Friday, March 28, 2014

Project 52 2014 (12/52): As Long As You Love Me

Technically, now that I think about it, these posts follow my classic blogpost formula for lyrically speaking scribbles. I realized that just now.

.:Project 52 2014 (12/52): As Long As You Love Me:.

Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I'm leaving my life in your hands...

I'm not going to ruin things by getting ahead of myself. I'm not going to make the mistake of overplaying my hand when there's still so much ground left to cover. Despite that, I have to admit that with each passing day, I learn to appreciate things more and more.

It was a slow build, really. I didn't quite expect things would get to this point this abruptly, yet despite that, I like where things are headed. It's humbling to realize that not everything we want, not everything we plan, will always fall into place, and sometimes, the universe has better ideas.

People say I'm crazy and that I am blind, risking it all in a glance...

But what *is* crazy, really? The notion that if I keep doing the same thing I've been doing these years again and again, somehow, the results would magically change? I'm so through with that self-delusion. I think it's time I started doing things differently.

I think it's time I really started doing things my way.

But how you got me blinded's still a mystery, I can't get you out of my head...

It's been hovering over me non-stop. How did I get here? Why am I lost in this haze now? I've been walking around wounded for so long, I didn't really think I was going to find myself in this state so abruptly. Manic-depressive, am I? Maybe. But there is no denying that I'm on a high, and it's the kind of high I have never expected to find myself in for a long time already.

It's new. It's exciting/. But it also feels that it could very well last.

Don't care what is written in your history, as long as you're here with me...

And anyone can tell me that I don't know much. There's a chance that I really don't understand much, either. It's all just a blur, and I'm trying to process everything that's been happening to me.

But I do know enough. And I do understand enough, and I do believe that counts for something.

I don't care who you are

There are things I need to find out over time, but it won't change the way I feel right now. Those are things we leave behind, not things we weigh ourselves down with in the here and now.

Where you're from

There are places I have yet to see, but its beauty won't be tarnished by what came before. All that matters is what my eyes can see when I'm there. All that matters is that there is a bridge I can cross when I get there.

Don't care what you did

Skeletons? Everyone has skeletons. I know that rather intuitively. But I don't care about that, because I care about the fact that there are no closets to speak of now. The skeletons may lay bare for all to see, but it doesn't dissuade me one bit.

It's so easy to bail out when the past catches up with you. But why would you want to, when you find something worth fighting for again when you thought you simply never would? It doesn't matter. None of it matters.

As long as you love me...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Project 52 2014 (11/52): Starting Over Again

.:Project 52 2014 (11/52):Starting Over Again:.

Starting Over Again
Hey, look! A Project 52 entry and a film review!

Need I say it? SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

And when I hold you in my arms, I promise you...

So I asked a new friend to catch a movie, seeing as I haven't been to the cinemas in ages, and lo and behold, she suggested that we watch "Starting Over Again," despite the fact that she's already seen it thrice before.

I can see why she caught it thrice.

"Starting Over Again" is a tale of love lost and a chance to regain it, initially framed around the conceit of a fictional website,, which is based on a real one. With LetterLater, you get to send an email to someone at a scheduled time. Five years after their breakup, Ginny (Toni Gonzaga) receives an email from Marco (Piolo Pascual), asking if there's still room for a second chance.

The problem was, in the five years that have elapsed, Ginny and Marco have been as far apart as can be. Ginny starts hoping, and even reminiscing about the past that they had.

You're gonna feel a love that's beautiful and new...

Next thing she knew, Marco came back into her life, asking her to convert his ancestral home into a restaurant. Marco, from being her teacher in college, ended up becoming a chef: a dream he pursued and finally succeeded in, after so many failures. Was this the sign she was looking for? It seemed to be that way, until in came Patty (Iza Calzado), Marco's fiancee.

As the days went by, it was clear that Ginny saw things that simply weren't there. She deluded herself into finding signs that didn't exist, all brought about by a letter written five years before, working her way back into her life, just as Marco himself did the same. Where was this headed?

This time I'll love you even better than I ever did before...

As her hare-brained scheme to get back with Marco got crazier and crazier, Ginny started being completely disconnected with the reality: Patty was still in the picture. And at her most brazen and most selfish, she ended up almost stealing Marco right back, and even begged Patty to let him go. It was rather uncharacteristic of a Star Cinema film to make their protagonist almost downright unsympathetic, but they went there.

After a mishap, things come to a head. Why did they part ways five years before, to begin with? Why did Ginny choose to turn her back on Marco? Why did Marco move on? The reasons, piece by piece, slowly fell into place.

And you'll be in my heart, forevermore...

In what was the most satisfying ending after what was nearly a moral horizon crossing for Ginny, she realized that "starting over again" doesn't necessarily mean they have to be lovers again. Neither do they need to ever unlove each other.

That's how real life works, really. Patty said it best: their love may be boring and quiet, but it is sure. Sometimes, it isn't the whiz-bang gestures in life, but simply the fact that true love is there. Quiet. Strong. Constant. Not even the biggest gestures could sway what is real, and Ginny had to learn that. There was a reason Marco came back into her life: she needed to learn how to love and let go at the same time. For her own sake.

And now we're starting over again it's not the easiest thing to do...

I loved this movie, and I have to admit that I hold it in about as high regard as I hold "One More Chance," which is high praise. Piolo and Toni had an amazing kind of chemistry, and Iza Calzado more than held her own as a solid foil to Toni, making you see that no matter how much you might want to root for Ginny and Marco to get their second chance, Patty deserved her first just as much.

It's a movie about losing love and regaining it, only to realize that it doesn't mean the same thing anymore. And that? That's not a bad thing at all.

I'm feeling inside again, 'cause every time I looked at you...

If there's one thing I can't help but appreciate about the film, it's the fact that it takes the concept of the "one great love" and makes you understand that this one great love, no matter how powerful and all-encompassing, is never a guarantee. Sometimes, we tarry and look for the big gestures and the amazing grand moments that we end up completely forgetting that life isn't made up of one big gesture after another.

The plateaus of life make up far, far more than the highs and the lows. If you can't see that, and if you end up feeling compelled to always chase after the highs, then you really can never know for sure if that can keep going forever. It probably won't.

I know we're starting over again, this time we'll leave all the pain away...

Moving on doesn't mean leaving each other. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting everything. And starting over again sure as Hades doesn't mean going back to the same old story, as if neither of you learned the lessons from the past. In real life, there is no true redo, because we learned something. Thankfully, that is one advantage we have that Joel and Clem in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" never had: now we know better. Now we know not to make the same mistakes again.

After all, isn't it true that we can never keep laughing at the same joke, no matter how good it is? So why should we keep crying over the same tragedy, no matter how horrible it is?

Welcome home, my lover and friend. We are starting over, over again.

"Fun" Evaluation: A+ (Fun, heartwarming, and even tear-inducing. This movie had it all.)
"Critical" Evaluation: A+ (Stellar acting, stellar cast, and a storyline that cuts so close to home it hurts - in a good kind of way.)

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Normal Relationship? What Does That Mean In This Day And Age?

.:Normal Is Relative. Also, Overrated.:.

I don't really share this much because I don't find it a big deal, but I've been meeting people here and there recently thanks to Tinder, which is, for lack of a better term, a dating app.

Not to be confused with Grindr.

It's been great, really. At worst, I've made several new friends because of Tinder. I didn't come in with high expectations, but I must say, making new friends can't be a bad thing at all. Where's the harm in getting to know new people, right? It's not like going on Tinder means that from this point on, the only interactions I would have would be with people I meet through the app or something.

And truth be told, it's not like I'm in a rush to find anyone at this point. After the emotional beating my heart went through last year, I do believe that just letting things play out as they may would be the most prudent course of action for me.

But Tinder, for what it's worth, really rocks, regardless of that.

You see, I've met several people already that I would never have otherwise. Different points of view, different opinions, different mindsets, and the fact that romance isn't really the primary concern for me walking into it allowed me to really widen my horizons through it. And true, being a guy, I don't get inundated with indecent proposals from matches left and right, but it's not like I toss any of them around myself, so that about balances out.

Despite that, when I told a friend of mine about Tinder and how it's been great for me so far, she suddenly freaked out and told me that maybe I should try meeting people "the normal way."

She found it strange, because to her, women are meant to be pursued, and when it comes to Tinder, the woman has every bit as much agency as a man to pursue if they so choose to. I wouldn't even call it aggressive, because it isn't: it's simply showing that what is good for the goose should likewise be good for the gander, and the notion of gender roles dictating women cannot reach for what they want in a man the way Tinder enables them to is something I can't help but scoff at.

So I had to examine the meat of her statement: that I should try meeting people "the normal way." What does this even mean?

Back then, we had phone pals and pen pals. Complete strangers who randomly get to know each other by sheer randomicity.

Then in the age of the internet, in came the chatrooms. ASL? Yes, please. I know so many people who got to know each other through the internet, and lo and behold, a lot of them are married now.

And now, with the internet fitting in your pocket, the chance to meet people is now as simple as an app.

Yet somehow, anything short of meeting a person physically doesn't fall under "normal?" Or were pen pals and phone pals also "normal?" Were meeting a person and speaking to them through an app mutually exclusive for the latter to not be "normal?" Think about that for a moment, because to me, it doesn't make one lick of sense.

And has it ever occurred to anyone that because you spend more time communicating than anything else before you even meet for the first time, there are some very clear advantages to how people meet in today's internet age, which actually leads to better marriages in general for them?

I can't help but have a kneejerk reaction to the assumption that using an app to meet people is somehow not "normal" simple because it now exists when it did not less than five years ago, or that eyeballing a friend or potential love of your life is not "normal" because chatrooms were not exactly a thing two or three decades ago. And besides, is something being "not normal" necessarily a bad thing? If you met a new friend, or found the love of your life without having to be neighbors with them, or classmates, or officemates, or introduced by friends or family, is that in any way objectionable?

"But you can't know the other person as well as when you meet them in the flesh!" Are you kidding me right now? You have people married for decades, cheating on each other. They've had all the time in the world to get to know each other, but that clearly didn't do much, did it? It's not like you completely shut out the personal aspect when you meet someone through the internet. It's not like you just decide that yes, I will totally fall in love with typed words and not consider the person behind these words and the need to perhaps see them and find that wonder offline as well as I found it online. These things are not. Mutually. Exclusive. So stop treating them like they are.

The times are changing, for better or worse. Despite that, the ability to meet new people when you previously could not have, the opportunity to widen your horizons and explore new realms where you could not have gone before, apps like Tinder do not cheapen the experience or devalue them, at all. These things enhance our ability to find connections where none previously existed, so how could that, in and by itself, actually be a bad thing?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Project 52 2014 (10/52): Sinta

.:Project 52 2014 (10/52): Sinta:.

Pag-ibig ko sa iyo ay tunay at totoo...

Last week, I was fortunate enough to actually find myself watching "Rak Of Aegis" on its gala night, thanks to my old friend, Ren Aguila. I got there, ran into several people like Jazz Nicolas of the Itchyworms, and even a few other big names in the Philippine music scene, such as Ogie Alcasid and Gary Valenciano, who apparently attended a meeting for artists immediately before the play.

But the highlight of the night would have to be the fact that Jose Mari Chan was also in attendance - and it was nowhere near Christmas!

Singtamis ng wine, singtatag ng sunshine...

"Rak Of Aegis" really rocked hard that night, and I couldn't help but resist the urge to sing along to the songs throughout the night, as was requested by the theater voiceover before the play began. Considering that this film was originally just a joke or meme on Facebook before it ended up becoming reality, it's good to know that someone liked the idea enough to really make it happen, because Aegis's discography just lent itself perfectly to a powerful performance all around.

The cast was, in a word, perfect. Every single performer onstage was appropriate for the role they were playing, and it was clear that they were adding little touches here and there to the play as current events that could not possibly have been referenced a month ago when the play's run began made its way into the dialogue, such as "foods" and another recent thing that hit the news just that day, like Enrile's wife or something. I don't want to spoil anything and I don't really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the plot, but it was lighthearted but very heartwarming at the same time.

Tunghayan mo sana ang aking pagsinta...

That night, there were so many ships to be shipped: Tolits x Aileen, Kenny x Aileen, Kiel x Mercy, Kiel x Mary Jane, and maybe even Kenny x Jewel. It was love in the time of Yolanda, as it were, what with the play set in the middle of a lengthy flood afflicting a small town. 

Truth be told, I was surprised by the set PETA ran with, because I didn't expect it to be water-filled. When I initially sat down to watch the play, I thought that I was looking at glass, but it turned out to be water, which added to a kind of theater magic that I have probably never seen before, given my limited experience with the medium.

Langit ng puso ko, oh ang pag-ibig mo, sinta...

Funny and endearing, the play was amazing from top to bottom, and of course, the cast handled themselves exceptionally well as they sang very familiar songs from Aegis, including "Luha," "Sinta," "Basang-Basa Sa Ulan," and even "Christmas Bonus." The songs really shone throughout, with their lyrics being changed here and there to fit the context of each key scene better, and while the conflict and drama within the play took a backseat to the musicality, I don't think I would complain about that when it's supposed to be a feel-good experience in the first place.

But next thing I knew, my eyes seemed to deceive me when I saw there was more after the musical ended. Okay, not really. I knew they were going to be there. But still...

Nananaginip nang gising, nakatulala sa hangin...

Aegis showed up. Aegis!

Pictured: Aegis!

I knew they were going to perform that evening, but it really was a treat to see them in the flesh, and belt out their songs like there was no tomorrow. One would have to admit: there's something unbelievable about the pipes on these ladies, given how difficult it is to sing these songs non-stop, which they've been doing since I don't even know when.

Nagsusumidhing damdamin, kahit halik lang ang akin...

The audience was so appreciative of Aegis, and why not? It doesn't matter how snooty you may be and how much you may despise OPM. It doesn't matter how "bakya" you might think their lyrics are. Aegis has talent. They can sing, and boy, like how!

In fact, it was so raucous already that the theatre people didn't bother stopping anyone from taking videos of the Aegis performance, as nearly every person inside PETA theater felt compelled to bring out their cameras to just capture a piece of these amazing performers, as they gave their all to everyone watching.

Nababaliw ako sa'yo, bawat silakbo ng puso ko...

Aegis was awesome, and so was Rak of Aegis. I heard they're expending the play's run a bit more, and it's good that they did, because this is a musical you really have to experience, and I say this as someone who's not particularly a theater person!

A shame I couldn't find Jose Mari Chan after the show, though. But hey, at least, I ran into Earl Ignacio!

"Rak of Aegis" was a masterpiece. it really was. Here's hoping for a second run sometime in the near future! In the meantime, I will be waiting...

Sa isang sulok na lang, umiibig sa 'yo, sinta...

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Project 52 2014 (9/52): Emotion

.:Project 52 2014 (9/52): Emotion:.

It's over and done, but the heartache lives on inside...

I don't know why, but the past week or so has been hell on me. There's been a lot of changes on all fronts, and all I could think of is that now is the time for me to rise above it all or forever wallow in the mediocre muck I've called my life the past thirty years.

I thought I made some progress. I thought that things were beginning to look up for me. Next thing I knew, every baby step I took forward was wiped out by several backward leaps.

And I don't know anymore. Can my heart handle continental drift like this? Losing you all over again in an entirely different way? Can I deal with the torment of knowing that what we had wasn't worth fighting for - yet again? When will that ever change, huh?

And here I thought I was inching my way towards better days.

And who's the one you're clinging to instead of me tonight?

It seems misery alone is infinitely preferable to the mundaneness of together. It seems that you simply thrive on drama. On deception. On everything only seeming better or worse than it really is. When you look at the cold, hard truth, you see nothing but a hurdle that needs to be overcome and promptly ignored afterwards.

How long did it take before you turned around and forgot about everything you professed about us? It's all gone and dead now, yet there was no reason for it to be that way. No reason at all.

And where are you now, now that I need you?

You'll always be there for me? You'll always care? You'll always be the best I ever had? Ha. Let's not kid ourselves any longer: whatever you felt, be it love, friendship, concern, or sympathy, that all faded away like half of everything I've ever done. And it kills me oh so royally because I'm the only one torn up inside here. I'm the only one picking up the pieces afterwards, because I am simply a non-factor, and what happens to me either way does not in any way mean a thing to you.

That disparity has always been glaring. It has always been frustrating. And ultimately, it has led me to being exhausted and burnt out on this notion for the longest time. It has left me cynical and jaded, and I don't like it one bit.

It's either frustration or the beginning of a new dance step.

So where do we go from here? I try my best to internalize what's next, but if all I could muster from you is indifference and a complete and utter disregard for everything that really ought to matter. I sometimes wonder if it's because you're emotionally stunted, or if it's because you simply don't find me worth the effort. Either way, I end up wondering why I'm still here, and what the point is in all of this we've put ourselves through.

Tears on my pillow, wherever you go...

I have no idea what you're doing now, nor do I have the foggiest notion what's running through your head right now. And maybe I've put my life on hold too much already, and for far too long, and it's time I focused on things that are far more important and far more beneficial to me, than to keep moping around here, wondering if you'd ever come around and realize what you're walking out on.

It isn't fair, but then, I really should not expect anything fair, should I?

I'll cry me a river, that leads to your ocean...

Except I can't really any longer. Like I said. I'm jaded and cynical, and I'm rather exhausted by all of this now.

You'll never see me fall apart...

I know you don't read this. And I know you wouldn't care, either way. That's fine, really. Let me fall apart like this, and pick myself right back up, and then keep on keeping on. With everything I have on my plate, it was a Herculean effort to have to find ways for you, but that wasn't exactly something that meant a damn to you, was it?

But that's fine. I'm not entitled to anything. All I can do is stay steadfast through it all.

In the words of a broken heart, it's just emotions taking me over

Pardon me for being so sappy. For being so melodramatic. This is really all that's been overwhelming me the past few weeks. The need to get it off my chest really just remains, and all I could think of is how much longer we have to go around in these circles.

Caught up in sorrow, lost in the song.

I kept on saying that I'm so sick of this song and dance and I'm so tired of hurting. Yet I keep on coming back to you every single time. Because for the longest time, you're all I've ever known, and you mean the world to me.

You're wonderful, even at your worst.

But if you don't come back, come home to me darling...

Maybe someday, you'll return to me, but for now? All I can do is keep on living, and as petty as it seems, a part of me hopes that you would regret letting me walk on by.

Don't you know there's nobody left in this world to hold me tight...

But tonight? There's nothing colder than the emptiness I feel being alone.

Nobody left in this world to kiss good night...

And nobody's touch but yours would ever, ever do. But all I could say to you is...

Good night, good night...

Monday, March 03, 2014

Project 52 2014 (8/52): Happy

P.:Project 52 2014 (8/52): Happy:.

It might seem crazy what I'm about to say...

You might think I'm manic-depressive or bipolar or something, what with all the gloom and doom on my blog, lately, but I will relish any happy moments I manage to get. Given that I would probably only have a very few blogposts beyond this year's Project 52, I have to admit that I tend to indulge in a bit of dreariness lately.

But hey, there really are just some days where you can't help but forget all about that and remember that when you take the time out to breathe, life can get pretty awesome.

It was a great week, yes. Why do you ask?

I was suitably all smiles

There's really something about being recognized for your efforts that keeps one going, no matter the exhaustion or tedium involved. Truth be told, the entire 8List team really worked hard to get this Anvil Award, and it really does feel rather fulfilling to be part of all this.

The fact that Stratworks ended up being the most-awarded agency of the night was just gravy.

Sunshine, she's here, so you can take a break...

All things considered, it was a great Friday, too, as Switch Improv finally returned to BGC to entertain the only way we know how. It was a great night, and arguably one of the best shows we've ever had. It was definitely a remarkable comeback, to say the least, and with some new things we have up our sleeve in the coming weeks, the future looks pretty bright for Switch Improv. I gotta wear shades. Or not.

Of course, our ever-brilliant musician member, Jona, managed to arrange this very song I'm using for this post as the hook for our latest musical game, and I must say, it's a ton of fun to sing. I foresee this new game being a pretty great crowd-pleaser in the coming weeks, as well.

I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space...

So yeah. Switch Improv has been going places, and we just set something up that could really be a huge turning point for  the group. With everything we've been through in the past year, I'm really happy how we've come together and really taken all the steps necessary to become quite the force to be reckoned with. Can you imagine just relentlessly entertaining a crowd like this almost on a weekly basis with nothing but sheer chutzpah and a will to perform?

It goes back for rows and rows.

It's easy to see why I'm so optimistic, isn't it? And look at that: suddenly, I'm writing pages upon pages today, simply because it's well worth writing and talking about.

With the air, like I don't care baby all the way'

Really felt like my whole weekend was jampacked, as I headed off to Thunderbird in Rizal for my first non-children magic and mentalism show in for way too long than I'd care to remember. I had a few good turns prepared, and I've started incorporating a little bit of hypnosis into my repertoire, for that matter. Fairly interesting stuff, since I just really had to dare to do it, in the end.

Thankfully, they spelled it right.

And there I was, really raring to go, as I prepared some of my classic routines, all the while completely unsure if the crowd was going to be so welcoming of me. Thankfully, this casino audience gave me all their energy as I fed off the laughs and gasps, allowing me to really make a standout Abnormal Lift that night, and of course, a classic Wizard Manual finale.

Clap along if you feel like a home without a roof

And true, things aren't perfect. Meeting people has been harder than ever, what with all the stuff that's been occupying my time lately.

Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth

And true, I really should do something about my horrible case of insomnia lately.

Clap along if you know what happiness is for you

Despite that, there's just something comforting in knowing that even if my mood changes tomorrow, even if I get all depressed and everything in the next five minutes, that point in my life where I am happy exists, and is something I can allow myself back into from time to time.

Clap along if  you feel like that's what you wanna do

And if there's anything I discovered while spending the entire day at Burger Company with my brother and my cousins today, it would probably be that a good burger will erase your worries in a snap. Always.

Because I'm happy...