Playlist On Repeat

Last Sunday, Yana and I watched The Last 5 Years at the RCBC Theater starring Nikki Gil as Cathy Hyatt and Joaquin Valdes as Jamie Wellerstein.

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Until now, I can’t stop listening to this Last 5 Years playlist on Spotify.

 

The musical is of alternating viewpoints of Jamie and Cathy; Cathy’s viewpoint starts from the day Jamie left her, while Jamie’s viewpoint starts from the day he first met Cathy. The musical opens with Still Hurting, and the song found a way to rip through my heart. It’s then followed by Shiksa Goddess with Jamie ecstatic that he has met Cathy. Cathy and Jamie’s song when they first met each other were so easy to fall in love with, as if I’m also falling in love. In the early stages of their relationship, they simply wanted to stay to together and be forever blissfully in love.

If you drove an R.V., that wouldn’t matter

If you like to drink blood, I think it’s cute

If you’ve got a powerful connection to your firearm collection

I’d say, Draw a bead and shoot

I’m your Hebrew slave, at your service

Just tell me what to do

I say, “Hey hey hey hey!

I’ve been waiting for someone

I’ve been praying for someone

I think that I could be in love with someone

Like You

- Shiksa Goddess (Jamie)

You don’t have to put the seat down

You don’t have to watch the news

You don’t have to learn to tango

You don’t have to eat prosciutto

You don’t have to change a thing

Just stay with me

I want you and you and nothing but you

Miles and piles of you

Finally I’ll have something worthwhile

To think about each morning

- I Can Do Better Than That (Cathy)

But when the relationship progressed they both wanted more from each other. Maybe this is what happens with unrealistic expectations in love that’s being perpetuated. Often do cartoons and romantic comedies focus on finding “the one” and not with sticking through hardships with “the one” through constant communication. They both were so happy when they found their potential better half, but when they eventually tied the knot that’s when everything regressed, which also points out that the marriage is more important than the wedding. Weddings are also important, just not as important as the marriage behind that facade. Their vows were so beautiful, and it breaks my heart knowing that they broke up because of the small problems they did not address early on which eventually worsened.

Kudos to Joaquin Valdes and Nikki Gil who without a doubt were perfect to play Jamie and Cathy (P.S. I am fangirling over both of you right now!). Hands down to Jason Robert Brown who wrote this beautifully heart-shattering musical of how magical yet disastrous relationships can be.

Behind the scenes during the filming of "The Last 5 Years"

I also found out that it’s going to be a movie starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. (Eeeeep, I’m so excited!)

I am not a film critic

I am not a film critic, but I’ll pretend to be one. Last week, Cinemalaya: The 10th Philippine Independent Film Festival was held at CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines),  since our university is walking distance from CCP, we said, “Why not?” We got to see 3 new breed full length features (S6parados, K’na The Dreamweaver, and Dagitab), and 2 directors showcase (Kasal and Asintado).

Dagitab

Directed by: Giancarlo Abrahan V
Starring: Eula Valdez, Nonie Buencamino, Martin del Rosario
This is a story of a couple, both professors at University of the Philippines, whose relationship is slowly crumbling as they succumb to their own interests. I felt as human as ever while watching this film, for even a professor as brilliant as Jaime (Nonie Buencamino) gets to question his life decisions, like any normal human being.
 But I was thinking– we might live more extraordinarily if we were more normal.
He was rethinking if they’ve really lived a full life, if they were simply cowards to face the real life, and used the university as a shield from facing “real life.”
Maybe we have failed because we have dropped out of life
 I especially liked the scene where Issey talks about the people we love and the void they leave.
 Some things you love and they’re yours forever.  It is not about letting go or moving on, because they never really leave.
They leave a void.  And you carry that void with you. You don’t move on. You just become a bigger person until the void doesn’t feel as big.
Dagitab’s OST on Soundcloud
(not on soundcloud but also part of the film. This was the only song I knew from the movie, and it brought back pain and hope.)
I suggest you to go watch this film. Directing, screenplay, and acting are superb!

Cinemalaya X

Last Monday, Aly and I rushed to CCP after class to get tickets for this year’s Cinemalaya. We randomly chose films whose time slot fit with our schedule and where student discounts are allowed. Apparently, one out of the three tickets we got was for a screening of two documentaries.

Wednesday came and we watched the two documentaries, Dungkoy and Ulilang Lubos. Dungkoy tells a story of a 9-year old, parentless boy who lives with his grandmother who suffered a stroke and can now barely move or talk. Dunkgoy and Lola Nonita were relocated from Pasig because their area was flooded for two months because of the super typhoon Ondoy two years ago. When they were relocated in Laguna, her mother left him and his lola with only 50 pesos in his pocket. His mother told him that she will be back at the end of the week. Until weeks, became months, and months became years. Lola Nonita is now Dungkoy’s sole responsibility,  he feeds her, bathes her, removes her lice, and even cleans her excrements. Lola Nonita can barely sit herself up, so there was a time where Dungkoy came home to excrements on their mattress. They survive through their neighbours who give them food, and through feeding programs in their province.

Ulilang Lubos tells the story of four siblings who were fathered by different men and whose mother abandoned them in an apartment, left to live by themselves. The only time their mother went back to their place was to give birth to their fourth sibling. I still am appalled of how certain people get to sleep soundly at night. These children earn money buy asking every house they pass by for plastic bottles or tin cans, which they sell to a junk shop. A day’s earnings can range from 20-50 pesos, which would not suffice for feeding four mouths three meals. Some people freely give them food,  some give them chores to do like sweeping the floor before they give them food and sometimes money. The food that they eat lack nutrition – they eat so much rice with only chicharon and gravy as their viand. There are even times where they don’t get to eat at all. The line that struck me the most was:

8-year old: Ate, gutom ako.
10-year old: Tiisin mo na lang.

These two documentaries, incited my anger towards these irresponsible parents. Children should go to school and learn; go to the playground and have fun;  have a place they call home that’s as warm as hearth. Instead these children are stripped off of these rights, and are left to fend for themselves. These documentaries made me realize what I have been taking for granted my whole life. I never knew that a lunch for me is a luxury to others.

 

Clair de lune

Listening to Claire De Lune by Debussy makes me feel hopeful and happy. This masterpiece has been bringing pleasure to so many people in different places and different time periods, yet I am only learning now that such beauty existed. It can be a great score for my life. Tendencies to slant to romanticism, often riddled with problems but turning out to be less than horrible. I feel as if I’m reminiscing to blissful moments of my life, as well as the bittersweet. Throughout all these experiences, I am eternally grateful – the places, the learnings, the mistakes, the heartbreaks, and the people.

 

Hello, Tokyo!

My relatives (from my father’s side) and I spent 10 days of our summer in Japan; I expected it to be a myriad of tour buses, annoying tour guides, and simply tiring. I have never been so wrong in my life, it is the best place I have travelled to – there’s so much to see, learn, discover, and fall in love with!

We landed in Narita Airport, which is an hour and 30 minutes away from Shinjuku, Tokyo where our hotel is located. Outside the hotel, around 5-10 minute walk, there are shops and restaurants. Here is an InstaVid showing  glimpse of Shinjuku.

It was my first time in a standing sushi bar, where I had the best sushi ever! The customer tells (in our case, we point the picture) the person who prepares the sushi their order, and they prepare it in front of you. This is probably why it’s so good.

On our second day, we first visited Tokyo Tower which is the second tallest structure in Japan. It was originally the tallest, but the Tokyo Skytree came into the picture stripping the Tokyo Tower of such title.

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Tokyo Tower

The selfie game inside the Tokyo Tower observatory

The selfie game inside the Tokyo Tower observatory

We then headed to Shibuya, the shopping capital of Tokyo, where the statue of Hachiko is situated. Everything I know about Hachiko is from the movie Hachiko starring Richard Gere. I highly recommend this movie; although I have to warn you, it can and will make you cry.

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Hachiko’s Statue

It is also where the famous crossing is,  which can be seen in the movie Lost In Translation. Shops like Forever21, Uniqlo, and H&M are in multi storied buildings with 4-6 floors, which is unlike most shops here in the Philippines. The items sold there are 200-600 pesos cheaper compared to the same items sold here in Manila.

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Shibuya Crossing at Noon

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Shibuya Crossing at Night

We also need to fill our tummies, so during our shopping break we stumbled upon this little ramen place where we had our early dinner. It is unusual because the customer does not order through the waiter, instead through a vending machine in front of the establishment. The receipt that comes out of the vending machine will be given to the waiter, and voila, magical ramen. It’s the noodles that makes the ramen taste exceptional. I must say, BEST UDON EVER. Udon is a type of noodles in Japan that is thick and rich.

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The machine that takes the customer’s order.

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Soy Ramen & ( forgot the other one hehe) It was so good I could cry (hyperbole).

Our third day was solely for Mt. Fuji,the highest peak in Japan, which was 2 hours away from Tokyo. The moment we stepped out of the bus, I was surprised to see that there’s snow! It was my first time to experience snow, so I was extremely euphoric. Hence, this Let It Go inspired photo (without Elsa’s sass).

We strolled around the 5th station where there is a Shinto Temple, and a great up-close view of Mt. Fuji.

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Shinto Temple

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Mt. Fuji, 5th Station

The air was different, my aura was cleansed by the beautiful surroundings, the view was spectacular and one of a kind. I wanted to bottle up the air as a form of art and activism to the excessive pollution we have in our urban areas; I just tried to breathe in all the fresh air that I could get, since we were only there for 30 minutes (the downside of being part of a tour, restrictions with their schedule; thus, not being able to stay longer or shorter in a certain place).

Tree Pose in Mt. Fuji

Tree Pose in Mt. Fuji

There was also a convenient store in this station where they sold Green Tea and Strawberry Cheesecake KitKat. I did not buy there, since I was already planning on buying in a grocery store. I thought I was going to be ripped off, the place being a tourist spot. Apparently, that isn’t how the odd flavours of KitKat works in Japan. These flavours are a needle in a haystack (expect for Green Tea, it’s everywhere). It is seasonal and regional. Luckily, I was still able to find Strawberry Cheesecake KitKat in the airport, though I got it at a higher price.

Strawberry Cheesecake KitKat

Strawberry Cheese Cake KitKat

During the afternoon, we went to theMt. Fuji’s neighbouring mountain in order to see Mt. Fuji from different point of view. I was quite disappointed that we spent more time here than in Mt. Fuji, though the ferry ride going to the mountain was enjoyable.

The beautiful Mt. Fuji.

The beautiful Mt. Fuji.

To add to the euphoria I felt from Mt. Fuji, the Shinkansen or the bullet train comes into the picture. We were on the platform, unknowing of what a Shinkansen really is when one zooms by; everyone was shocked, and full of awe! It was extremely fast. We tried getting videos of the other (faster i.e., Nozomi) Shinkansen passing by, but I forgot to press the record button – I was too amused, and forgot how to use a phone. There are three kinds of Shinkansen namely, Nozomi, Hikara, and Kodoma. I got a video of a slower Shinkansen, probably the Hikara; it still is as amusing as the others. (I shall upload when I find my USB cable. :p)

It has only been three days, and I am utterly awestruck.