Monday, January 27, 2014

Project 52 2014 (4/52): On "How Long Will I Love You?"

.:Project 52 2014 (4/52): How Long Will I Love You?:.

So it looks like we've come to this for the Project 52. A song title, and a whole blog post revolving around the idea of it, and if that's the case, then maybe I really should go back to including the music videos of the songs in question, right? Nonetheless, it's not a bad hybrid of my previous Project 52's at all.

How long will I love you?

It was probably my favorite song of 2013, and something I loved singing along to. Mostly because I could relate to it, and it and I don't see it solely as a love song from one person to another. It could also very well be a song to the things I'm passionate about.

As long as stars are above you

While going over Dom's blog, I realized that I have so many things I used to be passionate about, but they just all slowly seem to fade into the background now. Like, say, my magic and mentalism. Another guy is doing an expose show on my craft, but I don't even raise an eyebrow over it any longer. I'm sure that the fire is still within me, but I don't go out of my way to stoke it the way I used to any longer.

Or the academe. It feels like the ship has sailed on that point of my life, all the same.

Or longer if I can

And yet, despite numerous setbacks, here I am, still making myself a part of radio, by hook or by crook. But why?

What is it about radio, about writing, about you (you know who you are) that just makes me keep going no matter what the setbacks? I look at Dom's blog, and I see a man who is in a completely different stage of his life now. I look at myself, and I see myself stubbornly holding on to a lot more things than I'm letting go of. And with all the people around me who are all about to get married or have kids, I can't help but pause and take stock of the fact that well, damn, I'm really taking my time. I know I shouldn't rush, but the life choices I made sure ensured I would be taking the scenic route.

How long will I need you?

I can't imagine myself completely turning my back on everything I've been going through, and just forcing myself to grow up. At least, I find myself really stuck in a moment I can't get out of, and only now am I beginning to wonder aloud if it's a good thing or a bad thing for me, to be this way, to be this stuck.

As long as the seasons need to

So maybe I'm ranting and raving right now, and I don't quite know where I'm going with this. I'm scared, in all honesty. Scared, because things are coming to a head, and I still haven't quite figured out where I'm going to end up after everything has been said and done.

But that's really the mystery of life. Some people have it made. Some people are pushing 50 and still have no idea what to do with their lives, and that's what makes them fascinating.

Follow their plan

I don't know where to go from here, really. All I know is that I can only continue being passionate. I can only continue loving and driving myself on that passion. It isn't such an earth-shaking realization, true, but it's one I need to remind myself of from time to time.

How long will I love you?
Long as stars are above you
And longer, if I may.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Project 52 2014 (3/52): (There's Gotta Be) More To Life

.:Project 52 2014 (3/52): (There's Gotta Be) More To Life:.

There's gotta be more to life

Been stuck here in the office for hours. Work, work, and more work. And while I do love what I do for a living, sometimes I wonder if I'm running myself ragged to the ground. There was something so different about me being in Australia middle of last year with the first real vacation of my life, and I have never quite captured that feeling again.

Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me

So what am I looking for now? What are we hoping for now? Looking at how I blog nowadays, I'm generally surprised that I'm allowing myself to follow a format the way I'm doing right now. It feels like I painted myself into a corner where I can't be as introspective as I normally would because I have to frame my arguments within song lyrics. Maybe I should ditch it, maybe I shouldn't. I don't really know at the moment.

But again. What am I looking for right now? What am I looking for in the long-term? I don't know, and I seem to be floundering about, but I hope I find my bearings soon. It isn't always about the latest gadget or the latest development. It isn't about scoring another date or doing this or that. There's just so much more to life than that, but I admit: I do lose perspective of that fact from time to time.

'Cause the more that I'm...

I think about the political situation right now, and wonder why we allow this circus to go on for so long. Because we are so absorbed in our own situation, and we are so jaded that someone like Bong Revilla acting like a complete assclown on our dime is just mildly ridiculed at worst, while he still looks to be scheduled to get away with it, relatively unscathed. Sure, he won't be president in 2016, but if you expect him to go to jail anytime soon, I'd really like to sell you a bridge along San Juanico.

Tripping out thinking there must be more to life

So what is there, really? In the how many weekends I've spent hanging out at Clif's place in Eastwood, the last time out with Christa, what did I end up realizing? Did I find the deeper meaning of life? Did I have to? And what did I hope to achieve? Absolutely nothing, right? Just fun, fun, fun. I mean, that's why we're looking forward to the weekend, after all.

Sure. That makes sense. But then, Monday comes along, and I go straight back to being jaded and grumpy and all that stuff, only taking the time in between snarking to go to radio on Mondays and Wednesdays, then maybe do a bit of standup if I'm up to it as well, and of course, improv. It's all good, it's fine. It's a routine I've come to be so blase about, I find it a huge expenditure of energy just to blog about.

But then what?

Well it's life, but I'm sure: there's gotta be more...

The world doesn't owe me a damned thing. I know that much. But I owe it to myself to start taking stock of where I'm headed, and to not just be so damned aimless and underachieving. While I make a name for myself and earn death threat after death threat over a bunch of Kris Aquino jokes, I fail to see the value of it all if, in, say, 2022, Kris ends up being the president of this country, anyways. I feel like I'm fighting city hall, and I feel like I just need to experience the most life has to offer in as short a span of time as I can whiz through.

... than wanting more.

But instead of picking up the pace, perhaps, it's time for me to slow down. I need to know where all of these seemingly disparate things in my life are headed towards, and where I wish to go with them.

Give me just a bit more time. I'll get there, I swear.

When The Demolition Job Happens To You

.:When The Demolition Job Happens To You:.

It's no secret that I've been a professional magician and mentalist since 2006. It's been a very amazing experience, and yes, I'm still in the thick of all that and can be booked easily enough, if you wanted to see top-notch quality entertainment. Lately, though, I've been asked several times about a certain TV show called "Demolition Job," as it went out there and exposed the secrets of mentalism on television just last Monday night.

Like religion, you mean? Oh, right.

I find it amusing and sad at the same time that they had to target mentalism on this show. Amusing, because it's not like this is the first time mentalism has been exposed: Studio 23 has had a series of magic exposure shows in the past, and a particular episode dealt with mentalism already. I took a bunch of psychology classes to get the hang of using mentalism in a performance setting once I managed to repackage what were originally academic pursuits, so even in a purely academic setting, mentalism is right there for the taking for anyone who wants to get into it.

But I find it sad, because you know what? People make a living doing this stuff, and killing the fairy doesn't really do them any favors. While defenders of this kind of programming would say that exposure is a challenge for these performers to step up, has anyone bothered asking why only magicians or mentalists are forced to step up like that? Do you tell Coke to step it up by revealing their secret formula? Do you challenge KFC to pick up the pace after divulging their 11 secret herbs and spices? Of course not. So why kill the magician's livelihood? I may not be as adversely affected as other performers will be, but I can almost hear random people talking to me about seeing this episode for at least the next six months.

Pictured: real magic.

Ultimately, what is the point of a show like "Demolition Job?" I gather that it's supposed to be like Penn and Teller's "Bullsh!t," which is mostly about debunking false beliefs and the like. Since it's a demolition job, then you might even say it's a deconstruction of myths and lies we hold true. Let's face it, though: if that was your objective in mentalism, the first thing you should have been debunking would be the seance, not psychokinesis. Out of every single part of the mentalist's arsenal, it will always be the paranormalist quackery that always, always annoys me to no end, and I'll get to why in a bit. Psychokinesis? That's entertainment fluff and a crowd-pleaser, but by no means problematic. How many people even know about psychokinesis as a phenomenon, let alone actually believe in it?

You see, when a magician or a mentalist (And I will use them almost interchangeably here.) performs, there is an implicit expectation that some deception is involved. This is a contract of sorts: everyone is in on the fact that not everything happening is as it seems, and that's a contract that should be upheld, since hey, you're entertaining people; not starting a religion.

However, things are very different when you pretend you can talk to the dead, and the person you are speaking to is hanging onto your every word. These are people who want to believe you and want to communicate to someone they love. You prey on their vulnerability for some measure of gain, and the contract of deception is completely ignored.

So why does it seem the seance went untouched? I could only hope they will end up doing an episode on the Tony Perezes and Jaime Licaucos, right? Or at least call out Nomer the Mindmaster when he pretends he can talk to Miko Sotto for Ali Sotto's benefit?

To me, I'm merely after fair play: yes, magicians and mentalists are valid targets for your so-called demolition jobs. It's just like how people go out of their way to remind people that pro wrestling is fake every chance they get. Annoying? Yes. But they're entitled to do that. Would I be happier if nobody bothered exposing magic and mentalism in this way? I'm not particularly swayed in either direction since I actually like how Penn and Teller do their exposure, but I can see more people benefit from and less people are harmed by keeping these secrets, well, secrets.

So in the interest of fair play, where are the episodes exposing Mother Teresa? The Catholic Church? How about other religions, and some of their decidedly baseless, even harmful practices? How about the preferential treatment enshrined in law (Under a constitution that supposedly separates church from state, no less!) for Muslims that allowed Freddie Aguilar to marry a minor? Failing even that, let's start with something simple: how about the mania surrounding the Black Nazarene, and the countless injuries it causes year in and year out? Any takers on that?

Okay. Religion's a bit too touchy? Let's talk governance then. How about political dynasties? Corruption and scams? Got anything to say about that? What? You're afraid of death threats, and won't do that, either?

How about dietary supplements that promise you the moon and the stars, yet always end with "No Approved Therapeutic Claims?" Remember April Boy Regino claiming he was cancer-free thanks to Sante Pure Barley, and suddenly retiring late last year from performing, due to still having cancer? You mean to tell me he willingly staked his life on that supplement, only to find out he's still actually sick? That's horrible! Expose that sh!t!

Seems legit.

Oh, what? They're your sponsors, and you can't do that to them? Fine, then.

So remind me: of all the other logical targets to go after, why were mentalists one of the first? Why did you go after them, when they have yet to cause any harm to the country, to begin with? Could it be because you can pick on them and they won't fight back? That's really it, isn't it? Why tackle the lies of a religious institution, or the government, or a paying sponsor, when you can pick apart an easy target instead? 

And this is why I just rolled my eyes when I heard that the fine art of magic was targeted. Again. Of course they'd do that. They're not going to pick on a target that could actually hurt them if it fought back. The most magicians and mentalists could do would be to say some mean things to Paolo Bediones, maybe toss a homophobic slur or two his way at worst, then after a while, they're gonna move on because they have better things to do, like try to earn a livelihood, even if "Demolition Job" made sure that was going to be just a little harder to do.

We magicians and mentalists get targeted because, believe it or not, we're too nice. And the sad part is, at no point does it occur to anyone doing "Demolition Job" that maybe, just maybe, they are killing other people's livelihood just because they can, and not because they are serving any public good. I'm not mad, but can you blame any other magicians if they do get angry because it suddenly got harder to feed their families because of this episode?

Again, we are entertainers. We are artists. We aren't trying to start a religion here. We're not out to make anyone believe we have these super-special powers only we are in possession of. We're just trying to entertain you, because that's our job. Walang basagan ng trip, pwede?

But I guess that's too much to ask for, right?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Project 52 2014 (2/52): I Started A Joke

.:Project 52 (2/52): I Started A Joke:.

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying...

Stop me if you heard this one, but Kris Aquino apparently attributes all her good fortune lately to the fact that she has left spearing the bearded clam off her regular list of activities.

Of all the self-absorbed, self-serving bits of news you could possibly publish, right? Well, given my track record of not exactly being a fan of Kris Aquino, I went ahead and mocked the piss out of the whole thing, because if she's so willing to attribute all her good luck to the fact that she has ceased indulging in the horizontal lambada, then maybe we should start attributing every single good thing that happens in the world to her and the fact that her legs are no longer like a Taylor Swift song, never ever ever (getting back together).

But see, I don't think what Kris does in her bedroom makes her any better or worse as a human being. I am not a fan because for some reason, this person who manages to make anything and everything about herself is given all the air time in the world to do so. And with that kind of power in her hands, what does she do with it? Why, she airs out dirty laundry, or proves just how out of touch with reality she really is with every single thing she has to say. I know this has little to do with the core of what I have to say, but let's just make that clear.

Anyways. So the 8List managed to get some traction, and then it found its way on Yahoo. And about as head-scratching as the instances where people go to the 8List and complain that there are only 8 items per list, the explosion on Yahoo was where things started getting even more insane than they normally do.

But I didn't see, that the joke was on me

Is it just me, or is there a glaring number of Filipinos who don't get satire? I mean, I look at a similarly satirical article like, say, "Five Facts About Being Poor (From A Rich Person)," and I see significantly more people who got the joke than people who just thought Cristina H was taking the piss out of poor people.

With this, I presume.

So what is it about the Philippine mentality that has a person look at someone say "I looooooooooove Kris Aquino" and completely miss the sarcasm oozing out of a statement like that? Heck, what is it about the Philippine mentality that even a good chunk of people who get satire use "satire," "parody," "irony," and "sarcasm" interchangeably? Does everything really need to be spelled out for us? Because I can go to any supposedly "educated" sector of the Philippine interwebs, and I'm bound to find a similarly disappointing ratio of people who just. Don't. Get. It.

What is the sound of a point flying over somebody's head?

I mean, come on! Not only did I also write these decidedly not pro-Kris lists, I also tried to be as crazy over-the-top as I can be with my imagery, as I pretty much exhausted what I thought was an already extensive vocabulary of alternative expressions for taking the skin boat to tuna town, but all that flew over the head of people who claim to have read the list. 

Don't even get me started on those who got mad but insisted they did not read the list.

Granted, I shouldn't expect a particularly high level of discourse on Yahoo, but where on the internet can I expect one that is as instantaneous and open as a Yahoo or a Pinoy Exchange?

I was particularly mortified when I saw an even less subtle satirical article by Ellen Tordesillas, overflowing with sarcasm from the first paragraph alone, being taken at face value by a strong majority of the readers. And don't even get me started on how many times I had to facepalm when people completely ignore the fact that So What's News is a fake news site, or how many people believe the Kris Aquino "interviews" by the Professional Heckler were legit (And one of the people who believed it? Sharon Cuneta.).

I keep saying that Filipinos deserve more credit and that we are not as stupid as people want to make us seem. I keep saying we deserve better forms of entertainment than the sophomoric, insipid types the powers that be deem fit to subject upon us. These people are not helping. At all. I hope they're just the noisy minority.

Inasmuch as I enjoy what little Philippine satire I've seen online, we have to admit one thing: none of it is very subtle. At least, certainly nowhere nearly as subtle, as, say, Brass Eye or The Life of Brian. You might even say that, just like sweetened spaghetti with hotdog bits, Filipino satirists have to tweak how they write satire to be as blunt and in-your-face as possible so that it would take an idiot for anyone to recognize what they see as anything but serious. 

Unfortunately, just as sure as Kris Aquino is not polishing the porpoise, we don't seem to have a shortage of idiots, either.

No matter how fool-proof you think you are, never underestimate the ingenuity of fools.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

This Was Coy. He Will Be Missed

.:We're Too Young To Be Writing Eulogies For Each Other...:.

All around me are familiar faces

It never gets easier.

You and I met for the first time during the 2007 Emerging Influential Bloggers Night. It was also the first night I met AJ Matela. At first, I was amused by your video and video editing. Then, I was utterly mystified when you proved how good you were during that Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf event where we were part of the same team, making a video together on the spot.

Worn out places, worn out faces

Then 2008 happened. Laughs And Gasps. You put together a video of all the subliminal messages Jay and I dropped to make our finale happen, and you had to do it before the finale actually happened. There wasn't a single person I could have thought capable of that but you.

Bright and early for the daily races

But your legend as a vlogger, if not the vlogger, just kept on growing. It was always a pleasure to see you at blogging events, and as the years went by, we always would keep in touch here and there. It was always a pleasure to see you, as more and more new faces poured into the blogosphere.

Going nowhere, going nowhere

As I slowly found myself disillusioned with the notion of the blogosphere, you remained one of the positive points, although it had far more to do with who you were, than it had anything to do with your blog. I always respected you. And I always valued what little time we had to spend with each other.

Their tears are filling up the glasses

But I just thought we'd have more time to spend. I mean, who thinks about these things happening to any of us so soon?

No expression, no expression

So I'm sorry if there's no eloquent way to say I wish you didn't have to go just yet. I'm sorry that I can't craft this weaving verbal tapestry of praise and honor for a friend who absolutely deserves it, in life and beyond. But inasmuch as I want to drown in apologies, this isn't about me. It's about you. And you were a great person who I may have spent so little time with, but you were a great person who made every moment count.

Hide my head, I wanna drown my sorrow

Sometimes, I wonder where life would have taken any of us if none of us ever discovered blogging. In the end, all I see is how much better life has been knowing you were a part of it. And I take small comfort in the fact that no matter where you are now, you will always remain to be a part of it. Those blog posts won't unwrite themselves, those Tweets won't untweet themselves, nor would those YouTube videos ever unrecord themselves.

No tomorrow, no tomorrow

I hope wherever you are now, you are at peace. I can't thank you enough, and I can't write hard enough to express the profound sense of loss I feel right now. I guess I never expected to have to write a eulogy for a friend like you so soon.

This was Coy: a great friend, a visionary, a guy who knew how to laugh at himself, and someone who reminds me why I am grateful to have been a part of this blogging community.

This is how he will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I'll see you soon enough, Coy. All of us will. In the meantime, I'm going to miss you while you're gone.

                                                                                    from Fritz Tentativa

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad.
The dreams in which I am dying are the best I ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very mad world.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Rational Response To "A Rational Response To Lourd De Veyra's Close-Minded (Sic) Open Letter To Vic And 'My Little Bossings'"

.:A Rational Response To "A Rational Response To Lourd De Veyra's Close-Minded (Sic) Open Letter To Vic And 'My Little Bossings'":.

Hi, Sherwin!

First of all, congratulations! Your blog post has baited thousands of people, and they are now proudly paying attention to you until the next cute cat video shows up. I won't begrudge you that. With everything you had to say about Lourd De Veyra's open letter, and your apparent infatuation with Bossing Vic's comedic stylings, you've earned that much, at least.

You have fifteen minutes. Use 'em well, son.

But there's a small matter I have to address in your response to Lourd, in all honesty. It's a matter that really sticks out like a sore thumb as you went on your diatribe against him, and even his music, as if that had anything to do with his ability to critique a film.

Nothing about your response remotely fit the description of "rational." At all.

Shocking, I know.

You see, the word "rational" is defined by the dictionary this way:

ra·tion·al [rash-uh-nl, rash-nl]adjective
1. agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible: a rational plan for economic development.
2. having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense: a calm and rational negotiator.
3. being in or characterized by full possession of one's reason; sane; lucid: The patient appeared perfectly rational.
4. endowed with the faculty of reason: rational beings.
5. of, pertaining to, or constituting reasoning powers: the rational faculty.
So if that's what it means to be "rational," dear Sherwin, then I need to politely inform you that calling Lourd's music out when you're discussing his critique of Vic Sotto, and demanding he make his own blockbuster movie before he has any right to criticize "My Little Bossings," are anything but rational ways to argue your point. These are inconsequential to your arguments: non sequitur, if you will. 

Think about it, Sherwin: not only do you have zero blockbuster movies to your name to properly evaluate "My Little Bossings" on the kind of footing you wish to place Lourd on, you don't even have a single hit song to justify your ability to critique his music, either. Worse, neither do you own any literary credentials to affirm your right to writer an essay. See where your "logic" takes you? It leads nowhere.

Photo unrelated.

You see, an argument, to be deemed as "rational," needs to be free of glaring logical fallacies, especially arguments based on tu quoque and other forms of ad hominem. To debate effectively, you need to argue against Lourd's points, instead of criticizing Lourd himself, while letting all his actual points stand. Which was exactly what you did.

Really shocking.

It's funny, because I recently saw another scathing response to Lourd that came off a lot better. Her critique hinged around a concept I'm sure Lourd himself would be very familiar with: walang basagan ng trip. After all, what harm is there in Vic's movie being out there for people to watch, especially if they freely choose to go and watch his movie, to begin with? Nobody forced anyone to go to the cinemas to watch "My Little Bossings." Everyone was free to stay home and just not watch - or at least, in theory, they are.

In reality, the week of December 25 is often a peak season for movie-watching for families, given that these are the holidays we are talking about. And if there's one thing you need to know about the Metro Manila Film Festival, that's precisely why it's held around that time. It's a protectioneering racket that originally was meant to give Philippine movies a chance to take bigger risks because they have a captive audience, but with time, it became just another cash-grab. With a captive audience, why bother making the next great Filipino film when you can instead make the next great Filipino blockbuster? True, both these things need not be mutually exclusive, but it's clear which among the two is prioritized come December by film producers.

Gee, I wonder which?

This is why my interest in the MMFF has waned over the years: quality films take a backseat to predictable cash-grabs. Yes, law of supply and demand and all that holds true, but this goes against the original intent of the festival: the MMFF today is no longer a showcase of the finest in Philippine cinema. Now, it's a police lineup of flicks that want nothing more than to take your money - and a few poor souls who foolishly thought this was still a showcase of the finest in Philippine cinema. Those few poor souls end up being booted out of the cinemas long before the week is even over.

Thankfully, it's a *film* festival, not a *poster* festival.

All Lourd has been saying is that with all the money Bossing has been making, is it too much to ask for him to offer something that isn't a shameless extended commercial, for a change? Sherwin, you were quick to say that Lourd can have his 220 bucks back, but you don't speak for Vic Sotto now, do you? After all, they never offered Lourd his money back, which only goes to show that "take the money and run" definitely takes precedence over something as esoteric as "principles."

I would like to reiterate: "tu quoque" is not a valid counterargument.

Besides, if Lourd didn't watch "My Little Bossings" and instead wrote his open letter in a vacuum, I'm willing to bet people would call him out for whining about something he knows nothing about. He paid 220 bucks to be tortured by this putrid excuse for a movie, so if he didn't like it, then by jove, he has every right to say so.

Let me remind you about the Oscar season in Hollywood, and how many of the strong films in Oscar contention generally take a financial risk as opposed to just making the next Transformers or Twilight flick. A deeper message? Not all the time. Sometimes, you just need a good message, which is by no means out of reach for the average Filipino film.

So shocking, you guys!

Tell me: in the face of boundless greed and capitalism as exemplified by the countless product placements snuck into "My Little Bossings" that have little to no bearing on the plot, how can anyone say with a straight face that "family values" and "forgiveness" is the overarching message of the film? Is that not an inherent conflict of values? What parts of "family values" and "forgiveness" is exemplified by Solmux? By Tide? By Ariel? By Lucky Me Pancit Canton?!? You will find none, because there are none. 

The fact that this unfortunate hypocrisy leaves its mark all over the film is the height of laziness. Was it so hard to script product placement seamlessly without it feeling like it was shoved down everyone's throats? Don't we pay ridiculous amounts of money to watch movies in the theatres partially because we supposedly get to skip commercial breaks when we're in the cinema?

Pictured: para sa bayan!

To say that the film promotes good values is just reaching. The "moral of the story" was merely a trite, patronizing afterthought. I have seen Vic Sotto perform in FAMAS-worthy outings during Eat Bulaga's Holy Week specials. I know what he can do when he works hard to achieve something. So please don't tell me with a straight face that "pinaghirapan nila" ang "My Little Bossings." I don't get a promotion at work for telling my boss I tried really hard. I get a promotion for getting results.

Sadly, the Metro Manila Filmfest's barometer for "results" has gone from imparting strong messages to a captive Pinoy audience to just making as much money as obscenely possible.

In sum, dear Sherwin, here are 8 reasons why I find your "rational response" hilariously irrational (See what I did there?):

8. You used a slew of logical fallacies to undermine Lourd, but not once did you attempt to address his actual arguments.

7. You mistakenly believe that effort is sacrosanct and similarly, success should be immune from criticism. I don't care how many times Vic and Kris claimed "pinaghirapan namin ito." I don't make over a hundred million pesos on the back of "effort" alone, so why should they? Just because people gave Vic Sotto all of the money does not mean his film is above scrutiny. In fact, the more people to have watched Vic's film, the more people would be perfectly entitled to critique what they have watched.

6. You dismiss deal-breaking issues such as inane scripting and plot, robotic acting (Hi, Bimby!), relentless product placement, all because "there were punchlines." You can get even funnier punchlines for free by watching "Eat Bulaga" and "Bubble Gang," so where is the elevation one should reasonably expect from something called a "proud entry" of some "film festival?"

5. You think "can you come up with something better?" is a valid argument. No, it's not. I don't need to be an expert on eating sh*t to know that something is sh*t when it looks and smells just like it. 

4. You likened Radioactive Sago Project's music to being a "Bohemian Rhapsody wannabe," which betrays your lack of knowledge about music, let alone grammar, but we'll let both of that slide. The reason I bring it up is that even if you somehow proved that Lourd was a terrible musician, that does not invalidate his opinion about the movie. What you are doing here is shooting the guy who tossed the grenade, while doing absolutely nothing about the grenade that still lands right at your feet.

3. You excuse "My Little Bossings" for its flaws mainly because of two things: that there were other films that were just as bad (Thankfully, you passed over the casual homophobia by offering up Vice Ganda as this year's worst offender.), and the fact that the film donated some of its proceeds to Yolanda. I can make a movie of my cat licking himself for ten minutes and donate all of its proceeds to Yolanda. Will you and ten of your friends pay 220 each to see my movie, then? Would you consider my "movie" even remotely good, all because I'm donating the proceeds to charity?

2. You confuse "good movies" with "Hollywood." You think special effects and the bankroll are the most important ingredients in making a "good movie," while completely missing the part where Pinoy indie films on shoestring budgets have been tearing it up in the awards scene for years. You conflate flash with substance, and worst of all, fall prey to colonial mentality by thinking that because we're a developing country, we can't make "good movies." People like you are the reason why a movie as excellent as "On The Job" needed a dancing Gerald Anderson at mall tours just to promote it and make it a moderate success.

1. You completely missed the point of a film festival. A film festival's primary aim is to showcase first, and to make money later. The MMFF has been doing the complete opposite for a long time already, especially since until recently, box office returns were a part of the criteria for "best film" during the awards night. What? Wasn't the money they made enough recognition already?

Dear Sherwin, at no point do I call into question your attitude, your grammar, or your qualifications as a writer, and pass that off as a deconstruction of your "rational response." Instead, I took the few arguments you actually had, and proceeded to debunk them, then reiterated why I believe that "My Little Bossings" was a terrible disappointment, based on its merits, or lack thereof.

That, my friend, is a "rational" response. You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does.


You need me like a hole in the head.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Project 52 2014 (1/52): On "I Love You Came Too Late"

.:Project 52 2014 (1/52): On "I Love You Came Too Late":.

I felt really bad about my blogging in 2013, to be honest. It was the lowest output I ever had in the 11 years I've been blogging, and I was very disappointed that I couldn't put a lot of my thoughts down, and all because I let my writing for the 8List take over.

Well, not this year.

I've done a Magic Project 365, and then a Music Project 52, and finally, an Essay Project 52. Needless to say, out of those three, the easiest one to do was definitely the last one, since I am an opinionated prat and all that. So here I am.

So yeah, I guess that means my blog post about my trip to Singapore, and even some of my other musings, will definitely make it on this blog, just not yet, since I want to do this Project 52 as religiously as I can.

In any case, anyone still remember that song, called "I Love You Came Too Late?"

Hades, anyone remember him at all, even?

I've been musing about that lately. How sometimes, you miss out on opportunities in your life because you dilly-dallied a little bit too much, and in the end, your "what if" gets answered by a "no" by default. It's interesting, really. Up to what point do you push your luck? How long do you wait when people around you tell you it's "too soon" to make a move? 

And then, when you finally muster up the courage to tell someone how you really feel, the words "I'm sorry, but I'm seeing someone already" just tumble out of her mouth, and you don't quite know how to take it. A part of you is relieved that you don't have to deal with rejection as head-on, but another part of you feels terrible that you didn't act when you had the chance.

"I love you" came too late, indeed. In fact, you never even got there.

But here's the awkward part for you, and the riddle you need to figure out for yourself: where do you go from there? Now, you find yourself at a point where you second-guess everything you do, and you end up wondering where that will lead you. After all, sure, you can be all business as usual, but now, there's that nagging pang in your gut every time you meet, and it just refuses to go away. It gnaws at you relentlessly. It drives you nuts. And at some point, something has to give.

There are times I feel like I'm the master of bad timing. I always find myself in situations where the moment I choose to act is either too soon or too late, and it tends to blow up in my face, as the hits would keep on coming. They're busy, they're heartbroken, they're in a bad mood, they just found someone new, or whatever else. And yes, perhaps some of these are merely polite euphemisms for actual rejection. Even then, it's only testament to the fact that getting it right is never as easy as the movies insist it would be.

So now, I'm here. Frustrated with myself, because I recognize fully well that I have no right to get angry at anyone else. So I may as well take it out on the one person who's at fault, right? Let's face it: the one thing in common with all your failed relationships or non-relationships is always you. So if there's a metric f*ckton of them staring you down, then maybe that's also because you're a kilometric f*ck-up.

I'm tired, really. And I don't know why the hopeless romantic in me insists I'll make it through this and it'll all be better soon. It shouldn't be this way. My smile should not be entirely dependent on having someone beside me to see me smile. 

And yet, lo and behold, here we are, in that very situation I so utterly despise. Because "I love you" came too late. Or too early. But when did it ever come at the right time, anyways?