kemikal na proseso lamang ang kanilang mga kilos, ay wala rin sa tamang pag-iisip. Mahirap mabuhay sa mundong naibaba sa pawang numero at porsiyento, na walang sistema ng pagpapataw ng responsibilidad sa tao, na nararapat isiping siya dapat mismong umiiba sa tao mula sa ibang mga nilalang, ngunit nais tanggihan ng ibang mga bahagi ng agham.

Sa sandaling ito, naunawaan ng mananaliksik ang isang bagay: maaaring magkamali ang tao at sa kadulu-duluhan, wala pala talagang kalayaan. Maaaring matapos ang lahat, may makakapaghanap ng paraang sukatin ang lahat ng mga iniisip at nararamdaman ng mga tao, ngunit dahil hindi pa ito kayang patunayan, mas mainam na ipagpatuloy ang ating pagkapit sa kalayaan.

Kabalintunaan mang isipin, wala tayong ibang maaaring gawin.

.:A Serendipitous Film Review:.


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Lost In The South, Mission: Going Home
Finally, some representation from North Korea.

When I bought the DVD for this film, I didn't know what the Hades this film was. I bought it under the mistaken notion that it was “La Brassiere” or “Wet Dreams”, some Korean comedies Grace was telling me about. In the end, it turned out to be neither.

“Lost In The South...” is the story of two revolutionary North Korean navy men, Captain Choi, and private Lim, who got caught in a storm that sends them off to South Korea. Being communists, they look on in puzzlement at the things South Koreans do, as the capitalistic way of life is something entirely foreign to them.

While going around the South Korean beach they found themselves in, the daughter of the police chief, Na-ra, ran away from home and went on a trip with a group of her friends. Two bumbling detectives were sent by her father to take her home.

What follows next is a madcap, at times hilarious, chase all over the beach as the two North Korean unification fighters cross paths with Na-ra and her friends when they rescued them from extortionists. To make things even more interesting, Choi and Lim stole their clothes from the detectives, who now likewise have a score to settle with them. Na-ra slowly warms up to the two, who needed her to treat them because they didn't have any money. Later on, they rented a jet ski, and they attempted to return to North Korea with it, only to find out that it was an hourly rental.

One of the nicest scenes at the latter half of the film was when Lim was running around a field, getting fireflies to come out from their hiding place, as Choi and Na-ra looked on. The romantic tension was there, but nothing concrete happened from that. Still, while Na-ra felt depressed over being alone, Lim gave her a birthday gift: a ring he cut from a bullet. Interestingly enough, Captain Choi found the bullet in their ship earlier and promised to make anyone who made the ring regret it, but seeing how the situation has somewhat changed, he couldn't quite do anything about it.

The running through the fields was then repeated by Na-ra when she was alone, which turned out to be a very sad scene, as she realized that she only felt happy about the fireflies when Choi and Lim were there to enjoy it with her.

The next day, the North Koreans discovered that there was going to be a singing contest on the beach, and whoever would win it would get a trip to North Korea, which was exactly their way back, as they didn't have a ship or anything of the like to get them back. The song and dance scene was funny, because Lim was rapping to an 80's song, and he was actually rapping about unifying North and South Korea without the audience knowing it. Heh.

Anyways, the military finally discovers that there were North Koreans in the beach and attempt to find their whereabouts. Na-ra, who found Lim's identification as part of the Korean Worker's Party, helped them escape.

The next day, the two find themselves on the beach, and a bevy of European beauties are there to greet them. I guess they're not in North Korea now...

I liked this film, because I never did quite get to see the side of North Korea being represented, for one. At the same time, the unlikely duo of Choi and Lim worked very well in the film as Choi was still acting like Lim's superior throughout their stay in South Korea, and the way they carried themselves really made you feel how unaccustomed they actually were to the ways of the capitalistic countries. It was a hoot to watch them, and I especially liked how their characters were played out.

Na-ra wasn't the usual bombshell Korean leading lady (Not at par with Ji-Won Ha or Ji-hyun Jeon, in my opinion.), but she more than made up for it with her acting. It's not that she was better than most other actresses, but she managed to competently display the personality of a lonely girl in the middle of a million faces. It was a nice effect, and putting together Na-ra and the North Korean guys made for a lot of good comedy and even a few touching moments.

I bought this DVD purely by chance, but I'm not trading it in anymore. I really liked the premise of the film, and to me, it was quite a revelation of how great these Korean filmmakers are when it comes to coming up with nice ideas for films. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see a slice of North Korea, which is obviously underrepresented in the South Korean film industry.

Marcelle's “Fun” Rating: A
Marcelle's “Critical” Rating: B/B+