November 27, 2003

Ass Directing

I'm now officially the assistant director of the new movie project. The original assistant director did not sign the contract offered to him. It seems he didn't approve of the talent fee that he'd be getting for the movie. (Gad, I wish I have the power to reject a job! :) ). So last Monday, a day prior to the 3rd shoot day, they were looking for the replacement. I think our producer eyed another person first but our director told her that since that other person would also work as a first-time assistant director anyway, it wouldn't make a difference if they hire me instead. Direk added that it's also better for him because he has known me already from the first 2 shoot days (as the unofficial AD since the original AD didn't really get to work for the project). I know this because Direk told me when he briefed me about the job later on.

Actually, I had doubts whether I'll say yes. After Inang told me about that possible soap writing offer, I resigned myself to the fact that I'll just breeze through this project so I can land a more moneymaking venture after. I was also traumatized by my first (albeit, halted) AD job. (The reasons for which, properly documented here.) In the end, I succumbed to the temptation of a bigger pay plus the fact that I need money for Christmas. LOL! :) The offer also came at a right and manipulative time. I just had a penniless weekend (in the truest sense of the word), which thankfully I survived (thanks to the meal treats of my friends Juvy and Rose.)

I hope I will also survive my new job.

November 20, 2003

Throw Away Your Television

Since I had been overacting here about my broken VCR and TV, I guess it’s just proper that I update you about the matter. Yep, we already have a new TV! Well it’s actually not brand new, more like a second-hand Japanese-imported TV. It arrived last Saturday, two days after our landlord arrived from his European cruise. Evil me, I subtly blackmailed our house helper prior by threatening that I would transfer to another boarding house if they would not replace the TV. LOL! :) Obviously, my acting’s good based on the swift results.

Not everything’s resolved, though. Apparently, the new TV is not cable-ready. Pathetic, I know! I just have to contend myself by watching free TV channels. Good thing, Survivor’s on Studio 23 but being a pop culture fanatic, I know it’s not enough. So I figured the only way for me to watch cable television programs from a non-cable ready TV set is through my VCR.

But the VCR is another issue in itself. Remember Mr. Fix It? Well, “he” wasn’t able to fix it. :) That’s why when my friend Arah offered to have the VCR fixed with her own money so she can borrow it, I readily agreed and even hastily told her she can have the VCR until next year. That time, she needed to record the last episodes of the soap Kaytagal Kang Hinintay where she’s the writer. I actually thought (still think) it’s a good deal. I couldn’t find any decent electronic shop to fix the equipment plus I don’t have the money to spare anyway. Besides, what’s the use of a good VCR without TV?

Simply put, I’m too shy to tell her now that I need the VCR back. She spent much for its repair and it’s just fair that I keep my word to her. I guess I’ll just have to wait. I like to think I can manage one more month or so of a “no cable” and “no VCR” life. As you know, in those days that I actually had no TV at all, I rediscovered my affinity for radio. I also got to finish 2 good novels – Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter (typical Amy Tan but non-typical storytelling) and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones (simply beautiful, I unabashedly bawled out in the last few chapters).

In its time.

November 19, 2003

Dazed and Confused

You know life’s really unfair when the talent fee of the main actor’s make-up artist is double the amount of the talent fee of the script supervisor. I just found out last Sunday when I got my contract for the new movie project. It’s sad but it’s a fact. It depresses me that I studied for more than 10 years to have a job like this and that fact seems to acknowledge that those years are wasted.

The afternoon of that infamous first school day, I got to meet my former workmate Kate who’s also on her first day of teaching in UP. She just got back from Singapore where she finished her Masters Degree under a scholarship grant. We had lunch together with her Singapore classmate Jane who’s also teaching in Mass Comm and who happens to be my former undergrad teacher. They really bonded well during their Singapore stint and it’s obvious they had the time of their lives there. You know the feeling when you watched a very good movie and you want (really want) others to see that movie also? I guess that’s what Kate and Jane felt that moment. They want me to experience what they experienced. It seems like a bulb lit up their heads when after they reminisced, they looked at me and said “You should apply, Ted.”

I was hesitant at first. I did consider that option way back but now that I’m accepted in the Master’s program in UP, I think that’s more than enough for me. Let’s just say I’m not really one of those who has an American (or in this case, Singapore) dream. I don’t see myself living and working in a foreign land. The third world sucks but the P.I is my home. Of course I’m already counting the chicks here but you know, what if I will be accepted? There’s also the fact that the deadline is on December 15 already and I still have to fulfill the numerous requirements - passport which I still have to apply for, authenticated birth certificate, docu evidence of my work employment, transcript of records, just to mention a few. However, Kate and Jane were just too excited for me and I don’t want to let their hopes down (now you’re aware I have difficulty saying no) so I said that I’ll try my best to prepare everything needed for the application. I said this half-heartedly.

After last Sunday, I changed my mind. I now badly want to be accepted in that scholarship program. In fact, I’m trying my darndest to beat that deadline and hopefully just wait whether I’ll be accepted or not. My mind’s dazed now but I know I want to have more opportunities and in effect more money. It’s really depressing that money’s always the issue but that’s how I feel. I told you nothing’s left in my bank account and I don’t want this to happen again. It scares me. The uncertainty of what’s going to happen next scares me. And yet, I’m fully aware it’s the consequence of being a freelancer.

So in the meantime, I continue to work as measly-paid script continuity (doubling as AD since they’re still in negotiation with our supposed AD). I enjoy the work, yes, but if only the pay’s higher, man! I just console myself to the thought that one of the cast is my crush (whose name I won’t reveal since it’s enough that I’m “whoring” myself to you) and I’m experiencing some wonderful things for the first time (like shooting in a yacht.) Also, (this just came in) I said yes to my former boss Inang when she offered me to write again for soap after I finish with the movie. (I hope this offer will still stay by then). The thing is, I said yes even if I’m not really sure if this is really what I want or if I can survive another round of soap writing for that matter. I don’t know, I’m just grabbing all the opportunities that come my way. I don’t wanna experience again what I’m experiencing these days. You know, being desperate to earn money!

As you can read, I’m confused. Que sera, sera.

November 15, 2003

Some Kinda Funny

Sorry, it's been quite awhile since I last updated my blog. I've been quite hectic tho penniless these days. I had to rush some work for my DVD "raket" or else I'll be a beggar next week. I am not exaggerating. For the first time in three years, I withdrew all the money in my two ATM accounts and nothing's left in them. Nothing! Right now, all I could wish for is another soap writing offer. I'll just eat my pride for money. Hehehe :) But I don't wanna depress you (it's enough that I am).

So what am I going to tell you ba? Uhm, okay I'll just tell you about what happened last Thursday. As you know, I'm going back to school right? Last Thursday was the first day of my lone class for the semester. As always, I woke up late (what's new?) so I had to run (literally) to catch the Ikot jeepney. Good thing I live inside the campus and I study in UP where you can wear a pajama in school for all they care (not that I wore one). I was actually both nervous and excited. Nervous in a way that I'll be studying in a Film institute and I'm aware that the academe can be elitist sometimes. Excited also on the prospect of studying Film, something I'd like to think I'm passionate about. Anyway, to my relief, the class hasn't started yet when I arrived. I forgot the tradition that teachers always come late during first day of school. I looked around and found an empty seat and since I didn't know anybody, I just kept quiet and observed. My classmates surely looked young (17-18 years old is the average age) but I blended well. I donned my best 17 year old impersonation by wearing an AM Blvd shirt, my signature Chucks and my childlike attitude (Hahahaha! :) Feeling!). I'm an observant person so I noticed right away a group of giggling females who all decided they'll wear pink for the day (how juvenile!:). The leader of the clique was telling her friends about how she and her boyfriend couldn't relate with each other because the boyfriend apparently doesn't appreciate Britney Spears. Heh! (I relate with the boyfriend.) The other studes meanwhile have the filmmaker-wannabe 'tude. Geeky and snobbish.

Then Ma'am Gigi Alfonso arrived and we all kept quiet. I should have known my being almost late was a bad foreshadowing when Ma'am Gigi's first question to the class was "Has anyone of you seen My First Romance?" Oh. my. God! :) I tried to be nonchalant about it and was one of the three who raised hands. The others were giving the "Of course not!" facial expression. Ma'am Gigi then asked, "What can you say about the movie?" The other guy who saw it (a Statistics major) said something like it's kilig but it's like a very long commercial, and there were loopholes in the story. (He didn't use the word loophole, of course.) The other girl (member of the Pink clique) was bitchy. She said she really had no plans of watching the movie. She was just dragged by her cousin (yeah right!:) ) and she didn't like it, period. I have no idea why Ma'am Gigi didn't proceed to ask me coz she then told the class, "But it was Rated B so there must be something good with it. You know what Rated B means?" They didn't know. What can you expect? After Ma'am Gigi's explanation, the bitchy girl then added a good thing or two about the movie. I was really trying my darndest not to laugh. Then, Ma'am Gigi asked the whole class to intro ourselves. Man, I feel so old! Almost all of them are in their first year. When my turn came, I just said I'm a returning student. I thought I was free but Ma'am Gigi asked me what it means. So I had no choice but to say I'm a Masters student. (And I swear I heard one of the pink girls saying "Ah. Matanda na pala siya!") I just smiled thinking that if I had not said it, they wouldn't have noticed. My impression worked! :)

I thought that was already the end but Ma'am Gigi then told the class that since Film 100 is about film literacy, she would require us to watch many movies, even the Shoemart (read: mainstream) films. She then asked us to name the last Filipino movie we saw and what we can say about it. What the fuck! :) (Sorry for cursing, kids!) The class in general was bitchy about Pinoy movies. If I had taken this class 7 years earlier, I would have been one of the them but I know better now. One comment plainly disgusted me. A FILM MAJOR said that she has not seen ANY Filipino movies. I was ready to clap when Ma'am Gigi sarcastically asked her "And you call yourself a Film student?", but I controlled myself. Of course, the student didn't hint any sarcasm in Ma'am Gigi's voice.:)

Then my turn came. The class already knowing that I'm a Master's student focused their attention on me. With poise and calmness, I said, "The last Filipino movies I saw were Liberated and My First Romance. With My First Romance, I had no choice coz I co-wrote the movie..." INSERT PSYCHO THEME HERE. Silence. I tried so hard not to laugh but I couldn't. Nervous laughter followed. Ma'am Gigi laughed and said, "See! That's the reason why we should be careful about we say!" After I assured them that everything's okay, I continued with my comments on Liberated ("...inconsistent and uneven although there's an attempt to be artsy fartsy.") The Statistics guy blushingly apologized to me (even guiltily followed me after the class) although I told him that I agree with his comments. The Pink girl did not look at me in the eye for the rest of the class. LOL!:D

Ma'am Gigi proceeded to lecture us that just because most Filipino movies are mainstream fare it doesn't mean that we should not appreciate them. The masses obviously love these movies so there must be something in them that say something about ourselves and our culture. Besides, just because it's a Western film, it doesn't mean it's a good film. For every 10 art movies that they come up with, there are also 100 crap movies that come along. This holds true to any film industry in the world. I agree.

I had fun, by the way.

November 11, 2003

Harsh Attack!

If you're one of the 13 daily readers of my blog, then you must fairly know I had been fully prepared for the harsh reviews of the formula movie I wrote. I spoke too soon. A harsh review hurts. Plain and simple.

I was doing some work yesterday for the DVD release of My First Romance when one of the Creative Researchers of the company interrupted me to give her opinion about the movie. She first told me about the positives (we all do this) then proceeded blurting out the numerous negatives. I was astounded. She asked me if it's okay if she continues and I said yes coz I did was curious. She continued by telling me what the Cinema One reviewer said about the movie. ("I wanted to walk out from the flick!", "Heart is overly sweet!", etcetera.) In fairness, the reviews were all valid. I completely agree with the negative comments. Had I not been a part of the movie, I would have said the same things, BUT it doesn't change the fact that hearing the reviews really hurt especially when they make it appear that we seriously believe that we have an art film. (For the record, we dont!:) ) I'm not putting a defensive stand here (well I guess I am) but if only they KNOW the POLITICAL ECONOMY of mainstream moviemaking, they would have been kinder and more appreciative with our work. (But of course, that's why it's called a review, not a study! :) )

My good friend and cinematographer Neil Daza texted me last week to tell me that he enjoyed our episode. I was ecstatic of course, coz Neil is a god, but nonchalantly told him that it's a "mababaw" movie. "But enjoyable" was his reply and I did not contest anymore. I then told him "good luck on Boobita Rose!". (Boobita Rose is the tentative title of the movie he's doing for Viva, a comedy starring Ruffa Mae Quinto under Joyce Bernal's direction.) He must have thought there was sarcasm in my greeting when he texted back that his colleagues have been heckling at him for accepting the project. He told me that he took the offer because it's a challenge for him to provide new visuals to a relatively lightweight genre. I told Neil that I completely understand.

Methinks that it's actually far more difficult to make a formula/genre movie than a freeform/art film. In the latter, you are free to explore. Free to be creative. Free to do what you want. I mean, where's the difficulty in that? Whereas in doing the former, you have to find something new out of something old. You cannot be extreme. You have to find a middle ground. You have to please the bosses (with emphasis on bosses.) You have to think of the box-office. You have to think of the fans. You have to think of the star's images. All these, while trying to keep your creative sanity. Now tell me if that's easy!

I told my good friend Arah (UP Film graduate/Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay writer) about my text exchange with Neil. Arah told me she's been teased also by her batchmate friends and it's really frustrating on her part. Being a UP grad (who've been taught about what's art and what's not) and former soap opera writer myself, I relate with her (although lucky me, my blockmates are more understanding and appreciative). Arah said that she retorts back by telling them that proud and conceited that they are, she's very sure they couldn't do what she's doing. They'd quit (or get fired, I might add). Hearing that, I was like, "Go Arah!" Sige nga, gawin nyo nga ginagawa namin at tingnan natin kung kaya nyo! :)

Come to think of it, the word "quality" is very subjective. (Semiotics!) Who has the authority to say that your standards of "quality" is better than mine anyway? Moreover, the sadder fact is that our idea of what is "quality" is taken from the Western perspective. I guess this is the main reason why most of us always compare Pinoy art forms to the Western kind and only if these Pinoy works adhere to the Western "formula" of what's "sublime" or "beautiful", that's only when they can be deemed of "high quality". It's sad.

I know I sound snotty and defensive so forgive me. Still, this is my blog. :)

November 10, 2003

Sunday With Friends and The Creek's End

I had an amazing time last Sunday. I got to see my girl friends from college. It has been a while since we had this mini-reunion of sorts, and it's all courtesy of Rosabelle who celebrated her birthday by inviting us for lunch. (Thanks Ros! :))

That Sunday was quite nostalgic for me even if our main topic of conversation was mostly about our present lives. What I mean is the feeling and state of just being there WITH THEM were already enough for me. It brought back wonderful memories (some innocent, some not so) from college days. I could talk zero words that day and would still be happy. That's how I miss the clique!

The nostalgia continued when Ros played the series ender of Dawson's Creek she recorded for me. That show is just so late 90's! It's so college! I even deconstructed the first two seasons for my thesis! :) Dawson's Creek was soapish (yes) but I guess what triggered me to be a Creek fan was because the main characters resonated my college self. I was Dawson in a way that I was an idealist, a filmmaker wannabe and influenced too much by pop culture. I was also Joey because I always played safe and rarely took risks.

Not that I've changed a lot, though coz what really amazed me that afternoon was that even if we have grown 7 years older and wiser (with some, richer), we still haven't changed that much. Still the same 'ol bubbly personalities. Still the same 'ol friends I adore.

November 09, 2003

First Day

I haven't slept in two days. In fact, I still have to sleep as I'm writing this, so expect countless wrong grammar, limited vocabulary, and awkward sentencing more than the usual.

Friday, I was very excited to work again. Saturday would be the first shooting day of my new movie project. Once again, I would play the methodical role of a script supervisor. Having worked as one for three movies already, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I even thought that the job's becoming predictable already. I am already aware which mistakes to make to surely get some verbal abuse by the director as well as how to adapt to the different characters I encounter. (Ugh, I really hate it when I make it sound like moviemaking's a Survivor game! :) )

Surprise, surprise, Friday night, our able PA Grace called to tell me that I'll be doing the assistant director (AD) job instead. WTF! :) "How could that be?," I asked. She told me that since our real AD Ricky Rivero has a recurring role in Berks, he couldn't attend the 1st shooting day. He has to shoot some scenes for airing, she added. That was the bomb! As much as I wanted to protest, I knew I could do nothing about it. Stress, fear and nervousness enveloped me. The last time I felt like this was when I was an AD of the shelved original My First Romance project and I tell you, the feeling's the worst!

Being an AD in an indie movie prod might be fun but believe me, being one for a mainstream movie company is like living in hell. The amount of pressure is just sooo big. You're expected to be the one who keeps the strands connected among all people involved. With the mainstream industry full of power players coming from the "old school", you must also play psychiatrist and know how to stroke their egos for a harmonious working relationship on the set. Add to these of course are the real responsibilities of keeping your film on budget by making sure that the shooting schedule is followed and preprod requirements are met, and being the bridge between your producer and director (and becoming a euphemism expert in the process). I may be talking in jargons and symbolisms (or whatever) here but my point is, an AD job is the worst job in the world and us sadomasochists who want to pursue filmmaking but don't have rich parents to produce our films or send us to film schools have no choice but to aspire and settle for this particular job to become future directors hopefully (with emphasis on hopefully since it might not even become a reality). (What a Guinness for longest sentence! Haha!)

Anticipating for the worst and feeling the pressure to do well as temporary AD, I wasn't able to sleep. You know those instances wherein you try so hard to sleep because you have a big day the following day but no matter what you do, your eyes just won't cooperate? That's what happened to me.

Coming to the set, I felt like a zombie literally lifted by the butterflies in my stomach up to the sky. The sequences to be taken were office scenes and there would be some crowd direction to do. It would have been easier if we have good crowd actors here in the P.I., but man, our crowd actors are not even actors! They're mostly jobless people who're there for the money and not even for the experience (not all tho). The fact that I've also been hearing ugly set stories about one of our actresses didn't help ease my nervousness at all. I went to the location putting on my best game face.

Then the mask fell. The most wonderful feeling about being nervous is when you know that others are also nervous like you. PA Grace who felt she was unprepared (the script just arrived that midnight) was nervous. Our cinematographer was a first timer, he must have also felt nervous. One of our main actresses even if she may be a subtle biatch (from what I heard but yet to see) couldn't conceal her nervousness. The production design team just packed up from taping early morning and was very nervous. And the most wonderful of all, our director actually verbalized to us that he's nervous with the project being his first movie in 4 years. Observing, hearing and seeing them being nervous, I knew instantly I should stop being one.

I gave my all the whole day. I doubled as script continuity and AD on the set. It was physically tiring but my spirits were just up. I was very determined to make it through the day no matter what. There was no encouragement or whatsoever, the drive just came naturally inside me. I wanted to do well. I wanted to prove to myself and to others that I'm a hardworking and efficient biatch. And while we only finished one full sequence (the other two still have remnants), I know I did fine. Heck, the fact that I survived the day is more than fine.

I'm ready to rrrrrrumble!!!!! Just let me sleep first.

November 06, 2003

Old School

I am now officially enrolled. Masters in Media Studies, Major in Film. I will be a student again. The idea has excited me already.

I thought I wasn't going to make it. Ate Fortune of Film Institute had it mixed. When I called last week to inquire about the advising date, she told me to come today. Luckily, I got overexcited I went to Mass Comm last Tuesday and found out that same day was really the advising date. I panicked obviously. I had to go to Star Cinema first and asked Miss Elma (producer) what days will I be free for the movie project. She told me that the sked's not finalized yet so to be safe, I should only take morning classes on a Monday or Thursday. (Our main actor is not a morning person. He wants to shoot his scenes after lunch time only.) I thought it was good.

Imagine my dismay when I learned that all the master's subjects are only available in the afternoon or evening. My spirits were dampened. "I have to study no matter what!" Not giving up, I reviewed all the subjects I have to take for my first year (including the prerequisites since I'm not a Film major in my undergrad). I was euphoric when I found out there's one whose sked is every Thursday morning. The happiness quickly vanished when I discovered at the same time that all the slots for that section have been filled. "I need a miracle!" I needed an adviser.

Man, the line for advising was looong. It took me like 2 and a half hours before I could see Professor (or is it Doctor?) Joel David. I got to befriend a fellow Masters freshie in the process. Name's Vincent and he's cool enough to accompany and talk to me through those hours. I told Vincent about my dilemma. My only hope was for someone to cancel his or her slot in that section, and for Professor/Doctor David to allow me to take one subject only. I must have talked rather loudly for another Masters student overheard me. Wasn't able to catch her name but she assured me that I'll be allowed to take one subject only. She knows because that's what happened to her last semester, she added. A smile formed upon my face.

The smile turned wider when I got near the door. I couldn't resist asking the registration assistant Jamby (that's the name written on his big ID) if slots are still open for the particular subject and section I'm planning to take. Jamby gave the second good news of the day. "Yes" was his curt reply.

I finally got to see Professor/Doctor David and true enough, I was allowed to take one subject only. I was so happy. Never mind if Professor/Doctor David was kinda aloof. Being a film critic, he must have known I wrote a teenybopper. :) But he is god and he allowed me to take one subject so I still heart him. The fact that I might have quoted one of his books in my high school term paper and I was sitting beside him that moment was already happiness. :)

I went to Jamby right away and have myself enlisted. Looking at the list, I felt a litte bit old when I found out that I'm going to be classmates with 17 and 18 year olds. I made a mental note that I should continue dressing young so my future classmates won't notice. Now, I'm self-conscious.

On my way out, I saw the other god Ramon Bautista. I couldn't look at him straight in the eye coz he's friendsters with my friendster Alfred and there's a 1 percent chance that he might have read this entry. Now, I'm overacting.

Having my fees assessed in the main lobby, I couldn't help but noticed some "conyo" kids hanging around or chilling out, whatever their term is. I immediately pictured them as members of the elitist Broad Ass. To my surprise, some faces became familiar upon further observation. They're not Assers, they're Guilders! Members of UP Broadcasters' Guild! The org I co-founded back in college. I've seen their pics in The Whirl's (later members coined this as an alter-name) profile in Friendster. Our org's now a breeding ground for "conyo" kids. LOL! :D But I have no problems with it. I don't discriminate. I mean that's one of the reasons why we formed the org - not to discriminate! I know it's definitely rare for me to be friends with their kind but what matters to me is that they continue doing good with the org. Personally, I hope they will initiate some projects that involves activism rather than the usual social events.

The final stop is the Engineering Main Lobby where I paid my tuition fees. The registration assistant was "mataray" but I didn't care. Coz when he stamped "enrolled" my Form 5, I was already in Cloud 9.

It's really funny how going back to school can be a big adventure to one. Or maybe not. :)

November 03, 2003

Happy Days

Monday. The 27th. Greenbelt 3.

Michiko and I just learned our good friend Emman resigned from work. To console him and get some insider info as well (bad friends), we invited him to watch Under The Tuscan Sun (floppy but very entertaining) in Greenbelt. Since Emman appeared to be quite alright, we surmised that resigning from his tension-filled position may probably be a very good thing. We ate in Kitchen after and "artist" that he is, Emman began taking pictures of us ("Pang Friendster!:) ). In fairness, Kitchen is well-lit so we look good in the pics. There's one shot of Michiko and I which reminds me of the movie In The Mood for Love. We had so much fun taking pictures that even when we were already in the fountain area outside, we still continued taking pics. Emman thought of taking close up shots of us with the series lights hanging from the trees above our faces. Damn the elites, we didn't care if they would think we're picture-happy fools. We got the most pleasant surprise when a half-EspaƱol and very rich looking matron approached and told us that she appreciated what we did. She told us that she likes it when people are bringing out the beauty and spirituality in one another. (I swear, I'm not making this up.) She even had her picture taken with the series lights and then introduced Emman to her obviously bashful adopted Jordanian son in Starbucks (Michiko and I were equally shy).

It actually felt good that we touched someone else's life. I was thinking she may be the rich kind who has to focus on her business half her life but just really wants to be involved in arts or something. :)

Tuesday. The 28th. SM Megamall.

I was nervous the whole day. My First Romance would have its premiere. Then I got a text message from Guia. "GOOD NEWS!!! We got a B rating frm Film Ratings Board!!!". I was like, "What the...!" I totally couldn't believe it. It means we're in the same mold as Keka and Kung Ako na Lang Sana. LOL! :) Needless to say, the news got me elated and prepared for whatever is going to happen during the premiere night.

During the early part of the John-Heart episode, the audience was unusually quiet. I got scared. I was like, "Oh no, they didn't get the 'joke'!". But the "kilig" parts soon came and the shrieking followed. With the John Lloyd-Bea episode, their fans never failed to cease the opportunity to scream whenever the two stars appear on screen. I realized, "So yun lang pala. All they want is to be 'kilig'!" :) I was very happy that our target audience appreciated all our hard work.

(Flash forward to a few days later: I was happier that my non-fan friends were aware of the "knowing wink" and laughed at the right parts in the One Heart episode.)

Wednesday. The 29th. Somewhere in UP-Diliman.

My insider friend texted me that My First Romance is doing very good in the box-office. Far better than the launching movie of another famous loveteam. Another good news. I felt very blessed. I can actually call myself a one-hit wonder already.:) There is no irony in this but to God be the glory.

I spent the whole day in my boarding house enjoying doing nothing.

Thursday. The 30th. Star Cinema.

Nervousness again started my day. It's the first staff meeting of my new movie project. I will be embarking on a "Survivor" adventure with different "castaways" once more. I was just silent all throughout the meeting even if the staff and Direk Lauren were very friendly ("UTR Teddy, UTR!") Then a big blow came. Miss Elma told me to stay put for the auditions. It meant having to give up a brainstorm session where I could get extra income. Sucks.

Turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the audition gave me the opportunity to know my fellow "castaways" better and establish an "alliance" with them. Assistant director Ricky Rivero (one of the "Ninja Kids") was also very "chika." I'm not sure yet because the "adventure" still hasn't begun but I think I'm ready. Please pray for me.:)

Friday. The 31st. Malate.

It was my first time in Malate. (I told you already I'm a geek, right?:) ). And on a Halloween night at that.
I stood out from the crowd, I think.:) Everyone was wearing black and donning their best goth outfit. I was wearing my striped-baby blue church shirt, jeans and chucks. I was an alien.

Monjam, Rose, Emman, Yam and I first went to this KTV bar. I got scared at first coz when we entered, all these half-naked girls screamed at us in Japanese. The idea of singing on stage was also intimidating. But after getting a grasp of the microphone, the butterflies in my stomach vanished and I soon had fun singing with my friends. I sang Big Mountain's "Baby, I Love Your Way" in my fake Jamaican accent and Oasis' "Don't Go Back in Anger" with all my heart and soul. Emman jokingly told us that we should sing at every opportunity for the Japanase might already arrive. The joke became a reality. Japanese businessmen did arrive and the girls screamed in all delight. It was time for us to leave.

We next went to the only sex shop in the Philippines. My virgin eyes were shocked. The sex gadgets were crazy. I inquired about the penile enlarger. LOL! :) What shocked me the most was the three young girls in Angel outfits who entered the shop to trick or treat (accompanied by an adult, thankfully). The irony! We didn't miss the opportunity to have our pictures taken with them.

Then we reached Nakpil. Man, I've never seen so many gays in my entire life! Rose and Yam became depressed. We decided that we should go to a hetero-friendly bar. We went to Bath. We were mistaken. It turned out it's the pick-up place for gays. Uh-oh! After some dancing and picture taking, we hastily went out.

Emman left to see his friend Raymond. The four of us felt that Malate isn't really fun. Methinks if you're the sex-crazed type it might be fun since I think it's easy to hook up with a stranger there. But if you're not a loser and you actually have friends and you actually are not shallow enough to think of drinking and dancing irresponsibly as, like, your major recreation, then I suggest you just go to a place where you and your friends can hear each other and talk. I know I'm so geeky.

In the end, we just went to The Common Ground, talked and talked, danced a bit, then went to Starbucks T. Morato and analyzed what just happened. Come to think of it, what we did in Common Ground (where we had, at least, fun), we can do elsewhere. :)

Saturday. The 1st. Kakarong Street/Punchline

I met Janette (one of my best buds in high school). We were supposed to have a mini-reunion with our high school friends based in Manila but it seems they're going places (literally) so I told her we'll just hang out in her place instead. We reminisced high school by looking at our photo albums. Levy and Cha (her flatmates), and Lani (their college classmate) were also there. They cooked dinner for me (sweet!) and we talked and talked. Alas, we ran out of topic and since the night was still young, I suggested we go to QC and barhop or something. Just as we were leaving, another high school friend Randy arrived (straight from the airport, from Sydney) to say hi. He apologized he couldn't come with us but it's okay since he gave me a keychain as "pasalubong." Hehe :)

We went to Punchline where we spent the rest of the evening laughing our stomachs out.

Sunday. The 2nd. Something Fishy, Libis.

I woke up noon time already and wondered why I still hadn't gotten a message from my former blockmates. We planned to meet yesterday for some sorta mini-reunion. I later found out that Miaka and Sheila were sick and Rose had an unexpected engagement. So I texted Gen that the dinner date's cancelled. While I really loooove to see my blockmates again, I took the cancellation easily for it means I'll save up money. Let's just say that the gimmicks the previous nights emptied my wallet and fact numero uno is, I haven't been earning for 3 weeks (read: jobless).

Seven in the evening and I got a text from Gen that she's already in Something Fishy. She didn't receive my text message. Ugh! :) Guilty, I hailed a cab right away and went there. Candice, who was nearby, went also. Good thing I went. Eastwood on a Sunday evening was very relaxing. Plus I was with the company of two girl friends who were just so eager to talk. What more, Gen paid the bill so I was a happy guy!:) We promised to see each other again (SOON) with all our other blockmates.

Carpe Diem!

So anyway, while writing this entry, I am actually teary-eyed because I realized how blessed I am. God gave me a happy week! I haven't felt like this in such a long time. I lived life to the fullest, I seized every moment and every opportunity and for a Joey Potter like me, this is for the books. I was aware that my financial resources are depleting but I was like "GO! Live the life!", and it felt good!

But I'm back in the Joey Potter mode now and I'm scared because they say that after the "up" days will be the "down" days. I hope the "down" days will not be that bad.