December 31, 2013

2013 Favorites

Favorite Movie - Iloilo
I would like my dream movie to be like this, personal but well-crafted, dramatic but real, insightful but not didactic.

Favorite Song - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell "Get Lucky"
Good ol' electronic music that makes you feel good,  gets you up to the dance floor and doesn't make you throw up.

Favorite Album - Emblem3 "Nothing To Lose"
Guilty pleasure of 2013.  If you're a child of the 90's, listen first before you judge. :)

Favorite OPM Song - Yeng Constantino "Chinito"
Never mind the music video that's derivative of a Taeyang-Dara K-Pop collaboration.  Mind instead that this laid-back love ditty has got to be one of the most original OPM songs to come out in recent years.

Favorite Music Video - Miley Cyrus "We Can't Stop"
Get past through Miley's tongue-wagging and explicit exhibitionism but focus on its well-photographed images and meaningful art direction that serve the song's lyrics right.

Favorite Viral Video - Ylvis "The Fox"
Just because the video introduced us to a song that never fails to make me smile or laugh!

Favorite Game - Candy Crush
Seriously, who didn't get addicted to this game this year?

Favorite App - Waze
Finally, I can now drive anywhere! Thank you to whoever invented this!

December 28, 2013

Give Thanks Despite A Blue Christmas

Despite the unfortunate events that happened to our family this year, there are still some things to thank God for.  For one,  I was able to celebrate my birthday in the company of my Annaliza family.

Birthday surprise on the set

With my Annaliza family

Another birthday cake during Annaliza's Christmas dinner

Birthday boy!

Just before I left home for the holidays, I was also able to squeeze in fun reunion with relatives & close friends.

Annual Christmas dinner with my closest college friends

Annual Christmas treat to my beloved pamangkins

Christmas, so far, has been "steady".  I mostly stayed home because I got sick upon arriving here.  My sister and I decided to forgo noche buena.  The tradition just reminds us so much of Nanay, we didn't want to turn it into a "cryfest."  There had been emotional debates among us regarding some legal matters on Nanay's death.  It's still not resolved but it gets me depressed.  I pray God gives us the strength and wisdom in coming up with a decision, and I also pray that Nanay will guide us.

Visited Nanay's grave during Christmas day. God, I miss her so much!

It's not all blue Christmas, though.  I was able to meet up with some childhood friends for Christmas dinner.  Some old family friends also invited us to celebrate the occasion with them in their homes and I appreciate that.  The fact that I'm with my family during Christmas and without work-related stress is also a blessing already.

Tomorrow, we celebrate Tatay's and my cousin Jimbo's birthday. We'll also have our annual Christmas party with neighbors.  We definitely feel the void left by Nanay but we need to move on. If only, it's that easy.

November 24, 2013

Greatest Fear

My greatest fear would be forgetting how it feels to have you around.  I love you so much Nay!

September 29, 2013

Bye, Nay!

My mother already passed away yesterday afternoon.  It definitely breaks my heart for it was sudden, she didn't even have a life-threatening illness.  What she had was a simple diarrhea that led to other complications.  There might be a medical malpractice but the thought won't help me and family accept the situation now.  I pray that God gives me the strength to deal with it later.  Nevertheless, I still feel blessed and loved.  She waited for me.  I was able to talk to her on my first ICU visit upon arrival from Manila. She went into coma the following day.  I might have written (or even directed) a few hospital death scenes in teleseryes but they didn't prepare me from yesterday's real scenario.  We saw her being revived and were asked by the doctor of our decision after she was unresponsive for 30 minutes.  It was heart-breaking.  Sorry for the random thoughts and being dramatic.  I just need to let out.  I will definitely miss you Nay!  We only lived together for 12 years but you were always my inspiration and my source of strength.  I've always thought you were an old-fashioned conservative but the fact that you let me explore my dreams at a young age and supported me all the way makes you the best mother I could have. I hope I did you proud Nay. I love you soooo much!

ETA: I started my blog exactly 10 years ago and the first entry I wrote was about my Papay's (my Nanay's father) death.  I refuse to be morbid about the coincidence.  I''d rather think that Nanay and Papay, together with Mamay, are now reuniting in heaven.

September 26, 2013

Hospital Blues

I finally saw my Nanay in ICU early this evening.   She was confined because of complications from diarrhea or pwede ring because of the leniency of a local government hospital.  I should have segued to a rant about better and affordable health care that's lacking in our country, no thanks to corrupt government officials, but there's another venue for that.  I just wanted to write an entry because I wanted to express my feelings upon seeing my Nanay that weak.  I've never seen her that weak until tonight. She had difficulty talking.  Her skin is bloated. She looks pale and older.  The wires attached to her body do not help lessen her and my depressed state.  I was shattered to pieces and it hurts.

We talked for an hour wherein she shared to me some life realizations because of what happened. She realized my Tatay, who's not the affectionate kind and who's not good with words, indeed loves her the way he took care of her when she got sick.  She also told me an anecdote that had me in tears considering I was trying not to show my sadness to cheer her up.  Anyway, she told me she asked my cousin, who grew up with my parents, about his greatest fear.  My cousin, who hardly shows emotion and is still your typical irresponsible teenager, answered "losing you!". It got her teary eyed because to her, it validates her existence. It also got me me teary-eyed because after seeing her tonight, I feel the same.

July 01, 2013

Mixed Emotions

My fatigue probably offset a would-have-been emotional day. Thank God because I hate being emotional!

Honey and I helped our housemate Aris moved to his new apartment in Paranaque earlier. He had to move because his work location transferred to Alabang and it's a hassle traveling from QC to Alabang everyday. I will definitely miss Aris.  Truth be told, he's probably my closest guy pal now. We actually started off on the wrong foot for reasons I'd rather not disclose but we became very close when we became housemates.  Like I always write, ever since I stayed in a dorm in high school, I'm already used to housemates moving in and out and so it's difficult to maintain friendship. I would not like my friendship with Aris to suffer the same fate. I hope we'll be friends for life.

Thanks for everything, Aris!
After helping Aris moved in, we had dinner in Vikings, MOA.  It turned out CF, who's in a 2-week vacation in the Philippines, was also in the mall.  CF is a dear friend who I used to write about here in my blog.  We haven't seen each other for 4 years after CF migrated to the US.  We had been trying to schedule a meet-up but it was very difficult because of my work.  It was a twist of fate then that we found ourselves in the same location.  I took the chance and excused myself from Aris and Honey to meet CF.  I was very happy to see CF again.  I miss CF!  We're just friends now but CF will always have a special place in my heart.  We chit-chat about our lives and I can see how CF has grown and matured.  I am a proud brother!  We promised to see each other again before CF leaves for the US or if not, when I get to travel to the US next year (fingers crossed!).  CF promised to drive me around Sanfo.

I'm not used to writing  a blog entry like this anymore. LOL!

May 26, 2013


This has to be the most difficult shoot for a soap pilot that I experienced.  The end product, however, is very fulfilling.

Please catch ABS-CBN's remake of the classic Annaliza, which starts airing later at 5:45pm, before TV Patrol, in Primetime Bida.

Full Trailer

The Making of Annaliza

Music Video

Feel free to share the links!

May 25, 2013

Singapore Round 3

Last April, I went to Singapore for the 3rd time, my 1st as a tourist.  It was also my 2nd out-of-country trip with my family.  I know I dismissed Singapore last year as too clean (read: boring) and while it's not as "colorful" as the other countries I've been to, I think I was too harsh with my judgment.  I did enjoy Singapore this time, to think that we only went to the tourist spots.  I guess it has something to do with the fact that I was with my family and it was a perfect breather from the strenuous shoot of my new soap.

Here are a few photos from my 3-day Singapore getaway.

We went to Sentosa and entered Images of Singapore museum.  It's a visual museum that chronicles Singapore's history, a perfect start for our Singapore vacation.

We went to Universal Studios for the first time.  This was taken after we rode Transformers The Ride.  Yes, my 67-year-old Nanay conquered Transformers!

My sister and I all wet from Jurassic Park's Rapids Adventure.

We also watched Songs of the Sea in Sentosa.  It's a musical about socialism hidden under flashy lights and water exhibition.

We also rode the Singapore Flyer to get a birds eye-view of Singapore. 

We ate lunch at Maxwell Food Center and loved Anthony Bourdain's favorite Hainanese chicken.

We went to the Night Safari. I'm not really into animals so funny as it may sound, it was scary for me. LOL!

We went inside Flower Dome in Gardens By The Bay where my Nanay was having a blast!

For some reason, the artificial Cloud Forest in Gardens By The Bay reminds me of apocalyptic movies!

Got reunited with my college friend Gen in her posh Singapore crib.

My sister's take on that classic Merlion pose in Merlion Park.

We watched a drums show in Esplanade.  After I took this pic, I was repimanded by the guard because taking pictures while the show is ongoing is not allowed! Haha!
Indian food and buko juice for dinner in Glutton's Bay.  Surprised to see Gerry's Grill there!

Our Cebu Pacific flight back to Manila was 12 hours delayed!  Good thing Changi Airport is like a big mall...

... my mother and sister got to rest their feet in a free foot massage...

... I was able to hold a butterfly in its Butterfly garden...

... and in the TV Lounge, got to watch TLC and daydreamed about my next travel!
The rest of the pictures are in my Facebook album.

March 09, 2013

MMK Anew

I only wished to direct one MMK episode, so I feel very grateful to be offered to direct another one.  I just love directing for MMK!  I love the TV movie format more than soap.

Please watch Julia Montes portray the role of a young prostitute in her first MMK lead role TONIGHT, 7:30pm, after Wansapanataym on ABS-CBN. I will also appreciate it if you can share the link to your friends and family.

Before I forget, thank you for watching my first MMK episode.  It got 37% ratings in TNS, the highest MMK episode so far this year, I believe.  Come to think of it, maybe that's the reason why I was offered to direct again. Regardless, I thank you! :)

February 14, 2013

Maalaala Mo Kaya

I just crossed out an item in my bucket list. That was, to direct an MMK episode. I'm really grateful to the MMK team for the opportunity and I hope I will make them proud.

Guys, watch and help me promote my first MMK episode please! It will be a perfect Valentines gift if you share the link below and/or tell your friends to watch the episode.  Thank you!

MMK: All For Love airs this Saturday, February 16, 7:45pm on ABS-CBN after Wansapanataym. It stars Urian Best Supporting Actor winner Ketchup Eusebio and the newest Kapamilya Meg Imperial (Menor de Edad) from a script by Benson Logronio and Arah Badayos.

January 26, 2013

Yeng Congstantino - B.A.B.A.Y.

I am not sure about Yeng's dancing in the music video but what I'm sure of is Yeng's immense talent as a singer-songwriter.  I've always believed in this kid since I worked with her in Pinoy Dream Academy.  Writing the now OPM classic "Hawak Kamay" in her teens is no easy feat.  She just has "it".

"B.A.B.A.Y" is the lead single of her 2nd collaboration album with Raymund Marasigan "Metamorphosis."  The album contains all original songs, very rare for OPM artists these days.

I'm excited to hear the rest of the album.  My most favorite Yeng song, by the way, is this very relatable and poignant teen ditty.

January 22, 2013

13 Films To Watch in 2013

I am still embarrassed by the fact that I only saw a total of 14 films in theaters last year.  That is not me.  I vowed to myself that it will have to change this year.  So far, so good.  January has not ended yet but I already saw 3 films - Life of Pi (my Oscar Best Picture winner), Sisterakas (totally got its box-office success), and Les Miserables (musical plays & film musicals are two different genres, the straight adaptation did not work).

Here are 13 other films I am excited to see in 2013:

About Time

Synopsis: A young man discovers that the men in his family are able to travel through time, and sets out to use his gift to win the heart of his dream girl.

Excitement Factor: Richard Curtis' (Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings & A Funeral) comeback to the rom-com genre
 Bling Ring 

Synopsis: A group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and fame burglarize the homes of celebrities in Los Angeles. 

Excitement Factor: A youth movie by Sophia Coppola starring Emma Watson fresh from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I'm So Excited 

Synopsis: In the face of a life-threatening situation, a disparate and defenseless group of passengers on board a flight to Mexico City are provoked to deliver colorful confessionals that become the best way to escape from the idea of death. 

Excitement Factor: Pedro Almodovar, period.

Labor Day 

Synopsis: On Labor Day weekend, a divorced, depressed single mother encounters a large man bleeding profusely while shopping with her 13-year-old son. They give him a ride and later learn that the police are looking for an escaped convict. 

Excitement Factor:  Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air, Young Adult) directing Kate Winslet's comeback 


Synopsis: An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes prize. 

Excitement Factor: Alexander Payne's (The Descendants)  return to directing road-trip movies after the award-winning Sideways

The Great Gatsby 

Synopsis: Nick Carraway learns that old friend Jay Gatsby has built an empire of wealth and avarice, and has eyes only for his former flame Daisy Buchanan. 

Excitement Factor: The reunion project of Romeo + Juliet's Baz Luhrmann & Leonardo di Caprio, plus it features songs of Jay-Z and Lady Gaga

The Heat 

Synopsis: An FBI agent and a cop team up to bring down a drug lord. 

Excitement Factor: Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig's new comedy and the fresh combo of Sandra Bullock & Bridesmaids' breakout star Melissa McCarthy

The Nymphomaniac 

Synopsis: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating. 

Excitement Factor: A porn film by Lars Von Trier


Synopsis: In the not-so-distant future, a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user's every need, and to his surprise, a romantic relationship begins to develop with it.  

Excitement Factor:  Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), my favorite music video director of all time, makes meta-movies again 
 To The Wonder 

Synopsis: The relationship between an American man and European woman falls apart. 

Excitement Factor: Early viewers say this is the perfect companion piece to Terrence Malick's previous directorial effort The Tree of Life, my favorite film last year

The World's End 

Synopsis: A group of old friends reunite for an epic pub crawl at the dawn of the apocalypse. 

Excitement Factor:  Four words: Shaun of the Dead

The Grandmaster 

Synopsis: The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. 

Excitement Factor: Wong Kar-Wai. Tony Leung. Enough said.

This Is The End 

Synopsis: A gaggle of comedic celebrities survive the apocalypse and struggle to survive in the wastelands. 

Excitement Factor:  Judd Apatov (Superbad, Pineapple Express) casts all his regular & reliable comedian friends - Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jason Segel, Michael Cera & Jonah Hill among others - in one movie

Source: The Playlist

January 12, 2013

Pop Favorites of 2012

It must be noted that I only saw 14 movies in cinemas last year, a far cry from the 50 films I saw ten years ago.  Yes, I keep track of them. :D  Some of the films here are released in 2011 but are shown in the Philippines only last year.

5. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Director: Brad Bird. Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg

4. Argo. Director: Ben Affleck. Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman

3. The Hunger Games. Director: Gary Ross. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson

2. The Descendants. Director: Alexander Payne. Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller

1. The Tree of Life.  Director: Terrence Malick. Cast: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn

2012 was the year when I started buying songs instead of illegally downloading them. :D  Some of the songs in the list are from 2011 but are released on Philippine mainstream radio in 2012.

5. I Love You - 2NE1

4. Starships - Nicki Minaj

3. Settle Down - No Doubt

2. One Thing - One Direction (My guilty pleasure of 2012! :D)

1. Walk - Foo Fighters (My karaoke song of 2012! :D)

There you go! I have no list of favorite TV shows since aside from my own shows, the only shows I watched in 2012 were my old reality favorites - Survivor, Amazing Race, American Idol & X-Factor. There is also no list of favorite music videos like before because MTV does not play music videos anymore.