Thursday, May 31, 2012

What to expect when you're expecting

Rating: 11/10


I didn't know a movie about pregnant women would have this much hot guys in it. Well um, actually, there were only two—Rodrigo Santoro and Joe Manganiello—but they were more than enough to keep me and Tatin squealing throught the entire film. (There's Chace Crawford too!)

March 2012 issue

First, let's discuss Joe. What is it with this man-god? Lol. I mean, seriously. His abs look so rock solid, China should lay claim to them as a new special administrative region. In the movie, he basically just shows up and flex his biceps; normally, I'd feel offended over the objectification of such a Carnegie Mellon- and classically trained theater actor...

... except this time, I don't, lol.

I don't get why this film got such low ratings from critics. (It's at 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.) Yes, the material was standard comedy but the actors—most a LOT of them—did really great. I thought Elizabeth Banks was charming as a first-time mom who looked forward to having the pregnancy glow but ended up having no poise whatsoever—the complete opposite of Brooklyn Decker (Just Go With It), who couldn't be any more cute and perfect.

The posse of young daddies headed by Chris Rock and with standout Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) provided much comedic relief with 'horrid' stories of what they do behind their wives' back.

Bridesmaids alumni Wendi McLendon-Covey, who played the mom bridesmaid in that movie, Ben Falcone, the undercover air marshall, and Rebel Wilson, the British flatmate, practically (and successfully) repeat their roles to some degree. Rebel practically steals the show here.

All of them—not quite mainstream, not quite leading actors—jell so perfectly, that it becomes jarring to see such big names as Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez trying to fit, awkwardly if I may add, with an excellent comedy ensemble. I would have loved to see Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, or even Kat Dennings in those roles instead.

The movie is about motherhood so there is bound to be a big dramatic scene—JLo's story arc provides that one but again, it comes off a bit obtuse relative to the rest of the individual stories. However, I thought Chace Crawford and Anna Kendrick's big, silent moment was more successful in that.

Rating without the hawt boys factor: 8/10


May 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My letter to World Vision Philippines


World Vision Philippines responded to my letter this afternoon. I'm posting it here as it was attached in the email.

I'm now on the fence whether to continue or discontinue my sponsorship. I still feel strongly that she is not suited to be ambassador; I fear, for example, what she'd say in that capacity if a gay kid approaches her and seeks her advice regarding self-acceptance.

* * * * * 

Here's my original entry posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:53 a.m.:

Tweeted this yesterday,

and I immediately sent an email to World Vision Philippines:

May 16, 2012

Dear World Vision Philippines,

As a gay man, I am deeply disturbed by what one of your ambassadors, Miriam Quiambao has been tweeting in recent weeks. She has said that "homosexuality is a lie from the devil" and just today, supported Manny Pacquiao for "stand(ing) for God's law." This was after Mr. Pacquiao quoted the Bible as saying that gay persons should be put to death.

I seriously considered my decision to be a World Vision sponsor since I have a lot of issues with Christian groups’ stand on homosexuality. What made me eventually push forward with it, aside from being a former Christian myself, was that World Vision is non-denominational and that it serves "people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender." By gender, I assumed you also meant those who fall under the LGBT group (otherwise, you would have used 'sex'), though I couldn't verify how fully this is observed. I also had no means to know if you teach catechism and how you deal with topics on homosexuality; still, I went ahead with my sponsorship.

A few weeks after that, your group’s Twitter account retweeted a statement that was prejudiced against gays. I called your Twitter account’s attention to it, and it was immediately removed from your timeline. The account’s handler also assured me it was a mistake and that it is against your policy to discriminate. I appreciated your favorable action then and I hope it would do the same this time.

Ms. Quiambao's statements, at the very least, are divisive. At most, they incite hatred, and in the wake of Pacquiao's statement, they incite violence toward LGBTs. To gay kids, Ms. Quiambao's statements are disappointing—at the least. At most, her statements and belief are what drive gays to a life of shame and guilt, if not suicide.

It is for these reasons, and also given your main thrusts, that I strongly believe she is unfit to continue to be your ambassador. Your non-action on this would mean my sponsorship should be welcomed elsewhere.


I think a week is enough time for them to decide on the matter.

Also, since I wrote this letter, it has been found that Mr. Pacquiao was not only misquoted but was also misrepresented by the website in which his controversial statements appeared. As it turned it, he never cited Leviticus, part of which says gays must be put to death. Further, Ms. Quiambao has since qualified her support of Mr. Pacquiao's partly fabricated statements to say that she "(does) not agree with the killing part," which to me is a loaded statement nonetheless. In any case, there is still her earlier statement about homosexuality being a "lie from the devil." Bottom line, she sows divisiveness and is detrimental to the mental and emotional health of gay kids. I stand by my letter.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Every Breath U Take

Rating: 7/10

This movie almost got it right: the plot was not a minefield of clichés as can be expected from Pinoy romantic comedies. There were no best friends, 'evil' evil nemesis, bad guy to good guy epiphanies, and sex scenes that mainstream studios never get right anyway. Instead, there were refreshing characters and developments, so much of them in fact, that unfortunately, they became convoluted enough for the writers to tie them all up in the end soundly.

Since the trailer gives away a lot of the jokes, I decided to post
Piolo's photo instead.
Angelica Panganiban, in my opinion, has turned out to be the most charming comedian that we've seen onscreen lately. I love how she can easily play the sweet, naive and virginal girl, and still have the humor to subject herself to the most crass situations: in one case, inhaling Piolo Pacual's armpit. (Yep, reminiscent of that Justin Timberlake Friends with Benefits scene.) There's also a tenderness and subtlety in her delivery; in the birthday lunch scene, she pretends to be fine among her family, but her voice and tears betray her––I thought that was truly understated and beautiful.

Piolo is a brilliant actor and has won many awards for his past performances but I felt he wasn't really acting for his age. I'm not sure if it was the actor's or the director's fault, but I had misgivings about Piolo's carefully setup shots, screenshots of which could easily be turned into a desktop wallpaper––they were that staged. His very public breakup with real life ex-girlfriend KC Concepcion also didn't help make me believe that he was in fact a seducer of women. He had a lot of matinee idol moves, but had no swagger. (On another note, his character, a candidate for VP of Sales, is using myPhone. Right*. )

The rest of the characters, such as the trio of Smokey Manaloto, Carlos Agassi and Joross Gamboa, were more caricatures than actual real-life characters that they might as well have been substituted by cartoons. (This also partly explains the jarring culmination toward the end, when the movie essentially breaks down.) I thought the match-up between Smokey, who used to play Japanese characters, and Ryan Bang, known as the Korean judge on Showtime, was a smart move, but the latter's character was so one-dimensional and noisy, there was nothing else to do but gag him; unfortunately, that did not even happen.

Overall, I thought it was cute movie, thanks largely to Angelica's splendid performance, Piolo's beauty, and some strong, comedic punchlines.


*Product placements are de rigeur for mainstream Pinoy movies
**I forgot to mention that Tatin gave this movie a rating of 2/10, or "Sige na nga, 4/10 for the cute dresses."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

On gay marriages

On one hand, there is the joke about why we would even want to get married at all. On the other, there is this:

"As a child, when I thought of the future, all I could see was black. I wasn’t miserable or depressed. I was a cheerful boy, as happy playing with my posse of male friends in elementary school as I was when I would occasionally take a day by myself in the woodlands that surrounded the small town I grew up in. But when I thought of the distant future, of what I would do and be as a grown-up, there was a blank. I simply didn’t know how I would live, where I would live, who I could live with. I knew one thing only: I couldn’t be like my dad. For some reason, I knew somewhere deep down that I couldn’t have a marriage like my parents.

It’s hard to convey what that feeling does to a child. In retrospect, it was a sharp, displacing wound to the psyche. At the very moment you become aware of sex and emotion, you simultaneously know that for you, there is no future coupling, no future family, no future home. In the future, I would be suddenly exiled from what I knew: my family, my friends, every household on television, every end to every romantic movie I’d ever seen."

I hope you spare some thought for your gay friends.

Full story: Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

Monday, May 14, 2012

Zuellig Bldg, Makati

It looks really good---almost yummy---when lit up at night. I like this shade of matted gray on buildings. I think it adds an air of dignity to the surrounding.

Zuellig Bldg in the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Makati Ave. is inspired by bamboo and flowing article, according to this PDI article. It's still under construction, contrary to the February 2012 opening stated in the article. Nevertheless, as it stands, it is the first Gold level LEED Core and Shell Precertified structure in the Philippines.

Official site:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Zen of The Muppets

The Muppets (2011)

Rating: 10/10


I began watching The Muppets thinking how silly it would be to sit through a two-hour movie with puppets, the kind that are not run by multimillion-dollar animatronics. To start with, I am not a Muppets fan, since I grew up watching Sesame Street. I know little of Kermit the Frog, though I must admit, I am more familiar with Miss Piggy, she who has done fashion editorials for real-world magazines.

The movie has this same strategy of putting together reality and... well, puppets. Eventually, it forces you to drop logic, and consequently, 'seriousness,' and eventually, 'adultness.' I found myself laughing out loud at the most inane propositions involving self-awareness jokes, celebrity cameos and far-left thinking (read: Miss Piggy as the "full-size" editor-in-chief of French Vogue, lol). I found that those challenged me to let go of my jadedness, that part of me which questions and doubts pure intentions; instead, I afforded myself the luxury of sitting back, relaxing, and accepting what is: the Muppets are good people; I trust them.

It was liberating. (On a side note, it made me realize too, how movies and TV––entertainment––contribute to our walls and defenses. We cannot like him, he might be killer. No's she's not really being nice; she needs something from him. Distrust has become a defense and coping mechanism––even while we're 'enjoying' ourselves.)

It was that clarity, when you could take everything at face value, when naiveté was anything but a derisive term, that made me enjoy this film so much. Well, plus, it's seriously funny. I highly recommend it :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tony Moly’s DandyGuy Moisture BB cream

Blemish balm (BB) creams provide light coverage for your face to hide imperfections like scars and dark spots. They often come with color—ergo, they may look like liquid foundation—hence for brands that also target guys, it’s important that the packaging and design do not emasculate.


I’m happy to say that Tony Moly’s DandyGuy Mositure BB cream is one you may proudly display on your bathroom counter or carry around in your bag. Tatin gave it to me over a month ago and I’ve been using it as my alternative sunscreen since Manila weather is searing these days.


I like it that the product is easily absorbed by my face; I don’t feel greasy after use, which is important in a hot and humid weather such as ours. As for the tint, I don’t notice a difference in my skin color after application so it means the product blends well with my face. As the product label says, my skin does remain 'looking natural.'

Before and After

I think some of my acne scars are too deep and my eyebags too heavy for my face to look exponentially better after using this product, but as you can see in the right photo, it does offer a bit of eyebag and pore coverage. It also reduced some of the shine from Olay, which I used prior to the BB cream.

Most importantly, it has an SPF rating of 30, which is 100 percent more than my daily moisturizer. I like it since most moisturizers with high SPFs tend to feel heavy.

Pros: light suncreen, barely-there coverage (foundation day, especially for guys, is a no-no!)
Cons: None! I'm just not sure if the product is now available here since Tatin got this from Korea.


Tony Moly Philippines website:


How to make a case against transgenders joining Miss Universe without invoking God, truth, and the devil

I can't find any other reason as to why the Miss Universe Organization is allowing transgenders to enter the pageant next year, aside from this: "We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously."

This is a pageant that had previously threatened to dethrone Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado for being overweight. It also disallowed Miss Guam 1999 from joining the competition that year because she was rumored to have been pregnant at the time. Delegates must also be single, never had been married, and no older than 27.

There are also the national pageant rules which include height requirements. In the Philippines, having posed for a men's magazine such as Playboy or FHM is a sure way to get you axed from the official list of contestants. I don't even think you can be born in another country or have citizenship issues, hence the dethronement of Anjanette Abayari (1991) and Janelle Bautista (1999). Venus Raj (2010) almost met the same fate but fought to be reinstated.

If you think allowing transgenders to join MU almost sounds like it is unfair to naturally born women, it's because it is. If the Miss Universe Organization is truly serious about supporting equality for all women, then it should dissolve itself: there's no equality in pitting them against one another so you can crown just one lady while the rest get flowers and a sash.

You can't make everyone a winner. If you do, then that's not a competition.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Back, back, back

I'm back, because geez, Tumblr is such a douche. I can't even write a lengthy text post because the WYSIWYG platform won't even recognize basic HTML elements such as space. (I need to press shift-enter after every paragraph; I can't do that over iPad, teehee.) If I include photos in my 'blog' entry, I will have to use the HTML side and align every photo to the center!

I also do not know how to add a sidebar in Tumblr; I miss reading those in my blog list. I also can't export my book list, which by the way, I've been very delinquent with. (I'm now behind my reading by two months.)

Anyway... Tumblr, seriously? You're really not going to be writer-friendly, are you?

After suffering through Tumblr, I realize: God, I love my Blogger template.

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